2017 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson- Updated: Friday, March 24th
Here are picks 17-32 of my early 2017 NFL Mock Draft:
17. Washington Redskins (Draft History): Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
Washington lost Chris Baker (Bucs) and Ricky Jean-Francois (Packers) in free agency and 36-year-old Cullen Jenkins remains a free agent. Those were three of Washington's four defensive linemen to play 300-plus snaps in 2016. They re-signed the fourth 300-snap defensive lineman (Ziggy Hood), but he turned 30 in February and graded out as PFF's 120th (out of 127 qualified) interior defensive lineman.
While the team signed Terrell McClain (PFF grade: 86th of 127) from Dallas and Stacy McGee from Oakland, adding more reinforcements to their defensive line remains a need. McDowell's production may not have matched his potential thus far, but he has the versatility to play all along the defensive line while possessing plenty of long-term upside.
18. Tennessee Titans, (Draft History): John Ross, WR, Washington
Regardless of how fast he ran at the combine, we knew that Ross was fast -- really, really fast -- and it's great that ran faster than another ex-Titan, Chris Johnson. While he is far from a one-trick pony, the vertical threat that Ross would provide gives Marcus Mariota and their run-heavy offense a new dimension it previously lacked.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Draft History): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
In his first five NFL seasons, Doug Martin has rushed for 1,400-plus yards twice -- and under 500 yards three times. Playing a full 16-game slate in both 1,400-yard seasons, Martin has played a total of 25 games in his other three seasons combined. At a minimum, Martin will miss three games to start the season as he completes serving his four-game suspension.
Even though Martin is signed through 2021, his PED suspended voided the guaranteed portion of his contract. In addition, Charles Sims is a free agent after the 2017 season. At 202 pounds, McCaffrey isn't ideally suited to be a workhorse back, but he's as versatile as they come and especially gifted as a receiver and returner.
20. Denver Broncos (Draft History): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
One year after winning the Super Bowl, the Broncos failed to make the playoffs. Starting the process of addressing the team's biggest offseason need (offensive line), the Broncos have signed both Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson, but the unit still needs to be addressed in the draft. Only a one-year starter at the FBS level and with an interesting path to this point, Ramczyk has the athleticism to be the first tackle off the board and the team's long-term solution as their blind-side protector.
21. Detroit Lions (Draft History): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Tied with the Browns for 30th in the NFL in sacks, the Lions struggled to get after the quarterback in 2016. Much of that had to do with Ziggy Ansah dealing with a variety of injuries, but he had just two sacks in 13 games after getting 14.5 in 2015. With better health in 2017, Ansah will bounce back, but he could use more help.
22. Miami Dolphins (Draft History): Forest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Laremy Tunsil "fell" to the No. 12 last year and the Dolphins pounced on the opportunity. Playing guard as a rookie with Branden Albert at left tackle, Tunsil will kick outside to protect Ryan Tannehill's blind side this year now that Albert has moved north to Jacksonville. Playing exceptionally well as four-year starter at left tackle for the Hilltoppers, Lamp is expected to move inside due to arm length, but he will be a Day 1 starter for Miami with the possibility of multiple Pro Bowls in his near future.
23. New York Giants (Draft History): Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The G-Men have made their share of offseason moves (extending Jason Pierre-Paul, signing Brandon Marshall, etc.) with only one addition to the offensive line -- guard D.J. Fluker for one year. It appears that the Giants are open to the possibility of moving Ereck Flowers, the No. 9 pick in 2015, to the right side. There are some concerns with Bolles (age (25), one year of FBS experience, etc.), but as NFL.com's Lance Zierlein notes, Bolles has "the sweetest feet at the tackle position in this draft."
24. Oakland Raiders (Draft History): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
With Latavius Murray now a Viking and the Raiders yet to sign any free-agent running backs, there's a good chance that they draft one at some point. Cook isn't a prospect without his share of concerns, but If he's available here, it's possible that point may be Round 1. Versatile and more athletic on film than his sub-par combine performance showed, Cook exceeded the 100-yard rushing mark in nine of his final 10 games with an average of 190.7 YFS during that stretch.
25. Houston Texans (Draft History): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Awful in his first (and only) season with the Texans, Brock Osweiler completed just 59.0 percent of his pass attempts for 5.8 Y/A and threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15). Freeing up cap space, the Texans appear to be the favorites to add Tony Romo assuming that he'll be released at some point. Given his age and fragility, however, Romo isn't the long-term solution, but Kizer has the potential to eventually develop into a franchise quarterback.
I had some talks about Romo today. Broncos havenít closed door but not pursuing. Iím told Romo believes itís Texans or retirement for 2017.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 24, 2017
26. Seattle Seahawks (Draft History): Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Seahawks could use upgrades at both tackle spots. With vines for arms, Robinson was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide at left tackle, but he may be even better as a right tackle and dominant as a run blocker.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (Draft History): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
With sideline-to-sideline range and athleticism, Cunningham led the SEC in tackles and was named first-team AP All-American last season. Meanwhile, Derrick Johnson is recovering from his second torn Achilles injury over the past three seasons and will turn 35 years old in November.
28. Dallas Cowboys (Draft History): Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
More than likely, the Cowboys will focus on their defensive backfield or defensive line here. Given the depth at cornerback in this year's draft class, it would make sense to get a pass-rusher here and then look to add a corner in Round 2. Over the past two seasons, Harris has a total of 16 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss.
29. Green Bay Packers (Draft History): T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Based on how this mock has played out this far, there are a number of cornerback prospects that I considered here as well. Fortunately for a team that could use help in the secondary, there will (likely) be strong options available for Thompson and the Packers in Round 2 as well. With 11.5 sacks in his lone season as a starter, Watt had 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six in his final four games.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (Draft History): Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
James Harrison is back, but he turns 39 in May and former first-rounder Jarvis Jones never lived up to expectations and signed with the Cardinals this offseason. Even with Harrison back for another season, McKinley gives them a long-term replacement opposite Bud Dupree. McKinley had a breakout season for the Bruins with 18 tackles for loss including 10 sacks.
31. Atlanta Falcons (Draft History): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Winner of the Paul Hornung Award as college football's most versatile player, Peppers has played defense, offense and special teams during his time with the Wolverines. While he's best suited to play strong safety at the NFL level, Dan Quinn will value his versatility and exceptional athleticism.
32. New Orleans Saints (Draft History), via NE: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
As of today, the Saints own the 32nd overall pick, but I think there is at least a 50-50 shot that another team will be making this selection -- even though Mahomes had a private workout with the Saints.
The son of ex-MLB pitcher, Mahomes has as much arm talent as any quarterback in this year's draft class with the gunslinger mentality and rare ability to make something out of nothing. If he's not the long-term successor to Drew Brees in New Orleans, I could see a team trading into the bottom of Round 1 for Mahomes to have the fifth-year option that comes with first-round picks.
- Go back to picks 1-16 in our 2017 NFL Mock Draft
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