NFL: Post-Free Agency First Round Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is four weeks from today. With the combine and free agency in the rear-view mirror, how is the first round of the 2017 Draft shaping up?

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  1. Cleveland Browns- Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

This pick is all but guaranteed. Garrett is the best player in the draft and the Browns need a playmaking pass rusher. He instantly upgrades their front seven and makes the group the Browns’ biggest strength. Garrett is 6’4”, 272lbs with 4.6 speed. His size and athleticism is mouth-watering. He can win with power or speed and has all the traits to be an NFL All-Pro.

Pro comparison: Cameron Jordan

  1. San Francisco 49ers- Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

The 49ers pick is where the draft gets interesting. They can go many directions and where they go will dictate a lot of the early first round. With many holes to fill, the 49ers need to go best player available for their situation. Malik Hooker is the best coverage safety to come out in years. He has range on the back end very few NFL safeties have ever had. Hooker also adds elite ball skills, and isn’t as poor of a tackler that many think he is.

Pro comparison: Devin McCourty

  1. Chicago Bears- Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Bears are poised to head into 2017 with Mike Glennon as their quarterback. With the quarterback class being weak the Bears need to address their cornerback hole. Marshon Lattimore is the best corner in a deep class. He’s long and lean with 4.3 speed and elite fluidity. As just a one-year starter, he’s very raw, but with so much natural talent.

Pro comparison: Janoris Jenkins

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The Jaguars have put a lot of draft picks and money into their defense. It’s time for them to get an offensive identity. They need Leonard Fournette to be their bell cow. At 240lbs he has the body to hold up as an NFL lead back. What he lacks as a third down back he makes up for with a violent running style and breakaway speed. With the offense revolving around Fournette, the Jaguars’ passing game will open up.

Pro comparison: Adrian Peterson

  1. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)- Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

Tennessee will benefit immensely from their 2016 trade with the Rams. They will be in position to get an instant impact player. Solomon Thomas is the second best edge defender in the draft. He can also play as an interior defender on passing downs. His scheme versatility fits perfectly in the Titans 3-4 defense. He and Jurrell Casey would be a perfect combination on the defensive line.

Pro comparison: Michael Bennett

  1. New York Jets- OJ Howard, TE, Alabama

Taking a tight end this early may not be the best value, but OJ Howard is worth a top ten pick. He’s got the perfect size and skill set for a tight end. Howard is 6’6” with big-time athleticism and the best hands among tight ends. On top of that, he has the blocking skills to hold up in the run game. The Jets need a can’t-miss prospect, and Howard is just that.

Pro comparison: Greg Olsen

  1. Los Angeles Chargers- Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The Chargers have a very good roster, good enough to compete for a playoff spot. They have very few holes for a team picking in the top ten. By getting Jamal Adams they are putting the finishing touches on one of the league’s most underrated defenses. Adams can be a dynamic box safety with his physicality and athleticism. He also has good enough feet and hips to be solid in coverage.

Pro comparison: Landon Collins

  1. Carolina Panthers- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Panthers have their power forward receiver in Kelvin Benjamin, but they need a true number one. Corey Davis is the smooth wing player that compliments a power forward perfectly. Davis runs crisp routes and can lineup inside or out. He’s 6’3”, but more of a technician at receiver than a physical player. Davis can be the number one option Cam Newton has lacked for years.

Pro comparison: Larry Fitzgerald

  1. Cincinnati Bengals- Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Reuben Foster is a top five talent that falls to the Bengals due to need. Adding Foster with Vontzae Burfict and Kevin Minter is a big boost to the Cincinnati linebacker core. Foster is a great athlete with sideline-to-sideline speed. He’s terrific in coverage and is a thumper against the run. He’s the perfect weak side linebacker for the Bengals.

Pro comparison: Jerrell Freeman

  1. Buffalo Bills- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Buffalo needs pass-catchers on offense. Their number two and three options are Corey Brown and Andre Holmes. With Sammy Watkins often injured its time for the Bills to invest in another top pick at receiver. Mike Williams plays the receiver position with a violence reminiscent of Dez Bryant. He’s the best YAC receiver in the draft and adds a physicality outside that Buffalo lacks.

Pro comparison: Dez Bryant

  1. New Orleans Saints- Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

The Saints need a lot of defensive help. That starts with adding another edge rusher. By adding Derek Barnett, their d-line becomes very scary. Barnett, Cameron Jordan, Nick Fairley, and Sheldon Rankins gives New Orleans something to build around. Barnett dominated the SEC as a pass rusher and despite not being great against the run he would be a huge upgrade for the Saints.

Pro comparison: Whitney Mercilus

  1. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

The Browns may have the urge to take a quarterback at 12, but if Jonathan Allen slides due to injury concerns they need to scoop him up. Allen is a top five player, but shoulder issues have forced him down boards. Having him play 3-technique alongside Garrett and Danny Shelton would be potent.

Pro comparison: Mike Daniels

  1. Arizona Cardinals- Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Arizona had a lot of issues with the cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson last season. They need to address it in this cornerback-heavy draft. Conley is a long, fast, physical corner that would be a huge upgrade for them.

Pro comparison: Byron Maxwell

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)- Dalvin Cook, RB, LSU

The Eagles have no starting running back. Head coach Doug Pederson came over from the Chiefs, where he had Jamal Charles. Now, the Eagles can get Charles 2.0 with Dalvin Cook. He’s extremely elusive, makes plays in the passing game, and has breakaway speed. If not for fumbling and off-field issues, Cook might go top ten.

Pro comparison: Jamaal Charles

  1. Indianapolis Colts- Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

The Colts have their quarterback, now they need to protect him. They took center Ryan Kelly in the first round last year, but they need to continue building an o-line. Lamp is the best interior lineman in the draft. He has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl guard.

