NFL Mock Draft 2017: 1st-Round Projections for Most Coveted Prospects

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2017

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Myles Garrett #15 of the Texas A&M Aggies during warm ups before playing the Mississippi Rebels at Kyle Field on November 12, 2016 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

We're less than a week away from the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, which means that our current perceptions of the college prospects who sit atop this year's draft class are about to be shaken up. 

While a disappointing combine performance won't necessarily torpedo a prospect who has made a name for himself through stellar film, an eye-opening showing by a lesser-known prospect can vault him up draft boards. 

The following mock draft takes team needs into account, but the positional rankings are still very much in flux. That means that although, for example, the Arizona Cardinals may actually target a wide receiver with their selection at No. 13, they may very well like Corey Davis over Mike Williams. 

We'll do a full first-round mock and then break down the players who could find themselves off the board first in April.

NFL Round 1 Mock Draft
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersMitch TrubiskyQBUNC
3Chicago BearsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
4Jacksonville JaguarsJamal AdamsSSLSU
5Tennessee Titans (via LAR)Malik HookerFSOhio State
6New York JetsDeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
7Los Angeles ChargersCam RobinsonOTAlabama
8Carolina PanthersLeonard FournetteRBLSU
9Cincinnati BengalsDerek BarnettDETennessee
10Buffalo BillsDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
11New Orleans SaintsReuben FosterILBAlabama
12Cleveland Browns (via PHI)Marshon LattimoreCBOhio State
13Arizona CardinalsMike WilliamsWRClemson
14Indianapolis ColtsDalvin CookRBFSU
15Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN)Corey DavisWRWestern Michigan
16Baltimore RavensSolomon ThomasDEStanford
17WashingtonMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
18Tennessee TitansJohn RossWRWashington
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersJabrill PeppersSMichigan
20Denver BroncosRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
21Detroit LionsSidney JonesCBWashington
22Miami DolphinsO.J. HowardTEAlabama
23New York GiantsChristian McCaffreyRBStanford
24Oakland RaidersZach CunninghamILBVanderbilt
25Houston TexansTaco CharltonDEMichigan
26Seattle SeahawksGarett BollesOTUtah
27Kansas City ChiefsQuincy WilsonCBFlorida
28Dallas CowboysMarlon HumphreyCBAlabama
29Green Bay PackersTeez TaborCBFlorida
30Pittsburgh SteelersTakkarist McKinleyOLBUCLA
31Atlanta FalconsCharles HarrisDEMissouri
32New England PatriotsTim WilliamsOLBAlabama
Author's picks

Most-Coveted First-Round Prospects 

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

It doesn't matter how much the Cleveland Browns need a quarterback; Myles Garrett is the consensus top player in this draft class, and frankly, the Browns would be silly to pass him up. 

There's a remarkable amount of consensus regarding which player will hear his name called first on Day 1. In recent mock drafts, all five NFL.com draft analysts mocked Garrett to Cleveland, as did five CBS Sports analysts

Only CBS Sports analyst Will Brinson had the gumption to suggest the Browns might walk away from the No. 1 overall pick with quarterback Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina. 

However, if Cleveland wants to turn around some of the poor decision-making that has haunted its front office for years, it will find itself unable to turn down the chance to bring Garrett on board. 

"Overall, Garrett is the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class with his special ability to get upfield quicker than most due to his combination of athleticism, length and football intuition," wrote CBS Sports' Dane Brugler of the 6'4", 268-pound pass-rusher.


Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Speaking of Trubisky, if the Browns do indeed scoop up Garrett at No. 1 overall, it's extremely likely that the San Francisco 49ers will select who they hope will become their quarterback of the future in Trubisky.

It seems like the 49ers have already begun to put the plan to move forward at the position into motion; as Chris Biderman of the Niners Wire reported Wednesday, Colin Kaepernick met with the 49ers front office, and all parties left the meeting "excited."

Chris Biderman @ChrisBiderman

#49ers Lynch said Kyle Shanahan was also in the meeting with Kaepernick. Wouldn’t offer specifics, but said all parties came out ‘excited.’

In some ways, while Cleveland's choice seems obvious at the top selection, San Francisco has some tough decisions to make.

Assuming Garrett is off the board, players who could lure the 49ers away from selecting Trubisky include Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen and Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, both of whom would instantly upgrade San Francisco's defense, which finished dead last in the league in 2016. 

However, the 49ers offense also finished near the bottom of the league, at No. 31 overall. There's no denying they need to infuse the quarterback position with some young talent. Trubisky is no Andrew Luck or Jared Goff, but the Tar Heels prospect is confident, accurate and a piece San Francisco could build around. 


Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is trying to build a top 3-4 defense, and to be successful, he'll need his general manager, Ryan Pace, to give him a little help. 

Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen would go a long way. 

The Bears need a speedy edge-rusher to get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Allen is almost sure to impress with his 40-yard dash time at the combine, but in the meantime, he's built a portfolio of impressive tape that is sure to catch the eye of all the teams picking in the top 10. 

In 2015, Allen posted 36 tackles and led the Crimson Tide in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (12).

"They have some good, young pieces on the defense, and adding him would bring one more," CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco wrote, adding that Allen is "a power player who can also rush the passer."

At 6'3" and 291 pounds, Allen is smaller than some of the previous defensive linemen Alabama has produced. But his speed is what could make him truly dangerous off the edge.