Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft - Pre NFL Scouting Combine

Here is my Post Super Bowl 2017 NFL Mock Draft. It will be followed by updates heading into the NFL Draft on April 27, 2017.

This is not a mock draft where I substitute my judgement for that of the teams. I try to research the opinions of those who most closely follow NFL teams like scouts, insiders and beat writers from all of the NFL cities. I then try to make the most educated prediction as to which way each team will go in the draft.

I start out by targeting each team's most obvious need, and then try to home in on the most logical pick based upon value and need as roster cuts and free agency transpires.

My mock draft has been linked by DC Pro Sports ReportWalter Football, The Huddle Report, EDS Football, NFL Pro Zach, and in their Mock Draft Databases, so click their links to check out all of their draft related content!

1st Round

1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M:

It's not a great year to own the No. 1 overall pick if you need a QB. While most assume that Myles Garrett of Texas A&M is a sure thing to be the Brown's top pick, don't be surprised if Jonathan Allen of Alabama garners consideration based upon having been the more productive pass rusher in the SEC, and potentially more receptive to playing in Cleveland.

2. San Francisco 49'ers – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama:

If San Francisco is sold on one of the QB's in this year's draft class, they need to pull the trigger. Otherwise, they should look into trading down for additional picks. Right now, Jonathan Allen of Alabama is the most NFL ready player in this year's draft, and could potentially fill a hole at any position on the defensive line in any type of scheme. 

3. Chicago Bears - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: 

If the Bears don't have the opportunity to select the top QB in this year's draft, they could elect to lock down their secondary with the clear cut best corner in this draft, Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State. Perhaps local product Tony Romo could be a short term solution at QB should he hit the free agency market. 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

After a few up and down seasons the jury is still out on Blake Bortles. Bortles probably can't be judged until the Jags put together a legitimate running game, and Leonard Fornette of LSU is the type of game changing back that could transform the way a defense schemes against an offense, thereby freeing things up for Bortles to show his true worth. 

5. Tennessee Titans (from the Los Angeles Rams) – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State:

The Titan's defense is fairly solid, but if they can find a game changer at any position they need to make a move. Malik Hooker of Ohio State projects as the best safety in this year's class. 

6. New York Jets - Mitch Trubiski, QB, North Carolina: 

This year does not offer a great QB class, but the Jets really have no option but to find a franchise signal caller going forward. Mitch Trubiski plans to throw at the Scouting Combine, where he can cement his status as a top ten pick, or allow his draft stock to drop as many are predicting. 

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Reuben Foster, OLB/DE, Alabama: 

While Melvin Ingram is returning under the franchise tag, another linebacker who can play the edge in a 3-4 scheme would greatly improve the Chargers' defense. 

8. Carolina Panthers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State:

Jonathan Stewart has been good when healthy, but those days have been few and far between. Many are suggesting that Dalvin Cook may be better and go before Leonard Fournette in this year's draft. 

9. Cincinnati Bengals - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington:  

The Bengals' secondary has been in transition the past two years. With Adam "Pacman" Jones in trouble with the law yet again, it may be necessary to invest yet another 1st round pick in a top corner.

10. Buffalo Bills – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The cupboard is bare at safety in Buffalo, and Jamal Adams of LSU is a consensus top ten talent. 

11. New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett, DE/OLB, Tennessee: 

The Saints need a defensive end to potentially replace free agent Paul Kruger.  Derek Barnett of Tennessee may not be a freek athlete, but he was one of the most productive defensive ends in SEC history.

12. Cleveland Browns (from the Philadelphia Eagles) – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: 

While this year's Qb class seems weak, having two 1st round picks is kind of like having free money. After passing on the position in last year's draft, the Browns absolutely need to take a flyer on one of this year's top signal callers in the event that they don't pull off a trade for somebody like Jimmy Garrofalo.

13. Arizona Cardinals - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson:

The Cardinals are rich in #3 caliber WR's, but need a true #2 to compliment, and eventually take over for Larry Fitzgerald. Mike Williams is a big possession type guy who, like Fitzgerald, is capable of winning any jump ball thrown his way. 

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from the Minnesota Vikigs) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: 

No team has missed more on WR's in the NFL Draft in recent history than the Eagles. Corey Davis of Western Michigan may not be a big name, but he is big time player who might end up being the class of the draft at his position.

15. Indianapolis Colts – Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin:

The Colts have plenty of needs on offense and defense, but priority #1 is keeping Jake Locker upright. Ryan Ramczyk has gone from small school transfer to the top prosepect at left tackle in just over one year.

