2017 NFL Mock Draft: An early look at the first three rounds

BY Fansided and Dan Dahlke/FanSided via Lombardi Ave • December 16, 2016

The following is our first look at how the 2017 NFL draft could unfold for the Green Bay Packers. We’re still early in the draft process and currently in the middle of working through position evaluations, so take the draft projections with a grain of salt.

* NFL mock draft order is based on the NFL standings and playoff seeding at the start of Week 15.

Round 1

1

Browns - Myles Garrett

Edge, Texas A&M

It will be tempting here for the Browns to reach and select a quarterback. However, the smart move would be to draft the top player coming out of college football, Myles Garrett. Garrett is an elite talent as an edge rusher and has the potential of being a true impact player at the next level. Cleveland desperately needs a player like this on the defensive side of the ball.2

49ers - DeShone Kizer

Quarterback, Notre Dame

I do not view Kizer–or any other quarterback in this class for that matter–as a top-ten talent. However, like we’ve seen in years past, teams desperate for a quarterback will overdraft the position. San Francisco reaches here and crosses their fingers, hoping they found their franchise quarterback of the future. Kizer, despite his up and down play, possesses the traits of a pro quarterback and he has more upside than any other quarterback in this class.3

Jaguars - Leonard Fournette

Running Back, LSU

Jacksonville could easily go defense here, but with Blake Bortles struggling recently, they should do everything possible to help out their young quarterback on offense. Fournette is a difference maker. What helps out a young quarterback more than an explosive running game?4

Bears - Mitch Trubisky

Quarterback, North Carolina

It’s clear Chicago is moving on from Jay Cutler after this season. The franchise would like to start fresh, but I don’t think Matt Barkley is the answer at the position. Again, I don’t view Trubisky as a top-10 talent, but the Bears are desperate enough to find a guy to build around that they’ll reach for the next-best option in the draft.5

Titans - Jamal Adams

Safety, LSU

Adams is the most complete safety prospect in this draft class. He can play up in the box in run support, lock down in man coverage lined up over the slot, or roam the deep middle and ballhawk. Adams could make an immediate impact on a Titans pass defense that ranks 31st in the NFL. 6

Jets - Carl Lawson

Edge, Auburn

The Jets have struggled to generate consistent pressure all year. Outside of second-year defensive end Leonard Williams, they don’t have a consistent pass rusher on the roster. Lawson is a tremendous edge player. In 2016 alone, he recorded nine sacks and a whopping 24 quarterback hurries.Next: RD 1: #7-12

Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball past Florida Gators defenders during the second half of the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers - Jonathan Allen

Defensive Lineman, Alabama

There may not be a better player currently in college football than Jonathan Allen. As a pro prospect, he’s a versatile defensive lineman that can rush as an end or interior three-technique defensive tackle. Much in the mold of Seattle’s Michael Bennett, Allen could have a similar impact in the NFL.8

Saints - Dalvin Cook

Running Back, Florida State

How unusual would it be to have two running backs go in the first ten picks? With the talent of this year’s running back class it could very well happen. Cook is a special talent and would bring a dynamic backfield weapon to an already potent Saints offense. A move New Orleans may want to make to give Drew Brees all the help he can get in his last few years of his career.9

Browns - Deshaun Watson

Quarterback, Clemson

The Browns passed on quarterback with the first overall pick, but here they can take the risk because they already spent their first pick on a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. Watson is an exciting player as a duel-threat quarterback, and although his game still needs refinement, he’s an intriguing developmental prospect.10

Chargers - Jabrill Peppers

Safety/Linebacker, Michigan

The Chargers need help on the defensive side of the ball, and Peppers versatility could be exactly what they need. His ability to move between safety, linebacker, and nickel cornerback allows him to fill in at multiple spots and find ways to make an impact.11

Cardinals - Mike Williams

Wide Receiver, Clemson

The Cardinals recently cut Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald is nearing the end of his career. They could use another boundary receiver with downfield playmaking ability. Williams fits that bill and is a top prospect in a weak wide receiver class.12

Bengals - Reuben Foster

Linebacker, Alabama

Even though inside linebacker is not a premiere position, it’s impossible to ignore Foster’s ability as an impact player on defense. He’s perhaps the best true inside linebacker coming out of college in recent memory. He could have a Luke Kuechly-type impact on the Bengals defense.Next: RD 1: #13-18

Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) carries the ball against Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Colts - Tim Williams

Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Williams is an explosive edge rusher and best suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He’d be a great fit in the Colts system and a welcomed sight for a team that’s struggled to find a consistent pass rushing presence on defense.14

Bills - Quincy Wilson

Cornerback, Florida

Wilson is the first cornerback to come off the board. The depth of the class could ultimately delay the run on cornerbacks. The Bills have had their fair share of struggles in the secondary and their top cornerback Stephen Gilmore is set to be a free agent this offseason. Wilson gives them a guy with length, ball skills, and excellent press coverage ability.15

Titans - John Ross

Wide Receiver, Washington

Ross is an electric playmaker and he would give Marcus Mariota another weapon on offense to utilize. The Titans could use more perimeter playmakers to help out their young quarterback.16

Ravens - Derek Barnett

Edge, Tennessee

Terrell Suggs is having a decent year, but the Ravens outside linebacker is 34 and nearing the end of his career. Baltimore desperately needs more talented edge rushers on their roster, and Barnett gives them a productive pass rusher with good size and athleticism.17

Eagles - Sidney Jones

Cornerback, Washington

The Eagles have a subpar secondary and could use a top cover corner to help buy more time for their talented pass rushers. Jones is a lockdown corner who’s leaving college with nine interceptions and 30 pass defensed as a three-year starter.18

Packers - O.J. Howard

Tight End, Alabama

This would be a relatively easy pick for Green Bay to make. Howard is a truly special player, and when you get a shot to select a player like this in the middle of the first round, you don’t pass it up. The Packers offense is completely different when they have a dynamic tight end to open up the middle of the field. The Packers have seen flashes of this with Jared Cook, but injuries have hindered the veteran throughout the entire year. It’s not clear at this point whether Green Bay will bring Cook back after this season. Regardless, Howard would bring a new element to their offense. He has tremendous straight-line speed and athleticism for a 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end. He’s a real weapon in the passing game, but he was underutilized at Alabama. Howard is also a tremendous run blocker, which is something that has been missing from their tight ends for several years now. A few other players the Packers could consider with this pick are: UCLA OLB Takkarist McKinley, Florida CB Teez Tabor, and Western Michigan WR Corey Davis.Next: RD 1: Pick #19-25

Michigan Wolverines defensive end Taco Charlton (33) rushes on Hawaii Warriors offensive lineman RJ Hollis (74) at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Washington - Chris Wormley

Defensive End, Michigan

At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Wormley is the ideal 3-4 NFL defensive end, but he can also do more than just two-gap. He’s a good pass rusher and will generate interior pressure as a down lineman. Wormley instantly upgrades Washington’s front seven, which will go a long way in helping the 26th-ranked defense turn things around.20

Dolphins - Taco Charlton

Defensive End, Michigan

The Dolphins lost Olivier Vernon last offseason and the rumor is Mario Williams will not return after this season. Plus, Cameron Wake is near the end of his career. Miami should invest early in a defensive end prospect, and Charlton is a nice fit in their system.21

Buccaneers - Malik McDowell

Defensive Tackle, Tennessee

McDowell is a disruptive interior player, who would complement Gerald McCoy well on the defensive line. The Buccaneers could make their front seven even more formidable with this pick.22

Broncos - Cam Robinson

Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Pass protection has been an issue the entire season for the Broncos. Russell Okung is no longer a premiere left tackle and backup Ty Sambrailo has shown very little in his first two years.23

Giants - Vita Vea

Defensive Tackle, Washington

Defensive tackle may not be the biggest need on the roster, but the Giants could use an interior guy who can stop the run and generate pressure. Vea is too good of a player to go any later in the draft. This pick is the best value for the Giants.24

Raiders - Teez Tabor

Cornerback, Florida

Oakland has one of the league’s elite pass rushers in Khalil Mack. However, their defense still ranks 30th in the NFL (26th in passing). Their secondary has been suspect all season, and a guy like Tabor would give them a press man corner who also makes plenty of plays on the ball. He recorded nine interceptions in three seasons at Florida.25

Texans - Ryan Ramczyk

Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin

Both starting tackles Duane Brown and Chris Clark are beyond the 30 mark, and their games are beginning to diminish. Ramczyk is a solid tackle prospect out of Wisconsin, who should get more buzz as the draft nears if he decides to forego his senior year and declare.Next: RD 1: #26-32

Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) runs though the tackle of Michigan State Spartans linebacker Darien Harris (45) during the 2nd half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons - Gareon Conley

