My final first round mock draft is basically my college basketball bracket and trust me, it will be busted in the first round like everyone else’s bracket. This is the mock draft where I predict how the first 32 picks will go, complete with trades, surprises and draft day sliders.
Last year was a much easier draft to predict because we knew who the first two picks were going to be and you had four or five elite players on the board after that. This year we think Myles Garrett will be the first pick, then we have a bunch of quarterback needy teams, some mediocre quarterback prospects and no obvious elite talents at the top of the draft. Players like Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen could go in the top 3 or fall out of the top 10.
2017 First Round Mock Draft- Prediction Edition
1st Overall, Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett Edge/Texas A&M- There has been some talk about the Browns taking a quarterback here, but Garrett is too good of an athlete and outside pass rusher to pass up on. Garrett joins a defense that is loaded with some pretty special athletes like Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins and Emmanuel Ogbah. Garrett really completes this front seven and will turn this defense into one of the best pass rushes in the league from day one.
***TRADE*** Cleveland trades up with San Francisco, 49ers also receive 33rd and 65th overall picks
2nd Overall, Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky QB/UNC- This trade is a win-win for both sides. I doubt the 49ers are in love with anyone second overall, so trading down 10 spots and getting the first pick of the second and third round is a great move for a roster that needs a ton of players.
The Browns get their quarterback and a local kid as well. Trubisky was only a one year wonder in college, but I saw enough on tape to validate him as a future franchise quarterback and I believe Cleveland will see the same. He reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers when he came out of California. Great thrower on the run, very accurate downfield and outstanding feet.
3rd Overall, Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen DL/Alabama- There has been a ton of talk about the Bears taking a quarterback here, but I really think it’s a smokescreen to make sure Allen falls to them at 3. He is exactly what this defense needs. They have upgraded their secondary and linebackers, but up front they need a ton of help. Allen is already a veteran of the 3-4 defense and should be ready to start Week 1.
4th Overall, Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette RB/LSU- I struggled with this pick a lot. I’ve heard rumors about them taking a corner here(I assume Ramsey moves to safety?) and I’ve seen plenty of mocks giving them a quarterback here. I went with Fournette here to take the pressure off both their quarterback and their defense. LF is an Adrian Peterson clone. Not a great receiver or a shifty back, but he’s powerful with breakaway speed.
5th Overall, Tennessee Titans: Gareon Conley CB/Ohio State- His college teammate Marshon Lattimore has gotten most of the hype this draft season, but I promise you that the league likes Conley a lot more. He’s not quite the athlete Lattimore is, but his footwork and instincts are miles ahead. Ohio State coaches gave him less help over the top and often let him cover the best receiver on the field and that should tell you all you need to know about his ability.
6th Overall, New York Jets: DeShaun Watson QB/Clemson- Watson has New York Jets quarterback written all over him. He was an overhyped college player with a lot of mechanical flaws. Just like Bryce Petty, Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg.
7th Overall, LA Chargers: Solomon Thomas DL/Stanford- The Chargers can put up a ton of points, but their defense can’t stop anyone right now. With Gus Bradley coming in to change this defense into more of a 4-3 under look, Thomas makes a ton of sense. He can play DE and DT, he can beat you with power and he can beat you with quickness.
8th Overall, Carolina Panthers: Jamal Adams S/LSU- The Panthers secondary completely fell apart once they let Josh Norman go. They can get a corner who can help in just about any round, but Adams really fits what they like from their safeties. He’s a box safety with the range to also play that centerfielder role.
9th Overall, Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross WR/Washington- The Bengals are close to taking that next step and finally winning a playoff game under head coach Marvin Lewis. They have their quarterback and their roster is solid, they just need someone on offense who can take the pressure off A.J. Green and open things up for the run game.
In comes John Ross and his 4.22 speed. He’s the ultimate deep threat and someone that will dictate defensive gameplans. His injury history will scare a ton of teams off, but the Bengals have been a franchise that is not afraid to gamble in the draft.
