Bowl season is finally upon us! With that comes some excitement with the statement because…THE NFL DRAFT IS ALMOST HERE!!!
The mock draft below, MVP’s first official mock draft for the 2016, projects the first round of the draft.
There’s a few things we need to remember when it comes to this mock draft: 1) things will definitely change as we venure through the draft process, 2) we still don’t know for sure what underclassmen are staying in college or going to the NFL, and 3) some NFL teams will be getting new coaches this offseason and new schemes/regimes.
Two quick notes: (1) The order in this mock draft is what it would be if the season ended following Week 14. (2) All underclassmen are noted with an asterisk.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M*
There’s one simple fact that you might gather from this mock draft. No QB should be taken in the Top 5 of the 2017 NFL Draft! The Browns need players who can make an impact from Day One and Garrett fits that description. The Browns reported have an “astronomical grade” for Myles Garrett. Plus, he’s the most disruptive pass-rusher in college football.
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
We might have to repeat this four more times… No QB should be taken in the Top 5 of the 2017 NFL Draft! San Francisco would be more than happy to get Allen with the #2 pick. Allen would fit in to the Niner defense nicely. He’s best suited as a 3-4 defensive end, but could even be kicked inside like he’s been at times this season.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU*
The Jaguars need a game changers in the backfield to help out Blake Bortles. They need a back who will take some pressure off of the pass game and give them a chance. Leonard Fournette is the best running back we’ve seen in a draft since Adrian Peterson. Yes, Fournette has been dealing with an ankle injury this season, but is dominate when healthy. LSU safety Jamal Adams could also be in the discussion if the Jags want to go defense again with their first round pick.
Jabrill Peppers, OLB/S, Michigan*
Say it with me Chicago, “The Bears do not need to draft a QB with the 4th overall pick.” Chicago needs to beef up their secondary. Peppers is a player who fits the linebacker/safety positions much like Kam Chancellor in Seattle. He could develop into a difference-maker on that “Monsters of the Midway” defense.
Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
The Jets really need a player who can reak havoc on the edge. Tim Williams is a player who fits that bill. He’s not as disruptive as Myles Garrett, but he’s still pretty disruptive on an opposing backfield. He’s total over fifteen tackles-for-loss this season (most of them coming against SEC foes). Cam Robinson could also be a player New York looks at depending on how badly they want offensive line help.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama*
There’s no question that Marlon Humphrey is the top rated CB entering the 2017 NFL Draft. He has the ideal size needed for the position (6-foot-1, 196 pounds) and has played against high qulaity opponents. With two picks in the first round, the Titans can really pick and choose their spots, but cornerback should be the fit need they target here.
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama*
Every year around this time it seems as though we are talking about the Panthers needing offensive line help. Robinson isn’t an elite pass blocker, but is a guy the Panthers can plug into the right tackle position on their O-Line. RB could be a serious need for Carolina due to Jonathan Stewart’s cap hit. This could lead the Panthers to look at FSU RB Dalvin Cook with the 7th overall pick.
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida*
Edge rusher or secondary help. Those are the main choices the Saints most likely will have to choose from when this pick rolls around. Tabor is a CB who know how to get after the football. His ball skills would be something the Saints could really use on their defense. They do play Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Jameis Winston two times each every season.
Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State*
Cleveland would love to be able to nab their QB of the future with the 9th overall pick. Bad news is that none of the QBs in this draft are worth a Top 10 pick at this moment. One player who is Top 10 worthy is FSU RB Dalvin Cook. Isaiah Crowell isn’t the worst back in the NFL, but he isn’t a franchise RB. Cook is a big play machine, ranking second among all Power 5 RBs this season with 15 touches of 25 yards or more.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson*
With Keenan Allen being injured for a second straight season, San Diego must find a receiver to take over the #1 mantle if needed. Mike Williams is that type of player with deep threat potential. He did miss the 2015 season due to a neck injury, but has scored 10 touchdowns in a healthy 2016 campaign.
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
The “Mitch Trubisky Watch” could be on with the Cardinals’ 11th overall pick. Carson Palmer is getting up their in age (37). However, Foster is a Top 10 caliber player who could slip outside to 11-and-beyond. Arizona could use a playmaking linebacker like Foster who is a pure tackling machine.
Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
Takkarist McKinley is a freak athlete with elite speed off the edge. These are two things the Bengals will be looking for this offseason and could hit on both with one single pick. Not only can he disrupt a backfield, but he can also drop back and spy mobile QBs. A skill which could come in handy against divsional foes Ben Roethlisberger and Robert Griffin III.
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
The Colts need to help out Andrew Luck ASAP! Luck is a QB who is constantly being pressured in the pocket. Ramzyck is a very good pass protected, but has only played one full season against FBS opponents. He transferred to Wisconsin from UW-Stevens Points (Division III).
