NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

Media outlets wishing to interview Colin Lindsay or Pigskin Paul Guillemette about the draft or other football topics should email the editor or call 613-692-1088
Follow the draft with us over the course of the next three days. Pigskin and I will be blogging our thoughts as developments develop. PLus, as usual, you can see which prospects are still available as we’ll be updating the GBN Big Board as players are selected, along with the updated draft order and picks by team file. Should be fun!! … ed

That’s a wrap, Part Deux … The second and third rounds of the 2017 draft wrapped up at 11:35 PM ET when Tampa Bay selected former LSU LB Kendell Beckwith with the 107th and final pick in the 3rd round. However, there won’t be much rest for NFL personnel people though as they’ll be up into the wee hours resetting their respective boards and priorities getting ready for the final 4 rounds which get underway at Noon ET saturday morning. And there are plenty of really good players left on the board for teams to fight over including QBs Davis Webb, Brad Kaaya, Josh Dobbs, and Nathan Peterman; RBs Marlon Mack, Samaje Perine and Wayne Gallman; WRs DeDe Westbrook, Chad Hansen, Amara Darboh and Malachi Dupree; TEs Jordan Leggat, Jake Butt, and Bucky Hodges; OTs Adam Bisnowaty, Chad Banner, Conor McDermott, Rod Johnson, Davis Sharpe, and Julien Daveport; OGs Dorian Johnson, Ike Asiata, Nico Siragusa, and Will Holden; DEs Carl Lawson and Deatrich Wise; DTs Carlos Watkins, Caleb Brantley, Vince Taylor, Jaleel Johnson and Elijah Qualls; LBs Vince Biegel, Anthony Walker, and Carroll Phillips; CBs Jalen Myrick, Howard Wilson and Damontae Kazee; and safeties Desmond King and Eddie Jackson. Here’s the full, updated list of players still available at the end of the opening round. And for the second day in a row, Green Bay will be on the clock when the picking starts tomorrow. The busiest team over the final rounds, though, could be Cincinnati which enters the final day with 9 picks, while Minnesota and Washington each have 7. On the other hand, Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton and the New Orleans staff can start planning for next year as the Saints have just one pick remaining. Here’s the unofficial list of picks by team over the final 4 rounds.

Making a mockery of mocks … By now, folks have to know we aren’t huge fans of mock draft. And in the past we thought folks who mocked the second and third rounds overnight following the first round had – well – just too much time on their hands! However, we started just playing with what some of the early picks in tonight’s second round might look like and before we knew it, we actually had the whole round pretty much mocked. So here it is without reservation, but with the usual proviso that this likely won’t tell one which specific team is going to take which specific player where, but hopefully it will give some idea what players are likely going to be available at different points in the round. And no we are not going to do the third round! Speaking of mocks, though, congrats to the GBN’s Larry Parker, our lone entry in the annual mock draft sweepstakes. While just a rook, Larry finished in the top quarter of the field in the process besting some pretty well known names in the business.

On further review … Its always tough to pick winners and losers in the middle of the draft because one just never knows how the players are actually going to perform on the field until they actually get on the field. It was hard not to like what several teams were able to accomplish during last night’s opening round. However, it was hard not to really like what several teams including the 49ers and Browns. Here’s that full story. Meanwhile, for those that may have missed it last night, our Pigskin Paul Guillemette posted some thoughts on the opening round happenings on the draft blog.

Pack on the clock … The second round of the 2017 draft gets underway in just under 18 hours with Green Bay on the clock with a pick they acquired from Cleveland late in the opening round. The busiest team on Friday night though will be Seattle which has 6 picks in rounds two and three with 2 in the second and 4 in the third. For the record, no other team currently has more than three second day selections. Here is the updated list of picks by team heading into the draft’s second day.

(9:55 PM ET): Interesting pick by the Eagles in DE Derek Barnett who broke former Eagles’ star Reggie White’s career sack record at Tennessee. No question that Barnett is as productive as they come, but you’ll have to look a long time to find a successful 259-pound edge rusher in the NFL with 4.85-4.90 speed. Time will tell.

Less drama – maybe – on #1 pick … Mary Kay Cabot, the Plain Dealers’ Browns’ beat reporter is reporting at this hour that her sources are telling her that Cleveland will select Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett with the #1 pick overall at tonight’s draft. There has been some drama today as multiple league sources have been suggesting that the Browns might actually take North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky at that spot. Cabot is reporting though that the Browns consolidated their choice at a management meeting earlier this afternoon. The Browns, though, are still expected to try and move back up into the top ten from the 12th pick to get Trubisky. Whatever, we’ll find out for sure in just over three hours.

Pigskin mocks the Raiduhs draft … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette wraps up his series of team mock drafts with the  Oakland Raiders.

Drama continues re top pick … Apparently more and more analysts making their final mocks today are slotting North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky to Cleveland with the #1 pick rather than Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett. However, Mary Kay Cabot, the Plain Dealers’ top NFL beat writer is sticking with the theory that Cleveland still plans to take Garrett first overall based on the fact that the Browns are still working the phones trying to move up from the 12th pick. And they are only doing that if they still want Trubisky after taking Garrett #1.

Your cup ‘o draft morning buzz … Not surprisingly, most NFL teams ar locked down pretty tight this A.M., but there’s still plenty of buzz out there although much of it looks to be more smoke than fire. Here’s what we are picking up that does make some sense in the morning buzz file.

