The 2017 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching on April 28. NFL teams have already gotten looks and interviews at prospects via college, the NFL Combine, and private workouts. Hence, there is a good sense about where players can land in the NFL Draft.
Moreover, teams have already addressed some of their needs via free agency. Hence, there is a good consensus about what position each team needs in the NFL Draft. This complete first-round mock draft looks at position and value fits for each NFL team in the 2017 Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Myles Garrett is no doubt going to be the No. 1 overall pick. He is a defensive specimen who could become a generational pass rusher. Pass rushers are always held at a premium and Garrett will be worth the price tag.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
Solomon Thomas is a specimen too. Most mock drafts have Thomas as the second-best player in this draft. Head coach Kyle Shanahan needs to acquire as much talent as possible, so Thomas can help the 49ers defense improve for sure.
3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Again, this is more of taking the best player available in the Draft. Jamal Adams is a freak who can play in the box. Adams also has the range to play in coverage, so he could change the entire culture of the Bears’ defense.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Jaguars parted ways with tight end Julius Thomas earlier this offseason. Thus, tight end is one of the team’s biggest need. Jacksonville needs to add more receiving targets for quarterback Blake Bortles, and Howard might be the best receiving target in this NFL Draft class.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
Marshon Lattimore is arguably the best corner in the 2017 class. The Titans need to add some depth at the corner position as starter Jason McCourty is about to be 30 years old. Tennessee can address their needs on offense with their second first-round pick.
6. New York Jets: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The Jets parted ways with Darrelle Revis earlier this offseason, so they would be smart to find his replacement. Humphrey was highly productive at Alabama and he has the measurable numbers to match.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio St.
Malik Hooker only falls this far in the NFL Draft due to questions about his health. These questions held him out of the NFL Combine, but the Chargers should not pass on a player who could become an All-Pro safety.
8. Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Leonard Fournette paired with Cam Newton in the backfield will strike fear in the hearts of NFL offense. Fournette dominated college football, and he tested well at the Combine. He also dropped some pounds at his Pro Day, which should make him the consensus top running back in this draft class.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
Defensive tackle might not be the Bengals’ biggest need, but they can afford to add some pass rush in this draft. Jonathan Allen would be a steal this late, as he was a highly productive player at Alabama. Some mocks have had him going in the top-five picks.
10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Receiver Robert Woods bounced via free agency and Sammy Watkins is still on the roster. However, he has not stayed healthy since entering the league. The Bills would be smart to draft another Clemson receiver like Mike Williams. He is the best receiver in this class due to his blend of size and speed.
11. New Orleans Saints: Haason Reddick, EDGE, Temple
Haason Reddick has been one of the biggest risers during this entire NFL Draft process. Reddick brings the versatility to play across a defense’s front seven. The Saints need help at linebacker and pass rusher, so Reddick makes a lot of sense.
12. Cleveland Browns: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The Browns lucked out by having the best quarterback in the draft fall to them with their second first-round selection. Watson has proven to be a competitor in the biggest moments. Despite questions about his size, he has the least amount of questions in this quarterback class.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Corey Davis might be the best receiver in this class, but a foot injury kept him from working out before the draft. Still, the Cardinals get a big receiver who will complement Larry Fitzgerald.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Kevin King, CB, Washington
Kevin King brings the size and production that makes him one of the best corners in this class. The Eagles desperately need some help at the position, so they get great value at a position of need.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Derek Barnett will not stun anyone with his athleticism. However, he is one of the most polished pass rushers in this draft class. Barnett has the technique to become an immediate replacement for the retired Robert Mathis.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
The Ravens made changes to their front line by cutting Elvis Dumervil and trading Timmy Jernigan. Thus, Charlton is a hybrid rusher that can come in and make an impact for the Ravens defense.
17. Washington Redskins: Joe Mixon, RB, OU
18. Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington
John Ross shot up mock draft boards after he set record for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. The Titans already added a nice defensive piece earlier in the draft, so giving Marcus Mariota a receiver should become their next priority.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
Dalvin Cook brings some questions about his durability and athleticism. Nonetheless, he was a very productive back at FSU. Tampa Bay needs a back due to Doug Martin’s questionable availability. Cook is a good blocker and pass catcher, which will compliment fellow FSU alumni Jameis Winston.
20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
The Broncos need an offensive tackle after they let go of Russell Okung in free agency. Ryan Ramczyk is arguably the best tackle in this draft. It remains to be seen if he fits in Denver’s zone scheme, but he is the most well-rounded offensive lineman in this class.
21. Detroit Lions: Malik McDowell, DL, MSU
The Detroit Lions draft Malik McDowell based on his potential. McDowell needs some work, but he can play as an inside or outside pass rusher. The Lions need defensive line help.
22. Miami Dolphins: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Jabrill Peppers has some questions about his position in the NFL. However, there is no question about his athleticism, instincts or character. The Dolphins have needs at linebacker and safety, so Peppers is a natural fit.
23. New York Giants: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is not getting any younger. Therefore, they must do more to give the veteran quarterback some protection. Garett Bolles is a great athlete who can develop into a franchise-caliber left tackle.
24. Oakland Raiders: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Oakland Raiders did not re-sign starting linebacker Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley Jr. is still a free agent. Hence, Zach Cunningham fills the Raiders’ need at linebacker. He has the big body and production to start immediately for Oakland.
25. Houston Texans: David Njoku, TE, Miami
The Houston Texans have added receivers in the past few NFL Drafts. They may consider adding a quarterback in the 2017 first round, but they should add a game-changing tight end like David Njoku. A vertical tight end can help whoever plays quarterback for Houston.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Cam Robinson is arguably the best tackle in this class, despite some questions about his ability to finish blocks and pass protect. Either way, the Seahawks need help in pass pro and run blocking. Robinson would be a nice fit in the first round.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Chiefs need a franchise running back, and Christian McCaffrey fills that void. McCaffrey can run the ball and he is a great receiver. Kansas City could really use his playmaking ability.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Cowboys once again need corner help after Morris Claiborne left via free agency. Quincy Wilson is one of the best corners left in this mock draft. He has the size, speed, and ball skills to be a long-time NFL starter.
29. Green Bay Packers: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Lawrence Timmons in free agency and James Harrison is not getting any younger. T.J. Watt brings the inside and outside linebacker potential that the Steelers can utilize in place of Harrison and Timmons. Watt makes a lot of sense for Pittsburgh in the first round.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
The Atlanta Falcons have a solid roster, but they need some help on the offensive line since Chester Taylor retired. Atlanta is lucky to have Forrest Lamp fall into their laps. He can play guard or tackle in Atlanta’s zone scheme.
32. New Orleans Saints: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio St.
Again, the Saints desperately need some help on defense. Adding a corner like Gareon Conley is about filling a need and finding the best player available. Conley has fewer questions about his size and speed than other corners who are available at this point in the first round.
Ultimately, any of these players could rise or fall in the first round of the NFL Draft. Either way, this 2017 NFL Mock Draft looks to address each team’s biggest needs. Nonetheless, we will not know which prospects land where until the NFL Draft begins April 28.
[Featured Image by Eric Christian Smith/AP Images]