A lot has changed in the NFL since we published our first 2017 mock draft in December. The order for the first 29 picks is now finalized, and the final two picks will be determined by the result of Super Bowl LI this Sunday between the Patriots and Falcons.
As we dig deeper into more college film and teams finalize their head coaching and front office vacancies, our Mock Draft 2.0 looks a little different than version 1.0.
Which player will your favorite team select in the first round? Here is our second projection of the first round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
There’s reports surfacing about the Browns being interested in trading for Patriots back-up Jimmy Garoppolo. This could change the Browns drafting position in the draft, but I don’t imagine they’ll be giving up this pick for Jimmy G. This trade would allow them to draft Myles Garrett here who’s the clear #1 prospect in this draft and can give Cleveland a disruptive pass rusher for years to come.
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
This will more than likely be the most important pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. It could for two reasons. 1) Whoever the 49ers select at #2 will shape how the next few picks unfold. 2) There could be a few teams trying to trade up to #2 to pick the quarterback they’ve fallen in love with. This pick could change in future mocks because of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch’s future plans for the team. However, Jonathan Allen would be a solid pick for a team with a bunch of needs across the board.
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The Bears definitely have some options at #3 in the draft. Ryan Pace and company can select a quarterback, trade the pick, or select an obvious need on the defensive side of the ball. The safety position will be a major need this offseason, and the choice is between Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker. Yes, Adams might be the more athletic safety of the two, but Hooker’s ballskills might be needed more against quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Sam Bradford.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Just like the Bears, the Jaguars have a few options with the 4th overall pick this year. They could draft a game changer in Leonard Fournette, they could hit a need at safety with Jamal Adams, or they can help out their young QB by getting him some help on the offensive line. This could be seen as a reach, However, Ramczyk is a great pass blocker which is what the Jaguars need. After trading for Eli Manning in his first draft with the Giants, Tom Coughlin drafted an offensive tackle to protect his quarterback.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The one question for the Top 5 picks could be, “Which one of these picks could (or will) be traded?” If quarterbacks fall, the chances of a trade rises. Tennessee has two big positions they’ll need to hit in the 1st Round. They need a wide receiver and a cornerback. Although CB might be the higher need, the CB pool is deeper than the receiver pool this year. Williams came back from injury nicely in 2016 and helped Clemson win a National Championship in the process. Marcus Mariota needs help and a consistent deep ball threat on offense.
6. New York Jets
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Finally…Finally…FINALLY! A QB HAS BEEN TAKEN IN THIS MOCK DRAFT! In my last mock draft, I took a strong stance that I believed none of the quarterback should be drafted in the 1st round. However, we all know a QB will be taken in the 1st round. 1996 was the last year we had zero QB’s go in the first and we’ve averaged 2.65 QB’s since that draft. The Jets desperately need a quarterback (although they drafted Hackenberg last year). Because of that, there’s a chance Trubisky won’t get thrown into the fire with the Jets, but let’s be honest, he probably will.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Chargers need to help out Philip Rivers. The man cannot do it on his own anymore! Mike Williams would have been the best pick here at #7, but a top-tier OT in a shallower OT pool works. For me, Robinson’s main red flag is the incident which had him suspended this season. However, he has time to put that behind him and put his best foot forward. He’s mainly a run blocker, but has the talent to help this Charger passing attack as well.
8. Carolina Panthers
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The top need for the Panthers this draft will be offensive line, but any OT here would be a MAJOR reach with both Ramczyk and Robinson off the board. Pass rush is #2, but might be a reach as well. Jamal Adams is a Top 5 caliber pick who the Panthers are getting at 8th (I don’t think they’d be upset). Adams’ athleticism would be a huge boost for Carolina’s secondary. A prospect to watch here will be Solomon Thomas who’s been rising as of late.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
The Bengals are in a very similar boat as the Panthers when it comes to offensive tackles. However, Thomas is a player who can wreak havoc on the edge (another need for Cincy in the draft). He’s totaled over fifteen tackles-for-loss this season and eight sacks. Those sacks look good as Cincy only racked up 33 in 2016.
