NFL

Last-minute 2017 NFL Mock draft, with trades

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view as Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) is selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as the number two overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Anderson-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Frank
Written by Vincent Frank

The 2017 NFL Draft is here. Mock drafts have been completed and turned in. Months of scouting will now give way to teams building for their future in Philadelphia over the next three days. It’s a festive time around the football world — Christmas for those of us who follow the annual event religiously.

This year’s draft promises to be among the most drama filled in recent NFL history. We have no real idea what any teams in the top 10 are going to do. There could be a major surprise at the top of the first round. Of course, that’s because the Cleveland Browns are picking first overall.

In wrapping up mock draft season, here’s a two-round variation with trades. We’ve used this trade value chart to assess value in said deals. We have also used a combination of reports, rumors and conjecture to come up with the following 64 picks.

So, here goes.

1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, defensive end, Texas A&M

Myles Garrett is a freak among freaks in the NFL Draft

Despite all the talk about Trubisky, we fully expect Cleveland to go with this generational talent and look to address the quarterback position a bit later in the draft. You simply don’t pass up on someone of Garret’s ilk following a disastrous one-win season. Then again, these are the Browns we’re talking about.

2. Carolina Panthers (from SF): Leonard Fournette, running back, LSU

* Panthers trade eight pick, two second-round picks and future second-round pick to 49ers 

Carolina has been linked to both Fournette and Christian McCaffrey. Either one would work wonders in terms of taking pressure off Cam Newton. But here we have them trading up with San Francisco to add that three-down back that can really create tremendous balance on offense. The necessity here was to move up past Jacksonville (see below).

3. Chicago Bears: Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Clemson

Even with Mike Glennon aboard, it’s been trending in the direction of Chicago adding a quarterback with its first-round pick. Watson has been linked more to the team than Trubisky and seems to be a better fit. This enables Chicago to get out from under Glennon’s contract should he fail as a starter in 2017. If not, Watson can gain valuable experience learning from Glennon over the next couple seasons.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian McCaffrey, running back, Stanford

With Fournette off the board here, Jacksonville still attempts to create more balance on offense after the T.J. Yeldon/Chris Ivory experiment failed last season. Whether the team is all in on Blake Bortles doesn’t really matter, it simply needs to find someone capable of performing at a high level in the backfield. McCaffrey brings elite-level ability in three phases of the game. This would be a no-brainer.

5. Cleveland Browns (from TENN): Mitch Trubisky, quarterback, North Carolina

Browns, NFL Draft rumors, Mitch Trubisky

* Browns trade 12th pick and second-round pick to Titans 

In this scenario, Cleveland rolls the dice in hopes that Trubisky isn’t selected in the first four picks. With two running backs going during that span, the team lucks out. We know Tennessee is looking to trade out of this spot, and it’s not a secret the Browns are attempting to trade up.

6. New York Jets: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford

Both Jamal Adams and Charles Harris have been linked to the Jets. But that was under the premise that Thomas would not be available. He would add a young pass-rushing threat to a defense that needs it from the edge. It’s really a perfect fit in Todd Bowles’ scheme.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, safety, Ohio State

San Diego struggled big time at the safety position after letting Eric Weddle depart in free agency last spring. In Hooker, this team gets the best center fielder in the draft, someone that has Earl Thomas-level rang. Add him to the mix with Jason Verrett, and the Chargers secondary would be borderline elite.

8. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, Ohio State

With so many needs on both sides of the ball, San Francisco has been attempting to trade down for more assets. This scenario enables the 49ers to pick up two more second-round picks while adding the top corner in the draft. It would also call for Jimmie Ward to play the free safety position with Eric Reid moving to strong safety. Lattimore is a perfect fit here.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Alabama

Cincinnati could use help in the secondary as well as at wide receiver, but we decide to go with value over everything else. The idea of Allen teaming up with Gene Atkins has to be too appealing for Marvin Lewis and Co. He’s already a pro-level player and will be a Year 1 starter.

