2017 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Where 1st-Round Prospects Will End Up

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 23, 2017

North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is seen in a drill at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Teams are approaching zero hour in their preparations for the 2017 NFL draft, which means they will be sorting out their board to make sure the player they want to get in the first round will be available. 

This is one of the most unusual drafts to predict because the first three teams would seem to be in the market for a franchise quarterback, yet there isn't one available this year who is worthy of a selection that high. 

For better or worse, quarterbacks drive the draft. The Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles traded substantial packages last year to get Jared Goff and Carson Wentz with the first two picks, respectively. 

In the final days leading up to the draft, here are the best mock predictions for what will happen in the first round on April 27. 

2017 NFL Mock Draft
1Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersSolomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3Chicago BearsMarshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
5Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams)Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
6New York JetsMitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
7Los Angeles ChargersMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8Carolina PanthersLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU
9Cincinnati BengalsReuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10Buffalo BillsJamal Adams, S, LSU
11New Orleans SaintsHaason Reddick, LB, Temple
12Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles)Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
13Arizona CardinalsDeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
14Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings)Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
15Indianapolis ColtsDerek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16Baltimore RavensJohn Ross, WR, Washington
17WashingtonChristian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
18Tennessee TitansKevin King, CB, Washington
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersDalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
20Denver BroncosO.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
21Detroit LionsTakkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
22Miami DolphinsForrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
23New York GiantsDavid Njoku, TE, Miami
24Oakland RaidersJarrad Davis, LB, Florida
25Houston TexansPatrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
26Seattle SeahawksMarlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
27Kansas City ChiefsMalik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
28Dallas CowboysTre'Davious White, CB, LSU
29Green Bay PackersCharles Harris, LB, Missouri
30Pittsburgh SteelersCorey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
31Atlanta FalconsGarrett Bolles, OT, Utah
32New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots)Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Adam Wells' Mock Draft

The Top Pick: Myles Garrett, DE 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last week the Cleveland Browns were split between Myles Garrett and Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 1 overall pick. 

While no one doubts the authenticity of Schefter reporting what he hears from people around the league, it reeks of typical pre-draft chatter meant to create drama leading up to the first round and a calculated move on the Browns' part to try convincing teams interested in Trubisky to make a huge trade offer. 

Since there doesn't seem to be any great urgency by teams to make that offer, the Browns will be forced to simply add Garrett to their roster. 

They will probably feel awful about it, too. 

After all, what would a team that finished last in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders, want with the best pure pass-rusher in the draft?

Bleacher Report's Mike Tanier offered this sentiment about Garrett after watching the Texas A&M star dominate at the scouting combine:

Garrett tore the combine in half like an old phonebook this weekend. The 272-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds. He benched 33 reps, second among defensive linemen to Auburn's Carl Lawson. He crushed the vertical and broad jumps and breezed through position drills. He faced the press with quick wit and aplomb; by all accounts, he did the same during team interviews.

So this is a no-brainer for the Browns. No Moneyball trades. No quarterback reaches. Call Garrett's agent and start the negotiations now.

The Browns have tried to get cute with their draft picks in the past. Trading out of the No. 4 pick in 2014 to get Justin Gilbert eighth overall was a disaster on its own, but it was made worse later in the first round when they traded up to select Johnny Manziel at No. 22. 

With two first-round picks this year, the Browns can worry about getting cute with the No. 12 pick. As soon as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces they are on the clock, their mission should be to run a card up to the podium as soon as possible to officially make Garrett part of their team. 

The 1st QB: Mitchell Trubisky, QB

Even though Trubisky may be holding out hope to go No. 1 overall, the North Carolina star will have to wait a little while to know where he will play in the NFL. 

It's no secret the quarterbacks in this year's class all come with at least one huge caveat, which is why Trubisky is the only one even whispered for the top pick. 

ESPN's Matt Bowen highlighted the reasons why Trubisky is a risk for NFL teams and why those same teams in need of a quarterback would also be infatuated with him:

Trubisky (6-foot-2, 222 pounds) started only one season in college, and he lived out of the shotgun in the Tar Heels' offense. However, Trubisky has the quick release, the movement skills/athleticism (4.67 40) and the arm strength to make the jump to the league. When he gets to the edge of the pocket, he can square his shoulders and rip the ball.

There are reasonable arguments for the Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears to select a quarterback in the first round because of how desperate they are to find long-term solutions at the position.

The Browns are fortunate to have two of the first 12 picks, while the 49ers and Bears would have to jump the gun at No. 2 or 3 if they want one of the top quarterbacks. 

The 49ers hired an offensive guru in Kyle Shanahan as their head coach, so it wouldn't be a surprise if they opted to take a chance on Trubisky and let him develop for one year while Brian Hoyer starts in 2017. 

However, in this mock scenario, the 49ers and Bears simply take the best players available who fill another position of need. 

The New York Jets have not been shy about hiding their love for Trubisky. They hosted him last week and will have a clear path to select him, barring trades, if the 49ers and Bears pass on him since the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans aren't in the quarterback market. 

With the Jets now embracing their rebuilding effort, moving on from veterans like Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis, they need a young quarterback to start building around.

Worst Pick: DeShone Kizer, QB

There's been discussion throughout this piece about the quarterback class, yet you'll notice there are still four going in the first round. 

This only illustrates how desperate teams are to have a quarterback they believe can lead them for the next decade. Teams will always reach at this position, no matter what. It's why players like Manziel, Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel were first-round picks. 

Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer has every single physical gift a team wants in a quarterback, as noted by Pro Football Focus:

Kizer’s traits are as good as any quarterback in the 2017 class, but the inconsistencies with accuracy and decision-making leave a lot of question marks of how he will translate to the next level. The natural instincts for the position and pure arm talent are there, with a coach likely to see those uncoachable traits that and try make him into the player he has the potential to be.

Kizer did not have a banner 2016 to erase any doubts about his NFL credentials. His completion percentage dropped from 63 two years ago to 58.7 last season, and his raw QBR went from 70 to 63.8, per ESPN.com

Despite some red flags, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians feels like the kind of coach who believes he can take Kizer's raw potential and turn it into on-field performance. 

The Cardinals do need a long-term answer at quarterback since Carson Palmer will play next season at 37 years old. 

Yet this is also a team that's just one year removed from playing for the NFC championship and could stand to add help at inside linebacker or in the secondary, riding things out with Palmer hoping for one more big run in 2017 before finding an answer at quarterback next year. 

The combination of Palmer's age and wanting to have a ready-made replacement on the roster will push the Cardinals to overdraft Kizer instead of going after one of the positions they need more help at next season. 


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