Now the draft season is really picking. All Star games: check. Combine: check. Now we’re on to the pro days and team visits. The 2017 NFL Draft is now officially less than a month away and it couldn’t come any sooner.
This year, more than any in the past, prospect safety has been a place for discussion. Near the end of the college football season players were sitting out of bowl games and now after two prominent prospects, cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Fabian Moreau, have gone down with injury the questions are being float out there: how much should prospects go through before the draft.
Jones’ injury was a freak occurrence and Moreau’s was called a “little strain”. The topic of conversation is a bit overblown. Things happen, injuries are a part of the game.
Moving on to the second mock draft. This mock draft is a two-rounder. You’re welcome. Of course, we still have a month to go and a lot of things will change, but for now this is how I’m seeing things. There will still be one more mock draft posted before Day One, so we’ll see how much things change in a month. For now, enjoy…
1.) Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
(Rd 2: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan; Sidney Jones, CB, Washington)
Nothing new here unless there is a trade. So, let’s look at their second round selections. Peppers, to kickoff Day Two would be a dream. He’ll finally give Cleveland a last line of defense. Jones, would be an investment paying off in 2018. Let’s be honest, it’s a smart move. The Browns aren’t exactly in “win now” mode.
2.) San Francisco 49ers: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
(Rd 2: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah)
Again, nothing new here. I wouldn’t be able to wrap my head around the Niners taking a d-lineman for a third year in a row. Adams is as solid a prospect that’s out there. Bolles, in the second, gives them a bookend and heir to veteran Joe Staley.
3.) Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
(Rd 2: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame)
Allen rounds out the Bears defensive line, giving the team quality talent and youth. Kizer, offers the team a true franchise caliber quarterback. He’s a little raw, but developing behind Mike Glennon will allow him to grow without being thrown to the wolves Day One.
4.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
(Rd 2: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama)
Thomas, is a versatile player who can play inside or outside. The Jags have depth with Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler, and Yannick Ngakoue, but Thomas is best available that you can’t pass up. Robinson, should solidify the right side of their line.
5.) Tennessee Titans: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio St.
With no second round pick, the Titans need to hit homers with their two first round selections. Hooker here makes all the sense in the world. Despite being a one year starter, Hooker broke up 11 passes and intercepted seven.
6.) New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
(Rd 2: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama)
Lattimore remains the pick here. For a team just two years removed from nearly making the playoffs, the Jets have sprung a lot of leaks. Lattimore, has the ability to turn into a shutdown corner. Williams, is a value pick. Playing in a division with Tom Brady, you can never have enough edge rushers.
7.) LA Chargers: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
(Rd 2: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU)
This is a pick, at least in this scenario, I could see being traded. All their needs would be a bit of a reach here, but for what it’s worth Davis is the man. If White fell out of the first-round and the Bolts were able to land him, it would be a massive steal. White could help Day One.
8.) Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
(Rd 2: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida; Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida St.)
Fournette falling to Carolina is a dream come true. James Stewart isn’t getting any younger and Cam Newton can’t keep getting hit the way he does. Fournette takes a lot off his QB’s shoulders. Tabor and Johnson address the Panthers most pressing needs.
9.) Cincinnati Bengals: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
(Rd 2: Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple)
For the longest time Cincy’s defensive line was their strength, now age is creeping in. Barnett is a Day One starter and can play the run as well rush the passer. Dawkins in Round 2 should help fill the shoes left by Kevin Zeitler.
10.) Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
(Rd 2: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida)
Williams stays here. It just makes too much sense. The Bills had the 30th passing offense and a lack of weapons. Williams is the extra weapon Tyrod Taylor needs. Wilson, is a big, physical corner in the shape of Stephon Gilmore, who left for division rival New England in free agency.
11.) New Orleans Saints: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio St.
(Rd 2: Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida St.)
Sidney Jones was originally slated to go here, but after suffering an Achilles injury at his Pro Day, Jones is out of first round consideration which opens the door for Conley. Walker, offers New Orleans a versatile piece that can play inside and out on the edge.
12.) Cleveland Browns: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Rinse, wash, repeat for the Browns. Pick stays the same. Howard is the total package.
13.) Arizona Cardinals: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
(Rd 2: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado)
There are a lot of ways the Cardinals could go in this draft. With veterans Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers, this is win now mode. Foster and Awuzie, are Day One players with Awuzie offering the versatility the Cardinals love to utilize in their secondary.
14.) Philadelphia Eagles: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida St.
(Rd 2: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas St.)
Cook gives Philly their final piece on offense. The Eagles addressed wide receiver in free agency and now, with Cook, have fully stoked Carson Wentz’s arsenal. Willis, is an ascending talent who got better every year while playing for the Wild Cats.
15.) Indianapolis Colts: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
(Rd 2: Marcus Williams, S, Utah)
New GM Chris Ballard said he wanted to build in the trenches. Lamp, is arguably the best offensive line prospect in the draft. He can help solidify the right side from Day One. Williams, is a rangy last line defender who can make the open field tackle or cause a turnover.
16.) Baltimore Ravens: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
(Rd 2: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington)
McKinley is a freak. That simple. He is a relentless rusher off the edge who is coming off a 10 sack season for the Bruins. If he continues to develop, look out. Kupp, is a pricision route runner who compliments Mike Wallace very well.