10. Buffalo Bills: Haason Reddick, linebacker, Temple

Reddick has been shooting up the draft boards in a big way recently. And for good reason. With elite-level athleticism and game tape that shows him to be dominant at times, the former Owl can play all three linebacker positions. That’s surely something the Bills can use on what promises to be a revamped defense this upcoming season.

11. New Orleans Saints: Jamal Adams, safety, LSU

Probably the best all-around safety in the draft, New Orleans gets an absolute steal in Adams. He can play both free safety and strong safety. Heck, the former Tiger has the capability of lining up in man coverage in the slot. That’s surely something a struggling Saints defense could use.

12. Tennessee Titans (from CLE): Mike Williams, wide receiver, Clemson

Flush with a two-headed running back monster in Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray who went for nearly 2,400 total yards combined last season, Tennessee has a strong foundation on the ground. Add in Marcus Mariota’s progression under center, and that’s magnified further. The only thing really missing here is a true No. 1 receiver. At 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, Williams has the size to act as that threat for Mariota outside. His catch radius will help the young quarterback improve even more.

13. Houston Texans (from AZ): Pat Mahomes, quarterback, Texas Tech

* Texans trade 25th pick, second-round pick and future third-round pick to Cardinals 

Houston isn’t going to sit back and wait for the quarterback of its choice to go to another team. Instead, the team exhausts some extra capital to move up for a player in Mahomes who fits Bill O’Brien’s offense to a T. While Mahomes likely isn’t a Day 1 starter, he gives the Texans their first franchise quarterback in team history. No brainer, really.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: Dalvin Cook, running back, Florida State

NFL draft

There’s been some chatter that Philly will go either cornerback or pass rush here, but we’re calling on the team to take the third running back in the class off the board at 14. Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews are not long-term solutions here. Meanwhile, Cook checks all the boxes for Doug Pederson’s offense while providing balance for a young Carson Wentz under center. It just makes too much sense.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee

Running back, offensive tackle, inside linebacker, safety or pass rusher. You can pick and choose where Indy might go here. There’s a lot of needs for first-year GM Chris Ballard. But he comes from a Chiefs organization that has valued EDGE rushers high in the past. Look for Ballard to utilize that same philosophy in his first draft with the Colts.

16. Baltimore Ravens: O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama

We were seriously considering going pass rush here. That’s until Barnett fell off the board at 15 and there wasn’t a ton of value in terms of that position midway through the first. The run will come later. Instead, Baltimore adds the best pure pass catcher in the class for Joe Flacco. Howard is a Day 1 starter with immediate Pro Bowl potential, someone that will eventually replace Dennis Pitta as Flacco’s top target.

17. Washington Redskins: Budda Baker, safety, Washington

Potentially the best pure cover safety in the class, Baker will surprise a ton of experts by going on Day 1. He can play single-high safety and has the ability to be used in man coverage as a corner. You simply can’t put a value on that. Team Baker up with Josh Norman, and the Skins’ secondary will be elite.

18. Tennessee Titans: Marlon Humphrey, cornerback, Alabama

Now that Tennessee has added a No. 1 receiver for Mariota, it goes defense with the team’s second first-round pick. Humphrey has not drawn a ton of buzz leading up to the draft, but he’s a high floor player who will be a starter in the NFL for the next decade. With Tennessee having moved on from Jason McCourty, this becomes a need. It adds a Day 1 starter in the form of this former Crimson Tide standout.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, tight end, Miami (F)

It’s all about continuing to give Jameis Winston talent to work with on offense. And under this scenario, all three potential first-round running backs are off the board. If it weren’t for Howard, Njoku would be the first tight end off the board here. He’s as athletic as they come and poses a tremendous mismatch against linebackers/safeties between the hashes. Njoku can also line up in the slot, providing mismatch in terms of physicality against corners. A perfect fit here.

