At this time, you'll notice 2017 NFL mock drafts will look very different from those in February and March. Analysts, coaches and general managers have NFL Scouting Combine numbers, pro day figures and interviews that revealed pertinent information about incoming rookies in consideration.
As a result, prospects who may not have been projected in the first round all of the sudden rise to the forefront as early-round picks. Others shoot into the Day 1 discussion.
Team needs, off-field concerns and injuries to others also elevate decent prospects into first-round territory. This year, Washington cornerback Sidney Jones tore his Achilles during his pro day performance, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
The injury directly affected a former teammate's stock at the same position. How far did fellow Washington cornerback Kevin King surge on big boards and mock drafts?
Quality pass-rushers and linebackers initially projected as second-round picks may have a slight opportunity to collect first-round cash due to team needs toward the end of the opening round.
Who's stock rose over the past few weeks? Which prospects should we consider underrated talent?
|NFL Mock Draft—Round 1|
|1||Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson|
|3||Chicago Bears||Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford|
|5||Tennessee Titans (via Rams)||Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama|
|6||New York Jets||Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State|
|8||Carolina Panthers||Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals||Jamal Adams, S, LSU|
|10||Buffalo Bills||Mike Williams, WR, Clemson|
|11||New Orleans Saints||Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee|
|12||Cleveland Browns (via Eagles)||Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina|
|13||Arizona Cardinals||Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State|
|14||Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings)||Kevin, King, CB, Washington|
|15||Indianapolis Colts||Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama|
|17||Washington Redskins||Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State|
|18||Tennessee Titans||Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan|
|20||Denver Broncos||O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama|
|21||Detroit Lions||Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt|
|22||Miami Dolphins||Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan|
|23||New York Giants||Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin|
|24||Oakland Raiders||Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida|
|25||Houston Texans||Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech|
|26||Seattle Seahawks||Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado|
|27||Kansas City Chiefs||Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee|
|28||Dallas Cowboys||Charles Harris, DE, Missouri|
|29||Green Bay Packers||Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida|
|30||Pittsburgh Steelers||John Ross, WR, Washington|
|31||Atlanta Falcons||Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State|
|32||New Orleans Saints||Haason Reddick, LB, Temple|
|Draft Order via NFL.com|
Kevin King, CB, Washington
Jones' Achilles injury certainly helped boost King's status among cornerbacks in this draft class. According to CSN Philly reporter Andrew Kulp, many considered the Washington product as the top prospect before the pro day injury.
King's stature and collegiate statistics already drew interest as an early-round draft pick. Jones' expected drop may solidify the 6'3", 200-pound cornerback as a first-round pick. At the moment, CBS Sports ranks him as the second-best prospect at the position.
King put together a strong senior season opposite Jones in the Cougars secondary. He logged two interceptions and 13 passes defensed in 2016. According to NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein, he allowed one touchdown in the last 101 pass targets on assignment.
"[His] length creates challenge for receivers used to winning at the high point. Instinctive with good feel for finding football. Allowed just one touchdown over last 101 targets. Six career interceptions with hands to make the circus pick. Patient from press coverage," said Zierlein.
King would be an interest to teams looking to combat big athletic wide receivers on the perimeter. The Philadelphia Eagles, who compete in a division with wideouts Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall with a need at cornerback, may find interest at No. 14.
Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
Alabama prospect Reuben Foster's off-field transgressions may cost him significant cash. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, he admitted to a diluted sample, which counts as a positive test under the NFL substance policy.
Some will toss out the diluted sample as a minor issue. However, when it's combined with his combine incident involving a hospital worker, per Schefter, and an offseason shoulder surgery, a cumulative effect could hurt his draft stock.
Certain teams may connect the dots and choose to look at prospects behind Foster at a thin position near the top. Florida's Jarrad Davis projects as the No. 2 player at inside linebacker, per CBS Sports.
Davis' history with minor injuries may scare teams away, but he's productive when available. The Florida linebacker also brings good character and a clean background to the locker room.
"Praised for both his football and personal character, Davis has athletic gifts to go along with the character traits teams are looking for. His ability to cover ground, operate with loose hips in space and finish his tackles make him a draft favorite for some teams," said Zierlein.
Despite all the good traits, don't expect Davis to surpass Foster in draft selection order. Nonetheless, with four years experience and a sign of maturity, Davis could hear his name called late in the first round.
The Oakland Raiders need more than one prospect at linebacker to address their deficiencies at the position. The Florida prospect's versatility should draw general manager Reggie McKenzie's interest. His injury history may not hurt his stock with Oakland. The Raiders executive drafted safety Karl Joseph at No. 14 in 2015, despite his extended recovery following an ACL tear.
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Starting with Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett at No. 1, four defensive ends may land on rosters in the first round. For the most part, Michigan's Taco Charlton serves as the cutoff point between opening-round and Day 2 prospects at the position.
At 6'3", 253 pounds, he'll need to add size to battle in the trenches against professional offensive linemen. At times, on the collegiate level, Harris struggled against bigger pass-protectors at the line of scrimmage.
The Missouri defensive end tallied 16 sacks and 30.5 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons. His production and athleticism may draw interest from the Dallas Cowboys at No. 28.
The Cowboys selected defensive end Randy Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft, but he's only played 14 games due to suspensions under the league's substance abuse policy.
Defensive lineman Benson Mayowa led the team in sacks (six) in the previous season. The front office should consider Harris to add athleticism along the defensive front and slowly move on from Gregory, who's serving a minimum one-year ban.