At this point, completing a mock NFL draft should be much easier, given the fact that information pertaining to visits and workouts is more readily available. This draft, though, due to the murky quarterback situation, was one of the more difficult to project. Teams seemingly have no known infatuations with players and more teams are looking to trade down than make picks, it appears. The Browns may not trade down out of No. 1, but the current indecision on that pick, which apparently plagues the Browns, could be a harbinger of things to come on Thursday night.
It could be a smokescreen to generate interest from some team to trade up. It could be actual indecision. In the end, I believe the Browns will come to their senses, while still making some trade noise with the second of their two first-round picks.
Here’s a final look at my first-round projection, complete with some trades I think we could see. If you want to see how the projection has evolved, I included my previous selections at each spot, including the trades I projected in the most recent version of my mock draft.
1. Cleveland Browns — Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Previous: Browns — Garrett
The Browns are reportedly seriously considering going with a quarterback at this spot? Really? Garrett is the best prospect in this draft. The Browns desperately need help on the edge. Tell me why the Browns wouldn’t take Garrett at this spot. Oh, a quarterback? They also have the 12th pick in the draft … for now.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Previous: Panthers (trade with San Francisco) — Thomas
The 49ers are flirting with quarterbacks and threatening to pick one as high as No. 2. GM John Lynch has also said he’s ready to wheel and deal. In other words, the threat to take a quarterback is to entice a team to take Lynch up on his offer. It won’t happen; the 49ers won’t get an offer to their liking and will select Thomas in their final minute on the clock.
The 2017 NFL Draft on The Washington Post
Mock Draft: Garrett goes No. 1 | Top 50 prospects | Most-likely picks to be traded
Draft history: Who are the best/worst-drafting teams
Top needs for every AFC team | NFC
The Redskins seven-round mock draft: Version 1.0 | 2.0
3. Chicago Bears — Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Previous: Bears — Allen
The Bears have also said they’re willing to trade away the No. 3 pick. No player, though, entices other teams to jump up to take their guy. Ohio State safety Malik Hooker is nearly 100 percent healthy, but the Bears added some help at safety in the offseason. They need even more help at the defensive end spot, which makes this pick relatively straightforward.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars — O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Previous: Jaguars — Howard
The former Alabama tight end is a perfect fit in Jacksonville, providing the much-needed seam threat for struggling quarterback Blake Bortles. Many contend this is the spot for Leonard Fournette, but the Jaguars have no players at tight end and two capable running backs. Howard can provide more assistance for Bortles than a two-down, limited scheme runner such as Fournette.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) — Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Previous: Saints (trade with Titans) — Hooker
The Titans will consider moving the 18th pick in the draft, but with Hooker on the board, GM Jon Robinson stands pat to select the Ohio State safety. With assurances that he’s near full health, Robinson will eventually team Hooker with 2016 draft pick Kevin Byard. Robinson and the Titans turned last year’s No. 1 pick into all-pro rookie tackle Jack Conklin, NT Austin Johnson, RB Derrick Henry, Hooker and the third-round pick to be decided in this draft. Wow.
6. ***TRADE*** Cleveland Browns (from New York Jets) — Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Previous: New York Jets — Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
GM Mike Maccagnan should love dealing with the Browns and their bounty of draft picks. Maccagnan will take a bevy of picks, including No. 12 and potentially former Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, to move down to 12. The Browns, in turn, draft the local boy before the Bills do at No. 10. Garrett and Trubisky should be cornerstone pieces for the foreseeable future and this is a Sonny Weaver Jr.-like haul for the Browns on Thursday night.
7. Los Angeles Chargers — Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Previous: Chargers — Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Chargers will consider Davis at this spot to give Philip Rivers another weapon in the passing game, but GM Tom Telesco knows he has to bolster the safety position or the interior of his offensive line. This is a tad too high for any of the offensive linemen on the board, so Telesco will select Adams.
8. Carolina Panthers — Christian McCaffrey, RB-ATH, Stanford
Previous: 49ers (from Carolina) — Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Panthers must maintain a diversified offense that does not feature a bevy of designed Cam Newton runs. Newton has taken a pounding in previous seasons and it took a toll on the 2015 NFL MVP in 2016. McCaffrey allows the offense to remain multiple and diversified thanks to his multidimensional talents, more so than Fournette.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Previous: Bengals — Foster
The NFL Scouting Combine incidents (yes, plural), will turn away plenty of teams, but not the Bengals. Head coach Marvin Lewis and company have rarely written off those that seemingly can’t be saved. Foster can be, and he can jump-start this Cincinnati defense. Kevin Minter was added to satisfy a need at linebacker, but Foster is an even better fit.
