Glenn Mahon’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft: First Round

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive lineman Myles Garrett #15 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates after sacking quarterback Sean White of the Auburn Tigers during an NCAA college football game on September 17, 2016 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
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The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and fans could not be more excited. Now is the time where teams will call in their favorite prospects for official visits, leaving fans and beat writers alike plenty of room for massive amounts of speculation.

Of course, the closer we get to draft day, more and more answers (and speculation) will be shown to the public. However, like every draft junkie does, it’s never too early to take a look at the names that will be called in Philadelphia and where players will land. So, without further ado, below is a mock draft for the first round of the NFL Draft, set to begin on April 27th.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: First Round

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

This is is one of the few picks in this draft that most have had penciled in well before the combine. Myles Garrett is a generational talent that the Browns will hope to bring in as a cornerstone of their defense. The Cleveland Browns need playmakers, and that is what they will get out of the A&M product.

2. San Francisco 49ers: DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

After the first pick, now it gets fun. It is unclear what the San Francisco 49ers will do with their pick here. While it makes sense for Kyle Shanahan to want a quarterback he can groom, there probably isn’t a quarterback in this class that is worth this high of a pick. With the BPA mindset, the pick here is  Solomon Thomas. With the defense switching to a 4-3, pairing Thomas with DeForest Buckner will be a force on the front to help build the defense.

3. Chicago Bears: S Jamal Adams, LSU

The Bears seem content with Mike Glennon as their starter heading into the 2017 season. With their budding star in Jordan Howard, they also do not have a need to reach for a bell-cow out of the backfield. With this in mind, the Bears take, arguably, the best safety prospect in the draft in Jamal Adams. Adams is a field general who can be a day-one starter and leader on the defense and give much-needed help in the secondary.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

The Jacksonville Jaguars patience with Blake Bortles is presumably running thin. What Bortles needs is a workhorse out of the backfield to prevent him from having to throw the ball 40+ times a game. Enter Leonard Fournette, who may be the best overall prospect in the draft. Fournette is quite simply a physical specimen, drawing comparisons ro the great Adrian Peterson. Fournette may be just the player to save Bortles’ career and to bring the Jaguars back into the playoffs.

5. Tennessee Titans: CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

It would be plausible for the Tennessee Titans to trade and pick up a few more draft picks at this spot, but if they hold tight, Marshon Lattimore should be the pick. Lattimore gives the Titans a true number one corner in a division loaded with top receiver talent. If the Titans fall in love with a player like Mike Williams, then you could see the Clemson product at this spot. However, Lattimore is the safest bet.

6. New York Jets: QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

True, this would mean the New York Jets are using more draft capital on a quarterback. It’s a running joke at this point, but Mitchell Trubisky is the safest play to make if the Jets indeed believe they need a quarterback. Trubisky was a tremendous prospect coming out of high school and, despite only playing one year at North Carolina as the starter, he has all the tools needed to be a starter in this league.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: S Malik Hooker, Ohio State

It was evident that the San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers) missed Eric Weddle last year. Malik Hooker makes a ton of sense for the Chargers here, as they can pair him with rising star Joey Bosa to kick start their defense.

8. Carolina Panthers: DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama

The Carolina Panthers will be delighted to see Jonathan Allen fall to them at this spot. Although they need help in the secondary, Allen is too good of a prospect for Carolina to pass up on. With the departure of Kony Ealy, Allen can lineup all along the line and help the Panthers build their defense back to the elite status they once boasted.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

This pick is a no-brainer for the Cincinnati Bengals to make. Reuben Foster is the best linebacker in the draft and would be a deadly pairing with Vontaze Burfict. Foster was the leader for the Alabama defense and will look to bring the same intangibles to an erratic Bengals defense.

10. Buffalo Bills: WR Mike Williams, Clemson

With Tyrod Taylor returning to the Buffalo Bills, they have their answer, at least for now, at quarterback. Pairing Mike Williams with Sammy Watkins would create a formidable duo and take some pressure off of both Taylor and LeSean McCoy.

11. New Orleans Saints: CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama

The New Orleans Saints offense has never been the issue for the team. The defense, however, has plenty of holes to fill. Marlon Humphrey gives the Saints a true cover-corner who brings plenty of swagger and attitude to the defense.

12. Cleveland Browns: QB DeShaun Watson, Clemson

Like the Jets, plenty of eyes may roll at seeing the Browns drafting another quarterback. However, DeShaun Watson is a winner through-and-through and can bring his winning pedigree to Cleveland, who is taking a full-blown rebuild approach to their franchise.

13. Arizona Cardinals: DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

With the departure of Calais Campbell, a void needs to be filled along the Arizona Cardinals line. Derek Barnett broke the sack record of Reggie White in his junior campaign and would bring an immediate impact to an already solid Cardinals defense.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State

With both of the top cornerbacks already taken, the Philadelphia Eagles get a workhorse back by selecting Dalvin Cook which will help relieve some of the pressure off of Carson Wentz. With the cornerback class being extremely deep in the later rounds, the Eagles complete their offense with a back who can handle 20+ touches per game.

