The 2017 NFL Draft is set to kick off Thursday night in Philadelphia. After months of speculation and multiple rankings of college players, football fans across the country will turn to their televisions to see which top prospect their favorite team will select.
Plenty has happened since Fourth & Goal released it’s three-round mock draft at the end of March. Prospects have risen and fallen on draft boards, visited with NFL teams, and in some cases have found themselves in the headlines for off field incidents. Below is Fourth & Goal’s latest five-round mock draft based on everything that has happened from the gridiron to the NFL Scouting Combine.
1. Cleveland Browns – Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
No surprise here, Browns select the best player and the prospect with the most upside potential in this year’s class. Draft analysts are split on multiple prospects in this year’s class, but almost all view Garrett as the consensus No. 1 pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Stanford DE Solomon Thomas
San Francisco has plenty of holes to fill after a 2-14 season, and adding the Cardinal 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive end seems like a logical choice. Thomas has the ability to make an immediate impact for San Francisco’s defense, and should create havoc for opposing quarterbacks in the NFC West.
3. Chicago Bears – LSU S Jamal Adams
The Bears are hoping Mike Glennon can turn around Chicago’s offense in 2017, but are clearly trying to build a championship defense under head coach John Fox. Adams would give Chicago a leader at the back end of their defense, and he is arguably the safest prospect in this year’s class.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – LSU RB Leonard Fournette
No Jaguars running back amassed more than 465 rushing yards in 2016, and Fournette would surely shatter those numbers in his rookie season. The 6-foot, 228-pound running back is in a class of his own, and should be able to immediately dominate at the next level.
5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams) – Ohio State S Malik Hooker
The Titans acquired cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Johnathan Cyprien in free agency, and now get a ball-hawk safety that has All-Pro potential. The Buckeyes one-year starter recorded seven interceptions and three defensive touchdowns and is a raw talent that has plenty of room to grow at the next level.
6. New York Jets – Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
Surprise, surprise, the Jets take the first quarterback off the board. New York has been rumored to be in trade talks with the Browns for the No. 6 overall selection, but elect to snag Clemson’s game-changing quarterback. New York has plenty of holes to fill, but getting a proven winner with great leadership qualities may be too hard to pass up.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
The Chargers are converting to a 4-3 defense under newly appointed defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and pairing Allen alongside Joey Bosa on the defensive line will create serious issues for opposing offensive lines. Allen amassed 44.5 tackles for a loss, 28 sacks, and three forced fumbles during his time in Tuscaloosa, and is one of the most pro-ready prospects in this year’s class.
8. Carolina Panthers – Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore
McCaffrey could be interesting here, but the Panthers need to add players to their young secondary. Lattimore is the best cornerback in a class loaded with potential starting NFL defensive backs, and would greatly improve a Carolina secondary that allowed the fourth most passing yards in 2016.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
The Bengals defense has not looked the same since Mike Zimmer left for the Minnesota Vikings head coaching position, and adding youth to their pass rush should be a priority. Barnett was a dominant force in the Southeastern Conference that should compete with Michael Johnson for the starting role in his rookie year.
10. Buffalo Bills – Alabama TE O.J. Howard
The Bills could look to go cornerback early, but elect to take the best player available in Howard. Alabama’s 6-foot-6, 251-pound tight end has drawn some lofty comparisons during draft evaluations and is surely a top 10 talent.
11. New Orleans Saints – LSU CB Tre’Davious White
The Saints don’t have to travel far to find a cornerback that can start Week 1. LSU’s four-year starter should go higher than people expect, especially with Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley falling down draft boards due to rape allegations. White amassed 167 tackles, 34 passes defended, 11 tackles for a loss, and six interceptions in four seasons in Baton Rouge, and is arguably the most pro-ready cornerback in this year’s draft class.
12. Cleveland Browns (From Eagles) – North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky
The Browns don’t have to trade up to land the quarterback they reportedly want. After the Bears and 49ers, the Jets and Bills seem like the only two teams that could potential snag Trubisky away from Cleveland. The Tar Heels one-year starter is one of the highest rising prospects of the 2016 college football season, as he checks almost all the boxes NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Clemson WR Mike Williams
The Cardinals need to plan for after Larry Fitzgerald’s retirement and get a perfect replacement in Williams. Clemson’s 6-foot-4, 218-pound receiver has drawn comparisons with Demaryius Thomas and Alshon Jeffery, and should give opposing defenses fits alongside Fitzgerald in 2017.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (From Vikings) – Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
The Eagles may wait on selecting a running back, but they need to add some weapons for quarterback Carson Wentz. McCaffrey would give Philadelphia a versatile running back that can torch opposing defenses with the ball in space, and an eventual replacement for 33-year-old running back Darren Sproles.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Alabama LB Reuben Foster
The Colts take the best defensive player on the board. Indianapolis’ first-year general manager Chris Ballard spent the past four years with the Kansas City Chiefs, and knows that value can outweigh off field concerns. Foster is a rare talent that has drawn comparisons to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Temple OLB Haason Reddick
Reddick has skyrocketed up draft boards during the evaluation process, and could make a strong fit as an outside linebacker in Baltimore. The Owls 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker is an explosive athlete that would fit perfectly in the AFC North’s smash-mouth division. Reddick recorded 22.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in his senior year and showed tremendous growth in each season.
