In the last 24 hours, the debate of who should go No. 1 in the 2017 NFL draft has really heated up. It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that defensive end Myles Garrett was going to be that No. 1 choice, but just Tuesday night, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported the Cleveland Browns have yet to make their decision.
However, in the latest mock draft from NFL draft expert Todd McShay, he left no doubt on who should go first overall and which conference will have the best NFL prospects in this class. Not only does McShay have Garrett going No. 1, seven of the first 12 players selected in his latest mock draft were from the SEC.
Here’s the complete list of his top 12:
No. 1 to the Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
No. 2 to the 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
No. 3 to the Bears – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
No. 4 to the Jaguars – Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
No. 5 to the Titans – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
No. 6 to the Jets – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
No. 7 to the Chargers – Corey Davi, WR, Western Michigan
No. 8 to the Panthers – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
No. 9 to the Bengals – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
No. 10 to the Bills – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
No. 11 to the Saints – Kevin King, CB, Washington
No. 12 to the Browns – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Prior to making his picks, McShay establishes a couple ground rules. This mock draft was a little different in that he didn’t simply rank the best players in the first three rounds in order or project picks; he was “playing” general manager of all 32 teams and made selections based on what he would do if he were in each team’s position.
It’s important to note that McShay didn’t select a quarterback until the first pick of the second round. While that’s probably the wise choice, that doesn’t appear possible at this point with reports surfacing that North Carolina signal caller Mitch Trubinsky is getting consideration at No. 1.
Once that first quarterback goes, there could be a run on the position, which would change the entire dynamic of the 2017 draft. But one thing is clear after this mock, the SEC still has the best NFL prospects in college football.