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2017 NFL mock draft: Could Gareon Conley climb ahead of Marshon Lattimore?

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The cornerback depth is significant, but the first cornerback off the board could still surprise us.

The 2017 NFL draft starts in a mere ten days, which means we get a last swirl of rumors. The latest comes courtesy of MMQB columnist Peter King. After months of seeing Marshon Lattimore as the likely first cornerback off the board, and possibly even the first defensive back, King is starting to hear push back. One team official said he would take Lattimore’s fellow Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley because he is more reliable.

Lattimore has dealt with hamstring injuries, which are always a concern for a cornerback with quality speed. He suffered an injury running his 40 at the Combine, but later said it was a hip flexor, and not hamstring.

For the time being, mock drafts continue to project Lattimore ahead of Conley. In his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has Lattimore going No. 12 and Conley going No. 27. The cornerback class is particularly deep, but Kadar has the bulk of the first round cornerbacks going late. After Lattimore and Conley, he has Tre’Davious White going No. 28 to the Dallas Cowboys, Marlon Humphrey going No. 29 to the Green Bay Packers, and Kevin King going No. 32 to the New Orleans Saints. Maybe we see a shake-up?

Kadar again has Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas going to the San Francisco 49ers. He had this to say about the pick:

While it may seem overkill to take Thomas after taking Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner the past two years, it’s a clean slate in San Francisco. However, this offseason new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that defensive linemen in the last two first rounds won’t affect how he drafts. Thomas slots into the Leo position for San Francisco and gives them someone who can play the run or get after the passer.

He has Jamal Adams (No. 3) ahead of Malik Hooker (No. 7). His quarterbacks go No. 5 (Mitchell Trubisky - Cleveland Browns trade for Tennessee Titans pick), No. 13 (DeShaun Watson - Arizona Cardinals), and No. 25 (Patrick Mahomes - Houston Texans).

That would leave DeShone Kizer and Davis Webb among the quarterbacks available when the second round starts. If the Browns go with a QB in the first round, I’m curious to see if they trade pick No. 33 to a team looking for a QB at the top of the second round. The Browns remain one of the keys to how a lot of this draft shakes out.