2017 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

There’s one more game left in the college football season, while the NFL has now moved onto the playoffs. This means that for most NFL squads, the focus has now shifted onto draft season. It also means that more prospects have declared their intention to either enter the NFL draft or stay for one more year in college. The draft order from #1 – #20 has officially been set, with the remaining order from #21 – #32 to be determined following the playoffs. Also, for the first time, I’ve added a mock draft of the second round in case a player you like wasn’t featured in the first. Has the mock draft dramatically changed this time? Only one way to find out:

1ST ROUND

1) Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DL Jonathan Allen (Alabama)

Cleveland is desperate for a quarterback but they can use their second first-round pick to get their man. For now, the Browns need to take the best player in this draft and Garrett is a rare talent. He wrapped up his stellar three-year college career at Texas A&M with 32.5 sacks and 48.5 tackles for loss. Jonathan Allen out of Alabama would’ve been a nice fit here also but apparently the Browns have an “astronomical” grade on Garrett. Some people also feel that Garrett is a better prospect than Jadeveon Clowney and Joey Bosa.

2) San Francisco 49ers – QB Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)

If the Browns somehow don’t pick Garrett, then I wouldn’t blame the 49ers for going for him. But the main focus should be finding a franchise quarterback, especially with all three quarterbacks on the 49ers’ roster set to hit free agency. General manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly were both fired this past week and whoever comes in to take over needs to find a cornerstone for this Niners franchise. The 6’3, 220-pound Mitch Trubisky has the accuracy, quick decision-making and tools to excite fans, but some people will be worried after he was only a starter for one year at North Carolina. Trubisky isn’t as good as Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were last year, but he’s the safest pick at quarterback in this draft and a solid start to a fresh rebuild in San Francisco.

3) Chicago Bears – DE Jonathan Allen (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: QB Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)

Allen isn’t Chicago’s biggest need, but he’s too talented to pass up at #3. Head coach John Fox is a great defensive mind and will look to start re-building the Bears defense. The 6’3, 292-pound Allen is a great defensive cornerstone who can either fill in as a 4-3 defensive tackle or a 3-4 defensive end. His versatility along the defensive line gives Fox many intriguing options and ways to utilise him. Alabama’s leader on defense has set the tone in every game and is a major reason why the Crimson Tide are currently undefeated. Allen is stout against the run and a proven pass rusher, recording 19 sacks in 26 games.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)

With Blake Bortles struggling in 2016 and the Jaguars set to bring in a new head coach, that coach should focus on establishing a strong run game to take the pressure off Bortles. Dalvin Cook is neck-and-neck with Leonard Fournette as the top running back in this class, but Cook is the pick here due to Jacksonville’s tendency to pick in-state college stars as top draft picks e.g. Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Dante Fowler Jr (Florida) and Jalen Ramsey (Florida State). Cook is also more versatile as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, giving Bortles an extra option to throw to.

5) Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) – WR Mike Williams (Clemson)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: WR Mike Williams (Clemson)

The cornerback class is the deepest in years so the Titans can draft a corner later in the first round. For now, Marcus Mariota needs a #1 receiving threat and Williams is the top receiver in this class. The 6’3, 225-pound Williams is a talented route-runner and uses his frame to snag passes high, low or outside, something big receivers usually cannot accomplish.

6) New York Jets – QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: S Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)

The muddled quarterback situation at the Jets makes the position a huge need and could lead to them reaching for Clemson star Deshaun Watson. Although Mitch Trubisky is the safest option, Watson is the most pro-ready. His accuracy and mobility can carve defenses and as he’s shown throughout his entire college career, he comes up clutch when it matters most. Some of the concerns with Watson is that he’s thrown 28 interceptions since the start of last season, the most in the FBS. He’s the most polarizing player in this draft, with some feeling that he will have a Teddy Bridgewater-like fall on draft day, but he’s a talent that Jets may feel will fix their offensive issues.

7) San Diego Chargers – OT Cam Robinson (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: WR John Ross (Washington)

San Diego wouldn’t be afraid to go after Robinson despite his off-field issues. On the field, the Chargers need to protect Phillip Rivers and help open up gaps for Melvin Gordon. Take away the off-field issues and Robinson is the top tackle in this weak class. He’s an immediate upgrade over current starters King Dunlap and Joe Barksdale.

