This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Now that the NFL Combine has come and gone and the first wave of free agency has subsided, team needs for the NFL Draft are starting to take shape. Several players with Utah ties had impresssive Combine performances, especially Utes offensive tackle Garett Bolles, who solidified a first round grade for himself. Here's the Tribune's first NFL Mock Draft version from Brennan Smith:
1. Cleveland Browns • Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
Garrett is a virtual lock at this point after his production at A&M and a monstrous Combine performance. The Browns need a QB, but Garrett is too talented to pass up.
2. San Francisco 49ers • Stanford DE Solomon Thomas
The 49ers are under new management and need talent all over the field. A QB could be considered here, but the team signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as bridge passers. Thomas would instantly boost the team's pass rush.
3. Chicago Bears • LSU safety Jamal Adams
The Bears paid Mike Glennon a hefty sum to be the team's new quarterback, but are vulnerable in the middle of the secondary in a division with Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford. Adams is an instant starter with skills to be an all-around safety in the NFL.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars • LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Jacksonville continued retooling its defense by adding A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell and is still trying to see what it has in QB Blake Bortles. Adding the bruising Fournette takes pressure off of Bortles and adds another dimension to the Jags offense.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) • Clemson WR Mike Williams
The Titans spent in free agency to improve the secondary, so they pass on Marshon Lattimore. Marcus Mariota gets a first-class weapon in Williams who consistently gets open and wins battles in the air for the ball.
6. New York Jets • Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore
The Jets moved on from Darrelle Revis in the offseason and fill his spot with the talented Lattimore to blanket opposing receivers.
7. Los Angeles Chargers • Ohio State safety Malik Hooker
San Diego re-signed strong safety Jahleel Addae, but are still searching for a center-fielder after former Ute Eric Weddle left town. Hooker didn't participate in the Combine after a pair of surgeries, but is rangy and should be ready by week one.
8. Carolina Panthers • Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
The Panthers' current stable of running backs is getting older and Cam Newton needs some help. Fournette would be ideal, but Cook isn't a bad consolation prize with his dynamic rushing style.
9. Cincinnati Bengals • Alabama DE Jonathan Allen
Allen should be a top five pick with his potential to disrupt on the defensive line, but has arthritis in his shoulder and underwhelmed a bit at the Combine. Still, he has good upside and is a fit here.
10. Buffalo Bills • Central Michigan WR Corey Davis
The Bills passing game struggled last year and that was before receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin left in free agency. Davis had ankle surgery recently, but was a receiving machine in Kalamazoo and pairs nicely with Sammy Watkins.
11. New Orleans Saints • Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
The Saints added Nick Fairley in free agency, but still need help rushing the passer. The all-time Tennessee sack leader helps Cameron Jordan harrass division rivals Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston and Cam Newton.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia) • North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky
Trubisky has limited experience, but is accurate, mobile and has a good arm with 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns to only six interceptions in 2016. The Browns tab him as the team's passer of the present and future.
13. Arizona Cardinals • Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer
The Carson Palmer era is nearly done in Arizona and Kizer fits the frame head coach Bruce Arians has worked with in the past. Kizer gets the benefit of sitting behind Palmer and the Cards prepare for the future.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota) • Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
The Eagles have a dearth of talent at the cornerback position and Humphrey is raw, but has tremendous physical tools and upside.
15. Indianapolis Colts • Utah OT Garett Bolles
The depth at offensive tackle is razor thin in this class and Bolles is at the top along with Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk. The Colts get someone to protect Andrew Luck after the mauling Utah tackle's huge Combine performance.
16. Baltimore Ravens • UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
Terrell Suggs isn't getting any younger and the Ravens need to find an heir to his production. McKinley had 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last season for the Bruins and will help Baltimore's pass rush.
17. Washington • Michigan DE Taco Charlton
Washington lost disruptive defensive end Chris Baker to Tampa Bay in free agency and need someone to set the edge. Charlton has the length and athleticism to thrive in Washington's defense.
18. Tennessee Titans • Alabama TE O.J. Howard
The Titans double dip in finding weapons for Mariota and add a rare combination of pass-catching and blocking. Howard will help open holes in the run game and act as a safety blanket for the Titans passer.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers • Alabama LB Reuben Foster
Lavonte David has established himself as one of the better linebackers in the game and adding the all-around talented Foster will free him up to make even more plays.
20. Denver Broncos • Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
The Broncos signed Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson, but lost Russell Okung in free agency. Ramczyk will fit well in Denver's zone blocking scheme to protect Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.
21. Detroit Lions • Western Kentucky OG/OT Forrest Lamp
Detroit lost both Larry Warford and Riley Reiff in free agency and need to reload on the offensive line. Lamp isn't the flashiest lineman in the draft, but is solid in all facets and can plug in and play immediately at guard.
22. Miami Dolphins • Mississippi TE Evan Engram
Dion Sims left for Chicago and Jordan Cameron retired over concussion concerns, leaving the Dolphins with just Julius Thomas at the position. Engram lit up the Combine and has the size and speed to be a real weapon for Ryan Tannehill.
23. New York Giants • Washington WR John Ross
This is a bit of a luxury pick, but the Giants need to maximize the remaining Super Bowl window for Eli Manning. Ross set the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time in Combine history and would be a nightmare matchup for defenses simultaenously trying to contain Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall.
24. Oakland Raiders • Temple LB Hasson Reddick
The Raiders defense get most of its pressure from Khalil Mack and Reddick will add to the effort. He had 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles at Temple last season and has the versatility to play inside and outside.
25. Houston Texans • Florida CB Teez Tabor
The Texans lost breakout cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Quintin Demps in free agency. Tabor disappointed slightly at the Combine, but has the skills to help a reloading Houston secondary.
26. Seattle Seahawks • Alabama OG/OT Cam Robinson
The Seahawks went cheap on the offensive line last season and paid for it with a hobbled and less effective Russell Wilson under center. Robinson is a strong run blocking lineman and would help Seattle protect Wilson alongside free agent signee Luke Joeckel.
27. Kansas City Chiefs • Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham
Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson are both on the downswing of their careers and Cunningham led the SEC in tackles last year with 125. He's one of the most instinctive defensive prospects in this draft.
28. Dallas Cowboys • Indiana OG Dan Feeney
The Cowboys' offensive line was its biggest strength last season, but guard Ronald Leary left for the Broncos and tackle Doug Free retired. Feeney will help pave the way for Zeke Elliott and keep Dak Prescott upright.
29. Green Bay Packers • Washington safety Budda Baker
The Packers need secondary help, period, after a rough year of production at the position. Baker can play alongside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, occasionally slide to slot corner and adds to the Packers' blitz options.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers • Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt
The younger brother of J.J. would help the Steelers fill the void of the departed Lawrence Timmons and would provide more pressure and youth after producing 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks for the Badgers in 2016.
31. Atlanta Falcons • Missouri DE Charles Harris
Atlanta's identity on defense is smaller, speedier players. But as the Super Bowl wore on, the team needed more size and pressure. Harris is a well-rounded pass rusher with a big frame.
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England) • Michigan safety/LB Jabrill Peppers
Peppers can play multiple positions and will help New Orleans at safety, linebacker and in the return game. He gives the Saints much needed talent and versatility on that side of the ball.
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