2017 NFL Mock Draft by Alexander_21 - 3.0
Published at 2/14/2017 12:29:49 AM
# 3 Of The Too Early Mocks. Sources: Walterfootball.com ProFootballFocus.com ESPN.com NFL.com DraftTek.com DraftUtopia.com DraftBlaster.com
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2016 First Round Pick: Corey Coleman, Baylor (15)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (30) Pass (28) Rush (19)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (31) Pass (21) Rush (31)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $65,636,296
(1) Griffin III ($7.5 M)
(2) Williams ($7 M)
(3)McCown ($4.3 M)
(4) Bryant ($3.5 M)
(5) Bailey ($1.6 M)
GM: Sashi Brown
Head Coach: Hue Jackson
Offensive Coordinator: Al Saunders
Defensive Coordinator: Gregg Williams
Offensive Scheme: West Coast – Run Heavy
Defensive Scheme: 4-3, Multiple
Needs: (1)QB, (2)OL, (3)S, (4)WR, (5)CB
LEO: (1) Garrett (2) Nassib
NT: (1) Shelton (2) Wright
DT: (1) Bryant (2) Meder
DE: (1) Ogbah (2) Cooper
NFL.com Grade: 7.63 ESPN Grade: 95
NFL Comparison: Julius Peppers
Measurables: H: 6'5 W: 270 40: 4.60
The Dallas area Defensive Player of the Year as a high school senior and member of an athletic family (mother, sister were college track stars, father Sean played in the NBA), big things were expected from Garrett upon his arrival in College Station. He didn't disappoint. The consensus Freshman All-American and second-team All-SEC pick had 11.5 picks as a freshman. Garrett then added finalist honors for the Lombardi and Hendricks Awards as the nation's top defender as a sophomore with 19.5 tackles for loss and tying for second in the FBS with 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. While fighting a knee injury suffered early in 2016, Garrett was still named first-team All-American and All-SEC as a junior (15 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks) while playing in 11 games, starting just nine.
Elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard. Good size, but he's never likely going to be a hold-your-ground run defender, and might be best suited as an outside linebacker. However, his ability to explode into the backfield through a gap or around the edge gives him disruptive potential on every snap. Garrett still needs to fine-tune his pass-rush strategy and could stand to give more consistent effort from the start of the snap until the whistle. But his pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career.
Garrett’s three-year production has been incredible since stepping onto campus as true freshman in 2014 and he’s played through injury this year to post the fourth overall grade among edge defenders at 90.3. An explosive pass-rusher, the big question for Garrett has surrounded his work in the run game but he’s answer the call this year with an 85.2 grade that ranks fourth in the nation. Garrett has all the tools and the on-field resume to be a star.
The Browns selected DE Emmanuel Ogbah in last years draft with the 32nd overall pick and also spent a 12th overall pick in 2015 on NT Danny Shelton, both have shown potential and with the hiring of Gregg Williams and the transition to a 43 defense, the same scheme they played in at their respective colleges, they should take a step forward in their progression.
I really like Allen here, but I don't get paid to make these picks, so I have to consied to what "the team" needs/ wants. So far by most reports the Browns love the 6'5 270 DE. Garrett possesses Clowney type freakish ability. While, in my eyes, Garrett does not possess the run stopping ability of Allen. I think his pass rush ability will ultimately lead him twinning out over Allen, much like Miller over Dareus in 2011 or Clowney over Mack&Donald in 2014.
Garrett would come in and take over at LEO and play the 7&9 Tech, moving Ogbah to DE, at 275 Ogbah should not have too much trouble in a 5&7 Tech. This setup will also give the browns a nice rotation with 3rd round pick Carl Nassib in the rotation too. Unless cut, this move would also push DE Desmond Bryant in to DT, which should not be an issue at 290. Leaving Shelton to fill the NT role, which is no issue.
2016 First Round Picks: DeForest Buckner, Oregon (7) Joshua Garnett, Stanford (28)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (31) Pass (32) Rush (4)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (32) Pass (14) Rush (32)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $46,115,666
(1) Kaepernick ($17 M)
(2) Smith ($8 M)
(3) Brooks ($7.8 M)
GM: John Lynch
Head Coach: (Kyle Shanahan)
Offensive Coordinator: (Matt LaFleur)
Defensive Coordinator: (Saleh/Henderson)
Offensive Scheme: (West Coast, Vertical)
Defensive Scheme: (4-3)
Needs: (1)QB, (2)WR, (3)34OLB, (4)RT, (5)34ILB
QB: (1) Kizer (2) (Schaub)
NFL.com Grade: 5.88 ESPN.com Grade: N/A
NFL Comparison: Steve McNair
Measurables: H: 6'4 W: 230 40:4.73
Kizer got a chance to start at quarterback for Notre Dame as a redshirt freshman in 2015 when Malik Zaire had surgery on a broken ankle to end his season. The big-bodied, athletic passer played well given his lack of experience, completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns. Kizer earned the starting spot coming into the 2016 season, as head coach Brian Kelly saw the young man's potential. He started the season strong (five touchdown passes against Texas in the opener) but fell into a midseason slump that saw him benched for Zaire at times. He threw for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns for the 4-8 Irish last year, and received sufficient positive feedback from NFL sources about his ability to leave school.
The comparison to Steve McNair could raise eyebrows, but that is based primarily on size, mobility and arm strength. The aforementioned traits often land a quarterback in the first round, but Kizer's second-half drop in production combined with inconsistent decision-making and accuracy should be a speed bump for teams ready to jump in head-first on the traits. Kizer has the ability to become a quality starter, but has to improve his ball placement and field vision first.
