Following my Top 5 picks article last week, I’m bringing you my first mock draft for the 2017 NFL Draft. And if you didn’t read my Top 5 picks article last week, why not? Read it, read it now, READ ALL MY ARTICLES!
As with last week I’m setting myself the rule that all picks must remain with the current team, I won’t be accounting for any possible trades. Now without further ado, let’s begin!
Note: The Vikings, who traded their first-round pick to the Eagles, have the same record and strength of schedule as the Colts, so there’s a tie for the 14th pick. A coin flip at a later date will determine which team picks first.
#1 Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, Defensive End
The best prospect in the draft goes 1st overall, that’s all that needs to be said on Cleveland taking Garrett here. He’ll give the Browns a premier talent on defence they crave and will definitely be a tone setter for them.
#2 San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback
A new General Manager and a new Head Coach, what comes next? A new franchise Quarterback. Trubisky should be a true leader for the team and assuming he does take the Head Coaches job, will fit Shanahan’s system well.
#3 Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle
Adding more strength and size to an up and coming defence in Chicago, Jonathan Allen will fit in perfectly with the defensive minded John Fox. He can play multiple positions and will cause a great deal of disruption for opposition offenses.
#4 Jacksonville Jaguars: Cam Robinson, Offensive Line
This may be a bit of a reach for Cam Robinson to go 4th overall but he is exactly what the Jaguars need. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them take the likes of Jamal Adams with the pick but they have drafted big on defence the past few seasons and need to sure up that O’ Line.
#5 Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver
A big need for the Titans is for them to find a true number 1 receiver to compliment the exotic smash-mouth offense they run and provide Marcus Mariota with a safety net. They have needs on the defensive side of the ball, but with the depth in this draft at cornerback they’ll tackle that later.
#6 New York Jets: Leonard Fournette, Running Back
The Jets here at the 6th pick were one of the more difficult picks to decipher. They have bigger needs on both sides of the ball, especially at Quarterback and they would be passing on some big talents by selecting Fournette. However he is a rare talent and could set this offense on fire.
#7 Los Angles Chargers: Malik Hooker, Safety
Malik Hooker is one of the top prospects in this draft and a real difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. Since they lost Eric Weedle in the last offseason they need to find a safety to replace him and they don’t come much better.
#8 Carolina Panthers: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Line
If Leonard Fournette isn’t picked up by the Jets, I think the Panthers select him here but with Fournette off the board and Cam Robinson selected by the Jaguars, they select Ramczyk to protect Cam Newton.
#9 Cincinnati Bengals: Soloman Thomas, Defensive End
The Bengals are a team in transition, especially on the defensive side of the ball and will want to bring in a top pass rushing talent as a priority. Thomas will be a great addition and give this team a real boost.
#10 Buffalo Bills: Corey Davies, Wide Receiver
Buffalo’s 1st round pick will depend a lot on what decision they make at Quarterback, however I can’t see them using an early draft pick with this class. They should focus their attention on adding more weapons to the offense that could loose a number of Wide Receiver’s in the offseason.
#11 New Orleans: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback
The Saints need to address the defence as soon as possible and Marshon Lattimore is a top 5 talent in this draft class that should be available fort them at 11. He has the potential to be a true shutdown corner in the NFL and make an immediate impact for New Orleans.
#12 Cleveland Browns: DeShaun Watson, Quarterback
If the likes of the Jets and the Bears decide to pass up on selecting a Quarterback then Watson has a good chance of falling to the Browns at 12 and what a 1st round that would be for Cleveland. They would have drafted the best overall talent and their franchise Quarterback in 1 round.
#13 Arizona Cardinals: Reuben Foster, Linebacker
Foster is a difference maker on defence, he has the potential to be a pro bowl caliber player early in his career. The Cardinals could decide to take a Wide Receiver if Davies or Williams fall this far but a talent like Foster will be too hard to turn down.
#14 Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, Running Back
Frank Gore isn’t getting any younger as the leader in the backfield for the Colts, despite another great season they need a replacement. Dalvin Cook is perhaps the best playmaking talent in this draft and not only will he be a great Running Back, he’ll be fantastic catching out of the backfield from Andrew Luck.
#14 Philadelphia Eagles: John Ross, Wide Receiver
John Ross at 14 overall might be a bit of a reach, however they desperately need to add some weapons for Carson Wentz on offense. The Eagles went big on Wentz last year and a talent like Ross will be a tremendous addition to boost this offense and team into play off contention.
#16 Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Adams, Safety
Jamal Adams doesn’t deserve to fall this low in the draft with the amount of talent he possesses and could go a lot higher to a team like the Chargers or Jaguars, however I think the Ravens will hit it big here. They really need a big playmaker in the secondary and he fits the bill perfectly.
#17 Washington Redskins: Derek Barnett, Defensive End
Derek Barnett posses the type of power and instinct that should allow him to be a great pass rush talent in the NFL and exactly what the Redskins need to compete in the NFC East.
#18 Tennessee Titans: Sidney Jones, Cornerback
As mentioned earlier, the Titans will need to address the defensive side of the ball in the draft. Whilst it was much improved this season, the defence was helped hugely by the strong running game keeping them off the field for long periods. Sidney Jones will be the type of talent to fit straight in as a number 1 cornerback in the NFL.
