The last two seasons, we’ve seen quarterbacks go one-two atop the NFL Draft, including last year’s mega-trade ups for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles to secure their top passers. While this year’s quarterback class doesn’t yet have a perceived “franchise savior,” now is when teams start to decide which quarterback is atop their board and whether they want to invest a high draft pick in one.
In this Mock Draft, we see a team make a bold move to secure a top quarterback, while Ohio State, Alabama and LSU dominate the top-half of round one, and we introduce prospects that should be on your radar as we kick off NFL Draft Season.
1. Buffalo Bills (TRADE) – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Last year, the top two picks in the draft were acquired after teams moved up to secure that team’s franchise quarterback. While it seems to have worked out for one (the Eagles’ Carson Wentz) and maybe not the other (the Rams’ Jared Goff), I wouldn’t be surprised if a team made the move up for a passer this year. The Bills and Mitch Trubisky may be a fit.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Myles Garrett should be the first non-quarterback drafted, and deservedly so. The 49ers don’t have a glaring need at pass rusher, but for a team with a ton of needs, adding the top talent is a plus.
3. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
The Bears would like Trubisky, and will be in the market for a quarterback with Jay Cutler likely on the way out in Chicago. The team needs help at both defensive end and defensive tackle, and Allen can start to provide young leadership on a veteran-laden defense.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars- Malik Hooker, SAF, Ohio State
The Jaguars could look at an offensive centerpiece (quarterback or running back) with the fourth overall pick, but most signs point to defense being the pick. Malik Hooker can provide a center fielder for the defense and only help Jalen Ramsey further.
Marshon Lattimore doing what this Ohio State secondary does best. pic.twitter.com/wd1vK2NlIE
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2016
5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Titans will need to add a receiver and defensive back with their first two picks, and I would guess that the order would be safety/cornerback at pick five before they pick again in the middle of round one. Lattimore (our top cornerback) or Jamal Adams (our top strong safety) would both be great options.
6. New York Jets – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
This is probably O.J. Howard’s ceiling as a prospect, but it’s certainly in the realm of possibility. They’ll be adding a new quarterback this offseason, and their talent at running back and receiver isn’t enough. Howard should test well at the NFL Scouting Combine and has remarkably high character.
7. San Diego Chargers – Jamal Adams, SAF, LSU
Injuries and late-game failures once again doomed a fairly talented San Diego team, and they don’t have many glaring needs. Nose tackle, offensive line and safety are probably their feature needs, and Jamal Adams is the best value at those positions.
8. Carolina Panthers – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The Panthers may value the running back position more than any other team in the NFL, and Fournette fits the type of elite talent that their GM covets. O.J. Howard could be in the mix as well.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Linebacker is by far the Bengals’ biggest need, but it’s not their only one. They could look to add to the offense, potentially another running back, but Foster would be a safe, slam dunk first-rounder for a team not far away from a playoff return.
10. Cleveland Browns (TRADE) – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Browns moved from second overall down to the early teens last year, and I wouldn’t put it past them to do it again, especially if they can get a 2018 first-rounder and at least one more top-three round pick in 2017. They can add Cam Robinson to potentially replace Joe Thomas down the line. He should fit their analytic and experience metrics.
11. New Orleans Saints – Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
New Orleans could use help across the defense, and they’ll likely once again take the best defender available. Cornerback is especially a need, and Tabor is in the mix for the top cornerback in the 2017 draft.
12. Cleveland (via PHI) – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Thomas has awesome upside, but this may be his ceiling as a draft pick. For all of his flashes, he still has plenty of work to do before he’s an NFL starter and impact rusher. Cleveland isn’t in a rush with their draft picks and I’d expect them to go offensive and defensive line with their two first-rounders.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The Cardinals need a quarterback to replace Carson Palmer, and Bruce Arians values arm talent most in a passer. Mahomes is a first-round worthy passer and will be taken in the top-40 picks.
14. Indianapolis Colts – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Indianapolis added two offensive lineman in last year’s draft, but with new GM Chris Ballard in the mix, I don’t expect him to rock the boat with his first-rounder this year. Adding another offensive lineman is safe and will help protect Andrew Luck moving forward.
