NFL Mock Draft 2017

LF

Round 1 of the NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 27th. As usual, I’ve spent many March and April hours studying this year’s draft class, analyzing team needs, and researching all kinds of draft-related rumors in order to determine possible first round fits. That said, it’s important to remember that the NFL draft is nearly impossible to forecast. Last year, I hit on 11 picks, which ranked at the top among those in the industry. You can scroll to the bottom of the page to see my MOCK DRAFT SUCCESS HISTORY.

The MAIN GOAL of this mock is to provide readers with everything they need to know about each team, in terms of their situation, needs, philosophy and potential prospects, in order to MINIMIZE THE SURPRISES. In other words, the fewer the surprises that occur in the minds of those who have read this draft breakdown, the better I did my job.

This is why I’ve included POSSIBLE TARGETS with each pick, which outline the RUMORS I’m hearing among the industry and in NFL circles that link certain players to certain teams, along with some players that make the most sense to me as a great fit with specific teams. To that note, this page will be updated (and changed) daily up until the draft, and detailed explanations of each pick will be added as the draft approaches.

ROUND 1

1.      CLE     Myles Garrett (DE – Texas A&M)

2.      SF        Jamal Adams (SS – LSU) 

·   Targets: Jamal Adams, Leonard Fournette, Solomon Thomas

·   Needs: Truly BPA.

·   Best Guess: The 49ers desperately want to trade down from this spot. If there are no takers, the team will likely be choosing between Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, and Solomon Thomas. New GM John Lynch is from Stanford (as is Thomas). Every DE on the roster who played significant snaps last season – Eli Harold, Tank Carradine, Ahmad Brooks, and Aaron Lynch – have expiring contracts next season. On the other hand, the 49ers have invested heavily into the D-line lately, and RB Carlos Hyde has been injury prone and is entering the last year of his contract. OC Kyle Shanahan may build this offense around his running game. 

3.      CHI       Solomon Thomas (DE – Stanford)   

·   Targets: Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore Jonathan Allen, Mitch Trubisky, Deshone Kizer / Deshaun Watson (trade back into Round 1)

·   Needs: QB, Secondary, D-line

·   Best Guess: If the 49ers take Thomas, I’m not sure who I’d mock here. The Bears are one of the only teams picking in top 10 that love DT Jonathan Allen (medical red flags). Allen could slip to the teens if not taken here. Chicago has shown significant interest in QBs Watson and Trubisky all throughout the draft process. The Mike Glennon signing is not a barrier. Chicago can cut Glennon after year 1 at minimal cost. Many are reporting Bears want to go secondary here, too. As of now, I think the Bears’ plan is to draft the top-rated defensive player on their board, and then trade back into Round 1 to select QB Deshaun Watson if he slips into the 20s, or possibly wait to draft DeShone Kizer in Round 2. Regardless, I probably won’t lock this pick in until the day of the draft. 

4.      JAX       Leonard Fournette (RB – LSU)

·   Targets: Leonard Fournette, O.J. Howard, Deshaun Watson, Cam Robinson, Nathan Peterman (Round 2)

·   Needs: Left side of O-line, RB, TE, Pass rusher

·   Best Guess: I’m looking for the Jags to go offense with this pick. Fournette is the favorite here (if Jacksonville keeps pick 4), but I’ve read the Jags view TE O.J. Howard as a special talent, too. Surprisingly, the team’stop-rated tackle, Cam Robinson, is in play as well. Even if Fournette is available, the Jaguars (who have invested a lot of money at RB), may feel they would be able to grab first round talents like Dalvin Cook or Joe Mixon early in Round 2, causing them to take Howard, or surprise the world with Cam Robinson or a QB. 

5.      TEN      O.J. Howard (TE – ‘Bama)

·   Targets: Mike Williams (trade down), Marshon Lattimore, O.J. Howard, Malik Hooker (trade down), John Ross (trade down)

·   Needs: CB, WR/TE

·   Best Guess: The Titans want to address the secondary and add a pass catcher with their two first round picks. I think Tennessee could trade down with the Browns or Jets and select the No. 1 WR on their board, Mike Williams. I’ve heard they covet Williams, and he could be selected as early as pick 5. Ultimately, however, I’m expecting Tennessee to select one of the OSU defensive backs (Lattimore, Conley, or Hooker, in order of likelihood), and it could pay to be patient, as Mike Williams could be sitting there for them at pick 18. 

