In this section of the mock draft, all of these teams except for the Oakland Raiders made it to the Divisional Round. Each one of these teams is considered elite, and some have made interesting moves during the off season.
With that being said, let’s get going.
1:24 Oakland Raiders
The Pick: Teez Tabor, Cornerback, University of Florida
The Raiders made a huge jump this season. With Derek Carr behind center, the Raiders were able to finish 12-4 and were able to make it to the playoffs. The season however, did not end well in terms of Star Gun-Slinger Derek Carr as he ended the year on IR. When a Quarterback gets injured, usually a team weakness is the offensive line. The Raiders however, still have one of the league’s best.
The Raiders have made smaller moves throughout free agency. With the signings of Jared Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson, this offense has become even more explosive. E.J. Manual also gives them a serviceable backup option alongside Connor Cook. With the team losing Malcolm Smith, the signing of Jelani Jenkins at Linebacker should be fine.
The Raiders have multiple needs including interior defensive line, the linebacking core, and cornerback. The linebacking core should be fine with Jenkins stepping in, there are also options in later rounds. Also, the interior defensive line can definitely be shored up in the second day of the draft. With Teez Tabor, you get a pure man-to-man corner. Tabor doesn’t provide electrifying speed, however he is a great replacement for D.J. Hayden. Also, he can eventually replace Sean Smith at CB1 who showed signs of age last season.
1:25 Houston Texans
The Pick: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
The Texans have been one of the more consistent teams in the NFL. Not being terrible, however not really taking the next step. Yes they did have a #1 overall pick recently, however they were able to turn their fortunes rather quickly.
Guided by a strong defense with yearly DPOY candidate JJ Watt, Houston has enjoyed a fearsome defense. Stars have continued to rise with notables like Whitney Mercilus and A.J. Bouye. The problem is, Bouye recently signed with the Jags this offseason. While Bouye is a huge loss, the Texans have lanky corner Kevin Johnson in the bag.
The biggest problem for the Texans was quarterback play. Brian Hoyer was very eh, and Brock Osweiler is most likely the worst free agency siginnign in the NFL’s history. While I believe Patrick Mahomes provides more upside, Watson allows you to plug and play with the least amount of interference.
1:26 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, University of Wisconsin
The Seahawks are the greatest one ring dynasty of all time. Okay, jokes aside, the Seahawks have had success over the last half decade. The “Legion of Boom” has had many iterations, however this past year it began to break down. Earl Thomas was put on IR when the Hawks were catching their stride.
However, the Seahawks have had one of the worst offensive lines the last two years. I mean, when Bradley Sowell is your starting Left Tackle there’s a problem. There was hope when Seattle took Texas A&M Tackle Germain Ifedi in the 2016 First Round. They then moved him inside to right guard.
Like I have stated before, this offensive tackle class is pretty bad. Alot of these guys are tweener’s when it comes to playing tackle in the NFL. Ryan Ramczyk has the size but only one year at the position. Tom Cable is one of the best offensive line minds in the league, giving him a talent like Ramczyk would go a long way to solving the o-line issues.
1:27 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech University
Alex Smith and Andy Reid are about as perfect a matchup as you can find. Couple that together with one of the best tight ends in the NFL, one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL, and an up and coming running back like Spencer Ware.
This team might be the most talented team from top to bottom, in terms of their roster. Let’s not forget about Marcus Peters, Eric Berry, and Justin Houston. This explosive yet fundamentlaly sound team was able to win the AFC West, and make it all the way to the Divisional Round. With that being said, the holes on this team aren’t to apparent.
That’s why Patrick Mahomes makes sense. While Mahomes may not be the best player at this position, he makes sense for many reasons. With taking Mahomes in the first round, you gurantee another year on the players contract in terms of an option. Also, scouts have said that Mahomes has by FAR the most potential out of any QB in this draft.
