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.
: With an acceptable bridge QB on board in
San Francisco 49ers
load up with another Pac-12 defensive lineman, adding Thomas to a group that includes 2015 and 2016 first-rounders
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : Chicago missed out on Stephon Gilmore to add strength on the back end. Here, the Chicago Bears goose the defense by going big up front.
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State Buckeyes : 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. Los Angeles Rams )
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson Tigers : The New York Jets look like the odd team out in the free agent QB carousel, which leads them to select Watson here.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU Tigers : 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 Carolina 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
to return on a restructured deal, but they lost
in free agency. Plus,
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 Volunteers : 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 Tar Heels : Cleveland gets its franchise player at No. 1 and its QB at No. 12, assuming the Browns don’t give in to the New England 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 Fighting Irish : After Arizona’s defensive exodus in the early days of free agency, the Arizona 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.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Cook’s athletic testing wasn’t off the charts at the combine, but his tape at Florida State Seminoles reveals an elite talent. The Colts need someone to take pressure off Andrew Luck , and they take the plunge here.
16. Baltimore Ravens
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: Howard tested off the charts at the combine, proving he is exactly the athletic freak people thought he was. He’d give Joe Flacco the kind of weapon the QB has never had.
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.
Obi Melifonwu , S, Connecticut Huskies : Like his former teammate Byron Jones , Melifonwu leapfrogs into the first round after wowing scouts and execs at the combine.
20. Denver Broncos
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: The Denver 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 Miami 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 New York 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 Oakland 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 Houston 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 Owls : 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 Green Bay Packers more options.
Jabrill Peppers , S, Michigan Wolverines : Peppers gives the Pittsburgh Steelers a playmaker on the back end of the defense, something they’ve lacked over the last few years.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Charles Harris , DE, Missouri: Harris and Vic Beasley could wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. They’re different kinds of pass-rushers, but each knows how to hit home.
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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