The 2017 NFL Draft is just under a month away, so it is time to get ready for one of the biggest events of the football season.
1. Cleveland Browns- Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns need to take the best player available, instead of reaching for a quarterback. Garrett is the premier pass-rushing prospect. He has a solid jump off of the ball and then uses his athleticism and speed to get to the quarterback. Garrett is great at containing opposing quarterbacks in the pocket. He is good against the run and even makes teams run to the other side of the field like Alabama did against him. His good gap integrity on running plays will help him transition to playing against NFL offenses. He had a good NFL Combine, so the Browns should feel very comfortable picking Garrett.
2. San Francisco 49ers- Solomon Thomas, DE/DT, Stanford
There is a new regime in San Francisco, but all visible signs show them not taking a quarterback with the number two pick. That may change, or maybe they are protecting their real thoughts. Jonathan Allen is a premier talent, but may not be the greatest fit as they have drafted two different five-technique defensive linemen the last two years. Whether John Lynch wants to keep these guys or draft his own people remains up in the air. As the team currently sits Solomon Thomas is the best fit. They need pass rushing help and Thomas is a well rounded defensive end, who is as good at stopping the run as he is rushing the passer. He’s very quick at the snap of the ball. His best quality is his versatility. He can play almost any position on the defensive line and be successful.
3. Chicago Bears- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
If Allen falls to three and the Bears aren’t worried about his shoulder injuries, they will run to the podium to pick Allen. He is a good fit in their 3-4 defense and can start from day one. Allen could not be blocked with one blocker consistently and continuously disrupted plays. He doesn’t always have the best gap integrity, but does have great play recognition skills.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Fournette can do everything required as a running back and can handle a heavy dose of carries. He played this last season with a lingering ankle injury and still averaged 6.5 yards per carry. His combination of speed, size and vision makes him an elite running back prospect. The Jaguars have other needs, but Fournette is too good to pass up. Jacksonville will likely give Blake Bortles one more season to figure things out, and a good running game will help his chances. The Jaguars flirted with signing free agent running backs, but elected not to, which may show where they are leaning with this pick.
5. Tennessee Titans- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
In the National Championship Game, Mike Williams was the difference maker for Clemson. Williams is the best red zone threat in college football from the wide receiver position. He is tall and lanky, but athletic enough to make great catches. Mariota needs a go to receiver to throw to and the Titans may have to take one earlier than expected.
6. New York Jets- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC
The Jets don’t have a quarterback worthy of starting for the long haul currently on their roster. Josh McCown is capable of bridging the gap between now and a franchise quarterback being ready. Trubisky only has one year of starting experience, which is concerning, but he is very accurate. He also rarely makes bad decisions, which is a rarity for quarterbacks in this draft class. On top of all that, Trubisky is an athlete that has above average speed and can throw well while on the move.
7. Los Angeles Chargers- Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Chargers needs secondary help and luckily, this class is loaded with it. Adams is a hard-hitter, who helps in run support. He has shown the capability to guard elite college level tight ends like Evan Engram, which will help him a lot at the NFL level.
8. Carolina Panthers- Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Lattimore is a shut-down corner, who has good ball skills. Even though Ohio State got blown out by Clemson, he only gave up one catch and it was to Mike Williams on a screen pass. Lattimore is decent in run support too. Carolina didn’t fully recover from losing Josh Norman last season and will need to get a corner to compensate.
9. Cincinnati Bengals- Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
When Cincinnati was at their best, they rushed the passer well. Barnett is one of the best pass rushers in the class, but does not do much against the run. He uses his speed to get around the tackle blocking him, but rarely uses pass rushing moves to get to the quarterback.
10. Buffalo Bills- Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The Bills desperately need safety help and would be overjoyed if Hooker fell to them. He would be an immediate upgrade for their lackluster secondary. Hooker has the best range of any safety in the class. He is a ball-hawk, who isn’t afraid to come up and help in the run.
11. New Orleans Saints- Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
New Orleans needs defensive help badly. They can start by getting a pass rusher across from Cameron Jordan. Charlton has great size at 6’6″ tall and can get to the quarterback with 10 sacks last season. The Saints have started to put together a defensive line with Jordan, Nick Fairly and Sheldon Rankins from last year’s draft.