8 plays from Mike Williams (via Deshaun Watson) pic.twitter.com/eHyw23qzs0
— Seldom Used Reserve (@seldomusedrsrv) February 14, 2017
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN) – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
If they have a cornerback valued as a worthwhile top-20 pick, I believe the Eagles take one over a receiver at 15. But if they do go receiver, Mike Williams may be a better option to play outside of Jordan Mathews than Corey Davis would be. Williams won’t be a first-round prospect for every team, however.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Ravens haven’t seen prime Breshad Perriman yet, and may still be bullish that he’s a number one receiver. But if not, they need to find someone to take over for Steve Smith in the offense. Corey Davis can certainly be that.
17. Washington Redskins – Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Redskins should look to upgrade the middle part of their defense, whether that is at defensive tackle or inside linebacker. Cunningham is a well-built and very aggressive interior defender and could emerge as a leader for the Redskins defense.
18. Tennessee Titans – John Ross, WR, Washington
As they look for receiver help, I’d expect the Titans to value vertical threats like John Ross more than possession or all-around receivers. Ross is first-round value and has similarities to Odell Beckham Jr. out of college.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
Bolles is our top offensive tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft and could go as high as the top-10. The Bucs have invested in offensive linemen in recent drafts, but should look to complete their offense with an offensive tackle and receiver early in the 2017 class.
Check Out The Official Highlights of Mami's Freakish Tight End David Njoku!!! pic.twitter.com/LayYmKjnoA
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 2, 2017
20. Denver Broncos – David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)
Denver has seen their best offensive success with tight ends as a key part of the offense, and they need to upgrade with the position with Paxton Lynch set to take over the offense. Njoku will be a name to know entering the NFL Scouting Combine in a few weeks.
21. Detroit Lions – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
The Lions will be considering tight ends in the 2017 NFL Draft, but they likely won’t reach for one in such a deep class. Instead, they’ll look to improve their defense further, especially at defensive end. Barnett is a top-20 prospect who doesn’t have a ton of support from teams, but is a relatively safe option.
22. Miami Dolphins – Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
Finding a home for Jabrill Peppers isn’t easy, as he’s a true ‘tweener prospect who may be valued as a safety or linebacker depending on the team but won’t be an obvious starter at either spot. The Dolphins are open to a hybrid defense, and he can offer weakside linebacker value immediately.
23. New York Giants – D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
The Giants will be looking to Paul Perkins to take over the mantle as a key offensive player next year, but he’s not an every-down back. Foreman reminds of Jamal Lewis as a prospect and can give this team a great 1-2 punch and the opportunity to move on from Rashad Jennings.
24. Oakland Raiders – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
If the Raiders can find a way to get Dalvin Cook, a perfect fit for their offense, they could have the 2017 version of an Ezekiel Elliott rushing attack. The Raiders don’t have a ton of needs outside of cornerback and pass-rusher, both of which are deep this year.
25. Houston Texans – Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
Whether or not the Texans are in the quarterback market on draft day will be fascinating to follow, but as of right now I don’t think they will be. Instead, look for the Texans to bolster their offensive line and defensive secondary with early-round draft picks and see if they can reach the playoffs again with a lackluster quarterback.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
Seattle is relying on George Fant to be their left tackle after he didn’t play the position (or meaningful football, really) during his time at Western Kentucky. They need to continue to add to their offensive line, and Garcia is the only offensive tackle worth a first-round pick after Cam Robinson, Garrett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
NFL teams like Deshaun Watson, but they need to be sure about whether they want to invest a high draft pick in him. Those questions will likely be answered at the NFL Scouting Combine. That said, whether it’s the Chiefs, Browns, or 49ers, I don’t think he gets outside the top-27.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
There’s an outside chance the Cowboys will consider a receiver at this spot, but most likely, they’ll look to bolster their defensive line or defensive back spots. Some view Wilson as on the same tier, if not better, than his cornerback teammate Jalen Tabor.
