Patrick Mahomes first QB taken in Gordon McGuinness' mock draft
Pro Football Focus’ first ever “Mock Week” continues with Gordon McGuinness’ breakdown of Round 1. From April 10–14, look for a new mock each day for a unique perspective on the 2017 NFL Draft from our analysis team.
After colleague Josh Liskiewitz’s mock draft yesterday, you must now endure the first 32 picks in this year’s NFL Draft through my mind. Similar to Liskiewitz’s mock, this is not a prediction of how the draft will actually play out. Rather, it’s a look at what I would do with each pick, leaning as much as possible on our collective draft board.
And no, unfortunately, Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez doesn’t make the first round.
1. Cleveland Browns
Rookie Emmanuel Ogbah led the Browns with six sacks, 10 hits, and 30 hurries last year, while Garrett registered 31 sacks, 35 hits, and 98 hurries over the past three seasons with the Aggies. This is quite simply a no-brainer.
2. San Francisco 49ers
There are a number of ways the 49ers can go, but they need pass-rush help, and Barnett registered 34 sacks, 43 hits, and 110 hurries over the past three seasons—topping Myles Garrett in total QB pressures over their college careers.
3. Chicago Bears
Lattimore has the size, speed, and range to succeed at the NFL level. With everything a team looks for in a shutdown cornerback, he allowed an NFL passer rating of just 31.9 on throws into his coverage last season.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
PFF overall grades for Jaguars QB Blake Bortles in the past three seasons: 41.8 (2014), 80.3 (2015), and 52.9 (2016). Unless the new regime in Jacksonville believes they can get Bortles back on track, I’d go QB here. Throwing for 1,281 yards and 15 touchdowns on throws 20-plus yards downfield, Mahomes can make things happen deep.
5. Tennessee Titans
As the best overall player in this draft, in my opinion, Foster led all draft-eligible inside linebackers with a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on 16.3 percent of his run-defense snaps. He’s an impact player from day one.
6. New York Jets
It’s time for a franchise quarterback for the New York Jets. Watson threw 14 touchdown passes traveling at least 20 yards in the air in 2016, and can be the future at the position for the Jets.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
New city and, eventually, new starting quarterback. Philip Rivers can’t go on forever, and Trubisky threw just one interception when under pressure in 2016.
8. Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey can score as a runner, receiver, or returner. He forced 162 missed tackles on 731 touches on offense over the past three seasons, and can add even more excitement to the Carolina offense.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
I’m a little nervous about his deep speed, but as a big target opposite A.J. Green, he can thrive. Williams averaged 3.34 yards per route run last year, good for 12th in the nation (minimum 50 targets).
10. Buffalo Bills
The long-term replacement for Kyle Williams, Allen racked up 13 sacks, 13 hits, and 41 hurries in the 2016 season. He can contribute as an interior pass-rusher early on and grow into a bigger role.
11. New Orleans Saints
One of the best defensive playmakers in this draft, White can hurt opponents both on defense and special teams. He allowed just 42.6 percent of passes into his coverage to be caught in the 2016 season.
12. Cleveland Browns
It worries me that Hooker missed 24.1 percent of the tackles he attempted in 2016, but he has the range to be a top safety in the NFL. Let Myles Garrett rush the passer and Hooker find the ball downfield on defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals
I think O.J. Howard can be everything the Cardinals want Jermaine Gresham to be and more. Howard was the highest-graded run blocker among tight ends in the nation last year, and a physical freak as a receiver, averaging 7.3 yards after the catch per reception.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
Ross can blow games open with his angle-changing speed, and had seven touchdowns on throws 20-plus yards in the air last year. He can make defenders miss, too, with 18 missed tackles on 81 receptions.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Lewis has arguably the best ball skills of any cornerback in this draft class. He recorded six interceptions and 28 pass breakups over the past three seasons, and didn’t allow an NFL passer rating above 52.8 in that span.
16. Baltimore Ravens
One of the most obvious fits in the draft, Lawson can step in and replace Elvis Dumervil from day one. Finally fully healthy in 2016, he racked up nine sacks, 15 hits, and 45 hurries for the Tigers.
