This mock was started right after the combine ended and gradually got swept into day one of free agency but it will be the first of many so here we go ….. “With the First pick of the 2017 NFL Draft the …..”
1. Cleveland Browns
The Selection: Miles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M
At the combine Garrett cemented himself at the top of the draft board at 6’4” 272 pounds and at that size running a 4.64 forty with a 1.63 ten yard split, and doing 33 reps on the bench and on top of that having a 41” vertical both were the most by any defensive lineman. With Gregg Williams as the defensive coordinator the Browns will most likely move to a 4-3 front and could definitely use the dominate force of Garrett at defensive end.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The Selection: Marshon Lattimore, Corner back, Ohio St.Lattimore only started one season at OSU but showed the ability to cover in man to man and with a 4.36 forty and 38.5” vertical has good hip movement to follow the receiver. He has good ball skills, plays confidentially and is not afraid to break on a pass, and has no problem coming down and crashing the run. The 49ers basically have no starting corners with speculation that they will switch Ward to safety, but have a strong need at QB and may look there as well if a trade for Cousin’s in not made.
3. Chicago Bears
The Selection: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Lineman, AlabamaAllen played in a 3-4 defense similar to Fangio’s “30-front” scheme defense at Alabama and was able to play on the outside and rush in through the middle. His combine forty (5.00) proves that he is not an edge rusher and he will likely play the 3 tech in a 4-3 or DT/DE in 3-4 He does have a red flag with a shoulder injury each of the last 3 season. Vic Fangio’s defense uses the defensive lineman in many different fashions and he would be the perfect fit for that scheme.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Selection: Leonard Fournette, Running back, LSUFournette is clearly the top running back in the class and has linebacker size at 6’ 240, but also has the speed with his 4.51 forty and freakishly good ability of size, power, and speed. After focusing on the defense last season in the draft and free agency the Jags finally get their elite starting running back that they have been looking for since …. MJD left in 2013 in Fournette.
5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams)
The Selection: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSUAdams come into the draft after a great career at LSU or “DBU” and is being compared to another former “DBUer” in Mattheu, but has bigger size at 5’11” 214. Running a 4.56 forty and 120” broad jump he showed the measurable for the explosive aggression that he plays with. With the elite prototypical skillset he is projected as a once in a generation safety. Titans are getting another elite player thanks to a trade with the Rams last season and he will be a star for years to come in LeBeau’s defense.
6. New York Jets
The Selection: Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
Trubisky can make every throw on the field, goes through his progression well, and has great pocket presence with the ability to avoid the rush and still keep his eyes down field and make the accurate pass. If nothing is there he also has the skills (4.67 forty) to take off and get the extra yards with his legs. Despite the Jets taking several early quarterbacks in past drafts they are in full rebuild mode and Trubisky might become a core piece to the rebuild.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
The Selection: Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio St.Hooker has excellent awareness on the field and is always near the ball and will thump a receiver to try to knock the ball lose, but also will play the ball very well attempting to make the interception. He did not participate in any of the combine drills due to off season hip and sports hernia surgery. The Chargers have been looking for this type of safety since Weddle left and will be thrilled to take him in this spot, but being raw it may take him sometime to acclimate to the pro level of play.
8. Carolina Panthers
The Selection: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford.Solomon showed explosiveness on the field and proved it at the combine running a 4.69 forty with 1.66 10 yard split, and he also showed his strength on the field and at the combine doing 30 reps on the bench. He has all the pass rusher moves (swim, rip, strafe, spin, and bull rush) that are necessary to rush from the edge, and was almost unstoppable in some games. Some have him as a 3-tech in a 4-3 but others see him as an edge rusher, and even though the Panthers have brought back several defensive lineman they will take the best player available and add to the depth at the defensive line.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
The Selection: Reuben Foster, Inside Linebacker, Alabama.Foster is the prototypical Inside linebacker at 6’ 240 pounds and has the speed to run from sideline to sideline and make bone crushing hits that stop players in their tracks. After being abruptly sent home from the combine and not being able to do workouts at the Alabama pro day his stock may have dropped slightly, but his tape has shown that he still has the skills and talent to go top 10. The Bengals are in dire need of an upgrade in the middle with an aging and ineffective Maulaluga possibly being cut, and Foster could slide right in and be a dominate player in the middle.
