My final mock draft of 2017. Click on a prospect’s name to read my notes on them. Picks projected to be traded are in bold.
- Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- San Francisco 49ers – DB Jamal Adams, Louisiana St.
- Chicago Bears – DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
- Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Leonard Fournette, Louisiana St.
- Tennessee Titans – CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio St.
- New York Jets – TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
- Los Angeles Chargers – DB Malik Hooker, Ohio St.
- Carolina Panthers – RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- Cincinnati Bengals – DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills – LB Haason Reddick, Temple
- New Orleans Saints – DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
- Cleveland Browns – QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
- Arizona Cardinals – CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- Philadelphia Eagles – WR John Ross, Washington
- Indianapolis Colts – LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
- Baltimore Ravens – WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
- Washington Redskins – LB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
- Tennessee Titans – WR Mike Williams, Clemson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Dalvin Cook, Florida St.
- Denver Broncos – OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
- Detroit Lions – DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
- Miami Dolphins – OG Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
- New York Giants – OT Garett Bolles, Utah
- Oakland Raiders – LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Houston Texans – QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- Seattle Seahawks – DB Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
- Kansas City Chiefs – QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- Dallas Cowboys – CB Adoree’ Jackson, Southern California
- Green Bay Packers – CB Kevin King, Washington
- Miami Dolphins – DE Charles Harris, Missouri
- Atlanta Falcons – DE Jordan Willis, Kansas St.
- Baltimore Ravens – OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
Also considered: David Njoku, Zach Cunningham, T.J. Watt, Chidobe Awuzie, Tre’Davious White
6’6” – 302 lbs. – 5.15
Has started at left tackle for almost his entire collegiate career. Tall, with adequate arm length and perhaps a slightly thinner build than would be desirable; carries his weight well. More of a finesse player but has some scrappiness to his approach in the run game; has an adequate temperament and the athletic tools to succeed there but probably needs some time to adapt to more of a pro-style offense. Wasn’t often asked to put his hand in the dirt and play out of a three-point stance. Quality wall-off blocker who’s not overpowering but who can consistently position himself and sustain through the whistle. Has good leg drive after initial contact, with the ability to attack an opponent’s outside shoulder and generate push. Hand placement is a little bit inconsistent and could do a better job of keeping his hands inside and maximizing his power. Some ability to exploit opponents’ aggressiveness by letting them take themselves out of position. Very impressive burst to cut opponents at the second level, although his usage in this capacity was a bit limited during the games reviewed. Wasn’t really asked to pull much during the games reviewed but has the athleticism to do so. Has a bad habit of lowering his head into contact which may prove difficult to correct at the pro level. Played in a heavily pass-oriented offense. Very athletic player with quick feet and impressive mirror skills. Uses his length and quick feet to defend the edge well against speed, although he can be a little bit grabby. Stays back and uses his arms rather than shoulders to punch. Pretty good hand-fighter. Better at handling speed than power; might need to add a little bit more strength in his lower body to absorb opposing bull-rushes at the next level. Lack of ideal lower-body strength can be exacerbated by playing a little bit high and letting defenders win the leverage battle. Gets put on his heels more often than is desirable. Football intelligence was questioned by some scouts during the pre-draft process. One of the sleeker pass-protectors in a weak draft class, Garcia comes from an offense which bears little resemblance to the one he’s likely to end up in at the pro level and will need some time to adjust, but has the athletic tools to make sense on the second day as a developmental left tackle. Will likely need to make it on the outside and possibly even the blind-side, but could do so, especially in a zone blocking scheme.
