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KIPER: HELP ON THE WAY FOR VIC BEASLEY - 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0


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Beasley took a huge leap in Year 2, but Atlanta needs more pass rush, especially with Dwight Freeney retiring. Luckily, it's a good draft for that, Mel Kiper Jr. writes.

 

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2017 NFL draft has passed, and the field is set. That means it's time for Mock Draft 1.0.

A few reminders:

  • NFL teams are still early in their evaluations. No team has a draft board yet, and we still have to get through postseason all-star games, combine testing, medicals, pro days and individual workouts.

  • There's a long time until the draft, and we have to get through free agency before we truly know each team's needs. That's why several of these picks are based on who I think is the best player available. In some cases, I have identified a few needs that could be targeted. 

Any questions? Good. Off we go.

Note: One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore.


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1. Cleveland Browns

*Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

 

Garrett is the top prospect on my Big Board, and he's a premier pass-rushing talent who had 32.5 sacks in three seasons for the Aggies. The Browns are in the beginning stages of a rebuild, and Garrett would be a foundational piece. Keep an eye on a potential trade down from Cleveland, though, as it did last year out of the No. 2 spot. The Browns want to keep acquiring picks. They could also fall in love with one of the talented but green quarterbacks.

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2. San Francisco 49ers

*Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

This isn't a strong draft for quarterbacks. Trubisky is the best QB in the draft, but he's only No. 16 on my Big Board. He has only one season of collegiate starting experience, completing 68.2 percent of his passes with 30 touchdown passes and six interceptions. The 49ers still don't have a general manager or coach, and Colin Kaepernick could be on his way out.

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3. Chicago Bears

Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

Allen, who had 22.5 sacks over the past two seasons, could play defensive end or defensive tackle in the NFL. Positional flexibility is a big selling point, and he'd likely play end in the Bears' 3-4 in this scenario. He was one of the best players in college football in 2016. The Bears had a disappointing 2016 season and have needs across the board, including at quarterback, safety and potentially receiver, depending on what happens with free agent Alshon Jeffery.

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4. Jacksonville Jaguars

*Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Adams is built for today's NFL as a versatile safety who can play in the box effectively, make tackles against the run and move to the edges and track slot receivers. Jacksonville hit on a couple of defenders in the 2016 draft (Jalen Ramsey and Yannick NgakoueMyles Jack is still an unknown), but the Jags need more help.

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5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)

*Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

One of the stars in the Tigers' national title game win, Williams finished the season with 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's the top wideout in this draft. Marcus Mariota could use a deep threat and chain-mover -- Williams was fifth in the country in 2016 with 60 catches that resulted in first downs.

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6. New York Jets

**Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Lattimore is another first-year starter who jumped to the top of my cornerback rankings with a stellar season. A hamstring injury limited his time on the field in Columbus in 2014 and 2015. Speed, size (6-foot-1, 190) -- he has all the traits to be a star. Darrelle Revis could be on his way out with the Jets -- or move to safety -- and Lattimore would slide into his spot on Day 1.

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7. Los Angeles Chargers

*Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

This isn't a great class for top-tier blindside protectors, but Robinson is at the top of the list, though I think his best skill -- run-blocking -- means he'd be better as a right tackle at the next level. A three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, he's a known commodity in the NFL. The Chargers ranked in the bottom third of the league in rushing (3.8 yards per carry, 94.4 yards per game) in 2016, and tackles Joe Barksdale and King Dunlap have underwhelmed.

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8. Carolina Panthers

*Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

This is really the first spot I see that could be a good fit for Fournette, barring a trade up. He's a special athlete with an incredible combination of size (6-1, 235), speed and power, but he won't get a grade as high as I gave Ezekiel Elliott last year. Elliott went No. 4 in 2016, but backs have been devalued in recent years -- he was the only back taken in the first round. Jonathan Stewart turns 30 this year and averaged only 3.8 yards per carry in 2016.

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9. Cincinnati Bengals

**Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Thomas, one of the biggest risers of the year, had eight sacks in 2016. At 6-3, 270, he could move inside and play tackle, too. The Bengals need pass-rushing help -- they had only 33 total sacks in a disappointing 2016 -- and this is a good draft for edge rushers.

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10. Buffalo Bills

*Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

I'm a believer in franchises with new head coaches starting fresh with new quarterbacks, and it appears likely the Bills move on from Tyrod Taylor after hiring Sean McDermott. That leaves Buffalo with a huge hole and a top-10 pick to fill it. I wrote last week that I didn't think Watson would get a post-title game draft bounce, but I've heard differently from people around the NFL. Though he had an up-and-down season -- and threw 17 interceptions -- Watson is extremely talented. He's the second quarterback off the board in this projection, ahead of Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer.

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11. New Orleans Saints

Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama

Foster is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. At 6-1, 240 pounds, he has stellar range, runs sideline to sideline and is a complete linebacker. He's a terrific blitzer, too, and recorded five sacks in 2016. The Saints need defensive help -- 2015 first-round pick Stephone Anthony played just 127 defensive snaps this season. 

