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

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2017

Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett competes in a drill at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The NFL combine is behind us, and college pro days are upon us, which means the mock draft landscape is shifting weekly as more information comes out about this year's prospects. 

One thing that hasn't changed is the fact that Texas A&M's Myles Garrett is still considered the consensus best player in this class, and for that reason, his position atop the mock draft with the Cleveland Browns' selection at No. 1 remains unchanged.

But plenty of other prospects saw their draft stock rise and fall after their workouts. Let's take a look at how the other 31 selections on Day 1 could shake out. 

2017 NFL First-Round Mock Draft
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersSolomon ThomasDEStanford
3Chicago BearsJamal AdamsSSLSU
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan AllenDEAlabama
5Tennessee Titans (via LAR)Marshon LattimoreCBOhio State
6New York JetsDeshaun WatsonQBClemson
7Los Angeles ChargersMalik HookerFSOhio State
8Carolina PanthersLeonard FournetteRBLSU
9Cincinnati BengalsReuben FosterILBAlabama
10Buffalo BillsMike WilliamsWRClemson
11New Orleans SaintsDerek BarnettDETennessee
12Cleveland Browns (via PHI)Mitch TrubiskyQBUNC
13Arizona CardinalsDeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
14Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN)Corey DavisWRWestern Michigan
15Indianapolis ColtsDalvin CookRBFSU
16Baltimore RavensCam RobinsonOTAlabama
17WashingtonMalik McDowellDTMichigan State
18Tennessee TitansJohn RossWRWashington
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersJabrill PeppersSMichigan
20Denver BroncosO.J. HowardTEAlabama
21Detroit LionsSidney JonesCBWashington
22Miami DolphinsHaason ReddickDETemple
23New York GiantsRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
24Oakland RaidersZach CunninghamILBVanderbilt
25Houston TexansTaco CharltonDEMichigan
26Seattle SeahawksGarett BollesOTUtah
27Kansas City ChiefsChristian McCaffreyRBStanford
28Dallas CowboysMarlon HumphreyCBAlabama
29Green Bay PackersForrest LampGWestern Kentucky
30Pittsburgh SteelersTakkarist McKinleyOLBUCLA
31Atlanta FalconsCharles HarrisDEMissouri
32Saints (via NE)David NjokuTEMiami
Author's picks

Prized Prospects

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Despite the moves NFL teams made in free agency and the fact that other players wowed at the combine, hardly anything can cause Garrett to budge from the top overall pick regardless of who held the selection.

Garrett will be a franchise-changing player for the Cleveland Browns if he lives up to his billing—but then again, he could serve that role for nearly any of the NFL's 32 franchises. 

"Garrett lived up to his hype at the Combine, dazzling with his combination of size (6'4", 272), power (33 repetitions of 225 pounds) and speed (4.64) and explosiveness (41-inch vertical)," CBS Sports' Rob Rang wrote after Garrett's workouts, which helped solidify his top billing this year. 

In the current mock drafts by 10 experts from CBSSports.com and NFL.com, every single one projected the Browns to select Garrett No. 1 overall. Even Cleveland can't mess this one up. 

Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Stanford pass-rusher Solomon Thomas has always been projected to come off the board in the first half of Day 1, but he shot up draft boards after his impressive performance at the combine. 

Thomas checked one of the most important boxes at the combine with his weigh-in and measurements, which Yahoo's Charles Robinson shared on Twitter:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

#Stanford DL Solomon Thomas measured 6-2 5/8, 273 pounds, 9 3/8 hands, 33-inch arms, 78 7/8 wingspan. #NFLCombine

Those numbers prove that Thomas has plenty of length to fit a variety of defensive schemes, including San Francisco's, either with his hand in the dirt or as an edge-rusher. 

Unfortunately for fellow defensive prospect Jonathan Allen, Thomas rose so high on the draft boards partially because of news about Allen's arthritic shoulder condition, which could spook some teams out of selecting him so high.

That makes Thomas the second-best prospect in the draft after Garrett and, by definition, the second-best overall prospect as well.

Jamal Adams, SS, LSU

The Chicago Bears need help in the backfield, and Jamal Adams looks like the best defensive back in the draft.

"He is a tone-setter with a rare combination of instincts, athleticism and intangibles to make an immediate impact on a defense that made strides a year ago but allowed 24.9 points per game, 24th in the NFL," Rang wrote when projecting that the Bears select Adams with the No. 3 overall pick. 

Adams posted a career-high 76 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, in his 2016 season with LSU. The Bears have long struggled to contain some of the pass-catching weapons in the NFC North and have to meet Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers twice a year. 

Selecting Adams would give Chicago one of the key pieces it is missing in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense and help the Bears rebuild their way back into the conversation in their division.

Unlike many first-round prospects, he appears to have few weaknesses in his game.


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