- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Hitter Streamers Week 4
- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Two Start Pitchers Week 4
- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Closer Depth Chart Week 3
- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Hitter Streamers Week 3
- Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds Week 3
- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Two Start Pitchers Week 3
- Early Season Fantasy Baseball Injury Replacements
- Fantasy Baseball 2017: Closer Depth Chart Week 2
Krall’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Panthers Bolster their Ground Attack
- Updated: April 19, 2017
The month of April brings Spring showers, hoppy pilsner beers, 4/20, under-prepared women expecting summer weather too soon, and last but not least — the 2017 NFL Draft.
In addition to this sunny glory, we still have the Celtics and the Bruins to salivate over as the playoffs approach, with a little Red Sox sprinkled in. It’s great to be in Boston these days.
Due to the enhancements in delivering content over the years, the speculation is now at an all-time high as we brace for the NFL’s next firework, and gather our final impressions on how the 53-man rosters will look like. Over the next week, CJay and I will be be tracking all the news, rumors, and preparing you for all the action leading up to Cleveland’s 1st overall pick on April 27th. Brace yourself as we get down and dirty — giving you a wealth of in-depth analysis on incoming collegiate talent beginning with yours truly — 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 — right here — right MEOW:
1. Cleveland Browns: DE – Myles Garrett – Texas A&M
Needs: QB, DE, CB
No brainer. Remember in 2000 when the Browns took a defensive end by the name of Courtney Brown 1st overall? Brown was an absolute stud in college, and probably would have had a Hall of Fame career had he been drafted by a halfway decent team. Instead, he fell into the mitts of the lowly Browns who found a way to break him down into an injury plagued squid that lasted only 5 years in the league. Myles Garrett is having consistent night terrors with only 3 weeks to go before his day of reckoning. The undisputed best player in college football ends his career before it even starts when he’s taken 1st overall by the most pathetic franchise in all of sports.
2. San Francisco 49ers: S – Jamal Adams – LSU
Needs: QB, DE, CB
San Francisco has also been linked to fantasy stud QB Kirk Cousins via his former
coach Kyle Shanahan, yet nothing has come to fruition on that front. The 49ers signed both Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley to compete for the starting job in 2017, which leads me to believe they will shift their attention to defense in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Jamal Adams is a Day 1 difference maker that would allow adjacent safety Eric Reid to get all up in the box and be his violent self. Some may view this as a reach, but Adams has the play-making ability to restore credibility to a ‘9er defense that is just a few years removed from a trip to the big game.
3. Chicago Bears: DE – Solomon Thomas – Stanford
Needs: DB, OL, TE
Despite the Bears glaring need at OT, I don’t think protecting Mike Glennon bears the same importance as protecting a guy like Tom Brady. The Bears sacrifice the well-being of their newest overpriced asset, and take the best player on the board, while securing a bright future for their d-line. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them trade down to the mid-first round and take the best OT off the board in Cam Robinson while managing to rack up some additional assets.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT – Cam Robinson – Alabama
Needs: OL, DL, TE
The Jags were one of the most improved teams via NFL Free Agency this year adding the likes of Calais Campbell, Brendan Albert, Barry Church and better yet stealing elite cornerback A.J. Bouye from their AFC South division rival Houston Texans. To be honest, I was slightly embarrassed that I didn’t see this coming when they added my man Tom Coughlin as their Executive VP of Football Ops. The Jags could take a guy like Leonard Fournette here, but they would literally have a group of community college caliber blockers to clear paths for him. OT is the right move here, even if Jax has to reach a little bit. I expect this man mountain to improve the stock of Chris Ivory around the goal line.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams): WR – Mike Williams – Clemson
Needs: WR, ILB
Plan B here would be Temple ILB/Edge rush Haason Reddick, but taking him at #5 seems like too much of a stretch to sit well with the Titans brass. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe are not the answer to the Titans passing woes. Tennessee goes big at WR with Mike Williams and finally gives budding star QB Marcus Mariota another big target to pair with Delanie Walker in the red zone.
