Cris Collinsworth’s 2017 mock draft: Deshaun Watson first QB off board

Cris Collinsworth offers up his first mock of the offseason, sending Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to the Jaguars.

| 15 hours ago
Deshaun Watson

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Cris Collinsworth’s 2017 mock draft: Deshaun Watson first QB off board


[Editor’s note: This mock draft was originally published on April 18, 2017.]

With less than two weeks remaining until the league descends upon Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft, I take my best pass at Round 1. A couple of observations before we dive into my first mock draft of the year:

  • Quarterbacks: I’m simply not down on this quarterback class. I just don’t think there is much difference in the top four’s chances of success in the NFL. They all can do some things really well, but all have issues, too. If I wanted a quarterback in this class, I would let the market dictate who I drafted; I would not want to spend a top-10 pick on any of them, because I would feel my chances of success would be just as great with QBs Nos. 2–4. Therefore, I would let the first two quarterbacks go off the board and then try to trade up to get one of the next two. There are so many talented players in this draft, I wouldn’t want the risk associated with either of the first two quarterback choices. But history tells us that QBs will go early, and I think it will happen again.
  • Talent, talent, talent: Teams that have a lot of picks in the first two rounds have to be loving their chances. We once took a Disney Cruise with our children, and there were so many kids in the Mickey Mouse pool on the first day, I told my wife, “You couldn’t hit water if you threw a ping-pong ball in that thing.” I feel the same way about this draft — you will have to work really hard to miss in the early rounds.

1. Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M

The real drama for the Browns doesn’t come until their pick at No. 12. The No. 1 pick has only two options: draft Myles Garrett, or trade out of the pick for someone who wants him enough to pay a heavy price. Either scenario works for Cleveland. Garrett moves like a point guard who is completely in control of the action — Jason Pierre-Paul in his prime comes to mind. The former Aggie’s speed and quickness will set up bull-rushes when the tackles are on their heels. When he smells a sack, he has a great burst. The Browns cannot lose with the first pick.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Finished in the top three among edge defenders in overall grade in all three years of college.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford

If I were John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, I would be trying like crazy to trade out of this pick. But unless someone has fallen in love with one of these QBs, who would they be trading up to get? My guess is the 49ers have to make a pick here. A quarterback at No. 2 is a huge risk that I don’t think these two decision-makers will take with their first pick together. Prospect Solomon Thomas can play the valued 3-technique that Warren Sapp played in Tampa Bay, Marshon Lattimore gives them the best cornerback, and John Lynch has to admire the play of safeties Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker. You can’t go wrong with the work ethic of Thomas, though, and the Stanford connection doesn’t hurt. A patient but solid pick, Thomas heads to the Bay Area.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led all interior defensive linemen with a 92.5 run-defense grade. PFF College award winner for Best Run Defender in the nation.

3. Chicago Bears

Jonathan Allen, DI, Alabama

I’m going to guess that John Fox really believes that Mike Glennon is his QB of the future, so the Bears will draft one of two areas of need: defensive line or cornerback. Eventually you have to beat Aaron Rodgers in the NFC North, so would you rather get an interior push to flush the Green Bay QB out of the pocket, or a corner to cover his receivers? One CB is never enough, so I guess Allen will get the call. Flushing Rodgers out of the pocket may not be the best strategy, but it will now be Allen’s job. As scouts like to say, God only made so many bodies like Allen’s, so you better get them early. Newly-acquired Akiem Hicks and Allen will be rock solid inside for the Bears.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led all interior defensive linemen with 67 total QB pressures in 2016.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

This pick comes down to whether Tom Coughlin and company are sold on Blake Bortles. Coughlin loves playmaking, physical tight ends, so Alabama’s O.J. Howard has to be considered, despite the Jaguars picking up Mychal Rivera from the Raiders. An offensive linemen or a pass-rusher like Tennessee’s Derrick Barnett also would fit, but I’m taking my first big swing here and going with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. Bortles has some mechanical issues that slow his release time; he may still make it in the NFL, but Jacksonville needs proven leadership with a history of winning in the toughest moments. Watson is a risky pick, but just feels like the kind of dynamic playmaker this fan base is crying out for. Watson has a much tighter release than Bortles, a great understanding of the back-shoulder concept (and would have the receivers in Jacksonville to make it work), reads defenses well, and is a committed pocket-passer despite his ability to move. He’s a little like Dallas’ Dak Prescott in that regard. This probably never happens, but I like Watson here.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Ranked third in the draft class with an adjusted completion percentage of 76.1 percent and second in the draft class in adjusted completion percentage of 60.0 percent on passes thrown in the 21-to-30-yard range.

5. Cleveland Browns (trade up from No. 12 pick with Titans)

[Trade details: Browns give first-round (No. 12 overall), second-round (No. 52 overall), and fourth-round (No. 108 overall) picks to Titans for first-round (No. 5 overall) pick.]

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

With Deshaun Watson off the board, and the very real possibility that the Jets take Mitchell Trubisky with the next pick, if the Browns want the former Tar Heel quarterback, this is where they have to land. Cleveland has the picks to make the move, but it wouldn’t surprise me if any of the QB-needy teams jump into a bidding war here. The Jets, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, or Texans are all possible trading partners for the Titans if they consider Trubisky to be the clear No. 2 QB — or the No. 1 choice if Watson hasn’t been taken yet. If the Browns get Trubisky and Garrett in the first five picks, their draft is a success no matter what they have to give up. This order could change if Trubisky or Watson is taken by San Francisco, Chicago, or Jacksonville, but I still see this fifth pick as the key to the draft for teams that want priority over the Jets. Trubisky has good size and mobility, with quick feet in the pocket. He seems to process his thoughts quickly. His three-quarters motion is a little like Dan Marino or Philip Rivers, and doesn’t scare me. He does miss some easy throws and came up short on a few deep balls, but this is about the right spot for Trubisky to be taken.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Ranked third in the draft class with an adjusted completion percentage of 76.9 against the blitz in 2016.

