Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Justin's Final Mock Draft

1) Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M – The Browns clearly need as much talent as possible and with there being no clear cut franchise quarterback, they go best player available. Turns out that man is an absolute animal. Garrett is a do it all defensive end that can fly off the edge and pummel the quarterback. Garrett, if healthy, will be a perennial pro bowler for years to come. Don't overthink this Cleveland!

2) San Francisco 49ers
Jamal Adams, S, LSU - Yes, the fresh face San Fran general manager was one of the best safeties the NFL has ever seen. He should eventually find his way into the Hall of Fame but John Lynch knows how important the safety position is. Especially one that can affect a defense in a multitude of ways. Adams can play two high safety or can come up in the box and lay the hammer. Adams is a freak of nature and a future building block for this defense.

3) Chicago Bears
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State – Cornerbacks are a hot commodity now with the national passing league reigning supreme. But when you have a chance at a true shut down corner, you grab him. The Bears have some talent on defense. If a playmaker like Lattimore is inserted onto the field, it instantly creates a young and hungry defense that can cover with the best of them.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford – Jacksonville signed Calais Campbell to a monster deal to help the pass rush. His leadership role cannot be overlooked though as he can teach the young Jaguars defense how to act on and off the field. Drafting Thomas will give this defense the pass rush off the edge that it needs to compete in this division. But Thomas bringing the versatility to kick inside on pass rush downs is what truly makes the Stanford product a valuable piece.

5) Cleveland Browns (TRADE)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina - The Titans have been actively trying to trade back and have definitely been blowing the smoke screens that quarterbacks are going earlier than they should. This causes the Browns to panic and jump up to grab the guy they want. Trubisky has an Alex Smith feel to him, but I am sure that Cleveland would take a quarterback of that caliber.
                                                          
6) New York Jets
OJ Howard, TE, Alabama - The best and most rounded tight end in this draft finds a new home in New York, though not with the New York team you want to be on. The Jets have holes all over so why would they select a tight end this early? Because OJ Howard is that damn good. Howard was surprisingly underutilized in Lane Kiffin's offense but his best is ahead of him. He will be a monster in the pass game with his athleticism catching defenders off guard but it is his blocking that can help the Jets. A 6'6, 251 pound athletic tight end is worthy of a top ten pick.

7) Los Angeles Chargers
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State – The Chargers can go one of two ways. Reach for an offensive lineman or grab a backend piece to the secondary that can strike fear into the hearts of quarterbacks. While I have my qualms about Hooker, his ceiling is unreal. How quickly he can diagnose a play and then fly over to the ball to intercept the pass is something very few free safeties can do. Add in the fact that with the ball in his hands, he is a threat to take it to the house. Plus, I'm sure Joey Bosa will be pleading to play with one of his fellow Buckeyes.

8) Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – Now, one may ask, if I rank Leonard Fournette as the best running back why would McCaffrey go over him. Plain and simple because McCaffrey fits Carolina's offense better. Running back is just a title for this kid as he will be an offensive weapon for the Panthers. He CAN run between the tackles but his ability to catch the ball better than any of Carolina's wide receivers is the real reason he finds his home in North Carolina. McCaffrey can help take the pressure off Cam Newton and make this an offense to be respected.

9) Cincinnati Bengals
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michgan – Andy Dalton needs more weapons as Brandon LaFell is not a legitimate starting wide receiver. AJ Green would appreciate not seeing double coverage on every play and with him mentoring a player of that caliber this offense could spread the field, even with the incumbent Andy Dalton at the helm. Being a big-time playmaker, Davis will add a whole new dimension to that offense with his yards after the catch ability.

10) Buffalo Bills
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida  True, the Florida corners did not test well but when watching the tape they never shied away from anything. They were physical and impact players every step of the way. Wilson, in my eyes, was the better of the two Gators and Buffalo needs more playmakers in their secondary.

11) New Orleans Saints
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee – Pass rushers are always needed and Barnett can get after it. His production backs up his play as he was a solid player week in and week out. Having Barnett and Cameron Jordan off the edge, can help spell the quarterback play that is dominating the NFC South.

12) Tennessee Titans
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson - Tennessee manages to make another tremendous trade again this year and still come away with the player that they desired. Mike Williams is the big body playmaking receiver that Marcus Mariota needs. The Alshon Jeffrey clone does not create the separation that most number one receivers can in the NFL but Mariota can place the ball anywhere. It helps that Williams excels at going up and getting the ball. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

13) Arizona Cardinals
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama - Arizona has a serious issue. Age. Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer are a combined 70 years old and are nearing the end of their professional career. Problem is, they are still a playoff caliber team and don't want to use this early of a pick on a developmental quarterback. Plus they there aren't any number one receivers worth grabbing at this spot. Humphrey helps bring that defense up the level it was at in 2015.

14) Indianapolis Colts
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU - The slide of Fournette finally comes to a halt. He is easily one of the most talented players but if Carolina doesn't grab him at 8, then he can fall. Andrew Luck needs somebody to take the load off his shoulders and a bell cow running back can do that. Give Fournette the ball 20 times a game and let Luck do his thing in the pass game and this offense could be unstoppable.

15) Philadelphia Eagles
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – Philadelphia has been salivating over Christian McCaffrey but unless they trade up into the top ten, it looks like he may not be available. Dalvin Cook is the next best running back that they can grab. He does come with baggage, on and off the field but if he can keep his head clear, stay healthy and leave his fumbling issues in college, Cook will have a very successful pro career.