8) Carolina Panthers – RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: CB Quincy Wilson (Florida)

Other than their secondary, one of the reasons the Panthers struggled to get going was their run game, with Jonathan Stewart struggling to stay on the field. And while you could say the same for Fournette during his final year at LSU, his decision to not play in the Tigers’ bowl game was the best one he could’ve made for his professional career. Fournette is one of the best running back prospects this year with comparisons to Adrian Peterson. He’s strong enough to run over defenders and gain extra yards, while also being quick enough to make cuts and make defenders miss. The idea of Cam Newton and Leonard Fournette dominating the NFC South over the next 10 years is a scary thought.

9) Cincinnati Bengals – DE Derek Barnett (Tennessee)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: LB Reuben Foster (Alabama)

The Bengals are starting to get old along the defensive line and there’s been a lack of production from the pass rushers, with Carlos Dunlap the only one really getting to the quarterback. They should fix this issue by drafting Derek Barnett, who recently became Tennessee’s all-time leader in sacks. His high production and athleticism to get around the corner and into the backfield makes him an intriguing option for Cincinnati.

10) Buffalo Bills – CB Quincy Wilson (Florida)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DL Malik McDowell (Michigan State)

Stephon Gilmore has been the Bills’ top cornerback over the past couple of years, but was terrible in 2016. He will become a free agent, giving the Bills a huge decision over what to do with him. Regardless of what happens with him, drafting a cornerback her would help bulk up their secondary and why not get the best corner in this draft? Wilson is big (6’1), long and a plamaker. He can win against receivers with his hands at the line of scrimmage and has the speed to cover and make quick transitions.

11) New Orleans Saints – LB Reuben Foster (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: CB Jalen Tabor (Florida)

Cornerback is a huge need for New Orleans, but again the corner class is too deep this year so they can get one in the second round. Instead, they need to focus on the linebacker position, where James Laurinaitis hasn’t been getting it done for the Saints. Reuben Foster is a top-10 talent and the top linebacker in this class. Foster has top-end speed to mow down running backs, the power to knock defenders into oblivion and the instincts to make plays defending the pass. Foster becomes an immediate upgrade over Laurinaitis.

12) Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – QB DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

With their second pick in the first round, the Browns draft their franchise quarterback in DeShone Kizer. Kizer has been up and down all season for a struggling Notre Dame side, but he has displayed the size, mobility, arm strength, ball placement and football IQ that will make him an NFL starter. Garrett and Kizer can become franchise cornerstones and can turn the table for the Browns.

13) Arizona Cardinals – S Jamal Adams (LSU)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: QB DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame)

It’s highly unlikely that Adams will fall out of the top 10, but due to other teams’ needs he falls to #13 in this mock draft. Adams is a top 5 talent and can replace Tony Jefferson if he pursues free agency. His ceiling is Sean Taylor, with the ability to come downhill and stop the run or roam in the centre of the field to cover slot receivers and tight ends. He’s a physical player who can win with his hands at the line of scrimmage.

14) Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) – WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State)

Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor have struggled to get wide open and haul in passes, which means the Eagles should get someone who can do just that. Davis is the top route-runner in this wide receiver class, with his ability to break off routes and get open with his feet impressing many people. His fancy footwork, combined with a powerful physique and playmaking ability is a key reason why Western Michigan went 13-1 this season and despite the level of competition he’s faced, Davis has proven that he’s just as good as the top receivers in this class.

15) Indianapolis Colts – OLB Tim Williams (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)

With Robert Mathis retiring, the Colts need to find his replacement and Tim Williams is the suitable option here. He can be unleashed as a speedy pass rusher with a high level of production and good athleticism. His hands, speed and length are top-10 worthy.

16) Baltimore Ravens – OLB Ryan Anderson (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: OLB Tim Williams (Alabama)

Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumevill nearing the end of their careers, Ryan Anderson comes in as their replacement. Anderson should solely be used as a pass rusher, and his coverage skills aren’t that great. But he is a tough, physical and relentless pass rusher who can bring the heat as a tackler and can close the gap on the run.

