2017 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency Projections

The 2017 NFL Draft is roughly one month away and the draft buzz is starting to pick up. With the Combine complete and NFL Free Agency (mostly) over, it's time for my post-free agency NFL mock draft.

Much can, and will, change between now and the actual draft. And frankly, a lot will change in the next week. This is an exercise about trying to project team needs and where a player could go. 

I typically go longer than just one round, but I've got a big board to update and need to start getting some work done on a 7-round mock draft. With all that out of the way, here's my post-free agency NFL mock draft. 


1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Sharpie it. Unless the Browns do something REALLY stupid or get a Godfather trade offer, the pick will be Myles Garrett. 

2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
The 49ers are in an interesting spot. Mitchell Trubisky (or any QB) probably isn't truly worth this pick. But it might also be too early for a WR like Mike Williams, and players like Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, Jonathan Allen or Reuben Foster don't quite fit the scheme/needs. That leaves Solomon Thomas, who has been getting more buzz a potential No. 2 overall pick. The 49ers would try to turn him into their LEO edge rusher, although I think he might be better as a Michael Bennett type. 

3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
With Mike Glennon signed and the Bears focusing on offense in free agency, I think this will be a defensive pick. Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas make sense, but so does Adams. He'd provide the Bears with a badly needed dynamic playmaker in the secondary. He profiles as a great strong safety. 

Trending On Facebook Now:
NFL Draft Rumors: Giants Targeting Mahomes, Colts Looking To Trade Back In Draft & More
Panthers Looking To Trade For #2 Pick, 4 Teams Most Interested In McCaffrey & More

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
If there is a trade early in the Draft, I suspect it will be by a team trying to jump the Jags. They flirted with running backs in free agency and will have Fournette near the top of their big board. He'll drastically change their offense. If it's not Fournette, Alabama TE O.J. Howard is an option. 

5. Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Even with the addition of Logan Ryan and Johnathan Cyprien, the Titans aren't done upgrading their secondary. In a loaded corner class, Lattimore is at the top. Don't rule out Malik Hooker or one of the top WRs, but they can get another weapon with their second first round pick.  

6. New York Jets: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
I suspect the Jets really like Trubisky. Christian Hackenberg reportedly didn't look too good in practice and we could have a Jimmy Clausen-Cam Newton type deal here (although lesser talents involved). If the Jets don't go QB, this will be a pure BPA pick. 

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
The Chargers are a logical landing spot for Malik Hooker, but I really like the idea of them landing Allen. They need a 3-technique, as Corey Liuget struggled last year and in 2015. Allen can be his replacement, even with his shoulder worries. 

8. Carolina Panthers: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Panthers are going to go best player available, as they always do. In this case, there's a good chance that is Howard. He could form a dynamic two tight end offense with Greg Olsen, before taking over for Olsen. If Fournette is on the board, I fully expect him to be the pick. As for Howard, I view it as more likely than not he's a Top 10 pick. 

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The Bengals haven't played up to their talent level, which makes things a bit tricky here. They could use some impact players regardless of position on defense and that's what Foster provides. Foster is the best player on the board, even if the Bengals don't badly need a LB. It's a value pick and he can help the defense right away. The incident at the hospital shouldn't hurt Foster too much, but it makes it a bit more likely he's on the board here for the Bengals. 

10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bills badly need another offensive weapon and they should be pretty happy if Williams falls to them. Heck, O.J. Howard and Corey Davis also fit the bill. If it's not an offensive weapon, a secondary member (likely a corner), could be the selection. 

11. New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Go defense. It doesn't matter what position (well, maybe not safety), the Saints just need to pick a defensive player. I'll slot them another edge rusher for the time being, since Cam Jordan is the only proven, reliable option on the roster. I like Barnett quite a bit and despite battling a virus at the Combine, he actually tested well enough. Barnett is a really good fit for the Saints, although I wouldn't rule out someone like Taco Charlton either. 

Trending On Facebook Now:
NFL Draft Rumors: Giants Targeting Mahomes, Colts Looking To Trade Back In Draft & More
Panthers Looking To Trade For #2 Pick, 4 Teams Most Interested In McCaffrey & More

12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State
A QB is an option, but if Malik Hooker is still on the board, it needs to be the dynamic free safety. Worry about a QB later and take another elite defensive prospect. Hooker and Garrett together would be two amazing defensive cornerstones. 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
QB is an option, if one of the top three are on the board. That's the case here, as the Cardinals pull the trigger on a QB earlier than some might expect. DeShone Kizer would fit the Cardinals better based on what they look for, but it's Watson who has been linked more to the Cardinals. Outside of the Saints, the Cardinals are perhaps the best landing spot for Watson. It would allow him to sit a year and learn. 

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
With wide out taken care of in free agency, the Eagles are likely looking at CB and RB. I wouldn't rule out Christian McCaffrey, but I think corner makes more sense. The Eagles did bring Humphrey in for a visit and he fits the mold of a future No. 1. The key for him will be his footwork. 

15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Charles Harris was a perfect fit before the start of free agency, but the Colts have since added three outside linebackers. That frees them up to focus on the inside linebacker spot. Reddick is the draft's biggest riser and has loads of potential at ILB. Dalvin Cook is also an option, as is a secondary player. 

16. Baltimore Ravens: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
There are several needs on defense and on the offensive line, but Davis is great value here. He could very well go in the Top 13 picks, and this would give the Ravens a more reliable No. 1 option. Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are deep threats, and Kamar Aiken is gone. Here's Joe Flacco's No. 1 option. 

