|NFL Mock Draft – 3/1/2017|
|1. Cleveland Browns
DE – Myles Garrett: Texas A&M
For the second week in a row I have the Browns standing pat and taking Garrett. There are still no indications out of Berea that the pick is for sale and all signs still point to Myles being at the top of the Browns warboard.
|2. San Francisco 49ers
QB – DeShaun Watson: Clemson
With Kaepernick’s agent contacting teams to promote the idea that Colin will enter free agency, the 49ers will need to have an eye towards the immediate void at the quarterback position. Watson’s value is going to be all over with one former scout mentioning his disbelief in any one giving him a high first round grade, but there’s no questioning the desire from DeShaun to improve and with good interviews he could very easily wind up being the first quarterback taken in what is viewed by many as a weak class of passers.
previous pick:: WR – Mike Williams: Clemson
|3. New York Jets (via CHI)
QB – Mitch Trubisky: N. Carolina
In the first projected trade of our mock season, the New York Jets offer a healthy sum of picks to Chicago to move up and select what they view as their franchise quarterback of the future. It’s imperative that New York solves their problem at the most important position on the field and it’s this desperation that forces them to pay a king’s ransom to the Bears.
previous pick:: (CHI) DE – Solomon Thomas: Stanford
|4. Jacksonville Jaguars
TE – O.J. Howard: Alabama
After trading away Julius Thomas to acquire left tackle Branden Albert, the Jaguars immediately improve the position with one of the top 5 overall players in this draft class, O.J. Howard. And if you are wondering, the last time a tight end was drafted at # 4 overall? 1957, when the Green Bay Packers selected Ron Kramer.
previous pick:: S – Jamal Adams: L.S.U.
|5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR)
CB – Marshon Lattimore: Ohio State
The Tennessee Titans secondary will definitely get some players added to it in this draft and the Titans waste little time in addressing the situation. With another selection later in the first, Tennessee could come away with two immediate contributors for a defensive backfield that is lacking true starters.
previous pick:: DT – Jonathan Allen: Alabama
|6. Chicago Bears (via NYJ)
ILB – Reuben Foster: Alabama
After passing on a signal caller with the third overall pick, the Bears opt to get their quarterback on defense with Reuben Foster. Twice in the past week it has been expressed to me that Foster is being viewed by a large section of the scouting community as the best defensive player in this draft class. That’s considerably high praise considering the depth of talent in 2017 on the defensive side of the ball.
previous pick:: (NYJ) QB – Mitch Trubisky: N. Carolina
|7. Los Angeles Chargers
DL – Jonathan Allen: Alabama
The Chargers have a need at safety but it may prove to be too tempting to pass up on Allen with visions of Jonathan and Joey Bosa becoming a pair of dominant, disruptive playmakers on the defensive line. I know some will question Allen falling this far but I keep hearing the repeated theme that he is viewed much higher by analysts than he is in the actual scouting community.
previous pick:: S – Malik Hooker: Ohio State
|8. Carolina Panthers
RB – Leonard Fournette: L.S.U.
For the second week in a row I have the Panthers selecting Leonard Fournette. The matching here just makes too much sense for the Panthers to pass on if the L.S.U. product is still available at #8.
|9. Cincinnati Bengals
DE – Charles Harris: Missouri
The Bengals need to improve their rush off the edge as Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson combined for 11.5 sacks last season after post 18.5 in 2015. Harris is a player that is likely to receive some increased hype coming out of the combine.
previous pick:: RB – Dalvin Cook: Florida State
|10. Buffalo Bills
WR – Mike Williams: Clemson
The Bills need a playmaker on the opposite side of the field from budding star Sammy Watkins Jr. and they get it in his former Clemson teammate, Mike Williams. With uncertainty in the future of the quarterback position, Buffalo may very well opt to put some pieces in place for either an incoming free agent or a potential pick at a later date.
previous pick:: CB – Marshon Lattimore: Ohio State
|11. New Orleans Saints
DE – Derek Barnett: Tennessee
The Saints must improve their pass rush or they will continue to struggle against the quarterbacks in their division that are all playing at a high level with many more years to come. Barnett is a player with a wide ranging stock but it would not be a surprise to see him taken prematurely in the top 16 picks.
previous pick:: DE – Charles Harris: Missouri
|12. Cleveland Browns (via PHI)
S – Jamal Adams: L.S.U.
