It is time to project the 2017 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is my sports die-hard event of the year. I have sat and watched all seven rounds of the draft for the past four drafts. My routine is simple: create a mock drafts within the last week leading up to the draft, purchase a large Ledo’s Spring Chicken Pizza, get something to drink (Diet Coke or beer), and enjoy the three-day festivities. Let’s get to the mock!
1. CLE: Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M
Garrett will be something special. He is an athletic freak and you can never have enough pass rushers.
2. SF: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
If Kyle Shanahan introduces a 4–3 scheme, Thomas is the ideal end. Arik Armstead or DeForrest Buckner can kick inside to give Thomas his spot.
3. CHI: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Allen is a natural; watch his film and you see a beast with quick feet and great pass rush moves. I would have Allen at 2 with SF but their GM, John Lynch may not be on board with the whole “his shoulder issues will start in 5 years” thing. John Fox needs talent and Allen is the best he’ll do while on the hot seat.
4. JAX: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Pair Adams with Jacksonville’s first rounder last year in Jalen Ramsey, and suddenly this team has two solid, young potential superstars in the secondary.
5. TEN (via LAR): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Titans need someone who they can rely on in the secondary, period.
6. NYJ: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
The Jets need weapons. They could get one of the top quarterbacks but if there are no targets or weapons, how effective could they be — or really any quarterback of this team?
7. LAC: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Solid draft picks continue for the Chargers. Hooker can fill the void of Eric Weddle who left before last season for Baltimore.
8. CAR: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
If you could put one player that has a 95+% fit on a single team, you have to assume he goes there.
9. CIN: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Cincy needs to upgrade their pass rush and Barnett is the best available at this point.
10. BUF: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bills pair Sammy Watkins with another Clemson Tiger receiver, Mike Williams.Two big redzone threats for Tyrod Taylor. (I would watch for Mitchell Trubisky here if he falls)
11. NO: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
A late riser in the process and the Saints need secondary help. I cannot express that need enough while typing.
12. CLE (via PHI): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
It feels obvious to have this happen. Cleveland pulls the trigger on OJ Howard though if he drops.
13. ARI: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Carson Palmer cannot play forever and Watson can learn from him and quarterback guru, Bruce Arians. Frankly, it is worth the risk if Arians sees Watson as a productive pro or potential superstar.
14. PHI (via MIN): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Eagles get their Sproles replacement before Sproles is gone. The bigger McCaffrey should play a huge role in the Andy Reid/Doug Peterson offense. Think Brian Westbrook but bigger.
15. IND: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
A front-7 in need of a pass rusher gets a UCLA product who accounted for 10 sacks and was First-Team All-Pac-12.
16. BAL: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
The mantra “in Ozzie we trust” makes Reddick a favorable pass rushing prospect for John Harbaugh’s defense that always wants to apply pressure.
17. WAS: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Ideally, Washington trades back but we are talking about the Redskins here and Bruce Allen will want to flex his muscles. Humphrey is a solid pick if he is available but Haason Reddick is also a tempting play here if there.
18. TEN: David Njoku, TE, Miami
Marcus Mariota gets a weapon inside the numbers to pair with Delanie Walker. A luxury pick creating a versatile pairing like this could only happen because of the bounty from the Jared Goff to LA trade last year.
19. TB: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Tampa pairs youngsters White and Hargreaves (first rounder in 2016) to create a boomin pair of corners.
20. DEN: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Denver needs to work on their aging o-line and Ramczyk could slide in on the left or right side. He is the best of an average offensive tackle group this year.
21. DET: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Lions will be tempted with a falling receiver. A big target in Davis pairs well with Golden Tate. Matt Stafford can throw a ball up and have more confidence that a big guy will come down with it — which the team lacked since Calvin Johnson retired.
22. MIA: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The drop of Foster is not as big some might expect, Miami needs help in the front-7 but they especially need a go-to leader, Foster would provide that.
23. NYG: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
The Giants need more line help and he and Erik Flowers could be a solid left or right side combination.
24. OAK: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
A Shaq Thompson-esk LB according to scouts. The Raiders will need an influx of pass rushers to keep adding to help for Mack, and Davis will do just that.
25. HOU: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Texans will need a tackle to help protect Tom Savage or any quarterback they decide to put under center.
26. SEA: Budda Baker, S, Washington
Baker gives Seattle another player in the secondary with coverage skills. Baker can play the nickel or safety when the Seahawks try some exotic defense.
27. KC: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas A&M
Mahomes, the exact opposite of Chiefs current quarterback Alex Smith; he takes chances and has a huge arm. A great developmental pick because Mahomes is not ready to play and be productive for at least two seasons.
28. DAL: Kevin King, CB, Washington
Dallas gets a player that fits into their defense. This year, the Cowboys have the flexibility and luxury to take any player who is a scheme fit or who might be considered a reach because their future is set with Dak and Zeke.
29. GB: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
One of the biggest needs for Green Bay is talented youth in the secondary. We saw how poor this team was with injury after injury. As smooth as it comes when it comes to technique. Needs to have better ball skills when hawking but I love this guy. (One of my favorites to watch at the combine).
30. PIT: Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Kizer needs to sit, no doubt about it. This might be the best destination for him because Roethlisberger always has concerns over playing 16 games. In maybe 3 or 4 years from now, he could take over for a legend just like Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Kizer’s high ceiling makes this pick so worth it.
31. ATL: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
The Falcons want their front four to be stout while also having the ability to rotate in fresh bodies. McDowell gives the Superbowl runner-ups interior beef.
32. NO (via NE): T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin
Watt will provide some massive pass rush help. The Saints in this mock went for a corner earlier, so they need a pass rusher now and Watt is the best of what is left at 32.
This post was originally posted on Medium.com/Section240 by John Amoroso on April 25th, 2017