2017 Oregon Sports News Staff Mock Draft

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Welcome to NFL Draft Week! This is the week where dreams are made, hope is at an all-time high in the league, and there is always a surprise or two along the way.

This week the OSN staff got together to do a cumulative mock draft. Eight writers each took a specific division and drafted for the 4 teams in their respective divisions. Each writer brought a different angle and level of expertise to the table.

While there is no telling how the rollercoaster 3-day event will unfold in Philadelphia this weekend, check out how we see the 1st Round going on Thursday!

1 – Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Doug Mackar – “The best player in the draft. Garrett is a potential All-Pro talent that will have an immediate impact. A move in the draft order may allow the Browns to snatch up a QB early in the first round, but #1 this year is all about the defense. A QB isn’t going to help the second worst defense in the league; an elite pass rusher with the ability to play DE, or LB if needed, will. Garrett has the quickness, skill and power to beat the best O-linemen off the snap. Any team would be happy to have this talent on board. The Browns should be absolutely ecstatic.”

2 – San Francisco 49ers – DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Jason Hartzog – “The 49ers need to add talent all across the board. I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade the number 2 pick – trading down a few spots while adding some picks. Their biggest need is at the QB position, but they will remain patient and wait for the right guy. The 49ers will highly consider corner Marshon Lattimore (injury history brings up a red flag) and Mitch Trubisky (not sold on as the future QB), but ultimately take the best talent that they can put on the field in Thomas. Thomas has a high motor. He’s very versatile, he can play inside or outside. He will help improve their front line wherever the 49ers decide to play him.”

3 – Chicago Bears – CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

Casey Mabbott – “Chicago needs a lot of help on both sides of the ball and could use the pick to add a playmaker to their #28 ranked scoring offense, but in order to keep pace with opponents in a pass heavy league, they need to keep adding on defense. This team gave up more points than 23 other teams in the league, that’s not going to get the job done as their offense goes through a massive transition. Lattimore is a pro-ready defender with great instincts who will add an immediate impact to a position of need, the Bears can’t ask for much more from a top-5 pick.”

4 – Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

Simon Teska – “The Jaguars have done a good job in recent years wasting top-10 picks on defensive lineman (that haven’t really panned out to be much) in an attempt to fix their perennial problems at DT and DE. Well enough of that crap. They haven’t had a legitimate RB since MJD took over for Fred Taylor. Fournette is the best back on the board and he geographically played close to the Jaguars fan base – although at SEC rival -Florida. Still though, Jaguars, don’t do anything stupid.”

5 – Tennessee Titans – S Malik Hooker, Ohio State

Simon Teska – “Ohio state players seem to be popular throughout all seven rounds of the draft every year and the Titans are throwing it back to 1996 when they took Eddie George out of OSU. This year, they look to add excitement on the defensive side of the ball.”

6 – New York Jets – QB DeShaun Watson, Clemson

Miriam Ludlow – “Established leadership and wins under his belt. Excellent pocket passer. He has championship experience. Meaning he can handle the pressures of the game. This is THE match as the NYJ are lacking QB talent.”

7 – Los Angeles Chargers – S Jamal Adams, LSU

Julian Rogers – “The Chargers have seen the past few seasons go up in smoke due to offensive line woes. Pro Football Focus ranked the Chargers’ line ahead of only the Seattle Seahawks’. They would love to go offensive line here, but the value just isn’t there. Instead, they’ll take the best player still available in Adams and add another piece to an impressive, young & ascending defense.”

8 – Carolina Panthers – RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Darby Marioth – “With Leonard Fournette off the board, the Carolina Panthers settle, which I say with a grain of salt, for Stanford offensive Swiss army knife, Christian McCaffrey. While he may not be the speedy bulldozer that Fournette is, McCaffrey has a lot to show in terms of athletic ability, including a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 37.5 inch vertical leap. Where McCaffrey has Fournette unarguably beat is with his overall instincts. His ability to consistently find the correct lane is a prime example of this. A big reason why McCaffrey will fit in great with Carolina’s system is that he’s a sneaky-footed RB with a pass-catching ability that surpasses a great deal of wide receivers in the NFL. With the Panthers’ receiving corps in shambles and starting RB Jonathan Stewart only getting older at age 30, they’ll take out two birds with one stone by selecting McCaffrey.”

