SideLion Report 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Oct 17, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) carries the ball against the Florida Gators during the second quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) carries the ball against the Florida Gators during the second quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports /

SideLion Report’s writing staff held a collective mock draft of the first round, which included eight writers each drafting for one of the eight NFL divisions. See who goes where in our first official mock of the 2017 Draft below.

1). Cleveland Browns: DE Myles Garrett – Texas A&M

This pick doesn’t actually need any sort of explanation. Garrett has been the top prospect on nearly every single draft analysts’ big boards, and I’d suspect nearly all NFL front offices as well. His stout combine showing (4.64 40, 41’ vertical, 33 bench reps) ended up 2nd all time on Kent Platte’s Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) for defensive ends. He should and will be picked first.  Ty Finch

2). San Francisco 49ers: DE Derek Barnett – Tennessee

The 49ers are in full rebuild mode and need just about everything.  They need a playmaker on defense and Derek Barnett fits the bill. Admittedly, second overall is probably a stretch for Barnett, who would probably look better as a 7th or 8th pick. Our mock draft format didn’t allow for trades but if it did, the 49ers would have plenty of suitors looking Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson in a very thin draft for quarterbacks.Tony Fischer

3). Chicago Bears: QB Deshaun Watson – Clemson

The Bears just paid way too much money for a relatively untested Mike Glennon. It’s because of this, I think they are going to make a splash with this pick. It’s a little high for Watson here, but they need a face of their franchise, with a great running back and a fantastic defense already in place. You just don’t replace Jay Cutler with Mike Glennon, unless he’s a bridge quarterback for a rookie. Matt Urben

4). Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Jonathan Allen – Alabama

Dave Caldwell (general manager) and Tom Coughlin (executive vice president of football operations) have decided to build up Jacksonville through defense this offseason, signing Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Barry Church. The selection of the technically sound Allen continues that trend. Allen brings versatility (good rusher from interior or edge), toughness and tenacity along an already solid defensive line. All of a sudden Jacksonville is one of the scariest defenses in the NFL. Ryan O’Bleness

5).Tennessee Titans: S Jamal Adam – L.S.U.

Tennessee’s secondary ranked 25th in the league in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. The Titans have made a point of upgrading their defensive backfield this offseason by adding Logan Ryan and Jonathan Cyprien, but Adams is a game-changer who flies to the football and is a big hitter. He is likely an immediate upgrade from incumbent starting strong safety, Da’Norris Searcy. Ryan O’Bleness

6). New York Jets: CB Marshon Lattimore – Ohio State

Lattimore is far and away the best corner in the draft and the Jets need a good one. Revis is currently a free agent and he’s 31. Opposite him last year, the Jets used Buster Skrine and there is almost no depth behind that pair. Lattimore has good size and freakish athleticism. He has smooth hips and stays in his receiver’s hip pocket but can also tackle with aggression. While quarterback is a tempting choice here, it makes more sense for New York to take the best CB in the class and see if they can grab their QB in the second round. Al Stahl

7). L.A. Chargers: OG Dion Dawkins – Temple

The Chargers are suffering in several positions, but their defense needs a lot less work. Choosing an offensive lineman is a smart start to the draft and Dawkins could fit in well at one of those guard positions. He’s raw but he’s a strong player who can add depth, if nothing else. Andria Dolan

Jan 25, 2017; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad head coach John Fox of the Chicago Bears talks with offensive guard Dion Dawkins of Temple (66) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports /

8). Carolina Panthers: RB Leonard Fournette – LSU

Johnathon Stewart isn’t getting any younger or healthier which makes Fournette taking over Carolina’s power run offense smart. They could go tackle here, but they did sign Matt Kalil who should be good enough to make the Panthers wait on drafting a tackle. And honestly, who doesn’t want to see an option run between the tanks that are Fournette and Cam Newton?Jack Ozark

9). Cincinnati Bengals: DE Solomon Thomas – Stanford

I had to double check that Thomas hadn’t been picked yet at this spot. If he is in real life, the Bengals shouldn’t sprint to the podium, but casually stroll with a smirk on their collective faces, knowing the perfect scenario happened. Paul Guenther, defensive coordinator for the Bengals, recently had a lot to say about who they were looking for in the upcoming draft. Thomas can play outside on 1st and 2nd down, and kick inside on passing downs. He fits the Bengals system to a T. Ty Finch