Fantasy Impact: Mike Mularkey ran more two TE sets in 2016 than any offense in the league. Due to the nature of the Titans attack, Williams will first need to beat out Sharpe for more playing time. I don’t anticipate that this will be a very difficult task. My take: 68 Receptions – 905 Yds – 10 TDs
6. New York Jets: CB – Marshon Lattimore – Ohio State
Needs: QB, CB, OLB
The Jets need a cornerback like Julian Edelman needs Tom Brady. A quick glance at the Jets 2017 depth chart will tell you that the only reinforcements at that position include newly acquired squid CB Morris Claiborne (from Dallas) and perennial fuckboi Buster Skrine. Marshon Lattimore was a first-team All-Big Ten selection at Ohio State last year and established a formidable secondary in Columbus with partner in crime Malik Hooker. His 4.36 40-yard dash time at the combine demonstrated his ability to stay with receivers at the next level, and I think he gives the Jets some stability in an otherwise shaky secondary.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: S – Malik Hooker – Ohio State
Needs: WR, DE, S
The Chargers get their replacement for Eric Weddle by adding Malik Hooker to sheriff their secondary. This is helpful seeing as their defense is about as loose as Kylie Jenner after a three night run at Coachella. Hooker possesses the skills and leadership qualities that coaches fantasize about, and a good value at the end of the first round. Mike Williams is a strong probability as well if he is still available, but even with a need at that position it would be very difficult to argue with this selection given the current state of the Bolts D.
8. Carolina Panthers: RB – Leonard Fournette – LSU
Team Needs: RB, DE, DB
The Panthers know that Jonathan Stewart’s best days are behind him, and are ready to enlist his replacement to get Cam Newton back on track towards a 1st Super Bowl for the franchise.
What better way to do that then to draft an absolute fantasy monster in 6’0″ 240 lb Leonard Fournette? Many have claimed that Fournette is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. If Jacksonville passes on him to address a more pressing need at OT, there is little doubt that this LSU product ends up in Carolina for the ’17 season.
Fantasy Impact: Huge. Fournette possesses downhill speed and power to get 10+ TDs as a rookie given the opportunity. The problem is, he still needs to split carries with Jonathan Stewart. Fournette has the highest probability to be 2017’s Ezekiel Elliott. My take: 888 Yds – 8 TDs
9. Cincinnati Bengals: ILB – Reuben Foster – Alabama
Team Needs: OL, LB, DE
The Bengals haven’t been relevant…..really ever. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in their entire existence. Their QB is a flaming ginger. The last time they won a playoff game, I was literally shitting my pants and sucking on a binky. With that being said, I think it would be wise to add a player who could provide some stout defense for two dates per year with big hoss Le’Veon Bell. Reuben Foster has proven time and time again that he can answer the bell, stalk elite running back talent, and bring a national championship pedigree to a team with a history of losing the big game. Stacking him with the likes Vontaze Burfict will provide the Bengals defense with some much needed teeth.
10. Buffalo Bills: WR – Corey Davis – Western Michigan
Team Needs: DB, WR, OT
Tyrod Taylor gets a 6’2″, 205 lb red zone threat to line up opposite incumbent alphastud and WR1 Sammy Watkins. The only knock on Davis’ godly performance in college was playing in the watered down Mid-American Conference. Regardless of the backtalk, the talent, and highlight reel ability remain unquestioned. No doubt an NFL route runner too. Have yourself a drool over his three years of college ball at Western Michigan:
Fantasy Impact: The growing pains of of jumping from a weak(er) conference college team to the pros could cause for a brief learning curve. I like Davis as a waiver wire target until he earns the WR2 job, and prove he can hold his own. Good 2nd half prospect for down the stretch. Hear what CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler told us about the Western Michigan prospect (44:40). My take: 55 Rec – 812 Yds – 7 TDs
11. New Orleans Saints: CB – Marlon Humphrey – Alabama
Team Needs: DB, LB, WR
Marlon Humphrey fills a need for a Saints secondary whose levee has remained broken since the Saints were super in 2009. Playing well against NFL draft talents like Mike Williams, John Ross and JuJu Smith-Schuster proves that guy can hang at the next level. The Saints would be wise to also consider the best offensive receiving option in the draft in O.J. Howard, but ultimately I think they keep it in their pants and play it safe selecting the ‘Bama product.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles): QB – Deshaun Watson – Clemson
Needs: QB, DE, CB
An easy pick and good win for the Brownies. With three years of solid production in a a highly effective offense at Clemson, Deshaun Watson possesses the championship winning swagger that Cleveland so desperately needs. There are some questions regarding Watson’s presence at the line of scrimmage (interception prone) and reading opposing defenses. However, with a little grooming and an uncanny ability to make all the throws at his disposal, I think Watson could finally be the answer to the Browns long list of quarterback failures. The dawg pound manages to acquire two dynamic play makers for both sides of the ball within the first 12 picks, and are the winners of the 2017 NFL Draft to this point.
