2017 NFL Mock Draft: Kizer to the Browns, Cowboys find Witten's replacement
The Browns get the best player in the draft and a QB project, while O.J. Howard heads to the Big D
At this point, it would be a major upset if Texas Longhorns A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett is not the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Cleveland gets an impact player from Day 1 and the type of rush threat that the offense needs to account for on every snap.
But what about at pick No. 12, where do the Browns go there? With a roster that needs help everywhere, Cleveland’s second first-round pick is a true wild card. While there might not be a quarterback in this class that Hue Jackson and the Browns feel comfortable taking at No. 1, is there a player who is worth the risk at No. 12? It’s possible, and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer makes sense. He is still young in several areas, which is understandable for a passer who just turned 21 years old, but what might he look like in two or three years after receiving NFL coaching and more experience?
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett , DE/OLB, Texas A&M: The Browns have needs all over the roster and unless they fall in love with a quarterback, this pick needs to be the best talent in the draft, which is Garrett.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Mitch Trubisky , QB, North Carolina Tar Heels : San Francisco has its new coach (and offense) with Kyle Shanahan but he still needs a capable quarterback to run it. Despite only one season of starting experience, Trubisky, who will skip his senior season, has all the traits to be a successful NFL starter.
3. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : Many around the league believe Jimmy Garoppolo is headed to Chicago and if that is the case, the Bears will go best available with this pick, which would be Jonathan Allen in this scenario.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jamal Adams , SS, LSU Tigers : The Jaguars hit a home run with Jalen Ramsey in last year’s first round and could continue upgrading the secondary this year with Jamal Adams, who fits Jacksonville’s profile.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)
Malik Hooker , FS, Ohio State Buckeyes : The Titans need to find upgrades in the secondary and although he has some injury question marks, Hooker has the play-making skills to be an All-Pro.
6. New York Jets
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State: The Jets have no choice but to address the secondary this offseason with question marks at both cornerback and safety. Lattimore is a very gifted athlete for his size with sticky coverage skills.
7. San Diego Chargers
Solomon Thomas , DL, Stanford Cardinal : The Chargers hit a home run with Joey Bosa last year and could swing for the fences again with Thomas, who would be a great fit both inside and outside in Gus Bradley’s scheme.
8. Carolina Panthers
Leonard Fournette , RB, LSU: 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.
10. Buffalo Bills
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson Tigers : The Tyrod Taylor situation in Buffalo will continue to play itself out the next few weeks, but if he’s out of the picture then Watson becomes an intriguing option with this pick. Not sure this would be the right move, but it is definitely plausible.
11. New Orleans Saints
Teez Tabor , CB, Florida Gators : The Saints ranked dead last in the NFL last season in passing yards allowed and collected only nine interceptions (only three by cornerbacks). Tabor fits New Orleans’ scheme and would help from Day 1.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : The Browns need to find the long-term answer at quarterback and that might be Kizer, who has the physical traits and mental capacity to develop into a high-end starter.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Mike Williams , WR, Clemson: While wide receiver was a strength of Arizona not too long ago, Larry Fitzgerald is nearing the end and Michael Floyd is now in New England. Williams could develop into the new No. 1 pass catcher for the Cardinals.
14. *Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts
Takkarist McKinley , DE, UCLA Bruins : Coming from Kansas City, new Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands the impact of speed rushing off the edge and McKinley is an ascending talent with plenty of juice.His shoulder injury is the only obstacle from the UCLA product landing this high in the draft.
15. *Philadelphia Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Marlon Humphrey , CB, Alabama: The Eagles are desperate for help at cornerback and there should be several options for the franchise in the mid-first round. Humphrey has given up several big plays this season, but NFL coaches will be salivating at his size and skill set.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Dalvin Cook , RB, Florida State Seminoles : The Ravens have a stable of average backs on the roster, which is one of the reasons they ranked near last in the NFL in rushing in 2016. Cook would help change that and open up the offense.
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
Corey Davis , WR, Western Michigan Broncos : The Titans have plenty of bodies on the wide receiver depth chart, but no true difference-maker. Davis is one of the most prolific wideouts in college football history and is the complete package as a receiver.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Ross , WR, Washington Huskies : Mike Evans is the top target of Jameis Winston , but he needs help. Ross is dwarfed by Evans in size, but his explosive athleticism and savvy route-running will only improve the Tampa offensive attack.
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-years old and still raw in areas, but his potential is off the charts.
21. Detroit Lions
Derek Barnett , DE, Tennessee Volunteers : Detroit needs to address the issues at cornerback, but upgrading the pass rush with an edge rusher like Barnett will impact the back seven as well.
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
Garett Bolles , OT, Utah Utes : Bolles is a polarizing prospect throughout the league. After taking some time off from the game, he rediscovered his love for the game, showing NFL-level athleticism, but needs strength and technique work.
24. Oakland Raiders
Haason Reddick , LB, Temple Owls : A defensive back-turned-rusher in college, Reddick will make the move to linebacker in the NFL and has the athleticism to be a star.
25. Houston Texans
Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin Badgers : With the question mark at right tackle moving forward, offensive tackle is one of the most pressing needs for the Texans this offseason. And Ramcyzk is a discount at this point in the draft due to his hip injury.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Forrest Lamp , G, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers : The Seahawks are getting by with the bodies they have on the offensive line, but that doesn’t mean Seattle shouldn’t be looking for upgrades. Lamp can probably survive at tackle in the NFL, but he might be a Pro Bowl guard with his square-blocking skill set and stubborn mentality.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Zach Cunningham , LB, Vanderbilt Commodores : With Derrick Johnson ’s career in question due to injuries, inside linebacker is a position the Chiefs will look to address this offseason. Cunningham plays with the take-on strength and reaction quickness to fill and cover ground.
28. Dallas Cowboys
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: The Cowboys have defensive needs at every level, but if Howard is still on the board, it will be tough for Dallas to pass him up. He will contribute as a rookie and give Dallas a long-term option after Jason Witten retires.
29. Green Bay Packers
Sidney Jones , CB, Washington: The Packers need help on the cornerback depth chart and Jones is well-versed in multiple coverages with the athleticism and ball skills to make plays.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jabrill Peppers , LB/S, Michigan: Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to properly replace the hole left by Troy Polamalu at strong safety and although Peppers isn’t on that level, he has intriguing blend of athleticism and physicality.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Charles Harris , DE, Missouri Tigers : The Falcons’ pass rush was improved in 2016 and helped advance Atlanta to the Super Bowl. But more help is needed and Harris adds a different style of rusher to the arsenal.
32. New England Patriots
Tim Williams , DE, Alabama: With his baggage, Williams will likely tumble on draft day, which could mean falling right into the laps of the Super Bowl champions.
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