Gino Spadaro: April 22, 2017
With the NFL Draft less than a week away, many NFL GM’s have an idea of who they want to pick. Here’s my final mock draft of 2017:
#1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett – DE/OLB – Texas A&M
- This pick is as simple as this: Myles Garrett is a can’t-miss pick and has all of the tools to be elite in the NFL. With the addition of Garrett, the Browns defensive line will be young and full of potential, and will greatly benefit the secondary by getting to the opposing QB and forcing quick and errant passes.
#2. San Francisco 49ers: Jamal Adams – S – Louisiana State
- The 49ers have made some solid progress in free agency so far. But with the loss of SS Antoine Bethea, the 49ers need to add someone back there that can be a game changer. To many, Jamal Adams is the best safety on the board. Adams has a great ability of coming down into the box and making tackles, as well as manning the middle of the field and reading route patterns and intercepting passes. Adams would be a great pick here at 2 for SF and will be great for a long time in this league.
#3. Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky – QB – North Carolina
- If you had to ask me, neither Mike Glennon or Mark Sanchez are the long-term answer for Chicago at the QB position. Chicago had a great run game last year and although they lost Alshon Jeffrey, they added Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton at the WR position. If they add a franchise QB here, their offense will be set for a long time. If Trubisky ends up not being the guy, then they have veteran guys like Sanchez and Glennon to fall back on.
#4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette – RB – Louisiana State
- Jacksonville hasn’t gotten the production they would have liked from TJ Yeldon, and Chris Ivory is getting old. Leonard Fournette is the best RB in this draft, drawing comparisons to the future hall of famer, Adrian Peterson, due to his size and menacing running style. Fournette would be a great pick here and is the RB Jacksonville so desperately needs.
#5. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis – WR – Western Michigan
- Tennessee lost Kendall Wright, who totaled about 400 receiving yards and 3 TD’s and added Eric Weems, who didn’t accumulate much production at all last season. Tennessee desperately needs a WR to give Marcus Mariota some help. Corey Davis is an elite deep threat who has great route running ability and hands. Davis has the potential to be a star in this league and would be an excellent pick here.
#6. New York Jets: Mike Williams – WR – Clemson
- With the loss of Brandon Marshall in free agency, the Jets need to add another WR. Mike Williams has the prototypical height and speed as a WR. In my opinion, Williams has Julio Jones-like ability when it comes to 50/50 balls, and will go up and get it. Just look at the film against Alabama. Williams is an excellent route runner who has great hands as well.
#7. Los Angeles Chargers: Reuben Foster – ILB – Alabama
- The Chargers and ILB Manti Te’o decided to go separate ways during free agency, leaving them with a hole to fill at that position. They have many issues to fix, including OL, but with the addition of Russell Okung at LT, I think LA will go defense here. Foster is a hard hitter and is extremely athletic, with the ability to range sideline to sideline. Along with this, Foster has a great ability to cover #3 WR’s and TE’s in space and would be an excellent replacement for LA in the front 7.
#8. Carolina Panthers: Marshon Lattimore – CB – Ohio State
- Still looking for that Josh Norman replacement, Carolina needs to add a premier CB. Marshon Lattimore is the best CB in this draft. Unlike Norman, Lattimore is an elite man to man coverage guy who has excellent ball skills and can come up to the LOS and press the receiver, and is athletic enough to run with them. This pick would give Carolina the luxury to have Lattimore go line up where ever the opposing teams #1 WR is, which would greatly benefit them defensively.
#9. Cincinnati Bengals: Cam Robinson – OT – Alabama
- Cincinnati needs to address the offensive line issue. In order for that offense to get back to where it was two years ago, Andy Dalton needs protection. AJ Green is among the best in the business at the WR position, and all Cincinnati needs to do is make sure the QB has enough time to get the ball out to him. Robinson is the best OT in this draft in my opinion, having very few flaws in his game. He is excellent in pass protection and is athletic enough to get up to the second level in run blocking scenarios.
#10. Buffalo Bills: Gareon Conley – CB – Ohio State
- Losing Stephen Gilmore in free agency hurts Buffalo at the CB position, and Conley is the 2nd best CB in this draft. Adding Conley here would replace Gilmore and would be a great pick here. Just like Lattimore, Conley is an excellent man-to-man CB and has the ability the be a premier CB for the team that picks him.
#11. New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett – DE – Tennessee
- The Saints need someone who can get to opposing teams QB’s. Barnett has a high motor, elite strength and hands and would be an excellent pick here at 11, making an immediate impact on the field for them.
#12. Cleveland Browns: Malik Hooker – S – Ohio State
- If Hooker is available at 12, the Browns need to take him. It’s a no-brainer. They need someone in the deep middle of the field who can create turnovers, and Hooker is elite at doing that.
