2017 NFL Mock Draft: Senior Bowl Edition

With the Senior Bowl settling down after the last weekend in January, we provide a mock draft with just the pool of players that were in Mobile. The mock draft is based on which players had the best week of practices (game taken into effect) while also factoring in team needs and best player available scenarios.

1. Cleveland Browns

Davis Webb, California, QB

Most of the usual mock drafts have Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett going here with Cleveland going the best player available route. In this case, the Browns get their quarterback early with Davis Webb and don't look back. Webb seemed to separate himself from the group this week as he was one of the better practice performers. He showed off his live arm and quick release in Mobile while throwing a touchdown in the game. Having spent all week with the Browns' staff may have had something to do with this mock selection.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh, QB

San Francisco will start out fresh in 2017: a new general manager, a new coach and a new quarterback. Peterman had the buzz coming into the week and, for the most part, answered the call. Peterman was not phenomenal by any means but showed the proper mechanics to get the job done. The buzz around Mobile was Peterman is most comparable to Kirk Cousins and most organizations wouldn't mind starting off fresh with Cousins as their quarterback.

3. Chicago Bears

OJ Howard, Alabama, TE

Chicago has plenty of other areas to address outside of tight end but instead of reaching for a subpar quarterback (Joshua Dobbs being next on the list) it goes best player available to upgrade the depth chart. OJ Howard may have been the best overall prospect in Mobile and any team would be happy to find a role for him regardless of its needs at tight end. Howard is a dominant blocker in the run game and also shows the ability to be a huge factor in the passing game. You can't tell me Chicago would be content with keeping the injury-riddled Zach Miller with Howard in reach.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut, SAF

Somewhat of an unknown coming into the week, Obi Melifonwu left Mobile with everybody knowing how to pronounce his name with ease. The 6-foot-4 safety had a productive week showing some hidden speed and range that wasn't greatly expected. Melifonwu isn't your usual big hitting safety, but as a true free safety he would be a nice fit into the budding Jaguar defense. Melifonwu may be able to transition into an outside backer if a team can coach him up in some areas. 

5. Tennessee Titans (From LA)

Tre'Davious White, LSU, CB

Tre'Davious White only had reps on Tuesday during practice week, but that day of practice was good enough to have him selected as the best cornerback out of the Senior Bowl group. White would fill a immediate need for a poor Titans secondary that has been yearning for a No. 1 cornerback since the departure of Alterraun Verner in 2013. White's combination of speed, quickness and anticipation should supply him with a real first round grade come draft day. 

6. New York Jets

Haason Reddick, Temple, OLB

If you want to say Haason Reddick was the most impressive prospect this week in Mobile I won't make you dismiss it. Reddick was flying all around the field showing his versatility and coverage skills at middle linebacker. Having played as a pass rushing specialist at Temple his senior season, Reddick would fill a need for the Jets that are yearning for a dynamic pass rusher with quickness and acceleration so Sheldon Richardson doesn't have to stand up and rush the passer. Reddick's best fit, though, may be as an inside 3-4 linebacker.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Evans, Texas A&M, SAF

It can be difficult to get a good grasp on safeties during the week of Senior Bowl practices, but Justin Evans still impressed. Evans still shows the ability to be a ball-hawking safety while also being effective in the run game. His range is as good as any other safety in this class, that's high praise, and he hits like a truck. Evans is a plug-in play guy Day One. 

8. Carolina Panthers

Taylor Moton, Western Michigan, OT

It's no shock that Carolina needs some help upfront to protect the most dynamic quarterback in football. The offensive tackle positions have been an issue for multiple seasons and there are no signs of improvements on the current roster. Taylor Moton can step in immediately at right tackle and provide some relief for Cam Newton. Moton had one of the more consistent weeks in Mobile and his power and movement skills make him an attractive pick in a weak tackle class. 

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Derek Rivers, Youngstown State, OLB

Karlos Dansby is surprisingly (because he is 35 years old) still a starting linebacker in the NFL and Cincinnati needs to bring some youth and promise the linebacker corps. Derek Rivers flourished during the week and in the game as he showed the ability to consistently set the edge and defend the run. He is projected to run a sub-4.8 at the combine but he plays faster than that number indicates. Rivers had 19.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in his senior season at Youngstown State. 