Is QB still in play at #1 ??? … Adam Schefter reported on ESPN’s SportsCenter earlier this evening that he is being told by his sources that Cleveland may in fact select North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky with the #1 pick overall at tomorrow’s draft rather than Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett.  According to Schefter he has “very smart, very well-connected people telling me over the last 24 hours that they think Trubisky’s going to be the #1.” Obviously this would he a huge upset as most analysts have figured for weeks that Garrett was going to be the pick. And Browns’ VP of football ops Sashi Brown almost conceded as much last week when he indicated that Cleveland would be willing to move back up into the top 10 from the 12th to get Trubisky. That fits with reports that the Browns have been talking with just every team picking in the top ten about such a move. At the same time, though, there were reports a week or two back that Browns’ management was split on who to take at #1 with head coach Hue Jackson and his staff reportedly favoring Garrett, while the front office was leaning toward taking the QB. And it appears that the front office is making the decision. Indeed, there was even some speculation earlier today that Jackson was not one of the half dozen people in the organization who know who the Browns’ pick will be. Stay tuned!

No mock today … We were going to take a shot at a final mock of the 2017 draft before the picks actually started coming off the board tomorrow evening. In fact, we got off to a great start effortlessly penciling Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett in at the #1 pick overall for the Cleveland Browns. So far so good! But then we got stuck. Fact is we have no idea what San Francisco is going to do with the second pick. Indeed, the 49ers could quite legitimately take one of as many as a half dozen players at that spot; that is, if they don’t trade the pick first. And that trend continued pretty much through the rest of the top dozen or so picks as pretty well each team picking in the first half of the opening round has multiple legitimate options. And then it gets hard!

Fact is that after that first pick we really don’t know anything and it felt like we were just throwing darts at a dartboard blindfolded. The irony of all this is that a projection in September can actually tell people something. Same with one in January. However, just hours before the draft with a million other mocks out there (put together by folks that have no more clue as to what is actually going to happen that we do no matter how well-connect they are) we not doing anything more than just stirring up some already very muddy water. Might bring some clicks our way, but it certainly isn’t going to provide anything that even remotely resembles useful information. Our advice: sit back, relax, maybe have a pop and wait until they start actually making the picks tomorrow night. In the meantime, we’ll let you know if anything of any actual substance happens between now and when the Browns get on the clock tomorrow evening.

Pigskin makes it one more Top 100 … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has posted his final Top 100 overall listing for tomorrow’s draft.

Pigskin mocks the Washthings draft … Back by popular demand this year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be providing his own unique mock drafts for as many teams as possible in the final days until the draft; up today is Washington.

GBN’s Larry Parker posts final mock: At this time of the year, the GBN becomes a ‘mock optional’ draft site. This year, Investigative College Football reporter Larry Parker was the only staff brave enough to try a pre-draft projection. And not one to march to everybody else’s drummer, LP has more than his share of surprise picks in his final mock.

Drama at top of draft to continue … Mike Silver of NFL.com is reporting that Cleveland V.P. of Football Operations Sashi Brown told him earlier today that the Browns know who they’ll be taking with the #1 pick in just 26 hours and that in fact they’ve known for at least a couple of weeks. However, Brown said that even though the Browns know who they’ll be selecting they still plan to use their full time allotment to make the pick. Maybe the most interesting aspect of Silver’s reporting is that Brown indicated that only a half dozen or so people are in on who the Browns will be taking and that it isn’t clear that head coach Hue Jackson is one of them! The Browns are believed to have settled on DE Myles Garrett as the top pick, but the Browns had been leaving open the possibility of taking QB Mitch Trubisky at that point.  Silver, who reported yesterday that the Browns have had serious discussions with 3 of the 7 teams picking right after them about a possible trade up from #12, upped that number to 4 earlier today and is currently saying its 5. For the record, the 7 teams who follow the Browns in the early selection order are: 2. San Francisco; 3. Chicago; 4. Jacksonville; 5. Tennessee; 6. New York Jets; 7. LA Chargers; and 8. Carolina and it would be interesting to know which are the two Cleveland hasn’t called. Meanwhile, San Francisco is still sending out signals that the 49ers are still considering taking a QB with the second pick overall. Today, 49ers’ CEO Jeb York was quoted as saying you can’t win in the NFL without an elite QB, something that is currently in short supply in San Francisco these days. What isn’t clear, though, is whether the 49ers are indeed serious about taking a QB at #2 – presumably either Trubisky or Deshaun Watson – or whether its a smoke screen to entice the Browns to moving up as high as the second pick to ensure getting Trubisky. Stay tuned!

And one more Top 100 … this one by Rob Rang of CBS Sports.

More top 100s worth a look … With just over 30 hours until the start of the 2017 draft, more analysts are posting their final boards. A couple worth a look include those by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who year and year out is as close as anybody to the real thing, and by long-time GBN friend Frank Coyle whose Draft Insiders Digest is always one of the most thorough draft guides available.

Update on Lynch trade comp … Jay Glazer of Fox Sports is reporting that Seattle and Oakland will flip 5th and 6th round picks at the 2018 as compensation in the trade for former Seahawks’ RB Marshawn Lynch. Seattle will get Oakland’s fifth-round pick next year, while the Raiders will get the Seahawks 6th rounder. The deal for Lynch will be confirmed once he’s completed a physical with Oakland later today.

The most interesting pick in the draft! … Could very well be the 5th overall currently held by Tennessee. Titans’ G.M. Jon Robinson says they have had several serious calls about the 5th pick and as of this morning thinks that the team’s chances of moving down from that spot are ’50-50.’ Speculation around the league is that the most serious suitor for the pick is Cleveland which is reportedly trying to move up from the 12th pick in order to select North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky.

‘Beast mode’ is back … After several fits and starts, Oakland and Seattle have agreed on a trade in which the Raiders get the rights to former Seahawks star RB Marshawn Lynch after Oakland and Lynch agreed on a contract last evening. The deal still hinges on Lynch passing a physical later today. If the deal in fact goes through the Seahawks will get a late-round pick in 2018 as compensation.

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