The Browns get a chance to infuse some major talent and an instant impact starter in the secondary with our overall top rated prospect in 2017, Jamal Adams. With these two picks in the first round, Cleveland has added two immediate starters and added serious talent to the defensive side of the ball.
previous pick:: QB – Deshaun Watson: Clemson
|13. Arizona Cardinals
DE – Solomon Thomas: Stanford
The Cardinals find themselves in the enviable position of taking a player that possesses the makeup of a future pro-bowl player at defensive end in Solomon Thomas. We envision Thomas as being in the Cam Heyward mold with a bit more upside then the Steelers standout, a player that we had listed as a top 16 pick in the 2011 draft that fell to #31 overall to Pittsburgh. Solomon projects as a day one starter and standout player in a 3-4 base at defensive end with the ability to move up and down the line in sub-package sets.
previous pick:: ILB – Reuben Foster: Alabama
|14. Baltimore Ravens (via IND)
S – Malik Hooker: Ohio State
The Ravens seize on the opportunity to move up a couple spots and target a falling prospect with a lot of pre-combine hype, Malik Hooker. With an aging pair of safeties and visions of another Ed Reed, it might be too much for Ozzy to sit back and not pay the premium to pull the trigger on the trade with the Colts.
previous pick:: (IND) TE – O.J. Howard: Alabama
|15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN)
WR – Corey Davis: W. Michigan
It was obvious that the Eagles were in need of going after some help for Carson Wentz, but now I’m hearing that the coaching staff was extremely turned off by the lack of effort Dorial Green-Beckham put in last season making this pick of Corey Davis all the more likely.
previous pick:: CB – Quincy Wilson: Florida
|16. Indianapolis Colts
RB – Dalvin Cook: Florida State
Indianapolis needs to find as many ways as possible to protect franchise quarterback Andrew Luck and give him threats on every level. Dalvin Cook may be best suited as a complimentary back, but as a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game it could be a team such as the Colts that can maximize the return on a selection of the Florida State product.
previous pick:: OT – Cam Robinson: Alabama
|17. Washington Redskins
S – Jabrill Peppers: Michigan
This will mark 2 weeks in a row that I have Peppers going to Washington. It seems a natural fit and this is a very solid area to take an ultra-athletic prospect that may need to revise his game while starting.
|18. Miami Dolphins (via TEN)
DE – Taco Carlton: Michigan
Miami will need to prioritze the defensive front in this draft and a move up to secure Taco Charlton could be in order.
previous pick:: (TEN) CB – Jalen Tabor: Florida
|19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR – Zay Jones: E. Carolina
The Buccaneers make a move on a wide receiver that seems to have more buzz with the former and current scouts that we speak with than he does with any media analysts (you can count us in agreement). Jones skill set is very obvious when you put on the tape but his combine scores will be a huge determining factor on whether or not he can make the climb all the way inside the top 20. The first round is definitely in play for Zay.
previous pick:: WR – Corey Davis: W. Michigan
|20. Denver Broncos
OT – Cameron Robinson: Alabama
The Broncos focus in this second mock is the same as the first – fix the problems up front to make it easier to develop a franchise quarterback. Cameron Robinson has plenty of question marks following him around but his athletic upside is extremely high for the position.
previous pick:: OT – Garrett Bolles: Utah
|21. Detroit Lions
TE – David Njoku: Miami
It’s a repeated theme that the Lions will look to completely overhaul the tight end position in this draft and if that’s the case they will have to go after either Njoku or Howard in the first round in order for it to be a worthwhile endeavor. In this mock, O.J. is not available making David the choice.
previous pick:: CB – Sidney Jones: Washington
|22. Tennessee Titans (via MIA)
ILB – Zach Cunningham
The Titans will have to look at improving the starting interior linebacking spot next to Avery Williamson. Zach Cunningham would be a natural fit and at pick #18 is probably just coming into the range where he should start to be considered in the 2017 draft.
