2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
This is my first official mock draft of the NFL offseason.
Let me know how much I screwed up your teams’ needs and didn’t reach to draft for need instead of taking the best player available.
Seriously though, let me know what you guys/girls think because I plan on doing one of these weekly and I want to get on the mic and breakdown the picks with a little more detail.
1) Cleveland Browns – Texas A&M EDGE Myles Garrett
The Browns continue to have a need at QB, but you could argue that they also have a need at RB, WR, TE OL, DL, LB, CB, and Safety. This draft reminds me of the 2014 NFL draft where there was a clear-cut #1 player (Jadeveon Clowney) and the team with the #1 pick (Texans) needed a QB and everyone expected them to reach on a QB. Scouts are not dumb and I don’t expect the Browns to miss out on a talent such as Myles Garrett, especially with another 1st round pick in their back pocket. Don’t forget that Hue Jackson was a part of turning Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton into serviceable quarterbacks, so he likely believes he can spend a later 1st round pick or even the 1st pick of the 2nd round on a QB.
2) San Francisco 49ers -Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
NFL Mock drafts are all about stock and trends, but I’m trying to actually predict what I think happens, or should happen, in April. Right now, Deshaun Watson’s stock is low in mock drafts, especially compared to this time a year ago, but I believe that he has fallen victim to being overanalyzed. He would have been the top QB in the 2016 NFL Draft, so the only direction his stock could go was down. I still believe that Watson is a legit NFL QB in the right system with the right coaching. Come April, falling in the draft will only benefit his long term success because he will land with a better team with a better supporting cast, and we all saw what that did for 4th round pick Dak Prescott in 2016. Ultimately I think that the surplus of film outweighs the lack of film on Mitch Trubisky. Even if you disagree with the player here, there’s no question the future of the 49ers hangs with this pick and the need to hit on a franchise QB.
3) Chicago Bears – Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
The Jay Cutler era is over. Rumors of John Fox telling people he’s done with Cutler doesn’t seem that farfetched. In fact, it would be harder to believe a rumor of John Fox telling people he still has faith in Jay Cutler at this point. John Fox did make it to a Super Bowl in Carolina with Jake Delhomme at QB, and he might have found something in the reclamation project, Matt Barkley. The Bears should draft a QB at some point early in the draft, but Jon Allen is too great of a building block for their defense to pass on early on while there isn’t a great, clear-cut QB option for them to risk the fourth overall pick on. Jon Allen has Richard Seymour potential.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars – LSU RB Leonard Fournette
After going into 2016 as one of the trendy picks for an up-and-coming team, the Jaguars are STILL a mess. They will be starting over with a new coach and probably should start over with a new QB. The Jaguars will probably get an offensive minded guy to try and salvage Blake Bortles’ career, so a QB likely won’t be the pick here. The Jaguars have put a lot of resources to improving the defense recently and GM David Caldwell stated that he wants to get the offense and defense playing at the same level after seeing the offense and defense moving in opposing directions this past season. The NFL is a copycat league, and after seeing the Cowboys taking a RB early in the draft translate into success on the field, I think the Jaguars will take an impact player on offense to reduce the pressure on Bortles. TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory never established themselves as a lead RB as both are better suited as a change of pace back, while Leonard Fournette has the potential to be the next Adrian Peterson.
5) Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) – LSU S Jamal Adams
The Titans are fortunate the Rams continued to suck after the blockbuster trade for the rights to the #1 overall pick in 2016 and they landed a top 5 pick in 2017. The Titans made huge strides in their 2nd season with Marcus Mariota and their 1st full season with Mike Mularkey as the HC and DeMarco Murray as their #1 RB. The Defense played surprisingly well down the stretch and is in position to take the BPA with this Rams pick and maybe reach to fill a need with their later 1st round pick. The secondary needs a lot of help and Jamal Adams is the best safety in this class and is a rare prospect worthy of a top-5 selection in the draft at the position.
