2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
17) Washington Redskins – Florida LB Jarrad Davis
The Redskins followed the trend of moving a safety to LB (Su’a Cravens) with mixed results and may end up moving him back to safety, leaving a hole at LB. Jarrad Davis is a real LB who specializes in coverage and could fill the hole left by Cravens.
18) Tennessee Titans – Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
By some stroke of luck, Corey Davis falls to the Titans at #18 due to GMs worried about his injuries and small school background. The Titans traded away Dorial Green-Beckham last year after realizing he was not going to be able to gain separation or learn the play book. Corey Davis is like the anti-DGB and is an excellent route runner and catches everything thrown his way. Mariota needs a #1 WR and Davis has all the tools you look for in a dominant WR.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Alabama TE OJ Howard
The Buccaneers had to let Austin Sefarian-Jenkins last year after spending a high draft pick on him and while Cameron Brate made a big impact, he’s not a game changer at TE. OJ Howard is the definition of a game changer at the TE position. This is the definition of a luxury pick, but the Bucs would be wise to surround their franchise QB as many weapons as possible early on in his career. Washington WR John Ross would be another interesting pick for the Bucs here because he’s everything Mike Evans is not and would be the perfect compliment.
20) Denver Broncos – Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham
John Elway doesn’t pick based on need. He has shown a pattern of taking the best player available and he knows that his bread is buttered by playing solid defense with this current version of the Broncos. Zach Cunningham is a value pick at this point in the 1st round and can fill the hole left by Danny Trevathan in 2016.
21) Detroit Lions – Missouri DE Charles Harris
Ziggy Ansah would be a lot more effective if he had a running mate at DE to take some of the pressure off of him. The Lions defensive line has really fallen off after they had one of the top units in 2015 and the long term rebuilding process needs to start now.
22) Miami Dolphins – Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan
The Dolphins look like they are starting to figure things out under HC Adam Gase. They clearly need an infusion of youth at the linebacker position and Raekwon McMillan is an intriguing prospect with ideal size and measurables.
23) New York Giants – Alabama OT Cam Robinson
The Giants reached on OT Ereck Flowers a few years ago but their OL is still holding Eli Manning back. Cam Robinson is probably the best long-term option for the Giants, although Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk if healthy is another option here.
24) Oakland Raiders – Florida CB Jalen Teez Tabor
Sean Smith turned his play around after a rough start, but he’s still not an elite CB. David Amerson has been a reclamation success, but the Raiders should still snag one of these CBs in the draft to add some youth and depth.
25) Houston Texans – Michigan State DE/DT Malik McDowell
26) Seattle Seahawks – Ohio State G/C Pat Elflein
The Seahawks seem to be sticking with their project at Left Tackle, George Fant, but the rest of the OL needs depth. Jimmy Graham finally showed up in 2016, but they have to be regretting their trade of Max Unger in 2015 because the OL has been a weakness ever since. They could be a potential landing spot for unique Utah OT Garrett Boles since Pete Carroll doesn’t mind players with baggage.
27) Kansas City Chiefs – Alabama EDGE Ryan Anderson
The Chiefs are getting old and like to draft players to fill holes a year in advance. Andy Reid loves players with a high motor and Ryan Anderson is always around the ball.
28) Dallas Cowboys – Washington WR John Ross III
Before you assume I have no idea of the Cowboys needs at DE and CB, recognize that those are the deepest positions in this draft and both could be filled in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. The Cowboys have avoided reaching to fill holes recently and have been true to their boards, taking the best player available. With Terrance Williams more than likely leaving in free agency, the Cowboys are going to have a hole across from Dez Bryant and could use some vertical speed on the offensive side. John Ross is the type of player the Cowboys have always avoided when Jerry Jones was in charge of making the picks because he always believes that size matters and only wanted WRs that are 6’2”, but with Stephen Jones and Will McClay in charge they are going to take the BPA, regardless of position.
29) Green Bay Packers – Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
The Packers moved Ty Montgomery to RB last season, but he’s not an every down RB; and neither is Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey might even be better suited to play WR in the NFL, but the duo of McCaffrey and Montgomery would give the Packers two RBs that can catch out of the backfield, with Eddie Lacy like out the door in free agency. And let’s be honest, Mike McCarthy would love another excuse to NOT run the ball.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers – Auburn EDGE Carl Lawson
Jarvis Jones was one of the worst 1st round picks in recent history for the Steelers. Jones will leaving in free agency and James Harrison can’t be and every down player at this point in his career. Bud Dupree should continue to develop and has proven to be a solid EDGE rusher. Adding Carl Lawson on the other side could help the Steelers move on from being “little brother” to the Patriots in the AFC.
31) Atlanta Falcons – Illinois DE Dawuane Smoot
The Falcons are coming off one of the worst Super Bowl losses in NFL history. Dwight Freeney is likely going to retire after his last run at a ring, and the Falcons need another pass rusher to play opposite 2016 breakout star, Vic Beasley. Dawuane Smoot is an explosive pass rusher that is flying under-the-radar heading into the draft process.
32) New England Patriots – Michigan LB/SS Jabrill Peppers
The Patriots love versatility and the only pick here that makes more sense than Peppers would be Christian McCaffrey, but the Packers beat them to the punch. Peppers went into the season as potentially a top 5 pick, but I think the attempt to get him Heisman recognition by moving him all over the field actually hurt his draft stock. Instead of showing that he can excel at one position, Peppers displayed he’s pretty good at a lot of different things. After the blows people away at the combine he might not be available at this point, but he’s not getting past Belichick.
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