10. Buffalo Bills — Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Previous: Bills — Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bills will consider all the quarterbacks but with Mitchell Trubisky off the board, they’ll hone in on weapons to help their current starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Davis has been a bit of a mystery in this process as he rehabbed an injury, but he’s the most complete receiver in this draft.
11. New Orleans Saints — Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Previous: Tennessee Titans (from New Orleans) — John Ross, WR, Washington
The Saints have negotiated terms with Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, but it doesn’t appear as if a deal will get done. If it does, the Saints can focus on some linebacker help, potentially Temple combination linebacker Haason Reddick. But, with no deal imminent, the Saints will take Lattimore.
12. ***TRADE*** New York Jets (from Cleveland from Philadelphia) — Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Previous: Patriots (from Cleveland from Philadelphia) — Conley
The Jets move down to No. 12, pick up a Browns second-round pick and select Lattimore’s teammate Conley. Current Jets cornerbacks Buster Skrine, Morris Claiborne and others surely will not intimidate Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill any time soon. Conley will help in that regard.
13. Arizona Cardinals — Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Previous: Cardinals — Mahomes
Mahomes will sit behind Carson Palmer and learn from Bruce Arians, who once schooled Mahomes’s football doppelgänger Ben Roethlisberger. Of the quarterbacks in this, and the next, draft that Arians could mold into a star, Mahomes fits the bill as well as anyone.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) — Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Previous: Eagles — Fournette
Fournette will immediately become the hammer in this offense, taking on the Zeke Elliott role in Philadelphia. A Wentz-Fournette combination isn’t quite Prescott-Elliott, but it’s a step in the right direction.
15. Indianapolis Colts — Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Previous: Colts — McDowell
New GM Chris Ballard has made some shrewd moves in free agency, acquiring youth for discount prices. McDowell, though, will immediately become the best interior player in a Colts jersey, no matter where he aligns.
16. Baltimore Ravens — John Ross, WR
Previous: Ravens — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Ravens don’t have a consistent go-to threat in the passing game. We’re all still waiting to see what Breshad Perriman can do and Mike Wallace is just a nine-route in waiting. (Think Tim Brown going long.) Ross, if healthy, opens up a completely different dimension for the Ravens passing game in the near future.
17. Washington Redskins — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Previous: Redskins — Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
The addition of Zach Brown allows the Redskins to bypass linebacker in Round 1. In so doing, the Redskins can focus squarely on the third, and last, first-round running back prospect. Rob Kelley had a modicum of above-average moments last year, but Cook is on a different level. As long as he didn’t fail his medicals, this feels like the right spot for the former Seminole star.
18. ***TRADE*** Oakland Raiders (from Tennessee Titans) — Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Previous: Tennessee Titans — David Njoku, TE, Miami
The Raiders need an inside linebacker yesterday. I was struck by how small and slow the Raiders’ inside linebackers were in 2016 and it’s clear an immediate upgrade is necessary. Reddick isn’t the biggest linebacker by any means, but he can stay on the field on all three downs, rushing from the outside, if necessary, opposite 2016 defensive player of the year Khalil Mack.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Previous: Buccaneers — Barnett
DE Noah Spence showed some potential as a rookie in 2016 and William Gholston re-signed with the Bucs after four seasons with the squad. Neither, however, can do what Barnett can. The former Volunteer has the potential to be a three-down player next to McCoy, setting the edge against the run, then rushing the edge opposite Spence.
20. Denver Broncos — Garett Bolles, OT, Wisconsin
Previous: Broncos — Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Broncos’ offensive line has been a source of concern in Denver for a while and Bolles is the best true tackle prospect on the board. He’s going to be a work in progress, given his inexperience playing the position. His athleticism, though, is too much for the Broncos to eschew at this spot.
21. Detroit Lions — Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Previous: Lions — Charlton
The Lions’ pass rush could use some help and the true 4-3 power end from Michigan is waiting. This might be a few picks higher than Charlton is projected to be selected, but he fits the Detroit defense with his size, length and ability to rush the passer.
22. Miami Dolphins — Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Previous: Dolphins — Lamp
Once Branden Albert was traded to Jacksonville and Laremy Tunsil moved from guard to fill Albert’s left tackle position, it was clear that Lamp needed to be in their crosshairs. Keep an eye, though, on Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson here, too. The Dolphins had success transitioning Tunsil from tackle to guard. They could do the same with Robinson.
