2017 NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Post-combine outlook
2017 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
The latest look at the 2017 mock draft by Ben Standig for CSNmidatlantic.com. Which areas do the Redskins address in their first draft since 2014 without GM Scot McCloughan? Will the Ravens focus on a pass rusher or pass catcher?
1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns passed on Jared Goff and Carson Wentz last year. Wise or not, their quarterback need remains clear. That the freaky athletic Garrett has monster potential is clear as well. Named first-team All-American as a junior, Garrett had 21 sacks over the last two seasons.
2. San Francisco 49ers - DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The battle with Mitch Trubisky for the first passer picked is on. Whether the 49ers are the team making that decision largely depends on whether they acquire Kirk Cousins or not. Watson's pass-run ability and clutch performance led Clemson to the national title. It might lead San Francisco to thinking he's its long-term solution.
3. Chicago Bears - Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Jay Cutler is gone, but the Bears are going with Mike Glennon next, essentially eliminating a quarterback selection here. Anyway, the Bears would be wise to snag a needed defensive playmaker. The 6-foot-2, 295 pound Allen is a monster against the run and at getting after quarterbacks. He'll battle Garrett for the first defender selected. Allen also won't be the first Alabama player selected in round one.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Seeing as the Jaguars made splashy moves for their defense early in free agency, why not swing for the fences on offense? Fournette dominated the college level with his size and speed. Many see that happening on the NFL stage as well. Maybe adding a premier back helps boost disappointing quarterback Blake Bortles.
5. Tennessee Titans (Via LA) - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Tennessee enters the offseason with two first-round picks. If the Titans use their first choice on their top need, hello Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Instead, they add a versatile and disruptive presence in Thomas for the defensive line. Wide receivers Mike Williams and Corey Davis are in play here as well.
6. New York Jets - Mashon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Jets spent a second-round pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg just last year, but that shouldn't prevent them from considering another passer here. That is unless they go with Jay Cutler while letting Hackenberg develop. New York did let Darelle Revis go, meaning they need a corner capable of hanging on an island. The Buckeyes sophomore is becoming the consensus No. 1 prospect among corners.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Don't be surprised if the ultra-rangy sophomore vaults into the top-10 by draft day. Top needs for the newest LA team includes an offensive tackle most of all plus wide receivers seeing as Pro Bowl-level talent Keenan Allen cannot stay healthy.
8. Carolina Panthers - Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
Safety isn't a screaming need, but this LSU product has Pro Bowl upside due to his coverage skills. Still not sure Adams slips outside top-5, but free agent moves by Jacksonville and Tennessee might have him fall a tad. Carolina could also start the run on wide receivers or try fixing its Josh Norman hole with a prospect from the impressive cornerback class.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
A.J. Green is great. The Bengals' other wide receivers are not. The 6-foot-3 Davis wasn't just a receiver in 2016. We're talking playmaking monster after catching 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Bengals also need new bodies on the second level of their defense both inside and on the edge.
10. Buffalo Bills - John Ross, WR, Washington
After losing Robert Woods entering free agency, Buffalo needs a running mate for receiving stud Sammy Watkins. Speaking of running, nobody in history ran a faster 40-time then the 5-foot-11 Ross' unreal 4.22. He helped the Huskies reach the national semifinals with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. His explosive Combine showing jumped Ross into the top-10 range.
11. New Orleans Saints - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Saints haven't adequately replaced Jimmy Graham -- until now. The 6-foot-6 Howard dominated the Senor Bowl, only adding to his already formidable hype. Speed receiver John Ross becomes an option if New Orleans deals Brandin Cooks and New Orleans could certainly add corners considering the receivers in the NFC South.
12. Cleveland Browns (via PHI) - Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Unless the Browns believe 2016 rookie Cody Kessler is their long-term answer, they need a quarterback, again. When they trade for New England's Jimmy Garoppolo, they have their guy. Until then... After attempting only 123 passes over the previous two seasons, Trubisky emerged as the likely first quarterback selected after impressing in his first full season starting. The 6-foot-3 signal entered North Carolina's bowl game with 28 touchdowns to only four interceptions while completing 69% of his passes. None of this means he's worthy of a top-12 pick, but passers are overvalued every year.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
We might be at the end of the Carson Palmer era and Drew Stanton isn't a starting QB in waiting. So, Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer? Alabama ILB Reuben Foster is the ideal call for the Cardinals defense, but did his Combine meltdown hurt his cause? With Larry Fitzgerald mulling retirement, Michael Floyd gone and John Brown always dinged, what about a receiver?
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
UPDATE: With Washington CB Sidney Jones suffering a torn ACL at his Pro Day, we had to make a switch. Jones is out and in his place is Gareon Conley.
