2017 NFL Mock Draft: Browns and Bills trade into top five to grab quarterbacks
Will Brinson's fifth 2017 NFL Mock Draft features a pair of teams trading into the top five to grab quarterbacks
The most fascinating thing about this upcoming NFL Draft is the group of quarterbacks we have to evaluate. All of the “Big Four” -- Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer -- could go anywhere from No. 1 overall to the second round.
There’s some clarity in the group, but there really isn’t any telling what the teams at the top of the draft are going to do. If they don’t grab anyone, these quarterbacks could fall.
But teams could also move up. And that’s exactly what we have happening in the latest rendition of my mock (if you hate it, holler at me on Twitter @WillBrinson), with multiple teams making BOLD MOVES, flying up into the top five to take quarterbacks.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: It’s very difficult to imagine the Browns going in a different direction with this pick, even if they desperately need a quarterback.
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State: A ball-hawking machine who might need a redshirt year finds a perfect landing spot with a team that is one year away and sitting on a head coach and GM who have six-year contracts and can take their time to build a winning franchise.
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: The Bears got Mike Glennon as their quarterback for 2017, which means they can now sit back and worry about getting better players on the roster. Allen immediately qualifies and can be an impact player out of the gate.
4. Cleveland Browns (via mock trade with Jacksonville Jaguars)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: The Browns wanted to stay put and take the best player available to them at No. 12, but then Trubisky slid through the top three. They dialed up Jacksonville, offered a second-round pick and No. 12 for the No. 4 and made the move.
5. Buffalo Bills (via mock trade with Tennessee Titans; from Los Angeles Rams)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Fearing that the Jets might want to nab Watson, the Bills make a bold, Doug Whaley-style move to go up and grab another ACC quarterback who was highly productive but has issues about the system. (Gulp.) The Bills give up a third-round pick to the Titans and swap fourth-round picks to make things more or less even.
Jamal Adams, S, LSU: Best player on the board here for the Jets makes sense and they need players at basically every position, including the secondary. Adams could be a stud in Todd Bowles’ secondary.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: Not buying all the running back hype here for Carolina, although it’s entirely possible that Thomas isn’t sitting here come the draft. If he is there, he would make a lot of sense for the Panthers as a blue-chip rusher to complement the homegrown talent on the roster.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: This is a marriage that just makes a lot of sense, even if Foster has some off-field issues. Maybe that’s why it makes a lot of sense.
10. Tennessee Titans (via mock trade with Buffalo Bills)
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Love, love, love the idea of the Titans getting Howard, still having Delanie Walker and going with this monstrous two tight end set with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. He’s a legit enough “No. 1 weapon” for Marcus Mariota too.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: This could change if the Saints land Malcolm Butler (mainly because the Patriots might be picking here!) but for now we’ll give them some pass rush help from a highly productive SEC player.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars (via mock trade with Cleveland; from Philadelphia)
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: It seems MUCH more palatable to take Fournette outside the top 10 and he would immediately help everyone on Jacksonville’s offense. Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon are decent backs but Fournette is an absolute horse.
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: Few teams have been at the forefront as much as the Cardinals when it comes to getting play-makers and ignoring an actual position. They signed Antoine Bethea and have Tyrann Mathieu but Peppers would give them even more versatility.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Anyone who acts like McCaffrey can’t be a feature back is just being dumb when it comes to how the game works in 2017. Darren Sproles has been a game-changer for this team for the past few years in multiple phases; McCaffrey will be the perfect addition to help Carson Wentz grow and replace Sproles.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: Give Chuck Pagano some guys he can use in his system for once and see how it works out. McDowell has some major upside and the Colts have to get tougher in the trenches.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA: Dominant pass rusher who had a huge 2016 season for UCLA. The Ravens have a lot of needs right now, but they certainly have the need for some more pass rushers on the edge and McKinley could fit the bill easily.
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple: Monster lead-up to the draft could end up with Reddick going higher, but for now I’m going to peg him to Washington, because it makes a lot of sense, and given the way the chips fell here, it’s entirely plausible to see it happening.
18. Tennessee Titans
John Ross, WR, Washington: Man, they are passing up on a chance to add a defensive player by doing this, but if you walk away from this draft having gotten an extra third-round pick and acquiring Howard and Ross you are doing something good.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: It feels like finding another solution for Doug Martin needs to be in play here. Adding DeSean Jackson in free agency was an outstanding move, but there needs to be a running game to balance things out. Pair Cook with his old teammate, Jameis Winston.
20. Denver Broncos
21. Detroit Lions
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: The Lions did a great job addressing the offensive line in free agency, so why not use the draft to bring in some pass-rush help? Double bonus when it’s a local guy with an incredible name.
22. Miami Dolphins
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: The Dolphins ... kind of look like they’re in good shape. But they could use some more talent in the secondary and adding a guy from Bama who can step in and make an impact early will not hurt.
23. New York Giants
24. Oakland Raiders
David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.): Oakland just signed Jared Cook, but that actually makes the Njoku pick even more plausible. He doesn’t have to step in and be a dominant pass catcher right now.
25. Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: In lieu of, and perhaps even despite, a Tony Romo signing, we’re going to keep giving the Texans a quarterback for the future. This is a much better investment than Brock Osweiler. Which is like saying [any stock] is a much better investment than Enron.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama: There will not be a mock draft where we give the Seahawks anything other than an offensive lineman moving forward. They need help there. It’s a need pick, but John Schneider admits that happens in 2017.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: This is too far for him to fall! But he fell here and so the Chiefs scoop up Davis. They have enough weapons to let him come along slowly without suffering offensively.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: There are times when fit and need come together and this is one of those times. As good as the Cowboys have been drafting on offense, they haven’t been great on defense lately. They need pass rush help.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, Southern California: The Packers also badly need help on the secondary front and Jackson gives them a ton of upside, a guy who might not be available to them if he went back to school for a year.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: The Steelers’ young defense looks good, and so does the whole roster, and there are plenty of cornerbacks here. But this is nice value and depth in the secondary isn’t a bad thing (maybe someone could cover Chris Hogan).
31. Atlanta Falcons
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin: Just feels like the Falcons are going to be a team that takes athletes who are capable of making plays and then putting them in positions to make those plays. Watt fits the bill and obviously has the pedigree.
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots)
Obi Melifonwu, CB, Connecticut: Again, it all depends on Malcolm Butler happening (or not), but the Saints are probably going to lean defense with this pick and the super freakish corner out of UConn would make a lot of sense for them.
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