Week of 4/03 Mock
Published at 4/3/2017 12:38:04 PM
As the NFL Draft approaches, I will be making weekly adjustments up until the 27th of April. Rest of the writeups will come at a later date. Any questions/comments/criticisms can be voiced in the comments. I will respond to all.
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There is really no other choice at this point for the Browns. Between the Schefter report that the Browns had an "astronomical grade" on Garrett and the fact that he is the defacto No. 1 player available, the Browns have to choose him here.
Of course, they are the Cleveland Browns, so...
Many have Stanford DE Solomon Thomas in this spot. I had him here, and I fully believe that he is worthy of this pick, but the 49ers have gone D-lineman in the first round for 2 years in a row. A phenomenal player in Adams to pair up with Eric Reid across from him and the young line will be a good start to the Shanahan regime.
After watching the combine and some game footage, I fully understand the hype with Solomon Thomas. He is an athletic pass-rusher that will get to the passer. He would be a great addition to any team, and the Bears will be lucky to get him.
Before free agency, the Jacksonville Jaguars were set to take a defensive player. Then they went out and signed Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Barry Church to go with Dante Fowler Jr., Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, and the rest of the suddenly formidable Jaguars defense. Now they can focus on their offense. There are no worthy O-lineman prospects here, and I'm not ready to label Bortles a bust, so they replace TJ Yeldon's career 3.9 YPC in favor of Fournette.
The Titans signed Logan Ryan in an under-the-radar move, and the No. 18 pick will be a better place to take a wideout, so they go with Hooker to add to the secondary.
If I were the GM of the Jets, I would take a pass rusher, but judging by the 6 people they sent to the North Carolina pro day, they seem to be trending towards him. Bryce Petty/Josh McCown/Christian Hackenberg will not go into 2017 the starter.
In most draft classes, the Chargers would take a offensive tackle here. But because there are no prospects good enough here and that they signed Russell Okung in free agency, they go for a starter quality cornerback in Lattimore. He replaces Brandon Flowers and provides a cushion should Jason Verrett's ACL recovery not go as planned. Lattimore, Verrett, and Casey Hayward could be a sneaky good secondary next season.
Ever since the release of Josh Norman, the Panthers have struggled at cornerback. Even the emergence (sort of?) of James Bradberry has not been enough. Marlon Humphrey lightens the load on the rest of the Panthers secondary. The signing of Matt Kalil has eliminated the need for an offensive lineman.
Though I said there were not offensive lineman worthy of a pick this high, the Bengals are desperate. Their top 2 lineman departed in free agency, and Cedric Ogbuehi has shown no signs of being a serviceable replacement. Every year, a team makes an early reach for an offensive lineman, and the Bengals do that this year.
After a stellar Senior Bowl and combine performance, O.J. Howard's name has been rocketing up draft boards. The Bills need a weapon to help Sammy Watkins, and Charles Clay hasn't panned out. Howard will be a great fit in Buffalo.
The Saints have a bad defense. Possibly the worst position on their historically bad defense is the pass rusher across from Cameron Jordan. They need a reliable palyer that can start on Day 1. Derek Barnett provides just that. His acquisition makes the Saints defensive line suddenly formidible, with Jordan, Barnett, Sheldon Rankins, and Nick Fairley. And as a Saints fan, I don't know what I'll do if Sean Payton picks an offensive player here.
The Browns' potential quarterback of the future is gone at this spot, and so the Browns go for another need. With no overly talented players alongside Jamie Collins at inside linebacker, they go for a talented player in Foster that would go top 10 if not for his shoulder injury and brushup with a doctor at the combine.
With the losses of Calais Campbell and Alex Okafor in free agency, the Cardinals lack a true punch across from Chandler Jones. He isnt as starter-ready as fellow ends Myles Garrett and Derek Barnett, but he offers a huge upside, and if everything goes as planned, could become a dominant force in the NFL. A developmental quarterback could come into play here, but there are intriguing options later in the draft such as Davis Webb, Brad Kaaya, and Nathan Peterman.
Ever since Chip Kelly made the mistake of trading LeSean McCoy, the Eagles have lacked a good running back. They tried free agency, signing DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews, but neither of those players worked out. They pick a McCoy-like player in Cook, and if he can get past his off-field issues, he could be a great player in Philly.