17) Washington Redskins – DL Montravius Adams (Auburn)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)

Adams is a big, strong and super-athletic defensive lineman who will most likely come in to play defensive tackle on this Washington D-line. He’s the most underrated defender in this class and this year, was highly productive in an Auburn system that allowed him to play anywhere along the line.

18) Tennessee Titans – CB Jalen Tabor (Florida)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: S Jamal Adams (LSU)

They found a target for Marcus Mariota with their first pick and now the Titans can address their secondary issues. Tabor is a physical, fiery and athletic corner who has the speed to contain receivers and the instincts to jump routes. Despite his off-field issues, his talent and production outweighs this and should be an overbearing issue come draft day.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: CB Sidney Jones IV (Washington)

Early in draft season, Jabrill Peppers’ versatility made him a likeable prospect. Fast forward to today and many are concerned over what position Peppers will play in the NFL. Add to that his lack of not grabbing many interceptions (just one in his college career) and there is reason to worry. However, Peppers’ most likely position at the next level is at safety and therefore he becomes an immediate upgrade over both safeties at Tampa Bay, who are two of the least athletic safeties in the league.

20) Denver Broncos – OT Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: OG Dan Feeney (Indiana)

Denver’s defense is set for another Super Bowl run. Denver’s offensive line is not. They need to be able to protect Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch over the next few years and drafting Ramczyk, who some feel is a better prospect than Cam Robinson, should do the trick. The 6’6, 314-pound Ramczyk, who was a transfer from D-III UW Stevens Point, is a long and agile tackle who can fit in from day one.

21) Detroit Lions – DL Malik McDowell (Michigan State)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DE Dawuane Smoot (Illinois)

McDowell is a versatile defensive line-man who can be paired on the inside with A’Shawn Robinson and also be a nice compliment for Ziggy Ansah on the outside. The Lions are in need of another pass rusher and have struggled ever since Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh left town.

22) Miami Dolphins – DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama)

Thomas’ stock has skyrocketed following an Aaron Donald-type display in Stanford’s bowl game. The Dolphins need to continue to build a strong defensive line in order to take down Tom Brady and keep up with the Patriots in the AFC East. Cameron Wake is a free agent after this season and if he leaves, Thomas can fill his spot. If Wake re-signs, Thomas can still rotate around as a pass rusher.

23) New York Giants – RB D’Onta Foreman (Texas)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: LB Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt)

The Giants’ defense has become a force to be reckoned with and it’s also exposed the offense for it’s inability to score. A huge reason for this is the lack of a running game. Rashad Jennings is not the answer in New York, while Paul Perkins hasn’t been given enough opportunities. The G-Men can fix this by drafting Foreman, who had a strong college campaign and he reminds many people of Marshawn Lynch with his style of running.

24) Oakland Raiders – LB Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: LB Jarrad Davis (Florida)

The explosive offense of the Raiders has propelled them into the playoffs, but in order to stay that way for years to come, they need to build a stronger defense. Cunningham is a high-end talent with the length and smarts to fill in at middle linebacker. His injection into the lineup gives the Raiders the most athletic linebacking corps in the NFL, along with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.

25) Seattle Seahawks – DT Caleb Brantley (Florida)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: OT Cam Robinson (Alabama)

There’s no offensive line-man worthy of a pick at this stage in the draft, so the focus for the Seahawks becomes the defensive line. Brantley has had a quietly solid season for Florida and putting him in Seattle along with Michael Bennett and Frank Clark creates a formidable line. Brantley is a natural pass rusher from the 3-technique position and has the strength to stop the run.

26) Houston Texans – LB Jarrad Davis (Florida)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DT Caleb Brantley (Florida)

The Texans need to get stronger in the middle of the defense and Davis is a suitable fit at middle linebacker. His insertion into the team helps anchor the defense along with Benardrick McKinney and Brian Cushing. Cushing may end up leaving during free agency anyway, meaning Davis can slot right in. Davis can run from end to end and has great coverage skills in the middle of the field.