17.) Washington Redskins: Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
(Rd 2: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee)
The Redskins need help at inside linebacker and Reddick is the perfect fit. A walk-on safety turned defensive end turned inside linebacker, Reddick is a versatile as it comes. Kamara, gives a speed option to hammers Robert Kelly and Matt Jones.
18.) Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington
The Titans tried to trade for New Orleans speedster Brandin Cooks, who ultimately was dealt to New England. Ross, fits a similar skill set to Cooks and could terrorize opposing defenses from the slot.
19.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami
(Rd 2: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida)
Head coach Dirk Koetter was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta for Tony Gonzalez’s last few years. You have to assume that the benefits of having a dynamic tight end was left on Koetter, Njoku has a dynamic skill set. Brantley, gives the Bucs another inside pass rush threat.
20.) Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
(Rd 2: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama)
The Broncos need to protect their quarterback and Ramczyk is the man. Everett, in the second, gives them a viable tight end threat. Mike McCoy, is back with the team as offensive coordinator, and knows how to maximize a team’s tight end play.
21.) Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
(Rd 2: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M)
Another pick that stays the same. Charlton, is just scratching the surface is his talent. His potential is through the roof. Evans, gives Detroit an tone setter from the safety spot, either through his big hits or ball skills.
22.) Miami Dolphins: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
(Rd 2: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama)
The Dolphins linebacking corps has been lackluster for a long time. Resigning Kiko Alonso was a good start, but more needs to be done. Davis can man the middle which will allow Alonso to shift to the outside. Humphrey, would be a gem if he fell to Round 2.
23.) New York Giants: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
(Rd 2: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy)
McCafffrey needs the right offense to maximize his very diverse skill set. New York can offer that as they run basically the same offense as Green Bay. Garcia, would help round out the Giants offensive woes for the most part. He could start Day One.
24.) Oakland Raiders: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
(Rd 2: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma)
Every year a few players vault into the first round by having a string of outstanding workouts. See: Jackson. He’s a big time playmaker and would man the slot well for Oakland…Vegas? What do they go by these next two years? Perine, is the hammer they need at the goal line.
25.) Houston Texans: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
(Rd 2: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan St.)
A little shakeup here. The Texans have a few routes to go. For this, let’s play out the quarterback scenario. Tom Savage will be their guy on Day One as of this moment. But is he a franchise QB? Giving Trubisky a year to acclimate would benefit everyone.
26.) Seattle Seahawks: Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn
(Rd 2: Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt)
Another wild card. Melifonwu is moving up a lot of draft boards. They need to address the offensive line, but the Seahawks aren’t afraid to do things a little different. The Legion of Boom isn’t getting any younger and Earl Thomas is coming back from a tough injury. Holden, has the versatility to help at multiple positions.
27.) Kansas City Chiefs: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
(Rd 2: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt)
Watson stays here for now. His stock is rising. He’s put together a string of good workouts over the draft process. While there are accuracy questions, one thing that’s not a question is that Watson’s a winner. Cunningham, will be Derrick Johnson’s heir.
28.) Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
(Rd 2: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland)
The Cowboys need help up and down their defensive line. Harris, would be a great fit at this point. With 30.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks the past two seasons, Harris has proved to edge player to worry about. Shaheen, is rocketing up draft boards. He has Gronk-size and would develop nicely behind future hall-of-famer Jason Witten.
29.) Green Bay Packers: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
(Rd 2: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA)
Has there every been a more Green Bay pick? Watt, has a lot of similarities to Clay Matthews when he was coming out of USC. Watt and Matthews could be a dynamic tandem. Moreau, could certainly go higher, but a chest injury at his pro day makes him a question mark.
30.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin King, CB, Washington
(Rd 2: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama)
A lot of hype has gone to his teammate Sidney Jones, but don’t sleep on King. He is a big, tough cornerback that would fit perfectly in Pittsburgh’s zone system. Anderson, at the bottom of Round 2 would be a home run. He plays with a nasty disposition.
31.) Atlanta Falcons: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
(Rd 2: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn)
Feeney is too perfect a fit to pass on. The Falcons have one true, glaring need on offense: right guard. Feeney, could step in and be a Day One starter. On the other side of the ball, Lawson would fit in well with their 4-3 scheme. He’s coming off a nine sack season.
32.) New Orleans Saints: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Mahomes, remains the pick to close out Round 1. It makes too much sense. They need an heir to Drew Brees and Mahomes has a cannon that would fit coach Sean Payton’s system perfectly. By picking him in the first-round it gives New Orleans the added benefit of having a fifth year option on his rookie contract.
37.) LA Rams: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
The Rams don’t get into the mix until Day Two and if Engram is still on the board, the Rams should jump. Engram is a supersized wide receiver that can be a match-up nightmare thanks to his speed. Jared Goff needs weapons.
48.) Minnesota Vikings: Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio St.
Minnesota would be smart to add McMillan. McMillan is used to manning the middle of a 4-3 defense, he racked up back-to-back 100+ tackle seasons in Colombus. The added benefit is moving Eric Kendricks to the outside, where he can better utilize his speed.
72.) New England Patriots: Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio
While LA and Minni have to wait till Day Two, as of now, the Pats aren’t drafting till Day 3. Who knows who will be available by then, but for now Basham would be a great fit. A versatile athlete who can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. Basham, is coming off an 11.5 sack season.