RB#20's 2017 NFL Mock Draft.
Published at 4/26/2017 1:55:23 AM
4/26/2017 - Final Mock. Completed all write-ups for all 4 rounds. Just in time before the draft. If Cleveland announces that Mitchell Trubisky is going to be the #1 pick I think I'm going to puke...
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Nothing has changed about this pick. It should still be Myles Garrett, of whom had an outstanding Combine. The Browns are smitten with him and he instantly gives the defense a make-over. It's not going to be a QB with this pick. The Browns are so high on Garrett that they turned down the Patriots offer of Jimmy Garoppolo for the #1 overall pick. Jimmy G is better than any of the QB's in this draft class and they said no. That's how highly they view Garrett as a prospect. Not buying Trubisky to the Browns. They would have traded the pick for Jimmy G if they wanted a QB here.
Man I really hate this pick. I honestly do. I would hope that the 49ers would get it right and maybe draft one of the Safeties, Derek Barnett, Solomon Thomas, O.J. Howard, anyone but a lackluster QB with this pick but sadly, I think that's what they do. New QB here, but same feeling. There isn't a QB worthy of being selected in the Top 5 and it's debatable if any are worthy enough of being selected in the 1st round. Do the right thing, SF. Draft defense with this pick, Mitchell is not ready.
Safety play has been atrocious for Chicago. Really, they need a lot of help in the secondary. I'd like to go with Jonathan Allen here but honestly... he's really not the best scheme fit, contrary to popular opinion. They did sign Quinton Demps, but they can still use an upgrade over Adrian Amos. Now... this pick really comes down to Adams, Marshon Lattimore or Malik Hooker. I changed the pick to Malik Hooker from Adams, even though I think Adams is the better of the two, the Bears may prefer someone that can play FS now as opposed to later. They are still getting a very good Safety, don't think now is the time to draft DL.
The biggest change here is I have the Jags passing up on Fournette for the #1 TE prospect in the draft. I thought about it quite a bit and Fournette isn't the type of RB that Tom Coughlin usually goes for. I know it's not going to be Tom's system, and that he's not the GM, but he will be influential to the drafting process. When it comes to drafting RB's early, Coughlin usually gets ones that can actually catch and be involved in the passing game which is what Fournette does not do. If a pick is going to be invested into a power back, it will be invested later on in the draft. In fact, I can see the Jags drafting 2 RB's this year, 1 power and 1 do it all type between rounds 3-5.
O.J. Howard is essentially the complete TE that they have been looking for. They can cut Marcedes Lewis after this season and they just signed Mychal Rivera to a 2-year deal. TE is a huge need for Jacksonville after dealing Julius Thomas. I don't have them taking an EDGE either here as none of them seem to make sense at this point.
The usage of the word "chronic" when talking about Marshon Lattimore's hamstrings are vastly over-blown. He will be ok, it was a hip flexor, it happens. He has done everything right to warrant this spot. After the release of Jason McCourtey, it is becoming evident that the Titans will need another impact CB opposite Logan Ryan, and Lattimore would be that guy immediately. I have no concerns over his injury history at Ohio State and I believe the worst is behind him.
I have Barnett as the best EDGE in the draft and have had him as such for a long time. I think the results from college will translate to the pros on this one. The guy is a freak of nature, and will solve the pass-rushing issue for the Jets, of whom were ranked 29th in sacks last year. New York could not generate a consistent pass-rush outside of their lethal DL unit. It's time to get an OLB that can put the pressure on, Barnett is that guy.
As I have discussed on Walter's mock, Haason Reddick represents a player that can jump right in and fit the 4-3 Under scheme to a glove. He would play the OTTO, allow Melvin Ingram to move down to the LEO, can play ILB and even some SS. The scheme would use all of his strengths at once and allow him to rush the passer from multiple different ways behind two stud pass-rushers in Bosa and Ingram.
The Panthers seem a bit smitten with Christian McCaffrey. It's certainly not a smoke-screen as the way they are crushing on the guy is similar to Shaq Thompson before they drafted him. Nobody is considering drafting McCaffrey in front of them and he could go well within the next few picks after them so I'm going to bite and say this is not a smoke-screen and McCaffrey is the BPA on their draft board at #8. He put in a solid Combine, and has his Pro Day coming up on the 22nd. Provided everything goes smoothly, it should all but lock up this pick. Christian is arguably the safest RB prospect in this draft, even over Leonard Fournette. I personally had him as a Top 15 prospect before the Combine and don't see anything wrong with Carolina drafting him at #8. The only thing new about this pick in this update is I have McCaffrey going over Fournette, even though Leonard is still on the board. I think Christian is the dual-threat, offensive weapon that Carolina is looking for, and I will touch up a bit more in-depth on Fournette's slide when his pick comes up.
