Hello Razzballers. Reid here about to start some early mock drafts for the 2017 NFL Draft coverage here at Razzball. I’m using the draft order based on the results of Conference Championship Weekend. I won’t be projecting trades in this one. Those mock drafts will come later as the playoffs progress.
I will post a quick comment on the picks since it’s still very early in the process. Would love to hear input from you guys if you think the team you root for has a bigger need or would act differently (without trading). I will also be adding in who I had in my prior mock draft so you can note the changes.
#1 Cleveland – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)
I had Allen last week in this slot and with the Senior Bowl underway, I am almost ready to call this selection a lock. Something to keep in mind. New Browns GM John Dorsey was in Kansas City when they traded their 2018 1st round pick to move up and grab Patrick Mahomes III. There’s something to be said for raw talent and I think Allen has the most of that of any QB in this class. I’m willing to bet Dorsey feels the same way. Also, nice of the big-name draft guys to follow suit on the Allen-going-1st train after my mock last week.
*Last week – QB Josh Allen*
I’m convinced if the Giants are forced to make the pick here, they’ll roll with Rosen. He’s the most polished QB prospect and an obvious heir=apparent to Eli Manning. Pat Schurmur gets the QB of the future while still banking on the current roster having a bounceback season.
*Last week – QB Josh Rosen*
#3 Indianapolis – S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
*Last week – DE Bradley Chubb*
The Browns deserve to go 0-17 next season (Yes, that includes getting a L during the bye week) for keeping Hue Jackson as their head coach after going 1-31 in the last two seasons. Bringing in Todd Haley as OC makes me feel better about the Barkley pick here. Haley gets his very own LeVeon Bell to work with in Cleveland.
*Last week – RB Saquon Barkley*
#5 Denver – OG Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
Time for a big shakeup. I think they sign a QB in the offseason and go with best available player on the board. For me, that’s OG Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame. He’s ready to be a top-10 guard in the NFL today and will drastically help the Denver OL run and protect the QB.
*Last week – QB Sam Darnold*
The Jets get the dream scenario and have one of the top-3 QB’s fall to them without having to trade up. I think they finally pull the trigger on another USC QB in Darnold who gives the Jets fanbase some hope for the future.
*Last week – S Minkah Fitzpatrick*
#7 Tampa Bay – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)
They have no pass rush. Bradley Chubb falls to them. This is the Tampa dream scenario. I can see this pick being made with 7 minutes remaining on a 10-minute clock. If the board falls this way, they could be a prime trading partner for any team looking to move up for another QB. Just don’t do Hard Knocks ever again please.
*Last week – DE Arden Key*
#8 Chicago – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
Easiest projection in the world here. They need weapons on the outside for Mitchell “10Gawd” Trubisky. Ridley would do his best Julio Jones impersonation in Chicago. I’m not changing this because I think it’s almost locked in stone that Chicago will draft Ridley at 8.
*Last week – WR Calvin Ridley*
#9 San Francisco – WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)
With Nelson off the board, the 49ers look to grab athletic freak Courtland Sutton to catch passes from the always-beautiful Jimmy GQ. They also look at Denzel Ward, but want to get their offense on track with this pick.
*Last week – OG Quenton Nelson*
#10 Oakland – LB Roquan Smith (UGA)
This might be my 2nd biggest riser in the mock draft. Roquan Smith is an absolute beast and I can totally see Oakland locking up the linebacker position for a decade with this selection.
*Last week – DB Denzel Ward*
#11 Miami – S Derwin James (FSU)
I think this pick stays the same. James is an all-around good prospect and should solidify the Miami secondary for years.
*Last week – S Derwin James*
#12 Cincinnati – OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)
I don’t see this pick changing. Cincy got crushed when Andrew Whitworth moved to the Rams in the offseason. This might be the safest pick in the draft behind Nelson. And they get a second 1st round pick by default with John Ross contributing literally anything to the offense this year.
*Last week – OT Mike McGlinchey*
#13 Washington – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
The Redskins pull the trigger on this one even though their OL is a massive issue. They were decimated with injuries all over last season, but there’s a massive hole at QB that they cannot ignore. Washington brings the spectacle of Baker Mayfield to the Capitol for your entertainment.
*Last week – QB Baker Mayfield*
#14 Green Bay – OT Connor Williams (Texas)
This is a toss-up selection because they really need to draft a WR with Jordy Nelson becoming rather useless on the field. Then again, they will see the Bears/Lions/Vikings a total of six times next year and really need to make sure Danica Patrick’s boyfriend doesn’t get injured again.
*Last week – OT Connor Williams*
#15 Arizona – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
This is my next hunch. Former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell is likely to get the OC job here after hiring Carolina DC Steve Wilks for the Head Coach position. Bevell did wonders with Russell Wilson and Wilks saw the nightmare of Cam Newton every day in practice. I think Arizona goes to a complete college-style offense and is actually dominant. Jackson will be the perfect project for Bevell.
