Jayson Braddock’s Full NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round Part 1

Jayson Braddock’s Full NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round Part 1
  • Gregg Sussman

FNTSY Sports Network’s Pat Mayo and NFL Draft Scout Jayson Braddock go pick-by-pick for their 2017 NFL Mock Draft. They discuss each team’s pressing needs, Braddock’s player rankings at each position, trade rumors he’s hearing from sources, and where he thinks each team will differ in what they’ll do at their pick.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Full Mock | Audio Podcast | Picks 1-16 | 17-32 | 33-47 | 48-64 | Rd 3 | rd 4 | rd 5 | rd 6 | rd 7
2017 Fantasy Football:  NFL Schedule | Early RB Rankings | Early WR Rankings | Podcasts: RB | WR | Sched 
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Jayson Braddock is one of the brightest NFL draft minds in the world. He’s more accurate than Mel Kiper and his attention to detail is second to none. Jayson has released his full seven round mock draft, which includes thorough analysis and even potential trades. We are thrilled to have it run exclusively on SportsGrid. For more from Jayson, follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock.
Video Podcast | Audio | Round 1 – 1-16 |  Round 1 – 17-32 | Round 2 – 33-47 | Round 2 – 48-64 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6 | Round 7

1) Cleveland Browns – DE/OLB / Myles Garrett / Texas A&M – I considered the possibilities of the Browns trading this pick, but I couldn’t find a situation that made sense. Yes, San Francisco has 10 draft picks and would only need to move up one spot, but they have a ton of needs. Cleveland may take some offers, but I don’t think they’ll get any offer that would justify passing on Garrett’s potential. Teams don’t pay the same ransom when trading up to the #1 pick for non-quarterbacks. So, the Browns just get stuck with the freakish pass rusher who displays exponential upside. Garrett, along with Danny Shelton in the front seven starts to give the Browns the cornerstone pieces to a defense deserving of playing in the AFC North.

2) San Francisco 49ers – DT/DE / Solomon Thomas / Stanford – The 49ers have plenty of holes and I don’t believe Kyle Shanahan needs a top quarterback for his offense. San Francisco needs to take advantage of having the second pick and taking one of the top talents in this draft. There’s no need to trade back and acquire more picks, although, if a team is willing to move up for one of the top quarterbacks in this class, I’m sure the phones will be in working order. Thomas joins a defensive line that includes Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, each of whom were selected in the first round the previous two drafts. It’s like the old adage says, “you win in the trenches”. Throw in the free agent signing of Earl Mitchell and the 49ers are on the fast track to building this defense back up to what it once was.

3) Chicago Bears – DE / Jonathan Allen / Alabama – The Bears have bigger needs, but I like the idea of giving Vic Fangio, possibly, the best player in the entire draft. This pick would also add value to the Bears’ 2016 first round pick, Leonard Floyd. Having Akiem Hicks, Allen, Eddie Goldman and last year’s third round pick, Jonathan Bullard rotating on the defensive line, makes it impossible for offenses to treat Floyd as the complete focal point.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars – TE / OJ Howard / Alabama – Selfishly, I’d love to pencil Reuben Foster in here. I would just like to see what that linebacker group of Foster, Myles Jack & Telvin Smith could do behind this defensive line. The Jaguars have already spent a ton of high picks and free agency dollars on their stacked defense. Jacksonville has to salvage the offense and I don’t think they should throw the baby (Blake Bortles) out with the bath water. Let the “new” regime attempt to give him weapons and develop him. Leonard Fournette obviously drew a lot of interest here. He would provide a power run game and take pressure off of Bortles…if the offensive line held up. There’s no offensive lineman worth taking here, so get the best of both worlds. Howard can provide a 6th/7th both on the line to give Bortles and the backs a better chance at success. It also takes pressure off of Allen Robinson to carry all of the weight and should hopefully get Allen Hurns back on track. Quarterbacks, especially mediocre ones, love having a safety blanket to check down to. How about a 6’6 – 250 pound blanket that runs 4.5 speed?

