So the 2016 NFL draft is finally behind us, and while scouts and draft analysts finally get some sleep we here at Real Sport are already looking ahead to 2017. A lot can change in 12 months, just ask Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith where being top level prospects early on can get you. Even with that in mind, who will be picking at the top of the draft, and who might they select? It’s our Way Too Early Top 10!!
1.Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
It’s not exactly a stretch to think the Browns will be back at the top of the draft again next year. While they picked up a massive 14 prospects over the 3 days of this years draft they still lack a quarterback that is going to produce much . Watson is already a far better prospect than Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were, but of course we saw what happened with Christian Hackenberg in the 12 months from being “consensus #1” to actual draft day.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
Be this by trade or actual pick I think the 49ers will end up at the top of the draft and hunting a quarterback. Kaepernick isn’t the guy and they know that, their current team isn’t setup to support an offense without a good passing game so it’s likely they will want a new gun-slinger for Chip Kelly.
3. Tennessee Titans: Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
This might be the Rams pick, their own or a trade but the Titans aren’t a good team and have a lot of ammunition and a lot of needs. That need is heaviest in the secondary where upgrades have to be made.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
There’s always a big team that falls down. Houston a few years ago, San Diego last year. Atlanta seem like a prime candidate with the continued lack of pass rush and diminishing offensive options they could be in for a big tumble down the standings. Garrett can give them that edge rush production.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Miami missed out on the top corners in last week, but with an early pick in 2017 they can fix the defensive backfield that has struggled for so long. Xavien Howard is unlikely to be the only piece the need to solve the problem of stopping Tom Brady.
6. Detroit Lions: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
The Lions need a replacement for Calvin Johnson. It’s a lot to ask from JuJu but he is the best receiver in this class at the moment.
7. Tennessee Titans: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
Ok, so here is another top 10 pick for the Titans. Not a bad return from trading out of the first pick this year. To go with the corner they selected earlier Tennessee grab a pass rusher who lead the SEC in tackles for loss in his first year as a starter.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama Jacksonville filled a huge area of need in their back 7 with both their first and second round pick this year but they really need a fresh approach at the offensive tackle position. Robinson is a monstrous run blocker but he needs refining in his pass protection, if that comes along the next 12 months he might not even be available at #8.
9. New Orleans Saints: Lewis Neal, DE/OLB, LSU Sheldon Rankins was a good start towards rebuilding this defense, but it can’t stop there. Adding another edge rusher is key to improving the passing defense which has been dismal for a long time now.
10. Cleveland Browns: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State The Eagles pick swings into the top 10 for the Browns and they have the chance to add serious defensive talent after restocking their offensive cupboard last week and with the Watson pick earlier.