9 – Cincinnati Bengals – DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Doug Mackar – “Strengthening the D-line could take this team from average to fighting for a playoff spot. At 6’3”, he’ll need to take full advantage of his strength and quickness to compete with pro-level offensive lines. Solid against the run and an absolute nuisance to opposing quarterbacks, his speed will allow him to make plays outside the pocket that larger linemen may miss. Allen is a leader, a winner, and most importantly: a proven talent under pressure.”

10 – Buffalo Bills – S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Miriam Ludlow – “A multifaceted player, the man can play all positions, offense, defense and special teams. The man can do it all! For a team that needs help in all positions he is the perfect match!”

11 – New Orleans Saints – DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

Darby Marioth – “Wait, Derek Barnett is still available? It’s a match made in heaven. The New Orleans Saints are in dire need of a dependable edge rusher, and have been for many years. Barnett is specifically known for his freakish ability to stop the run and put terror into the lives of quarterbacks despite his not-so-freakish physical marks at 6’3”, 259 pounds. Not only will Barnett provide an instant three-down talent in the league, I fully expect him to end the season with more recorded sacks than first-overall draft pick, Myles Garrett.”

12 – Cleveland Browns – TE O.J. Howard, Alabama

Doug Mackar – “Howard will fit in with a team that despite a 1-15 record (that actually hurts to write) actually showed some signs of life throughout the season. Another elite TE will help the QB-starved Browns find some yards with more consistency both in the air and on the ground.”

13 – Arizona Cardinals – WR Mike Williams, Clemson

Jason Hartzog – “Williams is a top tier talent. He makes big plays down the field and can make plays between the hash marks. He’s a potential number 1 receiver. He passes the eye test with his athleticism, size and speed. He can come in next to Larry Fitzgerald and maintain their high powered offense. Eventually Williams will replace an aging Fitzgerald as their number 1. Cardinals are thrilled to see him drop to 13 here.”

14 – Philadelphia Eagles – WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan

Garrett Thornton – “The Eagles would absolutely love Christian McCaffrey here. Instead they go with another offensive playmaker. A lot of folks think that with the acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith that the Eagles won’t take a receiver here. False. Jeffery and Smith are on one year deals and Davis is a game changer. This guy can, and will, be a true number one receiver in the NFL.”

15 – Indianapolis Colts – OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin

Simon Teska – “It isn’t a flashy pick by any means, but somewhere on draft day Andrew Luck is breathing a sigh of relief. Christian McCaffrey has been off the board for a while, so they can find Frank Gore’s replacement later (sorry Dalvin Cook). O-line isn’t deep this year, but the Colts think they’ve got the best available and Ramczyk will either start right away or will certainly add depth to a group that needs it.”

16 – Baltimore Ravens – OT Cam Robinson, Alabama

Doug Mackar – “Alabama is taking the AFC North by storm in my draft. Simple fact is that Baltimore gets significantly better by adding Robinson to their line. By playing to his strengths and steadily improving on his weaknesses, the Ravens will have one less thing to worry about on their journey to top the Steelers in the North.”

17 – Washington Redskins – LB Haason Reddick, Temple

Garrett Thornton – “Haason Reddick is one of the most versatile prospects in this draft, and the Redskins would be shocked and excited if he were available at #17. Reddick could be a rush end, a stand up linebacker, or a hybrid pass rusher that can disrupt every play. The Redskins need playmakers in the front seven and Reddick would make an impact Week One.”