5) Buffalo Bills – TRADE (2017 – 1st round Pick #10 & 2017 2nd round Pick #44 to the Titans for 2017 – 1st round Pick #5) – QB / Deshaun Watson / Clemson – The Bills, in fear of “their” quarterback going to divisional rival, the New York Jets, decide to make a bold move and trade up to pick #5. The Bills have experience in trading up for Clemson playmakers as it was only three years ago that they shifted a future 1st & 4th round pick to the Browns in order to select Sammy Watkins. This time the price isn’t as high. In a year in which the draft is loaded with talent and due to the Titans already having another 1st round pick, they’re willing to accept the trade in which they only fall back five picks and replace the 2nd round pick that they were missing. In Watson, Buffalo gets a quarterback who complements Tyrod Taylor’s style but with much more upside. Offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison can bring along Watson slowly and develop an offense that’s built to his strength. New Bills coach, Sean McDermott gets a detailed scouting report from his former quarterback, Cam Newton, on the young signal caller, who just so happens to be close with Newton. Doug Whaley has reportedly been smitten with the potential of adding the defending National Champion quarterback.

6) New York Jets – QB / Mitch Trubisky / UNC – After seeing the Bills move up ahead of them and selecting a potential stud, young quarterback, the Jets decide that it may be time to spend early on a future face of the franchise. The Jets could look around the division and see Tom Brady, an improved Ryan Tannehill under Adam Gase and now the Bills with Tyrod Taylor and take it as a kick in the pants. This moves gives them a potential franchise quarterback of their own and if Christian Hackenberg does develop, then they’ll have future draft commodities in the then surplus of young, quarterbacking talent. The Jets didn’t mind rolling the dice on Mark Sanchez who came out of USC with limited starts. Could they be tempted to trying it again?

7) Los Angeles Chargers – OT / Garrett Bolles / Utah – I didn’t see the Joey Bosa move coming last year. The Chargers pull another shocker here by taking an offensive tackle in the top 10. There’s been talk about the Chargers finding their future quarterback or possibly doing this or that. I look at this roster and with Philip Rivers toward the end of his career, believe that they have to be thinking, “protect Philip” and try to win while they still have a franchise quarterback. This isn’t the best value pick but at the end of the day, where guys are selected is great talk for us in the media, but means squat when it’s time to play football. The Chargers need better lineman, they go and get the guy that they believe gives them the best shot at being a franchise left tackle for the next decade.

8) Carolina Panthers – CB / Marshon Lattimore / Ohio State – There are a lot of different directions in which the Panthers could go and they all make sense. Jamal Adams, Malik Hooker, Taco Charlton and Leonard Fournette are all available in this mock, surprisingly. Cornerback isn’t as big of a need as last year with some of their young corners coming on, but do any of those guys have the upside of Lattimore? The 4.3 speed that Lattimore possesses has to be intriguing to a team that just saw DeSean Jackson added to the division which already has Julio Jones and former Panther, Ted Ginn. Lattimore has the ability to quiet the speedsters in the NFC South.

9) Cincinnati Bengals – DE / Taco Charlton / Michigan – I could see a team trading up for Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker here. The Bengals have to entertain the thought of adding either of those top prospects, but pass rushers are a rare commodity and I believe Charlton has an insane ceiling. He’ll fit the mold of the big pass rushers like Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson that Cincinnati loves so much. The best football is ahead for Charlton and the Bengals get five years under rookie pay to see how high that ceiling truly is.

10) Tennessee Titans – TRADE (2017 1st round Pick #5 to the Bills for 2017 – 1st round Pick #10 and 2nd round Pick #44) – FS / Malik Hooker / Ohio State – The Titans are sitting in a great spot after their trade back. They’re looking at a board that still has Jamal Adams, Malik Hooker, Reuben Foster and Corey Davis and they get to select twice more over the next 34 picks. The fact that no receivers have come off the board yet, has the Titans feeling good about landing one with the 18th pick. Need factors in a bit here as the Titans may like Foster and Adams more, but Hooker makes a lot of sense. After spending on Jonathan Cyprien in free agency, the Titans can allow him to play closer to the line while allowing Hooker to reign far and wide in the secondary.

11) New Orleans Saints – MLB / Reuben Foster / Alabama – The Saints do need another defensive end, but the need for a pass rusher is a little bit overstated. On top of Cameron Jordan, they’ll get back an interior pass rush with Sheldon Richardson and an outside pass rush with Hau’oli Kikaha. Also, while raw, I’m intrigued by what Obum Gwacham can develop into to. That’s not to say that the Saints shouldn’t add another defensive end early, I just wouldn’t force the issue at 11. A cornerback is intriguing here as well as Gareon Conley makes a lot of sense for a team that isn’t sure if Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams will remain healthy but the fact that Malcolm Butler could still be had via trade has me passing. Foster should have been long gone. He’s a freak at the inside linebacker position. The Saints have tried to fill this position with Stephone Anthony, James Laurinaitis and this offseason with the signings of AJ Klein and Manti Te’o. Those are nice fillers; Foster is a difference maker, similar to what the rest of the division has in Luke Kuechly, Kwon Alexander and Deion Jones. It’s time for the Saints to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak.

