It’s nearly time for the 2017 NFL Draft. How will things go down in Philadelphia? Here are my predictions.
1) Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Myles Garrett is a generational talent and the Browns would be crazy to pass on him.
2) San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas – DE, Stanford
The 49ers need a pass rusher so badly and Thomas provides them with a versatile option.
3) Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen – DT, Alabama
The Bears are building a mean defence and Allen would add a high-quality starter to their roster
4) Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Jacksonville have a loaded roster and they are picking at four because their quarterback Blake Bortles was a train wreck last year. He needs help and with no offensive lineman worth taking anywhere near pick for, giving him Fournette makes a lot of sense. The LSU star is a big, physical freak who will give linebackers nightmares.
5) Tennessee Titans – Mike Williams – WR, Clemson
The Titans played a blinder getting this pick from the LA Rams last year. I know they are a run first team but I think they use this pick to get Marcus Mariota a number one target in the passing game and whilst Mike Williams isn’t the quickest or the best route runner, he’s a big man with great ball skills who will win a lot of contested throws.
6) New York Jets – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
My personal favourite player in the draft. Hooker’s ball skills and anticipation are unbelievable. The Jets roster looks poor and it needs a playmaker and Hooker is just that.
7) Los Angeles Chargers – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Chargers roster is pretty good and drafting Adams would make them so much stronger in the secondary.
8) Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Cam Newton can’t be expected to make as many plays as he currently has to. McCaffrey is a playmaker in both the running game and the passing game and he’d help take a lot of pressure off the quarterback.
9) Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster – LB, Alabama
There are apparently a few off-field concerns with Foster but the Bengals have proven to be a team willing to take a chance on a prospect with red flags. On the field, Foster is a tone-setter who would fit in perfectly in the AFC North.
10) Buffalo Bills – Corey Davis – WR, Western Michigan
The Bills will be a run first offence but they still need to be a threat in the passing game or they’ll just see stacked boxes on every play. Sammy Watkins’ injuries have limited him and the other receivers on the team are nothing to write home about. Davis isn’t the greatest route runner but that’s not a huge issue when the QB doesn’t anticipate routes well. He’s a big, competitive guy who can go up and get the ball and he’d help Tyrod Taylor immensely.
11) New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
The Saints need defensive help so badly. Barnett could go across from Cameron Jordan and finally give the Saints a legitimate pass rushing duo.
12) Cleveland Browns – O.J. Howard – TE, Alabama
The Browns are another team lacking in playmakers and O.J Howard would be a great addition for them. I know the Browns need a QB but their new philosophy seems to lend itself to getting the best available player and at 12, Howard fits the bill.
13) Arizona Cardinals – John Ross – WR, Washington
The Cardinals seemingly can’t rely on John Brown anymore and Ross would provide them with a legitimate deep threat who’ll have cornerbacks shaking in their boots due to his world-class speed.
14) Philadelphia Eagles – Marshon Lattimore – CB, Ohio State
The Eagles have a pretty good defence and need offensive help but there’s no real value at any major positions of need for them at pick three. Lattimore is a superb athlete who would add speed and competitiveness to their secondary.
15) Indianapolis Colts – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Colts are crying out for somebody to get after the quarterback and Taco Charlton can do just that. He had a poor combine but his tape speaks for itself.
16) Baltimore Ravens – Takkarist McKinley – DE, UCLA
The Ravens need to add a bit more speed on their front seven and McKinley would provide that. He could be the long-term successor to Terrell Suggs.
17) Washington Redskins – Haason Reddick – LB, Temple
I had Haason Reddick in my Top 50 list but not this high. However, he is a three down linebacker and it looks like he’s really helped himself during the pre-draft process.
18) Tennessee Titans – Tre’Davious White – CB, LSU
Corner back was an issue for the Titans last year and they need an upgrade in the secondary. White is a good value pick at 18 and should be a day one starter.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Ramczyk – OT, Wisconsin
Jameis Winston is Tampa’s franchise player and they need to protect him. Ryan Ramczyk is, in my opinion, the best tackle in this draft.
20) Denver Broncos – Garett Bolles – OT, Utah
Denver need to help out whoever their starting quarterback ends up being. Bolles is a little bit light but he’s a very, very good athlete who seems to fit the offence, although that could change now Gary Kubiak has left.
21) Detroit Lions – Dalvin Cook – RB, Florida State
The Lions have a very good quarterback and a few decent receivers but their running game is terrible. Cook is a very good runner and is a threat catching out of the backfield too. Having invested in the offensive line, Cook could have a good time in Detroit and is a good fit in the Jim-Bon Cooter offence.
22) Miami Dolphins – T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
T.J Watt is another linebacker who can play on both running and passing downs. He’d be a day one starter in Miami and would add a serious competitive edge to their defence.
23) New York Giants – David Njoku – TE, Miami
The Giants defence looks pretty strong and the offence is getting better too. Eli Manning is, in my opinion, starting to decline and giving him another weapon to hit underneath makes a lot of sense.
24) Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis – LB, Florida
A lot of people, myself included, see Davis as a 4-3 outside linebacker and he’d be a perfect fit in Oakland. He’s a fluid athlete who tackles with authority and would instantly improve a Raiders defence that got beaten too easily last year.
25) Houston Texans – Mitchell Trubisky – QB, North Carolina
With Tony Romo opting to move to the CBS booth rather than continue playing, the Texans look short on ideas at quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky seems a good fit for the Bill O’Brien offence and he could spend some time sitting if needs be. Tom Savage isn’t the long-term answer for Houston but he can play until Trubisky is ready.
26) Seattle Seahawks – Forrest Lamp – LT/G, Western Kentucky
I personally think Lamp is a guard but he could be a tackle, depending on scheme fit. The Seahawks tried to get TJ Lang as they need an upgrade on the interior offensive line. Lamp would be a good plug and play player for them.
27) Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes – QB, Texas Tech
I don’t really like this pick but all signs point to the Chiefs picking Pat Mahomes and developing him into Alex Smith’s successor.
28) Dallas Cowboys – Charles Harris – DE, Missouri
Dallas have an offence that can win a Super Bowl but their defence needs some serious work. They need somebody who can get after the passer and Charles Harris would be a good value pick at 28.
29) Green Bay Packers – Quincy Wilson – CB, Florida
The Packers needed secondary help even before Sam Shields left the team, so with him gone, that’s an obvious area of weakness. Quincy Wilson would, in time, give Green Bay somebody who can match up with big, physical corners and that is something they have lacked in recent years.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers – Jabrill Peppers – S, Michigan
If any team knows how to get instinctive safeties on the field, it’s the Steelers. There are a lot of questions about Peppers but his athleticism is fantastic and he’d be a great chess-piece for Pittsburgh. He also has the added value of being a great returner in the kicking game.
31) Atlanta Falcons – Budda Baker – S, Washington
Baker would be able to stay on the field in both base and nickel packages and would add even more speed to what was a much improved defence last year.
32) New Orleans Saints – Marlon Humphrey – CB, Alabama
The Saints need to get so much better of defence and Humphrey offers them the chance to add size and speed in the secondary.