The field is set for the 2017 NFL Draft, and with four more teams eliminated from playoff contention last week it means it is time for my first 2017 NFL Mock Draft.
Take a look at my projected first round!
- Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
With the arrival of Gregg Williams as Defensive Coordinator, it makes sense that the Browns go after the best prospect in the draft. Oh yeah, he happens to play defense too. Williams is an aggressive Defensive Coordinator, making Garrett’s burst off the edge an ideal fit. Lock it in, as this is the safest pick for the Browns.
- San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Neither Blaine Gabbert nor Colin Kaepernick are the future in San Francisco. With the 49ers targeting Kyle Shanahan as Head Coach, this picks makes the most sense.
- Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
See a trend here? The NFL is all about scheme and fit. As long as John Fox remains the main man in Chicago, defense will be the focus. Some say Adams is the most polished and NFL ready prospect in this draft.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
The Jaguars have a lot of young talent on the defensive side of the ball, with the recent draft picks of Dante Fowler and Jalen Ramsey. The Jags continue to build the defense by taking Allen No. 4.
- Tennessee Titans (from Las Angeles Rams): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The titans improved in nearly every category last year, with one exception, pass defense. The addition of Foster will help pressure opposing Quarterbacks, which will lead to better play in the secondary.
- New York Jets: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
No Quarterback on the current Jets roster has shown the ability to play at the NFL level, and with veterans Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick set to hit the open market, the Jets are in serious need of a quality QB. Coming off an impressive performance in the National Championship, Watson lands in New York as the Jets lead signal caller.
- Las Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Keenan Allen can’t stay healthy, and Antonio Gates is in the twilight years of his career. Philip Rivers needs a No. 1 option like Mike Williams. We saw what Williams can bring to the table with his clutch plays at the end of the National Championship game.
- Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
This pick makes all of the sense in the world to me. In 2016 Carolina was inconsistent in the running game and also saw more durability issues from Jonathan Stewart. Fournette has freakish talent, and this move puts the Panthers right back in the playoffs.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Marvin Lewis will remain the coach for Cincinnati in 2017, and will continue to build upon his defense. With a dominant performance in his bowl game, Thomas has done enough to land himself inside the Top 10. This is a great fit for a Bengals team that loves physical edge players.
- Buffalo Bills: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Hooker is not quite the talent that Jamal Adams is, but his combination of athleticism and range makes him an appealing option for this Bills secondary.
- New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
The Saints continue to struggle on the defensive side of the ball. With the addition of Barnett, New Orleans gains a pass rusher who combines strength, quickness, and technique to be effective agains the run and pass.
- Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles): DoShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Our dear friend Chris Burchard finally gets his franchise Quarterback with Kizer. DeShone Kizer is raw, but provides the size, arm strength, and vision to be a great project for Hue Jackson. This is an ideal situation for the Browns, as they would land the best player in the draft at No. 1 and land their franchise Quarterback in this spot.
- Arizona Cardinals: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Cardinals needs a young, athletic playmaker at the second level, and Cunningham was the SEC’s leading tackler in 2016. His versatility and range are much needed in Arizona.
- Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
I have said all along that the Colts need an explosive playmaker to complement the other parts of this offense. Instinctive, explosive and durable, Cook will be hard to pass up. Cook will immediately be a terrific addition to the backfield with Frank Gore, and with Gore nearing retirement, Cook will eventually be the feature back of this backfield.
- Philadelphia Eagles: John Ross, WR, Washington
There is no better way to develop your young Quarterback than to go out and surround him with weapons. Ross is an explosive playmaker that will add to this Eagles offense.
- Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
Depth at corner is lacking in Baltimore, but thankfully, this year’s class is insanely deep. Tabor helps the Ravens address their secondary, coming in as one of the SEC’s best cornerbacks.
- Washington Redskins: Montravious Adams, DL, Auburn
Washington is a struggling defense that needs to get stronger in the trenches. Adams bring rare athleticism for his size at 6-4, 309 pounds.
- Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Titans lack a go to target in the passing game. To aid the development of Marcus Mariota, the Titans target Davis who didn’t get the attention he deserved throughout his career. Davis will make the Titans pass game more dangerous, to complement a strong running attack in Tennessee.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
The Bucs lack speed and athleticism at the safety position. Peppers instantly brings speed to the Bucs secondary. I wouldn’t be surprised them to also go WR with this pick, to add more weapons for Jameis Winston.
- Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Broncos saw inconsistent play from the right side of the offensive line. Coming in as one of the best offensive line players in the country, Robinson helps the Broncos offense as a top blocker.
- Detroit Lions: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
I wouldn’t be surprised if they go defensive line here, as they lack a pass rush, but Jones is a big need for the Lions secondary. Jones is an incredible athlete with terrific ball skills.
- Miami Dolphins: Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama
His combination of speed and power would be a helpful replacement for the departed Olivier Vernon. I could also see the Dolphins taking Alabama teammate O.J. Howard with this pick as Dion Sims, Jordan Cameron, and MarQueis Gray all enter contract years.
- New York Giants: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
As a Dallas Cowboys fan this pick scares the hell out of me. McCaffrey alongside Eli Manning, OBJ, and Sterling Shepard make the Giants a NFC front runner. The Giants lack a promising run game currently, and McCaffrey could become a serious weapon out of the backfield for New York.
- Oakland Raiders: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Raiders rise is directly related to their explosive offense. If they want to take this team to the next level they will need a top caliber defense. Ranking 26th in defense for 2016, Wilson brings all of the tools needed to be an instant starter.
- Houston Texans: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
The Texans have put together one of the better young rosters in the NFL. The obvious would be to take a QB here if one falls, but with injury prone J.J. Watt the Texans bolster their defensive line with McDowell. Taco Charlton of Michigan could also be a consideration.
- Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin
The offensive line continues to be one of the biggest struggles for the Seattle Seahawks. They struggled to both run the ball and protect Russell Wilson in 2016. Ramcyzk is a logical fit for Seattle late in the first round.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Forrest Lamp, OT, Western Kentucky
First round pick Eric Fisher continues to struggle. Lamp will come in as an easy replacement for the Chiefs.
- Dallas Cowboys: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
I could also see Dallas improving the secondary here, but with a deep need of a pass rush the talents of McKinley are too good to pass up. Rising up the draft boards in recent month, McKinley is solid value for the Cowboys here.
- Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Vic Beasley has emerged for the Falcons defense, but this is still an area that should be a priority. Lawson is a power-packed rusher who can step right in for the Falcons.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
James Harrison cannot last forever and this is a defense that likes to bring havoc on the edge. Walker led the nation with 15 sacks in 2016, showing he is ready to contribute to the Steelers defense.
- Green Bay Packers: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The biggest need for the Packers is an improved secondary. The 2017 draft class is a prime spot to get value at cornerback, and Humphrey provides the talent the Packers need. Humphrey has the talent to stick with NFL receivers, and is solid value for the Packers at this spot in the first round.
- New England Patriots: Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
Jamie Collins was traded to Cleveland in 2016, and the Patriots will look to fill their pass rushing void. Seeing off-field issues at times, Williams could fall to this part of the draft and be a steal for the Patriots. The Patriots are known for brining in players that have issues in the past, making this pick a no brainer.
Don’t like what player I have your team taking? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter: @ReefsTakeCory
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