The 2017 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night in Philadelphia, and for a second straight year, sportscasters from The E.W. Scripps Company are teaming up to give you some insight about what might happen in the first round.
With television stations across the country, Scripps has dozens of sportscasters with years of experience covering their local NFL teams. They're using that insight to try and predict this year's selections in the second annual Scripps NFL Mock Draft. Here's how it played out:
1. Cleveland Browns – pick by Andy Baskin, WEWS
PICK: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
THE TAKE: The Browns prove they don't have to be the smartest guy in the room with the first pick. Browns fans rejoice that Cleveland doesn't trade the pick. Instant impact for a 1-15 team hopefully for a long time.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Boggs, Scripps National
PICK: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
THE TAKE: The 49ers have already addressed two of their three biggest needs this offseason with additions at quarterback and wide receiver. San Francisco now has to find an intimidating defensive lineman who can reach the quarterback. The good news for the 49ers is they have two good options between Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen. With the 49ers expected to use a 4-3 defense in the fall, selecting Thomas makes more sense.
3. Chicago Bears - Justin Rose, WXYZ
PICK: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
THE TAKE: The once feared Bears defense is a mess. The NFC North features gunslingers on each team in Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rogers, and Sam Bradford/Teddy Bridgewater, so stopping the air attack is the only way to win this division.
The Bears need a QB of their own, but this draft lacks a guy to take this high. Their best bet is to strengthen the defense, struggle again, and hope for a guy to fall into their lap next season. That said, don't be surprised if they end up trading the pick/Lattimore to better position themselves for a QB later in round 1 or in the 2nd round.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dave Furst, WRTV
PICK: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
THE TAKE: Can't help but think that new Jags boss Tom Coughlin will be keeping his options open on draft night. He'll go in looking to help his QB Blake Bortles with LSU RB Leonard Fournette, but if Allen falls to him at 4, he'll go with Allen to beef up his defense against the AFC South. Allen can play inside or outside for the Jaguars who, let's face it, could use help in a lot of areas. Best player available is Allen.
5. Tennessee Titans - Steve Layman, WTVF
PICK: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
THE TAKE: After releasing veteran Jason McCourty earlier in April, the Titans' biggest need entering the draft is at cornerback. I think they'd love to take Lattimore here, but with him already off the board, no other corner seems worthy of the No. 5 overall pick. Assuming GM Jon Robinson doesn't find a willing trade partner (like he did last year), expect the Titans to focus on Adams. He's got size and ran a blazing 4.3 40 at his pro day. With no apparent weaknesses, Adams could be an immediate impact player for the Titans and a feature of their secondary for years to come.
6. New York Jets - Joe Buscaglia, WKBW
PICK: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
THE TAKE: The Jets have selected a defensive player in the first round of the draft every year since 2010. It's time to add a playmaker at a position the Jets have ignored for years -- and the best receiving option in this year's draft -- to give their offense a little juice. Brandon Marshall is gone, Eric Decker may be next, so the Jets add the explosive Howard and line him up a little bit of everywhere.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - Ben Higgins, KGTV
PICK: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
THE TAKE: The Chargers hit paydirt with a defensive star from Ohio State last year (Joey Bosa), and will go to the well again to bolster the secondary. This pick makes sense for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's system, but I wouldn't be shocked if they took a long look at Mitchell Trubisky to give them a successor to Philip Rivers.
8. Carolina Panthers - Tom Korun, WFTS
PICK: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
THE TAKE: Panthers get the player they had No. 1 on the board. Carolina thinks Fournette is everything Ezekiel Elliott is for Dallas. Should take pressure off Cam Newton.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - John Popovich, WCPO
PICK: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
THE TAKE: The Bengals have needs at receiver and offensive line, but they can't pass up Reuben Foster, inside linebacker out of Alabama. Rey Maualuga is gone and Vontaze Burfict is a big "if." Let's take Reuben.
10. Buffalo Bills - Joe Buscaglia, WKBW
PICK: Haason Reddick, LB/EDGE, Temple
THE TAKE: Many believe the Bills are firmly in the quarterback market, and if they trade down or one is available in the second round, I think they might be. However, if they stay at 10, with holes all over the roster, only six draft picks, and the desire to make the playoffs this year, the Bills instead opt for a player that can do a little bit of everything for their defense. Haason Reddick can rush the passer, play the run, cover tight ends and backs, and he can line up all over the front seven. Head coach Sean McDermott yearns for versatility, and Reddick brings all of that at major positions of need as an impact player.
11. New Orleans Saints - Alex Hider, Scripps National
PICK: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
THE TAKE: Needing a serious facelift on D, the Saints have a lot of options at 11. The most pressing need they face is in the secondary, which was among the worst in the league in 2016. But with the 32nd pick in their back pocket and three of the top defensive backs already taken, New Orleans has the flexibility to take one of the best pass rushers available in Barnett.
