2017 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: A month away from draft day
2017 NFL Mock Draft 7.0
The latest look at the 2017 mock draft by Ben Standig for CSNmidatlantic.com goes two rounds deep. How many quarterbacks? Is Leonard Fournette leading a running back revival in round one? Which areas do the Redskins address and will best available trump needs? Will the Ravens focus on a pass rusher or pass catcher in round one?
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.
One league source compared him to another pass-rushing linebacker: Lawrence Taylor. Sold.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
To quarterback or not quarterback here is the question.
This may end up becoming Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky, but that decision largely depends on whether the 49ers acquire Kirk Cousins or feel like withholding major investment in the position until 2018.
Instead, they add a versatile and disruptive presence in Thomas for the defensive line.
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.
Allen also won't be the last 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: Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
Tennessee enters the offseason with two first-round picks.
Safety isn't a screaming need at this point, but this LSU product has Pro Bowl upside due to his coverage skills. Wide receiver is in play along with defensive line should Jonathan Allen or Solomon Thomas fall.
6. New York Jets: Marshon 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: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Carolina could start the run on wide receivers or try fixing its Josh Norman hole with a prospect from the impressive cornerback class.
Williams has desirable Red-Zone size and ran an impressive 4.50 40-time at his Pro Day. That works.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
A.J. Green is great. The Bengals' other wide receivers are not. Cincinnati also needs new bodies on the second level of its defense both inside and on the edge.
Inside linebackers aren't often selected among the top 10 picks, but an exception could be made for this tackling force.
For now it appears Foster's Combine meltdown didn't hurt his cause much.
10. Buffalo Bills: John Ross, WR, Washington
After losing Robert Woods entering free agency, Buffalo needs a running mate for receiving stud Sammy Watkins.
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 Senior Bowl, only adding to his already formidable hype. Receiver becomes an option now that New Orleans dealt Brandin Cooks and the Saints could certainly add corners considering the receivers in the NFC South.
12: Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
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... 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.
13: Arizona Cardinals: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
We might be at the end of the Carson Palmer era and Drew Stanton isn't a starting QB in waiting. Kizer might be the riskiest of the potential first-round passers, but also sports the most upside.
Arizona might be down with waiting on that potential seeing as they have other options in 2017.
With Larry Fitzgerald mulling retirement, Michael Floyd gone and John Brown always dinged, Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis should be in play.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
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 -- cornerback -- or add a disruptive presence up front.
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.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Colts added several edge rusher types in free agency, though ends Derek Barnett or Taco Charlton might be tempting.
Indy certainly still needs more offensive line help so prized quarterback Andrew Luck isn't a sitting duck, but doing so at 15 might be reaching.
Cook is a playmaking dual threat who averaged 6.1 yards per carry and had 33 receptions in the regular season.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
At some point the Ravens must find an edge pass rushing replacement for Terrell Suggs.
Charlton might be better stopping the run than rushing the passer right now and yet he had nine sacks in 10 regular season games.
17. Washington Redskins: Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
Will Compton and Mason Foster are back, but Washington's run defense needs a thumper.
Reddick was among the freakier athletes at the Combine, but there's also production here.
Ideally the Redskins help their suspect defensive line, but there aren't many (any?) must-have options at this spot unless they believe in Malik McDowell's potential.
18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
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.
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.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
It's curious what the future holds in Tampa for running back Doug Martin.
McCaffrey backed up his prodigious production on the college level by wowing the NFL community at the Combine.
20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
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: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
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: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Moving Laremy Tunsil to tackle opens a spot at guard and the powerful Lamp is the best bet to fill it.
The defensive line could use more help around Ndamukong Suh.
23. New York Giants: David Njoku, TE, Miami
If the Giants focus on offense, adding a playmaker at running back is key especially after releasing Rashad Jennings, but they also need a tight end bump.
Put the talented Njoku on the field with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard and opposing defense might cry for mercy.
