Pre Combine 2017 NFL Mock Draft by Joek65 - 1.26
Published at 3/3/2017 5:52:38 PM
With combine just around the corner it might be a good idea to look back on what teams need and who might be there when they pick.
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The Browns need a QB and although some reports are rumbling that they are liking what they see from Mitch Trubisky, Myles Garrett is too talented to pass up at #1 overall. The Browns have a lot of draft capital that they can have their cake and eat it too by trading back up with a team like the Bears or Titans and nab Trubisky.
Garrett is considered one of the most dominating athletes in this draft and is the clear cut #1 guy, very similar to JaDeveon Clowney in 2014 Garretts scheme fit and ability is far too good to pass up.
QB has typically been mocked here but recent reports suggest John Lynch and Kyle Shannahan are going to look into free agency and trades to find a QB rather than reach for someone they dont feel will fit their scheme. This may seem high for Foster, or any linebacker, but when the 49ers were at their best under Haurbaugh they had a stellar linebacking corp to mask their drawbacks on offense.
Foster is a playmaking machine and can be the leader of the young defense. He is widely regarded as the best Alabama linebacker to eneter the draft in a long time. He has a nose for the football and can also generate a solid pass rush up the middle.
No QB in the Top 3? You bet. It may not seem as crazy as it sounds but I see this QB class shaking out similar to the 2013 class. No clear #1 and only 1 going in round one with a deeper class at other positions. The 2017 class offers more talent al around than the 2013 class and the Bears are linked to more experienced passers like Tony Romo or Mike Glennon and might prefer to build the defense over the offense.
Lattimore is not the most technically sound corner in the draft but his upside is far too good to ignore. He may struggle with playing on the left side of the field and with back peddling, but with excellent recovery skills and a great ability to make plays on the ball Lattimore is the shut down corner Chicago has sorely needed
Blake Bortles is not the problem, at least not right now, and the defense was actually pretty good this past year. The real issue with the Jaguars is their run game, or lack there of. The Jags have failed to produce a consistent rushing offense since Jones-Drew hung up the cleats which has caused their offense to become one dimensional. Yeldon isnt cutting it and Chris Ivory cant stay healthy, enter Fournette.
Fournette is being regarded as one of the best RB prospects to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson and he has the tape to back that up. Although he was hampered by injuries in 2016 he should make a full recovery and go back to his 2015 dominance he had at LSU. Fournettes presence in the backfield will force teams to add more in the box freeing up coverage for the Jaguars talented receivers.
The Titans made great strides this year in and are on the verge of making it back to the playoffs behind a strong running game, but improvements need to be made in the secondary and at the receiver position in order for them to make the leap. Lucky for the Titans they get the Rams pick here in a great trade last year. The Titans could go with a corner like Sidney Jones or Quincy Wilson but this is a deep corner class and they can nab one with their second first rounder or in the second round. But with a weak safety free agent class and two top line safeties sitting at the top of the board the Titans will look to pounce on one of the two.
Adams is a phenomenal talent who can act as a sheriff in the secondary while also being a great leader in their locker room. Adams is an intelligent saftey and can be a Earl Thomas type of player for the Titans with his ability to make plays on the ball.
If the Jets want to actually be competitive they need to resist the urge to take a QB here. This is not a good QB class and they have drafted a QB in the past two drafts relatively high. Rather than add another QB to the fire they should focus on getting younger on the roster in other key areas.
That first area should be corner where they are dangerously bare after the release of Darrelle Revis. Wilson is not the most polished corner in the draft but he is extremely talented and can be a true shut down corner with the proper coaching, which Todd Bowles just so happens to be one of the better cornerback coaches in the league.
Joey Bosa, Jason Verrett, and Jatavis Brown are solid building block foundations for the Chargers defense but they still need some help in the secondary to compete with the extremely talented AFC West.
Hooker is a one year starter but more than proved himself worthy of a Top-10 pick. He would be a ball hawking safety who can help Chargers fans forget about Eric Weedle and can help the newly minted Los Angeles Chargers regain relevancy. Hookers injury may be a bit of a concern but he is well the risk and should be ready to go for the start of the season and contribute.
Many people see the Panthers as a potential landing spot for Leonard Fournette or Cam Robinson, but RB just isnt as big of a concern in the first round for the Panthers as other positions are. Although Robinson is considered the top tackle he might be a reach at No. 8. The Panthers however luck out as one of there biggest needs is pass rushers and this draft is stocked with them.
Thomas has shot up draft boards throughout the year and could very well find himself in the Top-5 when all is said and done. Thomas is a versatile playmaker and can play inside or on the edge. Either way he will help usher in a new era of pass rush for Carolina.
