We’re almost there. The 2017 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday. Mattis Holt gives you his one and only mock draft for the year.

 

Mock drafts are no joke, and making a two-round mock draft is almost torture. But, that doesn’t stop me! Sweat and tears have, yet again, been put into analyzing NFL draft prospects and trying to figure out who will be successful at the next level. Here’s my only Pro Football Spot mock draft for the 2017 NFL Draft.



 

Round 1

 

1) Cleveland Browns: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

He’s the best prospect, and it’s not even close. Physically, he’s a Jadeveon Clowney clone – but he’s a more complete football player than Clowney was coming out in 2014. Houston was always going to draft Clowney, despite desperately needing a quarterback. Cleveland is going to draft Garrett, despite their quarterback mess.

 

2) San Francisco 49ers: QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina

I could probably make the case for 6-7 players to San Francisco at pick No. 2, but this one makes the most sense. I just can’t see that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan will go into their first season without a young quarterback, and waiting until later is risky. Being in this position, they have a to take the best signal-caller. I’ll try to take you inside my brain: Shanahan has coached a bunch of quarterbacks. Matt Schaub, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins, Brian Hoyer and Matt Ryan are just some of them. The one thing they all have in common is limited athletic ability, but above-average arm talent. The quarterback who fits that description in this draft is Mitch Trubisky, even though he probably is more athletic than all those guys. DeShone Kizer is another option, and Nathan Peterman also seems like a Shanahan quarterback. Peterman would, however, be a tremendous reach here, and Kizer probably is as well. Trubisky brings all the tools and can be coached into being the next Ryan.

 

3) Chicago Bears: DT Jonathan Allen, Alabama

I just don’t buy that teams are low on him. Shaky medicals could hurt his stock, but I still think the Bears will pull the trigger if they can get the best interior pass rusher coming out since Aaron Donald. I also think Allen is a perfect fit in Chicago’s 3-4 defense, giving an okay linebacker group some help up front. Secondary is definitely an issue for Chicago, but again, I can’t see them passing on Allen.

 

4) Jacksonville Jaguars: QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

My first shocker. We’ve seen this story before. In 2014, the Jags were “happy with Chad Henne”. Then, they picked Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. Bortles wasn’t even close to being the best quarterback prospect in that draft, but I guess they knew what they wanted: An arm. Now, Jacksonville is “happy with Blake Bortles”, but with a new head coach, and a new executive VP of football operations, they must be looking at other options. Bortles has thrown 51 interceptions for the Jaguars. In three seasons! Kizer isn’t immune from being picked off either (19 INT’s for Notre Dame), but he has the arm talent, he has the athletic ability, and he’s probably the most NFL-ready quarterback among the top prospects. If Kizer is who I think he is, this is the guy who can turn this franchise around.

 

5) Tennessee Titans: CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

The Titans have something going down in Tennessee. They have the quarterback, they have the running back(s), they have the O-line, and they have a solid defensive front. What they’re missing is a true No. 1 receiver and secondary help. Even though Mike Williams is a valid option, I believe they will go after the best cornerback. Marshon Lattimore looks flawless on tape and has great size as well. Logan Ryan’s arrival from New England helps, but he can only defend one side at a time. Let Lattimore help you out with the other side, and you’re a playoff contender.

 

6) New York Jets: RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

The New York Jets have bigger needs at running back than most teams. Bilal Powell was okay last season, but he didn’t help the Jets when they needed it. Matt Forte is 31 years old. Leonard Fournette will help the team out on every snap. He’s a special runner, and he’s above average in pass protection. His running style is similar to Chris Ivory, who had success in New York. Fournette is more extreme, and you can expect big things from him if he lands with the Jets.

 

7) Los Angeles Chargers: FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State

Free safety is rarely a position that gets drafted high, but that will change with Malik Hooker. I haven’t seen a more polished safety in years, and his instincts are almost unreal. He’ll help Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward out in a big way, and make that unit one of they best in the country. I know he struggles when he has to tackle in space, but that’s really his only knock. Instincts and special ball skills make him a top-10 draft pick and a good fit for Los Angeles.

