2017 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Published at 3/8/2017 2:50:34 PM
Post-Scouting Combine. Same rules apply. No trades. 100% accurate. Comment, criticize and argue away! Let's get mocking!
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Garrett seems to be the consensus number 1 pick here. Great size, speed, and strength will give him an immediate impact. His attributes were only confirmed at the combine, and Cleveland will be very grateful to boost a defensive line that was far from perfect last season.
A lot of other mock draft experts have the Niners going with Mitch Trubisky here and even DeShone Kizer, but I see them going with Watson. Watson is much more polished, a proven leader and winner, and had a stellar combine. Watson also has the one trait I think should be valued over all others: he doesn't crack under pressure. Several times he has had to lead game-winning drives, including in the National Championship and he did so without blinking. San Francisco could really use some of that mojo.
I know, I know. No Jay Cutler in the plans....so then what? Well, in my opinion, the draft is deeper at QB than at interior line and there are rumors linking the Bears to former Tampa Bay starter Mike Glennon. With that, I don't think Chicago begins their rebuild with a QB controversy. Their defensive line was awful last season and Allen is a freak of nature in the middle. He exhibits great pass rush and run stuffing ability both of which the Bears are in dire need of.
Jacksonville's defensive line was among the worst in the NFL. Considering how their division is packed full of passers like Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck, and whoever Houston's starter will be next year, they need a stout pass rush. Solomon Thomas is one of the safest picks in the draft. He has an endless motor and succeeds in both run stuffing on the edge and pass rushing from either a 3 technique or wide in a 4-3.
Marcus Mariota has been forced to be the primary playmaker for too long. Especially when you consider how many years Delanie Walker was the leading receiver. Mike Williams is a freak on the outside and consistently made plays even when interfered with. His frame and route running are a bonus as well. Combined with the already established running attack, this could be a dangerous offense soon.
And the rebuild of the Jets continues. It's very hard with Trubisky still on the board not to take him, but the Jets simply could not afford to whiff on another first round QB bust. Fournette has been a dominant running back with a punishing style and good vision between the tackles. If he can manage to stay healthy, the Jets might be able to turn to their old ways of hard nose rushing and defense to hold the team together. But this process may take a few years.
It's between Adams and Malik Hooker for me. The only reason I take Adams is the versatility and the proven track record of LSU defensive backs. Adams is physical, disciplined, and not afraid to tackle. He would be the replacement the Chargers have needed since Eric Weddle departed for Baltimore.
Carolina is in a bit of a pickle when they get to this pick. They need an edge rusher, but I have a feeling Derek Barnett and Hasaan Reddick are too small for a 4-3 edge rusher. They need an offensive tackle, but 8 is too high in my book for any lineman in this draft. So, what to do? Well, Jonathan Stewart is aging very poorly and the Bowling Ball of Justice (Mike Tolbert) was just released. Hence I have a feeling Carolina may want to revamp their rushing attack. Cook is a good runner, receiver, and has good open field speed. Waiting for the middle rounds to boost their secondary and lines is not a loss.
Cincinnati is a tough pick in the draft every year because of one thing: they are middle of the road in EVERY category. Yards, points, turnover differential, it's crazy how they do it. One thing I have noticed from them is an underwhelming safety play since Reggie Nelson moved on. That can change with Hooker, who is an in-state ball hawk and has been known to make some very physical tackles. Wide Receiver and O-line are options here but unless Mike WIlliams is available somehow, Hooker seems to be the best choice.
Tyrod Taylor has been named the guy in Buffalo. With that, DeShone Kizer takes a plunge. However, this means that they do not have to worry about picking their franchise man in this year's draft. With that said, the next glaring weakness will be that Stephon Gilmore is leaving via free agency and that leavers a major coverage gap in what was already at best an average defensive backfield. Humphrey is a tweener, but an excellent man-to-man corner and should excel in Buffalo.
Same story, different year. Offense was awesome. Drew Brees week in and week out was tearing up defenses with a good enough rushing game to get by. But that defense was TERRIBLE. Their pass coverage was horrible aside from Delvin Breaux and they need a corner opposite him. Enter Marshon Lattimore, a pure coverage guy with excellent ball skills and the agility to play nickel corner if need be. That type of coverage skill is much needed if Brees doesn't want to have to win a shootout every week.
BINGO! The Browns are going to the Super......well, let's calm down. Cleveland gets their man. I love RGIII, I really do. I believe in the right system, he'd be winning games. but not in the Land my friend. Trubisky is selected to be the next in a long line of starting QB's. However, I think Trubisky has a lightning rod effect that doesn't come with the predictable off-field issues of Johnny Manziel. Trubisky is young (which Brandon Weeden wasn't), healthy (which no Cleveland QB ever is), and has the playmaking ability that can help their young receiver core improve. All in all, Trubisky should be invested in as the future.
Arizona's defense was amazing last season. What's scary is they will be even better when they are fully healthy next season. The main problem that's going to arrive there though is age at QB and wide receiver. Carson palmer was not exactly himself at times and made some costly mistakes (14 INT's last season). However, besides Larry Fitzgerald the Cardinals did not have an established number two receiver. On top of that, Michael Floyd got hit with a DUI and cut for New England to grab in free agency. This makes Palmer's job much harder. Corey Davis is known as the model of consistency and helped bring Western Michigan to the undefeated rank. This will be a great pick for Arizona. I see many experts mocking a QB here, but with the top 3 gone, I disagree. Give Palmer another year.
This is a match made in heaven. Philly has no vertical threat and it has allowed teams to stack eight in the box and to blitz Carson Wentz without regard. Ross changes that whole dynamic. He was already a prolific receiver at Washington before setting the NFL Scouting Combine record for fastest 40 yard dash. His big play potential could unlock what was just a mediocre offense and should bring some confidence to Wentz.
Indianapolis's pass rush is suffering. Majorly. In 2016 they only racked up 33 sacks, and their two leading pass rushers (Erik Walden and Robert Mathis) are leaving for free agency and retiring respectively. With that in mind, there are not one but two spots open at pass rusher for Indy and they've not had success in picking rushers as of lately (calling to mind Bjoern Werner and Jerry Hughes). Barnett is an excellent pass rusher and a disruptive force on the edge that would excel in a 3-4 like Indy's.
I am highly tempted to put a running back like Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffery here or even a receiver like Curtis Samuel or Dede Westbrook. However, Foster is a top ten talent. He has a nose for the football and, being an Alabama linebacker, has great tackling technique. On top of this, the Ravens leading tackler in Zach Orr spontaneously retired this offseason, leaving a gap in the middle. If he can stay away from off-field issues, he should be a cornerstone with fellow Alabama alumnus C.J. Mosley.