Former NFL GM and personnel executive Mike Lombardi, whose work experience ranges from working under Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis to being Cleveland Browns’ GM to an executive working with the Patriots’ Bill Belichick, said recently that everyone can produce a mock draft and how a guy in Des Moines, Iowa basement can produce one.
But, what do the “experts” have to say about the upcoming 2017 NFL draft? Who will go as the top pick in the first round? Who will hear their name on Day One? Let’s take a look at the consensus for the NFL draft from the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Mike Mayock and ESPN’s Mel Kiper.
(Note: If two experts pick the same player, and the other two pick two different players, I went with the player chosen by two experts. If there is no clear-cut player, it is “No consensus.”)
- Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, defensive end (Consensus pick by all four)
- San Francisco: Jamal Adams, safety
- Chicago: Marcus Lattimore, safety (consensus pick by all four)
- Jacksonville: Leonard Fournette, running back
- Tennessee: Soloman Thomas, defensive tackle
- New York Jets: OJ Howard, tight end
- Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, safety
- Carolina: Christian McCaffrey, running back/offensive weapon
- Cincinatti: Reuben Foster, linebacker
- Buffalo: No consensus
- New Orleans: No consensus
- Cleveland: Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback
- Arizona: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback
- Philadelphia: No consensus
- Indianapolis: No consensus
- Baltimore: No consensus
- Washington: No consensus
- Tennessee: No consensus
- Tampa Bay: Dalvin Cook, running back
- Denver: Ryan Ramcyzk, offensive tackle
- Detroit: Jarrad Davis, linebacker
- Miami: No consensus
- New York Giants: Garrett Bolles, offensive tackle
- Oakland: No consensus
- Houston: Cam Robinson, offensive tackle
- Seattle: No consensus
- Kansas City: No consensus
- Dallas: No consensus
- Green Bay: No consensus
- Pittsburgh: No consensus
- Atlanta: No consensus
- New Orleans: Adoree’ Jackson, wide receiver/special teams weapon
Here are the mock drafts from the experts:
|Daniel Jeremiah||Bucky Brooks||Mel Kiper||Mike Mayock|
|1. Myles Garrett||Myles Garrett||Myles Garrett||Myles Garrett|
|2. Jamal Adams||Jamal Adams||Soloman Thomas||Jamal Adams|
|3. Marcus Lattimore||Marcus Lattimore||Jamal Adams||Marcus Lattimore|
|4. Leonard Fournette||Leonard Fournette||Jonathan Allen||Leonard Fournette|
|5. Soloman Thomas||Soloman Thomas||Reuben Foster||Mitchell Trubisky (to Tennessee in trade w/Cleveland)|
|6. OJ Howard||Deshaun Watson||OJ Howard||OJ Howard|
|7. Malik Hooker||Malik Hooker||Mike Williams||Soloman Thomas|
|8. Christian McCaffrey||Jonathan Allen||Christian McCaffrey||Christian McCaffrey|
|9. Reuben Foster||Reuben Foster||Haason Reddick||Jonathan Allen|
|10. Haason Reddick||Mike Williams||Jabrill Peppers||Reuben Foster|
|11. Marlon Humphrey||Derek Barnett||Marcus Lattimore||Charles Harris|
|12. Mitchell Trubisky||OJ Howard||Mitchell Trubisky||John Ross (to Cleveland in trade w/Tennessee)|
|13. Patrick Mahomes||Patrick Mahomes||Corey Davis||Marlon Humphrey|
|14. Derek Barnett||Christian McCaffrey||Gareon Conley||Mike Williams|
|15. Charles Harris||Takkarist McKinley||Leonard Fournette||Derek Barnett|
|16. Mike Williams||Corey Davis||Forrest Lamp||Haason Reddick|
|17. Jonathan Allen||Mitchell Trubisky||Malik Hooker||Takkarist McKinley|
|18. Corey Davis||John Ross||Marlon Humphrey||Adoree’ Jackson|
|19. Dalvin Cook||Dalvin Cook||John Ross||Malik Hooker|
|20. Ryan Ramcyzk||Ryan Ramcyzk||Ryan Ramcyzk||Ryan Ramcyzk|
|21. Jarrad Davis||Jarrad Davis||Kevin King||Corey Davis|
|22. Forrest Lamp||Taco Charlton||Jarrad Davis||TJ Watt|
|23. David Njoku||Garrett Bolles||Charles Harris||Garrett Bolles|
|24. Gareon Conley||Haason Reddick||Tre’Davious White||Cam Robinson|
|25. Cam Robinson||Cam Robinson||Cam Robinson||Deshaun Watson|
|26. Garrett Bolles||Obi Melifonwu||Garrett Bolles||Forrest Lamp|
|27. Deshaun Watson||Gareon Conley||Zach Cunningham||Dalvin Cook|
|28. Adoree’ Jackson||Charles Harris||Derek Barnett||Tre’Davious White|
|29. TJ Watt||Joe Mixon||Takkarist McKinley||Alvin Kamara|
|30. Evan Engram||DeShone Kizer||Zay Jones||Jordan Willis|
|31. Kevin King||Forrest Lamp||Taco Charlton||Jabrill Peppers|
|32. Takkarist McKinley||Adoree’ Jackson||Adoree’ Jackson||Patrick Mahomes (to Arizona in trade w/New Orleans)|
Defensive End: Bronson Kaufusi (BYU), Yannick Ngakoue (Maryland)
Two sleepers? Yes. Why? Because defensive ends are a high premium for NFL teams after seeing the Denver Broncos dominate a great Carolina Panthers team at the line of scrimmage. Teams are looking for defensive ends to harass NFL quarterbacks.