 

8) Carolina Panthers: RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Christian McCaffrey makes sense for the Panthers. Jonathan Stewart will never be the player McCaffrey can be, and that’s why they’ll draft him. He’s almost as good of a receiver, as he is a running back, and Cam Newton will love having that weapon available. He’s the most patient runner in the class and is explosive enough to break into the second level with ease. His hands are elite, his routes are elite. McCaffrey is elite.

 

9) Cincinnati Bengals: DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

I’m not as big of a Solomon Thomas fan as everybody else. He just seems average to me when he’s rushing the passer on the outside. Inside, however, he’s a force. His size makes him a perfect Bengals player, but as I said, I don’t see him as an edge rusher. He might become one though, and that makes learning behind Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap a good fit for Thomas.

 

10) Buffalo Bills: S Jamal Adams, LSU

Jamal Adams is a pure football player, and he’s a leader on the field. Buffalo is a team that lacks leadership, and Adams will be the face of that franchise for years to come. Add Ronald Darby, Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland to the mix, and you have a very young and talented defense.

 

11) New Orleans Saints: DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

The Saints need a pass rush. Drafting Sheldon Rankins last year was a smart move, but you need some more athleticism on the edge too. Derek Barnett is my second best pass rusher in this draft. He possesses a special bend and could – as they say – run full speed under a table. His balance off the edge is great, and he has a special ability to find the quarterback. Him and Cam Jordan rushing from the edges, with Rankins doing the work in the middle? That would be fun to watch.

12) Cleveland Browns: QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

With two quarterbacks already off the board, the Browns go after the arm. Mahomes’ arm talent is the best I’ve seen coming out of college in many years, but what separates him from other “big arm” quarterbacks is that he also has accuracy on “lighter” throws with touch and timing. When he plays at his best, he’s Russell Wilson with a huge arm. His technique obviously has flaws, but I think Hue Jackson will be the perfect mentor for him. Just imagine what throws he can make if his technique was top notch. It’s a scary thought, if your team is in the AFC North…

 

13) Arizona Cardinals: WR Mike Williams, Clemson

Larry Fitzgerald can’t possibly have more than a year left in his tank, and without him, the Cardinals lack a reliable receiver. John Brown flashes some potential, and JJ Nelson is a lethal deep threat, but they need that move-the-sticks wide out. Williams is that guy. His ability to adapt to the ball mid-air is special, and he possesses elite size for an NFL receiver. Perfect for Arizona, and finally Carson Palmer has a big body outside.

14) Philadelphia Eagles: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

Taco Charlton is huge, but he’s also athletic. He can win in many different ways. His powerful push gives him an early advantage, but his spin move is also lethal. The Eagles have okay edge rushers, but they just lost Connor Barwin. Charlton is a great replacement for him.

15) Indianapolis Colts: OG Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky

The Colts are building fronts. Malik McDowell is an option for Indy, but I think their need for a better O-line is bigger. Ryan Kelly was a good start last year, and with Forrest Lamp, they get a player who can line up all over the line. He’s an instant upgrade over both guards and could bump out to right tackle if they feel they need new blood there.

16) Baltimore Ravens: TE OJ Howard, Alabama

The Ravens have a couple of really old tight ends, and they haven’t been productive for a while. O.J. Howard will help out Joe Flacco in a big way. He’s a perfect target for his arm, but he’s so much more than a big body. His speed is special for a tight end, and he’s athletic enough to make people miss. He will be a playmaker for the Ravens for many years to come.

 

17) Washington Redskins: DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Redskins desperately need help on the D-line, and McDowell is the best true defensive tackle in the draft, but he can play 3-4 defensive end as well. He reminds me of DeForrest Buckner, who had success in the same position for San Fransisco. His only knock going into the draft are questions about his work ethic. That could make him fall out of the first round, but I still think Washington will pull the trigger on him.

