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Final 2017 NFL Mock Draft
Published at 4/26/2017 9:37:07 PM
This is it, no trades, just teams and picks. 107 of them. Also, a big thanks to Dennis Field, the tech guy with this site who was able to save this mock after I thought it was lost forever.
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It's been the pick for over a year now, and it's not going to change. The Browns would be foolish to pass on the best prospect in the draft, even if they don't have a QB of the future, yet (foreshadowing perhaps). Garrett will fit well in the new Cleveland 4-3 defense, implemented by new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
1. Quarterback - Both Mitch Trubisky (I refuse to call him Mitchell) and DeShaun Watson are possible (but, not really) here.
I've stuck with Trubisky throughout the process here and it seems I may end up right. Teams picking in the top-10 reportedly think the 49ers are going to take a QB, and I think it's Trubisky. The UNC quarterback is just a one-year starter, but has impressed enough on and off the field to warrant being the first quarterback selected.
1. DeShaun Watson - There are reports Watson may be the preferred QB by John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. I think he and Trubisky are about even in terms of talent, so it wouldn't surprise me to see Watson at #2.
2. Jamal Adams or Solomon Thomas - This talk of San Francisco taking a QB could just be a smokescreen to entice Cleveland to trade up for this pick to get the QB of their choice.
3. Trade - See above. Cleveland wants Trubisky, but won't be able to get him without trading up.
4. Leonard Fournette - In yet another rumor, the 49ers are heavily interested in replacing Carlos Hyde at runningback.
Last week, Jamal Adams visited the New York Jets for a private workout, where Adams was reportedly told by someone in the Jets organization that he had no point of being there, because Adams would be gone by the time the Jets picked at #6. Considering the Jaguars signed Barry Church and the Titans signed Johnathan Cyprien the Bears are the most logical landing spot for Adams, despite signing Quintin Demps this offseason.
1. DeShaun Watson - Despite signing former Bucs backup Mike Glennon to a very lucrative contract, the Bears reportedly are interested in drafting another QB, and DeShaun Watson is the preferred choice.
2. Marshon Lattimore - If Adams goes to the 49ers and the Bears opt to not take a QB, the OSU cornerback could be the next best option.
3. Malik Hooker - The Bears may view Adams as too similar to the recently signed Demps, who is 31 and signed a three year deal. Hooker is a safety more suited to a centerfield role.
This pick seems to be locked in if the LSU running back is available. Leonard Fournette is a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott was last year, and the latter went at this same pick, #4 overall. Both T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory are tied to the old regime in Jacksonville and could be gone as soon as next year. Fournette is a major upgrade over both of them anyway.
1. Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker - As mentioned above, the Jaguars signed Barry Church to replace Jonathan Cyprien, but could take another safety as an insurance policy.
2. Jonathan Allen or Solomon Thomas - Depending on how the Jaguars plan to utilize newly signed Calais Campbell, they could draft a defensive lineman. Both Thomas and Allen are inside and outside pass rushing options.
After trading down last year in the top spot, the almost playoff-bound Tennessee Titans are rewarded with a top-5 pick, and a chance to finally get the shutdown corner they currently lack. Marshon Lattimore is the consensus top cornerback in the 2017 draft class and one of the best to come around in the past decade, despite only fully starting for the Buckeyes for a year.
1. O.J. Howard - Delanie Walker is about to turn 33 and is in the final year of his contract; both reasons why Howard could be chosen here.
2. Wide Receiver - If the Titans have their eye on another cornerback (which will be mentioned later) they could go offense here with Howard or one of the three first-class receivers (Williams, Ross, or Davis), all of whom the Titans have expressed interest in.
Despite being the consensus second-best prospect in this draft class, Solomon Thomas hasn't received much attention from teams during the private workout process. This could be because he's such a safe prospect, but could also be a sign he may drop a bit on draft day. Nevertheless, the Jets need a consistent pass rusher, and Thomas may fit the bill.
