2017 NFL Draft: Top 30 Best Players Available After First Round

2017 NFL Draft: Top 30 Best Players Available After First Round

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2017 NFL Draft: Top 30 Best Players Available After First Round

2017 NFL Draft: Top 30 Best Players Available After First Round


Who are the best players still on the board after the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft? 


2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings
From the college perspective
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OGs & Cs
DEs | DTs | OLBs | ILBs | CBs | Safeties
2018 Top Ten NFL Draft Prospects
2016 Final Mock Draft | 2017 Final Mock Draft

Contact @PeteFiutak

First Round NFL Draft Pick-By-Pick Comments & Notes

Top 30 NFL Draft Players Available

1. QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

It’s the He’s-Been-My-No. 1-QB-Prospect-For-Over-A-Year-And-Can’t-Bail-Now call.

He’s supposedly not mature enough. His own coach was less the glowing. He’s been called, of all things, a “millennial” – and not in a young, hip sort of way. He dared to be confident enough to say he thinks/wants to be a combination of Tom Brady and Cam Newton, and he’s probably not going to be a Day One star right out of the box.

But he’s also the most talented quarterback in the draft.

The throwing mechanics are right on – or close to it – he’s mobile, strong, has the arm to hit all the throws, the size, and the smarts to be fantastic. No, he’s not a Newton or a Luck in terms of sure-thing skills, but when it comes to what you want in an NFL quarterback’s skills, there’s nothing missing.

Now, what’s not leaking out by teams is his ability to handle himself in questioning and the board when challenged, and it’s possible he turned some people off with his style, but in a class full of question mark quarterbacks – as the NBA draft saying goes – if you’re going to miss, miss big.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

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2. RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma

Obviously, there’s a massive and rightful concern about his character and the video that’s still fresh. This is all based solely on what he can do on the field and his NFL talent. He’s not being barred from the league, so just like teams are still employing Adrian Peterson, Tyreek Hill, and Ben Roethlisberger, he’s going to play.

Do you want a star running back, or not? Totally understandable if teams don’t. Again, this is only about his talent – still not taking the more important aspects out of the equation.

With good size, sub-4.5 speed, and plenty of tread on the tires after being the No. 2 guy in the rushing rotation behind Samaje Perine – and after missing a year – the NFL is getting a rarity in a fresh back. He can catch, he can blast through a hole, and he can run inside and out.

While he might need the hole to be blocked for him, when he gets there, he’s always cranking out big numbers. Any patience concerns will go away with a little bit of time – he needs more runs and should be coached into what a team needs.

Original Projection: 3rd Round

3. RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State

Very fast, very strong, and very productive, he might not have the power of a Fournette or Elliott, but he’s right there in the mix among potential franchise backs who can be everything an offense can revolve behind. Granted, there have been a slew of off-the-field question marks, but no one around the team has a complaint. As long as he doesn’t have to hit anyone on a regular basis, and as long as his fumbling problems are solved, he’ll be a statistical superstar. In the right offense, create a little daylight and watch him dominate.

Original Projection: 1st Round

4. S Budda Baker, Washington

Do you care that he’s just not that big? Earl Thomas is 5-10 and 200 pounds – Baker is 5-10 and 195. No, no, no, Baker isn’t Thomas, but he’s lightning quick with deep speed, and he doesn’t shy away from a fight. Throw him out there and let him go attack the ball and make things happen, and you’ll get a superior effort on every play.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

5. OT Cam Robinson, Alabama

A massive human being, the guy’s a freakish giant who can move. This is the type of blocker everyone wants to anchor their college program, and he did it at the highest of levels. While there might be some problems early on against NFL speed rushers, there’s not a better power-hitting tackle in the draft. He’s going to need time as a polished pass protector, but as long as he works for it, there’s consistent Pro Bowl potential.

