Friday and Saturday, we held a Windy City Gridiron community mock draft, where members of the WCG community each picked a team or two to be the General Manager of, and make those teams first round draft selection. We also decided to carry that mock draft into the second round where our Bears pick as well to end it. Participation was very good, with only a couple of people getting tied up and away with some real-life things to deal with. In those cases we ended up doing a discussion in the comments and made a pick for that missing GM.
Like any real draft, there was a lot of discussion in the "War Room" of the comments section about various picks and whether they were good or bad. There were a few big surprises, a few perceived reaches, a number of steals, and just about anything else you may expect from the real draft this Thursday. Below are my comments and thoughts on the overall draft, as well as some comments from other members of the community.
Lastly, I will wait until Round 2 of the Draft concludes, and on Saturday morning I'll post a recap of our Draft and see how it compares to the actual one.
Here is the Draft selections and the write-ups for those selections. The draft recaps and commentary will be after the draft itself at the bottom.
Windy City Gridiron 2017 Community Mock Draft
1. Cleveland Browns (GM Ken Mitchell): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Cleveland removed all doubt by locking up Garrett early. An instant Day-1 starter, Garrett is the "Best Player Available" as well as a player who fills a huge need for the Browns. Any other player taken at #1 would have been considered a reach.
2. San Francisco 49ers (GM rockbadger): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
In reality, as the Niners’ boss, I want to use this pick in a trade with Washington for Kirk Cousins. Failing that, I want to accept pretty much any offer to move down a bit in the draft as the fits just aren’t there for the 49ers.
I considered Solomon Thomas first. But the scheme fit and recently using the first pick on DEs, it didn’t really work (the Niners Nation fans were clear on this point).
The safeties and corners aren’t sure enough/good enough positional value to pick at #2 (given the depth in this draft). I seriously considered O.J. Howard too but who’s going to throw him the ball? Hoyer/Barkley?
Instead I took, as I see it, the best QB prospect in this class. I didn’t wait for other team’s leftovers in the second round and took a shot at fixing the position for the future.
3. Chicago Bears (GM KTB62): DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
It’s time to grab that franchise QB that the Bears desperately need . While there’s also a need for help in the secondary, this draft has many options to select from in the later rounds. That’s not the case for quarterback.
Watson may not be a popular choice at first, but there’s no denying he’s talented. He’s got a great pocket presence with excellent mobility. He does not panic when under pressure. And while he doesn’t have an "elite" arm, he’s fully capable of making the requisite throws needed in the NFL. Accuracy is a slight issue, however, but good coaching can correct those minor issues.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (GM Footballgood): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. Tennessee Titans (GM Mike.Faust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
They need another CB to add to their bad pass defense. By adding CB Logan Ryan FS Jonathon Cyprien in Free Agency and now Lattimore at CB in the Draft, the Titans are really close to being really good.
6. New York Jets (GM Blackhawks329): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The J.E.T.S. swing for the fences and pick a quarterback they hope solves their multi year crisis at the most important position on the football field. Jets believe that Mahomes eventually becomes the best QB in the 2017 class. Comparisons to a young Brett Favre and someone who within two years is a top 10 QB. A definite risky swing for the fences pick.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (GM tfrabotta): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
8. Carolina Panthers (GM dersour): Solomon Thomas, DE, StanfordOne of the elite players in this year’s draft, can play all over the D-line in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Has elite size, elite speed, quick first step and will be a day 1 starter. No injury history to speak of. Probably considered a STEAL at pick #8.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (GM TacticalPanda): Derek Barnett, DE, TennesseeI know my Team needs O-Line help but I just can’t pass on Barnett. Micheal Johnson is
playing like a 37 year old, Dunlap is playing to many snaps to stay fresh, and Geno isn’t 24 anymore.
Barnett is probably the best true pass rushing 4-3 end to come out in the past 3 years. He’s a little
undersized, but his leverage, technique, and first step is on an elite level for a college player. You
factor that and the fact that if he’s successful I’ll have a top 5 defensive line that's enough to convince me of this pick.
