The debate at the top of the 2017 NFL Draft is more controversial than ever before. Who will the top-five picks be come April 27?
The 2017 NFL Draft is weird at the top. Everyone is pretty certain who will be selected No. 1 overall. However, after that, questions abound. Even the rest of the top five is a huge question. We dive into the debate and take a stab at the top five picks heading towards 2017 NFL Draft.
Its hard to remember such debate atop the NFL draft in recent memory, because there was always reasonable consensus about the top quarterbacks. This year no one can agree on which signal caller, if any, deserves to be taken with a top five pick. Even more debatable is whether a team in the top five will reach for a rookie quarterback, as four of our top five teams need a passer. There’s only one sure thing, and that’s the best player available out of Texas A&M.
Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss the top of the 2017 NFL Draft in today’s NFL Sports Debate.
Todd Salem’s 2017 NFL Draft Top 5:
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE – Texas A&M Let’s not get fancy here. Garrett is the best player in the draft, and no one else is particularly close. Cleveland could force a quarterback selection here or trade back to acquire more assets, but either of those options would feel like doing something just for the sake of it.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Allen, DT – Alabama Allen has dropped down some people’s boards because of a weak combine and concern about his shoulders. He is still projected as a top-five pick, though. If he’s good enough at five, he should be considered at two. Since he had been the consensus No. 2 prospect coming out of the football season and I like to put more stock in play on the field, I still have San Francisco going this direction.
3. Chicago Bears: Malik Hooker, S – Ohio State It is a battle between Hooker and LSU’s Jamal Adams to be the first safety off the board. Both are supreme talents, but I lean toward Hooker. The talent at defensive back in general is extremely high this year, so teams like Chicago can’t really go wrong when filling that hole.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Deshaun Watson, QB – Clemson Maybe the Browns and 49ers won’t fall in love with a quarterback at the top of the draft, but someone will. My bet is on Jacksonville, who has moved on from believing Blake Bortles is a franchise passer. Maybe Watson won’t be either, but he certainly possesses the intangibles to succeed at the position. Folks are worried about his accuracy and arm strength at the next level, but I still like him as the best quarterback in this class.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB – Ohio State Like Hooker before him, Lattimore has competition as the best defensive back at his position. The Titans need help in the secondary. If they don’t go with Lattimore, they may take Marlon Humphrey instead, or even Adams. If the draft shook out this way, Tennessee would be very pleased with its options at five.
Dan Salem’s 2017 NFL Draft Top 5:
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE – Texas A&M The Browns have been stockpiling picks and will not ignore the undisputed best player in this year’s draft. Garrett adds an immediate upgrade to their defense and will fit in nicely in the AFC North division. Cleveland also has the 12th pick, meaning they can very likely get a quarterback or running back later in Round 1. Garrett is the top player and he’s Cleveland’s man.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Deshaun Watson, QB – Clemson The 49ers need a quarterback to be the face of their rebuild and I believe they fall in love with Watson at pick No. 2. I love his postseason pedigree and experience under center, plus Watson feels like the face of a franchise to me. San Francisco needs a lot of help across its football team, but securing the quarterback position must come first.
3. Chicago Bears: Leonard Fournette, RB – LSU It would be easy for Chicago to go defense, but Fournette is too good to let slide in this draft. The Bears have been known for defense and a pounding run game in the past. Grabbing Fournette can quickly turn things around on offense and improve the bridge quarterback situation, as Chicago rebuilds itself.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Malik Hooker, S – Ohio State I agree that Jacksonville is no longer sold on Bortles under center, but their defense also needs work. Hooker can play safety for the Jaguars for a very long time, filling a major void on their defense. Jacksonville ranked dead last in interceptions last season, despite ranking well in other categories. Hooker is their answer in the secondary.
5. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Allen, DT – Alabama Tennessee is ecstatic to see Allen slide to them at five. With their offense already on track, the Titans grab the best defensive lineman in the draft. The team can’t ignore the best player available, adding to an already impressive defensive front.