Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft, Part 2

Part 1 of our 2017 NFL Mock Draft can be found here.

17. Washington Redskins - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Washington has bigger needs along the defensive line and they could use an inside linebacker, but Lattimore is a potential top 10 pick that would pair very nicely with Josh Norman for the next few seasons.

Lattimore's cheap cap number during the next four seasons also would allow the Redskins to spend money elsewhere in free agency, and by the time Lattimore is due an extension, Norman will likely be retired or ineffective.

18. Tennessee Titans - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

While Titans fans would've been hoping Lattimore fell just one more spot, his Ohio State teammate isn't a bad second choice. Hooker showed better coverage instincts all season than LSU's Jamal Adams, and he might be faster as well.

Hooker's not quite the run defender or pass rusher that Adams is, which is why he'll likely grade out slightly below the LSU star. For a Titans team with a porous pass defense, a player like Hooker could step in immediately and contribute.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

Clinton McDonald is a serviceable player, but adding a difference maker next to Gerald McCoy could help the Bucs take that next step next season. McDowell is capable of moving along the defensive line depending on the down and distance, and would likely split time at defensive tackle with McDonald as a rookie.

The Michigan State standout struggled a bit this past season, as he dealt with constant double teams and injury issues. If he can prove he's healthy, teams will likely look past his limited production this season as his game film remains strong.

20. Denver Broncos - Ryan Ramcyzk, LT, Wisconsin

This seems like a great fit on paper, and most mock drafts seem to think so as well. I'll quote CBS Sports writer Rob Rang's mock draft for Ramcyzk, since he put it perfectly:

"Ramczyk was one of this season's most pleasant surprises as he starred at left tackle for the Badgers after transferring from D-III UW-Stevens Point. The 6-6, 314-pounder is long and surprisingly agile, making him a potentially perfect fit in Denver."

21. Detroit Lions - Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

Williams best position is likely as a 3-4 OLB, but his athleticism and talent should allow him to be a 4-3 DE or OLB depending on the scheme. The Lions need someone capable of rushing the passer and a linebacker capable of covering in space. While Williams will need to improve in coverage, he has the athletic ability to stay with most tight ends and running backs, and he's a great pass rusher.

Williams is a top-5 talent in my opinion but he will fall some on draft day because of a misdemeanor gun charge he dealt with in September.

For a Lions team that may have been a healthy Matthew Stafford away from making a post-season run, adding a talent like Williams would be bad news for us Vikings fans.

22. Miami Dolphins - Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Mario Williams is a free agent and while the Dolphins may look to bring him back, adding a young pass rusher to develop for a year would be a wise decision. Harris flashed superstar potential at times, and continues to add bulk to his frame. There are times in watching his film that Harris looks as good as a pass rusher as Texas A&M's Myles Garrett.

Harris could potentially help replace Cameron Wake when he retires in the near future, but for now would help form a solid pass-rushing tandem.

23. New York Giants - Christian McCaffery, HB, Stanford

It's hard to believe that McCaffery spent most of the 2016 season under the radar after a standout 2015 season. He didn't have a bad year, he was spectacular yet again, but Stanford as a team wasn't quite as good. I don't think that was McCaffery's fault.

The son of former Broncos great Ed McCaffery, Christian is a versatile running back that would be a perfect fit with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham. The Giants improved this season thanks to a very good off-season last year, and adding McCaffery to shore up one of their biggest weaknesses would be a huge steal.

24. Oakland Raiders - Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State

McMillan had a very good college career and should test well at the scouting combine. The biggest knock on McMillan is that he doesn't look fluid in coverage and some teams fear that he'll have to come off the field in passing situations.

While that's certainly going to be true as a rookie, McMillan has the work ethic to improve over time. Also, pairing him with speedy and rangy outside linebackers like Bruce Irvin and Kahlil Mack would help off-set some of his coverage deficiencies.

Oakland could also look at a defensive tackle or a cornerback at this spot.

25. Houston Texans - Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Despite being maybe this season's worst playoff team (A Derek Carr injury gifted them a wild card win) the Texans roster is built well for the future. However, they badly need a quarterback. Mahomes would compete with Brock Osweiler for the opening day job, and while I think Osweiler would get the first shot at the job, he's quite clearly not the answer the team needs.

At 6'3 with an NFL ready body, mobility and good arm strength, Mahomes has several tools teams look for in franchise quarterbacks. Quarterback guru Bill O'Brien will enjoy working with this kid, and he gets to stay in Texas.

DeShone Kizer could be another potential pick, but Mahomes is going to impress more people during his workouts I think.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Seattle badly needs offensive tackles, but I just don't see the value in reaching for one at this point as the remaining tackles are more long-term development players than instant contributors. Barnett is a potential top 10 pick like most of the first round defensive end prospects, but team needs and preferences could push him outside the top 20 as well.

He'd be a steal at this point in the draft after a dominating season in the SEC this past year. Adding Barnett to an already elite defense would be a classic case of the rich getting richer.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

Finding a young talented corner to pair with budding superstar Marcus Peters should be a priority for a Chiefs team that should contend in the AFC again next season.

Wilson has good size and some scouts have suggested he has more potential long-term than Teez Tabor, who we had going at #6. I think Tabor will be the superior player, but Wilson would be a good player to pair with Peters long-term.

28. Dallas Cowboys - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

The Cowboys badly need help on the edge, and Charlton should be able to contribute from day one. He had some games this season where he was downright unstoppable and looked like a sure top 5 pick, and other times where he disappeared for too long of stretches.

Charlton's versatility would allow the team to use him all over the line, which would allow the Cowboys to find another more seasoned pass rusher in free agency as well.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers - OJ Howard, TE, Alabama

OJ Howard never really became the kind of playmaker at Alabama that some experts thought he would, but that's likely more a case of the offense being run than anything Howard did wrong. He's a great prospect with fantastic size and athleticism for his position.

The Steelers don't seem to need much offensive help as the unit is very strong already, but adding a player like Howard to their already fantastic cast of stars could help them be even better next season.

30. Green Bay Packers - Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

Lewis is a wonderful man-to-man cover corner, and if he was 6'2 instead of 5'11 he'd be in the discussion for a top 5 pick. He's extremely talented and his ability to follow receivers all over the field should translate well to the next level.

The Packers defensive backs were terrible this season, and they had little depth when injuries weakened the unit further. Adding someone with Lewis' talent would be a no-brainer.

31. Atlanta Falcons - DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

While Atlanta has done well recently by drafting athletic, rangy defenders that fit coach Dan Quinn's scheme, Walker reminds me of Michael Bennett, a player who has thrived in the same system in Seattle.

The FSU standout won't wow you with his athleticism, but he's a film junkie (Thanks, A Season with Florida State Football) and he had a great season as a senior this year. I would imagine Atlanta has scouted him plenty being so close in proximity.

32. New England Patriots - Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

I would expect the Patriots to trade out of the first round as they seem to do basically every year they can, but in the event they stay put I think they'll continue their strategy of drafting mostly along the offensive and defensive lines early.

Boles needs some time to develop, which the Patriots wouldn't mind, and he has versatility to potentially back up several positions while he learns the league.

Thanks for checking out our 2017 NFL Mock Draft!

Special thanks are in order for writer Lance Zierlein, who's article helped greatly in finding needs for each team.


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