16. Baltimore Ravens John Ross, WR, Washington:

With Steve Smith retiring, the Ravens need another weapon at receiver. John Ross of Washington might be the fastest receiver in this year's draft class, and could provide a scary weapon opposite of Brashad Perriman. 

17. Washington Pigskins – Solomon Thomas, DE/DT, Stanford:

The Redskins need help on their defensive line, and Solomon Thomas of Stanford has the size to play base end on a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense.

18. Tennessee Titans – Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: 

If the Titans were to go with a safety at their first pick in the 1st round, adding a top corner would go a long way to locking down their secondary for years to come.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: 

With Doug Martin having fallen out of favor, the Bucs need a new weapon out of the backfield for Jameis Winston.

20. Denver Broncos
 – Cam Robinson, T, Alabama: 

Denver is hemmoraging on their offensive line, and could use talent at tackle and guard. Cam Robinson of Alabama may be the most talented tackle in this year's draft, but may slide due to some major characer issues that are plaguing many Crimson Tide players. 

21. Detroit Lions - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan:

Detroit needs playmakers at every level on defense, but no need is more glaring than a defensive end to play opposive of Ezekiel Ansah. Whether it's Taco Charlton, Derek Barnett or Takkarist McCinnley, look for the Lions to take the best rush end still available on their board.

22. Miami Dolphins - Gabril Peppers, S/LB/RB, Michigan:

The Dolphins may be without starting S Isa Abdul-Qudas this season due to a lingering kneck injury. Even if he is able to return, Gabril Peppers of Michigan can fill the newly coveted role of a hybrid safety/linebacker that can play three downs in today's pass happy NFL.

23. New York Giants - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama:

Tight ends are rarely 1st round worthy, but O.J. Howard of Alabama may be the most complete player in this year's draft. He can run, he can catch, he can block, and he's a high character football player.

24. Oakland Raiders Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State:

Malik McDowell is a bit of an enigma. He's an undersized DT, but dominated when he wanted to at Michigan Stated due to his superior strength and athleticism. He may be better suited in the NFL as base 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end.

25. Houston Texans DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Brock Osweiler flamed out in his first year in Houston. With the Texans playoff worthy outside of their situation at QB, they may need to take a risk on a NFL ready rookie signal caller.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Garrett Bolles, T, Utah:

The Seahawks are probably at point where they will take the best available offensive linemen, as they need to rebuild their once potent running game. 

27. Kansas City Chiefs Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama:

If Kansas City manages to retain Dontari Poe as expected, no team is expected to bring back more starters than the Chiefs. That means they can draft the best player available when it comes to pick #27.

28. Dallas Cowboys Takkarist McCinnley, DE, UCLA:

The Dallas defense outperformed their talent last season. The Cowboys desperately need a game changing defensive end or 3-technique tackle.

29.  Green Bay Packers - Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

If the Packers lose OLB Nick Perry in free agency they will need another outside pass rusher to play opposite of Clay Mathews.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers Teez Tabor, CB, Florida:

Pittsburgh has been in need of a secondary rebuild for years. Teez Tabor could fit the bill, as while he may slide in the draft due to some character issues, he's certainly a top half of the first round talent at CB. 

31. Atlanta Falcons Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida:

Whether it's DE, DT, or CB, the Falcons Super Bowl debacle showed their need for playmakers on defense. Caleb Brantley of Florida is probably the top 3-technique pass rusher available in this draft.

32. New England Patriots - Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida:

No team has more holes heading into free agency than the Patriots. CB is one of those holes, and Quincy Wilson of Florida would be one of the top graded players available should he slide to the end of the 1st rd. 

2nd Round

33. Cleveland Browns - Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: 

The Browns can use all the talent they can get. Jarrad Davis is a 1st rd. talent, but could slip into the 2nd rd. due to injury issues during his final saeason at Florida. 

34. San Francisco 49'ers - Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: 

Patrick Mahomes is the rising name in this year's draft, and could ultimately see himself as the first QB selected. 

35. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan:

Small in stature or not, Jourdan Lewis is probably the best cover CB in this year's draft. Worst case scenario, he locks down a team's nickle spot for years to come. 

36. Chicago Bears - David Njoku, TE, Miami:

The Bears are still trying to recover from Mike Martz trading Greg Olsen for pennies on the dollar. David Njoku of Miami could give their QB, whoever that might be, an option to help replace the targets that Alshon Jeffrey received. 

37. Los Angeles Rams - Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi:

The Rams are weak at receiver, and will probably lose Kenny Britt in free agency. While he's a TE, Evan Engram is a pass catcher who could become a reliable go to target underneath. 

