The 2016 NFL Draft is around two weeks away, but it’s never too late to look ahead to 2017. It already looks as if the 2017 Draft will have more “elite” talent than this year’s, so it’s easy to get excited for what could be in the future. Unlike this year, the teams in the top-five next year won’t be looking to trade out.
The draft order is taken from early Super Bowl odds.
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Jared Goff, QB, California
An explosive defensive end from College Station? Yes, the comparisons to Von Miller will certainly come. Garrett fits perfectly into the Browns defensive scheme as a pass rushing outside linebacker. He might be the best pass rusher to come out of college since Jadeveon Clowney.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
2016 Mock Draft Pick – DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
After missing out on a top QB in the 2016 draft, Chip Kelly lands Deshaun Watson, a perfect fit for his offensive system. Watson might be the best player in college at the moment and, if he can stay healthy, will put up some big numbers in Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
3. Tennessee Titans – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Despite signing DeMarco Murray, the Titans won’t be stopped from taking Leonard Fournette here. The best way to help out a young quarterback? Get him some extra help at running back. Fournette might be the next Adrian Peterson.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cameron Robinson, OT, Alabama
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
This team’s success runs through Jameis Winston, which means protecting him is of the highest priority. As such, they grab Cameron Robinson here, move Donovan Smith to right tackle, which gives Winston a pair of excellent tackles for the next couple of years.
5. San Diego Chargers – Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
Phillip Rivers will be 35 by the time the 2017 draft rolls around, meaning his window is drastically closing. Drafting Juju to give him more weapons at wide receiver. A local kid out of Los Angeles, Juju is a violent, physical receiver who will draw comparisons to Dez Bryant.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Vernon Hargreaves got all of the hype, but Jalen Tabor arguably has a higher ceiling at the position. His length and size will make a lot of NFL teams fans of his.
7. Oakland Raiders – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
2016 Mock Draft Pick – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Raiders have their franchise quarterback and elite wide receiver. Now they grab Dalvin Cook to be their game-changer at running back.
8. Miami Dolphins – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
The Dolphins have made their defensive line a priority, but they still need help at pass rusher. Dion Jordan has been an absolute bust and Cameron Wake is an aging player. The answer? Derek Barnett, who is the second best pass rusher in this class.
9. Tennessee Titans – Desmond King, CB, Iowa
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Jack Conklin, OT, Iowa
With Fournette already on board, the Titans grab Desmond King here to be their lock-down cornerback. Another year in college can only help the Thorpe Award winner.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
At some point, the Jaguars have to accept that Luke Joeckel has been a bust. As such, they can grab “Big Rod” Johnson to be their left tackle of the future.
11. Washington Redskins – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
After 2016, the Redskins will have to determine if they want to sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term extension or not. If they do, their top priority will be to draft him a No. 1 wide receiver to throw to, such as Mike Williams.
12. New Orleans Saints – Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Saints have made fixing their poor defense a priority, but they still need to work on their defensive line. Enter Malik McDowell, who might be a bit undersized, but has length, power, and speed.
13. Detroit Lions – Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Jabrill Peppers is moving to linebacker this year for Michigan, but is going to be a superstar at safety in the NFL.
14. Chicago Bears – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The work to fix Chicago’s offense continues by selecting O.J. Howard, who is underutilized at Alabama but will be a star if he continues to develop in his blocking.
15. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
The Falcons finally get their franchise tight end in Jake Butt, who might have been the first tight end taken in the 2016 draft if he had declared.
16. New York Jets – Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
If he can stay healthy, Carl Lawson has immense upside. Laremy Tunsil publicly stated that Lawson gave him more trouble one-on-one than Myles Garrett, for what it’s worth.
17. New York Giants – Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
After doubling down on offensive line in the past two drafts, the Giants draft Jarrad Davis to help with their next biggest area of need: linebacker.
18. Houston Texans – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Texans have invested a lot of money and picks into their offense, so it’s time to address the defense. Jamal Adams has the size and ball skills you want from a strong safety in the league.
19. Buffalo Bills – Adoree Jackson, CB/WR, USC
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Bills pair all-world track star Ronald Darby with all-world track star Adoree Jackson. Good luck throwing against this pair.
20. Baltimore Ravens – Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Ravens continue to work on their offense by drafting Samaje Perine, who is billed as a power back but who also has some wiggle to his game.
21. Minnesota Vikings – Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Doubling down on wide receivers? When you have a franchise quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, it’s not a bad idea.
22. Kansas City Chiefs – Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Keanu Neal, S, Florida
A former five-star prospect, Hand has been lost in the rotation so far at Alabama. But with Reed and Robinson off to the league, he will have a break out year in 2016.
23. Indianapolis Colts – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The work to fix their offensive line continues. McGlinchey, who was great at right tackle last year, is moving to left tackle this year with Ronnie Stanley off to the NFL.
24. Denver Broncos – Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Darron Lee was the big name at linebacker, but McMillan is a ferocious beast at linebacker. Putting him in that Denver defense would be unfair.
25. Dallas Cowboys – Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Assuming he comes back healthy, there might not be a more talented running back in the country than Nick Chubb. His combination of speed and power is out of this world.
26. Cincinnati Bengals – Quin Blanding, S, Virginia
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Quin Blanding is the best defensive back you’ve never heard of. A former top-ten recruit, he has quietly been very good for Virginia.
27. Arizona Cardinals – Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (FL)
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State
With Carson Palmer getting up their in age, it’s time for the Cardinals to invest in a young quarterback. Brad Kaaya would flourish with a couple of years of tutelage under Bruce Arians.
28. Green Bay Packers – Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Tim Williams isn’t a normal linebacker. He’s a twitched-up freak of an athlete who dominated last season for the Crimson Tide. He isn’t a perfect prospect yet, but would benefit from a year or two behind Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.
29. Seattle Seahawks – Cordrea Tankersly, CB, Clemson
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
While Mackensie Alexander was the All-American, Cordrea Tankersly was quietly elite for the Tigers. With Alexander moving on to the league, Tankersly should get more attention as Clemson’s No. 1 cornerback.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Cody Whitehair, OG, Alabama
Jonathan Allen elected to come back to school, but should only continue to improve. He is a dominant interior defensive lineman who could use this next year to improve on his pass rush skills.
31. New England Patriots – Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
2016 Mock Draft Pick – N/A
Even with a host of big name talent on their defense, the Patriots could afford to spend a high draft pick on a cornerback, like Cameron Sutton, to pair across from Malcolm Butler.
32. Carolina Panthers – Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
2016 Mock Draft Pick – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Jonathan Stewart is an older running back, so the Panthers grab their back of the future in a fellow Oregon Duck: Royce Freeman.