Sidney Jones will play this season. For that I moved him back into the first round. This isn't like it's an injury that he will never recover from, it's not chronic, he will be fine. It wasn't until now that I moved him up to the Bengals pick here as in every other version of my mock, this pick has been O.J. Howard. As you see, Howard has been selected very high. Injuries have not swayed the Bengals away from drafting a player with a high selection. Cedric Ogbuehi had a red-shirt season with Cincy of whom drafted him for the future, and that's the idea here... drafting him for the future regardless of whether he plays this year or not. Adam Jones is pretty much done in the NFL, Darqueze Dennard is a free agent next year that they more than likely will not be bringing back and it's unknown what Cincinnati has in William Jackson III or KeiVarie Russell. Jones would probably have been the first CB taken off the board and probably as high as the #2 pick for San Fran. With the potential to be an elite player in the NFL, I can see multiple teams drafting Sidney very high, Cincy being one of them. I think Joey Bosa proved last year that you don't need to play the entire season to make an impact, you just need to have talent, which Sidney Jones exudes.
I have mixed feelings about this pick. See... John Ross is my favorite WR in this draft class. I feel that John Ross is the BEST WR in this draft class and predicted about 2 months ago that he would blow up the Combine and that no mock would have him listed outside of the 1st round. (check the messages on Walt's main page.) The guy is just a pure burner and defensive nightmare. He has drawn admiration from Antonio Brown even before he ran his 40. Let that sink in... he drew the admiration of the game's best WR. Antonio Brown is who I see in John Ross, I just hope he stays healthy enough to meet his potential...
...but why do I have mixed feelings you ask? Because there are bigger long-term areas to address than WR on this team. I can't really hate the pick because I view John as an elite talent and you always have to take the elite talent regardless of need if they are their... but there are other top talents that fill bigger holes on defense for Buffalo. We are dealing with the same FO and GM that gave up a future #1 pick to draft Sammy Watkins based on his Combine and Pro Day so what are they going to do when they see a WR run a 4.22 40? And that being said... I can't really fault them for drafting the guy because I would probably do the same thing too in this spot if I were them. As the old saying goes- speed kills.
Jamal Adams fits the defense very well. He has such a vast range of all the prospects. I have him going anywhere from 3-17, which is odd, because I have him as the best player in the draft along with Derek Barnett. I have to be consistent with what I feel teams will do though.
Laremy Tunsil, Warren Sapp, Dez Bryant, JJ Watt, Aaron Donald, Ray Lewis.... the list goes on of Elite/HOF players, or players that were expected to be drafted higher that fell. There is nothing wrong with Jonathan Allen sliding to 12 overall. I once thought that sliding out of the top 10 would not be possible, but under-sized DL with possible bad shoulders does not ring well. That being said, Jonathan's best position is a 4-3 DT. Scheme is very important, and is becoming almost important as talent. Much like international basketball has used precise ball-movement to compensate for lack of talent, scheme fit in the NFL is becoming almost equal to the talent being obtained. Jonathan Allen is not best utilized in a 3-4, of the teams selecting in the top 5, Jacksonville and Cleveland could be potential candidates. I once said that it would make more sense for Cleveland to pair a DT next to Danny Shelton since they already have good EDGErushers. Well, here they get both an upgrade at DE and a dynamic 3-tech to pair next to Shelton. I think Allen will be moved around the line creatively. I never thought that there would be a situation for Cleveland to land BOTH Myles Garrett and Jonathan Allen without having to trade up but here you have it.
Arizona is smitten with AJ much like the Panthers are smitten with Christian McCaffrey. Adoree can play CB and/or S much like Tyrann Mathieu. In fact, Adoree may also be used at Slot WR when he gets to the NFL. He could be the first 2-way player since Troy Brown and he can excel at any position where he will be used.
Interestingly enough, Solomon Thomas lands in Philly, a player who once drafted a "tweener" by the name of Fletcher Cox. As you can see, that worked out very well. For the record, I love Solomon Thomas. I would be happy with Solomon Thomas on my team and within the scheme that Jim Schwartz uses, he will flourish.
This pick was Jarrad Davis up until today, I think it may have been an oversight as Conley would probably be the better player on their board. Yes, I have them passing on Fournette, because the real priority is on defense. If the Colts go RB, I think it will be much later. There's nothing wrong with the offense. They put up about 25 points per game, the issue is with the defense that gives up over 26 points per game. There are already people that claim that Andrew Luck isn't a top QB in the league because of this. Please... the guy's responsibility is to throw the ball, not defend it. Jim Irsay has been pretty pissed to say the least with how the defensive make-up is. I highly doubt he will be ok if his new GM targets a RB with his first draft choice.
Annnnnnd here we go. Lenny F sliding out of not just the Top 5, but the Top 15 altogether. Here's the thing... there aren't many teams that cater around the type of back that Fournette is. Many prefer the committee approach now and honestly... Fournette may not be the best RB in this class. He doesn't protect well enough in pass-protection - not like Zeke last year - nor is he a good pass-catching RB. I do think he's worth a 1st round draft selection, but guys like Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook are the types that teams go for now. You need to be a complete football player to be a good RB now. Leonard Fournette has to develop the other intangibles in order to make that leap and let's not forget, he had a miserable final season in LSU. It also seems that when given the stigma "doesn't have passion for the game..." translates to "The Ravens are going to draft you." (Just having fun with that last bit, but seriously, Fournette fits the back that the Ravens would target.)