NFL Mock Draft 2017: Early Outlook and Predictions for Entire 1st Round

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2017

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02: Corey Davis #84 of the Western Michigan Broncos celebrates a first half touchdown while playing the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC Championship on December 2, 2016 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There's still time before Super Bowl LI marks the official end of the 2016 NFL season on Sunday. However, it's never too early to look ahead to the offseason.

This is especially true when talking about the NFL draft. In fact, a cursory internet search will reveal plenty of information and predictions for next year's draft.

We're here to talk about the 2017 draft, however. We've been able to learn about a number of draft prospects over the past couple of weeks. Though we'll learn even more at the NFL Scouting Combine, recent events like the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl have given the draft world something to chew on.

We're going to take what we've learned in order to try to predict the first round of April's draft. We'll base our choices on factors like a player's potential and team needs. In addition, we'll examine some of the top draft-related storylines heading into Super Bowl Sunday.

A couple of quick notes about the draft order, though. We're not predicting the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl; we're simply going by record for the final two draft slots in Round 1. We're going in alphabetical order for Nos. 14 and 15, as a coin toss will determine those slots because the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings finished with identical records and no definitive tiebreakers.

     

2017 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
PickNFL TeamProj. Selection
1Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersMitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
3Chicago BearsJamal Adams, S, LSU
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
5Tennessee Titans (from LAR)Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
6New York JetsDeshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
7Los Angeles ChargersMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8Carolina PanthersLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU
9Cincinnati BengalsDerek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
10Buffalo BillsJabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
11New Orleans SaintsSolomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
12Cleveland Browns (from PHI)Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
13Arizona CardinalsDeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
14Indianapolis ColtsReuben Foster, LB, Alabama
15Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN)Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
16Baltimore RavensDalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
17Washington RedskinsChris Wormley, DL, Michigan
18Tennessee TitansCharles Walker, DT, Oklahoma
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuincy Wilson, CB, Florida
20Denver BroncosRyan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21Detroit LionsMarlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22Miami DolphinsDawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois
23New York GiantsO.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
24Oakland RaidersTeez Tabor, CB, Florida
25Houston TexansCaleb Brantley, DT, Florida
26Seattle SeahawksForrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
27Kansas City ChiefsJohn Ross, WR, Washington
28Dallas CowboysTaco Charlton, DE, Michigan
29Green Bay PackersChristian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
30Pittsburgh SteelersCam Robinson, OT, Alabama
31Atlanta FalconsDan Feeney, OG, Indiana
32New England PatriotsDavid Njoku, TE, Miami

     

Latest Buzz

Browns Interested in Garoppolo

The Cleveland Browns are in need of a quarterback. That statement shouldn't come as a shock to anybody. It is worth noting the Browns own the first overall pick in this year's draft—along with the 12th overall selection—and can therefore have their pick of rookie signal-callers.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, however, the Browns are interested in acquiring New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo:

Sources say the Browns' interest in Garoppolo is real and that they'll try to trade for him depending on how their draft evaluations go over the next five weeks or so. If the Browns decide to draft Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson in the first round, they'll be much less likely to pursue the Patriots' backup—but wouldn't rule it out.

Garoppolo has just six quarters of NFL starting experience under his belt, but he was impressive during that brief window. Pro Football Focus ranked him 20th among all quarterbacks for the 2016 regular season.

If the Browns were to acquire Garoppolo before the draft, they may not be interested in taking a quarterback at the top of Round 1, which would bode well for teams potentially looking to bolster the position, like the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2 or Chicago Bears at No. 3.

If another team falls in love with one of the rookie signal-callers, the Browns might want to consider trading out of the No. 1 slot before making a move for Garoppolo.

     

Corey Davis Undergoes Ankle Surgery

Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis is expected to be one of the top offensive prospects in the 2017 draft. The speedy wideout racked up an impressive 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns on 97 receptions in 2016.

Pro Football Focus ranked Davis third among all collegiate wide receivers.

Unfortunately, teams may not get a proper up-close look at Davis before the draft. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the pass-catcher recently underwent ankle surgery and will be unable to run at the combine:

The good news is that the recovery period isn't expected to be lengthy, and Davis should be available to practice shortly after the draft.

The better news—at least for Davis—is that teams are already aware of the kind of talent Davis possesses, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah:

Teams may not need to see the wideout at the combine to understand what he is capable of.

   

Malik Hooker Also Has Surgery

Davis wasn't the only potential first-round prospect to undergo surgery ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Ohio State safety Malik Hooker underwent surgery to repair a core muscle and a separate labrum procedure:

Hooker is one of several quality defensive prospects who could go in Round 1. He finished the 2016 season with 74 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, four passes defended, seven interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.

Pro Football Focus ranked Hooker 29th among all collegiate safeties in 2016.

As is the case with Davis, it doesn't appear the injuries will keep Hooker out of action for long. While he won't be able to strut his stuff at the combine, he should be available by training camp.

Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller doesn't believe the procedures will affect Hooker's draft stock:

While Hooker's stock might not be affected, it could force teams to focus on other defensive backs during the combine. This, in turn, might uncover a hidden gem or raise the profile of another player who may have otherwise been overlooked.

Consider this notion a silver lining for the teams that aren't lucky enough to land Hooker.