 

18) Tennessee Titans: WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan

Corey Davis could be the best wide receiver in this draft, but we haven’t seen anything from him since his last game for Western Michigan. No 40’s, no drills, no nothing. That could make NFL GM’s nervous. What is he hiding? He was supposed to schedule a private workout for teams in April, but that hasn’t happened. Still, if you trust his tape, the Titans have to pick him with their second pick. He’s a receiver who can do a lot for your team, and that’s exactly what Tennessee needs.

 

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Charles Harris, Missouri 

Tampa Bay needs pass rushers. Harris is a quick sack machine, with great footwork. He wins against the tackle with WR-like movements. His hand technique needs work, and he doesn’t seem motivated in run defense. I believe it is a bit of a reach at this point, but the gap after him is too big to wait.

 

20) Denver Broncos: OT Cam Robinson, Alabama

The Broncos have one big hole, and it’s left tackle. I still believe Cam Robinson is the best tackle in the draft. He attacks the pass-rusher with power and quickly gets the upper hand. He will be a good blind-side protector for whoever plays quarterback for Denver.

21) Detroit Lions: LB Haason Reddick, Temple

Too early? Maybe, but his upside is tremendous. He worked his ass off at Temple, and there’s no red flags anywhere near this guy. I bet the Lions are thinking hard about Reuben Foster at this point, but they must do the safe pick in the first round. Reddick’s motor never stops, and he’s great at both rushing the passer and stopping the run.

 

22) Miami Dolphins: LB Takk McKinley, UCLA

Takk is so athletic. There’s this one play where he reacts to a chop block, keeps his balance, and sacks the quarterback. It’s insane. Miami needs both pass rushers and linebackers, and Takk can do both. He was a force for UCLA, and he will be a force for Miami.

23) New York Giants: OT Garrett Bolles, Utah

The Giants must find a new left tackle in this draft. Ereck Flowers is simply not good enough. Bolles might be. He’s the most versatile tackle in the draft, great run blocker and great in pass protection. He moves effortlessly both on the line and down the field. A great player, who will help both Eli Manning and Paul Perkins.

24) Oakland Raiders: CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama

Humphrey is such a Raider. Alabama cornerbacks don’t have a great reputation, but Humphrey is special. His tackling is off the charts, and he closes gaps faster than most. He has good instincts, and I really like his ball skills. He isn’t the best in coverage, and he struggles to follow his man all the way through the route. However, he has good recovery speed.

25) Houston Texans: QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson

I’m not the biggest Deshaun Watson fan, but with the other three quarterbacks off the board, the Texans can’t afford to pass on him. His arm talent is average at best, but he’s athletic enough to make plays with his legs. His skill set doesn’t really translate to what Bill O’Brien wants to do, but he is a winner. He steps up when it matters the most, and that’s exactly what Houston’s been missing the last couple of years.

 

26) Seattle Seahawks: CB Kevin King, Washington

There’s no player that looks more like a Seahawk than Kevin King. He’s 6-3, 200 pounds, and has some crazy ball skills (RE: that interception vs Arizona State). He’s handsy but didn’t get too many DPI’s in college. King’s a worthy piece in the Legion of Boom.

 

27) Kansas City Chiefs: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

I just can’t see such a talented player like this falling out of the first round. The failed drug test will obviously hurt him, but his tape speaks for himself. He never misses tackles, and he’s awesome in coverage. Great vision, and great power. He will make a scary Kansas City defense even scarier.

28) Dallas Cowboys: CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State

Gareon Conley is suddenly mentioned in the same category as former teammate Marshon Lattimore. I don’t see that, but he has first-round talent. The Cowboys must find cornerbacks in this draft, and Conley is a good fit for Dallas.

29) Green Bay Packers: CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

The run on cornerbacks has started. Green Bay had big cornerback issues last season, and even though that mainly was because of injuries, they still need help. Awuzie might be one of the most complete corners in the draft, as he can cover everything you throw at him.

