Hello Razzballers. Reid here about to start some early mock drafts for the 2017 NFL Draft coverage here at Razzball. I’m using the draft order based on the results of Wild Card Weekend. I won’t be projecting trades in this one. Those mock drafts will come later as the playoffs progress.
I will post a quick comment on the picks since it’s still very early in the process. Would love to hear input from you guys if you think the team you root for has a bigger need or would act differently (without trading).
#1 Cleveland – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)
This seems like a wild card for a first overall pick, but hear me out. Allen is going to show at the combine that he has the highest raw talent in this class in terms of arm strength. He’s a pasty white boy with great physical attributes playing at a smaller school that had no talent around him. Sound like another prospect that has come out recently? That’s right. Cleveland is banking on this guy being the next Carson Wentz. Do I think it’s the right pick? Probably not. But it’s not about what I think is the right choice.
#2 NY Giants – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)
This selection right here comes down to whether the Giants are convinced Eli is playing at a high level for two more seasons (hint: he isn’t). This is how I see them putting Rosen on the bench and learning behind Eli for a season before taking over. When you pick this high, you don’t pass on a potential franchise QB.
#3 Indianapolis – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)
Almost surely will trade down, but they need a pass rusher. Malik Hooker was a beast when on the field. Look for them to compliment the defense here (again, there’s a 0% chance they hold onto this pick unless they trade Andrew Luck).
#4 Cleveland (from HOU) – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn St)
Best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson and Browns fans shouldn’t be thinking this is anything like Trent Richardson. Barkley can carry the load and allow Josh Allen to only attempt a minimal amount of passes… until he is benched for DeShone Kizer… and until Kizer gets benched for Kevin Hogan… who gets benched for Josh Allen again. Is it clear that I don’t like Hue Jackson as a coach?
#5 Denver – QB Sam Darnold (USC)
Only reason Darnold is available here is because I didn’t account for trades or free agent signings. I’d put money on them signing Tyrod Taylor or Kirk Cousins this offseason and taking one more shot at a title with this defense, thus allowing them to trade out of this pick and acquire a lot of assets.
#6 NY Jets – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
The Jets benefit from an arbitration hearing and sign UFA A.J. McCarron in the offseason. The front office isn’t impressed with the QB’s at the combine so they continue to load up in the secondary with one of the top defensive back prospects. They want to become the Jags 2.0.
#7 Tampa Bay – DE Arden Key (LSU)
They had no pass rush. Arden Key comes with baggage, but that’s pretty par for the course in Tampa. He’ll give them a much-needed pass rush.
#8 Chicago – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
Easiest projection in the world here. They need weapons on the outside for Mitchell “10Gawd” Trubisky. Ridley would do his best Julio Jones impersonation in Chicago.
#9 San Francisco – OG Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
Keep Jimmy GQ standing upright. You have one job San Francisco. That’s it. Nelson and McGlinchey are the best OL for me in this class. Williams is right up there too.
#10 Oakland – DB Denzel Ward (OSU)
Everyone was passing on the Raiders this season. While they will get rid of Michael Crabtree before the free agency market opens up, I doubt they sign anyone of value. The contract extensions for Carr and Mack are soon to kick in and Gruden already makes way too much money. Ward is a high risk-high reward type prospect. While Oakland is hoping he is Marshon Lattimore 2.0, there’s always the fear of another Eli Apple.
#11 Miami – S Derwin James (FSU)
This is an early candidate for bounce-back team of the year next season. Barring any massive injuries in the offseason, the offense should be great. The defense could use one more defensive back to help out with big plays. Derwin James will kill it at the combine and nothing like a good FSU product playing for the Dolphins.
#12 Cincinnati – OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)
This is my underrated best value pick. Cincy gets a future 10-Pro Bowl tackle here to keep Andy Dalton upright long enough to throw to John Rohahahaha just kidding, he’s throwing to AJ Green. Maybe John Ross provides a catch or something next season. Will be like having a second 1st round pick.
