2017 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Is Florida State RB Dalvin Cook ready for the Big Apple? Photo Courtesy: MGoBlog
Is Florida State RB Dalvin Cook ready for the Big Apple? Photo Courtesy: MGoBlog


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By Zach Walker

  1. Cleveland BrownsTexas A&M DE Myles Garrett – This pick won’t change from me. Not out of laziness or stubbornness but because it’s just a no-brainer for the Browns. Garrett is a blue-chip Khalil Mack-type of difference maker. Garrett could have had just a good combine and nothing would have changed. He blew the barn doors off of Lucas Oil Stadium, that 40 yard dash shot fear down my spine with the way that he moves. He’s the clear cut first overall pick.
  2. San Francisco 49ersClemson QB DeShaun Watson – I’m thinking that John Lynch isn’t a full fool, and could be a good General Manager. But, right now, he needs to make a move that will get the fans on his side and filling his sails. San Fran needs a quarterback. Kaepernick isn’t getting sniffs in free agency, and the 49ers only picked up Brian Hoyer, so they could really use some youth. They don’t have to take a quarterback here, but they earned this pick, they didn’t have to trade up to get here, so really a pick of a quarterback isn’t as spicy as recent quarterbacks selected this high. Out of the box, DeShaun Watson is better than Goff or Wentz, and looks more the part of Marcus Mariota, especially when Kyle Shanahan gets to him. He’s got the tools to instantly the second best quarterback in the division.
  3. Chicago BearsAlabama DL Jonathan Allen – Chicago isn’t quite as appealing as a dumpster fire, but are as close to it as they’ve been in quite some time. They’ve cut loose Jay Cutler, and didn’t resign Alshon Jeffery, but they’ve taken a shine to Mike Glennon, as he’ll lead the team forward. The Bears have reloaded with a lot of B-minus players, but could use some more dynamic players. Allen has a high floor, with a very reachable ceiling. He tracks plays extremely well and has a solid set of moves.
  4. Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee DE Derek Barrett – Getting Brando Albert, a solid veteran, means that is pushes the need for a top pick tackle, and that’s good for the Jags, who’ve swung and missed on those selections in the past. Dante Fowler had a solid introductory season, four sacks and 32 tackles, but he’s going to want a running mate for the foreseeable future. Barrett has FEASTED on quarterbacks for the past three seasons, racking up 33 sacks, and across from Fowler, Barrett could blossom into force along with Fowler.
  5. Tennessee Titans (LA Rams) – Clemson WR Mike Williams – Marcus Mariota was the stock everyone wishes they bought into before last season while the price was low. Now, he’s the hottest young gun going into this coming season. The Titans have improved big time on defense through free agency, and now it’s time to set the sights on improving the offense for Mariota to grow. Mike Williams is a game breaker, see National Championship game. He’s got the Anquan Boldin-type body mold, and if he learns to win at the next level, he could be a monster.
  6. New York JetsFlorida State RB Dalvin Cook – I feel like the real “Jets Pick” would be to select Leonard Fournette. I like Fournette, but Dalvin is a different brand. Cook is essentially Matt Forte 2.0, which is convenient because he can learn under Forte during his twilight years, especially in this season during Forte’s hunt to hit 10,000 yards for his career. Cook can get the healthy majority of the workload and allow Forte to come in and give Cook a few series of rest. Or they can draft another quarterback that they won’t use.
  7. San Diego ChargersLSU Safety Jamal Adams – Casey Hayward was the secondary steal of last season, finishing with seven interceptions, and if only Jason Verrett could stay healthy, the Los Angeles Chargers could have a dangerous pair of corners. Jamal Adams adds to a potentially great secondary, and he really has the boom. Adams has garnered comparisons to Eric Berry, Landon Collins, and a few whispers of Sean Taylor, which is unreachable praise. Adams can be the hammer that makes the AFC West fear going into the middle of the field.
