The overreaction mock draft is back! Last year's version didn't hit on any picks, but past years have nailed a few picks like Jameis Winston to the Bucs and Ereck Flowers to the Giants. You never know what outside-the-box thinking will end up being prophetic.
Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
I don't think that Cody Kessler is the answer for Cleveland, but these are the Browns were talking about. I thought they should have taken Carson Wentz in the 2016 NFL Draft rather than trade with the Eagles, so what I think teams should do and what they do are often different. My mock drafts are projections of what I think teams "will do" and not what I think they should do. That being said, Myles Garrett is the best player in the 2017 NFL Draft and has been No. 1 on my big board since the start of the 2017 NFL Draft process, so I wouldn't knock a team for taking him and targeting a quarterback on Day 2.
For the season, Garrett totaled 33 tackles, 15 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Against UCLA in the season opener, he collected three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack going against a quality left tackle in Conor McDermott. Garrett is lightning fast off the edge with natural strength to bull rush offensive tackles. He is a freakish athlete with the potential to be one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.
Immediately after arriving at Texas A&M, Garrett began dominating college football. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder took the game by storm in 2014 as he was an impact-making defender for the Aggies from Day 1. The fast and athletic Garrett was a force on the edge as a quarterback hunter. He had 11.5 sacks as well with 53 tackles and 14 for a loss. That sack total broke the NCAA freshman record previously set by Jadeveon Clowney.
In 2015, Garrett kept it going, racking up 59 tackles with 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, two passes batted and an interception. He has blinding speed off the edge and is a natural pass-rusher. Garrett could be the best prospect in college football and could have been in the running for the No. 1-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft if he had been able to declare.
San Francisco 49ers: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
The 49ers badly need a quarterback. New regimes mean new quarterbacks, so it really could be down to DeShone Kizer and Mitch Trubisky for this pick. It will be interesting debate leading up the 2017 NFL Draft. Thus far, I've heard more team sources higher on Kizer because they prefer his skill set. One playoff general manager told me he preferred Trubisky because Trubisky pushed his team to win more than Kizer did. Obviously, it is very early, and last year, teams across the league had Carson Wentz rated over Jared Goff, though that didn't matter for the Rams. At least San Francisco is in position to definitely land one of the top signal-callers if the new general manager wants one.
Of the quarterback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer has the best skill set. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has a strong arm that can make all the throws for the NFL. He has also flashed superb accuracy and an ability to make accurate touch passes downfield to beat good coverage in tight windows. Kizer, additionally, makes beautiful passes in the face of a pass rush. On top of his skill in the pocket, he has the mobility to buy time for his receivers, bail out his offensive line, and pick up yards with his feet.
In 2016, Kizer completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns. His completion percentage was thrown off by playing a game in the midst of Hurricane Matthew. In 2015, Kizer completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,884 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He picked up 520 yards with 10 scores on the ground.
Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Bears grab a potential franchise quarterback to build around.
I waited to put Trubisky in my mock of the 2017 NFL Draft because many first-year starters return to school. Additionally, Walt had Trubisky in his mock, so not having him in mine gave our readers mocks with both options to ponder. I'm adding Trubisky now because NFL team sources believe Trubisky is more likely to declare than to go back to school.
Trubisky looks like a second-round caliber prospect, but that doesn't preclude teams from reaching on him in the Round 1. Sources from three different teams told me they graded Trubisky in the second round. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was very efficient in 2016, displaying good decision-making and flashing good accuracy. He has a quality arm and some athleticism. However, across the history of the NFL, there have been very few 1-year college starters who turned into good pro starters.
The junior beat up on some weak secondaries this year, but it still is impressive that he had three straight games throwing for over 400 yards without throwing a single interception. On the season, Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also notched three rushing touchdowns.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama TRADE! The Bengals trade up with Jacksonville. The Jaguars' biggest need is offensive line help, but taking a left tackle would be a reach. Thus, trading down makes sense for the Jaguars.
Cincinnati still has a strong roster, but could use another pass-rusher to platoon with Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. The versatile Allen could line up at end or tackle and should quickly become dominant with opponenets not being able to double team him, Dunlap and Atkins.
In 2016, Allen has 52 tackles, 13.5 for a loss, 9.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown. He has dominated at the point of attack all year and has been was very disruptive. Consistently, Allen uses his speed and strength to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. He is a tough run defender, yet can also beat guards or tackles in the pass rush.
Allen played really well in 2015 with 36 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes batted. He totaled 33 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks the year before.
