NFL Mock Draft 2017: Edition 2
|Mitch Trubisky, UNC|
The Browns are terrible, evidenced by their 1-15 mark in 2016, and need help everywhere. While adding a franchise quarterback will be a must in the near future, Cleveland can't pass up on Garrett, who is the best overall player in the Draft. Over his three years at Texas A&M, Garrett racked up over 30-plus sacks and can be absolutely unstoppable at times.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
It is a new day in San Francisco, as the Niners move on from GM Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly, the latter after just one 2-14 season. Much like the Browns, San Fran needs to upgrade their roster everywhere, including quarterback, where neither Blaine Gabbert nor Colin Kaepernick have much of a future. The Niners are hoping Mitch Trubisky could be the solution, as the efficient UNC QB has the arm strength and upside to be their long-term guy.
3. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
While Garrett will certainly get plenty of love from NFL scouts over the coming months, they shouldn't forget about Allen, who had a wonderful senior season in '16. The veteran opted to stay one more year instead of going pro, and it has paid off, as his pass rushing prowess and fabulous strength have impressed. Chicago needs to upgrade defensively, and John Fox loves adding versatile D-Linemen.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
There is no doubt Jacksonville has exciting young talent on both sides of the ball, but the team did not produce last season. The defense should improve as it grows older, but it also needs another weapon in the defensive backfield to take the attention away from second-year DB Jalen Ramsey. The rangy Adams could be the solution, as the safety proved to be quite the contributor throughout his time with the Tigers.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Marcus Mariota has been great in his first two seasons in Tennessee, and the Titans showed plenty of improvement this year. However, they still lack a go-to target for their franchise quarterback, which they will need to address in this year's Draft. Mike Williams has drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson with his athleticism and long frame. He could be the type of big-play, talented wide out the Titans have lacked for years.
6. New York Jets: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The same old problems continue to plague the Jets, who fell back this season after winning ten games in 2015. The offense is not very diverse and struggles to move the ball, and the defense is no longer good enough to lead the team. New York needs to add some weapons, and there isn't a lot bigger or better than Fournette, who ran all over opponents in his three seasons with LSU. Without any reliable back to look to on their roster right now, this makes too much sense for the Jets.
7. San Diego Chargers: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Chargers have needed to improve their O-Line for awhile, but have taken their time addressing the need. They could still look elsewhere at No. 7, but many of the top options on the board could be gone. After starting all three years at Alabama, Robinson should bring immediate talent and upside to the group, and help lengthen Phillip Rivers career.
8. Carolina Panthers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
A year after going 15-1, the Panthers are searching for answers following a disappointing campaign. The defense needs some improvement, but perhaps the most important upgrade is needed at tailback. Jonathan Stewart is injury-prone and getting older, and there isn't any clear-cut answer beyond that point. Carolina could get their answer by snagging Cook, a difference-maker that runs extremely hard.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Cincy fell off this year, due in large part to injuries throughout their offense and a poor pass rush. They should be healthier next season, so upgrading that pass rush should be key. Barnett is a highly productive end out of Tennessee that should bring experience and playmaking ability from the get-go.
10. Buffalo Bills: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Tyrod Taylor has had an okay two seasons as Buffalo's starter, but he is due a ton of money next season and Buffalo may look to move on. His backup, Cardale Jones, needs a ton of work, so the Bills may be wise to select somebody that can lead their franchise going forward. Watson has to deal with turnover problems, but his big arm and exceptional athleticism will be a valuable asset going forward.
11. New Orleans Saints: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Despite plenty of picks and money spent, New Orleans still struggles defensively. They need to continue to invest in shoring up that side of the ball, and upgrading a thin cornerback position should be a top priority. Drafting the physical, strong-willed Wilson would be an immediate help.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Instead of selecting a quarterback with the top selection, Cleveland would be wise to wait, because somebody is likely to drop here. DeShone Kizer would be a great pickup for the Browns; he still has plenty to work on just being a redshirt sophomore but he has the size and intangibles to be a great signal-caller at the next level.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama
Statistically, Arizona still has a good defense, although much like a lot of the roster, it is aging. They need to upgrade the linebacker corps, particularly on the inside, where they have no long-term answers. It would be a steal if Foster were to drop to pick 13, the athletic vet appears to be the next in a long line of great Alabama middle linebackers.
14. Indianapolis Colts: Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
A major reason for the Colts' struggles has been a porous offensive line, but the team's defense also lacks much bite. They haven't had a quality pass rusher since Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney began their declines, so that needs to be addressed. Williams was unstoppable throughout much of his career with 'Bama but he has to prove he can be an every-down linebacker.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota): Adoree Jackson, WR/CB, USC
Few players are as versatile on a football field as Adoree Jackson, who literally did it all for USC this past season. He played plenty of receiver and other positions offensively, while starring at corner and special teams as well. Philly needs to upgrade their receiver corps to help out the young Carson Wentz, and Jackson could do that, or strengthen the CB spot.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
A dominant showing in the season's second half as well as the Sun Bowl has Stanford's Solomon Thomas' stock rising quickly. The defensive end has always had the tools (good size, agility, instincts) but finally started producing on the field this year. Baltimore needs to shore up their aging front seven and selecting Thomas could support it for years to come.
17. Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Redskins have work to do on defense, as the group had some major ups-and-downs in 2016. Getting a tackling machine that can make plays all over the field would be wonderful, and Washington could get just that in Zach Cunningham. Despite not getting a lot of attention at Vandy, Cunningham was one of the nation's best linebackers and will add a ton to the Redskins' defense right away.
18. Tennessee Titans: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Tennessee is not a bad defensive team, but they lack any big-name playmakers on that side of the ball. They could one in a hurry in Malik Hooker, who could go anywhere from Top 5 into the second round. Hooker had a tremendous season for Ohio State, showing amazing range as he picked off seven passes, but inexperience could be a question.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jabrill Peppers, LB/S, Michigan
Despite his immense talent and potential, Jabrill Peppers remains a mystery of an NFL prospect. He doesn't really fit any position at the next level great, but most likely would work best as a safety or some sort of offensive weapon. Tampa Bay needs a ton of safety help, and Peppers' offensive abilities would also be a good fit.
20. Denver Broncos: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
Denver's defense was still very dominant in '16, but it missed the services of Malik Jackson, who was a good pass rusher and valuable in run support. They could get his replacement here in McDowell, an ultra-talented linemen out of Michigan State. McDowell isn't a great pass rusher, but he brings plenty of help in run support.
21. Detroit Lions: Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
The Lions were a pleasant surprise this season, making the Playoffs despite the retirement of superstar Calvin Johnson. However, Detroit needs to upgrade their defense, and there is an abundance of talent available here to do just that. Chris Wormley was a member of Michigan's great defensive line this past year and should bring immediate production to the Lions.
22. Miami Dolphins: David Njoku, TE, Miami
Much like Detroit, Miami was a great story this year, improving from a disastrous 2015 to make the Playoffs. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill put together a good season, but improving the weapons around him still needs to be a priority. Miami is very thin at tight end behind the injury-prone Jordan Cameron, so selecting the local product Njoku makes sense.
23. Houston Texans: Dan Feeney, OL, Indiana
After giving him 72 million over four years, the Texans watched as Brock Osweiler struggled mightily, even being benched in favor of the mediocre Tom Savage. They may consider drafting a quarterback, but their major investment in Osweiler could force them to be patient with the signal-caller. In that case, upgrading the protection around Osweiler will be important, particularly in the interior.
24. Green Bay Packers: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Green Bay has done a good job getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season, but they have to be thinking about their future. Nick Perry is aging, and Julius Peppers is already past his prime. With that in mind, selecting All-American end Taco Charlton could ensure the position is a strength for years to come.
25. Oakland Raiders: Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
The Raiders have returned to prominence behind the big arm of Derek Carr, but this is still a roster with holes. They are still very poor defensively, particularly in the secondary. Jalen Tabor is viewed by some as a Top-10 prospect, so Oakland could grab a steal here by taking the talented Gators' corner.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Help on the offensive line has been a need in Seattle, particularly with how important QB Russell Wilson and his health is for the franchise. Ramczyk is a proven run blocker out of Wisconsin whose physical brand of football will translate well to the next level.
27. New York Giants: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
Despite heavy investments into the D-Line in the past, the Giants still need to upgrade the group, and there is still a wide range of prospects available throughout the first round. DeMarcus Walker quietly had a dominant final season in Tallahassee and his dangerous pass rushing ability would greatly help New York going forward.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, DE/LB, Missouri
Pittsburgh has one of the best offenses in the league, with Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown leading the way. However, much of the defense is aging and adding another young pass rusher to pair with Bud Dupree needs to be necessary. Harris was extremely productive at Missouri, and could help at either end or outside linebacker.
29. Atlanta Falcons: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Humphrey is a highly talented prospect out of Alabama that could very well be the top corner off the board. However, there is almost surely going to be one great CB going to slip because not a whole lot of teams need dire help at the position. Atlanta is okay at corner right now but snagging Humphrey here would not just be a steal, but could give defensive-minded Dan Quinn something more to work with.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
He doesn't quite as much love because he played at Western Michigan, but Corey Davis could be the best receiver in this year's Draft. The former Bronco has fabulous size and impressive athleticism, and would be a great pickup for anyone. Kansas City has upgraded their receiver corps, but further giving Alex Smith weapons would not be a bad idea.
31. Dallas Cowboys: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Dak Prescott has put together a tremendous rookie year, and the offensive line has played a big role in that. Even so, improving their offensive weapons would only help the young QB, and tight end must be improved. Jason Witten has had a wonderful career, but he is beginning his decline. Adding the sure-handed Butt should greatly help the offense.
32. New England Patriots: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Running back has never really played a huge role for the Patriots with Tom Brady, but the fact of the matter is Brady is getting older and the position could use an upgrade. McCaffrey was absolutely spectacular in the collegiate ranks and the Patriots would love his vision and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.