The 2017 NFL Combine is over and we are a day away from free agency kicking off. The field has essentially been set for player availability this offseason and before teams start spending on free agents, how would the draft shake out for them? Remember: Mocks are what I would do based on my evaluations of players and fits. Not predicative.
Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
While the Browns absolutely need to upgrade their quarterback, having two picks in the first round gives them flexibility and they can take a chance on the best player in this draft. Garrett was highly productive at Texas A&M and has great size and athletic ability. He can play with his hand in the ground or standing up and with some refinement in technique, he will be an absolute monster for the Browns. Cornerstone, franchise player.
San Fransisco 49ers - Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
The 49ers have a lot of needs, but they can't really go anywhere without getting their signal caller. Watson is an obvious choice to lead a rebuilding franchise. Not only does he have all the physical tools for the position, but his ability to stay calm in all moments and his winning pedigree bode well for a team that needs a new leader.
Chicago Bears - Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
Teams picking in the top five all have some deficiency at quarterback, but the Bears are best served going best player available and add an impact player for their young secondary. Marshon Lattimore is an incredibly gifted cover cornerback who would instantly bring speed, dependability and playmaking skills to the Chicago backfield.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
The Jaguars have been rebuilding their pass rush for what feels like years but consistently neglect the need to add top level athletes to their front seven. Finally, after years of wallowing in Gus Bradley terribleness, the Jaguars add a player who has the juice. Thomas is a raw player, but he is as gifted as they come and putting on a line with Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue could set them up nicely for the next few years.
Tennessee Titans (From St. Louis) - John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington
The Titans are one of the teams seriously linked to trading for Brandin Cooks this offseason. This need for speed at the wide receiver position makes sense considering the group there lacks a dynamic element. If they were not able to get Brandin Cooks, a logical path in the draft is adding the ever-so-dynamic John Ross. A 4.22 40 yard dash spells out his speed, but he is also a refined route runner who plays physical football after the catch. He would immediately become Marcus Mariota's best friend.
New York Jets - OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama
There are a lot of players the Jets could take here, but with Brandon Marshall cut and Eric Decker recovering from a serious injury, the Jets would be smart to add a dynamic pass catcher to their offense. While Quincy Enunwa and Robbie Anderson will grow into nice pieces, adding a dynamic athlete at the tight end position could never hurt. Howard can be a massive threat up the seam and play in the slot or out wide. He can be a serious game changer after being underutilized at Alabama.
San Diego Chargers - Cam Robinson, Tackle, Alabama
The Chargers ride or die with Philip Rivers' play and giving him the best protection possible with help buoy a strong season for him. Robinson was a three year starter at Alabama with good athletic ability and a nasty attitude. He can immediately add the edge protection that the Chargers need to keep Rivers upright and boost the running game.
Carolina Panthers - Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The Panthers desperately need a consistent threat among their receivers. While Greg Olsen is steady, Kelvin Benjamin is as dependable as the Local Weatherman and Devin Funchess has not developed accordingly. Corey Davis is a very good route runner with a big body, strong hands and yards after catch skills. He will finally give the Panthers a legitimate way to stretch the field and give Cam Newton a target he can rely on.
Cincinnati Bengals - Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
Despite an incident at the combine, Reuben Foster is still one of the best players in this class. He has outstanding instincts and speed at the linebacker position that allow him to cover, play the run and make splashes as a blitzer. The Bengals are completely bereft at speed among their linebackers and sticking Foster in their defense could completely change its makeup.
Buffalo Bills - Jamaal Adams, Safety, LSU
The Bills need a lot of new pieces, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. With a defensive minded head coach coming, adding a tone setting defensive quarterback like Jamaal Adams makes a lot of sense. He has the speed and intelligence to play deep down the field but is also a physical playmaker against the run. Adams is an all around player who could do wonders for the Bills.
New Orleans Saints - Budda Baker, Safety, Washington
Every year it feels like the Saints need to upgrade their defense and every year that is more true than not. With the Jarius Byrd era now over, the Saints need a free safety who can cover but also offer some run defense as well. Baker is a very good athlete, but is also a smart player. He would provide an immediate boost to a woeful secondary.