1:28 Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: Charles Harris, EDGE Rusher, University of Mizzouri
The Cowboys were written off very early. With Tony Romo’s back getting pulverized, most believed that this year was another throw away. Not so fast, as Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot lead the Cowboys to the best season by a rooke quartberack.
The Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL, no question, so offensively they’re fine. Their biggest issue was their defensive. Daniel Irving showed up as he reached 4 sacks in a limited amount of starts. Morris Claiborne, and Brandon Carr both bolted during Free Agency.
With so many questions on defense, what do you do? I believe the Cowboys will select Charles Harris. I understand that this defense already has Randy Gregory penciled in the lineup, hoewever Gregory has been a headcase off of the field. Harris recently impressed at his pro-day and his endless high-motor should allow him to flourish in Dallas.
1:29 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Takarist McKinley, EDGE Rusher, UCLA
The Packers are the always atop the NFL. The “tradition” with the team has allowed continued success over the last so many years. Aaron Rodgers was masterful last year and will most likely continue to operate in that way. With the return of Jordy Nelson, the Packers offense was officially back.
Defensively the Packers were able to hold themselves together, Clay Matthews continued to his normal thing against offensive lines. The two biggest needs come in the form of a pass rusher and cornerback help. Ted Thompson has failed to find a great corner over the last few years.
With that being said, the loss of Julius Peppers is huge. Meaning that pass rusher is atop their draft boards. Thompson went with a UCLA product in Kenny Clark last year at defensive tackle, and i beileve that Takarist McKinley makes the most sense here. McKinley provides great pass rusing ability and seems to only be on the precipus of his true talents.
1:30 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: Deshone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame
The Killer B’s of Pittsburgh have set the AFC on fire. Antonio Brown has set himself up as the best wide receiver in the game, with Le’veon Bell being neck and neck with David Johnson for the title of best running back.
The Pittsburgh defense has been good as well. With terrible cornerback play has plagued this team, they seem to make it work. While the talent isn’t there, they make it seem like a smaller weakness. James Harrison continues to get sacks, and Bud Dupree is slowly becoming the pass rusher they yearned for years ago.
The biggest question mark for this team is Big Ben. He questioned his return to football after the loss to the Patriots, and it seems like he’s leaning towards coming back. With that being said, why not take a QB? Kizer is a big bodied, strong armed gun-slinger. He still needs time to develop but by taking him in the first round, you get more time to groom him.
1:31 Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: Forrest Lamp, Offensive-Guard, Western Kentucky University
Everything seemed to come together for the Falcons this year. After an average season, the Falcons were able to becoming the Class of the NFC. Vic Beasley came on strong notching 15.5 sacks. Safety Keanu Neal and slot corner Brian Poole also flashed in their rookie years.
When picking 31st of 32nd, that means that you don’t really have alot of weaknesses. Which is why I am not going to try and bore you with a wordy breakdown. In terms of how this Mock Draft has shaken out, Forrest Lamp makes the most sense. Lamp provides depth and talent to an already young offensive line.
1:32 New Orleans Saints
The Pick: Joe Mixon, Running Back, University of Oklahoma
The Saints traded their star wideout Brandin Cooks for the 32nd pick. While I may be one of the few who agree with this move, the Saints will have the opportunity to make a splash, and that’s something I think they will do.
This leads me to think Joe Mixon makes sense for the Saints. While it is a VERY unpopular pick in terms of team and round, Mixon is still very talented. He will have to deal with his DISGUSTING act of domestic violence. Sadly, I do not think it will stop GM’s from taking him in the first round.
In terms of Joe Mixon, let us all remember what Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim uttered a little less than two years ago.
GM Steve Keim on weighing off-field issues for prospects: "If Hannibal Lecter ran a 4.3, we'd probably diagnose it as an eating disorder."
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) April 22, 2015
That wraps up version one of the BIGPLAY NFL Mock Draft. We have 33 days until the actual NFL draft begins. The Final Mock will be released during the week of the 2017 NFL Draft. This time, in its entirety.
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