Original Projection: 1st Round

6. OLB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt

Don’t get caught up in what he’s not. He’s not bulky, needs more power, and he’ll have a rough time when blocked, but try watching Vanderbilt games and find a key defensive play he didn’t make. He’s a good enough athlete, he’s a tough leader, and he’s a baller who’ll put up big numbers no matter what.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

7. OG Dan Feeney, Indiana

There’s a bigger upside with Forrest Lamp and Dorian Johnson, but there’s something to be said for the sure-thing. Feeney’s game is as subtle as a punch in the face, but as long as there aren’t any injury issues, he’s a ten-year dominant force of a run blocker. Yeah, he’s a limited athlete. Yeah, he’s taken his share of shots. But yeah, he’s the ultimate leader who’ll be plugged in right away as a starter and won’t leave for a decade.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

8. OLB Tim Williams, Alabama

Okay, so the guy had issues with drug tests. If you can get past that, take him and let him be your dominant pass rusher. Yeah, there’s massive bust potential, but when he turned it on, he was unblockable, even by his own NFL-caliber offensive tackles in practices. There’s a ton of risk, but if he hits, he’s going to be a game-changing Pro Bowl destroyer.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

9. OG Forrest Lamp, WKU

One of the highest-risers through the process, he showed why he was such a special blocker for one of the nation’s top offenses. He’s not going to be a powerful road grader, but whatever – he does everything right. Really, really athletic, more than strong enough, and fluid, expect Pro Bowls.

Original Projection: 1st Round

10. DE DeMarcus Walker, Florida State

One of the top defensive forces in college football last season, he owned the backfield and took over games. He did it all as a pass rusher with key play after key play on a talented line. Don’t get caught up in the likely knocks on his lack of speed around the edge. He’s a 6-4, 280-pound playmaker. Don’t ask questions.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

11. DT Jaleel Johnson, Iowa

Some guys are just good at football. The 6-3, 316-pounder has great size and excellent quickness as a dominant interior pass rusher. When he’s on, he can take over games. There will be lots of knocks about his ability to rock against the run – he’s not necessarily a powerful inside force – but he’ll produce big if he’s lined up next to a big rock.

Original Projection: 3rd Round

12. WR Zay Jones, East Carolina

At the flakiest of flaky positions, there’s almost no bust potential on the high-character receiving machine.

Size? 6-2, 200 pounds. Check. Speed? 4.45. Check. Explosion, quickness, hands? Check, check and check. Production? Triple check, catching 158 passes last season for a bad team. He sucks in every throw that comes his way, and a lot that don’t, with great route-running ability. While he might not be a downfield threat, he’ll be a high-volume guy who’ll never take a play off.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

13. OG Dorian Johnson, Pitt

It doesn’t matter if he’s a right tackle or an athletic guard, he’ll be a long-time starter anywhere you want to put him up front. Nah, he’s not a giant space-eater who’ll engulf his man, but he’ll beat someone up in the running game. Considered a key leader, smart, and consistent, there’s no worries no matter where he plays.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

14. DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State

A long and lean interior presence, the 6-6, 295-pounder is dangerous-athletic to go along with the strength to handle himself inside against the power running games. But here’s the problem – while he looks the part, and he’s been hyped up out of high school, he didn’t really play like it. Considering he played under Mark Dantonio, it should say something that he needs a lot of work – does he want it? Is he interested in being special? If so, he’s the best tackle in the draft. But considering he’ll probably be the first true DT off the board, there’s big-time bust potential.

Original Projection: 1st Round

15. WR Chris Godwin, Penn State

A compact, built target who’s as strong as any receiver in the class, with the ability to outmuscle just about anyone. Throw in the deep ability to blow past corners with his 4.4 speed, and he’s going to be a great value pick outside of the receivers going in the first round.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

16. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC

What will he be if he stays in one piece? He’s got the look and the skills of a No. 1 receiver, and he’s got the right attitude and makeup to handle life as a star. Now he has to get past the ticky-tack injuries that kept his from blowing up. Physical – he’s a former defensive back – he might not be a blazer, but he’ll make up for it in want-to for the ball.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

17. CB Teez Tabor, Florida

Thought of as a potential top ten overall pick at the start of the draft analysis a few years ago, a 4.6 40 – and that’s generous – ended all of that. All of a sudden, he couldn’t seem to do anything right in the draft analyst world. Whatever. He’s a terrific football player who’ll produce at a high level – but don’t be shocked if he sinks like a stone on draft weekend. There’s a LOT of negativity around his draft stock. If he’s around after the second round, pounce.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