12. Cleveland Browns - Andy Baskin, WEWS
PICK: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
THE TAKE: The Browns try to find that magic that Bernie Kosar brought to Cleveland as a Northeast Ohio native. Trubisky, played high school football at Mentor High School, located just 25 minutes east of FirstEnergy Stadium. The fact that Trubisky was still here at the number 12 pick is a delight to Browns backers around the world. The lingering question will be based on Trubisky's limited playing experience in Chapel Hill. The other question that will linger on after this pick: "Should they have selected DeShaun Watson?"
If the Browns don't select a quarterback here, look for them to package the number 33 pick in the second round and any number of the five second-round picks they own for the next two seasons to jump back up in the first round to get a quarterback.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Craig Fouhy, KNXV
PICK: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
THE TAKE: This isn't a "slam dunk" pick for the Cardinals, but after the Browns took Trubisky with the 12th overall pick (the Cards' favorite QB in this year's draft), the Cards brass had to make a decision: Go with Mahomes at QB or find a replacement for Michael Floyd (the guy they released after a DUI last December).
Coach Arians loves Washington receiver John Ross as well, because of his speed (which Arians covets) and his ability to return kick-offs and punts. This pick could come down to the Cards going with a receiver in John Ross, or a bigger guy in Mike Williams, if they believe they can grab Mahomes with their 2nd or 3rd round pick.
14. Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Pfahler, Scripps National
PICK: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
THE TAKE: Should one of the three top quarterbacks fall, the Eagles could be tempted to move down. But if Philadelphia stays here, the Eagles could enhance a defense in need with Conley. The defensive back should step into the NFL as a solid playmaker who lacks an elite trait.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Dave Furst, WRTV
PICK: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
THE TAKE: Colts new GM Chris Ballard has been relatively cautious in free-agency. Some short-term fixes (3-year contracts have been the norm) as he hopes to build in the next few drafts. One of those needs is at CB. Humphrey is one of the most athletic in the draft and someone who could play immediately opposite of Vontae Davis.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Shawn Stepner, WMAR
PICK: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
THE TAKE: The Ravens are turning in their draft card in record speed if Mike Williams falls to the 16th selection. Baltimore has several holes on both sides of the ball that they can address in this draft. However, what they desperately need is a big, playmaking, game-breaking threat for Joe Flacco. Williams can be that guy for the Ravens and would most likely be their number one receiver right out of the gate.
Baltimore thought Breshad Perriman could grow to be that guy when they selected the wideout 26th overall two years ago. He missed 2015 with injury and registered only 33 catches for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns in 16 games last year. With Mike Williams in the mix, the duo could develop into a nice tandem that would give the AFC North fits for years. Not to mention, if Williams produces, Ravens fans would miss Steve Smith Sr. a heck of a lot less.
17. Washington Redskins - John Popovich, WCPO
PICK: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
THE TAKE: Let me say with confidence that the Redskins need defense. They need linebacking help and some push up front, so they'll have to choose their priority. They'll take defensive end Takkarist McKinley from UCLA. Won't need to be motivated, has shown in college that he has a strong motor. Time to quit looking for leftovers in free agency. McKinley is raw, but can develop into a game-changing defensive player for a long time.
18. Tennessee Titans - Steve Layman, WTVF
PICK: John Ross, WR, Washington
THE TAKE: The other big position of need for the Titans is wide receiver, and with the top three corners in the draft off the board, they will elect to fill that need. Ross, who ran a record 4.2 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, provides Tennessee with a home run threat in the passing game to compliment Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tom Korun, WFTS
PICK: Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
THE TAKE: Cook is a breakaway running back this team has never had in its history. He can also be a threat in the passing game on the swings and slot.
20. Denver Broncos - Lionel Bienvenu, KMGH
PICK: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
THE TAKE: The Broncos won't actually believe McCaffrey will still on the board at No. 20. They believe he could be gone as early as No. 8 to Carolina; surely gone No. 14 or No. 17 to the Eagles or Redskins.
But if Christian drops into their laps at No. 20, it's a no-brainer. He's a Colorado kid, son of former Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey. He's been around John Elway his entire life.
The Broncos are prepared to go after one of three left tackles -- Ryan Ramczyk, Garett Bolles, or Cam Robinson. But they need another RB, slot receiver, and kick returner.
The NCAA all-time single season all-purpose yardage record holder is just what the doctor ordered at the 20th pick for Denver.
21. Detroit Lions - Justin Rose, WXYZ
PICK: T.J. Watt, DE/LB, Wisconsin
THE TAKE: There's plenty of need at linebacker and defensive end for the Lions, and since two of the can't-miss RBs just were taken, the Lions kill two birds with one stone with Watt.
With the departure of DeAndre Levy and basically zero linebacker depth, Watt can fill a role here at stopping the run at two positions, if need be. I wouldn't be surprised with Lions drafting Michigan's Taco Charleton here, though, but Watt adds depth to two positions.
