2017 NFL Mock Draft

 

We are just about through six weeks of the NFL season, so I decided it was the appropriate time to make an early mock draft. Some things are very predictable: for instance, the Browns will pick first, and the Pats will pick last. Additionally, quarterbacks, non-Alabama defensive players, and Alabama defensive players will dominate the first round. Other things may seem unusual, but that is up for you to decide.  With that being said, here are the picks:The order is based on how I believe things will turn out at year’s end.

  1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M – While Cleveland is in desperate need for a QB (and there are plenty with a first-round grade in this class), it would make more sense at this spot to take the best player available. Garrett is a dominant force against both the run and pass, and he will be an instant star at the next level. He can have a quarterback-like impact on the defensive side of the ball and will make be the star football player Cleveland needs.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame – The 49ers also need just about everything, but with Garrett off the board, they would be wise to take the best QB available. Kizer has all the makings of the next great NFL QB: size, athleticism, and intangibles you can’t teach. He may need time to develop, but he will get that on a rebuilding San Francisco team.
  3. New York Jets: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – While he came into the year hyped-up to be the potential number one overall selection, he has had a bit of a rough year by his standards. Nevertheless, the talent that exists is undeniable, and with the weapons the Jets already possess, he would be in a position to succeed right away in the NFL. Plus, with how poorly Fitzpatrick has played this year, the Jets will be in serious need of an upgrade.
  4. Chicago Bears: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (FL.) – Three QB’s in the top four? That speaks to how good these three are; Kaaya has the size at 6’4” to be an elite QB, and has shown ridiculous touch on some of his throws this year. Chicago needs to move on from Jay Cutler, and the Hurricanes’ QB gives them an excuse to do so.Jabrill.jpg
  5. San Diego Chargers: Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan – Peppers is probably the most versatile player in all of college football; he can play about 23 different positions (slight exaggeration) and has incredible athleticism. He will be able to thrive in the NFL doing so many different things, and therefore merits a top-five selection. If the Chargers get their hands on him, he can be a potential game-changer on offense, defense, and special teams.
  6. Miami Dolphins: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida – This year’s cornerback class is absolutely loaded, and Wilson is the cream of the crop. He has great size at 6’1” and incredible man coverage skills. Coming into the league, he’s a left corner right from the start and a huge upgrade for the Dolphins’ passing defense.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama – The first of many Alabama players to be taken, Allen would have been a surefire first-rounder last year. He can fit into either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and has the potential to be a three-down player at a position where people don’t play three downs very often. Tampa Bay could use some help on defense, and Allen gives them an instant impact player on that side of the field.
  8. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama – Back to back Tide players getting selected here, and for good reason. I read a lot of what Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has to say when it comes to draft information, and he has compared this kid to Patrick Willis. If that turns out to be true, this pick would go a long wat toward fixing a much maligned Saints defense.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamal Adams, S, LSU – The best player on LSU not named Leonard Fournette, Adams is a high-profile player with very good intangibles. He plays in an SEC West secondary, which goes a long way toward helping your stock. Jacksonville could use some help at different positions all over the field, but they could cross safety off the list by picking Mr. Adams.
  10. Tennessee Titans: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama – Another Alabama defender in the top ten. Humphrey is extremely raw, but his athleticism and size could play well in the NFL. The Titans are going to need to improve their defense if they ever want to get good again; Humphrey, while a bit of a risk, is a step in the right direction.Fournette.jpg
  11. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – While the could take UNC QB Mitch Trubisky, the Browns will copy what they did with the first pick and take the best player available. Fournette is the definition of a stud, and while Isaiah Crowell is serviceable, he isn’t nearly as talented. This will help whoever the Browns’ future QB is.
  12. Carolina Panthers: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida – The Panthers are now 1-5, and they continue to get torched through the air every single week. If not for off-field concerns, he might have been the first defensive back selected. Tabor is a very good cornerback (almost as good as his teammate Wilson), and while he fits better into a man scheme than a zone, the Panthers will take what they can get.
  13. Tennessee Titans (via L.A. Rams): Sidney Jones, CB, Washington – Like I said, this year’s CB class is insane, and Jones is a name people will come to know closer to draft time. The best player on a stout Washington defense, Jones has the makings of a great future NFL cornerback. He isn’t quite as good as Marcus Peters, but after how well he has played, teams will definitely be interested in this young man.
  14. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson – Clemson is a factory for NFL wideouts, and Williams is next in line. At 6’3”, he has great size for the position to go along with excellent hands. More of a route-runner than a burner, Williams should definitely provide Flacco with a quality future WR1.
  15. Detroit Lions: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – The Lions have an excellent aerial attack, but they need a quality running back to complement it. Outside of fumbling issues, Cook is an elite runner who can play three downs and beat you with both speed and power. Throw him into Detroit’s offense, and this team could become very dangerous.McMillan.jpg
