2017 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Week 12 1st-Round Predictions for All Prospects
Week 12 is almost at its end. This means we’re another week closer to the 2016 NFL postseason and, of course, another week closer to knowing the selection order of next year’s draft.
The draft is still a long way off, though. The only real certainty is that both the winless Cleveland Browns and the one-win San Francisco 49ers are going to be selecting at or near the top. Who should teams like the 49ers and the Browns target at the top of the draft? As of now, that’s anyone’s guess.
Taking some guesses is exactly what we’re here to do with our late-Week 12 mock draft. This mock will be based on the draft order following Sunday night’s thrilling overtime game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos.
The selection order is based on records and projected playoff seeding. This means division leaders will be picking after projected wild-card teams regardless of record. Obviously, this order would likely change once playoff games are played. We will be using strength of schedule as a tiebreaker.
In addition to our mock, we’ll also be examining some of the more intriguing draft storylines of the week.
Post-SNF NFL Mock Draft Pick Team Selection School 1 Cleveland Browns Mitch Trubisky, QB North Carolina 2 San Francisco 49ers Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M 3 Jacksonville Jaguars Jonathan Allen, DL Alabama 4 Chicago Bears Jabrill Peppers, S Michigan 5 New York Jets Leonard Fournette, RB LSU 6 Cincinnati Bengals Mike Williams, WR Clemson 7 Tennessee Titans (from LA) Malik McDowell, DL Michigan State 8 Carolina Panthers Teez Tabor, CB Florida 9 Green Bay Packers Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State 10 Arizona Cardinals Cam Robinson, OL Alabama 11 Indianapolis Colts Reuben Foster, LB Alabama 12 New Orleans Saints Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State 13 San Diego Chargers Jamal Adams, S LSU 14 Tennessee Titans John Ross, WR Washington 15 Cleveland Browns (from PHI) Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee 16 Buffalo Bills Tim Williams, LB Alabama 17 Philadelphia Eagles (from BUF) Courtland Sutton, WR SMU 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama 19 Pittsburgh Steelers Sidney Jones, CB Washington 20 Denver Broncos Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin 21 Washington Redskins Justin Evans, S Texas A&M 22 Miami Dolphins Desmond King, CB Iowa 23 Kansas City Chiefs Dan Feeney, G Indiana 24 New York Giants O.J. Howard, TE Alabama 25 Houston Texans Lowell Lotulelei, DT Utah 26 Baltimore Ravens Curtis Samuel, WR/RB Ohio State 27 Detroit Lions Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford 28 Atlanta Falcons Carl Lawson, DE Auburn 29 Seattle Seahawks Conor McDermott, OT UCLA 30 New England Patriots Charles Harris, DE Missouri 31 Oakland Raiders Taco Charlton, DE Michigan 32 Dallas Cowboys Takkarist McKinley, DE UCLA
Mitch Trubisky Is Separating Himself
North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky wasn’t on the radar of many when the 2016 collegiate season began, but he is quickly establishing himself as one of the top signal-callers available in the draft.
In fact, Trubisky may be the only quarterback worth taking a shot on in the first round.
The problem is that Trubisky has just one year of starting experience. For many teams, that is going to be a huge negative. The upside with the 6’3″ prospect is clear. He has a strong arm, solid mechanics and his decision-making is above average.
For the year, Trubisky has completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards, 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
While Trubisky appears to be gaining ground, guys like Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson are seeing their stock fall.
Questionable decision-making has hurt Watson’s stock all seasonhe has 14 interceptions so farand has caused him to drop from his spot as the projected top quarterback in the preseason. In fact, Watson seems to have fallen out of the first round entirely, per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein (via Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report):
Bombshell from @LanceZierlein- he hasn’t heard one NFL person who thinks Deshaun Watson goes in the first-round this spring.
Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) November 15, 2016
Kizer has generated a lot of buzz this season even though the Fighting Irish have been struggling. However, Kizer is still a bit raw and isn’t the natural passer that Trubisky appears to be. It might be best for Kizer to return to college to continue working on his mechanicsa possibility the quarterback has left on the table, per ND Insider’s Mike Vorel:
DeShone Kizer, on if this was his final home game at ND: “Let’s be real. The opportunity (to play in the NFL) will be there. We’ll see.”
Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) November 20, 2016
If Kizer does enter the draft, he may end up a mid- or late selection in Round 1. Trubisky, though, is looking like the top guy for now.
Cleveland Will Face a Tough Choice
Another reason why Trubisky could be the top quarterback taken is the fact that the Browns are in the process of securing the first overall pick in the draft. The word floating around the football world right now is that the Browns are seriously interested in Trubisky.
“They love him,” an unnamed talent evaluator from another NFL team told CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora about the Browns and Trubisky. “Trust me, they love him.”
If the Browns really are locked in on Trubisky, then it makes sense for the team to scoop him up with its first pick in the draft. Cleveland hasn’t been able to solidify the quarterback position since returning to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999.
Sure, trading down again could land the Browns some more draft ammunition, but getting cute at the top of the draft could cost Cleveland a shot at an elite talent.
The question is whether the Browns feel Trubisky is entertainment news stories an elite prospect. If not, the team may want to turn its attention to Texas A&M pass-rusher and presumed can’t-miss prospect Myles Garrett.
Garrett is widely considered the top overall prospect in the draft and appears likely to at least be the first defender off the board. Some, including Bleacher Report Lead NFL Draft Writer Matt Miller, believe that Garrett is the guy the Browns should grab if they have the top overall pick:
None. See what Kessler can do and build around Myles Garrett on defense. https://t.co/DFvxmCP7Be
Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 20, 2016
This leaves the Browns with the difficult choice between a potential franchise quarterback and a potential defensive cornerstone. Neither choice will be a wrong one for the talent-starved Browns, assuming both players pan out.
D’Onta Foreman Also Has a Tough Choice
We don’t have Texas running back D’Onta Foreman listed on this mock draft, but there’s a good chance the underclassman can make the push to be a first-round pick if he decides to declare for the draft.
Foreman has been one of the few bright spots for Texas this season and has been one of the most explosive running backs in the country. He has rushed for 2,028 yards with 15 touchdowns and an average of 6.3 yards per carry.
Foreman has also gained the respect of one guy who might know a little something about Texas football, per Longhorn Network:
“I think D’Onta’s a better running back than me.” – Ricky Williams
Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) November 25, 2016
This year’s class is shaping up to be strong at the running back position, and this could affect how Foreman views his future. Another factor coming into play here is any projected role Foreman might have under new head coach Tom Herman should Foreman choose to return for another collegiate season.
If Foreman does decide to declare, he could be jockeying for draft position with the likes of Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey. If he returns, he’ll risk not only injury, but also the dire prospect of fading into obscurity as another class of running backs establishes itself.
Foreman will be a prospect to watch in the coming weeks.