2017 NFL Mock Draft: Prospect Predictions for Every Selection of Round 1

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2017

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Defensive back Jalen Tabor #31 of the Florida Gators signals to the crowd during the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Before the conference championship games, we'll check back with the teams watching the postseason from their sofas in this 2017 NFL mock draft. What's the best draft fit for clubs that just missed the playoff picture?

The Tennessee Titans almost surprised us all with a playoff berth in 2016. However, a Week 16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars dashed their hopes to unseat the incumbent AFC South champion Houston Texans. With a top-five pick, courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams, the Titans can boost their roster with an impact player. Who's the ideal choice?

Three slots later, the Carolina Panthers fell from a near-perfect regular-season team to 6-10. Despite losing pieces within the secondary, many thought wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin's return from injury would keep the team in Super Bowl contention. For the upcoming draft, Carolina must acquire talent to strengthen its pass defense.

The Baltimore Ravens competed against the Pittsburgh Steelers up until Week 16 before losing to their bitter rivals in a run at the AFC North title. With pending free agents and older defenders within the front seven, should general manager Ozzie Newsome target the defensive line in the first round?

Before matching ideal picks with the three teams above, we'll take a look at projected first-round picks for all 32 clubs.

    

2017 NFL Mock Draft
Pick/TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1. Cleveland BrownsDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
2. San Francisco 49ersMyles GarrettEDGETexas A&M
3. Chicago BearsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
4. Jacksonville JaguarsCam RobinsonOTAlabama
5. Tennessee TitansTeez TaborCBFlorida
6. New York JetsJamal AdamsSSLSU
7. Los Angeles ChargersMalik HookerFSOhio State
8. Carolina PanthersDerek BarnettDETennessee
9. Cincinnati BengalsDesmond KingCBIowa
10. Buffalo BillsMitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
11. New Orleans SaintsCordrea TankersleyCBClemson
12. Cleveland BrownsReuben FosterLBAlabama
13. Arizona CardinalsZach CunninghamLBVanderbilt
14. Philadelphia EaglesMike WilliamsWRClemson
15. Indianapolis ColtsDalvin CookRBFlorida State
16. Baltimore RavensTaco CharltonDEMichigan
17. Washington RedskinsTim WilliamsLBAlabama
18. Tennessee TitansCorey DavisWRWestern Michigan
19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersJohn RossWRWashington
20. Denver BroncosRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
21. Detroit LionsLeonard FournetteRBLSU
22. Miami DolphinsDeMarcus WalkerDEFlorida State
23. New York GiantsMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
24. Oakland RaidersRaekwon McMillanLBOhio State
25. Houston TexansChris WormleyDTMichigan
26. Seattle SeahawksRoderick JohnsonOTFlorida State
27. Kansas City ChiefsJarrad DavisLBFlorida
28. Dallas CowboysSidney JonesCBWashington
29. Green Bay PackersSolomon ThomasDEOhio State
30. Pittsburgh SteelersTakkarist McKinleyLBUCLA
31. Atlanta FalconsGareon ConleyCBOhio State
32. New England PatriotsHaason ReddickLBTemple
2017 NFL Mock Draft

    

5. Tennessee Titans, Teez Tabor, CB

BIRMINGHAM, AL - JANUARY 03:  Jalen Tabor #5 of the Florida Gators reacts to an officials call during the Birmingham Bowl against the East Carolina Pirates at Legion Field on January 3, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Florida won the game 28-20.  (Photo by
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Titans pass defense stood out as the team's Achilles' heel this past season. In order to establish a true, hard-nosed approach on both sides of the ball, the front office should add a cornerback who can neutralize the opposition's best receiver. Tennessee allowed seven 300-yard passing performances in 2016.

Within a few games, Florida defensive back Teez Tabor could become the No. 1 cornerback for the Titans. For many scouts and draft gurus, including Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko, Tabor ranks as the top cornerback in this year's class:

As shown above, Tabor can play aggressively on short pass routes, but he's also capable of blanketing deep threats. CBSSports.com draft analyst Rob Rang views him as a smaller version of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

"Though not quite as big as the Cardinals' Pro Bowler (and certainly less reliable off the field), Tabor boasts a similar brand of pure athleticism, seamlessly changing directions and accelerating to shadow receivers in much the same that Peterson has since being selected No. 5 overall back in 2011," Rang wrote.

    

8. Carolina Panthers, Derek Barnett, DE

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 24: Derek Barnett #9 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on against the Florida Gators during the game at Neyland Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett should hear his name called within the top 10 selections. NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt agrees with that assessment:

Defensive ends Mario Addison and Charles Johnson have expiring contracts with the Panthers, per Spotrac.

Nonetheless, ESPN.com's David Newton expects the team to re-sign Addison, who racked up 9.5 sacks this season.

"Addison, 29, is far from the outside," Newton said. "He's in position to be one of Carolina's top free-agent priorities, if not the top."

Even with Addison back in the mix, Johnson turns 31 in July and dealt with injuries over the past two seasons. He has accumulated five sacks since the 2014 season. Kony Ealy, who also rushes off the edge, has only started 15 games over the past three years.

Barnett flashed as a pass-rushing wrecking ball during his freshman year in which he logged nine sacks. Pro Football Focus rated him the second-best edge-rusher behind Texas A&M's Myles Garrett among the draftees:

The Panthers have needs at other positions, but Barnett would hold great value at No. 8. Keep in mind, the Panthers drafted two rookies who started 11 or more games in 2016. Next year, an improved pass rush would help coverage on the back end.

      

16. Baltimore Ravens, Taco Charlton, DE

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 26: Taco Charlton #33 of the Michigan Wolverines in action against the BYU Cougars during a game at Michigan Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Cougars 31-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Ge
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The creaking noise you hear comes from the Ravens pass rush, led by 34-year-old Terrell Suggs. It seems like just yesterday Ray Lewis turned the reins over to No. 55 after their Super Bowl XLVII victory. Now, it's time to add firepower alongside the veteran outside linebacker.

The top-tier pass-rushers won't be available after the first 12 selections, which leaves the Ravens gauging potential among the second-tier defenders. On a veteran Michigan defense, edge-rusher Taco Charlton left his mark on the 2016 season. He notched 10 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.

With his skill set, Charlton can deliver early results and develop into a key piece within the Ravens front seven as the sun sets on Suggs' career. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller sees the Michigan product as an impact player for the Miami Dolphins six slots later:

If Miller perceives Charlton as a rookie contributor for the Dolphins, he could inject some juice into Baltimore's defensive line. He doesn't have to replace Suggs' leadership skills, but it's important for the Ravens to maintain their rough-and-tumble identity in the trenches.

      

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

Follow Maurice Moton on Twitter for intriguing discussions and analysis on NFL.

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