12. Cleveland Browns- DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
The Browns already have Myles Garrett on board and now can get their quarterback of the future. Kizer has the size and arm strength to be a franchise quarterback. He has some issues with being consistent with the accuracy of his passes, but for the most part is decent. If he wants to be successful he should work on putting passes in areas for wide receivers to run after the catch. His mobility is good enough to get him out of jams.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Arizona could go for a quarterback to be a long term solution or defensive help here. Humphrey guarded Mike Williams well in the National Championship game, but Williams made some crazy catches through the good coverage. Humphrey is a good man to man corner, who can get confused while playing zone.
14. Philadelphia Eagles- Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook is an elusive, speed back who is hard to catch. He is a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. There are some concerns with the amount of injuries he has had, but when healthy Cook is an elite running back prospect. Philadelphia addressed their wide receiver needs via free agency and can now help out Carson Wentz by providing him with a good running back and receiver out of the backfield.
15. Indianapolis Colts- Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Foster was the best player for Alabama in the National Championship Game. He was all over the field and showed great closing speed on ball carriers. In addition to that, he was a very effective when blitzing, knocking down Deshaun Watson plenty of times. He is also good in coverage, which doesn’t leave many holes in his game. The Colts have a lot of defensive holes to plug and Foster is the best defensive player available.
16. Baltimore Ravens- Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Baltimore needs to get some offensive weapons, as Joe Flacco doesn’t have many good players to throw to. Davis is a premier talent at wide receiver. He is big, at 6 feet 3 inches, but his skills match that of a smaller receiver, making him a unique prospect. Davis knows where to go on broken plays and fights for the football with resiliency.
17. Washington Redskins- Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Cunningham is tall and lanky, but makes plays. He is a tackle machine that can vastly improve the run defense. The Redskins have a lot of needs on the defensive side of the ball they could go after, but Cunningham can have an impact immediately.
18. Tennessee Titans- Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
The Titans will take a wide receiver here if they don’t get one with their first pick. If not they will try to improve their defense. White is a good team leader, who is very athletic. He doesn’t have the best size for a corner, but can cover with the best of them. His added value comes in the return game, where he did a solid job for LSU.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Tampa Bay signed Desean Jackson so they likely won’t draft a wide receiver. Howard is a great receiving tight end, who didn’t get the chance to produce much at Alabama due to play-calling and quarterback issues. He can be another good target to help Jameis Winston.
20. Denver Broncos- Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Robinson can slide right in and start on a team that doesn’t have good tackles. He did a solid job pass blocking Myles Garrett in their match-up. Before the Broncos give up on Trevor Siemian they need to protect him to give him a fair shot.
21. Detroit Lions- Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
Detroit needs linebackers badly and Reddick is changing positions to become one. He was an edge rusher in college, but has looked good in the events leading up to the draft. The Lions will need to work with Reddick, but if they see his potential, they may elect to try and develop him into a good pro.
22. Miami Dolphins- Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
Jackson has all of the capabilities necessary to be a lock-down corner for many years in the NFL. He can play both sides of the ball and also help in the return game. His ability to play both ways and to bait quarterbacks into throwing passes, just so he can intercept them, shows his likeness to Deion Sanders. The Dolphins have Byron Maxwell at corner, but don’t have much else.
23. New York Giants- David Njoku, TE, Miami
Njoku is a fast tight end who should be a good receiving threat in the NFL. He may be able to develop into a good blocker as well. The Giants have solidified their offense by signing Brandon Marshall, but could use a decent tight end threat over the middle.
24. Oakland Raiders- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Raiders lost Latavius Murray in free agency and have not signed Adrian Peterson or brought Marshawn Lynch out of retirement. Their offense is predicated on big plays and McCaffrey can provide that in a variety of ways. His impressive showing at the combine solidified his first round status. Behind Oakland’s offensive line and with Derek Carr at quarterback, McCaffrey could have a season of greater than 2,000 all purpose yards.
25. Houston Texans- Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
If the Texans miss out on the Tony Romo sweepstakes and don’t get a free agent signal caller, they will be forced to pick a quarterback in the draft. Watson doesn’t have great accuracy and consistently relied on receivers to make plays for him. The most alarming thing about Watson is his decision making, as he makes throws that have no chance of being completed. His arm strength has also been called into question by only throwing 49 mph at the combine. The accepted low for an NFL quarterback is 55 mph. (Dak Prescott threw 54 mph last combine, but had a hurt shoulder) Watson has shown flashes of greatness, particularly against Alabama, but needs to be more consistent. One thing is for sure, Watson steps up in the clutch.