In a 4-3 scheme, the 6-foot-3, 294-pounder could play three-technique defensive tackle, like Aaron Donald, or be an end who moves inside in passing situations. Allen has rushed from the inside for Alabama, yet also could serve as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Allen has some natural pass-rushing skills to him along with quickness and strength. He is very fast at the point of attack with the power to shed blocks.
Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU TRADE! Carolina swaps picks with the Titans, who held this slot from the Rams. The Panthers could have a Cowboys-like resurgence if Carolina adds a devastating runner like Fournette. A running game led by Fournette would also help protect Cam Newton by decreasing the amount of passing Carolina needs to do. Fournette could be tremendous being paired with Newton.
In 2016, Fournette averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 843 yards with eight touchdowns. He recorded 15 receptions for 146 yards as well. Fournette set a school record with 284 yards on 16 carries against Ole Miss. The junior played well in 2016, but his ankle injury seemed to be holding back some of the speed and explosion he displayed as a sophomore.
Fournette (6-1, 230) has a serious burst to go along with an ideal build. He is a downhill physical runner who also is a threat to break off long touchdown runs. While obviously big and powerful, Fournette also has some wiggle to him with an elusive running style that makes him really hard to tackle.
Fournette was a superstar in 2015, overwhelming nearly every defense he took on. The sophomore averaged 6.5 yards per carry over the year for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 253 yards.
There were a lot of comparisons made of Fournette to Adrian Peterson when the former signed with LSU, and he validated the hype as a sophomore with his running style being very similar to Peterson's. Fournette didn't disappoint in 2014 either, setting the LSU record for yards from a freshman. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry for 1,034 yards with 10 touchdowns.
New York Jets: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The Jets have a few needs, and cornerback is one of the most pressing of them.
To open 2016, Humphrey put together an excellent game against USC as he shut down wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, holding him to one catch for nine yards. Humphrey also had an interception returned 18 yards for a touchdown and a tackle for a loss in the contest. He put together an ugly game against Ole Miss in that he was constantly in good position, but failed to play the ball well and allowed some big plays downfield. Humphrey has 33 tackles with two tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups this year.
After redshirting in 2014, Humphrey had an excellent debut to help Alabama win the 2015 season's National Championship. He earned a starting job across from Cyrus Jones and was the Crimson Tide's top corner. In 2015, Humphrey totaled 45 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes broken up.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder has height, length and athleticism. He is an Alabama legacy as the son of Bobby Humphrey, a former first-rounder who played for the Dolphins and Broncos.
San Diego Chargers: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Chargers could use offensive line help. They could target a left tackle to upgrade over King Dunlap, while D.J. Fluker is nearing the end of his contract, and right tackle Joseph Barksdale didn't play as well in 2016 as he did in 2015. Thus, a rookie lineman could compete at a variety of spots before eventually taking over left tackle.
Robinson (6-6, 310) has played well in 2016 overall, consistently opening holes in the ground game and showing improved technique in pass protection. He shut down Arkansas' Deatrich Wise Jr., and there was only one ugly play where Ole Miss' Marquis Haynes bull rushed Robinson. Against Tennessee, Derek Barnett beat Robinson for a strip-sack and some other pressures. Robinson had some wins as well, but it showed that Robinson isn't an elite, "top of the draft," shutdown left tackle prospect. He had a better game against Myles Garrett, keeping the Aggies' superstar from recording a sack. Robinson looks quicker and more athletic this season than in past years. Sources say that Robinson lost 10-15 pounds over the offseason and that it paid off.
Robinson was a freshman sensation for the Crimson Tide in 2014 and has started every game at left tackle since arriving at Alabama. He was the leader on an offensive line that allowed only 16 sacks in 2014. It didn't go as well in 2015 as Robinson allowed pressure and sacks on the quarterback, especially early in the year. He was better down the stretch, however, and it isn't all that surprising that he seems to have taken his play to another level in 2016.
For the NFL, Robinson could be best in the long run at right tackle. If he plays left tackle, he could be above-average. Some sources have compared him to the Buccaneers' Donovan Smith. Robinson provides an impact as a run blocker and has the potential to be a reliable pass protector. On a different note, he was able to skate on an arrest over the offseason before the 2016 season for possession of pot and an illegal gun.
Tennessee Titans: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida TRADE! This is the result of the Titans moving down in the swap with the Panthers. Originially, this was the Rams' pick that Tennessee received in the trade back from No. 1 to No. 15 in the 2016 NFL Draft. The AFC South has real receiving talent with DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson and T.Y. Hilton. The Titans need a No. 1 cornerback to help defend against those wideouts. Luckily, Tennessee can take advantage of the 2017 NFL Draft's strong cornerback class.