It was apparent last season that the Bengals need more than just A.J. Green to produce winning seasons in Cincy and although Tyler Eifert and Tyler Boyd are both solid players a top flight receiver to play opposite of A.J. Green could make for a very tough matchup for any defense.
Corey Davis may not be running at the combine but he is quickly rising on the boards and has displayed tremendous talent throughout his four years at Western Michigan. Davis may have unseated Mike Williams as top receiver in the draft and would be the perfect complement to Green and can help open up the offense a little bit more for the Bengals.
It looks like Tyrod Taylor will be sticking around in Buffalo for now so the Bills can now focus on retooling the rest of their roster to finally break that playoff drought. The Bills could look at a wide receiver or a corner at this spot but with one of the drafts best players falling to them at #10 the Bills would be wise to get younger on the D-Line and grab Jonathan Allen.
Allen was one of the most consistent and dominate players in the nation last year and can probably play at a high level at all positions on the D-Line. With Kyle Williams getting long in the tooth and Marcell Dareus not a lock to stay long term the Bills might want to pair Allen with the young nucleus of Ragland, Lawson, and Darby to revamp the Bills defense. Allen fits perfectly into Sean McDermott's scheme and can be a Kwann Shorts type player for the Bills.
The Saints troubles on defense have been pretty well documented over the years so I wont continue to beat the proverbial dead horse, but the Saints should take advantage of this talented defensive class and get themselves either a corner or edge rusher in Round 1. Marlon Humphrey or Sidney Jones are strong options but the Saints should take a page from the Panthers and utilize a strong front seven to mask an adequate secondary
The Saints would certainly love to see Solomon Thomas or Jonathan Allen fall to them here but Derek Barnett is a fine consolation prize for the Saints. Barnett has been lost in the shuffle of pass rushers behind Myles Garrett and Thomas but he can produce just as well as those two and playing opposite Cam Jordan might open up more opportunities for him along the Saints suddenly revamped D-Line.
In this scenario the Browns get very lucky as they get both the guys they wanted in the first round without giving up any draft capitol. Do I think it will play out like this on draft day? No simply put teams sometimes overvalue a QB out of desperation and this year will be no different. Teams like the 49ers, Bears, and Jets can easily nab Trubisky before pick 12 and a team could trade up but for now some good fortune falls to the Browns.
Trubisky is far from a complete project and there are many questions about whether he can play at the next level and if he has enough experience. Lucky for Trubisky he would get to play under Hue Jackson who has made average QB's better than what many expect. Trubisky could red shirt this year as he learns the playbook and step in next year with a more complete roster.
With Larry Fitzgerald's future uncertain and Michael Floyd no longer on the team the Cards suddenly have a major hole at the WR position past the oft-injured John Brown. Although a future QB could be taken, especially with DeShone Kizer still on the board here, or maybe some secondary depth the Cards might value wide-out more than those positions.
Mike Williams is battling it out with Corey Davis as top wide out in the draft but there is no denying Mike Williams is something special and can be a #1 wide receiver in the NFL for any team. Williams has the perfect blend of size, speed, and big catch ability to be any QB's safety valve. Injury concerns from the season may push him down a bit but he will be a huge value at #13 none the less
The Eagles defense was one of the top units this past season but they had a major weakness at their corners. Although a WR is another big need the Eagles might choose to take from the talented pool of corners to make their strength even stronger.
Sidney Jones has the size and talent to be a shut down corner in the league. Jones is a great fit for Schwartz's system as a Stephon Gilmore type of player. Jones will help settle a pretty shaky position for the Eagles and can push the Eagles to a top 5 unit
New Colts GM Chris Ballard comes from an organization that knew how to build a roster through the draft something Ryan Grigson could never quite figure out. Coming from Kansas City, Ballard understands the importance of a great defense that can carry a team even when the offense stalls. The Colts don't have much in terms of talent on defense with Vontae Davis being their only true star on the team. The Colts might want to employ a similar strategy they had last year with the O-Line by using majority of their picks to retool a very thin defensive unit.
Perhaps the most important position to start with is a pass rusher who can improve both the run and pass defense. McKinley is a type of player that fits that bill. Similar to Khalil Mack, McKinley is not the biggest or fastest on the field but he has a high motor and a kanck for making plays and can help usher in a new era for Indy as they look to dethrown the Texans at the top of the AFC South.
The Ravens have had a great defense their entire existence in the NFL but they are starting to get older in a few key positions that they should look to adress in the draft, with a deep corner and pass rush pool in this draft the Ravens can look to tool up for the next great defense in their franchises history.
Tabor is drawing comparisons of Marcus Peters as a play making corner who can hang with the best of the best in the NFL. In a division featuring 2 of the Top 5 wide receivers in the NFL Tabors talents will be tested but he is talented enough to be able to learn on the fly and inject some life into a pretty dead secondary in Baltimore.