NFL Mock Draft: UNC's Mitch Trubisky first QB off the board, goes to 49ers at No. 2
North Carolina redshirt junior Mitch Trubisky will skip his final season and will be first QB selected
The first order of business for the 49ers is to identify the head coach and general manager to help lead the organization back to winning football. But after those decisions are made, the attention needs to shift to the quarterback position, where a complete overhaul is needed. And with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, San Francisco will have the opportunity to potentially find the long-term answer at the position.
Regardless of the offensive philosophy of the new head coach, Mitch Trubisky is a player that makes sense for the 49ers. His lack of ideal starting experience at the college level is the elephant in the war room, but he has all the traits evaluators seek for the next level with his size, athleticism and arm talent. Trubisky also shows the mental characteristics required with his ability to use the entire field and fit throws into tight windows between defenders. Unless the Browns fall in love with the Northeast Ohio product at No. 1, Trubisky is a worthy candidate for San Francisco at No. 2.
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 desperately needs life at the quarterback position, regardless of the front office and coaching situations. 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
DeShone Kizer , QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : The Bears have some intriguing talent on the roster, but the quarterback depth chart is disheartening. Although his tape shows youthful mistakes, Kizer also shows the veteran poise and ideal physical traits to play the position at a high level.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : Jacksonville has invested heavily in the defensive line, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Jaguars do so again if a talent like Allen is available for them.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)
Jamal Adams , SS, LSU Tigers : With a top-five pick, the Titans need to first and foremost add a difference-maker and Adams has that type of ability patrolling the secondary.
6. New York Jets
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson Tigers : Opinions from NFL scouts are all over the place on Watson and his draft value but the future of the position looks bleak for the Jets and the organization might need to take a chance on the Clemson product here.
7. San Diego Chargers
Malik Hooker , FS, Ohio State Buckeyes : The Chargers are feeling the void left by Eric Weddle a season ago in the secondary and while Hooker is raw in areas, he has the range and ball-hawking instincts to be an impact player quickly in his NFL career.
8. Carolina Panthers
Solomon Thomas , DE, Stanford Cardinal : After investing several premium draft picks at defensive tackle, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman will be shopping for pass rushers in this year's class. Thomas has the powerful hands and initial burst to beat blockers from various spots on the defensive line.
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
Derek Barnett , DE, Tennessee Volunteers : Regardless of scheme with the new head coach, Buffalo needs to get younger on the defensive line. Barnett isn't necessarily explosive, but he can bend and posted record-setting production the past three seasons in the SEC.
11. New Orleans Saints
Tim Williams , DE/OLB, Alabama: New Orleans ranked in the bottom half of the league in team sacks and pressures this season, lacking a true edge threat. Williams is inconsistent vs. the run at times, but he can also affect the pocket with his explosiveness.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Teez Tabor , CB, Florida Gators : The Browns' secondary was routinely torched this season with upgrades needed across the board. Tabor has the size, aggressiveness and cover instincts to disrupt the catch point and create turnovers.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Mike Williams , WR, Clemson: While wide receiver was a strength of Arizona not too long ago, Larry Fitzgerald is considering retirement 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
Leonard Fournette , RB, LSU: Is running back the top need for the Colts this offseason? No. But with a talent like Fournette still available for them in this scenario, it would be easy to see general manager Ryan Grigson drafting the uber-talented running back.
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. 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: 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
Garett Bolles , OT, Utah Utes : One of the priorities for John Elway and the Broncos this offseason is to address a leaky offensive line. Despite only one season of starting experience for the Utes, Bolles has the NFL skill set to start with the upside to outplay his draft position.
21. Detroit Lions
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State: The Lions' inconsistent pass defense was a glaring weakness all season with depth issues at cornerback. Lattimore has dealt with injuries over his career, but when healthy in 2016, he showed all the tools to be an impact NFL starter.
22. Miami Dolphins
Jabrill Peppers , LB/S, Michigan Wolverines : Is he a true safety? Linebacker? Nickel? Truth is, Peppers is a little bit of all those positions and should be used that way. The Dolphins' defense would be able to find a place for his unique skill set.
23. New York Giants
Taco Charlton , DE, Michigan: With Jason Pierre-Paul on a one-year deal, defensive end is a possible need this offseason. Charlton, who has some traits reminiscent of Justin Tuck out of Notre Dame, has all the ingredients of an NFL starter.
24. Oakland Raiders
Zach Cunningham , LB, Vanderbilt Commodores : The Raiders have invested several high picks in the front seven and should again if Oakland has a chance to draft an impact middle linebacker. Cunningham's Vandy tape is a clinic for how to play the position.
25. Houston Texans
Cam Robinson , OT, Alabama: The Texans have been hurting on the offensive line and unfortunately the 2017 class doesn't look like a strong group. However, Robinson has starting ability and first-round skills if his off-field checks out.
26. Green Bay Packers
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: The Packers' Jekyll-and-Hyde offense is missing a true weapon at tight end and Howard has the athletic versatility to line up inline and out wide.
27. Seattle Seahawks
Ryan Ramczyk , OT, Wisconsin Badgers : 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. As long as he is healthy, Ramczyk projects as a Day 1 starter at either tackle or guard.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Takkarist McKinley , DE/OLB, UCLA Bruins : The Steelers have several question marks at pass rusher heading into next season and could look to address that need through the draft. McKinley is a tick undersized, but his athleticism and active hands allows him to penetrate the backfield.
29. Atlanta Falcons
Charles Harris , DE, Missouri Tigers : The Falcons' pass rush has been sporadic this season and hasn't lived up to the vision of head coach Dan Quinn. Harris has the edge quickness and burst to capture the edge and give blockers trouble.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Quincy Wilson , CB, Florida: Marcus Peters is a stud and Steven Nelson looks like a promising building block on the Chiefs' cornerback depth chart. But there are questions after that and Wilson fits the Chiefs' profile with his physical style.
31. Dallas Cowboys
Sidney Jones , CB, Washington: Rookie Anthony Brown looks like a future starter, but Morris Claiborne is a free agent after the season, Brandon Carr hasn't lived up to his contract and Orlando Scandrick has struggled to stay healthy. Jones is well-versed in man-to-man and zone schemes, blanketing receivers all over the field.
32. New England Patriots
Christian McCaffrey , RB, Stanford: Whether used in the backfield or the slot, McCaffrey gives a versatile Patriots offense more options. His run intelligence and athleticism are a combination New England will appreciate more than some other clubs.
Note: The regular season is complete and the top 20 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft are now official. Teams that advance to the NFL playoffs will make up picks 21-32, based on the outcome of the postseason.
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