#13. Arizona Cardinals: John Ross – WR – Washington
- Sooner or later age is going to stop Larry Fitzgerald from playing at an elite level. John Ross is the most exciting player in this draft in my opinion, and can turn any play into a TD. With his elite speed, hands and route running ability, he can replace Larry Fitzgerald as Arizona’s #1 WR in a couple years.
#14. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffrey – RB – Stanford
- Having a RB who is versatile enough to be dynamic in between the tackles and in the slot in passing scenarios is a rarity. McCaffrey has shown us that he can do both at a high level and would give this Philadelphia offense one more weapon to utilize.
#15. Indianapolis Colts: Forrest Lamp – OL – Western Kentucky
- Indianapolis did a great job of addressing the defensive issues this off season. Now, improving the OL would be a smart idea. Forrest Lamp is one of the top linemen in the draft and can play either OG or OT. He could provide some much needed help for Andrew Luck.
#16. Baltimore Ravens: Solomon Thomas – DE/OLB – Stanford
- Terrell Suggs is getting old, and adding Solomon Thomas here would give Baltimore not only Suggs’ replacement, but someone who can also come in and make an immediate impact and improvement on the field.
#17. Washington Redskins: Hassan Reddick – LB – Temple
- Washington could use one more LB and Reddick is a great talent. Adding Reddick here, on top of the moves they have made during free agency would make that Redskins defense much better than last year.
#18. Tennessee Titans: Ryan Ramczyk – OT – Wisconsin
- Add one more offensive lineman and the Titans are set on the offensive side of the ball, as long as they take a WR with their first pick. If they take Davis with their first pick and then Ramczyk with this pick, Mariota will have zero complaints.
#19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OJ Howard – TE – Alabama
- Howard is the best TE in the draft and TB needs to add one. By adding Howard here, who is considered top-10 worthy, the Bucs would get a steal and give Winston a much needed middle-of-the-field target.
#20. Denver Broncos: Garrett Bolles – OT – Utah
- We knew going in that Denver needed to address the offensive line. But by losing Okung to LA, the Broncos need to draft an OT in a hurry, and Bolles can come in and be an immediate starter for them.
#21. Detroit Lions: Charles Harris – DE – Missouri
- Detroit could use some help on the DL and on the perimeter. Adding a guy like Harris here gives the Lions a great pass rusher who can cause some problems for opposing QB’s.
#22. Miami Dolphins: David Njoku – TE – Miami
- Njoku is a phenomenal athletic talent at the TE position. Miami needs a TE badly and by adding Njoku here, they will have a guy who can line up on the OL or in the slot against opposing LB’s and DB’s and get open.
#23. New York Giants: Malik McDowell – DL – Michigan State
- The Giants are slim at defensive line. They need to bulk it up and McDowell can come in and have an immediate impact for the Giants.
#24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis – LB – Florida
- With the loss of Malcolm Smith, Oakland needs to add a LB. Jarrad Davis would fill that void and allows this Oakland defense to stay great.
#25. Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson – QB – Clemson
- Houston needs a QB and Watson is a winner. With a great football mind, and elite athletic ability, Watson has the potential to be the answer for any team in need of a franchise QB.
#26. Seattle Seahawks: Taco Charlton – DE – Michigan
- Improving the OL is a must for Seattle, but if Taco Charlton is available, it’s a no brainer. Adding some depth to the defensive line is never bad idea.
#27. Kansas City Chiefs: DeShone Kizer – QB – Notre Dame
- Eventually Kansas City is going to have to find a replacement for Alex Smith. Kizer has the frame and arm talent to do so. Sitting a couple years behind Alex Smith could acclimate him to the league, and then he can come in and allow KC to not miss a beat.
#28. Dallas Cowboys: T.J. Watt – OLB – Wisconsin
- Dallas needs a guy who can rush the passer and drop into coverage at the OLB position. Watt has it in his blood, with his brother being the former defensive MVP.
#29. Green Bay Packers: Dalvin Cook – RB – Florida State
- With the departure of Eddie Lacy, GB needs to add a RB to the roster. Dalvin Cook, if he’s still available, would fill that void and make an immediate impact.
#30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama
- Pittsburgh needs a CB. They’ve needed one for years. Humphrey is a great man-to-man CB and can be the guy the Steelers have been searching for.
#31. Atlanta Falcons: Takkarist McKinley – OLB/DE – Central Los Angeles
- We saw in the Super Bowl that depth on the defensive line was an issue for Atlanta. Adding a guy like McKinley here at 31 who can get to the passer would be an ideal scenario.
#32. New Orleans Saints (From New England): Adoree’ Jackson – CB – Southern California
- New Orleans needs to add a CB at some point in this draft, and by getting back into the first round due to the trade with NE, now might be the time to do it.