6.      NYJ       Marshon Lattimore (CB – OSU)

·   Targets: Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore, Mitch Trubisky, Charles Harris, Malik Hooker, Solomon Thomas

·   Needs: QB, OT, Secondary

·   Best Guess: The Jets are in total rebuild mode. New York’s greatest needs are listed above, but Jets could use help at every position, so we could see a BPA (best player available, regardless of position) approach here. One of the two teams that have shown extreme and sincere interest in QB Mitch Trubisky – Cleveland and Buffalo – could trade up with the Jets in attempt to jockey for position to grab their guy at QB. Alternatively, the Jets were linked to Trubisky early in the draft process, and it’s possible their reported interest in numerous other prospects are merely smokescreens. Personally, I think the Jets will pass on a QB, at least initially.  If the Jets stay put at 6, the only two other players I can see the Jets selecting are LSUs Leonard Fournette and/or Jamal Adams…. with a smaller chance of Marshon Lattimore or Charles Harris.

7.      LAC      Malik Hooker (FS – OSU)

·   Targets: Jamal Adams, Solomon Thomas, Malik Hooker, Jonathan Allen, Charles Harris

·   Needs: S, O-line

·   Best Guess: The team’s biggest need may rest on the O-line, but it’s too early to consider one here, in this class at least. DC Gus Bradley may want his version of Kam Chancellor (Jamal Adams) or Earl Thomas (Malik Hooker). The Chargers have been very quiet, as usual, so I’m not sure what to expect here. My best guess would be that this pick comes down to Jonathan Allen vs. Malik Hooker.

8.      CAR       Christian McCaffrey (RB – Stanford)

·   Targets: Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Derek Barnett, O.J. Howard, Charles Harris, David Njoku

·   Needs: Offensive skill player (RB/WR/TE), OT, DE

·   Best Guess: The Panthers want to add an offensive weapon with this pick. Based on my understanding, this is Leonard Fournette’s floor. Carolina LOVES Fournette, and they will select him if he’s available. If not, Christian McCaffrey will likely be the pick. If both are off the board, I’m expecting the Panthers to select Derek Barnett or Charles Harris. TEs O.J. Howard and David Njoku (if OJH is off the board) are sleepers here.

9.      CIN        Jonathan Allen (DT – ‘Bama) 

·   Targets: Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett, Rueben Foster, John Ross, O.J, Howard, Mike Williams

·   Needs: O-line, DE, LB

·   Best Guess:  I’ve heard this pick was once basically a toss-up between Barnett and Foster. Cincy loves them both, but I’m not sure how the recent Foster off-field issues have affected that. OLB Vontaze Burfict and ILB Kevin Minter are free agents after next season, and pass rush seems to be the greater need.  I’m leaning Barnett here, assuming players like Solomon Thomas, Leonard Fournette are gone. Haason Reddick has received a lot of recent buzz at this spot, and the Bengals war room is very high on John Ross and O.J. Howard.

10.  BUF       Haason Reddick (OLB – Temple) 

·   Targets: Mitchell Trubisky (trade up), Haason Reddick, O.J. Howard, Charles Harris, Mike Williams, Deshaun Watson

·   Needs: WR, LB, QB

·   Best Guess: QB Tyrod Taylor is essentially on a 2-year deal. The Bills reportedly love Mitchell Trubisky and may trade up in the top-5 to acquire him (Cleveland @12 and New York @6 have also shown heavy interest in Trubisky). New HC Sean McDermott was the defensive coordinator for the Panthers, and I think he’ll want some of his pieces to work with. To this point, I know the Bills are very high on Charles Harris. I can also see Buffalo selecting one of the Clemson stars – QB Deshaun Watson or WR Mike Williams. Buffalo has not been linked to Haason Reddick, but he’s a great scheme fit.