17. Washington Redskins: Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
The off-the-field worries around Dalvin Cook are real, with buzz that he could fall out of the first round. I'm not quite willing to go that far, but is a worry. Of course, with the Redskins' front office overhaul, they're back to their old ways. Time for a new shiny toy that will help upgrade the ground game. 

18. Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington
After that absurd 4.22 40-yard dash, I'll be surprised if Ross doesn't go in the first. There are still concerns about his injury history and his route-running, but he gives the Titans the deep threat they don't truly have. He's a young DeSean Jackson.  

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)
With Howard and Cook gone, the Bucs are in a tricky place. They could go safety, but after adding J.J. Wilcox, I'm not sure they'll take a Jabrill Peppers. Instead, they get another weapon for Jameis Winston. Njoku has massive upside, and he'll be deadly running seam routes. He's a first rounder. 

20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
OT is a need and Robinson might be the best one. I worry about his ability to hold up against edge rushers, which might make him a RT and not a LT. Still, the Broncos would start him somewhere. He could go earlier than this if a tackle-needy team reaches.  

Trending On Facebook Now:
NFL Draft Rumors: Giants Targeting Mahomes, Colts Looking To Trade Back In Draft & More
Panthers Looking To Trade For #2 Pick, 4 Teams Most Interested In McCaffrey & More

21. Detroit Lions: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
They went heavy offensive line last year and I expect the Lions to target the front seven this year. Charlton could go in the Top 15, making this a nice value pick. If it's not a DE like Charlton, a LB makes a ton of sense. If Haason Reddick is on the board, he could be the pick. 

22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
The Dolphins focus on the front seven in free agency, freeing them up to target a OG like Lamp. He'll go in the first round and fills a big need for Miami. He was a tackle in college, but will transition inside for the NFL. 

23. New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Assuming the Giants are able to address their massive tackle need in free agency, they'll be able to focus elsewhere in the first round. Njoku is a fantastic athlete and could easily find his way into the first round. 

24. Oakland Raiders: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Cunningham should be the pick if he's on the board, although an iffy combine could push him down. But he's perhaps the best player on the board and fills a major need. Don't rule out a CB or a RB like McCaffrey. 

25. Houston Texans: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
With Kizer still on the board, the Texans (hopefully) are able to land their franchise QB. I like Kizer the most out of any QB this year, but he might end up sliding a bit like Teddy Bridgewater (who I loved). If it's not a QB, expect a OT for Houston. 

26. Seattle Seahawks: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Seahawks need to pick an offensive lineman. Any offensive line, be it a guard or tackle. It's a massive need and Bolles has potential. There are worries about his age, but he would be an instant starter for Seattle. Heck, he could even be a starter at left tackle. Don't rule out a corner here either.  

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
It looks like Jamaal Charles won't be back. McCaffrey had an impressive combine, with a stupid fast 3-cone drill. He fits the Chiefs' scheme and I think he ends up as a late first round pick. A corner also makes sense and I wouldn't rule out QB. McCaffrey could easily go before this, but I wanted to make sure he found a first round home. 

28. Dallas Cowboys: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Secondary or edge rusher, where do the Cowboys go? With the way the board fell, the Cowboys have options at all their major needs. But with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox gone, the Cowboys need a new strong safety. That's what Peppers is going to be in the NFL. He still needs work in coverage, but the presence of Byron Jones helps that. Obi Melifonwu also makes sense here. 

29. Green Bay Packers: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
The Packers could go a few different directions, but with Sam Shields cut, they could spend another high pick on a corner. Conley has the tools teams want and he's worth a first rounder. He could be the second corner drafted. 

Most-Shared on Facebook Today:
NFL Draft Rumors: Giants Targeting Mahomes, Colts Looking To Trade Back In Draft & More
Panthers Looking To Trade For #2 Pick, 4 Teams Most Interested In McCaffrey & More

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
Harris is a gifted pass rusher, but might be limited to 3rd downs only early in his career. He can fill a part-time role for the Steelers, thanks to the presence of Bud Dupree and James Harrison. 

31. Atlanta Falcons: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
The Falcons don't have a ton of needs, but this is a nice combination of value and need. McKinley could slide a bit because of shoulder surgery, but he has the making of a really good edge rusher. He'd be a nice partner for Vic Beasley. 

32. New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Yeah, that's right. The Saints are searching for a franchise heir to Drew Brees. Mahomes could be that option and it's a perfect match. The Saints have that extra first and they can give Mahomes the extra year (or two) he badly needs to develop. The Saints are the best landing spot for any QB this year. If it's not a QB, a corner could be the route the Saints chose. 

Looking for more first round mock drafts? Check out the DC Pro Sports Report Mock Draft Database!

I know I only went one round this time, but I do have some good news. I'll have a (massive) update for my Big Board shortly and I'm working on a 7-round mock draft for the near future as well. Stay tuned! 

Most-Shared on Facebook Today:
NFL Draft Rumors: Giants Targeting Mahomes, Colts Looking To Trade Back In Draft & More
Panthers Looking To Trade For #2 Pick, 4 Teams Most Interested In McCaffrey & More

Back to the NFL Newsfeed

Related Topics: NFL Mock Draft, NFL Rumors, NFL Draft News, NFL News, 2017 NFL Mock Draft, NFL Draft Rumors, Mock NFL Draft