Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spread Offense, Special: 2017 NFL Mock Draft

By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta

We finally have reached draft day! After months of speculation, smoke screens and everything in between, it all comes to a head tonight as the Cleveland Browns are officially on the clock.

For this mock draft, I am predicting who teams WILL take and not who they SHOULD take, though I might give my opinion of who I think they should take in the snippet by their pick. I also do not assume any trades, though there's bound to be a few. This is a straight 32 pick 1st round mock draft here, time to have some fun and make some educated guesses on the picks in the 1st round.

1 Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M: Browns know who they are selecting and this is an obvious pick here.

2 San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford: There are so many options for the niners here, ultimately though I feel they will continue to build that defensive line and select Thomas.

3 Chicago Bears - Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama: The Bears need help in so many spots, this pick can go a ton of different ways. Allen is likely the best player available and if the Bears are staying at 3 then I see them going with him as their pick.

4 Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette seems to be the popular pick here, I have my reservations. Personally, I like O.J. Howard here, gives Bortles another weapon in the passing game and feel that's a bigger need than going RB when they have T.J Yeldon. But all signs point to Fournette being the choice if he's available.

5 Tennessee Titans - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: The Titans add a weapon for Marcus Mariota here.

6 New York Jets - Mitchell Trubisky, QB North Carolina: The Jets' roster needs a full face lift, this is a tough pick to predict. But if they are blowing it up and starting over then the best QB in the draft is a good way to start.

7 Los Angeles Chargers - Jamal Adams, SS, LSU: Still not used to them being the Los Angeles Chargers, but they look to go defense here and the top defender on the board is Jamal Adams.

8 Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the Panthers seems to be the landing spot for McCaffrey. This seems way too early for him to go and a better RB in Dalvin Cook is available, but this looks like the team that will be selecting McCaffrey here.

9 Cincinnati Bengals - Derek Barnett, DL, Tennessee: Bengals also have a lot of holes to fill, but best player for at a position of need is Barnett.

10 Buffalo Bills - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: The Bills need secondary help, and the top CB in the draft just fell right into their lap.

11 New Orleans Saints - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: The Saints inexplicably traded Jimmy Graham 2 years ago and Brandin Cooks this offseason. They need some offense to help out QB Drew Brees and newly signed RB Adrian Peterson and Howard would be a nice fit here.

12 Cleveland Browns - Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State: The Browns would love to draft a QB here after passing on one with the first overall pick, but sometimes a player that you just can't pass up is still on the board and there's no choice but to take him, Malik Hooker is that player here.

13 Arizona Cardinals - Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: The Cardinals were thrilled to see the Browns pass on Mahomes, as they grab their QB of the future. Mahomes has the possibly the highest ceiling but also lowest floor amongst the QB's in this draft, so giving him time to learn behind Carson Palmer will be a big factor in him hitting his ceiling.

14 Philadelphia Eagles - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: It looked as though the Eagles were ready to take Gareon Conley here, but may go with the next best CB instead due to current off field issues wth Conley.

15 Indianapolis Colts - Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri: Indianapolis has made defense it's main priority this offseason, and continue to do so here with taking a top edge rusher.

16 Baltimore Ravens - Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: This may not be a great offensive linemen draft, but with the top OT on the board still, the Ravens find their replacement for Ricky Wagner.

17 Washington Redskins - Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple: Reddick's stock has been rising a ton, and him on the board still at 17 should be too much for Washington to pass on.

18 Tennessee Titans - Chibode Awuzie, CB, Colorado: After the Titans went offense with their first pick, they decide to improve the defense here. Cornerback is a glaring need and the Titans address it with this pick.

19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: The Buccaneers, with QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans already on the team, add another offensive playmaker here and solidify their run game.

20 Denver Broncos - Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah: The Broncos have to address the OL early in the draft as it's their huge achilles heel. Bolles is a good fit for the Broncos here.

21 Detroit Lions - Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA: The Lions bulk up their front 7 big time with this pick. Most have McKinley going top 15, to have him here is a gift to Detroit.

22 Miami Dolphins - Taco Charlton, DL, Michigan: Like the previous pick, Miami gets a player that could go in the top 15. After the Dion Jordan disaster, the Dolphins get a chance to make things right here.

23 New York Giants - Forrest Lamp, OG, WKU: The Giants focused on offense this offseason, with the main acquisition being WR Brandon Marshall. They select Lamp here to protect Eli Manning and make sure he gets those passes to his playmakers.

24 Oakland Raiders - Adoree Jackson, CB, USC: The Raiders have all the offense they need, now it's time to go after some defensive players. Jackson will fit in well there and can also return punts and kicks.

25 Houston Texans - Dashaun Watson, QB, Clemson: The Texans have to go QB here, they are semi-decent QB play away from being a serious threat in AFC. Watson is best on board and should be an easy pick here.

26 Seattle Seahawks - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Seahawks roll the dice a bit here and select Conley. They have mulled over trading Richard Sherman, so the reward here outweighs the risk.

27 Kansas City Chiefs - Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt: The Chiefs' offense is what it is, so they will prioritize their front 7 here and select Cunningham.

28 Dallas Cowboys - Jordan Willis, DE/OLB, Kansas State: The Cowboys need to address their pass rush. Willis fits the mold with his athleticism and pass rushing ability.

29 Green Bay Packers - Kevin King, CB, Washington: Seems like a broken record, but the Packers need to improve their secondary. King has been someone on the rise lately and makes sense here.

30 Pittsburgh Steelers - Jabrill Peppers, OLB/FS, Michigan: The Steelers have been linked to Peppers for weeks now, if he's still on the board then they do not hesitate to take him here.

31 Atlanta Falcons - Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn: Falcons are likely going secondary with their pick. Melifonwu makes sense here as he is the top defensive back still left on the board.

32 New Orleans Saints - Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: Round 1 concludes with the Saints going defense and selecting Jarrad Davis. Saints have been in need of LB's for years now and Davis fits right here.

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