 

30) Pittsburgh Steelers: TE David Njoku, Miami

Two tight ends in the first round! I can’t remember the last time that happened, but Njoku is worthy of a first-round pick. The Steelers went after Ladarius Green, but he’s getting concussions left and right and might be done on the football field. With Njoku, Big Ben gets a big reliable, athletic target in the middle of the field. He’s a perfect fit for that offense.

31) Atlanta Falcons: WR John Ross, Washington

Speeeeeed. John Ross is already legendary with his 4.22 40-yard dash at the combine, and Atlanta is the absolute perfect spot for him. They do need a guard, but the only one worthy of this pick would’ve been Lamp. Ross gives Ryan another super fast target, and the Falcons have shown that they know how to use that. He’s not just a deep threat either, as he has sure hands and makes people miss after the catch. A playmaker for the Falcons, and he will help them repeat that Super Bowl run.

32) New Orleans Saints: S Obi Melifonwu, UConn

Obi Melifonwu almost jumped through the roof in Indianapolis. His former teammate, Byron Jones, made the first-round off of his combine work out. There’s no reason why Melifonwu won’t do the same. He is super athletic and good in coverage. My concern for him is that he misses a lot of tackles. Maybe a transition to cornerback would be the best for him.

Round 2

 

33) Cleveland Browns: CB Sidney Jones, Washington

Jones’ Achilles injury was bad, but it’s “just” his Achilles. He will get back from that. Maybe not this season, but he should be good to go for Cleveland next season. It’s not like the Brown are making a Super Bowl run this season anyway, and they can’t pass up on the talenteted Jones for the third time in this draft. Without the injury, he could be the No. 1 corner off the board.

 

 

34) San Francisco 49ers: SS Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

A diluted sample at the combine will definitely make him fall. He’s probably the most athletic player in this entire draft, but he hasn’t proven himself at one position yet. He played all over the field at Michigan and will benefit from practicing for one position. The 49ers have needs at both linebacker and safety, and they have the option to use Peppers where they think he is the best.

 

35) Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin

The Jags still need O-line help, despite getting Branden Albert. Ramczyk is the best left, and the gap down to the nest O-lineman is big. That’s why the Jaguars pull the trigger and get their newly-acquired quarterback, Kizer, some help.

 

36) Chicago Bears: FS Budda Baker, Washington

Time to look at the secondary. Chicago acquired Amukamara, which makes them pretty set at corner. At safety, however, they need help. Budda Baker has a relentless motor and great range. He’s such a fun player to watch and will easily be a fan favorite in Chicago.

 

37) Los Angeles Rams: CB Adoree’ Jackson, USC

They have to make the most out of this pick. The defense is pretty set, but they do need another cornerback. Adoree’ Jackson is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He is raw as a cornerback, but give him an entire offseason as a corner, and he could be special. Interceptions will happen, and pick-6’s will happen. And he will help the Rams out immediately on special teams.

 

 38) Los Angeles Chargers: WR Zay Jones, East Carolina

LA back-to-back picks in the second round. With Hooker secured in the first round, the Chargers can look for an offensive weapon. Zay Jones has special ball skills and coordination. He made a ton of tough sideline grabs for East Carolina and had a crazy catch at the Senior Bowl. Play speed is average, but he makes the most out of every situation.

 

39) New York Jets: CB Quincy Wilson, Florida

Fournette was the luxury pick. Time to take what they really need in the second round: A cornerback. Wilson is a first-round pick in every other draft, but this class is crazy deep. He has elite size and is an instant upgrade over Buster Skrine.

 

40) Carolina Panthers: EDGE Tim Williams, Alabama

The Panthers don’t have a need at edge right now, but everybody knows Julius Peppers isn’t sticking around for long. Tim Williams has a lot of off-field issues, which makes him fall out of the first round. The Panthers won’t pass on him here, though. Williams can both play 4-3 defensive end and off-the-ball linebacker. He’s great value at this point, and Panthers has an option for the future.