38. Los Angeles Chargers - Budda Baker, S, Washington:

The Chargers are still searching for a replacement for Eric Weddle. 

39. New York Jets - Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA:

With Derrell Revis having surrendered his island, the Jets need some new blood at CB. Fabian Moreau could wind up being one of the better values as a football player in this draft. 

40. Carolina Panthers - Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State:

The Panthers need a DE to play opposite of Koney Ealy in the event that they don't re-sign Charles Johnson. Jordan Willis is another example of a productive player who may not live up to the expeted NFL measurables, which could cause his draft stock to slide. 

41. Cincinnati Bengals - Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

The Bengals need help at DE, and Demarcus Walker of Florida State got to the passer better than just about any other college player last season. 

42. New Orleans Saints - Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State:

The more solid defensive players the Saints can add the better. Raekwon McMillan was yet another player in OSU's talented back seven. 

43. Philadelphia Eagles - Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC:

Philly has a hole at right CB. Adoree' Jackson is another multi talented, multi positional athlete, but should find a home in the Eagles' secondary and as a return man. 

44. Buffalo Bills - Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina:

Zay Jones may be the most under rated player from a small school in this year's draft. 

45. Arizona Cardinals - Carl Lawson, DT, Auburn:

If Calais Campbell can't be resigned, the Cardinals need a disruptive 5-techniqe. I don't know if Carl Lawson can be that guy, but he may be their best option outside of free agency or the 1st round. 

46. Minnesota Vikings - Antonio Garcia, T, Troy:

The Vikings stand to lose 3 of their top 4 tackles in free agency. Antonio Garcia has small school resume, but held his own against some of the best at the Senior Bowl, thereby raising his draft stock. 

47. Baltimore Ravens - Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri:

Charles Harris is a highly touted guy, but may only fit a 3-4 scheme, which could cause him to fall into the 2nd rd. 

48. Indianapolis Colts - T.J. Watt, LB/DE, Wisconsin:

Nobody has improved his draft status in the last two years more than T.J. Watt of Wisconsin. He'd be a nice fit at OLB in Indy's 3-4 scheme. 

49. Washington Pigskins - Cooper Cuff, WR, Eastern Washington

With the Skins set to lose Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency, they need to add a WR. Cooper Cuff may come from a small school, but he has NFL bloodlines, and stood out against big school competition at the Senior Bowl. 

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Roderick Johnson, T, Florida State:

The more help for Tampa's running game and to protect Jameis Winston the better. 

51. Denver Broncos - Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky:

Forrest Lamp could climb into the 1st rd. if the right team falls in love with him, but typically even top guards don't go higher than the second round unless they are considered elite. 

52. Cleveland Browns (from the Tennessee Titans) - Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama

Dalvin Tomlinson is one of the better football players in this draft, and reprsents a bargain to any team that can land him in the 2nd or 3rd rd. 

53. Detroit Lions - Haason Reddick, LB, Temple: 

Detroit needs a playmaker at middle linebacker, and Haason Riddick is one of the sleepers in this year's draft. 

54. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama

Ryan Anderson could go much earlier than this, but plays a position that is more based upon need than value. 

55. New York Giants - Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee:

The 4th option in the top tier of running backs would provide a much needed upgrade to the Giants' running game, taking some pressure off of Eli Manning in the passing game. 

56. Oakland Raiders - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State:

Oakland is getting better quickly, but still needs some talent and depth in their secondary. 

57. Houston Texans - Jake Butt, TE, Michigan:

Jake Butt may be a future investment given his bowl game knee injury, but would have been a potential 1st rd. pick. 

58. Seattle Seahawks - Dan Feeney, G, Indiana:

Dan Feeney may be the best G in this year's draft, and could even play T if needed. Seattle needs both. 

59. Kansas City Chiefs - Ryan Glasgow, DT/DE, Michigan:

Again, Kansas City is in a position to draft for depth. 

60. Dallas Cowboys - Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson:

If the Cowboys go DE in Rd. 1, DT would be a logical option in Rd. 2. 

61. Green Bay Packers - Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn

The Packers secondary was exposed in the playoffs. Obi Melifonwu is an elite athlete at S. 

62.  Pittsburgh Steelers - Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M:

This is a draft where the Steelers need to address the future of their secondary. Justin Evans of Texas A&M should step in and play right away. 

63. Atlanta Falcons - Desmond King, CB/S, Iowa:

Whether he plays nickle of safety, Desmond King is a playmaker in the secondary, which is something the Falcons need. 

64. New England Patriots - Adam Bisnowaty, T, Pitt

With Sebastian Vollmer a cap casualty, the Pats will be in the market for another under the radar RT.