2017 NFL Mock Draft Picks That Could Reshape Odds To Win Super Bowl 52

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,March 29, 2017 11:32, EST in

The 2017 NFL Draft is held in Philadelphia this year and starts on April 27. In order to be eligible to enter the draft, players must be at least three years removed from high school. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft was January 16. My story assignment here was to write about some guys who could reshape odds to win Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis next February. In all honesty, no rookie is going to change the NFL odds during the offseason. But here are five guys who could contribute in a big way to a potential Super Bowl contender.

2017 NFL Mock Draft Picks That Could Reshape Odds To Win Super Bowl 52

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU To Carolina

The junior, who has been compared to a young Adrian Peterson, should be the No.1 tailback off the board, and reports are that the Carolina Panthers are locked in on him at No. 8 overall. The Panthers struggled last season but were 15-1 and a Super Bowl participant in the 2015 season. Fournette would fit their power running game perfectly. As a physical specimen, Fournette embodies everything Carolina is all about in the run game. He may be only 22 years old, but he has the looks of a grown man and at 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds he would come into the NFL as one of its largest halfbacks. Jonathan Stewart is still with Carolina, but he’s well past his prime. And while the Panthers added a year on to Stewart’s contract recently, taking it through the 2018 season, that will not preclude them from taking Fournette or another back with their first-round pick. Panthers coach Ron Rivera wants to get back to power running game to take some of the hits and pressure off Cam Newton.

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson To Tennessee

Yes, the Tennessee Titans could be a Super Bowl contender in 2017 after nearly making the playoffs in 2016 as Marcus Mariota showed signs of superstardom in his second season. What Mariota badly needs is a No. 1 receiver. Last season with Clemson, Williams caught 84 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns to help the Tigers win the national title. He posted a 121 inch broad jump at the combine to go along with a 32.5 inch vertical. He’s physically imposing, athletic and has tremendous speed. His size not only makes him difficult to cover before catching passes, but after the catch as well. Williams also thrived on the biggest stage, catching eight passes for 94 yards and a score to help Clemson defeat Alabama in the national championship game. If the Titans don’t trade the fifth overall pick, and Williams is still on the board, he may be hard to pass up.

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama To Indianapolis

The Colts pick 15 th in the first round and badly need defensive help. Foster is a top-five talent who might drop because of his bizarre NFL combine ejection. Also, not many teams above the Colts at No. 15 need a true inside linebacker. The first thing that pops out on tape when looking at Foster is his speed, whether it’s closing the gap defending the run or roaming sideline to sideline to defend the pass. Foster also won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker this past season and was a finalist for the Bednarik Award, leading the Tide with 115 tackles, 13 for which went for losses including five sacks. He won the SEC Championship Game MVP, as well (11 tackles, 2.5 for loss, two sacks).

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State To Washington

The Redskins have a good quarterback in Kirk Cousins and even though they lost Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, appear to be solid at receiver. They badly need an upgrade at tailback. Cook (5-10, 210) is one of the best home run hitters out there and is very good in the passing game. Cook opted to run the 40-yard dash at the Seminoles’ Pro Day recently in front of representatives from teams across the NFL, improving on his performance at the NFL Combine last month. In his second attempt on Tuesday, Cook ran a 4.47 in the 40, as compared to a 4.49 that he ran on the track at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis. Cook rushed for a personal best 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns in his junior season at Florida State. In three collegiate seasons, he racked up 4,464 yards.

David Njoku, TE, Miami To Denver

The Broncos still aren’t sure who their QB will be for 2016 but they could use a tight end and Njoku is an athletic marvel. He posted a 4.64 40, 37.5-inch vertical and 11-foot- 1 broad jump at the combine. He has the size (6-4, 246) and athleticism to run past and jump over defenders. The former high school receiver and national boys high jump champion only started nine games in his two years on the field with the Hurricanes, but was a regular option in the passing game. He caught 21 passes for 362 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt sophomore, leading the team by averaging 17.2 yards per reception. In 2016, Njoku had 43 catches for 698 and eight TDs. Some great tight ends have come from Miami, Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen, to name two. Njoku is far more talented than either of those guys.