2017 NFL Mock Draft

Mock draft 2.0: 49ers, Bills address QB issues

By Lance Zierlein |

NFL Media draft analyst

Published: Feb. 22, 2017 at 03:13 p.m.

While mock drafts are often met with great joy in some circles and horrible teeth-gnashing in others, they can actually be very helpful for those of us who put them together.

Mocks are a great way to put yourself inside of each team's war room and get a feel for team needs, fits and how a team might respond if a talented player fell to them at a position that isn't necessarily a top priority. There are always twists and turns in the first round that create a butterfly effect for the rest of the draft.

In my latest mock draft below, I stayed static with my quarterback selections but decided to become a little more fluid with the pass rushers, cornerbacks and running backs to see how the dominoes might fall if I were operating each team's draft.
  1. Pick No.
    1
    DE
    Texas A&M
    With an all-pro ceiling, Garrett combines elite traits and high-end football character. The Browns obviously need a quarterback, but they need great football players first and foremost, and Garrett has a chance to be special.
  2. Pick No.
    2
    QB
    North Carolina
    While he has only one season of high-end production, the tape shows a player with an NFL arm, throwing anticipation and poise. Trubisky might have the toughness to learn on the go as an early starter.
  3. Pick No.
    3
    DE
    Stanford
    Chicago could use a great pass rusher, and Solomon Thomas is extremely unique in that he can rush as a defensive end, defensive tackle, or 3-4 outside linebacker.
  4. Pick No.
    4
    S
    LSU
    The Jaguars have some promising young talent, but they looked undisciplined too often last season. Adams is the ultimate "sheriff" in this draft, with an ability to lead from the back end and in the locker room.
  5. Pick No.
    5
    CB
    Ohio St.
    The Titans need to tighten up their secondary, and Lattimore is the premier cover man in this draft. He was a full-time starter for only one year, but he showed enough for scouts to believe he could develop into a lockdown corner.
  6. Pick No.
    6
    If you don’t have a good quarterback, you better have a good defense and a sound running game. The Jets have some defensive pieces, but Fournette would give them a potentially dominant runner to handle the heavy lifting on offense.
  7. Pick No.
    7
    DE
    Michigan
    The Chargers are in need of an edge rusher with Melvin Ingram likely on the way out. Charlton fits with high-end physical and play traits.
  8. Pick No.
    8
    DE
    Alabama
    Hard to believe Carolina wouldn’t sprint this card up to the commissioner if Allen were still there. He can play defensive end in a base defense and rush from inside on sub-packages.
  9. Pick No.
    9
    LB
    Alabama
    Vontaze Burfict's volatility might make it tough for the Bengals to remain status quo at the position. Foster gives them a three-down linebacker who plays with tremendous speed and physicality.
  10. Pick No.
    10
    QB
    Clemson
    Watson's draft stock is all over the place in NFL circles. The Bills could make Tyrod Taylor a cap casualty, saving them money and opening the door for Watson.
  11. Pick No.
    11
    CB
    Washington
    The Saints, who have had issues at the cornerback spot for quite a while, should be making the position a priority in this year's draft. With good length and tremendous ball skills, Jones could step in and start immediately.
  12. Pick No.
    12
    S
    Ohio St.
    Hooker has elite ball skills and instincts and is the type of player who can make a huge impact on his side of the ball. The biggest question for him could be tied to how his medicals turn out after two offseason surgeries.
  13. Pick No.
    13
    TE
    Alabama
    While the Cardinals could use a big target to become their future WR1, Howard has the ability to play in-line or from the slot and could become a tremendous pass-catching threat in Arizona’s offense.
  14. Pick No.
    14
    RB
    Florida St.
    One of the best ways to take pressure off of a young quarterback is to find a strong running back who can shoulder the load. Cook is that guy.
  15. Pick No.
    15
    DE
    Tennessee
    New general manager Chris Ballard says he wants to build the fronts along the offense and defense. Barnett has posted elite production in the SEC as a pass rusher and would add a level of physicality on the edge for the Colts.
  16. Pick No.
    16
    McKinley burst onto the scene last year with an ultra-productive season as a pass rusher. He's relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback and still has room for more growth as a player.
  17. Pick No.
    17
    LB
    Michigan
    This is probably earlier than I personally would go with Peppers, but with DeAngelo Hall on the back end, Peppers would be allowed to play in space and be deployed all over the field like he was at Michigan.
  18. Pick No.
    18
    WR
    Clemson
    The Titans have taken their shots in the past but haven’t been able to nail down a WR1 in the draft. Williams gives them a pretty good shot for success.
  19. Pick No.
    19
    DT
    Michigan St.
    McDowell has Pro Bowl potential, but there is some bust potential as well. He often played on the nose at MSU but can play anywhere along the defensive line.
  20. Pick No.
    20
    OT
    Alabama
    If Robinson is available here, he could be the choice as Denver looks to transition away from a zone-based running game to one featuring more power.
  21. Pick No.
    21
    CB
    Alabama
    Humphrey's tape can be a little uneven when he has to guard down the field, but he should put on a show at the combine and get DB coaches excited about his potential.
  22. Pick No.
    22
    DE
    Temple
    Coming off an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, Reddick is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He has the athleticism to play in space on first and second down, and the talent to rush from the edge on third down. Sounds exactly like someone the Dolphins could use.
  23. Pick No.
    23
    OT
    Wisconsin
    The Giants have to consider bolstering that left tackle spot with a good technician who offers more consistency than what they are getting now.
  24. Pick No.
    24
    White isn't going to be the classic height-weight-speed prospect, but he's big enough, fast enough and has outstanding feet to play man coverage from outside or the slot.
  25. Pick No.
    25
    OT
    Utah
    If Bolles is still on the board, the Texans might have to run the card up considering Duane Brown is getting older on the left side and their consistency issues at right tackle.
  26. Pick No.
    26
    DT
    Florida
    Brantley has some of the same play traits that former Seahawk Brandon Mebane had, but I think Brantley has a chance to be an even more impactful player.
  27. Pick No.
    27
    DE
    Alabama
    Alabama would cut Williams loose and let him get up the field rather than worrying about dropping in coverage. I see him in a similar role here. He can be a third-down specialist who can add some life to the Chiefs' rush.
  28. Pick No.
    28
    TE
    Miami
    Njoku is insanely athletic with tremendous upside. He’s still learning to block and has a lot of room for growth, but he would also give Dallas yet another high-end skill position player.
  29. Pick No.
    29
    RB
    Tennessee
    I know the Packers need a cornerback, but they were rolling with a wide receiver at running back to end the year. Kamara is a three-down player with tremendous athleticism and not very much tread off the tires.
  30. Pick No.
    30
    WR
    Western Michigan
    Davis could go higher than this, but until he puts a 40-yard dash in the books (currently injured), I'm probably not moving him beyond this spot. There is no way the Steelers can trust Martavis Bryant, and Sammie Coates simply doesn't have the hands Ben Roethlisberger is likely to trust ever again.
  31. Pick No.
    31
    The Falcons added an enforcer last year in Keanu Neal to lock down their strong safety spot. Now, they take a ball-hawking free safety with good range and great ball skills.
  32. Pick No.
    32
    OG
    Western Kentucky
    Remember in 2005 when the Patriots drafted Logan Mankins? This is their chance to repeat history because there are some similarities between Mankins and Lamp, who could step in at guard or center as an immediate starter.
  33. 2017 NFL Mock Draft Central

Comments