 

41) Cincinnati Bengals: LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt

Cunningham is a good fit for the Bengals. They need linebackers next to Burfict, and Cunningham is a great off-the-ball LB. He’s a great tackler and has the vision and speed to get a ton of stuffs. He might struggle against NFL O-lineman, but he should be able to make some plays on the quarterback in the big league as well.

 

42) New Orleans Saints: CB Tre’Davious White, LSU

The Saints have a bunch of draft picks this year. Safety and pass rush is already acquired in this mock draft, and even though a lot of corners has already gone, there’s still value. Tre’Davious White is a complete cornerback who impressed me at the Senior Bowl. He can play nickel and outside. Usually worthy of a first-round pick, but then again, this class…

 

43) Philadelphia Eagles: CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

Tankersley is an underrated playmaker, who just won a National Championship. He has great size and is super fast. However, his instincts don’t seem elite, and he struggles with his back-pedal sometimes. The Eagles need a corner and will take a shot at him here.

 

44) Buffalo Bills: WR Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

Gillmore leaves a gaping hole in the secondary, but all the great corners are already off the board. Sammy Watkins is their No. 1 receiver, but there’s not much talent behind him. I’m higher on Ryan Switzer than most, but I think he is a special wide receiver. His feet are electric, and you probably won’t find a more elusive guy in space in this draft. Size is obviously a concern, but he made it work at UNC. Without him, Trubisky wouldn’t be in the first-round conversation.

 

 

45) Arizona Cardinals: QB Davis Webb, California

This could be Palmer’s last year, and drafting a quarterback should be a priority for Bruce Arians. Davis Webb has a similar skill set to Palmer, and he will benefit tremendously from sitting behind him for a year. Arians is also one of the best “QB whisperers” in the game, and that’s perfect for Webb. Great fit.

 

 

46) Indianapolis Colts: RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State

Dalvin Cook is talented on tape, but his combine and fumble issues make him fall into the lap of Indy. They get a playmaker who can take the load off Frank Gore, and possibly replace him next season. He has mature vision and makes sharp cuts. I do question his decisions when the play goes down the drain, but that is something he can work on.

 

47) Baltimore Ravens: LB TJ Watt, Wisconsin

With tight end figured out, the Ravens can look for their next big linebacker. TJ Watt is still very raw at the position, but his upside is probably the biggest in this linebacker class. He tested extremely well, and we all know what a Watt with great work ethic can achieve. He can rush the passer as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he can also play inside linebacker. He’s a good fit for the Ravens, and this could turn out to be a major steal.

 

 

48) Minnesota Vikings: C Pat Elflein, Ohio State

A long wait for Minnesota, but they get what they want here. O-line was a mess for them, and they get the best center in the draft here. Elflein can also play guard if the Vikings feel they need him more there. Nonetheless, he’ll help Minnesota out immediately.

 

49) Washington Redskins: RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo

I’m a big Kareem Hunt fan because when he’s at his best he plays like Marshawn Lynch. He has the same balance and power, but might lack the same speed. He keeps his feet going after contact, and never stops fighting for yards. He’s a pitbull.

 

50) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee

Tampa Bay doesn’t really know what they have at running back yet, and Alvin Kamara in the second round makes a ton of sense. He is a player that can do a lot for you. He catches the ball, and he has the explosiveness to score from all over the field. Vision could be better, and his knee worries me, but still a good pick here.

 

51) Denver Broncos: TE/WR Evan Engram, Ole Miss

We don’t know who will throw the ball for Denver yet, but a big body like Evan Engram would definitely help that person out. I have made the case for him as a wide receiver, but the Broncos won’t have to decide who he is before camp. They need both tight end and wide receiver, and an Engram in the slot could be a beast in Denver.

 

 

52) Cleveland Browns: S Marcus Maye, Florida

Pass rush, check. Quarterback, check. Cornerback, check. Next up: Safety. Maye gets a lot of high praise for his leadership for the Gators, and that sounds like a player Jackson would be interested in. Size is great, he is a prototypical safety. He did allow a lot of touchdowns at Florida, and had some issues tracking the ball deep. Still an upgrade over the safeties on the Browns roster.

