NFL MOCK DRAFT 2017

We said that we’d never do a Mock Draft. But then we realised that, like a gridiron Withnail, we’d done one by accident. So here it is.

Yes indeed. Just about every NFL, every American sports site in fact, does at least one Mock Draft a year. We always thought that we’d be different, largely because few of them do the sort of team-by-team analysis that we do. But then we realised that, in doing that analysis, we’d effectively done one anyway.

What follows doesn’t exactly follow the predictions that we made in each individual article. There are a couple of reasons for this. Most significantly, in some of the previews we gave alternative options for a team; doing the Mock Draft meant that we had to choose one of those options, which meant that there were different players available lower down the Draft for some teams to pick.

In addition, some of the articles were written before the news of Reuben Foster and Jabrill Peppers failing drugs tests. You’ll note that we don’t have either of them being selected in the first round.

We’ve very deliberately not taken potential trades into account. With no actual confirmed trades having taken place, any rumours are just that and we’re sticking to the original order.

Finally, remember that this is a very inexact science. Things were much easier before the latest collective bargaining agreement, when teams could go a long way to signing their desired player before the Draft even began (as an aside, one of the last of those, Jake Long, formally announced his retirement this week). Nowadays, even the acknowledged gurus such as Mel Kiper and Gil Brandt struggle to get more than half a dozen picks right. Us? We’d be happy with just one!

 

NB: This article was written before news of the rape allegations against Gareon Conley broke. Conley has not yet been charged with any offence, or indeed interviewed by the police. There’s a feeling in the NFL that teams were too hasty to overlook the likes of La’el Collins and Dak Prescott in previous years because of ongoing issues with the police (and bear in mind that Prescott had actually been charged with an offence). For that reason we’re not revising this Mock Draft at present.

 

 

1 – CLEVELAND BROWNS – MYLES GARRETT (DE) 

Garrett is a complete no-brainer for the Browns, despite those who are urging them to take a quarterback.

2 – SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – SOLOMON THOMAS (DE)

The 49ers can’t afford not to take the next best player available in the Draft.

3 – CHICAGO BEARS – MALIK HOOKER (S)

With Thomas off the board, the Bears take the best player available at their biggest position of need.

4 – JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – LEONARD FOURNETTE (RB)

The Jags need a quality running back to take pressure off of Blake Bortles.

5 – TENNESSEE TITANS (from LA Rams) – MARSHON LATTIMORE (CB)

Tennessee needs a cornerback and Lattimore is the best one available.

6 – NEW YORK JETS – DESHAUN WATSON (QB)

The Jets won’t take a chance on Reuben Foster after his failed drug test and instead decide to develop Watson behind Josh McCown

7 – LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – JAMAL ADAMS (S)

The Chargers also need secondary help and go with the best safety still available.

8 – CAROLINA PANTHERS – JONATHAN ALLEN (DE)

Another edge rusher is needed in Carolina, Allen is the ideal fit for them.

9 – CINCINNATI BENGALS – TACO CHARLTON (DE)

The Bengals opt to strengthen the defensive line and will try to fill gaps on the offensive one later.

10 – BUFFALO BILLS  – GAREON CONLEY (CB)

After losing so much of their secondary in free agency the Bills find a good replacement in Conley.

11 – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS  – MIKE WILLIAMS (WR)

The Saints get lucky as the best receiver in the Draft falls to them, an opportunity they can’t pass up on.

12 – CLEVELAND BROWNS (from Philadelphia) – PATRICK MAHOMES (QB)

If the Browns don’t trade this pick they’ll want to get a quarterback. Mahomes, having grown up around professional sport, fits their personality-based assessments better than the other prospects.

13 – ARIZONA CARDINALS – MITCHELL TRUBISKY (QB)

Trubisky gets a chance to shadow Carson Palmer as he starts his NFL career.

14 – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (from Minnesota) – CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (RB)

The Eagles need a running back to take pressure off Carson Wentz and go for the former Heisman runner up.

15 – INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – TAKKARIST MCKINLEY (DE)

The Colts are another team forced to pick a defensive player and go for the best available.

16 – BALTIMORE RAVENS – COREY DAVIS (WR)

Joe Flacco gets the best available wideout to replace the retired Steve Smith Sr.

17 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS – HAASON REDDICK (LB)

Washington start to solve some of their defensive issues with the best linebacker out there.

18 – TENNESSEE TITANS – JOHN ROSS (WR)

The Titans take a chance on Ross, whose Draft stock has been harmed by perceived injury problems but who set the record for the fastest ever 40 yards at February’s combine.

19 – TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – DEREK BARNETT (DE)

Tampa needs to upgrade their defensive line and takes the best man still available.

20 – DENVER BRONCOS – CAM ROBINSON (OT)

The first offensive lineman comes off the board as the Broncos try to improve their notoriously feeble front five.

21 – DETROIT LIONS – JORDAN WILLIS (LB)

Detroit take the best remaining linebacker to shore up their leaky secondary.

22 – MIAMI DOLPHINS – FORREST LAMP (G)

The ‘Fins need a guard and get lucky as the only one with a first round grade falls to them.

23 – NEW YORK GIANTS – DALVIN COOK (RB)

The Giants address a glaring problem at running back.

24 – OAKLAND RAIDERS – TJ WATT (LB)

Oakland could go for a tight end, but the temptation to play Khalil Mack and JJ’s little brother will probably be too much.

25 – HOUSTON TEXANS – DESHONE KIZER (QB)

Assuming that the Texans don’t trade up to be sure of getting a quarterback, they get the best remaining one available.

26 – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – KEVIN KING (CB)

The Washington cornerback becomes the latest member of the Legion of Boom.

27 – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – QUINCY WILSON (CB)

Another team in need of a corner takes Wilson over the other options available.

28 – DALLAS COWBOYS – ADOREE’ JACKSON (CB)

One of those options is Jackson, whose versatility will appeal to the Cowboys at one of their few positions of need.

29 – GREEN BAY PACKERS – MARLON HUMPHREY (CB)

Humphrey becomes the fourth cornerback picked in four picks – and boy do the Packers need him.

30 – PITTSBURGH STEELERS – OJ HOWARD (TE)

The Steelers could do with a tight end and will be surprised and delighted to see Howard fall to them.

31 – ATLANTA FALCONS – MALIK MCDOWELL (DE)

The Falcons’ young defense is full of stars, but they need another end and McDowell is the best one available.

32 – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (from New England) – BUDDA BAKER (S)

The Saints’ defense has been woeful, but Baker will give the secondary a boost.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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