11.  NO       Reuben Foster (ILB – ‘Bama)

·   Targets: Derek Barnett, Charles Harris, Marlon Humphrey, Reuben Foster, Haason Reddick

·   Needs: DE, CB, LB, 3d RB

·   Best Guess: If Reuben Foster remains on the Saints’ draft board after his off-field issues, I’m fairly confident he’ll be the pick. If New Orleans has crossed off Foster due to character concerns, then Marlon Humphrey and Charles Harris come into play, ESPECIALLY if Derek Barnett is selected prior to this pick. 

12.  CLE        Mitchell Trubisky (QB – UNC)

·   Targets: Mitch Trubisky (trade up), O.J. Howard, Pat Mahomes, Deshaun Watson

·   Needs: QB, Secondary

·   Best Guess: HC Hue Jackson likes big-armed passers. Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes fit the bill. Cleveland has made it no secret that they love Trubisky, and it’s possible Cleveland trades up to pick 5 or 6 to acquire him. If that doesn’t work out, I think the higher ups will pressure the decision-makers to find a quarterback. Mahomes could be a better consolation prize. If the Browns remain patient or have “their guy in the later rounds, I expect the secondary to be addressed here. Whoever falls – O.J. Howard, any of the OSU DBs, and Jamal Adams – are all in play. 

13.  ARI          Pat Mahomes (QB – Texas Tech)

·   Targets: Pat Mahomes, Reuben Foster, O.J. Howard, Haason Reddick, Marlon Humphrey, Deshone Kizer (Round 2), Davis Webb (Round 2)

·   Needs: QB of the future, WR, CB

·   Best Guess: Arizona certainly wants to add their QB of the future in this draft, as this certainly seems like Carson Palmer’s last season. This is a classic case of a good team with an old QB coming off a bad season: the situation opens up two schools of thought. The First: “Hey, it’s unlikely we’ll get this opportunity to pick this early in the draft again because we’re a good team. So let’s take advantage of this situation and get a good successor QB while we can.” The Second: “But, we have a competitive team right now, and we can draft a difference maker here that could potentially put us in Super Bowl contention. This is win now mode, so let’s get some talent we can for [insert old QB]’s final run.” To this end, I can see Rueben Foster or O.J. Howard. The defenders that interest them include Marlon Humphrey, Charles Harris, and Haason Reddick. Ultimately, however, I think it will be difficult for a GM to pass up on an opportunity to groom Pat Mahomes or Deshaun Watson for a year, giving them clarity for the future. The Cardinals have been linked to Mahomes and Watson in Round 1, as well as DeShone Kizer and Davis Webb in Round 2. 

14.  PHI        Derek Barnett (DE – Tenn.)

·   Targets: Christian McCaffrey (trade up), Charles Harris, Derek Barnett, Dalvin Cook, John Ross, Kevin King

·   Needs: CB, RB, D-line

·   Best Guess: HC Doug Pederson was the Kansas City offensive coordinator under Andy Reid. He likes his RBs to be versatile pass catchers and would love the opportunity to snag Christian McCaffrey. Indeed, I see Philly as McCaffrey’s floor. I think the Eagles would love to grab pass rushers like Derek Barnett and Charles Harris as a Plan B. If that fails, Plan C likely involves Mike Williams or John Ross. Philadelphia could reach for one of the latter-listed CBs in their Targets section above.

15.  IND        Takkarist McKinley (DE – UCLA)

·   Targets: Charles Harris, Haason Reddick, Takkarist McKinley, Garett Bolles, Charles Harris, Jarrad Davis, Forrest Lamp.

·   Needs: Right side of O-line, LB, CB

·   Best Guess: The Colts have been VERY secretive about their interests, so I have no idea whether may be targeting. I’d look for them to select their top-rated defender, regardless of position, or an offensive lineman like Garett Bolles or Forrest Lamp… CBs 1-3 – Vontae Davis, Darius Butler, and Rashaan Melvin – are all entering contract years. SS Mike Adams departed in free agency. The Indy secondary is in shambles. That said, I believe the team wants to address the pass rush here, so Harris, McKinley, as well as Reddick would be my best bets here.