10. Buffalo Bills
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
This week on The Onside Kick, Mark and I discussed the possibility of the Bills trading up in the draft in order to take a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor might not be the long term answer at quarterback, but trading up might not be the best option. CB is a big need for Buffalo and there will be plenty of quality players to pick. Lattimore is an athletic cover corner with some big upside.
11. New Orleans Saints
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Matt Ryan. Cam Newton. Jameis Winston. The NFC South has its fair share of talented quarterbacks. Teez Tabor is a playmaking corner with great ballskills. He’s a CB who can take the ball away (and even take it to the house). The Saints need to grab one of these 1st round corners to combat the talent at quarterback within their own division.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Absolute dream pick for the Browns here at 12th overall. Obviously, Fournette has the talent and the skills to be the NBT (Next Big Thing) in the NFL. However, will his injuries come back to haunt him? As mentioned with the 1st overall pick, the Browns could be looking to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s still unclear what exactly the Patriots would ask for in return, but if Cleveland hangs on to this pick, what a way to give your new starting QB some help in the backfield.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
The Cardinals have three needs they could address at #13. They could draft a solid No. 2 CB to pair with Patrick Peterson, they could draft a QB to take over for veteran Carson Palmer, or they could draft a solid inside linebacker. Since Carson Palmer is officially still a Cardinal, LB is the biggest need Arizona must fill. Reuben Foster is an inside linebacker who can play sideline to sideline and shows tremendous skills in blitz packages.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
We could be in for a heavy cornerback 1st round when the 2017 NFL Draft rolls around! Marlon Humphrey is a CB with great size and speed for the position and has loads of potential. The Eagles looked improved with their highly draft young QB this past season. Now, they need to get some youth on defense and in the secondary.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
I completely agree with Colin Cowherd. The Colts need to focus on defense! As Colin mentioned, Andrew Luck is 25-0 when the Colts defense holds opponents to 19 or fewer points. Go get a playmaker? Takkarist McKinley is the playmaker on defense for the Colts. He’s agile and explosive on the outside and is exactly what team’s want in an edge rusher.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
Jabrill Peppers was a Top 5 draft pick in the first mock draft, but has fallen outside the Top 15. He did miss Michigan’s bowl game due to an injury which didn’t help his draft stock. However, he’s a skills and talented DB who will go somewhere in the first round. He can help a team against the run or cover receivers in the slot.
17. Washington Redskins
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Taco Charlton could be a prospect we see rise as the draft process continues. He came on the second half of the year, totaling ten sacks in his final ten games. The Redskins need defensive line help and would gladly take Charlton here in the draft. They need somebody to get after Prescott, Manning, and Wentz.
18. Tennessee Titans
Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Like I mentioned before, this will be a deep CB draft for the position. The Titans have two picks and two big needs. They need a receiver and a corner. I gave them Mike Williams at #5. Now, they need that CB! There’s a little Clemson connection between Williams and Tankersley. He had nine interceptions and helped Clemson get to and win the National Championship.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
On paper, Derek Barnett is insane. He’s racked up a total of 52 tackles-for-loss and 33 sacks in three years…IN THE SEC! WOW! Now, Todd McShay believes Barnett “isn’t expected to put up big numbers during workouts, which could cause him to fall a bit in between now and late April.” We’ll have to wait and see. Right now, he’s a solid pick at #19 that Tampa Bay can pair with Robert Ayers if William Gholston walks.
20. Denver Broncos
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Broncos really need offensive line help. The problem is that there just might not be any OLs worth taking this high in the draft. However, the team could need an upgrade from Virgil Green. Howard had a more impressive 2015 than 2016, but is still a solid 1st round selection. He’s a big, strong athlete who turned some heads at the senior bowl.