18 – Tennessee Titans – TE David Njoku, Miami

Simon Teska – “Now, it’s time for Marcus Mariota to add a weapon in the Titan offense. A WR, like Washington’s speedster John Ross is also here, but the versatility of Njoku at the tight end position gives Mariota a reliable, safety valve to help on those third downs while providing a deep threat in the middle of the field as well. He’s athletic, he’s fast and he can make an immediate impact in the Tennessee offense.”

19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State

Darby Marioth – “Dalvin Cook is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft. He’s bounced around various mock drafts, seen anywhere between the Philadelphia Eagles at 14 and the late second round. His major red flags haven’t been a result of his play, but rather his somewhat troubled past. In the words of Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, “Mistakes make you grow.” Cook is a classic “made it” story. Tampa Bay will be ecstatic to have Cook drop to them at the 19 spot. Tampa Bay’s old school offensive system, which relies on a feature back, is in need of a makeover with the underperforming, often injured Doug Martin running the show. Former Florida State standout and starting quarterback Jameis Winston will be a fantastic positive influence for Cook.”

20 – Denver Broncos – OT Garett Bolles, Utah

Julian Rogers – “A true need pick. The 2016 Broncos’ offensive line performance had as much to do with the team’s fall from Super Bowl Champion to also-ran just as much as poor quarterback play. The Broncos shored up one offensive tackle spot by bringing in oft-injured Menelik Watson from the Oakland Raiders. But the right tackle spot still needs major help with Pro Football Focus’ worst-ranked offensive lineman of all last year, Donald Stephenson. With Watson’s side not yet determined, according to general manager John Elway, Bolles will compete for a starting spot at either right or left tackle.”

21 – Detroit Lions – LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

Casey Mabbott – “The Lions could use quite a bit of help on defense and pass rushers or cover corners are legitimate needs, but what they lack most is a leader in the middle. Reuben Foster was outstanding in his senior year at Alabama, earning All-American and Butkus Award honors as college football’s best linebacker. Foster has had some off the field concerns, most recently being dismissed from the combine and failing a drug test. If he stays out of trouble, he has the potential to be a Patrick Willis type of player and could be the leader on the field for Detroit from day one. Taking Foster this early could be risky, but getting a legitimate top-10 talent this late in the round is an opportunity the Lions need to take a chance on.

22 – Miami Dolphins – DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

Miriam Ludlow -Solid DE. Quick off the line.  6’6, 277 pounds of athletic ability and with the experience he has, having lead Michigan with 9.5 sacks among 13 tackles for loss, Taco could help the Miami Dolphins get to the next level.

23 – New York Giants – QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

Garrett Thornton – “This is a case of best player available. Eli Manning is 36 years old and isn’t going to be around forever. Trubisky can sit behind Manning for the next couple years in a Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers type situation. This would be a phenomenal landing spot for Trubisky! The Giants really need an offensive tackle, but the top 3 are off the board so they go with a quarterback and future leader of the franchise.”

24 – Oakland Raiders – CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State

Julian Rogers – “If the draft really falls this way, the Raiders would be thrilled to nab Conley in this spot. Considered by some to be the equal of Ohio State Buckeye teammate Marshon Lattimore, Conley is the type of cornerback the Raiders like most: fast, tall, experienced (three-year starter), versatile and adept at press-man coverage. Instant starter.”

25 – Houston Texans – QB Pat Mahomes III, Texas Tech

Simon Teska – “With Trubisky off the board to the Giants, the Texans have to “settle” for in-state option Pat Mahomes. It really isn’t settling, however, as Mahomes brings in play-making ability to the QB position. Whether he starts right away is yet to be determined, but the sooner the Texans move on from the Brock Osweiler debacle the better. Mahomes is smart and shows poise, but is a little undersized at 6’2″.”

26 – Seattle Seahawks – OL Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky

Jason Hartzog – “The Seahawks need to bolster up an offensive line that gave up 42 sacks last season (6th most in NFL). Lamp should be a great addition. There has been trade talk of Richard Sherman this offseason. It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks with Sherman, but if that becomes more of a reality on draft day they may look a little hard into a corner. Washington’s Kevin King or Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey would be nice options at this point.”

