Oct 17, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) receives the snap from the shotgun and runs for a touchdown against the Florida Gators during the second quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
In this full first-round 2017 NFL Mock Draft, each team selects a player based on team need. The Philadelphia Eagles wind up drafting the top running back prospect, while the New York Giants draft a quarterback for the future.
The 2017 NFL Draft will be held in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. The first round of this year’s draft will be filled with play-makers and hopefully the next group of top tier quarterbacks.
While some teams are a piece or two away from the Super Bowl, Green Bay Packers and or Dallas Cowboys, others have terrible rosters and need to draft players who won’t be busts, like the New York Jets and or San Francisco 49ers.
The quarterbacks in this year’s draft are extremely interesting, mostly due to lack of experience. In this mock, I foresee several teams drafting quarterbacks for the future, teams not looking to start a quarterback in year one. The 2018 NFL Draft looks like they could already have a better quarterback class and I can already predict more of those guys will start from day 1.
The goal in the NFL Draft is to make your team better, even if you already have a player at that position, sometimes a team will just draft the best available player. In addition to all the draft coverage you will find here at The Jet Press, please also visit Walter Football, DC Pro Sports Report, and EDS Football. Let’s see who will go where in this complete first-round mock draft.
Next: 1. Browns go linebacker
Sep 19, 2015; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (15) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, Linebacker, Texas A&M
The Browns are fortunate to have two 1st round selections, as they also own the 12th pick after the Philadelphia Eagles traded up in last year’s draft to select quarterback Carson Wentz.
There is no quarterback that is worthy of the 1st pick, although there have been rumors that the Browns front office has been discussing whether or not to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. I don’t see it happening.
Myles Garrett is the best player in this draft and will improve the Browns pass rush immediately. If Hue Jackson wants to survive another season the Browns defense needs to improve and Garrett is their guy.
In three seasons, Garrett has had 141 tackles, 47 tackles for a loss, and 31 sacks. With a 4.56 40-yard dash at his pro-day and a 10’6” broad jump, Garrett is ready to take the pros over, something AFC North quarterbacks won’t be looking forward to.
Next: 2. 49ers bolster defensive line
Oct 15, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (90) celebrates after a tackle in the second quarter against the UCLA Bruins in a NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford
The 49ers sit in an awfully weird position with the 2nd pick. Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing on the franchise tag and could end up being the 2018 starting quarterback for new head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
The 49ers also may be tanking for the 2018 draft to select quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or any of the other potential franchise player at the position. Therefore it makes sense for the 49ers, who signed quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer, to draft Solomon Thomas with the second overall pick in the draft.
Thomas is quick and powerful off the edge, has great size, and a solid character. His 8.5 sacks this past season proved he can get to the quarterback and be a difference maker at the next level.
The only downside is that Thomas needs to figure out if he’s going to be a pass-rushing linebacker or a pass-rushing lineman. Once he fits into the size of his position, he’ll blossom for the 49ers.
Next: 3. Bears address defensive line issues
Oct 22, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) returns a fumble for a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
3. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
The Chicago Bears still could draft a quarterback here but they invested a lot in Mike Glennon during free agency. I think Glennon will be their guy next year and Jonathan Allen is an immediate upgrade on the Chicago Bears defensive line.
Allen won the Chuck Bednarik award as the nation’s best defender after recording 69 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and 10.5 sacks. Allen also has great leadership, something teams want if you’re going to be the leader of the defensive line.
One thing Allen struggles with is that he doesn’t know what type of player he is. As a top defender with so much incredible talent, he’ll have to either get bigger and be more of a defensive tackle or get faster and move to the end position.
Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford won’t want to go up against a guy like Allen twice a year. After two seasons or so, Allen should be molded into a perfect defensive lineman, something head coach John Fox is excellent at producing.
Next: 4. Jaguars take first tight end off the board
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) catches a 68-yard touchdown pass past Clemson Tigers safety Van Smith (23) during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: O.J. Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Back to back Alabama players get selected in this mock as the Jaguars decided to get more weapons for quarterback Blake Bortles.