6’4” – 248 lbs. – 4.61
Was a reserve/rotational player in his freshman season, then enjoyed three highly productive campaigns to finish his collegiate career. Plays left end on the team’s four-man lines, usually out of a four-point stance but at times standing up like more of a linebacker or putting just one hand in the dirt. Tall with average length and a somewhat thin, narrow build; might not be able to add considerably more bulk than he’s already carrying and consequently may be seen as more of a rush linebacker than a traditional defensive end. Was a productive pass-rusher in college with the athletic traits to potentially make the leap up in level of competition. Some ability to convert speed to power and generate push on passing downs; rushes with more power than his bulk would indicate. Able to use his hands to slap down an opposing blocker’s and get past them. Has an explosive closing burst to finish his rushes. Looks like he can dip his shoulder and bend around the edge a little bit, but doesn’t always have a smooth arc; needs to stop and redirect at times. Needs to develop additional counters to take advantage of situations in which his initial move is unsuccessful; tends to get stuck to blockers. Has some experience carrying backs into the flats from a two-point stance. Does a good job of flowing toward the ball in the run game; could be more disciplined with regard to his gap responsibilities. Can scrape down the line a little bit and create congestion on inside attempts. Has the athleticism to pursue from the backside. Flashes the ability to make tackles while engaged. However, is not overwhelmingly powerful in either his upper or lower bodies; can be washed out of some plays or take himself out of position by attempting to make his way around opposing blockers rather than through them. Doesn’t have the length to prevent opposing linemen from getting into his body. Motor in the run game is underwhelming compared to his work against the pass; limited willingness to chase from the backside when the attempt is in the other direction. A tall, athletic defensive end with the explosiveness to potentially work his way onto the field at the pro level, but who will need to develop additional strength and counters in order to succeed at the pro level, where he won’t be able to run around FCS right tackles but will have to match up against significantly more talented pro tackles. Interesting third or fourth-round developmental project.
5’11” – 213 lbs. – 4.46
Got hurt three games into his first college season, then became a starter the following year, enjoying two productive campaigns before declaring for the draft. Often lines up off the edge or in the box, more like a linebacker than a defensive back; however, is considered a likely conversion candidate to defensive back or a nickel role at the pro level. Very high intensity/high motor player with an excellent work rate. Was more of a downhill player than anything in college, with only limited work in coverage. Has very good instincts and pursuit skills, in terms of his athleticism, in terms of his angles, and in terms of his range. Seemingly always around the ball; flows very well and makes a ton of plays. Not the most powerful player but is willing to take on blocks and can work through trash. Uses his hands and quickness to slip blocks. Physical and reliable tackler, although he doesn’t have a ton of stopping power. Has a slight tendency to overpursue at times. Can be sealed inside when he gets too aggressive. Very good change of direction skills/agility; can flip his hips easily in coverage. Plants and drives well when playing zone and can generate some pop on contact. Flashes the ability to stick with receivers in man coverage but it’s difficult to evaluate his coverage skills because of the limited snaps he took in that role; never really took snaps as a traditional deep safety during the games reviewed, and physical limitations may prevent him from taking snaps against typical inline tight ends. Will line up across from receivers and play zone but can be taken advantage of because his instinct is to play downhill. Has enough speed to recover when caught out of position. Has good speed to close when given free lanes as a rusher. Also takes snaps as a running back, wildcat quarterback, and wide receiver, and is one of college football’s most dynamic return specialists. Capable of regularly making the first man miss, with incredible jump-cuts. A somewhat unorthodox player who has outstanding physical skills, instincts, and mental tools but whose role at the pro level is likely to be different from what he was asked to do in college. Could easily be ruined by a defensive coordinator who attempts to make him into a traditional cornerback or high safety, or could flourish under a creative coordinator who was willing to create a role for him that took advantage of his unique talents.
6’3” – 234 lbs. – 4.42
Was pretty productive as a freshman, then put together two more solid seasons before enjoying an excellent senior campaign which really boosted his stock. Team captain. Has adequate height, long arms, and big hands, with a somewhat thin frame. Often lined up as an H-Back or slot receiver and projects to that role at the next level as well; closer to a wide receiver than an inline tight end both from a physical standpoint and from the perspective of his usage in college. Athletic player who looks smooth releasing into the flats, running shorter curls, and dragging across the field. Fast enough to challenge defenses down the seams; not just a short passing game target and might be at his most valuable further downfield. Sells fakes well; often asked to present a blocking look and then release into his route. Has a good catch radius, with the ability to pluck the ball without letting it into his body. Good body control in the air to adjust to poorly-thrown balls. Has impressive leaping skills and the ability to climb the ladder and come down with higher throws. Tends to make some focus drops and seems like he has some trouble making catches in traffic or when a hit is incoming. Doesn’t really have the frame or length to shield defenders from the ball. Smooth runner after the catch; a good option for picking up YAC down the seam or when crossing the field. Gets upfield quickly; will lower the shoulder but isn’t especially powerful or elusive. Gives effort and is able to extend his arms and drive his legs but is not the best blocker; besides his physical/strength limitations, sometimes struggles to find rushers and tends to lower his head when stalking. Lunges and lets his hands get outside, negating what strength he has. Struggles to line up crackback blocks when sent in motion from the H-Back position. Might be able to give a little bit of help against opposing cornerbacks but isn’t the type of player that could line up in a three-point stance and mix it up with defensive ends. Has dealt with some injuries which may be a concern given his frame. An excellent athlete who presents a difficult matchup for opposing linebackers, he may never be a true inline option but could be dangerous in the hands of a creative offensive coordinator who was willing to overlook his blocking deficiencies and take advantage of his speed, quickness, and overall receiving ability by moving him around the formation and finding him opportunities.