10). Buffalo Bills: WR Corey Davis – Western Michigan

Corey Davis is possibly the best WR prospect in the draft this year. He and Clemson’s Mike Williams are clearly the best of the bunch. While Williams is a little unpolished in his route running, Davis has solid feet and is smooth in his. Davis does everything well, but he went up against much softer competition in the MAC. He has prototypical size for the position as well as the ability to high point the catch-and-win jump balls. The Bills will replace their last can’t miss receiving prospect with the latest incarnation and hopefully, the pair can play well together with QB Tyrod Taylor. Al Stahl

11). New Orleans Saints: TE O.J. Howard – Alabama

Jimmy Graham was traded away two years ago and the Saints have been hoping to replace him since. Coby Fleener is decent, but Howard can do what Jimmy did and actually block. Also trading away Brandin Cooks makes me think they Saints might want defense here, but also a top talent, at a position they know works well in their offense, is too good to pass up. Jack Ozark

12). Cleveland Browns: QB Mitch Trubisky – North Carolina

Don’t call him Mitch. Mitchell Trubisky is set to be the new savior of the Cleveland Browns, or more likely, the next name on that famous Browns’ fan jersey. Trubisky is the only name on the board that the Browns seem to covet as much as Garrett, and would be ecstatic to take him at 12th overall. The Browns need a lot of talent period, but they need a quarterback the most. Ty Finch

13). Arizona Cardinals: RB Christian McCaffrey – Stanford

Christian McCaffrey is one of those players capable of doing just about anything for an offense. He matched his eye-popping numbers from college with equally amazing numbers at the combine. Incumbent David Johnson was impressive in his first full season as the Cardinals featured back but everyone knows a team needs more than one solid rusher to get through the season. The Cardinals could use McCaffery’s versatile skill set to boost the offense.  Birdland would have probably preferred drafting their quarterback of the future but Trubisky came off the board just before their pick. Tony Fischer

14). Philadelphia Eagles: RB Dalvin Cook – F.S.U.

The bad news on Dalvin is that he didn’t really wow at his combine. The good news is he just has to beat out the 2010 Chargers RB group to start. Cook can come in instantly and contribute to an offense that only got better this offseason. Brandon Finley

15). Indianapolis Colts: LB Reuben Foster – Alabama

While offensive line is a major concern for Indianapolis, the talent is just not really there in the first round. The Colts also have a major weakness at middle linebacker and need a playmaker there. With Foster still on the board, the Colts shouldn’t waste any time here. Foster is a natural fit in the middle for a 3-4 defense, but is also versatile enough to play outside. He is a supreme athlete and a vicious hitter. Ryan O’Bleness

16). Baltimore Ravens: WR Mike Williams – Clemson

THIS Mike Williams is the real deal. He has the size (6’4, 218) and the athleticism (4.49 40 on his pro day, 32.5 inch vertical) to be the prototypical number one wide receiver in the NFL. And for Joe Flacco to be an ELITE starting quarterback in the NFL again, he needs all the weapons possible at his disposal. Steve Smith retired, Kamar Aiken isn’t likely to return, Mike Wallace is not a first option, and Breshad Perriman is still too young. Williams is a great fit in Baltimore. Ty Finch

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Mike Williams (7) runs with the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

17). Washington Redskins: SS Jabrill Peppers – Michigan

While Washington has a similar player in Sua Cravens in the lineup already, Peppers can provide a matchup nightmare to take the Redskins defense to the next level. His value in the return game doesn’t hurt, especially if WR Jamison Crowder takes on a bigger role in the offense. Brandon Finley

18). Tennessee Titans: WR John Ross – Washington

The Titans must get Marcus Mariota a weapon on offense to pair with Delanie Walker. Tennessee’s unofficial depth chart currently lists Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Matthews as its starting wide receivers, which scares nobody. With Mike Williams, Corey Davis and tight end, O.J. Howard, off of the board, the Titans take Ross and his 4.22-second 40-yard dash speed. Despite health concerns, Ross becomes an immediate vertical threat for this team. Ryan O’Bleness

19).Tampa Bay Bucs: CB Marlon Humphrey – Alabama

I was thinking about going wide receiver here, but bringing in DeSean Jackson lessened that immediate need. What I soon realized to be a bigger problem was that old man Brent Grimes was a starter for the Bucs last season. Bringing in the Humphrey to join second-year cornerback Vernon Hargreaves would give the Bucs two potential shutdown corners for years to come. Jack Ozark

20). Denver Broncos: OT Garret Bolles – Utah

With a strong need on offensive line, the Broncos should draft Garett Bolles. Bolles come from Utah and has, as his NFL Draft Profile states, “the sweetest feet” in the draft. Andria Dolan

