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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Landing Spots of Nation's Top Prospects

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One half of the NFL’s Wild Card Round is in the books with two more games left to play on Sunday. With their Saturday losses, the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions joined the other 20 teams that are now preparing for a long offseason. 

Next up for them is the NFL draft, which presents an opportunity for teams to immediately acquire a game-changer.

The potential game-changing impact of rookies was most recently put on display by quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, who throttled the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 record, an NFC East title and the No. 1 seed in the conference.

With that, let’s take a look at my latest mock draft predicting which elite talents will go in the first round:

2017 NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round
Pick Team Player Position School
1 Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M
2 San Francisco 49ers DeShone Kizer QB Notre Dame
3 Chicago Bears Jamal Adams S LSU
4 Jacksonville Jaguars Jonathan Allen DT Alabama
5 Tennessee Titans (via Rams) Malik Hookier S Ohio State
6 New York Jets Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina
7 San Diego Chargers Cam Robinson OT Alabama
8 Carolina Panthers Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
9 Cincinnati Bengals Reuben Foster LB Alabama
10 Buffalo Bills Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama
11 New Orleans Saints Quincy Wilson CB Florida
12 Cleveland Browns (via Eagles) Leonard Fournette RB LSU
13 Arizona Cardinals Marshon Lattimore CB Ohio State
14 Indianapolis Colts Dalvin Cook RB Florida St.
15 Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings) Mike Williams WR Clemson
16 Baltimore Ravens Malik McDowell DE Michigan St.
17 Washington Redskins Jabrill Peppers LB/S Michigan
18 Tennessee Titans John Ross WR Washington
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Caleb Brantley DT Florida
20 Denver Broncos O.J. Howard TE Alabama
21 Detroit Lions Chris Wormley DE/DT Michigan
22 Miami Dolphins Solomon Thomas DE Stanford
23 New York Giants Zach Cunningham LB Vanderbilt
24 Oakland Raiders Jalen “Teez” Tabor CB Florida
25 Houston Texans Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
26 Green Bay Packers Taco Charlton DE Michigan
27 Seattle Seahawks Martinas Rankin OT Mississippi St.
28 Pittsburgh Steelers Charles Harris DE/LB Missouri
29 Atlanta Falcons Adoree’ Jackson CB USC
30 Kansas City Chiefs Sidney Jackson CB Washington
31 Dallas Cowboys Dawuane Smoot DE Illinois
32 New England Patriots T.J. Watt LB Wisconsin

Could 3 Quarterbacks Go in Round 1?

This could be the third time since 2014 that three quarterbacks are selected in the first round, given the need for passers around the league.

While the Cleveland Browns could take a quarterback with their No. 1 overall pick, it was revealed back in December that the organization has an “astronomical grade” on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

At No. 2, though, the San Francisco 49ers need to find another option other than Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert.

In 2016, the 49ers’ passing offense under Chip Kelly ranked dead last in the league, which was a big reason why the team was 27th in scoring and Kelly was fired.

They’ll have the first crack at either DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame or North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky. Those two are widely considered bona fide early-first-round talents at the quarterback position. 

According to Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com, more team sources are leaning toward Kizer because “they prefer his skill set,” so Kizer lands at No. 2.

He experienced a difficult 2016 season, but he was still voted the program’s most valuable player:

That leaves Trubisky up for grabs, and while the Chicago Bears could take him as a replacement for Jay Cutler, there is the possibility they can draft a defensive back instead in an attempt to fix a unit that intercepted just eight passes and allowed 1,950 rushing yards.

A safety like Jamal Adams out of LSU could be a perfect fit there. 

With the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans set at quarterback, that allows the New York Jets to get their man.

New York hasn’t tried to hide the fact that it wants the North Carolina product, as league sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News in December that the Jets “are all over this kid.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career as a Jet is all but over after the tough season he had, which was played under a one-year deal. 

That leaves the team with Bryce Petty, who suffered a shoulder injury requiring surgery, and Christian Hackenberg. There’s little confidence surrounding Hackenberg, though, as a team source told Mehta that “he will never make it.”

Nabbing a quarterback with a big arm like Trubisky could be a huge addition to a Jets team that is going to look very different in 2017.

A third quarterback could be taken at the end of the first round, depending on how the Houston Texans view their current situation.

Brock Osweiler has not lived up to his big contract, despite Houston winning the AFC South and advancing to the divisional round.

If the team is desperate enough for an alternative arm, look for either Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes to get the nod.

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