With the NFL Combine now behind us, we find ourselves growing ever closer to the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. With the combine evaluations in, it’s time for cover32’s 2017 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns — Myles Garrett — DE –Texas A&M
Far and away the best player in this draft class, Myles Garrett will be the number one overall pick in this draft. While the Browns could still trade down, picking any other player at this pick would be a big mistake for any team.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Mitch Trubisky — QB — North Carolina
While the 49ers remain in contention to trade for Washington starter Kirk Cousins, the team remains without a true starter at this point in the offseason. With limited talent available in free agency, I think new head coach Kyle Shanahan finds his franchise quarterback in Mitch Trubisky.
3. Chicago Bears — Malik Hooker — S — Ohio State
The Chicago Bears need all kinds of help. Being a team that is still way off from being competitive, the Bears address one of their biggest needs by selecting Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. That said, the Bears could go almost any direction with this pick and improve their roster.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jonathan Allen — DT — Alabama
In the first year of Tom Coughlin’s return, the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to improve and ready themselves for a playoff push in one-to-two years. Adding some talent to a lackluster defensive line, the Jaguars land the second best player in this draft class by selecting Jonathan Allen.
5. Tennessee Titans — Jamal Adams — S — LSU
Already putting their pick up for trade, I wouldn’t be shocked if this pick is moved before draft day roles around. However, if the Titans decide to stick with their number five pick, the team will almost certainly draft one of the top two safeties available. Considering Malik Hooker is already gone in this mock draft, Jamal Adams ends up being the pick.
6. New York Jets — Leonard Fournette — RB — LSU
Much like the Titans, the Jets want to trade out of their current pick. Should they fail to find a solid trade offer, the Jets could go any direction with this pick and still improve. With the running back position seeing a resurgance in this league, New York knabs a future star in Leonard Fournette.
7. L.A. Chargers — Solomon Thomas — DE — Stanford
Selecting their second straight first round defensive end, the newly relocated Los Angeles Chargers solidify their pass rush and defensive line for years to come with the selection of Solomon Thomas.
8. Carolina Panthers – Dalvin Cook — RB — FSU
Coming back to reality last season, the Carolina Panthers struggled on both sides of the ball last season. However, the biggest issue that I noticed was the lack of a consistent rushing attack from the Panthers. Addressing that issue right here, the Panthers take Dalvin Cook with this pick.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — Marshon Lattimore — CB — Ohio State
Pacman Jones will be 34 next season while Dre Kirkpatrick is hitting free agency this offseason. Soon to have a couple of openings at the starting cornerback positions, the Bengals add some much needed talent to the position with the selection of Marshon Lattimore.
10. Buffalo Bills — Patrick Mahomes — QB — Texas Tech
Possibly the biggest wildcard of this first round, the Bills pick will ultimately be decided when the team announces whether it has or hasn’t picked up Tyrod Taylor’s option. Assuming that Taylor’s expensive option is not picked up, the Bills select quarterback Patrick Mahomes with this selection.
11. New Orleans Saints — Sidney Jones — CB — Washington
Ranking dead last in pass defense last season, the New Orleans Saints need to get some talent infused into their secondary. With Sidney Jones now being seen as the second best cornerback in this draft class, he becomes the top remaining player on the Saints Draft Board.
12. Cleveland Browns — DeShone Kizer — QB — Notre Dame
Already adding the best player in this draft class earlier on, the Cleveland Browns finally get a chance to draft the next contestant in their quarterback challenge. Coming down to a choice between DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson, the Browns go with Kizer due to his higher ceiling.
13. Arizona Cardinals — Mike Williams — WR — Clemson
While Arizona has already said that they will be looking to add a young quarterback to play under Carson Palmer, the Cardinals do need to provide both their future signal caller and Palmer a talented young receiving to throw to. Selecting Mike Williams, the Cardinals will begin to add both youth and talent to their offense.
14. Philadelphia Eagles — Corey Davis — WR — Western Michigan
Despite seeing an injury prevent him from participating at the combine, Corey Davis remains the number two receiver in this draft class. With the Eagles in desperate need of some help at the position, Davis heads to Philly and immediately becomes co-face of the franchise alongside Carson Wentz.
15. Indianapolis Colts — Derek Barnett — DE — Tennessee
In desperate need of some young talent to lead their defensive line, the Colts find their man in Derek Barnett. Surpassing the great Reggie White during his time with the Volunteers, Barnett will provide the Colts defense with the building block that it needs to continue in its development.
16. Baltimore Ravens — Marlon Humphrey — CB — Alabama
Once seen as the first or second best cornerback in this draft class, Marlon Humphrey has fallen a bit in the last month or so. That said, the Ravens need someone to pair with Jimmy Smith. With Humphrey still a top talent, the Ravens get a steal with his selection at pick number 16.