Jordan Willis is Top 50 player in this draft IMO.. Good first step and uses hands to win! Decent athlete and plays hard in both run/pass.. pic.twitter.com/3yPKJSwX5q
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 10, 2017
29. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Willis, OLB, Kansas State
Willis is a name to know now before the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, as he’s set to emerge as a legitimate first-round prospect afterwards. The Packers don’t have a great need at pass-rusher, but they’ve always been proactive about adding to their edge rushing (and offensive line) spots regardless of immediate need.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
A sleeper first-round prospect. Bowser is one of my favorites in the 2017 NFL Draft and his versatility and pass-rushing flashes at Houston merit consideration here. The Steelers value versatile and coverage-capable edge players, which describes Bowser perfectly.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
Atlanta’s nickel cornerback play really hurt them in the Super Bowl and they could use added defensive back depth with three great quarterbacks in-division. Jackson can add a new dynamic to the secondary and the special teams unit.
32. New England Patriots – Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Finding a first-round home for Malik McDowell, the ultra-talented but highly character-concerning defensive tackle, is becoming harder and harder. His skill set merits top-10 consideration, and like Robert Nkemdiche a year ago, I don’t think he slides out of round one because of it.
33. Cleveland Browns – DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
The Browns will likely add a quarterback in the first three rounds, and getting DeShone Kizer or Deshaun Watson may be their preferred move. Watson may be their trade-up candidate, while Kizer is more of an overall wildcard.
34. San Francisco 49ers – Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
Jimmy Garoppolo will likely be a 49er or a Bear. I’d lead 49ers, but regardless if they add him or not, they’ll need receiver reinforcements. It’s the worst position group on the roster.
35. Chicago Bears – Justin Evans, SAF, Texas A&M
Evans is likely to go in round one, as he’s a top-end athlete with dual-safety value. Once/if the Bears add a quarterback, defensive line and defensive back will be their focuses.
36. Jacksonville Jaguars – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
T.J. Yeldon hasn’t worked out as a feature back and Chris Ivory can’t be relied upon long-term. McCaffrey gives this team an added dimension and potentially a feature running back.
37. Los Angeles Rams – Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
Even after adding multiple offensive linemen over the years, the Rams still need help. Les Snead’s job depends on keeping Jared Goff in position to succeed.
38. New York Jets – Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
White is considered a top (or even THE top) cornerback by some evaluators. He could go a lot higher. The Jets desperately need cornerback replacements for Darrelle Revis.
39. Los Angeles Chargers – Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA
San Diego doesn’t have a glaring need at pass rusher, but in such a loaded class, they’d be wise to stock up. Getting an LA rusher is an added plus.
40. Carolina Panthers – Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Carolina wants to get back to two-tight ends in the offense and Greg Olson is over 30 already. Engram is a top-40 worthy tight end.
Here is some Taco Charlton vs FSU pic.twitter.com/jiPJ8Lp9Kk
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 20, 2017
41. Cincinnati Bengals – Taco Charlton, DE/OLB, Michigan
Charlton is a top pass rusher in this class and likely goes much higher than this. If he falls, he fits the Bengals prototype and they likely won’t be able to contain themselves.
42. Cleveland Browns (Via BUF) – Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
The Browns want to add another running back. Crowell is powerful yet unreliable, and Duke Johnson isn’t more than just a situational back. Mack can be the do-it-all runner.
43. New Orleans Saints – Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (FL)
The Saints are targeting quarterbacks in the 2017 class, and if they don’t end up with Deshaun Watson, Brad Kaaya could be their target to groom behind Brees.
44. Philadelphia Eagles – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
All signs point to the Eagles taking a receiver and cornerback with their first two picks, unless they make unexpected moves in free agency. Humphrey would be a steal in round two, and the Eagles could benefit from a loaded cornerback class.
EDGE Carl Lawson (Auburn, 6'2", 253lbs). Much better. pic.twitter.com/Sgo3wLb8fR
— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 6, 2017
45. Arizona Cardinals – Carl Lawson, DE/OLB, Auburn
While not a glaring need, Lawson fits the Cardinals’ style/measurables for an edge rusher and he’s a first-round talent that could slip to round two.