5’10” – 195 lbs. – 4.45
Has started in each of the past three seasons for the Huskies, enjoying three productive seasons before declaring for the draft. Plays in the slot often and could be mistaken for a slot corner in terms of his frame; a little bit undersized for the pro game, with a slightly squatty build and height/length which are on the borderline of what’s acceptable at the safety position. Lines up between five to twelve yards off of the line opposite opposing receivers; used more like a nickel defender than a true high free safety. Usually works in short zones or in man coverage, relatively few snaps as a traditional deep zone defender. Aggressive, high-energy player. Responsible for making calls and adjustments to his team’s defense. Has a high football IQ and is considered one of his team’s leaders. Has impressive instincts and a solid feel for plays developing; can often sniff out misdirection or anticipate patterns and put himself in position to make a play. Positioning is good overall; can funnel runners back inside on stretch plays and tosses, rarely being caught out of position in the run game. Pretty rangy in pursuit, with the ability to cover plenty of ground given his plus instincts and solid speed. Takes generally sound angles and exhibits the ability to work through trash when defending inside runs from the slot. Looks fairly explosive when planting and driving on the ball. Had success creeping up and rushing from the edge; can chase down runners and make tackles in backside pursuit. Physical and reliable wrap tackler, especially given his size; also willing to mix it up and get physical with blockers. Has enough speed to carry opposing receivers downfield in man coverage. Susceptible to double-moves at times. Can sometimes crash down on route combinations or get too shallow in his zones and be taken advantage of when opposing receivers slip behind him. Doesn’t have a ton of on-ball production in coverage. Wasn’t really asked to backpedal much, often shuffled or turned and ran; has light feet and changes direction well. Physical limitations may prevent him from being able to cover tight ends; probably more of a slot defender who could also cover running backs releasing out of the backfield. A player who’s very easy to like because of his energy, physicality, instincts, and leadership traits, he should come off the board on the second day.
6’3” – 234 lbs. – 4.67
Started five games as a redshirt freshman and nine as a sophomore, then enjoyed a highly productive junior campaign before declaring for the draft. Projects as more of a weakside linebacker at the next level, with impressive height and length but a thin build; however, did take some snaps as the middle linebacker when his team was using three on the field simultaneously. Has impressive movement skills and looks natural when flowing to the ball. Racked up a lot of tackles for loss by anticipating rushing attempts and knifing into the backfield. However, is susceptible to misdirection and play fakes; can be moved out of position by good play design. Often asked to play in space or cover receivers releasing into the flats. In coverage, has a controlled backpedal and good balance; most of his coverage work comes with zone responsibilities, but has the size/length to potentially develop into a player who could match up against opposing tight ends in man coverage, or to cover running backs running patterns out of the backfield. Appears to have a pretty good feel for routes developing. Able to plant and drive on a spot and make tackles from sideline to sideline. Does a good job of picking up receivers running shallow crosses. Gives the rare blitz look but isn’t really used in that role on a very regular basis. Willing to get physical at the point of attack when taking on blocks, but doesn’t have a particularly strong anchor. Gets to a lot of spots and is usually around the ball but is not a very high-percentage finisher. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius. Not a very reliable or secure tackler; attempts a lot of arm tackles, slips off of a lot of attempts, and lacks stopping power. Has some troubling breaking down and squaring up opponents; overruns a lot of spots. That said, does a good job of attacking the football when he’s in position to go for a strip. Covered kicks and punts on special teams and has a good athletic profile for that sort of role at the next level as well. Has a lot of the physical and athletic tools teams are looking for and could develop into a starting option on the weakside or possibly in the middle but has a ways to go in terms of developing his instincts, becoming a more efficient tackler, and adding strength/physicality. Would be best in a simple defense that covers him and allows him to run to the ball.
