2017 NFL Mock Draft: Browns, Cardinals, Texans, Chiefs roll the dice on QBs
After signing Mike Glennon for big bucks, the Bears go with a CB with their top pick
Mock drafts pre-free agency mean very little. Heck, mock drafts right now mean very little. But it is still an interesting exercise to project possible scenarios of what teams might do in Round 1. With the initial wave of free agency over, there were plenty of moves that impacted the first round forecast, especially at quarterback.
With Mike Glennon signing for big bucks in Chicago, the likelihood of the Bears going quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick went from low to slim. And with the Texans unloading Brock Osweiler , the chances of the Texans addressing quarterback at No. 25 overall went from doubtful to very possible. The other move that could possibly impact how the quarterbacks come off the board? The Saints acquiring pick No. 32 from the Patriots in the Brandin Cooks trade. In this mock draft, the top four quarterbacks were already off the board, but New Orleans is in a much better position to leapfrog the Texans or Chiefs to ensure they grab the quarterback of the future if that is the direction they want to go.
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett , DE/OLB, Texas A&M: The combine basically confirmed this pick. Cleveland choosing Garrett is the easiest decision for a team picking No. 1 overall since the Indianapolis Colts drafted Andrew Luck .
2. San Francisco 49ers
Solomon Thomas , DE, Stanford Cardinal : Yes, there is the Stanford connection with general manager John Lynch, but more importantly, Thomas is an excellent football player who adds immediate pass rush help on the defensive line.
3. Chicago Bears
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State Buckeyes : The Bears signed Prince Amukamara to a one-year “prove it” deal, but there are still plenty of question marks at cornerback for Chicago. If the doctors give two thumbs up then Lattimore is worth this high selection.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : The Jaguars have invested heavily into the defensive line, but that shouldn’t persuade them from drafting Allen, who can play multiple roles for Todd Wash’s defense.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)
Jamal Adams , SS, LSU: Tennessee added free agent Jonathan Cyprien to the mix, but there isn’t a body on the safety depth chart that should keep the Titans from drafting Adams if he is available.
6. New York Jets
Malik Hooker , FS, Ohio State: The Jets have no choice but to address the secondary this offseason with question marks at both cornerback and safety. Hooker is coming off two surgeries, but is on track to be ready for training camp.
7. Los Angeles San Diego Chargers
Ryan Ramczyk , OT, Wisconsin Badgers : Adding Russell Okung helps, but the Chargers still have too many leaks on the offensive line. Adding a talent like Ramczyk will continue the organization’s commitment to protecting the quarterback.
8. Carolina Panthers
Leonard Fournette , RB, LSU Tigers : Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per rush and reached the 100-yard mark in only one game last season, his ninth in the NFL. Fournette is a freak talent who would instantly add juice to the Panthers’ offense.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Reuben Foster , LB, Alabama: Linebacker Rey Maualuga is a serviceable player, but Foster would be an instant upgrade with his combination of play speed, instincts and violence -- as long as that violence remains on the field.
10. Buffalo Bills
Corey Davis , WR, Western Michigan Broncos : The Corey Brown signing helps depth, but Sammy Watkins needs a sidekick and Davis offers the size, athleticism and receiving traits to make an immediate impact.
11. New Orleans Saints
Derek Barnett , DE, Tennessee: The Saints need to find pass rushers who can threaten the pocket and Barnett has his GPS locked onto the quarterback at all times.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: Ideal scenario for Cleveland? Garrett at No. 1 and then the hometown kid falls to No. 12. Trubisky has only 13 career starts, but all the traits are present for him to be a reliable NFL starter.
13. Arizona Cardinals
DeShone Kizer , QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : Many believe this will be the final season for Carson Palmer in the NFL and the Cardinals need to plan for the future at the position. Kizer is inconsistent, but the physical tools and mental ability are worth developing.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Christian McCaffrey , RB, Stanford: The Eagles have surrounded second-year quarterback Carson Wentz with weapons on offense, but adding a versatile threat like McCaffrey is something that should frighten the rest of the NFC East.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Haason Reddick , LB, Temple Owls : Coming from Kansas City, new Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands the impact of speed on defense and that is exactly what Reddick offers. He can line up inside or outside and give position flexibility to drop in coverage or blitz.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Mike Williams , WR, Clemson Tigers : The Ravens have plenty of speed at receiver, but only average size. Williams has only average speed, but his body control, catch radius and overall size are where he shines.
17. Washington Redskins
Malik McDowell , DL, Michigan State Spartans : McDowell has an impressive blend of size, athleticism and power to be effective from multiple positions along the defensive line.
18. Tennessee Titans
John Ross , WR, Washington Huskies : Although his lack of size and occasional drops aren’t ideal, Ross can fly and would help open the offense for Marcus Mariota .
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dalvin Cook , RB, Florida State Seminoles : There are plenty of names on Tampa’s running back depth chart, but also plenty of questions. Cook has some questions of his own, but reuniting him and Jameis Winston in the same backfield would be fun to watch.
20. Denver Broncos
David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.): The Broncos have plenty of names on the tight end depth chart, but no difference-makers. Njoku is only 20 and still raw in areas, but his potential is off the charts.
21. Detroit Lions
Marlon Humphrey , CB, Alabama: Poor play by the cornerback position hurt the Lions often last season, but this is a deep class to address that need. While inconsistent, especially playing the ball downfield, Humphrey is tall, long and fast and should only get better.
22. Miami Dolphins
Taco Charlton , DE, Michigan Wolverines : The Dolphins will be looking to add another pass-rush option in the draft and Charlton is an ascending prospect that can be groomed behind Cameron Wake .
23. New York Giants
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: The Giants have been able to find bargain-bin tight ends in recent draft classes, but the value of Howard at this point in the draft might be too enticing to pass up.
24. Oakland Raiders
Zach Cunningham , LB, Vanderbilt Commodores : The Raiders could use a tough, rangy linebacker and Cunningham fits the bill with his ball awareness, play speed and length to keep himself free from blocks.
25. Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: The Brock Osweiler era in Houston is over and now the franchise searches for the future of the position. Mahomes is still very raw in several areas, but his arm talent and instincts are worth the gamble.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Garett Bolles , OT, Utah Utes : A polarizing prospect in league circles, Bolles has a checkered past and is an older prospect who still needs plenty of strength and technique work. However, he is a fantastic athlete with the mean streak that will endear him to NFL coaches.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson: This might be an ideal scenario for both the Chiefs and Watson. Kansas City secures the future of the position and Watson goes to a winning organization where his skill-set fits what the head coach wants to do on offense.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charles Harris , DE, Missouri Tigers : The Cowboys are in search of a right defensive end who can wrap the edge and put pressure on the pocket. Harris is the latest off the line in the Missouri pass rush factory.
29. Green Bay Packers
Forrest Lamp , OG, Western Kentucky: The Packers lost several offensive linemen to free agency and now have strong question marks at offensive guard. A four-year starter at left tackle, Lamp is a plug-and-play guard in the Zack Martin mold.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt , DE/OLB, Wisconsin: Whether he is lined up inside or outside, Watt is a versatile linebacker with the athleticism and competitive drive that will help him make plays on the football field.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Obi Melifonwu , DB, Connecticut Huskies : Ricardo Allen has held his own at free safety, but Melifonwu brings positional versatility to the secondary and would give Atlanta a dynamic safety duo along with last year’s first rounder Keanu Neal .
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England)
Fabian Moreau , CB, UCLA Bruins : A high school running back, Moreau timed well at the combine, but more importantly, his workout numbers match the tape as he allows very little separation between him and receiver.
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