|NFL Mock Draft – 3/17/2017|
|1. Cleveland Browns
DE/OLB – Myles Garrett: Texas A&M
The possibility of the Browns getting a willing partner to pay the premium of moving up to #1 overall is slim, leaving Cleveland with the enviable option of simply drafting the best athlete in this draft class. Myles Garrett is the consensus top pick in this class and an instant impact player on defense.
previous pick:: (CHI via CLE) QB – Mitchell Trubisky: N. Carolina
|2. New York Jets (SF)
QB – Mitchell Trubisky: North Carolina
The Jets have to identify a franchise quarterback and in order to do that they will likely need to move ahead of the Bears to guarantee their pick of the litter. Mitchell Trubisky may have his warts but he is viewed by many as being the top option at the position in 2017, making him a likely target by quarterback needy teams at the top of the first.
previous pick:: (SF) QB – DeShaun Watson: Clemson
|3. Chicago Bears
DE – Solomon Thomas: Stanford
For Chicago, the drafting of Solomon makes almost too much sense for this pick to be any other player (with Trubisky being off the board). Adding a monster at defensive end greatly improves the return on last year’s first round pick (Leonard Floyd) and immediately improves the overall defense.
previous pick:: (CLE via CHI) LB – Myles Garrett: Texas A&M
|4. Jacksonville Jaguars
RB – Leonard Fournette: L.S.U.
There are many directions that the Jaguars could take here but adding a running back with an extremely high ceiling may aid in the slow development of Blake Bortles. Fournette instantly changes the way opposing defenses have to scheme against the Jaguars offense.
previous pick:: DT – Jonathan Allen, Alabama
|5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR)
S – Jamal Adams: L.S.U.
This is the first mock that I do not have the Titans taking a cornerback. The signing of free agent and former Patriots defensive back, Logan Ryan, opens up the possibility of another position being taken at the five spot. Jamal Adams is a top five prospect in this draft and although it’s difficult to justify taking a safety so high in the first round the potential return on investment justify the price.
previous pick:: CB – Marshon Lattimore: Ohio State
|6. San Francisco 49ers (NYJ)
WR – Mike Williams: Clemson
The 49ers wide receiving group is basically a who’s who of adequacy. With Kirk Cousins likely to opt out of Washington and sprint to the West coast it makes a lot of sense to start grabbing weapons to develop on offense in the 2017 draft.
previous pick:: (NYJ) QB – Patrick Mahomes: Texas Tech
|7. Los Angeles Chargers
S. Malik Hooker: Ohio State
Dwight Lowery’s play at free safety last season was uninspiring making this pick a safe bet to be an early contributor. It’s a good fit for Hooker as the defense will be able to get pressure up front generating chances for him to create turnovers while still working to develop his overall game that is lacking in some basic areas.
previous pick:: (CIN via LAC) DE – Solomon Thomas: Stanford
|8. New Orleans Saints (via CAR)
CB – Marshon Lattimore: Ohio State
New Orleans decides to move up and go after the best cornerback in this class while he’s still available. The Saints feel like a team that needs to make strong moves to fix the defense and make a last gasp effort to get back into the playoffs before the uncertainty of the post Drew Brees era sets in.
previous pick:: (CAR) RB – Leonard Fournette: L.S.U.
|9. Cincinnati Bengals
DT – Jonathan Allen: Alabama
The Bengals find themselves with the opportunity to pair trench monster Geno Atkins with a potentially disruptive force in Jonathan Allen. Placing Allen next to Atkins will cause many sleepless nights for opposing AFC North quarterbacks.
previous pick:: (LAC via CIN) S – Jamal Adams, L.S.U.
|10. Buffalo Bills
CB – Marlon Humphrey: Alabama
With the departure of Stephon Gilmore there becomes a glaring need at cornerback for the Bills. Humphrey possesses all the traits of a day one starter and long term answer at the position.
previous pick:: (BUF) WR – Mike Williams: Clemson
|11. Carolina Panthers (via NO)
OT – Garett Bolles: Utah
Getting better in front of Cam Newton may be the quickest way for the Panthers to get back to the top of the NFC South. A lot of people knock Garett for his age (will be 25 his rookie year) but he is clearly the best option to come in, start and make a positive impact on the line.
