As the 2017 NFL draft continues to draw closer and closer, Jared Sherman checks in with his initial first-round mock draft of the season.
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns won’t get their franchise QB here, but get a potential superstar pass rusher in Garrett.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
With holes all over, the Niners need to find something to hang their hat on. Thomas, who can be unblockable at times, makes sense with their defense moving to the 4-3 under Robert Saleh.
3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Bears upgraded their secondary by signing CBs Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara, but still lack a difference-maker at safety. Adams is the best all-around S in the draft and brings Ed Reed-like leadership to field.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Once again, the Jags made a big splash in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, but still lack offensive firepower. Fournette could be this year’s Ezekiel Elliott. He’s big (6-foot/240 pounds), fast and a handful to tackle.
5. Tennessee Titans – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Even with the signing of Jonathan Cyprien, the Titans can’t pass on the immensely talented Hooker. Only a redshirt sophomore, Hooker is a raw and instinctual athlete who, in time, will be a star.
6. New York Jets – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Jets try yet again to find a franchise QB. In a weak class, Trubisky stands out to me as the best prospect of the bunch. He’s tough, accurate and mobile, but, like many young QBs, he’ll need to process things a lot faster in the pros.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Not a pressing need for the Bolts, but Lattimore is an outstanding player with huge upside. My top CB in the draft, Lattimore’s size (6-foot/193 pounds) and speed (4.36 40) are incredible, and he has the agility to shadow receivers all over the field.
8. Carolina Panthers – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Jonathan Stewart has been a warrior for years, but it’s time to get a more explosive RB behind Cam Newton. Cook has some fumbling problems but brings a dynamic element to a sometimes stodgy offense.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Never shy about taking on potentially volatile personalities, the Bengals grab my favorite defensive player and add him to a potentially dominant linebacker corps.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bills’ offense is desperate for playmakers, and Williams’ size (6-foot-4/218 pounds) and ability to just go up and get the ball make him an ideal addition.
11. New Orleans Saints – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Drew Brees’ career …
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