6. New York Jets

Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Jets have a desperate need at quarterback. But in his heart, Todd Bowles is a defensive coach who wants to play man coverage, and the best cornerback in this draft just fell into his lap. Lattimore is simply just too good to pass up here. He may not be Darrelle Revis, but then again, he just might be. The Jets have so many needs — quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive line among them — but passing on clearly the best player on the board is too much, and the Jets take Lattimore.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Recorded seven pass breakups and four interceptions while allowing only 23 receptions in coverage.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Anthony Lynn hired Gus Bradley as his defensive coordinator, whose roots run through Seattle. I always thought safety Earl Thomas’ ability to cover sideline-to-sideline was the secret sauce behind that Seahawks’ defensive success. LSU’s Jamal Adams is a tremendous player, but Malik Hooker reminds me more of Thomas with his playmaking from centerfield. His ability to cover mistakes by the corners on deep balls is what sets him apart. I know most people think Adams is the fit here, and the former Tiger is a much better tackler than Hooker, so he could be, but I wrote down Earl Thomas’ name five times while watching Hooker’s tape, so he gets my vote. The former Buckeye’s poor tackling is a problem, though, and he may give up as many big plays as he creates unless it improves.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Tied for the national lead among safeties with seven interceptions, but ranked 136th in tackling efficiency, with 13 misses on 82 attempts.

8. Carolina Panthers

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

This pick is tough. Better players may be on the board, but I can’t get the idea of Fournette playing with Cam Newton out of my mind. Can you imagine a read-option with those two? What makes the read-option so difficult to defend is that you end up a half-step too slow getting to the ball carrier while reading the QB/RB mesh point, and whether that is Fournette or Newton, you have a problem on defense. Good luck with that arm-tackle. In any other offense, Fournette would be a two-down player, but the Panthers like to grind it out with power, and by the fourth quarter, those two monsters will have you worn out. I know they want to take carries off Newton and help that offense line with play-action — Fournette should deliver both. Now the Panthers just have to hope a decent tackle is still there in the second round.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led the nation with 85 forced missed tackles in 2015.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee

I cannot believe the number of great players left available to the Bengals at the ninth pick. Cincinnati needs a wide receiver opposite A.J. Green, an offensive lineman after the loss of both Andrew Whitworth (Rams) and Kevin Zeitler (Browns), a pass-rusher to help Carlos Dunlap, and another corner with Adam Jones finally showing signs of age and continued off-field struggles. I’m guessing the team goes defense, and the Bengals usually only draft pass-rushers and corners this high. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett is the best pass-rusher I have left on my board, so pencil him in here. He has a quick inside move, can really get low around the edge, has a natural spin move, and his pressure percentage has been in the top three the last two years.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Ranked second overall among edge defenders in 2015 and third overall in 2016.

10. Buffalo Bills

John Ross, WR, Washington

John Ross ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash at the combine, the fastest time ever recorded at the event. He is only 5-foot-11 and has some injury issues, but is such an exciting player to watch. Unlike most speed receivers, he is tough and willing to take a hit. I like his hands, too. It is almost laughable how far off cornerbacks play against him. It seemed that anytime Washington wanted an easy completion, it was there to Ross. He is also a great red-zone player for someone his size. Ross loves those slants and skinny posts in the red zone and scored 17 TDs his final year at Washington. With Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, and John Ross, the pressure is on Tyrod Taylor to produce.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Averaged 3.18 yards per route run vs. Power-5 competition in 2016, fifth-best in the nation and third-best in the draft class.

11. New Orleans Saints

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

It’s always hard to pass on receivers when I’m picking for New Orleans — Mike Williams or Corey Davis would be fun to watch in this offense — but the Saints have to take defense, right? If there is a spot for Foster, this is it. The league has changed, and cover linebackers that don’t have to come off the field on third down are so valuable to continuity on the defensive side of the ball. As one defensive coordinator once told me, teams don’t lose games on run plays — they lose on passing plays. Foster will fly sideline to sideline and cover backs and tight ends. He can flip his hips like a cornerback in coverage. The former Alabama standout is a flashy prospect that plays with a lot of emotion, and should be a fan favorite in New Orleans for years to come. I hope the combine incident was an aberration.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led all FBS linebackers with a run-stop percentage of 16.3 in 2016.

12. Tennessee Titans (trade down from No. 5 pick with Browns)

[Trade details: Titans give first-round pick (No. 5 overall) to Browns for first-round (No. 12 overall), second-round (No. 52 overall), and fourth-round (No. 108 overall) picks.]

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

With the way the Titans can run the ball, if they can find a receiver that cannot be covered one-on-one outside due to his size and physical skills, then teams will really struggle to load the box against Tennessee. The NFL is really all about scoring in the red zone. All teams move it between the 20s, but the teams that win score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals. Williams completes the equation for Tennessee’s offense — mobile QB, power running game behind a physical offensive line, and now a big, TD-scoring wide receiver. Mike Williams is my choice for the Titans.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Caught 51.9 percent of deep targets (20-plus yards downfield), the sixth-best mark in the nation.