Howard has risen up the 1st round boards quickly since the national championship game in January. Some analysts are comparing Howard to Julius Thomas, and we all know what Thomas is capable of when healthy.
Howard didn’t fail at Alabama but didn’t live up to expectations and has character questions. Some have even questioned his love for the game. I’m not going to buy too much into that, I think Howard has the potential to be an extremely productive tight end right away in year one.
The Jaguars could draft plenty of other guys here but after spending so much money and draft picks on defensive players in the last three years, I think it’s time for the Jaguars to go all-in on offense and draft a potential star in the NFL.
Howard’s 6’6″ frame and 4.51 speed should get Jaguar fans off their couch come September. Even though they may be drafting Howard a little higher than he should go, this is a risky pick that is worth it.
Next: 5. Titans select top safety
Oct 15, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers safety Jamal Adams (33) celebrates after picking up a fumble during the third quarter of a game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
5. Tennessee Titans: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
Spoiler: On the next page the New York Jets draft safety Malik Hooker out of Ohio State. Why am I ruining this for you? Because I think the Titans could just as easily draft Hooker and the Jets draft Adams.
Here’s why I think the Titans go Adams over Hooker. Adams is a strong safety, someone who’s incredible all across the field at tackling, and can even make a difference in the pass rush. Adams compares to Darren Woodson. Hooker is more of a play-making free safety, like Eric Berry, more on Hooker later.
George Adams, Jamal’s father was a first-round pick for the New York Giants in 1984. Adams is a natural leader something the Titans need on defense after releasing longtime veteran corner Jason McCourty.
Finally, the Titans have Jonathan Cyprien who could move to the free safety position. Adams can guard tight ends, but not receivers.
I think Adams is going to be a mix between Darren Woodson and Troy Polamalu, a hard tackler who plays across the entire field, but not the greatest play-maker. Adams also could end up playing special teams, he was fearless with 21 tackles on special teams his first two seasons.
Next: 6. Jets take best defensive back available
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker (24) intercepts a pass intended for Clemson Tigers wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) during the first half of the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
6. New York Jets: Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
Assuming you read the Titans on the previous page, you already saw this coming. If not, I think the Jets draft a safety, either Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker, depending on if either is available. If both were available, I think the Jets draft Hooker.
Hooker is a terrific play-making safety that needs a year or two to get accustomed to the speed of the NFL. The Ohio State secondary last year was crazy good, as fellow teammates, Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore show up later on in this mock.
Hooker is all over the field always trying to make a play on the football. He missed 17 tackles in his career so he needs to become a more consistent tackler.
Trust me Jet fans, this would be the best case scenario for Gang Green. Hooker is raw, but after one or two years he’ll be a top safety in the game, another reason why I think the Titans go with Adams over Hooker, Adams is ready day one, Hooker needs some time to figure it out.
Next: 7. Chargers take the first quarterback off the board
Nov 5, 2016; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) drops back to pass against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 48-20. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Finally, the fun begins. Quarterback Philip Rivers is not ready to retire, and that’s perfect. Ironically enough, Rivers went to North Carolina State, so the Chargers would be drafting their future quarterback right here.
Mitchell Trubisky, formerly Mitch, needs one or two years to get ready anyway, and this could be an Aaron Rodgers situation. Trubisky may have to wait an extra two years until he gets onto the field but then the Chargers will have their future quarterback and won’t have to compete with the 49ers for new fans and immediate success.
I know I said this was a team need mock draft, but I think several teams need a future quarterback and that will be shown later on. Trubisky has the most upside but still has a lack of experience. I like head coach Anthony Lynn, a former Jets assistant, and think he likes Rivers. But Rivers knows this move makes sense for Lynn and LA.
Next: 8. Panthers take a risk with this premier cornerback
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2) against the Clemson Tigers in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
8. Carolina Panthers: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Carolina Panthers secondary looked worse than the Jets last season and that’s saying something. Losing cornerback Josh Norman proved to hurt the Panthers way more than anyone expected.