I would prefer a trade down to make this pick, but I could not find a team that I could see trading up to #2. I'm 100%that Shanahan will be the next HC. I also feel that Shanahan may retain Jim O'Neil at DC, meaning that the 49ers will stick with a 34. Though I Think Allen is a great player, I do not feel like he, or Armstead, or Buckner are fits at NT. If the 49ers moved to a 43 Allen would 100% be the pick.
This is an awkward QB class for me. I compare this class to 2013, in which was front loaded with D-Linemen(Jordan, Ansah, Mingo, Richardson, Lotulelei, Floyd). I don't know if I feel any of these QBs belong in the T10, but again I step back and think of the men getting paid.
Kizer is my third favorite QB in this class, but not in skill set. Being from Louisiana Tech I would love to put Ryan Higgins in the first round. Also being from Tech and working with football I witnessed first hand the skill and grace of Pat Mahomes. Who is my favorite in this class. I think that Shanahan looks for "his QB" and decides on Kizer. He is a very high character guy and is very intelligent and I think will win over Kyle who will be looking for a guy that will follow his lead. Kizer also has a excellent run ability that is rivaled by little in this class. I also put my own spin on the 49ers free agency as I look for them to look for a veteran QB that can help teach and hold down the two spot. Schaub spent 2007-09 w/ Shanahan as his QB coach and OC and spent the 2016 season w/ him again as his OC.
2016 First Round Pick: Darron Lee, Ohio State (20)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (26) Pass (27) Rush (12)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (17) Rush (11)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: ($1,123,250)
(1) Clady ($10.5 M)
(2) Revis ($10 M)
(3) Mangold ($9.1 M)
(4) Richardson ($8.1 M)
(5) Marshall ($7.5 M)
(6) Decker ($7.25 M)
(7) Harris ($6.5 M)
(8) Gilchrist ($5 M)
(9) Giacomini ($4.3 M)
(10) Skrine ($3.5 M)
(11) Henderson ($2.8 M)
(12) Seferian-Jenkins ($1.14 M)
GM: Mike Maccagnan
Head Coach: Todd Bowles
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Morton
Defensive Coordinator: Kacy Rodgers
Offensive Scheme: Spread, Vertical Attacking
Defensive Scheme: 3-4, Multiple
Needs: (1) QB, (2) OL, (3) CB, (4) TE, (5) NT
LCB: (1) Skrine (2) Williams
SS: (1) Pryor (2) Gilchrist
FS: (1) Hooker (2) Miles
RCB: (1) Revis (2) Burris
NFL.com Grade: 6.7 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Reggie Nelson
Measurables: H: 6'2 W: 205 40: 4.47
Outstanding instincts help him work ahead of the play despite average speed. Always probing quarterback's eyes for clues. Quick to process and is decisive in action. Flows hard to where his instincts lead him. Has fluid movement of a basketball player in space. Leans and bends into his turns for greater body control. Always active and in constant on-field search for optimal positioning. Hyper-aware of incoming targets to his area. Just as comfortable from "robber" spot as high safety. Mirrors quarterback’s eyes to challenge the passing lane. Very rarely takes a false step. Has loose hips for sudden stop-start to cover in space. Great ball skills. Earned most of his seven interceptions in 2016. Can range over the top to challenge the deep ball. Chooses path to the football over path to the man. Strong hands at the catch point lead to takeaways. Can disguise coverage and hustle back into position. Will strike receivers with some force to jar throws loose.
He's the ultimate lurker. His instincts are always bringing him to the football and when he gets there he has the ball skills to take it away. His lack of game experience and issues with tackle consistency will likely show themselves early in his career, but his ability to flip the field is worthy of an aggressive projection. He has the talent to be a high-impact starter for years in the NFL.
The New York Jets are $5-million over the salary cap for 2017 after giving right guard Brian Winters a contract extension. I believe there are three Jets in particular that the New York Jets are strongly considering releasing in 2017. Those three players are wide receiver Brandon Marshall who saves $7.5-million, cornerback Buster Skryne who saves $3.5-million, and strong safety Marcus Gilchrist who saves the Jets $5-million.
That clears up $16-million in cap space giving them $11-million to spend on their rookie draft picks assuming they build through the draft. Their are other guys on the offensive line like Ryan Clady and Nick Mangold that could put the Jets up to $30-million in cap space if they released those guys too, but this offensive line class sucks and I think the Jets realize that so I can see why they would release these three players from a business standpoint hoping to clear enough cap space to keep their offensive line hoping a healthy offensive line will help Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg blossom.
This is all wishful thinking on the Jets part. If the New York Jets are thinking like me though they will release whoever they can to clear up cap space and then go with the best player on the board at 6.
Mark Sciubba gave the Jets Jamal Adams at 6 in his updated mock draft. I thought that was crazy a few weeks ago, but after carefully examining the Jets dire salary cap situation plus the fact that Gilchrist is coming off a season-ending injury with the Jets, I can completely see the Jets drafting a safety to pair with Calvin Pryor. Malik Hooker is the top player on the board in my mind at this pick so the Jets take Hooker here hoping to throw a monkey wrench on the Los Angeles Chargers draft plans at 7.
Hooker is an exceptional safety that played wide receiver and cornerback at New Castle High School before converting to safety at Ohio State. Hooker has the versatility to play both strong safety and free safety. Hooker can play man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage just like LSU safety Jamal Adams.
A new addition to the draft board since declaring for the draft, Hooker is intriguing for the range and ball skills that he showed in his one year of action at Ohio State. As a redshirt sophomore, Hooker stepped right in with immediate splash plays on the back end of Ohio State’s defense, and his interception of Watson in the College Football Playoff semifinal was a prime example of the incredible range he brings to a defense. Few free safeties have shown those skills in recent years, making Hooker a rare commodity, perhaps so rare that teams will overlook his tackling woes that saw him miss a tackle every 6.5 attempts, good for 135th out of 242 qualifying safeties in the nation. Still, Hooker can be a game-changer in coverage, and he’ll get plenty of looks near the top of the draft.