13. Arizona Cardinals

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

I’m very tempted to put DeShone Kizer here; the former Notre Dame quarterback fits the Ben Roethlisberger/Carson Palmer style of play that Bruce Arians has had so much success with. However, the Cardinals need cornerbacks — the Arizona faithful have to be sick of watching big plays on the side of the field opposite star CB Patrick Peterson. To fix the problem, Alabama’s Marlon Humphry is my choice. He is a physical corner who plays his guts out, but does give up a few big plays. Tre’Davious White may be a better pure cover corner, but he won’t hit anybody, and I’m not sure Arians could stomach him. Humphrey is a hitter with perfect height, weight, and speed numbers. Plus, he is a low-risk pick at a position of great need for the Cardinals.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Allowed exactly 50 percent of his targets to be completed each of the last two years, but surrendered 16.9 yards per reception.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings)

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

I want to give the Eagles a receiver with the speed of John Ross to play alongside Alshon Jeffery, but Philadelphia has to have a cornerback, and White is the next best available. He may drive Jim Schwartz nuts if he refuses to tackle, but Schwartz has no choice — you can’t compete without corners. I love White’s ability to find the ball in the air. Most young corners are afraid to turn their head and look for deep balls, and they end up getting beat. White is rock-solid there. I also don’t see him as a guy that will get a lot of cheap fouls; he keeps his hands to himself. I thought White would run a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash, but at 4.47, he was a little slower than his run-and-cover style would suggest. White has legitimate coverage skills, though, and should go in the first half of the draft.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Allowed a passer rating of 61.0 on passes into his coverage in 2016 after surrendering a passer rating of 114.4 in 2015.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

The Colts have to create a quicker passing game to keep quarterback Andrew Luck healthy. Luck’s greatest weakness is his belief that if he holds the ball, something will happen downfield. If he has a weapon that would encourage him to check it down, this entire offense could explode, and Luck might make it through the season in one piece. The most versatile weapon in this draft is McCaffrey. Marshall Faulk was drafted by the Colts once upon a time, and McCaffrey may not be Faulk, but his style is very similar. He can split out and play wide receiver without any issue. Plus, he has really quick moves running inside. His hands are better than most wide receivers, and he has no fear. McCaffrey is surprisingly tough to tackle, and averages 3.3 yards after contact, a very good number. It would not surprise me if McCaffrey ended the 2017 season as Rookie of the Year.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Forced 43 missed tackles as a runner and 21 missed tackles as a receiver in 2016.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Haason Reddick, Edge/LB, Temple

The Ravens have intimidated for many years with great edge pressure. However, Terrell Suggs is older, Elvis Dumervil has been released, and Baltimore needs help. There are so many pass-rushers in this draft, but Haason Reddick from Temple is different. Pure speed and athleticism off the edge, he can rush inside despite his small size, and can stand up and play off the ball at linebacker. I’m not sure where he will play, but Reddick brings the element of pass-rush intimidation back to the Ravens’ defense. He doesn’t even look at blockers when he rushes; he knows they won’t block him. He runs a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and has a 36-inch vertical jump — his explosiveness is apparent in his play. Reddick will live in the backfield, and tackles-for-a-loss will be a regular occurrence.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Picked up 10 sacks, four QB hits, and 29 hurries on only 248 rushes in 2016.

17. Washington Redskins

Jamal Adams, S, LSU

I can’t believe Jamal Adams has fallen this far in my mock. If he is available at No. 17, the Redskins will jump for joy. Adams is more of the Troy Polamalu-style prospect that can play anywhere. He is an excellent tackler and can play in the slot, middle of the field, or inside linebacker. He is much more of a strong safety-type than Malik Hooker, but still looks good covering slot receivers. I love his energy and the way he wraps up tackles low and around the legs. He rarely misses tackles in the open field. I do like Adams better around the line of scrimmage than in the middle of the field, but he should be a terrific player for a decade in Washington.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Missed only 24 tackles on 191 attempts in his three years at LSU.

18. Tennessee Titans

Malik McDowell, DI, Michigan State

The Titans got their receiver with their No. 5 pick, and now look for a pass-rusher or cornerback. I am going to my secret weapon on this pick: Malik McDowell. McDowell is 6-foot-6 and weighs almost 300 pounds. He played only 425 snaps last season due to an ankle injury, but was dominant in those snaps according to Pro Football Focus’ data. McDowell has a very unusual sprinter’s stance, but plays outside, 3-tech, and nose tackle. With his stance, he will occasionally get washed down, but will get coached on that, and likely only improve. NFL teams will not be able to resist the perfect body type for a defensive lineman.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Picked up 30 total QB pressures on only 206 rushes in 2016.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

I know the pressure will be on Tampa Bay to take former FSU running back Dalvin Cook to re-unite him with Jameis Winston, but Winston has to survive first. The Buccaneers need an upgrade at left tackle, and Ryan Ramczyk from Wisconsin will be a solid LT for years. He is physical in the run game, confident and efficient in protection against top pass-rushers, and is ready to play coming out of a Wisconsin system that has offensive linemen NFL-ready with their pro-style system. He is coming off hip surgery, but his consistent play against top-caliber competition like Michigan and Ohio State makes him the first tackle off the board. The New York Giants will shed a tear, but Ramczyk goes here.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led all FBS offensive tackles with an 84.6 run-blocking grade in 2016.

