2017 NFL Mock Draft: Jets shake up board with QB, Patriots land game-changing TE
The Jets take Deshaun Watson and send a ripple effect down the draft board
The NFL combine is here. Measurements have been taken. Interviews are being conducted. Players will run, throw, punt, pass, kick, jump and more over the next few days, and all those events will have drastic effects on the shape of the 2017 NFL Draft.
We have to work with the information we have when prognosticating, though, and for now, this is how we see the selections shaking out in Mock Draft 3.0.
Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M: There was some about Mitch Trubisky , but the guess here is the Cleveland Browns stick with their Best Player Available plan and take Garrett.
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina Tar Heels : The San Francisco 49ers , not content to wait and see how another year of the Kirk Cousins plays out, take Trubisky and let Kyle Shanahan mold him into the player that can make the system work.
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : The Chicago Bears are apparently gearing up to go in free agency but none of the rumored targets helps along the defensive line. Sliding Allen into that front seven makes for an instant upgrade.
Solomon Thomas , DE, Stanford Cardinal : Thomas isn’t quite Garrett, but he’s the closest thing in this draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been working to upgrade their defense for years, and it’s not that Thomas could be the final piece of the puzzle, but he would help immensely.
5. Tennessee Titans (from L.A. Los Angeles Rams )
Jamal Adams, SS, LSU: The Titans are reportedly Saints receiver Brandin Cooks to give Marcus Mariota some help. Using the draft to upgrade their defense would be a wise move, and they need help in the secondary more than anywhere else.
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson: With free-agent and tradable quarterbacks rumored to be heading everywhere but New York, the New York Jets make their move by snagging Watson to be their QB of the future. After the release of Brandon Marshall, the next step will be finding Watson some weapons.
Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State: As we wrote last week: If the San Diego Chargers retain Melvin Ingram in free agency (he has since been ), get Jason Verrett healthy again and draft Hooker, they can sneak up on people with one of the best defenses in the league next season.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU Tigers : Fournette checked in at 240 pounds while weighing in at the , which is extremely heavy for a running back. That didn’t stop the Titans from snatching Derrick Henry early in the draft last year, though, and we don’t think it’ll stop anyone from taking a shot on Fournette, either.
Reuben Foster , LB, Alabama: The Cincinnati Bengals badly need help defending the run, where Foster can provide assistance immediately. His athleticism would be a benefit in the passing game as well.
10. Buffalo Bills
DeShone Kizer , QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : With the Jets swooping in for Watson, Buffalo changes course and takes Kizer, who had some monster measurements at the combine and put together an excellent season at Notre Dame.
Teez Tabor , CB, Florida Gators : As mentioned earlier, the New Orleans Saints are exploring Brandin Cooks trades. Coach Sean Payton says they’re looking to improve the defense, but that it’ll take a for them to move the speedy wideout. If and when something happens, things could change draft-wise, but until it does, they have to get some help on the back end. Tabor is the pick here.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State: With the top three quarterbacks coming off the board inside the first 10 picks, the Browns make another defensive selection, pairing a cover guy with the pass-rusher they got at No. 1.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson Tigers : New week, same pick, same reasoning: Michael Floyd is already gone. Larry Fitzgerald is back for one more year, but might retire at the end of the season. John Brown is great when he’s on the field, but he’s small and slight and the Arizona Cardinals don’t yet know how his sickle-cell trait will affect his play. J.J. Nelson is a burner but hasn’t shown much else yet. If the Cards can add the draft’s top receiver at No. 13, that’s a great get.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: The Philadelphia Eagles are another team reportedly in the mix for Cooks, but even if they trade for him, they have to give Carson Wentz some more help. Running out Cooks, Jordan Matthews and Davis would turn a weakness into something more approximating a strength.
15. Indianapolis Colts
16. Baltimore Ravens
Takkarist McKinley , OLB, UCLA Bruins : The Baltimore Ravens have a knack for turning athletic linebacker prospects into stars. If they get their hands on McKinley midway through the first round, the same could happen with him.
Zach Cunningham , OLB, Vanderbilt Commodores : When you’re in the same division as the Dallas Cowboys , you need to stop the run. Washington couldn’t do that last season. Enter Cunningham, the SEC’s leading tackler.
18. Tennessee Titans
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida: If the Titans can land Wilson and Adams with their two first-rounders, they’ll really be onto something with their planned defensive upgrades.
John Ross, WR, Washington: Ross’ speed would be the perfect complement to Mike Evans ’ physicality. The two of them would stretch the field for each other, giving the other room to make the plays he makes best.
20. Denver Broncos
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: Whoever the Broncos’ quarterback is -- it’s Tony Romo or one of the Paxton Lynch/Trevor Siemian -- they need to make sure he’s well-protected. Ramczyk is this year’s top O-lineman and can slide in right away.
21. Detroit Lions
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: We’ll keep saying it: When you sack the quarterback only 26 times in a season, it’s safe to say you need help getting after the passer. Barnett consistently put the quarterback on the ground during his time at Tennessee and would be a great fit.
22. Miami Dolphins
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: We’ve had Miami’s David Njoku here over the past few weeks, but with Howard still on the board this time around, the Miami Dolphins go with the even freakier prospect.
23. New York Giants
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: The New York Giants used their on Jason Pierre-Paul , making it more likely that they’ll have to address the offensive line come draft day. Coach Ben McAdoo recently called Ereck Flowers an “offensive lineman” and not a left tackle, opening up the possibility that he could swing back over to the right side where he belongs. Robinson could take over protecting Eli’s back.
24. Oakland Raiders
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Oakland began a secondary makeover last offseason with the signings of Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson and the drafting of Karl Joseph. Adding Humphrey to that group would complete the two-season process of upgrading a big weakness.
25. Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: Mahomes has been a hot name this week in Indianapolis, and if he’s still around at No. 25, the Houston Texans could find themselves an inexpensive solution to their Brock Osweiler problem.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky: The Seattle Seahawks are holding a competition between C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls come training camp, Pete Carroll says, but it won’t matter who wins if their offensive line can’t block. Lamp can slide in anywhere on the offensive line and help out.
Haason Reddick , OLB, Temple Owls : Reddick is exactly the knd of flexible linebacker the Kansas City Chiefs need to bridge the gap between the current era of their defense and the next one. He can rush the passer, drop into coverage and come up and play the run from nearly any alignment.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: Jerry Jones says he’s looking for some “war daddies” to help Rod Marinelli’s defensive front. Charlton is a war daddy. He can play all over the line and consistently make plays in the backfield.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: It might seem risky for the Green Bay Packers to take another small cornerback given their issues with that type of player, but Jones plays bigger than his size and his coverage skills are too good to pass up this late in the first.
Jabrill Peppers , S, Michigan Wolverines : Peppers is more athlete than safety right now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have experience taking players that make plays and turning them into technicians that also have the ability to do things that are outside the ordinary.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Charles Harris , DE, Missouri: Harris brings a different element to the Atlanta pass rush than 2016 sack leader Vic Beasley .
David Njoku, TE, Miami: We all know how much the New England Patriots like to run their two-tight end sets. With Martellus Bennett looking like he’s going to cash in elsewhere in free agency, the Pats turn their eyes to Njoku, who is a physical freak and can provide a massive complement to Rob Gronkowski .
*Picks 14 and 15 to be determined by coin flip.
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