The storylines seem endless with draft season underway.
For instance, the battle at quarterback continues to heat up between Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer and others. There are also seemingly unlimited options when it comes to defensive backs, thanks to a superb class. The same cannot be said for the offensive line.
With the playoffs in the past, all eyes are focused on the draft, which brings an ever-changing stock market and countless storylines fans might have a hard time digesting.
Below, let's take a look at an updated mock draft based on team need and prospect value before examining some of the slots most impacted by major stories.
2017 Draft Order and Projections
|1||Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina|
|3||Chicago Bears||DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford|
|5||Tennessee Titans (from LA)||Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan|
|6||New York Jets||Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin|
|8||Carolina Panthers||Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals||Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State|
|10||Buffalo Bills||Jamal Adams, S, LSU|
|11||New Orleans Saints||Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama|
|12||Cleveland Browns (from PHI)||Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson|
|13||Arizona Cardinals||Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State|
|14||Indianapolis Colts||Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN)||O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Mike Williams, WR, Clemson|
|17||Washington Redskins||Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama|
|18||Tennessee Titans||Jabrill Peppers, LB/S, Michigan|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama|
|20||Denver Broncos||Teez Tabor, CB, Florida|
|21||Detroit Lions||Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan|
|22||Miami Dolphins||Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee|
|23||New York Giants||Tim Williams, LB/DE, Alabama|
|24||Oakland Raiders||Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida|
|25||Houston Texans||Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State|
|26||Seattle Seahawks||Garett Bolles, OT, Utah|
|27||Kansas City Chiefs||Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana|
|28||Dallas Cowboys||Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC|
|29||Green Bay Packers||Sidney Jones, CB, Washington|
|30||Pittsburgh Steelers||David Njoku, TE, Miami|
|31||Atlanta Falcons||Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida|
|32||New England Patriots||Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford|
Philadelphia and Indianapolis will flip a coin for Nos. 14 and 15 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Sorry, Myles Garrett.
The defensive end apparently doesn't want to play for the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for Garrett, this is a draft, and he is the best player available—so a video posted by ESPN featuring him asking the Dallas Cowboys to trade up and draft him might be a funny storyline, but it is a moot point.
The Browns aren't in a position to take anybody other than the best player available at the top of the draft. This is easily Garrett, who looks like one of the best pass-rushing prospects to enter the pros in years.
Excerpts of a conclusion penned by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein say it all:
Elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard. ... However, his ability to explode into the backfield through a gap or around the edge gives him disruptive potential on every snap. Garrett still needs to fine-tune his pass-rush strategy and could stand to give more consistent effort from the start of the snap until the whistle. But his pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career.
Garrett, listed at 6'5" and 270 pounds, is a freak athlete who can contribute right out of the gates as a rookie. But as Zierlein notes, Garrett's ceiling could easily have him playing like one of the best players in the league.
It's a much-needed area of improvement for Cleveland, following a year in which the team tallied only 26 sacks. A centerpiece like Garrett gives the team a foundation to build around, beginning with the No. 12 pick a bit later in the first round.
14. Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Another interesting tidbit making the rounds is the ballooning stock of Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
According to 104.3 The Fan's Cecil Lammey, the Carolina Panthers have an interest in McCaffrey at No. 8.
While McCaffrey is a great prospect, overlooking Florida State's Dalvin Cook would be a disservice.
Cook, who comes in at 5'11" and 213 pounds, will remind some of a pro such as LeSean McCoy, thanks to his shifty ability to leave would-be tacklers grasping at air. It's the biggest reason he tallied huge numbers over three seasons with the Seminoles:
Cook is a big-play threat every time he has his hands on the ball, which makes him a perfect complementary back alongside someone such as Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts.
Gore keeps chugging along as perhaps one of the most underrated players of his generation. This past year, he ran for 1,025 yards and four touchdowns at the age of 33. But his versatility and a lack of a strong complement hurt the offense, which led to Andrew Luck dealing with injuries while suffering 41 sacks over 15 games.
If the Colts are serious about surrounding Luck with quality talent, getting him a superb every-down back is a big step in the right direction.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: David Njoku, TE, Miami
O.J. Howard's standing as the top tight end in the 2017 class is the third interesting storyline addressed here.
Howard is incredible, and any simple search will find him at the top of most positional draft boards. But his shadow extends in such a giant way that it completely overshadows quality prospects such as Miami's David Njoku.
Njoku has a little bit of everything, though his tremendous upside is his most appealing attribute. A big-bodied target at 6'4" and 245 pounds, the junior was a vertical threat who turned 43 catches into 698 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
The biggest knock on Njoku is blocking, though as FanRag's Joe Marino pointed out, it often goes overlooked how well he actually did in that facet of the game:
The Pittsburgh Steelers need an NFl-ready, pass-catching talent at the position. It wasn't too long ago that Ben Roethlisberger would spam the ball to Heath Miller with great success.
Last season, though, Big Ben didn't get much of anything out of the position. Jesse James was the top player at the spot and finished fifth on the team in receiving with 338 yards and three touchdowns.
Call it the perfect fit. The Steelers will ask Njoku to do exactly what the offense missed last year: stretch defenses in a vertical manner and make big plays. Not a bad deal at No. 30, as Howard will perhaps clog the spotlight to make the pick possible.