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12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)

*Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

After picking Myles Garrett No. 1, this would give the Browns two prospects in the top five of my Big Board. Cook is a speedy home-run hitter who rushed for 4,464 yards and had 48 total touchdowns in three seasons for the Seminoles. Cleveland also could look at an offensive lineman, cornerback or linebacker.

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13. Arizona Cardinals

*Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Tabor, my No. 2 cornerback, is a playmaker who had eight interceptions -- with three returned for touchdowns -- the past two seasons. Arizona struggled to find a No. 2 corner opposite Patrick Peterson all of 2016, and in Tabor the Cardinals would get a guy who could step in and start on Day 1. Arizona could take a look at a pass-rusher, too, depending on what happens with free agents Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones.

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14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings)

*Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

That Florida secondary was loaded the past few seasons with Wilson, Tabor and 2016 first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III. Wilson is right there with Tabor on my board. He's a little bigger (6-1, 213) than Tabor (6-0, 201) and has good ball skills and instincts. This is a spot in which the Eagles need immediate help.

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15. Indianapolis Colts

Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

dominant speed rusher, McKinley gave Pac-12 offensive tackles nightmares in 2016. He took a big leap as a senior with 10 sacks, going from fringe prospect to first-rounder. At 6-2, 240 pounds, he's not huge, but his explosion off the line is suited for today's NFL. Indianapolis needs playmakers on defense, and McKinley is a great fit.

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16. Baltimore Ravens

**Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

The Harbaugh connection is interesting here. Who has better intel on Peppers than his college coach, Jim Harbaugh? And Jim's brother, John, is the Ravens' coach. Peppers is a fantastic talent, but he's a tweener and is more of a rover back. He could be an in-the-box safety or linebacker who helps in run support and goes out and covers slot receivers and tight ends. The right team will get creative with him and get a star playmaker.

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17. Washington Redskins

**Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Hooker was the best center-field-type safety I saw this season -- he has incredible speed and range and was all over the field for the Buckeyes. He had seven interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. Washington could also have a need at wide receiver, even after taking Josh Doctson in the first round last year. Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are both free agents. Keep an eye on a pass-rusher here, too.

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18. Tennessee Titans

**Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

I've mentioned this before, but 2017 could be the year of the third-year sophomore. Humphrey is the fifth such player I listed in the first round. A hamstring injury slowed him down toward the end of the 2016 season, but he's an outstanding prospect with great size (6-1, 196). The Titans have two first-round picks -- I gave them Mike Williams at No. 5 -- and cornerback should be a spot they target. 

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19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Charlton plays with good leverage for his height (6-5) and has active hands and an incredible wingspan. I'm curious what he'll measure at the combine. He can play on his feet, too, which means he could fit in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. The Bucs took Noah Spence in the second round last year, and he improved in their 4-3 as the season progressed (5.5 sacks). Charlton would be a great pick.

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20. Denver Broncos

*Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

Bolles started only one season for the Utes after coming over from a junior college, but he was tremendous. He has nice feet and can drive defenders off the ball at 6-5, 300 pounds. Denver has to get some help at tackle in order to get back on top of an AFC West that features two games every season against Justin HoustonKhalil Mack and Joey BosaRussell Okung has a team option at $11.7 million, and Donald Stephenson had a poor first season with the Broncos.

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21. Detroit Lions

Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

Williams (6-4, 250) is a fantastic pass-rushing talent who can be unblockable at times. He had 19.5 sacks the past two seasons. Williams would have to put on some weight to play end in a 4-3, but his talent is undeniable. The Lions were second to last in sacks in 2016 (26), and Ezekiel Ansah had only two after a breakout 2015 season in which he had 14.5. This is a clear need, especially with few pass-rushers available in free agency. 

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22. Miami Dolphins

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

As a steady and reliable linebacker with a nose for the football, Davis' versatility stands out. He could play inside or outside linebacker at the next level, though he's not a guy who will get 10 sacks on the outside in a 3-4. He can be an every-down guy. 

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23. New York Giants

*Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

Picking another tackle would allow the Giants to move 2015 top-10 pick Ereck Flowers over to the right side -- he struggled in 2016. Ramczyk, who has had an amazing path to the NFL, is a 6-6, 314-pound road grader with all the traits of an NFL starter, but he's not a talent on the level of former Badger Joe Thomas(who is?). New York could also target a pass-rusher or tight end (none are off the board so far).

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24. Oakland Raiders

*Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

How can a team with Khalil Mack rank last in the league in sacks? That happened this season -- he had 11 and the rest of the defense had 14. McDowell had only 7.5 sacks in his career, but the talent is there to produce much more in the NFL. He's a tremendous athlete with a 6-6, 290-pound frame who is still raw. One position to keep an eye on: running back. Latavius Murray is a free agent, and this class is loaded.

