The time between the Super Bowl and Pre-Season use to kill me every year because there wasn’t any football. But then, I developed an unhealthy obsession with the offseason.
Senior Bowl, Combine, Free Agency, and the Draft make the non-football months worth living. Just kidding, but the excitement of football now grips me year-round. With the Super Bowl fresh in our minds, let’s look forward to the 2017 NFL Draft.
2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
1 – Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M
The Browns honestly improved last season despite going 1-15. Their record failed to reflect the great improvements on offense, and now, they give new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a new toy to play with.
2- San Francisco 49ers Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina
There has been some talk that Kyle Shanahan will want to bring in a veteran quarterback as the starter which would free up this spot, but I’ll still put the best quarterback in the draft here. Let’s wait and see how this plays out before we switch it out the QB.
3 – Chicago Bears Jonathan Allen DE Alabama
The Jay Cutler era (or error?) is finally over in Chicago, but John Fox remains as the head coach. That alone rules out a quarterback at this spot. Allen will immediate start and make this defensive line much better than last season.
4 – Jacksonville Jaguars Soloman Thomas DE Stanford
The fourth pick might represent a big turning point in the draft because I think there is a good chance a trade happens with this pick. It’s too early to make that call, so let’s give the Jags another pass rusher to help Dante Fowler.
5 – Tennessee Titans Jamal Adams S LSU
I really want to mock Mike Williams here because Mariota needs some weapons to help him out, but it might be too early. Plus, Adams is too good to pass up. The Titans ranked 30th in pass defense last season, and the secondary help will be appreciated.
6 – New York Jets Leonard Fournette RB LSU
So, there are these crazy reports coming out that Christian Hackenberg has made big strides, and the Jets are willing to enter the season with him as the starter. It feels like a smoke screen to hope only one QB is gone, but we’ll take it at face value for now.
7 – Los Angeles Chargers Malik Hooker S Ohio State
Hooker might be the best player in the draft, and he makes a perfect replacement for Eric Weddle. The Chargers get a steal if Hooker is still on the board here. This pick brings even more young talent to a defense boasting the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
8 – Carolina Panthers Cam Robinson OT Alabama
The Panthers really want Fournette to fall to them, but I’m not sure he will. Eight is too high for Robinson, but the Panthers neglected their offensive line last year. Robinson can sure up their O-Line; however, they could use a corner here as well.
9 – Cincinnati Bengals Reuben Foster ILB Alabama
This pick is a pure pick of best available player. Linebacker might not be a huge need, but it will make the defense that much better. Karlos Dansby will likely be gone in free agency (or retirement at this point) which can put Foster in the starting lineup right away.
10 – Buffalo Bills Mike Williams WR Clemson
I’m hoping the Bills front office comes to their senses and retain Tyrod Taylor. He may not be the greatest QB in the league, but he has done enough to prove himself. Getting him another weapon will help this offense, but if Taylor is gone, this pick might become a QB.
11 – New Orleans Saints Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
Once again, the Saints put up massive offensive numbers and failed to come anywhere near the playoffs. This defense fails New Orleans every year, and this pick will help create some pressure on the quarterback.
12 – Cleveland Browns Deshone Kizer QB Notre Dame
Kizer looks impressive. With the Browns cutting Josh McCown this week, it opens the door for a young signal caller. They can’t really turn it over to Cody Kessler, right? I was also tempted to put Marshon Lattimore here, but for now, QB it is.
13 – Arizona Cardinals Marshon Lattimore CB Ohio State
If the Browns pass on Lattimore, Arizona will be ready to scoop him up. It seems pretty late for the first CB to come off the board especially with all the talent at the position, but I have four more going in the first round.
14 – Indianapolis Colts Dalvin Cook RB Florida State
The Colts need defensive help in a big way, but can the Colts pass up on the most explosive offensive player in the draft? Cook is a big play waiting to happen, and his young lays will help take the pressure off Andrew Luck.
15 – Philadelphia Eagles Corey Davis WR Western Michigan
The Eagles might be looking to trade up in the draft to make sure they get Dalvin Cook. Doug Pederson has to love what Cook would bring to the team, but if he’s gone, Corey Davis would become Carson Wentz’s top target instantly.
16 – Baltimore Ravens Marlon Humphries CB Alabama
In prep for the mock, I’ve had Humprhies as high as six to the Jets, but he settled a bit lower. Dean Pees brought the defense back to life this year but many stars are aging. If Suggs and Dumerville can get through one more year, adding Humphries will be a bargain here.