10. Buffalo Bills
The Selection: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson.Williams has all the tools to be an elite number 1 receiver at 6’4” 218 and although he did not run at the combine it is estimated that he will run a 4.5 range forty at his pro day. He will be a great red zone threat being 6’4” with a 32.5” vertical and has the ability to make every catch that comes near him and can make players miss after the catch. The Bills drafted Watkins in 2014 from Clemson and basically have nothing else behind him, but he is more a speedster receiver and has had trouble staying healthy in the past so adding Williams to help Taylor is a great fit.
11. New Orlean Saints
The Selection: Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Univ of Tennessee
Barnett is an elite pass rusher but lacks the speed to get around the edge running a 4.88 at the combine and with a 1.70 10 yard split, but he makes up for his lack of speed with his long arms to push the blockers away and make the elite plays against the run and pass. He can play in any scheme but is mainly a 4-3 defensive end and will play that in the NFL. The Saints have basically one pass rusher in Jordan and are desperately looking for someone else to rush the passer and Barnett fits that role perfectly, and will instantly improve the Saints ability to get to the passer.
12. Cleveland Browns (From Eagles)
The Selection: Deshawn Watson, Quarterback, Clemson.
Watson is completing a great college career playing in 2 National Championship games and winning last year over powerhouse Alabama. He has great athleticism and the ability to move around in the pocket and still find the open receiver, and he is great at hitting the deep pass perfectly so the receiver doesn’t have to hesitate at all. He throws a very tight spiral which helps with his range and accuracy, and if the pass isn’t there he can use his 4.67 speed to scramble out of the pocket for the extra yards. After passing on Wentz/Goff last year the Browns have to get a QB this season and Watson might be the perfect answer and he can be mentored by Griffin for a season.
13. Arizona Cardinals
The Selection: Sydney Jones, Cornerback, Washington.
Jones plays very good strong press coverage and usually doesn’t let the receiver get by and he is a very good defensive route runner and anticipates the ball very well. Ran a 4.59 forty at the combine and was able to hit 33.5 in his vertical but might be a little small at 186 to well effectively his first season. The Cards need a corner to put next to Peterson who has the aggressiveness that the Cards secondary is known for and Jones would be the perfect fit.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)
The Selection: Dalvin Cook, Running back, Florida St.
Cook is one of the top RBs in the country and has an uncanny knack to cut to the outside and take it to the house and he can make all the moves that make a great running back in the NFL. He is a very compact powerful runner at 5’10” 210 pounds and can turn on the jet (proved by his 4.49 forty at the combine) and make guys miss with ease. Only red flag is multiple arrests. The Eagles have been looking for a top backer to carry the load full time for a while now and if they draft Cook he would be that guy.
15. Indianapolis Colts
The Selection: Ryan Ramczyk, Tackle, Wisconsin.
When blocking shows perfect form on an NFL tackle rarely gets overrun or pushed into the back field, and has the footwork and speed to get to the edge and stop the rusher from getting past him. Does a very good job of getting his long arms up and pushing defenders away with his 33 ¾” reach. The Colt drafted a 1st round left tackle in 2011 but could look to move him to the right side or start Ramczyk on the right side and gradually switch him to the left, and this pick would really shore up the edges and keep Luck healthy.
16. Baltimore Ravens
The Selection: Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan.
He has great NFL receiver size at 6’3” 209 and has the speed to run every route in the route tree and catches almost anything thrown in his area always keeping his eye on the ball. He has to speed and burst to track down any pass and does very well at gaining position on the defender to fight for the ball. He is a target in the red zone and plays more aggressively to try to reach the end zone. The Ravens could definitely use another receiver to pair up with Wallace and Perriman and he would be a perfect fit as a number 2 and eventually number 1.
17. Washington Redskins
The Selection: John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington.
