Saturday - May 27, 2017

Home / Draft / MOCK DRAFT 2.0: In-Depth 1 – 10

MOCK DRAFT 2.0: In-Depth 1 – 10

This is the most in-depth Mock Draft you will find on the internet — period.  It’s not just putting a player to a team, but it is analyzing their whole situation. This has everything from pending free agents, stats, and analysis for every team that didn’t make the playoffs.  We look look at the big picture and evaluate what each non-playoff team is thinking as they prepare to make improvements for the 2017 season.

 

1) Cleveland Browns (1-15)

Offense

Points Per Game: 16.5 (31st)
Yards Per Game: 311 (30th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 204 (28th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 107.0 (19th)
Yards Per Play: 5.1 (27th)

The offense lacked a consistent quarterback and therefore failed to be effective. Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst, and even Kevin Hogan were all playing quarterback for this team at some point. The key for them this off season is to have a plan in place for the quarterback position in 2017 and the immediate future moving forward. Whether this means a veteran to start 2017 with a developmental quarterback early in the draft or going with a quarterback with one of their first two picks in the first round is what we will find out. This offense can go nowhere until the quarterback position has some consistency.

Defense

Points Per Game: 28.2 (30th)
Yards Per Game: 392.4 (31st)
Pass Yards Per Game: 249.8 (21st)
Rush Yards Per Game: 142.7 (31st)
QB Hurries: 84 (t-23rd)
Sacks: 26 (t-29th)
Yards Per Play: 5.9 (t-26th)

When your rebuild a team and rely on mostly rookies, this is the kind of defense you should expect, as they were just behind the 49ers as the worst defense in the league. This was however expected as they wanted to develop young players like Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton, Carl Nassib, Xavier Cooper, Nate Orchard, and some secondary players to play a key role in their defense. The frustrating part had to be the continued struggles against the run last season. They should look to add some talent and experience to their front 7 to help this issue.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Terrelle Pryor (WR)

Austin Pasztor (OL)

They re-signed Jamie Collins which I think is a big deal. This list is very short as the Browns have invested most of their roster on draft picks or young players. The other key free agent is Terrelle Pryor who seems to value Hue Jackson and may decide to stay. Austin Pasztor could be an above average right guard in the league.

Moving Forward into Next Season

They have fully entrenched themselves in a true rebuilding process. This means they will likely be very particular in free agency and value their draft picks. You may even see them trade down again with their second 1st round pick and collect more picks to bring more youth to this roster for development. As mentioned before, the quarterback position will try and be resolved this off season for Hue Jackson to show that he can be their coach moving forward.  This team will need to show progress on both sides of the ball and win more than one game to say they are on the right track towards rebuilding.

Draft

They have two first round picks currently and could easily find two starters and franchise foundation pieces in this talented draft class. The inevitable and continuing question for the Browns is if they will find a franchise quarterback? Will they choose to take one early in the 2017 Draft and make him the starter, sign a veteran and draft a developmental quarterback alongside Cody Kessler, or skip quarterback altogether and go with a few veterans and/or current quarterbacks on their roster? If the Browns want to show success on the offensive side of the ball, they need to invest in some offensive lineman in this draft. They may have found one starter for next season in Spencer Drango in a guard spot. This means the center, other guard, and right tackle positions are up in the air for 2017. They have Joel Bitonio and John Greco returning from injury that can help in that process, but they are both also free agents after next season. This class is loaded with EDGE talent and the Browns could use some pass-rushers. Emmanuel Ogbah played well this season and looks to be a solid 3-4 versatile defensive end. This defense needs to find an identity and drafting a pass-rusher to play opposite of Ogbah could help create one for Cleveland. The secondary was young and fought with various injuries all season long. Depending on how they feel about their current personnel, they could look to invest in a cornerback or safety in the 1st round. They really can’t afford to be picky, they need the best players on the board when the draft clock starts.

Mock Draft Pick

Myles Garrett (OLB) Texas A&M

Take the best player on the board without question. He is the next great pass-rusher on a team that needs a young franchise player on defense. Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett would be a nice duo for this Browns’ defense to build around. There is no clear cut quarterback to take so taking the best overall player in the draft is the no-brainer decision here.

 

2) San Francisco 49ers (2-14)

Offense

Points Per Game: 19.3 (27th)
Yards Per Game: 308.1 (31st)
Pass Yards Per Game: 181.9 (32nd)
Rush Yards Per Game: 126.2 (4th)
Yards Per Play: 4.9 (30th)

The Chip Kelly era is over and a new regime will begin. Kyle Shanahan brings a lot hype for the potential of this offense. Since they will be starting a new offensive scheme, the turnover will be interesting for the new management and coach. Either way, they are returning no quarterbacks on their roster. Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Thaddeus Lewis are all free agents and Colin Kaepernick has an opt-out in his contract and will likely look to leave. Their biggest need moving forward is to find an identity with a new quarterback.