First, sorry for the lengthy quote from DraftUtopia, but I felt their take on the Jets cap was very insightful.
I put the Jets trading up as to get past the Jags and Titans, who may draft back to back safeties. If the Jets release the above mentioned players the Jets will definitely need some DBs. I feel only Pryor will be retained as the Jets will also let go of Revis along will Gilchrist and Skrine. Hooker is a very talented S and has a nose for the ball, some latest injury news had me worried, but it seems it is a non-factor. I also think the Jets got an eyeful of Hooker last year while scouting Darron Lee.
I also do not think the Jets truly need to draft a QB this high. There are a lot of quality QBs in the later rounds. Also multiple sources(not just Walt) have sighted a interest in the Jets signing Mike Glennon. I also think that Geno and Petty still have untapped.
2016 First Round Pick: Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (5)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (23) Pass (20) Rush (22)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (6) Pass (5) Rush (19)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $26,652,399
(1) Beachum ($12.5 M)
(2) Odrick ($8.5 M)
(3) Thomas ($7.1 M)
(4) House ($6 M)
(5) Marks ($4.5 M)
(6) Miller ($4.1 M)
(7) Skuta ($4.1 M)
(8) Lewis ($3.5 M)
(9) Ivory ($2 M)
GM: David Caldwell
Head Coach: Doug Marrone
Offensive Coordinator: Hackett
Defensive Coordinator: Wash
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) OL, (2) S, (3) 43DE, (4) 43DT, (5) RB
RB: (1) Fournette (2) Yeldon
NFL.com Grade: 6.81 ESPN Grade: 94 NFL Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 292 40: 4.76
Allen won the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender on the nation's top defense in 2016 (69 tackles, 16 TFL, led team with 10.5 sacks). He repeated as first-team All-SEC following an excellent junior year where he finished second in the SEC with 12 sacks (14.5 TFL, 4 PBU). The 2012 Virginia Gatorade High School Player of the Year contributed early in his first year, playing regularly as a freshman reserve (16 tackles, three TFL) and then stepped into the starting lineup as a sophomore (11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks).
Outstanding leader and athlete with an ability to rush the passer from outside or inside. Has produced against the run and pass thanks to his strength, agility, elite hand usage, and plus footwork. He might not be the cleanest fit inside as a full-time tackle for some teams, but his talent should trump any size concerns. Allen is a likely first-round selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road.
Fournette’s evaluation will still likely center on his incredible 2015 season that saw him break a nation-high 83 tackles while sitting as the Heisman favorite for two-thirds of the season. A poor November and injury-plagued 2016 have raised some questions for Fournette, who is certainly more about straight-line speed and power than wiggle when he runs the ball. Still, he added a level of agility to his game in 2015 that he’ll need to maintain at the next level, and if he does, he’ll be a strong runner in a downhill scheme. One big question surrounds Fournette’s ability to contribute in the passing game, where he has little experience and may not have the route-running to affect the defense like some of the other running backs in the class.
I really think Fournette would make a good fit here. He would save cap on his rookie deal over signing a Free Agent back and he would seriously help Brotles. Fournette is a once in a generation talent. The Jags struggled on offense last season and I believe to much of the blame was put on Bortles and not enough on the atrocious OL and poor running game. With Fournette not only would ball security become a non-issue, something I believe Coughlin would like, but the split of Yeldon and Fourette I think could prove a solid run game that would bring more help into the box and allow Bortles the one-on-one coverage him and his receivers could thrive on.
2016 First Round Pick: Jack Conklin, Michigan State (8)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (25) Rush (3)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (20) Pass (30) Rush (2)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $43,368,317
(1) Douglas ($3.75 M)
GM: Jon Robinson
Head Coach: Mike Mularkey
Offensive Coordinator: Terry Robiskie
Defensive Coordinator: Dick LeBeau
Offensive Scheme: “Exotic Smashmouth” (Run Heavy)
Defensive Scheme: 3-4
Needs: (1) CB, (2) WR, (3) S, (4) TE, (5) 34DE
LCB: (1) McCain (2) Reed
SS: (1) Searcy (2) Byard
FS: (1) Adams (2) Riley
RCB: (1) McCourty (2) Sims
NFL.com Grade: 6.6 ESPN Grade: 93
NFL Comparison: Darren Woodson
Measurables: H: 6'1 W: 211 40:4.50
The son of a former NFL running back (George, who played at Kentucky and on the Super Bowl champion New York Giants team of 1986) looks like he's grown up with the game. Even in LSU's always-loaded secondary, the nation's top safety recruit got on the field a significant amount as a true freshman (two starts, 66 tackles, five break-ups, 10 special teams tackles). When given the chance to start as a sophomore, Adams garnered second-team All-SEC honors by making 67 stops, four interceptions and six pass break-ups. Coaches voted him second-team all-conference after his junior year (76 tackles, 7.5 for loss, one interception, four pass break-ups) even though the Associated Press put him on their first-team All-American squad due to his all-around impact for the Tigers' defense.
Interchangeable safety with a sheriff's mentality. Adams is a physical tone-setter who should thrive near the line of scrimmage or in a robber role. Should be a commanding presence in the locker room early on and his do-as-I-do play demeanor could be the catalyst for turning a struggling defense around quickly.
Since stepping in as a true freshman in 2014, Adams has been one of the most consistent safeties in the nation and he’s upped his game even more this season. He’s an excellent box safety, sticking his nose in there against the run while also showing the athleticism to line up in a variety roles on the defense. Adams currently owns the No. 2 overall grade among the nation’s safeties at 89.1.
