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Bears take OSU safety Malik Hooker in latest mock draft

Safety Malik Hooker, center, talks to reporters during football Pro Day at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, March 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) ORG XMIT: OHPV121

LSU’s showcase on April 5 was the last major event of this year’s pro day circuit, which brings us to a logical waypoint to reassess the first round of the NFL draft. Without further ado, here’s mock draft 5.0 for 2017:

1. Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: He has been the presumptive top pick since the college bowl season ended and may only have cemented his status after embracing his pro day — even with virtually nothing to gain by participating — and blazing another 4.6-second time in the 40-yard dash. Since sacks became an official stat in 1982, no Browns player has had more than 14 in a season, perhaps one more reason the franchise has yet to reach a Super Bowl. Garrett has the tools to be a 20-sack guy.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: One of the draft’s cleaner players, Thomas is productive (8œ sacks, 14 tackles for loss in 2016) and versatile enough to move around the line of scrimmage. Despite investing their last two first-round picks in defensive linemen, the 49ers had the NFL’s worst defense last year and couldn’t stop anyone on the ground. Thomas could make an immediate splash as a three-down difference-maker.

3. Bears

Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State: The Bears haven’t really had an impact safety since Mike Brown was in his prime more than a decade ago. Hooker is a thief who could be a huge presence in a division where the ball is in the air so frequently. He had seven interceptions in 2016 (one fewer than the entire Bears defense) and returned three for touchdowns — one more pick-six than the Bears have had in the last three seasons.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: He’s being mentioned as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson a decade ago. Peterson led the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs four times, never with the same starting quarterback. Fournette would surely alleviate the offensive load on QB Blake Bortles, and might even make the Jags a bona fide contender even if they ultimately make a change under center.

5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)

Jamal Adams, S, LSU: He blistered a 4.33 40 at the LSU pro day — a spectacular time for a safety and further evidence of his ability to streak across the field to make a huge hit or break up a pass in a deep quadrant. Adams’ reputation as a leader might also make him a coveted addition to a young team that could seek a foil to quarterback Marcus Mariota’s understated style.

6. New York Jets

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: This team hasn’t had much production from its tight ends since Dustin Keller was a first-rounder in 2008. Howard could remedy that while serving as a reliable option for an offense that seems destined for a youth movement under center. He also has the ability to replace some of the production lost with the defection of uber-sized receiver Brandon Marshall.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama: Think new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wouldn’t love the opportunity to deploy Allen — the nation’s top college defender in 2016 — at all points of the Chargers’ defensive line in conjunction with outside rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram? Allen’s quickness will frustrate guards and centers, and he’ll win plenty of one-on-one battles with most tackles.

8. Carolina Panthers

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: His performance in the SEC was off the charts, including 32 sacks and 52 tackles for loss in three seasons. General manager Dave Gettleman loves a deep and talented D-line, and that could be a bigger consideration this year, given the trade of DE Kony Ealy, DE Charles Johnson’s recent back surgery and DE Julius Peppers’ age (37). In a division with so many good quarterbacks, you can never generate enough pressure.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama: He arrives at the ball like a sledgehammer, and Marvin Lewis hasn’t had a linebacker with this much sideline-to-sideline range since he coached Ray Lewis. Rey Maualuga is already gone, and Vontaze Burfict and Kevin Minter only under contract through the upcoming season, so it’s time for the Bengals to address the position.

10. Buffalo Bills

Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: After Stephon Gilmore bolted to become Tom Brady’s teammate, the Bills find themselves needing a premier corner in hopes of slowing Brady and Co. the next time they face the New England Patriots. Lattimore emerged as a star in 2016 after overcoming a history of hamstring issues and is the most compelling talent at his position this year.

11. New Orleans Saints

Haason Reddick, LB, Temple: Probably no player has improved his draft stock more in the last three months than Reddick. He’s a highly athletic, disruptive player who posted 35œ tackles for loss and 14œ sacks over the last two seasons as a defensive end for the Owls. At 6-1, 237, he’ll be a linebacker in the NFL, but his skill set should make him a three-down player who should be an effective blitzer or edge presence in sub packages.

12. Browns (from Eagles)

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: His accuracy, 70 percent over the last two seasons, could be the attribute that brings him home to Ohio. Trubisky’s TD-to-INT ratio (36:6) over the same span also impresses. But his overall inexperience (just 13 career starts) combined with a lack of snaps taken under center means he’s unlikely to make the Dawg Pound forget about Bernie Kosar in 2017.

13. Arizona Cardinals

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: He’s big (6-3, 213), smooth and prolific, amassing a Football Bowl Subdivision record 5,278 career receiving yards. Working on the boundary, Davis could initially be a nice complement to Larry Fitzgerald before eventually supplanting him.

