Thursday night may be all about the 2017 NFL Draft, but Thursday morning and afternoon are all about 2017 NFL Mock Drafts. Earlier today, ESPN’s Todd McShay released his final mock of the first round. Now, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., comes out with his final projection.
Just like McShay, Kiper starts his final 2017 NFL Mock Draft with the Cleveland Browns selecting North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He then follows that with the San Francisco 49ers using the second-overall pick on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, then the Chicago Bears adding Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. The Jacksonville Jaguars use the fourth pick on LSU running back Leonard Fournette, then the Tennessee Titans take another LSU prospect with the fifth selection, adding safety Jamal Adams.
The Miami Dolphins, with the 22nd overall pick, take a risk on a player with a lot of off-the-field issues following him right now - but it could be a situation similar to last year’s fall of Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Dolphins with the 13th overall pick. Kiper projects Miami to use their first-round selection on Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. He explains the selection, writing, “Foster has some off-field concerns that could cause him to drop, but the fit is too perfect here. Miami needs linebackers to play next to Kiko Alonso. Foster is one of the three most talented prospects in this class. That would make it two straight seasons Miami takes a super-talented guy who dropped on draft day (Laremy Tunsil in 2016).”
Foster’s issues include being sent home from the NFL Scouting Combine after an incident with a hospital worker during the medical exams. That incident also led to the NFL not inviting Foster to the Draft, despite him having been projected as a top ten pick prior to the start of the off-field issues.
Unfortunately, that is not the only issue swirling around Foster right now. He also was found to have a diluted urine sample provided during the Combine’s drug testing, which under NFL rules is considered a positive drug test. Foster has explained to teams and the media that he was dealing with food poisoning at the time of the Combine, and was drinking as much water as he could to try to deal with the illness, which led to the diluted sample.
Do you like the pick of Foster for the Dolphins? Which would you prefer, McShay’s pick of Takkarist McKinley for Miami, or Kiper’s pick of Foster?