26. Seattle Seahawks- Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
Seattle’s offensive line problems have been well documented. Any lineman prospect near this range should be considered. Bolles is an athletic tackle prospect, who uses his mobility to his advantage. He may need to add some strength to be successful in the NFL.
27. Kansas City Chiefs- John Ross, WR, Washington
Kansas City doesn’t have too many needs, but could be better with another offensive weapon. They do have Jeremy Maclin and Tyreek Hill, but could become more explosive with another guy who can burn a defense. A lot of people are overvaluing Ross because of his 40 time at the NFL Combine. The hope for him is that NFL teams also overvalue him. His speed is apparent and helps him be productive in the return game.
28. Dallas Cowboys- Jabrill Peppers, S/LB/CB, Michigan
The Cowboys lost Barry Church to the Jaguars in free agency. They will need a safety to go alongside Byron Jones. Peppers can be successful at any position in the back seven of the defense, but will be the safety that Dallas needs. Peppers’ downside his his ball skills. He has all the fundamentals down, but had only one career interception in college.
29. Green Bay Packers- Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Conley has risen up draft boards, partially because of injuries and bad 40 times by other corners. He does have good play recognition skills that he uses to his advantage.The Packers had terrible corner play last season and need to take one early in this loaded draft class.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers- Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
The Steelers need to draft more secondary help and Melifonwu has been rising up draft boards with his outstanding combine. Melifonwu played safety, but could also play some corner in the NFL. At 6’4″ with a 4.4 40 yard dash time, the Steelers can get a star at the end of the first round.
31. Atlanta Falcons- Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
Harris is a good pass rusher, who is also solid against the run. He doesn’t have great length for a edge rusher, but does have good strength. The Falcons had Vic Beasley last season, but need to get more pass rushers around him to have a better defense.
32. New Orleans Saints- Kevin King, CB, Washington
The Saints have already addressed their pass rushing need and can now focus on coverage. King is a big corner who can cover big receivers, but also possesses speed to keep up with the faster ones.
33. Cleveland Browns- Budda Baker, S, Washington
Cleveland needs secondary help badly. Baker makes plays in the passing game, but isn’t afraid to come up and help in the run either. He isn’t the biggest safety, but is productive.
34. San Francisco 49ers- Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
John Lynch is going to want to sure up the offensive line and can get Ramczyk with good value here. Ramczyk is a solid left tackle, who is a good run and pass blocker. He did a pretty good job blocking Taco Charlton when the Badgers played the Wolverines. He doesn’t have good mobility and athleticism and can be beat by fast rushers and blitzers.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars- Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Engram is a good receiving tight end that will help the Jaguars because they traded Julius Thomas to the Dolphins. If this truly is the last year for Blake Bortles to prove himself, Jacksonville will give him plenty of weapons to use to be sure.
36. Chicago Bears- Zay Jones, WR, ECU
The Bears lost Alshon Jeffrey to free agency and now have to get someone for Mike Glennon to throw the ball too. Zay Jones may be overlooked because of the wide receiver prospects ahead of him, but he is a talented receiver himself.
37. Los Angeles Rams- Forrest Lamp, OG/C, Western Kentucky
Lamp played tackle in college, but will likely be kicked inside in the NFL. The Rams do need other positions, but in order for this team to be successful, they need to open up some holes for Todd Gurley.
38. Los Angeles Chargers- Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
With the Chargers already getting Jamal Adams, they can work on protecting Phillip Rivers for a few more years. Feeney would be a great value to them at this point.
39. New York Jets- Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Wilson is a tall corner, who has good speed. He is a good man to man cover corner, but is susceptible to pass interference calls. He doesn’t offer much in terms of run support and sometimes looks as if he doesn’t want to tackle anybody. The Jets can use another corner or two, as Morris Claiborne will likely get injured at some point this season.
40. Carolina Panthers- Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
Brantley only had 2.5 sacks on the season, but did a great job of getting pressure on quarterbacks and disrupting the pocket. He is very good at run-stopping and is quick at the snap of the ball. The Panthers need to get some more interior linemen.
41. Cincinnati Bengals- Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
The Bengals signed Kevin Minter to a one year deal, but could still use linebacker help. Davis is a strong linebacker who is decent in coverage. His willingness to make plays in the running game can really help the Bengals defense.