  8. Carolina PanthersAlabama OT Cam Robinson – Wheels completely blew off of the Panthers last season. Everything that got them to the big game, seemed to work against them in 2016, including perhaps the most frightening reaction to a concussion that will ever be televised. One massive problem, was keeping players off of Cam Newton. They have brought in center Ryan Kalil’s brother, Matt from Minnesota, but that’s a drop in the bucket for a guy that’s had his “passion for the game” questioned in the past. New theory: it takes a Cam, to protect a Cam. Robinson, like pretty much all tackles coming into the league, must round out his game. He’s got great power from his base in the run game, but needs to get more aggressive in protecting his quarterback from rushers.
  9. Cincinnati BengalsOhio State Safety Malik Hooker – With the amount of first round corners this team has drafted, one would presume that they wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on Adam Jones. They might as well spend a pick on someone they can actually use right away. Hooker is a plug-and-play starter at safety, an instant talent improvement.
  10. Buffalo BillsAlabama CB Marlon Humphrey – Right now, the Bills have their quarterback situation resolved. They asked Tyrod Taylor to take a pay cut and he agreed. Regardless, if Watson hovers over the Bills at tenth overall, it’s a lock that they’d pull the trigger on a new quarterback. But in my mock Watson is gone, so they need to replace Stephon Gilmore who went to New England. Humphrey is a big corner that plays best when the team in front of him can attack a quarterback, and that’s how the Bills play football.
  11. New Orleans SaintsAlabama LB Reuben Foster – Sorry, Drew, I know that you’ve grow a liking to Brandin Cooks, but like Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, and Marcus Colston, sorry, we just don’t have room to keep them around. And that’s how the Drew Brees crumbles. How frustrating. But the Saints are going to rebound because they still have Brees. The linebackers have to improve, they need a field general. Foster is this year’s model out of Alabama, and would be that rock in the middle that the Saints are in need of.
  12. Cleveland Browns (Philadelphia Eagles) – Michigan Safety Jabrill Peppers – The Browns could go quarterback here, but they should really consider using their newly traded for Brock Osweiler. If not for drops, they could have been ahead in their game versus New England, and Osweiler put the passes on the money. I’m going with them keeping him, or just not drafting a signal caller here. Jabrill Peppers did two days of work at the combine, at linebacker and safety. The Browns just need good bodies to field the best team possible. Peppers is an athlete, through and through, and has the ability to play at many spots on the defense for the Browns.
  13. Arizona CardinalsNotre Dame QB DeShone Kizer – Carson Palmer is going to get another season from Bruce Arians and the Cardinals, but they do have to start the replacing process, because no matter the level of play that Palmer will trot out with, he’s 37 years old, and won’t be bankable for much longer. Kizer could easily end up being best quarterback coming out in this class, because everyone thinks he’ll benefit most from a year of redshirting in the NFL, and the Cardinals are in the market and could afford to have him sit and stew under Bruce Arians.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles (Minnesota Vikings) – LSU RB Leonard Fournette – This pick could be Christian McCaffrey. I’d almost bet stronger that it will actually be McCaffrey, given the system that Doug Peterson uses, and his usage of running backs both in Philly and in Kansas City. For now, I’ll make the case for Leonard Fournette. Carson Wentz needs a run game. Not a New England-style three-yard flats in place of running the ball, he needs a true wheels on the ground back that can dozer first downs out. Though I know Fournette isn’t going to have the same looking gains in the NFL, he runs with NFL intensity and intention. He’s strong between the tackles and has sneaky breakaway burst.
  15. Indianapolis ColtsOhio State CB Marshon Lattimore – The Colts have been making a ton of micro-transactions, and have done very little in terms of righting the ship, but they don’t have Ryan Grigson so this draft class can improve the team instead of shooting holes in their own hull. Lattimore is considered by some to be the top corner in this draft, and could do for the Colts what Jalen Ramsey did for the Jaguars, get a guy to come in and shut down DeAndre Hopkins. Lattimore can be a great player to match with Vontae Davis.