20. Denver Broncos

Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

I’m going back-to-back offensive tackles here, as the Broncos have to improve their offensive line. Cam Robinson from Alabama will be more physical, and I believe may end up becoming a Pro Bowl left tackle. The Broncos have to improve both their running game and pass protection if they are going to win with young quarterbacks. Robinson is the biggest of these tackles, but can still move in space. He is not as strong as Tyron Smith of Dallas, but is tough to beat once he gets his hands on you. He can get top-heavy with that forward lean sometimes, but will figure that out. Robinson is the perfect answer for the Broncos at No. 20 — John Elway will be thrilled with this pick.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Ranked 90th among FBS offensive tackles in 2016, but saw his pass-blocking grade increase all three years in college.

21. Detroit Lions

Charles Harris, Edge, Missouri

The Lions saw a down year from Ziggy Ansah, and were saved by an unexpectedly good season from Kerry Hyder, with eight sacks. The Lions need more from their rush, and Charles Harris from Missouri is a great fit. This former basketball player has a beautiful spin move that looks effortless. He recorded just a 4.8-second 40-yard dash, but he plays fast and gets consistent hits on the quarterback. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is holding the ball and creating now more than ever, so finding more people to attack him is the first step to competing in the NFC North.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Pass-rush grade of 88.7 ranked 12th among FBS edge defenders in 2016.

22. Miami Dolphins

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

The Miami Dolphins took huge strides on offense under Adam Gase, QB Ryan Tannehill was much improved until injured, RB Jay Ajayi was brilliant at times, and WR DeVante Parker is coming on. Now the Dolphins’ good luck continues, as O.J. Howard falls to No. 22. Howard runs a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, is an athletic blocker for those outside-zone runs the Dolphins love, and recorded just three drops over the last two seasons. He lacks a little physical toughness to be a top-15 pick, but has a ton of upside that Gase will develop. Greg Olsen, the receiving tight end from Carolina, is a good comparison.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Run-blocking grade of 81.5 led all FBS tight ends in 2016. Averaged 7.8 yards after the catch per completion over the last three years.

23. New York Giants

Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

The Giants have to get better at tackle. I don’t think Ereck Flowers is the answer at left tackle, but he may be a solid right tackle. Bolles is probably 25 pounds lighter, and bull-rushes may be a problem for him. He has exceptional feet and will not get beat quickly on the edge. Eli Manning gets rid of the ball so fast, it will be a rare that a pass-rusher will get through Bolles quickly enough to get to the QB. Don’t expect a power blocker in the running game — he is much more of a stretch run-type tackle. The Giants, with offseason additions Brandon Marshall and Garett Bolles, should be a contender.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Recorded the second-highest percentage of positively-graded run blocks among this class’ offensive tackles in 2016.

24. Oakland Raiders

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

With so many quality players left on the board, the Raiders can’t miss. Marshawn Lynch is in many ways the key to this pick. If he signs (it’s not yet official), the Raiders may pass on a first-round back, but they could also draft a complementary player here like Cook from FSU. The most elusive back in college football has the speed to break open games as a runner and receiver. He is smaller and doesn’t block well, but at the very least, you will get a playmaker on third down. I worry a little about his shoulders and don’t love him running inside, but at No. 24 in the first round, Cook is too good to pass up.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: In 2016, Cook led the FBS in elusive rating, breaking 99 tackles (92 on rushes, seven on receptions) and averaging 4.19 yards after contact.

25. Houston Texans

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

How strongly do the Texans feel about Tom Savage? Quarterback is the obvious choice now that Tony Romo is working for CBS. At this point, they’re likely choosing between Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer. My guess is that if Mahomes falls to pick No. 25, the Texans will take him. Think Brett Favre coming out of college: it’s a wild and fun show watching Mahomes play, but he is all over the place. He is going to sling the ball and worry about it later. His arm strength is tremendous, he can run for first downs, and has no guilty conscience after interceptions. But Mahomes is a project, and thinking of him as a ready-to-play rookie would be a mistake. Savage will likely be the opening-day starter regardless of which quarterback the Texans take.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Ranked second in the nation in big-time throws, but third in the nation in turnover-worthy throws.

26. Arizona Cardinals (trade up into Round 1, pick No. 26, with Seahawks)

[Trade details: Cardinals give Seahawks 2017 second-round (No. 45 overall) and 2018 second-round picks for 2017 first-round pick (No. 26) overall.]

DeShone Kizer, QB, Cardinals

The Cardinals guess correctly that Patrick Mahomes would be the next quarterback off the board, and make a move to get the QB they wanted all along — DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame. Kizer is just 21 years old and has plenty of upside. By giving him a chance to work with Bruce Arians and play behind Carson Palmer for a year or two, the Cardinals will have a logical succession plan in place for the most important position on the field. This may end up being one of those picks 10 years from now that people look back and say, how did all those teams pass on him? With RB David Johnson as a check-down, you will see Kizer not taking the sacks he took at Notre Dame. Arians teaches with tough love and is a great preacher of fundamentals — both fit Kizer’s needs. The Seahawks will now be able to load up on picks in a deep draft. If Seattle keeps the pick, offensive line is the obvious choice.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Had a passer rating of 154.7 when using play action, best in the nation.

