Here's how the experts are predicting the first round of the NFL Draft will go

The number one pick seems a lock, after that… Chaos.

Myles Garrett is the sure-fire number one pick in Thursday's draft.
Myles Garrett is the sure-fire number one pick in Thursday's draft.
Image: Trask Smith

THE 2017 NFL Draft is just four days away.

This year’s draft is heavy with defensive backs, particularly cornerbacks and running backs. But as usual, as we get closer to the first round, teams begin getting interested in the quarterbacks, too.

To gauge what all 32 NFL teams may be considering in the first round, we weighed the opinions of seven experts based on their mock drafts. For picks without a consensus, we went with a compelling argument for a position of need.

Our seven experts experts are: Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN; Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated; Pete Prisco of CBS Sports;  Lance Zierlein of NFL Network; Danny Kelly of The Ringer and Pro Football Focus.

1. Cleveland Brown – Myles Garrett – DE

Source: Trask Smith

Experts: 7 of 7

School: Texas A&M

Other possibilities: none

Key expert quoteMcShay: “There’s no reason to overthink this, Cleveland. Take the clear-cut best player in this draft.”

2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE

Experts: 4 of 7

School: Stanford

Other possibilities: Mitch Trubisky (QB), Derek Barnett (DE)

Key expert quoteKelly: “San Francisco needs a true weak-side edge rusher for early downs. Thomas is an instant impact starter at that spot, and he’s got the Michael Bennett–esque ability to bring pressure from the interior on third downs.”

3. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen, DL


Experts: 3 of 7

School: Alabama

Other possibilities: Malik Hooker (S), Marshon Lattimore (CB), Gareon Conley (CB)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “Allen’s quickness and power help him constantly push the pocket as a pass-rusher, and he had 22.5 sacks in the past two seasons. The Bears could use a solidifying force along the interior.”

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB

Experts: 2 of 7

School: LSU

Other possibilities: Jonathan Allen (DL), Solomon Thomas (DE), Marshon Lattimore (CB),

Key expert quoteZierlein: “If the Jaguars can’t win with their QB play, they can enforce their will on the ground.”

5. Tennessee Titans (via LA Rams) – Marshon Lattimore, CB

Source: JustBombsProductions/YouTube

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Ohio State

Other possibilities: Malik Hooker (S), Jonathan Allen (DL), Corey Davis (WR)

Key expert quoteBurke: “It was obvious even before the Titans cut Jason McCourty that they would be looking to draft at the cornerback position. Here, they get the top prospect—a physical, aggressive lock-down defender.”

6. New York Jets – Jamal Adams, S

Experts: 3 of 7

School: LSU

Other possibilities: Marshon Lattimore (CB), Mitch Trubisky (QB), Deshaun Watson (QB)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “A big hitter with excellent intangibles, Adams is one of the few players with an elite grade in this year’s class.”

7. San Diego Chargers — Malik Hooker, S

Source: Barbara J. Perenic

Experts: 4 of 7

School: Ohio State

Other possibilities: Jamal Adams (S), Deshaun Watson (QB), Mike Williams (WR),

Key expert quoteZierlein: “With the instincts and ball skills to create turnovers, Hooker is a wise choice to strengthen the Chargers’ back end.”

8. Carolina Panthers – Derek Barnett, DE

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Tennessee

Other possibilities: Leonard Fournette (RB), OJ Howard (TE)

Key expert quotePFF: “A strong run defender all three years as well, with 80 run stops since 2014, Barnett can work as part of what would be a deep rotation immediately.”

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Taco Charlton, DE

Source: Harris Highlights/YouTube

Experts: 1 of 7

School: Michigan

Possibilities: Mike Williams (WR), Corey Davis (WR), Derek Barnett (DE), Reuben Foster (LB), Jamal Adams (S), Forrest Lamp (G)

Key expert quoteZierlein on Charlton: “The Bengals would be betting on Charlton’s upside, but he fits a huge need and the Bengals’ profile for the position.”

10. Buffalo Bills, – OJ Howard, TE

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Alabama

Possibilities: Mitch Trubisky (QB), Mike Williams (WR), Marshon Lattimore (CB), Haason Reddick (LB)

Key expert quoteKiper: “Buffalo badly needs pass-catchers, and Howard is the best tight end in the draft. He has all of the athletic attributes (4.51 40 at 6-6, 251) of a top-tier all-around player.”

11. New Orleans Saints — Haason Reddick, LB

Source: TheFootballman175/YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Tennessee

Other possibilities: Tre’Davious White (CB), Reuben Foster (LB), Gareon Conley (CB), Christian McCaffrey (RB)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “A virtual unknown outside of draft circles entering the Senior Bowl, Reddick looks like a top-15 pick after a great week of practices in Mobile and an elite combine performance, including a 4.52 40 and 11-foot-1 broad jump at 237 pounds.”

