May. 16, 2017
NFL Mock Draft
Ah, springtime. Just as the flowers bloom, so do the dreams of NFL franchise owners. For springtime is a time of hope and potential for the NFL, as it is time for the Draft. College standouts find their new homes in the month of April, and anticipation showers down like springtime rain. With that, it can be hard to tell who will end up where. All teams have many needs to address. So, let's see where I think everyone will land. (For your viewing pleasure, I've linked the highlight tapes of all prospects.
1: Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
The Browns need to fill just about every position but left tackle. They are the definition of bad, so they need a transcendent player. They need a stud athlete that can flip a game on its head. Naturally, that would be an edge rusher as a strip sack is a surefire momentum-shifter and a good pass rush is the first step to a stout defense.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
Mahomes is the best quarterback in this draft. While I think he would benefit from sitting behind a veteran for a year or two, the 49ers desperately need a quarterback. Mahomes is a great talent that will take time, but eventually will be a star.
3. Chicago Bears - Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)
The Bears are slowly putting things together. Very, very slowly. While they could use a quarterback here, they will most likely wait on that to give Glennon a chance. As such, Chicago could use a freak athlete like this in their backfield.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Solomon Thomas (Stanford)
This pick is the best available. The Jaguars are far from solid on defense, and Thomas can be a great addition to a defensive line that has the pieces to make a scary pass rush.
5. Tennessee Titans - Jamal Adams (LSU)
It's a toss up between wide receiver and defensive back for Tennessee. Both are positions of need. There's no way Jamal Adams slips down to Tennessee's second pick in the first round, but they can find a solid receiver there. As such, Adams is the way to go here.
6. New York Jets - Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
The Jets are all kinds of bad. Bad teams start their rebuild on the defensive side of the ball. Jonathan Allen is the best defensive player at pick #6. The pieces just fall into place here.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Hooker (Ohio State)
As much as I'd love to see Philip Rivers get a new target with this pick, it's not the biggest need for the Chargers right now. There are plenty of offensive weapons that will be around in rounds 2 and 3. For a pick this high, the Chargers need some help with their pass defense, which gave up 263 pas yards per game last year.
8. Carolina Panthers - Leonard Fournette (LSU)
Cam Newton and Leonard Fournette. Just let that sink in. Two absolute forces in the running game in the same backfield, and one of them is allowed to throw the ball. He's what the Panthers need to get back to their super bowl caliber.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Reuben Foster (Alabama)
With so much experience at Alabama, I think Foster is ready to step up and start immediately on a Bengal's defense that lacks a true leader.
10. Buffalo Bills - Mike Williams (Clemson)
Nothing would make Tyrod Taylor happier than getting to throw the football to either Sammy Watkins or Mike Williams. The addition of big Williams could make that offense electric through the passing game, while Taylor and McCoy run the ball. Scary, right?
11. New Orleans Saints - Derek Barnett (Tennessee)
In all the filling of needs in the top 10 picks, Barnett will slip. New Orleans would be silly to pass up on such a play maker here.
12. Cleveland Browns - Haason Reddick (Temple)
Sticking with the trend of rebuilding the defense first, the Browns need help in the linebacker position. With Foster already gone, Reddick is the next best option.
13. Arizona Cardinals - John Ross (Washington)
With the departure of Michael Floyd and the age of Larry Fitzgerald, Palmer needs help running his offense. John Ross is a dynamic deep threat that can also work the short routes.
14. Philadelphia Eagles - TreDavious White (LSU)
The Eagles can go a lot of ways with this pick. I'd like to see them go with the defensive back pick here simply because good defensive backs are so hard to come by. White has the potential to be a solid starter in this league.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin)
Colts fans have been quite displeased with the offensive line as of recent. They added center Ryan Kelly from Alabama last season. Ramczyk is a great lineman who is ready to play now.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Corey Davis (Western Michigan)
Davis is a big question mark coming from a mid-major program. He has impressed enough to be considered a potential first round pick, and the man to take a chance on him is Harbaugh. With an experience quarterback in Flacco throwing to him, Davis has a great environment to grow in Baltimore.
17. Washington Redskins - Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)
Much like the Saints, the Redskins will take Peppers because he'll slide all the way down to 17 and right into their laps.
18. Tennessee Titans - O.J. Howard (Alabama)
With all of the great wide receiver prospect taken, Tennessee goes with the next best option, a dynamic tight end. Howard is a dangerous talent and can gash a defense.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
Much like the situation in Carolina, Tampa Bay has a big running quarterback already and needs a big running back to accent that. Cook is the best running back prospect left at this point.
20. Denver Broncos - Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
Big shocker here, but Trevor Siemian is not the answer. If the front office is smart, they'll take the chance on the quarterback who slides much further than most would have imagined.
21. Detroit Lions - Malik McDowell (Michigan State)
The Lions have been searching for a defensive star ever since Ndamukong Suh departed. McDowell is a crazy athlete and can definitely be a difference maker immediately for Detroit.
22. Miami Dolphins - Taco Charlton (Michigan)
On the topic of Ndamukong Suh, adding a quick edge to his defensive line would make him even more dangerous. Enter Taco Charlton. Miami could have a terrifying pass rush with the addition of Charlton.
23. New York Giants - Garett Bolles (Utah)
An aging Eli Manning needs all the protection he can get. Bolles is ready to play right now and would be a good addition to an otherwise lackluster offensive line.
24. Oakland Raiders - Joe Mixon (Oklahoma)
Joe Mixon is worth the risk. He made a mistake without a doubt, but the kid can flat out run the football. He's shown no signs of reoccurring behavior issues, and is too good not to pick.
25. Houston Texans - Deshone Kizer (Notre Dame)
With the departure of Osweiler, the Texans need a new option at quarterback. Kizer has a huge arm and a load of potential. Putting him back with former teammate Will Fuller is the best move the Texans front office could make.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Marion Humphrey (Alabama)
The Legion of Boom is dying slowly in Seattle. Humphrey is the defensive back that they need to revitalize that swagger they had before.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
As Alex Smith gets older, the Chiefs need a quarterback prodigy. Smith still has three or so good years left, perfect amount of time for Watson to learn and grow as he waits to take over the reigns.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Tim Williams (Alabama)
The Cowboys are already a very good football team. How do you make a good team great? You improve their defensive line. Williams could be solid edge rusher for the Cowboys.
29. Green Bay Packers - Cam Robinson (Alabama)
Similar to the Colts, Packers fans aren't happy with the protection of their quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Robinson is big and quick, and would be a valuable addition to an injury prone offensive line.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Fabian Moreau (UCLA)
The Steelers were in the lower half of the league in pass defense last season. Moreau is an interesting pick here, but as I said before, it is hard to pass up quality defensive backs.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Obi Melifonwu (UConn)
Melifonwu impressed me very much at the NFL combine. He could help stop Tom Brady from mounting a comeback from 21-3 at halftime next time around.
32. New Orleans Saints - T.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
Now you may be thinking, will the Saints really pick two defensive linemen in the first round? The answer of course is yes. Watt is too good not to pick here. His upside is tremendous, and he and Barnett could become a dynamic duo in New Orleans.