Ross lit up the combine with his forty time breaking the all-time record with a 4.22 and is dangerously elusive after the catch. He has great vision to find the deep pass and tracks it all the way to the catch. Can play inside or outside as a receiver and can also be kick returner and punt returner and will make an immediate impact in the NFL. The Redskins are a perfect fit for Ross’s skill set as they had a very similar player in Jackson who is a free agent, and he will come in and have the same impact as Jackson once did.
18. Tennessee Titans
The Selection: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Miami.
Humphrey is a much better zone corner then he is a man to man corner and will not be able to be left by himself although he does play press coverage well, and is good at pushing receiver to the edge of the field when running deep routes. He also has the speed to run the deep routes with a 4.41 forty and has the size and to be aggressive, and avoid blockers and make tackles on the short routes or on running plays and he always looks to strip the ball away while making tackles. The Titans have been looking to upgrade their corners and drafting Humphrey would be a great upgrade.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Selection: OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama.Howard is by far the most prototypical (6’6” 251) and best tight end prospect in this draft with the ability to run down the field with a 4.51 forty at the combine and also is a strong blocker who blocks like a lineman. He has the skill to lineup anywhere in the formation and runs clean crisp routes and should be able to easily beat any safety or linebacker in coverage, and has great elusiveness to give most corners issues. The Bucs have a pass catching tight end in Brate but while running 2 tight end set they also need a tight end who can do it all, and adds more weapons for Winston and clearly Howard is that guy.
20. Denver Broncos
The Selection: Garret Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah.
Boles might be the most pure left tackle in the draft and has great footwork matching the defenders movements perfectly and has the speed to get outside and block the edge rushers with ease. He has a quick first move and his long arms that he uses to knock the defender off balance and rarely gets beat around the edge. Playing only 1 season in the FBS may hinder him slightly but he should develop quickly into a quality tackle. The Broncos chose not to bring back Okung and are in desperate need of a tackle and Bolles would be a perfect fit for them.
21. Detroit Lions
The Selection: Taco Charlton, Defensive End, Michigan.
Flashes instant explosiveness off the first step at times catching lineman off guard and has the flexibility to bend around edge and get under lineman. Uses the rip, swim, and spin move very effectively to get past the lineman and go for the quarterback but has great ability to jump out to the outside and take down running back as well. The Lions have been looking for another pass rusher to pair up with Ansah although he may not show it all the time on the field Charlton could be that pass rusher.
22. Miami Dolphins
The Selection: Hasson Reddick, Linebacker, Temple.
Reddick played defensive end at Temple but he is much too small (6’1” 237) to play that position in the NFL and better suits as an outside linebacker. He lit it up at the combine with 4.52 forty and 11.1 broad jump which shows he has the speed to cover a running back or tight end coming out in the flat. The Dolphins after resigning Wake to shore up their defensive ends need to address their outside linebackers and Reddick can bring some spark to that position.
23. New York Giants
The Selection: Christian McCaffrey, Running back, Stanford.McCaffrey is an elite running back with 4.48 forty who finds the holes quickly and can cut on a dime to avoid defenders. He also has the ability to run at multiple speeds which give him the ability to also play the slot as a receiver. Has played in multiple run formations at Stanford and will be ready for any offense in the NFL. The Giants have been looking for an all-everything bell cow back instead of a running back by committee for a while now and would be thrilled to get McCaffrey in this spot.
24. Oakland Raiders
The Selection: Malik McDowell, Defensive Lineman, Michigan St.
Has an explosive first step and a wiry frame at 6’6” 295 to knife his way between blockers and get in the backfield quickly. Has the speed and quickness to chase down the ball carrier on the edges, and uses his long arms to push of blockers and his quickness to get around them and make the play. Has played multiple position on the defensive line and can even play end in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme but does not have the edge rusher speed. Will be a perfect fit for the Raiders who are looking for a defensive tackle to rush the passer from inside.
25. Houston Texans
The Selection: Cam Robinson, Tackle, Alabama.