  16. Baltimore RavensAlabama DE Tim Williams – The Ravens are just one of the organizations that can receive players with some checkered pasts, and have the player just get past it. Before the Ray Rice point is made to me, that provided the easy break from the franchise, not having to keep an aging back around. Tim Williams has baggage, a few arrests and the marijuana red-flag. If the Ravens get Terrell Suggs to “Big Brother” Williams, the pass rusher could be a twelve or more sacks per season player for a long time.
  17. Washington RedskinsNorth Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky – Washington is back to normal. They got rid of their general manager because he wasn’t actually doing any of his duties, and they’ve franchised Kirk Cousins again. I don’t think that Washington wants to live with Cousins, and this is the move to make. Mitch Trubisky is a box-ticking quarterback. He’s just got all of those measureables that scouts and coaches fall for, and when looking at his games, he’s in control of his side of the ball, and it’s apparent. Trubisky could prompt an awkward situation for Kirk Cousins, which Washington could just do with, for the entertainment of all of us.
  18. Tennessee TitansAlabama TE O.J. Howard – The Titans need to build around Marcus Mariota through the draft. Given his connection with Delanie Walker, they could stand to get younger and allow Walker to return to his great position of second tight end. O.J. Howard is at the top of a very thick, very deep, very talented tight end class. Howard could be a ‘Gronk-type’ of game breaker on offense. Howard could be the cog in the center of the field for the Titans.
  19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersCentral Michigan WR Corey Davis – In no way would I let the signing of DeSean Jackson deter me from mocking Corey Davis to the Buccaneers. Jameis Winston has Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, and now DeSean Jackson, but the name of the game is spreading the defense as thin as possible to open the field for Winston to take full advantage of. Corey Davis has the hands to catch his quarterback out of poor throws, just like his current receiver. Davis can route up better than Evans, and could be another deadly weapon for Winston.
  20. Denver BroncosWisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk – The Broncos have signed two offensive linemen. Ron Leary, great pick-up, absolutely great signing. Menelik Watson has been a large disappointment for most of his young career with the Raiders. Ramczyk was a pond-hopper for a while, then made a solid splash at Wisconsin. He’s got the stuff that career left tackles are made of, and the Broncos can’t past on a chance to keep Paxton Lynch off of the deck.
  21. Detroit LionsStanford DE Solomon Thomas – A guy that’s shot up draft boards has been Solomon Thomas. He’s got all of the moves to be extremely sustainable in the NFL, and in a lot of ways, he plays like Ndamukong Suh minus the extra-curricular stuff that lights up the weekday talk boxes. It’s the hands. Thomas has the Aaron Donald, wrist-snapper, wild-chopping blenders at the ends of his arms. Thomas is going to make a GM look really smart.
  22. Miami DolphinsOhio State LB Raekwon McMillan – The Dolphins signed Lawrence Timmons, and that’s really an underrated move. Timmons is a spectacular linebacker… a few seasons ago, now he’s just good. McMillan is rising up, just as Thomas, and McMillan has all the first round tape one could roll out. Instincts are maybe better than Foster, and is a tackling machine. He’s got a solid build, and has pro-bowl written all him.
  23. New York GiantsMissouri DE Charles Harris – The Giants have brought back Jason Pierre-Paul, and they’ve brought in DJ Fluker to help press former first round pick Ereck Flowers into performing stronger at left tackle. Charles Harris is another really strong pass rusher to add to the fray. Harris he plays like a lightning bolt, and shoot right around tackles to lunch on quarterbacks.
  24. Oakland Raiders Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham – The Raiders, whether they actually go to Las Vegas or not this season, will be back this coming season. The offense is dangerous and as potent as any team in the NFL with their quarterback Derek Carr. As long as Carr isn’t in the garage, the Raiders are going to be a playoff favorite from now on. They need help on defense. Zach Cunningham wears his weight well, and like I’ve said previously Ken Norton needs him a Ken Norton on the field, and Cunningham is that in spades. He’s got all of the skills to great for the Raiders.