46. Indianapolis Colts – Josh Harvey-Clemons, SAF, Louisville
An expected “riser” during the draft process, especially after the NFL Scouting Combine, thanks to his rare length and versatility at the safety position, the Colts could use his versatility in a still-rebuilding defense.
47. Minnesota Vikings – Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
It’s no secret the Vikings need offensive line help and they can’t afford to sit this draft out despite a rough offensive tackle class. Johnson at least has starter-level talent at tackle.
48. Baltimore Ravens – Raekwon McMillian, LB, Ohio State
Zach Orr surprisingly retired this off-season, and the Ravens could use a replacement on the inside next to C.J. Mosley. McMillian is a fringe first-round linebacker talent.
Curtis Samuel (slot, bottom of screen) sure is fun to watch. pic.twitter.com/65hde9i1HT
— Alex Gelhar (@AlexGelhar) February 6, 2017
49. Washington Redskins – Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
He can play running back or interior receiver, both of which will be needs for the Redskins this offseason. He reminds of Percy Harvin.
50. Cleveland Browns (Via TEN) – Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
The Browns value experience and production in their draft picks, and Reddick fits that perfectly. Plus, they saw him up close at the Senior Bowl.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
With Vincent Jackson likely to be cut this offseason, the Bucs need to add a new number two receiver for Mike Evans. Henderson should continue to rise in the process.
52. Denver Broncos – Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Linebacker remains a need for the Broncos, and they’ll have options in round two. If it wasn’t for injury history, Davis would be a surefire first-round pick.
53. Detroit Lions – Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
The Lions will be looking at tight ends early in the 2017 NFL Draft. Luckily, they’ll have a deep class of options. Everett has slot versatility that may fit well with Matt Stafford.
54. Miami Dolphins – Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
The Dolphins’ can’t rely on Cam Wake or Mario Williams to be their feature pass-rushers for the future. If they don’t add a pass-rusher in round one, they almost need to in round two.
55. New York Giants – Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
With 11-5/8 inch hands and 16 receiving touchdowns coupled with a strong Senior Bowl, Michael Roberts has solidified himself as a top-75 prospect, even in a strong tight end class.
56. Oakland Raiders – Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
Johnson is maybe the 2017 draft’s best interior pass-rusher, and he proved it as such at the Senior Bowl. If he tests as well as he’s capable of, he may emerge as a first-rounder.
57. Houston Texans – Marcus Williams, SAF, Utah
Under-appreciated in a strong safety class, Williams has dual-safety value and tremendous range, and the Texans are in need of secondary support.
58. Seattle Seahawks – Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina
One of my favorite prospects in this draft class, Jones has supreme potential as an interior penetrator and is a perfect fit to keep the Seahawks defensive line a strength.
59. Kansas City Chiefs – Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
A perfect fit for Andy Reid’s offense, Ford reminds of Stefon Diggs and can give the Chiefs a third receiving weapon that can work on underneath routes to better complement Jeremy Maclin and Tyreek Hill.
60. Dallas Cowboys – Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Harris likely goes much earlier than this, as he’s an explosive and flexible 4-3 edge player. The Cowboys need to finally hit on a second-round pick, something they haven’t done (yet) in the last five years.
61. Green Bay Packers – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Green Bay’s secondary was the reason they didn’t reach the Super Bowl in 2017, and they have no choice but to address it early in the 2017 draft. Conley could fall to late round two only because of the depth of this class.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
DeAngelo Williams has been an invaluable backup behind Le’Veon Bell, but he can’t be relied upon for much longer. Kamara is a reliable, Mark Ingram-like running back.
63. Atlanta Falcons – Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
Adams could go as high as the Falcons’ first-round pick, and he’s a perfect fit to play inside on Dan Quinn’s defense. Adding a nose tackle and a secondary player in their first two picks would be ideal.
64. New England Patriots – Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
The Patriots would likely not want to add two character-concerning prospects with their first two picks, but they have the supporting cast to allow them to succeed and Williams is arguably the best pure pass-rusher in the draft.