23. New York Giants — David Njoku, TE, Miami
Previous: Giants — Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Giants couldn’t have had a better situation truly fall right into their laps. The addition of Brandon Marshall, alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, should allow Njoku the opportunity to consistently run unabated down the field. An athlete of this caliber should make life that much easier for quarterback Eli Manning. If a running back drops to No. 23, the Giants should make him the pick, but Njoku is an adequate consolation prize if that does not happen.
24. ***TRADE*** Tennessee Titans (from Oakland Raiders) — Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Previous: San Francisco 49ers (from Oakland) — Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Titans traded down from No. 18 to this spot with an eye on a receiver or a cornerback. With Williams on the board, the decision was easy. The Titans can highlight a defensive back with one of their Day 2 selections (one their own, one from L.A. from last year’s trade and another from the earlier trade with the Raiders).
25. Houston Texans — Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Previous: Texans — Watson
As an employee of the Texans, I’ve offered this selection up to my friends at The Post, as has become our custom. This one will make the fans of Houston ecstatic. Although I think the Texans will only go with a quarterback here if either Watson or Mahomes is on the board, selecting Watson will make for an extremely interesting training camp at The Greenbrier in West Virginia this summer.
26. Seattle Seahawks — Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Previous: Seahawks — Ramczyk
Drafting one spot ahead of Seattle, the Texans need a right tackle badly, but need a quarterback, too. They could still surprise by selecting Ramczyk, but in the end, Watson is too good at that spot to pass up. That allows the Seahawks to draft Ramczyk. In doing so, they can leave last year’s first-round selection, Germain Ifedi, at guard, where he belongs, and allow Ramczyk to develop at tackle.
27. Kansas City Chiefs — Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Previous: Chiefs — Humphrey
The Chiefs don’t have a consistent answer at cornerback opposite Marcus Peters, so Humphrey makes a ton of sense in this spot. He’s physical and can run, but needs work on playing the ball in the air. The Chiefs will add some depth at linebacker, defensive line and running back in later rounds.
28. Dallas Cowboys — Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
Previous: Cowboys — Peppers
The Cowboys don’t have a reliable pass-rusher, but they also lost two starters at the safety position in free agency. Byron Jones will take over at one position, while Jeff Heath is slated to step into the other. Peppers is a much more palatable option, which allows Heath to stay in a nickel role. Peppers’s stock has taken a hit in the days leading up to the draft, however.
29. Green Bay Packers — Kevin King, CB, Washington
Previous: Packers — King
King’s name hasn’t been thrown around all that much for first-round consideration, but he’s 6-foot-3, can fly and was highly productive at Washington opposite Sidney Jones, who would’ve been off the board if not for an Achilles injury he suffered on his pro day. The Packers’ cornerback situation is far from optimum and the athletically gifted King fills a need here for certain.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers — T.J. Watt, OLB/ILB, Wisconsin
Previous: Steelers — Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
The Steelers have worked out quarterbacks privately, including Mahomes, but he and two others are off the board. As such, teams at the top portion of the second round have no incentive to move up and trade with Pittsburgh. The Steelers need more production rushing the quarterback from Bud Dupree. The selection of one of the best pass rushers in this draft should get Dupree’s attention or get him benched. Watt could also move to inside linebacker next to Ryan Shazier, if it gets him on the field with Dupree.
31. Atlanta Falcons — Takk McKinley, OLB/DE, UCLA
Previous: Falcons — Charles Harris, OLB/DE, Missouri
The Falcons are all about speed. Look at this defense. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, pass-rushing star Vic Beasley, inside linebacker Deion Jones and the youngsters in the secondary can all fly. With Beasley and McKinley rushing from the edge on third down, the Falcons won’t allow NFC South quarterbacks Cam Newton, Drew Brees or Jameis Winston much time to process and throw down the field.
32. New Orleans Saints — Charles Harris, OLB/DE, Missouri
Previous: New England (from New Orleans from New England) — Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
The Saints could use this pick in a deal to pluck Malcolm Butler from New England, but it doesn’t appear as if the Saints are ready to make that move. As such, the Saints seemingly always need pass-rushing help and Harris is the most dynamic player on the board. If the Saints end Thursday night with Lattimore and Harris, they’ll be instantly better at two key positions.
John Harris contributes to The Washington Post’s NFL draft coverage. He is the sideline reporter and football analyst for the Houston Texans and owner of footballtakeover.com.