Pro comparison: Zack Martin

  1. Baltimore Ravens- Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri

With the release of Elvis Dumervil and the age of Terrell Suggs the Ravens need an edge rusher. Harris is a talented pass rusher with multiple moves to beat offensive tackles. He gets lost against the run, but if he is used similarly to how the Ravens used Dumervil he’ll be a great addition.

Pro comparison: Cameron Wake

  1. Washington Redskins- Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State

Washington has one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL. They need to take the best available interior defender and that’s the polarizing Malik McDowell. McDowell has all the physical tools to be terrific, but there’s a lot of questions about his motor.

Pro comparison: Malik Jackson

  1. Tennessee Titans- John Ross, WR, Washington

Marcus Mariota is the Titans’ franchise QB, but they need to get him more weapons. Why not the fastest man in football, John Ross? Ross ran an NFL record 4.22 40-yard dash at the Combine, but he’s more than a deep threat. He has very good feet and runs excellent routes. He could be a great number one receiver in Tennessee.

Pro comparison: Odell Beckham, Jr

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

The Buccaneers passing offense is coming together with Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and DeSean Jackson. They need to protect Winston for it all to work. By taking Bolles they’re betting on physical traits. He’s very raw and needs a lot of coaching, but his athleticism and mean streak are impressive.

Pro comparison: Lane Johnson

  1. Denver Broncos- Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

The Broncos have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Cam Robinson might be a better fit inside than at tackle, but Denver needs the best offensive lineman available. Robinson could start day one at left tackle, right tackle, or guard for the Broncos. He’s a big mauler in the run game whose biggest weakness is his footwork.

Pro comparison: Kelechi Osemele

  1. Detroit Lions- Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

The Lions had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season. They need a playmaker regardless of position. Haason Reddick was an edge rusher at Temple who is a perfect fit as an NFL off-ball linebacker. He’s a great athlete that showed fantastic coverage ability at the Senior Bowl. He would be the Lions’ best linebacker on day one.

Pro comparison: Ryan Shazier

  1. Miami Dolphins- Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn

The Dolphins don’t have a free safety. They also don’t have anybody that can cover tight ends like Rob Gronkowski. Obi Melifonwu could be the answer to both those problems. He’s 6’4” with great hips and elite athleticism. Melifonwu is also a very good tackler and with proper coaching could become dynamic.

Pro comparison: George Iloka

  1. New York Giants- Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

The Giants don’t have a quality offensive tackle on their roster. Ryan Ramczyk may not be a flashy pick, but he makes a playoff team better. Ramczyk has a solid all-around game and is an ideal NFL right tackle. He’s a plug-and-play player that could potentially become and NFL left tackle.

Pro comparison: Joe Staley

  1. Oakland Raiders- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

As good as the Raiders offense was last season they lacked a dynamic running back. Christian McCaffrey may not be an every-down back, but his versatility would be a big addition to Oakland’s offense. He could split time as a runner and line up as a receiver. He gives a great offense another playmaker.

Pro comparison: Reggie Bush

  1. Houston Texans- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

The Texans biggest hole is clearly quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky may not be a can’t-miss quarterback, but he is a first round talent. He’s the most accurate QB in the class and has very good athleticism for the positon. Trubisky gives the Texans a potentially worthy quarterback to lean on.

Pro comparison: Ryan Tannehill

  1. Seattle Seahawks- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Seattle loves long and physical corners. Marlon Humphrey is the definition of long and physical. He’s a 6’1″ track star, who just so happens to be the most physical corner in the draft. He fits exactly what Seattle looks for and could learn opposite Richard Sherman.

Pro comparison: Sean Smith

  1. Kansas City Chiefs- Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

The Chiefs were burned far too often last season at the corner spot opposite Marcus Peters. They need to address the cornerback position in this draft. Tre’Davious White isn’t the biggest corner, standing at 5’11”, but he has great instincts and quick feet. His skill set would work well against smaller receivers while Peters takes on bigger ones.

Pro comparison: Brent Grimes

  1. Dallas Cowboys- Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Dallas desperately needs a pass rusher. Takk McKinley lacks technique, but his long arms and non-stop motor are easy to fall in love with. With proper coaching McKinley could become a dynamic pass-rusher in Dallas.

Pro comparison: Olivier Vernon

  1. Green Bay Packers- Kevin King, CB, Washington

It was clearly in 2016 the Packers needed help at cornerback. They need a day one starter on the outside and Kevin King can be that starter. He’s 6’3” with elite athleticism for his size, two attributes the Packers love in a corner. King needs to play more physically, but the traits are there for him to be very good.

Pro comparison: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers- Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan

Pittsburgh is still looking for dynamic defensive playmakers in the draft. Jabrill Peppers doesn’t fit a specific need, but his skill set would be a good fit for the Steelers. Peppers could see reps as a nickel linebacker in Pittsburgh as well as a safety. Having two versatile safeties with Peppers and Sean Davis would be a huge asset.

Pro comparison: Malcolm Jenkins

  1. Atlanta Falcons- Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks last year, but he’s a situational pass rusher. The Falcons need to get a true defensive end to play every down. Taco Charlton is very raw and needs a lot of coaching to succeed, but the athletic traits are there. At 6’6”, 277lbs Charlton is a solid pass rusher, and if taught proper technique he could be a very good run defender.

Pro comparison: Carlos Dunlap

  1. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots)- Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

The Saints need a cornerback badly, but with the depth in the class and a talent like Kamara on the board they’ll neglect it. Alvin Kamara is a first round talent at running back. He’s the best screen back in the class and probably the best pass protector. Sean Payton loves running backs like Kamara and he would complement Mark Ingram very well.

Pro comparison: DeAngelo Williams

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Author Details
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.

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