Free agent wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith signed up for at least one season with quarterback Carson Wentz. That allows Philly to tackle its primary defensive issue. The Achilles injury suffered by Washington's Sidney Jones weakens the Day 1 cornerback options, but Conley's stock is rising fast.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Charlton might be better stopping the run than rushing the passer right now and yet he had nine sacks in 10 regular season games. The Colts need an edge presence and Charlton will provide just that. Indy still needs more offensive line help so prized quarterback Andrew Luck isn't a sitting duck.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
McDowell could be a force as a 3-4 end or inside in 4-3 looks. He recorded 34 tackles -- seven for loss -- and 1.5 sacks in nine games before missing the last three games with an ankle injury. Inconsistency and passion are concerns for some draft pundits, however. At some point the Ravens must find an edge pass-rushing replacement for Terrell Suggs. They also should help Joe Flacco move closer to elite status with viable receivers.
17. Washington Redskins - Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
We have a new name for the Redskins. After tackling defensive line issues with Michigan State's Malik McDowell in the previous four mocks, let's have Washington's linebacking receive a boost in the form of a relentless tackler. Foster drops this far in small part because of positional value, but mostly over his meltdown at the NFL Combine. If he can calm fears during any future meetings and workouts, Foster should remain a top-20 pick. Will Compton and Mason Foster are back, but Washington's run defense needs a thumper like Foster inside.
18. Tennessee Titans - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
After going with an defensive need pick at 5, Tennessee ideally focuses on its main offensive worry. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has several good receivers, but doesn't have a clear go-to option. Problem: The best options are gone. Back to defense. The SEC is typically the gold standard among conferences in college football and the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Barnett led all those players with 12.5 sacks.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook is a playmaking dual threat who averaged 6.1 yards per carry and had 33 receptions in the regular season. It's curious what the future holds in Tampa for running back Doug Martin and if the Bucs decide wide receiver Mike Evans needs a running mate on the outside. As for the defense, a front-7 force works.
20. Denver Broncos - Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
Denver's offense fell apart late in 2016, costing the defending Super Bowl champions a playoff berth. Inexperienced passer Trevor Siemian receives much of the blame, but the Broncos' offensive line was perhaps the main culprit.
21. Detroit Lions - Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
The Lions secondary could use that type of weapon considering Jordy Nelson, Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams play in the division. Based on his instincts and production at LSU, the 6-foot-0 White should be capable of stepping in quickly.
22. Miami Dolphins - Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
It's possible Mario Williams doesn't return to Miami next season, which would create a need at defensive end. Adding a pass rushing force like Derek Barnett, if available, would address their top defensive need, though multiple linebackers are needed. Reddick was among the freakier athletes at the Combine, but there's also production.
23. New York Giants - Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida
If the Giants focus on offense, adding a playmaker at running back is key especially after releasing Rashad Jennings. As for defense, their linebacking corps need an upgrade. The athletic Davis likely starts his NFL career on the weak-side, but could shift to the middle over time.
24. Oakland Raiders - David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
Oakland should focus on defense this offseason with all three levels needing help, especially a suspect secondary. However, just about the only piece missing on offense is a do-everything tight end. Put the talented Njoku inside with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the outside and opposing defense might cry for mercy.
25. Houston Texans - Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
We'll see if Tony Romo takes over at quarterback after Houston unceremoniously dumped Brock Osweiler. Either way, the Texans can stand to shore up their offensive line. If Romo signs elsewhere, Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes might be an interesting option even with Tom Savage on the roster.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Seattle needs help on both lines. Russell Wilson certainly concurs on the offensive side. The Seahawks could end up with two new tackles this offseason.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Alex Smith remains the starter, but nobody views the veteran as much more than meh, let alone a long-term answer. Kizer might have the upside of the potential first-round passers, but also might be the riskiest. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson's season-ending injury should have the Chiefs looking for a long-term replacement.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Running away with the NFC East title with a rookie quarterback was shocking enough, but don't overlook the fact that the Cowboys also did so with a hodgepodge defensive line. Williams is one of the elite athletes on the defensive side.
29. Green Bay Packers - Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Teams shredded Green Bay's secondary throughout the season and that was even with the NFC North not exactly armed with great passing attacks. Tabor offers good size on the outside, but speed concerns exist as do off-field issues. Alabama's Marlon Humphrey is another corner option.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
Pittsburgh pass rush, while effective, isn't exactly fearsome these days. The 255-pound McKinley had 10 sacks and forced three fumbles for the Bruins.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
The Matt Ryan-led offense carried Atlanta to the Super Bowl despite a defensive front-7 not brimming with pass rushers or run stoppers. The quicker-than-you-would-think Brantley should help inside.
32. New Orleans Saints (Via NE) - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
With six divisional games against the likes of Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin, stocking up at corner is a smart strategy. That the 2016 Saints ranked among the bottom teams in passing yards allowed provides further ammunition for taking a pass defender. That the Saints didn't acquire Malcolm Butler in the Brandin Cooks trade means they should probably use New England's ex-pick to get that kind of help.