With one week before the 2017 NFL Draft here is my updated mock draft. My final update will be posted next week the morning of the draft.
*This mock draft is done as if no draft trades will be made*
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
This is pretty much a done deal, or at least it should be. The guy is the consensus #1 player on the board, a defensive stud and a class act. Garrett could fill a void on any team in the league and Cleveland finished tied 30th in the league in sacks last year. Cleveland, please don’t mess this up.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
My original selection here was Solomon Thomas, but with news breaking that the 49ers don’t consider Carlos Hyde a good fit for their roster, Fournette is the obvious choice. This pick makes total sense because their quarterback situation is still unknown and having a solid running game will make it easier for whoever their quarterback will be.
3. Chicago Bears – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Lattimore has some injury history, and with the Bears current luck in the draft with Kyle Fuller, Kevin White, and Leonard Floyd, you would think they would be running the other direction. But with the Bears missing out on A.J. Bouye in free agency, the need for a shutdown corner is important and Lattimore’s skills far outweigh his injured past.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
It is tough to predict who the Jaguars will take with the 4th pick. I’m trusting Tom Coughlin’s track record and that is getting legit pass rushers on the roster. If the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year can continue his success from the bowl game against North Carolina where he impacted almost every play this will be a great pick for the Jaguars.
5. Tennessee Titans – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Tennessee needs a #1 cornerback along with a playmaking safety. This draft is very deep with cornerbacks and the Titans also have the 18th pick, therefore I feel like Adams is the pick here. An argument can be made for Malik Hooker but Adams nose for the ball and physical play is what separates him from Hooker.
6. New York Jets – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
New York wanted Adams but will be completely content with Hooker. Hooker shot up draft boards this past season when he totaled 74 tackles, four passes broken up, and seven interceptions. Hooker will immediately improve New York’s pass defense.
7. San Diego Chargers – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
San Diego wanted Adams or Hooker. Instead they have to settle for perhaps the best pure football player in the draft. He is far better than the other linebackers in the draft and is a sideline-to-sideline player while delivering punishing hits.
8. Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
The Chuck Bednarik Award winner will make Carolina’s line young again. He can play the edge or rush the passer from the inside, giving Carolina versatility up front. The chance to learn alongside Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers will pay dividends down the road.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
Cincinnati finished last season tied for 25th in the NFL with 41 sacks surrendered. Adding insult to injury, they lost their two best offensive lineman in Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler to free agency. This pick is a bit of a reach for the Bengals but fills a very big void for them.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Reports came out this week that the Bills were very interested in taking Trubisky at ten. The Bills can terminate Tyrod Taylor’s contract after this season and over the past year there have been many debates over him being their quarterback moving forward. Taking Trubisky, who only has one year of starting experience, and allowing him to sit on the sidelines for a year and get better isn’t a bad plan for the Bills.
11. New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
We know the Saints love offense and there are some good offensive players still on the board at this pick, but they show discipline and draft Barnett here. They need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball and they will get an immediate impact player in Barnett who broke Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee.
12. Cleveland Browns – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Mike Williams is a prototypical receiver. He has the height, weight and speed, and has the ability to stretch the field as well as go up and grab 50/50 balls when needed. The Browns do not yet have a quarterback to throw to Williams. But whoever it is will be happy to have a guy who posted 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016.
13. Arizona Cardinals – John Ross, WR, Washington
Right now Ross is a speedy slot receiver. If he can add some weight he could be a Brandin Cooks type of wide receiver. He will complement the aging Larry Fitzgerald on the outside and has good hands and route-running. He will be another John Brown but maybe the Cardinals can get more than just one year of productivity out of Ross.
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Eagles signed Alshon Jeffrey in the offseason to a one-year contract but the Eagles need more weapons around Carson Wentz. McCaffrey can be used as a running back or a wide receiver. Giving the Eagles a two for one type of player.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
This is a tough pick to call since the Colts need a lot of skilled position players and they could go many different routes with this pick. I think their defense is in the worse shape of all and selecting a skilled pass rusher like Charlton is a good start to improve the defense.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Ravens should draft offensive lineman Cam Robinson with this pick but getting Joe Flacco help I feel is more important to them. Davis is the most complete wide receiver in the draft and is a completely different wide receiver than what they already have in Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman.