10. Buffalo Bills

Evan Engram, Ole Miss, WR/TE

Though Evan Engram participated in tight end drills throughout the week, it would almost be a disservice to try to spend the first couple seasons trying to coach him up in that area than letting him potentially flourish as a full-time receiver. Engram is a good pass catcher and is consistently a good route runner. Buffalo is still vying for that No. 2 receiver (No, Robert Woods is not that guy) and Engram can immediately fill that role. 

11. New Orleans Saints

Rasul Douglas, West Virginia, CB

New Orleans once again struggled in pass defense and that concern will continue to grow if it can't develop a consistent pass rusher (stay healthy!) or a consistent cornerback that can tackle and produce turnovers. Rasul Douglas of West Virginia can provide what the Saints are lacking in the secondary. A long corner with speed and physicality, Douglas would most likely be an immediate upgrade to the inconsistent group the Saints possess at the moment. 

12. Cleveland Browns (From PHI)

Dan Feeney, Indiana, OG

The unsexy picks may not be attractive to the fans of the given team, but take Dallas for example; it works. Dan Feeney has been one of the most consistent and reliable offensive linemen in college football history (yes, history.). Winning with balance, technique and power, Feeney had a stellar week of practice as he was only on the losing end of one one on one battle all week. A staple upfront after getting its quarterback at No. 1, Cleveland would have a productive first round. 

13. Arizona Cardinals

Alex Anzalone, Florida, ILB

I may be in the minority of this, but Alex Anzalone (pronounced Anza-loney) of Florida had a solid week of practice and finished the game Saturday with four tackles with one for a loss. Anzalone impressed with lateral quickness and long speed as he stayed on par with San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey in a few man on man coverage drills down the sideline. In Wednesday's practice, he consistently penetrated the defensive line showing appreciated physicality to fight through blocks and attack the play. It would have been a blessing to watch Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis consistently tag team together at Florida, but injuries are part of the game. 

14. Indianapolis Colts

Dion Dawkins, Temple, OG

What do you know? The Colts get mocked another offensive lineman in the first round for the 1,234th year in a row. Dion Dawkins had a stellar 2016 season and got comfortable in Mobile after the first day of practice when adjusting to full-time guard. Dawkins is a dominant run blocker thriving as a base and drive blocker and would fit in nicely in a power man blocking scheme. He surprisingly showed above average foot quickness this week which is something that seems to improve every time I check him out on film, chronologically speaking. He was one of my top prospects coming into the week and he did not disappoint. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles (From MIN)

Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, CB

Jourdan Lewis may not be a true No. 1 cornerback with him checking in at 5-foot-10, but he showed the ability to play the outside position more than once; and he was successful on a frequent basis. I have told many folks that if Lewis hit the standard 6-foot threshold, he is a top five cornerback in this class without question (may be a top five cornerback anyways). Lewis and his 190-pound frame showed he can contend with physical receivers and can mirror any moves that are thrown at him. The Eagles need some promise in the secondary and Lewis can supply them with that immediately. 

16. Baltimore Ravens

Tarell Basham, Ohio, DE

Tarell Basham was a defensive end on my radar when heading to Mobile as I had been impressed with his 2016 campaign. Basham continued to show impressive traits when in Mobile that can move him up into Day Two talks. Basham has a plethora of pass rush moves including a wicked spin move that USC's Zach Banner had no idea was coming. The Bobcat checked the boxes athletically showing impressive movement skills and fluidity in coverage showing the ability to cover backs and tight ends if need be. His acceleration to the ball carrier is a thing of beauty to watch (watch how he closes on Joshua Dobbs of Tennessee for a sack early in the 2016 season). 

17. Washington Redskins

Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama, DT

A sleeper in a class full of dominant Alabama defensive prospects (surprise surprise!), Dalvin Tomlinson was an effective chess piece for the Alabama front in 2016. In Mobile, Tomlinson had a smooth week as he was virtually unblockable showing above average power and quickness at his position. Tomlinson can fit in nicely to Washington's 3-4 alignment bringing his run stuffing ability and added quickness as a defensive end. 