1. Marshon Lattimore - If he's available, Lattimore will probably be the pick considering how inept the Jets secondary is.
2. Jamal Adams - See ineptness above, but is even less likely to be available.
3. Malik Hooker - Starting free safety Marcus Gilchrist suffered a torn patellar tendon near the end of last season, the most devastating injury in football. Gilchrist was also under consideration by the Jets' front office to be released this offseason. The only barrier to Hooker's selection here is the private workout the team conducted with him earlier this month. The current Jets administration prefers not to publicly interview prospects they draft.
4. Quarterback - The Jets still haven't found a franchise QB. They may stick with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, but maybe not.
With the hiring of Anthony Lynn as head coach, the Chargers also acquired Gus Bradley as the new defensive coordinator. It's expected he'll implement the Seattle-style defense he deployed in Jacksonville. One missing piece of that defense in Los Angeles is a big defensive end. Jonathan Allen fills that need in the mold Jared Odrick, Red Bryant and Michael Bennett have done so in the past in this scheme.
1. Solomon Thomas - If available, Thomas could also fill this need.
2. Quarterback - The Chargers have expressed an interest in drafting a QB early to eventually succeed Phillip Rivers.
3. Malik Hooker - Everybody under the sun has mocked Hooker here, but I don't see it. I could be wrong though, I normally am.
4. Forrest Lamp - Here's a possible shocker. The Chargers love Lamp and could take him here if unable to trade down and take him.
The recent feeling around the league is that Stanford offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey will be picked in the top-10. I agree and think the obvious landing spot for him is in Carolina. The Panthers have Jonathan Stewart as their primary back, but not much else in terms of options at the position. Notice as well how I listed McCaffrey not as a runningback, but as an "offensive weapon." He'll be lined up as a half-back, but also in the slot or out wide.
1. Solomon Thomas - If available, I expect Thomas to be the pick as the Panthers often go BPA, even with players that don't have a solidified position.
2. John Ross - Carolina loves speed and John Ross embodies it. The injury issue may keep the Panthers from taking him though.
3. O.J. Howard - Arguably the top prospect on the board, the Panthers reportedly love Howard, but he would be a luxury pick for a team that can't afford one.
In probably the worst offensive line class of recent memory, there is going to be one taken in the top half of the first round, as I expect it to be with the depleted Cincinnati Bengals. After losing all-pros Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency the Bengals signed former first-rounder Andre Smith and re-signed veteran Eric Winston, both of whom are washed up and unlikely to provide any help. Cam Robinson has emerged as the lineman with the highest ceiling in this draft and can start immediately at tackle or guard.
1. Dalvin Cook - It is a bit of a reach, but the Bengals are desperate for a runningback and have expressed interest in Cook.
2. Jonathan Allen - It's possible Allen could be available here and he'd be a decent fit, and fill a need, in Cincinnati's defense.
3. John Ross - The Bengals reportedly love John Ross, but he is a bit of a reach here too and wouldn't fill an urgent need.
If he weren't injured during the entire pre-draft process, Malik Hooker would have been selected much earlier. That is still a possibility, but he won't fall too far even if he falls out of the top-5. The Bills signed Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer this offseason, but neither have any experience starting at safety. Hooker is a better option than both.
1. Mitch Trubisky - If he'a available, which is highly unlikely, Trubisky will probably be the pick. He's the only QB the Bills like enough to take in the first round.
2. Haason Reddick - The Bills will likely move to a 4-3 defense under new head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Reddick could fill out the Buffalo linebacking corps.
I had this pick all nice and done on Monday, then Gareon Conley proved he may be the dumbest person alive. It doesn't matter if he did what he's been accused of doing or not. As a high-end draft prospect, you can't put yourself in a situation that would even allow somebody to make these kinds of allegations. This is La'El Collins reborn. Conley won't be drafted. So, the Saints go with their second choice here, pass rusher Charles Harris
1. Marlon Humphrey - The feeling around the league is the Saints want a pass rusher here and will wait for a corner at #32. That could easily be reversed now though with Gareon Conley's rape allegations likely shrinking the cornerback class.
