Daniel Carrigy’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama. Cam Robinson. 9. player. 56. . Offensive Tackle

A lot of pundits have the Bengals looking to their defense with this pick, but I strongly believe they should, and will, address the offensive line. In seasons past the Bengals have suffered when they have failed to adequately protect Andy Dalton. The offseason departures of Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler make this area a pressing need.

Robinson is a guy who can slot in right away at either tackle or guard. He has started every game of his collegiate career at the blindside for the Crimson Tide, and with good reason.

Robinson possesses a hulking frame at the tackle position, standing at 6’6″ and 322 pounds. He can explode into defenders and not just block them, but push and drive them away from the ball carrier. Robinson is a tough, hard-nosed blocker, but with another athleticism to slide with his man where appropriate and reach the second level. If he watches his weight and works on his balance, he could be a Pro Bowl left tackle.

Safety. Clemson. Jamal Adams. 10. player. 16.

If Rex Ryan was still at the helm, I honestly think Watson would be called up here. But word is the current Bills brass like Tyrod Taylor, and Jamal Adams is really good value at this spot.

Stephon Gilmore’s departure has weakened Buffalo’s secondary even further, but if Adams is still available, this pick has to be him. Adams is an instinctive and natural leader on the football field. He’s the guy you can build a locker room around. He is a stalwart against the run, often looking to punish opposing runners where possible. Adams was LSU’s go to man for organizing the secondary and analyzing the offense. With no penalties called against him this past season, Adams is a hard hitting, reliable safety with enticing intangibles.

. Cornerback. Ohio State. Gareon Conley. 11. player. 15

In a division that boasts reigning MVP in Matt Ryan, the previous MVP in Cam Newton and Jameis Winston, the Saints need to upgrade their secondary, and pronto.

Whilst Gareon Conley has lived in Lattimore’s shadow, he’s still a solid option here for the Saints. Conley possesses prototypical NFL size for his position, and excels at press coverage. He is adept and shadowing his man down the field and turning his head to the ball where needed. His arm length gives him a distinct advantage, but he needs to work on his tackling and play against the run.

Western Michigan. Corey Davis. 12. player. 53. . Wide Receiver

Let’s be honest, after the Garrett pick you could easily slap an A+ first round grade on the Browns and go home. But  this pick is of significant importance to Cleveland if their rebuilding efforts are to stand any chance.

I believe the Browns are going to draft their franchise quarterback next year, and want to put some pieces around whoever that may be first. If O.J Howard is still there, I think it could be him. Dalvin Cook could also be a dark horse candidate despite the efforts of their running backs this past year.

For some, Corey Davis makes sense here. Possessing ideal height-weight-speed, Davis is a polished route runner gifted with an ability to separate from opponents down the field. Once down the field, he can track the ball exceptionally well. Pairing him with Corey Coleman would give the Browns an electric one-two receiving punch for the future.

. Linebacker. Alabama. Reuben Foster. 13. player. 32

The Cardinals have a pressing need at inside linebacker, so this is a scenario where the stars of need and best player available align.

Foster is an imposing force at inside linebacker. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah called him “one of the most explosive inside linebackers I’ve evaluated in the last five years.” Foster is a behemoth against the run, willing his way to the ballcarrier play after play. A hard hitter who punishes on contact, he can also cover man to man against running backs and tight ends in adequate fashion.

Great pick here for Arizona.

. Cornerback. LSU. Tre'Davious White. 14. player. 54

How in the hell did Philly secure a first rounder for Sam Bradford? After scoring Alshon Jeffery in free agency, the Eagles turn to their defense here, in particular, the secondary. If Foster somehow slips past Arizona it could be him here. Nevertheless, Tre’Davious White makes a lot of sense to the Eagles.

A four year starter, White follows in the footsteps of notable LSU defensive back alumni like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. White is an exceptional zone corner, and can be put on an island if need be. He is an aggressive tackler and is willing to do his part against the run.

UCLA. Takkarist McKinley. 15. player. 46. . Defensive End

The Colts could go offensive line here, but I think defense is more pressing.

McKinley is a guy that can be play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He possesses an incredibly quick burst off the snap, with great outside speed. He isn’t exactly stellar against the run, but he flashes the potential to be a top notch edge rusher in the NFL.

16. player. 26. . Defensive End. Tennessee. Derek Barnett

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is renown for his “best player available” approach to the draft.

Barnett would fill one of Baltimore’s concerns in its disappointing pass rush. He is a powerful rusher off the edge, and is a guy who can manhandle his way through blocks to the ball carrier. A tough, well built specimen, Barnett arrives with attitude when he meets the opposing quarterback. A trait that makes up for a lack of elite speed and what many see as an under athletic rusher.