10. Buffalo Bills (GM TacticalPanda): OJ Howard, TE, AlabamaI had a write up on Mahomes since he’s a fit for Rick Dennison’s WCO. I guess I’ll settle for O.J Howard =p. Taylor needs a weapon and OJ Howard is the Terminator. Dennison’s Offense actually can utilize 2 Tight End sets believe it or not. He’s a force in the run game paired with the best route running abilities out of the entire class. With the early run on QB’s. I’ll take the best player by far left on my board and I won’t look back.
11. New Orleans Saints (GM MCMLXXXVII): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio StateHooker is such a monster in coverage that the perennially star studded team actually changed their coverage to better take advantage of his range and instincts. Worried about their incredibly talented corners were helping him out too much? The last safety to be drafted in the first with two corners from the same team? Ed Reed.
12. Cleveland Browns (GM Ken Mitchell): Tre'Davious White, CB, LSUIn reality, the Browns would be desperate to trade out of this spot, but since we can’t do that…
Tre’Davious White – He’s everything you look for in a corner, and CB is one of Cleveland’s top 3 needs. I think that there are no more 1st round QB’s in this draft, and we already addressed the edge with Garrett so let’s pick somebody who is one of the BPA who also fills a huge need. I could have gone with the other Ohio State kid, but I really think White is more what the browns need, since he can cover big receivers/TE’s and fits better with their D scheme.
13. Arizona Cardinals (GM seven11): Jonathan Allen, DT, AlabamaThe Cardinals really need a QB here but with the top 3 (IMO) off the board Jonathan Allen is just too good of a football player to pass up. I thought about Reuben Foster but just too many recent red flags to spend this high of a pick on. Allen will help shore up their run defense and should also add pressure in the pass rush.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (GM x160360): John Ross, WR, WashingtonThe addition of Alshon Jeffrey allows Jordan Matthews to return to his natural position as a #2 (or #3) receiver. Even though WR has been addressed during FA, Carson Wentz is still looking for his favorite target – a straight up burner. His touch on the deep ball is SUPERB. Being from North Dakota, I watched it firsthand. The latest report from Philly is this: http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/3/27/15081546/nfl-draft-rumors-eagles-carson-wentz-list-wide-receivers-prospects-shelton-gibson-john-ross-qb-wr.
15. Indianapolis Colts (GM x160360): Marlon Humphrey, CB, AlabamaThis is the NFL’s least talented defense. On the edges, the team signed Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo…. let that sink in for a moment. The Colts need help ANYWHERE along the front 7…. or back 4. I really want to go Ruben Foster here. I could overlook the combine blowup, unfortunately the drug test drops him off the radar.
16. Baltimore Ravens (GM WhiskeyRanger): Haason Reddick, LB, TempleHaving lost Elvis Dumervil, and with Terrell Suggs pushing 35, a pass rushing OLB is a real need for the Ravens. That said, Reddick isn’t a replacement for either of them. He projects better as a replacement for ILB Zach Orr, who they lost to early retirement. So while ILB isn’t as much a need as OLB, Reddick’s talent and potential at the position is too much to pass up here. This draft is deep enough at the edge for the Ravens to go ILB in the 1st with little risk of not finding a decent replacement for Dumervil later on.
17. Washington Redskins (GM rockbadger): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Washington’s a bit disappointed here. They were all over Reuben Foster until the Combine drug test. Then they had their hopes on Haason Reddick but the Ravens got there first.
Instead of upgrading at ILB, they select BPA at a position of need. He’s a good fit for their offense and a versatile runner/pass catcher/returner.
18. Tennessee Titans (GM Mike.Faust): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
This is a no-brainer her the best WR is available to give Marriota a big bodied WR to work the outside with TE Delaine Walker & the 2 headed RBs (Murray & Henry).
