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2017 NFL Draft Preview

Published On April 26, 2017 | Around Town

24 hours from now, the 2017 NFL Draft will already be under way. Philly has been abuzz for quite some time about hosting the draft here on the famed Rocky steps of the Art Museum, but this past week things have really ramped up here in the City of Brotherly Love.

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With the stage built, the massive NFL themed experience taking over the Ben Franklin Parkway, and players, analysts, and fans all descending upon the city this week, the football fever in Philly is palpable.

We kicked off our week of everything NFL Draft by formulating our own 2017 NFL mock draft to see how our experts stack up against the National pundits. Mock…YEAH…Draft…YEAH…Birds…YEAH…Yeah…YEAH.

INDEPENDENT PHILLY NFL MOCK DRAFT 2017:

Pick #1: Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Pick #2: San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Pick #3: Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Pick #4: Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

Pick #5: Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Pick #6: New York Jets: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Pick #7: Los Angeles Chargers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Pick #8: Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Pick #9: Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Pick #10: Buffalo Bills: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Pick #11: New Orleans Saints: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Pick #12: Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Pick #13: Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Pick #14: Philadelphia Eagles: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Pick #15: Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

Pick #16: Baltimore Ravens: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Pick #17: Washington Redskins: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Pick #18: Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington

Pick #19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

Pick #20: Denver Broncos: David Njoku, TE, Miami

Pick #21: Detroit Lions: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss

Pick #22: Miami Dolphins: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

Pick #23: New York Giants: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Pick #24: Oakland Raiders: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC

Pick #25: Houston Texans: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Pick #26: Seattle Seahawks: Kevin King, CB, Washington

Pick #27: Kansas City Chiefs: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

Pick #28: Dallas Cowboys: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

Pick #29: Green Bay Packers: T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin

Pick #30: Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA

Pick #31: Atlanta Falcons: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Pick #32: New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

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With our first 32 picks locked in yesterday, we headed to the Art Museum to get a sneak-peek at the massive draft theater that the NFL constructed for the draft. This thing is impressive! Not only will it hold 3,000 people tomorrow night, but a ton of fans outside the theater will be able to see inside thanks to the open-air design.

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Today, we enjoyed a media lunch with NFL Network personalities including Mike Mayock, Steve Smith Sr., Brian Billick, Ike Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Stanford head coach David Shaw.

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One player we would absolutely love to see the Eagles take tomorrow evening is do-it-all Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey, but we don’t see him still being on the board at #14. His coach told us that he sees the Eagles (as well as the Chiefs and Jets), who run a similar system to Stanford, as a great fit for McCaffrey.

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Billick’s theory on whom the Eagles should draft in the first round came down to finding additional weapons for second-year, franchise QB, Carson Wentz. Although he did mention that the birds will need to service the defense as well, especially the secondary. “All things being equal, and they never are, but say there is a same rated offensive guy and defensive guy, I gotta believe you’re going to go with the offensive guy to support Carson Wentz, who is your top dog now”.

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We asked Ike Taylor to give us a sleeper pick on defense and one on offense for tomorrow’s draft. His defensive player was Damontae Kazee, a CB from San Diego State University. When asked why he didn’t think that Kazee was getting the attention he deserved, Taylor told us, “Because he’s short in stature like Asante Samuel. He’s not your prototypical size at corner, but he plays big”. On offense, Taylor liked hybrid-TE Evan Engram out of Ole Miss. “We talk about O.J. Howard [Alabama], we talk about David Njoku [Miami], and then Evan Engram”. He thinks Engram would be a great addition to any team because, “He can play anywhere. He can play inside, he can play outside, and TE”. Mike Mayock was also said he is very impressed by Engram who can play both TE and WR in the pros.

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Steve Mariucci wasn’t looking at sleepers for value as much as top-tier players who will be available later in the draft because their stock has tumbled leading up to tomorrow evening. He pointed to a pair of cornerbacks, Sidney Jones out of Washington who was injured during his pro-day, and Gareon Conley from Ohio State who is the focus of a rape allegation (no charges have been filed against him), as first-round talents who will both be contributing in a big way to their new teams in 2017. Mariucci also told us that his #1 WR on the board is Corey Davis out of Western Michigan, a player we have slotted for the Eagles in our mock draft.

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Tomorrow, the rain and cold that has blanketed Philadelphia all week will give way to sunshine and 80 degree temps. The real heat will come at 8 PM when the Cleveland Brown’s are officially on the clock. We will be covering the NFL Draft so be sure to check back over the next few days to get our breakdown on the Eagles’ selections as well as any other big NFL Draft news coming out of Philadelphia.

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[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]

[Article by David Miller, Mock Draft by David Miller, Joshua Miller, and Stephen Miller]

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