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25. Houston Texans

*Budda Baker, S, Washington

Baker, the fourth safety off the board so far, is a dynamic athlete with a small frame -- he's only 5-10, 173. He was a tackling machine for the Huskies, and he had two picks and three sacks in 2016. Quintin Demps is a free agent, and the Texans need to upgrade their defensive backfield.

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26. Seattle Seahawks

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

The Seahawks like big corners, and Tankersley (6-1, 190) fits their style as a guy who could hold up opposite Richard Sherman, and DeShawn Shead's knee injury opens up a spot. Tankersley had nine interceptions over his last two seasons and was a big part of the Tigers' success. Seattle will be in the market for offensive linemen, too, but I don't have much first-round talent available here at No. 26. There's still a long time until draft day, however.

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27. Kansas City Chiefs

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Chiefs' top pass-catchers in 2016 were a tight end (Travis Kelce) and rookie fifth-round pick who was better known for his return skills (Tyreek Hill). Davis was one of the most productive wideouts in the country during his career at Western Michigan, catching 331 passes for 5,278 yards and 52 touchdowns. He has ideal size (6-2, 212) and length to be a great NFL wideout. Kansas City has an interesting offseason ahead -- it doesn't have a ton of cap room, and it has to find a way to bring back top free agents Eric Berry and Dontari Poe.

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28. Dallas Cowboys

*Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Jones, a three-year starter for the Huskies, is the sixth corner off the board. At 6-1, 170, he's agile and fast with nice ball skills. He had nine interceptions in his career. Dallas has a glaring need at defensive end, but don't count out a corner here. Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are free agents.

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29. Green Bay Packers

*Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

McCaffrey fits what the Packers want on offense. He's versatile like college quarterback-turned-receiver Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery, who switched to running back in 2016. McCaffrey can return kicks, catch the ball out of the backfield -- he's dynamic with the ball in his hands. The Packers have a few needs on defense, but running back Eddie Lacy is a free agent, and they don't have an internal replacement.

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30. Pittsburgh Steelers

*Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri

Harris had an up-and-down 2016 with nine sacks and two forced fumbles, but his ceiling his high. In this scenario, Harris (6-3, 255) would be an outside linebacker in the Steelers' 3-4, but he could play end in a 4-3 or even move inside to rush the passer from a tackle spot. Pass-rushers Jarvis Jones (a 2013 first-round pick) and James Harrison (who turns 39 this summer) will be free agents.

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31. Atlanta Falcons

*Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Barnett (6-3, 265) is the eighth defensive end or outside linebacker to go in my first round -- this is a great class for pass-rushers. He is an all-around defender who beats double-teams and makes plays in the running game, and he's versatile enough to play in a 4-3 or 3-4. The light came on for Vic Beasley Jr. in Year 2 in the NFL, but his 15.5 sacks accounted for 45.5 percent of the Falcons' total in 2016. He needs some help. 

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32. New England Patriots

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Howard, my top-ranked tight end, had only seven touchdowns in his four-year career, but three came in national title games. The Crimson Tide didn't use Howard (6-6, 250) much in the passing game, and he could be more productive in the NFL. He can stretch the deep middle of the field and be a dynamic weapon. New England's No. 2 tight end, Martellus Bennett, could get a big deal in free agency this offseason, and it's too early to tell how Rob Gronkowski's back injury will heal. Another tight end to keep an eye on here: David Njoku, a talented and athletic guy from Miami (Florida) who had a great junior season.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2017/insider/story/_/id/18503986/2017-nfl-mock-draft-10-round-1-mel-kiper

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18 minutes ago, papachaz said:

am I the only one who noticed kiper says Freeney is retiring? I think it could go down after he gets another ring with us, then again, maybe he wants one more and will be back with us for next year 

 

Definitely not. It'll be just like Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis, Jerome Bettis, etc., who get a ring and go out on top.

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3 minutes ago, BIRDLAND 2.0 said:

Uhhh, Mel adjust that pick, chief. I guess he questions the D too. Boys will prove em ALL wrong.

^^^

30 minutes ago, Intellectually Honest said:

At least he thinks the Falcons are making it to the SB.

Lol very true haha

50 minutes ago, caponine said:

Lmao I knew someone would catch that 31 or 30 lol 

Didn't even care about the 'pic' haha just wanted to see which slot he had us pegged for. And sure enough wasn't 32 lol

51 minutes ago, fuego said:

Well that was better than I expected. lol.

Somehow even though we are in the nfccg I figured a lower slot..ya know..just because media hates to give up credit lmaooo

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D-line works for me and as usual I will count heavily on my TATF Brothers and Sisters to feed me info on the incoming draft class since I absolutely have no interest, or knowledge of college football.

BTW how is it that I can never ever get any mod to give me permission to post in the Pure Football thread?  Is my breath that bad?

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