Cornerback, Ohio State

Conley’s teammate Marshon Lattimore has received a lot of buzz lately as a top cornerback prospect, but when you watch the Ohio State film , it’s Conley, not Lattimore, that is asked to square off against the opponent’s top receiver every week. Conley would help the NFL’s 32nd passing defense.27

Steelers - Takkarist McKinley

Outside Linebacker, UCLA

McKinley could go much earlier than this, especially if he finds the right fit, which is most likely in a 3-4 system. The Steelers defense has lacked some punch without consistent edge rushers at outside linebacker. McKinley is an explosive player who should find ways to impact games at the next level.28

Seahawks - Caleb Brantley

Defensive Tackle, Florida

If there’s a weakness on Seattle’s defense, it’s definitely at defensive tackle. While Ahtyba Rubin and Tony McDaniel are decent players, neither player offers much as an interior pass rusher. Brantley is a disruptive three-technique, who can get after the quarterback and break up plays at the line of scrimmage.29

Lions - Josey Jewell

Linebacker, Iowa

Jewell continues to fly under the radar, but watch any Iowa game, the three-down linebacker makes plays all over the field. He’s equally as good in pass coverage as he is against the run. He’s a smart player with good speed and athleticism, but he also plays hard. If he declares for the draft, I honestly believe he’s the second-best inside linebacker in the class, behind only Reuben Foster.30

Chiefs - Corey Davis

Wide Receiver, Western Michigan

Davis may be the most polished receiver in this class, but he doesn’t necessarily have the upside of Williams or Ross, which could cause him to fall to the end of the first round. Granted, Davis is still a solid option for a team looking for a No. 1 wide receiver, like Kansas City.31

Patriots - Zach Cunningham

Linebacker, Vanderbilt

This might be a little too high for Cunningham. There’s a ton of buzz on the Vanderbilt linebacker because he makes a lot of flashy plays on the field. However, a closer look at his film shows a lot of inconsistencies and issues with overpursing and getting off blocks. However, in the right system, Cunningham can be a very effective player. The Patriots seem like a good fit because they’ll know how to put him in position to utilize his athleticism, while masking his shortcomings.32

Cowboys - Marlon Humphrey

Cornerback, Alabama

As we get closer to the draft, Humphrey could go a lot higher than this. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback has an exciting combination of size, athleticism, and ball skills. However, Humphrey has also shown he can get beat, and at times is undisciplined. He’s a bit of a boom or bust prospect.Next: Round 2: Who do the Packers take with their second pick?

Texas Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman (33) carries the ball against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the third quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Mountaineers won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2

33

Browns - D'Onta Freeman

Running Back, Texas

34

49ers - Solomon Thomas

Edge, Stanford

35

Jaguars - Dan Feeney

Guard, Indiana

36

Bears - Cordrea Tankersley

Cornerback, Clemson

37

Rams - JuJu Smith-Schuster

Wide Receiver, USC

38

Jets - Dorian Johnson

Guard, Pittsburgh

39

Panthers - Marshon Lattimore

Cornerback, Ohio State

40

Chargers - Brad Kaaya

Quarterback, Miami

41

Saints - Dewaune Smoot

Defensive End, Illinois

42

Eagles - Christian McCaffrey

Running Back, Stanford

43

Cardinals - Raekwon McMillan

Inside Linebacker, Ohio State

44

Bengals - Charles Harris

Defensive End, Missouri

45

Bills - Jake Butt

Tight End, Michigan

46

Colts - Garrett Bolles

Offensive Tackle, Utah

47

Browns - Desmond King

Cornerback, Iowa

48

Ravens - Jamaal Williams

Running Back, BYU

49

Vikings - Roderick Johnson

Offensive Tackle, Florida State

50

Packers - Vince Biegel

Outside Linebacker, Wisconsin

The Packers could go any number of ways with this pick. Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson is still on the board and would give them a defensive back with size and cover ability. Oregon running back Royce Freeman and Oklahoma wideout Dede Westbrook would also be decent options here. However, given the depth of the cornerback and running back groups, the best value might be to select one of the few top-end edge rushers left on the board. Biegel is a tremendous fit in Dom Capers defense. As a 3-4 outside linebacker at Wisconsin, Biegel has shown tremendous athleticism and burst around the edge. He also plays with a high motor and can impact the game in multiple ways. Although his sack numbers were down in 2016, he was still among the leaders in the Big Ten in quarterback pressures. Biegel is also versatile enough to line up at inside linebacker, which would give the Packers some options on defense. If Green Bay re-signs Nick Perry in the offseason, then a rotation of Clay Matthews, Perry, Biegel, and Kyler Fackrell would be pretty formidable.51

