Welcome to another edition of Couch Potato’s Top 5, where this week I’ll be predicting my Top 5 draft picks from the upcoming 2017 NFL draft.
I know we still have the small matter of Super Bowl 51 to go before the end of the season, but hey, NFL.com have started their mock drafts so why can’t I preview mine?!
Now I have set myself 1 rule with this Top 5 and that is the draft picks must remain with their current teams. There could be some changes at the top end of the draft, it especially wouldn’t surprise me to see Tennessee trade down if the right offer came along and they don’t feel anybody is worth such a high pick. Cleveland also set a precedent last year that they’re willing to trade out of the number 1 overall pick if they don’t see their guy. However trading out of the first overall pick 2 years running is too bold a move for any franchise to make, never mind one in as dire a position as the Browns.
With that in mind, let it begin!
#1 Myles Garrett, Defensive End
(In the voice of Roger Godell) With the first pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns select Defensive End Myles Garrett, Texas A&M. Cleveland make this pick for 2 reasons, the main one is that Garrett is by far the best prospect out of college football this year and with such a focus on pass rush in the NFL it’s hard to dismiss such a talent.
The second big reason why I can see the Browns taking Garrett overall and not selecting the QB that they so desperately need is that they hold the twelfth pick. I can really see DeShaun Watson as the face of the franchise in Cleveland with Hue Jackson working his magic to fix some accuracy issues on an otherwise tremendous prospect. With the relatively weak QB draft class and recent success of QBs picked outside the first round, a talent like Watson could fall to 12 and the Browns will pick him up there. A huge 1st round for Cleveland if that happens.
#2 Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback
What comes with a new head coach and a new GM in a franchise? Usually a new franchise QB (or someone you hope can live up to that tag anyway). Colin Kaepernick didn’t play too badly when he came back in to the 49ers offense mid way through last season, but I don’t think he’s the long term solution. In addition to that, the favourite for the new head coaching job is Kyle Shanahan and with the style of offense he likes to play – especially with his success this year – you would expect he’d want a QB more in the mould of Matt Ryan.
One caveat to this pick is the rumour that the 49ers are ready to table an offer to Kirk Cousins when he becomes a free agent this offseason. I doubt the Redskins will want to lose Cousins and he might not be willing to join one of the worst rosters in football (even with his connection to Shanahan). However if that deal comes to fruition then the 49ers will look to strengthen elsewhere.
#3 Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle
What do Chicago natives love? A no nonsense, physical and stifling defence. We all know that the Bears love to draft on the defensive side of the ball and despite the need for a true franchise QB, I think they’ll go defence in the first round and hope a good QB falls to the second round. It’s a strong defensive class with a lot of potential but I think they’ll go for Jonathan Allen. He’s physical at the line, a great all around talent with a great motor and will add some toughness to what is quietly becoming one of the up and coming teams in the league.
One thing that could change this pick for Chicago is if the Browns choose to select DeShaun Watson overall. I like the Bears chances of taking Myles Garrett third if that happens and what a defence they would have then.
A good draft class and I could see the Bears challenging for the play offs next year.
#4 Cam Robinson, Offensive Line
It might seem as though the Jags won’t know where to start this offseason, after such a poor display from what was expected to be a rising group last year. However they do have the foundations of a good team with a few tweaks in key positions. The first thing that needs addressing is the Offensive Line, Jacksonville need more physicality up front to bolster that ground game. They have some good pieces in the skill positions but they lack a force of nature type player to really shift opposition Defensive Lines out of the way to create gaps. Cam Robinson should fit the bill perfectly, he’s such a mountain of a man and whilst he may not be the most technically gifted O’ Lineman of the class he’s no slouch and more than makes up for it.
There may be a temptation to draft on the defensive side with the talent on offer in this draft. Although, when you look at the roster they have and the young talent they’ve drafted over the last few seasons, they’ll focus on the offensive side of the ball early.
#5 Mike Williams, Wide Receiver
For the Titans to have had such a good jump forward last season in terms of not only wins but establishing an identity and still possess the number 5 pick shows how well this front office has managed this football team. They’ve set the platform brilliantly with they’re exotic ground and pound offense and underrated defence, but the key piece they’re missing is a true number 1 receiver. Mike Williams is probably the best wide receiver in the draft and definitely has the potential to become a force in the league as the lead receiver in an offense. It would be a no brainier for Tennessee to draft Williams and he’d be a great addition and possibly the final piece of the puzzle.
However, with the offense they run it wouldn’t surprise me to see them go after Leonard Fourtunette in a similar move the Cowboys made for Ezequiel Elliott last season. They don’t need a running back, far from it, but is he too great of a talent and too good of a scheme fit to pass up on? I suspect they’ll draft team need over out and out talent but stranger things have happened and it would really make opposition defences stand up and take notice.
So that’s my prediction on who will be the Top 5 draft picks in the summer, with a few caveats thrown in there for good measure. As always let me know your comments and opinions and if you want to, tweet me your top 5 @CPFootballUK.