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2017 NFL mock draft: Figuring out who needs a QB

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In this week’s mock draft we figure out every team that needs to pick a signal caller this year.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s mock draft for the 2017 NFL draft is a little different than normal. In addition to going through the entire first round, every team’s quarterback situation is addressed.

A lot of teams look to be set at quarterback, but if you look a little deeper it’s time for some of those teams to draft the position. If nothing else, drafting a quarterback with an established starter could put a team in a similar position as the New England Patriots. Who doesn’t want to be there?

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

Garrett is the ideal edge rusher with his length and athleticism combination. Some knock him for getting 4.5 of his 8.5 sacks last season against Texas-San Antonio. But when he wasn’t injured in 2016 he was being double teamed. Oh, and the video of Garrett asking the Cowboys to trade up for him? It’s meaningless.

Should they draft a quarterback? If the Browns don’t acquire a veteran quarterback, of course they need to draft a quarterback high. By the time the NFL’s trade window opens on March 9 we should know Cleveland’s intentions.

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

The current feeling — which could and will change multiple times leading up to the draft — is that Trubisky is “the leader among quarterbacks.” New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan should be able to handle whichever signal caller the team rates the highest.

Should they draft a quarterback? Like the Browns, the 49ers could be in play for a veteran, and they have similar odds to land New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo. Similarly, we’ll have a much better gauge by the second week of March.

3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Hey look, a curve ball. It seems like the Bears have been in need of a safety for years. Adams could finally be the solution. He’s the best safety in the draft this year, and one of the five best players overall.

Should they draft a quarterback? Considering Jay Cutler’s unknown future in Chicago, the Bears should draft a quarterback. Plenty of mocks have had the Bears going with a quarterback here. However, if they happen to wait, maybe they liked one of the Senior Bowl quarterbacks they coached more than we know. The highest rated of the bunch was Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, who could be a third- or fourth-round pick.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama

This has become a common pick for the Jaguars based a lot on grade. After Garrett, Allen carries the highest grade in the draft.

Should they draft a quarterback? Potentially. After a big 2015, starter Blake Bortles regressed last season. An insurance policy could be brought in. The mid-round option who could start in a pinch could be Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs.

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

With Adams off the board, players like Ohio State safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore could be considered. Williams fills just as big of a need for the Titans, and would take the offense to the next level.

Should they draft a quarterback? This is an easy answer of no.

6. New York Jets: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The Jets have a new offensive coordinator John Morton and quarterbacks coach in Jeremy Bates. Ultimately they could choose to dump the team’s ramshackle group of quarterbacks and bring in their own player. If they’re choosing between Watson and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, the Clemson product is more pro ready.

Should they draft a quarterback? Despite having two young quarterbacks in Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, neither inspires much confidence.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Hooker is the type of player who could slot directly into Los Angeles’ starting lineup on defense and give them an impact player in the secondary.

Should they draft a quarterback? Considering there have at least been rumors of Philip Rivers’ Chargers career is winding down, Los Angeles could go for one. They haven’t picked a quarterback in the first five rounds since 2010. Someone like Miami’s Brad Kaaya could be an interesting developmental pickup.

8. Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Past mock drafts have seen Fournette gone before this pick. With him available, there would be an intense debate between picking him and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook. Fournette is more of a power player than Cook, but he doesn’t provide as much of a threat in the pass game.

Should they draft a quarterback? Cam Newton is signed through 2020, and he’s missed only three regular season games for his career, so Carolina can hold off on the position.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

The pick for Cincinnati could come down to deciding if a pass rusher makes more of an impact than Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. If the lean is pass rusher, Thomas is the best one available. He can work the edge, and move inside in certain situations.

Should they draft a quarterback? AJ McCarron could get traded this offseason, so finding a backup to Andy Dalton may become a need. This is another team where Peterman would be a fit.

10. Buffalo Bills: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

If the Bills draft Kizer, hopefully either he or last year’s fourth-round pick Cardale Jones could be developed into a franchise player. Both will take time.

Should they draft a quarterback? The Tyrod Taylor situation remains completely up in the air. If he’s brought back, you can argue the Bills shouldn’t sink more money into the position.

