The best way to think about the weirdness of this draft is this: There’s a gulf between the first player on the vast majority of NFL boards—Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett—and the second player on those boards. And there is no consensus on who that second player is. That’s why this mock draft will probably be like every other one in the mediasphere before Thursday night: wrong.
Giving it our best shot here, on the eve of the 2017 draft. Notes: I don’t have Dalvin Cook in the first round because teams are worried about him off the field, but he certainly could go between 15 and 32 … I really wanted to put Davis Webb late in the round, because there is buzz on the Cal quarterback for his play and his leadership, and he may go 32 to a team wanting the fifth-year option on a quarterback … Seattle (26) and New Orleans (32) would love to move down to pick up an extra third-round selection … Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis is gaining loads of steam in the last few days, and it’s pretty solid he’ll be a first-rounder now.
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Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Getting serious about picking the best player, and not just a Hail Mary QB, at No. 1.
2. SAN FRANCISCO
Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Niners could go in four or five directions—Garrett if Browns pass. Would love to deal down.
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Bears also big Solomon Thomas fans but will be happy with generational safety.
6. CLEVELAND (from N.Y. Jets)
Browns trade 12th, 33rd and 181st picks for No. 6 overall.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Could divide the building, but owner hired DePodesta to make ballsy calls like this.
7. L.A. CHARGERS
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
This pick scares me, because GM Tom Telesco would love more of a sure thing.
Christian McCaffrey, RB/Slot/Returner, Stanford
Five more completions a game, and easy ones at that, for the needy Cam Newton.
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
After Garrett, Reddick is the best athlete on the defensive front seven in this draft.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Day one pass-rusher more important than 2018 quarterback for Sean McDermott.
11. NEW ORLEANS
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Might be best to physically distance Foster from his past, but he’s too good at a Saints need spot.
12. N.Y. JETS (from Cleveland)
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Jets get sixth-pick value by trading down … and get a tremendous weapon too.
Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Cards want a day one starter, and they luck into the falling Allen here.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Watch for WR Mike Williams and McCaffrey here too, if they are around.
Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA
New GM Chris Ballard desperate to find a pass-rusher. McKinley’s his best shot.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Ravens like Reddick and Conley too, but they’re content to get this big WR for Flacco.
17. HOUSTON (from Washington)
Texans trade 25th and 57th picks for No. 17 overall.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Probably right where Watson should go. Texans need to trade into the teens to get the QB they want.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Titans wanted a starting CB and WR in the first round. In my mock, they get both.
19. TAMPA BAY
Cam Robinson, T, Alabama
Only day one LT in the draft, most scouts think, and here he is. Bucs thrilled.
Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin
Hip surgery soured some on this Division III transfer, but he dominated Big Ten in ’16.
David Njoku, TE, Miami
Lions might not sign former TE wunderkind Ebron to second contract. Thus Njoku.
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Position of desperate need when you play Tom Brady eight quarters a year.
23. N.Y. GIANTS
Garrett Bolles, T, Utah
Three tackles have a chance to play as rookies. Giants really hope to get one of them.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Eternal quest for next Willie Brown or Charles Woodson continues.
25. WASHINGTON (from Houston)
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
I hear Washington is divided on Dalvin Cook; Davis is the pick over Charles Harris here.
Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
GM John Schneider overlooks Lamp’s short arms because he thinks he can start day one.
27. KANSAS CITY
Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Not what Andy Reid planned, but the talent is too good to pass up. Alex Smith heir.
Charles Harris, LB, Missouri
Lots of interest in Harris late in round. Late bloomer has played football just five years.
29. GREEN BAY
T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin
Just too perfect, a Wisconsin kid with Clay Matthews motor helping Matthews on rush.
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
I’ll be honest here: I just want Peppers in the first round. The nickel/LB/PR is a star.
Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
Atlanta wants fastest, most productive pass-rusher/safety … and Willis is a 4.57 hustler.
32. ARIZONA (from New Orleans)
John Ross, WR, Washington
Arizona trades 45th and 77th picks for No. 32 overall.
Had to get Ross into the first round. Cards get the fastest guy in the draft, and a good WR.
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