Marshon Lattimore would’ve been a much higher pick if he didn’t have two surgeries following the college football season. It’s risky drafting a player who has chronic hamstring issues, but Lattimore’s speed is insane and his coverage abilities are great.
A great wrap-up tackler, and tackler in open field, Lattimore has the talent, it’s just a question or whether or not he can stay healthy.
The Panthers need a secondary player more than anything else, with quarterback Cam Newton‘s shoulder injury, it’s unknown how ready he’ll be once August is here. The Panthers could be contenders again for the 2018 season, so rushing Lattimore won’t be necessary.
Next: 9. Bengals add dynamic wide receiver
Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) carries the ball in the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at AT&T Stadium. The Badgers won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The Bengals went from one of the more prolific passing teams to a frustrated offense with quarterback Andy Dalton forcing the ball to A.J. Green. Now, imagine the Bengals with Corey Davis on one side and Green on the other?
There is no question the Bengals have more needs at other positions, they have Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler on the offensive line, and need more depth at the linebacker position. The pass rush could also use and upgrade, but Davis, in my opinion, is the best receiver in this class and will immediately make this Bengals offense a top 15 unit once again.
Davis was a four-year production stud, has the ability to make 50-50 ball catches, and a red zone all-star. Davis would be any quarterback’s dream because he comes back to the ball and is used to having plenty of targets and catches. He reminds me of a mix between Brandon Marshall and Antonio Brown, although maybe not as quick or physical as either, Davis has the potential to be a top-10 receiver in this league.
The Bengals can manage to address other needs throughout the rest of the draft but I think it would be a huge mistake to pass on Davis or fellow wideout, Mike Williams. I personally think Davis is better than Williams.
Next: 10. Bills draft next best available wide receiver
10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
The second best wide-out in the draft is easily Mike Williams. I understand he probably has more upside and potential with his body, but I still think Davis has a better motor and fewer question marks. Williams will line-up great with Sammy Watkins across the field.
The Buffalo Bills decided to keep quarterback Tyrod Taylor, which was a smart move, and Taylor needs more weapons to throw to. I think Corey Davis would be better for them as Watkins is very similar to Williams, both played and started for Clemson.
Williams’ problem is that he underperformed at Clemson. He had drop issues, a bad neck injury that kept him out of the 2015 season, something that worries a lot of NFL teams. I think he’s fine in that regard, but as you can already tell there are more things to be worried about Williams than there are about Davis.
The Bills also need a defensive back and offensive tackle, but it would probably be too early to draft a tackle and unless Lattimore slips, I see the Bills going wide receiver here.
Next: 11. Saints draft dynamic linebacker
Sep 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) is sacked by Temple Owls defensive linemen Haason Reddick (58) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple defeated Penn State 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports.
11. New Orleans Saints: Haason Reddick, Linebacker, Temple
Jet fans does that photo seem familiar? It should, because that’s Temple linebacker Haason Reddick sacking former Penn State quarterback, and current Jets quarterback, Christian Hackenberg.
Reddick is one of the highest risers since the national championship concluded college football’s 2016-2017 season. Originally a late 2-3rd round pick, Reddick has found himself in the top 10 of this year’s draft.
The Saints need better tacklers, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have Reddick going to the Saints with this pick, maybe one of the only sure predictions in this first round. Reddick is extremely explosive and reacts quickly, something linebacker coaches pray for. A former running back in high school, Reddick is way more athletic than most linebackers and that allows him to use his instincts to be a great cover linebacker as well.
He’s a bit undersized so he needs to get a little bit stronger to play at the NFL level. He also needs reps as he played in fewer than 70 percent of his team’s defensive snaps. He’ll be a bit of a project player in year one and two but by year three if everything goes to plan, he should be one of the better tackling linebackers in the league.
Next: 12. Browns bolster offensive line
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Cam Robinson (74) against Clemson Tigers defensive end Austin Bryant (91) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
12. Cleveland Browns: Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
This draft has a handful of quarterbacks who could succeed in this league. Yet I still think the Browns pass and wait on a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Cam Robinson is the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft and would be selected sooner if there weren’t so many skill position players. Robinson can play right tackle until future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Joe Thomas, retires or gets traded, then move over to left tackle.