*Last week – EDGE Harold Landry*
#16 Baltimore – WR James Washington (OK State)
Fairly obvious. They need weapons for their high-paid QB to compliment the shockingly effective running attack of Alex Collins and Danny Woodhead. Washington is a solid weapon on the outside that brings much-needed speed for Flacco to underthrow on deep passes
*Last week – WR Courtland Sutton*.
They are making a run for the Super Bowl next year. A QB here doesn’t help them achieve that. Another run-stuffing DL does. Chargers grab Vea to stop Kareem Hunt and the rest of the AFC running backs. Vea will be a matchup nightmare for interior lineman for years to come.
*Last week – DL Christian Wilkins (not coming out this season)*
#18 Seattle – CB Joshua Jackson (Iowa)
It comes down to whether the Seahawks prefer Jackson or Ward. I think they look at the height of Jackson and the production at Iowa and roll with him here at #18.
*Last week – CB Joshua Jackson*
#19 Dallas – WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)
I had them going defense last week. But the need for WR has become quite apparent for me and with 3 already off the board, Dallas pulls the trigger on a college local kid with blazing speed. It’s a flashy pick and we all know Jerry Jones loves flashy for Dallas. Then again, they REALLY need to draft some DB’s, but I don’t trust Jones enough to make the pick for Ward here.
*Last week – S Ronnie Harrison
#20 Detroit – DB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
Matt Patricia will be coaching this team and I think wants to make sure the QB game in the NFC North is hampered by the Lions secondary. This team has a lot of holes on defense and I see them going this route for now. Ward is a top prospect, but the teams picking ahead of here probably don’t pull the trigger on a CB (outside of Seattle).
*Last week – DT Vita Vea*
#21 Buffalo – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma St.)
I think they still grab QB here. I think Rudolph missing the Senior Bowl will be seen as a non-deal once they watch him at the combine. He has all the tools to be a franchise QB, just needs a year to develop the footwork.
*Last week – QB Mason Rudolph*
What a freak of nature Davenport is. The Bills had one of the worst pass-rushes in the league. Davenport is already a physical monster and can stuff the run as well as rush the passer.
*Last week – LB Roquan Smith*
#23 Carolina – OT Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)
This is a pure value pick here. They need to help solidify the health on the OL and Brown should do that just fine.
*Last week – WR Christian Kirk*
Trumaine Johnson might leave this offseason, but the value for Key is too much for Sean McVay and Company. He comes with off-the-field baggage, but I think this is a good spot for him. Big slide from my last mock though.
*Last week – DL Clelin Ferell (did not declare for the draft)*
#25 Tennessee – DL DaRon Payne (Alabama)
Just a matter of best available player here. Payne somehow slid down the draft board and the Titans grab him to make sure Leonard Fournette can’t run all over them. It also doesn’t hurt to have more inside pressure on Deshaun Watson.
*Last week – DL DaRon Payne*
#26 Atlanta – DE Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
*Last week – DE Tremaine Edmunds*
#27 New Orleans – DE Harold Landry (Boston College)
Another case of pure value and a player sliding down the draft board. The Saints defense gets even stronger with this pick.
*Last week – QB Luke Falk*
#28 Pittsburgh – LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
*Last week – Isiah Oliver*
#29 Jacksonville – OL Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)
The Jags will most likely be signing a QB in the offseason to lead them next year. They go with a mauler in Wynn to help get the most out of Fournette in the running game.
*Last week – QB Lamar Jackson*
#30 Minnesota – QB Mike White (Western Kentucky)
I’m calling this now. 0 of the QB’s on the roster right now for Minnesota will be there for Week 1 of next season. Mike White is going to show off at the Senior Bowl and Combine and impress enough people that a team will either trade into this selection or the Vikings will outright draft him. The running attack of Dalvin Cook along with Diggs and Thielen in the passing game make it easy for White to succeed.
*Last week – DE Sam Hubbard*
#31 New England – DL Maurice Hurst
Hurst has been a beast at Michigan and would give the Patriots extra beef on the DL. They were looking to grab an heir-apparent to Tom Brady since they traded Jimmy GQ for pennies on the dollar, but nobody left on the board for them to take. Hurst provides the best value and revamping the undersized DL of the Patriots
#32 Philadelphia – OT Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State)
*Last week – OT Chukwuma Okorafor*
Check out the Razzblitz podcast this week where I get to explain some of my picks here and how the mock draft evolves on a week-to-week basis.
For those of you who think more RB’s will be taken in the first, my internal 2-round mock has about 7 running backs going in the second round, so don’t worry too much. Leave a post in the comments section if you love/hate your teams’ selection and if you think I’m missing something big.