NFL Mock Draft 2017: Full 1st-Round Projections for Nation's Top Prospects

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2017

Mike Williams is one of a few notables with shifting stock right now.
Mike Williams is one of a few notables with shifting stock right now.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A sense of madness has swept the sporting realm, though the NFL seems in a holding pattern. 

The biggest free agents have found new homes and draft prospects have already been put through their paces at the scouting combine. With the draft still quite a bit away, a league that wants to be front and center all the time and function as a year-round league has quite a drought right about now.

But not really.

Do a quick Google search and see plenty of analysis and reactions over pro days. These events are friendly to prospects, so the numbers coming out typically look better than those from Indianapolis. If they don't it might be time to wave a red flag.

Pro days won't change stock much, but let's take a look at a fresh mock draft altered by free agency and then zoom on a few prospects who do have shifting stock.


2017 Draft Order and Projections

1Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersMitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
3Chicago BearsDeshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
4Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5Tennessee Titans (from Rams)Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
6New York JetsSolomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
7Los Angeles ChargersJamal Adams, S, LSU
8Carolina PanthersMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State
9Cincinnati BengalsMalik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
10Buffalo BillsMarshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
11New Orleans SaintsReuben Foster, LB, Alabama
12Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
13Arizona CardinalsDeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
14Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15Indianapolis ColtsJohn Ross, WR, Washington
16Baltimore RavensMike Williams, WR, Clemson
17Washington RedskinsJonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
18Tennessee TitansMarlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuincy Wilson, CB, Florida
20Denver BroncosGarett Bolles , OT, Utah
21Detroit LionsTakkarist McKinley, OLB/DE, UCLA
22Miami DolphinsDerek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
23New York GiantsTim Williams, LB/DE, Alabama
24Oakland RaidersTre'Davious White, CB, LSU
25Houston TexansPatrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
26Seattle SeahawksCam Robinson, OT, Alabama
27Kansas City ChiefsDan Feeney, OG, Indiana
28Dallas CowboysKevin King, CB, Washington
29Green Bay PackersForrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
30Pittsburgh SteelersDavid Njoku, TE, Miami
31Atlanta FalconsCaleb Brantley, DT, Florida
32New Orleans Saints (from Patriots)Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Author's projections.


Biggest Recent Stock Movers 

8. Carolina Panthers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

It happens every year—injuries slam the stock of a notable player. 

This time it's Malik Hooker out of Ohio State, a safety with some of the best instincts and center fielder skills to hit the draft in a long time.

Hooker needed surgery to repair a torn labrum and sports hernia in January. It's not the end of the world, but pair it with the fact he only has one year of serious experience and is a liability against the run, and top-five projections start to go out the window.

Which isn't to say a team like the Carolina Panthers will complain. A unit still reeling from the loss of Josh Norman needs to rebuild. Last year, Kurt Coleman ranked as the 43rd-best safety in football at Pro Football Focus, with Tre Boston (49) and Michael Griffin (79) not doing any better.

Hooker is a project. He's not going to light the NFL on fire as a rookie because he simply doesn't have enough experience on the field. But at the same time, players with his sheer coverage ability don't come around that often. There's a reason his pro comparison by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein is none other than Ed Reed.


14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey blew the lid off the combine.

Those who watched his film knew it was coming, but McCaffrey decided to grab the attention of those who overlooked him by ripping off a 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and post outstanding numbers in the three-cone drill (6.57 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (4.22) and 60-yard shuttle (11.03).

That helps explain those 2,019 rushing yards and eight scores in 2015 before another 1,603 and 13 last year, right?

McCaffrey, 5'11" and 202 pounds, is the perfect blend of skills and athleticism for today's NFL, which makes him such an attractive pick for the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 14.

ESPN.com's Todd McShay concurred in his latest mock draft:

McCaffrey has a ton of versatility: He can handle 10 or so carries per game, catch passes as a slot receiver and contribute in the return game. He had an exceptional week at the combine, showing off his straight-line speed and short-area quickness. McCaffrey's elite character could be the tiebreaker with Florida State RB Dalvin Cook for some teams.

After Dalvin Cook's rough outing at the combine, McCaffrey slots just behind Leonard Fournette as the best back in class. And even then, Philadelphia might have liked the Stanford product's versatility more regardless of how Cook showed.

For Carson Wentz, leaning on Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Mathews and McCaffrey out of the backfield is a nice way to avoid a sophomore slump, making this selection an easy call at a good value.


16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Clemson wideout Mike Williams might be the most polarizing player with a first-round outlook this year.

Williams is a big body at 6'4" and 218 pounds, though anyone that watched an ounce of film knew he wouldn't post strong numbers in agility drills.

Despite this, a hoopla of sorts went up when Williams didn't run at the combine, instead running at the Clemson pro day, where he posted numbers south of 4.50. Then there was this, from NFL.com's Gil Brandt:

Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt

Talked to scout at Clemson pro day, had 2 comments: >> Watson had pretty good day >> Mike Williams didn't run as fast as what most think

Look, a time in a dash isn't the end of the world. But each year, media has to play catch up with the thinking of secretive NFL teams. This seems to be the case here—Williams lacking in one area looks like a detriment at the pro level—knocking him out of top-10 consideration.

Know who else had an iffy combine? A.J. Green.

Williams isn't Green, but an inability to create separation and overly relying on winning jump balls is a risky path. It's why McShay doesn't mock him until the No. 18 pick to Tennessee and CBS Sports' big board ranks him 21st overall.

It will come down to fit for Williams, which is why he lands with the Baltimore Ravens here. Big-armed Joe Flacco wouldn't mind a guy who can go up and catch passes. The team already has a hit on its hands with deep threat Mike Wallace, but waiting for Breshad Perriman to prove he isn't a bust is wasting time.

Maybe Williams can square off with well with Green twice a year in the AFC North.


Stats courtesy of NFL.com. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.