Robinson is just a beast, at 6’6” and with an arm length of 35 and a half inches, Robinson just needs to work on his balance as he struggled with high-motor pass rushers. He has some inconsistencies that he can work on at right tackle while Thomas controls the left side of the line.
Drafting Robinson will allow the Browns to have a good young offensive line by the time the Browns draft a future quarterback. Adding Myles Garrett with the first pick in the draft makes the Browns already have one of the safest drafts this year.
Next: 13. Cardinals draft their next franchise quarterback
Nov 5, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) looks to throw the ball in the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
13. Arizona Cardinals: DeShone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame
The Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals have been dealing with quarterback Carson Palmer pretend to “maybe retire” for what seems like a decade. Head coach Bruce Arians said there’s one quarterback that would be worthy of taking in the 1st round.
I don’t know if Kizer is that guy, but I personally think he has the second most upside to Trubisky. Kizer should have stayed at Notre Dame like head coach Brian Kelly mentioned, but he didn’t and I think Arians, arguably one of the brightest offensive minds in football, can make something out of Kizer.
The Cardinals have the luxury of having a quarterback sit for at least one year and Kizer needs that more than any other quarterback in this draft. Kizer has at least one interception in 15 of his 23 starts and takes sacks way too often. He’s being compared to Steve McNair which may be a little bit too nice for Kizer.
I consider him to be more like a Donovan McNabb with a better ability to run. If he can improve his accuracy and vision and he allows Palmer to mentor him, the Cardinals found their quarterback of the future, in two to three seasons.
Next: 14. Eagles take the best running back of the draft
Mar 3, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette goes through workout drills during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
The first running back is off the board. Leonard Fournette, the running back that will make a name for himself in no time, is now in the city of brotherly love.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a myriad of problems when it came to the running back position, and with wide receivers Corey Davis and Mike Williams off the board, Philly grabs Fournette for quarterback Carson Wentz.
The production dropped from Fournette from his sophomore Heisman worthy season to his lazy and injury-plagued junior season where he sat out of the bowl game to stay healthy. There’s a lot of questions concerning Fournette’s attitude and his love of football, but for at least the first four seasons of his career, he’ll be a freak and help out a young Wentz.
This is an extremely smart pick that would go down live in Philadelphia, the home of this year’s draft. Philly fans would welcome Fournette with open arms and he’d be one of the more popular prediction picks for rookie of the year.
Overall, Fournette is the best overall running back in the draft and the Eagles would have a top 15 running back in the league this upcoming season.
Next: 15. The Colts draft offensive star
Nov 19, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) celebrates after a touchdown against the California Golden Bears during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Stanford Cardinal defeated the California Golden Bears 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
15. Indianapolis Colts: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
Quarterback Andrew Luck needs some help everywhere on offense. Whether it’s at the offensive line position, running back position, or wide receiver position, if they draft anyone in those positions this will be a good pick.
McCaffrey took the country by storm in the 2016 Rose Bowl game vs Iowa scoring rushing, receiving, and returning touchdowns. He led the team in rushing yards, receiving yards, and return yards. His final season this past fall wasn’t as good as people expected, however. Yet he still rushed for 1,603 yards with 13 touchdowns and had three receiving touchdowns too.
Why not have two Stanford products in the backfield? Why not add a guy who can help you in three parts of the game? The Colts need playmakers and they already got rid of tight end Dwayne Allen during the offseason. McCaffrey solidified his stock when he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash.
The one thing that bothers a lot of people is that he most likely will be unable to carry more than 20-25 carries in a game, but most teams in the NFL use more than one running back anyway. I think this would put the Colts offense in a great position next year, especially if they draft a few offensive linemen later on in the draft.
Next: 16. Ravens give Joe Flacco a new offensive weapon
Oct 29, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross (1) runs after a reception as Utah Utes linebacker Kavika Luafatasaga (55) pursues the play during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
16. Baltimore Ravens: John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington
John Ross is fast. Like Superman fast. So fast that he beat Chris Johnson‘s combine 40-yard dash record, posting an extremely fast time of 4.22
Ross is one of the most explosive players to enter the draft in years, only Tyreek Hill is comparable, but Hill had domestic violence issues and was drafted later on in the draft.