2. Wide Receiver - With all 3 top receivers still likely on the board at this spot, the Saints could have their choice of pass-catchers to replace Brandin Cooks.
3. Quarterback - While it has been reported the Saints are looking for pro-ready prospects to go all in this season, they may consider a future Drew Brees replacement here as well.
The Browns don't get the QB they ultimately want, but the get the QB they need. DeShaun Watson is arguably the most experienced top QB in this draft and, while he's not a true pro-style thrower, he may be ready to start from day one. Hue Jackson can hopefully work his QB whispering skills on Watson like he did in Oakland with Derek Carr.
1. Mitch Trubisky (Trade Up) - I don't expect him to be here, but if the Browns can get both Garrett and Trubisky without having to trade up, it'll be a miracle.
2. Wide Receiver - All 3 receivers are still on the board and the Browns could use a replacement for Josh Gordon, who may never play again.
3. Pass Rusher - If somehow, somehow, the Browns take Trubisky at #1, they'll need a pass rusher to take here instead of Garrett at the top. Takkarist McKinley and Charles Harris come to mind.
While a top-10 prospect, O.J. Howard could fall out of the top ten picks because of the de-valuing of the tight end position and the lack of need outside of Jacksonville, Tennessee and Carolina. If Howard falls to Arizona, the Cardinals will run the card up to the commissioner and start teaching the Alabama tight end the team's offense. He could extend the career of Carson Palmer.
1. Patrick Mahomes - While Howard could extend Palmer's career, it may not last much longer regardless. If the Cardinals don't think they can get a future starter in the later rounds they may pull the trigger here on the rising Mahomes.
2. David Njoku - Howard may not be available here, which could lead the Cardinals to the second-best tight end in the class.
3. Wide Receiver - Yet again, a team could opt for one of the three top wide-outs, but other needs may preempt it.
No team has met with a single prospect more than the Philadelphia Eagles have met with John Ross. Even with the uncertainty of his knee injury history, the Eagles haven't had a reliable speed demon since DeSean Jackson was cut in 2014. Ross would provide another weapon for Carson Wentz, despite wide receiver not being a top need for the Eagles.
1. Runningback - The Eagles reportedly don't consider runningback a top need, but could take Cook or McCaffrey if available.
2. Chidobe Awuzie - A late riser, Awuzie may be a fit in Philadelphia as he can play in the slot or on the outside, both areas of need for the Eagles.
New Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard has a tough task of allowing Andrew Luck to lead his team to the playoffs. In previous years, the Colts have suffered from awful defensive play. Ballard is also reportedly a fan of super-athletic prospects. Marlon Humphrey is one of them and fits one of the biggest need on the Indianapolis defense.
1. Pass rusher - Takkarist McKinley is the best fit here, but he's off the board, so if the Colts feel the absolute need to fill the biggest hole on their defense, they could go with Charles Harris, Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett, or even Jordan Willis.
2. Offensive line - If Andrew Luck is going to succeed, he needs to stay healthy, and to do that, the Colts need to find a few more consistent blockers. Forrest Lamp, Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk are possibilities
3. Obi Melifonwu - The UConn safety is arguably the most athletic player in the entire draft. Safety is a need for the Colts as well.
2015 first rounder Breshad Perriman has been a bust so far, and Baltimore needs to cash in on the last few years of Joe Flacco's prime before he starts to decline. Clemson receiver Mike Williams has attracted the interest of the Ravens brass and could go anywhere in the first round from #5 to #30.
1. Corey Davis - The Ravens have also expressed interest in Davis, it just comes down to who's available and the team's preference.
2. Pass Rusher - Terrell Suggs isn't going to last much longer. The Ravens need to find his successor in a hurry. Charles Harris and Taco Charlton are the best options on the board.