Fantasy Impact: I think Deshaun steals the job from unforgivable Brock Osweiler or the forgettable Cody Kessler within the first quarter of the NFL season. I expect a marginal rookie year, but a bright future ahead for this able-bodied Gainsville, Georgia native. My take: 60% CMP% – 3,145 Yds – 19 PTD – 22 INT – 78 Rating – 345 RuYds – 4 RuTDs
13. Arizona Cardinals: TE – O.J. Howard – Alabama
Needs: ILB, QB, DB
Many experts have a QB going to the Cards, but the value taking O.J. here is second to none. Howard is a versatile tight end who can burn opposing defenses by getting free in the secondary, and also use his 6’6″, 240 lb frame to create space for ball carriers to run through. Due to his size and athleticism, Howard is my pre-season choice for fantasy TE1 status and a ROY candidate. Howard brings game-breaking potential and NFL ready intangibles to an offense in need of a shot to the arm. Let’s hope he has a healthy Carson Palmer to get him the ball.
Fantasy Impact: This depends entirely on the well-being of their 37 year old starting QB. If Palmer returns to his 2015 form, we could get 8-10 TDs from the rookie with an aging, and overall meh current receiving core (sans Larry Fitz) in the desert. My Take: 65 Rec – 906 Yds – 10 TDs
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings): CB – Gareon Conley – Ohio State
Needs: CB, RB, DE
Eagles fans beg for Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook, yet end up booing their pick when Conley is selected to no-one’s surprise. Conley isn’t the sexy pick, but does represent the right move for an Eagles’ secondary that yearns for depth. The 3rd member of the 2016 OSU secondary taken in the top 15, Ohio State solidifies its credibility as a breeding ground for outstanding pass defense products when Gareon comes off the board.
15. Indianapolis Colts: T – Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin
Needs: OL, DL, RB
Johnathan Hankins finally got his wish and left the Giants to sign a 3-year, 30 million dollar contract with the Colts last week. With that deal in the books, its safe to say they probably won’t be looking at that position in the first round. Indy has had major concerns on both sides of the line, and would be ill advised to not fortify their tackle situation. With the 15th pick in the draft, the Colts protect their franchise quarterback and select Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk. Ramczyk is a pick and plug player and should leave one less question unanswered in a roster with more holes than a sieve.
16. Baltimore Ravens: RB – Dalvin Cook – Florida State
Needs: OLB, WR, CB
Despite an impressive rookie campaign, the reality is that Kenneth Dixon’s use of PED’s will not allow the Ravens starting RB to play the first four games of the 2017 season. Even with Dixon in the fold, drafting Dalvin Cook to step in on first and second down gives the Ravens a more dynamic option. In 2016, Cook dashed for 18 TDs and over 225 yards on two separate occasions. As if that wasn’t enough, Dalvin boasted a 6.5 YPC over his three years in a proven Florida State program. When I think of Dalvin Cook, I think of a football fantasy in the making. *drools*
Fantasy Impact: Bigtime. If he can manage to secure the ball and stay out of trouble off the field, his talent provides a major boost to the Ravens running game. I think he will see the majority of goal line carries and should see plenty of opportunities overall. My take: 810 rushing yds, 9 TDs
17. Washington Redskins: RB – Christian McCaffrey – Stanford
Needs: ILB, S, RB
The Redskins squeezed every ounce of juice out of unheralded lemon Rob Kelley in 2016. Despite Kelley’s respectable 4.2 YPC, his lack of TD prowess (1), and inability to serve as more of a jack of all trades limits his value from a fantasy perspective. Adding a blue chip prize like Christian McCaffrey adds a dynamic weapon to Jay Gruden‘s arsenal and the the Redskins passing attack. Son of John Elway’s favorite slot target, Ed McCaffrey, Christian brings 4.4 speed, and a Heisman trophy caliber threat to the ‘Skins backfield.
Fantasy Impact: Like Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in DC, I see McCaffrey as the most talented option in Washington’s backfield. However, his lack of experience in working a pro-style system could limit fantasy production at first as he competes for more opportunities. My take: 540 rushing yds, 3 TDs, 35 rec, 1 rec TD
18. Tennessee Titans: LB – Zach Cunningham – Vanderbilt
Needs: CB, WR, ILB
With Cunningham, the Titans add a fast, instinctive backer to shadow opposing running backs. The Titans currently have 2014 – 5th round pick Avery Williamson slated to start opposite Wesley Woodyard, so adding the best run defender in the SEC makes a lot of sense at this point. The Titans are right behind the Browns for the most improved team 18 picks in.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE – Derek Barnett – Tennessee
Needs: DL, S, RB
I’m pretty underwhelmed when I consider the Bucs d-line (with the exception of all-pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy). Derek Barnett is a disruptive force who is of great value after having been scouted as a top-10 pick by many teams leading up to the draft. PFF rated Barnett as the #3 rated DE in 2016, and was rated at #2 in 2015, which shows that he is a consistent contributor in an immensely challenging SEC. Tampa scores a keeper at #19.