22. Miami Dolphins - Alex Hider, Scripps National
PICK: Jarrard Davis, ILB/DE, Florida
THE TAKE: The Dolphins shocked the league with a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance in 2016, but Miami will need to shore up its defense if it wants to get beyond the Wild Card round. Davis, who played his college ball up the road in Gainesville, is a freak athlete who can cover speedy receivers and step up and defend the run game -- which the Dolphins desperately need, having finished 29th in rushing defense in 2016.
23. New York Giants - Alex Hider, Scripps National
PICK: David Njoku, TE, Miami
THE TAKE: New York goes back to the well and drafts another Miami TE - just like they did when they took Jeremy Shockey in 2002. At 246 pounds, Njoku ran an impressive 4.64 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. With Odell Beckham Jr. attracting attention from defenses on the sidelines, Njoku may be able to run wild up the seams in New York's offense.
24. Oakland Raiders - Stephen Hicks, KERO
PICK: Kevin King, CB, Washington
THE TAKE: Despite having one of the best records in the AFC, the Raiders' defense was one of the worst units in the NFL led by a poor linebacking core. With Rueben Foster and Jarrad Davis both off the board, they'll look to go for the value pick at 24 and shore up their weak secondary. While Oakland would be happy scooping up Conley or White, with Kevin King on still on the board it's a no brainer for Reggie McKenzie.
25. Houston Texans - John Popovich, WCPO
PICK: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
THE TAKE: The Browns and Cardinals took quarterbacks Trubisky and Mahomes, respectively, so the decision is relatively easy for the Texans. They've spent a lot of money on quarterbacks in recent years without anything to show for it. Watson becomes the future of the Houston Texans.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Ben Higgins, KGTV
PICK: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
THE TAKE: The Seahawks won a Super Bowl thanks to guys in the defensive backfield like Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Maybe they can start building a new generation of the Legion of Boom with Melifonwu.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Frank Boal, KSHB
PICK: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
THE TAKE: The Chiefs are one of the deepest teams in the NFL. Last season, they lost ILB Derrick Johnson, didn't have RB Jamaal Charles, while OLB Justin Houston was limited, and they still finished 12-4 and won the AFC West. Their problem is a "Grade A"-quarterback, Alex Smith wins regular season games but can't win playoff games. That's a problem for which they have no solution. So with all three of the top QBs off the board, head coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey will wait until later in the draft to grab a QB. They select Harris from nearby Mizzou. He'll help shore up the pass rush and is insurance if Houston doesn't return to form.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Eric Pfahler, Scripps National
PICK: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
THE TAKE: Peppers can play a variety of roles for the Cowboys, which could use some help in the defensive backfield. Peppers can close gaps and make tackles, but there are some concerns about his decision making on the football field. Peppers also could help with his ability to return punts.
29. Green Bay Packers - Charlie Sokaitis, WGBA
PICK: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
THE TAKE: With a number of top flight cornerbacks already off the board, the Green Bay Packers will choose to bolster their defense at another position of need by selecting Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson. Top 10 all-time at Alabama in tackles for loss and sacks, Anderson will be a great fit for a unit that has battled a number of injuries over the past few years. Scouts have noted that he is "consistent" and "doesn't make very many mistakes"; he will fit right in with the professionals here in Green Bay.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Justin Rose, WXYZ
PICK: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
THE TAKE: The Steelers pass rushers combined age is about 90 with James Harrison still somehow in the league (he accounts for 85 of these years), and they need help up front and the back end. The corner draft is deeper so they can take a stab later on, but I cannot remember the time in recent years the Stillers (said in yinzer) had a legit force up front.
Lawson has injury concerns, but his game is can't miss when completely healthy. Bulk up the end position where he has a chance to learn from Harrison, and let him take over shortly thereafter.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Justin Boggs, Scripps National
PICK: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
THE TAKE: If Atlanta finds itself in a position where Taco Charlton or Malik McDowell is still available, the Falcons' brass will be incredibly happy. While Atlanta doesn't have a glaring need, the Falcons would be in much better shape adding another pass rusher. The Falcons fired their defensive line coach, in addition to their defensive coordinator after the Super Bowl. So clearly, it is an area that Atlanta wants to add talent.
I like Charlton more than McDowell because of Charlton's versatility and who he has been coached by. I had the opportunity of seeing Charlton against Ohio State. Charlton was obviously one of the top players on the field against a very talented Ohio State offense.
32. New Orleans Saints - Alex Hider, Scripps National
PICK: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
THE TAKE: The Saints finally get some help in the secondary. Jackson's speed and tackling will help improve what has been one of the worst pass defenses in the past few seasons. In Jackson, the Saints also get a potential playmaker on special teams. He returned four kickoffs, four punts and an interception for a touchdown in his three seasons at USC.