Ross came out of nowhere this season, after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2015, he compiled 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Ross is more of a slot receiver and that’ll be the interesting part of him, can be become more than a slot receiver and still dominate the league?
Quarterback Joe Flacco has one of the best arms in football and he needs to have a guy who can go 50 yards or longer on a pass play, Ross is that guy.
This is another smart pick like the previous selection, but Raven fans shouldn’t worry, Ross is a freak and will make the offense open up, something Flacco hasn’t had the opportunity to do in quite some time.
Next: 17. Redskins draft a solid running back
Nov 26, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball past Florida Gators defenders during the second half of the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
17. Washington Redskins: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
Dalvin Cook went from maybe the best running back in this class to third or maybe fourth behind Joe Mixon. Fumbling issues, off the field incidents, and injuries are the reason for his stock drop. That doesn’t mean he’s not a good running back, it just means he has extra questions.
Cook’s production and play never really questioned. He’s the first Florida State player to break the 1,000-yard barrier as a first-year starter.
His issue is that he doesn’t go up the middle too much, so chances are the team that drafts him needs a running back that can go up the middle. Adding in his arrests, Cook has the most potential to drop wild in the draft.
But he won’t, the Redskins desperately need a running back or a wideout to improve their offense, in which they lost two starting wide receivers. Cook will be a great playmaker for the Redskins to use in year one and in the future, the bigger question is whether or not the Redskins can re-sign Kirk Cousins after this season, Cook should be a staple of this Redskins offense for the next five years at least.
Next: 18. Titans add cornerback
Dec 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley (8) intercepts the ball intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams (7) during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
18. Tennessee Titans, Gareon Conley, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Titans, earlier in the mock draft, drafted safety Jamal Adams out of LSU. Now I have them adding former Ohio State corner Gareon Conley.
Previously mentioned, the Titans released McCourty, so they need someone to replace him. They added Logan Ryan from the Patriots but Ryan isn’t a number one cornerback.
Conley is a press-man corner and had above-average length. He plays close to the receiver and loves to make a play at the ball. He only allowed a 37 percent completion percentage.
If a receiver gets passed him, he tends to hold or reach to recover. Doesn’t play well when not in man defense. He’s not going to impress you with speed or any insane play making skills, but he’s a very good corner that gets the job done. If he gets better at run support he’ll be starting in year one.
Next: 19. Buccaneers bolster their pass rush
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jarrad Davis, Linebacker, Florida
Production and leadership aren’t issues that scouts see in Jarrad Davis. Injury issues, technique, and speed are the reasoning for his question marks.
Davis is perfect for a 4-3 scheme fit as an edge rusher and would be a day one starter in the NFL. The Buccaneers need a pass rusher who can create mayhem on defense, Davis is not going to be THE guy but he will no doubt help the poor Bucs pass rush.
Davis does a great job of redirecting tight ends in their routes and has the athletic frame to become much better in coverage, something teams will want.
He also does an incredible job of wrap-up tackling, something that gets unnoticed half the time. He never gives up on the play, many times winding up on the other side of the field or even better down the field on big plays that were given up. Will be a good QB Spy when needed vs quarterbacks with the ability to run.
Next: 20. Broncos add solid offensive tackle
Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk (65) during the Lambeau Field College Classic against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field. Wisconsin won 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
The second best tackle in this draft ends up on the team that needs a tackle most, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have had offensive line issues since Peyton Manning was behind center two seasons ago, so I think Ryan Ramczyk is a great addition to their line.
At 6’6” and 310 lbs, Ramczyk is one of the more interesting stories in this draft. After going to a technical college his freshmen year, he took a year off and transferred to the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He then transferred to Wisconsin where he sat out the 2015 season due to eligibility. Finally, in his one season at Wisconsin, he destroyed the talent, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
A few downsides. Ramczyk had to get hip surgery on a torn labrum following Wisconsin’s bowl game, something that may push a few teams away from him. Has a low and lack of a broad frame, which will allow edge rushers to get around him.
