Bair's 2017 first round mock draft: Raiders select inside linebacker
With the 1st pick...
Mock drafts are like NCAA brackets. Lots of people complete them. None are actually right. Inaccuracy comes a few results into an NFL draft that has proven increasingly unpredictable as teams get more secretive, promote falsehoods and social media chips away at prospects leading up to the big event. We’re still gonna give it a crack, with no projected trades. The only real goal is getting more right than Matt Maiocco. Shouldn’t be tough...
1) Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Best player in this draft. Even the Browns can’t screw this up. Or can they?
2) DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
No chance the 49ers take a quarterback here. There’s no consensus on their take, so we’ll project they select their third defensive lineman in as many seasons. This one won’t have to move going from college to the pros.
3) S Jamal Adams, LSU
Safeties don’t typically go this high. Adams should, and adds real playmaking ability to the Bears defense.
4) RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
The Jaguars need a physical playmaker in the backfield. Fournette fills that role perfectly.
5) CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
Thte Titans need secondary help. Lattimore’s the best corner in an excellent crop. Quality’s a must at this premium position.
6) TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
Don’t think the Jets panic and take a quarterback here. They’re bummed Lattimore’s off the board, and add an offensive weapon instead.
7) S Malik Hooker, Ohio State
Bolts miss Eric Weddle. They’ll try and find his replacement here.
8) RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Cam Newton will be excited about this pick. Versatile playmaker can do most everything. Offensive coordinator’s dream.
9) DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
The Bengals take a pass rusher surprisingly still on the draft board. Can’t let Allen slide any farther.
10) WR Mike Williams, Clemson
11) DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
The Saints need to put pressure on the quarterback right away. This polished defensive end is ready to fill that role.
12) QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
The stars align in this universe and the Ohio native becomes Cleveland’s possible quarterback of the future.
13) LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
Foster’s supposed fall doesn’t last too long. Cardinals focus on game tape over issues regarding a diluted sample at the scouting combine, and get a top 10 talent at a position of need.
14) CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
This might’ve been a spot for Gareon Conley, but his legal troubles push him out of the first round. He has great size and athleticism for the position, and isn’t afraid to tackle.
15) OLB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
The Colts need a pass rusher real, real bad. McKinley gives them fire off the edge.
16) WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
The Ravens need threats in the passing attack, especially with Steve Smith in retirement and Breshad Perriman yet to realize potential.
17) LB Haason Reddick, Temple
Reddick can play every linebacker position, but the Washington football club needs help inside. His versatility could make him a useful piece roving around the defense.
18) WR John Ross, Washington
The Titans need someone who can stretch a defense. Ross has the blazing speed required to do exactly that.
19) RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
It’s time to start thinking about Doug Martin’s replacement.
20) OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
The Broncos need an offensive tackle, and get the first member of a lackluster class off the board.
21) DE Charles Harris, Missouri
The Lions need a pass rusher. Harris could be a good one, with several techniques to reach the quarterback.
22) G Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
Lamp steps in at left guard with Laramey Tunsil moving to left tackle next season.
23) OT Garrett Bolles, Utah
Big Blue needs help on the offensive line. Bolles could make an instant impact.
24) LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has never picked an inside linebacker before the fourth round. That ends this year, with an immediate need at middle linebacker. Davis has the athletic and leadership traits the Raiders love. He’ll fit right in to their defense and their locker room.
25) QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Watson has the talent and character the Texans are looking for in a leader. They need a signal caller right now. The owner likes this one.
26) OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
The Seahawks need lots of help at tackle. Robinson’s the best still available.
27) QB Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
Andy Reid finds his next quarterback, a cannon-armed kid that becomes Alex Smith’s heir apparent. They have other needs, but this QB now comes with a fifth-year option.
28) CB Adoree’ Jackson, USC
The Cowboys take a versatile cornerback who can return as well. Jackson will help a secondary thinned by free agency.
29) OLB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
The Packers need pass rushers. A local product can help in that area.
30) SS Jabril Peppers, Michigan
The Steelers are an inventive bunch, and can do interesting things with a versatile safety who can play a linebacker role as well. Physical player and a tone setter.
31) DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
The Falcons need guys who can get after the quarterback, and that’s Charelton’s specialty. Seems like a good match.
32) CB Kevin King, Washington
The Saints pass defense in perennially bad. King could help shut down a side if he realizes vast potential. Big body, lots of speed.