14. Philadelphia Eagles

(from Vikings)

Kevin King, CB, Washington: The Eagles have to reload at corner, and a 6-3, 200-pounder like King could be the right antidote in a division populated with massive receivers like Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall and Terrelle Pryor.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA: Both of the Colts’ top pass rushers from 2016, Erik Walden (free agent) and Robert Mathis (retired), are gone, and the defense needed to get younger on the edge anyway. McKinley is relentless in his pursuit of quarterbacks and plenty athletic, a nice combination.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome doesn’t have the Midas touch when it comes to picking receivers. But Williams could change that for a team that struggled to find the end zone in 2016 and now must fill the void created by Steve Smith’s retirement.

17. Washington Redskins

Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: His ability to defend the slot, play linebacker in sub packages and theoretically ease into a starting role on the back end seems to be what’s needed for a team that finished 25th defending the pass. And don’t rule out the possibility of Peppers getting some touches on an evolving offense that could use more splash plays out of the backfield.

18. Titans

John Ross, WR, Washington: He and his 4.22 40 speed seem like a seamless fit for a team that loves to run the ball — and could benefit from Ross’ ability to stretch defenses. The Titans also need a shiftier target to complement Mariota’s preferred option, TE Delanie Walker.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Garett Bolles, OT, Utah: Nothing should be more important to the Bucs than safeguarding QB Jameis Winston. Revamping the running game is one way to do that, but they can dip into a deep tailback class later. First, GM Jason Licht should lock down Winston’s blind side, which has too often been exposed by Donovan Smith’s struggles as a pass blocker. A more nimble player, Bolles, might be better at left tackle.

20. Denver Broncos

Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: LT Russell Okung left in free agency, and the Broncos don’t appear to have an in-house replacement of similar ability. They need to shore up the blocking if QBs Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch are going to continue their development.

21. Detroit Lions

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: No team in the NFC had fewer sacks than the Lions’ 26. Harris is lightning-quick off the edge and could take some game-plan focus off DE Ziggy Ansah, who had a horrible 2016.

22. Miami Dolphins

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Only the Browns allowed more TD passes in the AFC in 2016 than the Dolphins’ 30. Taking Conley would give their nickel package an immediate boost while he matures into a potential No. 1 corner.

23. New York Giants

David Njoku, TE, Miami: He’s a gifted 20-year-old who’s poised to extend the Hurricanes’ proud lineage at tight end. A New Jersey native, Njoku could stop the revolving door the Giants have had at tight end since Jeremy Shockey’s heyday while making teams pay for double-covering WR Odell Beckham Jr.

24. Oakland Raiders

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: The Raiders are in desperate need of a talent infusion at the second level of their 26th-ranked defense. Davis is a leader who should quickly become the kind of core player who never has to leave the field.

25. Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: With Tony Romo no longer an option, the Texans need an alternative solution for their perpetual QB issues. They’re good enough to allow Watson to acclimate behind Tom Savage and could even shield him from too much responsibility if he was pressed into service as a rookie.

26. Seattle Seahawks

Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky: Offensive line maestro Tom Cable could try Lamp at his college position, tackle, or line him up at guard, where many scouts project he’ll thrive in the NFL. Regardless of where he played, Lamp would strengthen one of the league’s least effective lines.

27. Kansas City Chiefs

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Opponents have no reason to challenge CB Marcus Peters when they can target the other side of the Chiefs’ secondary. Humphrey could help stop the bleeding as a No. 2 corner before possibly harnessing his talents and becoming a performer close to Peters’ caliber.

28. Dallas Cowboys

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU: Time to start replenishing a secondary decimated by free agency. White could immediately challenge for a starting position while also contributing right away as a dangerous punt returner.

29. Green Bay Packers

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: He could stabilize a ground game that was derailed by Eddie Lacy’s inconsistency and injuries. Cook is an accomplished runner and receiver capable of doing everything in the Pack’s playbook.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: His buzz continues to build after his own impressive pro day showing. Mahomes has all the physical gifts that make NFL coaches salivate. But he also might need two full years to learn how a pro offense operates. This could be the perfect scenario given Ben Roethlisberger’s age (35), retirement musings and propensity to get injured.

31. Atlanta Falcons

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: OLB Vic Beasley paced the NFL in 2016 with 15 œ sacks, but no teammate had more than five — a problem that was accentuated when the Falcons failed to generate any heat on Tom Brady during the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback. Charlton registered 10 sacks last year, and his 6-6 frame enables him to bat down balls when he can’t reach quarterbacks.

32. Saints (from Patriots)

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Sure, it would make sense for the Saints to continue rebuilding their defense. But with WR Brandin Cooks and RB Tim Hightower now gone, could they resist picking up a weapon like McCaffrey, who will rekindle memories of Reggie Bush in New Orleans? Not only might he be optimal as aging QB Drew Brees looks to spread the field underneath, but McCaffrey could ignite a return game that has given the Saints little spark lately.

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