16.  BAL    Cam Robinson (OT – ‘Bama) 

·   Targets: Cam Robinson, Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross, Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen, Haason Reddick, Jabrill Peppers

·   Needs: WR, OT, ILB, OLB

·   Best Guess: Baltimore typically meets with their first round picks beforehand, so I took that into account when assessing their targets. GM Ozzie Newsome has an Alabama background and may be ecstatic about talented alums like Jon Allen, Reuben Foster, or O.J. Howard falling. If not, I’m banking on Baltimore taking their top-rated offensive tackle, which I believe is Cam Robinson. Mike Williams and John Ross are other possibilities. John Harbaugh has the intel on SS Jabrill Peppers thanks to his brother, Jim. I’d expect Peppers to be a primary target in Round 2, but you never know.

17.  WAS        Charles Harris (ED – Missou) 

·   Targets: Mitch Trubisky (trade up to #2 with 49ers for Kirk Cousins), Rueben Foster, Jonathan Allen, Charles Harris, Derek Barnett, Jabrill Peppers, Dalvin Cook, Takk McKinley, Jarrad Davis, Obi Melifonwu, T.J. Watt, Adoree’ Jackson

·   Needs: D-line, CB, O-line

·   Best Guess: I’ve heard this is Jonathan Allen and Rueben Foster’s floor. The Redskins are hoping a top talent falls to this pick. If not, look for a pass rusher like Charles Harris or Derek Barnett. If they don’t slide, I’m expecting either Jabrill Peppers or Dalvin Cook. The other targets listed above are players they have shown interest in, too.

18.  TEN     Mike Williams (WR – Clemson)  

·   Targets: Mike Williams, John Ross, Chidobe Awuzie, Forrest Lamp, Adoree Jackson

·   Needs: WR/TE, CB

·   Best Guess: I know the Titans covet Mike Williams. They would be estatic to select him here considering they may reach for him in the top-10. John Ross makes sense here too, especially considering their sincere interest in ex-Saints’ WR Brandin Cooks. It would be fun if the Titans doubled up on wide out with their two first rounders, selecting Williams at #5 and Ross at #18. If TEN takes a WR with its first pick, I expect the Titans to take either CB Chidobe Awuzie or OG Forrest Lamp.

19.  TB        Dalvin Cook (RB – FSU) 

·   Targets: Christian McCaffrey, O.J. Howard, Dalvin Cook, David Njoku, Jabrill Peppers, Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp

·   Needs: O-line, RB, Secondary

·   Best Guess: This is O.J. Howard’s floor. Tampa Bay wants to improve their offense with this pick. I also know Tampa Bay wants a new safety and that they are high on Obi Melifonwu and Jabrill Peppers. OG Forrest Lamp and OT Cam Robinson are sleepers here is a sleeper here because now that DeSean Jackson is on board, Tampa Bay’s primary objective should be to improve their running game. I’ve been torn between mocking Dalvin Cook and David Njoku here, both of whom the Bucs have shown a ton of interest in. The Bucs could look to trade down and probably still get Cook. 

20.  DEN     Garrett Bolles (OT – Utah) 

·   Targets: Christian McCaffrey (trade up), Garett Bolles, Ryan Ramczyk, Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp, David Njoku

·   Needs: OT

·   Best Guess:  This is Christian McCaffrey’s floor. The Broncos will almost surely go O-line with this pick as long as one of the top-4 prospects are there. New OC Mike McCoy wants to implement power blocking concepts to replace Broncos’ ZBS under Kubiak. McCoy also uses the “move” TE position a lot, making athletic receiving TE Njoku an option. In a deep TE class and thin O-line class, I think Denver’s primary motive will be to secure offensive tackle talent early. I’m not sure whether they like Bolles and Ramczyk the most. One of those two will be my final pick here. 