6’3” – 200 lbs. – 4.43
Started two games at safety as a freshman, then all but one game of the next season before transitioning to cornerback and spending the past two years there. Tall, long-limbed cornerback with pretty good physical development; much bigger than the typical pro defensive back. Very competitive with good energy and the type of temperament teams look for in defenders. Versatile player who handled some different responsibilities which may be able to carry over to the pro level. During the games reviewed, did a lot of off-zone work from the slot as a junior and then was given more press-man looks on the outside as a senior. Length and physicality are conducive to playing bump-and-run, but can make a little bit too much contact, which might put him at risk of being flagged in the pro game. Capable of backpedaling, but doesn’t have especially quick feet or good balance; usually backpedaled from zones, shuffled from press looks. At his best when he’s able to keep the play in front of him, plant, and drive to limit yards after the catch or disrupt passes; however, will sometimes get too shallow in his zones and lose track of targets behind him. Worked in man coverage more frequently on the outside and was able to use his reflexes and pattern recognition to give pretty tight coverage. Able to flip his hips pretty smoothly. Didn’t really have to turn and run much during the games reviewed, so testing might be important in order to stick on the outside. Has a very physical on-field temperament and likes to come up and deliver hits or make tackles. Was able to function as something of an enforcer at times and can break up passes with well-timed hits. Length gives him a good tackling radius; will explode into contact and wrap up if given the chance, but was also able to make some shoestring tackles during the games reviewed. Attacks screens and has the aggressiveness and hand use to take on and shed blockers but had some trouble with his angles in the screen game during review. Was occasionally asked to rush of the edge, typically as more of a run blitz look. Size, length, and physicality might get him looks as a bump-and-run cornerback at the pro level; could also be considered as a safety given his size, tackling ability, instincts, and previous experience there. Projects as a potential starter at the pro level; incredible Combine performance in which he ranked among the top cornerbacks in the vertical leap (39.5”), three-cone drill (6.56 seconds), and short shuttle (3.89 seconds) could very well catapult him into the first round.
6’1” – 206 lbs. – 4.50e
Redshirted, then appeared in a reserve capacity before stepping into the starting lineup last season and having an incredible season before declaring for the draft. Overall size and bulk for the position is solid; arms measured an impressive 32.25”, with gargantuan 10.75” hands. Lines up as a traditional deep/high safety in both single-high and double-high looks. Does a lot of work in deep zones and some as a robber, predominantly working with the play in front of him. Wasn’t really asked to come down into the box regularly and doesn’t have the frame for that type of role either; a free safety all the way. Combines excellent instincts/anticipatory skills with adequate athleticism and effort to be one of the rangiest free safety prospects in recent memory; covers a lot of ground on the back end. One of college football’s premier ball-hawks, bringing excellent ball skills to the table to put himself in position, undercut routes, and come away with interceptions; clearly has the most value as a playmaker in the secondary who can patrol deep zones and create turnovers. Will also shade over to cover slot receivers, often in off-coverage; it’s unclear whether he’s quite athletic enough to do that on a regularly basis, and he’d be too small to man up against most tight ends. Has quick feet and a pretty technically-sound backpedal but wasn’t always asked to do that; a lot of shuffle technique when he’s pulled down in order to shade over. Can plant and drive adequately on spots, although he was victimized by a double move during one of the games reviewed. Some ability to serve as an enforcer over the middle of the field; broke up some passes with well-timed hits during the games reviewed. Willing to come up and defend the run as well; pretty physical for his size, but not an overpowering hitter. Uses wrap tackling technique and generally takes sound angles to the ballcarrier but ended up slipping off of too many tackle attempts last season; reliable last line of defense and good pursuit player but lacks the strength and stopping power to consistently mix it up with more powerful backs. Could do a better job of breaking down. Had some surgeries performed on his shoulder and hernias which may affect his draft stock; one of the top ten players in the draft, but might slip a little bit further depending on how his medical results looked. Despite starting for just one season in college, seems to have one of the most projectable games in this year’s class and could be a quality starter sooner rather than later.
