The big night is almost upon us! As such, I am long overdue for getting out my first mock draft of 2017.
After the narrow scope of the fourth-overall pick last year, it’s been harder to sink my teeth into this year’s draft and the 28th pick. So many variables, both in this draft class and in the Cowboys’ needs, have made projection difficult.
Nevertheless, I did my best to come up with a draft that I think closely resembles what you’ll see on Thursday night. Here are my standard disclaimers:
- Please comment with your thoughts on my picks. If you’re a fan of another team I really value your insider perspective and will use it to make my next mock better.
- These are predictions of what teams WILL do and not necessarily what they SHOULD.
- I don’t get into predicting trades. It’s too much of a crapshoot to spend mental energy on.
With this draft class being unfriendly for QB-needy teams, Cleveland takes one of the most exciting defensive line prospects in the last decade. They will hope for a QB to fall to them #12.
Switching to a 4-3 defense this year, 49ers take Thomas for immediate talent infusion and insurance in case other guys struggle with the transition.
Malik Hooker may have more upside but also has risks. The Bears take the surer thing in Adams, who will bring immediate improvement and leadership.
T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory aren’t getting it done as a tandem. With QB Blake Bortles on the hot seat, the Jaguars give him some help with Fournette’s potentially elite talent.
Things align perfectly for the Titans to fill their biggest need with the best CB prospect in the class.
Hooker’s upside is right there with the best talents in the class, making it impossible for the Jets to pass on him. They need upgrades in the secondary.
Allen can be a stalwart as a 3-4 DE for the next decade. Needs to add power but that’s what NFL strength coaches are for.
After Garrett and Thomas, Taco is probably most ready to come in and help a 4-3 defense right out of the gates. Carolina needs immediate talent infusion if they want to get back to contender status.
The Bengals have need at both DE and LB and Reddick’s versatility serves both. Comparable to Khalil Mack, he will bring immediate help to their pass rush.
Howard gives Tyrod Taylor a new weapon as he fights to keep the starting QB job. If he fails, Howard becomes some new young QB’s best friend.
I’ve been thinking for a while they would take Drew Brees’ understudy at their #32 pick. If that’s the plan and then Trubisky is available here, how can they say no?
I think the Browns will give Cody Kessler a shot and wait for a better QB class to add talent if needed. They add another significant defensive talent here with Foster.
Mahomes’ college scheme makes him an ideal fit for Bruce Arians’ offense. Arizona starts preparing in what is likely Carson Palmer’s last year.
Cook isn’t a power runner but that’s normal for the Eagles’ offense. He is a great fit for them, so long as they trust his character.
McKinley may be best suited to convert to a 3-4 OLB of the available pass rushers, which makes him ideal for Indy.
It’s been five years since the Ravens’ Super Bowl win and Flacco hasn’t been given much offensive help since. Davis could form a championship duo with Breshad Perriman.
Matt Jones was solid but did not break out last year as many hoped. McCaffrey solidifies the backfield and gives them an option at WR also, where Washington is also thin.
With Marcus Mariota’s ability to move around and extend plays, Ross’ speed could make them a dangerous pair in the wide-open AFC South.
Noah Spence was a steal last year but the rest of the Bucs’ pass rushers are old men. Barnett gives them one of them best young DE combos in the game.
The Broncos help their young quarterback, whoever it turns out to be, with the draft’s other exceptional TE prospect.
Matthew Stafford needs another weapon and Williams falling to this spot is a major gift. He’s not Megatron, but Mike could be great with Stafford as his QB.
Able to play any OL position, Lamp can fill one of the Dolphins’ many needs up front as they look to get back to the playoffs.
The Giants add Robinson, hopefully keeping Eli’s “game worn” jerseys from getting too dirty.
McDowell’s raw talent keeps him in the first round despite the concerns about scheme fit and locker room chemistry.
The pick is late enough that Watson doesn’t have to start Week One to justify it, which is ideal for the Texans as they let Deshaun compete with Tom Savage.
He should become a star as a 4-3 tackle, which is what the Seahawks need as they rebuild their front lines.
The pick would’ve been Sidney Jones if not for his recent Achilles injury. The Chiefs are looking to compete and Humphrey should be ready to contribute now.
Dallas gets the edge rusher they desperately need. If Harris is gone, Dallas might go cornerback here as the next tier of pass rushers isn’t as enticing.
A perfect replacement for Sam Shields, White should flourish in the Packers’ man-heavy scheme.
The last great Pittsburgh safety, the one with the big hair, was only 5’10”. Pittsburgh will move Peppers around and let him make plays.
The reigning NFC Champions look to keep their infrastructure solid with the conservative, but often profitable, o-line pick.
The Saints badly need a safety and Baker is the consensus as the #3 prospect after Adams and Hooker.