The next few days will be the wildest ride the NFL hopefuls will take in their lives. Think of it as Space Mountain on steroids. Twists and turns, the unexpected happening in a moment’s notice during the 2017 NFL Draft.
Robert Cobb, the owner, and publisher of The Inscriber Magazine brought up an interesting point the other day when he was discussing the Cleveland Browns and their draft strategy. If the quarterback class of 2017 is so weak (and I still think it is) then why would Cleveland trade up to grab someone like Mitchell Trubisky?
While Trubisky and Watson appear to be the consensus first two signal callers of the board, then why is Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech the “chic” pick to surprise everyone? Wouldn’t the Browns want to wait until the 12th pick or possibly trade down to acquire more picks and still grab their franchise quarterback?
I have flipped and flopped many times over with this mock draft. Much will be made about the fact the San Francisco 49ers may take a quarterback with the second overall pick. I have them taking a playmaker instead. And for those of you wondering, Reuben Foster takes a slight tumble. Here’s a look at my most recent mock NFL Draft of the first round and how I see this all playing out.
Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M
If this isn’t the pick, then most of us draft “experts” should throw in the towel. Garrett is the best overall prospect on the board.
San Francisco 49ers – Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
The 49ers are talking quarterback here, but Fournette helps the ground game and gives new head coach Kyle Shanahan a home run hitter in the backfield.
Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen, Defensive End, Alabama
Either Allen or safety Jamal Adams give the Bears defensive help. Allen’s versatility to play inside and out on the end makes him more attractive to Chicago.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford
The Jaguars see both Fournette and Allen are off the board and do not trade out. Thomas played inside and outside for Stanford and could play some outside linebacker as well.
Tennessee Titans – Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
Tennessee will be in the playoffs this season. Adams adds a “Ronnie Lott” type hitter to the secondary and allows Tennessee to hunt for a pass catcher at No. 18.
New York Jets – Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
Boom, first quarterback off the board. Watson is now charged with leading the Jets back to the playoffs and the media scrutiny begins.
Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
With Adams off the board, Hooker is a nice “find” for the Chargers. While there have been some injury concerns, Hooker will be the best safety in this draft class in three years.
Carolina Panthers – OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Howard will help the Panthers as a double tight end and then replace Greg Olson in time. Howard is a gifted receiver and blocker and presents the entire package in this offense.
Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee
Barnett gives the Bengals a pass rushing threat they need. He could also play some outside linebacker as an edge rusher.
Buffalo Bills – Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Bills could go several ways in this situation but choose Lattimore, who has the most upside of anyone on the board here. Wide receiver could also be a pick here.
New Orleans Saints – Marlon Humphrey, Defensive Back, Alabama
Humphrey solves one of the Saints’ issues Humphrey gives the Saints a back end cover corner who will match up well against the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Falcons.
Cleveland Browns – Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
Cleveland is patient and gets their man. Trubisky is raw and has one year of starter experience. I hope he is not Akili Smith or Cade McCown.
Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech
The best bet as the best passer of this draft class falls to the right team. Mahomes will learn behind Carson Palmer before he is thrown to the wolves.
Philadelphia Eagles – Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
This is one of those picks that had better pan out. Philadelphia passes on Dalvin Cook is there and could be a breakaway threat. McCaffrey could be a feast or famine pick.
Indianapolis Colts – Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
The Colts wait patiently and Foster falls in their lap. Forget the talk of the marijuana use. This kid can play and is the best linebacker in this draft.
Baltimore Ravens – Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Drafting a wide receiver is almost a given here. Who is it remains the mystery? Davis’ size is intriguing and could be a great red zone threat.
Washington Redskins – Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
The Redskins cannot pass up such potential to help the offense. If Kirk Cousins is going to stick around, he needs solid hands to make touchdown catches.
Tennessee Titans – John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington
The Titans “settle” for the last of the three wide receiver prospects and may have struck gold. Ross gives the Titans a top wideout for Marcus Mariota.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
The Buccaneers get a running back who wants to play with quarterback Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay. Cook has breakaway speed and will develop into a solid star.
Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramcyzk, Tackle, Wisconsin
The Broncos get the tackle they covet to replace Ryan Clady. Ramcyzk is a big load who will protect the quarterback’s blind side and help in pass protection.
Detroit Lions – Taco Charlton, Defensive End, Michigan
Charlton has been on top the Lions’ board for some time and can play with his hand on the ground or standing up. Lions need a boost with the pass rush.
Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
Lamp has been the player the Dolphins have been targeting for some time. Nevertheless, if he is on the board, this is a slam dunk. Lamp helps beef up the interior line and helps the running game.
New York Giants – David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
I thought the Giants may try to grab a tackle, but Njoku is too good to pass up. Besides, the Raiders right below them covet the tight end. This is such an Al Davis move.
Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis, Linebacker, Florida
Davis is a fast, thick linebacker who will team with Kalil Mack in the middle of the Raiders’ defense. Davis could also be used on the outside on passing downs.
Houston Texans – Davis Webb, Quarterback, California
Webb could be the steal of this draft. A big-armed kid who I think is better than Jared Goff, the passer he replaced. However, the Texans may need a year for him to learn an NFL system.
Seattle Seahawks – Garret Bolles, Tackle, Utah
Bolles is exactly what this team needs. Above all, he is a mammoth tackle who can move pass rushers around and protect Russell Wilson’s blind side.
Kansas City Chiefs – Haasan Reddick, Linebacker, Temple
This is a bit of a tumble for Reddick, but it makes sense. Not to mention, the linebacker fills a need and has speed to burn. Besides, the Chiefs don’t know about Derrick Johnson yet, so finding depth is a major plus.
Dallas Cowboys – Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State
Another one of those players who slide and fall into the right position. McDowell plays for a playoff team and becomes part of a rotation while learning to play on the next level.
Green Bay Packers – TJ Watt, Linebacker, Wisconsin
Watt gives the Packers the same kind of intensity Clay Matthews has given the team for years. If Watt can play with half the fire as his brother, JJ Watt, then this is a steal.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Jabrill Peppers, Safety, Michigan
Peppers is perfect for the Steelers system. In fact, he could be Rod Woodson-like. Peppers has the ability to also play linebacker on passing downs.
Atlanta Falcons – Zach Cunningham, Linebacker, Vanderbilt
Cunningham has great size and strength and could play inside or outside. Moreover, the Falcons continue to get younger and better on defense.
New Orleans Saints – Charles Harris, Defensive End, Missouri
Harris is a dependable pass rusher who instantly gives the Saints’ defense a boost. The Saints may try to trade up and grab someone like Taco Charlton, but if they stand pat, this is the pick.