#19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoka, Tight End
The Buccaneers have been progressing brilliantly over the past couple of seasons and look poised to make a run to break into the play offs next season. In order to really challenge they will need to add someone to compliment Mike Evans in the passing game, David Njoka has the explosive playmaking ability to do just that.
#20 Denver Broncos: Forrest Lamp, Offensive Line
Offensive Line is the biggest need on this Denver Broncos team by some way and Forrest Lamp will strengthen them up in the trenches hugely. He should start out at Guard to acclimatise to the NFL but he’s played Tackle in college and could make the shift over after gaining the experience.
#21 Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton, Defensive End
Detroit will be looking to strengthen their pass rush in the draft, they were able to gloss over the weakness with some brilliant play on offense but they should go after Taco Charlton if he’s available. He’s a Michigan native and a great prospect so will be a perfect fit.
#22 Miami Dolphins: OJ Howard, Tight End
Hopefully for Miami, Ryan Tannehill will come back stronger following his injury at the end of the season and to give him the best chance they will need to add a safety blanket in the passing attack. OJ Howard is probably the most complete Tight End in draft and would be a fantastic addition who could be exactly what the Dolphins need.
#23 New York Giants: Alvin Kamara, Running Back
The Giants have needed to add a difference maker at Running Back for the past couple of seasons and Alvin Kamara has brilliant speed, size and instincts to be a premier talent in the NFL. He perhaps hasn’t proved he can be a workhouse back, which is why he’ll fall to the Giants but his skill set is probably the best of all backs in the draft.
#24 Oakland Raiders: Tre’Davious White, Cornerback
An aggressive and talented cornerback who is a top athlete is exactly what the Raiders will want find early in this draft. White fits the bill perfectly and I think he will continue to improve as a player and develop into a top Cornerback on a defence that is on the rise.
#25 Houston Texans: Garrett Boles, Offensive Line
A Quarterback will be a big temptation for the Texans in this draft however with the amount of money they have invested in Brock Osweiler, I think they will want to give him the best chance to succeed in his second year in the Houston offense. They already have the playmakers, so strengthening the offensive line will be the focus.
#26 Seattle Seahawks: Quincy Wilson, Cornerback
Quincy Wilson is a strong, physical Cornerback who will fit in with the style and swagger of the Legion of Boom. He’s great in the run game and being behind Richard Sherman in the depth chart will allow him to learn early in his career and develop into a top cornerback.
#27 Kansas City Chiefs: Jarrad Davies, Linebackers
The Chiefs need to start looking for a replacement for Johnson at Inside Linebacker and Jarrad Davies is a dominant run stopping Linebacker. He has some improvements to make in coverage but has the speed and athletic ability to develop.
#28 Dallas Cowboys: Takkarist McKinley, Defensive End
A dynamic edge rusher who is equally adept at playing stood up from linebacker or with his hand in the ground, his lack of ideal size if the reason he will drop to the Cowboys but he is exactly the type of playmaker they will be looking for. The pass rush stopped them going deeper in the play offs this year and McKinley should be one of the final pieces of the puzzle.
#29 Green Bay Packers: Teez Tabor, Cornerback
The defensive side of the ball was hugely hit by injuries this season but even with a full strength team, the Packers are short of top end quality in the secondary. Teez Tabor has excellent speed and plays brilliantly in off coverage, whilst he isn’t the most physical Cornerback he has true playmaking ability to force turnovers and make a difference.
#30 Pittsburgh Steelers: DeShone Kizer, Quarterback
Well here’s my big shock pick of the upcoming NFL draft! DeShone Kizer is a fantastic prospect, he has good athleticism, accuracy and arm strength but he is still raw and has some mechanical issues at times. The upside of Kizer’s talent may tempt a team such as the Jets, Texans or Bears to take him earlier and even if he is available here it’s unlikely the Steelers will take him over other needs on the team. However, the retirement talk from Big Ben (which nobody believes will happen any time soon) could push Pittsburgh to draft someone who can learn behind him for the next year or 2.
Kizer is a Quarterback built from the same mould as Roethlisberger with his ability and style of play, who could be the future of the franchise if given the time to sit and learn. It would be difficult for the Steelers to pick Kizer but I think it could be the best move for the long term success of the franchise.
#31 Atlanta Falcons: Jabrill Peppers, Safety
The Falcons are building a great young defence that has come on strong in the back half of the season, it is by no means the finished article but Dan Quinn has a clear vision and is putting it into affect with the athletic players he has drafted. Jabrill Peppers will fit the mould of this team in a big way with his outstanding athleticism, likely playing out of the free safety position which Atlanta need to strengthen.
#32 New England Patriots: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back
It’s been said by a number of analysts but I’ll reiterate the point, McCaffrey will fit in with Bill Bellicheck and the Patriots in a big way. He has been compared to LeVeon Bell with his patience out of the backfield and his versatility to line up all over will be what attracts Bellicheck to him most. With the advancing age of the likes of Legarrette Blount and Julian Edelman, they will see McCaffrey as a perfect replacement.