6) New York Jets – Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore
It was sad to see Revis just completely fall off/give up this season, but don’t feel too badly for him because he’s made his money and won a Super Bowl; now with the latest legal issues his future with the team in doubt. Marshon Lattimore has surfaced as the consensus #1 CB in the draft and is a legit top 10 player.
7) San Diego Chargers – Clemson WR Mike Williams
The Chargers needed a compliment to Keenan Allen going into the season and hoped Travis Benjamin would fill that role. Now they need a WR because Keenan Allen has the worst luck imaginable when it comes to injuries and you don’t know what you’re going to get from him when he comes back. If the Titans take the 1st WR off the board, expect the Chargers to settle for whomever they didn’t take between Davis & Williams.
8) Carolina Panthers – Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
The biggest difference between the 2015 Panthers and the 2016 version is the protection Cam Newton got from the offensive line. The top offensive tackles are not worthy of a top-10 selection in the 2017 NFL Draft and hopefully the Panthers don’t reach for one to fill a need. Bama OT Cam Robinson is overrated and
9) Cincinnati Bengals – Alabama LB Reuben Foster
The Bengals can’t rely on Vontaze Burfict anymore and their defense wasn’t that much improved once he returned from suspension. If football is a chess match, consider Reuben Foster the Queen piece. You can move him around all over the field would actually be a steal at #9.
10) Buffalo Bills – North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky
The Bills are a mess right now and will be moving on from Tyrod Taylor after giving him the chance to start that he was looking for and played well considering the offense hasn’t been great in recent history. The Bills need to start over and I think Trubisky is talented enough to go early in the 1st round, but if the Bills go into 2017 without a legit QB prospect, then they might be heading into the 2018 draft with the #1 overall pick.
11) New Orleans Saints – Stanford DE Solomon Thomas
The Saints defense was better under new DC Dennis Allen, but still needs a lot of work to give the Drew Brees era another run at this thing. The with to a 4-3 helped, but they still need to generate a better pass rush to help the secondary out. Solomon Thomas could end up being long gone by the 11th pick in the draft, but at this point he makes too much sense for the Saints looking to improve the defensive production.
12) Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – Ohio State FS Malik Hooker
The Browns would be fortunate if Malik Hooker falls to them at #12. Hooker and Jamal Adams are two of the best safety prospects to come into the draft in a long time and could flip flip in these picks and no one would bat an eye. I think the extra year of college seasoning give Jamal Adams gives him the edge, although Hooker is more of a roaming FS while Adams is better suited as a SS. The Browns need to pass on a QB here because they still have options at QB and need to stockpile a nucleus of talent.
13) Arizona Cardinals – Florida CB Quincy Wilson
At lot of mocks have them taking a QB of the future here, but Arizona will continue to be a destination for old QBs trying to get that elusive ring in 2017. If Carson Palmer retires, Tony Romo is more than likely going to be their QB this season and with that win-now mentality, you don’t go QB in the 1st round.
14) Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) – Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
The Eagles are early favorites to land Alshon Jeffrey in free agency, but if not WR would be their biggest need in the 1st round and Corey Davis would be a great young playmaker for Carson Wentz. Assuming Jeffery signs with the Eagles and with Dalvin Cook off the board, they should turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball.
15) Indianapolis Colts – UCLA EDGE Takkarist McKinley
The Colts have done Andrew Luck a disservice thus far in his NFL career and while they need to get him better protection on the O-Line, there’s no OL in this draft worthy of a top 15 pick. Robert Mathis’ retirement leaves an already sizable hole in the defense even larger. The Colts secondary was under too much pressure with opposing QBs given way too much time to pick them apart. Takk McKinley is the most athletic pass rusher in this draft and could be a fast riser post-combine results.
16) Baltimore Ravens – Washington CB Sidney Jones
With Steve Smith retiring, the Ravens could look at a WR here, but they’ve got to be hoping that Breshad Perriman takes the big step that 3rd year WRs are expected to make. Cornerback has to be the next biggest need and Washington CB Sidney Jones has all the tools you could hope for in a corner and could stay in purple in gold in the NFL.
Next Page: Picks 17-32
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