2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Staff Writer: Ramon Elortondo

The draft is all about building for the future. The great teams in the NFL are built in April. How do the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears move on from an awful 2016 season and start rebuilding? By having a successful 2017 draft. The 2017 class is loaded with talent. The thick of this draft is in rounds 2-4. Teams will find the most value here, and I won’t be surprised if I see teams trading back to acquire some of these mid-round selections. The 2017 NFL scouting combine is complete and, as is annually the case, a few players gave their draft stock a huge boost while others undermined themselves. Factoring in the latest buzz and developments, let’s predict what the first round will look like before teams start to bid on free agents.

Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: The 6-4, 272-pounder justified his pre-combine hype by running a 4.64 40 and posting a 41-inch vertical leap. But more importantly, his highlight reel reveals a freakish talent who averaged more than 10 sacks and nearly 16 tackles for loss during his three seasons for the Aggies. No matter how enamored the Browns might be with any of this year’s quarterback prospects/projects, Garrett is simply too good to pass up. Selecting him at number one overall ensures this talent starving franchise an anchor on the defensive line for years to come.

garett

Myles lines up  in a four point stance ready to rush the passer. Photo courtesy of creativecommon.com

San Francisco 49ers Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama: At 6-3, 286 pounds, Allen is a very athletic defensive lineman that would greatly improve the depleted 49er defensive line.

Chicago Bears – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Watson is a winner. That is what Chicago needs. At Clemson all time Watson only lost only three times and won 32. His  mobility out of the pocket is what sets him apart. The Bears would be smart to take him here, and settle the quarterback controversy swarming around this football town for years.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Jamal Adams, S, LSU: Adams is a true playmaker on defense, given his ability to line up in the box or patrol the deep part of the field. He’s also a physical presence against the run and has shown remarkable leadership skills at LSU. Said one scout, “Adams is the safest pick in the draft given his tools and character.”

Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore,  CB, OSU: Out goes Darrelle Revis, in comes Marshon Lattimore—a ball-hawk with great physicality and speed at the cornerback position, which is exactly what the New York Jets lack right now.

New York Jets – Mitch Tribusky, QB, UNC: To some teams, Tribusky is the best quarterback in the draft. The Jets would fill a huge need here in the quarterback doubt they’ve had the past decade. Mitch brings accuracy, arm strength, mobility and poise.

Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, S, OSU: The Chargers are new to Los Angeles, and they could bring in their second OSU prospect for the second consecutive year. Joey Bosa was a huge success, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Hooker is another rookie of the year candidate on the defensive end.

Carolina Panthers Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: The undisputed best running back  of the year would be a perfect fit. The offense took a huge step back last year, but a powerful and steady run game could compliment the once MVP quarterback Cam Newton nicely, and hopefully get back into playoff contention.

Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama: Foster is widely condidered the best interior linebacker in the draft, but some question about his character and IQ at the combine has had some teams doubt if they really want to risk a high draft pick in the 2017 draft. It wouldn’t be the first time the Bengals take a diva on defense. Foster would fit in nicely with the thugs of the playoff choking Cincinnati Bengals.

Buffalo Bills – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: A beast on the defensive line helps out the whole defense. It would be a miracle for Thomas to fall to the AFC East Bills. Even though quarterback is a need in Buffalo, the Bills could not pass up on this incredible talent.

New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: Derek Barnett was insanely productive at Tennessee, but he struggled through testing at the combine after fighting off a virus. He’ll get a chance to improve his times at the pro day, but there are already some concerns about his pure athleticism versus work ethic on film. Barnett has great hand use and is a relentless pass-rusher, but to succeed in the NFL, you need speed and flexibility, and he doesn’t always show that.

Cleveland Browns – DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: The strong armed quarterback from Notre Dame will hopefully end the curse in Cleveland with quarterbacks. Kizer would fit in well in Cleveland, he has the size to play in the vicious and physical AFC North, as well as the cold weather games in december.

Arizona Cardinals – Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple: A former walk-on at cornerback, Reddick morphed into a pass-rusher at Temple before showing outstanding linebacker tools at the Senior Bowl.

Philadelphia Eagles – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: Corey Davis put up monster numbers in college, and it’s no surprise that scouts and analyst consider him the best pass catcher in the draft. The Eagles would have a dangerous receiving core, and could make a young talented offense even better.

