The 2017 NFL draft is now only days away, though this doesn't mean we have a firm grasp on what teams are going to do. Even with teams counting the hours until they are officially on the clock, the draft landscape is still changing.
We don't even yet know who is going to be taken No. 1 overall.
This, of course, isn't going to stop us from making predictions about this year's top prospects, which is exactly what we're going to do here. We'll run down the current draft order and make projections for each pick.
We'll also examine some of the latest news and rumors heading into draft weekend.
2017 NFL Mock Draft
|Pick||NFL Team||Proj. Selection|
|1||Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford|
|3||Chicago Bears||Jamal Adams, S, LSU|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU|
|5||Tennessee Titans (from LAR)||Mike Williams, WR, Clemson|
|6||New York Jets||Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama|
|8||Carolina Panthers||Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State|
|9||Cincinnati Bengals||Haason Reddick, LB, Temple|
|10||Buffalo Bills||Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina|
|11||New Orleans Saints||Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee|
|12||Cleveland Browns (from PHI)||O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama|
|13||Arizona Cardinals||Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson|
|14||Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN)||Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State|
|15||Indianapolis Colts||Charles Harris, DE, Missouri|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||John Ross, WR, Washington|
|17||Washington Redskins||Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan|
|18||Tennessee Titans||Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford|
|20||Denver Broncos||Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky|
|21||Detroit Lions||Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama|
|22||Miami Dolphins||Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama|
|23||New York Giants||David Njoku, TE, Miami|
|24||Oakland Raiders||Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut|
|25||Houston Texans||Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech|
|26||Seattle Seahawks||Garett Bolles, OT, Utah|
|27||Kansas City Chiefs||Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA|
|28||Dallas Cowboys||Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan|
|29||Green Bay Packers||Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC|
|30||Pittsburgh Steelers||Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan|
|31||Atlanta Falcons||Dan Feeney, G, Indiana|
|32||New Orleans Saints (from NE)||Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida|
Peppers Has Diluted Sample
First it was former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster who reportedly had a diluted urine sample at the scouting combine. Now it has come out that former Michigan linebacker/safety Jabrill Peppers also had a diluted urine sample.
This is worth noting because the NFL treats a diluted sample as the same thing as a failed drug test.
CAA, the agency representing Peppers, released a statement claiming the issue was simply a matter of over-hydration—as noted by ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego. He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance.
However, according to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, at least one team isn't buying the excuse:
If teams are going to treat the diluted sample the same as they would a positive test, then perhaps this incident will hurt Peppers' stock with mere days to go before the draft. However, it probably won't have as big of an impact as Foster's diluted sample.
There were already some off-field and maturity concerns with Foster coming into the draft process. No such concerns seem to exist with Peppers—and I believe he'll still end up in the first round.
If I were picking for an NFL team, I'd be more concerned with the fact that Peppers has "a history of cramping." Peppers cannot be a versatile defensive force if he cannot stay hydrated and on the field.
Is David Webb a First-Round Prospect?
We haven't heard a ton of buzz about former Cal quarterback Davis Webb as a first-round prospect, but could he be? Perhaps the question we should actually be asking is should he be?
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, several scouts he has spoken with said they'd rank Webb over former Cal quarterback Jared Goff.
"Goff has maybe quicker feet and better release. Davis has a stronger arm. Goff would be more accurate. Davis would be a much better worker, much smarter, better leader, enjoy the process," one scout told Pelissero.
Goff, in case you forgot, was the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft.
If this year's draft is as weak at the quarterback position, how on earth do some scouts like a borderline second-round pick better than last year's No. 1? Perhaps we in the media have simply misjudged how teams actually view this year's crop of quarterbacks. Perhaps the Los Angeles Rams seriously misjudged Goff.
The truth is likely somewhere in between. There doesn't appear to be a sure thing among this year's quarterbacks, but there does appear to be plenty of upside with them. Maybe teams have been considering Webb a future starter and possible first-round pick all along.
"The one name I keep hearing a bunch is Cal's Davis Webb," ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay recently wrote. "Some people like him a lot more than I do. I'm not sure that means he'll go in Round 1, but he's a name to keep an eye on."
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Webb went at the bottom of Round 1 or within the first few picks in Round 2.
What's Really Going on With the Browns and Myles Garrett?
The Cleveland Browns are still torn between former Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett and former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 1 overall, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Former NFL player Warren Sapp believes that Garrett isn't worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.
"I don't see it from this kid," Sapp said of Garrett, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I see the splash plays; everybody gets those. Where's the game he took over?
Sapp certainly has a right to his opinion, but Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com brought up a good point after Sapp's comments hit the internet—why is Schefter reporting them?
"Schefter, who primarily tweets and talks, has taken the time to write up an article with strong, opinionated quotes from someone who currently isn't the in NFL in a coaching, scouting, playing, or media capacity," Florio wrote. "It's fair to ask why."
Schefter is in the business of being an NFL insider, which means reporting timely and accurate information as much as possible. Granted, there is going to be a lot of smoke coming from teams this time of year, and it's possible not every quote Schefter gets reflects a team's true opinion. There's no real reason, however, to put too much weight behind Sapp's opinion.
In Florio's opinion, this could be a case of Schefter doing a favor for the Browns ahead of a possible trade or selection of a different player at No. 1. Perhaps the Browns really do want Trubisky at the top and they want at least a few opinions out there prior to the draft that go against Garrett as a slam dunk.
To me, this feels more like the work of a team hoping to land Garrett after the Browns have already made the first pick.
Then again, maybe Schefter actually just values Sapp's opinion and we're overthinking this. Maybe the Browns are locked in on Garrett and the talk of being uncertain about the pick is the real smoke. Maybe they don't want Garrett or Trubisky and want to create a market for the No. 1 pick.
Even though the Browns have been on the clock since the end of the regular season, we aren't likely to know anything for certain until Thursday night.