NFL Draft 2017: Latest 1st-Round Mock Draft for Marquee Prospects

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 05: Defensive lineman Myles Garrett of Texas A
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NFL draft is just over a week away, and while plenty of prospects are rising and falling leading up to Thursday's Day 1 action, others have been cemented near the top of the class for months. 

These are the marquee prospects, the ones scouts and executives grade out as once-in-a-generation talents.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this kind of prospect in the 2017 class is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the consensus top prospect and a franchise-changer on defense. 

But other players have remained in the limelight heading into Round 1. ESPN uses a grade system that scores out of 100, with players in the 90-100 range considered "rare prospects" who "[demonstrate] rare abilities and can create mismatches that have an obvious impact on the game."

In this year's class, Garrett grades out as a 95. Right up there with him are LSU safety Jamal Adams and Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, both of whom received the next-highest grades of 93. 

Let's take a look at where Garrett, Adams, Allen and more could land when the action begins next Thursday.

2017 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft
1Cleveland BrownsMyles GarrettDETexas A&M
2San Francisco 49ersSolomon ThomasDEStanford
3Chicago BearsJamal AdamsSSLSU
4Jacksonville JaguarsJonathan AllenDTAlabama
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)Mitchell 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 LionsHaason ReddickDETemple
22Miami DolphinsForrest LampGWestern Kentucky
23New York GiantsRyan RamczykOTWisconsin
24Oakland RaidersZach CunninghamILBVanderbilt
25Houston TexansTaco CharltonDEMichigan
26Seattle SeahawksGarett BollesOTUtah
27Kansas City ChiefsChristian McCaffreyRBStanford
28Dallas CowboysMarlon HumphreyCBAlabama
29Green Bay PackersT.J. WattOLBWisconsin
30Pittsburgh SteelersTakkarist McKinleyOLBUCLA
31Atlanta FalconsCharles HarrisDEMissouri
32Saints (via NE)David NjokuTEMiami
Author's picks

Marquee Prospects

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

As previously mentioned, Garrett is without a doubt the best prospect on the board this year. 

Garrett started for three years at Texas A&M, finishing his college career with 141 tackles—including 47 for loss, 31 sacks, an interception, five passes defended and seven forced fumbles. 

In his one full 13-game season in 2015, Garrett blew up, posting 59 tackles—including 19.5 for loss, 11.5 sacks, his one interception, two passes defended and five forced fumbles. All were or tied career highs. 

"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," CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler wrote in Garrett's draft profile. 

"He is the clear favorite to be drafted first overall and should make an immediate NFL impact rushing the passer."

Of course, it's not guaranteed that the team with the No. 1 overall pick will select Garrett...but by all accounts, they would be crazy not to. The Cleveland Browns have indicated that their front office remains undecided about which prospect to select at No. 1, per ESPN's Adam Schefter

That could also be deliberate deflection, however, which wouldn't be at all surprising for a prospect this special. 

Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Safety Adams may not come off the board until No. 3 overall in this mock draft, but he's probably the second-best prospect in this class. 

The San Francisco 49ers need pass-rush help more than help in the secondary, which is why they allow Adams to fall to the Chicago Bears at No. 3. 

Adams is a game-changing safety who can make an impact from Day 1. 

According to NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein, Adams "should be a commanding presence in the locker room early on and his do-as-I-do play demeanor could be the catalyst for turning a struggling defense around quickly."

The Bears are improving on defense, but they are still in need of some key pieces as they complete their transition to a 3-4 scheme under coordinator Vic Fangio. Adams is a necessary player in the NFC North, which will see the Bears face the Packers' Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Martellus Bennett.

But Adams is skilled against the run, as well, and that would be important against the Minnesota Vikings' new addition, running back Latavius Murray. 

Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Allen is the latest top defensive lineman to come out of Alabama, and he'll almost certainly be off the board by the No. 5 pick.

Allen started for three years for the Crimson Tide and proved his versatility there, lining up inside and outside in Alabama's front.

He can rush the passer from the interior and frequently wins his matchups against offensive linemen. 

"Allen has scheme-diverse ability and will benefit from a creative defensive coordinator who moves him around and doesn't just leave him on the edge, similar to how the Seattle Seahawks use Michael Bennett," Brugler wrote, calling Allen one of the "most talented prospects in the 2017 draft class."

The word "tweener" may be thrown around in the same breath as Allen's name, but some teams will see his position fluidity as a strength, not a weakness. 

Per Sports Illustrated's Chris BurkeAllen "saw a healthy amount of snaps as a 3–4 end for Alabama, but he also can kick further inside as a penetrating tackle or push further outside to change an edge-rushing look."


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