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2017 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Free Agency Edition)

By on March 20, 2017

11) New Orleans Saints – Alabama DL Jonathan Allen

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. Jonathan Allen, a legit top-3 player with arthritic shoulder concerns, is expected to fall due to longevity concerns but the Saints can’t pass on him at this point in the draft.

12) Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – Alabama TE OJ Howard

The Browns coached O.J. Howard in the Senior Bowl and had to be impressed with what he followed up with at the NFL Combine. After losing Terrelle Pryor to the Redskins in FA, the Browns need more weapons for their offense to take the load off of their future QB, whomever that may be. OJ Howard is so immensley talented and was barely used to his full ability at Alabama and, based on speculation of what an NFL OC could do with him, he could end up being the higest TE drafted since Kellen Winslow was drafted #6 overall by the Browns.

13) Arizona Cardinals – Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey

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. Carson Palmer announced that he is returning in 2017, Tony Romo is still linked to them, so either way the Cardinals remain in win-now mode and won’t waste a 1st round pick on a non-contributor for the upcoming season.

Getting a legit presence opposite of Patrick Peterson has been a tough task for the Cardinals. Marlon Humphrey comes in battle tested and brings size/speed that you want in an NFL CB.

14) Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) – Florida CB Quincy Wilson

The Eagles shored up their receiving core with Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith, so it’s likely that they turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball in the 1st round.

The run on CBs should start around the early teens as it’s the deepest position in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Eagles grab a big, raw, talented CB in Quincy Wilson to try and match up with the big WRs in the NFC East (Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Josh Doctson).

15) Indianapolis Colts – Temple LB Haason Reddick

The Colts defense is a wreck and the lack of pass rush was already an issue. With Robert Mathis retiring, they have an even bigger need at EDGE rusher and Haason Reddick is a versatile linebacker that can play inside and out in the 3-4.

Before the combine Reddick’s stock was on the edge of the 1st round, but he’s solidified himself as one of the top pass rushers in the draft with his NFL Combine performance (4.52 40-yard dash; 24 reps on Bench Press). Despite the Colts efforts in FA to shore up the pass rush, Reddick’s potential is too great to pass up on for depth guys like Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, & Barkevious Mingo.

16) Baltimore Ravens – Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey

The Ravens went hard in free agency this year. 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. They signed CB Brandon Carr in free agency, so assuming they have patched up their secondary with Carr and Tony Jefferson, the Ravens can turn their attention elsewhere.

GM Ozzie Newsome has awlays been a BPA kinda guy and the Ravens did try and kick the tires on Trent Richardson in 2016, so naturally their need for a playmaker in the backfield remains. Christian McCaffrey has a lot of potential in the NFL as a RB, Kick Returner, and even as a WR. Terrance West was serviacable in 2016 and the Ravens still hope Buck Allen develops, but McCaffrey is a game changer at the position and could be more of a home run threat than currently exists on their roster.

17) Washington Redskins – Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

The Redskins have botched this Kirk Cousins situation and, despite what he says in reports to save face for himself and the organization, he’s halfway out of the door already. The Redskins met with Deshaun Watson at his Clemson Pro Day and seem to be doing their diligence as far as finding a backup plan for Cousins to depart sooner than later.

Deshaun Watson isn’t getting the credit he probably deserves in this pre-draft process, but I believe that he has the intangibles to be s franchise QB. Watson is being so nitpicked right now that we are questioning his zip on the ball after showing less velocity at the NFL Combine than expected, but of all the questions scouts/analysts were trying to come up with, there were never any questions about his arm strength before. My theory here is that Watson took a little off his throws at the combine to ensure that he was as accurate as possible because immediate reactions to his combine performance were that he was very impressive with all his throws.

18) Tennessee Titans – Washington WR John Ross III

Everyone can agree that the Titans need to get Marcus Mariota some more pass catching weapons this offseason. they tried to land some guys during free agency, but they are more likely to fill the hole via the draft.

It seems like the Titans have a bigger WR in mind to pair with Marcus Mariota, but adding another player with this level of speed to the offense could be quite dynamic. The Titans offense will continue to put an emphasis on the power running game, but defenses having to respect the deep speed that Ross brings will only open up more holes for DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. The addition of Ross would make this a video game offense.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Miami TE David Njoku

The Bucas made some moves on defensein free agency to allow them to focus on the other side of the ball in the draft. Jameis Winston has established himself as a legit QB for the next decade; now it’s time to surround him with weapons. Signing DeSean Jackson to play along Mike Evans give the Bucs a lot of versatility at WR; there might not be more of a contrast between a team’s WR1-WR2 in the league.

The Austin Seferian-Jenkins project didn’t work out for the Bucs, but Miami TE David Njoku offers a ton of athleticsm at the position and youth (20 years old) to grow with Winston as a security blanket.

20) Denver Broncos – Utah OT Garrett Bolles

Regardless of who the Broncos start at QB, their offensive line is going to hold back the passing game. John Elway is the guy that can look past the fact that Garrett Bolles will be a 25 year old rookie and make the selection to rectify that Left Tackle position after the failure that was Russell Okung.

 

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