21). Detroit Lions: LB Zach Cunningham – Vanderbilt

It’s no secret the Lions have a major need at linebacker since releasing DeAndre Levy. Zach Cunningham is not quite the name everyone was hoping for in a draft that features several local school prospects at positions of need, but Cunningham is the right scheme fit and upgrade Detroit needs along their front seven. Matt Urben

Sep 10, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders running back I’Tavius Mathers (4) rushes against Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports /

22). Miami Dolphins: DE Taco Charlton – Michigan

For Charlton, you’ll often hear a few words surrounding him. “Freak”, “freaky athleticism”, “inconsistent”, “long”, “twitchy.” For all the positives surrounding Taco, the biggest knock on him is his inconsistent play. He has all the tools in his belt to be a dominant player in the NFL at DE but you don’t see the production he is capable of on every play. And while there were several tempting options available for the Dolphins here (Hooker, Melifonwu, Feeney, Reddick), taking the second best pass rusher at 22 just made the most sense. Al Stahl

23). New York Giants: OT Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin

Ram-Rod is the pickup New York may not want, but the one it needs right now. A big man mover who would allow Eric Flowers to slide to RT and help complete an offense that is looking to fill holes and return to the playoffs. Brandon Finley

24). Oakland Raiders: DL Caleb Brantley – Florida

Oakland is weak in the middle of their defense. Caleb Brantley was a disruptive force as an interior lineman while at Florida. The Raiders need a bruiser like Brantley to solidify that part of their defensive line. Andria Dolan

25). Houston Texans: QB Patrick Mahomes – Texas Tech

As it currently stands, Houston’s best option at quarterback is Tom Savage, which likely won’t cut it. Although, the Texans have long been linked to acquiring Tony Romo, if the Dallas Cowboys release him. Mahomes has been a prospect that has been trending upward since the combine, and likely worked his way into the first round. Mahomes, a Texas native, would be a wise pick to have on the roster whether the Texans add the aged Romo or not. Ryan O’Bleness

26). Seattle Seahawks: DL Malik McDowell – M.S.U.

McDowell has built himself quite a reputation as a malcontent. If anybody can handle a malcontent player, it’s Pete Carroll. McDowell has talent to spare and the coach that can figure out how to motivate him could get the steal of the draft. Tony Fischer

27). Kansas City Chiefs: DL Chris Wormley – Michigan

Falling to the 27th pick, KC may not have their first pick, or even second or third. Wormley’s explosiveness and extreme athleticism will make him a good match to the rest of the Chiefs’ already dangerous defense. Andria Dolan

28). Dallas Cowboys: CB Adoree’ Jackson – U.S.C.

Adoree’ can come in and start day one for the NFC East champions. A weapon with the ball in his hands and any coverage scheme, Adoree fills a much-needed hole in a team that couldn’t afford to pay its average 2015 secondary. Brandon Finley

29). Green Bay Packers: LB T.J. Watt – Wisconsin

Something about T.J. Watt just feels like a Packer. He’s a tough, high-motor player that fits their system well. Watt helps improve both their pass and run defense right away. Of course, there is the possibility they go with a safer choice of a much-needed offensive lineman after the loss of Pro-Bowler T.J. Lang to Detroit. My guess is they hold off on that until the middle rounds and grab a potential defensive cornerstone here with Watt. Matt Urben

30). Pittsburgh Steelers: FS Malik Hooker – Ohio State

The Steelers’ defense is slowly getting better over the past couple of years, and adding a ball hawking, center field type safety in Hooker will keep that improvement going. At this point in the draft, Hooker is also a value pick. There are concerns about his tackling, but you don’t buy a Ferrari for the terrific MPG’s. Hooker is a playmaker, and Pittsburgh could use him well. Ty Finch

December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker (24) intercepts a pass intended for Clemson Tigers wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) during the first half of the the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

31). Atlanta Falcons: OG Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky

The Falcons could go for some more defensive players after hitting a few home runs in last year’s draft, but a bigger need is their aging interior linemen. Lamp might be the best guard available, and offensive line depth is always a good thing. Honestly, even if there was a better guard, it’s hard to pass on a guy with the name Forrest Lamp. Jack Ozark

32). New Orleans Saints: LB Haason Reddick – Temple

I addressed earlier that the Saints may look to defense with their first pick, but I can almost guarantee that they will here. I mean imagine if they traded away Brandin Cooks just to draft another wideout with the pick they got back? Reddick gives the Saints an amazing talent with one problem; teams don’t know where to place him yet. The Saints lucked out here getting a top-20 player with the last pick in the first. Jack Ozark

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