Breaking Down The Draft As It Nears
In my experience, the closer we get to the draft, the more recognizable a few things become. First, how fluid the draft is after the first 20 picks. While some teams will see top 20 talent falling, others will see no difference, or little difference between players 20-60.
Most drafts, and this one included are typically loaded with talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds that falls often times because greater needs are addressed earlier. Secondly, mock draft info tends to be especially wrong in the back half. No less than 5 players not projected to go in the first round will, and several expected to, won’t.
And lastly, we’re all bound to screw up. One pick could throw it all off. A trade, and there will be trades, will change who goes where undoubtedly.
MOCK DRAFT 3.0 (4/17/17)
DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Don’t buy into reports it’ll be a quarterback. No-brainer choice, instant starter.
CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
The 49ers would love a trade back for more assets, and many of the top players available don’t fit. Corner is a top need though, so if the clock runs out…
DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
The great news for the Bears is they could trade down a few spots and still fill a pressing need. They’re one of a few teams whose biggest needs are available in the best players on the board. Allen pegs in perfect at the 3-technique for John Fox’s defense.
TE OJ Howard, Alabama
Jags glaring need is offensive line, but if they stay put, one other need they could reach for to help the offense in both phases is tight end.
SS Jamal Adams, LSU
Titans should end up with a top safety or corner with this selection, but OJ Howard is a sleeper for them if he’s available.
RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
So many holes, but you have to start somewhere. Sounds crazy, but the Jets probably wise to wait until 2018 for a quarterback because they’ll be bad next year.
QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
Rivers isn’t getting any younger and not often you’re in position to draft a quarterback when you have a good one. Perfect spot to sit and learn.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Panthers get their DeAngelo Williams replacement a couple of years after his departure.
DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
Bengals are another team that could use help on the offensive line, but unless they trade down they’re stuck with the best on the board.
CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
Buffalo lost their top corner and got scorched last year in the secondary.
OLB Haason Redick, Temple
Saints linebackers are amongst the worst in football. Corner is also a possibility, as is the Malcolm Butler trade with New England.
QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
I sense a trade down, but if the board falls to where they can land Watson or Mahomes it may be too tempting to pass.
WR Mike Williams, Clemson
Larry Fitzgerald isn’t going to be around too much longer and the Michael Floyd pick didn’t work out as planned.
RB Dalvin Cook, FSU
Eagles could go in a number of directions, and a team to watch for a trade up in the draft with plenty of players on their roster they’d like to move, like RB Ryan Mathews.
OL Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
Stock is rising, and the Colts keep needing to improve around Luck and do with a guy who can play inside or out.
OLB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
The sizzle is running out on Terrell Suggs career and an eventual replacement is necessary.
QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
Opens up the possibility for a Kirk Cousins trade, or perhaps planning on him not being around next season.
MLB Reuben Foster, Alabama
If the Titans stay put, they may end up with a gem in this spot.
FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State
Bucs would be really lucky for the board to deliver them Hooker who fills a position of need.
OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
The Broncos have been trying to figure out their left tackle situation for the last few years unsuccessfully.
TE David Njoku, Miami (FL)
Offensive line and defensive line are bigger needs, but it’s been implied that they’d like to go fishing in the tight end well once again, and this might be too tempting to pass on.
DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
The Dolphins shallowest position is defensive end.
OT Garrett Bolles, Utah
The Giants have to figure out right tackle to make all of those offensive weapons work for Eli Manning.
MLB Jarrad Davis, Florida
One of my favorites in the draft, and a team that could use him.
S/Rover Budda Baker, Washington
If I know anything, predicting what Seattle will do is a fool’s errand.
WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
It’s obvious to everyone that the Chiefs need more weapons on offense if the Alex Smith experience is to improve.
SS/Rover Jabril Peppers, Michigan
Anywhere on the defense is a possibility, as is right tackle.
CB Chidobe Iwuzie, Colorado
Defense is still licking it’s wounds from the NFC Title game and this is a guy who can play both the slot and the boundry.
DE/OLB Charles Harris, Missouri
James Harrison can’t play forever, and let’s face, the Steelers love drafting linebackers.
DE Malik McDowell, Michigan State
Falcons could use a corner, a tight end (don’t sleep on Evan Engram), or more depth at defensive end, and McDowell is perfect for their 3-4.
- PICK NO. 32 TRADED FROM
WR John Ross, Washington How about this for a Brandon Cooks replacement?