Pre-Senior Bowl/Scouting Combine Mock Draft 2017
Published at 1/18/2017 4:45:21 PM
Resources include Rotoviz, ProFootballFocus, NFLDraftScout, WalterFootball, and YouTube and Hudl videos. For now, not including potential trades but will mention teams who should/might trade within the detail boxes.
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The Browns are awful. There's no two ways around it. Even when they net talent like Josh Gordon, something goes wrong. If the Browns can re-sign Jamie Collins, adding an impact player like Myles Garrett could be *huge* for this organization. With a plethora of picks in this draft, the opportunity to bolster this defense with serious young talent is through the roof.
While the Browns will likely have to deal with a lackluster offense next season (though you never know what they might be able to do in free agency), it seems worth it to draft the best talent available who can have an immediate, disruptive impact on this defense. If Daeshon Hall silently slips down draft boards and the Browns pick him up in the 4th or 5th round, having Garrett & Hall rotating along their defensive front would provide a huge boost & provide instant chemistry to the Cleveland defense.
The 49ers were never perfect under Alex Smith, but they had success with him at QB. Trubisky looks a lot more like an Alex Smith-type QB, while DeShone Kizer looks like a young Colin Kaepernick (with loads more potential, if he lives up to the hype). Trubisky is a QB who can compete for a starting position right away. His name is trending up draft boards and if the 49ers want to address their QB problem now and not tank for another season for a chance at Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen (who would also provide boosts because they're local talents), he's their best bet.
As most analysts have indicated, the only other picks that might fit in here are Myles Garrett or Jonathan Allen, on sheer talent alone. Unless they want to trade this pick for someone like Tony Romo (which would be a trade heavily valued in the Cowboys' favor), I feel they're going to stick with #2 and take the best QB available for the future of their organization: Mitch Trubisky.
Jonathan Allen would be the best available prospect, but the Bears have solid depth along the edge and Allen isn't a great scheme fit alongside Eddie Goldman on the interior. The Bears are desperate at quarterback and need somebody not named Barkley to lead them out of the Cutler-era. Kizer isn't a great scheme fit but the Bears need to make changes on offense as it is.
Kizer could fit well with the current Bears backfield and bring much needed athleticism to the QB position. The Bears will need better targets for him to throw to though, especially if they fail to resign Alshon Jeffery and Deonte Thompson.
The Bears could potentially trade down and grab Mike Williams or Corey Davis with a mid-1st round pick, as the team has a need at WR if they can't re-sign Alshon Jeffery.
One could make a big argument for the Jags to pick up Dalvin Cook or Leonard Fournette here, more likely Cook because he's remained healthier and would be a great local pick up to inspire the Jacksonville fan base. Jacksonville also has a glaring need with questions about Yeldon's health, Ivory's age, and the inconsistency of the rest of the RB's on the roster.
But simply put, if the Bears and 49ers go for QB's and leave Jonathan Allen on the board, the Jags need to go for him. While the d-line is one of the Jaguars better strengths, if the Jags plan on taking Allen or even Barnett here, they can afford to not re-sign Tyson Alualu and Abry Jones and free up additional cap space to potentially make a huge splash in free agency (the Jags have a lot of free floating cash, if they use it wisely, they could be a force to be reckoned with in a couple seasons).
Adding Jonathan Allen to a d-line that features Yannick Ngakoue, Jared Odrick, Dante Fowler Jr., Malik Jackson, and youngsters with abundant potential in Sheldon Day and Sen'Derrick Marks, could provide them with one of the fiercest pass rushing defenses in the league.
With one exception, every mock draft I've seen currently has Jamal Adams to the Titans. While Jabrill Peppers could be a fit here as well, the Titans need help in coverage and a true dynamic safety like Adams is a much better fit than an experimental player without a sure position. Adams can play FS or SS and could be a viable replacement for Rashad Johnson or provide some depth/rotate with Da'Norris Searcy.
The Titans could also go WR here, but this is a deep WR class and I think they can find someone worthwhile in the early-mid rounds.
I think the Jets will draft Pat Mahomes II or DeShaun Watson with this pick. But I think they *shouldn't*. The Jets have a much better chance at Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen, or even Mason Rudolph in 2018 and should wait as all four of those QB's potentially hold greater value than either Mahomes or Watson.
The Jets should pad their secondary here. A team that once had Revis island and one of the most feared secondaries in the league has shriveled into a sieve that let's Tom Brady throw for as many yards as his heart desires against them.
Who to pick here is a huge question mark. as the Jets could genuinely go for anyone from Malik Hooker to Jabrill Peppers to a true corner like Humphrey, Tabor, or Lattimore.
Given their struggles, they really need a shutdown CB. Humphrey wasn't perfect against Mike Williams in the national championship, but he has the athleticism and the intangibles to blossom into one of the top corners in the league. Tabor has been hopping up and down draft boards and Lattimore is a little bit rawer than Humphrey, so I think Humphrey is the way to go here.