10th Overall, Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard TE/Alabama- The Bills aren’t going to win a Super Bowl with Tyrod Taylor, but they are really close to being a playoff team which is huge for a city that hasn’t seen a playoff game since the Music City Miracle. Howard is the type of prospect that can get them there in year one. His blocking will upgrade their run game and his athleticism, hands and route running will give them another weapon in the passing game.
11th Overall, New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett Edge/Tennessee- This was going to be Christian McCaffrey until the Saints started negotiating with Adrian Peterson. Because of that I would take running back off the table for the Saints in the first few rounds and I expect them to get some help on the defensive side of the ball.
Barnett is a pure edge rusher who took over several games in college by himself. I don’t care if you line him up as an outside linebacker or defensive end, he can dominate games coming off the edge.
12th Overall, San Francisco 49ers(via CLE): Christian McCaffrey RB/Stanford- This is a good first pick for new GM John Lynch. He gets a high character player who can make plays as a return man, a runner and a receiver. This doesn’t turn around the offense by itself, but it finally gives this offense someone that can create match-up nightmares. That’s what this offense has been really lacking since Vernon Davis came out of his prime and eventually left.
13th Overall, Arizona Cardinals: Corey Davis WR/Western Michigan- This franchise was developed into a contender thanks to the hands of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Boldin has since left and Fitzgerald is probably done after the 2017 season. John Brown has emerged as their deep threat, but they could use a receiver similar to Fitzgerald who can line up in the slot and on the outside and get first downs in a variety of ways.
I’m a huge Corey Davis fan. On tape I see the speed, short area quickness, superb route running ability and outstanding hands. In college he was always the focus of every defense, but here he comes in as maybe the third of fourth best player on offense.
***TRADE*** Kansas City trades up with Philadelphia who receives the 27th and 59th overall picks
14th Overall, Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes QB/Texas Tech- With O.J. Howard, Gareon Conley, Christian McCaffrey and Corey Davis all off the board I see the Eagles moving back and KC is the perfect trade partner. They need a quarterback for the future badly and if they can get one this year and get him ready to start next season, they can save $17 mil in cap space in 2018.
Mahomes is an inconsistent quarterback with an absolute canon for an arm. Andy Reid has developed two of those into franchise quarterbacks(McNabb, Vick) so this is an ideal fit for both.
15th Overall, Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick OLB/Temple- Reddick is a really intriguing player that really needs to find his fit in a 3-4 defense. He doesn’t have the size to be a base 4-3 end and he doesn’t have the skillset to be a non-rush linebacker either, but if you let him attack in space I think he can be really dynamic edge rusher.
***TRADE*** Dallas Cowboys trade up with Baltimore, Ravens receive an extra second round pick from Dallas
16th Overall, Dallas Cowboys: Marshon Lattimore CB/Ohio State- Lattimore falling here, which is a very realistic possibility, will be too good for Dallas not to move up for. They love speedy corners and Lattimore has a ton of speed. His technique needs a ton of work, but physically he is the most gifted corner in this class.
17th Overall, Washington Redskins: Malik Hooker S/Ohio State- This is strictly best player available here. Hooker falls because three quarterbacks go early and some team is going to get a player at Hooker’s caliber outside of the top 10.
18th Overall, Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams WR/Clemson- The Titans need help at wide receiver and corner and according to their board, they get the best at both spots thanks in large part to Jared Goff.
19th Overall, Tampa Bay Bucs: Dalvin Cook RB/FSU- Cook should be sending flowers to Tampa Bay every single day leading up to the draft. This is his only change of getting selected in the first round. I do love the fit here though. He gets reunited with his college quarterback from two years ago, the offense is already loaded around him and he stays in his home state.
20th Overall, Denver Broncos: Garrett Bolles OT/Utah- I’m not big on taking a need pick in the first round, but Denver absolutely has to take a offensive tackle in the first round. They are a contender, they don’t have the cap space in the upcoming years to sign a left tackle, but they badly need one. Bolles is a nasty tackle with almost Lane Johnson like athleticism. In a division with Justin Houston and Khalil Mack, this pick is a no-brainer.
