2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Myles Garrett, DE and Cam Robinson, OT
The Browns will have to draft a quarterback early in Round 1 in the next couple of years. After preferring Jared Goff to Carson Wentz in the 2016 NFL Draft and then passing on taking Wentz, one can't be sure Cleveland will take a quarterback with one of its first-rounders in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Darnold has been very impressive as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Sources say that while they haven't studied Darnold extensively, he's jumped out at them as being a potentially special quarterback. He's completed 68 percent of his passes in 2016 for 2,633 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Darnold (6-4, 225) has size and has led USC on a seven-game winning streak entering bowl season.
Pick change; previously Josh Rosen, QB
San Francisco 49ers: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
The 49ers could use a No. 1 receiver for their offense and whoemver ends up being their new quarterback to replace Blaine Gabbert.
Kirk has played well in 2016 despite inconsistent quarterback play from the Aggies. He has 77 receptions for 842 yards with nine touchdowns.
Kirk (5-11, 200) had an outstanding freshman debut for Texas A&M and earned playing time over more veteran receivers who had previously produced for the Aggies. In 2015, Kirk caught 80 passes for 1,009 yards with seven touchdowns. He averaged only 19.3 yards per kick return, but averaged 24.4 yards per punt returns with two touchdowns.
Kirk is a fast, explosive play-maker. Some scouting sources have said their nickname for Kirk is "Baby Beckham" in reference to Odell Beckham Jr.
The Rams lack a true No. 1 or even No. 2 wide receiver. Tavon Austin is just a slot receiver, and they badly need more receiving talent for Jared Goff.
In 2016, Ridley has 57 catches for 640 yards with seven touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder had a tremendous freshman season for the Crimson Tide as their No. 1 receiver. As a replacement for Amari Cooper, Ridley was very effective with 89 receptions for 1,045 yards with seven touchdowns. He finished the 2015 season with impressive performances against Florida and Michigan State to help push Alabama to the National Championship.
Ridley has size, speed and a ton of upside for the NFL.
The Bears could use secondary upgrades at corner and safety.
Weeks before other draft media where aware of Hooker, WalterFootball.com reported that Hooker was receiving high first-round grades from teams. He has been one of the breakout stars of the 2016 season. Multiple team sources have said they see Hooker as a top-10 pick. Ohio State lost both Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell to the NFL, but the redshirt sophomore Hooker has been an upgrade for the Buckeyes.
In 2016, Hooker has 67 tackles with five for a loss, .5 sacks, four passes broken up and six interceptions. Three of those picks were returned for touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has excellent size to go along with great speed and instincts. He could end up being one of the top prospects at his position in the 2017 NFL Draft, but Hooker has suggested he will return to Ohio State in 2017.
Pick change; previously Sam Darnold, QB
New Orleans Saints: Arden Key, DE, LSU
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Charles Harris, DE
Unless the Saints draft an edge rusher in 2017 and Hau'oli Kikaha breaks out next season, the team could use two edge rushers over the next couple of drafts.
Key was one of the best players in college football in 2016. He has 50 tackles with 12.5 for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the year. Key is a dangerous pass-rusher with excellent speed and the ability to bend around the corner. He flashed a ton of potential as a freshman for LSU, totaling 41 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks and one pass broken up.
The 6-foot-6, 231-pounder is a lightning-fast edge rusher with a ton of upside to develop.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Jonathan Allen, DL
Blake Bortles is a bust. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jaguars waste the 2017 season hoping he pans out and then are back in the quarterback market in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In 2016, Rosen completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,915 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions in his six games before being sidelined by shoulder surgery. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder has a strong arm with pocket-passing skills, yet could stand to improve his decision-making and accuracy.
Rosen had an impressive debut as a freshman, completing 60 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He showed off a powerful arm and the ability to be an NFL pocket passer.
While Rosen has gotten a ton of hype, the same thing happened with Christian Hackenberg after his freshman season. Thus, Rosen still has more to prove as a junior to be a high first-rounder.
Pick change; previously Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB
New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Leonard Fournette, RB
The Jets cut Antonio Cromartie; Dee Milliner was a bust; and Darrelle Revis is in decline. Todd Bowles is going to need multiple young cornerbacks soon.
Lattimore has played really well this year, recording 38 tackles, four interceptions and nine passes broken up. Scouting sources have raved about how Lattimore looked in fall camp before the 2016 season, and during this season, team sources have said they have graded him as a top-16 pick. The 6-foot, 192-pounder has good size to go with athletic ability.
As a backup in 2015 during his redshirt freshman season, Lattimore recorded three passes broken up and five tackles. Teams believe he's in store for some big seasons now that he's a starter.
