The NFL Mock Draft 2017 speculation continues to change as the NFL Combine has now been over for nearly a week. During the event, several players improved their speculative position in the upcoming NFL Draft. Among them, is Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross. It also appears, based on at least one mock draft, that Clemson Tigers quarterback DeShaun Watson will be a first-round pick, and could be the first QB chosen out of several talented prospects. Will Watson and Ross both end up in the top 10 picks for the upcoming NFL Draft? Here’s some of the latest mock draft buzz after the combine, recent trades, and signings in the NFL.
As reported via CBS Sports on Friday, the top NFL draft pick still hasn’t changed, and won’t, following combine skills tests. Texas A&M defensive end and offensive linebacker Myles Garrett remains the speculative top pick for the Cleveland Browns. There had been rumors that the Browns might draft a quarterback up high to address that need, but recent trades and signings have teams in the top three looking less likely to do so.
The Browns recently acquired Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans, while the Bears picked up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Glennon. Whether those guys remain the team’s top options is another story, but as of right now it appears that they are staying put. Therefore these two teams are going after players to improve their defense first and foremost.
The New York Jets have been said to have strong interest in quarterback Jay Cutler after he was released by the Chicago Bears. Cutler spent his past eight seasons with the Bears and never quite delivered them to the glory they’d hoped for. For the 2016 season, he was limited to participating in just five games all season. With that in mind, it may not be too surprising if the Jets pick up DeShaun Watson in the NFL Draft instead of, or in addition to, Cutler.
The Jets definitely need a franchise quarterback to help turn their mess around. Watson has shown he can guide his team to a championship and certainly has skills, throwing for 10,163 yards and 90 touchdowns in his college career with just 32 interceptions.
For a long time, there was speculation that Watson wouldn’t be in the first round. Other speculation had him chosen third after quarterbacks DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame and Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina. However, CBS Sports‘ latest mock draft says Watson will go before either of these two prospects.
NFL Mock Draft Top 10 (via CBS Sports)
- Browns – Myles Garrett DE/OLB (Texas A&M)
- 49ers – Solomon Thomas DE (Stanford)
- Bears – Jonathan Allen DL (Alabama)
- Jaguars – Marshon Lattimore CB (Ohio State)
- Titans – Jamal Adams SS (LSU)
- Jets – DeShaun Watson QB (Clemson)
- Chargers – Malik Hooker FS (Ohio State)
- Panthers – Leonard Fournette RB (LSU)
- Bengals – Reuben Foster LB (Alabama)
- Bills – John Ross WR (Washington)
As seen above, Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross is now considered a top 10 pick. As ESPN reported, Ross set a record time in the 40-yard dash with a blazing fast 4.22 seconds. That certainly helped scouts take notice of his athleticism and speed on the field. It’s being speculated that the Buffalo Bills may be the team to take him at the No. 10 spot since they have question marks on their roster when it comes to receivers.
It seems a given that Buffalo has Tyrod Taylor on board as their starting QB. However, the Bills lost Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods as part of NFL free agency, and Sammy Watkins has foot issues. So using the NFL draft to get Ross might be a no-brainer for a Bills’ roster that still seems close to a playoff spot this upcoming season.
Ross, who hails from Long Beach, California, tallied 114 receptions along with 1,729 yards and 22 touchdowns over his three seasons in college. He ranked second in the Pac-12 last season for receptions that ended up as a first down or touchdown, recording 51 of them, and was certainly an important part of the Huskies’ run towards the College Football Playoffs. He has the upside to become a great talent in the NFL over time.
John Ross is the most explosive player in college football. pic.twitter.com/gjQAo0Srd3
— Athletepedia™ (@Athletepedia) March 7, 2017
When asked what will help him do well in the NFL, Ross didn’t use the “look at my time” card but instead answered, “Technique. Transition. Catching.” That rocket-like speed should certainly help on the field too.
The NFL Draft 2017 is scheduled to start on Thursday, April 27th. By then, both DeShaun Watson and John Ross should have professional teams to call home. New York Jets and Buffalo Bills’ fans are certainly hoping for these guys to step in and help lead the way to future success.
[Featured Image by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]