Cleveland Browns (From Philadelphia) - Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech
Getting Myles Garrett and Patrick Mahomes in the first round would be a dream for the Browns. Patrick Mahomes may have one of the highest ceilings of any quarterback prospect in the last few years. Mahomes is not only a good athlete, but has an absolute rocket arm and is a very smart, cerebral football player. Coming from Texas Tech's offense creates a steeper learning curve, but players have come from spread offenses before to succeed in the NFL. Mahomes would be awesome under Hue Jackson's tutelage and would finally give the Browns a talent signal caller.
Arizona Cardinals- Malik McDowell, Defensive Line, Michigan State
The Cardinals could stand to draft some secondary help, but with Calais Campbell likely leaving, they need to upgrade their defensive line. Malik McDowell is a raw player, but has incredible size, upside and versatility. After drafting Robert Nkedmiche last year, the Cardinals will have two high upside defensive linemen who could anchor their defense for years to come.
Philadelphia Eagles (From Minnesota - Sidney Jones, Cornerback, Washington
While there is a temptation to draft a receiver, running back or pass rusher here, the value of a top cornerback in this defense cannot be overstated. Jones comes from a program with great pedigree for secondary defenders and he himself is a technically sound ballhawk with very good athletic ability. The Eagles could use three new corners which is why drafting Jones is such a no brainer. The dependability he will bring in the defensive backfield will make the entire defense better.
Indianapolis Colts- Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn
The Colts need to get physical on the defensive side of the ball and are in desperate need of a pass rusher. Carl Lawson is one of the more technically sound defenders in this class and had a strong combine to secure his status as a good prospect in this class. He can immediately impact the Colts defense in a positive way and, if healthy, should be a productive pro for years to come.
Baltimore Ravens - Forrest Lamp, Offensive Line, WKU
Forrest Lamp can player wherever on the offensive line and be a star player. Some teams want him inside due to short arms, but he showed that he has the athletic ability and technique to succeed on the edge. The Ravens lost a great guard last offseason in Kelechi Osemele and are likely losing another very good player in Ricky Wagner. Adding Lamp gives them flexibility on their line and a future Pro-Bowl starter at whatever position they need him at.
Washington - Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
While the Washington offense is in flux with Kirk Cousins on the trade block and the top two wide receivers bound to leave in free agency, they could stand to add a new cornerstone on that side of the ball. Fournette is a proven bell cow back who has the size and speed to take over football games. Who knows what the Washington offense will look like next year, but putting Fournette behind that line would do wonders for keeping the team competitive.
Tennessee Titans - Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
The Titans need help in their secondary, period. Kevin Byard and Da'Norris Searcy are not getting it done at the safety position. Malik Hooker is a raw, but gifted ballhawk. He is relatively new to playing defense, but his athletic background and slash plays are enough to get excited about him. He will have his mental errors, but the turnovers he can create cannot be understated in their importance.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Cordrea Tankersly, Cornerback, Clemson
Cordrea Tankersly has been one of the best cornerbacks in this class for a while, but finally got people to notice after doing well at the combine. While he is an older prospect, he is a very clean man cover cornerback with good athletic ability and ball skills. The Bucs could use some athleticism in their secondary and after releasing Alteraun Verner, going after a starting cornerback int he draft is a no brainer.
Denver Broncos - Zach Cunningham, Linebacker, Vanderbilt
The Broncos defense took a bit hit last year after losing Danny Trevathan to free agency. It was noticeable the drop off at linebacker talent. Zach Cunningham is an intelligent, physical player who is dependable against the pass and is an outstanding run defender. He will help solidify a rebranding Broncos defense.
Detroit Lions - Hasson Reddick, Linebacker, Temple
It is not locked in what Reddick will play in the NFL, but he is a damn good football player regardless. He would be best playing off the ball linebacker who is blitzed from time to time, which is why he would be a great fit on the Detroit defense. He provides not only an intelligent, athletic player at linebacker, but also a dynamic moveable chess piece on their defense.