20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, offensive tackle, Utah

We considered Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky here, but the offensive line class is considerably weaker than the guard class. That’s a clear indication John Elway and Co. will target the consensus No. 1 pass protecting tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft. Bolles could be a Day 1 starter at right tackle before moving over to the left side. It’s a necessity with young signal caller Paxton Lynch set to take over under center here soon.

21. Detroit Lions: Zach Cunningham, linebacker, Vanderbilt

Now that the Lions have moved on from DeAndre Levy they need another anchor at linebacker. While Cunningham has not generated a ton of buzz, we have him bordering on being a top-10 prospect in this draft. That’s how good he is. The Vandy product is someone that will fly to the ball on a consistent basis and is the best sideline-to-sideline backer in the entire draft. It’s a perfect fit for both the player and the team.

22. Miami Dolphins: Kevin King, cornerback, Washington

How much longer can Miami rely on the likes of Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard on the outside before being exposed? Sure Maxwell played well last season and Howard has shown tremendous ability. But there’s still a talent vacuum to be filled here. Look for the Dolphins to find a cornerback of the future to team up with Howard moving forward. King is more of the press corner type, which would work well in this scheme initially.

23. New York Giants: Malik McDowell, defensive tackle, Michigan State

Untapped potential. That’s the one thing scouts continue to say about the 6-foot-6, 296-pound McDowell. He has elite physical traits and can be dominating at times. The Michigan State product has also failed to show up well on tape. In going to the Giants, he can learn from the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, potentially forming one of the best defensive lines in football.

24. Oakland Raiders: Reuben Foster, linebacker, Alabama

Reuben Foster is one of the NFL Draft prospects who needs to have a big pro day

By now, the narrative is all set. When we add together Foster’s combine mishap, diluted drug test and injury concerns, there’s reason to believe he will fall out of the first round completely. But let’s be real here. The former Crimson Tide standout was considered a top-five lock just three months ago. He’s the second-best defensive players (on tape) in the draft. And he fills an immediate need for the Raiders at linebacker. Match made in heaven.

25. Arizona Cardinals (from HOU): DeShone Kizer, quarterback, Notre Dame

Could go one of three ways here. It’s possible the Cardinals just simply take Mahomes instead of trading down. They can also decide that Davis Webb is a better long-term option than Kizer. But we’re going to go away from the grain here. Assuming Carson Palmer decides to play for two more seasons (let’s hope), Kizer will have a strong veteran to learn from. And with the most upside of any quarterback in this class outside of Trubisky, this would be a tremendous fit in the desert.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, offensive tackle, Alabama

Now that the Richard Sherman trade rumors have somewhat died down, the Seahawks can get down to brass tax. It’s all about adding talent to the offensive line. And while Robinson might have initial struggles against speedier rushers due to balance and athleticism, he boasts the highest upside of any potential franchise left tackle in the draft. Start him at right tackle out of the gate, and move him to Russell Wilson’s blindside in a year or two.

27. San Francisco 49ers (from KC): Corey Davis, wide receiver, Western Michigan

NFL Draft, Corey Davis

* 49ers trade second-round pick and fourth-round pick to Chiefs 

Here, we have San Francisco exhausting some of the capital it acquired in trading down from two in order to move back up in the first round. It does so with a Julio Jones-type player in mind. We’re not saying Davis is up to the level of the Falcons receiver, but he can act that part in Kyle Shanahan’s system. At With elite-level route-running skills and a large catch radius, he’s that No. 1 receiver the 49ers have been missing since Terrell Owens.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri

Pass rush and secondary help. Dallas will address both positions early in the draft. And in reality, it really doesn’t matter which one it goes with first. Harris provides the best value at 28, and therefore, he’s the pick. While considered slow (see 40-yard dash time), Harris provides the pass-rush moves and consistent production Dallas has been missing in this area. He’s a Day 1 starter with the potential to put up 10-plus sacks as a rookie.