18. Tennessee Titans

Zay Jones, East Carolina, WR

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't work out for the Titans as a second round pick in 2015 and Kendall Wright has limped his way back into the rotation but still isn't a viable No. 1 option. The Titans need to find a security blanket for Marcus Mariota outside of tight end Delanie Walker and Zay Jones would produce that reliable target that is needed. Jones fell victim to a lot of quick throws in the slot at East Carolina but showed a diverse route tree in Mobile showing he can change his small route tree when playing for the Pirates. Jones had a whale of a Senior Bowl game showing off his length and hands and being physical enough to win contested catches. Just in general, Jones is a riser and shouldn't be thrown aside. 

19. Tampa Bay Bucs

Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington, WR

Cooper Kupp holds all kinds of records at the FCS level and had an impressive week overall. He is bigger than I expected and showed some physicality to work the sideline and win 50/50 battles. I am not as high on him as many were after Senior Bowl week, but Kupp improved his draft stock by most likely solidifying himself as a Day Two pick. His route running skills are top-notch and would serve as a fine No. 2 option for Jameis Winston and the Bucs. More offensive weapons are needed to contend in the NFC South (Atlanta seems to find a new one every week) so look for the Bucs to address a playmaking offensive player early in this draft. 

20. Denver Broncos

Antonio Garcia, Troy, OT

Tony Garcia's hype was through the roof heading into the week and as I departed from Mobile, I realized that I did not hear his name once all week. Garcia performed as expected and didn't do anything to make his draft stock plummet but didn't do much to make it soar either, which was expected. Garcia's initial punch is his most attractive trait as he immediately gains an advantage and the rest of the play is his to lose. Denver needs to find consistent pieces in the trenches on both sides of the ball and starting with a true left tackle is a good place to start. Ty Sambrailo should not be a starting NFL tackle.  

21. Detroit Lions

Tyus Bowser, Houston, OLB

Even as just a raw football player still learning the nuances of the position, Tyus Bowser's stock is on the rise. Bowser wins with a combination of flexibility, burst and overall athleticism. Detroit has had a player in a situation like this before (Ziggy Ansah) and that has worked out to be one of the better selections in the past five drafts. Bowser brings more of a twitchy presence when compared to current outside backers Josh Bynes and DeAndre Levy. 

22. Miami Dolphins

Ethan Pocic, LSU, OL

Miami has dealt with some inconsistencies and injuries across the offensive line the past couple seasons and selecting a player with versatility is exactly what the club needs to do. Ethan Pocic brings that versatility to the table and showed out in the week of practices at Mobile. Pocic has a mean streak in him that ignites as the ball is snapped. Branden Albert may not be retained on the left side of the line which would force Laremy Tunsil to fill that hole. Pocic can slide in for Tunsil at left guard, no problem. 

23. New York Giants

Kareem Hunt, Toledo, RB

Kareem Hunt was the best running back in Mobile and it wasn't close. Hunt brings plenty to the table with a combination of power and agility along with the ability to pass protect and catch the ball consistently out of the backfield. Hunt was the North's most outstanding player carrying the ball 15 times for 118 yards on game day. Even in a pass-heavy offensive scheme, drafting a serviceable running back early is not a bad idea for New York. 

24. Oakland Raiders

Duke Riley, LSU, ILB

Being an after thought most of the year when compared to Kendell Beckwith at LSU, Duke Riley has made a name for himself. Riley started all 12 games this season and led the Tigers with 93 tackles with nine tackles for loss. He attacks the backfield putting his average play recognition skills on display and many think his best football is ahead of him if the ascension continues. Oakland's linebacking corps is just an average unit that needs some promise heading into the future if it is going to be a constant contender for the playoffs. Riley should supply that. 

25. Houston Texans

Julie'n Davenport, Bucknell, OT

Left tackle Duane Brown has eclipsed 30 years of age and joined right tackle Derek Newton on the 2016 IR list. A healthy specimen to come in and learn from two veterans is a strategy Houston needs to abide by as soon as possible. Julie'n Davenport is a stout left tackle that is aggressive and physical at the point of attack. He has the physical traits that teams will quickly jump on board with but may need to tune some areas when being evaluated from a technique perspective. A project to begin his career, Davenport could do wonders after learning from a duo of bookend tackles. 