previous pick:: (MIA) DE – Derek Barnett: Tennessee
|23. New York Giants
OT – Ryan Ramczyk: Wisconsin
I have Ramczyk going to the Giants for a second straight week and this may become close to a permanent feature in our mocks. I have have been told by one source that New York has an extremely high grade on Ryan. The reasoning for the pick makes sense but it’s very early to believe without questioning that Ramczyk would be a lock if he were available at pick #23.
|24. Oakland Raiders
DT – Malik McDowell: Michigan State
The Raiders gave head coach Jack Del Rio a 4 year extension and with that a vote of confidence. Now, the defense will get a chance to be the focal point in the first round as Oakland looks to create one of the most dominant pass rushing units in the league with the help of a prospect that has all the physical tools to be great, with some questions over work ethic.
previous pick:: CB – Marlon Humphrey: Alabama
|25. Houston Texans
QB – Patrick Mahomes: Texas Tech
I’m getting more and more feedback that our early projections back in October of Mahomes rising up boards and into the first round is an accurate assessment for this gifted signal caller. Bill O’Brien will need a quarterback to help him keep his job in Houston and Patrick is our highest rated passer in 2017. This is a move we can easily get behind at pick #25 in the first round.
previous pick:: QB – DeShone Kizer: Notre Dame
|26. Seattle Seahawks
OT – Antonio Garcia: Troy
The Seahawks look to immediately improve their porous line play with one of the more unique prospects at the position, Antonio Garcia. If you are not familiar with Garcia, start digging in and learning as his name will be repeated throughout the combine and in the weeks to come as analysts are slow at times to come up to speed on players that coaches and scouts have higher than projected grades on.
previous pick:: LB – Tim Williams: Alabama
|27. Kansas City Chiefs
RB – Alvin Kamara: Tennessee
As we predicted last week, Jamaal Charles is out in Kansas City and that opens up the door for a potential first round selection of a runningback. Alvin Kamara is a name that popped up in a conversation as a potentially targeted player by the Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid as he makes a solid comparison to both Charles and former Eagles’ runningbacks Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy.
previous pick:: RB – Christian McCaffrey: Stanford
|28. Dallas Cowboys
CB – Sidney Jones: Washington
The Cowboys will need to address potential holes in the starting secondary as both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr are set to hit the open market. Jones’ stock has been gaining some steam and is seen as a potential riser. If he’s available at #28 I believe it’s a fairly easy decision for the Cowboys to make.
previous pick:: WR – John Ross: Washington
|29. Green Bay Packers
OG – Forrest Lamp: W. Michigan
The likelihood of Packers impending free agent guard T.J. Lang receiving an offer that Green Bay will not readily match is very high and would open up a hole in the interior of the line. Forrest Lamp would become a plug and play starter for the Packers with the versatility to back-up multiple position.
previous pick:: DE – Taco Carlton: Michigan
|30. Pittsburgh Steelers
LB – Tim Williams: Alabama
Pittsburgh may have the option of drafting a highly talented pass rusher with some character concerns. Under head coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh has shown to have some flexibility with players in regards to off-field issues making this pick a serious possibility if Williams were available.
previous pick:: OG – Forrest Lamp: W. Michigan
|31. Atlanta Falcons
DT – Caleb Brantley: Florida
Adding an interior pass rusher will be on the table for the Falcons at some point in the 2017 draft. Finding Caleb Brantley available at pick #31 may be the perfect fit.
|32. New England Patriots
ILB – Haason Reddick: Temple
The Patriots unexpectedly allowed linebacker Dont’a Hightower to test the open market and my guess is that he will find a lucrative enough deal to lure him away from New England. Hassan Reddick has created an unbelievable amount of energy around his name following the Senior bowl and would make a solid addition for the Pats in the interior where Elandon Roberts would be projected to start next to him when in the 3-4 and shift to the strong side in the 4-3.
previous pick:: CB – Adoree Jackson: U.S.C.