He’s extremely confident and can be a starter in year one, this pick makes sense as long as the hip is good.
Next: 21. Lions bolster their linebacker corps
Dec 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster (10) during warm-ups before the 2016 CFP Semifinal against the Washington Huskies at the Georgia Dome. Alabama defeated Washington 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
21. Detroit Lions: Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
This isn’t a great draft for linebackers. Foster normally would go a lot sooner, but with so many skill position players available, this is actually a great situation for the Detroit Lions.
A day-one starter for the Lions, Foster will bring his newfound speed and agility right away. Foster lost an impressive 20 pounds prior to the start of last season. Foster won the Butkus Award for the Nation’s best linebacker, recording 115 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks.
Alpha alpha alpha, Foster is a hard-hitting linebacker that doesn’t play with excuses. He’s tough as nails, even though he has injury questions. Foster is versatile and can go all across the field without any issues.
Not the greatest block breaker, had a bunch of stinger issues most likely because of his poor tackling technique, but if that can be fixed he won’t only be a better tackler, he’ll save himself from some bad injuries. The greatest part of Foster is that he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense, if healthy, he’s a top linebacker in this year’s draft.
Next: 22. Dolphins land a premier tight end
Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku (86) hauls in a touchdown catch in front of Duke Blue Devils cornerback Mark Gilbert (28) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami won 40-21. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
22. Miami Dolphins: David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
David Njoku was a lot closer in evaluation to O.J. Howard, that was until the national championship game happened and Howard went off.
Some things have changed since then but Njoku is the second best tight end in this year’s draft. He’s a major red zone threat and reminds a lot of scouts of Greg Olsen. Njoku has to become a better blocker and needs to work on his hands, having eight drops over two years.
He’s going to become a fearless pass catcher in the league and an absurd red zone threat. He can jump high so passes up the middle will be an option every time.
Overall, he’s one of the next major tight end pass catchers in the league, the Dolphins don’t necessarily need him but it would be hard to pass him up on with the 22nd pick.
Next: 23. Giants find Eli Manning's replacement
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates with the offensive MVP trophy after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
23. New York Giants: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
The man with all the accolades. The 2-time Heisman Finalist, CFP National Championship winner and game MVP, and even the former USA Today High School All-American winner is somehow the third quarterback off the board.
DeShaun Watson was a great college quarterback, that does not mean he will automatically be a great NFL quarterback. That goes for any player at any position, nevertheless the quarterback position.
Watson has the production, we all know that. What he doesn’t have is the frame, he’s smaller and will be getting hit harder, resulting in more injuries. He’s been in a shotgun offense the whole time and just doesn’t have consistent deep ball accuracy. It’s going to take a good amount of time to get him developed, which the Giants have time to give.
Eli Manning was a bottom-third quarterback last season, the Giants also added Geno Smith and Josh Johnson this offseason. The Giants understand that Eli only has so much left in the tank, and drafting Watson to be the quarterback of the future is the right move here. Just like the Cardinals and Chargers did earlier on in this mock.
The Giants are a team of history and they want to have a quarterback in the waiting for Eli, mostly in two to three years from now. Watson needs time to grow and learn how to play at the NFL level. My prediction is that this could be a Favre to Rodgers like transition for the Giants, just maybe not the same level of talent.
Next: 24. Raiders add another piece to their secondary
Nov 27, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Kevin King (20) almost intercepts a pass intended for Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tyler Baker (26) during the fourth quarter at Husky Stadium. Washington beat Washington State 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
24. Oakland Raiders: Kevin King, Cornerback, Washington
Kevin King enjoyed one of the best seasons in the history of the Washington Huskies football program. He also enjoyed the season of his life moving up draft boards all year long. He also had one of the craziest catches in the Arizona State game.
King has rare height at 6’3”. He had a lot more pass breakups in his senior season proving he can play the ball and can be a playmaker with his six interceptions.