previous pick:: (NO) CB – Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
|12. Cleveland Browns (via PHI)
CB – Gareon Conley: Ohio State
The Browns sit tight and draft a player that is quickly rising in draft circles, cornerback Gareon Conley. The Browns have now added two pieces to the defensive puzzle that not only clear up the picture but change the entire dynamic for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
previous pick:: S – Malik Hooker: Ohio State
Fan of the Browns? Check out Matt McKinnie’s interview with tight end Gary Barnidge – CLICK HERE
|13. Arizona Cardinals
ILB – Reuben Foster: Alabama
The Cardinals need to find a permanent linchpin in the center of the defense and that player just happens to be available at #13 overall. Reuben Foster did some damage to his stock by being dismissed from the combine but ultimately teams are going to view his tape and speak with him in person to determine if he is worth a pick in the top half of the first. I believe his value will erase the combine questions.
previous pick:: (BUF via ARI) OT – Cameron Robinson, Alabama
|14. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN)
CB – Chidobe Awuzie: Colorado
Another cornerback that is rocketing up boards may just be what the Philadelphia Eagles need to fix the leaks in the secondary. With the signing of wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith the Eagles have lined themselves up to go defense early in 2017.
previous pick:: CB – Sidney Jones, Washington
|15. Indianapolis Colts
LB – Haason Reddick: Temple
The Colts have to address the deficiencies on defense and this is a solid draft class to do it in. Haason Reddick continues his escalation up boards and finds himself in a situation where he can immediately earn a starters role and become the field general for Indy’s defense.
previous pick:: ILB – Reuben Foster, Alabama
|16. Baltimore Ravens
OT – Cameron Robinson: Alabama
When Rick Wagner moved on from Baltimore in free agency it created a cliff on the right side of the line that the Ravens offense could easily slide off of. Drafting Cameron Robinson makes a ton of sense for the Ravens and immediately aids in improving the situation at right tackle.
previous pick:: OT – Garrett Bolles, Utah
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|17. Washington Redskins
RB – Dalvin Cook: Florida State
The Redskins will likely look to improve their situation at running back in 2017 but I would not be surprised to see them address it quickly if Dalvin Cook were to be available at pick #17. I’m on an island of my own creation when it comes to my tepid evaluation of Dalvin’s professional projection but I have little doubt that more than one general manager in this draft will have fallen in love with the perception of Cook’s game and have him ranked within the top 10 players of this draft.
previous pick:: LB – Haason Reddick, Temple
|18. Detroit Lions (via TEN)
TE – O.J. Howard: Alabama
The Lions decide to pull the trigger and make the trade up and grab a talented player that finds himself slipping to far down the first in O.J. Howard. I view Howard as a top five talent in this class and the potential payoff for spending the eighteenth overall pick on him is ridiculous.
previous pick:: (TEN) WR – Zay Jones, E. Carolina
|19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DE – Derek Barnett: Tennessee
The Buccaneers will look to get better up front on defense and this is probably about the right place to take Barnett. His production is unquestioned, but his overall athleticism may leave something to be desired.
previous pick:: (NYG via TB) TE – O.J. Howard, Alabama
|20. Denver Broncos
OT – Ryan Ramczyk: Wisconsin
Denver gets the opportunity to fix more than one offensive issue by bolstering the line. The best way to help a young signal caller develop his game is to give him a clean pocket with time to read and throw. Ramczyk projects as an eventual starter on the blindside of the line.
previous pick:: OT – Cameron Robinson, Alabama
|21. Tennessee Titans (via DET)
WR – Zay Jones: East Carolina
This is the second time I have mocked Isaiah Jones to the Titans and overall I really like this pick. Jones has serious potential to become a truly lethal #1 receiver in this draft class and he is our top rated pass catcher in 2017.