17. Washington Redskins – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The past couple of seasons the Redskins running game has been a mess. After losing playmakers like Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to free agency they need someone to help take the load off the passing game. With this pick the Redskins keep Scott McCloughan’s philosophy, even though they didn’t keep Scott McCloughan, with taking the best player available.
18. Tennessee Titans – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Titans wanted a wide receiver but with both Ross and Davis off the board they will draft Delanie Walker’s replacement and pair him with Marcus Mariota for years to come. Howard’s numbers at Alabama are skewed as he was underutilized there. But he is a fast receiving weapon and has the size you look for in a quality tight end.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)
Mike Evans was one of the most targeted receivers last year. The Buccaneers already added DeSean Jackson to help open Evans up even more, and now by adding an athletic freak like Njoku to the mix, it gives Jameis Winston one of the most dangerous trios in football to throw too.
20. Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk, OL, Wisconsin
If there is anything for certain it’s that Wisconsin can produce some good offensive lineman. The Broncos signed right tackle Menelik Watson in free agency and will now draft their franchise blind side protector to protect Paxton Lynch.
21. Detroit Lions –T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, Wisconsin
Detroit finished dead last against the pass last year and we don’t know exactly which position Watt will play in the NFL, but he will end up helping in coverage as well as pass rushing. Watt wasn’t even in my first round mock last week but has slowly been working his way into the first round. The name helps with that movement as well.
22. Miami Dolphins – Hassan Reddick, LB, Temple
Reddick turned heads at the combine and has made himself a first round pick. He is someone who can matchup with receiving tight ends… Ron Gronkowski. He ran a 4.52 at the combine but still has the size to compete with the bigger tight ends in the league. Pairing him with Kiko Alonso will make him even better.
23. New York Giants – Garrett Bolles, OL, Utah
The Giants missed out on Jack Conklin last year and they have an opportunity to take the 2nd ranked offensive tackle in this year’s draft at #23. Bolles has some off the field issues but many of the teams said they felt he has matured. New York fans won’t be happy with this less than flashy pick, but it is a great find for the Giants.
24. Oakland Raiders – Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Raiders need an upgrade at middle linebacker and Cunningham is a very smart player who can play sideline-to-sideline. With Khalil Mack already on this defense and then adding a player like Cunningham who can shoot the gaps at appropriate angles, this defense will be even better than last year.
25. Houston Texans – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
He will be the best quarterback of this draft class, but it will be a couple years until everyone realizes that. The Texans get their quarterback of the future and can give the fans a reason to hopefully forget the whole Brock Osweiler disaster.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin King, CB, Washington
King was made for Seattle’s Cover 3 defense. With Richard Sherman on the trading block it is time to start thinking about the future of this secondary without him. King did not give up a touchdown in 2016. Seattle somehow gets another steal in the draft to add to an already great defense.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
I’m as surprised as you, and I typed the words! Alex Smith’s contract is up at the end of 2018 and the Chiefs need a backup plan before then. This gives Watson a year to continue to learn and develop from a guy who never turns the ball over. Watson threw 17 interceptions last year, something he has to improve on before becoming an everyday starter.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
After losing both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr in free agency the Cowboys have to draft a cornerback with their first pick. Jackson is a playmaker and has the confidence to start this season. He is simply a jack of all trades, he plays special teams where he had 8 returns for touchdowns, caught 39 passes for 628 yards and six touchdowns, and carried the ball 15 times for 92 yards.
29. Green Bay Packers – Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Peppers could be the steal of the draft because we have no idea what position he is going to play. Will it be safety, linebacker, or maybe even running back? The Packers lost Micah Hyde who played the “swiss army knife” role last season and I see Peppers filling that exact same role perfectly. The Packers won’t be afraid to find a spot for Peppers whether it is on both sides of the ball.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
With the talks of Ben Roethlisberger possibly retiring this past offseason I think the Steelers take the highest quarterback on the their draft board at this position, no matter who it is and no matter their team’s need. For this mock draft that quarterback is Kizer.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
McDowell fell this late and the Falcons have to take him. I think the Falcons would want a pass rusher like T.J. Watt in this spot, but they can’t pass on a player with such a high ceiling. The match is perfect for McDowell in Dan Quinn’s defense because he can learn and improve without any pressure to produce early.
32. – New Orleans Saints – Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
As I mentioned before the Saints need major help on their defense and the addition of White will help them in the secondary. This gives the Saints a true #1 cornerback they have wanted for so long.