Friday, December 9, 2016

2017 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Three Quarters Season Edition

It’s been too long! Update for everyone: This is the point of the year where I will be shifting my focus more towards draft content. With the season coming to a close, the draft order is starting to become more clear and needs for each team are becoming more and more obvious. An interesting idea was given to me by a friend: Do a mock draft with alternative picks. So, the draft layout will be round one with the first pick being what I think the team will do and the second pick will be what the team should do. And then I will do a second round with what I think the team will do. And as always, there will be tons of Quick Hits at the end of the article. Get used to lots of draft content from here on out. Now then, let’s get started. (What I Would Do = WIWD)

Draft order via
Playoff picture via

            ROUND ONE:
11.     Cleveland Browns: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
(WIWD)                      Myles Garrett, EDGE, TAMU
22.     San Francisco 49ers: Myles Garrett, EDGE, TAMU
(WIWD)                      Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
33.     Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnathan Allen, DL, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Johnathan Allen, DL, Alabama
44.     Chicago Bears: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
(WIWD)                      Jamal Adams, S, LSU
55.     New York Jets: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
(WIWD)                      Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
66.     Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
(WIWD)                      Mike Wiliams, WR, Clemson
77.     Carolina Panthers: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
(WIWD)                      Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
88.     Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
99.      New Orleans Saints: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
(WIWD)                      Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
110.  San Diego Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
(WIWD)                      Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
111.  Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia): Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
(WIWD)                      Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
112.  Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
(WIWD)                      Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
113.  Buffalo Bills: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
(WIWD)                      Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
114. Tennessee Titans: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
(WIWD)                      Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
115.  Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
(WIWD)                      Takkarist McKinnley, EDGE, UCLA
116.  Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
(WIWD)                      Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
117.  Green Bay Packers: Takkarist McKinnley, EDGE, UCLA
(WIWD)                      Ryan Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
118.  Washington: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
(WIWD)                      D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
119.  Miami Dolphins: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
220.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama
221.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Ross, WR, Washington
(WIWD)                      John Ross, WR, Washington
222.  Denver Broncos: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
(WIWD)                      Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
223.  New York Giants: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
(WIWD)                      Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
224.  Kansas City Chiefs: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
(WIWD)                      Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
225.  Houston Texans: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
(WIWD)                      Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
226.  Atlanta Falcons: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
(WIWD)                      Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn
227.  Baltimore Ravens: Ryan Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
228.  Detroit Lions: Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn
(WIWD)                      Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
229.  Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
(WIWD)                      Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
330.  New England Patriots: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
(WIWD)                      Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
331.  Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
(WIWD)                      O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
332.  Dallas Cowboys: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
(WIWD)                      Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

333.  Cleveland Browns: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
334.  San Francisco 49ers: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
335.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
336.  New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
337.  Chicago Bears: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
338.  Carolina Panthers: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
339.  Los Angeles Rams: Evan Pocic, C, LSU
440.  Cincinnati Bengals: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
441.  San Diego Chargers: Marcus Williams, S, Utah
442.  Philadelphia Eagles: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
443.  New Orleans Saints: Dawuane Smoot, EDGE, Illinois
444.  Arizona Cardinals: Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
445.  Cleveland Browns (via Tennessee): Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
446.  Indianapolis Colts: Ejuan Price, EDGE, Pittsburgh
447.  Minnesota Vikings: Marcus Maye, S, Florida
448.  Green Bay Packers: Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
449.  Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
550.  Washington: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
551.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Evans, S, TAMU
552.  Miami Dolphins: Caleb Brantley, DL, Florida
553.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia
554.  Denver Broncos: Lowell Lotulelei, DL, Utah
555.  New York Giants: Montravius Adams, DL, Auburn
556.  Kansas City Chiefs: Armani Watts, S, TAMU
557.  Houston Texans: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
558.  Atlanta Falcons: Chidobe Awuzi, CB, Colorado
559.  Baltimore Ravens: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
660.  Detroit Lions: Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU
661.  Seattle Seahawks: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
662.  New England Patriots: Carlos Watkins, DL, Clemson
663.  Oakland Raiders: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
664.  Dallas Cowboys: DeMarcus Walker, EDGE, FSU

- What does being a “blue-chip” prospect mean? It is a term used in the scouting world that essentially means that that specific player is an elite level prospect. Most of the time, these players are the top of their positions, but there are a few things to note on that. A) being the top player at your position doesn’t mean you are a blue-chip prospect and B) there can be multiple blue-chip prospects at a single position. That being said, here are my blue-chip prospects so far: Leonard Fournette, Myles Garrett, Johnathan Allen, Jamal Adams, Mike Williams, Derek Barnett, Reuben Foster, Quincy Wilson, and Dalvin Cook.