previous pick:: DE – Taco Charlton, Michigan
|22. Miami Dolphins
DE – Taco Charlton: Michigan
Miami will need to add impact players on the defensive line and Taco Charlton could be just that. There are some questions about his movement ability but he consistently flashes on tape and at #22 overall the value is sound.
previous pick:: DE – Takkarist McKinley, U.C.L.A.
|23. New York Giants
TE – David Njoku: Miami
The Giants continue to add to the offensive arsenal with one of the more intriguing picks of this draft. Njoku immediately solves the riddle for what New York should do at tight end this season and completes an array of play-makers for Eli Manning to utilize in 2017. The gap between Njoku and Howard may be closer than what some believe.
previous pick:: (TB via NYG) DE – Deredk Barnett: Tennessee
|24. Oakland Raiders
LB – Zach Cunningham: Vanderbilt
The Raiders have issues at linebacker that will need addressed early and often in this draft. Cunningham has the potential to develop into a stud and head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. this feels like the perfect setting for Zach to overachieve.
previous pick:: CB – Gareon Conley, Ohio State
|25. Houston Texans
QB – DeShaun Watson: Clemson
I keep mocking a quarterback to the Texans and I still haven’t found any reason to change my mind on it. DeShaun may not be everything you want in the position but he has the right mental make-up to take on the challenge of working with Bill O’Brien to solidify the offense in Houston.
previous pick:: QB – DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
|26. Seattle Seahawks
OG – Forrest Lamp: Western Kentucky
The Seahawks are likely forced to continue spending high draft picks on offensive linemen to protect their investment in Russell Wilson. Lamp is easily the best true interior lineman in this draft and a solid building block for any offensive line.
previous pick:: S – Obi Melifonwu: Connecticut
|27. Atlanta Falcons (via KC)
DE – Carl Lawson: Auburn
With the signing of Dontari Poe, the Falcons added a presence in the middle but I don’t believe their quest to add heat on the defensive line ends there. Moving up in the draft is something that Atlanta would be willing to consider if the right player is available. Lawson likely never makes it to the Falcons without the trade up.
previous pick:: RB – Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
|28. Dallas Cowboys
WR – John Ross: Washington
Jerry Jones likes athletes with speed and Ross is the fastest player in this draft. Adding a player that forces defenses to remain slightly on their heels only furthers the ability for Dallas to rip off chunks of yards in the ground game. I’m not as high on Ross as most but this pick makes good sense based on how it affects that Cowboys overall on offense.
previous pick:: WR – Corey Davis, W. Michigan
|29. Green Bay Packers
DE – Malik McDowell: Michigan State
Green Bay decides to pull the trigger on a player with questions surrounding his work ethic but possessing one of the highest ceilings in this draft. Malik McDowell projects to defensive end for the Packers and it’s a position that they will need to address in this draft. He has all the traits to be a pocket collapser and run stuffer at the professional level.
previous pick:: LB – Tim Williams: Alabama
|30. Pittsburgh Steelers
CB – Adoree Jackson: U.S.C.
It took the Steelers several years after drafting Chad Scott in the first round to go after a corner again in round 1, but this pick would mark back to back years that Pittsburgh would address the position. With Adoree’s ability to also be a weapon in the return game this pick is based on potential and value.
previous pick:: TE – David Njoku: Miami
Fan of the Steelers? Check out Matt McKinnie’s interview with lineman Chris Hubbard – CLICK HERE
|31. Kansas City Chiefs (via ATL)
CB – Fabian Moreau: U.C.L.A.
The run on corners continues as the Chiefs add one of my personal favorite players in this draft class, Fabian Moreau. Kansas City needs to upgrade this position across from Marcus Peterson. Moreau has serious potential to outperform the majority of corners drafted before him and in talking with one former scout there is serious buzz surrounding Fabian going in the bottom of the first.
previous pick:: DT – Malik McDowell: Michigan State
|32. Arizona Cardinals (via NO)
QB – Patrick Mahomes: Texas Tech
The Cardinals trade back into the bottom of the first round to acquire their future franchise quarterback. Patrick Mahomes is our top rated passer in the 2017 draft class and his ceiling projects higher than any other available quarterback.
previous pick:: LB – T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
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