20. Denver Broncos: DE – Takkarist McKinley – UCLA
Needs: OT, ILB, DE
The Broncos hope to reach the promised land once again in 2016, but if they do so, I’m pretty sure it won’t be on the shoulders of Trevor Siemian. Denver’s defense must find its form, and setting up their front 3 with a edge rusher like Takk McKinley to couple with Derek Wolfe seems like just what the doctor ordered. The former Bruin racked up 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in his last year at UCLA. Some teams were concerned by his disappearing act vs legit competition like Stanford and Washington in big games, but I think McKinley has the talent to be a solid edge rusher at the next level.
21. Detroit Lions: WR – John Ross – Washington
Needs: OT, ILB, DE
The lowly Lions are another example of a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since I was sucking on a binky. While they made strides in 2016, there remains a lot of room for improvement if they want to contend with the Packers in the NFC North. A good first step would be selecting Washington’s speed demon John Ross. Ross had himself quite a day at the combine, setting an NFL record 4.22 second 40-yard dash time. While this stat says a lot, it doesn’t speak entirely to his skill set. Make no mistake, Ross has all the tools. Adding him to a receiving core that already features Golden Tate and Eric Ebron could give the Lions a chance to give the Packers headaches in the 2017 season.
Fantasy Impact: Ross should get playing time pretty early on in the season as believe it or not, the Lions are currently engaged in “win now” mode. I’m projecting a successful rookie campaign as Matthew Stafford definitely still has that gunslinger mentality, and the Lions are a passing team. My take: 55 rec, 700 yds, 7 TDs.
22. Miami Dolphins: OG – Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky
Needs: LB, OG, CB
Out of any of the teams in the AFC East, I like the Dolphins to be the biggest threat to the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. The Dolphins saw a lot of success on the offensive side of the ball feeding the rock to Jay Ajayi last season. Adding Lamp to a line that already includes 2016 1st rd pick Laremy Tunsil, 3x Pro Bowler Mike Pouncey, 2x Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod, and 2014 1st round pick Ja’Wuan James gives the Fins’ an Ezekiel Elliott-like scenario for Ajayi, and also takes pressure off of Ryan Tannehill. I really like this pick, and think that Lamp has the tools to lock down the Dolphins guard spot for the next 10 years.
23. New York Giants: LB – Haason Reddick – Temple
Needs: LT, MLB, TE
Last season, the Giants went on a massive spending spree in order to improve their defense, which finished ranking 2nd in the league in scoring. One of the positions ‘Big Blue’ has neglected to an extent over the years is at the linebacker position. Drafting a human missile like Haason Reddick to slot alongside 2nd year ILB (and now starter) BJ Goodson, and incumbent strongside LB Devon Kennard should give an even bigger bite to an already scary defense. At Temple, Reddick excelled at getting after the quarterback, converting 43 QB pressures on just 248 pass rushes, which is an outstanding ratio. New York has tasted the sweet nectar of SB glory on two occasions in recent memory, which were both inspired by rushing the passer, so upping that ante seems only appropriate. On another note, NYG is known for drafting linebackers in the middle rounds, so it wouldn’t shock me to see them end up with Utah OL Garett Bolles, Miami TE David Njoku, or a talented RB like Cook or McCaffrey if still available at #23.
24. Oakland Raiders: DT – Malik McDowell – Michigan State
Needs: MLB, DT, CB
At 6’6″ and nearly 300 lbs, McDowell possesses the physical attributes of an All-Pro defensive lineman. The former Spartan demonstrated an innate ability to pressure the QB and stop the run during his 3 years as Mark Dantonio‘s defensive anchor at Michigan State. The slight downgrade in his 2016 stat line, as well as some questions surrounding his work ethic and attitude are concerning, but with the right coach, McDowell could fill a need while also providing a major boost to the Raiders defensive line
25. Houston Texans: QB – Mitchell Trubisky – North Carolina
Needs: QB, OL, LB
One of the surprises in this year’s draft is Mitchell Trubisky falling to the Texans at #25. Despite the failed Brock Osweiler experiment, Houston still has the appropriate talent surrounding the QB position to be a contender this year with a someone who is even a shade better than the Abrockalypse. Trubisky is a polished and athletic QB, but ultimately I think his lack of game experience (only one year as a starter at NC) slightly hurts his draft stock.