29. Green Bay Packers: Jarrad Davis, linebacker, Florida

We’re not too sure why experts have mocked the Packers to go cornerback. They simply need to find an inside linebacker so Clay Matthews can move to his more natural EDGE position. The trickle-down effect this would have is massive. While Davis is considered more of a 4-3 outside linebacker, we can easily see him transitioning to the inside in Green Bay’s system. It’s a solid fit all the way around.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan

Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree combined for 5.5 sacks last season. These are two recent first-round picks that simply have not lived up to expectations. With Jones having now moved on to Arizona, there’s surely a need here. Charlton is the best fit as a 3-4 EDGE guy with exceptional ability to get the to quarterback. He could be an immediate impact player for Pittsburgh.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State

Threw you for a loop here, aye? Rivers is someone that’s gaining a lot of traction heading into the draft and it would not be a surprise to see him go in the first round. In fact, the Falcons have quietly shown interest in the small-school product. He’s a tremendous fit next to Vic Beasley and could potentially find time as a Day 1 EDGE starter for Atlanta. That’s how high we are on him in Dan Quinn’s defensive system.

32. New Orleans Saints: T.J. Watt, EDGE, Wisconsin

Watt might not be as highly heralded as his older brother, but he surely does have the tape that tells us a story of someone who can provide consistent 10-plus sack potential. Likely a better fit in a 3-4 scheme, Watt would make the Saints’ defense just that much better after they added safety Jamal Adams earlier in the first round.

Second Round (picks only)

Caleb Brantley

33. Tennessee Titans (from CLE): Caleb Brantley, defensive tackle, Florida

34. Kansas City Chiefs (from SF): JuJu Smith-Schuster, wider receiver, USC

35. Jacksonville Jaguars: Forrest Lamp, guard, Western Kentucky

36. Chicago Bears: Josh Jones, safety, North Carolina State

37. Los Angeles Rams: John Ross, wide receiver, Washington

38. Los Angeles Chargers: Chris Wormley, defensive tackle, Michigan

39. New York Jets: Evan Engram, tight end, Mississippi

40. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA

41. Cincinnati Bengals: Curtis Samuel, wide receiver, Ohio State

42. New Orleans Saints: Davis Webb, quarterback, California

43. Philadelphia Eagles: Gareon Conley, cornerback, Ohio State

44. Buffalo Bills: Chidobe Awuzie, cornerback, Colorado

45. Arizona Cardinals: Raekwon McMillan, linebacker, Ohio State

46. Indianapolis Colts: Alvin Kamara, running back, Tennessee

47. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Jones, wide receiver, East Carolina

48. Minnesota Vikings: Dan Feeney, guard, Indiana

49. Washington Redskins: Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Eastern Washington

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Mixon, running back, Oklahoma

51. Denver Broncos: Jabrill Peppers, linebacker/safety, Michigan

52. Cleveland Browns: Adoree Jackson, cornerback, USC

53. Detroit Lions: Obi Melifonwu, safety, Connecticut

54. Miami Dolphins: Dorian Johnson, guard, Pittsburgh

55. New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, Wisconsin

56. Oakland Raiders: Tre’Davious White, cornerback, LSU

57. Arizona Cardinals (from HOU): Ardarius Stewart, wide receiver, Alabama

58. Seattle Seahawks: Fabian Moreau, cornerback, UCLA

59. Kansas City Chiefs: Quincy Wilson, cornerback, Florida

60. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Williams, safety, Utah

61. Green Bay Packers: Carlos Henderson, wide receiver, Louisiana Tech

62. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Evans, safety, Texas A&M

63. Atlanta Falcons: Dion Dawkins, guard, Temple

64. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): Pat Elflein, guard/center, Ohio State

About the author

Vincent Frank

Vincent Frank

Editor-at-large, Sportsnaut.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Rumi