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2017 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: A Wave of Trades

McCaffrey delivering a stiff-arm
By Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire)

Finally, all the speculation and rumors will come to an end tonight, as the Cleveland Browns are officially on the clock at 8:00 PM (EST). But we’re not there yet, so here’s my final mock draft.

If you care to see how things have changed, you can find my post-free agency mock draft here.

NFL Mock Draft: Round-One

1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE (Texas A&M)

He’s the best player in this draft, and a premier edge rusher. Cleveland would be silly to look anywhere else.

2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE (Stanford)

The switch to a 4-3 defense calls for a dominant DE who can rush the passer and play the run. That is exactly what Thomas can do from day one.

3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams, S (LSU)

With both Adams and Marshon Lattimore still on the board, the Bears could go either way. But the lack of dominant WRs in the NFC North has me believing Chicago will take Adams, who helps them out in more than just defending the pass.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB (LSU)

There are so many different routes the Jags could go with this pick. Rumors have been swirling around Deshaun Watson, while Jonathan Allen would complete a downright scary defensive front. However, both Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone emphasize a power rushing attack.

5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams) – Marshon Lattimore, CB (Ohio State)

This would be a dream-scenario for the Titans. With all the imposing WRs in the AFC South, Tennessee needs a shutdown corner. Logan Ryan does not have the athleticism to shadow DeAndre Hopkins, TY Hilton, or Allen Robinson all game.

6. Cleveland Browns – Mitchell Trubisky, QB (UNC)

(Projected trade with the Jets.)

After a 1-15 season that saw RG3, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Charlie Whitehurst, and even Terrelle Pryor take snaps, Hue Jackson wants his franchise QB. Trubisky is the most NFL-ready pivot in the draft and will compete for the starting job this year.

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams, WR (Clemson)

The move to LA calls for a flashy new player. Williams can do it all at WR, and his presence gives Philip Rivers a much-needed weapon on the outside.

8. Carolina Panthers – Malik Hooker, FS (Ohio State)

The Panthers ranked 29th against the pass last season and desperately need a game-changer to play center-field.

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Allen, DL (Alabama)

If you forget the Combine and stick to the tape, Allen is a top-three pick. Cincinnati couldn’t stop the run last year. That’s about to change.

10. Philadelphia Eagles – Christian McCaffrey, RB (Stanford)

(Projected trade with the Bills.)

McCaffrey’s Combine is being called one of the best ever. If Carolina passes on him, Philadelphia will be on the phones immediately. Providing Carson Wentz with weapons is the Eagles’ top priority.

11. New Orleans Saints – Charles Harris, DE (Missouri)

The Saints need a premier pass-rusher to play opposite Cameron Jordan. They’ll put up with Harris’ weaknesses against the run for his ability to get after the passer.

12. New York Jets – Marlon Humphrey, CB (Alabama)

(Projected trade with the Browns.)

Moving down in the draft makes sense for the Jets since they have a number of holes to fill. First up, corner: Humphrey’s inability to play the ball in the air was exposed in the National Championship, but many teams will believe they can correct that.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Reuben Foster, LB (Alabama)

The Cardinals have very few holes on the defensive side of the ball, but ILB is one of them. Foster’s tape and raw athleticism will result in Arizona overlooking the off-field concerns.

14. Tennessee Titans – OJ Howard, TE (Alabama)

(Projected trade with the Bills, from the Eagles.)

If Howard is still on the board, Jon Robinson and the Titans will become the buyers. OJ Howard fits too well into everything that is Mike Munchak’s exotic smashmouth.

15. Indianapolis Colts – Garett Bolles, OT (Utah)

Chris Ballard has made it clear he intends to improve both fronts. He was able to address the defense in free agency. Now it’s time to find more protection for Andrew Luck. Bolles was impressive at the Combine and will start at RT day one.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Derek Barnett, DE (Tennessee)

The Ravens need some help rushing the passer. Terrell Suggs is wearing down and Albert McClellan isn’t a viable starter. Barnett can play OLB in their 3-4 on early downs, plus put his hand in the dirt on third downs.

