NFL Mock Draft 2017: Ravens, Panthers take RB's; 49ers, Bears, Bills pick QB's

Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange
Florida State Seminoles RB Dalivin Cook holds the MVP trophy after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 30, 2016. Cook figures to be taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and the Ravens appear to be a likely suitor. Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI
Florida State Seminoles RB Dalivin Cook holds the MVP trophy after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 30, 2016. Cook figures to be taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and the Ravens appear to be a likely suitor. Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

The Ravens averaged under 23 rush attempts per game last season and finished 28th in the NFL in rushing yards.

Some might claim that the lack of dedication to the run game is why Baltimore won't draft a running back in the first round.


However, many around the league believe Ezekiel Elliott would have been the Ravens' selection with the No. 6 overall pick in last year's first round if the Ohio State running back wasn't plucked two picks earlier by Dallas.

Cook isn't quite the workhorse that Elliott is, the former Florida State star is just as dangerous with the ball in his hands and capable of making an immediate impact. With complimentary options already on the roster like 2016 fourth rounder Kenneth Dixon, Cook won't be driven into the ground and will add another dimension to the Baltimore offense.

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1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

The Browns have needs all over the roster and unless they fall in love with a quarterback, this pick needs to be the best talent in the draft, which is Garrett.

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2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

San Francisco desperately needs to life at the quarterback position, regardless of the front office and coaching situations. Despite only one season of starting experience, Trubisky has all the traits to be a successful NFL starter.

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3. Chicago Bears: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

The Bears have some intriguing talent on the roster, but the quarterback depth chart is disheartening. Although his tape shows youthful mistakes, Kizer also shows the veteran poise and ideal physical traits to play the position at a high level.

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4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

Jacksonville has invested heavily in the defensive line, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Jaguars do so again if a talent like Allen is available for them.

5. Tennessee Titans (from LAR): Jamal Adams, SS, LSU

With a top-five pick, the Titans need to first and foremost add a difference-maker and Adams has that type of ability patrolling the secondary.


6. New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Jets have no choice but to address the secondary this off-season with question marks at both cornerback and safety. Lattimore is a very gifted athlete for his size with sticky coverage skills.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

The Chargers hit a home run with Joey Bosa last year and could swing for the fences again with Thomas, who would be a great fit both inside and outside in Gus Bradley's scheme.

8. Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per rush reached the 100-yard mark in only one game last season, his ninth in the NFL. Fournette is a freak talent who would instantly add juice to the Panthers' offense.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Linebacker Rey Maualuga is a serviceable player, but Foster would be an instant upgrade with his combination of play speed, instincts and violence.


10. Buffalo Bills: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The Tyrod Taylor situation in Buffalo will continue to play itself out the next few weeks, but if he's out of the picture then Watson becomes an intriguing option with this pick. Not sure this would be the right move, but it is definitely plausible.

11. New Orleans Saints: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

The Saints ranked dead-last in the NFL last season in passing yards allowed and collected only nine interceptions (only three by cornerbacks). Tabor fits New Orleans' scheme and would help from day one.

12. Cleveland Browns (from PHI): Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State

The Browns need an overhaul in the secondary and are missing a true ballhawk in the deep half of the field. Hooker would be a natural fit and his recent injuries could wind up being a blessing for Cleveland.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

While wide receiver was a strength of Arizona not too long ago, Larry Fitzgerald is considering retirement and Michael Floyd is now in New England. Williams could develop into the new No. 1 pass catcher for the Cardinals.


14. Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Coming from Kansas City, new Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands the impact of speed rushing off the edge and McKinley is an ascending talent with plenty of juice.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

The Eagles are desperate for help at cornerback and there should be several options for the franchise in the mid-first round. Humphrey has given up several big plays this season, but NFL coaches will be salivating at his size and skill-set.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

The Ravens have a stable of average backs on the roster, which is one of the reasons they ranked near last in the NFL in rushing in 2016. Cook would help change that and open up the offense.

17. Washington Redskins: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State

McDowell has an impressive blend of size, athleticism and power to be effective from multiple positions along the defensive line.

18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan


The Titans have plenty of bodies on the wide receiver depth chart, but no true difference-maker. Davis is one of the most prolific wideouts in college football history and is the complete package as a pass-catcher.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Ross, WR, Washington

Mike Evans is the top target of Jameis Winston, but he needs help. Ross is dwarfed by Evans in size, but his explosive athleticism and savvy route-running will only improve the Tampa offensive attack.

20. Denver Broncos: David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)

The Broncos have plenty of names on the tight end depth chart, but no difference-makers. Njoku is only 20-years old and still raw in areas, but his potential is off the charts.

21. Detroit Lions: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Detroit needs to address the issues at cornerback, but upgrading the pass rush with an edge rusher like Barnett will impact the back seven as well.

22. Miami Dolphins: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

There are glaring needs on defense for the Dolphins, but an athletic tight end like Howard would do wonders for Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense.


23. New York Giants: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

With Jason Pierre-Paul not expected back, defensive end is a likely need this off-season. Charlton, who has some traits reminiscent of Justin Tuck out of Notre Dame, has all the ingredients of a NFL starter.

24. Oakland Raiders: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

A defensive back-turned-rusher in college, Reddick makes the move to linebacker in the NFL and has the athleticism to be a star.

25. Houston Texans: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin

With the question mark at right tackle moving forward, offensive tackle is one of the most pressing needs for the Texans this offseason. And Ramcyzk is a discount at this point in the draft due to his hip injury.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

The Seahawks are getting by with the bodies they have on the offensive line, but that doesn't mean Seattle shouldn't be looking for upgrades. Lamp can probably survive at tackle in the NFL, but he might be a Pro Bowl guard with his square-blocking skill-set and stubborn mentality.


27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

With Derrick Johnson's career in question due to injuries, inside linebacker is a position the Chiefs will look to address this off-season. Cunningham plays with the take-on strength and reaction quickness to fill and cover ground.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Carl Lawson, DE/OLB, Auburn

The Cowboys have defensive needs at every level, but especially at pass rusher. Lawson does an outstanding job using his upper body strength and lower body quickness in unison to beat blockers.

29. Green Bay Packers: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

The Packers need help on the cornerback depth chart and Jones is well-versed in multiple coverages with the athleticism and ballskills to make plays.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jabrill Peppers, LB/S, Michigan

Pittsburgh hasn't been able to properly replace the hole left by Troy Polamalu at strong safety and although Peppers isn't on that level, he has intriguing blend of athleticism and physicality.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri


The Falcons' pass rush was improved in 2016 and helped advance Atlanta to the Super Bowl. But more help is needed and Harris adds a different style of rusher to the arsenal.

32. New England Patriots: Tim Williams, DE, Alabama

With his baggage, Williams will likely tumble on draft day, which could mean falling right into the laps of the World Champs.

--Dane Brugler is senior analyst of, published and operated by The Sports Xchange, in cooperation with

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