Reader Mock by Saopaulo

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2017 NFL Mock Draft by Saopaulo - 12.17
Published at 4/25/2017 9:46:55 PM

Mahomes to SF since April 15 update, and many sliders that are now routinely being mocked by experts. ** Major changes post-Gareon Conley rape allegation! Rate and comment!

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Millen  Bill

Round 1

1. Browns: Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina

I am a skeptic by nature, so I wasn't buying the hype on Trubisky earlier this season. I didn't watch any tape until today, after a month or so of his stock supposedly tumbling. So here's the deal: If the Cleveland Browns don't take Mitch Trubisky with this selection, they are doomed for decades more of futility. The decision to pass on him would be that foolish.

Trubisky is quite a bit better prospect than either of the top two guys last year. And frankly, he's a better prospect than the top two guys in 2015. He has all the tools to be a NFL franchise QB. When I evaluate a QB one of the main things I look at is how the ball comes out of his hand. It's the same for evaluating pitchers in baseball. It tells you how much effort is being made to make elite level throws, and is also an indicator of a special level of hand-eye coordination. It is not by any means a foolproof measure, but it helps elevate guys into elite status. It also ignores focusing on mechanics, which can be over-analysis, but more on that in a moment. Mitch Trubisky just has that special way of delivering the football; when on film in real time you see a QB set to throw, and didn't see where the ball went, that's a serious fastball, and insanely quick release.

Trubisky reminds me a lot of Matt Ryan. When Ryan was drafted I thought he was over-rated, because back then I focused on a perceived weakness much, much more than you should. You will see both QBs on college tape throwing ducks on sideline outs, which are very important routes in a NFL offense. With Ryan I took that for a lack of arm strength, which is a mistake. That throw requires perfect mechanics for any QB - even Aaron Rodgers, whereas on throws the same distance over the middle, an elite QB can put a fastball on a gnat's ass with much less than perfect mechanics. It is a very minor mechanical tweak and focus of a young NFL QB's development process. Trubisky has some flaws that are easily correctable by a competent NFL QB coach, and I believe that from a purely physical standpoint he is easily ready to start on Day 1.

2. 49ers: Pat Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech

I have had Kizer here since the beginning, but now I'm changing it to Pat Mahomes. I like DeShaun Watson better than most people, but I think Mahomes could be the choice for them here. I would still take either Watson or Kizer if it was me, because Mahomes is much more raw. But I think Lynch will be reminded of Brett Favre, who he played against many times. Shanahan and Lynch both will harken back to Elway and the real impact a strong armed QB can have on forcing defenses into mistakes. Any QB they take here is going to be a developmental guy. I just can't believe they don't take a QB here, like the Browns since it is such a big need. Thinking far enough ahead to Sam Darnold is not what NFL people who earn paychecks to be grownups think about. They need to get a legit starting QB in their system now. Mahomes is that guy. Even if it takes two full seasons before he sees the field, like the Browns they are dead in the water if they don't take a QB early. Let Garrett go to the Pro Bowl every season playing on a losing team that he leaves for Dallas in FA after five years.

** Previous Pick ** DeShone Kizer

3. Bears: Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M

Da Bears get incredibly lucky here, and they will field a lot of offers before making this selection. Being able to grab Garrett to play across from Leonard Floyd is a major boon for John Fox & Co. With the continued development of some really solid additions in the past two drafts, plus some excellent free agents the Bears' defense could make them competitive as soon as next season. With what could be an elite defense with this pick, they don't need to fixate on the QB position this early.

4. Jaguars: Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah

This pick is a big surprise at this point in the process for most people, but it will be well accepted by the time the draft rolls around. Bolles' athleticism on tape is shocking. He is going to test very well, but what stands out is how well his athleticism transfers to his play, which is not always the case. He has his flaws, but Bolles reminds me so much of Joe Thomas it is scary. Be careful watching his tape and then any other tackle in this class right after, because you will wind up thinking the other guys are bums. Ramczyk is a good prospect and should be an at least average LT for years; he is not even in Bolles' universe in terms of functional athleticism.

Doug Marrone's hiring and Caldwell's extension will impact this selection, as both of those moves indicate that they are not giving up on Blake Bortles. They need to stop with the Robo-Bortles mechanical fixation, but they also really need to give him legitimate offensive linemen. This is a start.

** Update ** The Branden Albert trade does not change this selection, if anything it bolsters it. I don't like the deal, but Doug Marrone may feel like he can get 10 games of decent production from him, which is more than what they have been getting for quite some time. The question is, if the Jags go in a different direction with this pick, when do they address LT? Because this is a very short term solution. This is not likely to be a starting caliber LT available in round two. They grab Bolles here with the intention of either giving him a year to adjust to the NFL, or let him compete for the RT job against Parnell, which he should easily win.

