2017 NFL Mock Draft 3-23-17

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Time for another 2017 NFL mock draft update.

The Sports Bank is the only independently owned, mom and pop on the internet with a mock draft for the top four American professional sports leagues. Be sure to check out our 2017 NFL mock draft, 2016 NBA mock draft, 2016 MLB mock draft and 2016 NHL mock draft.

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Is Illinois DE Carroll Phillips a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 Will in the NFL?

carroll phillips

Illinois football had a very rough season in 2016, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a strong presence in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Two Illini defensive ends, Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips, will certainly hear their name called in this draft, it’s just a question of where. Illinois finished 105th in the nation (out of 128 teams) in rushing defense and that of course raises some issues about the run stuffing capabilities of all members of the Illini defense.

On the opposite of the spectrum, Illinois finished tenth in the nation in tackles for a loss. 

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Illini DE Dawuane Smoot Projects as a NFL 3rd-4th Round Prospect

dawuane smoot

Illinois football had a very rough season in 2016, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a strong presence in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Two Illini defensive ends, Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips, will certainly hear their name called in this draft, it’s just a question of where. Illinois finished 105th in the nation (out of 128 teams) in rushing defense and that of course raises some issues about the run stuffing capabilities of all members of the Illini defense.

On the opposite of the spectrum, Illinois finished tenth in the nation in tackles for a loss. 

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Deshaun Watson Could be the Chicago Bears Anti-Jay Cutler

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Opinions on the NFL Draft stock of former Clemson QB Deshaun Watson are extremely polarized. Many find the winner of all winners and achiever of all achievers in this quarterback class as the #1 signal caller available.

Others see a spread-formation quarterback, who will have issues adjusting to life as a primary pocket passer. It’s not just an issue for Deshaun Watson, but all former spread QBs. It’s a question that he just couldn’t answer at the NFL Scouting Combine, because the event doesn’t lend itself to doing so.

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How Would Mitch Trubisky fit in with the Chicago Bears?

mitch trubisky

Former North Carolina Quarterback Mitch Trubisky asked people to start calling him Mitchell during the Scouting Combine this past weekend. Okay, how about we call him Mitchell, but then give him a nickname, I suggest “Mitch.”

Mitchell, or well we’ll just stick with Mitch Trubisky for now, is rated the third quarterback on the board for NFL Network Draft guru Mike Mayock.

“He’s polished,” Mayock said when he met the media during the combine availability post QB workouts.

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Pitt RB James Conner is the Most Inspirational 2017 NFL Draft Prospect

james-conner

You can heat your home from the takes we heard on LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey this past bowl cycle. However, Pittsburgh‘s James Conner is a stellar running back pro prospect who flew under the radar in this past news cycle.

Conner made up his mind to declare for the draft after the regular season ended and before he suiting up and played in the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium.

“James Conner, he is a legacy player at Pitt,” says Head Coach Pat Narduzzi after the bowl game, Conner’s final collegiate game. “He’s been an inspiration to everybody. He’s going to have a heckuva NFL career, I’ll tell you that.”

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2017 NFL mock draft 12-22-16

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In our 2017 NFL mock draft, we based the order on the actual current order as of December 21st, with some good help from our friends at NFL Trade Rumors.

Team needs were sometimes, but not always taken into account, as team needs are a very fluid situation. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings, Happy Kwanza, Joyous Hannukah, Joy Noel, Make the Yuletide gay and a warm festivus for the rest of us.

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Source: Miami QB Brad Kaaya Likely Returning to School, Not Entering NFL Draft

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Miami Hurricanes Quarterback Brad Kaaya will likely be returning to school next season a source close to the program said.

Kaaya, a three year starter who is often mentioned as one of the few elite QB prospects in the draft class, has one more year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

Kaaya has until January 16th to make his decision, and he is strongly leaning towards returning to Coral Gables, a trusted source with very close ties to the Canes told The Sports Bank.

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Twitter Hash Tags for All 32 NFL Teams #NFLGameDay #NFLKickoff

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Here it is; the primary and secondary social media hash tags for all 32 NFL teams. Happy NFL kickoff. This comes to us via a social engagement company called Postano, You have the official hash tag for each NFL team, as well as the most used hash tag for each NFL team.

Enjoy!

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Illini Football: 2016 NFL Draft Return a Future Springboard?

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In 2016 Lovie Smith takes over an Illini football program that recently had a really good reputation as a NFL vocational development school. Then Mike Thomas came along; and hired Tim Beckman. For two years the NFL Draft then became an Illini football free zone. Illinois excelled in winning draft night up until 2014, as the program was then shut out in 2015 and 2016.

The Illini were among the best, if not the best in the Big Ten when it came to being a NFL Draft factory, which we covered in more detail here.

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Oakland Raiders 2016 NFL Draft: Mixed Bag, Mixed Opinions

oakland-raiders

It’s hard to concisely summarize the fifth draft of Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, because it was such a mixed bag. Their first round pick, Safety Karl Joseph of West Virginia was definitely a big reach, right?

Or was it?

Not really when you find a guy who fills a need to solidify the pass defense. We knew coming in that Oakland was going to prioritize DB, and that’s exactly what they did. Likewise with the two Big Ten Defensive Ends, Jihad Ward of Illinois and Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State.

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70 AWFUL, HORRIBLE NFL Draft Scouting Report Cliches

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By this week, all the soundbites for every NFL draft prospect now run together into an indecipherable word salad. Actually, it all becomes gobbedly-gook well before this week, due to the over-usage of cliches. All the Draftniks do it:

Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, and Jon Gruden most of all. Gruden speaks with a much higher buzz word/NFL draft catch-phrase per sentence percentage than anyone. If I sat down and watched Gruden’s “QB Camp” show again, this list would be four times as long.

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