The NFL Draft 2017 edition arrives in just six days from now, with mock picks speculation kicking into full gear. Among the biggest questions still heading into this year’s NFL Draft are which quarterback will go first overall of the QBs available and how many will be selected in the first round. As it stands, Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina and DeShaun Watson of Clemson continue to get plenty of mention in mock drafts and by analysts. In addition to that, could the Jacksonville Jaguars snag a surprise pick with a talented offensive player at No. 4 in the draft?
According to Bleacher Report in their recent mock draft picks, a guy who could get a surprising early call in this year’s draft is tight end O.J. Howard from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Speculation by BR in the report is that Howard might not have put up monster numbers during his college career, but he has an “all-around skill set” which could push him into the top five picks. In fact, their speculation is that Howard will end up going fourth overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s suggested that the Jaguars’ offense could really benefit from a player of his caliber to help bring quarterback Blake Bortles to the “next level.”
Speaking of quarterbacks, it has been the topic on just about everyone’s minds heading into this NFL Draft. The major prospects who have continued to get mentioned for several months were DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame, Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina, Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech, and of course, DeShaun Watson from the Clemson Tigers. Despite winning a National Championship in his last season, many feel Watson won’t go first out of the quarterback class.
Instead, it appears that it could be UNC’s Trubisky getting that distinction. Bleacher Report’s mock draft has him going at No. 12 to the Cleveland Browns. However, it would not be all that surprising if a team higher up that was in need of a quarterback gambled on Trubisky. That could include the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, or even the New York Jets.
An NFL mock draft at Drafttek.com suggests the 49ers might draft Trubisky with their No. 2 pick, although it’s believed Solomon Thomas could be the actual pick made on draft day. The website suggests that Trubisky could fit well into the 49ers’ system under coach Kyle Shanahan. With veteran QB Brian Hoyer as his mentor, Trubisky could even be another Derek Carr or Carson Wentz type player to lead a team on the field. However, it would be a matter of the 49ers gambling on him.
It could also be a matter of the NFL trade talk that’s been going on. It’s no secret that the San Francisco 49ers could also be entertaining the notion of letting a team trade up for the second pick. Even NFL.com is suggesting on their mock draft board that Trubisky might go second overall when the draft finally happens next week and that it could be due to a trade made involving either the New York Jets or Cleveland Browns to get the 49ers’ spot.
There had also been rumors for weeks of possible Tony Romo trades that might have bolstered a team like the Denver Broncos or Houston Texans into a higher level of postseason success. However, Romo retired as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, and that has left Houston with a bit of a void to fill. There’s some speculation that they might use their No. 25 pick in this year’s draft to select DeShaun Watson from Clemson. Of course, that will only work if Watson is still available at that spot. There have been other mock drafts suggesting he’ll go as high as No. 6 to the Jets and that Houston will end up drafting Texas Tech’s own Patrick Mahomes instead.
So will it be two, three, or four quarterbacks drafted in the first 30 picks? That remains a mystery. It seems Watson and Trubisky should be gone before the end of the first-round. Nonetheless, it should be interesting when the NFL Draft finally rolls around next week and all those different prospects’ names are called, sending fans into a frenzy or fury over who their teams have placed on the roster.
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