  25. Houston TexansFlorida CB Teez Tabor – The Texans paid to rid themselves of the Brock Osweiler experience, now they have some room to operate. They have some quarterback options. They could grab Jay Cutler, trade for Tony Romo, or draft a quarterback and hope for a Russell Wilson/Dak Prescott situation of a later than likely hit on a guy in the non-premium rounds. They need to replace AJ Bouye and with Teez Tabor it’d be a quick grieving process. For as big as Teez plays, he’s extremely strong in coverage. Tabor doesn’t show the catch-up speed, but shows the solid burst speed to break on the ball in the air.
  26. Seattle SeahawksWestern Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp – The Seattle Seahawks must put a premium on protection for Russell Wilson, and not with clever moves, real blue chippers. Forrest Lamp was going to be the senior bowl star then he got hurt, but his stock continued to simmer and he’s now a rising commodity that will be a first rounder. Germain Ifedi is going to nail down the right guard position, and Forrest Lamp could be the left side hero. He’s got the guard frame, and shorter arms that’ll likely keep him at guard rather than tackle, and he’ll excel, and help bring the Seahawks rushing attack back to one the league’s top attacks.
  27. Kansas City ChiefsStanford RB Christian McCaffrey – Like I’ve said, the Chiefs need to replace Jamaal Charles, and now they will. McCaffrey likely had the combine that will make him too attractive of a pick to last until the 27th overall pick. He could be picked by the Eagles, Colts, Titans, Broncos, Lions, or Giants. But, I’ll say he’s here. McCaffrey can be a percentage workhorse, but I don’t think a traditional one. If anyone watched Stanford play, they’ll know how I mean. He touched the ball on nine of ten plays of any given drive, six rushes and three passes from the backfield. McCaffrey can be great under Andy Reid and with Alex Smith.
  28. Dallas CowboysMichigan State DT Malik McDowell – The Cowboys have done a few subtle good moves, with bringing Stephen Paea to return to play with Rod Marinelli again and Nolan Carroll to replace Brandon Carr. The Cowboys need a tyrant in the middle of the defense. McDowell can be a run-away bull if he wants to be, and could really be dominant in the NFL. He’s got great size, but wasn’t a sack-artist in college, but the pressure is there, and that’s what matters.
  29. Green Bay PackersFlorida CB Quincy Wilson – The Packers didn’t bring back Micah Hyde, and cut Sam Shields. They did bring in Davon House, but that isn’t enough, because the Packers go through corners like no one else. Quincy Wilson was Teez Tabor’s running mate and performed outstanding in coverage. He could actually be the strongest cover man in the draft, but that comes with a downside. He does not want to tackle. He is a poor angler when he’s going for the tackle. He’s very Deion. But, in coverage, he’s aces.
  30. Pittsburgh SteelersMichigan DE Taco Charlton – The Steelers are going to go to another Super Bowl while Ben Roethlisberger, not just because of his offense, but because the Steelers have really improved their defense while everyone has been fearing the offense. Taco Charlton could be molded into the James Harrison. Though Harrison might be one of the strongest players in league, he’s both 100 percent committed to the weight room and thirty-nine years old. If Charlton shadowed Harrison, the Steelers could almost replace the legend without a hitch. Charlton has a very buildable frame, and has the upper body strength to bully.
  31. Atlanta FalconsWisconsin DE T.J. Watt – I’m predicting a fall. The Panthers fell hard, the Falcons sink-holed in a matter of about twenty-three minutes. T.J. Watt is a linebacker in more of a Clay Matthews figure than his brother JJ. T.J. can play opposite Vic Beasley and rush the passer, or stand upright and play the middle of the field.
  32. New Orleans Saints (New England Patriots) – USC CB Adoree Jackson – I still can’t believe the Saints shucked Brandin Cooks aside. But, oh well, the Saints need more help on defense. Adoree Jackson is an alright corner who could grow into a strong pro, but his ability to kill in the return game is where he’ll make his money. He’s perhaps the best quick-twitch athlete in this draft.