This time of the year, mock drafts are popping up everywhere. The PhinPhanatic staff has decided to join the fray in predicting how the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft will unfold later this month.
Staff members selected the picks based on research from other teams needs. The order, a snake style similar to most fantasy leagues was used. Each staff members initials follow the picks analysis.
The order of the drraft: Brian Miller (BM), James Anderson (JA), Eric Frosbutter (EF), Tyler Olson (TO), Carlton Ray (CR), and Matthew Stevens (MS). All staff members made the Dolphins pick.
Pick #1 Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Analysis: There has been talk lately that the Browns are torn between Myles Garrett and Mitch Trubisky. Don’t buy what you hear. If the Browns play their cards right this year they could have two book-end defensive ends and still get Trubisky. The Browns are the only team in the NFL with enough picks the next two years to do what they want. Garrett makes the most sense for a team desperate for talent at the DE position. (BM)
Pick #2 San Francisco: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Analysis: The second best DE with the second pick. He was the top performer at the combine in four of the six exercises he completed. He did better at cones and the shuttle so me might be better eluding blockers than bull rushing in a straight line. The 49ers would get someone who would be perfect to scheme with. And scouts have stated he is a disruptor with a high motor. (JA)
Pick #3 Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama
Analysis: Ideally, the Bears would prefer to trade down in this situation to pick up additional picks. The team has a number of needs, but don’t expect them to select a QB early after signing Mike Glennon. They could go a number of ways with the third pick, and could really use some help in the secondary. The talent of a guy like Allen is too good to pass up, however, even if he didn’t have that great of a Combine. (EF)
Pick #4 Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Analysis: The Jacksonville Jaguars lost Jonathan Cyprien in free agency this offseason. They effectively replaced him with Barry Church on a 4 year, $26 million dollar contract but have an out in two years with $0 going towards the cap if they want to move on from him. Church will be 31 years old then. On the other side of the secondary, Tashaun Gipson should start in 2017 but Jamal Adams could change that. Teaming Adams up with Jalen Ramsey in the Jacksonville secondary could be scary for years to come. (TO)
Pick #5 Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Analysis: When you think of the Tennessee Titans, what do you think of? You should be thinking exotic smash-mouth offense, ground and pound, with two top running backs, a budding franchise quarterback, a good receiving tight end and a nasty offensive line. The only thing needed to make this a top-notch offense that no one wants to face is a target on the outside. In an offense like this, where you are not throwing the ball much, you want a big fast wide receiver, who can keep the safeties out of the box, and do a little blocking when needed. You don’t need a small possession receiver who needs the ball 10 times a game to be effective. The guy you want to pick is 6’4″, 218 pound Mike Williams, who NFL.com compares to Plaxico Burress, another wide receiver who was able to thrive in run first offenses. While the Titans have some needs on defense, this draft is supposed to be very deep on defense, so they can pick up some good defenders later on. (CR)
Pick #6 New York Jets: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Analysis: For the last 4 years, the Jets have used two 2nd round picks, a 4th and 6th round pick to try to fill their starting quarterback spot with no success. This year the team tries a more ’proactive’ approach. What Trubisky lacks in experience (13 career starts) he makes up for with potential. He possesses a good anticipation on throws, an NFL arm and the athleticism to be a dual threat in the NFL. He could use a year, or two, on the bench but probably won’t get it from a franchise that has lacked a capable starting QB since Chad Pennington. (MS)
Pick #7 Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Analysis: The loss of Eric Weddle to free agency last year left a gaping hole at free safety for the Chargers. Hooker is widely considered the top ‘play-making safety’ (7 INTs in 2016) in the draft. While his status as a one year starter is a little bit of a concern, there is no reason to think that Hooker couldn’t step in and start at Free Safety from day one in Los Angeles. (MS)
Pick #8: Carolina Panthers: Cam Robinson, G/T, Alabama
Analysis: People try to downgrade Cam Newton, but the fact is he is one of the most exciting and talented players in the league. He can run, throw, and dance with the best of them, but he can’t do anything when he’s getting buried by opposing pass rushers. After the super bowl a couple of years ago when Von Miller and the rest of the Broncos made Newton look pitiful, and a follow-up year in which Cam spent the year complaining to referees, the league office, and the media about the hits he was taking, it’s become painfully (for him) obvious that Carolina’s offensive line needs help. Enter 6’6″, 322 pound Cam Robinson, the left tackle from Alabama. While Robinson may end up on the right side of the line in the pro’s, Carolina, needs the help at both tackle positions. Robinson is also a good run blocker, which fits with the Panthers’ offensive style. (CR)
Pick #9 Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Analysis: Reuben Foster was a menace for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He’s going to step into an NFL system and be the same kind of player he was there. The Cincinnati Bengals have a hole on the strong side of their defense at the linebacker position which Foster could play at the next level. Otherwise the Bengals would have to choose to put him in the middle and force newly Kevin Minter outside. Regardless, Foster would make a perfect fit playing in the AFC North. (TO)
Pick #10 Buffalo Bills: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Analysis: The Bills need a wide receiver opposite Sammy Watkins, especially now that Robert Woods is out of the picture. Buffalo has just six picks this year so they would like to pick up more along the way. This is a bit of a reach for a guy like Davis, but his size and route-running could make him a dynamic player in this league. If they’re able to trade down in the first, chances are they’d still be able to grab him. (EF)