He is a solid play action WR and they need a true #1 WR.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (GM Bare Whether): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Doug Martin is suspended and not the long term answer. Instead, TB gets Winston's former teammate as a weapon that can do a lot more than Martin. I thought about adding a TE like Njoku, but Cooks combination of running ability and catching out of the backfield is special.
He reminds me a lot of Devonta Freeman, but he might be a better receiving back. He just makes everything look natural and adds a new dimension to this already potent offense.
20. Denver Broncos (GM Grumpy Middle Aged Man): Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
Last year the Broncos selected Paxton Lynch who should be the QB of the future. He has weapons… some of the best in the NFL. What he doesn’t have is time to throw the ball. Outside of the Seachickens I don’ think there is a team in more dire need of O-Line help at nearly every position.
Bolles is easily the most athletic T in the draft. With the speed of today’s NFL lineman and LBs he is going to need that athleticism. To be honest, as I read the scouting reports on him, they read a lot like our own Kyle Long. If he lives up to those comparisons, the Broncos will be happy that grabbed him here.
21. Detroit Lions (GM Bare Whether): Corey Davis, WR, Western MichiganHe’s not a Calvin Johnson replacement, but he gives a long term option who will be a great WR for years to come. While it’s not a top need, I think he’s a great value at this position and can raise up this offense.
22. Miami Dolphins (GM 46 forever): Taco Charlton, DE, MichiganDolphins have needs at all levels of their defense. Cameron Wake is another year older, Williams was flushed at the end of the season after a lack of production. Charlton displayed the explosiveness you like to see, and has excellent size to go with that explosiveness.
23. New York Giants (GM MikeHoncho47): David Njoku, TE, MiamiThe Giants need to add another dimension to their offense, and they get that here with Njoku, who is a physical freak capable of being a terror in the red zone. While we were hoping for a guy like Christian McKaffery to still be here, Njoku still gets the job done of adding a great weapon for Eli, and one with a crazy high ceiling at that. With the Giants defense having improved so much last year, and now adding great talents such as Brandon Marshall and David Njoku to the offense, the rest of the NFC East and the NFL need to watch out.
24. Oakland Raiders (GM Mike Ditka's Cigar): Reuben Foster, LB, AlabamaWhile the Raiders have had their share of troubled players and managed OK, Reggie McKenzie isn't as much of a gambler as Al Davis was. That said, I think the concern over Foster's diluted sample, while being legit, won't be enough for the Raiders to take a pass on him. Last year Laremy Tunsil was seen in a Bong Gas Mask and he only fell about 10 slots. The Raiders need to keep building their defense, and they need LB help. This is a perfect fit for him with Foster slipping due to recent news.
25. Houston Texans (GM Grumpy Middle Aged Man): Davis Webb, QB, CaliforniaI know this is a bit of a reach. I was hoping that Mahomes would be sitting here. Alas they go with the man who lost his job to Mahomes. I know Kizer is generally considered the other possible 1st rounder, but Webb has been soaring up the boards lately and he has been mocked to the Texans by multiple analysts. He is immediately a better option that Tom Savage. With the D they have, he will be asked to be a game manager for a year or two before he really starts to take the leadership role. I think they are hopeful he can be this year’s Dak.
26. Seattle Seahawks (GM KTB62): Cam Robinson, OT, AlabamaSigning Joeckel doesn’t mean they still don’t need help on the offensive line! Robinson can uproot a defender with power and push. He works seamlessly from block to block in combos. Balance issues are a slight concern and he struggles at times with high-motor defenders. He does have all the traits and physical ability to be a very good NFL tackle and one that could start on Day One.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (GM TJGOBIG): TJ Watt, EDGE, WisconsinChiefs don’t have many holes on their roster… so they can grab "Best Player Available" type versatile players who can plug into multiple roles. Budda Baker is a possibility, so was Forrest Lamp. But Grabbing their own Watt who can make their already fearsome pass rush even moar fearsomer. Chiefs defense… It just seems like such a natural fit for TJ Watt.
