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2017 NFL mock draft: Alabama players dominate 1st round

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Six Crimson Tide players, including three of the top six, are among the top 32.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama vs Clemson Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s mock draft, which featured only SEC players, threw several into a fit of rage. To lessen the amount of anger on the internet, we’re back to a standard mock draft for this week.

In this week’s edition, the quarterbacks are back to being taken high. When that happens, the top talent in the draft gets spread out much more. Things at the top remain similar, however, with Myles Garrett of Texas A&M and several Alabama players. All told, six Crimson Tide players feature in the first round this week.

1. Cleveland Browns — Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

The Browns really seem to a have a good pass rusher in Emmanuel Ogbah. Beyond him, though, they don’t have a player teams really need to compensate for up front. Someone like Garrett would give Cleveland a nice pair of bookends.

2. San Francisco 49ers — Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama

It’s been hard to nail down the best option for the 49ers at No. 2 overall. You could make a real argument for a quarterback or two other Alabama defenders. This week’s consideration is Foster, a pro-ready linebacker who could hopefully be the new Patrick Willis for the 49ers.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

Jacksonville finally cut Gus Bradley loose, but it’s hard to drastically alter the draft direction if general manager Dave Caldwell stays on. In this scenario, Allen remains the popular choice for the Jaguars simply because he’s the best player available and fills a need.

4. Chicago Bears — Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Matt Barkley has been solid for the Bears while starting for Jay Cutler. But is he going to be good enough going forward to stop Chicago from taking a quarterback in the first round? That’s going to be one of the lead stories to follow leading up to the draft. In this mock draft, obviously the answer to that question is no.

5. Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams) — Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Obviously Tennessee’s biggest need is at cornerback. But considering it should be one of the strengths of the draft, they could wait on the position until picking again in the first round. If they do, targeting Williams would be smart. He’s the draft’s best receiver thanks to his size and ability to attack the ball at the high point.

6. New York Jets — Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

As the season progresses, the Jets are proving to be quite a mess. They could use this pick to take yet another quarterback, but that might only happen if the team cleans house. Assuming they don’t, they could turn their attention to pass rusher. Williams is a star speed rusher, and at worst could be a Bruce Irvin-type player.

7. San Diego Chargers — Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

San Diego has been in a free fall, losing four of its last five games. One of the issues is a lack of playmakers on defense. Peppers could fill that role. He’s a do-everything safety who was forced to play near the line of scrimmage for much of the 2016 season. He’s capable of doing much more.

8. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) — Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Robert Griffin III? Nope. Cody Kessler? Nope. Kevin Hogan and Josh McCown? Nope. Charlie Whitehurst? Of course not. No quarterback who has played for the Browns is the future the team needs. That will force the Browns to force the issue in next year’s draft. The debate isn’t whether or not the Browns should take a quarterback in the first round. Instead, it’s finding which one fits the best. With Trubisky off the board, it’s Watson thanks to his athleticism and experience.

9. Arizona Cardinals — DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

The Cardinals will have their first losing season under Bruce Arians, and that could lead to a retooling of the roster. That starts with the quarterback, where Kizer looks like a proper fit.

10. Carolina Panthers — Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Jonathan Stewart has struggled this season with injuries, and will be 30 at the start of next season. Fournette could add a new dimension to Carolina’s offense. He’s a workhorse back who can bolster the offense if Cam Newton’s play is down again next season.

11. Cincinnati Bengals — Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

The pass rush for the Bengals this season has been inconsistent. While a wide receiver or interior player will be a priority this offseason, it will be hard to pass up Barnett. He’s a productive pass rusher, and his play against the run is an added bonus. He’ll only last this long in the draft if teams do fall in love with the quarterbacks.

12. New Orleans Saints — Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Whether it’s a linebacker or an end, the Saints need a pass rusher. Luckily for them, Lawson can play both. He’s a high-effort force getting after the passer.

13. Buffalo Bills — Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Adams might not be standout pass-defending safety the Bills really need, but he’s a good consolation prize. He could be this year’s version of Landon Collins.