27. Kansas City Chiefs

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Gareon Conley, the “other cornerback” from Ohio State, is too good to pass up at No. 27. The Chiefs will also need to look for a replacement for Derrick Johnson at linebacker, but with Marcus Peters on one side, Conley on the other, and safety Eric Berry in middle, this secondary starts to look like it’s on a level with Denver’s unit. Conley isn’t flashy, but does such a great job getting his head around and finding the ball — he may end up with a lot of interceptions. He isn’t quite as quick-twitch as some of the others, but he is a steal here.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Allowed a passer rating of only 13.6 on passes into his coverage in 2016, the best mark in the nation.

28. Dallas Cowboys

Taco Charlton, Edge, Michigan

There are still a lot of pass-rushers I like here, but the Cowboys need somebody who can stay on the field on run downs as well.  Charlton seems to be the best fit. Yes, he was inconsistent at Michigan, but finished well and has the height and long arms that will fit Rod Marinelli’s defense. Marinelli will get everything Charlton has to give. The Cowboys teach technique and hustle, period. This will be the best thing that ever happened to Charlton, and his natural gifts will allow him to grow into a special player.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led the draft class with the highest pass-rushing productivity mark on pressures that came in less than 2.5 seconds (13.4).

29. Green Bay Packers

Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

This is where the mock gets crazy. The Packers used Ty Montgomery at running back last year and Eddie Lacy is in Seattle. Running back seems the obvious choice for Green Bay, and the best back on the board is Joe Mixon from Oklahoma. Of course, he is the guy who punched a female Oklahoma student during his freshman year. Nothing about me wants to pick him in the first round or any other round of this draft, but the reality is that somebody will take him. Mixon will be drafted in the second round at least, so does it make sense for the Packers to pass on him knowing somebody else will likely take him within a few picks? Let me just give you my football opinion without regard to that awful crime: Mixon is the most talented back in this draft. He is a much better receiver than Fournette, bigger than McCaffery, and a much better inside runner and blocker than Cook. My hunch is that the Packers will take Mixon with this pick.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Led draft class running backs with 57.3 percent of his yards coming on breakaway (15-plus yard) runs.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Carl Lawson, Edge, Auburn

Pittsburgh needs cornerbacks. Sidney Jones is a top corner in the draft, but he injured his Achilles at his pro day and probably won’t be ready for the season. Jones could be great if given time to develop or heal. But, since the Steelers likely only have Ben Roethlisberger for a few more seasons, I am giving them Carl Lawson as yet another hammer at outside linebacker. James Harrison can’t play forever, and Lawson fits in that big, physical Nick Perry/Terrell Suggs kind of role.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Picked up nine sacks, 13 QB hits, and 45 hurries on only 364 rushes in 2016.

31. Atlanta Falcons

Tim Williams, Edge, Alabama

I love Tim Williams opposite Vic Beasley. Williams is a blur of a pass-rusher, but probably would not hold up for many run snaps. The good news is that the Falcons will score a lot of points, and most of their games will be shootouts. When Peyton Manning was with the Colts, they also were scoring a lot of points, and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were rushing the quarterback the majority of the game. The pair was almost impossible to handle without help — Beasley and Williams could create some of those same issues in Atlanta. One more sack in Super Bowl LI and the Falcons would have been world champions.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Picked up a pressure to the inside of the offensive tackle every 10.7 rushes, second-best in the draft class.

32. New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots)

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Saints traded away WR Brandin Cooks (Patriots) this offseason and need another playmaker. Corey Davis is a big, quick receiver that has averaged more than 8 yards after the catch over the last three seasons. His routes remind me of Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell’s running style. Bell is so patient sometimes that it looks like he isn’t trying; Davis is the same way. The former Western Michigan standout is so patient that you question his speed, but is so dynamic at the break point that defenders can’t stay with him. He is very crafty and is a creative route-runner. Someone has taught him well. My concern still, though, is his speed. Ankle surgery prevented him from running at the combine; the tape suggests that he could produce a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash, but I’m not sure. Assuming he is 4.5 or better, the Saints have a dangerous new weapon with some red-zone skills.

PFF Draft Pass Stat: Finished in the top 10 in yards per route run among receivers in each of the last three seasons.

  • crosseyedlemon

    So having just traded for Osweiler the Browns are going to trade up to #5 and go on another QB flyer? Maybe they should just pull a fan from the stands each game and give that person at shot behind center.

    • Mark Erickson

      Osweiler is a Brown because Cleveland wanted the 2nd round pick next year, and most reports make it sound like he will be cut before the seasons start. Even if he stays, Cleveland should be making an effort to get a QB this draft (although I’m not sure about trading up for one)

      • Bay Area Browns Backers

        As we know, every year teams have QB injuries, and when that happens, if they keep Brock, they then can trade him for a higher pick than he is worth now.

    • JudoPrince

      No way the Browns view Brock as the long term solution at QB.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Several teams are lacking a long term solution at QB but they have more sense than to go on a hope and pray flyer every year like the Browns seem to. If they actually did find a franchise guy would they even be aware of it or would they toss him on the trash heap with all the others they thought would be saviors?

    • Deej59

      The Browns aren’t expecting Osweiler to be their starting QB. They absolutely are in the market for their QB of the future. If anything, they see Brock as a backup with lots of game experience.

      • crosseyedlemon

        You could certainly find someone to ride the bench at a much cheaper cost than what the Browns are on the hook for with Osweiler. You have to wonder if they even have a plan or are simply winging it as they hope for some miracle to happen.