26. Seattle Seahawks

Corn Elder, Miami, CB

I'm not sure there would be a better landing spot for Corn Elder than the Legion of Boom in Seattle. Elder executes well as a press corner on the outside but does not help on the backend in which he would benefit from a Cover 2 scheme. Elder does his best work in the intermediate part of the passing game being able to jump routes and play physical enough underneath to contend with every pass. He had a solid week in Mobile but his inability to consistently stay on par with speed down the field is what may have him pigeon-holed to a slot cornerback with needed zone help. 

27. Kansas City Chiefs

Jaleel Johnson, Iowa, DT

Even though Jaleel Johnson may feel like a fish out of water playing a possible 0-tech in Kansas City, his ceiling as a run defender has no roof at the moment. Though he isn't your typical nose guard prospect, Johnson's play recognition skills and gap responsibility may be the best in this year's class. Johnson is technically sound and can penetrate the pocket consistently on run plays with also the ability to rush the passer. This would fill a need for Kansas City while also snatching Johnson off the board as the best player available. 

28. Dallas Cowboys

Dawuane Smoot, Illinois, DE

Even though Dawuane Smoot didn't necessarily answer the call this season with just a ho-hum year compared to 2015, he shows glimpses of what could become a consistent three-down player. Smoot's athleticism is most appealing as he can consistently bend the edge to get to the quarterback and create pressure. He shows the power to annoy the inside shoulder of right tackles while occasionally being a threat in the run game. Smoot can thrive if used like Julius Peppers in his current role. 

29. Green Bay Packers

Jamaal Williams, BYU, RB

This selection may be the most obvious move an organization can make. Green Bay started a receiver at running back who was backed up by a fullback (Aaron Ripkowski-six rushes at Oklahoma) in its final game of the season. Who know what a consistent running game could do to help an offense like Green Bay. Jamaal Williams of BYU can be a plug in play guy Day One for the Packers with elite vision, power and ball security. Williams is a downhill powerful runner which seems to fit the mold of what the Packers like to see from their running backs. Eddie Lacy's time is probably up and James Starks somehow could never manage to take over the role of an average NFL running back. It's time for a fresh start in the backfield. 

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Carroll Phillips, Illinois, OLB

Even with James Harrison still playing at a high-level for his age (38) and Jarvis Jones still hanging onto the backup role, Carroll Phillips would be a nice addition to carry the torch beside Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons. Phillips is perceived to be an overall better prospect than his teammate Smoot, I agree, as he can be a designated pass rusher but shouldn't be written off in coverage just yet. Phillips practiced as an outside backer in Mobile and looked impressive based on his circumstances. He shows the quickness and change of direction skills to be a serviceable cover linebacker which is something that Jones' game is not described with. 

31. Atlanta Falcons

Jordan Willis, Kansas State, DE

An active pass rusher with body control and aggressiveness, Jordan Willis was a name I was quite familiar after leaving Mobile. I talked to a few scouts and draft media members projecting high expectations for Willis whether they were on board or not. Willis is not a quick-twitched athlete like Vic Beasley, but brings enough promise as a pass rusher to at least be an early contributor on third down. He will need to develop more shedding moves to disengage from tackles but his intensity and motor is something that will never come into question. 

32. New England Patriots

Montravius Adams, Auburn, DT

Vincent Valentine performed better than expected as a third round rookie after dealing with a series of back injuries that kept him from standing out at the beginning of the season. Even with Valentine's glimpses of hope accompanied by a handful of splash plays, Alan Branch is now 32 years old and could use a promising backup. Montravius Adams may not be the cleanest prospect as his hands can be sporadic along with his pad level and inconsistency to break from engagement, but a couple years in a scheme favorable to his skill set, similar to that of Valentine, Adams could be one of the bigger steals if falling late Day Two in the actual draft. 




About Christian Page 135 Articles
Co-owner, co-host and website manager of The Draftster. Scout for Optimum Scouting.

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