Kaufusi is 6’6”, weighs 285 and will probably be drafted in the third to fourth round. Why? His stats aren’t too shabby: Bronson had 64 tackles, 20 of which were for a loss, 11 sacks, 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles. He has good size and speed and could be a valuable third-down pass-rush asset for NFL defenses. But, a big question mark is getting off blocks. (Disclaimer: I am a BYU graduate).
Ngakoue (pronounced En-Gah-kway) is a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end and played against Big Ten offensive line talent. He is 6’2” and weighs 252 pounds. He could go as high as the 2nd round, but I’d think he’d fall maybe to the 3rd round. He wreaked havoc last season, with 13.5 sacks, 38 total tackles (15 tackles for a loss), with 1 fumble and 1 pass break-up. He is long, he has speed, and he has the stats and tape to back it up. As WalterFootball pointed out, he owned Brandon Scherff, who was the 5th-overall pick for the Washington Redskins last year, when they faced each other in 2014. (Second disclaimer: I’m also a Maryland fan :D)
Defensive Tackle: Jonathan Bullard, Florida
6’3”, 285 pounds.
Bullard was one of the best SEC run defenders in 2015, according to WalterFootball. One of my favorite NFL analysts, former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, is high on him and pointed out how Bullard dominated SEC offensive linemen. But, he is smaller than NFL teams would like, which is why he could end up going (at the latest) in the 2nd round. He had 17.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 2 batted passes, with 66 total tackles. He needs to add weight, but his track record in the SEC speaks for itself.
Cornerback: Cyrus Jones, Alabama
5’9”, 196 pounds. 4.49 40-time.
Jones is better known for his special teams plays and special package plays on defense, where he played in corner-heavy packages (nickel or dime). His speed is out of this world on the field and he showed up a lot in big games, for better and for worse. Height is a large concern because of bigger tight ends and wide receivers. He did have 2 interceptions last season as a senior, and 3 as a junior.
But, I believe could be a Devon Hester-type player, where his best talent is on special teams, then he learns the position as time goes on. Yes, wide receiver is slightly easier to learn, as it is more proactive than reactive, but if Jones is one of those solid Alabama Crimson Tide players that the school boasts about, he’ll learn and develop to be a solid nickel corner in a pass-happy NFL. Jones will probably go between the 4th to 6th round and will be a steal if he develops well.
Linebacker: Blake Martinez, Stanford
6’0”, 233 pounds.
Stanford churns out NFL talent, maybe not top-end talent, but consistent talent. Martinez is one of those blue-collar linebacking types, like former Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy (who is transitioning from linebacker to defensive line this year for the Washington Redskins). Martinez was a tackle machine, with 141 total tackles, 6.5 for loss, 1 interception, 1.5 sacks, 6 pass break-ups. He is a steady Eddie, as the saying goes, and will get the job done.
Martinez is no Luke Kuechly, but is that stout, inside linebacker that will make the right plays. Also, Stanford coach David Shaw doesn’t coach idiots. Martinez is projected to go between the third and fifth round of the draft.
Safety: Sean Davis, Maryland
6’1”, 201 pounds, 4.46 40-time.
Davis shifted around in Maryland’s defense from corner to safety and at times, a small linebacker. He had 88 tackles last year on a so-so football team in a tough Big Ten division (facing the likes of Ohio State) and had 3 interceptions. Not an impressive resume, per se, but he is athletic, he can cover and stay in the box to guard against the run. Although, his versatility impresses NFL scouts.
Major concerns are whether he can keep up with top speed talent in the NFL and read the quarterback’s eyes correctly. Some scouting reports point out that he is often beat on double moves, and is inconsistent in covering receivers as he is more of a hard-hitting safety. A lot of scouts are hyping him up, but remember, his ceiling is maybe the 3rd round and floor is the 5th round.