17. Washington – Haason Reddick, LB (Temple)

Reddick’s Senior Bowl and Combine performances shot him up the draft board. In spite of playing DE at Temple, teams are viewing him as a Will in a 4-3, or an ILB in a 3-4. Washington needs a presence in the middle who can make plays from sideline to sideline.

18. Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White, CB (LSU)

(Projected trade with the Eagles and Titans.)

After moving down twice to accrue more picks, the Bills will have the opportunity to shore up their secondary. White can cover on the outside and in the slot, while adding some value as a returner.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook, RB (Florida State)

Doug Martin’s future with the Bucs is uncertain, and neither Charles Sims or Jacquizz Rodgers can carry the load. Cook’s tape is too good to overlook.

20. Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk, OT (Wisconsin)

Denver desperately needs to address the hole at LT. Ramczyk is coming off hip surgery, but has passed all his physicals.

21. Detroit Lions – Takkarist McKinley, DE (UCLA)

Ziggy Ansah and the rest of the Detroit pass rushers were largely ineffective last season. McKinley would take a lot of pressure off Ansah.

22. Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, OG (Western Kentucky)

The Dolphins traded Branden Albert to the Jaguars because they felt Laremy Tunsil was ready to move from guard to LT. However, that opens up a hole at guard. Lamp has the versatility to play in a variety of places along the line.

23. Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson, QB (Clemson)

(Projected trade with the Giants.)

With the Giants (25th overall) potentially looking to find Eli Manning’s replacement, Houston won’t risk missing out on the National Champion, who fills their only major need.

24. Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis, LB (Florida)

The Raiders need a lot of help on defense. An athletic centerpiece is a good starting point.

25. New York Giants – Cam Robinson, OL (Alabama)

(Projected trade with the Texans.)

Ereck Flowers is one of the worst starting LTs in the league, and Eli Manning’s lack of mobility calls for a bookend tackle.

26. Atlanta Falcons – Taco Charlton, DE (Michigan)

(Projected trade with the Seahawks.)

The Falcons need more pass rushers to help out Vic Beasley. Charlton has not always been the most consistent player, but fiery Dan Quinn will believe he can tap into his true potential.

27. Kansas City Chiefs – Corey Davis, WR (Western Michigan)

Alex Smith did push the ball down the field against the Steelers in the playoffs; the Chiefs just didn’t have anyone who could consistently make plays. Jeremy Maclin isn’t an elite receiver, and Chris Conley doesn’t incite fear in any DB. A trio of Davis, Maclin, and Tyreek Hill would be awfully dangerous, though.

28. Dallas Cowboys – Adoree’ Jackson, CB (USC)

This pick is both sexy and sensical. Dallas needs a cover corner, and could also use some help in the return game.

29. Green Bay Packers – TJ Watt, Edge (Wisconsin)

The Packers defense is a mess. Though he may never live up to the standards set by his older brother, TJ will make an impact early for Green Bay.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers – John Ross, WR (Washington)

Pairing Ross’ lethal speed with Antonio Brown will give Pittsburgh all the weapons they need.

31. Seattle Seahawks – Sidney Jones, CB (Washington)

(Projected trade with the Falcons.)

If Seattle misses out on Bolles, Lamp, Ramczyk, and Robinson, they’ll start fielding calls to move down in the first-round. Recent reports suggest Jones’ timetable for return is between 4-6 months. The Seahawks don’t need him immediately, but it’s clear the team is ready to move on from Richard Sherman in the near future. Adding a corner of Jones’ caliber makes that possible.

32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots) – Gareon Conley, CB (Ohio State)

If the Saints believe Conley to be innocent of the rape allegations leveled against him, their need in the secondary will convince them to draft the former Buckeye.

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