12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) – Deshaun Watson, QB

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Tennessee

Other possibilities: Tre’Davious White (CB), Reuben Foster (LB), Gareon Conley (CB), Christian McCaffrey (RB)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “A virtual unknown outside of draft circles entering the Senior Bowl, Reddick looks like a top-15 pick after a great week of practices in Mobile and an elite combine performance, including a 4.52 40 and 11-foot-1 broad jump at 237 pounds.”

13. Arizona Cardinals — Patrick Mahomes, QB


Experts: 2 of 7

School: Texas Tech

Other possibilities: Corey Davis (WR), Mitch Trubiski (QB), Haason Reddick (LB), Malik Hooker (S), Tre’Davious White (CB)

Key expert quotePrisco: “They need a quarterback for the future with Carson Palmer coming to the end. This is a guy who can watch for a year or so, and then take over.”

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) — Gareon Conley, CB

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Ohio State

Other possibilities: Marlon Humphrey (CB), Christian McCaffrey (RB), Tre’Davious White (CB), John Ross (WR)

Key expert quoteBurke: “With just one cornerback off the board, the value certainly is there for the Eagles to pounce at 14. Would they prefer Conley and his outstanding coverage skills or a different corner more proven as a physical force against the run?”

15. Indianapolis Colts — Reuben Foster, LB

Source: Harris Highlights/YouTube

Experts: 2 of  7

School: Alabama

Other possibilities: Forrest Lamp (G), Solomon Thomas (DE), Jamal Adams (S), Ryan Ramczyk (OT), Chidobe Awuzie (CB)

Key expert quote: Kiper: “Foster is the best inside linebacker in this draft, but few teams above the Colts at No. 15 need inside linebackers … This would be one of the best value picks of Round 1.”

16. Baltimore Ravens — Mike Williams, WR

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Clemson

Other possibilities: Takkarist McKinley (DE), Cam Robinson (OL), Corey Davis (WR), Ryan Ramczyk (OT), Reuben Foster (LB)

Key expert quoteZierlein: “The Ravens are in need of a rusher and top receiver. Let’s give them a physical ball-winner who could become a heavily targeted favorite for Joe Flacco.”

17. Washington – Dalvin Cook, RB

Source: Jim Rassol

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Florida State

Other possibilities: Reuben Foster (LB), Mike Williams (WR), Christian McCaffrey (RB), Charles Harris (DE), Budda Baker (S)

Key expert quotePFF: “There is not a player in the draft that improves the Redskins’ outlook on Day 1 more than Dalvin Cook. His vision and knack for hitting well-timed creases on stretch runs are a perfect match for what Washington wants to do in a largely zone-running scheme.”

18. Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis, WR

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Western Michigan

Other possibilities: OJ Howard (TE), Mike Williams (WR), John Ross (WR)

Key expert quoteKelly: “The Titans still need to give Marcus Mariota a true no. 1 pass-catching option on the outside … The 6-foot-3 209-pounder is a beast on slants over the middle of the field, able to shield cornerbacks away from the ball with his size and length, and he’s a jump-ball artist who will provide a reliable target in the red zone.”

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – David Njoku, TE

Source: Zuma Press/PA Images

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Miami

Other possibilities: John Ross (WR), Derek Barnett (DE), Christian McCaffrey (RB), Budda Baker (S), Obi Melifonwu (S)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “When you have a promising young quarterback like Winston, you need to continue stockpiling weapons around him. Njoku would give Winston something he currently lacks: a field-stretcher down the seam.”

20. Denver Broncos – Forrest Lamp, G

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Western Kentucky

Other possibilities: OJ Howard (TE), Ryan Ramczyk (OT), Dalvin Cook (RB), Christian McCaffrey (RB), Garet Bolles (OT)

Key expert quoteBurke: “The consensus has been to push Lamp inside to guard, but he deserves a shot to show what he can do at tackle. He could fill a role at either spot for the Broncos.”

21. Detroit Lions – Charles Harris, DE

Source: Harris Highlights/YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Missouri

Other possibilities: Takkarist McKinley (DE), Taco Charlton (DE), Haason Reddick (LB), Marlon Humphrey (CB)

Key expert quote: PFF: Has arguably the best spin move among pass-rushers in this draft class. Can get into the body of an opposing offensive tackle and spin free at speed. Picked up nine of his 59 total pressures on spins.

22. Miami  Dolphins – Jabrill Peppers, S

Experts: 1 of 7

School: Michigan

Possibilities: Haason Reddick (LB), Forrest Lamp (G), Gareon Conley (CB), Jordan Willis (S), Cam Robinson (OL), Malik McDowell (DT)

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Key expert quoteBurke on Peppers: “Miami is in solid shape at safety, with Reshad Jones and Nate Allen to be joined midseason by T.J. McDonald (eight-game suspension). That’s perfect for Peppers, who then can be used to erase matchup issues as he grows into his role.”