14. Indianapolis Colts — Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA

Any number of pass rushers could fit for the Colts here. It just so happens one of the best ones in McKinley is still around. By the time the draft process plays out, he might not be.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) — Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Eagles have used a lot of high draft picks on wide receivers in the last five years, and still don’t have an obvious No. 1 at the position. Davis can be that type of wideout. He’s been ultra productive at Western Michigan, and has the kind of physical playing style that teams will love.

16. Tennessee Titans — Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

Even waiting until their second first-round pick, the Titans will still be able to find a good starting cornerback. Wilson has impressive size at 6’1 and 213 pounds, and he’s only just scratching surface of his potential.

17. Baltimore Ravens — Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri

Given the age of players like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, the Ravens will have to find pass-rush talent sooner rather than later. Harris is a speed rusher off the edge who will have to bulk up a little to fit in Baltimore. But his natural ability to get after the quarterback will fit just fine.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — John Ross, WR, Washington

Mike Evans is an obvious talent for the Buccaneers, and tight end Cameron Brate is really turning into a nice player. But Tampa Bay could still use a speed receiver like Ross to really open up the passing offense.

19. Green Bay Packers — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Cook is a star, but it can still be difficult to pull the trigger on a running back higher in the first round. If he slides at all, it will be the Packers who benefit. He would be an asset the team needs, both as a runner and a pass catcher.

20. Denver Broncos — Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah

The Broncos indicated how they feel about defensive tackle Sylvester Williams by not picking up the fifth-year option on his contract. Insert Lotulelei, a strong defender who specializes in stuffing the run.

21. Washington - Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

McDowell’s talent is much greater than 21st in the draft, but his inconsistent production could lead to a drop in the draft. If he’s playing hot, he’s a top-five talent.

22. Miami Dolphins — Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

This pick could easily be a pass rusher or a tight end, but Humphrey is too skilled to overlook this late into the first round.

23. New York Giants — O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

This is somewhat early for Howard, but the Giants have such a need at tight end that it’s worth it. Howard is a good all-around player, and the type of receiver the Giants need at the position.

24. Kansas City Chiefs — Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

This is another instance of a player being too good to pass up. A No. 2 cornerback doesn’t look like a first-round need for the Chiefs, but if a player of Tabor’s caliber is available, he’d be hard to overlook.

25. Houston Texans — Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

Houston has one of the NFL’s top defenses this season, but they could still add an impact linebacker like Cunningham. He’s productive no matter where he lines up.

26. Detroit Lions — Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

The Lions have some solid cornerbacks in Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson, but not a star player at the position. Jones can be that No. 1 shutdown corner thanks to his size and playmaking ability.

27. Atlanta Falcons — Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Vic Beasley is becoming a superstar for the Falcons, but they could use another player up front on defense. Thomas doesn’t get the attention some of the other pass rushers in this class do, but he’s a good all-around player who will get after the quarterback when needed, but is a good run stopper as well.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

With the best pass-rushing linebackers off the board, the Steelers could decide to target a player to work on the inside to replace Lawrence Timmons. Some will view Davis as a 4-3 outside linebacker, but he has the quick reaction skills and football intelligence to move inside.

29. Seattle Seahawks — Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

Robinson’s draft range is all over the place. He could work himself into the top 10. He could slip out of the first round. He could even just decide to return to Alabama for another year. For the Seahawks, he’s the best blocker available, and that’s why he needs to be the choice.

30. Oakland Raiders — Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn

After several years of good drafting, the Raiders have turned themselves into a playoff team. One of the areas they could get better is in the middle of the defense. A player like Adams would be a disruptive lineman up the middle.

31. Dallas Cowboys — Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Cowboys did pretty well picking an Ohio State player, and could find another star with Lattimore. He’s somewhat raw, but his talent is immense. If developed properly, Lattimore can be a lockdown outside corner.

32. New England Patriots — Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

The Patriots have done a good job of fixing the interior of their offensive line, but need to turn their attention to the tackles. Ramczyk has had a breakout year for Wisconsin, and positioned himself to be a first-round pick.


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