With less than three weeks to go until the 2017 NFL Draft, you can’t go more than two or three clicks on the internet without stumbling onto a mock draft.
That also means that it’s time for APC’s contributors to fire up the draft projection parts of our brains and put our heads together for the official APC mock draft. Seven contributors are pitching in for this year’s mock, each of whom was assigned either four or five teams. We also took care not to assign more than one team from the same division to any one writer.
APC continues on with round one of our mock draft by looking ahead to picks 16 through 20. In this group of not-quite-there-yet teams that are fighting for playoff contention, there are holes but none so desperate that they need to reach to fill them. Instead, we find teams looking to grab the best players available, and in this portion of round one, those players appear to be offensive weapons.
This quintet of picks sees two receivers, a running back, and the first tight end all go off the board. The two receivers stand in stark contrast to one another; one player is known for his size and physicality, while the other just broke Chris Johnson’s Combine record in the 40-yard dash.
1.16 - Baltimore Ravens
Mike Williams - WR - Clemson (JBH)
Even before the retirement of Steve Smith, the Ravens' receiving corps lacked the necessary talent to elevate the aerial attack to an acceptable level. Mike Williams doesn't beat defenders deep in the style of some other wideouts in his draft class, but his ability to win the contested catch and slip open when a play breaks down should help Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco avoid another disappointing season.
1.17 - Washington
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (Tex)
Believe it or not, Washington’s roster looks reasonably solid right now - especially in the areas where this year’s draft is top-heavy (edge rusher and corner). That allows them to go for the best player available, and in this case Cook seems to fit the bill. Last year, they finished the season with Rob Kelley as their top running back, with Chris Thompson as a change of pace. Cook brings a complete skill set, and is a good receiver out of the backfield as well. Questions about legal troubles in his past will continue to haunt him, but I find it difficult to imagine him slipping outside the top 20 based on his talent and production.
1.18 - Tennessee Titans
John Ross, WR, Washington (Tex)
The Titans are on the verge of being a playoff team, and Ross would be a catalyst for an offense that is currently predicated on a power running game. What better weapon to go with the punishing running of Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry than a deep threat who just broke the Combine record in the 40? Ross would be a perfect complement to the Titans’ other wideouts as well, none of whom possess truly elite speed. He could do a ton of damage in the deep passing game off play-action or when teams are forced to bring a safety into the box, and he would be by far the most talented receiver of Marcus Mariota’s young career.
1.19 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan (Jonathan B.)
Tampa Bay went defense heavy last year and they start that way again this season. Last year they grabbed the small school prize Noah Spence. This year they stick with a guy who managed to stay at his Big Ten program. The defense started to get better last year, but the growth of Jameis Winston, the emergence of Cameron Brate and the addition of DeSean Jackson the offense should stay strong. Charlton adds a physical rusher up front and should help relieve pressure on McCoy in the middle.
1.20 - Denver Broncos
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama (Gary)
Denver has to decide this season if they have something in Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian, so drafting a quarterback here doesn’t do them a lot of good. Charlton would have been nice, but the Buccaneers are cruel and fill John Elway with disappointment. Instead, the best value on the board now is the Alabama tight end. It’s not exactly a specific need for the Broncos, but none of the tight ends on the current roster – Jeff Heuerman, Virgil Green and A.J. Derby – fill defenses with fear like Howard may.
APC Mock Draft 2017
|33||CLE||DeShone Kizer||QB||Notre Dame|
|37||LAR||Forrest Lamp||OL||Western Kentucky|
|38||LAC||Chris Godwin||WR||Penn State|
|43||PHI||Zay Jones||WR||East Carolina|
|44||BUF||Derek Rivers||EDGE||Youngstown State|
|46||IND||Taylor Moton||OL||Western Michigan|
|52||CLE (from TEN)||Jarrad Davis||ILB||Florida|
|58||SEA||Jordan Willis||EDGE||Kansas St.|
|60||DAL||Demarcus Walker||EDGE||Florida State|
|62||PIT||Rasul Douglas||CB||West Virginia|
|64||CAR (from NE)||Jourdan Lewis||CB||Michigan|