The NFL should enjoy the various safety options in the class and Adams is right at the top of the group due to his ability to affect the run game while also playing strong in coverage. Adams showed great consistency, ranking fourth in the nation in both grade against the run (83.1) and coverage grade (89.0), showing that he can have an impact in both phases, but he also did so from multiple alignments. He has the skills to play near the line of scrimmage or on the back end and he’s been a major contributor to LSU’s defense since his true freshman season in 2014. Adams has made impact plays, but also shown to be a sure tackler, where he’s only missed 24 of his 191 attempts over the last three years.
2016 First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Georgia (9)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (15) Pass (14) Rush (17)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (7) Rush (27)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $53,988,863
(1) Cutler ($15 M)
(2) McPhee ($7.3 M)
(3) Houston ($6 M)
(4) Massie ($5.5 M)
(5) Royal ($5 M)
GM: Ryan Pace
Head Coach: John Fox
Offensive Coordinator: Dowell Loggains
Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio
Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins
Defensive Scheme: 3-4
Needs: (1) QB, (2) CB, (3) OT, (4) WR, (5) TE
DE: (1) Allen (2) Unrein
NT: (1) Goldman (2) Sutton
DT: (1) Hicks (2) Bullard
NFL.com Grade: 6.3 ESPN.com Grade: 91
NFL Comparison: Plaxico Burress
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 205 40: 4.48
After a successful freshman season (three starts, 20 catches, 316 yards, three scores), Williams took a large step forward in 2014. He received third-team All-ACC recognition by catching 57 passes for a whopping 1,030 yards (18.1 per) and six touchdowns while freshman Deshaun Watson ran the show. Hoping to parlay that performance into an All-American junior year, Williams instead nearly saw his career end after fracturing his neck by hitting his helmet against the goal post on a touchdown catch in the season opener. He was cleared for contact before the 2016 season, however, and took advantage of his health in a big way. The second-team Walter Camp All-American and first-team All-ACC pick caught 84 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 scores, putting up highlight-reel plays on several occasions.
Williams looks the part of a WR1 and has shown an ability to work all three levels of the field after coming back from his 2015 neck injury. Williams is tough enough to be a high-volume target while working the middle of the field and his size and ball skills make him a formidable foe in the end zone. He'll have to be coached up with his routes and releases, but he has the talent to become a big safety blanket for a young quarterback.
Allen went from first-round player to potential top-five pick with a monster season that saw him dominate as a pass-rusher while holding strong in the run game in an extended look at more of a full-time role in Alabama’s defensive front. He can win up on the interior or on the edge, and he led all interior defensive linemen with a 93.4 pass-rush grade and 67 pressures. After playing just 143 snaps against the run last season, he nearly doubled that total with 282 this season and graded at 86.5 as he can jack up blockers and his run-stop percentage of 11.5 percent ranked 11th in the nation among interior linemen.
I think with Ryan Pace's connection to Jimmy Garoppolo and Eastern Illinois will lead to Pace aggressively seeking a trade. Though Fox is the head coach, Pace's job is on the line and I don't look for him to sit on Cutler for another year. I look for the Bears to release their 2nd round pick.
I would like to see the Bears take Mike Williams here and give Garoppolo a target, as I do not see the Bears bringing back Jeffery. But Allen is too talented to pass on him at #6. Allen would help build on a already up trending front 7.
2016 First Round Pick: Joey Bosa, Ohio State (3)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (14) Pass (8) Rush (26)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (20) Rush (10)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $22,744,497
(1) Flowers ($9 M)
(2) Flucker ($8.8 M)
(3) Dunlap ($6.75 M)
(4) Franklin ($6 M)
(5) Johnson ($3.5 M)
(6) Stuckey ($2.9 M)
GM: Tom Telesco
Head Coach: Anthony Lynn
Offensive Coordinator: Ken Whisenhunt
Defensive Coordinator: Gus Bradley
Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) OL, (2) CB, (3) WR, (4) 43DE, (5) S
W: (1) Foster (2) Emanuel
M: (1) Perryman (2) Toomer
S: (1) Brown (2) Perry
NFL.com Grade: 6.43 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner
Measurables: H: 6'1 W: 244 40: 4.73
Alabama's star inside linebacker started his ascension to elite prospect status last summer when he lost 20 pounds. His newfound speed and agility, while keeping his trademark aggression and instincts, made him a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. Foster also won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and was a finalist for the Bednarik Award, leading the Tide with 115 tackles, 13 for which went for losses including five sacks. He won the SEC Championship MVP, as well (11 tackles, 2.5 for loss, two sacks). Foster was a starter as a junior (73 tackles, eight TFL, two sacks, nine pass break-ups) after two seasons as a key reserve MIKE linebacker and special teams ace (12 tackles in 2013; 22 tackles, two TFL in 2014).
Foster is a vicious hitter with elite playmaking range and an ability to toggle between 225 and 240 pounds. Athleticism gives him cover ability that former teammate Reggie Ragland never possessed. Has Pro Bowl potential as a 3-4 inside linebacker or a 4-3 weak-side linebacker, but concerns over his medical history could be a consideration, according to some teams.
Our top-graded linebacker this season, Foster has been excellent in all phases. He can defeat blocks with his agility or with his power while bringing that same aggressiveness as a blitzer. In coverage, Foster has been strong since taking over as a starter last season and he’s only missed six of his 69 tackles this season.