Defense

Points Per Game: 30.0 (32nd)
Yards Per Game: 406.4 (32nd)
Pass Yards Per Game: 240.5 (14th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 165.9 (32nd)
QB Hurries: 84 (t-23rd)
Sacks: 33 (t-19th)
Yards Per Play: 5.9 (t-26th)

They were a disaster on defense. The stats above point towards a lack of physical presence in the middle of their defense. They seemed to lack an interior defensive line presences and thumping linebacker at the line of scrimmage. Navorro Bowman coming back from injury should at least help the issue at the linebacker spot but his injury history is a concern. They need to address their nose tackle position as they will likely stay a 3-4 based team with recently drafted players Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner who are prototypical 3-4 defensive ends.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Colin Kaepernick (QB)

Blaine Gabbert (QB)

Gerald Hodges (ILB)

Jeremy Kerley (WR)

I’m very sure that Kaepernick will not be re-signing with the 49ers and finally finishing off a divorce months in the making. Gerald Hodges will be a sought after inside linebacker with weak free agent options this off-season. Jeremy Kerley proved he can be a very productive slot receiver and may decide to try the open market.

Moving Forward into Next Season

Similar to the Cleveland Browns, the 49ers will need a quarterback and an identity heading into next season. Their #1 priority in the beginning part of free agency is to get a veteran quarterback from somewhere to have an option next season as a starter before they walk into the Draft. Whether this quarterback comes from the free agent market or through a trade, the new General Manager will have to handle that situation correctly to avoid another total disaster in 2017. Carlos Hyde is a strong talented back who can be effective carrying a workload when healthy. They were 4th in rush yards this season even though they were 31st in the league in yards per game. This tells me that they have a good foundation in place to have a decent ground game to carry their offense. The passing game will be the focus this off-season to get this team back on track. Who are they defensively? They have some talented players on the defensive side of the ball, but need to decide what kind of 3-4 based scheme they would like to be: aggressive man to man, zone blitz, versatile, or something else? The new head coach, defensive coordinator, and general manager will need to decide and establish a new foundation on how they would like to see the defense in the future.

Draft

Depending on what they do in free agency or the trade market, quarterback is the biggest issue facing this roster. The passing game will obviously be directly affected by this decision. They may be looking to trade Torrey Smith which leaves no proven options at wide receiver, which would mean they should look to invest in a young receiver in this draft. Carlos Hyde carried the load in the rushing attack and with his injury history may have the 49ers thinking better young backup through the draft than what they have currently on the roster for 2017. The offensive line has some young players such as Josh Garnett at guard and Trent Brown at right tackle to possibly look past the offensive line as a huge need early in the draft. The defense will need some young reinforcements at defensive/nose tackle. Inside linebacker would become a priority if Gerald Hodges leaves in free agency. Antoine Bethea is a solid veteran and would be worthy of keeping on the roster as a veteran leader of the defense, but his cap hit for 2017 is 7 million dollars and the team would save 6 million of those dollars if they release him. If this were to occur, they would have to determine if Jimmie Ward is their future strong safety or is best suited as a slot corner/safety. If Ward should stay more in that role, this class has some talent at the safety position that could start for the 49’ers in 2017.

Mock Draft Pick

Mitch Trubisky (QB) UNC

I think a combination of Matt Schaub, Josh McCown, and Brian Hoyer make the leap to San Francisco this off-season in free agency. These are 3 veterans that could start in 2017, have experience in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and would give the team time to develop a rookie quarterback like Mitch Trubisky. The 49ers are going to give Kyle Shanahan plenty of time to develop this team his way. One way to do that is to draft a young quarterback with potential to develop and the ability to give him the opportunity to sit and learn.

 

3) Chicago Bears (3-13)

Offense

Points Per Game: 17.4 (28th)
Yards Per Game: 356.5 (15th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 248.1 (14th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 108.4 (17th)
Yards Per Play: 5.9 (t-5th)

Jay Cutler is a player that has an elite arm but below average decision making skills with a giant contract. I would be surprised if he was on this roster in 2017. If you want to take away some positives from this Chicago offense, they seem to have found a young running back that can be a lead back for them in the foreseeable future. Jordan Howard played really well when handed the starting job this season. The offensive line seems to be intact for at least 2017 with Sitton and Long at guards, Whitehair at center, and Leno and Massie at tackles. If they can re-sign Alshon Jeffery, this team has potential on offense. Cameron Meredith looked really impressive down the stretch and Kevin White will be coming back from injury this coming season. The potential is there in Chicago to have an offense to keep them competitive in games.  