21. Detroit Lions
Charles Harris, OLB/DE, Missouri
The Lions could go one of three ways with this pick. They could take the best available pass rusher, select a cornerback, or select a linebacker. Why not take a pass rusher at the linebacker position? Harris might not be a finished prospect, but the Lions need to get after the QB. Except for the Bears right now, the Packers and Vikings have competent players at the quarterback position. Detroit needs to get to both Rodgers and Bradford. Although, Sidney Jones could be an option here.
22. Miami Dolphins
Jarrad Davis, OLB, Florida
Well, the Dolphins are moving on from Mario Williams this offseason. This means that the Dolphins could be looking at the DE position at #22 in the draft. However,Carl Lawson might be a bit of a reach at this point in the draft process. Jarrad Davis is a player who could fit in perfectly for Miami at the weak-side linebacker spot. He can also shift to the MLB spot if Kiko Alonso were to suffer another injury.
23. New York Giants
Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Remember when I said a lot has changed since my first mock draft? Well, Tim Williams is one of those biggest changes. With a misdemeanor gun charge on his resume, how far could he far this May? He’s a talented linebacker, but will a team feel he’s worth a 1st round pick? It will be interesting to see how the gun charge will affect Williams during the draft process.
24. Oakland Raiders
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Malik McDowell has been pegged the top DT this year early, but there are questions about his passion and toughness after this season. Oakland has a very good locker room behind head coach “Black Jack” Del Rio. If the Raiders feel their locker room could be a good environment to keep McDowell motivated, then he could be the stout defensive tackle they’re looking for.
25. Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Houston overpaid for Brock Osweiler…it’s that simple. Although I’m not the highest on either Watson or Trubisky, Watson could be worth it this late in the 1st round. Watson showed the good in his game against Alabama to win the National Championship. However, he’d been inconsistent overall this season. Houston could draft Watson and look to trade Osweiler either this offseason or next offseason.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
If the Raiders and Cowboys (and the Vikings on the flip side) proved anything this season, offensive line play is really important to success in the NFL. Seattle could use a young tackle to fill either of their offensive line spots for next season. Bolles is an athletic O-lineman who could rise above Cam Robinson as the draft process continues.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Wide receiver could definitely be an option here for Kansas City (especially if Corey Davis is on the board). However, the cornerback position needs an upgrade. Jones might have a smaller frame, but he makes up for it with his movement skills. If he adds some strength at the next level, he’ll be good-to-go!
28. Dallas Cowboys
Carl Lawson, OLB/DE, Auburn
The Cowboys have tried twice to sure up their DE spot, but have had no luck. Third time might be the charm! Lawson did not have the chance to impress scouts at the Senior Bowl which is why he’s lower in the draft. Dallas could definitely benefit from plugging him in on the outside.
29. Green Bay Packers
Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State
Some might be surprised with this pick. Packers fans might say, “What? We got Ty Montgomery in the backfield!” However, if Dalvin Cook falls to Green Bay at #29 this May, TAKE HIM! He’s a big time runner and can contribute in the passing attack as well. This way Montgomery can go back to playing receiver where Green Bay can use him in better ways.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Timmons and Harrison are both on the fence with free agency around the corner. Zach Cunningham is a three-down backer who Pittsburgh can place either on the inside or the outside of their linebacking corp. The Steelers could use a playmaker like Cunningham on their defense which cost them the AFC Title game.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
The Falcons have a foundation on defense. How do you build on that foundation? Draft pass rushers. Haason Reddick was another player who turned heads at the Senior Bowl and could help the Falcons out on defense right away.
32. New England Patriots
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Before everyone freaks out, this will most likely change in my 3.0. It depends on how Davis performs at the combine and runs the 40 at his Pro Day. If he runs a 4.4 40 yard dash, then he’s easily the top receiver in this draft. You don’t pass up speed in the draft especially at WR. Patriots could use a receiver here and would gladly take Corey Davis.