15. Indianapolis Colts: TE O.J. Howard, Alabama

Yes, the Indianapolis Colts need help on the offensive line. However, giving Andrew Luck a safety blanket may be just as important. O.J. Howard would provide just that for Luck, while possessing all the traits to become a top tight end in the league.

16. Baltimore Ravens: WR John Ross, Washington

The fastest player in combine-history heads to a Baltimore Ravens team in need of a big-play talent. John Ross provides exceptional speed and a down-field threat that the Ravens offense has been missing since Torrey Smith provided it during their Super Bowl run. Ross provides all of this and more for the Ravens.

17. Washington Redskins: S/LB Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

The Washington Redskins have not had a true impact safety since the tragic death of Sean Taylor. Jabrill Peppers, who is probably the most versatile player in this draft, would be difference-maker in the secondary while also being more than capable of playing in the box.

18. Tennessee Titans: WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan

The Tennessee Titans have gone through a plethora of receivers but have been unable to find Marcus Mariota a true number one target. Corey Davis would provide a reliable, big target for Mariota and could propel the offense and help the Titans become a legitimate threat in the AFC South.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to be able to rush the quarterback in a division that features Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan. Taco Charlton will be a solid edge-rusher who will pair up with Gerald McCoy, forming a solid threat against any team’s offensive line.

20. Denver Broncos: T Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin

With the defense needing little help, the Denver Broncos bolster their offensive line with Ryan Ramczyk. Whoever ends up taking the snaps for Denver in Week one, they will need protection, and Ramcyzk will provide consistency on a currently shaky line.

21. Detroit Lions: DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Detroit Lions have missed the inside presence of Ndamukong Suh since he left for the Miami Dolphins. With the need for interior lineman, the Lions will jump at the chance to snag Malik McDowell, who would be a bruiser and run-stopper for the defense.

22. Miami Dolphins: T Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky

The Dolphins got a steal in Laremy Tunsil in last year’s draft, but still need to shore up their line to protect Ryan Tannehill and open up holes for rising-star Jay Ajayi. Forrest Lamp would start opposite of Tunsil, giving Miami two book-end tackles for the foreseeable future.

23. New York Giants: T Garett Bolles, Utah

The New York Giants need a consistent run game to add to their arsenal, but they need lineman just as badly. Garett Bolles can play both guard and tackle and would help bolster a line that will face plenty of a stout front sevens in the NFC East.

24. Oakland Raiders: LB Haason Reddick, Temple

With the Oakland Raiders on the rise, Haason Reddick would add to an already impressive front seven and would be another pass rusher to go along with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Reddick can lineup as both a linebacker and an end, providing pressure wherever he is on the field.

25. Houston Texans: QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

Assuming that the Houston Texans do not pull the trigger on Tony Romo, they are in need of a signal caller that can get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins. Patrick Mahomes impressed at the combine and can be groomed into the face of the franchise by Bill O’Brien.

26. Seattle Seahawks: T Cam Robinson, Alabama

The Seattle Seahawks spent the least amount of money on their offensive line among all teams in the NFL. In order to keep Russell Wilson on his feet, the Seahawks take Cam Robinson without having to reach. Robinson would start day one take to help protect Wilson’s blindside.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

With the departure of Jamaal Charles, the Kansas City Chiefs bring on another pass-catcher out of the backfield to pair with Spencer Ware. Christian McCaffrey impressed with his results at the combine and would be another weapon in Andy Reid‘s offense.

28. Dallas Cowboys: CB Tre’Davious White, LSU

The Dallas Cowboys had question marks in the secondary last season, and have now lost Morris Claiborne. Tre’Davious White would provide solid production in the secondary and allow the Cowboys to not have to rely on the inconsistent Nolan Carroll.

29. Green Bay Packers: CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State

Like the Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers secondary left much to be desired last season. Gareon Conley has risen on a lot of draft boards since the combine and would bring some stability to a Packers defense that has given up many big plays.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

Although James Harrison is on board for another season, the Pittsburgh Steelers need help in rushing the quarterback. Since Jarvis Jones has not lived up to his potential, the Steelers will be happy to snag Takkarist McKinley to add another player on defense who can pressure opposing offenses.

31. Atlanta Falcons: DT Caleb Brantley, Florida

The emergence of Vic Beasley last season showed promise for the defensive line of the Atlanta Falcons, but they still lack an interior presence. Caleb Brantley would provide a big body to plug up the holes and allow the linebackers to do their jobs.

32. New Orleans Saints: TE David Njoku, Miami

Any quarterback would miss their top tight end, let alone one of the caliber of Jimmy Graham. While David Njoku may not be the same elite talent as Graham, Drew Brees would be happy to have a safety blanket once again.

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