11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama

If Foster happens to drop to pick No. 11, the Saints should quickly make him their pick. He’s a linchpin piece on defense.

Should they draft a quarterback? The Saints may be content going with 2015 pick Garrett Grayson as Drew Brees’ heir apparent. Tiffin’s Antonio Pipkin would be a nice practice squad stash player.

12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Joe Haden will be back in Cleveland next season after $4 million in his contract for 2017 became guaranteed last week. The Browns also like Jamar Taylor and up-and-comer Briean Boddy-Calhoun. But if they’re able to get the draft’s top cornerback, they should pounce.

If the Browns don’t get a veteran quarterback, as described above, look for the Browns to at least use this pick for a rookie. More likely is the Browns packaging this pick and at least a second-round pick to move up for a quarterback.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Quincy Wilson, DB, Florida

For the Cardinals, Wilson classifies as a defensive back because he could easily be used like a safety or cornerback.

Should they draft a quarterback? If any of the top three quarterbacks are here, the Cardinals should take him. If not, someone like Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes makes sense in the second round.

14. Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Don’t forget, the Colts and Eagles will flip a coin at the scouting combine to determine who picks 14th. My mocks have always had the Eagles at 14th, so we’re changing things up a little this week by moving Indianapolis up.

Positional value could lead to a mini Cook tumble on draft night if he doesn’t go inside the top 10. That’s good for the Colts, who have an old Frank Gore and little else behind him.

Should they draft a quarterback? With Andrew Luck firmly in place, you’d probably say no. But back Scott Tolzien is entering his final year of his contract, so the Colts could use a late pick on someone like Florida’s Austin Appleby, or sign him as an undrafted free agent.

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

The Eagles were willing to take a quarterback from North Dakota State with the second pick last year and shouldn’t hesitate to take a wide receiver from Western Michigan at No. 15 this year. By the time we get to the draft it might be a stretch to see Davis still around here.

Should they draft a quarterback? Carson Wentz is obviously the future, and backup Chase Daniel is a favorite of head coach Doug Pederson.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

Terrell Suggs may be coming back for 2017, but his age and injury history makes him no sure thing at this point. Williams can be the future pass-rushing ace Baltimore can utilize.

Should they draft a quarterback? With Joe Flacco, the Ravens are locked in at quarterback. If they want to get better behind him, Cal’s Davis Webb has solid developmental potential.

17. Washington: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State

I continue to go back and forth with McDowell and Michigan’s Taco Charlton with this pick. It will be worth monitoring closely how much interest Washington shows in both players.

Should they draft a quarterback? In 2017, no. In 2018, if Kirk Cousins doesn’t have a long-term deal, yes.

18. Tennessee Titans: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

If Tennessee goes with a wide receiver at No. 5, the best-available secondary player should be the pick here. As it’s been several teams, that leads to Humphrey.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

This is a pick I continue to be locked on because the fit is natural. Peppers was miscast at Michigan last season. He skill set should allow him to be a versatile safety who can eliminate mismatches an offense tries to create.

Should they draft a quarterback? Obviously with Jameis Winston the Buccaneers are set. That’s especially true if and when he takes the next step in 2017 and flirts with being a top 10 quarterback in the NFL.

20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

This is another pick that’s not only becoming commonplace for me, but many mock drafters. When there’s a fit this obvious, you do have to wonder if Denver would consider moving up to ensure that it happens.

Should they draft a quarterback? For the Broncos, the issue isn’t drafting a quarterback. Instead, it’s figuring out if Trevor Siemian should be the starter, or if Paxton Lynch is ready.

21. Detroit Lions: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

While Eric Ebron has statistically improved each season in the NFL, he’s still an inconsistent player. Howard is a sure-thing tight end who can catch and block. Having both Howard and Ebron on the field would create fun mismatches.

Should they draft a quarterback? If Dan Orlovsky leaves in free agency and the Lions don’t add a veteran replacement, they could be a sneaky late-round quarterback option. Staying in state, Central Michigan’s Cooper Rush has solid tools that could be honed.

22. Miami Dolphins: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

Zach Cunningham has been a regular pick in mocks for the Dolphins, but if McKinley is available he shouldn’t be discounted. Other than pass coverage, he’s a better play than Cunningham.

