by FF Mastermind's Michael Nazarek
2017 Mock Rookie Draft - Version I
Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
John Holler: 2/19/2016 (Free Sneak Peek) - The 2017 NFL draft is still more than two months away, but players are already looking to elevate their draft stock. It’s funny how the Combine works. Two, three or four years as a college starter can be put on the back burner with a great or a horrible showing at the Combine.
At this point, we’re looking at the combination of talent and need for teams. In March, as free agency creates and/or closes needs for teams, players will assuredly chance positions as stocks rise and fall. But, for now, here’s our first (but far from out last) look into the crystal ball as to what teams will select the stars of tomorrow on the opening night of the draft.
Note: The Los Angeles Rams don’t have a first-round pick (No. 5) due to the trade to draft Jared Goff last season and Minnesota doesn’t have a first-round pick as the result of the trade with Philadelphia that brought Sam Bradford to Minnesota last season. What pick that will end up being – either No. 14 or 15 – will be determined with a coin flip at the Combine with Indianapolis since both teams ended up with the same record and an identical strength of schedule in 2016.
1. Cleveland – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M. The automatic assumption is that the Browns are going to take a quarterback here, but, with two picks in the first round and the underlying sentiment that they will bring in Tyrod Taylor when his giant contract is voided by Buffalo, the goal for Cleveland is to land the best athlete available. The best pass rusher in the draft (32½ sacks in three years as a starter), Garrett is the biggest impact player at the top of the draft and makes logical sense for the Browns to snap up.
2. San Francisco – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina. With a new regime in San Fran, they likely are going to want to start the new program with their own QB. Clemson’s Deshawn Watson is the sexy choice to go here because his big-game experience and collegiate success, but Trubisky looks like a better fit in a Kyle Shanahan system. He reads progressions extremely well and had a 68.2 percent completion percentage last season. His 13 starts may be an issue, but if the Niners want him, they will work him out and know what they’re getting. If they opt to bring back Colin Kaepernick, they likely trade this pick.
3. Chicago – Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama. John Fox has spent two years dismantling the defense that was in place and he has the quickness to play end in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme. Quarterback is going to awfully tempting here because it looks like the Bears are moving on from Jay Cutler, but Allen may be too tempting to pass on given the immediate impact he could bring to Chicago’s defensive front.
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