First Round NFL Draft Pick-By-Pick Comments & Notes

18. WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State

A fun toy for some offensive coordinator to play around with, the blazing fast Samuel can be used as a deep threat, a slot receiver, a running back, a return man, or whatever the offense needs. A playmaker whenever he has the ball in his hands, he might not be a true receiver, but who cares? Just get him the damn ball and let him roll.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

19. S Josh Jones, NC State

It’s all there. He might have the best combination of size – he’s 6-1, 220 pounds – speed, strength and explosiveness. His mistakes tend to come from trying too hard – he can be coached up to be more consistent.. Welcome to your tone-setter in the defensive backfield.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

20. S Kevin King, Washington

A special athlete with 6-3, 200-pound size, he’s got special tools and upside. He can’t really hit, but he has too many positives not to be an early pick as either a corner of a ball-hawking free safety.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

21. TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech

Blow off any of the potential knocks – yeah, he’s a quarterback playing tight end. He’s got 6-6, 255-pound size and he’s among the most athletic tight ends in the draft. There are some rough edges that need smoothing out in terms of being a more natural receiver, but he’s smart, knows how to get open, and knows how to produce.

Original Projection: 3rd Round

22. CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

Explosive, he blew up last season in a sensational year for a loaded secondary. An elite athlete, he’s got the basics to grow into a special breakout player from the pack if given a little bit of time. In other years, he’d be one of the top three corners off the board.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

23. S Marcus Maye, Florida

Welcome to your prototype safety in terms of look, leadership, and want-to. He’s just an okay tackler, though, and he was helped by being surrounded by NFL defensive backs in what was among the best secondaries in college football over the last few years. He’ll be taken after the first wave of safeties, but the coach that gets him is going to fall in love.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

24. OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston

Measurables, measurables, measurables. He’s not massive at 6-3 and 247 pounds but he’s explosive, fast, and really, really quick. He’ll get blasted by the power blockers, and he needs to do more to get behind the line at the next level when he’s dealing with other great athletes, but yeah, he’ll fit in just fine. However, be warned. If he’s not making big things happen in the backfield, what’s he going to do?

Original Projection: 2nd Round

25. OLB/DE Carl Lawson, Auburn

Really, really strong and really, really quick, he’s a tweener who’ll be used as an outside linebacker and pure pass rusher. Health is the big question, having to get past a torn ACL and later a hip injury. He’s not a complete player, and he might end up being a one-trick guy, but that one trick could be at a Pro Bowl level.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

26. OG Nico Siragusa, San Diego State

You ready for your big steal outside of the top 50? Boom. A killer for the ground game, to go cliche, he checks all the boxes. The 6-4, 320-pounder is NFL-strong, quick in short spaces, and with an explosion off the ball. A leader for two conference championships, he was the won things worked behind for Donnel Pumphrey and the record-setting ground attack.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

27. DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State

It’s all there for some GM to fall deep and hard in love. At 6-4 and 255 pounds, he’s got good length, can play at outside linebacker, and can get up front and be a tweener of an end. He needs more to his overall game, but he’s a phenomenal athlete to go along with his want-to and leadership. The guy is simply good at this whole football thing.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

28. C Pat Elfein, Ohio State

One of the nation’s top interior blockers over the last few years, he’s been a special player at both guard and center. No one’s going to consider him a top athlete, but he can more than hold his own as a pass protector, and he’s an absolute technician of a run blocker. Draft him, and you have a ten-year starter on the inside.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

29. WR Ar’Darius Stewart, Alabama

A strong, muscular target who’ll beat up defensive backs, he’s got sub-4.5 speed, too. While he was never really the main man option in the Bama attack, he made his share of plays when needed. While he might not be for everyone, if you’re looking for a strong, statement-making tough guy target, here you go.

Original Projection: 2nd Round

30. Jeremy McNichols, Boise State

Yet another good Boise State back who’ll probably be underdrafted, A short, stocky workhorse, he’s hiccup-quick with good enough hands to be a real, live factor in the passing game, he was a dominant force for the Broncos. Add in the home run hitting speed, and – while this never works out this way – the way Jay Ajayi has turned out to be the real deal, go for it. He’s an easy chance worth taking after the second round.

Original Projection: 4th Round

2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings
From the college perspective
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OGs & Cs
DEs | DTs | OLBs | ILBs | CBs | Safeties
2018 Top Ten NFL Draft Prospects
2017 Final Mock Draft

More College Football News
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