Using the ITP Big Board to Mock the 2017 NFL Draft

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  1. Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M – The Browns jumped at a unique skill set and physical gifts for a premium position. When paired with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and positional coach Clyde Simmons, there is room to expand on what Garrett showed on his college tape.
  2. San Francisco 49ersJamal Adams, S, LSU – The 49ers tried to move out of this spot, but without a clear-cut QB for teams to trade up for, San Francisco held steady and selected the top S on the board.
  3. Chicago BearsJonathan Allen, DL, Alabama – We lack insight into his medicals, but there is very little debating Allen’s impact as a DL who can penetrate on the interior and give the Bears’ other rushers one-on-one opportunities.
  4. Jacksonville JaguarsSolomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford – The Jaguars looked heavily at the QBs, but none matched what Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin was looking for this early. They passed on RBs due to weaknesses on the OL and instead added more pass rush talent to their DL.
  5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State – The Titans’ top need was CB and the top CB in this class was sitting there available to them. Teams in the teens called to move ahead of the Jets, but none gave the full package of picks Tennessee asked for.
  6. New York JetsDeshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – The Jets heavily considered Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey and spent time with Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, but ultimately the board, positional value, and need matched up and New York selected Watson.
  7. Los Angeles ChargersMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State – The Chargers considered adding a WR, but with Gus Bradley taking the reins as DC, they needed range in the deep areas of the field. Hooker has serious question marks as a tackler, but Bradley knows how to keep his centerfielder deep.
  8. Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – The Panthers wanted to pick in the trenches, but with no one coming up for this draft slot, they held steady and added a weapon at RB and in the passing game that they need. The creative mind of offensive coordinator Mike Shula, plus the addition of former Stanford coach Lance Taylor as WR coach, allows Carolina to maximize McCaffrey’s skills.
  9. Cincinnati BengalsReuben Foster, LB, Alabama – The Bengals seriously considered Michigan State DL Malik McDowell, despite concerns over character; they have had success bringing “difficult” players along and McDowell fits a profile they like. However, with one of the truly unique players in the draft available at a position of need, Cincinnati selected Foster.
  10. Buffalo BillsMike Williams, WR, Clemson – The Bills spent time on QBs, but held steady with Cardale Jones also on the roster. Tyrod Taylor lacks ideal accuracy in the intermediate and deep areas, so Williams’ huge strike zone should expand the passing game and complement Sammy Watkins.
  11. New Orleans SaintsO.J. Howard, TE, Alabama – The Saints spent time on QBs and explored trades with teams that wanted to get ahead of CLE, but when Howard fell into their laps, they made the pick.
  12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama – The Browns stuck to their board, passing on the QB position again to add a premium CB to the mix. Humphrey has the tools to be another asset to Williams and that defense.
  13. Arizona CardinalsCorey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – The Cardinals were tempted to look at a future QB here and almost made the jump, but wanted to take one more run at the big time with Carson Palmer, helping him with another weapon.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – The Eagles went “Best Player Available” here and added a weapon in Fournette that may differ from the traditional Philly RB, but adds a physical dimension that is undeniable.
  15. Indianapolis ColtsRyan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin – The Colts certainly looked at front-seven defenders, but the top player on the board was an OT, giving them four high-end pieces on that unit to protect quarterback Andrew Luck.
  16. Baltimore RavensCam Robinson, OT, Alabama – The Ravens have needs in the front seven and heavily considered options there. However, the board held Robinson above others and they can pair him with last year’s first-round pick Ronnie Stanley and work towards a top OL.
  17. WashingtonMalik McDowell, DL, Michigan State – Washington is in the hands of Bruce Allen this offseason and while everyone has questions on McDowell, his raw ability is undeniable. Allen pulled the trigger here, pushing defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and positional coach Jim Tomsula to extract production from McDowell.
  18. Tennessee TitansDavid Njoku, TE, Miami – The Titans secured the top CB with pick five and added a weapon to their offense at 18. An outside-lane player would be ideal, but Njoku was the top pass catcher on the board.
  19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn – The Bucs have invested in Noah Spence, William Gholston, and Robert Ayers, but they can never have enough rushers, especially with the NFC South QBs on the schedule six times a year.
  20. Denver BroncosDalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – The Broncos have been handed an OT in almost every mock you can find, but with Ramczyk and Robinson gone, they don’t see another first round OT on the board. Denver invested in a runner who can add a dimension to that offense.
  21. Detroit LionsHaason Reddick, LB, Temple – The Lions have expressed an interest in targeting long, athletic stacked LBs, and they need depth in their pass rush. Reddick provides value in both departments, but will need defensive coordinator Teryl Austin to isolate where to bring him along in year one.
  22. Miami DolphinsForrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky – The Dolphins will need to address their pass rush and coverage, but had an opportunity to land arguably the top OL in this draft and provide increased opportunities for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and halfback Jay Ajayi.
  23. New York GiantsObi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut – The Giants may not like how the board came to them here, especially if the focus is on acquiring an OT or TE early. That said, they finally added a S to pair with Landon Collins to continue to solidify the backend.
  24. Oakland RaidersGareon Conley, CB, Ohio State – The Raiders clearly like longer-profile CBs and the Sean Smith / David Amerson pairing is not playing out to its potential. Conley will get in the mix early and make an impact. Editor’s note: this piece was written prior to reports that Conley is a suspect in a sexual assault case.
  25. Houston TexansPatrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech – The Texans were as stunned as everyone else that the second QB on the board fell to them at #25. They happily brought their card to the podium and added another QB to compete with Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden.
  26. Seattle SeahawksGarrett Bolles, OT, Utah – The Seahawks ended up doing what many hoped and adding an athletic OL to the mix. They addressed the OL in free agency, picking up Luke Joeckel, but another premium pick in the unit cannot hurt.
  27. Kansas City ChiefsTim Williams, EDGE, Alabama – The Chiefs may look like they have a stockpile of rushers, but with Tamba Hali closer to being a cap casualty and Justin Houston’s lingering knee injury, the Chiefs needed to add another player here.
  28. Dallas CowboysFabian Moreau, CB, UCLA – The Cowboys lost secondary defenders Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Mo Claiborne, and J.J. Wilcox in free agency, so they brought youth back into the group with Moreau.
  29. Green Bay Packers Pat Elflein, OL, Ohio State – The Packers have lost guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton in the last 12 months, but were able to address interior OL depth here with Elflein.
  30. Pittsburgh SteelersJohn Ross, WR, Washington – The Steelers faithful have been focused on acquiring pass rushers and corners, both of which make sense, but Ross was the last clear first-round pick on the board and enhances the passing game around Antonio Brown.
  31. Atlanta FalconsEvan Engram, TE, Mississippi – The Falcons had a truly explosive offense last year and took the opportunity to add a unique player at the TE position who can expand how they attack the middle of the field.
  32. New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots) – Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State – The Saints had many options on the board here at 32. They used this pick to select the top remaining pass rusher on the board.

Interested in reading more about the NFL Draft work here at Inside the Pylon? Purchase a copy of our 2017 NFL Draft Guide!

Follow Dan on Twitter @Dan_Hatman

Dan Hatman is the Director of The Scouting Academy and writes for Inside The Pylon when not teaching future football scouts and coaches how to ‘do their job’.

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