How Free Agency CHANGED the 2017 Draft

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Updated: March 16, 2017

Free agency is winding down which means that it is draft time. We have already seen some crazy deals such as the Patriots grabbing Brandin Cooks from the Saints, and a host of Carolina Panthers coming back home for a final Super Bowl run.

But what about the draft? How do these moves affect things going forward?

Well, we have to wait to find out but until then let’s check out what the people in the draft community think!

danjr is back with his post free agency 2017 mock NFL draft!

A lot of needs filled so draft needs are looking clearer. Please leave comments 3/12

1. Browns: Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M

Pretty much a no brainer. Consensus top overall player in this draft. Browns don’t overthink it and take him.

2. 49ers: Solomon Thomas DE Stanford

The 49ers are under no pressure to take a QB here as the new HC/GM are signed for 6 years and they know Cousins can be theirs next season or they can draft a better prospect in next years draft that stacked at QB. I think they will try and trade this pick but if they cannot Thomas makes the most sense as they are switching to a 4-3 and their last 2 1st round picks are too similar to Jonathan Allen. Buckner and Armstead will be inside whole Thomas will give them the edge rusher they are lacking right now.

3. Bears: Jonathan Allen DE Alabama

Perfect DE for a 3-4 defense as the Bears continue to add talent in year 3 under John Fox. Allen will slide in next to NT Eddie Goldman who had a great sophomore season. This will help the Bears get interior pressure and stop the run which they needed badly.

4. Jaguars: Leonard Fournette RB LSU

The Jaguars have done a TON in Free Agency so far and have built what looks to be a scary defense on paper. They could upgrade the LBs but there are none worthy of this pick. Safety is not a huge need with the addition of Barry Church. Adding a power runner like Fournette will help take pressure off Blake Bortles who is in a prove it year.

5. Titans: Jamal Adams S LSU

They could go Lattimore here but but they just signed Logan Ryan. They did add Jonathan Cyprien but they need to upgrade Da’Norris Searcy. Adams is considered one of the safest picks on this class and he is the BPA at 5.

6. Jets: Marshon Lattimore CB Ohio State

The Jets need multiple CBs so landing the top CB in this draft is huge for them. I just don’t see Todd Bowles reaching for a QB here when he knows his job is on the line. Look for them to sign Cutler and hope for the best.

7. Chargers: Malik Hooker S Ohio State

Pretty common pick for the Chargers. They never replaced Eric Weddle and Hooker has drawn Ed Reed and Earl Thomas comparisons.

8. Panthers: Dalvin Cook RB FSU

The Panthers had a very down year but remember they are only 1 year removed from a 15-1 season and Super Bowl appearance so they are still in good shape. Cook is a do it all RB that will help take the pressure off Cam Newton from having to do everything himself. The defense should bounce back but they need to add another weapon.

9. Bengals: Reuben Foster ILB Alabama

I don’t think Fosters slip up at the combine will effect him too much. He is still an elite prospect and would improve a shaky LB corp for Cincy. He can play multiple positions if needed so expect him to be a day 1 starter.

10. Bills: O.J. Howard TE Alabama

The Bills did the smart thing and retained Tyrod Taylor so they now have to build around him. They have a lot of defensive players coming back from injury who did not contribute last year so I think this year offense has to be the way to go. Howard crushed the combine and he is soundly in the conversation for a top 1 pick He is a great blocker which will help in the run game and in pass protection while give Taylor a huge redzone weapon and matchup nightmare.

11. Saints: Derek Barnett DE Tennessee

The Saints offense continues to put up huge numbers but the defense keeps holding them back. They need to get another pass rusher opposite Cameron Jordan. Barnett along with Jordan and 2nd year DT Sheldon Rankins plus the returning Nick Fairly will finally give the Saints a respectable front 4 that can stop the run and get to the QB. This will help the back 7 that also needs a lot of work.

12. Patriots: Taco Charlton DE Michigan

I still believe the Browns will trade for Jimmy G and the Pats are pulling their Jedi tricks on the league and will get the 12th pick plus 1 of the 3 2nd round picks the Browns have in 2018, They traded away their 1st rd pick for Brandon Cooks so I can see them trying to get back into round 1. The Pats traded Chandler Jones last year and just lost Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long. They have to be able to generate a pass rush and Taco will thrive under the coaching of Bill Belichick.

13. Cardinals: Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina

The 1st QB off the board!! Carson Palmer was on the fence about coming back in 2017 so there is very strong chance this is his last year. Also, his play dropped from 2015 so they will want to groom his successor. Bruce Arians can do wonders with QBs so Trubisky, while raw, will blossom under Arians and most likely take over in 2018. Perfect scenario,

14. Eagles: Corey Davis WR Western Michigan

I know the Eagles signed Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith but those Alshon is on a 1 year deal and they can get out of Smiths deal after 1 year. Also, this is the final year of Jordan Matthews contract so they will need to get some weapons in the pipeline. This is such a deep CB class that they will be able to get an impact player in a later round. WR will not be a popular pick in other mocks but it makes perfect sense to me.

15. Colts: Haason Reddick OLB Temple

Maybe a reach but the Colts have to improve the LB corps. Reddick can play OLB and ILB for the Colts so he will be on the field all 3 downs and they can get creative with how they use him. Jabaal Sheard and John Simon were signed to be edge rushers so look for Reddick to start inside but in certain situations they will utilize his pass rushing skills. This is a great fit for the Colts that fills multiple holes.

16. Ravens: Mike Williams WR Clemson

The Ravens lost Steve Smith to retirement and former 1st round pick Breshard Perriman has not been able to stay healthy and is looking like a bust. They need a legit #1 WR to help put up points or the Ravens will continue to go in the wrong direction.

17. Redskins: Deshaun Watson QB Clemson

Another pick that I have never seen mocked to the Skins but think about it for a moment. The Cousins has asked for a trade, and even if they do not move him he will be able to leave next year because it will be too expensive to tag him a 3rd time. Also, the Skins could find themselves in the same boat the Eagles were in last year. If a QB gets hurt they can trade Cousins for a kings ransom or the worst case groom the QB of the future in Watson. I can see Gruden loving Watson and being able to utilize his unique skill set.

18. Titans: John Ross WR Washington

The Titans need another weapon for Marcus Mariota in order for this offense to take the next step. They have a great rushing attack and Delanie Walker is still getting it done at TE but they have to have a vertical threat and after Ross blazed a record 40 time at the combine he will be able to provide the deep threat they have been lacking.

19. Buccaneers: Jabrill Peppers S Michigan

The Bucs need to upgrade the Safety position and I expect DC Mike Smith to be able to find ways to take advantage of Peppers freaky athleticism and put him in the best positions to make a giant impact. Other then pass rusher and CB the Bucs really don’t have many needs so they can address those other positions later in the draft as it is very deep.

20. Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk OT Wisconsin

The Broncos have to add more talent to the OL. Russell Okung is gone and he was not very effective when he was there. They added upgraded the Guard position with Leary but they have to get the LT spot upgraded and Ramczyk will compete with Ty Sambrallo to open the season as the starting LT.

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