** Combine Update ** As expected, Bolles wowed at the combine, including in his interviews. It won't be long before he is the consensus number one lineman on everybody's board.

5. Titans: O.J. Howard, Tight End, Alabama

I have had Malik Hooker here from the beginning, but they signed Jonathan Cyprien and love Kevin Byard. They also signed Logan Ryan, so without a second round pick in this draft will they continue to add to the defense, or go after big-time offensive players, which besides their tackles they really don't have? O.J. Howard has been climbing draft boards and getting rave reviews from FO's, so I think this is where he is popped, ahead of the Jets. Mularkey will love to use Howard and Delanie Walker in two tight end sets, as both of them can block your face off and of course are great receivers. They will look to add a speed receiver later on.

** Previous Pick ** S Malik Hooker

6. Jets: Malik Hooker, Free Safety, Ohio State

The Jets would love to have grabbed O.J. Howard here, but now they go with a terrific consolation prize, and frankly a bigger need. Their corner situation is improved after signing Claiborne, but their safeties are just plain garbage. Jets fans will probably be very disappointed not to get Howard, but by about week 10 after Hooker has completely changed the face of that defense, they'll be saying, "Howard who?"

** Previous Pick ** RB Leonard Fournette, S Jamal Adams

7. Chargers: Jamal Adams, Strong Safety, LSU

The off field incidents just keep piling up. Caleb Brantley and Jourdan Lewis were over-rated anyway, but Gareon Conley is a legit Top 10 talent. From what has been reported so far, the allegation has some issues. However, a rape allegation is serious enough for teams to pause on a guy, although maybe not to a Lael Collins extent, until the case is resolved. Plus the circumstances surrounding the incident seem a little shady, so that's just going to be a general red flag. Conley will definitely fall.

So now we are back to Jamal Adams. The presence of Addae with his low level extension is not going to lead a team with winning aspirations to pass on a talent like Adams.

** Previous Pick ** DT Jonathan Allen, CB Gareon Conley

8. Panthers: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU

I have had them going with a falling defensive lineman since the beginning, but in this scenario Fournette makes it to them and I don't think they can pass. After trading Kony Ealy I think this will actually be a very difficult choice with Thomas and Barnett both still available. However, it turns out that as the draft process has rolled on there are a ton of impressive ends who will be there for them next round or later.

** Previous Picks ** DT Jonathan Allen; DE Derek Barnett; DE Solomon Thomas

9. Bengals: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford

The Bengals have a ton of talent on defense, but defensive end is arguably a need with Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap getting long in the tooth, and the guys behind them not looking like full time players. Thomas had a great combine and I think he's a more raw version of Joey Bosa. In a month he went from whispers about being a late first player to a lock for number two overall in almost every mock.

** Previous Pick ** DE Derek Barnett; DE Solomon Thomas

10. Bills: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State

Doug Whaley has added impressive pieces during his tenure, and I like them grabbing Micah Hyde in FA, and re-signing Tyrod Taylor. But it's so hard to know what the hell is going on with this team. I would like to still mock them Watson, but I'll go with a need here on defense. I have had Lattimore much further down the board since the beginning, because he is not my top rated corner, and he has major medical issues. I think the Bills will go with his upside here after losing Stephon Gilmore. I am not down on Lattimore at all, but he is just outside of a Top 10 player for me.

** Update ** Reports keep coming in that teams (you know, the people who actually select players), are very skittish about Lattimore's injury history. I guess mock drafters ignore medical red flags because they talk to low level scouts who are not part of the actual process of putting together a draft board? Additionally, there are reports that some teams don't believe Lattimore is some generational talent that he would have to be as a Top 5 selection. I wouldn't be surprised to see him fall quite a bit, possibly to the end of this round, where I had him in my original mock to the Packers.

** Previous Pick ** QB Deshaun Watson

11. Saints: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford

I think the team who guaranteed McCaffrey's selection is the Saints. So therefore I am switching the 32nd pick, which was McCaffrey in the last update, with White, who was there for them for quite a while. I think this is an overdraft. It reminds me of the Tavon Austin pick. I think McCaffrey will be a good, maybe even very good player. But this is too early for him.

** Previous Pick ** DL Solomon Thomas, DE Derek Barnett, CB Tre'Davious White

12. Browns: Haason Reddick, Outside Linebacker, Temple

I think this is the team that pops Haason Reddick very early. They have needs everywhere on defense and he is versatile enough to plug into a few different positions in different packages, similar to Jamie Collins. Reddick is the kind of big-time character guy they are trying to build around.