Foster elevated his game this season with a dominant performance that saw him finish with the top grades among the nation’s linebackers. He moves extremely well, mirroring running backs in the run game and in short coverage while also using that agility to slip blocks and make plays on the ball carrier. Not only can he move, but Foster also plays with great power, taking on and blowing up blockers while making runners pay when he closes in on the tackle. In coverage, Foster can have some issues moving backwards, but he’s fantastic with the ball in front of him, and he also adds an explosive dimension as a rusher. Foster will add a versatile, three-down presence to a defense at a time when the value of a three-down linebacker may be higher than ever.
A lot of buzz is between the secondary and a edge rusher. But I think a under looked aspect of the off season for the Chargers is the Line-backing corp. Perryman is solid and Brown was a nice surprise last year. But Teo has been invisible since his arrival, pun intended, and he also does not fit a transition to a 43OLB. He is also a Free Agent. But Foster I think would fit perfectly at Weak side and a very good Line-backing corp could make up for some troubles while building
2016 First Round Pick: Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech (30)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (19) Pass (21) Rush (10)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (21) Pass (29) Rush (6)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $46,568,741
(1) Stewart ($6.25 M)
(2) Soliai ($2.5 M)
GM: Dave Gettleman
Head Coach: Ron Rivera
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Shula
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Wilks
Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) OT, (2) 43DE, (3) CB, (4) RB, (5) S
LEO: (1) Barnett (2) Webster
NT: (1) Lotulelei (2) Alecxih
DT: (1) Butler (2) Love
DE: (1) Horton (2) Ealy
NFL.com Grade: 6.21 ESPN Grade: 91
NFL Comparison: Nick Perry
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 268 40: 4.75
The defensive line talent seen in the Southeastern Conference makes it difficult to make an all-conference squad. Barnett made the honor roll three times in three years. The Nashville native was the first freshman ever to start on the line for Tennessee in 2014, making 20.5 tackles for loss (which led the SEC) and 10 sacks on the year. Barnett led the Vols with 10 more sacks in 2015, earning a spot on the Associated Press All-Bowl Team with eight tackles and a sack versus Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. In his junior year, Barnett was a first-team All-SEC pick and first-team All-American by multiple outlets with 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks (which ranked sixth in the FBS).
Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages.
Always in lockstep with Garrett from a production standpoint, Barnett continues to improve his game and he’s produced like a top-five pick in his three-year career at Tennessee. This season, he has the No. 1 pass rush grade among Power-5 edge defenders at 92.4 as he’s adept at using his hands to shed blocks both as a rusher and in the run game.
It’s an SEC 1-2-3 at the top of this draft class, with Barnett pushing Myles Garrett close for the nation’s top edge defender in each of the past two seasons. His 62 total pressures, including 12 sacks and 18 hits, from the defensive end position give him a pass-rushing productivity rating of 14.9, good for the sixth-best mark at the position in college this year, while he has been a solid run defender in each of the past three seasons too.
Barnett has been one of the best players in college football since he touched the field his talent has been significantly been over looked as his co-draftee Garrett has garnered most of the hype.
Barnett could defiantly help the Panthers pass rush as their ends have some age and they have some players that may be lost to Free Agency.
2016 First Round Pick: William Jackson III, Houston (24)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (13) Pass (15) Rush (13)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (17) Pass (11) Rush (21)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $44,479,265
(1)Maualuga ($3.7 M)
(2) Sims ($1.1 M)
GM: Mike Brown
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
Offensive Coordinator: Ken Zampese
Defensive Coordinator: Paul Guenther
Offensive Scheme: Air Coryell
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) OG, (2) DE, (3) 43OLB, (4) S, (5) WR
LEO: (1) Thomas (2) Clarke
NT: (1) Peko (2) Bilings
DT: (1) Atkins (2) Hardison
DE: (1) Dunlap (2) Hunt
NFL.com Grade: 6.85 ESPN Grade: 93
NFL Comparison: Justin Smith
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 273 40: 4.80
Thomas spent five years in Australia in his youth, but his return to the States allowed him to develop first into one of the top high school players in the country (top 25 recruit nationally) and then one of college's top defensive linemen. After a redshirt season, Thomas was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2015 (39 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks). He had four tackles, two for loss, and a sack in the Cardinal's win over Iowa in the Rose Bowl. The redshirt sophomore kicked his game up a notch in 2016, receiving multiple All-American honors and winning the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Thomas led the team with 62 tackles, 15 for loss, while sacking the quarterback eight times. Thomas' bowl performance against North Carolina opened a lot of eyes, as he was all over the field in the Cardinal's win in a way that isn't even reflected in an impressive stat line (seven tackles, two for loss, sack)
Explosive defender who combines strength, quickness, and a muscle-car motor to drive him around the field making play after play. Has the hands and feet to be a quick-win specialist and the size to fit as a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end who can reduce inside for pass-rush downs. He has all the athletic traits to become a high-impact player and possesses more than enough skill and talent to believe he will continue to elevate his game as a pro. Thomas has the potential to become the best defender from this draft class and a future all-pro.
homas is a perfect replacement, as his 88.7 grade against the run ranks fourth in the nation and he’s improved greatly as a pass-rusher this season to grade at 82.6. Thomas can shed blocks and disrupt in all phases.
Thomas is one of the better and more versatile defensive linemen in the country. The smart and talented Thomas can play a variety of different positions along the defensive line and is a devastating run-stopper who can also rush the passer. Thomas is one of the elite run defenders in the nation and his 11.0 run-stop percentage ranks No. 5 among Power-5 defensive tackles. Thomas’s pass-rushing productivity rating of 8.7 also ranks No. 5 among Power-5 defensive tackles.
Not much to say here. Robinson has some off the field issue and the Bengals love those guys. But I think that those players are starting to wear on Lewis. Thomas is a high character guy and a very talented player and would feel a need.