28. Dallas Cowboys (GM TJGOBIG): Quincy Wilson, CB, FloridaLiterally the whole Cowboys secondary is gone. THey have Orlando Scandrick and Byron Jones and a bunch of nothing. YES They could go with a pass rusher here, but with TJ Watt gone, seems like the rest of the group is all 2nd rd talent (Harris, McKinley, etc.) SO this becomes a who’s who of the CB/S that are left. Conley, Budda Baker, Obi wan, Chidobe, Kevin King. I went with Quincy Wilson because he is ridic good in coverage and he has the most upside of all that is left. He’s also been invited to the draft, so kinda tells you that the NFL consensus is that he’s a for sure 1st rd pick.
29. Green Bay Packers (GM "Community Pick"): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western KentuckyThe Packers find themselves in their usual beneficial position in the Draft, having Forrest Lamp fall down to them who is a combination of Best Player Available and a position of need. While LB and CB could also be considered needs, Lamp is a better prospect and a solid fit. Over the last season the Packers lost OG Josh Sitton (whom they released) and OG TJ Lang who signed with the Lions. They are a bit thin up the middle, which is something they can rectify with the best Guard prospect in this Draft. If they want to keep Rodgers upright and healthy as he moves farther into his 30s, repairing their O-Line needs to be a priority.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (GM 46 forever): Jabrill Peppers S, MichiganA perfect confluence of events, as the Steelers have been searching for a player on the back end since the retirement of Polamolu…and Jabrill Peppers is the physical, all around type of player to thrive here. Many knocked him for ‘not having a position’…but he was good enough to be an All American while playing out of his natural fit for the benefit of the team.
31. Atlanta Falcons (GM "Community Pick"): Charles Harris, DE, MissouriThe Falcon's pass defense was exposed in a big way in the second half of the Super Bowl. Given this, they have to be happy that Charles Harris is still on the board. He should be a nice player to play opposite Vic Beasley. Harris has been rising up Draft Boards for the last few weeks, sometimes mocked as high as the Detroit Lions, so the Falcons have to be pleased to land him here. While his combine numbers don't jump off the page at you, his game tape does, and he had very good production his last two years at Missouri.
32. New Orleans Saints (GM MCMLXXXVII): Budda Baker S, WashingtonWith the best pass rushers off the board, the saints grab the most talented DB pound for pound on the board: Budda Baker, Washington.Budda Baker is surprisingly versatile. He can slide into the nickel spot immediately, plays the run like he’s 30 pounds heavier and is second only to Hooker in coverage in this class. Hooker and Baker will make the corners job easier, let the pass rush get home, and let a creative DC do some crazy things.
33. Cleveland Browns (GM Ken Mitchell): Joshua Dobbs, QB, TennesseeKen's choice for the Browns here was Joshua Dobbs, who he has highly rated as a developmental QB, due to his athletecism, and play making ability. He won't be a Year 1 starter, but he likes his upside for the Browns.
34. San Francisco 49ers (GM rockbadger): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio StateHaving gone with offense in the first round, they switch to D at #35. They pick up one of the top CBs (long, athletic, with instincts) in the draft.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars (GM Footballgood): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, WisconsinAfter selecting Fournette to bolster the running game and having a hole at tackle, this is the logical choice. Many see this prospect as the top tackle in this draft, so as a 2nd round choice it is excellent value. At 6-5 1/4, 315 pounds he has good size, strength and power and is also very athletic. Has good lateral movement, can block on the fly in space and is also a very effective pass blocker.