        • Deej59

          The thing to understand is that the Houston trade was about a draft pick in 2018. The Browns are accumulating even more draft picks. Osweiler will cost them some money one way or another, but he’s probably going to be on someone else’s roster, or he’ll be an expensive backup. As for whether or not they’re just winging it, you have every reason to think that because of their past, but a lot of the smartest people in football think they’re doing brilliant work amassing picks for the next few years. The remaining mystery is whether or not they’ll use them wisely. So there’s a lot going on in Cleveland right now, and very little of it has anything at all to do with Osweiler.

          • crosseyedlemon

            You hit on the important paradox here Dee which is that an organization that believes they can use picks wisely doesn’t feel compelled to stockpile multiple picks for the future. I’m not one of those smartest people in football but I don’t see any indication that the Browns are suddenly going to become great talent evaluators after being among the worst for the past several years.

          • Fred Kruse

            How about this logic: With more picks, even the Browns will get a few right.

        • Nicholas Sissel

          The Browns didn’t trade for Brock for him to be a starter, they did it for the 2nd round pick from Houston. They basically decided they could take his cap hit for the Texans, and get a draft pick out of it. I’m sure they’d love for him to be a starter, but with their cap room they’ll most likely be fine with having him ride the bench as a backup.

    • Bay Area Browns Backers

      Browns have had their share of QB busts. But not alone, Jax is ready to dump Bortles, and Goff – first over all pick – was sure average to bad his first year. Browns Cody Kessler looked better that Jared Goff. All Browns (or Rams) need to help QB production is upgrade the OL. Browns did that in FA with pro bowl level OG Kevin Zeitler and new Center JC Tretter. Joel Bitonio was hurt last year and should be back at his pro bowl level play at LG.

  • Coy Combs

    Lamp isn’t listed in 1st round. You said in your ATL breakdown you’d mock him there but he was off the board. What am I missing?

  • SuperRaider

    Yes, let’s add another RB to the Raiders even tough they have two other complimentary backs to Lynch. Even with Jarrad and Zach on the board and lb their biggest need

    • Scott

      Agreed! Do these “experts” pick names out of a hat?

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      lynch isn’t a raider…

      • Shoutout to all the guest

        raiders gonna have to give up a 7th round pick this year if they want him

        • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

          they’re foolish to give up anything, he just needs to unretire and his 9mil salary hits seattle’s books. they have just over 9mil in cap space so they’d cut him, otherwise they couldn’t afford to use their draft picks because the nfl requires draft cap allotment prior to the use of picks on draft day

          • Shoutout to all the guest

            Sorry but he’s not going anywhere without a price….

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            he all the power, as i fully explained already

    • Anthony

      Yo if Zach is still there and we don’t pick him, i’ll cut off my left foot.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I think it’s suppose to be left nut…if your a true badass Raider fan.

        • Anthony

          I would argue cutting off the foot would be less convenient, but hey whatever it takes to get Zach Cunningham on my team.

    • Dan78

      Just draft Mixon…

  • JudoPrince

    The most sensible mock draft I’ve seen. For the Panthers, I think the best possible move would be to trade down to the mid to late teens and draft an OT. I can see that happening if a player like Adams, Lattimore or Allen is still on the board.

    • crosseyedlemon

      That would be a sound strategy for the Panthers but quality OL are in such high demand right now that I suspect a few teams would be trading up for a shot at those guys you mentioned.

  • Stuart Left

    Can’t Imange Packers taking Joe Mixon
    Lions rate Taco Charton over Harris
    Lions could trade up to get Riddick

    • Our World In Depth

      i think the Lions already have Riddick on their roster.. but i bet they would love to draft Reddick.

    • Our World In Depth

      agree about Packers and Mixon.

    • Pat Sime

      As a Packer fan I hope they do take Mixon, just in the second round. TJ Watt or Kevin King in the first please.

      • Sean Gonyea

        I hope with all hope they don’t draft Mixon. And I can’t imagine TT will lower his standards to take him.

  • Dan Gilliam

    My thoughts on this mock:
    1. I love the Colts getting Christian McCafferey
    2. I don’t see this many QB’s going in the first round
    3. Dalvin Cook and OJ Howard can’t possibly fall that far!
    4. The Jags HAVE to take a RB and at number 4 they could have their pick this year! This is a no brainer in my opinion: Fournette or Cook (plus I would LOVE to see the Jags actually run the ball effectively)

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      they could potentially get fournette in round 2

    • Iconoclast17

      Cook could, given the bad shoulders, bad Combine and low ceiling. Howard should be a top-15 pick, but TE’s are generally undervalued in the draft and FAcy.

  • Yahhhmon

    Adams will not fall that far

    Watson will not go quite that high

    • Jonathan Hofer

      How you know? $5.99 a minute psychic hotline?

      • Yahhhmon

        Adams is an elite prospect. He goes top 10, brah.

  • Iconoclast17

    One of the best mock’s the year. Especially the RB projections. McCaffrey to Indy is perfect need and BPA pick. Mixon to GB is a creative and gutsy pick, especially since the Packers, maybe more than any other franchise, is very careful about who enters their lock room as a player. Nixon is volatile, and the punch isn’t the only incident. Still, Thompson blows half his first round picks, anyway, (D. Jones, Harell, Sherrod, Randall, etc.) and the CB class is very deep. They could also pick Forest Lamp in R1 or trade-down and take TJ Watt.

