2017 NFL Mock Draft: Projections for Landing Spots of Top Prospects

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2017

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Wide receiver Mike Williams #7 of the Clemson Tigers makes a reception against defensive back Anthony Averett #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the fourth quarter of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After a thrilling College Football Playoff National Championship, collegiate resumes for those entering the NFL draft will be dissected over the next few months. 

Eight NFL teams continue to chase the Lombardi Trophy. The rest of the league has already started going down the offseason checklist for improvements. Franchises have set their sights on filling holes from top to bottom. The head-coaching carousel spins with five vacancies left. For clubs with a plan in place, the focus shifts to acquiring the right pieces to execute strategies. 

Leading into the divisional round of the postseason, we’ll project all first-round draft picks and discuss three prospects who played in Monday night’s national title game.

Where do the top prospects land in April? Which players increased their draft stock values during the CFP National Championship contest? 

     

2017 Mock Draft
Pick/TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1. Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettEDGETexas A&M
2. San Francisco 49ersDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
3. Chicago BearsCam RobinsonOTAlabama
4. Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
5. Tennessee TitansJalen TaborCBFlorida
6. New York JetsDesmond KingCBIowa
7. San Diego ChargersJamal AdamsSSLSU
8. Carolina PanthersDerek BarnettDETennessee
9. Cincinnati BengalsCordrea TankersleyCBClemson
10. Buffalo BillsMike WilliamsWRClemson
11. New Orleans SaintsMalik HookerFSOhio State
12. Cleveland BrownsMitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
13. Arizona CardinalsReuben FosterLBAlabama
14. Philadelphia EaglesDalvin CookRBFlorida State
15. Indianapolis ColtsTim WilliamsLBAlabama
16. Baltimore RavensTaco CharltonDEMichigan
17. Washington RedskinsMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
18. Tennessee TitansCorey DavisWRWestern Michigan
19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersJabrill PeppersLB/SMichigan
20. Denver BroncosRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
21. Detroit LionsZach CunninghamLBVanderbilt
22. Miami DolphinsDeMarcus WalkerDEFlorida State
23. New York GiantsLeonard FournetteRBLSU
24. Oakland RaidersChris WormleyDTMichigan
25. Houston TexansJarrad DavisLBFlorida
26. Green Bay PackersHaason ReddickLBTemple
27. Seattle SeahawksRoderick JohnsonOTFlorida State
28. Atlanta FalconsSidney JonesCBWashington
29. Pittsburgh SteelersTakkarist McKinleyLBUCLA
30. Kansas City ChiefsGareon ConleyCBOhio State
31. Dallas CowboysMarshon LattimoreCBOhio State
32. New England PatriotsGarett BollesOTUtah
2017 Mock Draft

Notable Draft Picks

 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars, Jonathan Allen, DE

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen #93 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on before taking on the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Fl
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Defensive end Jonathan Allen logged seven tackles, one tackle for a loss and one sack on Monday night. However, he didn’t need a national title game to elevate his draft stock. The dynamic defensive lineman returned to school for his senior year and displayed the ability to stop the run as a complete asset.

The Jacksonville Jaguars just hired Doug Marrone as their head coach and Tom Coughlin as the executive VP of operations, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Coughlin's 12-year tenure with the New York Giants helps him understand how a dominant defensive line could lead a team to Super Bowl victories.

As shown above, Allen’s teammate, offensive tackle Cam Robinson goes to the Chicago Bears. Instead of reaching for another offensive lineman to protect quarterback Blake Bortles, the Jaguars can bolster their attack at the line of scrimmage.

Defensive end Dante Fowler completed his first season after suffering a torn ACL as a rookie. Jacksonville acquired defensive tackle Malik Jackson via free agency during the previous offseason. In April, the front office can add a third impact player across the front four in Allen.

Jacksonville’s run defense and pass rush must catch up to speed with its No. 5 ranked pass defense in yards allowed.

      

10. Buffalo Bills, Mike Williams, WR

 

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Wide receiver Mike Williams #7 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after making a reception against defensive back Marlon Humphrey #26 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the fourth quarter of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Ch
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams missed Round 1 against Alabama, but he showed up big time in Round 2 on Monday. He racked up eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown; he also drew a critical pass interference penalty. At 6’3”, 225 pounds, NFL defensive backs will also struggle to defend him near the red zone.

At the moment, there’s uncertainty surrounding the Buffalo Bills' quarterback position. Nonetheless, without a consensus No. 1 passer in the draft, the Bills can select the best offensive player on the board at No. 10.

Whether it’s Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, a rookie or a recycled veteran quarterback under center, the starting signal-caller would have Sammy Watkins on one side and Williams on the other.

Due to Watkins’ inability to stay healthy over the past two years, the Bills passing offense looked pedestrian at times. Another quality perimeter player would force opposing pass defenses to pick its poison. Furthermore, the wide receiver tandem would create more space for the ground attack on the second level.

      

15. Indianapolis Colts, Tim Williams, LB

 

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Linebacker Tim Williams #56 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the first half against the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa,
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, pass-rusher Robert Mathis racked up 123 sacks, and he’s taking the total into retirement at 35 years old. The team’s sack leader for the season just finished, Erik Walden, will become a free agent in March, per spotrac.com. He’ll turn 32 before the 2017 season starts. Linebacker Trent Cole, who logged 85.5 sacks with the Philadelphia Eagles, hasn’t panned out with the team during the latter stage of his career.

Indianapolis needs younger bodies to rebuild its front seven. At linebacker, free agents have come and gone without quality replacements to fill the gaps.

Alabama linebacker Tim Williams will provide an immediate push and some toughness to a relatively soft positional group. He’s notched 18.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for a loss within the past two seasons on campus.

Whether it’s sniffing out the run or unleashing on the quarterback, Williams can excel attacking off the edge.

The Colts could help their offense by strengthening the defense. Quarterback Andrew Luck won’t have to guide his team to 35 points per game for a fair chance at a victory.

      

Stats provided by NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Stats provided by Sports-Reference.com/cfb/ unless otherwise noted.

Follow Maurice Moton on Twitter intriguing discussions and analysis on NFL and college football topics.

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