Fantasy Impact: The Texans have Tom Savage to send out there while Trubisky gets acclimated with the Houston playbook. My take: 65% CMP% – 2,005 Yds – 12 PTD – 8 INT – 84 Rating
26. Seattle Seahawks: CB – Kevin King – Washington
Needs: OT, DT, CB
The Seahawks appear to be preparing for the impending departure of outspoken All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. If they don’t receive one in return via trade, drafting Washington CB Kevin King seems like a perfect choice. Seattle loves long, lanky, unorthodox press corners, so King is an ideal fit to their scheme. Initially projected as a 3rd round pick, King’s stock took a turn for the better in recent weeks as he was a top performer at the NFL combine with a 39.5 inch vertical jump, while clocking at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Some concerns about King are his athleticism and recovery speed, but nonetheless King has proven himself a worthy commodity with prototypical size to compete with the tallest receivers in the NFL.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: ILB – Jarrad Davis – Florida
Needs: ILB, DL, CB
One of this year’s most explosive defensive players, Davis would be a perfect candidate to study and eventually replace starter and Chiefs legend Derrick Johnson. The ILB from Florida was second on the team in tackles in 2016, and has the instincts and leadership traits to excel as Kansas City’s next defensive leader and signal caller. A possible surprise ROY candidate in the AFC.
28. Dallas Cowboys: CB – Chidobe Awuzie – Colorado
Needs: DB, DE, TE
The Cowboys let multiple stakeholders in their secondary walk in free agency, so it is apparent that these voids will be filled via the early round of this year’s draft. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr are both gone, so drafting Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie provides depth to a position that currently has only Byron Jones and Orlando Scandrick listed as their mediocre starters. Awuzie is a lockdown corner with good tackling skills (90 in 2016 with 12 of those going for loss), and great closing speed. I project Awuzie to be tasked with covering the opposition’s #2 receiver in Dallas by the end of the 2017-2018 season.
29. Green Bay Packers: DE – Taco Charlton – Michigan
Needs: CB, Edge Rusher, RB
While the Packers were at one point ranked 1st in the NFL with stopping the run last season, their statistics in pass defense were embarrassing. The Pack yielded a league worst 278 passing yards per game last year, and much of this was due to the inability of their front 7 to pressure the quarterback.
Enter: Taco Charlton.
Vidauntae “Taco” Charlton uses his long arms and upper body strength to beat blockers and pressure the passer. Taco racked up 9.5 sacks, and earned All-Big Ten honors for his efforts last season at the big house. This is a guy who is an instant upgrade for a team that desperately needs help on the edge.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: S – Jabril Peppers – Michigan
Needs: OLB, ILB, WR
Steelers fans will love this pick. Although it’s not certain which position he will play, Peppers is a tackling machine that projects most likely as an OLB in the NFL. A Heisman Trophy finalist, the Michigan product was notorious for making game changing plays and even bigger hits. If Pittsburgh can determine the best way to harness his aggression and instincts at a hybrid position, they might just find themselves a second coming of Troy Polamalu in the flesh.
31. Atlanta Falcons: DE – Charles Harris – Missouri
Needs: OG, DE, DT
A vastly improved Falcons team took the most embarrassing “L” in Super Bowl history when they managed to muff a 28-3 lead to the Patriots with just over 17 minutes remaining. With an already potent offense in tact, I expect the Falcons to continue to address their defense to prevent collapses like what happened in February from happening again. The Falcons got great play out of 2nd-year pro bowler Vic Beasley (15.5 sacks), but still have a pretty compromised defensive front overall. Adding a guy like Harris to complement Beasley will turn ATL’s pass rush into a juggernaut.
32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots): QB – Patrick Mahomes – Texas Tech
Needs: DB, LB, WR
The 32nd and last pick in the first round sends Texas Tech gunslinger Patrick Mahomes to the New Orleans Saints. With only a couple of productive years remaining from Drew Brees, the Saints get his eventual replacement at a decent value instead of letting him get nabbed early in the second round. Mahomes has already visited New Orleans, so we can confirm interest from the Saints camp. At this point, it would come down to availability as he was projected to go anywhere from mid-1st round to late 2nd round in this year’s draft. Mahomes has a cannon for an arm and can make all the throws. What remains to be seen is if he can correct some issues with his mechanics, and adapt to the changes that come with a pro-style offense. Overall, a good pick for NO, as he can take a seat and study under legend QB Drew Brees.