He needs to get stronger and bigger, sometimes gets lazy on routes and plays the man instead of the ball. King could be transitioned to the free safety position because of his height and the way he plays the game.
Oakland needs a cornerback or a safety, King could be either, in high school he was a linebacker so he knows how to tackle.
Next: 25. Texans go offensive lineman instead of quarterback
Oct 29, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes offensive lineman Garett Bolles (72) celebrates a touchdown by Utah Utes tight end Evan Moeai (not pictured) during the second half against the Washington Huskies at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Washington won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
25. Houston Texans: Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah
If you thought Ramczyk had a wild story then here comes one that even crazier. Garett Bolles had a really troubled childhood that resulted in him embracing religion and hard work. Bolles enrolled in a Snow College near his home in Utah and became the top junior college prospect in the country after his sophomore season.
Bolles returned close to home to attend Utah where in one season he became first-team All-Pac 12 honors. Bolles is a project player, no doubt, he needs to become much bigger and learn how to play at the speed and power of the NFL level.
He is extremely athletic though and looks like he has been playing for years. He gets to the third level to advance the play and help to block downfield. Once again, all he needs to do is get bigger and stronger.
Besides the fact he is raw and that he needs to develop his skills further, he’s 25 years old, so he only has so much time to develop before he’s in the middle of his prime. The Texans opt to not get a quarterback here but remember, they also had a terrible offensive line last season. Bolles would get the chance early to learn from mistakes and could even move to the guard position for the Texans.
Next: 26. Seahawks add to their Legion of Boom
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Marlon Humphrey (26) celebrates a play in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
26. Seattle Seahawks: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama
The Seahawks sound like they need a cornerback because they’re “shopping” Richard Sherman this offseason. Nevertheless, the secondary is not what is used to be and neither is Sherman, so with or without him, Humphrey would be a great pick by the Seahawks.
With 45 tackles, three interceptions, and eight pass breakups, Humphrey had a great season with the incredible Alabama defense, that somehow lost on the last red zone possession of the college football season. Humphrey has great eyes, hips, and can make up for being a little over aggressive with his athleticism. Humphrey doesn’t let wide receivers block him easily and tries to strip the ball when possible, forcing three fumbles last year.
Humphrey, like every player, has some downsides, sometimes he’s too impatient which results in penalties. He needs to work on his footwork and be more consistent in man coverage. Allows big plays because he bites on fakes, these are little things that all revolve around patience and effort. The Seahawks may need a corner come draft day and unless they trade up, Humphrey may be the best option.
Next: 27. The Chiefs draft their future franchise quarterback
Nov 5, 2016; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) drops back to pass against the University of Texas Longhorns in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes III, Quarterback, Texas Tech
Quarterback for the future No. 4 off the board. This quarterback class needs time before they hop onto the field, look at what happened to the 2011 quarterback class. Except for Cam Newton, I’m referencing Jake Locker (out of the league because of concussions), Blaine Gabbert (currently a free agent), and Christian Ponder (currently a free agent).
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
The Chiefs showed they weren’t in love last year with quarterback Alex Smith, so much so that backup Nick Foles entered at times. Andy Reid is known to be a quarterback whisperer and who better for him to fix than Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes only played in the spread attack, an offense that makes the quarterback look way better than he actually is. Mahomes’ production is insane because of how insane Texas Tech’s offense was, but Mahomes is a big-bodied quarterback with strong legs, scoring twenty-two rushing touchdowns.
He needs to prove he can play under center, just like Deshaun Watson does. Mahomes is terribly inconsistent, sometimes he looks great sometimes he makes terrible decisions, Mark Sanchez-like decisions.
To say it fairly, Mahomes is a gunslinger, like Brett Favre, he has a crazy good arm and is mobile, does that remind anyone of Donovan McNabb or Favre? These are both quarterbacks that Reid coached. It’s a marriage waiting to happen.
Next: 28. Cowboys add big defensive end to the puzzle
Dec 30, 2016; Nashville , TN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Ryker Fyfe (17) throws the ball as Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett (9) defends during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
28. Dallas Cowboys: Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee
Barnett was sixth in all of college football with 12 sacks and was a first-team All-SEC as well in his final season. The Cowboys used to have a great pass rush, that’s not the reality anymore, Barnett would be a great guy to add.