Indianapolis Colts Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: Dalvin Cook can do it all. He has the vision to run in between tackles, the speed to run outside, and the hands to be a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game. At FSU, Dalvin broke records, he would be a great addition to the talent lacking Colts, and Andrew Luck would be very thankful of this pick.

Baltimore Ravens – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: The athletic beast didn’t run to well at the combine, but that was expected since speed isn’t really his game. Mike plays like Brandon Marshall. He imposes his body on smaller defenders and uses his huge frame to go up and get the ball at its highest point. Joe Flacco could add a big deep threat to his big arm.

Washington Redskins – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: Only emerging as a full-time starter for Michigan this season, Charlton developed into one of the country’s better edge rushing prospects, boasting exciting initial quickness and bend given his 6-5, 272-pound frame.

Tennessee Titans – John Ross, WR, Washington: Ross broke social media after breaking Chris Johnson’s 40-time record at the combine. After running a 4.22, his stock rose tremendously. Ross could turn the Titans into a offensive powerhouse.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn: Obi is another player that shined at the underwear olympics. At the combine, Obi showed off his size and athleticism that could be a great fit in Tampa Bay.

Denver Broncos – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Finally the first tight end comes off the board. It isn’t expected for Howard to drop this far. He has all the tools to be a great tight end in the NFL.

Detroit Lions – Takk Mckinley, OLB, UCLA: His motor sticks out over most things. Takk is relentless on the defensive line. This would be a dream parring with the stud on the other side of the trench, Ziggy Ansah.

Miami Dolphins – Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt: The Dolphins are reported to have fallen in love with the ILB prospect from Vanderbilt. His mold fits the new era of  linebackers.  He’s skinnier than your typical MLB like Ray Lewis, but he is faster. He’s able to cover receivers sideline to sideline, but also has the size to go stride for stride with a tall tight end.

New York Giants – Garett Bolles, OT, Utah: The Denver Broncos don’t know exactly who will be their starting quarterback in 2017, but the organization is building a strong offensive front to keep their eventual starter upright. Even though this draft class in weak at the offensive line position, Bolles has put himself over the rest of the bunch, and established himself as the best available offensive lineman.

Oakland Raiders – Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida: In the era of big cornerbacks, teams continue to search for defensive backs with enough size, length and athleticism to counteract today’s talented receiving targets. Florida’s Quincy Wilson fits today’s prototype at 6’1″ and 211 pounds with arms over 32 inches long. Wilson would solidify a bad Oakland secondary.

Houston Texans – David Njoku, TE, Miami: If the Texans manage to get Romo, all they would need is a good TE to compliment him. Romo has had Jason Witten his whole career. David Njoku would fit in nicely in Houston.

Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: Even if the 6’6″, 314-pound lineman doesn’t quite fit the prototype, the Seahawks should make a concession in order to upgrade such an important position.

Kansas City Chiefs – Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: The Chiefs are expected to lose starting DT Dontari Poe in free agency. The defensive tackle that played for the Spartans in Michigan would be a nice replacement for the already star studded defense.

Dallas Cowboys – Jabril Peppers, S, Michigan: What exactly is he? Is he a linebacker? Is he a corner or is he a safety? That can be either a positive or a negative. Jabril can do it all not only on the defensive end and on special teams. We saw that in college and he was a Heisman Trophy candidate.  A player like Jabril would be perfect for a team that has a great roster already, and is just looking for playmakers. I think Peppers could play nickel corner or strong safety in the NFL and be a beast for many years.

jabril

Jabril rests before he fields a punt at Ann Arbor Michigan. Photo Courtesy of creativecommons.com

Green Bay PackersTeez Tabor, CB, Florida: Teez has all the size and talent to  play at the next level, but problems with being suspend him could find him at the bottom of the first round.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Sydney Jones, CB, Washington: Pittsburgh is old. Especially on the defensive end. Jones got hurt in his pro day and it could affect his draft stock, but he has the talent to go higher. A team like the Steelers are willing to take road of high risk high reward on Sydney Jones.

Atlanta Falcons – Montravious Adams, DT, Auburn: Auburn DT Montravius Adams was a disruptive player for the Tigers this past season and was one of the stars of Senior Bowl practices. Adams would help the Falcons tremendously since they don’t have much talent there other than Vic Beasley.

New England Patriots – Forrest Lamp, OG, W Kentucky: At 6’4″ and 300 pounds, Lamp isn’t considered a future NFL left tackle, though. He’s expected to play guard or possibly even center in the right situation. The Pats would get a great player at 32 overall.

 

 

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