    • Andrew Taylor

      Really…. dalvin cook to the raiders? You are either high or actually Chris Collinsworth posing as someone else…. I’m on to to you Chris!

    • Pat Sime

      As a Packer fan I hope they do take Mixon. Just in the second round. TJ Watt or Kevin King in the first please. Also I would be pissed if they took Lamp. He may be the best guard in the draft, but hes a guard…

  • Allan Murphy

    I can 100% say the Packers will not take RB as you picked for them .

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Packers priority is the secondary but they will also want to find a good replacement for Lacy. The rate at which those positions become depleted on the draft board will probably determine which need they address first.

  • Frankie Hernandez

    I love this pick for tampa

    • Mike J.

      It makes sense to most, but it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Frankie Hernandez

    We fans don’t give these young QB time to develop teams has to work with these QB offensive coordinators has to simplify the offence these QB has to be protected Tom Brady release the ball early he’s not constantly taken a pounding college coach’s has to run a pro style offence 50 percent of the time there’s on 10 to 12 great QB in the NFL the rest are average Brady,Brees,rothlinberger,Rogers,rivers,Manning,Wilson,cam,Carr,Ryan in my opinion these are the best the rest can be replaced anytime

  • Ron

    BEAR’S, ALLEN at 3? with shoulder problems? Pick someone who can start like Adams, the one you have at 17,what are you smokin?

    • crosseyedlemon

      Drafting a player thinking he will be immune to injuries is a mistake. The Bears learned that the hard way with Kevin White.

    • Ian MacDonald

      Adams may be the better pick for the Bears, but Allen is a day one starter for anyone. There is a reason that many experts were mulling over Garrett or Allen for the Browns at no. 1. Both he and Adams are elite prospects and both would greatly help the Bears immediately. It all comes down to what the doctors say. Most say Allen’s shoulders may present an issue 10-15 years down the road, but it would not affect his immediate play. If the Bears trainers/doctors are wary, take Adams. If not, then Allen is still a good choice for them.

      • jammin502

        If Cleveland has any inkling that the Jaguars might take a QB at #4 then the Bears could have a trade partner to move down. I believe that this is what they would prefer. There is plenty that the Bears would like in the #12 area, including Mahomes.

  • Andrew Taylor

    Hey Collinsworth! Get a clue!!! Your mock draft is almost as bad as your play by play… Raiders will not take a RB in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd…. have glaring holes in the middle of the D…. LB, DT, or CB.

    • Ian MacDonald

      If Richard or Washington was better than Murray, they would have started over him. If the Raiders are looking at acquiring Lynch, it is obvious they are not happy with the current situation in the backfield. Also, Lynch is not on their roster, so you have to mock as if he won’t be. In that case, RB is as big a glaring hole as the others mentioned. That being said, RB is too deep to take Cook there in my opinion.

    • Mike Ferrentino

      He does Color, Not play by play..

      • Andrew Taylor

        Sorry Mike! he assists the play by play guy…well, he sucks at that as well!

    • wva88

      Never, ever, ever draft based on need. That is how you end up with players like the Ravesn S Matt Elam when they were desperate to find a replacement for Ed Reed and they ended up with a guy out of the league in a couple of years.

      Never draft based on what your depth chart looks like. You fill holes with free agents.

      • Andrew Taylor

        Hopefully you are being sarcastic!

        • wva88

          Absolutely not. Every time you see a team reach to fill a need that player invariably ends up being a bust. When a team drafts on best-player-available, they are more likely to end up getting a star. For example, when the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers even though they were set at QB, or the Texans selected Watt even though they were set along the DL with two established starters at DE.

          If you have two or more equal players with equal grades, then it is OK to look at need, but NEVER draft based solely on what you need.

          Actually I hope the Raiders go with their needs, that means the Raiders will be getting players who are busts. Remember them going with need and getting a CB by the name of Hayden and ignoring the rest of the league who said he would never be the same after his near-death experience?

          • Andrew Taylor

            Blah blah blah! They need defense and should get best player available on the D… whether it be LB, CB or DL

  • Chambana81

    Seattle and Arizona would never trade with each other.

  • Louise Balog

    You say let the first two QB’s go off the board then trade as situation dictates. Yet you have Cleveland trading up to 5 to get a QB when only one QB is off the board. Makes no sense. I would stay at 1 and 12 and take BPA.

  • George Murphy

    If the Browns really want Trubiski, they should just take him with the first pick and take another edge rusher like Barnett at 12 and avoid having to trade away their second rounder to move up. Barnett had better college production than M Garrett anyway. I’d rather have Trubiski, Barnett and say Q Wilson than only Garret and Trubiski. Garrett is a workout wonder with big bust potential.

  • hdogg48

    There is nothing that I have seen on tape or at the combine that
    convinces me that Carl Lawson would be an upgrade over Jarvis
    Jones, the edge rusher that the Steelers let sign with the Dolphins
    who was supposed to be James (Deebo) Harrison’s replacement.

    If Zach Cunningham were still on the board I could see
    Colbert running to the stage to pick him to use him as Timmons
    replacement and pair him with Shazier.

    If Obi Melifonwu was still there, I could see them taking him, too.
    Like the first rounders before him, Bud Dupree and Shazier
    the Steelers are trying to get younger and faster and more athletic
    on the D side, and this kid checks all those boxes and is a freak.

    If Jabril Peppers was still there I can see him scooped up in
    the first round too. True he isn’t Troy Palomulu, but who is?
    He is probably the single most athletically versatile player
    in the entire draft.

