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NFL Draft 2017: Latest Mock Draft, Projections for Difficult 1st-Round Decisions

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2017

Former Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett smiles during Texas A&M Pro Day at the NCAA football team's indoor training facility, Thursday, Match 30, 2017, in College Station, Texas. The event is to showcase players for the upcoming NFL football draft. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The long build to the 2017 NFL draft is nearly over.

Three weeks from now, Roger Goodell will step to the podium (likely to a chorus of boos) and put the Cleveland Browns on the clock. Nearly every mock draft has come to a consensus that Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett will go off the board first.

Afterward, though? It's anyone's guess.

Here is a look at the latest outlook for the entire first round and projections for the most difficult decisions teams will make.

2017 NFL Mock Draft
PickTeamPlayer
1Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersJamal Adams, S, LSU
3Chicago BearsMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State
4Jacksonville JaguarsSolomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
5Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams)Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
6New York JetsMarshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7Los Angeles ChargersO.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
8Carolina PanthersLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU
9Cincinnati BengalsReuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10Buffalo BillsMike Williams, WR, Clemson
11New Orleans SaintsDerek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
12Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles)Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
13Arizona CardinalsMitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
14Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings)Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
15Indianapolis ColtsRyan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
16Baltimore RavensTakkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA
17WashingtonDalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
18Tennessee TitansCorey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersMalik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
20Denver BroncosGarrett Bolles, OT, Utah
21Detroit LionsCharles Harris, LB, Missouri
22Miami DolphinsForrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
23New York GiantsZach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
24Oakland RaidersCaleb Brantley, DT, Florida
25Houston TexansCam Robinson, OT, Alabama
26Seattle SeahawksTaco Charlton, DE, Michigan
27Kansas City ChiefsJarrad Davis, LB, Florida
28Dallas CowboysJabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
29Green Bay PackersMarlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
30Pittsburgh SteelersTim Williams, LB, Alabama
31Atlanta FalconsCam Robinson, OT, Alabama
32New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots)Marcus Maye, S, Florida

2. San Francisco 49ers

There was a period where it seemed like the first two picks of this draft would be defensive linemen. Garrett has been the clear favorite for No. 1 throughout the process, and Alabama's Jonathan Allen looked like a favorite to shore up the 49ers' front seven early on.

San Francisco has issues all over its defense, finishing last in points allowed and 28th in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric. The team has not done much to add difference-makers in free agency and is seemingly OK with a full-fledged youth movement.

The 49ers' pick, in that sense, could go anywhere. They could shock everyone and roll the dice on Leonard Fournette, go safe with Allen, or take a chance on one of the draft's top defensive backs. LSU's Jamal Adams has been sensational throughout the draft process and has perennial Pro Bowl potential.

Adams is a great fit, but this pick could go anywhere.

The QB Teams

Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press

Also known as the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. 

The Browns could surprise everyone and take a quarterback at No. 1, but it's more realistic they wait to see who is available at No. 12. The 49ers would likely have to move back to take a quarterback, given they signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as stopgaps.

The Jets at No. 6 is probably the most realistic first spot for a quarterback. Their only quarterback signing was Josh McCown, who turns 38 years old in July. It's possible they wind up signing Jay Cutler, as has been widely speculated, but McCown screams one-year mentor.

The Cardinals could look at turning Carson Palmer into a late-career mentor for Mitch Trubisky or DeShaun Watson, both of whom could use a year of fine-tuning. One of these teams is going to take a quarterback in the top 12.

Trubisky and Watson will have their fingers crossed the premium of their position winds up convincing teams they're both worth a shot early on. 

How Early Do the RBs Come Off the Board?

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Leonard Fournette will go first. We basically know this much. Even after coming into the combine 240 pounds, Fournette still ran a solid 4.51-second time and is one of the most physically gifted running backs in recent memory. He also trimmed down for his pro day, seemingly just to prove he could.

"I think some of them wanted me to just see if I could get down to that size," Fournette told reporters at the pro day. "Some people had concerns about me at 240. ... So I just wanted to show them I could stay on course and be disciplined and do what I have to do."

Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Christian McCaffrey are likely next on most boards, though the order could be different. McCaffrey is a smooth three-down back and put up excellent numbers at the combine.

Cook has the pedigree of elite production at Florida State, but his combine numbers were a little underwhelming in comparison to McCaffrey.

There is also the question of whether Joe Mixon comes off the board in Round 1. His off-the-field issues have become well-documented at this point, but it's become increasingly clear he's going to be drafted in one of the first two days.  

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