2016 First Round Pick: Shaq Lawson, Clemson (19)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (16) Pass (30) Rush (1)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (19) Pass (6) Rush (29)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $23,787,778
(1) Taylor ($27.5 M)
(2) Carpenter ($2.4 M)
GM: Doug Whaley
Head Coach: Sean McDermott
Offensive Coordinator: Rick Dennison
Defensive Coordinator: Leslie Frazier
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) 43DE, (2) OT, (3) CB, (4) S, (5) WR
LCB: (1) Darby (2) Robey
SS: (1) Williams (2) Meeks
FS: (1) Peppers (2) Blanton
RCB: (1) Gilmore (2) Seymour
NFL.com Ggrade: 6.14 ESPN Grade: 91
NFL Comparison: Eric Weddle
Measurables: H: 6'1 W: 208 40: 4.40
A New Jersey kid who wanted to play for Michigan because of Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, Peppers' home life wasn't easy. His father spent most of Jabrill's childhood in jail, and his brother was shot and killed seven years ago. Football seems to be his calling, though, as he was named the 2013 USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year while also starring on offense and in track (won 100 meters and 200 meters at state in both his junior and senior years.) Peppers' collegiate career was sidetracked due to a leg injury after three games (one start, eight tackles). He picked up the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award and first-team all-conference in 2015 (5.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass break-ups; 72 rush yards, 2 TDs; 27.9 kick return average, 11.4 punt return average). Last fall, he was the conference Linebacker of the Year and first-team honoree (72 tackles, 16 for loss, four sacks, one INT). He did not play in the Orange Bowl, however, due to a hamstring injury that flared up in practice.
The ultimate Swiss Army Knife on the collegiate level, and will likely play a hybrid role on the next level that allows him to blitz, cover and chase, Peppers' draft value will be helped by his return ability and that is a role he should maintain throughout the earlier stages of his career. While Peppers doesn't have the production teams expect from first-round defenders, he should benefit from a role that is more clearly defined on the next level.
One of the most intriguing talents in the draft, Peppers may be called a linebacker or a safety, but he brings an athletic presence to the defense. He’s strong in the run game, especially when allowed to chase and run, and he has the coverage ability to stick with tight ends. He fits well as strong safety in a single-high scheme where he can work downhill against the run and play close to the line of scrimmage but he could also fit as a nickel linebacker. Regardless, Peppers is one of the best movable chess pieces on the defensive side of the ball in the draft.
Peppers has started to fall down our board just a bit, as his play on the field as of late hasn’t quite lived up to his hype. While his elite athleticism and ability as a returner is blindingly apparent every time he steps on the field, his play on the back end has been less than stellar. When targeted in coverage this season, he yielded receptions on 20 of 27 targets and did not have a single pass defended when he was the primary defender (his lone interception against Ohio State was a case of him being in the right place at the right time off a pass tipped in front of him). He also lacks the size to consistently take on and shed blocks going forward, as the majority of his impact plays this year have come when he has been unblocked. Teams considering him will need sell themselves on the idea that his coverage struggles could be due to his hybrid role, but it may be difficult for some to come to terms with the thought that he may be a two-down player at the next level.
I'm pretty sure this is where most will close out this mock and move on, but for those of you that are here to read this.
I think that the Bills will find a way to work out a deal with Taylor. And he has expressed interest in staying. This is a player that I have thought about for a while, McDermott built a very good line-backing corp in CAR. He also selected one of my favorite players coming out in Shaq Thompson. Now, Peppers is not built like Shaq and does not have the weight Shaq did coming out. But I think He is a guy that you could play at S his first year and/or put weight on him over the next 2 seasons and eventually move him down to play SAM the same way Davis and Thompson both converted from Safeties down to Linebackers
2016 First Round Pick: Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (12)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (1) Pass (1) Rush (16)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (27) Pass (32) Rush (14)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $23,293,284
(1) Byrd ($8.3 M)
(2) Morstead ($3.75 M)
GM: Mickey Loomis
Head Coach: Sean Payton
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Allen
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) 43OLB, (2) 43ILB, (3) S, (4) 43DE, (5) CB
LCB: (1) Breaux (2) Williams
SS: (1) Vaccaro (2) Sanford
FS: (1) Bell (2) Keo
RCB: (1) Lattimore (2) Webb
NFL.com Grade: 6.52 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Vontae Davis
Measurables: H: 6'0 W: 192 40: 4.50
You could say Lattimore was hamstrung by injuries during his first couple of seasons with the Buckeyes. His hamstrings gave him so much trouble that he eventually had surgery, causing him to miss his freshman year. Though he played in seven games in 2015 (five tackles), he couldn’t finish the season due to the chronic issue coming up again. Finally healthy for his redshirt sophomore campaign in 2016, he won a starting job and made the plays on the field that coaches hoped he would. The first-team All-Big Ten pick had four interceptions and nine pass breakups in his first full year with the team.
Average-sized, one-year starter with explosive athleticism and a loaded tool box. He has the feet, hips and agility to be a lockdown cornerback and the ball skills to make teams pay for looking in his direction. His lack of experience could show up early, but he has the confidence and competitive nature that should help him overcome those issues. He has the ability to become a Pro Bowl cornerback early in his career.
The draft is filled with long cornerbacks who can move and Lattimore Is another name to keep an eye on. He only has one year of experience under his belt, playing 682 snaps over the last two years, but in 2016, he allowed only 43.9 percent of targets to be completed into his coverage and opponents had a passer rating of 30.2 when throwing his way, fourth-best in the FBS among corners with at least 40 targets. Lattimore also showed excellent ball skills, intercepting four passes and breaking up six more on only 41 targets, and he’s right near the top of a deep corner back class.
I know the Saints need some help on the DL, but a them throughout Peyton's tenure in New Orleans has been his connection to OSU and Urban Meyer. Lattimore still helps their secondary, another big need.
