NFL Mock Draft 2017: Final pick projections before Round 1
Despite months of evaluations, information gathering and speculation, the 2017 NFL Draft figures to be one of the least predictable in recent history.
But that doesn’t mean certain rumored player-team connections won’t hold true. While the Browns and Panthers are the true wild cards in Round 1, many teams have strong plans in place which, they hope, will remain intact during what should be a crazy draft.
Our final mock draft before Thursday’s first round includes three first-round quarterbacks, a major trade and and defensive backs in demand.
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1 Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, OLB, Texas A&M
Every team’s internal mock draft has this pick being either Garrett or Mitchell Trubisky. Some believe it truly could go either way.
2 San Francisco 49ers: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
John Lynch gets a safety modeled after himself. He’s the highest-rated player on their board if Garrett is gone and is a leader they can build around. Leonard Fournette is in play, and one team thinks quarterback is an option (though I disagree).
3 Chicago Bears: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Bears like Thomas a lot. They might consider Marshon Lattimore and/or Adams, as well. They’ll be a team to watch to move back into Round 1 for a quarterback like DeShone Kizer.
4 Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
This pick likely will come down to three players (if all still available): Cam Robinson (doubtful), O.J. Howard (a reach) and Fournette. Jonathan Allen is a darkhorse to be considered here.
5 Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
It’ll be Lattimore or Howard if the Jaguars stay here or move back a bit. Receiver Mike Williams is also in the discussion, especially if they move back. Don’t rule out a double trade back, either. The Titans love this class’ depth.
6 New York Jets: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
I don’t believe this fits what the Jets want to do, but it seems like a great fit for Howard and probably the highest he goes. Lattimore, Adams and Fournette all are in consideration for this pick.
7 San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Most in the league expect this pick to be Hooker, and it’s a perfect fit. This is also where, if he doesn’t go fourth overall, Jonathan Allen might be in play.
8 Carolina Panthers: David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
This certainly would be a surprise pick. I’m not nearly as positive as others that the Panthers covet Christian McCaffrey. A tight end would add a new wrinkle to this offense.
9 Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
This is where many in the league expect Allen to land. I’d be surprised if the Bengals pass on him.
10 Buffalo Bills: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Call me stubborn, but I’ve predicted this since early February. Those in Trubisky’s camp believed he’d be a Bill, and those in the building in Buffalo think he’ll be their pick. If he’s not a Brown, he’ll be a Bill.
11 New Orleans Saints: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The Saints covet Humphrey and want to fill cornerback early (and likely multiple times) in the draft. Reuben Foster is in play, as is Charles Harris. Quarterback is not.
12 TRADE — Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
This is the only trade I will outright predict. Former Chiefs assistant GM Chris Ballard was a supporter of Mahomes during his time in Kansas City, and GM John Dorsey and Andy Reid trust him. Their first, second and fourth this year and second next year should be enough for a Browns team that wants to move down.
13 Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
Mahomes is the quarterback they want if they select one in Round 1. If not, Humphrey, Charles Harris and Reddick are the options.
14 Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
McCaffrey is the player they covet, and they believe he’ll be available. They might look to move up a few spots to secure him. If not McCaffrey, Charles Harris and Derek Barnett are possible.
15 Indianapolis Colts: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
Reddick, Harris and Takkarist McKinley are my projected options for the Colts. Harris is the best value on the board. They like Reddick a lot, and McKinley is the fallback option. There’s an outside chance Reuben Foster is the pick.
16 Baltimore Ravens: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
This is one of my picks in which I’m most confident. GM Ozzie Newsome really likes Robinson, who can play right tackle right away. Potential surprise options are Jabrill Peppers and Mike Williams.
17 Washington Redskins: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
If Harris is here, he’ll be the pick. If not, Barnett is the most likely. Dalvin Cook is their top-rated running back. Jabrill Peppers is highly thought of, too.
18 Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Titans are considering Williams in the top 10, so getting Williams at No. 18 would be a steal. If he’s not here, John Ross, Forrest Lamp or a safety will be considered.
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook is no lock to be available at No. 19, but he’s a perfect fit to grow with Jameis Winston as his mentor. Jabrill Peppers or an offensive tackle could be in play. They’d like to trade down to the mid 20s.
20 Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
Denver really wants an offensive lineman here and may take the best one available. I’m not sure whether Bolles or Ramczyk is valued higher on their board.
21 Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
This pick likely comes down to Njoku (if available), Charlton, Jabrill Peppers and Jarrad Davis. I’ll opt for Charlton because of the Michigan connection, and he’s a safer option than Peppers.
22 Miami Dolphins: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Jarrad Davis might be more likely than McKinley to be the pick, but I imagine these are the two prospects they’re deciding between. Pass rusher is more valuable than linebacker.
23 New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
The Giants want to add an offensive lineman in Round 1. If two go early, they could be the team that moves up with the Bucs to get above the Broncos and secure one of the most capable offensive tackles.
24 Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
An ideal situation for the Raiders: They want to add a linebacker, and Davis is highly coveted by Oakland and many other teams. Zach Cunningham may be the pick if Davis is gone.
25 Houston Texans: Marcus Maye, S, Florida
Houston would love for a top offensive tackle to be available here, but I don’t think they value Forrest Lamp enough as a guard to take him at No. 25. Safety is my guess, and Maye has plenty of first-round buzz. Another rumored option: Safety Budda Baker.
26 Seattle Seahawks: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Seattle might look to move up to No. 19 for Bolles. If they don’t, Lamp is a nice consolation prize. They want to go offensive line in Round 1, but if they don’t, a pass rusher could be the pick.
27 TRADE — Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
If Cleveland goes Garrett first overall, they’ll still need a quarterback, and Watson likely will be available here. He’s the best fit for Hue Jackson’s offense.
28 Dallas Cowboys: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
If the Cowboys go cornerback, Jackson most likely is the one they want. He can start as a corner immediately and replace Lucky Whitehead as a kick returner.
29 Green Bay Packers: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Watt can fill the Packers’ pass rushing need and should make for an easy transition by staying in Wisconsin. Cornerback Kevin King and running back (Alvin Kamara or Joe Mixon) are the other options.
30 Pittsburgh Steelers: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
If Peppers is available here, I don’t believe the Steelers will pass on him. Plenty of teams earlier have interest, but the Steelers would love to get top-end secondary talent. Receiver (including tight end Evan Engram) and cornerback are the targets.
31 Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
Offensive guard and pass rusher are their two biggest needs to fill. On the offensive line, Dion Dawkins of Temple and Taylor Moton of Western Michigan are in play. Willis is the defensive end they like the most if the draft falls like this.
32 New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
It’s very likely, and almost expected by teams I’ve spoken with, that Foster will slip to the end of Round 1 (though the Colts, Chiefs and Packers could be in play). The Saints can land two Alabama defenders around whom they can build their defense.