Should they draft a quarterback? Miami has depth behind Ryan Tannehill with Matt Moore and Brandon Doughty. This question becomes much more important if the Dolphins take a step back in 2017 and Tannehill is to blame.

23. New York Giants: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

Cunningham may not be a star pass rusher, but from the linebacker position the Giants don’t need him to be. He’s a player who should be fine in the NFL playing inside or even on the weak side.

Should they draft a quarterback? This could be year the Giants finally poke around looking for an eventual successor to Eli Manning. While the Giants may not get one of the top three quarterbacks, things could get really interesting in the second round if Mahomes is still there. Webb could also get some consideration.

24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

The Raiders are one of the teams that needs some guaranteed hits in the draft this year to take the next theoretical step. Davis can be that player. He can play inside and outside linebacker in four-man fronts and has the athleticism to make plays all around the field.

Should they draft a quarterback? Unless the Raiders are concerned about Derek Carr becoming an injury liability, this is an obvious no.

25. Houston Texans: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

Robinson’s draft stock fluctuates like Tom Hanks’ weight on a movie-to-movie basis. What a terrible simile. Anyway, Houston has a need up front and Robinson at the very least is NFL-ready as a run blocker.

Should they draft a quarterback? This is where things can get interesting. We know that Houston gave Brock Osweiler a big four-year contract before last season. If one of those top three quarterbacks starts to slide, though, Houston should strike. If they wait, which is also understandable, going after a player like Mahomes or Kaaya is sensible.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

These offensive line picks are starting to become locked in, which means in April none of them will happen. Bolles, who is a good athlete for an offensive lineman, fits a big need for Seattle and this should be the start of his draft range.

Should they draft a quarterback? Seattle needs to hit on a few picks in this draft, and quarterback is not one of them.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Budda Baker, S, Washington

The Chiefs and pending free agent Eric Berry seem headed to a nasty separation. Baker is practically a Berry clone, stylistically at least.

Should they draft a quarterback? Cheap plug alert: For my thoughts on the Chiefs and quarterbacks, head over to Arrowhead Pride for a brief Q&A.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

From a size and ability standpoint, Charlton fits perfectly in Dallas, where finding a pass rusher this offseason is perhaps the team’s biggest need.

Should they draft a quarterback? Lol

29. Green Bay Packers: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Green Bay has used a lot of picks at cornerback, and still has issues at the position. Fortunately for the Packers, cornerback is arguably the biggest strength of the draft this year. A player like Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp could also get a long look if he’s available.

Should they draft a quarterback? Imagine Aaron Rodgers’ passive aggressive rage if they did. That’s a no for Green Bay, even though current backup Brett Hundley will probably get Garoppolo’d at some point.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Reddick was the pick for Pittsburgh in the post-Senior Bowl mock draft, and he continues to make sense. His fit with the Steelers as a movable linebacker is perfect.

Should they draft a quarterback? Even though backup Landry Jones is a free agent, Pittsburgh is fine at the position with Ben Roethlisberger, with Zach Mettenberger being the No. 2. This could change dramatically a year from now if Roethlisberger’s retirement talk comes up again.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Once again Barnett drops in my mock draft. This could become a reality if he has average testing times at the combine. Atlanta could benefit and get a pass rusher who can work the edge or move inside on some downs.

Should they draft a quarterback? Matt Ryan just won the MVP award. Moving on.

32. New England Patriots: David Njoku, TE, Miami

Hurricanes fans were angry last week when Njoku dropped into the second round. This isn’t some mea culpa, though. Njoku is my No. 2 tight end this year and, like last week, he is the second one off the board. He makes sense for New England, where Martellus Bennett is entering free agency and Rob Gronkowski is continually battling injuries.

Should they draft a quarterback? The Patriots seem to love Jacoby Brissett so much that they’re willing to cash in on Garoppolo. They could go after a quarterback in 2018 to eventually do the same with Brissett.

What about quarterbacks for the Rams and Vikings?

With Jared Goff, the Rams are set. The Vikings hitched themselves to Sam Bradford, who can continue being an overpaid stopgap while Teddy Bridgewater gets healthy.


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