Post Super Bowl Mock Draft
Published at 2/12/2017 11:50:34 PM
3 rounds. Will include trades.
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Best player available pick here with no QB worth taking #1 overall for the Browns. Myles Garrett likely could have been a 1st round pick after his freshman season at Texas A&M if football players were allowed to do that. But they aren't basketball players, so Garrett's had to spend two more years in college.
I'm not exactly sold on any QB being worth the 2nd overall pick, either. Unfortunately for the 49ers, players like Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas seem redundant given that the team spent first round picks on Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner the last two years. So they reach a bit on Reuben Foster, a very hard hitting linebacker with sideline-to-sideline speed, the ability to play in coverage and to rush the passer. The Niners used to have the best middle linebacker duo in the NFL before NaVorro Bowman came down with multiple injuries and Patrick Willis retired. Foster could maybe help bring back half of the good ole days.
A few injury concerns scare the Bears away from Jonathan Allen (at least for now). And they, too, also decide to pass on a QB here. Malik Hooker had surgery recently, so Jamal Adams might be the best available defensive player without injury concerns to speak of (yet). Adams is a freak who does an excellent job in both run support and also in pass coverage. He's a game changer in the secondary.
If San Francisco and Chicago decide to pass on Jonathan Allen, I don't believe the Jaguars will. Assuming he checks out with his health, Allen may be the safest player in the draft. This guy is equally effective both in stopping the run and getting after the QB. Also versatile enough to play a 5-tech DE or 3-tech DT.
One of the two major areas of need for the Tennessee Titans happens to be finding a #1 receiver for Marcus Mariota to throw to. Knowing they can still grab a quality corner at 18, Tennessee snags Clemson's Mike Williams with this selection. According to the rumors section on this site, the Titans are intrigued with Williams. If they want him, they might want to grab him here. I can't imagine he'd still be on the board at 18.
That same rumor page has the Jets saying they don't want to reach on a QB with this selection. If that's the case, it may be a best available player approach for this pick if the Jets can't trade down, which I can't imagine they'd mind doing. But I couldn't find a partner for them in this mock, so they go with Leonard Fournette. Matt Forte isn't the long term answer at running back in New York. Fournette has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson going back to high school.
Labrum and hernia surgeries will cause Malik Hooker to miss the combine and likely 4 to 6 months. If that's true, it shouldn't linger into the regular season nor too far into the preseason and I can't imagine his draft stock would be affected much (if at all). I wouldn't see him falling past the Chargers, who seem very high on him. And why not? He's garnering Ed Reed comparisons.
Trade: Carolina Panthers trade this selection to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Arizona's 3rd (77th overall) and 5th round selections
Carson Palmer will be back for 2017, but the Cardinals know he may not be around past next season. The team also appears to really like Deshaun Watson, the national champion QB of the Clemson Tigers. They might have to move ahead of Buffalo and Cleveland to get Watson. I have them doing that here. Carolina is a willing trade partner since they've got their QB in Cam Newton.
Enviable position to be in if you're the Bengals. I imagine they would like Reuben Foster here given the need for an inside linebacker, but they can't go wrong by taking Solomon Thomas since they also could use another pass rushing threat. Thomas was VERY impressive in the Sun Bowl, looking unblockable at times. Best player available and it fills an area of need. This pick couldn't have gone better for Cincinnati.
Will Tyrod Taylor be back in Buffalo? I don't know. He doesn't seem open to the idea of taking less money to stay there. If they can't bring him back, their hands may be tied with this selection. This is where it comes down to DeShone Kizer or Mitch Trubisky. Your guess is as mine as to which of the two is considered more highly regarded right now.
Arizona trading up for Deshaun Watson and Buffalo taking Kizer worked out quite well for New Orleans in this scenario as they get Derek Barnett, the outstanding pass rusher out of Tennessee. Cameron Jordan could use a partner in crime across from him. Barnett has put up stats similar to Myles Garrett during his time at Tennessee. He also holds the all-time Tennessee sack record. Who did he pass to get that record? Reggie White aka The Minister of Defense. You're doing something right if you can break a record held by one of the greatest players in NFL history, even if we are talking about a college record.
People like to joke that Cleveland is where QB careers go to die. Mitch Trubisky grew up just outside of Cleveland as a Browns fan, so he'd like no more than to be the one to reverse that trend. If he gets to the Browns here at 12, I can't see how they could pass him up given how desperate they are to find a franchise QB.
Trade: Carolina Panthers trade this pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Philadelphia's 4th and 6th round picks
Although the Panthers could use Dalvin Cook, I am not sure what they will think of his character concerns. Doug Pederson comes from the Andy Reid school of coaching, and Reid tends to overlook that stuff, so Pederson may be willing to do the same with Cook. The Eagles are in desperate need of a reliable running back. Knowing the Colts might be interested, they make a trade with Carolina to get him on board. This would be called taking a page out of the Dallas Cowboys playbook. Dallas having Ezekiel Elliott took a ton of pressure off of Dak Prescott. Having Cook would theoretically do the same thing for Carson Wentz.
Among the most disappointed teams in the trade for Dalvin Cook in this mock is the Colts, so they have to find another area of need to fill. You could basically pick just about everywhere on defense, so we'll go with who I believe is the best available defensive player still available. My opinion on that is Marshon Lattimore. He has everything you look for in a shutdown NFL corner from the ball skills to the length to the size, speed and strength.
Finally, the Panthers make their first pick. They could badly use an offensive tackle, but are a little worried about Cam Robinson's character issues, so they decide to fill a need at cornerback. This team really missed Josh Norman in 2016 and didn't do enough to fill the big hole he left. Maybe that will change this time around. Quincy Wilson would make a lot of sense. Before the start of the 2016 season, Teez Tabor was the Florida corner most people were talking about. Quincy Wilson was, by and large, the better corner of the two in 2016. As a result, he seems to have jumped him in draft circles.
Steal alert for the Baltimore Ravens as they manage to nab Corey Davis all the way down at 16th. Steve Smith retired while Breshad Perriman hasn't lived up to his first round draft pick status yet. Great route runner with good deep speed and the height/athleticism to win those jump balls, Joe Flacco would have a new best friend on Sunday afternoons.