Reader Mock by ColinWest

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2 Rounds w/ Trades UPDATE: Colin West
Published at 4/6/2017 11:36:43 PM

I'm taking another stab at this in the wake of some feedback, as well as some NFL news (Romo's retirement, Lynch's un-retirement, and so forth). I'm hoping to make this my final (or next-to-final) look at a realistic first 2 rounds with trades in the 2017 NFL Draft. As always, comments and opinions are welcome!

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Browns: Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M

Consensus #1 pick here, and although the Browns may move around the draft later on (and they certainly have the picks to do so), taking the clear-cut best player available in this draft at #1 with so many team needs is a no-brainer. I still don't believe Cleveland goes QB here, and I don't think any team is willing to pay the price for Garrett to trade up.

2. 49ers: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford

I've considered Marshon Lattimore here as well, but ultimately I think the edge/pass rush help is of more value to the 49ers at #2 overall. Much like the Browns, the 49ers are full of needs. Yes, QB is one of them, but unless San Francisco trades out of this spot I don't see them going QB at #2. I also don't see a team within the top 10 of the draft that MUST trade up for Solomon Thomas, so the 49ers stand pat and make their selection here.

3. Bears: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Shoulder concerns or not, I am relatively confident this is Chicago's pick. Safeties just don't go in the top 3 picks of the NFL Draft (and rarely the top 5), and Allen plays the 5-technique the Bears need across their defensive front. He's an instant upgrade.

4. Panthers: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU

The Carolina Panthers love Leonard Fournette more than Jacksonville does. Point blank. The Panthers covet him enough to move up 4 spots and sacrifice their 2nd round pick to the Jags, who have multiple needs, can drop back to #8, get virtually any player they want (they don't need a safety or corner) and make out like bandits.
PANTHERS GET: #4 pick, 2017
JAGUARS GET: #8 and #40 picks, 2017

5. Titans: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State

Say what you will about the Titans' need at WR - and yes, they have one - but their need to improve the secondary is just as great. And the Titans have their pick of 3 elite secondary prospects here (Lattimore, Hooker and Adams). Ultimately, I think the cornerback wins out and heads to a team on the rise.

6. Jets: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU

IF the Jets go QB here, The Jets' front-office likely has Watson ahead of Trubisky for a few reasons - and don't under-rate "name value" as one of them. Still, the Jets have shown a propensity to go "Best Player Available" early in recent drafts regardless of position. Adams provides them with a playmaking safety they haven't had since Kerry Rhodes.

7. Chargers: Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State

Not a sexy pick, but the right one for San Diego, who see a top-4 talent drop to them at #7 overall. The Chargers' defense is improving steadily, and while LA fans might want to see a flashier offensive pick in the 1st round, they'll come to appreciate the value of Malik Hooker - especially with Eric Weddle gone.

8. Jaguars: O.J. Howard, Tight End, Alabama

Julius Thomas is gone, and the Jaguars pick up perhaps the most versatile tight end to enter the NFL Draft in years. Howard would have been a mild stretch at #4, but his value works quite well here at #8, and gives Blake Bortles 3 things immediately: extra blocking, a safety valve receiver, and no more excuses.

9. Bengals: Reuben Foster, Inside Linebacker, Alabama

I've mocked Foster to the Bengals several times now, and each time I'm sure it's the best selection for the team. Cincy needs a middle linebacker, and Foster's leadership, pedigree and talent are a bit too much to pass up here. I don't want to over-analyze it. If the draft progresses the way I have it laid out, and Foster's available, I think the Bengals would be smart to take him.

10. Bills: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson

People seem to like OJ Howard to the Bills here, but two things make me doubt that selection. One, Buffalo NEEDS a dynamic WR to work with the oft-injured Sammy Watkins. Two, the Bills seem to draft every player possible out of Clemson. With that being said, we just so happen to have a talented Clemson WR early in this draft.

11. Cardinals: Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina

There's no consensus on who the Saints should take at #11. I don't actually think I've seen 3 mock drafts with the same selection. It's a "Best Defensive Player Available" situation for the Saints through Rounds 1 and 2... so why not trade back? Arizona leapfrogs Cleveland to ensure they get the QB they want - Trubisky, according to their GM, rates higher.
CARDINALS GET: #11 pick, 2017
SAINTS GET: #13 and #77 picks, 2017

12. Browns: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson

The latest "new QB era" begins in Cleveland - is Deshaun Watson in a better position to succeed than his predecessors? There will be no lack of hype or expectation in Cleveland, but Watson possesses a trait that Browns QBs of the recent past have not - leadership. We shall see.

13. Saints: Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee

The Saints could go edge rusher or CB here, but it's a far deeper CB class so a premium will be placed on the front seven with this pick. I have Barnett slightly ahead of Taco Charlton in my rankings, and the Saints (who could have picked him at #11) snag an extra 3rd rounder with the deal and get him anyway. They still pick at #32.

14. Eagles: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama

I've mocked Dalvin Cook to Philly twice, and that is still a real possibility. But the true #1 need for the Eagles is another solid cornerback. Marlon Humphrey provides them with that at #14. The addition of Alshon Jeffery in free agency makes a selection like John Ross or Corey Davis here less likely, but not impossible.

15. Colts: Haason Reddick, Outside Linebacker, Temple

The Colts are rumored to be looking for a trade-down partner, but don't find one in this mock draft. Still, Indy fills a real need in their pass rush with the underrated Reddick out of Temple. The pick isn't splashy, but it's effective.

16. Ravens: John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington

The Ravens are ALL over the map in mock drafts. In my last mock, I had Baltimore selecting John Ross, and I'll keep it the same here. Although tackle is a position of some need, I think Baltimore ends up taking a speed threat to give Joe Flacco's huge arm the chance to get the ball downfield. John Ross is that guy.

Picks 1-16


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