On the eve of the 2017 NFL Draft, NFL Network Draft analyst Mike Mayock unveiled his Mock Draft for the first round.
In addition, Mayock revealed his thoughts on several players, including Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffrey, and Deshaun Watson:
On Mixon . . .
"I think an unintended consequence to banning Joe Mixon is it gives this kid an advantage as far as all the athletic drills are concerned. He's asleep in his own bed while getting ready for his Pro Day instead of being poked and prodded for four consecutive days."On McCaffrey . . .
"From my perspective, McCaffrey's a match-up guy. He's a chess piece. He averaged -- just like Dalvin Cook and Fournette and Kamara, he averaged between 6 and 6.5 yards a carry. He's an outstanding pass catcher. He's bigger and tougher than people think he is. And he's also a return guy.
So you've got to have a plan if you draft him with the first-round pick as to how you want to utilize him, especially based on what you have on your roster already. Now, if you're Detroit and you're looking for a running back, are you looking for a big, physical guy that can handle the load in the fourth quarter in your four-minute offense and downhill in denying? Or are you looking for a guy that can go out the slot and play and all that when you already have Reddick? I think each team's going to evaluate him differently."
On Leonard Fournette . . .
"But the bottom line for me is that especially the whole running back position, Fournette is a different conversation than Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, or Alvin Kamara, or throw Mixon in there, because those last four guys are today's NFL. They're going to get 20 touches, but it's going to be probably 12 or 13 in the run game; 6, 7 or 8 in pass game. If you draft Fournette, you better give him 25 touches in the run game."
On Deshaun Watson
"Yeah, I tell you, Watson, from my perspective, I'm fascinated with the kid. Just a really quick overview on the quarterback position in general this year, you know, I'm not bullish on the quarterbacks this year because I don't think any of them are ready day one. I think they all have different issues.
But when you look at Deshaun Watson, I see a kid that went 28-2 in his last two years as a starter. I thought he played his best when the lights were brightest against the best defenses. His two games of 15 and 16 against Alabama. Put the tape on and watch the kid play. He's a competitor. When the game's on the line, he gets better. He does not shrink.
So, having said that, I love and I'm fascinated by him, but my concern, like all spread quarterbacks, and I don't care if it's Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel, RG3, I don't care who they are, they all have a major adjustment when they get to the NFL. And Deshaun Watson, like those other guys, has to show he can win in the pocket. When he sits there and that first read is available, he's really good. He can make throws at all three levels with great accuracy. When that first look isn't there, it starts to break down a little bit.
Part of his instinct is to try to get out of the pocket because he's such a good athlete, but when he stays in the pocket, his accuracy drops, I think his decision- making drops. He throws a lot of interceptions where he doesn't see underneath coverage, and typically it's on his second or third read. So like most spread quarterbacks, I think that's the challenge."
On Eddie Vanderdoes . . .
"You know, I think Eddie Vanderdoes from UCLA really helped himself. He had a poor year coming off an ACL. I think he was heavy and out of shape. Then he showed up at The Senior Bowl and started knocking people around. He's more of a physical guy. Always going to rush the quarterback with a bull rush. He's not going to beat you with speed. But he's really strong as can be."
Here are his predictions below:
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE (Texas A&M)
2. San Francisco 49ers – Jamal Adams, S (LSU)
3. Chicago Bears – Marshon Lattimore, CB (Ohio State)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB (LSU)
5. Cleveland Browns (trade with Tennessee Titans) – Mitchell Trubisky, QB (North Carolina)
6. New York Jets – O.J. Howard, TE (Alabama)
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Solomon Thomas, DE (Stanford)
8. Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey, RB (Stanford)
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Allen, DE (Alabama)
10. Buffalo Bills – Reuben Foster, LB (Alabama)
11. New Orleans Saints – Charles Harris, DE (Missouri)
12. Tennessee Titans (trade with Cleveland Browns) – John Ross, WR (Washington)
13, Arizona Cardinals – Marlon Humphrey, CB (Alabama)
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Williams, WR (Clemson)
15. Indianapolis Colts – Derek Barnett, DE (Tennessee)
16. Baltimore Ravens – Haason Reddick, LB (Temple)
17. Washington Redskins – Takkarist McKinley, DE (UCLA)
18. Tennessee Titans – Adoree' Jackson, CB (USC)
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Malik Hooker, S (Ohio State)
20. Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk, OT (Wisconsin)
21. Detroit Lions – Corey Davis, WR (Western Michigan)
22. Miami Dolphins – T.J. Watt, LB (Wisconsin)
23. New York Giants – Garett Bolles, OT (Utah)
24. Oakland Raiders – Cam Robinson, OT (Alabama)
25. Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson, QB (Clemson)
26. Seattle Seahawks – Forrest Lamp, OG (Western Kentucky)
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Dalvin Cook, RB (Florida State)
28. Dallas Cowboys – Tre'Davious White, CB (LSU)
29. Green Bay Packers – Alvin Kamara, RB (Tennessee)
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jordan Willis, DE (Kansas State)
31. Atlanta Falcons – Jabrill Peppers, S (Michigan)
32. Arizona Cardinals (trade with New Orleans Saints) – Patrick Mahomes, QB (Texas Tech)
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services