27) Green Bay Packers – TE OJ Howard (Alabama)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DE Derek Barnett (Tennessee)

There’s been a lack of production from the receivers in Green Bay, especially with the tight ends. Howard came up big in the 2016 National Championship game and is the top tight end prospect in a deep class. He can give Aaron Rodgers a new target to rely on.

28) Pittsburgh Steelers – DE Carl Lawson (Auburn)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: LB Ryan Anderson (Alabama)

With Jarvis Jones, Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison all set to become free agents, the Steelers will need to find a new pass rusher and Lawson can be that guy. Lawson has the athleticism and speed off the edge to get to the quarterback.

29) Atlanta Falcons – DE DeMarcus Walker (Florida State)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DE Carl Lawson (Auburn)

Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks this season without much help on the defensive line. At 6’2, 273 pounds, Walker can compliment Beasley on the outside or even play on the inside with Tyson Jackson and Jonathan Babineaux possibly leaving after this season. Despite Florida State’s struggles, Walker’s play stayed consistent throughout the season. He has a high level of production and the speed and power to disrupt the backfield.

30) Kansas City Chiefs – CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan)

The Chiefs make a living out of drafting impact players once they fall into their laps and this year, Gareon Conley seems to be that pick for them. Conley is one of the top cornerbacks in this draft and rates better than last year’s Buckeye corner Eli Apple. He has great ball skills and instincts, as well as the speed and hips to keep up with receivers. Add Conley to a secondary containing Marcus Peters and possibly Eric Berry is he re-signs, and the Chiefs have one of the scariest defenses in the league.

31) New England Patriots – DE/OLB Charles Harris (Missouri)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DL DeMarcus Walker (Florida State)

The Patriots traded away two pass rushers in Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins. Therefore, a replacement is needed and Charles Harris seems to be a nice fit. Harris is a versatile player with a great motor and his high work ethic will make him popular with Bill Belichick.

32) Dallas Cowboys – CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)

3.0 DRAFT PICK: DE Charles Harris (Missouri)

The strong offensive display this season by the Cowboys has hidden the fact that their secondary isn’t that great. Add in Marshon Lattimore, who has the size and quickness to be a lockdown corner in Dallas.

 

2ND ROUND

33) Cleveland Browns – CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama)

34) San Francisco 49ers – WR John Ross (Washington)

35) Chicago Bears – QB Brad Kaaya (Miami)

36) Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Harold Landry (Boston College)

37) Los Angeles Rams – OG Dan Feeney (Indiana)

38) New York Jets – RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)

39) San Diego Chargers – S Malik Hooker (Ohio State)

40) Carolina Panthers – CB Sidney Jones IV (Washington)

41) Cincinnati Bengals – LB Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State)

42) Buffalo Bills – S Budda Baker (Washington)

43) New Orleans Saints – QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)

44) Philadelphia Eagles – CB Desmond King (Iowa)

45) Arizona Cardinals – WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (USC)

46) Minnesota Vikings – OT Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky)

47) Indianapolis Colts – DE/OLB Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)

48) Baltimore Ravens – CB Cordea Tankersley (Clemson)

49) Washington Redskins – LB Anthony Walker (Northwestern)

50) Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee Titans) – S Justin Evans (Texas A&M)

51) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Vita Vea (Washington)

52) Denver Broncos – TE Bucky Hodges (Virginia Tech)

53) Detroit Lions – CB Jourdan Lewis (Michigan)

54) Miami Dolphins – TE Jordan Leggett (Clemson)

55) New York Giants – OT Roderick Johnson (Florida State)

56) Oakland Raiders – CB Adoree Jackson (USC)

57) Seattle Seahawks – C/OG Pat Elfein (Ohio State)

58) Houston Texans – DT Carlos Watkins (Clemson)

59) Green Bay Packers – RB Jamaal Williams (BYU)

60) Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Zach Banner (USC)

61) Atlanta Falcons – S Marcus Williams (Utah)

62) Kansas City Chiefs – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)

63) New England Patriots – DE Dawuane Smoot (Illinois)

64) Dallas Cowboys – TE David Njoku (Miami)

 

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