Defense

Points Per Game: 24.9 (24th)
Yards Per Game: 346.8 (15th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 224.9 (8th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 121.9 (27th)
QB Hurries: 110 (8th)
Sacks: 37 (12th)
Yards Per Play: 5.5 (t-13th)

I think this will be GM Ryan Pace and John Fox’s biggest focus this off-season. They have some pieces in place to have the kind of defense that Vic Fangio had success with in San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh.  The pass rush was effective this past season with Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, and first round pick from 2016 Leonard Floyd. They do seem to be struggling between the tackles in getting runs to be minimal gains in the box. The defensive line needs to get more penetration and hands on running backs at the line of scrimmage. It didn’t help this past season having injuries and suspension come to Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman at inside linebacker. Stats say the secondary of the Bears did pretty well, but injuries and lack of overall talent may be an issue moving forward on this defense.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Alshon Jeffery (WR)

Brian Hoyer (QB)

Eric Kush (G)

Ted Larson (G)

Alshon Jeffery proclaimed that the Bears will be going to the Super Bowl next season so he thinks the Bears are going to franchise tag him again or sign him to a long-term deal. Brian Hoyer maybe worthy of a re-sign because he played really well when healthy at the beginning of the season. He could be a great veteran to have on the roster if they decide to draft a young quarterback. Eric Kush and Ted Larson played well when filling in for injured players this season and maybe worthy of a re-sign for depth.

Moving Forward into Next Season

They need to figure out their quarterback situation and improve the defense moving into 2017. Ryan Pace and John Fox will have important decisions to make this off-season as they take on the most difficult decision in football: finding a quarterback. The free agent options are limited with no true long-term solutions. Do they take a high pick on a rookie quarterback instead of a veteran? The Bears will have plenty of cap space to use this off-season and will look to address some of their defensive issues via veterans.

Draft

I really only see two options for the Bears on draft night at #3 overall. They either take a quarterback or the best defensive player on the board. After that selection, it depends on what they did during free agency and what kind of money they spent on specific positions. They could invest in a left tackle to take over Leno’s job. Kevin White’s injury history may have them looking for some more young wide receiver talent later in the draft. I imagine most of their selections will be on the defensive side of the ball. They need talent along the defensive line to help attack the line of scrimmage against the run or penetration into the pocket. They will definitely look to add a corner and maybe a safety in this draft to try to add more talent to their secondary.

Mock Draft Pick

Deshaun Watson (QB) Clemson

I almost chose Jonathan Allen from Alabama, because you could argue he is the best player on the board. They have invested high draft picks and money on their defensive line the last few years: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Jonathan Bullard, and Ego Ferguson. Deshaun Watson is a quarterback that I think John Fox will fall in love with during the draft process. He may have some struggles progressing as an NFL quarterback, but he knows how to win and that’s what will draw the Bears’ interest.

 

4) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)

Offense

Points Per Game: 19.9 (25th)
Yards Per Game: 334.9 (23rd)
Pass Yards Per Game: 223.0 (20th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 101.9 (22nd)
Yards Per Play: 5.1 (25th)

Analytically, all of the featured stats above put this offense as one of the worst in the NFL this past season. The question then becomes is it the talent or the coaching scheme and philosophy? The biggest issue facing Doug Marrone as the new head coach is the Blake Bortles conundrum. Is he a franchise quarterback? After last season’s breakout of 35 touchdowns and a QBR of 88.2, we thought that he had finally turned the corner and this team would be a contender in the AFC South. What happened? Was it the supposed injuries? Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, and Julius Thomas are all great weapons for a passing offense. The running game was abysmal between T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory. This may all change with some new play-calling, scheme identity, and a new coaches energy.

Defense

Points Per Game: 25 (25th)
Yards Per Game: 321.7 (6th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 215.2 (5th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 106.4 (18th)
QB Hurries: 117 (5th)
Sacks: 33 (t-19th)
Yards Per Play: 5.0 (t-4th)

The talent is there, which had to drive Jaguars’ fans nuts this season. Dante Fowler Jr., Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, Paul Posluszny, Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, and Tashaun Gipson are a good foundation. This could also be interesting to watch next season with some coaching changes. They were a talented defense, but often allowed too many points.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

John Cyprien (SS)

Luke Joeckel (OL)

Prince Amukumara (CB)

Tyson Alualu (DT)

Patrick Omameh (G)

Cyprien is a downhill hitting safety for the back end of this defense and is their key free agent. Luke Joeckel, a former #2 overall pick, has really struggled and will likely be let go to test free agency. Prince Amukumara played pretty well in this secondary. Tyson Alualu has been there for awhile but never quite reached the potential a #10 overall player should. Patrick Omameh started at guard down the stretch and adds nice depth with starting experience.