After losing Vernon Hargreaves to the NFL, Wilson replaced him as Florida's starter alongside Jalen Tabor. Sources say the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Wilson could end up being one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, and team evaluators feel that Wilson has above-average speed. In 2016, he has 31 tackles with six passes broken up and three interceptions.
Wilson is a longer press-man corner for the NFL with ball skills, but scouting sources say that there are aspects that Wilson needs to improve. He grabs at receivers a lot and could get called for pass interference penalties in the NFL. Sources also feel Wilson has above-average feel and awareness.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame TRADE! This is the Jaguars new slot after moving down due to the trade with the Bengals. Luke Joeckel was a bust for the Jaguars. They have to address the offensive line this offseason. If they draft a tackle, they could move Kelvin Beachum to left guard and improve the line at two spots.
McGlinchey has suggested he could return for his senior year, but has sought the recommendation of the NFL advisory board as well. Will Fuller said the same thing last year about going back to school before entering the 2016 NFL Draft, and Stephon Tuitt said something similar before he entered the draft early. Thus, I'm not moving McGlinchey to my 2018 Mock NFL Draft just yet. In speaking to contacts in South Bend, they think McGlinchey will declare for the 2017 NFL Draft.
McGlinchey was very impressive at left tackle for the Fighting Irish in 2016. He looked natural in pass protection, and one wouldn't have thought that he wasn't playing the position before 2016.
McGlinchey has excellent feet to get depth in his kick slide and cut off speed rushers. As a run blocker, McGlinchey can get movement at the point of attack. He flashes heavy hands to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes for his back. McGlinchey also has a nice ability to bend at the knee, and that in combination with his feet, keeps him from having to reach after edge rushers. His performance in 2016 protecting DeShone Kizer is evidence that McGlinchey is a future starting left tackle in the NFL and a first-round pick.
McGlinchey (6-7, 310) is a tough run blocker and has been part of a good Notre Dame line for years. In 2015, he showed well as a right tackle and had a more physical style of play than former Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley.
Buffalo Bills: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Buffalo could use a safety upgrade, especially given the uncertain future of Aaron Williams.
Adams totaled 76 tackles with four passes broken and one interception in 2016. The junior is a future starting safety, who sources said during the preseason that they think is a top-20 talent. He is able to contribute in pass coverage in the underneath part of the field and is strong enough to play in the box.
Adams has versatility, but his play was subdued in 2016, and perhaps he had the NFL on his mind. That, along with his position, could cause a slide on draft day. Adams, however, did play very well against Alabama and Ole Miss' receiving tight end Evan Engram.
The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Adams has versatile size to play strong or free safety in the NFL. He is an instinctive defender who always seems to be around the ball. In 2015, Adams had 67 tackles with six passes broken up and four interceptions. As a freshman, he recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups.
New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
The Saints could use another edge rusher, especially with Hau'oli Kikaha coming off a serious knee injury next year. Barnett could form a nice trio with Cam Jordan and Sheldon Rankins.
In 2016, Barnett totaled 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. He put together a superb game against Florida as he dominated in the second half to help the Volunteers pull off their huge comeback. Barnett totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted in that outing. He also played well against Alabama, even victimizing Cam Robinson for a sack.
Barnett racked up 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks in 2015 after putting up an extremely impressive freshman campaign the year before. He notched 10 sacks alongside 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss that season. Barnett (6-3, 268) set freshman records at Tennessee and clearly has a lot of upside. He is a fast edge defender who is a natural pass-rusher.
Cleveland Browns: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
The Browns need a safety upgrade. Peppers could upgrade their pass coverage and run defense.
Peppers put together a good season for Michigan with 72 tackles, 16 for a loss, four sacks, one interception, zero pass breakups and one forced fumble. He was electric on special teams and especially phenomenal on punt returns, taking one for a touchdown. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder was excellent as a sophomore in 2015, recording 45 tackles with 10 passes broken up and zero interceptions.
Sources say they see Peppers as a hybrid safety/linebacker in the NFL. He has the athletic skill set to play pass coverage, but often can be caught flat-footed. His ball skills aren't special either, as he has just one interception in his collegiate career, which was from catching a tipped pass. Thus, some sources think Peppers would fit best as a safety in the middle of the field. That would allow him to make plays off his instincts, and he could be a weapon in pass coverage on tight ends, blitzing quarterbacks, playing zone, and defending the run. There is no doubt that Peppers has a ton of athletic upside. He could play safety and dime linebacker, similar to Deone Bucannon. Peppers should also be used on special teams as he is a dangerous weapon there.