42. New Orleans Saints- Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
New Orleans needs more offensive weapons, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a wide receiver. Kamara can be a nice change of pace back, who can thrive with Drew Brees throwing him the ball out of the backfield.
43. Philadelphia Eagles- Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
The Eagles need to focus on improving their secondary and can get quality players after the first round in this draft. Witherspoon has speed, but needs to add strength for the NFL.
44. Buffalo Bills- Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Smith-Schuster was once thought of as one of the premier wide receivers in this draft class, but he lacks the speed necessary to go round one. The Bills need to get a receiver across the field from Sammy Watkins.
45. Arizona Cardinals- Pat Mahommes, QB, Texas Tech
Bruce Arians loves big, strong-armed quarterbacks and can get one for the future in round two. Mahommes has the chance to prove that system quarterbacks can make it in the NFL if they have talent.
46. Minnesota Vikings- Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan
The Vikings have addressed some of their line problems via free agency, but they still need some upgrades there. Moton at the very least can provide depth, which is not something Minnesota had last year.
47. Baltimore Ravens- T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, Wisconsin
Baltimore only had 31 sacks as a team last season. Watt may not be as good as his brother, but makes plays and can help rush the passer.
48. Indianapolis Colts- Chris Wormley, DE/DT, Michigan
Foster is a good add for the first round, but the Colts need to upgrade a lot of positions in this draft. Wormley can play defensive end and help with the pass rush.
49. Washington Redskins- Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Washington has other needs, but McDowell could really bolster their defensive line and be a great value pick. McDowell can rush the passer, but his main impact will be helping out a bad Washington run defense.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
Samuel had a good combine and can help a team as a slot receiver or running back. Jameis Winston will love all these new weapons.
51. Denver Broncos- Montravious Adams, DL, Auburn
Jared Crick should not be starting for Denver. Adams may not be the best fit in this defense, but Denver will make the most of him.
52. Cleveland Browns- Cooper Kupp, WR, EWU
Cleveland can now get another target for whoever their quarterback might be. Kupp did not run well in his 40 yard dash, but is a solid receiver and the stats don’t lie.
53. Detroit Lions- Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Jalen Tabor has shown that he doesn’t have great speed, but he is physical and has a high football IQ. The Lions still need to upgrade their secondary.
54. Miami Dolphins- Tim Williams, DE/OLB, Alabama
Cameron Wake is still a very good player, but the Dolphins need more pass rushers. Williams is very good and has a quick first step, but some have brought up character concerns with him.
55. New York Giants- Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple
The Giants got their tight end in the first round and can now get some offensive line help. Dawkins wouldn’t regularly go this high in the draft, but the lack of good offensive linemen will work out for him.
56. Oakland Raiders- Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
The Raiders have some pass rushers, but need interior defensive lineman. Watkins is a good pass rusher for a defensive tackle and finished with 10.5 sacks last season.
57. Houston Texans- Ethan Pocic, G/C, LSU
Pocic has a lot of experience and is a solid interior offensive linemen. The Texans have a terrible offensive line and need to protect whoever ends up being their starting quarterback.
58. Seattle Seahawks- Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Jones tore his Achilles at his pro day, but is optimistic about his return to football. The Seahawks can bring him on slow and reap the rewards for years.
59. Kansas City Chiefs- Desmond King, CB/S, Iowa
The Chiefs could use a guy like King who can play multiple positions in the secondary. His best position will likely be safety, due to his good run support and lack of speed.
60. Dallas Cowboys- Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
McKinley has fallen down in mocks because of his shoulder injury, but he is a good pass rusher. He should be ready for training camp. The Cowboys have a desperate need for pass rushers and will love McKinley’s value.
61. Green Bay Packers- Marcus Williams, S, Utah
Green Bay doesn’t have much of a secondary. Williams can play beside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He is a safety with range, but isn’t the greatest tackler.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers- Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
Pittsburgh needs to get to the quarterback more often. James Harrison led the team in sacks last season and he is aging. Walker is good at rushing the passer and disrupts passes by sticking his hands up into the passing lane.
63. Atlanta Falcons- Pat Elflein, OG/C, Ohio State
The interior of the offensive line could use some upgrades for the Falcons. Elflein is versatile enough to fill in at multiple positions.
64. Carolina Panthers- Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU
Dupre didn’t have great quarterback play, but was productive at LSU. The Panthers need some wide receivers to step up for Cam Newton.
For more mock drafts: DC Pro Sports Report
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