  16. New York Giants: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State – It takes a while for the first OSU player to come off the board, but McMillan becomes that guy at 16. He’s not quite as good as Reuben Foster, but McMillan is a quality player who can be a future leader of a defense. The Giants reloaded the defense last year, but McMillan would improve it further.
  17. Arizona Cardinals: Mitch Trubisky, QB, UNC – While Palmer has been a decent QB, the Cardinals need to start thinking about a future face of the franchise. Trubisky isn’t up there with the Big 3 of Kizer, Watson and Kaaya, but there is a drop off between him and everyone else. Considering they may not be in a position to get anyone like this again, Arizona should pounce on the opportunity to get a new QB.
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State – While they have a loaded secondary, the Chiefs could use a safety to pair with Eric Berry. While not having played until this year, Hooker is ridiculously talented and has had a huge impact since stepping on the field for the Buckeyes. If taken here, Kansas City would have its own “Legion of Boom.”
  19. Indianapolis Colts: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama – The first tackle taken in what is considered by many to be a weak class at the position, Robinson should be a future starter in the NFL. While having some off-field problems, Robinson is a good left tackle in the toughest conference in college football, and could be moved to guard if he fails there in the NFL. Andrew Luck needs protection sooner or later, and Robinson is the guy who can protect him.
  20. Cincinnati Bengals: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee – While the Bengals have improved their pass rush, you can never have too many at this position. Barnett is very good at getting to the QB and has made many highlight reel sacks this year. He may need to work on his run defense, but at the very least, he should be a good third-down pass rusher in the NFL.
  21. Green Bay Packers: Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama – Another talented player with off-field concerns, Williams could have been selected earlier. Still, he knows how to get to the QB and hasn’t found someone he can’t beat off the line of scrimmage yet. If he can figure out how to defend the run, he’ll make for an excellent outside linebacker.
  22. Buffalo Bills: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State – A lot of people have him a lot higher than this, but I can’t see McDowell going in the top twenty. Even as the best DT in the class, McDowell doesn’t seem like he has done much this year, and the Spartans have struggled on the defensive side of the ball. Still, it goes a long way being the best at your position, so he will still garner a first-round selection.
  23. Washington Redskins: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – WMU is 7-0 and 20th in the nation, and a lot of that has to do with Davis. At 6’3”, he has a similar build to Williams and has put up huge numbers playing in the MAC. Presuming they resign Cousins, Washington would give him a new favorite target.
  24. Houston Texans: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama – A quality blocker and receiver, Howard could really help an NFL offense. He hasn’t had a lot of big games, but the talent is there to be a really good tight end. Osweiler could probably use another big target to help spread the ball around; Howard would give him that.
  25. Oakland Raiders: Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois – The Raiders are steadily improving, but they could always use another defensive end to rush the quarterback. Smoot is also steadily making his way (up big boards), and is a plug-and-play type. Del Rio loves his defensive players, and Smoot would work well in his system.
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Pat Elflein, G, Ohio State – The Seahawks need to get Wilson some help on the O-line. Elflein is a great inside lineman who would start right away for the worst unit on Seattle’s team. While they could look for a corner to put opposite Sherman, the O-line is the way to go here, and Elflein is their man.
  27. Denver Broncos: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State – Another team that needs O-line help, Denver will go with the best tackle available. Johnson helps create wholes for Dalvin Cook to run through on a weekly basis and could potentially protect the blind side in the NFL. While they signed Okung in the offseason, Johnson would be a much better long-term investment for the Broncos.
  28. Dallas Cowboys: Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech – Dallas has impressed thus far, but considering the injuries to Dez Bryant, they could use someone else for Dak Prescott to throw to. Ford Has had a very good year thus far for the Hokies, and his success should draw the attention of some teams. At 6’1”, he definitely won’t be overmatched and would give a complimentary target to both Bryant and Cole Beasley.
  29. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan – More of a playmaker than anything else, Lewis is an absolute freak of nature athletically. He doesn’t have as much skills as the previous CBs drafted, but definitely can be molded into a quality player at the next level. With some refinement by the Steelers, he can be turned into a number one corner. McCaffrey.jpg
  30. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles work well as complimentary backs, but why not take someone who combines their skill sets? McCaffrey has had a down year, and people question whether he can be a three-down back at the next level. Nevertheless, he would be a huge weapon for Carson Wentz no matter how he gets used, and would fit well into their offensive scheme.
  31. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond King, CB, Iowa – With an incredibly talented offense, the Falcons will focus on improving their secondary. King is an extremely safe bet to succeed in the NFL, as he has played very well at Iowa over the last two years. With Desmond Trufant already a lockdown number one, King could step in and give Dan Quinn a dynamic duo at CB.
  32. New England Patriots: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn – Considering the expiring contracts of both Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard, New England would be smart to draft a future starter at DE. Lawson has been a wrecking ball at Auburn over the course of his career, piling up sacks as the seasons have gone on. He may not be on the level of Garrett of Barnett, but Lawson should be a capable NFL starter.

Cover photo courtesy gridironnow.com.

Other Photos via BleacherReport, USAToday, BuckeyeXtra and SportingNews

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