Philadelphia Eagles: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State TRADE! The Eagles move up with Arizona to get ahead of the Colts and make sure to land Cook. He would be a perfect complement for Carson Wentz. In speaking with a national scout recently, I compared Dalvin Cook to Jamaal Charles, and that scout said it was a great comparison. Thus, Cook would make all kinds of sense for Doug Pederson. Upgrading the running back position with Cook would be a great aide for Carson Wentz. Howie Roseman is aggressive with trades, so moving up slightly for Cook seems very feasible for Philadelphia.
In 2016, Cook averaged 6.0 yards per carry for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also hauled in 33 receptions for 488 yards.
Cook is well-built and has the quickness to slash through a defense; however, he has some strange ball-security issues. Cook also has some power to him, but he seems to use it selectively as he runs out of bounds often and is consistently looking to bounce runs to the outside.
With Jameis Winston in the NFL, Cook carried the Florida State offense in 2015. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry on his way to 1,691 yards and 19 touchdowns. The sophomore also had 24 receptions for 244 yards and a score. As a true freshman in 2014, Cook averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. He caught 22 passes for 203 yards, too.
Indianapolis Colts: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
Some years of bad moves by Ryan Grigson, like trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson and blowing one on Bjoern Werner, are coming back to bite Indianapolis. The Colts have a ton of needs on their talent-deficient roster, including edge rusher, running back, cornerback, defensive line, and more offensive line talent. The defense is in horrible shape, so Indianapolis could take the best defensive player available regardless of position. Harris would make sense because he would instantly upgrade the Colts' pass rush.
Harris started off the season with underwhelming performances against West Virginia and Eastern Michigan, totaling five tackles in those games. However, he exploded versus Georgia with three sacks and seven tackles. In November, Harris grew red hot, racking up 4.5 sacks over two games. He totaled 61 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles on the season.
Harris is a speedy edge rusher who broke out in 2015 with 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. He was a backup as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and notched two sacks. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Harris is a fast edge rusher who puts a lot of heat on the quarterback. He is very similar to Vic Beasley and Shane Ray.
Arizona Cardinals: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State TRADE! Arizona ends up here after trading down with Philadelphia. The Cardinals could lose Calais Campbell in free agency during the season, and Robert Nkemdiche was a massive disappointment as a rookie. This is a great value outside the top 10 as McDowell and Nkemdiche could form a fierce tandem if Nkemdiche can produce up to his potential.
In 2016, McDowell totaled 34 tackles with seven for a loss and just 1.5 sacks, but was very disruptive with pressure on the quarterback. He was a backup in 2014, but broke out in 2015. At times during 2015, McDowell was the Spartans' most disruptive defensive lineman. He totaled 41 tackles with 13 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six on the year.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder has a lot of upside to develop. Teams love his skill set, but have concerns about his work ethic in the weight room and his motor. He would be a perfect fit as a five-technique in a 3-4 defense. Sources from multiple teams have McDowell as a high first-round talent and like him more than Arik Armstead and similarly to DeForest Buckner.
Baltimore Ravens: Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC
The Ravens grab a feature corner for their defense and an upgrade across from Jimmy Smith.
Jackson has 51 tackles with 11 passes broken up and four interceptions on the season. He also has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, returned two punts for touchdowns, and made a 52-yard touchdown catch. Jackson had an awesome game against Alabama as he shut down star wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He held Ridley to only two receptions for nine yards on the night. Jackson has given the NFL proof that he is a serious cover corner prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Jackson played on offense and defense in 2015. He had 35 tackles with eight passes broken up and one interception at corner. As a wide receiver, Jackson had 27 receptions for 414 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore also returned punts and kicks.
Jackson became a starter in 2014 and was a sensation who also contributed as a wide receiver and returner/coverage defender on special teams. Defensively, the freshman had 49 tackles with 10 passes deflected. He also caught 10 receptions for 138 yards with three touchdowns on offense. On special teams, Jackson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged 30 yards per kick return. For the NFL, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder looks more like a cornerback.
Honestly Walt, with the exception of the Malcolm Smith deal, the 49ers have done a really good job in free agency, there is nothing wrong either the Kerley or Mitchell deals. I think they were right in line for who the players are. Denver offered Mitchell a deal worth slightly less. As a diehard 49er fan, a B is more in line with the correct grade.