21.  DET      Taco Charlton (DE – Mich.) 

·   Targets: David Njoku, Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers, Jarrad Davis, Kevin King, Takk McKinley

·   Needs: LB, DE, CB, WR/TE

·   Best Guess: I’m assuming this is Haason Reddick’s floor. The Lions want to add a pass catcher that spreads the field, which means either a speedy WR like John Ross or a seam-stretching TE like David Njoku. Detroit has shown a lot of love to Njoku throughout the draft process. The team’s defense needs so much help, however. The three players Detroit has visited a lot are Taco Charlton, Kevin King, and Takk McKinley. For me, this pick comes down to Njoku, Charlton, or Davis.

22.  MIA        Jarrad Davis (ILB – Florida) 

·   Targets: Derek Barnett, Charles Harris, Reuben Foster, Forrest Lamp, Jordan Willis, Obi Melifonwu, Jarrad Davis

·   Needs: DE, OG, DT, FS

·   Best Guess: The Dolphins would love it if Derek Barnett or Charles Harris fell here. That’s unlikely though, so expect them to target one of the safeties – Obi Melifonwu, Jabrill Peppers, or Justin Evans (sleeper for this pick). Forrest Lamp could be in consideration as well. Their biggest need may be defensive end, so Jordan Willis could be a surprise pick here. Late rumors indicate Jarrad Davis won’t pass this pick.

23.   NYG       Ryan Ramczyk (OT – Wisc.) 

·   Targets: O.J. Howard (trade up), Garett Bolles, Cam Robinson, Ryan Ramczyk, Jarrad Davis, David Njoku, Zach Cunningham, Taco Charlton

·   Needs: OT, TE, LB, D-line

·   Best Guess: The offense was a bigger problem than the defense last season, but all three starting LBs – Casillas, Robinson, Kennard – have expiring contracts in 2018. This makes Zach Cunningham and Jarrad Davis viable options. Perhaps the Giants will be interested in one of the top-rated OTs, particularly Cam Robinson and Ramczyk. I personally think the Giants love David Njoku, but there is less support on that theory from G-Men beat writers.   

24.  OAK     Zach Cunningham (ILB – Vandy)

·   Targets: Kevin King, Jarrad Davis, Zach Cunningham, Chidobe Awuzie, Tyus Bowser

·   Needs: ILB, DE

·   Best Guess: The Raiders were dead last in sack rate and view their pass rush as problematic as the lack of linebackers. Assuming a top-rated edge defender doesn’t fall, I think the Raiders will be choosing between Jarrad Davis , Zach Cunningham, and Kevin King. 

25.  HOU      Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson)

·   Targets: Pat Mahomes (trade up), Deshaun Watson, Cam Robinson, Ryan Ramczyk, Forrest Lamp, Obi Melifonwu, Adoree’ Jackson, Jabrill Peppers, Budda Baker, Marcus Maye

·   Needs: QB, RT, S

·   Best Guess:  HC Bill O’Brien reportedly loves Mahomes, and if the Texans had their second round pick, I would predict they’d move up to get him. This would seem to be Deshaun Watson’s floor. Right tackle is a major need, so if Cam Robinson, Ryan Ramczyk or Garett Bolles are available, I’d expect them to be the pick. Here, the OTs and QBs are not available, so I believe the Texans would resort to addressing the safety position. Melifonwu and first round surprises Marcus Maye and Budda Baker would be last resorts.

26.  SEA     Forrest Lamp (OG – West. Mich.) 

·   Targets: Garett Bolles, Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp, Obi Melifonwu, Marcus Maye, Budda Baker

·   Needs: CB, O-line

·   Best Guess: Offensive line blocking has been huge issue for years. Seattle could try to trade up with Tampa Bay (just in front of the tackle-needy Broncos) to secure an athletic lineman like Garett Bolles. If they stay put, Forrest Lamp could be a nice consolation prize. I fully expect this pick to be one of the top-4 O-linemen, if they are available. The defense was a lot worse without Earl Thomas, making Melifonwu a nice pick, if not.  