Robinson has the strength and power to contain the edge rusher and can jump to the inside and block rusher coming through the inside. Also does a good job pf pushing defender where he wants him to go in the run game making a whole for the runner to burst through. Has some potential red flag issues after being arrested in 2016 while in a teammate’s vehicle. He would be a perfect for the Texans to help shore up their offensive line and open up run lanes and protect the quarterback, so he has time to complete a pass to Hopkins or Fuller.
26. Seattle Seahawks
The Selection: Caleb Brantley, Defensive Tackle, Florida.
Brantley has quick initial burst that allows him to bull rush his was through guards and easily takes out any pulling blockers to make his way to the backfield, and has the ability to hold his own against double teams. He has the ability to play either defensive tackle position and play them well. The Seahawks are looking to replace several of their defensive tackle free agents and Brantley would be the perfect type of player the Seahawks would want at this spot.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
The Selection: Takkarist McKinley, Defensive End, UCLA.
At 6’2” 250 he’s a little small to play a defensive end in the NFL but he would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 scheme edge rusher and has the speed to do so after running a 4.59 forty at the combine. Has a constant motor and the ability to run to the sideline and stop the run on the end, and is becoming a star as a pass rusher but is still a little raw. The Chiefs could eventually look for replacements for Hali or Houston and McKinley would be a good start and a great fit for them.
28. Dallas Cowboys
The Selection: Tre’Davious White, Cornerback, LSU.
One of the better man to man corners in the cornerback draft class does a great job of staying right with the receiver and has the ability to change direction quickly to follow receiver. Plays the ball very well while in the air and had 14 passes defensed last season at LSU. Will most likely start out in the slot but eventually work his way up to the outside corner positions. Dallas may be looking for some corners this offseason with their 2 starting corners going into free agency and White would be a great option for them use in the slot and then work him to the outside.
29. Green Bay Packers
The Selection: Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky.
Lamp played tackle in college but is a better fit in the NFL as a guard and is the top one of the class. He has the power to stand his ground and push the defender where he wants him to go and proved it with 35 reps at the combine. He was a 4 year starter in college and played tackle and guard very effectively and could basically play any position he is put at, but guard seems to be best NFL fit for now. The Packer could be losing both their starting right guard and backup right guard in free agency and Lamp could step right in and start immediately and would a great fit for the team.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Selection: Jabrill Peppers, Safety, Michigan.
Peppers is a safety and will be one in the NFL even though he ran both drills at the combine he is definitely a safety. He is basically a freak player who can do it all in the back 7 he can play the slot corner back if need or he can play either safety position or maybe even some linebacker but not likely, and he is also an electrifying kick returner and punt returner. He can cover most receivers including tight ends and running backs, and can run from sideline to sideline with his 4.46 forty speed at the combine to track down the ball carrier. His only red flag is that he played so many positions in college it is hard to figure out what to play him in the NFL, but I think if the Steelers stick him at either safety he will be just fine and remind them of the Polamalu days.
31. Atlanta Falcons
The Selection: Charles Harris, Defensive End, Missouri.
Shows great burst off the snap and has a great spin move that he can counter with in either direction, and can play on either side of the line with no issues and in a 3 point stance or hand off the ground. He might start out as a basic 2 down edge rusher in the NFL but once he improves his run stopping ability will be an every down 4-3 defensive end. The Falcons have been looking for edge rushing all season and made it to the Super Bowl last season, but ran out of gas in the 2nd half and couldn’t get to Brady and got carved up. Harris brings them some aggression and depth at edge rusher.
32. New England Patriots
The Selection: David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
Njoku is clearly the 2nd best tight end in the class behind Howard and has great size (6’4” 246) and speed (4.64 forty) to be a down the field pass catching tight end. He has tremendous acceleration and is very elusive for his size and with 35 ¼ inch arms and a 37.5” vertical can out jump most defenders for the ball. He has the speed and agility to play on the outside as a receiver and if he catches the pass in open space he is hard to chase down. He needs to work on his blocking on the line but can push safeties and corners around with no issues on the outside. That Patriot have been looking for this type of tight end to pair (or replace when injured) with Gronk since the Hernandez days, and with Brady at the helm he will be a Pro Bowler sooner than later.