2017 NFL Mock Draft: John Ross flies into top 10 and the Jets land Deshaun Watson
The Jets find their QB, the Bills add a vertical weapon and the Pats take a Belichickian RB in this mock
The combine is over and free agency has begun. Both events have a significant impact on the draft, as players rise and fall based on their athletic testing and team needs change as a result of signings. Changes abound in Mock Draft 4.0.
Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M: Garrett solidified himself as the best prospect in this draft with a monster performance at the combine. He’s the No. 1 pick, barring something crazy happening between now and draft day.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: With an acceptable bridge QB on board in Brian Hoyer, the 49ers load up with another Pac-12 defensive lineman, adding Thomas to a group that includes 2015 and 2016 first-rounders Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: Jacksonville spent big on defense in the early days in free agency, reeling in Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Barry Church. Adding Lattimore to a secondary with Bouye, 2016 first-rounder Jalen Ramsey, Churh and Tashaun Gipson would complete their long-in-the-works defensive makeover.
5. Tennessee Titans (from L.A. Rams)
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette’s 40-yard dash time didn’t blow people away at the combine, but it was excellent for a player his size. Adding him to Cam Newton would give the Panthers one of the NFL’s most dominant run games.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: There might be some concern about Foster after his dismissal from the combine but he’s still a top-10 talent. The bet here is that the talent wins out over other concerns.
10. Buffalo Bills
John Ross, WR, Washington: The Bills got Tyrod Taylor to return on a restructured deal, but they lost Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods in free agency. Plus, Sammy Watkins still has those foot concerns. Ross blew up at the combine with his record-setting 40 and could prove an excellent complement to Watkins.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: New Orleans, as always, needs defensive help. The best ways to get better on defense are by adding talent in the secondary or up front. Here, they attack with a pass-rusher.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: Cleveland gets its franchise player at No. 1 and its QB at No. 12, assuming the Browns don’t give in to the Patriots’ demands for Jimmy Garoppolo. Brock Osweiler certainly won’t prevent Cleveland from continuing to search for their franchise passer.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: After Arizona’s defensive exodus in the early days of free agency, the Cardinals start thinking about the future. Kizer learns from Carson Palmer for a year before taking over.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: Davis revealed at the combine that he needs surgery, but he should be ready in time for mini-camp. The Eagles gave Carson Wentz some options at receiver with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, but Jeffery is only on a one-year deal, so adding a long-term starter at the position isn’t out of the question.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Cook’s athletic testing wasn’t off the charts at the combine, but his tape at Florida State reveals an elite talent. The Colts need someone to take pressure off Andrew Luck, and they take the plunge here.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt: 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.
20. Denver Broncos
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: The Broncos are the front-runners for Tony Romo, and that’s great, but they’ll need to make sure he’s well-protected so that he can stay on the field for a run at another Denver Super Bowl.
21. Detroit Lions
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: 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.
22. Miami Dolphins
David Njoku, TE, Miami: Njoku didn’t test quite as well as his tight end brethren Howard, but he still revealed himself to be an absolute monster. The Dolphins signed Anthony Fasano, but adding the versatile Njoku to their growing stable of weapons still makes sense.
23. New York Giants
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: The Brandon Marshall signing gives the Giants an excellent trio of weapons on the outside, but Eli Manning can’t get them the ball if he’s flat on his back. Robinson comes in at left tackle, kicking Ereck Flowers back to the right side where he’s always belonged.
24. Oakland Raiders
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: The Raiders have their offense set with Derek Carr throwing to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, but still need some back-end help on defense. Humphrey slides in right away.
25. Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: If the Texans miss out on Tony Romo, Mahomes could be their solution.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky: Seattle can’t come back in 2017 without having addressed the offensive line. Lamp’s skill level and versatility would let them be flexible about how to address the different areas of concern.
Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple: Reddick looked the part at the combine, proving that he has the fast-twitch athleticism needed to play both the run and the pass. Kansas City needs a flexible, versatile linebacker, and Reddick would be a great fit.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: Everyone knows the Cowboys need help with their pass rush, but less-publicized is their defensive back void. Four of Dallas’ starting DBs hit free agency this offseason, and Barry Church is already gone. Jones could slot in at one corner, giving the Cowboys two athletic studs in the secondary (Byron Jones).
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: Green Bay’s corners are young, inexperienced, and often injured. Tabor could add another talented body and give the Packers more options.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: The Patriots are a game-plan offense, which is why fantasy owners get so frustrated when Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels lean on one running back one week, then barely play him the next. McCaffrey’s versatility is such that he could be the guy in all game plans, making him a very Belichickian pick.
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