27.  KC        Tre’Davious White (CB – LSU)

·   Targets: Pat Mahomes (trade up), Deshaun Watson, Haason Reddick, Zach Cunningham, Jarrad Davis, Adoree’ Jackson, Davis Webb, Tre’Davious White

·   Needs: CB, ILB, OLB

·   Best Guess: The Chiefs have done their due diligence on the draft’s QBs (KC can cut Alex Smith with minimal cap repercussions after next season), and they are reportedly are enamored by Mahomes.  The Chiefs’ run defense was a sieve after ILB Derrick Johnson got hurt, and their pass rushers are getting old and fragile. Linebacker is a huge need, so Cunningham and Jarrad Davis fit if either gets past Oakland. To be honest, though, that’s really all I know about the Chiefs’ draft board. Assuming they don’t make a play at Mahomes, I think they’ll go with a cornerback or inside linebacker.

28.  DAL       Adoree’ Jackson (CB – USC)

·   Targets: Charles Harris, Takkarist McKinley, Obi Melifonwu, T.J. Watt, Adoree’ Jackson, Tyus Bowser, Taco Charlton, Kevin King

·   Needs: DE, CB, ILB

·   Best Guess: Jerry Jones wants a “war daddy” pass rusher, and the Cowboys lost both of their starting corners in free agency. The Cowboys have shown a ton of interest in Charles Harris and Takk McKinley. If they aren’t available, I’d look for T.J. Watt or Tyus Bowser. I know Dallas loves Obi Melifonwu, but I don’t think he’ll be available here. Adoree’ Jackson is a corner they like, but I think he’s the fail safe. 

29.  GB       T.J. Watt (DE – Wisc.)

·   Targets:  Marlon Humphrey, Kevin King, T.J. Watt, Takkarist McKinley,  Tre’Davious White, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon

·   Needs: O-line, CB, RB

·   Best Guess: The Packers are one of the most secretive teams in the league regarding their draft interests, and they rarely visit with first round prospects, keeping information on the down low. I’ll probably whiff on this pick, but based on a needs standpoint, I’ll be mocking a corner, pass rusher or running back to Green Bay. Injuries at CB crippled the defense last season, making a guy like Kevin King an option. The Packers lost edge defenders Datone Jones and Julius Peppers in free agency, and they are supposedly high on T.J. Watt, the local product and brother of J.J. Watt. I’m told RBs Alvin Kamara and Joe Mixon are in play if Watt and King are both off the board at this point. That would be interesting.

30.  PIT       David Njoku (TE – Miami U) 

·   Targets: Jabrill Peppers, T.J. Watt, Takkarist McKinley, Corey Davis, John Ross, David Njoku, Evan Engram, Carl Lawson, Obi Melifonwu

·   Needs: Pass rusher! CB, WR, SS

·   Best Guess: The Steelers love Peppers, from what I understand. Pittsburgh needs to upgrade their pass catchers, whether it’s a “move” TE like Njoku or Engram, or a WR to take pressure of Antonio Brown. T.J. Watt, Takk McKinley, and Carl Lawson are pass rushers they will consider. The Steelers have also shown pre-draft interest in Melifonwu.

31.  ATL    Jordan Willis (Kansas St.)

·   Targets: Forrest Lamp, Takkarist McKinley, Jordan Willis, Tyus Bowser, Adoree’ Jackson, Dion Dawkins, Taylor Moton

·   Needs: DE, OG

·   Best Guess: Atlanta wants an athletic DE to replace Freeney. In recent history, Atlanta has held a private meeting with all of their first round draft selections, sometimes multiple visits. In short, they usually show their hand, so I’m fairly confident Atlanta’s selection will be among the targeted players listed above. I’m betting it’s Willis or Bowser here, depending on how the board falls. Don’t rule out a first round surprise, particularly O-linemen Taylor Moton or Dion Dawkins, though both would seem to be reaches.

32.  NO       Marlon Humphrey (CB – ‘Bama) 

·   Targets: Deshaun Watson, Taco Charlton, Quincy Wilson, Jordan Willis, Derek Rivers, Jabrill Peppers, T.J. Watt, Marcus Maye

·   Needs: DE, CB, LB, 3d RB

·   Best Guess: This pick could be dealt for CB Malcom Butler, though I hope it’s not. If Deshaun Watson or Pat Mahomes somehow slides to or near this pick, don’t be surprised if the Saints make a play at either. New Orleans likes both. It’s possible the Saints select Charlton at 11, so I may be double-dipping at a hit here mocking Taco to the Saints. That said, the Dolphins, Lions and Giants are the only other teams I’ve heard are high on Charlton, thus it’s conceivable he falls. The Saints are supposedly smitten with Taco, and it would be a dream to get him here. Otherwise, I view Jordan Willis and Quincy Wilson as probable picks here. If Reuben Foster slides due to his injury history and off-field concerns, the Saints will stop his fall.