- You may have noticed there is a new number one quarterback in town, and his name is Mitch Trubisky. I have mentioned Trubisky before and the hype train is real. Trubisky is having the same kind of meteoric rise that Carson Wentz had last year, and if you compare the two, there are a lot of similarities. Both display good pocket presence and accuracy (throwing just four interceptions this season) as well as the ability to extend plays with their legs. Both also had roughly one-year of starting experience and will enter the draft process very raw. Trubisky is getting number one pick hype, and with the needy Cleveland Browns picking first overall, don’t be surprised to see his name get called very high come April.

- You also may have noticed in my “what I would do” scenario, that I have Brad Kaaya as the first quarterback off the board. Kaaya remains my top quarterback for the time being, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Kaaya’s toughness and leadership are very attractive qualities for me, and I believe that he can become an excellent pocket passer at the next level. His arm strength is limited, but we have seen quarterbacks such as Alex Smith have long-term success regardless of having that cannon arm that fans are so attracted to.

- I find that I am a very stubborn person when it comes to domestic violence instances. Every scout and general manger has their own kinks and red-flags that they can’t ignore. For me, domestic violence will instantly drop you from my board. Some of you will be quick to point out that earlier this year I had Devonte Fields as a first round talent. While he is a very talented individual, his off-field is too scary for me and I have quickly dropped him down my rankings. Another popular name is Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon. Mixon is a highly-touted running back and many believe that he could be a first round talent if not for his off-the-field issues. In October of 2014, Mixon punched a woman in the face and subsequently broke her jaw after she used derogatory language towards Mixon. While she had no right to say what she did, no one can justify hitting a woman. Mixon has recently apologized for this incident and it appears that scouts are easing up on Mixon’s draft stock. However, what teams think versus what the media and fans think is vastly different at times. And Mixon’s case will be a great example of this because…

- A report came out recently that the surveillance footage of the incident is to be revealed ). Based off the public’s reaction to the Ray Rice footage a few years back, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the same response over Mixon’s incident.

- I am not one to hold a grudge. When it comes to Joe Mixon and Devonte Fields, I can forgive and forget if they truly seem sorry about the incident and aren’t afraid to take the right steps forward to move past the incident. Take the Ray Rice incident and the Greg Hardy incident as an example of this. Where Rice has apologized countless times to the media and taken steps towards repairing his image by donating to the cause and speaking out against domestic violence (all this while no teams were interested in signing him), Hardy did nothing to repair his image until it was too late and he was out of the league. Mixon’s apology is a great first step, but he has a long ways to go. How he interviews between now and draft day will be vital for where I rank him.

- One last rank on domestic violence and other off-field issues. In today’s NFL teams appear to have a short term memory when it comes to off-field incidents… at least if you are a talented player. Apparently, if you are a good athlete, you can get away with crimes and teams will turn the other cheek. Had Greg Hardy posted double digit sacks in his campaign with the Cowboys after his domestic violence incident, it wouldn’t have shocked me to have seen him get a fancy new contract and still be playing today.

- Back to draft talk, who is my top ranked player? The answer is Leonard Fournette, but that is simply based off tie breakers. If I had to be honest, it’s a four-way tie between Fournette, Myles Garrett, Jonathan Allen, and Jamal Adams (in that order for the sake of tie breakers). Fournette is one of the best prospects I have ever seen. Garrett is a generational talent that I have had my eye on since his freshman campaign. Allen has been the most dominant defensive player in college football this season after betting on himself and not entering the 2016 draft, in which he could’ve been a first round pick. And Adams is a rangy safety who can do everything. He is very much like Eric Berry to me.

- There appears to be no consensus on who the number two wide receiver in this class is after Clemson’s Mike Williams. My choice is Washington’s John Ross, but other names who are being considered are Western Michigan’s Corey Davis, Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford, and Oklahoma’s DeDe Westbrook. This is likely a debate that won’t be settled anytime soon and will likely come down to team preferences.

- Two controversial names in this year’s class are Jabrill Peppers and Adoree’ Jackson. Peppers doesn’t seem to have a true position and lacks the ball skills to create turnovers. Jackson, on the other hand, is incredibly raw at cornerback and appears to be more of a return specialist than anything. Pepper’s raw talent and ability makes him a first round pick and while Jackson has the talent to be taken round one, his lack of a true position keeps him out of round one for me currently.

Richard Bradshaw is available to follow on Twitter @RichieBradz36. Thank you for the read.

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