The 2017 NFL Draft is just a little over four weeks away and with the NFL Scouting Combine and a bunch of the top colleges’ pro days behind us, NFL general managers and head coaches are beginning to shape up their big boards. Fourth & Goal has released two mock drafts since the end of the 2016 regular season, and now reveals its latest three-round mock draft below.
1. Cleveland Browns – Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
No surprise here, Browns take the top overall prospect off the board.
2. San Francisco 49ers -Stanford DE Solomon Thomas
After acquiring quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency, 49ers turn their focus to their defensive line. The 49ers are expected to convert to a 4-3 defensive front in 2017, and the addition of Thomas would given them a much-need presence at defensive end.
3. Chicago Bears – LSU S Jamal Adams
The Bears have needs on both sides of the ball, but take arguably the safest player in this year’s draft in Adams.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – LSU RB Leonard Fournette
No Jaguars running back amassed more than 465 rushing yards in 2016. Garrett and Fournette likely have the most upside potential in this year’s class, and the addition of the 6-foot, 240-pound running back would give a huge boost to Jacksonville’s offense.
5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams) – Ohio State S Malik Hooker
The Titans need secondary help even with the additions of safety Johnathan Cyprien and Logan Ryan, and would get a ball-hawk with plenty of upside potential in the Buckeyes safety.
6. New York Jets – Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore
The Jets are in complete overhaul mode, and nab the best cornerback to help their depleted secondary.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
The Chargers will be switching to a 4-3 defense under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and get a steal in the Alabama defensive lineman that has the ability to play both inside and outside. Allen would make a strong fit as a defensive tackle in Los Angeles’ defense in 2017, and could create havoc alongside Joey Bosa next season.
8. Carolina Panthers – Washington WR John Ross
The Panthers add a speedster to their offense in Ross that should open up passing lanes for both wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and tight end Greg Olsen.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
The Bengals lost both Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth and starting right guard Kevin Zeitler since the start of free agency, and land arguably the top offensive lineman prospect in this year’s class with the Badgers offensive tackle.
10. Buffalo Bills – Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
The Bills are in need of an upgrade at cornerback, and get an immediate starter in Conley that has the potential to grow into a year-in and year-out Pro Bowler.
11. New Orleans Saints – Michigan S Jabrill Peppers
The Saints are in need of a culture change on the defensive side of the ball, and get a playmaker that can impact both New Orleans’ run defense and pass defense in 2017. Peppers would make a fit at strong safety alongside free safety Vonn Bell, and could potentially replace Kenny Vaccaro, who is entering the final year of his contract next season.
12. Cleveland Browns (From Eagles) – North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky
The Browns land their cornerstone pass rusher with the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and now select their franchise quarterback with pick No. 12.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Clemson WR Mike Williams
Cardinals all-time leading wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is returning for what will likely be his last NFL season in 2017, and Arizona’s front office prepares for the future by landing the Cardinals’ next franchise wide out.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (From Vikings) – LSU CB Tre’Davious White
The Eagles could look to go running back early after landing two starting receivers in free agency, but know cornerback is a priority. White is arguably the second best cornerback in this year’s draft class behind Lattimore, and brings plenty of experience to the next level as four-year starter out of the SEC.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Western Kentucky OG Forrest Lamp
The Colts could easily look to add a pass rusher here, but also know protecting Andrew Luck is a top priority.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Tennessee DE/OLB Derek Barnett
Barnett has drawn comparisons with Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry, and would give Baltimore a much-needed addition to their pass rush. The Ravens recorded just 31 team sacks, tied for the seventh fewest in the NFL in 2016, and would get a 6-foot-3, 259-pound pass rusher that recorded 32 sacks in three seasons with the Vols.
17. Washington Redskins – Alabama ILB Reuben Foster
The Redskins need help at inside linebacker and would get a steal if Foster were to slide to them at pick No. 17.
18. Tennessee Titans – Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
The Titans finally get the playmaking wide receiver they have been searching for, and give quarterback Marcus Mariota a 6-foot-3, 209-pound red zone target that should make an immediate impact in his rookie year.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
The Buccaneers went through a stable of running backs this past season due to injuries, and would get a steal if the Seminoles running back were to fall this far.
20. Denver Broncos – Utah OT Garett Bolles
It’s no secret that the Broncos are looking to upgrade the offensive tackle position, and would get an immediate starter in the Utes 6-foot-5, 297-pound tackle.
21. Detroit Lions – UCLA DE/OLB Takkarist McKinley
The Lions need to bolster their pass rush, and could look to plug McKinley in opposite Ezekiel Ansah, giving Detroit two dynamic defensive ends. McKinley is projected to play outside linebacker at the next level, but his best season came as a defensive end in a 4-3 front.
22. Miami Dolphins – Temple LB Haason Reddick
The Dolphins have already upgraded their linebacker corps with the signing of Timmons, but could solidify the group with the addition of Reddick. The combination of Kiko Alonso, Timmons, and Reddick in Miami’s 4-3 defense would give the franchise a fierce linebacker corps that should create plenty of problems for opposing offenses.
23. New York Giants – Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Offensive tackle makes the most sense here, but with both Bolles and Ramczyk off the board, the Giants take the best available player. New York has already signed blocking tight end Rhett Ellison through free agency, but have not had a player of Howard’s caliber at the tight end position since Martellus Bennett in 2012.
24. Oakland Raiders – Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
The Raiders are in need of help in the secondary following the 2016 season, and get a physical cornerback that fits what head coach Jack Del Rio is trying to build with the Silver and Black.
25. Houston Texans – Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
If Watson remains on the board for the Texans, this should be a no brainer. Watson is likely the most pro-ready quarterback and is a proven winner, something the Houston franchise has been missing at the quarterback position.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Alabama OL Cam Robinson
No surprise here, Seattle needs help along the offensive line, and select the Alabama offensive lineman that has the potential to play both tackle or guard at the next level,
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer
Quarterback is not the biggest need for the Chiefs, but Kansas City’s front office and coaching staff could be salivating at the chance to develop Kizer behind quarterback Alex Smith. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has developed plenty of talented quarterbacks over the course of his career, and could mold Kizer into the franchise quarterback Kansas City has been looking for.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Missouri DE Charles Harris
The Cowboys need to upgrade their pass rusher and select a 6-foot-3, 253-pound defensive end that has the potential to develop into Pro Bowl pass rusher.
29. Green Bay Packers – UConn S Obi Melifonwu
The Packers need help at both cornerback and safety, and select the Huskies big athletic safety to fill the void left by Micah Hyde in free agency.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alabama OLB Tim Williams
The Steelers need to begin thinking of the future beyond James Harrison, and add a playmaking outside linebacker that recorded 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons in Tuscaloosa.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Michigan DE Taco Charlton
The Falcons are expected to bolster their pass rush and defensive line, and get a steal in the 6-foot-6, 277-pound Wolverines pass rusher.
32. New Orleans Saints (From Patriots) – Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
Okay, so the Saints need to focus on defense, but if McCaffrey remains on the board at pick No. 32, the Saints should not hesitate to snag him. Saints second-string running back Tim Hightower remains a free agent, and pairing McCaffrey with Mark Ingram could give New Orleans a dynamic one-two punch that will keep opposing defenses guessing.