6’0” – 214 lbs. – 4.56
Father, George, was a pro running back. Rotated onto the field extensively as a true freshman, then spent the past two seasons as a starter. Very long, big safety with excellent size for a strong safety role at the next level. Plays the game with a physical temperament and has received more praise for his leadership than arguably any other prospect in the draft. Can do a little bit of everything in coverage. Often lines up in off coverage across from slot receivers; takes more snaps in this capacity than as a traditional deep safety. A lot of his work comes in off-zone coverage, rather than being asked to press or carry receivers downfield in man on a consistent basis. Plays a lot of shuffle technique; wasn’t asked to backpedal quite as much but looks smoother and more natural when working backward or changing directions than most other big defensive backs. Seems to have a good feel for route developments underneath and will sniff out some screens and shallow patterns. Has some ability to plant and drive in order to make plays on the ball, but his best weapon appears to be his ability to separate receivers from passes with well-timed hits. As a deep safety, tends to play a little bit conservative, which can make it a little bit difficult to evaluate his ball skills, as he wasn’t targeted when in-phase particularly often. May be a little bit faster than he is explosive, but tested well enough to assuage most doubts about any athletic limitations he may have. Will likely be asked to work against tight ends and possibly receivers in coverage at the next level on a fairly regular basis. Has pretty sound instincts against the run; likes to play downhill, coming up to make tackles on opposing ballcarriers. Although he’s an aggressive player, does a good job of preventing his aggressiveness from being exploited; takes sound angles to the ball and is pretty rangy in pursuit. Helps set the tone defensively with good pop on contact and good on-field energy; length gives him an impressive tackling radius as well. Uses wrap tackling technique, although he may be slightly more physical than he is reliable as a tackler. Also served as a gunner on special-teams units. The type of safety who can help set the tone defensively with his physicality and leadership skills and who has the skillset to do a little bit of everything both in coverage and as a run defender; looks like he’ll be one of the top six or seven prospects selected, as teams view him as the type of player who can change their culture.
6’3” – 273 lbs. – 4.69
Redshirted, then enjoyed two productive seasons before foregoing his junior and senior seasons in order to declare for the draft. Size is fairly prototypical for a 4-3 defensive end, with solid height and bulk and arms which measured 33” at the Combine. Has good physical development for a base end on a four-man line; could probably gain or lose weight depending on what type of role teams have envisioned for him, ending up as more of a typical end in an event front or as more of a five-technique on a three-man line. Plays on the left side of a three-man line, with various different techniques; will often line up inside but also takes snaps as more of a five-technique end. Offers an impressive combination of power and athleticism. Very sudden with his initial move, with quick hands to prevent blockers from getting into his frame; penetration skills look promising but was asked to do a lot of two-gapping at Stanford, so they weren’t always on display. Does a good job of getting his arms extended and locking out blockers in the run game; strong enough to stack and shed at the appropriate time. Can generate push against opponents when he comes out low. Sets the edge well and looks pretty patient and disciplined, especially given his age. Flows to the ball pretty well with a nice tackling radius and the ability to control blockers. Draws a lot of extra blocking attention from opposing offensive lines. Also appears to offer high stamina and an excellent work rate; will chase to the sidelines and even make some tackles near the boundaries. Probably more explosive out of his stance than he is elite in terms of his closing burst as a pass rusher. That said, looks disruptive, with the ability to knife into the backfield on slants or even get penetration by splitting double teams. Bull rush skills from his play versus the run carry over to the passing game. Has shown the ability to dip his shoulder and bend back to the passer but it isn’t one of the main elements of his game; gets more pressure from the inside than he does as an edge rusher and might be asked to slide inside on some passing downs to create mismatches against opposing offensive guards. Although some teams may differ as to the best way to utilize his unique skillset at the next level, he looks like a very versatile, well-rounded player who should provide a team picking in the top ten of the draft with a long-term solution on the defensive line.