17. Washington Redskins – Michigan State DL Malik McDowell
The Redskins have multiple holes that need to be filled along the defensive line after free agency, and get the second best defensive tackle in this year’s class in McDowell. There is a big drop off in talent for interior defensive linemen in this year’s class, and after Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantely’s off field incident, the Redskins play it smart and get an immediate starter. The Spartans 6-foot-6, 295-pound defensive lineman has huge upside potential, and is unlikely to fall out of the first-round.
18. Tennessee Titans – Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
The Titans finally get Marcus Mariota a No. 1 receiving option. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver was a model of consistency at Western Michigan and is looking to prove he can be a dynamic playmaker against elite defensive backs.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
The Buccaneers had their share of running back injuries in 2017, and look to select a cornerstone running back in Cook. The versatile 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back may be the most complete back in this year’s draft class, as he can run between the tackles, bounce it outside, and catch passes out of the backfield.
20. Denver Broncos – Utah OT Garett Bolles
The Broncos need to protect their young quarterbacks, and take the top ranked offensive tackle in this year’s draft class. The Utes’ 6-foot-5, 297-pound offensive lineman is arguably the most athletic and pro-ready tackle in this year’s draft, and should be an immediate starter for the Broncos in 2017.
21. Detroit Lions – Missouri DE Charles Harris
The Lions need to bolster their pass rush and add a 6-foot-3, 253-pound defensive end that can have an immediate impact opposite Ezekiel Ansah. Harris has quickly been rising up draft boards over the past month and is viewed as one of the top edge rushing prospects.
22. Miami Dolphins – Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp
The Dolphins are expected to bump Laremy Tunsil out to offensive tackle in 2017, and get an immediate replacement for him at guard in Lamp. The 6-foot-4, 309-pound offensive lineman has drawn high praise in the lead up to the draft, and should be an immediate starter for a NFL franchise.
23. New York Giants – Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
The Giants need help along the offensive line due to poor pass protection and poor run blocking, and get a tackle with huge upside potential in Ramczyk. The Badgers one-year starter has the size and athleticism to be a starting left tackle in the league, and could be a strong bookend tackle opposite Ereck Flowers.
24. Oakland Raiders – Florida LB Jarrad Davis
The Raiders are looking for a tone setter for the middle of their defense and get just that in Davis. The Gators’ 6-foot-1, 238-pound linebacker was a force of nature in the Southeastern Conference, and is sure to make his presence felt from the first day teams put pads on.
25. Houston Texans – Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer
Kizer may be a project, but he also may end up being the best quarterback in this year’s draft. The Texans could look to trade up to land Watson early, but instead look to grab a 6-foot-4, 233-pound quarterback that has the potential to be an elite player at the next level. Kizer will need time to develop on the bench for at least a season, but his arm, size, and athleticism make him a rare talent worthy of a first-round selection.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Alabama OL Cam Robinson
No surprise here, Seahawks need to do a better job of protecting Russell Wilson. There are mixed opinions on Robinson and his ability to play offensive tackle at the next level, but his physical traits and upside should land him in the first-round.
27. Kanas City Chiefs – Florida CB Quincy Wilson
The Chiefs will likely be looking to add a cornerback or linebacker early, and select a corner that has the potential to start in Week 1. The Gators 6-foot-1, 211-pound cornerback is a physical playmaker that loves competition and would fit nicely into Kansas City’s defense.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Michigan DE Taco Charlton
It’s no secret that the Cowboys need to bolster their pass rush. Charlton didn’t always live up to his talent in Ann Arbor, but Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will surely get the most out him. The 6-foot-6, 277-pound defensive end recorded 13.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks in his senior season and should greatly improve Dallas’ defensive front.
29. Green Bay Packers – Wisconsin OLB T.J. Watt
The Packers lost Julius Peppers in free agency, and find a new dynamic pass rusher in Watt. Green Bay still has Nick Perry, 27, and Clay Matthews, 30, under contract, but also know that Watt is a rare talent that could develop into an elite player at the next level. In his sole season as a starter, the Badgers 6-foot-4, 252-pound outside linebacker recorded 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Washington WR John Ross
Ross doesn’t fill the most important need for the Steelers, but would surely give Pittsburgh another electrifying offensive weapon. Ross set a new 40-yard dash record at the NFL Scouting Combine, and would give defenses fits along side star receiver Antonio Brown. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound receiver would open up offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s playbook for play-action deep passes and would also prevent defenses from loading the box.
31. Atlanta Falcons – UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
The Falcons are expected to bolster their defensive line in this year’s draft, and would get a steal if McKinley was still on the board at No. 31. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound pass rusher is coming off his best season after switching from outside linebacker to defensive end in 2016, and would give a much needed boost to Atlanta’s defensive front.
32. New Orleans Saints (From Patriots) – Kansas State DE Jordan Willis
Defense, defense, defense. The Saints know defense was the problem after missing the postseason for a third consecutive year in 2016, and after landing a cornerback early, they turn their attention to the defensive line. The Big 12’s 2016 Defensive Player of the Year is one of the top pass rushers in this year’s draft and is known for his work ethic and leadership qualities.
To check out the other rounds of Fourth & Goal’s NFL Mock Draft 4.0 click on the links below.