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2017 NFL Draft: 5 Draft Crashers to Watch


The NFL Draft is almost here, and as always, you can't surf the web without bumping into mock drafts written by anyone and everyone. Here's a dirty little not-so-well kept secret about all of those mock drafts — including the ones on big sites you need to pay to read: they are never right. It's not even close.

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I've highlighted five guys who most experts have being drafted much later than they'll actually be selected. I call them my "draft crashers," as they'll be the ones hearing their names called earlier than projected and making the experts look like anything but.

5 Draft Crashers to Watch

Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan

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Moton was the anchor up front for one of the most prolific offensive in college football in 2016. He is the prototypical blindside protector on passing downs and a mauler in the run game. The biggest knock on him is that he played in the MAC, which is pretty weak considering some of the other talent we've seen come out of the conference known as "The Hustle Belt" over the last decade or so. Most experts have Moton going in the second or third round. Due to a lack of depth in this class at the offensive tackle position and a lot of teams looking for solid offensive tackles, I fully expect to hear Moton's name announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the first round.

Best Fit: Denver Broncos

Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Oklahoma

You know the deal with Mixon. You've heard all the stories about teams taking him off their boards or not wanting to take him early. Don't believe a word of it. Watch his highlights. Watch him run. There isn't a running back in the league right now with his size and skill set. Regardless of your opinion of him, there's no way Mixon falls past the No. 50 overall pick — despite many draft experts and analysts slotting him in the third round or lower. I wouldn't even be shocked to see a team trade up to get him.

Best Fit: Minnesota Vikings

Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan

All Glasgow did was establish himself as one of the most consistent and dependable interior defensive linemen while playing his college career in a conference known for churning out elite blockers on the other side of the ball. There are a lot of teams that need help everywhere. Some of those teams will draft the best players available. Some will go with safe picks. There aren't many safer picks than Glasgow. Projected by most to go in the fourth round or lower, I truly believe he'll be off the board before the end of the second day.

College Football Top 25: Michigan

Best Fit: Cleveland Browns

Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Boise State

It's a fairly deep running back draft with a lot of household names. McNichols' collegiate numbers are as good as any prospect in this draft, and his film reminds me of former Boise State back Doug Martin. He's a do-everything, every-down back who can change the look of an offense in an instant — lining up wide or in the slot in four- and five-wide receiver sets. Most have him going in the late fourth or early fifth rounds. I predict he's off the board by the end of the third.

Best Fit: Oakland Raiders

Related: 4 Potential High Picks That Could End Up As Busts

John Johnson, Safety, Boston College

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Johnson is a big, aggressive safety who was the heart and soul of one of the nation's better defenses over the last couple of years. He floats effortlessly in the secondary, yet can come up and stuff the run like a linebacker at a moment's notice. He's a guy who passes the eye test, and I'd even go so far as to say he looks like he could be a perennial All-Pro if he lands in the right spot. Most mock drafts have him going somewhere around the fifth round, where he would be an absolute steal. I'll bet someone pulls the trigger on him as early as the second round.

Best Fit: New England Patriots

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on,, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.