Miami Dolphins - David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
The Dolphins had a great first season under Adam Gase and the offense looks close to being very impressive unit. David Njoku is one of the most physically gifted players in this class and allowing him to run in the middle of the field will make the Dolphins offense hard to defend. Him stretching the field down the seam will give Jarvis Landry more room to run underneath and improve the running game. Gase has experience utilizing these types of players, so his fit is logical.
New York Giants - Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
I would go ballistic if this actually happened. Adding a dynamic, dual threat running back like Christian McCaffrey to the Giants offense would be deadly. McCaffrey is a true running back who can win in-between or outside the tackles, but he is also an outstanding weapon on third down. He would give the Giants their bet running back since Tiki Barber and finally give them some balance after a few years of leaning heavily on the passing game.
Oakland Riaders - Curtis Samuel, OW, Ohio State
I have no idea where teams want Curtis Samuel in the NFL. I personally think he is an outstanding running back, but there is no doubt he can be a game changing wide receiver. The Raiders could be in the market for a running back during this draft, but could also use a third option in their passing game. Curtis Samuel would give them a moveable weapon on offense a la Tyreek Hill and he will create offense for them wherever he lines up.
Houston Texans - Obi Melifonwu, Safety, UConn
The Texans have one of the better defenses in the league, but adding an athletic, versatile safety to their secondary would never hurt. Melifonwu has the athleticism to be an elite cover safety, but also has the size and physicality to play closer to the line of scrimmage. Getting him this late in the draft feels like it would be a steal at this point.
Seattle Seahawks - Taylor Moton, Tackle, WMU
It is evergreen that the Seahawks need to improve their offensive line. Taylor Moton is an awesome tackle with good athletic ability and size. He would immediately upgrade the Seattle line and finally give Russell Wilson some breathing room on his drop backs.
Kansas City Chiefs - Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Kansas City
It would be very like Andy Reid to grab a pass catching running back who fell due to character concerns and a poor combine. Dalvin is still a very good prospect, but he continues to create more questions for himself than answers during this draft process. With the Chiefs letting Jamaal Charles walk, Cook is logical replacement as the new lead back in Kansas City.
Dallas Cowboys - Jonathan Allen, Defensive Line, Alabama
I have long be skeptical of people calling Jon Allen a top level defensive line prospect. After a poor combine, he confirmed a lot of concerns I had. However, he is still a good defensive line prospect, just not a generational one. Allen's high motor, upper body strength and flawless, consistent technique will make him a solid NFL and versatile defender. The Cowboys desperately need a boost to their defensive line, so getting Allen here would be a nice value pic for them.
Green Bay Packers - Kevin King, Cornerback, Washington
The Packers had an abysmal secondary last year and are in need of athletes on the back end of their defense. Kevin King has great size and ball skills, but also tested incredibly well at the combine. The Packers tend to stick to various measurement thresholds at the cornerback position and King passes all of them. He will be an immediate upgrade on the perimeter for them.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama
Williams is another prospect who really hurt his stock at the combine. However, it is hard not to see a very good football player when you turn on Alabama games. However, poor testing combined with very loud whispers about off the field concerns will not do a prospect very well. However, Mike Tomlin's coaching staff always does well with these types of situations and the Pittsburgh need for an edge rusher makes this marriage logical, if not likely.
Atlanta Falcons - Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennesee
Derek Barnett is not a great athlete, but he is a damn good football player. He has a relentless motor, awesome technique, heavy hands and a good first step. The Falcons love physical players on the defensive side of the ball and Barnett playing across from Vic Beasley will give the Falcons the pass rushing weapons to avoid late game defensive collapses (not like those have every happened to the Falcons).
New England Patriots - Raekwon McMillan, Linebacker, Ohio State
After trading Jamie Collins, the Patriots needed a linebacker. Now, with Donta Hightower possibly leaving in free agency, the Patriots definitely need a linebacker. Raekwon McMillan is a well built athlete in the middle of a defense. Even more importantly for an inside linebacker, he is incredibly intelligent and physical. His consistency and dependability against the run and pass makes him a perfect Bill Belichick player.
FINAL NOTE: If a player you like is not in here, it has nothing to do with this being a historically deep class and everything to do with me hating your favorite player and being a massive idiot.