Barnett has great hands, lethal hands, Jason Pierre-Paul club like hands. Scouts can’t rave enough about his hands. Hard hitter, doesn’t let players get away without a hit and manages to really knock around tight ends. Barnett does a really good job of recognizing play-action and screens.
He has admitted that it takes him a little bit to get going in the season, something that will bother coaches. Mobile quarterbacks can frustrate him and he doesn’t do a good job at guessing the snap resulting in frustrating penalties.
The Cowboys don’t need much but they do need help on the pass-rush, Barnett could be their guy late in the first round.
Next: 29. Packers get protection for Aaron Rodgers
Oct 15, 2015; Denton, TX, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Forrest Lamp (76) pre-snap during a game against the North Texas Mean Green at Apogee Stadium. Western Kentucky won 55-28. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
29. Green Bay Packers: Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
Forrest Lamp, what a name, was a Packer name. The Green Bay Packers don’t necessarily need a guard, but in this mock, Lamp dropped way further than he most likely will, and getting more protection for Aaron Rodgers would be a smart move; especially after losing pro-bowl guard T.J. Lang in free agency.
Lamp finished his career in the coolest way possible for an offensive lineman, scoring a touchdown with a “tackle screen” play in the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers bowl game. All Lamp needs to work on is minor technique issues and of course, get a little bigger.
Lamp is a sure fire guard and would replace T.J. Lang quickly and quietly, something the Packers would love to do.
Next: 30. Steelers add new receiving threat
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Godwin, Wide Receiver, Penn State
After his Rose Bowl performance vs USC, Godwin showed that he’s legit and can be a great wide receiver at the next level. The Steelers and Eagles brought in Godwin for a meeting and the Steelers may want to draft a wide receiver to replace Martavis Bryant who can’t stay on the field because of suspensions.
Godwin does a great job of leaping over defenders because of the way he positions himself with the cornerback. Godwin also does a terrific job of adjusting to the throw.
He needs to work on lazy drops and improve in the run blocking, but besides that, Godwin is very ready to succeed early on in his career, a lot like fellow Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson.
The Steelers could do a lot of different things with this pick but Godwin would enable them to have more weapons in their arsenal.
Next: 31. Falcons land a hybrid defensive player
Mar 6, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Connecticut Huskies defensive back Obi Melifonwu jumps up to stretch his legs before running the 40-yard dash during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
31. Atlanta Falcons: Obi Melifonwu, Safety, UCONN
If you thought Forrest Lamp was a cool name, Obi Melifonwu is even better. A four-year starter at safety, Melifonwu had 118 tackles and four interceptions in his senior season.
The most impressive thing about Melifonwu is that he had an insane broad jump at the 2017 NFL Combine. Melifonwu jumped 11’9” which is just insane, especially with his already 6’4” frame.
The Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn would love to have Melifonwu because he can play all over the place as safety or even a linebacker at times.
Melifonwu needs to work on his footwork and has to react better to the ball. Once he learns how to play at the NFL level he should be able to compete at the best level of football. He’s huge and athletic as Quinn will get another weapon in his secondary.
Next: 32. Saints land explosive pass rusher
Sep 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars linebacker Tyus Bowser (81) during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
32. New Orleans Saints: Tyus Bowser, Edge Pass Rusher, Houston
Tyus Bowser led the Houston Cougars football team with 8.5 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss, and that was after missing a month because of a broken orbital bone in his jaw from a fight with a teammate.
The explosive pass rusher has a great ability to get to the quarterback. With his aggressive moves using his shoulders, the ability to stop the run, and the ability to mirror the tight end routes, Bowser looks like he’s ready for the next level.
He’s a bit undersized and may not be able to get much bigger, if he works on his hands and improves against the run, Bowser should have what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
The Saints need help on defense, earlier in the mock, I had them drafting linebacker Hasson Reddick, adding an edge rusher allows them to bring youth to their defense and improve right away.