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State*
OT would be the most ideal position for the Bills to draft here, but might have to reach with Robinson and Ramczyk off the board. However, CB is a big need for Buffalo and there will be plenty of quality players to pick. Lattimore could be seen as a “potential pick,” but there’s A LOT of potential. TE could also be a position Buffalo targets which makes O.J. Howard a possible pick at #14.
John Ross, WR, Washington*
John Ross is a fast, agile receiver who really improved his route runner this season. After going defense with their first pick, the Titans could decide to go with a receiver with their second pick. Ross’ straight line speed could be a valuable weapon for Marcus Mariota to hit for many touchdowns next season.
Jamal Adams, S, LSU*
I know! I know! Some of you are shocked Jamal Adams fell this far in the draft. He’s a player who could go #3 to Jacksonville, but could slide down to #16 and the Ravens. Baltimore needs depth at the safety position and Adams could give the team more than just “depth.” He can cover, stop the run, and is a good character guy in the locker room.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington*
Another player who has stood out on this year’s Washington Huskies team is CB Sidney Jones. Jones is a athlete at the CB positon with tremendous awareness and composure. The Eagles really could use a cornerback this offseason. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey could also be a possible player for the Eagles with this pick.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC*
Adoree’ Jackson is an explosive athlete. An athlete who can also make a play on the football. Green Bay have had struggles at the CB position and could make it a priority come draft time. Jackson is a player who could help fix those struggles in explosive ways.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee*
Derek Barnett has the size and agility to be a beast on any defensive line in the NFL. With the inside linebacker talent this year, the Redskins could choose to go linebacking, but Barnett is a sure pick at this point in the draft for a team who could use players on the D-Line.
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri*
Will Mario Williams be back next year? This is a question which needs to be answered this offseason in Miami. If not, the Dolphins will be looking for a DE this offseason either in the draft or free agency. Harris has raw ability as a pass rusher, but he did lead the SEC with 18,5 tackles-for-loss in 2015.
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State*
McDowell is an excellent talent on the interior D-Line. However, he isn’t very consistent. This could affect his stock and cause him to slip a bt, but the Bucs wouldn’t be upset nabbing him with the 21st overall pick. They could use a high-impact DL player.
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
O.J. Howard has seen his production dip this season compared to 2015. However, he’s still the best TE talent in this draft which it perfect for Denver. Gary Kubiak likes TEs who can block for his run-centered offense. Howard has improved his blocking over the years, playing in a run-centered offense at Alabama.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Davis is a linebacker who can do it all for a defense. He can get into the backfield or can drop back into coverage. He’s really exceptional against the run. Something New York will need to defend well twice a year against Zeke and Dallas. Texas RB D’Onta Foreman could also looked at if the Giants choose to beef up their run game.
Desmond King, CB, Iowa
King almost made the jump to the NFL last year, but came back for another year at Iowa. Although his numbers fell this season, King is a physical CB with solid instincts and ball skills. He’s the type of physical corner you imagine wear the Black and Silver of the Oakland Raiders.
Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
It’s not a “sexy pick,” but the Texans really need help on the interior O-Line. Instead of drafting a replacement to Brock Osweiler, Feeney could provide some protection. Mitch Trubisky or DeShone Kizer could be looked at here if the Texans decide to develop someone under Brock.
Carl Lawson, OLB, Auburn*
Lawson is the rare combination of production, upside and intangibles. He’s an incredible run defender who produced 24 QB hurries as well. The Falcons could continue to build their defensive foundation with more edge rushers. Cornerback could also be a position Atlanta targets with this pick.
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Jarvis Jones and James Harrison are both set to be free agents which could lead to some openings on the linebacking core. Charlton is a great pass rushing talent and possibly Michigan’s best one. He can also become a 3-4 OLB in the Pittsburgh defensive scheme.
Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State*
Both tackle positions should be a high priority for teh Seahawks this offseason. Johnson could fit either of the tackle spots on the Seattle O-Line and give Russell Wilson some much needed time in the backfield.
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
As much as I’d love to pencil in a RB for the Lions here, I just couldn’t with the help they need on the defensive side of the ball. Lewis could been seen as a bit of a reach due to his size (5-11, 186). Texas RB D’Onta Foreman might also be a possible pick for the Lions.
Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt*
The “Mitch Trubisky Watch: Part 2” could be on in Kansas City at 30th overall. Andy Reid loves drafting QBs and the team could use an eventual replacement for Alex Smith. However, getting a solid inside player on the defense might be the wiser choice.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC*
I’m sorry Sean. I would have loved to have the Patriots draft Christian McCaffrey, Smith-Schuster would be too much to pass up wit hthe 31st pick. New Engalnd could use a dangerous outside weapon for Tom Brady to use. He’s not a burner, but can use his size (6-2, 220) and toughness in the deep ball game. He’s also a hardworker which could fit the “do your job” motto in New England.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
The Cowboys have drafted DE talent with character issues twice and have lost. This could lead them to draft defensive line help again. Thomas is a strong tackle with good size. He’s also very good against both the run and the pass, posting 13 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks and seven QB hurries.