27 – Kansas City Chiefs – DE Charles Harris, Missouri

Julian Rogers – “Harris is a bit of a conundrum in that he is lauded as an effective speed rusher, yet doesn’t sport a sexy 40 time (4.82). He will need to work on his run defense, but the in-state selection will be a nice addition to the Chiefs’ defense. They also could go cornerback or running back, but the draft is deep at those positions. The Chiefs will wait for later rounds to fill those needs.”

28 – Dallas Cowboys – DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

Garrett Thornton – “The Cowboys need secondary and pass rush help more than anything else in this draft. With cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Kevin King still on the board, I was tempted to go that way. In the end, I think cornerback is a deeper position and the Cowboys could get a quality starter in Round 2. Takk had an impressive combine, running a 4.59 40-yard dash. In comparison, that was faster than top wide receiver prospect Mike Williams, and faster than any top QB prospect in the draft. McKinley may not be ready Week One after a shoulder surgery post-combine, but will be a disruptive pass rusher as a rookie.”

29 – Green Bay Packers – CB Kevin King, Washington

Casey Mabbott – “Green Bay can score points as well as any team in the league, where they fall short is slowing down opposing offenses, and that’s putting it nicely. Last year’s starting corners did little to contain opposing receivers, routinely allowing career high numbers whether they faced all-pros or guys you’ve never heard of. A veteran corner would have been nice, but GM Ted Thompson did nothing to improve his #31 pass defense after releasing Sam Shields (who was not able to pass concussion protocol after suffering his 4th concussion in 7 seasons during a week one contest at Jacksonville), so the team will once again look to the draft for help. The Packers will have to hope that Kevin King will be something like UW alum Marcus Peters, and use his speed and length to provide an immediate impact to a secondary in desperate need of help.”

30 – Pittsburgh Steelers – S Josh Jones, North Carolina State

Doug Mackar – “The Steelers are a Super Bowl contender as long as they stay healthy. A dangerous team on both sides of the ball, taking their average pass defense up a notch is a priority this year. If Jones is coached well and quickly develops the discipline of a pro, he can step in and be a difference maker from game one.”

31 – Atlanta Falcons – DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State

Darby Marioth – “If the Atlanta Falcons can display their patience, you’ll see them select Jordan Willis at the 31 spot. Willis is an explosive, speedy defensive end who will make a living as a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. His physical numbers are best compared to DeMarcus Ware. His potential skill set is best compared to, well, DeMarcus Ware. If the Dirty Birds can provide Willis with some coaching on his hand usage and technique, they very well could have the NFL’s next great edge rusher on their team.”

32 – New Orleans Saints – DE T.J. Watt, Wisconsin

Darby Marioth – “There are a lot of great defensive ends in this year’s draft, and it’s only right that the first round of the draft ends the way it started; with the selection of a DE. T.J. Watt, brother of J.J. Watt, is ready to make a name for himself behind some pretty promising numbers. The 6’4”, 252 pound defensive menace could be an instant impact player in NO, who ranked 27th in the league in sacks last season. After selecting Derek Barnett earlier in the first round, you’d expect NO to look elsewhere. While the Saints could take a cornerback here, maybe LSU’s Tre’Davious White, I think that finding a definite answer for their horrendous pass rushing is a top priority. if this project pans out, the Saints could instantly become one of the NFL’s top edge pressure defenses.”

Top Ten Players Still Available After Day One (According to CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler):

1 – DL Malik McDowell, Michigan State (#20 Overall on Brugler’s Top-100)

2 – WR John Ross, Washington (#21)

3 – LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt (#24)

4 – RB Curtis Samuel, Ohio State (#25)

5 – LB Jarrad Davis, Florida (#26)

6 – CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama (#27)

7 – TE/WR Evan Engram, Ole Miss (#28)

8 – QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame (#29)

9 – CB Tre’Davious White, LSU (#32)

10 – S Budda Baker, Washington (#33)

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