21st Overall, Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton DE/Michigan- The Lions can go any number of ways with this pick. Their a legit playoff team as they proved last season, but with a short window. They need a player who can come right in and make an immediate impact. Charlton is a powerful defensive end with a ton of length who will compliment Ezekiel Ansah very well. They could use an upgrade at running back or wide receiver, but you can never have too many quality pass rushers.
22nd Overall, Miami Dolphins: Forest Lamp OG/Western Kentucky- This might be a bit of a reach, but you get a really good athlete at guard you can put next to left tackle Laremy Tunsil or the next decade.
23rd Overall, New York Giants: David Njoku TE/Miami- The Giants are in the market for a quarterback to eventually replace Eli Manning, but I doubt they do so by trading up. They’ll probably take someone like Brad Kaaya or Josh Dobbs later in the draft, but for now they get another athletic freak at wide receiver to attack an NFC East division that is loaded with really awful secondaries.
24th Overall, Oakland Raiders: Kevin King CB/Washington- King is a bit of a project at corner, but one worth taking on. He’s 6’3, 200 pounds, he has a 40 inch vertical and his 3-cone was just as quick as Christian McCaffrey’s which is ridiculous for someone at that length.
25th Overall, Houston Texans: Deshone Kizer QB/Notre Dame- Kizer won’t be Bill O’Brien’s first choice at quarterback, but he does get last year’s first round pick Will Fuller’s former quarterback, which is a huge plus. He’s a raw passer with a huge arm, which is nothing new for O’Brien if you followed what he did at Penn State with Christian Hackenberg.
26th Overall, Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson OT/Alabama- Robinson has Tom Cable offensive lineman written all over him. He’s a physical beast in the run game and he can play either tackle or guard spot. Offensive line depth killed them in the playoffs last year, but Robinson should help fix that issue right away. I don’t think he has the ceiling that Bolles has, but he’s probably more pro ready and definitely more versatile in terms of the positions he can play.
27th Overall, Philadelphia Eagles(via KC): Adoree Jackson CB/USC- If you read my last Eagles mock then you already have read my thoughts on this pick. If not, let me break it down again. Jackson is an elite athlete who loves the physical aspects of the position as well. He needs improvement with his ability as a press corner and in zone coverage, but he fits the type of corner that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes-fast and physical.
28th Overall, Baltimore Ravens(via DAL): Jabrill Peppers S/Michigan- Forget about the tweener label, Peppers is going to be a really good safety in this league. He can cover in the slot, protect the back end and is an outstanding blitzer. His diluted urine test from the combine might scare some teams off, but keep in mind he didn’t test positive for a drug, it was just diluted. So basically he just drank too much water on a day where he was trying to avoid cramping up. While other teams are overreacting I see Ozzie Newsome taking advantage of yet another great player sliding in the first round.
29th Overall, Green Bay Packers: Reuben Foster LB/Alabama- This is a great fit for both parties here. Foster has some attitude issues that will bother a lot of teams, but Green Bay can use Clay Matthews as a mentor to Foster here, and in the 3-4 defense Foster gets to do less shedding and more chasing sideline to sideline which is what he did in college.
30th Overall, Pittsburgh Steelers: Davis Webb QB/California- This is a total reach pick here, but after Ben Roethlisberger’s near retirement scare and the poor play from backup Landry Jones I believe Pittsburgh has to draft a quarterback early. Webb comes from that gimmicky air raid offense in college, but he showed a ton of progression at the Senior Bowl last January. The great thing about Webb here is that he doesn’t have to start until Big Ben retires, which I believe won’t be until 2019 at the earliest.
31st Overall, Atlanta Falcons: Charles Harris DE/Missouri- Harris is getting projected by a lot of people as a top 15 pick, but he’s probably a little too raw and his combine numbers will also push him down a little bit. He comes to a great situation here playing alongside Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett on the defensive line. He’ll get a lot of one-on-one match-ups in space which will allow him to demonstrate that devastating spin move he has developed.
32nd Overall, New Orleans Saints: Tre’Davious White CB/LSU- The Saints cornerbacks were among the worst in the league last season and it’s something they need to address if they want to get the most out of new free agent Adrian Peterson and their other first round pick Derek Barnett. I also think they have to take a corner here because that early portion of the second round is going to have a major run on corners.