With the first five picks already mocked you should definitely check it out to see who is already off the board Mock: 1st Round, Picks 1-5. Teams have begun to call in players for private workouts and you can start to see which teams are interested in certain position groups and individual prospects. Teams in this range are only a player away and could find the guy to get them over the hump with smart drafting. The Jets are not one player away, but they need to find something for their fans to hopeful about. The Chargers, Panthers, Bengals, and Bills can all enter the 2017 season with playoff hopes, some more than others. This makes hitting on these top picks so important for these teams to achieve their goals.
6. New York Jets Pick: Mitch Trubisky (UNC) QB
The Jets finally gave up on Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, but now they have Josh Mccown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg on their roster. None of the current or former players should have inspired hope or have shown any real promise. Hackenberg in my mind should have been given more of a shot last year, but them being afraid to put him in during an awful season tells you a lot about what they think of him. Trubisky has critics who say he did not play enough games (only 13 in college) to get a good read on him. From the film I have seen he looks to have the quality arm strength, accuracy, mind, and athleticism that teams covet from their starting quarterbacks. As the season went on at UNC you can see his coaches put more and more responsibility on his plate. Trubisky can make all the throws and has relatively good footwork for being a shotgun quarterback, his accuracy is shaky on intermediate and long throws. He does good on rollouts and has a quick release that should bode well for him in the NFL. As long as the Jets can groom him and work on the accuracy he should be a starting caliber quarterback. After watching him on film the comparison I came up with was a stronger armed, more athletic Kirk Cousins. If the Jets can bring that out of Trubisky they can begin to hope for a brighter future.
7. Los Angeles Chargers Pick: Malik Hooker (OSU) FS
Still sounds weird to say Los Angeles instead of San Diego, but hopefully the team will play better with a fresh start on the horizon. To do this they need to help Phillip Rivers out and not let him throw the ball 40-50 times a game. If Keenan Allen returns to pre-injury form and Melvin Gordon progresses the offense has hope as long as they can somewhat protect Mr. Rivers. Malik Hooker displays great ball skills and has a knack for coming up with interceptions. He had 7 interceptions during his sophomore (RS) year and the Chargers could replace the loss of Eric Weddle. Pairing Hooker with Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward would provide for a youthful ball hawking defensive backfield. Hooker is coming off two surgeries that were conducted after the season which could be a bit worrisome for some teams, but he is said to be ready for the training camp. Many have drawn Ed Reed comparisons to Hooker, but I think that’s a bit far-fetched and look at him to have a little lower ceiling. Hooker could be a great deep safety roaming the back half of the field, but his run game support is a bit concerning. I believe people are infatuated with his ball skills and flash plays, but as an all around football player he has a bit of room to grow. Year one could be rough for Hooker, but as long as injuries don’t plague his career he will be an above average big playmaking safety.
8. Carolina Panthers Pick: Jonathan Allen (Alabama) D-Line
The Panthers had a let down year after reaching the Super Bowl the year before. Allen falling this far would be a great situation for Carolina. Currently they would be relying on Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers to be the main pass-rushers and starters. Neither Johnson or Peppers are meant to be anything more than situational players at this point in their career. Mario Addison and Kawaan Short had great years, but to counting on them to produce again without Kony Ealy will be optimistic. Allen offers versatility to play all over the line which would be ideal when you have situational pass rushers to put in the game. Allen is outstanding in the run game and offers a good pass rush as well. He plays with a great motor and would instill some toughness back into a once stingy defense. The Panthers could look to shore up the back-end of the defense with a corner, but a rookie corner covering with no pass rush would be less than ideal.
9. Cincinnati Bengals Pick: Cam Robinson (Alabama) O-line
Robinson is not being projected here often, but think about who the Bengals lost this off-season. Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth will not be there and there have been no moves to address those holes. This pick will need to address those holes and keep Andy Dalton upright. Robinson was a LT in college, but he translates better to a RT or Guard in the NFL due to run blocking being his strength. He would be able to use that strength more often while worrying less about the speed rushers on the edge. Pairing Robinson with Cedric Ogbuehi could provide the Bengals with a dynamic side if both progress to their fullest ability. Robinson played against quality competition in the SEC and showed he had what it takes. He plays with a nasty streak that is refreshing to see from a college lineman in today’s game. Some teams could be concerned with past legal issues, but the Bengals have been known to take risks on players and they have a strong locker room to keep those issues in check.
10. Buffalo Bills Pick: Mike Williams (Clemson) WR
Clemson keeps supplying the NFL with good receivers and the Bills have already enjoyed the success of one Clemson alumni. Granted Sammy Watkins has not been able to stay healthy but, that makes this pick make even more sense. With the loss of Robert Woods the Bills have limited options in the passing game. Williams is a big body receiver that makes contested catches look routine. He high points the ball well and has strong hands that allow him to catch the ball away from his body. People watching Deshaun Watson should notice that Williams consistently catches balls that not many other receivers would have a chance at. Williams size would provide a nice combination with Watkins speed and defenses would have to pick their poison on how to play coverage. The defense would have to worry about the deep ball on one side and leaving an undersized corner most likely on the other. This would open up the run game even more for an already run heavy team. With Watkins injury history Williams would provide the option of taking up WR1 role. This pick seems to make too much sense for a team that desperately needs to add threats on offense.
Written by @Brett_nfldraft, give me a follow!!