With the 2017 NFL Draft under a week away (five days to be exact at the time of this writing), my second of three pre-draft mocks is here. The third and final mock will be unveiled during a special pre-draft podcast that will be available on Draft Eve. I try to bring a unique approach to these mocks. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah is known for saying “Rankings are what I see, mock drafts are what I hear.” These mocks try to combine all of those aspects, which include a prospect’s game tape, insider buzz, and potential fits that I see personally. Without further ado, here is DKrom’s Mock 2.0
1. Browns: Myles Garrett (EDGE, Texas A&M)
-Football and sports hell will freeze over if the Browns don’t draft Garrett. Browns fans must tweet the snot out of the hash-tag #MylesGarrettNoMatterWhat over these next several days.
2. Panthers [from 49ers]: Solomon Thomas (EDGE, Stanford)
-San Francisco remains eager to trade down from this spot and the Panthers remain a prime candidate to be such a trading partner. Although buzz has Carolina linked to Fournette and McCaffery, they have a glaring need at edge pass rusher and Thomas is arguably the second-best overall prospect in this class.
3. Bears: Mitchell Trubisky (QB, North Carolina)
-Despite the off-season signings of Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez, neither are long-term solutions for the Bears under center. Speculation of Chicago drafting its QB of the future here is increasing and buzz from the Combine suggested HC John Fox was enamored with Trubisky.
4. Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)
-Jacksonville can go a lot of ways with this pick. Though I will say that the Jaguars need a solid running game to take pressure off both Blake Bortles and their very promising young defense.
5. Titans [via Rams]: Jamal Adams (S, LSU)
-Tennessee badly needs help in the secondary and Adams might remind defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau of a soon-to-be hall of famer he coached in Pittsburgh (Troy Polamalu). Adams is also an exceptional leader and can play either safety position.
6. Jets: Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
-Gang Green also needs secondary help, especially at corner. Although taking the injury-prone Marcus Lattimore will be tempting given his ceiling, Conley is the safer prospect.
7. Chargers: Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State)
-Hooker’s incredible nose for the football could add the dimension needed to make the Chargers defense go from good to great, if not elite. He will make the Bolts forget about Eric Weddle sooner rather than later.
8. 49ers [from Panthers]: Christian McCaffery (RB, Stanford)
-Once again, the 49ers can go a lot of different ways here given the massive number of holes on their roster. That said, McCaffery is the prototypical 21st-century NFL running back and can make game winning plays week in and week out.
9. Bengals: Forrest Lamp (G/T, Western Kentucky)
-The Bengals offensive line was absolutely decimated in free agency with the departures of LT Andrew Whitworth and G Kevin Zeitler. Lamp, the best OL in this class, may be projected by most at guard, but he also deserves a look tat LT given his world-class game tape against Alabama.
10. Bills: Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson)
-Buffalo has held intensive pre-draft interviews with the top QB prospects and I don’t think it’s a smokescreen given the attendance of owner Terry Pegula at those meetings. Watson tends to shine when the lights are the brightest, and those intangibles could be exactly what the Bills need to earn their first playoff berth of this century.
11. Saints: O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)
-It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints spend both of their first round picks on defense. But with Drew Brees at 38 years old, he needs more weapons to play with and Howard has a very good chance to be an upgrade from Jimmy Graham
12. Browns [via Eagles]: Patrick Mahomes II (QB, Texas Tech)
-If Cleveland wants Trubisky as most reports indicate, they will certainly trade up to the fourth or fifth spot. But if he’s gone even earlier than expected, they would be wise to stand pat at 12 and select a worthwhile project in Mahomes.
13. Cardinals: Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)
-My guess is that the Cardinals will go QB, WR, CB or LB here. If they choose to go for Larry Fitzgerald’s long-term replacement, they should go with Davis given his run-after-the-catch ability, route running and blocking skills.
14. Eagles: Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)
-Philly can opt for offensive skill position talent here, but they need a sure-fire shutdown CB to lock down Odell Beckham, Jr. and Dez Bryant for a total of four times per year. Lattimore, despite his troubling history of recurrent hamstring injuries, would be EXCELLENT value here.
15. Colts: Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)
-It would be wise for the Colts to add to their offensive line or defense here. On the other hand, it would be equally wise to give Andrew Luck another playmaker; especially one who will give opposing teams hissy fits in the red zone.
