By Bryan Flynn
April 27, 2017
Tonight, April 27, will be life-changing for 32 former college-football players. When the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off at 7 p.m., every team with a first-round pick will hope that theirs will become a future Hall of Famer and not end up on a list of the biggest draft busts.
Here are a few things to know before the draft begins: This is a deep defensive draft, as teams are going to be able to stock up on defensive linemen, linebackers and secondary players. Quarterbacks and offensive linemen are lacking, and offensive skill positions are deep as well.
Here is my first round mock draft.
- Cleveland Browns—Myles Garrett, defensive end, Texas A&M University
Normally the first pick of the draft is a quarterback, but this quarterback class is weak, and if Garrett will play with a high motor, he could be special. He isn’t perfect, but he’s the best player in this draft.
- San Francisco 49ers—Solomon Thomas, defensive end, Stanford University
The 49ers have plenty of holes, and this draft won’t fix everything. San Francisco gets a player who played down the road and will excite fans right away.
- Chicago Bears—Forest Lamp, offensive guard, Western Kentucky University
Chicago has plenty of holes to fill and just signed a new quarterback. Giving its new quarterback some protection might be the best start to this drive.
- Jacksonville Jaguars—O.J. Howard, tight end, University of Alabama
The offense in Jacksonville has struggled, and the Jaguars quarterback needs more weapons. Howard could become his new quarterback’s best friend with his receiving and blocking abilities.
- Tennessee Titans—Haason Reddick, linebacker, Temple University
The Titans’ main needs are on defense. A starting linebacker who jumps off the film is a nice beginning.
- New York Jets—Reuben Foster, linebacker, University of Alabama
Only the Jets would use a top-10 pick on a player who might have issues down the road. Most of the time, the Jets are gonna Jets.
- Los Angeles Chargers—Mike Williams, wide receiver, Clemson University
Williams is one of the best wide receivers in this draft. He is an instant playmaker and will get fans to show up after the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles.
- Carolina Panthers—Leonard Fournette, running back, Louisiana State University
It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Panthers go with a wide receiver here if Williams or Corey Davis is on the board. Fournette’s bruising running style will fit in great in Carolina.
9.Cincinnati Bengals—Jonathan Allen, defensive end, University of Alabama
The Bengals need defensive ends, and Allen isn’t a bad choice at with the ninth pick. Cincinnati could go wide receiver or linebacker with this pick as well.
- Buffalo Bills—Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, Ohio State…