With less than two 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.
The Green Bay Packers will be up with the picks we announce tomorrow in our mock, but we continue to count down towards the 29th pick by beginning the 20s. In this batch of selections, a few players who would be great fits for the Packers’ defense leave the board, including one who was the most popular mocked pick early on in the draft process.
1.21 - Detroit Lions
Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA (Jonathan B.)
Lions had a dynamic offense last year and a middling defense. They ranked somewhere between 17th to 19th in most categories. One place where they were truly awful was rushing the quarterback. Only Oakland had fewer sacks. If the Lions want any chance of surpassing the Packers, they will need to get to the quarterback. McKinley will be a little small in the 4-3 look the Lions have and might end up being an OLB in some base sets. He gives a good blitz option and can put his hand on the ground on passing downs. Great athlete and he gives the Lions defensive options.
1.22 - Miami Dolphins
Zach Cunningham - LB - Vanderbilt (Jon Meerdink)
The Miami Dolphins need help at linebacker, so why not get a linebacker who can do everything and do it well? Miami has already added Lawrence Timmons this offseason, but Cunningham’s speed and versatility brings plenty of variety to the defense. That’s not to say Cunningham doesn’t have some risk: he’s a little iffy on size and doesn’t always play as forcefully as some scouts would like. But a perfect prospect isn’t going to be available at 22, and Miami should be more than happy to collect someone with upside as big as Cunningham.
1.23 - New York Giants
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple (Gary)
The New York Giants defense took a huge leap forward last season. Adding a speedy pass rusher like Reddick can only help. The other consideration here – Zach Cunningham – was stolen a pick previous by the Dolphins. I don’t know why all of my (Gary) targets are taken one pick before I am up, but I suspect it’s because I am not qualified to be an NFL general manager. Anyway, Reddick’s a good get for the Giants.
1.24 - Oakland Raiders
Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU (JBH)
Cornerback has proved to be the rare area of the roster that general manager Reggie McKenzie has not adequately addressed. Former first-round pick D.J. Hayden departed this offseason after a disappointing tenure and coveted free-agent acquisition Sean Smith struggled for long stretches last year. Still, McKenzie has to continue to pursue talent in the secondary, and LSU's Tre'Davious White offers an intriguing skill set. He flashed ball skills during his college career, finishing with six interceptions and a defensive touchdown. He also registered 14 pass breakups as a senior. While he might spend most of his time in the slot at the NFL level, he also possesses strong return ability on special teams. He returned a punt for a score in each of the last three years.
1.25 - Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech (Mike)
The Texans have a few holes to fill. Mostly at Outside Linebacker and Quarterback. It’d be a lot of fun to put TJ Watt here to play with his brother JJ, but we need to find a quarterback. GM Rick Smith and Bill O’ Brien hope that Patrick Mahomes is the answer. They swung and missed, badly, with Brock Osweiler and have Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as their options on the roster. Mahomes is very raw but has the size (6’2”, 225 pounds) and has a huge and fairly accurate arm to become a very good quarterback. He will need some time to learn the NFL game and prove he’s not a system quarterback but if the Texans have patience with him and give him a fair chance, they might hit a homerun here.
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|