16. Ravens: Haason Reddick (LB/EDGE, Temple)
-With Terrell Suggs on his last legs and Kamalei Correa an unproven entity, Baltimore needs to find its edge pass rusher of the future. Charles Harris or Derek Barnett would be appropriate choices for the Ravens here, but Reddick’s immense versatility will make it very tough for Ozzie Newsome to pass on.
17. Redskins: Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama)
-Foster, regarded by most as a top-10 talent, could experience a draft day fall given his lingering shoulder issues plus the fact he failed a drug test at the combine. The Redskins, sorely in need of linebacker talent, should still not pass on him if he’s available here.
18. Giants [from Titans]: Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah)
-In a thin, talent-poor offensive tackle class, expect OT-needy teams like the Giants to reach on one of the top-three OT’s earlier than expected. If the G-Men are interested in landing the athletic, nasty Bolles, they are almost certainly going to have to trade up here given Denver’s strong interest in him.
19. Buccaneers: Charles Harris (EDGE, Missouri)
-You can never have too many pass rushers and many believe Harris is the best prospect from Mizzou’s defensive factory in years. Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Drew Brees won’t like going against a pass-rushing trio of Harris, Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence twice a year.
20. Broncos: Jonathan Allen (DL, Alabama)
-As disastrous as the Broncos OL has been recently, their run defense cratered big time in 2016 after the departures of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. If Allen falls this far due to concerns about arthritis in his shoulders, Denver would be wise to pounce.
21. Lions: Derek Barnett (EDGE, Tennessee)
-As 2016 showed, Ziggy Ansah is talented, but he needs somebody to help him hunt down quarterbacks. Barnett is an outstanding technician and will make life for Ansah and the rest of the Lions defense easier right away
22. Dolphins: Cam Robinson (G, Alabama)
-The Dolphins need to bolster the interior of their offensive line. Robinson, who played LT at Alabama, is a much better fit at guard where his superb run blocking will shine the most.
23. Titans [from Giants]: David Njoku (TE, Miami)
-Marcus Mariota needs more playmakers to get the ball to, especially with Delanie Walker aging. Njoku has the biggest upside of all tight ends in the deepest class at the position in a decade.
24. Raiders: Kevin King (CB, Washington)
-The Raiders need to upgrade what was the league’s 24th-ranked pass defense last year. King’s height (6-3) and ability to play the ball in the air better than some receivers might remind defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. of Richard Sherman, who he worked with in Seattle.
25. Texans: Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama)
-With Patrick Mahomes (who Houston LOVES) off the board, the Texans would be wise to invest elsewhere here. They need to find a long-term replacement for CB Johnathan Joseph (33) and Humphrey brings the physicality Romeo Crennel wants in a corner.
26. Seahawks: Quincy Wilson (CB, Florida)
-While it wouldn’t be surprising to see Seattle further address its woeful offensive line here, do NOT be shocked if they pick another corner, especially considering the Richard Sherman trade rumors. Like Sherman, Davis is a fantastic tackler, and would be tremendous value here.
27. Jaguars [from Chiefs]: Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin)
-Jaguars LT Branden Albert is almost washed up and is holding out of OTA’s for more guaranteed money. Should Ramczyk fall due to concerns about his recent hip surgery, this would be a great spot for Jacksonville to trade back into the first round to get their left tackle of the future.
28. Cowboys: Chidobe Awuzie (CB, Colorado)
-If the top-four edge rushers are off the board here, expect the Cowboys to address its depleted CB corps. The versatile Awuzie has the speed and tackling skills that are mandatory in a Rod Marinelli defense.
29. Packers: Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)
-Green Bay’s pass defense was absolutely atrocious last season and they lost versatile DB Micah Hyde to Buffalo in free agency. White’s elite coverage skills will be a more-than-welcome addition for the Pack.
30. Steelers: Takk McKinley (EDGE, UCLA)
-It has been known for weeks that Ben Roethlisberger is banging the table for the Steelers to draft a tight end in the first round. But if Howard and Njoku are off the board, Pittsburgh ought to find a long-term successor for the ageless James Harrison. McKinley’s life story symbolizes what it means to be a Steeler.
31. Falons: T.J. Watt (EDGE, Wisconsin)
-The NFC Champions are building a very promising young defense. Adding the uber-athletic Watt to hunt down QB’s with Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett should be very appealing to Dan Quinn.
32. Cardinals [from Saints]: DeShone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame)
-Should the Cardinals want to find their QB of the future in this draft, trading back up into one of the final slots could be on the table if someone they really like is still on the board at that time. Many draftniks believe that Kizer is the best possible fit for a Bruce Arians passing attack among this year’s quarterback crop.