The Dolphins could use a young edge rusher given the age of Mario Williams and Cameron Wake.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Chubb has been a tough defender for the Wolfpack this season. In 2016, he has 55 tackles with 21 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a sophomore in 2015, he had 5.5 sacks. Chubb has scheme flexibility, but it wouldn't be surprising if he enters the 2017 NFL Draft.
Pick change; previously Malik Jefferson, LB
Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Colts could use an upgrade at running back badly.
Barkley has been excellent this season, and NFL sources have already said they think he's a stud back for the next level. The sophomore has averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 1,302 yards and 16 touchdownsthis year. He also has 23 receptions for 347 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver.
Barkley was very impressive as a freshman in 2015 when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and a score. Barkley was very impressive running for 194 yards on 26 carries against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent. The 5-foot-11, 223-pounder is a tough runner with a burst.
Tennessee Titans: Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Marlon Humphrey, CB and Mike Williams, WR
Tennessee needs more play-makers for Marcus Mariota. Here's a receiving and running option to play off the Titans' ground game.
Scouting sources compare Samuel to Percy Harvin and think Samuel could be a special play-maker in the NFL. The 5-foot-11, 197-pounder would probably fit better as primarily a receiver in the pros given his build.
In 2016, Samuel has 65 receptions for 822 yards with seven touchdowns. On the ground, he has averaged 7.7 yards per carry for 704 yards and eight scores.
Detroit Lions: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Jalen Tabor, CB
The Lions could use an edge rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah.
In 2016, Hubbard has 41 tackles with seven for a loss, three sacks and two passes batted. While rotating into the game as a sophomore, he showed his potential with 6.5 sacks. He also had 28 tackles with an interception. The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder could explode as a senior.
Pick change; previously Bradley Chubb, DE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): John Ross, WR
The Buccaneers could use some long-term partners with Vernon Hargreaves. Brent Grimes is 33, while Alterraun Verner will be approaching 30 at the time of the 2018 NFL Draft.
In 2016, Jones has 37 tackles with six passes broken up, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot, 180-pounder had an excellent 2015 season as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. For the year, Jones had 10 passes broken up, four interceptions, 45 tackles and three forced fumbles. He also showed coverage skills as a freshman with five pass breakups and two picks.
Jones is a good cover corner with the speed and athleticism to run with receivers and prevent separation.
The Eagles have to get some receiving upgrades for Carson Wentz.
Brown has just 30 receptions for 385 yards, but there are seven touchdowns among those catches. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder had four scores against Oklahoma and victimized Jordan Thomas. Brown has a lot of talent to break out in 2017.
Buffalo Bills: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Jabrill Peppers, S
The Bills need some wide receivers upgrades around Sammy Watkins.
Campbell has only 13 receptions for 121 yards in 2016, but sources from multiple teams have told me that Campbell has big-time ability and they believe he is going to break out. They also think he has a No. 1 receiver talent in the NFL. Campbell (6-1, 208) probably will take on a bigger role for Ohio State in 2017.
The Ravens drafted Kamalei Correa, but could use another young edge rusher to replace their aging tandem of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.
Watt has been one of the breakout players of the 2016 season. He is very good at setting the edge in run defense and also is a terror in the pass rush off the edge. Watt has 59 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three passes batted, and a forced fumble on the year. The 6-foot-5, 243-pounder could be even better as he gains experience. T.J. Watt is the younger brother of the Texans' J.J. Watt and the Chargers' Derek Watt.
New York Giants: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 12/24): Christian McCaffrey, RB
Perhaps one of these years the Giants will add a play-maker for the middle of their defense.
In 2016, Jefferson recorded 59 tackles with 5.5 sacks and three passes broken up. The numbers don't illustrate how good of a linebacker he was.
Jefferson (6-3, 238) was highly recruited and showed why as a freshman contributor for the Longhorns. He totaled 61 tackle with seven for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one forced fumble. Jefferson had a bigger presence than the stats illustrate.
Jefferson possesses a nice combination of size and speed. He has a ton of upside, and it wouldn't be surprising if he is in store for some massive seasons with Texas.
So Big Ben, who has struggled all year on the road despite the competition and is banged up, is just going to magically find his groove and torch us? Anything's possible, but using the Seahawks game, which was ages ago and came shortly after we had to adjust after the Jamie Collins trade, is pretty dumb on your part.
USED DRAFT-TEK , WALTERS, DRAFT-SITE rankings as a general guide. Been trying to catch as many college games as possible. HUGE Game for Clemson over Alabama raising the stock of several players.
SR bowl,Combine, & Pro-days will be fun to watch.