After a thrilling College Football Playoff National Championship, collegiate resumes for those entering the NFL draft will be dissected over the next few months.
Eight NFL teams continue to chase the Lombardi Trophy. The rest of the league has already started going down the offseason checklist for improvements. Franchises have set their sights on filling holes from top to bottom. The head-coaching carousel spins with five vacancies left. For clubs with a plan in place, the focus shifts to acquiring the right pieces to execute strategies.
Leading into the divisional round of the postseason, we’ll project all first-round draft picks and discuss three prospects who played in Monday night’s national title game.
Where do the top prospects land in April? Which players increased their draft stock values during the CFP National Championship contest?
|2017 Mock Draft|
|1. Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett||EDGE||Texas A&M|
|2. San Francisco 49ers||Deshaun Watson||QB||Clemson|
|3. Chicago Bears||Cam Robinson||OT||Alabama|
|4. Jacksonville Jaguars||Jonathan Allen||DE||Alabama|
|5. Tennessee Titans||Jalen Tabor||CB||Florida|
|6. New York Jets||Desmond King||CB||Iowa|
|7. San Diego Chargers||Jamal Adams||SS||LSU|
|8. Carolina Panthers||Derek Barnett||DE||Tennessee|
|9. Cincinnati Bengals||Cordrea Tankersley||CB||Clemson|
|10. Buffalo Bills||Mike Williams||WR||Clemson|
|11. New Orleans Saints||Malik Hooker||FS||Ohio State|
|12. Cleveland Browns||Mitch Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
|13. Arizona Cardinals||Reuben Foster||LB||Alabama|
|14. Philadelphia Eagles||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida State|
|15. Indianapolis Colts||Tim Williams||LB||Alabama|
|16. Baltimore Ravens||Taco Charlton||DE||Michigan|
|17. Washington Redskins||Malik McDowell||DT||Michigan State|
|18. Tennessee Titans||Corey Davis||WR||Western Michigan|
|19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jabrill Peppers||LB/S||Michigan|
|20. Denver Broncos||Ryan Ramczyk||OT||Wisconsin|
|21. Detroit Lions||Zach Cunningham||LB||Vanderbilt|
|22. Miami Dolphins||DeMarcus Walker||DE||Florida State|
|23. New York Giants||Leonard Fournette||RB||LSU|
|24. Oakland Raiders||Chris Wormley||DT||Michigan|
|25. Houston Texans||Jarrad Davis||LB||Florida|
|26. Green Bay Packers||Haason Reddick||LB||Temple|
|27. Seattle Seahawks||Roderick Johnson||OT||Florida State|
|28. Atlanta Falcons||Sidney Jones||CB||Washington|
|29. Pittsburgh Steelers||Takkarist McKinley||LB||UCLA|
|30. Kansas City Chiefs||Gareon Conley||CB||Ohio State|
|31. Dallas Cowboys||Marshon Lattimore||CB||Ohio State|
|32. New England Patriots||Garett Bolles||OT||Utah|
|2017 Mock Draft|
Notable Draft Picks
4. Jacksonville Jaguars, Jonathan Allen, DE
Defensive end Jonathan Allen logged seven tackles, one tackle for a loss and one sack on Monday night. However, he didn’t need a national title game to elevate his draft stock. The dynamic defensive lineman returned to school for his senior year and displayed the ability to stop the run as a complete asset.
The Jacksonville Jaguars just hired Doug Marrone as their head coach and Tom Coughlin as the executive VP of operations, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Jaguars officially name Doug Marrone as head coach, Tom Coughlin as EVP of football operations.2017-1-10 00:33:03
Coughlin's 12-year tenure with the New York Giants helps him understand how a dominant defensive line could lead a team to Super Bowl victories.
As shown above, Allen’s teammate, offensive tackle Cam Robinson goes to the Chicago Bears. Instead of reaching for another offensive lineman to protect quarterback Blake Bortles, the Jaguars can bolster their attack at the line of scrimmage.
Defensive end Dante Fowler completed his first season after suffering a torn ACL as a rookie. Jacksonville acquired defensive tackle Malik Jackson via free agency during the previous offseason. In April, the front office can add a third impact player across the front four in Allen.
Jacksonville’s run defense and pass rush must catch up to speed with its No. 5 ranked pass defense in yards allowed.
10. Buffalo Bills, Mike Williams, WR
Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams missed Round 1 against Alabama, but he showed up big time in Round 2 on Monday. He racked up eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown; he also drew a critical pass interference penalty. At 6’3”, 225 pounds, NFL defensive backs will also struggle to defend him near the red zone.
At the moment, there’s uncertainty surrounding the Buffalo Bills' quarterback position. Nonetheless, without a consensus No. 1 passer in the draft, the Bills can select the best offensive player on the board at No. 10.
Whether it’s Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, a rookie or a recycled veteran quarterback under center, the starting signal-caller would have Sammy Watkins on one side and Williams on the other.
Due to Watkins’ inability to stay healthy over the past two years, the Bills passing offense looked pedestrian at times. Another quality perimeter player would force opposing pass defenses to pick its poison. Furthermore, the wide receiver tandem would create more space for the ground attack on the second level.
15. Indianapolis Colts, Tim Williams, LB
In 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, pass-rusher Robert Mathis racked up 123 sacks, and he’s taking the total into retirement at 35 years old. The team’s sack leader for the season just finished, Erik Walden, will become a free agent in March, per spotrac.com. He’ll turn 32 before the 2017 season starts. Linebacker Trent Cole, who logged 85.5 sacks with the Philadelphia Eagles, hasn’t panned out with the team during the latter stage of his career.
Indianapolis needs younger bodies to rebuild its front seven. At linebacker, free agents have come and gone without quality replacements to fill the gaps.
Alabama linebacker Tim Williams will provide an immediate push and some toughness to a relatively soft positional group. He’s notched 18.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for a loss within the past two seasons on campus.
Whether it’s sniffing out the run or unleashing on the quarterback, Williams can excel attacking off the edge.
The Colts could help their offense by strengthening the defense. Quarterback Andrew Luck won’t have to guide his team to 35 points per game for a fair chance at a victory.
Stats provided by NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Stats provided by Sports-Reference.com/cfb/ unless otherwise noted.
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