QB: (1) Trubisky (2) Kessler
NFL.com Grade: 6.86 ESPN Grade: 87
NFL Comparison: Matthew Stafford
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 220 40: 4.77
Despite being ranked as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country by one recruiting service, Trubisky had to bide his time before getting on the field for the Tar Heels. Marquise Williams took the helm for four years in Chapel Hill, relegating the Mr. Ohio Football to a reserve role (82 of 125 for 1,014 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions in 2014-2015). Trubisky had a breakout 2016 season, but only received third-team All-ACC honors because of the presence of the top two Heisman Trophy vote-getters (Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson). He ranked fifth in the country with a 68.0 completion percentage, threw 30 touchdowns against just six picks, and averaged 288 passing yards per contest. The dual-threat part of his game also came out in 2016, as he ran for 308 yards (net of lost sack yardage) and five scores.
Trubisky is a high-end quarterback prospect who possesses NFL size, a big arm and the ability to throw with accuracy from the pocket or on the move. Despite playing in a spread-based offense, he's a full-field reader who does a very good job of getting an early read on the safeties before crafting his course of action. Trubisky will have to become much more pocket aware and do a better job of recognizing and attacking blitzes to back NFL defensive coordinators off. He hasn't put all the pieces together yet, but the puzzle is all right in front. Trubisky projects as a good starting quarterback with a high floor and the potential to be great.
As our analysts go back and review each prospect, Trubisky continues to build momentum as he showed the arm to drive the ball outside the numbers and the pocket movement to create plays when pressured. He only has one year of action at UNC, raising questions about his coming out of school, but his talent is evident and worth a first-round investment. While there’s more good than bad to Trubisky’s game, he often left a few plays on the table in each game so there’s still room for improvement after posting an 84.4 overall grade that ranked 11th in the nation in 2016.
2016 First Round Pick: Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi (29)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (9) Pass (9) Rush (18)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (2) Pass (4) Rush (9)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $38,343,734
(1) Bethel ($4.5 M)
(2) Branch ($4 M)
GM: Steve Keim
Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Offensive Coordinator: Harold Goodwin
Defensive Coordinator: James Bettcher
Offensive Scheme: Vertical
Defensive Scheme: 3-4
Needs: (1) QB, (2) 34ILB, (3) OG, (4) WR, (5) CB
TE: (1) Howard (2) Niklas
NFL.com Grade: 6.51 ESPN Grade: 87
NFL Comparison: Julius Thomas
Measurables: H: 6'5 W: 249 40: 4.60
Howard was the top high school recruit in the country at tight end coming out of Prattville, Alabama, so it was no surprise that Nick Saban tried hard to keep him in-state. He started five times as a true freshman, leading the team with 19.2 yards per reception (14-269, two TD). Once again Howard was a big-play receiver in 2014, with six of 17 receptions going for 16 yards or more (17-260 for the year). But his true breakout season was in 2015, where he caught 38 passes for 602 yards and earned Offensive MVP honors in the national championship game with 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five catches. Howard was a factor in the passing game in his final year with the Tide (45-595, three TD), earning third-team All-American and second-team All-SEC honors.
Howard has struggled to live up to hype that has come with his play-making ability while at Alabama, but some scouts put the blame on the staff and scheme. He has elite athletic traits and raw talent, but must add polish to go along with those attributes. Should become substantially more productive as a pro, but the difference between "potential weapon" and "elite tight end" will likely be tied to his desire and overall football character.
Howard is the best all-around tight end in the nation, leading the way as a run-blocker at 81.8 and showing the skills in the passing game to make big plays up the seam. The receiving skills were evident at the Senior Bowl as Howard consistently got open and showed his downfield playmaking ability that wasn’t always utilized at Alabama. When he did see the ball, he averaged 7.3 after the catch per reception, and he can work both the short and intermediate areas as a receiver while providing strong blocking either at the point of attack or on the move.
I don't think Larry would come back if he did not feel more than confident that Palmer would return, but if Palmer returns. He will need more talent. And Howard could be the next Gronk, or Graham....or Ebron. But let's not go negative.
2016 First Round Pick: Ryan Kelly, Alabama (18)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (10) Pass (5) Rush (23)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (30) Pass (27) Rush (25)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $49,785,123
(1) Jones ($6.2 M)
(2) Jackson ($5.5 M)
(3) Reitz ($2.5 M)
GM: Chris Ballard
Head Coach: Chuck Pagano
Offensive Coordinator: Rob Chudzinski
Defensive Coordinator: Ted Monachino
Offensive Scheme: Attacking / Play Action
Defensive Scheme: 3-4
Needs: (1) 34ILB, (2) 34OLB, (3) OL, (4) CB, (5) NT
LOLB: (1) Walden (2) Maggitt
LILB: (1) Jackson (2) Morrison
RILB: (1) Jackson (2) McNary
ROLB: (1) Harris (2) Mount
NFL.com Grade: 6.0 ESPN Grade: N/A
NFL Comparison: Connor Barwin
Measurables: H: 6'3 W: 260 40: 4.77
Harris came to the game late, not putting on a football jersey until his junior year of high school. It didn't take him long to figure it out, however. His athleticism earned him a scholarship from his in-state university, though he redshirted his first year on campus to work on his game while guys like Shane Ray, Markus Golden, and Michael Sam were chasing quarterbacks. As a reserve, Harris had four tackles for loss and two sacks, starting once while Golden was injured. His breakout season came in 2015, as he garnered second-team All-SEC honors after leading the conference with 18.5 tackles for loss (seven sacks). League coaches voted him second-team all-conference again in 2016 (12 tackles for loss, nine sacks), despite his team's poor 4-8 season.
