In just 21 days the Cleveland Browns will be on the clock and the 2017 NFL Draft will begin. While we all assume Myles Garrett will be the first overall pick, we won’t know until April 27.
Until then, we just have to guess… and guess… and guess. Good think mock drafts are fun. Especially since we have a number of questions to answer — in addition to who will go first — between now and draft day.
- Who will be the first quarterback taken and how early in the draft will a team grab that passer?
- How may running backs will go in the first round?
- How many first-round picks will Alabama ship into the NFL in 2017?
- Who will the Falcons draft in the first round, or might they trade back deeper into the draft?
To help answer some of those questions, or really just to venture a number of guesses, some of the 92-9 The Game crew turned in a mock of the first round. They were asked to offer a pick for all 31 non-Atlanta selections and then make the Falcons pick at 31 and offer some insight into why.
Thanks to our mock draft team: Dukes & Bell producer Jarvis Davis, former Falcons QB and play-by-play analyst Dave Archer, managing editor of the Falcons Radio Network Mike Conti, Midday host and Falcons sideline reporter John Michaels, weekend host Jon Chuckery and Falcons insider Knox Bardeen.
Let’s take a look at their picks and find out why they believe their Falcons pick works (click to enlarge draft board):
“As a response to Chris Chester retiring, and the Falcons not having a clear replacement, they find his successor with the 31st-overall pick in Dorian Johnson. He was a 2016 First Team All-American, and First Team All-ACC player. He would be a plug and play for the Atlanta Falcons, and he measures up in size as far as the zone-blocking scheme goes,” said Davis.
“Charles Harris is a pass-rusher with three distinct moves. He needs to improve POA strength, but he can impact the Falcons’ pass rush immediately,” said Archer.
Conti responded that in T.J. Watt, “Dan Quinn gets another player that can fill a number of needs on his defense, and add to its flexibility.”
“The Falcons have a glaring need at guard and it needs to be filled,” said Michaels. “Not only is right guard open, a year from now Andy Levitre could be let go, or his contract renegotiated. Lamp is a big, versatile kid who would start on Day 1.”
“With few holes to fill the Falcons need that bookend to go with Vic Beasley to get the QB. It would seem obvious, but given last year’s first-round pick, LB or S could be in the mix. Harris was put into poor schemes at times in 2016 at Missouri, but has high pass-rush upside,”said Chuckery.
“Vic Beasley won the 2016 NFL sack title and he’s just coming into his own,” said Bardeen. “His growth could, at best, be accelerated and, at worst, made stable, by adding Harris, a pass-rusher who won’t need to be a double-digit sack specialist, but a force on the opposite side of Beasley to ensure that no offensive line can focus on just one aspect of Atlanta’s pass rush.”