 

53) Detroit Lions: LB Jarrad Davis, Florida

I gave them a solid linebacker/pass-rusher in the first round, but they still need more linebackers. Davis is another type of linebacker, who plays with passion and grit. His tape shows some missed tackles because of bad angles, but I believe he can be coached into a great middle linebacker.

 

54) Miami Dolphins: OG Dan Feeney, Indiana

Feeney is the best player on the board at this point. He had a good combine, where he showed off quick feet despite carrying 305 pounds. The Dolphins are “a guard away” from having a fantastic O-line, and Feeney can be that last piece.

 

55) New York Giants: LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

The Giants defense is great, but they still need a linebacker. McMillan brings a lot to the table. He’s a bit undersized but has tremendous speed for a linebacker. He’s a fantastic blitzer and attacks the blocker with long arms. His vision isn’t always as good, the Giants D-line will open a lot of holes for him. Could see a bunch of strip sacks from this guy.

 

56) Oakland Raiders: DT Chris Wormley, Michigan

A defensive tackle is the best option for Oakland. Wormley was a force for Michigan, and he deserves a lot of credit for what Charlton achieved for that team. He’s big and pretty quick for his size.

 

57) Houston Texans: OT Taylor Moton, Western Michigan

They have their quarterback, now they must find a replacement for Derek Newton at right tackle. Moton is the next tackle at my list. He is huge but still jumped 30.5 inches at his vertical. That’s insane. He is very good at guard and can play tackle. If Newton comes back from his injury, they could still use a great guard.

 

58) Seattle Seahawks: OT Dion Dawkins, Temple

I bet the Seahawks had their eyes on Moton as well, but now they will have to take the second best guy. He’s a good, quick tackle who can play inside. He has great balance to hold off anything thrown at him. Good fit for a weak Seahawks O-line.

 

59) Kansas City Chiefs: CB Teez Tabor, Florida

They probably got a steal with Foster, and this is another faller. Teez was mentioned as a top-10 pick a while ago but has dropped because of bad workouts. I have been comparing him to Marcus Peters, and the Chiefs really hit the jackpot with him. Line Tabor up on the other side, and you have two interception machines in your secondary.

 

60) Dallas Cowboys: DE Derek Rivers, Youngstown St

Pass-rush is the next priority for Dallas. Rivers played for a small school, and it’s hard to evaluate him. What you see on tape is a highly productive pass-rusher, who can win both on the outside and on the inside. It’s hard to say if he can be as productive in the big league, but it’s definitely worth a shot at pick No. 60.

 

61) Green Bay Packers: LB Tyus Bowser, Houston

Boy, Bowser can turn out to be a steal at pick No. 61. He tested off the charts at the combine and was a top performer at almost every category. The Packers need both linebacker and pass rushers, and Bowser can do both. He is a bit of a gamble, but worth it late in the second.

 

62) Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Duke Riley, LSU

The Steelers also need linebackers. James Harrison is 38 years old. Duke Riley is undersized, but he is a fantastic football player. His motor never stops, and he gives a 100 percent on every snap. He’s the kind of guy that quickly becomes a fan favorite, and that’s a character the Steelers has been missing on defense.

 

 

63) Atlanta Falcons: OG Nico Siragusa, San Diego State

Time to get that guard. Heard of Donnel Pumphrey, the all-time NCAA rushing leader? Without Nico Siragusa, he wouldn’t be close. Siragusa had a great work out at the combine, and I believe he is one of the better run blockers in the draft. That’s a great fit for the Falcons.

 

64) Carolina Panthers: WR Chris Godwin, Penn State

They gave up Kony Ealy to get this pick. My opinion is that they struck gold with Ealy when they drafted him with the 60th overall pick, so I don’t really understand that trade. However, they get another guy with potential here. Panthers has a lot of big receivers, but they need a guy that can get open on every play. That’s Chris Godwin. He has elite timing and balance and is very sure-handed. Not super explosive, but he is an expert on getting open.