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DKrom’s Mock 2017 Draft 1.0

With the 2017 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, I begin the annual tradition of writing my first of three pre-draft mocks. 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 1.0

  1. Browns: Myles Garrett (EDGE, Texas A&M)

-Garrett is far and away the best prospect in this draft class. Hopefully for Browns fans, GM Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson have notes in their pockets reading “Myles Garrett no matter what.”

  1. Panthers [from 49ers]: Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)

-San Francisco would LOVE to trade down from this slot, and the Panthers are rumored as a likely trading partner. Teaming Fournette and Cam Newton together in the backfield would go a long way in helping Carolina’s offense regain their 2015 form.

  1. Bears: Solomon Thomas (EDGE, Stanford)

-If Thomas is available here, the Bears should absolutely SPRINT the card to the podium. Arguably the second best prospect in this draft class, Thomas brings a tantalizing combination of versatility and athleticism.

  1. Jaguars: Jamal Adams (S, LSU)

-Adams brings extraordinary leadership gifts that can help mold this talented young defense into an elite unit sooner rather than later.

  1. Browns [from Titans via Rams]: Mitchell Trubisky (QB, North Carolina)

-With the Browns front office and coaches reportedly split on taking either Garrett or Trubisky at #1 overall, they must realize they have the draft capital to get both. Selecting Garrett at the top and trading up to this spot is the way to do it.

  1. Jets: Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)

-Todd Bowles needs a shutdown corner of the future to help make his blitz-heavy scheme work to perfection. However, Lattimore may slide outside of the top 10 due to concerns about his chronic hamstring issues.

  1. Chargers: Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State)

-Hooker may as well be the final piece that makes the Chargers defense into a top-five unit for years to come. He is a PERFECT fit for new DC Gus Bradley’s scheme.

  1. 49ers [from Panthers]: Christian McCaffery (RB, Stanford)

-The 49ers can go a lot of different ways here given the massive number of holes on their roster. Trading down from #2, getting an additional 1st-rounder in 2018 and selecting this draft class’s most versatile playmaker will be more than an ideal scenario for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.

  1. Bengals: Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama)

-The Bengals need fresh teeth in the middle of their defense and Foster is THE man to provide them. Cincinnati may also look to bolster their offensive line here starting an early run on OT’s.

  1. Bills: Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson)

-With Buffalo only extending Tyrod Taylor for two more seasons and owner Terry Pegula sitting in on the team’s visits with QB prospects, you get a strong indication the Bills want to find their long-term signal caller in this draft. If Watson sits behind Taylor for two years while learning the nuances of the pro game, he can be special given his intangibles and championship pedigree.

  1. Saints: Jonathan Allen (DL, Alabama)

-I fully expect the Saints to use both of their first-round draft picks on defense. A nickel pass rush with Allen, Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins can be super juicy.

  1. Titans [from Browns via Eagles]: O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)

-With Delanie Walker getting old, Marcus Mariota needs a new go-to guy in the passing game. Not only can Howard be such a target, he also brings amazing blocking skills that can take the Titans’ “exotic smashmouth” offense to even greater heights.

  1. Cardinals: Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)

-The Cardinals have to start preparing for life after Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. I think they should choose Fitzgerald’s long-term successor here since their QB of the future is more likely to be found in next year’s draft class.

  1. Eagles: Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)

-Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery are solid upgrades for Carson Wentz and the Eagles aerial attack, but I doubt that either of them are long-term solutions. Davis may wind up being the best WR in this draft class when all is set and done.

  1. Colts: Haason Reddick (LB, Temple)

-The Colts beefed up their edge-rushing depth in free agency through solid value signings in Jabaal Sheard, John Simon and Barkevious Mingo. However, Reddick, unlike the former three, can only be an all-around stud whether it’s chasing QB’s, covering tight ends or meeting runners in the backfield for a loss.

  1. Ravens: Forrest Lamp (G/T, Western Kentucky)

-Ravens football starts up front, and they have lost two significant OL pieces in as many years (Kelechi Osemele and Ricky Wagner). Lamp is the best OL in this class by far, and he can replace either one of them.

