2017 NFL mock draft: Senior Bowl gives some stars the chance to rise
The Senior Bowl comes next week and gives teams, scouts and coaches their first hands-on with some of the top players in this year’s class. The big news so far is who’s in and who’s out, with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson’s skipping the game a big question mark. The rest of the focus in front offices is largely about trade possibilities, and there’s a lot. I’m told teams anticipate a lot of effort at trade downs, including possibly from the first four picks. There’s not a lot of movement, but let’s look at how my sources think things will fall with this latest 2017 NFL mock draft:
CLEVELAND BROWNS: Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M
The Browns are already shopping this pick actively, but Garrett won’t fall far, if at all.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: DeShone Kizer, QB Notre Dame
While some still prefer North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, too many scouts seem down on Trubisky’s upside and lack of athleticism. Kizer is the pick, but it’s going to come down to soon-to-be-hired coach Kyle Shanahan’s preference.
CHICAGO BEARS: Malik Hooker, S Ohio State
Long thought to be after a quarterback, the Bears now seem locked in on defense. The choice between Hooker and Alabama DE Jonathan Allen will be determined on interviews.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Jonathan Allen, DE Alabama
Allen should immediately add a versatile weapon to an already talented defense.
TENNESSEE TITANS: Mike Williams, WR Clemson
Williams is tall and rangy, the perfect WR1 for quarterback Marcus Mariota and a huge upgrade for the Titans.
NEW YORK JETS: Mitch Trubisky, QB North Carolina
Long thought to be focused on offense, the Jets scouts are said to like Trubisky’s arm and pocket presence.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Jamal Adams, S LSU
They can’t decide on a logo, but Adams is the current top choice in the defensive backfield.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: Leonard Fournette, RB LSU
Fournette’s ankle will be checked closely, but no surgery means he won’t drop out of the top 10.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State
Lattimore heads just a bit south and slots into a transitioning Bengals secondary.
BUFFALO BILLS: Pat Mahomes II, QB Texas Tech
Mahomes is a huge riser and a risk for the Bills, but he could rise even further — to No. 1?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama
Humphrey is sliding, only slightly, and largely due to the depth in the class, not his outlook.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: Cam Robinson, OT Alabama
Trade this one, too? Speculation on this pick for a quarterback is already making the rounds, but if one of the top quarterbacks is there, it could be tempting. Robinson is an upgrade.
ARIZONA CARDINALS: Reuben Foster, LB Alabama
The ‘Bama run continues as the Cards solidify their defense up the middle with the best LB in the draft.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford
The Colts are laser locked on McCaffrey. Will the new GM change this?
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Adoree Jackson, CB USC
The speedy Jackson helps the defense and return game immediately.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee
The Ravens get their pass rusher to help their aging defense quickly.
WASHINGTON: Taco Charlton, DE Michigan
Washington wants edge help and could end up with both Charlton and Michigan teammate Chris Wormley in the second.
TENNESSEE TITANS: Quincy Wilson, CB Florida
The Titans will take a long look at Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers but will go with the more defined role that Wilson will play.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan
Mike Evans and Jameis Winston will love seeing Group of 5 star Davis rise to them at this slot.
DENVER BRONCOS: Garett Bolles, OT Utah
The Broncos have been looking for a lineman and Bolles is rising. His play on tape is overcoming his slight lack of size.
DETROIT LIONS: Takkarist McKinley, DE UCLA
McKinley’s rise in the draft has stalled, but he’ll be a big upgrade for the Lions if he plays hard.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Zach Cunningham, LB Vanderbilt
Cunningham is a solid fit at a need position, but there’s questions about his athleticism he’ll have to address to solidify this slot.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State
The fall ends with a great situation for both Cook and the Giants. He’ll be RB1 on Day 1.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: Jabrill Peppers, S Michigan
Peppers is something of a tweener and his role, rather than his talent, is causing his drop. It’s a very deep DB class.
HOUSTON TEXANS: Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson
The Texans know they have to upgrade at QB and they’re willing to take a gamble on “winner” Watson, despite scouts’ concerns about his size and vision. Skipping the Senior Bowl won’t help him, though.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin
The possible loss of a second-round pick puts more pressure on hitting on the first-rounder. If Ramcyzk clears the medical, he’ll be a solid pick here.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Sidney Jones, CB Washington
The Chiefs will be very happy if someone of Jones’ quality drops to them. They’re definitely focused on a DB.
DALLAS COWBOYS: Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
Thomas is a solid pass rusher with no character concerns. That gets him the pick over others, including Tim Williams and Jalen “Teez” Tabor, who drop out of the first.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: Carl Lawson, DE Auburn
There’s not much separation between the pass rushers at the end of the first, so could the Packers pick up a DB or even a wide receiver? Sure, if they fall hard for one in interviews.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: O.J. Howard, TE Alabama
Howard is a good fit for the Steelers offense and is a hard worker who should fit in quickly under coach Mike Tomlin.
ATLANTA FALCONS: DeMarcus Walker, DE Florida State
Walker’s scheme fit for the Atlanta 4-3 is really the only question.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Charles Harris, DE Missouri
Harris is the kind of player that raises questions in most offices, but the Pats seem to know just how to fit them in.