17. Washington Redskins
Cook can be a gamebreaker in 2017 in the NFC East. Not only did he lead the nation with 92 missed tackles in 2016, but he also averaged 4.2 yards after contact per carry and can add another dimension to their offense going forward.
18. Tennessee Titans
Davis feels like the perfect fit for this offense, and can break games open by taking short passes the distance. His yards per route run averages of 3.49 in 2015 and 3.56 in 2016 ranked inside the top 10 among all wide receivers for both years.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Thomas falls further than expected here, but that’s just how the picks panned out. He racked up 10 sacks, 12 hits, and 22 hurries last season, and is a monster against the run. Ultimately, Thomas’ value at No. 19 overall is too much to pass up.
20. Denver Broncos
Right tackle is a huge need for the Broncos, and Ramczyk is the type of player a team can plug in and play from day one. He allowed just one sack, three hits, and eight hurries in the 2016 season, and is a great fit for Denver’s running game.
21. Detroit Lions
An off-the-ball linebacker who you can also bring down as a pass-rusher situationally? Sign me up, as this helps two needs for the Lions. Reddick registered 10 sacks, four hits, and 30 hurries in the 2016 season, and is an outstanding athlete at linebacker.
22. Miami Dolphins
Cameron Wake can’t play forever, and Jordan Willis can be a nice partner for him as long as the veteran continues on. Willis’ combine numbers caught everyone’s attention, but it’s his 15 sacks, eight hits, and 54 hurries that make him deserving of a first-round selection.
23. New York Giants
Cunningham’s tackling needs work, with 21 misses in the 2016 season alone, but he is a fantastic athlete that can be a three-down linebacker for the next decade in the NFL. Cunningham made a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on 14.7 percent of run-defense snaps last year.
24. Oakland Raiders
Like Solomon Thomas, I really like Jamal Adams, but couldn’t find a fit I loved earlier in the first round. Adams can play in a variety of roles, including the slot, but fits as a long-term starter at safety for the Raiders after averaging just eight missed tackles per season.
25. Houston Texans
Like Baltimore Ravens star Marshal Yanda, I think Lamp is a future All-Pro regardless of whether you play him at tackle or guard. Lamp allowed just two QB hits and two QB hurries with no sacks in the 2016 season.
26. Seattle Seahawks
If Richard Sherman is indeed on the outs in Seattle, the team definitely need to address the cornerback position early in the draft. Humphrey fits well with the Seahawks’ physical approach in coverage, and allowed just 50 percent of the passes thrown into his coverage to be caught over the past two seasons.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Jones saw a high volume of opportunities, but made the most of them to grade well. Not only did he force 24 missed tackles as a receiver in 2016, but he also impressed at the Senior Bowl, beating some of the best cornerbacks in this draft class.
28. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys need pass-rush help, and Harris is the player to fix that. Harris improved as a pass-rusher every season, and was arguably the most talented player in a system that produced Shane Ray and Markus Golden. He racked up 62 total QB pressures in 2016.
29. Green Bay Packers
Williams’ lack of playing time scares me, with just 685 snaps over the past three seasons. Still, his production is undeniable, with a sack, hit, or hurry on 25.6 percent of his pass-rushing attempts in that span.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Super Bowl window for the Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers won’t stay open forever. Can they trust Martavis Bryant to stay on the field? Westbrook averaged 4.08 yards per route run last season, and can help the Steelers stretch the field even more.
31. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons need to boost their pass rush if they are to go one further and win the Super Bowl in 2017. Charlton impressed both against the run and as a pass-rusher, with 14 sacks, 19 hits, and 58 hurries over the past two seasons.
32. New Orleans Saints
I love the idea of Evan Engram landing in New Orleans and the Saints moving him around, ultimately allowing him to dominate out of the slot. A fantastic athlete, I don’t want Engram as an in-line tight end. I want him creating mismatches in the slot, where his 2.61 yards per route run average led all tight ends.