16) Baltimore Ravens
John Ross, WR, Washington – Why not pair a true burner like John Ross (4.22 forty yard dash) with a big armed quarterback like Joe Flacco. The Ravens lost their number one receiver in Steve Smith Sr. but combining Ross with Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, if he can ever get on the field, can create a lethal offense.

17) Washington Redskins
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama – My favorite general manager and talent evaluator, Scot McCloughan, was relieved of his duties because Dan Snyder is a horrible person who shouldn’t be allowed to own a car. Foster is an animal and can play most of Washington's linebacker positions. Foster is the obvious pick because he is the best available player on the board, but I hope this franchise messes it up.

18) Tennessee Titans
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida – The Titans have been making the right decisions and Tabor can help add to those very wise selections. He can create an extremely difficult defensive matchup because he can play the nickel corner spot for the early part of his career and be a true playmaker at it. As much as I despise the Titans for stealing my Jaguars playbook in 1999, this is a team trending in the right direction.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple – Tampa Bay is creating a monster on offense. They need the pass rush to follow and Reddick is a do it all type of linebacker that can fill in what your defense needs. His special talent is getting after the quarterback. He has some natural bend in his body that can scoot around offensive tackles or he can drop back and cover some of those athletic tight ends. 

20) Denver Broncos
Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah - Denver needs to protect whomever is under center next season. The offensive line was a problem last season. Insert Bolles, who can play either tackle position, and this will give their quarterback time to throw the ball or open up holes in the run game.

21) Detroit Lions
Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama – Allen takes quite the tumble. He is an excellent player but we don’t have the knowledge the teams have about his medical history. Just random reports that claim things. If his shoulders are that bad, he could fall out of the top twenty but he is a special talent and the Lions would love this scenario of getting a top five talent at twenty-one.

22) Oakland Raiders
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State - The best cornerback nobody had heard of up until a week ago was recently accused of sexual assault. In the weeks leading up to the draft, somebody needs to sit these kids down and lock them in a weight room so they cannot be accused of anything. Whether it's true or not, Conley very well may slide into the second day despite being a fast rising talent. The Raiders need help in their secondary and Conley can help shore that up.

23) Miami Dolphins
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State – This draft is so deep that a clear top 15 prospect can fall to the bottom of the first round. McDowell gives the Dolphins a monster defensive lineman to add to the rotation and with Cameron Wake getting in his face, there will be no lack of motivation. McDowell could be an absolute force.

24) New York Giants
Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin – The Giants made a mistake by not drafting Laremy Tunsil last year and have suffered because of it. Ereck Flowers is god awful and shouldn't even be on the field. Ramcyzk, despite needing offseason surgery for a torn labrum, would push Flowers to guard or the bench. David Njoku is very much in play here.

25) Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – Brock Osweiler is gone. Bill O’ Brien can move onto finding his quarterback but he needs a very cerebral player to learn his playbook. Watson is a smart kid and has the knowledge of playing in Dabo Sweeney's offense. Time will be needed for him to be successful but if this Houston team can go 9-7 with a shitty quarterback, watch what they could do with one with actual upside. 

26) Green Bay Packers
Kevin King, CB, Washington - It's well documented that Green Bay needs corner help. Everything that I have heard and read is that Dom Capers' defensive scheme is very tough on the secondary and they need time to get acclimated with it. Problem with that is they need to be on the field to be useful. King is a smart, tough and reliable corner that fits the Green Bay mold of a corner.

27) Seattle Seahawks
Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky – I kept trying to find a place to put my favorite player in this year's draft but I had a tough time doing so. Lamp is an extremely talented offensive lineman that can play all over the line. He would be a serviceable left tackle but if he played either guard position, he could be an all pro. Seattle has holes all over the offensive line and I would not be surprised if they grab a few linemen this year.

28) Pittsburgh Steelers
Obi Melifonwu, S/CB, Connecticut - A potential star in the making, the man who leaped out of this year's NFL combine (44 inch vertical), Melifonwu, can play multiple secondary positions. The Steelers' secondary blows and this kid could help plug whatever is their biggest hole in the backend.

29) Atlanta Falcons
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC – Dan Quinn is starting to build something in Atlanta.  Adding a corner that can play outside or inside will help that pass rush even more. His return ability can make this team lethal though. The run of corners leave Atlanta with Jackson. That is not to say the former Trojan is not a good player but he is in the second tier of corners in my eyes.

30) Kansas City Chiefs
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma- Mixon will go in the first round. He would be the second best running back, behind Fournette, but may be a better all purpose back than his LSU counterpart. The off the field concerns would easily scare anybody. If his interview process checks out, Alex Smith will have a fun time handing the ball off to him.  Andy Reid has shown that he is okay with taking players with extra baggage and Kansas City is a place that will accept their players as long as they contribute on and off the field.

31) San Francisco 49ers (TRADE)
Davis Webb, QB, California - Kyle Shanahan gets John Lynch to jump up to one of the "QB spots" so they have that all important fifth year option. Shanahan knows he needs a quarterback and he has gotten to see and hear a lot of hype about the Cal kid. He fits the Matt Ryan mold as a fairly accurate quarterback with a pretty good arm but he also will have time to be groomed into the player that his coach wants him to be.

32) Arizona Cardinals (TRADE)
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech - Bruce Arians stated a few weeks ago that he does not want to leave this Arizona team in the same state of quarterback purgatory as when Kurt Warner retired. GM Steve Keim also agrees. Carson Palmer's best years are behind him and if does start to regress towards the playoffs, Mahomes could end up being thrust into the starting lineup.

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