23. New York Giants – Cam Robinson, OL


Experts: 2 of 7

School: Alabama

Other possibilities: Ryan Ramzyk (OT), Jarrad Davis (LB), Malik McDowell (DT), Garett Bolles (OT), Carl Lawson (DE)

Key expert quoteZierlein: “The Giants might not be able to pass on a tackle early in this draft.”

24. Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis, LB

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Florida

Possibilities: Kevin King (CB), John Ross (WR), Gareon Conley (CB), Leonard Fournette (RB)

Key expert quoteMcShay: “Linebacker is another gaping hole in Oakland … Davis is a Kwon Alexander-type, an explosive linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range in the running game and a relentless motor.”

25. Houston Texans - DeShone Kizer, QB

Source: JustBombsProductions/YouTube

Experts: 1 of 7

School: Notre Dame

Possibilities: Deshaun Watson (QB), Ryan Ramczyk (OT), Cam Robinson (OL), Patrick Mahomes (QB), David Webb (QB),  Obi Melifonwu (S)

Key expert quotePFF on Kizer: “He has a powerful arm, solid pocket instincts, and the ability to effectively push the ball downfield … Bill O’Brien will have to work with him on his consistency issues, but Kizer has the ability to develop into the long-term answer at quarterback that Houston has been searching for.”

26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin King, CB

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Washington

Possibilities: Marlon Humphrey (CB), Cam Robinson (OT), Garett Bolles (OT), Takkarist McKinley (DE)

Key expert quote: Kelly: “King is tailor-made for the Seahawks Cover 3 defense, with plenty of size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and athleticism (4.43 40, 39.5-inch vertical).”

27. Kansas City Chiefs - Zach Cunningham, LB

Source: Harris Highlights/YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Vanderbilt

Other possibilities: Jourdan Lewis (DB), Dalvin Cook (RB), Deshone Kizer (QB), Patrick Mahomes (QB)

Key expert quotePrisco: “He was a tackling machine in the SEC and they have a major need at inside linebacker. He would be a nice fit.”

28. Dallas Cowboys - Adoree’ Jackson, CB

Experts: 1 of 7

School: USC

Other possibilities: Taco Charlton (DE), King King (CB), Jabrill Peppers (S), T.J. Watt (LB), Tre’Davious White (CB), Takkarist McKinely (DE)

Key expert quoteKelly on Jackson: “After losing Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr in free agency, the Cowboys need to restock the shelf at cornerback. Jackson’s an explosive playmaker with the confidence necessary to start early in his career.”

29. Green Bay Packers - Marlon Humphrey, DB

Source: Curtis Compton

Experts: 1 of 7

School: Alabama

Possibilities: Dalvin Cook (RB), Charles Harris (DE), Tre’Davious White (CB), Kevin King (CB), Malik McDowell (DT), Jabrill Peppers (S), Marlon Humphrey (DB)

Key expert quotePFF on Humphrey: “Humphrey is a top-three cornerback in this class in my opinion, and the Packers need any sort of talent they can find at the position.”

30. Pittsburgh Steeleers - Obi Melifonwu, S

Experts: 1 of 7

School: University of Connecticut

Possibilities: Takkarist McKinley (DE), Charles Harris (DE), Derek Barnett (DE), John Ross (WR), David Njoku (TE),  Juju Smith-Schuster (WR)

Key expert quotePrisco on Melifonwu: “He is a physical freak who can play corner or safety. The Steelers could use help at both with Mike Mitchell getting up in the years.”

31. Atlanta Falcons – Jordan Willis, DE

Source: Steelers Depot/YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Kansas State

Other possibilities: Carl Lawson (DE), Taco Charlton DE), Jabrill Peppers (S), Forrest Lamp (G), Malik McDowell (DT)

Key expert quote: PFF: Already proficient with an outside swim move. Easily his go-to. Has the height and strength to effectively swat away an offensive lineman’s hands on a consistent basis.

32. New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots) – Christian McCaffrey, RB

Experts: 1 of 7

School: Stanford

Possibilities: Zach Cunningham (DE), John Ross (WR), Patrick Mahomes (QB), Quincy Wilson (CB), Adoree’ Jackson (CB), Jordan Willis (DE)

Key expert quote: Kelly on McCaffrey: “McCaffrey doesn’t possess Darren Sproles’s lightning burst, but he’d play a similar role in the New Orleans offense: a dual-threat runner-receiver, capable of flexing out and running a slant or simply taking a handoff and creating on his own.”

- Scott Davis, Business Insider 

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