Moving Forward into Next Season

This team has talent but lacks identity and they need more play makers on both sides of the ball. That can mostly be resolved with a new coaching staff’s scheme and philosophy. They will spend the off-season trying to create new confidence in Blake Bortles that he is their guy moving forward. They will need to add offensive lineman that can compete for starting positions. It was a struggle this past season to have a consistent offensive line due to lack of talent and injuries.  

Draft

At the #4 overall pick, they should just look to take the best player available. Their focus on draft night should be to bring talent to their trenches. They need to invest some youth into their offensive line to give this offense a better chance at success in 2017 and beyond. Defensive line should be a focus as they have spent big money on Malik Jackson but don’t have a running mate next to him. Sheldon Day is a good rotational player and more of an interior pass rusher. They could use another run stuffer and penetrator to go next to Malik Jackson on early downs as a rookie. They lack explosive ability from their running back position and could look to add a dependable running back early in the draft. Depending on their free agency agenda, they could be looking at replacements for Cyprien and Amukumara.

Mock Draft Pick

Jonathan Allen (DL) Alabama

The Jaguars need the best player on the board here at #4 overall. Jonathan Allen is also a great fit as they need youth and talent on the defensive line. He can play defensive end or defensive tackle and make plays in the backfield. This would be an ideal situation for the Jaguars.

 

5) Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles) (9-7)

Offense

Points Per Game: 23.8 (14th)
Yards Per Game: 358.0 (11th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 221.3 (25th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 136.7 (3rd)
Yards Per Play: 5.7 (t-9th)

The “ground and pound” offense has made a comeback. Tough, physical offensive line play with some bruising running backs has made Tennessee a young team that has potential for the future. I criticized the Titans last year for drafting Derrick Henry in the second round when DeMarco Murray was their workhorse back. I am still not sure how they work together moving forward, or why you invest a high pick in a player you traded for with a fourth round pick, but it is a physical duo. That second round pick could have given you a solid outside receiver or defensive back when they needed one last off-season and would be less of an issue this off-season (Michael Thomas, T.J. Boyd, Sean Davis, Vonn Bell) .. but I digress. Marcus Mariota took another step forward this year and fits this offensive scheme well. The problem the Titans had this past season was a lack of explosive plays in the passing game.

Defense

Points Per Game: 23.6 (t-16th)
Yards Per Game: 357.5 (20th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 269.2 (30th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 88.3 (3rd)
QB Hurries: 104 (t-12th)
Sacks: 40 (t-6th)
Yards Per Play: 5.5 (t-13th)

The obvious issue was the secondary this past season. Dick LeBeau has always made his Front 7 look good and produce. If the Titans had a better secondary, they would have been in the playoffs and AFC South champs. You have to think this team is on the rise and just needs a few more pieces to be a real contender in not just the AFC South but the AFC as a whole.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Chance Warmack (G)

Rashad Johnson (FS)

Kendall Wright (WR)

It seems that the Titans are ready to allow Chance Warmack to walk and test free agency. He has been inconsistent throughout his career and may need a fresh start. Rashad Johnson is a viable veteran to start at free safety, but the Titans will likely look for younger dynamic options for LeBeau’s style of play. Kendall Wright has been injured and hasn’t produced what you would expect from a 1st round wide receiver.

Moving Forward into Next Season

They have found an identity and will look to add more talent to make their identity stronger. They are a ground and pound offense that depends on physical offensive line play and bruising running backs. LeBeau and the defense need secondary talent to take the next step in contending for a playoff spot. I expect GM Jon Robinson to be very aggressive this off-season with plenty of cap room and draft picks.

Draft

Being a team that was on the verge of a playoff berth drafting in the Top 5, it is a dream come true. They could use another play-maker for either side of the ball. The feeling in the draft room will be that this player could be the key to getting over the hump and becoming division champs next season. This may be a play-maker on the outside for Mariota to have as a legitimate #1 receiver. Along with the #1 wide receiver, they need a deep threat in this offense to make the ground and pound approach explosive and more difficult to play against. I expect them to add a physical interior lineman in the draft to compete for a job next season. A young pass rusher to rotate in with Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan will be a priority. Tennessee could invest a few picks to bring more talent to their weak secondary group possibly high in the draft — especially at cornerback.  

Mock Draft Pick

Marshon Lattimore (CB) Ohio State

I felt like this was the easiest selection after the first pick in the draft. The Titans desperately need starting cornerbacks. He is the best cornerback in the draft and would immediately make an impact on Dick Lebeau’s defense.

About Dan Collins

I have always been an avid football enthusiast. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football is my passion in the realm of football. I write Mock Drafts and inform readers of what is happening during the critical stages of the NFL Draft. I spend way too much time working through Fantasy Football analysis, situations, and thoughts; it is an issue. Follow on Twitter @Dan_R_Collins for Football info and the occasional joke or wisecrack.