High-cut pass rusher with good athleticism but concerns regarding his ability to drop anchor against the run. Ironically, Harris might be best suited as a penetrator which is something he fought against this season. His hands can be improved as pass rush weapons, but he has agility and footwork that can't be taught. Harris can play on the edge in a 4-3 or 3-4 front and should be the next in a line of early contributing defensive ends coming out of Missouri.
2016 First Round Pick: Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (2)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (22) Pass (24) Rush (11)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (13) Pass (13) Rush (15)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $6,730,188
(1) Barwin ($7.8 M)
(2) Daniel ($6 M)
(3) Kendrick ($5 M)
(4) Matthews ($4 M)
(5) Spoles ($4 M)
GM: Howie Roseman
Head Coach: Doug Pederson
Offensive Coordinator: Frank Reich
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Schwartz
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 4-3, Attacking
Needs: (1) CB, (2) RB, (3) OT, (4) OG, (5) C
RB: (1) Cook (2) Smallwood
NFL.com Grade: 6.54 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Edgerrin James
Measurables: H: 6'0 W: 203 40: 4.52
Florida State has had a slew of talented running backs over the past 30 years, but Cook was the first to break the 1,000-yard barrier in his first season with the team. The next two seasons have only gotten better, ranking in the top 10 by breaking 1,600 yards (1,691 in 2015 ranked sixth in the FBS, 1,765 in 2016 ranked fifth), scoring 19 times as a rusher, and earning first-team All-ACC accolades each year. The speedy and shifty back was also named 2016 first-team All-American by the Associated Press and Walter Camp Foundation, among others. NFL teams will be interested in his medical checks, though, because of the hamstring issues he had throughout the 2015 season and the three shoulder surgeries he's had since high school. Cook tore his rotator cuff in high school, then tore the front part of his labrum in 2014, and the back part of the labrum in 2016. He's also had run-ins with the law, starting in high school (robbery in 2009, charges dropped; firing and possessing a weapon on school property in 2010, charges drooped) and then again in 2015, where he was charged with misdemeanor battery outside a bar (found not guilty).
Very talented runner with outstanding balance, footwork and burst. Cook lacks the power that you may find with some running backs in this year's draft, but he is a homerun hitter with a resume featuring monster games against his most highly regarded opponents. Cook creates for himself with elusiveness and speed, but his value could be diminished by injuries, character and issues in pass protection. If everything checks out, he could become a rookie of the year candidate right away.
The nation’s best big-play running back, Cook can turn the slightest crease into an explosive play as he possesses angle-changing speed. He led all running backs with 90 missed tackles forced on the ground while averaging 4.2 yards after contact per rush in 2016. He did a better job of maximizing yardage when his blocking wasn’t there, all while maintaining his big-play ability that can change the game in a hurry. Florida State also used Cook a lot more in the passing game last season and that only adds to his value as a player who needs plenty of touches and he’ll be sure to make a major impact on the offense.
His angle-changing speed as a runner that makes him the best big-play threat in college football. Last year, we saw Cook lead the nation with 1,066 yards on breakaway (15-plus yard) runs, while this season he’s overcome subpar run blocking to lead the nation with 52 forced missed tackles while contributing more than ever in the passing game
2016 First Round Pick: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame (6)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (17) Pass (12) Rush (28)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (7) Pass (9) Rush (5)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $14,239,718
(1) Dumerrvil ($6 M)
(2) Webb ($5.5 M)
(3) Watson ($3 M)
(4) Arrington ($2.1 M)
GM: Ozzie Newsome
Head Coach: John Harbaugh
Offensive Coordinator: Marty Mornhinweg
Defensive Coordinator: Dean Pees
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 3-4, Multiple
Needs: (1) 34OLB, (2) WR, (3) 34DE, (4) S, (5) CB
LCB: (1) Tabor (2) Wright
SS: (1) Weddle (2) Elam
FS: (1) Webb (2) Lewis
RCB: (1) Smith (2) Young
NFL.com Grade: 6.15 ESPN Grade: 90
NFL Comparison: Darius Slay
Measurables: H: 6'0 W: 191 40: 4.49
Before his junior year, Tabor asked to be addressed by his nickname "Teez." But he certainly doesn't tease scouts with his talent; he puts it on the field every game. The Washington, D.C. Mr. Football award winner in 2013 started five games the following season, garnering Freshman All-American honors (eight pass break-ups). Tabor was a first-team All-SEC pick the next season after intercepting four passes (breaking up 14 others) and scoring on two of them. He repeated the SEC honors as a junior this fall, as well as receiving third-team All-American accolades from the Associated Press (four interceptions, six pass break-ups) while teaming up with Quincy Wilson as one of the top corner duos in the country.
Tabor has terrific size and quickness, but it will be interesting to see how he times in the forty. While he has some lapses in judgement and awareness in coverage, his nine career interceptions didn't happen by accident. He is a pure cover corner with the ability to pattern match around the field, but don't expect him to be a plus tackler in run support. He has the traits of a first-round cornerback, but some teams may be put off by some of his annoyances.
Few cornerbacks can close on the ball quite like Tabor, as he’s notched an interception or a pass breakup on 26.5 percent of his targets the last two years, one of the best marks in the entire nation. Those ball skills and the aggressiveness make him an intriguing playmaker, though his aggressiveness can be used against him in the form of double moves. Still, in a cornerback class littered with different styles, Tabor brings an aggressive one who can play in both press and off coverage while making plays on the ball and potentially forcing turnovers.
Tabor breaks on the ball as well as any cornerback in the class and he’ll take calculated risks in order to make big plays on the ball. His calculations are not always right, and he’s been burned by a double move or two, but Tabor brings a ball-hawking ability in the mold of Denver Broncos’ CB Aqib Talib.