36. THE Chicago Bears (GM "Community Pick"/MDC): Obi Melifonwu, S, UCONN
Mike Ditka's Cigar Draft Commentary
My first reaction was that I don't think we see three QBs taken in the top six on Thursday like we saw here, nor do I see four QBs going in the first round. I realize QBs can make GMs crazy, especially desperate ones, but this seemed a little much for me. I think it's possible that Watson or Trubisky could be taken a lot earlier than their draft grades may warrant (which are late 1st to 2nd round grades by most reputable analysts), but I'm not sure I see three of the QB prospects in the top six. There's plenty of buzz about Trubisky and Watson right now being linked to Chicago or San Francisco, but how much of that is just generated buzz to get interest in Trade Downs? We will see Thursday.
Some random oddities from the draft include the Cleveland Browns doing some stretching with both Tre'Davious White and Joshua Dobbs, who went significantly earlier than he's likely to go. White may turn out to be one of the better CBs in this draft though, so that tends to be personal preference.
Originally I thought the New Orleans Saints picks were a bit odd, taking two Safeties (Hooker and Baker), given that they had Kenny Vaccaro on their roster already, who is decent, and that they drafted Vonn Bell, another Safety, last year. However, it has been pointed out that many consider Budda Baker a better slot corner / 3rd Safety in Nickel than an actual Safety. So upon further review, I think I took the "S" position branding a little too literally with Baker. Perhaps this would have been better served thinking of it as Malik Hooker as a Safety and Budda Baker as a Slot Corner / S3, which may put Kenny Vaccaro on notice.
Forrest Lamp falling to the Packers is what the media would call "such a vintage Ted Thompson Packers pick". As Bears fans, let's hope that doesn't happen Thursday.
Some of my favorite picks are:
* Both Titans picks I think are perfect fits of Best Player Available and Needs meeting up.
* Solomon Thomas falling to Carolina? Yikes! That's a dangerous D-Line. They would be thrilled.
* Love Jonathan Allen to the Cardinals. Quick replacement for the departed Calais Campbell
* Garrett Bolles to the Broncos seemed like a non-sexy but savvy pick.
* Dalvin Cook to Tampa Bay makes a lot of sense to me too. Jameis could use some help in the ground game.
* Granted it was my pick, but I like Reuben Foster to the Raiders if he slips that far. That said, if I had to pick that over, I may go with Zach Cunningham instead. I just saw a video review of Cunningham and he's the MIKE LB that the Raiders have been looking for. He may end up being the pick there on Thursday.
* Cam Robinson to the Seahawks makes a lot of sense if he slides that far and if they prefer him over Ramczyk.
* While I didn't agree with the Bears selection of Watson at #3 (he's really the only pick there I'll be disappointed in - please don't have a "Here hold my beer" moment after that comment of mine Ryan), it was recovered well from by taking Obi Melifonwu at Safety in the 2nd. There was some discussion about D-Line there as well, but Safety is one of the biggest glaring needs of this team, and if it's not Adams at #3, then Obi if he's still there makes a lot of sense too.
WCG Community Commentary
I thought some great selections were made. However, I think the draft here was colored by the lack of a legitimate QB in Chicago. For a year when NONE of the players available are projected to be ‘day 1’ starters, seeing 3 of them go inside the top 10 really skewed the whole round, and left some great value further down the board. I thouhgt Allen at #13, Davis at #21, and Peppers at #30 were all steals at the point selected.
Biggest reach – ALL QBs not named Mitchell Trubisky. Watson, Mahomes, Webb, Dobbs, ALL taken way way way too high
Best steals – Because of all the QB’s being pushed up the board, there are a few. Saints getting Hooker @ #11 and Cardinals getting Jonathan Allen at #13 are both tremendous value. Lions getting WR Corey Davis at #21. Also, Bears getting Obi at #36! OH Happy day if that really happens.
Best fits – Corey Davis on the Lions. Some of you panned it, but TJ Watt on the Chiefs just seems buttery smooth to me. Solomon Thomas on the Panthers and Forrest Lamp to the Packers are matches made in heaven.
ROY Offense – TE David Njoku on the Giants. I bet he’d see the ball a TON in that offense.
ROY Defense – Solomon Thomas on the Panthers D-Line? Jesus Christ!