  1. Redskins: Zach Cunningham (LB, Vanderbilt)

-Linebacker help is SORELY wanted in our nation’s capital. Cunningham brings a super-advanced nose for the football, but will need to clean up his tackling mechanics.

  1.  Titans: Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)

-The Titans need to urgently improve their secondary, and Conley would be outstanding value here. Many scouts believe that in the long term, he will be a better player than his more-hyped college teammate Marshon Lattimore.

  1. Buccaneers: Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee)

-Barnett can go higher than many think. If he lands in Tampa though, he will form a very promising three-headed pass rush with Noah Spence and Gerald McCoy.

  1. Broncos: Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah)

-Denver needs to find a long-term solution at left tackle and they are really high on this kid. Although Bolles is 25 years old and still has issues with core strength and technique, teams are enticed by his freakish athleticism and nasty playing demeanor.

  1. Lions: Taco Charlton (DE, Michigan)

-The Lions will find Ziggy Ansah a much-needed pass rushing partner just a few hours up the road. It also won’t be surprising to see Charlton eventually become the most feared defensive player in Motown.

  1. Dolphins: Takk McKinley (EDGE, UCLA)

-Cameron Wake is almost on his last legs and the Dolphins should be behooved to find his successor in this deep EDGE class. If medical re-checks on McKinley’s shoulders turn out fine, Miami would be wise to take him here.

  1. Giants: Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin)

-Ereck Flowers doesn’t only not fit at left tackle, he might even be better suited at guard. Ramczyk arguably has the highest floor of all the OT prospects this year, and if the medical re-checks on his hip are fine, he could go much higher.

  1. Raiders: Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)

-Oakland (soon-to-be Las Vegas) needs to quickly improve a pass defense that will be playing with a lead quite often. White is one of the best cover corners in this draft class and would thus fit perfectly into the Raiders’ defensive strategies

  1. Texans: Patrick Mahomes II (QB, Texas Tech)

-With Tony Romo retired (at least for the time being), the Texans have only Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden on their roster, and neither are viable long-term options. Mahomes may need to sit a year or two, but teams love his rocket arm.

  1. Seahawks: Cam Robinson (G/T, Alabama)

-The Seahawks can use help ANYWHERE on their offensive line. Robinson will unlikely grow into an elite pass protector, but his jaw-dropping strength and power as a run-blocker will help Seattle’s ground game become a vaunted attack again

  1. Chiefs: Chidobe Awuzie (CB, Colorado)

-Outside of All-Pro Marcus Peters, the Chiefs need better corner play. Awuzie can play both in the slot and on the boundary.

  1. Cowboys: Charles Harris (EDGE, Missouri)

-Dallas may opt for secondary help here, but they can afford to wait until round two to address it given the immense depth of this DB class. Improving the pass-rush is arguably an even more important objective for the Cowboys in this draft, and Harris is a top-five EDGE prospect.

  1. Packers: Dion Dawkins (G, Temple)

-Ted Thompson needs to fortify protection for Aaron Rodgers up the middle since Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang are no longer there. Many believe Dawkins will sneak into the late first round.

  1. Steelers: David Njoku (TE, Miami)

-Ben Roethlisberger is reportedly lobbying Steelers GM Kevin Colbert to draft a tight end. This would be the perfect place to take a chance on Njoku, who many scouts believe has the highest ceiling in this deep TE crop.

  1. Falons: T.J. Watt (EDGE, Wisconsin)

-In order for Vic Beasley to remain an efficient force off the edge, the defending NFC Champs need to get him an effective partner to line up opposite of him. Watt (J.J.’s youngest brother) has the athletic upside that makes Dan Quinn’s mouth water.

  1. Saints: Adoree’ Jackson (CB, USC)

-Jackson will give the Saints porous pass defense a sorely needed playmaker. He can also return kicks and might be THE most athletic prospect in this draft regardless of position.

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