NFL Mock Draft 2017: Post-CFP Championship Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - OCTOBER 8:  Jonathan Allen #93 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at the line of scrimmage during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 49-30.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With the college football season officially over, many of the top players in the country are now going to shift their focus to the NFL draft.

The Clemson Tigers beat the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 in the national championship game, ending the college football careers for many future first-round picks. Of course, this is just one step in the long process that includes All-Star showcases, the combine, pro days and more.

These events will lead to some major changes in stock, but it's never too early to speculate about what will happen on the first day of the draft. Here are the latest predictions for the first round with a look at some of the players who just showed what they can do on the national stage. 

 

2017 NFL Mock Draft - 1st Round
PickTeamPlayerPos.School
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
3Chicago BearsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
4Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard FournetteRBLSU
5Tennessee Titans (via Rams)Jamal AdamsSLSU
6New York JetsTeez TaborCBFlorida
7San Diego ChargersRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
8Carolina PanthersMalik HookerSOhio State
9Cincinnati BengalsDerek BarnettDETennessee
10Buffalo BillsMitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
11New Orleans SaintsReuben FosterILBAlabama
12Cleveland Browns (via Eagles)DeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
13Arizona CardinalsJabrill PeppersSMichigan
14Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings)Mike WilliamsWRClemson
15Indianapolis ColtsCam RobinsonOTAlabama
16Baltimore RavensCorey DavisWRWestern Michigan
17Washington RedskinsTim WilliamsOLBAlabama
18Tennessee TitansJohn RossWRWashington
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersDalvin CookRBFlorida State
20Denver BroncosO.J. HowardTEAlabama
21Detroit LionsMarlon HumphreyCBAlabama
22Miami DolphinsSolomon ThomasDEStanford
23New York GiantsMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
24Oakland RaidersMarshon LattimoreCBOhio State
25Seattle SeahawksMike McGlincheyOTNotre Dame
26Houston TexansTakkarist McKinleyOLBUCLA
27Green Bay PackersSidney JonesCBWashington
28Pittsburgh SteelersQuincy WilsonCBFlorida
29Atlanta FalconsDesmond KingCBIowa
30Kansas City ChiefsChristian McCaffreyRBStanford
31Dallas CowboysTaco CharltonDEMichigan
32New England PatriotsJarrad DavisOLBFlorida

 

Notable Picks

San Francisco 49ers: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers throws a pass during the first half of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Phot
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

There will always be debate over who is the best quarterback in the class, and this year will be no different. Mitch Trubisky has upside with his throwing ability but is still raw. DeShone Kizer is a serious dual-threat quarterback but has been inconsistent in his career.

Deshaun Watson has his faults, most notably with turnovers, but he is a special player.

The Clemson star finished with 420 passing yards and three touchdowns, plus 43 rushing yards and a touchdown, in the national championship game against one of the best defenses in years.

He also showcased his intelligence on the field, per Chad Reuter of NFL.com:

Throughout his career, though, Watson has shown the ability to put the Tigers on his back and make plays with both his arm and his legs. With his skill at reading a defense, he should be able to make a quick transition to the NFL.

While the Cleveland Browns need a quarterback, it's hard to pass on a generational player like Myles Garrett. This leaves the San Francisco 49ers the ability to grab their quarterback of the future in Watson.

           

Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

Defensive linemen don't often get noticed on a football field, but Jonathan Allen changes that perception. The All-American is seemingly always around the ball and usually in the opposing backfield.

He has a rare combination of strength, athleticism and instincts that gives him an advantage to make plays all over the field, not just when the play comes to him. This skill set also allows him to earn stops against the run as well as put pressure on the quarterback.

NFL teams have to be careful with defensive linemen who fit better in either a 3-4 defense or a 4-3; Allen can play in the interior in either system. With the Chicago Bears, he can be a 5-technique who can play right away and instantly upgrade the entire defense.

It's clear the Bears need a quarterback with Jay Cutler likely on his way out, but Allen is a safe pick who should help fix a defense that was decimated by the run last season. 

              

New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 18:  Reuben Foster #10 of the Crimson team reacts to a play during the University of Alabama Crimson Tide A-day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A linebacker is often considered the quarterback of the defense, which requires some leadership abilities. This should not be a problem for Reuben Foster, who has earned some high praise from his head coach.

"He actually cares a lot about not just how he does or plays, but he also assumes a leadership role and how he affects other people," Alabama coach Nick Saban said, per Marq Burnett of SEC Country. "That comes to a large degree in how much you care about others. That's one of the reasons that he is a very popular guy. He's a got a great personality."

Of course, Foster is also an impact player on the field with his ability to cover virtually sideline to sideline. He is strong in coverage if needed while also more than capable of blitzing into the backfield and earning a tackle for loss.

Although middle linebackers have been devalued a bit in recent years, Foster likely won't last past the first half of the first round thanks to his upside and ability to make an immediate impact.

The New Orleans Saints need help at just about every level of the defense after allowing the second-most points in the NFL, and the Alabama product will be the best player available on that side of the ball.

              

Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 12:  Mike Williams #7 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a catch against the Pittsburgh Panthers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Rookie Carson Wentz showed solid flashes during his rookie season, but the Philadelphia Eagles didn't provide him with much help in the receiving corps.

While the team has used high picks on Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor in recent drafts, both struggle with consistency when it comes to simply catching the ball. The Eagles need to give Wentz someone he can trust down the field.

This is where Mike Williams comes in as a big target at 6'3" with strong hands.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller broke down the player's strengths:

He showcased this ability in the national title game with eight receptions for 94 yards, including a handful of impressive catches.

Williams can become a go-to option for Wentz, especially near the end zone where he can win jump balls. The Clemson receiver finished with 11 touchdowns on the season after missing almost all of last year with a neck injury.

He should be able to give the Eagles exactly what they need going into 2017.

       

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