 

ROUND 2

(updated AFTER Round 1)

  1. GB – Kevin King (CB – Wash.)
  2. SEA – Forrest Lamp (OG – West. Mich.)
  3. JAX – Cam Robinson (OT – ‘Bama)
  4. CHI  – Malik McDowell (DT – Mich. St.)
  5. LAR – Chidobe Awuzie (CB – Colorado)
  6. LAC – Curtis Samuel (RB/WR – OSU)
  7. NYJ – DeShone Kizer (QB – Notre Dame)
  8. CAR – Carl Lawson (DE – Auburn)
  9. CIN – Joe Mixon (RB – Oklahoma)
  10. NO – Jordan Willis (DE – Kansas St.)

Players / Rumors Linked to New Orleans:

  • Rueben Foster (ILB – ‘Bama) – Pick 11 target from multiple sources.
  • Derek Barnett (DE – Tenn.) – Pick 11 target from multiple sources.
  • Taco Charlton (DE – Mich.) – Round 1 target from multiple sources.
  • Quincy Wilson (CB – Florida) – Target at picks 32 or 42, per multiple sources.
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB – Stanford) – A perfect scheme and need fit. May be difficult to pass up at pick 11, especially if Foster and/or Barnett are gone.
  • Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson) – According to trusted source, Saints will not hesitate to select Watson if he falls to pick 32.
  • Haason Reddick (LB – Temple) – Round 1 target according to one source.
  • Jordan Willis (DE – Kansas St.) – Target at picks 32 or 42, per multiple sources.
  • Raekwon McMillan (ILB – OSU) – Saints have shown interest throughout draft process. Possible target in Rounds 2-3.
  • Kareem Hunt (RB – Toledo) – Saints very high on him as mid-round pick, per one trusted source.
  • Brad Kaaya (QB – Miami) – Saints covet Kaaya, should target him in Rounds 3-4, according to trusted source.
  • Nathan Peterman (QB – Pitt) – Option for pick 42, according to trusted source.
  • The Saints want to address their lack of depth at offensive tackle. Expect the team to draft an OT in Rounds 2-4.

 

MY DRAFT CRUSHES:

SS Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)

TE O.J. Howard (‘Bama)

DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)

ED Tyus Bowser (Houston)

ED Derek Rivers (Youngstown St)

WR Carlos Henderson (La. Tech)

WR John Ross (Washington)

RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)

RB Donnel Pumphrey (SDSU)

ILB Reuben Foster (‘Bama)

WR Chris Godwin (Penn St.)

LB Jarrad Davis (Florida)

RB Kareem Hunt (Toledo)

CB Quincy Wilson (Florida)

DT Malik McDowell (Mich. St)

OG Forrest Lamp (West. Mich.)

MOCK DRAFT SUCCESS HISTORY:

YearCorrect Picks — Within 3 — First Rounders
2016: 11* —————– 20 ———- 27/31
2015: 12* —————– 20 ———- 28/32
2014: 6 ——————– 15 ———- 26/32
2013: 11* —————— 14 ———- 22/32
2012: 9 ——————– 15 ———- 25/32

* For 2013, 2015, and last year in 2016, the B.E.S.T. Mock Draft had the most correct picks among every NFL Draft expert in the industry, (including Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Daniel Jeremiah, Mike Mayock, Dane Brugler, and all other mainstream NFL analysts…). According to #247Sports Draft Grading System and Dueling Drafts Point System, which takes into account Pick-to-team, Pick-to-slot, correct number of players mocked in Round 1, and the cumulative variance of pick differences, my Round 1 mock drafts have scored as the #1 most accurate mock in three of the last four years. 


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