I think we can safely say it is time to get the 2017 NFL draft here as soon as possible. There will be numerous mock drafts between now and Thursday evening, but I think we can safely say ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has the craziest NFL mock draft yet.
Riddick prefaced his mock draft by saying he is not predicting how the draft will go, but rather, based on what he thinks each team needs. He is effectively saying, if I was general manager, this is what I’d do. And given the fact that he interviewed for the 49ers GM job, it is particularly intriguing for 49ers fans.
Riddick does not waste any time getting a little nuts with his draft. He has the Cleveland Browns selecting LSU safety Jamal Adams with the No. 1 pick. His justification is that safeties are growing more crucial to successful defenses, and there are no questions about him, while some remain about Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett.
So, Garrett to the 49ers at No. 2, right? NOT SO FAST! Riddick has the 49ers passing on Garrett, and selecting Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. He offered this rationale:
Picking at the top of the draft is about managing risk, and Thomas is the safer pick over Myles Garrett. While Thomas lacks the same kind of athletic upside as Garrett, he poses minimal risk from a competitive character/consistency perspective from all that I have been told.
There have been some questions raised about Garrett, but this is certainly a bold decision. Or, if you think it’s playing it safe, an incredibly weak decisions. I guess it comes down to how you might view what Garrett brings to the table. But if Garrett were there at No. 2, is there anybody who would actually pass on him?
Riddick has Garrett going No. 3 to the Chicago Bears, in case you were wondering. He points to secondary issues, but is concerned about health questions with cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker. He has Hooker going next to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but then has LSU’s Tre’Davious White as the first cornerback off the board at No. 5 to the Tennessee Titans. He has Lattimore going No. 6 to the New York Jets. His first round quarterbacks are Mitchell Trubisky (No. 12 - Browns) and Patrick Mahomes (No. 25 - Houston Texans).
Given the fact that Myles Garrett is all but assured of being the No. 1 overall pick, does this mean Riddick would pick Adams at No. 2? Hooker is viewed by many as having the higher upside as a center-field player, but Adams is viewed as a guy who can do everything, both up close and back deep. I have yet to see any major red flags with Adams. Sure, he has some weaknesses he’ll need to address, but overall, he seems about as safe a pick as you can find.