The Jets could also dump this pick and trade for Tony Romo. With plenty of depth at CB in this draft, the Jets could still land a standout like Cordrea Tankersley in a later round. The only problem is the Jets severe lack of picks in this draft.
Jahleel Addae is not the answer at safety. Malik Hooker is the best pick for them if Jamal Adams is off the board. Else, they will go with Adams here.
Other options here include Desmond King (but only if he wows at the combine) and Jabrill Peppers. But one of the biggest questions is what weight and 40 time Peppers will bring to the pre-draft workouts and the combine. Does he want to be an LB like Myles Jack? Or does he want to be a prototype safety a la Tyrann Mathieu? If he continues to straddle the in-between, a lot of teams are going to back off him, uncertain how he fits into their defensive schemes.
Coming off a season as Super Bowl runners-up, the Panthers had an abysmal year. Cam Robinson might be a good fit here to help seal up a leaky offensive line, but their best bet is to take one of the best available players who could complement Luke Kuechly on the outside and line up as an edge rusher in rotation with Johnson, Ealy, and Addison. Additionally, if Johnson and/or Addison don't resign, Barnett is a suitable replacement and could have an on-field impact from day one.
Dansby is 900 years old and Nick Vigil is not a long term answer at inside linebacker. Zach Cunningham's stock has fluctuated, but I am convinced he is the best all-around inside lineback in this class.
Reuben Foster could also fit in here, but his lack of discipline in the national championship and his tendency towards recklessness on the field knocks him back a few pegs despite his outstanding athleticism and spectacular (albeit inconsistent) field awareness and ability to wrap up tackles.
Again, we'll see what team's scouts think, but I'm not yet aboard the Mahomes' hype train. The Bills could certainly use a long-term answer at QB, but with Kizer and Trubisky off the board, I'm not sure the Bills want to take a risk with Deshaun Watson (who resembles Tyrod Taylor in a lot of ways) or Pat Mahomes.
If the Bills can't replace their QB, they can certainly supply him with an incredible rookie target in the current best WR available: Mike Williams. Williams looked spectacular in the national championship and is the main reason Watson was able to put up a very solid stat line. Williams bailed him out and made future NFL 1st round corners look silly. Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and Justin Hunter all have expiring contracts. Even if two of three come back, Williams could have a chance at lining up as the #2 or as a slot receiver alongside Sammy Watkins.
Bountygate may be a thing of the best, but the Saints still love fast, physical defenders. I have worries about Foster's on-field (and potentially off-field) discipline, but he's a serious talent, one whom with more consistency could be viewed as a potential top 5 pick in this draft.
The Saints have a giant hole at inside linebacker and Foster fills that void. He has the potential to be a future Pro Bowler, but he seems to have an equal probability of bouncing out of the league in the average career span of an NFL football player: 2.5 years.
If Cook drops this far, the Browns should scoop him up. The Browns, mainly because they have so many holes, have a number of options here. But adding a dynamic playmaker to their offense seems like a good idea.
Alternatively, Jabrill Peppers and a handful of corners (Tabor, Lattimore, Jones) are still available and could provide some elite athleticism to an inconsistent secondary.
A number of mocks propose the Cardinals taking a QB here or a WR here, but I think the Cardinals need to stick with a Cardinal and pick up a grade-A end/linebacker talent in Solomon Thomas. The Stanford-product has the smarts and the skills to see play time right away.
If the Cards fail to re-sign Calais Campbell and/or Chandler Jones, Thomas is a must-draft.
The Colts have a handful of needs. Depth at corner is one of them. "Teez" Tabor is a very talented cornerback from Florida who helped shut down passing games alongside Quincy Wilson this season, despite an inconsistent pass rush and a horrendous offense. The Colts could use Tabor as a nickelback and he could eventually work his way onto the field as a starter.
Alternatively, this is a team who hasn't had a long-term answer at running back since the days of Edgerrin James. So I would not be surprised if the Colts take a chance on Fournette here instead.
Carson Wentz needs more weapons. The Eagles had a good season and they have a handful of needs including along the offensive line (especially if they don't re-sign Wisniewski) and they have holes at linebacker and in the secondary, but Corey Davis is the type of dynamic, big-bodied receiving threat who could really complement Jordan Mathews well. He has the potential be 10 times what Green-Beckham is if he lives up to his potential.
Cam Robinson is an option here, but with the number of o-line busts in the first round over the past few drafts, I think the Ravens should stick to what they know best: strengthening the front seven on defense.
Takkarist McKinley is a 2nd rounder on some draft boards, but there's been a lot of chatter around him and he has the strength and field awareness to make a serious impact at the next level. The Ravens could provide a great environment for him to learn and develop into a consistent starter for years to come.