Saints Land Myles Garrett in 2017 Mock Draft
By John Sigler
The NFL offseason has hit the dreaded dead zone between minicamps and training camp, so we’ll fill in by looking ahead. It’s ridiculously early to make mock drafts for next spring, but they can be a fun exercise in assessing team needs and where tomorrow’s NFL stars may be coming from.
I don’t want to attempt win/loss records for the different teams this soon, so I’m going with the most recent Las Vegas odds. Tiebreakers are being settled by current expectations for strength of schedule. This is an easy way of projecting where teams may be making their selections next spring, but don’t take it as gospel.
So, no, I’m not expecting the Saints to place last in the NFC South and pick in the first six selections. That’s just what Las Vegas’ oddsmakers are predicting. So please, don’t come at my neck.
With that in mind, here’s my first 2017 NFL mock draft:
- Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson
- San Francisco 49ers: Brad Kaaya, QB Miami
- Tennessee Titans: Jalen Tabor, CB Florida
- San Diego Chargers: Cam Robinson, OT Alabama
- Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams): Jonathan Allen, DL Alabama
- New Orleans Saints: Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard, TE Alabama
- Miami Dolphins: Dalvin Cook, RB Florida St
- Detroit Lions: Leonard Fournette, RB Louisiana State
- Chicago Bears: Roderick Johnson, OT Florida State
- Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson, DE Auburn
- Washington: Chad Kelly, QB Ole Miss
- Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Malik McDowell, DL Michigan State
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Williams, DE Alabama
- Buffalo Bills: Jake Butt, TE Michigan
- Baltimore Ravens: Mike Williams, WR Clemson
- New York Giants: Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford
- New York Jets: Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan
- Oakland Raiders: Desmond King CB Iowa
- Houston Texans: Jamal Adams S Louisiana State
- Dallas Cowboys: Raekwon McMillan LB Ohio State
- Denver Broncos: Jabrill Peppers CB Michigan
- Kansas City Chiefs: Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
- Minnesota Vikings: JuJu Smith-Schuster WR South California
- Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Sutton CB Tennessee
- Cincinnati Bengals: Jarrad Davis LB Florida
- Arizona Cardinals: Evan Engram TE Mississippi
- New England Patriots: Charles Harris DE Missouri
- Seattle Seahawks: Pat Elflein OG Ohio State
- Carolina Panthers: Nick Chubb RB Georgia
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Montravius Adams DT Auburn
- Green Bay Packers: Ethan Pocic C Louisiana State
Who the Saints Picked
New Orleans Saints: Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Saints fan who doesn’t think offensive guard is the biggest position of concern going into training camp, but need doesn’t match value here. The premiere big-money positions are on the exterior at offensive tackle and defensive end, not inside at guard.
Thankfully, a deep group of running backs and an unpredictable class of young quarterbacks should give the Saints the pick of the litter of next year’s edge defenders. The SEC is putting out a ton of pass-rushing talent between Alabama’s Tim Williams, Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, Missouri’s Charles Harris, Auburn’s Carl Lawson, and Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett.
Myles Garrett arrived in College Station with much fanfare; he was the second-ranked recruit in the 2014 class, and immediately hit the field for Texas A&M as a freshman. The weakside defensive end shattered freshmen records for sacks at Texas A&M and in the SEC before landing on both All-American and All-SEC lists as a consensus pick.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 262-pounds, Garrett is a bad man. He looks ready to contribute right away in the NFL at weakside defensive end and should be the top edge rusher available next spring. He combines elite size with top-shelf athleticism and a rapidly-refining set of pass-rush moves. Garrett routinely plays with good leverage for a taller guy, which can be lethal given his twitchiness at the start of the play and his closing speed to chase down the ball.
Garrett is entering his junior season with 22.5 sacks, 32 tackles-for-loss, and five forced fumbles to his name. It’s up in the air as to whether or not he’ll return for his senior campaign next year, but top recruits with Garrett’s potential rarely hang around in the college ranks longer than they need to.
If he’s there when the Saints pick next spring, Myles Garrett should absolutely be the pick. He would be a perfect compliment opposite Cameron Jordan to solidify a group of unproven weakside defensive ends.
Garrett is an elite talent and smart player dedicated to his craft; like Saints rookie first round pick Sheldon Rankins, Garrett deleted his Twitter account to focus on his growth and remove unnecessary negative distractions:
"“There’s a lot of negativity on there I don’t need in my life. I felt like If I want to move forward as a person and as a football player, I don’t need other people’s opinions and other things to stick with me or be in my mind when I have other things to keep doing. People always are going to judge you for how you perform. (There are) people who don’t know you and always characterize you or stereotype you for what they think you should be, so I decided to get off.”"
Myles Garrett has all the hallmarks of a Sean Payton pick. We’re in for a painful 2016 season if the Saints are picking high enough to get Garrett’s services, but at least this would be a nice light at the end of the tunnel. For now, let’s just hope the Las Vegas oddsmakers are wrong and that we’ll be closer to a Super Bowl appearance than a top six draft pick.