#13 Washington – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
With 3 QB’s already off the board and Kirk Cousins leaving in free agency, the Redskins get a superstar ticket seller in Baker Mayfield. I love the way he plays. Washington is desperate for a QB and cannot afford to pass on one here.
#14 Green Bay – OT Connor Williams (Texas)
They pick Williams solely because the draft war room accidentally put the clip of Aaron Rodgers breaking his collar bone on the screen and they want to never have that happen again. Lucky for Packers fans, this is a great selection.
#15 Arizona – DE Harold Landry (Boston College)
#16 Baltimore – WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)
#17 LA Chargers – DL Christian Wilkins (Clemson)
#18 Seattle – CB Joshua Jackson (Iowa)
Best corner in the draft IMO and allows for the Seahawks to start a Legion of Boom 2.0
#19 Dallas – S Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)
With Sean Lee and Demarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys have two of the three layers on their defense hosting great talent. The secondary needs work though. Harrison might be a little bit of a reach here, but they need the safety and Jerry Jones is the one picking. Lucky for Cowboy fans, there’s no Arkansas player worth taking close to this spot.
#20 Detroit – DT Vita Vea (Washington)
Rumor has it that Matt Patricia will be taking the Lions HC job. I’m not a fan of the coaching hire, but a defensive anchor in Vea could go a long way in solidifying their ability to stop the run. The Lions go down to the final seconds between Vea and Roquan Smith on draft night.
*Sleeper pick* Derrius Guice here would make a ton of sense, but the Patricia hire made me lean towards Vea.
#21 Buffalo – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma St.)
It’s clear that the front office and coaching staff doesn’t believe Tyrod Taylor is the answer. Rudolph fits the bill (see what I did there?) to learn behind newly-signed Sam Bradford for 7 weeks before Bradford suffers an injury, thrusting Rudolph onto the field. The Bills were low-key hoping that Vita Vea would still be available here to pair up with Smith. Rudolph possesses the massive arm to stretch the field. The Bills bring in a new OC and QB coach to get his footwork corrected. Having LeSean McCoy back there to hand the ball off to makes this easy as well.
#22 Buffalo (from KC) – LB Roquan Smith (Georgia)
An absolute monster. Sean McDermott gets the Luke Keuchly for his defense and makes him the focal point on defense.
#23 Carolina – WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)
Someone with speed on the outside to compliment Devin Funchess. Giving Cam Newton more weapons is always a good thing. Here’s another team that really considers Oliver to help out the secondary. Kirk is just too good to pass up.
#24 LA Rams DL Clelin Ferrell (Clemson)
#25 Tennessee – DL DaRon Payne (Alabama)
Just a matter of best available player here. Payne somehow slid down the draft board and the Titans grab him to make sure Leonard Fournette can’t run all over them. It also doesn’t hurt to have more inside pressure on Deshaun Watson.
#26 Atlanta – DE Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
#27 Jacksonville – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
Fairly obvious that Blake Bortles won’t be taking this team to a Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson has a better arm and is faster with his legs, providing a 2005 Atlanta Falcons vibe to the Jags (but having an elite defense to back them up).
#28 New Orleans – QB Luke Falk (Washington State)
The Saints get the future QB for the franchise. Drew Brees plays one more season and that’s exactly what the New Orleans front office wants. Falk will need a year to develop, and Brees is a good one to learn under.
#29 Pittsburgh – CB Isiah Oliver (Colorado)
#30 Philadelphia – OT Chukwuma Okorafor (Western Michigan)
Keep Carson Wentz healthy. You have one job Philly.
#31 New England – DL Maurice Hurst
Hurst has been a beast at Michigan and would give the Patriots extra beef on the DL. They were looking to grab Luke Falk as an heir-apparent to Tom Brady since they traded Jimmy GQ for pennies on the dollar.
#32 Minnesota – DE Sam Hubbard (Ohio State)
Monster value for a monster player here. Hubbard helps keep the Minnesota defense a nightmare for seasons to come.
Enjoy the Divisional Round everyone and I’ll be back next week with a wacky mock draft that projects trades that would be ideal for everyone.