2017 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Week 9 Breakdown

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 29:  Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 29, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With Week 9 in the books for most teams, the majority of the NFL is now exactly at the midpoint of its season. And despite half the year already down the drain, it's almost impossible to differentiate the contenders from the pretenders.

Ahead of the Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks, seven teams sit at .500 while another seven are either one game above or below. That's 14 of the league's 32 teams stuck in the mud, all of them just about as likely to sneak into the playoffs as they are to land in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL draft. 

The gap between good and bad is so small that at just one game over .500, the Washington Redskins are currently in position to make the playoffs as the sixth seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals, who are one game under .500, are currently in position for the ninth pick in the NFL draft.

The draft order featured below is accurate through Sunday's action, using the full-season strength of schedule as a tiebreaker for teams with the same record. But it's probably too soon to get your hopes up for any picks you may like—with so many teams clustered together in the middle of the pack, the order is changing drastically every week.

NFL Mock Draft
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersMitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
3Chicago BearsDeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan AllenDLAlabama
5New York JetsJabrill PeppersLB/SMichigan
6Tennessee Titans (from LA)Marlon HumphreyCBAlabama
7Tampa Bay BuccaneersMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
8Carolina PanthersLeonard FournetteRBLSU
9Arizona CardinalsDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
10Cincinnati BengalsZach CunninghamLBVanderbilt
11Tennessee TitansMike WilliamsWRClemson
12Indianapolis ColtsDerek BarnettDETennessee
13San Diego ChargersCam RobinsonOTAlabama
14Miami DolphinsTakkarist McKinleyDEUCLA
15Buffalo BillsCarl LawsonDEAuburn
16Baltimore RavensMalik HookerSOhio State
17Pittsburgh SteelersMarquis HaynesLBOle Miss
18New Orleans SaintsGareon ConleyCBOhio State
19Green Bay PackersJohn RossWRWashington
20Cleveland Browns (from PHI)Dan FeeneyOGIndiana
21Detroit LionsDalvin CookRBFlorida State
22Washington RedskinsLowell LotuleleiDTUtah
23Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN)Sidney JonesCBWashington
24New York GiantsReuben FosterLBAlabama
25Houston TexansJamal AdamsSLSU
26Seattle SeahawksRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
27Atlanta FalconsTre'Davious WhiteCBLSU
28Denver BroncosBudda BakerSWashington
29Kansas City ChiefsTim WilliamsLBAlabama
30Oakland RaidersJourdan LewisCBMichigan
31New England PatriotsJuJu Smith-SchusterWRUSC
32Dallas CowboysTeez TaborCBFlorida


10. Cincinnati Bengals: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 01:  Zach Cunningham #41 of the Vanderbilt Commodores tackles Brandon Powell #4 of the Florida Gators during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham made headlines on Saturday with a highlight-reel blocked field goal against the Auburn Tigers. But Cunningham is much more than a special teams standout.

Cunningham's impressive athleticism makes him a perfect fit in today's NFL, as more teams are favoring athleticism over size at the position in an effort to keep up with the fast-paced offenses around the league.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller recently compared Cunningham to Cleveland Browns linebacker Jamie Collins, who has been among the most explosive and well-rounded linebackers in the league in recent years.

In Cincinnati, Cunningham could potentially serve as a replacement for veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby, who is a free agent at season's end.


13. San Diego Chargers: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Robinson #74 of the Alabama Crimson Tide lines up against the Florida Gators during the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Florida 42-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Get
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers have failed to address the offensive line early in recent drafts, and quarterback Philip Rivers has paid the price. Over the past three seasons, Rivers has been sacked 98 times, including 22 sacks this year.

In Bleacher Report's recently released NFL 1000 midseason grades, Chargers left tackle King Dunlap graded out at No. 21 overall at his position, while right tackle Joe Barksdale was ranked 23rd.

This is a weak class for offensive linemen, with only a small handful of prospects deserving of first-round consideration. Alabama's Cam Robinson will likely be at the top of the class and is an early favorite to be the first lineman off the board. 

Robinson fits the mold of the type of oversized lineman the Chargers typically target. Dunlap is listed at 6'9", 330 pounds and Barksdale is 6'5", 326 pounds. Alabama lists Robinson at 6'6", 327 pounds, giving him the measurables to catch the Chargers' attention. 

If Robinson stays on the board long enough for the Chargers to get a shot at him, it may be tough for general manager Tom Telesco to pass him up.


21. Detroit Lions: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 29:  Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 29, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are hanging around in the NFC, taking a 5-4 record into their bye week. 

It's been somewhat surprising to see the Lions' effectiveness on offense, despite a lack of playmakers, especially in the wake of losing Calvin Johnson to retirement. 

The Lions have survived despite needing three different starting running backs this season: Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner.

To take the next step on offense, the Lions might need to finally bring in a workhorse running back. 

With a workhorse like Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in the backfield, Riddick and Abdullah could actually see their production increase. With a limited workload, the extremely athletic and versatile running backs may prove to be even more effective, as they could stay fresh and wouldn't have defenses focusing on them every play. 

A more well-rounded rushing attack could also ease the burden on quarterback Matthew Stafford and create a more efficient passing attack in Detroit. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.