    I would like to see them then trade one of their 3rd rounders to
    the Jets for Sheldon Richardson, With that added depth to
    Tuitt, and Heyward on the line that would make it easier for
    an edge rusher in the 2nd or third round to succeed.

    Lawson does not fill the position of need for the Steelers, nor
    would he be the BPA at 30 of Round 1

    • Tim Edell

      Jarvis Jones signed with the Cardinals

      • hdogg48

        My bad….Timmons signed with Miami

  • BlackNGold22

    So the Saints trade away Cooks, who has 2 years left on his contract and has put up over 1000 yards multiple times to get pick 32 (to help bolster their D), and then they turn around and pick a WR there? LMAO Chris get off the pipe…

  • mark

    alway’s thought CHRIS COLLINSWORTH was a FOOL,now I know he is!

  • Bob Smith

    -I dont think Corey Davis drops to 32 (obviously)

    -Mahomes to Texans is so overdone that i dont think its gonna happen.

    -Jamal Adams sliding to 17 is almost full ‘your credibilty is shot’ status. Even if you accept he falls out of the top 10 (not likely) you’d then have the Titans (mocked to take him at 5 by many) , Saints, Colts (lost 35 year old Adams), and the Cardinals (lost Jefferson) ahead of 17. Imagine a defense with Honey Badger , pat peterson, and jamal adams.

  • Larry

    Worst mock draft I’ve seen yet. “I can’t believe Jamal Adams has fallen this far in my mock” Well dud it’s your draft. Could it be that you actually believe the Jags would take Watson with the 4th pick?

    • wva88

      Umm, there are two types of mock drafts. In one, the drafter does what he thinks WILL happen. In the second, what he thinks SHOULD happen.

      As he says in the introduction, this is his best guess at what WILL happen based on his sources. So it is perfectly valid to say that Adams WILL slip (based on what teams are saying) even though he thinks it SHOULD not happen.

      That is a very basic distinction that I would hope everyone with the ability to read would understand.

      • ShaneMacG

        Your very cogent explanation would have been served better without the childish ‘Umm’ starting it off.

  • David Stinnett

    With as few picks as they’ve had in recent memory, I don’t see SEA moving back to be compensated in 2018

  • Jim Shackelford

    Jamal Adams at 17? The mock falls apart right there. I see him going between four and ten. Even though the Eagles need a corner, if Adams is there at 14, I’d say they take him. They can get a corner in the next round.

  • BGdaRaiderKing

    There is absolutely no way Reggie McKenzie is drafting Cook at 24, with or w/o Lynch on the roster. I’d bet a paycheck on that!

    • Mike

      I think it’s a foolish pick, but I wouldn’t be too sure RM doesn’t pull the trigger. RM believes he can find starters anywhere in the draft or even the UDFA pile, so skipping defense (which should be our first 5 round picks, IMO) in round 1 probably doesn’t frighten him.

  • Rolo Tomassi

    Why would the Packers take someone like Joe Mixon?

    • Pat Sime

      Because hes the best RB in the draft. I would love him in the 2nd.

  • John Yeager

    If the Dolphins take a tight end with Taco Charlton or Zach Cunningham still on the board, then they had best shore up security at their offices at Joe Robbie stadium.

  • Samuel Mazzini

    Chris is one of my all time favourite analyst’s he’s a bright guy who doesn’t take himself to seriously but this mock was almost comical.

  • RandomDude

    I take this guy’s picks with a grain of salt. Google some of his previous mock drafts. They’re not even close and the players he was so high on ended up sucking big time.

  • Jim Cogar

    The Browns had better not trade a bunch of picks for a second round QB. They need to continue to build up their foundation & take a true franchise QB from a much better class in 2018.

  • Anthony

    the other one that I see mocked to the jets a lot is lattimore, I don’t want Dee Milliner 2.0, Remember what everyone said about Dee Milliner? “Oh he’s a can’t miss prospect, he’ll be revis’ successor” remember that…where’s Dee now? Well, he’s not in the NFL that’s for sure, he was too brittle to keep on the field I don’t even remember him ever playing a down for us, and Lattimore is that same guy, if the jets take anyone I want it to be on offense, we have drafted defense in the first round for the past 6 years, I want some offensive players, you need to score in order to win, and scoring points was the problem, we got an ok corner Morris Claiborne and with the depth at corner in this class we can wait on a corner until later in the draft, we also need depth on the line, with mangold and d’brickashaw fergason leaving it put two big holes in our line, but there are no top tier lineman in the draft this year maybe round 2, you have to keep Mo Wilk and Sheldon Richardson for now but I would look to trade them asap they are distractions to the team and the jets need to get guys with their heads on right, guys who are more dedicated to football and not toking up for example, they also need a linebacker but I think it would be too early to get Watt, but I wouldn’t be mad if they did, but I want offense we need offense, look our QB is Josh McCown, our number 2 is Quincy Enunwa, our starting RB is Forte (how much longer is he going to play?) TE…we don’t really have one, we could go TE but at 6 I think its too high there’s a lot of good TE’s in this class too, but O.J. Howard is the best of the bunch, I still think 6 is too early for a TE, anything earlier than 10 would be too soon for me for a TE—that said I don’t think the jets should move back, they have too many holes as it is and there’s some top quality talent here…Fournette Watson maybe one of the WRs (mike williams corey davis) something like that for the jets, but no defense we need to score points and it makes it kind of hard to do that if we don’t have any offense