By: Zach Metkler, GZ Sports Report WriterFollow @GZSports_ZM
After months of anticipation, today is the day: the 2017 NFL Draft. Tonight, one of the biggest events of the NFL offseason will begin for everyone to see what players their team will select. This draft is bound to be exciting for teams and fans alike.
So without further ado…
Cleveland, you are on the clock.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M -There has been internal talk about whether to take Garrett or Trubisky #1. The choice should be simple: take the guy that can be your defensive cornerstone for the next decade.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford -The 49ers need a pass-rusher in the worst way. Thomas goes a long way in helping that as this year’s Garrett-lite.
3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU – Adams would fill a major need in the Bears’ secondary for years to come. From day 1, his athleticism and hard-hitting nature would be a welcome change in Chicago.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – After dumping huge chunks of money into improving their defense, the Jaguars will likely look to the draft to add talent on offense. Fournette provides greater talent and upside than Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon and would take a lot of pressure off of Blake Bortles.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State – Even with the addition of Logan Ryan, the Titans could use an upgrade at cornerback. Rumors for weeks have been linking Lattimore to the Titans, which makes sense as he would give the Titans an athletic corner to fill the hole opposite of Ryan.
6. Cleveland Browns (Trade from New York Jets): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina – Here it is: the one trade I could realistically see happening. The Browns have contacted at least 3 teams about moving up and the Jets have expressed interest in potentially trading back out of the top 10. If the Browns want Trubisky, they will likely need to trade up for him. Talk of him being drafted by the Jets has cooled off substantially, meaning that if he were available at #10, the Bill would likely try to pounce or other teams would try to trade up to prevent the Browns from selecting him. This trade makes too much sense and the Browns get their guy.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State – The Chargers are still figuring out how to overcome the loss of Eric Weddle last offseason. Malik Hooker is this year’s best coverage safety and would step in as a day 1 starter in a weak Chargers secondary.
8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – The Panthers would love to have Fournette, but they reportedly love McCaffrey. The do-it-all player would give the Panthers options in both the run game and the pass game. Matching McCaffrey with ultimate dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton would be out of this world and would create headaches for defensive coordinators everywhere.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama – The Bengals defensive line needs a major infusion in talent. Expect the Bengals to take the “best player available” approach, which means that Allen would not only fill a major need, but would give them the best value pick at this point in the first round.
10. Buffalo Bills: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – While I might disagree with it, reports from scouts indicate that the Bills are committed to taking a quarterback early. With little draft picks, they don’t have much ammunition to trade up and select Trubisky. But there is a high likelihood that Watson will still be available at #10 and they have expressed major interest in the former National Champion.
11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama – The Saints could use a pass-rusher or a cornerback, but they have not hidden their love of Foster. All off-the-field issues aside, Foster is one of the top 5 prospects in this draft and would give the Saints a huge boost on defense (something that they majorly need).
12. New York Jets (Trade from Cleveland Browns): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama – After trading back in the 1st round to add more picks, the Jets have the opportunity to add a huge playmaker on offense in the form of O.J. Howard. If you’re convinced that Braedon Bowman is the answer for the Jets offense, you are sadly mistaken.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech – Carson Palmers’ days in the NFL are certainly numbered, as retirement is not far away. Mahomes would give the Cardinals a big-armed quarterback to groom for a year behind Palmer before taking over in year 2.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State – There is no denying Conley’s talent on the field, but off the field issues could derail his stock. Some GM’s now believe that he could fall to the 3rd round, but I believe some teams will look past this. The Eagles could be one of these teams, who desperately need help in the secondary.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee – The Colts could also look at taking a running back here, but the Colts defense (and pass-rush) is abysmal. Barnett is one of the most natural pass-rushers in this class and could make up for the Colts’ prior short-comings in the draft.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan – The Ravens reportedly want to add an edge rusher in the 1st round and if a player like Charlton is available, this pick would be a dream come true for them. Charlton has the potential to be a standout pass-rusher in the NFL.
17. Washington Redskins: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple – This is a dream come true for the Redskins, who have not been shy about their love of Reddick. As one of the biggest risers this offseason, Reddick could very well be gone by #17 but if he’s available, expect the Redskins to run to the podium (if they don’t try to trade up for him first).
18. Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson – The Titans are expected to add one of the top receivers in the draft at #18 and in this scenario, they have the chance to add THE top receiver. Williams would give Marcus Mariota a dangerous threat in the pass game with the potential of becoming a perennial Pro Bowler in the NFL.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado – Dalvin Cook could easily be the pick here, but his stock has taken a hit over the last month and teams reportedly don’t feel comfortable selecting him in the 1st round. The Buccaneers have expressed interest in Awuzie, who could sneak into the 1st round much like Artie Burns did last year. Don’t be fooled, though: Awuzie is a major talent.
20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin – The Broncos would like to add talent on offense, but instead will look to bolster their offensive line. Ramczyk possesses great upside and could slide into the starting lineup as a rookie and grow from there.
21. Detroit Lions: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – Part of me wanted to put David Njoku here, which very likely could happen. However, if a talent like Davis is still available, the Lions would be wise to add him. He would give the Lions a reliable vertical threat to pair with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. While it might not make the most sense due to other team needs, this pick would be based largely off of value.
22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky – Guard might not be a sexy pick, but the Dolphins’ offensive line needs help. Lamp could step in day one and give an already potent run game an even bigger boost, while helping to keep Ryan Tannehill on his feet.
23. New York Giants: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah -Ereck Flowers has been a decent player for the Giants, but hasn’t looked that comfortable at left tackle. Selecting a player like Bolles could give the Giants an option on the left side with pretty solid upside.
24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida – Davis has creeped his way into 1st-round consideration over the last month and reports indicate that the Raiders love the athletic inside linebacker. He would help against the run, but more importantly would shore up their coverage woes over the middle and in the flats.
25. Houston Texans: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama – After missing out on the quarterback sweepstakes in the top-15, the Texans could begin a run on the top-tier cornerbacks that are still available at this point. Humphrey fits a lot of what the Texans like to do and would give them a big, athletic corner.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida – With all of the question marks surrounding the future of the Legion of Boom (or whatever is left of it), the Seahawks will likely look to add a cornerback of the future. Wilson would give them a big, physical defensive back that would fit right at home in Seattle.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame -The Chiefs have been invested in examining this year’s quarterback class. Kizer has some question marks surrounding him and the Chiefs would much rather have Mahomes, but Kizer gives them an option to develop behind the aging Alex Smith. They did try to trade up to select Paxton Lynch last year, after all.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Kevin King, CB, Washington – The Cowboys need a pass-rusher in the worst way, but their secondary is extremely depleted. Adding a player like King would give them a versatile 6’3″ corner that the team will reportedly target in the 1st round.
29. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Watt, EDGE, Wisconsin -The Packers were able to retain Nick Perry this offseason, but adding another body on defense that could potentially play outside and inside would be a good idea. Watt gets the nod here.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA -You have been hearing this for a while now: the Steelers need pass-rushing help. McKinley is one of the most natural 3-4 outside linebackers in this class and he could be the heir apparent to James Harrison.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri – Forrest Lamp is the dream here, but the odds of him lasting this far are slim-to-none at this point. Instead, the Falcons add a versatile pass-rusher that can play with his hand in the dirt or in a two-point stance. Harris could develop into a nice compliment to Khalil Mack.
32. New Orleans Saints: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU – After adding Foster earlier in the 1st-round, the Saints will look to solidify their secondary by adding local prospect. While the team would love to get Malcom Butler from the Patriots, that doesn’t appear like that is going to happen at this point. White could help alleviate that pain.
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