24. Oakland Raiders: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Oakland should focus on defense this offseason with all three levels needing help.
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.
25. Houston Texans: Mitch Trubisky, QB, UNC
We'll see if Tony Romo takes over at quarterback after Houston unceremoniously dumped Brock Osweiler.
Whether he joins or not, going QB he might be an interesting option even with Tom Savage on the roster.
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.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
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: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Humphrey shut down some of the top receivers in the country last season. Good enough.
Quarterback Alex Smith remains the starter, but nobody views the veteran as much more than meh, let alone a long-term answer. In other, Andy Reid could use this slot on one of the three passers previously selected in this mock if they fall or Pat Mahomes.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
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.
The 255-pound Harris led the SEC with 18.5 tackles for loss in 2015 and tacked on nine sacks in 2016 as a junior.
29. Green Bay Packers: Kevin King, CB, Washington
Teams shredded Green Bay's secondary throughout the season and that was even with the NFC North not exactly armed with great passing attacks.
There's so much corner depth the Packers could wait until Day 2, but as many as 6-7 could go in round one.
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: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
The Matt Ryan-led offense carried Atlanta to the Super Bowl despite a defensive front-7 not brimming with pass rushers or run stoppers.
Signing Dontari Poe helps inside. Vic Beasley became a force last year, but more help off the edge is needed.
With all that said, the instinct-rich Peppers would provide head coach Dan Quinn with a strategic weapon for the modern era whether at safety or as some hybrid outside linebacker,
32. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Willis, OLB, Kansas State
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 -- or acquiring restricted free agent Malcolm Butler. If the latter happens, New Orleans can bolster its pass rush with this selection.
33. Cleveland Browns: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
There's Joe Haden and then little else going for the Browns at cornerback. Based on his instincts and production at LSU, the 6-foot-0 White should be capable of stepping in quickly.
34. San Francisco 49ers: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Maybe the 49ers land Kirk Cousins this year or next. Maybe not. Even if optimistic, better have a backup plan. Mahomes oozes potential but will need time adjusting to the NFL's approach after playing in the spread "Air Raid" attack.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Though Williams' stock might be slipping, Jacksonville would surely love adding another pass rushing option to go with Dante Fowler.
36. Chicago Bears: Budda Baker, S, Washington
Chicago might be tempted to take safety Jamal Adams in round one. The same goes for Baker, who brings a front-7 mentality to the secondary.
37. Los Angeles Rams: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
On offense, rising second-year quarterback Jared Goff remain a work in progress, but he needs more help with his targets and blockers.
38. Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
The 6-foot-2 Jones caught an insane 158 passes for the Pirates last year.
The Chargers could use more weapons beyond the oft-injured Keenan Allen.
39. New York Jets: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
The quicker-than-you-would-think Brantley should help inside for a Jets defense that struggled with the loss of "Snacks" Harrison to the Giants.
40. Carolina Panthers: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
If you haven't heard, the Panthers lost Josh Norman last year. That's why cornerback works.
41. Cincinnati Bengals: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
The 6-foot-4 athletic freak dazzled at the Combine with his 4.4 speed and other physical feats. Teams already liked his tackling prowess.
The Bengals are still looking for a Reggie Nelson replacement at safety and should be seeking a better receiver fit opposite A.J. Green. Look for one of those needs addressed here.
42. New Orleans Saints: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Cunningham, when focused, is a tackling force. Replacing slot receiver Brandin Cooks or targeting a cornerback also makes sense.
43. Philadelphia Eagles: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
While his college stats aren't overwhelming, the 5-foot-10 Kamara impressed with his rugged style, 4.5 speed and 214-pound frame.
Philadelphia needs more reliable running back options than those on the roster. Sorry, Ryan Mathews.
44. Buffalo Bills: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
Buffalo lost Stephon Gilmore to New England in free agency. Only the impressive cornerback depth in this draft drops Jackson down this far.