12) New England Patriots – TRADE (Jimmy Garoppolo to the Browns for 2017 1st round Pick #12, 2017 2nd round Pick #33 and 2018 2nd round Pick ) SS / Jamal Adams / LSU – Does it seem like a lot to give up for a quarterback with only two starts? Sure, but who cares. The Browns had 11 picks in this draft and they have three 2nd round picks in 2018. You know what they don’t have and haven’t had in some time…a franchise quarterback. I believe Jimmy Garoppolo is a franchise quarterback and the Browns just got him in this trade without mortgaging the future, oh, and by the way, they also got the draft’s top player and eight more picks this year. Now, the other side of the story is that the rest of the NFL and its fans may hate the Browns even more now because the Patriots just got back into the first round and the second round, which is the first pick, so it’s almost like another first round pick. As far as the Patriots selection, I’m as sick as you about this (Non-Patriots fans). I have no forgone conclusions when I start a mock draft I just let it fall as it may. I love Jamal Adams and think he’s one of the best prospects in this class. It’s just the way this mock fell that he’s still available. To put Adams in a secondary with Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty and Malcolm Brown, as it sits, just doesn’t seem fair. But, there’s a reason that Bill Belichick is the best.

13) Arizona Cardinals – WR / Corey Davis / Western Michigan – Haason Reddick just seems like an Arizona Cardinal picks. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much to put him here, but I am. I’m not buying the talk of the Cardinals selecting a quarterback here or moving up into the top 10 for one. The Cardinals are looking to win a championship with Carson Palmer. So, with that in mind, get him some weapons. Corey Davis can come in and be the #1 wide receiver in Arizona day one and he’ll be able to soak up some of Larry Fitzgerald’s wisdom before he retires. The Cards have enough speed threats in John Brown and JJ Nelson, so I wouldn’t expect them to go John Ross here, however, Mike Williams could be there preference.

14) Philadelphia Eagles – RB/WR / Christian McCaffrey / Stanford – Just like with the Arizona pick and passing on Haason Reddick, I’m truly struggling with not selecting Gareon Conley here for the Eagles. That said McCaffrey makes so much sense for what the Eagles are doing. The most important position in any sport is the quarterback position (water is wet). The Eagles have to surround the 2nd year signal caller with as many options as possible. They’ve done that with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith perfectly complimenting Jordan Matthews. Now, McCaffrey can be dynamic out of the backfield or even line up out wide as a receiving threat. NOTE: I completely disagree with the consensus thought that McCaffrey is a “gimmick” running back. He has Le’Veon Bell type patience and explosion. He can handle 20+ touches a game and destroy defenses.

15) Indianapolis Colts – RB / Leonard Fournette / LSU – I completely understand if the Colts decide to go with a Gareon Conley, Haason Reddick or Derek Barnett here for a poor defense. At some point though, the Colts have to decide to make Andrew Luck’s job easier. They can do that here with two players, Mike Williams or Leonard Fournette. Now, while Williams would be a great big-body receiver that Andrew Luck has been missing, Fournette is a top five talent that shouldn’t still be available. Fournette allows Luck to have a running back that’s young and scares the defense. Luck doesn’t have to go into every game feeling as if he has to make impossible throws for the team to stand a chance.

16) Houston Texans – TRADE (2017 1st round Pick #25 & 2017 3rd round Pick #89 to the Ravens for 2017 1st round Pick #16) – QB / Patrick Mahomes III / Texas Tech – The Texans don’t have a quarterback under contract after this season. After seeing two of the quarterbacks go off the board in the first six picks, Rick Smith got on the phone with good buddy, Ozzie Newsome and agreed to this trade, if Patrick Mahomes made it to 16. The Texans finally select a quarterback in the first round for the first time since their first ever pick back in 2002 (David Carr). Bill O’Brien gets his young quarterback to mold. Rick Smith has shown in recent years that he’s willing to part with picks if there’s a prospect that the team covets (Will Fuller / Nick Martin / Benardrick McKinney / Jaelen Strong). The Texans get ahead of Washington, who may pick a quarterback and look to trade Kirk Cousins and also prevent Kansas City from jumping ahead of them.