** Previous Pick ** CB Gareon Conley, S Jamal Adams

13. Cardinals: DeShone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame

I had Peppers here in the last update before news of his diluted sample at the combine. That alone would not cause him to slide, but in the context of this being a great safety class, and Peppers being sort of a tweener, he slides here. The fact that quarterbacks are going early and a lot of teams seem to be in the market for one pushes Kizer up. I had him second overall for months, but all quarterbacks are developmental so that is a red herring. Kizer has the size, arm strength, and personality Arians likes.

** Previous Pick ** WR Corey Davis, S Jabrill Peppers

14. Colts: Forrest Lamp, Offensive Guard, Western Kentucky

Jonathan Allen keeps falling here as the Colts must address the offensive line. Forrest Lamp is the best line prospect in this draft, but he will need to play guard in the NFL, so goes later than Bolles. With this selection the interior of that line is going to be set. I don't like Le'Raven Clark at all, but people are forgetting that they took him in the third round last season, and they have more right tackle options than legit guards. Guard is not longer a position where you just throw in a player who isn't good enough to play tackle, at least not on a championship team.

** Previous Pick ** RB Dalvin Cook, CB Cordrea Tankersley, DL Jonathan Allen

15. Eagles: John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington

I think wide receiver has to be a huge priority for the Eagles to support their young QB. That position is a mess despite focusing on it in recent drafts. Alshon Jeffery is on a one year deal, and Torrey Smith is not somebody you causes you to pass on a draft prospect. I think a lot of teams were skeptical about Ross and his overall skill set, plus he still needs shoulder surgery. After setting a new combine record he will be drafted very high. I think he is a good player, and quite a bit better prospect than another speedy first rounder from last season, Will Fuller. I would put money on other wideouts in this class having a bigger impact.

** Previous PIck ** WR Isaiah Ford; ArDarius Stewart

** Combine Update ** This pick is going to be changed back to John Ross, who set the new combine 40 record. I think the upcoming shoulder surgery is an issue, and I don't think he is that fast with pads on. Compare him to, say, Tyreek Hill who times out at about 4.2 and I just don't see Ross blowing people out the way Hill does. But his timed speed is what it is and Doug Pederson will lobby hard for him.

16. Ravens: Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State

McDowell is very raw, but he is a tremendous athlete and high effort guy. He is often compared to DeForest Buckner, but to me McDowell plays with much, much more power. He will fit really well as a 5 technique in their system. Pass rusher seems to be a popular choice to replace their ageing starters, but they addressed the position last year with Judon and they already had Za'Darius Smith. Those guys would start for a lot of teams. On the other hand, they have two potential free agents, and a bunch of question marks (albeit talented ones) on the defensive line. Corner is certainly a possibility here also, but I think McDowell here is just an exceptional value.

In addition to the value in this selection, you have to consider the depth of positions in this draft. It is true that the Ravens could use more help at corner, but in the next two rounds there will be multiple starting caliber players available, like Domontae Kazee, Rasul Douglas, Kevin King, etc. On the other hand, aside from elite talent at the very top, the depth on the defensive line is extremely thin. After McDowell, the players available are a very steep decline. That helps support the case for this pick.

** Combine Update ** Malik showed up at just under 300 pounds and showed off the length that is obvious on tape. Then he ran the 40 fast and showed off great athleticism. For some reason, somebody is out there trashing McDowell and I really think it's crossed a line. Daniel Jeremiah, who I think is by far the worst of the draft "experts," said today that sometimes it looks like McDowell "just doesn't want to be on the field." He said in every other game besides ND he just didn't show up. Well, I went back and checked by putting on the Wisconsin tape again, and here is my verdict: Daniel Jeremiah is not just a hack, he's a damn liar. Malik McDowell is raw, but Mark Dantonio is not going to play a disinterested player over the center on run downs, shading the C on passing downs, at a 5 or 7 tech, and sometimes even standing up in a 9, and in there on every single snap if he's not giving his all, which he was. And that was every damn game I watched. Did he get tired in some games? Sure, who wouldn't playing the way he was used? He also didn't play with good technique a lot of the time, which is going to wear a lineman out quicker. I will end my rant now, but the slander on certain player just needs to stop. Teams like the Ravens aren't going to counter it, because they'd love a player like McDowell to fall to them.

** Update ** This selection is becoming more and more likely with the trade of Timmy Jernigan. I hated that selection when they made it an thought Jernigan was incredibly over-rated. They need to re-build that front as now they have nothing but a few really good looking NTs. I love Willie Henry, but they are not going to count on him going into this season.

1-16 17-32

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