45. Arizona Cardinals: Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida
The athletic Davis likely starts his NFL career on the weak-side, but could shift to the middle over time.
46. Indianapolis Colts: Antonio Garcia, G/T, Troy
Breaking news: The Colts must, must, must do a better job protecting quarterback Andrew Luck. Whether the 6-foot-6 Garcia lands at tackle or guard, Indianapolis has issues at both spots.
47. Baltimore Ravens: Juju Schuster-Smith, WR, USC
Tired jokes aside, the Ravens must upgrade their receiver unit to help Joe Flacco move closer to elite status.
It's worth noting the rugged Smith-Schuster had no luck in the season opener going up against Alabama's corners, including Marlon Humphrey, but his overall body of work stood out.
48. Minnesota Vikings: T.J Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
The younger brother of you-know-who earned first-team Big Ten honors last season after recording 11.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Watt could end up starting at end in 4-3 look or perhaps fill Minnesota's outside linebacker need.
49. Washington Redskins: Montravius Adams, NT, Auburn
Washington is desperate for defensive line help at this point and the 308-pound Adams did impress during the various offseason stops.
Several cornerbacks and offensive linemen plus running back Joe Mixon are among the potential BPA prospects in this range who could help Washington in other areas.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
Seeing as the Bucs addressed their second receiver slot in free agency with DeSean Jackson and the backfield earlier in this mock, targeting the defensive secondary works here.
51. Denver Broncos: Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi
Letting Julius Thomas leave in free agency, while a reasonable financial decision, let the Broncos with a major hole at tight end. Look for Denver to dip into the deep pool of tight end prospects on Day 1 or 2.
52. Cleveland Browns vis Tennessee Titans: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Huge setback Jones when he tore his Achilles during his Pro Day workout. Before then, top 20 seemed like the move. For that potential, Cleveland might be game using an early round selection for the long haul.
53. Detroit Lions: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
Detroit needs a greater pass rush presence beyond end Ziggy Ansah and more help at tackle.
54. Miami Dolphins: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
Even with Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins ranked 30th against the run last year.
55. New York Giants: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
New York spent a 2015 first round pick on tackle Ereck Flowers and still need help. Running back also is in play here.
56. Oakland Raiders: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
Oakland lost Latavius Murray in free agency. If the talented Mixon puts his impressive skills to use and his sordid off-field issues behind him, the Raiders won't miss Murray much.
57. Houston Texans: Taylor Moton, T/G, Western Michigan
Whether it's Tony Romo, Tom Savage or a rookie quarterback, the Texans must do a better job with protection. Running back Lamar Miller won't object with this call either.
58. Seattle Seahawks: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
There's some buzz Pro Bowl Richard Sherman could be dealt. While that seems unlikely, Seattle could be one of many teams game taking a first round CB talent in round two.
59. Kansas City Chiefs: Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson's season-ending injury should have the Chiefs looking for a long-term replacement.
McMillan earned second-team All-American honors after topping 100 tackles for a second straight year.
60. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Maye, S, Florida
The Cowboys could target a replacement at right tackle for the retiring Doug Free, but otherwise need a boost in the secondary for depth purposes and then some.
61. Green Bay Packers: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Julius Peppers moved on, which means the Packers need more pass rushers. They also could target a running back or inside linebacker depending on how the board unfolds.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
Antonio Brown rules, but the Steelers need other receiver options. Samuel would provide Pittsburgh with a speedy chess piece the Steelers could deploy in several ways.
63. Atlanta Falcons: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
Shaheen brings speed. How quickly he can rise from the DII level to the NFL could dictate where he lands on Day 2.
64. New England Patriots: Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
New England used its first round pick on the shifty receiver Brandin Cooks. Now comes time to boost the running back depth. Mack averaged 6.8 yards per carry, scored 15 touchdowns and caught 28 passes last season.