17 – Washington Redskins Malik McDowell DE Michigan State
McDowell upgrades the Redskins defensive line. He fits perfectly in their base 3-4 defense, and he has the versatility to move to DT in sub packages. The run defense which allowed almost 120 yards per game will look much better.
18 – Tennessee Titans Teez Tabor CB Florida
Safety early and a corner now; hopefully, that will take care of all of those secondary break downs from this season. I still wish we could get Mariota some help, but regardless of your #3 wide receiver, they would be a stretch at eighteen.
19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jabril Peppers S Michigan
Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter have drug this offense out of the gutter and back into relevance, so it is safe for the Bucs to draft another young playmaker on the other side of the ball. Peppers might be a little raw, but his talent is undeniable.
20 – Denver Broncos Ryan Ramczyk OT Wisconsin
A bad offensive line hampered the Broncos’ offense last year. Ramczyk can slide into RT slot for a year or two before switching to the left side. He played college football in Wisconsin, so you know he can run block with the best of them.
21 – Detroit Lions Zach Cunningham LB Vanderbilt
The Lions have improved their defense to average over the past few years. That’s not a knock on them because they were terrible. Cunningham can come in and play both inside and outside. His range and coverage skills will show up in a big way against the Packers twice a year.
22 – Miami Dolphins OJ Howard TE Alabama
The Dolphins offense only lacks a quality tight end. While Ryan Tannehill isn’t a top 10 quarterback, Adam Gase got some quality play out of him. Adding Howard to Landry, Stills, and Parker will make the Dolphins an elite passing attack in the NFL.
23 – New York Giants Jarrad Davis LB Florida
This pick might be here as more of a need as opposed to best player available. Don’t get me wrong, I like Davis or I wouldn’t have him in the first round, but there are some better guys that could go here. He will address a major need on the Giants’ defense.
24 – Oakland Raiders Chris Wormley DL Michigan
Again, this pick might be more based on need, but I think Wormley is undervalued in many mocks that I’ve seen. He can play both end and tackle. While his production doesn’t jump off the stat sheet, he’s very disruptive against both run and pass plays.
25 – Houston Texans Patrick Mahomes II QB Texas Tech
Mahomes is the second-best quarterback in this draft as far as I’m concerned. Even when he was under heavy pressure (which was often), he kept his composure and made good decisions. He easily starts with the disaster at QB the Texans have now.
26 – Seattle Seahawks Forest Lamp G Western Kentucky
Every season an interior lineman moves up into the first round, and at this points in the draft, Lamp is the best offensive lineman available. He played tackle in college, but he projects as a guard in the NFL. Seattle could use him at either position.
27 – Kansas City Chiefs Sidney Jones CB Washington
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares Sidney Jones to Marcus Peters. That guy has played really good in his first two years, but he can only cover half the field. If Jones plays even close to Peters level, the other side of the field will be locked down as well.
28 – Dallas Cowboys Quincy Wilson CB Florida
Dallas surprised a lot of people with their defensive play this year because they weren’t abysmal. A big part of that was their secondary play. Scandrick and Carr will both turn 31 before the season starts, and Claiborne is a free agent. Wilson will bring in a young, quality CB.
29 – Green Bay Packers Charles Harris DE Missouri
I don’t know what happened to Clay Matthews this year, and Julius Peppers is mulling retirement. Harris can step up and add some pass rush to make Dom Capers’ miserable defense look a little more competitive.
30 – Pittsburgh Steelers Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
The Steelers managed 38 sacks on the season, but their team leader, James Harrison, only had 5. On top of that, Harrison is 38 years old. McKinley can bring a much-needed youth movement to the Steelers’ pass rush.
31 – Atlanta Falcons Taco Charlton DE Michigan
Vic Beasley led the NFL with 15.5 sacks, but the rest of the Falcons only had 18.5. Atlanta needs to bring in a pass rusher to help Beasley if they want to keep this defense from regressing. They weren’t that good this year as their fourth quarter collapse in the Super Bowl proved.
32 – New England Patriots Christian McCaffrey RB Stanford
The Patriots love smart, versatile players. McCaffrey fits both of those traits to a “T.” Both Blount and Bolden are free agents, and McCaffrey can jump in to the rotation with Lewis and White. He fit in nicely to that old Danny Whitehead role, but McCaffrey is much better.
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