2017 NFL Mock Draft by lord kaliwax - 12.20
Published at 12/20/2016 1:20:31 PM
I did my best to make picks based on team needs and what has happened historically. It's too early to make attempts projecting trades though.
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The Browns reportedly have an astronomical grade on Myles Garrett so people are expecting them to draft him, but... How many times have we gone down this road where mockers expect a QB needy team at the top to take a non-QB but once we reach the pre-draft process the rumors start popping up that they're gravitating towards the top QB prospect which leads to them ultimately taking him? More often than not teams don't get cute when drafting a QB when there is a worthwhile prospect available.
So, for the umpteenth time, the Browns try to draft their franchise QB and this time they may have finally done it. Trubisky is a well rounded prospect unlike the Browns' previous attempts to find a QB like Quinn, McCoy, and Manziel who were highly touted for one reason or another despite gaping holes in their games and, in Manziel's case, major off the field red flags. He has good, but not great, arm strength, excellent accuracy, plus mobility, and very good pocket awareness and presence, plus he has it together off the field from what we know.
Kizer is an athletic freak so he has a higher ceiling than Trubisky but he's also very raw when it comes to mechanics and running an offense so his floor is also a good deal lower. However, if he goes to a team that will be patient with him, let him hold a clipboard for his first season, and focus their attention on molding him then he has the potential to be a superb QB in the NFL.
Unfortunately for him he's most likely going to an incompetently run organization like the 49ers.
The Jaguars finally fired their biggest problem in Gus Bradley. With that dealt with they can turn their attention to their second biggest problem: Their O-line. Their offense has a number of issues, from Bortles' regression, to bad backfield talent, to terrible coaching/play calling, but the poor O-line play is like throwing gasoline on all of these fires. They can start fixing this issue by drafting Robinson, who is easily the best OT prospect of this class.
The Bears need help on offense, especially at QB, but Fox is more likely to bolster his defense. He has his choice between Garrett and Allen, and you can't fault the Bears going either way in this scenario, but Garrett fits the prototypical mold that Fox prefers better than Allen does.
Via the Rams.
The Titans have a pretty good shot at making the playoffs and getting a top-5 draft pick. That's a pretty good situation to say the very least.
The Titans' top need is at CB. However, Dick Lebeau has a record of not valuing that position highly so unless the front office and/or Mularkey override his wishes then they're not likely to go that direction here, though they can get secondary help in another way. While Lebeau doesn't really care about the CB position he does love highly athletic, game changing talent out of the S positions and, as it so happens, Peppers is a unique athlete who is best suited to play S in the NFL. He is more of a risk than Adams due to his lack of experience at the position but his upside is also much higher.
The Jets' plan was to bring back Fitzmagic and give him Forte to bring the running game to complement him. What they got instead was Fitztragic and what you'd expect from a used and abused 30-year old RB. Powell has turned up his production down the stretch but he can't be relied on for the long haul. Due to this, the Jets turn to Fournette to become their bell cow and to take pressure off of Hackenberg, or whoever they decide to go with at QB.
Seemingly every year one of the top prospects slips a bit for one reason or another to the great benefit of some team. Allen may be that player and the Chargers may be the beneficiary team. Allen is reminiscent of Aaron Donald due to his combination of speed and power, but Allen had to play out of position at Alabama by playing 4-3 DE which impacted his production. Move him inside where he belongs and have him team up Joey Bosa and the Chargers defense will be cooking with fire.
Via the Eagles.
This is a reach but players at premium positions have a habit of going a good deal higher than expected, especially ones with high upside. The Browns have an immediate need at RT, have a need at LT down the road since Joe Thomas will be 33 next season, and they just drafted Trubisky so upgrading the O-line becomes a more immediate need.
The Cardinals should probably look into getting a new QB since Palmer is showing concerning signs, but since there is no QB prospect available that could help them immediately it is doubtful they'll reach for one here. Instead, they can take advantage of a superb CB class to upgrade their #2 CB position to give Peterson someone better than a converted RB to play opposite of him, and having a CB duo of Peterson and Wilson would be extremely good.
The Bengals could stand to inject some youthful talent into their secondary, but they also need to get some worthwhile edge rushing talent to play opposite of Dunlap. They tend to prioritize their front seven so getting Barnett is the likeliest route they'd go if given the opportunity.
Another year the Panthers need an OT, another situation where they're just out of reach of getting one. Given this situation the Panthers can instead move to get a #1 CB and replace Norman after they let him go for some reason.
There are three guarantees in life: Death, taxes, and the Saints needing help on defense. The best defensive players available are CBs so they can take advantage of that to upgrade their secondary.
Tyrod Taylor is clearly not the answer at QB for the Bills but the only maybe worthwhile QB to take here is Watson, but it's doubtful they'll want to go that route when they already have a similar QB on the roster that they took in the 1st round who disappointed them tremendously. Instead they can upgrade their secondary with the top available S.
Common sense says that Pagano and Grigson should be fired ASAP. History also says that Irsay will make bad decisions and, surprise, he said Pagano and Grigson aren't going anywhere. So, continue to expect poor personnel decisions from the Colts.
You'd expect them to go O-line to protect Luck or to upgrade their defense, but you need to think like an incompetent GM and head coach here. When you put yourself in their shoes the top need becomes obvious: Replacing the aging RB! Cook isn't a bad player but he is certainly the wrong choice for the Colts.
Via the Vikings.
Wentz got off to a hot start but has consistently fallen on his face since then. Some of that has to do with a lack of talent around him but it's mostly because he's not that great despite being overrated by that hot start. That said, only one of those problems can be addressed through the draft by getting Wentz a true #1 WR to throw to.
Presuming they give Cousins an extension then the Redskins biggest need will be WR since both Jackson and Garcon are set to become free agents this offseason. They'll probably keep one, most likely Garcon, but they'll need to replace the other. JJSS would give Cousins a bigger target than he has been used to and, better yet, he'll be more reliable than Jackson.