2017 NFL Mock Draft: Ideal 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 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

Not every NFL draft pick receives what we would consider a perfect landing spot, but all the top prospects have ideal locations to continue their football careers.

Although free agency may reduce or eliminate a given team's needs, this mock draft highlights a few selections that feel tailor-made for both the prospect and the franchise.

However, that doesn't mean all 32 picks are crafted for the absolute best-case scenario. The "best player available" strategy and—quite simply—reality don't allow for it.

Following the wild-card round, the first 24 selections are locked in. The final eight spots are ordered based on the final regular-season standings and resemble playoff seeding.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersDeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
3Chicago BearsMitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
5Tennessee Titans (from Rams)Mike WilliamsWRClemson
6New York JetsQuincy WilsonCBFlorida
7San Diego ChargersCam RobinsonOTAlabama
8Carolina PanthersDalvin CookRBFlorida State
9Cincinnati BengalsReuben FosterLBAlabama
10Buffalo BillsJamal AdamsSLSU
11New Orleans SaintsTim WilliamsEdgeAlabama
12Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)Deshaun WatsonQBClemson
13Arizona CardinalsMalik McDowellDLMichigan State
14Indianapolis ColtsDerek BarnettEdgeTennessee
15Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)Corey DavisWRWestern Michigan
16Baltimore RavensLeonard FournetteRBLSU
17Washington RedskinsMarshon LattimoreCBOhio State
18Tennessee TitansMalik HookerFSOhio State
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersJohn RossWRWashington
20Denver BroncosRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
21Detroit LionsZach CunninghamLBVanderbilt
22Miami DolphinsTakkarist McKinleyEdgeUCLA
23New York GiantsJabrill PeppersSMichigan
24Oakland RaidersGareon ConleyCBOhio State
25Houston TexansJaleel JohnsonDTIowa
26Green Bay PackersCordrea TankersleyCBClemson
27Seattle SeahawksDan FeeneyGIndiana
28Pittsburgh SteelersTeez TaborCBFlorida
29Atlanta FalconsCarl LawsonEdgeAuburn
30Kansas City ChiefsSidney JonesCBWashington
31Dallas CowboysCharles HarrisEdgeMissouri
32New England PatriotsTaco CharltonDEMichigan
Bleacher Report


Ideal Fits

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Although the pass-catching corps for the Tennessee Titans is balanced, the group lacks a legitimate go-to weapon. In a clutch moment, where is Marcus Mariota going to throw?

Sure, you could say Delanie Walker or Rishard Matthews, but doing so with conviction isn't painless.

Mike Williams is capable of establishing himself as that premier target. After returning from a neck injury that caused him to essentially miss the entire 2015 campaign, Williams collected 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Williams snatched two enormous leaping catches that helped Clemson score the go-ahead and then game-winning touchdowns. One of those receptions can be seen below, courtesy of the Fantasy Authority's Travis May:

Williams lacks elite speed, which will be cited as reasoning for an inconsistent ability to separate from defenders. However, the 6'3", 225-pounder showcases that much-desired skill of creating space at the catch point. That counts as separation, too.

Every quarterback prefers a clear sightline to his target, but that's not always a reality in the NFL. Williams, thanks to his ball skills, can get open even when he's not.

That would immensely benefit a rising star like Mariota.


John Ross, WR, Washington

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must continue building around Jameis Winston, and their skill positions lack one essential piece.

Superstar receiver Mike Evans excels at both the short and intermediate levels, while Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries are reliable targets in the quick passing game. Evans is a legitimate downfield threat, but he cannot atone for Winston's deep inaccuracy.

John Ross has the speed to mitigate slightly errant throws. And with safeties caught between run support and shading toward Evans, Ross' speed is a game-breaking skill.

In 2016, the junior paced Washington with 81 catches, 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns, adding one kick-return score.

Tampa must hope Ross slides past receiver-needy teams like the Titans (if they don't take Williams), Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens, among others.

But as long as he checks out medicallyRoss underwent surgery in 2015 to repair a torn right meniscus before tearing his left ACL—it would likely be difficult for the Bucs to head in another direction.


Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

If you're looking for a great background story, Ryan Ramczyk is an excellent starting point. After taking a year off from football and attending two technical schools, he enrolled at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and played two seasons for the Division III program.

Then, after former Wisconsin assistant Paul Chryst returned to Madison as the head coach, Ramczyk transferred. When eligible this season, he immediately earned the starting nod at left tackle.

But while that's a unique story, the Denver Broncos surely are focused on the final chapter of Ramczyk becoming a terrific player.

The junior established himself as a premier run-blocker, playing a key role for running back Corey Clement, who tallied 1,375 yards. Dare Ogunbowale and Bradrick Shaw also eclipsed the 400-yard mark for the Badgers.

Ramczyk has first-round potential and prototypical size, checking in at 6'6" and 314 pounds. His ability to handle elite edge-rushers will be thoroughly analyzed, but the main concern right now is recovery. Jason Galloway of the Wisconsin State Journal noted Ramczyk underwent hip surgery on Jan. 5.

Denver, which finished the 2016 season with the fifth-fewest yards per carry (3.62), needs a run-blocking presence of Ramczyk's caliber. The Broncos also need to protect the future at quarterback, whether that's Trevor Siemian or more likely Paxton Lynch.

If Alabama's Cam Robinson is selected early and Ramczyk's medicals check out, he'd be an obvious choice for Denver.

Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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