This mock draft will change. Frequently.
This mock draft is my best guess of what will happen. I know there are many who want to trade down or robotically recite the term “best player available.” Need is always factored in and one year away needs should be considered.
For the trades featured below, the terms are listed after the initial team and are based on previous values from past drafts.
1. Cleveland Browns - EDGE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M - Viewed as the draft’s top prospect. He is the unique prospect in this draft. Reportedly dealt with a high ankle injury this season. NFL teams have to rush the passer, and drafting players like Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib doesn’t prevent you from adding Garrett. I know Adam Schefter mentioned the team is “split” on this pick, but you cannot pass on Garrett. Trading up from 12 seems far more likely… if the team loves a quarterback.
2. San Francisco 49ers - EDGE/DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford - Thomas is a really, really, really good football player. He can rush from the edge or possibly work inside. The new 49ers’ coaching staff and the front office has no connection to Arik Armstead nor DeForest Buckner. Harsh, but true. Without a clear No. 2 prospect in this class, add the pass rusher with upside.
3. Chicago Bears - EDGE/DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama - This is a difficult selection. It could obviously be a quarterback or cornerback, or even a left tackle, but Allen might be viewed as a safe selection who offers disruption from a variety of alignments. Long term shoulder questions have not been mentioned to me. The Bears need to continue to get younger up front.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Leonard Fournette, LSU - The Jaguars took care of so many needs in free agency. Perhaps they want to add a rangy free safety, or another offensive lineman, or a tight end, but signs and actions point to a powerful running back who can help build the identity of the offense. I’ve heard that teams understand a running scheme must be built around Fournette’s strengths, but many are open to it.
5. Buffalo Bills (TRADE with TEN) - QB Mitchell Trubisky, UNC - Let’s talk through this. A billionaire businessman does not spend his weekends or free time traveling to college campuses to meet with 20 and 21 year olds for fun. This is for business and goes beyond being thorough. The Bills are taking the blueprint the Eagles laid out last year when trading up for a quarterback.
Trade terms: Swapping 2017 first round picks plus the Bills give a 2018 second round pick and a 2017 third round pick (75) and the Titans add a fifth round pick (164). Buffalo only has six picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
6. New York Jets - CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State - I know many expect Marshon Lattimore to be the first corner, but a number of NFL people are worried about his history of hamstring injuries. Enter Conley, who is an outstanding prospect. He shines on the left, right and in the slot. Physical, ball skills, etc. We can look back in three years and view Conley as the best corner in this class.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State - Some might render football down to turnovers and big plays. Hooker can create big plays and turnovers thanks to his extreme range from his safety spot. A rangy free safety can totally change the success of Gus Bradley’s defense. This is one of the best prospect to team fits in the draft.
8. Carolina Panthers - RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford - Panthers coach Ron Rivera used the term “evolve” multiple times after the Panthers season when speaking about offensive changes. We have no idea what that means since the team’s offense has changed very little this offseason. Adding McCaffrey would define that term. The more you watch McCaffrey, the more you realize he can be a primary piece of an NFL running and passing game.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - EDGE Derek Barnett, Tennessee - A receiver is definitely in play. Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap are getting older and more expensive, and the team has failed to find long-term solutions at either spot. Barnett posted a ton of production at the collegiate level and wins with bend and a strong motor.
10. Tennessee Titans (TRADE with BUF) - WR Mike Williams, Clemson - The primary mission of the Titans draft should be to surround Marcus Mariota with talent. Corey Davis’ draft process has been quiet after minor ankle surgery. John Ross has a long history of knee injuries. Enter Williams, who is outstanding when creating a positional advantage and wins downfield thanks to his contested catch ability.
Trade terms: The Titans add a 2018 second round pick and a 2017 third round pick (75) and give a 2017 fifth round pick (164) along with No. 5.
2017 NFL Draft: More coverage here