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2017 NFL Mock Draft by petegibney - 12.13
Published at 12/13/2016 12:45:29 PM

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M

After a recent report that the Browns have an "astronomical" grade on Garrett, it'd be hard to see them not take the A&M superstar. Garrett has everything you want in a defensive end, speed, strength, athleticism, ability to bend the edge and a high motor. This is what makes him the most coveted player in this year's draft. The Browns need a cornerstone on defense like Garrett and it'd be a shame to see them reach on a QB.

2. 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina

Well if he's around for 2017 after a disastrous first year in the Bay Area, Chip Kelly will get the quarterback he's been dying to draft since his first year in Philly. San Fran needs a clean slate at the quarterback position, a young smart QB who they can build around. Trubisky fits that mold as he's extremely efficient with natural size and arm strength. His stats from 2016 were off the charts and his potential is very high, in the right system.

3. Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Allen is the best Senior in the nation and has been a monster for the heralded Alabama defense all year. His versatility on the defensive line only boosts his stock as he can play inside and outside. Allen is a pure football player who has great instincts and pass rushing skills. The Jags don't necessarily need another pass rusher, but taking best player available and adding toughness to the interior dline always helps.

4. Bears: DeShone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame

Jay Cutler's tenure in the Windy City is all but over. A franchise quarterback will be all but demanded in Chicago, a franchise desperately looking to become relevant again in the NFC North. Kizer is arguably the top signal caller in the draft, despite his relative youth and inexperience. He's an above average athlete with good size, arm strength, accuracy and field vision. At times his mechanics can get a bit sloppy and he has lapses in concentration. Nothing that can't be fixed after possibly redshirting for a little bit, to get accustomed to the NFL.

5. Jets: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU

The Jets under Mike Maccagnan have had a philosophy of drafting best player available. With this pick, Fournette is no doubt the best player available. Fournette is a powerful 3'down back with excellent strength, speed and field vision. Whoever the signal caller for Gang Green is in 2017, Fournette will be able to take some pressure off him, by igniting a strong running game.

6. Titans: Tim Williams, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

*Via Trade: LA Rams*
Williams is an electric presence on the field as he wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks. His speed and athleticism, coupled with natural pass rushing skills have landed him as a top 10 prospect. The Titans need someone like Williams who they can just let loose and watch him do work in the opponents backfield.

7. Panthers: Jabrill Peppers, Strong Safety, Michigan

When you go from Super Bowl to top 10 pick, in a year it's safe to say that the Panthers want to put 2016 behind them. They can do that by drafting best player available and snagging the overhyped, but athletic freak Jabrill Peppers. Don't get me wrong he's a great player, but more of a hybrid linebacker than a true safety. Either way Peppers is gonna bring Swag, talent and toughness to a Carolina defense that lacked in all of those departments in 2016.

8. Bengals: Reuben Foster, Inside Linebacker, Alabama

Much like their AFC North foe in Pittsburgh, the Bengals linebacking corps are getting old and their play is declining. Foster is a heat speaking missile on the field and is a steal for a team like Cincinnati in the top 10. He will step in and start at MIKE or SAM backer from day one and has a long future on Sunday's. Some scouts have even called Foster, Saban's best linebacker yet.

9. Browns: Quincy Wilson, Cornerback, Florida

*Via Trade: Philadelphia Eagles*
I hope the Browns still don't give into media and fan pressure and reach for a quarterback. I'm not saying they shouldn't take one in 2017, but not in the first round when they can get blue chip talent at positions of need. Wilson's speed, size and length combined with his excellent 2016 campaign have made him arguably the top corner in the class. The Browns can use him to pair with Joe Haden in the pass happy AFC North.

10. Saints: Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee

With natural athleticism and pass rushing abilities, Barnett has been a terror in the SEC since he suited up for the Vols. The Saints defense despite playing better as of late still lacks depth and talent. Barnett would bring a high motor and solid technique to NOLA as an edge defender. He could add strength and work on conditioning so he won't get wore down against the run though.

11. Chargers: Jamal Adams, Strong Safety, LSU

The Chargers haven't gotten the best safety play since parting ways with Eric Weddle. Adams can fix that, as some scouts have called him the "safest pick in the draft". It's easy to see why as his speed blankets receivers and takes away the middle of the field and his physical style of play which leads him to tackle anything with the ball.

12. Cardinals: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson

After reports of scouts having a round 2 or 3 grade on Watson, I have the Cardinals reaching for him here. It's been an ugly season in Arizona as poor quarterback play from an aging Carson Palmer, has lead the team to most likely an early exit from the NFC playoff picture. Watson despite having some technique and decision making issues, still has high potential. Redshirting under Carson Palmer for a year can lead to big things from the Clemson product in the NFL.

13. Titans: Jalen Tabor, Cornerback, Florida

The second part and more well known of the dynamic CB duo in Gainesville, Tabor's football ability causes his fall due to off the field issues to come to a halt. The Titans are lacking an identity and go-to player in the defensive backfield. Tabor happens to check both of those boxes. He is arguably the best cover corner in the draft and has outstanding instincts and ball skills. Tennessee's rebuild on defense gets a major boost.

14. Colts: Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State

We can see a running back go here, but due to Frank Gore's solid season I can see Indy undervaluing the position. One place of need is the defensive trenches though, other than David Parry the front 7 isn't much to write home about. McDowell is a big strong man but a nimble athlete. He can dominate games when he wants to, but a questionable motor is going to plague him leading up to the draft.

15. Bills: Malik Hooker, Free Safety, Ohio State

The OSU product would fill a huge need in Buffalo, as Rex needs a patrolling centerfielder. Hooker has good instincts and balls skills with sneaky pop behind his hits. Ed Reed tutoring Hooker can lead him to become a star on Sunday's. There are a few teams and players who are perfect fits for each other, Hooker and the Bills are one of those fits.

16. Packers: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State

This is a value and a need pick in Green Bay, as Eddie Lacy has eaten himself a ticket out of Wisconsin. The Pack need a dynamic running back so Aaron Rodgers doesn't have to win games by himself. Cook to the Pack would be unfair in the NFC North as he is a better running back prospect than 2015 1st Rounders, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon. His strength, explosiveness, elusiveness, field vision and pass catching ability make him a perfect fit in Green Bay.

Picks 1-16

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