By Tyler Curtiss & Matt Lipp
We completed this mock draft based off of expert analysis of the top tier prospects. Teams look to fill all of their needs in a very talented draft class this year. For example, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is a once in a decade player given his insane combine performance. John Ross cemented himself as a first round pick when he posted a record-breaking 4.22 40 yard dash time at the NFL Combine. This years draft is very deep at Wide Receiver, Defensive end, and Cornerback/Safety. Meaning that there is a lot of talent at those positions. The Cleveland Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL for many years, but this year, they have the opportunity to add key pieces to advance their rebuilding process. Drafting Garrett should help their pass rush which ranked near the bottom of the league. The New Orleans Saints struggled heavily on defense in 2016 so adding a talent like Foster in the middle and a shutdown Corner like Conley out of Ohio State should improve every aspect of their weak defense. The Cincinnati Bengals are selecting wide receiver Mike Williams because they already have a proven top receiver in the league, so pairing a college stud with an NFL star will create massive matchup problems for opposing secondaries. The Dallas Cowboys are picking hybrid safety/ linebacker Jabrill Peppers because their biggest need is a standout defensive player. The Cowboys have lost three out of their four starting secondary players. Peppers will bring another dimension to their defense since he can play almost every position of that side of the ball at an above average level. Peppers will help turn a struggling defense into a powerhouse for years to come. Teams all around the NFL are excited to fill their needs with one of the most talent packed drafts in history.
So far, free agency has really shook up the draft, such as the New England Patriots trading their first round pick to the saints for the speedy Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks. The Philadelphia Eagles were originally the main suitor for the top Receivers in the Draft but key signings of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith take them out of consideration for taking one of the top guys at that position. Now the Eagles will look to add another weapon for Carson Wentz by drafting the versatile running back, Christian McCaffrey. The biggest shock of free agency may have been the Houston Texans trading away QB Brock Osweiler to the Browns. This trade will make the Texans look at drafting a QB like Patrick Mahomes in the first round to come in and immediately take control of the offense. Overall most teams are banking on securing young players to fill in the missing pieces needed to have a great team.