Draft day has arrived. By the end of the night, we will know who all 32 first-round picks are, and which teams they will be suiting up and playing for in the upcoming NFL season. But, before that happens, it’s time for one final mock draft.
With that, here is my 2017 NFL Mock Draft 4.0. These first-round projections are based on my impression of teams needs as of April 26 and represent how I could see the draft playing out—including trades. Thank you for reading and enjoy.
1) Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Despite every attempt to overthink the selection, the Browns make the obvious and appropriate pick. And then…
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2) TRADE: Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
…they realize they also have a truckload of draft capital they can use in a trade with San Francisco to land the quarterback they covet. If they want Trubisky, which I believe they do, they don’t need to wait and hope. They need to be aggressive and move up to get him.
3) TRADE: Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
With Fournette having become an increasingly popular pick for Jacksonville, the Panthers trade up with the Bears to secure the workhorse back.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
The Jaguars don’t have a glaring positional need that can be addressed with a player of appropriate value at this point in the draft, so they go with the best player remaining at the top of their board.
5) TRADE: Buffalo Bills: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Rather than risking Howard making it through the next five picks, the Bills trade up with the Titans to get the talented tight end.
6) New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Jets have their choice of secondary players to address their needs in the defensive backfield. Hooker and Lattimore are candidates, but Adams is graded just as highly, if not higher, and doesn’t come with the same durability concerns.
7) Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Hooker is the perfect fit for the Chargers and their new defensive scheme.
8) TRADE: Chicago Bears: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Trading back with Carolina, the Bears would be very pleased to land the cornerback they could have, and perhaps would have, taken in the top three.
9) Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bengals do have defensive needs they could address here, but Williams is an enticing option.
10) TRADE: Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Davis is a bit of a mystery in terms of testing and medicals, but the tape shows the Titans would get a steal here after trading back with Buffalo.
11) New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Pass rush is the priority in New Orleans, and Barnett is the best edge rusher remaining on the board.
12) TRADE: San Francisco 49ers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Trading back with Cleveland, San Francisco takes a different Stanford player than the one that they’ve been linked to throughout draft season. McCaffrey is an excellent fit as the focal point of their new offense.
13) Arizona Cardinals: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Humphrey to Arizona makes sense here in terms of the physical tools, the fit, and the need.
14) Philadelphia Eagles: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
The Eagles have other needs on offense and defense, but it might be difficult to pass on Allen. If he’s still on the board, I don’t think that they do.
15) Indianapolis Colts: Kevin King, CB, Washington
This could be considered somewhat of a surprise, but the Colts are very thin at cornerback and King fits their profile.
16) Baltimore Ravens: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Foster has the talent to be drafted much higher, but could definitely slip due to the off-field concerns. I wouldn’t expect him to get past Baltimore. They have the front office and the culture to make it work.
17) Washington Redskins: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
While the defensive line is still an option, Cook is the type of game-changing runner they currently lack in their pass-first offense.
18) Tennessee Titans: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Reddick would present exceptional value for the Titans here. He has the talent and versatility to quickly become the centerpiece of their defense.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami
In lieu of an offensive tackle, Njoku makes sense for a Tampa Bay team that needs more weapons on offense and prefers big targets.
20) Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Ramczyk is arguably the top tackle in the draft and the Broncos are going to exhaust every option to solidify their offensive line.
21) Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Lions look local to upgrade their defensive line. Charlton can be a force rushing the passer and setting the edge against the run.
22) Miami Dolphins: TJ Watt, LB/DE, Wisconsin
Watt is a high-motor, high-upside hybrid who can play off the ball and come off the edge, addressing two weaknesses of the Miami defense.
23) New York Giants: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Will the Giants look to find their quarterback of the future? They have shown interest in Mahomes and can afford to let him sit and learn.
24) Oakland Raiders: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Playing against some talented offenses in their division, the Raiders look to upgrade the secondary with Awuzie, a talented corner who can play on the boundary and in the slot.
25) Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The Texans need a quarterback and there appears to be a mutual interest with Watson. If he’s on the board, he’s the pick.
26) Seattle Seahawks: Obi Melifonwu, DB, Connecticut
The next generation of the Legion of Boom? Melinfonwu fits the physical profile and the Seahawks have shown major interest. He can play both cornerback and safety in their scheme.
27) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
Bowser is squarely in the the late-first conversation. He has the speed off the edge that the Chiefs like and can be the type of impact player they prefer to select early.
28) TRADE: Atlanta Falcons: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
Looking to reload for another Super Bowl run, the Falcons trade up with Dallas to land the top guard prospect in the draft to fortify their offensive front.
29) Green Bay Packers: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
The Packers have a few needs they could address here, but it’s unlikely they have another chance at a starting-caliber cornerback, which is what they would get with White.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
The Steelers need to improve the defense, particularly on the edge. McKinley won’t be ready to start the season, but he could be a difference-maker come playoff time.
31) TRADE: Dallas Cowboys: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
The Cowboys could choose a pass rusher here, but they like Jackson to bolster their secondary and upgrade their return game.
32) TRADE: San Francisco 49ers: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
With the additional picks acquired from Cleveland early, the 49ers trade up into the first round with the Saints to take their quarterback. They appear to like Kizer and by moving up a couple of spots, they get the fifth-year option to hedge their bets if he pans out.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments!
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