Washington - Malik Hooker

Safety, Ohio State

52

Dolphins - Billy Price

Guard, Ohio State

53

Texans - Lowell Lotulelei

Nose Tackle, Utah

54

Falcons - Davon Godchaux

Defensive Tackle, LSU

55

Buccaneers - Justin Evans

Safety, Texas A&M

56

Steelers - Pat Elflein

Center/Guard, Ohio State

57

Broncos - Evan Engram

Tight End, Ole Miss

58

Seahawks - Adam Bisnowaty

Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

59

Lions - Adoree Jackson

Cornerback, USC

60

Giants - Jarrad Davis

Linebacker, Florida

61

Chiefs - Budda Baker

Safety, Washington

62

Raiders - Montravius Adams

Defensive Tackle, Auburn

63

Patriots - Dede Westbrook

Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

64

Cowboys - Demarcus Walker

Defensive End, Florida State

Next: Round 3: What other position could the Packers address?

Virginia Tech Hokies tight end Bucky Hodges (7) runs the ball after a catch against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Dennis Briggs (20) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3

65

Browns - Ethan Pocic

Center, LSU

66

49ers - Royce Freeman

Running Back, Oregon

67

Jaguars - Elijah Qualls

Defensive Tackle, Washington

68

Bears - Bucky Hodges

Tight End, Virginia Tech

69

Titans - Brandon Facyson

Cornerback, Virginia Tech

70

Jets - Tre'Davious White

Cornerback, LSU

71

Panthers - Marcus Maye

Safety, Florida

72

Chargers - Isaiah Ford

Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech

73

Saints - Jourdan Lewis

Cornerback, Michigan

74

Eagles - Josh Reynolds

Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

75

Cardinals - Patrick Mahomes

Quarterback, Texas Tech

76

Bengals - Tyler Orlovsky

Center, West Virginia

77

Bills - Eddie Jackson

Safety, Alabama

78

Colts - Azeem Victor

Inside Linebacker, Washington

79

Titans - Jordan Leggett

Tight End, Clemson

80

Ravens - Cooper Kuup

Wide Receiver, Eastern Washington

81

Vikings - Joe Mixon Jr.

Running Back, Oklahoma

82

Packers - Kevin King

Cornerback, Washington

The Packers could easily go running back here as well. Toledo’s Kareem Hunt is a great talent and still available. However, with running backs like Jeremy McNichols, Corey Clement, and Wayne Gallman also available, the Packers could wait one more round before they address the position. LSU’s Kendell Beckwith is also still available and is an intimidating inside linebacker who would shore up a position lacking depth on defense. However, overall, cornerback is the more pressing need, and there are only a few starting-quality corners left on the board. I took King over guys like Cam Sutton and Chidobe Awuzie because I believe he possesses more upside at the position. King has good straight-line speed and athleticism on his 6-foor-3, 196-pound frame. He also shows good ball skills with two interceptions and 15 pass defensed in 2016, and he has the strength to press at the line. King would give the Packers another tall cornerback other than LaDarius Gunter to match up against some of the elite receivers in the NFL.83

Washington - Anthony Walker Jr.

Inside Linebacker, Northwestern

84

Vikings - Jaleel Johnson

Defensive Tackle, Iowa

85

Texans - Quenton Nelson

Guard, Notre Dame

86

Falcons - Ryan Anderson

Edge, Alabama

87

Buccaneers - Amara Darboh

Wide Receiver, Michigan

88

Steelers - Jarron Jones

Defensive Line, Notre Dame

89

Broncos - Mason Cole

Center/Guard, Michigan

90

Seahawks - Cam Sutton

Cornerback, Tennessee

91

Lions - Daeshon Hall

Defensive End, Texas A&M

92

Giants - Chidobe Awuzie

Cornerback, Colorado

93

Chiefs - Kendell Beckwith

Inside Linebacker, LSU

94

Raiders - Sam Hubbard

Edge, Ohio State

95

Patriots - Jordan Willis

Edge, Kansas State

Next: Scouting the Bears ahead of Week 15 meeting96

Cowboys - Marcus Williams

Safety, Utah

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