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17. Washington Redskins — Reuben Foster — LB — Alabama
Despite his argument with a medical worker at the NFL Combine, a lot of teams have been impressed with Reuben Foster’s apology when meeting with select teams. While Foster falls a bit from where he once was, the Redskins stop his skid and upgrade their linebacking corps at the same time.
18. Tennessee Titans — Evan Engram — TE — Mississippi
Speed kills and boy does Evan Engram have speed. Running a 4.42 during the NFL Combine, Engram may now be the premier tight end in this draft class. With the Titans in need of some targets for quarterback Marcus Mariota to throw to, the Titans go for broke and select the rising Engram.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — John Ross — WR — Washington
Running a NFL Combine record 4.22 40-yard dash this past weekend, John Ross clearly separated himself from the rest of the wide receivers that were competing for the number three spot in the receivers draft class. Rather than signing DeSean Jackson to an expensive contract this offseason, the Bucs add Ross as their speed threat.
20. Denver Broncos — Ryan Ramczyk — OT — Wisconsin
While many folks may point towards the quarterback play as the reason for the Broncos step back last season, the truth was that the team was let down by it’s poor offensive line play. With the release of Russell Okung, the Broncos add their new left tackle in Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk.
21. Detroit Lions — Garett Bolles — OT — Utah
Needing to keep Matthew Stafford upright on a more consistent basis, the Detroit Lions add some more offensive line help with the selection of Garrett Bolles. Proving he has what it takes to play at the NFL level during the Combine, Bolles is someone that could immediately slot into the left tackle role for the Lions.
22. Miami Dolphins — Zach Cunningham — LB — Vanderbilt
The weakest positional group on the Miami Dolphins roster last season, the team needs to add some talented linebackers this offseason. Moving Kiko Alonso the outside linebacker position, the Dolphins then add Zach Cunningham to replace Alonso as their starting middle linebacker.
23. New York Giants – O.J. Howard — TE — Alabama
Limited by the Alabama offense, O.J Howard has proven his ability at every step of the way this offseason. With the Giants in need of someone for Eli Manning to target, the Giants grab their best tight end since Jeremy Shockey with the selection of Howard.
24. Oakland Raiders — Malik McDowell — DT — Michigan State
Talking about the need for interior disruption in his end of season press conference, Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio gets the interior presence he desires by selecting Malik McDowell.
25. Houston Texans — Cam Robinson — OT — Auburn
Originally seen by many as the top offensive lineman in this draft class, Cam Robinson has fallen quite a bit since the beginning of the offseason. However, with the Texans in need of some help at right tackle, Robinson finds his way to Houston, giving the Texans a top 15 talent at pick number 25.
26. Seattle Seahawks — Jabrill Peppers — ATH — Michigan
Capable of playing multiple positions, Peppers is exactly the swiss army knife player Seattle needs. With the Seahawks running different defensive packages, Peppers could slot in where needed and still make a difference. Add in that he would be a pretty solid backup for both Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and you have a winning pick right here.
27. Kansas City Chiefs — Deshaun Watson — QB — Clemson
There have been constant rumors throughout the offseason that the Chiefs may be interested in adding a new starting quarterback. Giving the team a player to develop behind Alex Smith for the next couple of seasons, the Chiefs nab Deshaun Watson near the end of the first round.
28. Dallas Cowboys — Charles Harris — DE — Missouri
While their main focus this offseason could be to reinforce and maintain it’s talent at defensive back, the Dallas Cowboys will also need to address their pass rush and defensive line during the same period. Seeing as Charles Harris is the best remaining player of these groups, he is the Cowboys pick.
29. Green Bay Packers — Takk McKinley — DE/OLB — UCLA
While the offense in Green Bay has been absolutely stellar in recent seasons, the defense has been an utter mess at times. With some aging players at the key pass rushing positions, the Packers could take Takk McKinley due to his explosiveness and size, two categories that out weigh his four-to-six month recovery time due to shoulder surgery.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers — Haason Reddick — OLB — Temple
An unknown heading into the offseason, Haason Reddick has been on fire all offseason long. Performing extremely well at both the combine and the senior bowl, Reddick is a first round caliber player. With the Steelers needing to address some areas of concern in their linebacking corps, Reddick finds a home in Pittsburgh.
31. Atlanta Falcons — Forrest Lamp — OG — Western Kentucky
Following the great collapse at this past year’s Super Bowl, the Falcons will re-tool some positions in order to have an even better chance at winning the big game next season. Upgrading their right guard position, the Falcons draft Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp right here.
32. New England Patriots — David Njoku — TE — Miami
The final pick of the first round, the defending Super Bowl Champions add their replacement for Martellus Bennett. Add into the fact that Rob Gronkowski can’t seem to shake the injury bug right now and the New England Patriots need to find a new starting tight end this offseason. Bill Belichick does just that by selecting David Njoku.
— Robert Molnar is a Managing Editor for cover32 and covers the NFL and the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles. He can be followed on Twitter @RMolnar1010.