1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett (DE/Texas A&M)
Cleveland has made it known that the brass is torn between Garrett and Mitchell Trubisky and leading up to the draft there has been rumors swirling that the team has decided to go with Trubisky, but I can’t imagine that even Cleveland is this stupid. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Browns have the ammunition to trade back into the top five and get both players, but it can’t happen if they don’t take Garrett with the top pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Leonard Fournette (RB/LSU)
In John Lynch’s first NFL Draft, he has done a great job of keeping everything to the chest. The team is reportedly “desperate” to trade this pick away, but in a weak draft class, it has been hard to find a suitor. San Francisco has also reportedly grown tired of Carlos Hyde, who has struggled to stay healthy in his career. Fournette has been perceived as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson and the 49ers are fans of him.
3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams (SS/LSU)
Much like San Francisco, Chicago has been another tough team to project. The Bears have made it known that they love Deshaun Watson, but given how much money they threw at Mike Glennon, I can’t see them taking Watson at No. 3. More likely, they will try to trade back into the first if he is still available.
Instead, the Bears fill another significant need at safety. Adams has a great tape with few flaws and would be a tremendous upgrade for the Bears defense.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Solomon Thomas (DE/Stanford)
Tom Coughlin has shown that he is a big believer in building teams through the trenches, so I can definitely see them adding another pass rusher. Despite weighing just 273 pounds, Thomas played nose tackle in Stanford’s defensive scheme and played very well. His ability to play end and tackle reminds me of former Giant Justin Tuck.
5. Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore (CB/Ohio State)
Tennessee reportedly is willing to move from this spot and has offers on the table, but that could also be a smokescreen to leverage a team like Cleveland into surrendering more to move up and select Trubisky. If Tennessee does, however, stand pat, they have shown a ton of interest in Lattimore, whose athleticism makes up for his lack of collegiate experience. Cutting Jason McCourty earlier this month is a sign that the Titans will likely go for a corner early in a draft riddled with talent at the position.
6. New York Jets – O.J. Howard (TE/Alabama)
The Jets are infatuated with Jamal Adams and Leonard Fournette, but neither are available, which could lead New York to either trade down with Cleveland or go for the best available player, either Howard or Jonathan Allen. The Jets biggest strength is their defensive line, so I can’t imagine them using another high pick on the position. Instead, Howard would be an upgrade to a tight end position that has become a black hole for the Jets in recent years.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Jonathan Allen (DE/DT/Alabama)
Los Angeles took Joey Bosa with their top pick last year, but Corey Liuget continues to decline across from him. The Chargers have the ability to get out from under Liuget’s deal next year, and it would be a much easier decision to make if they already have his replacement on the roster.
8. Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey (RB/Stanford)
It’s mind-boggling to me that McCaffrey’s stock has risen so high, but the Panthers apparently really like with the Stanford offensive weapon. McCaffrey is a threat in the run and pass game, which would serve as a nice compliment to Jonathan Stewart and give Cam Newton another target to throw to.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Barnett (DE/Tennessee)
Cincinnati would love Solomon Thomas, but he isn’t available here. Barnett, however is not a bad consolation prize. He was one of the most productive edge rushers in the NCAA over the past three seasons, but his biggest knock is his athletic limitations. However, he still has the potential to be very good pass rusher at the NFL level and would serve as an upgrade to Michael Johnson.
10. Buffalo Bills – Malik Hooker (S/Ohio State)
Jonathan Meeks, who struggled in limited action last season, is currently penciled in as the Bills starting free safety. Hooker is talented, but a pair of surgeries may scare a few teams from selecting him.
11. New Orleans Saints – Reuben Foster (ILB/Alabama)
New Orleans would love and edge rusher, but I think this is a little early for Taco Charlton. Foster has had a bad offseason, starting with getting kicked out of the combine and culminating with the announcement that he had a diluted drug test at the combine. I don’t think his stock takes that big of a hit, however.
12. Cleveland Browns – Mitchell Trubisky (QB/North Carolina)
In reality, I think Cleveland is going to trade up, either with Tennessee or the Jets, to select Trubisky. If they don’t, another team in need of a quarterback like Houston could swoop in to select the Tar Heel. Either way, I don’t expect him to last until pick 12, but I don’t project trades in my mocks.
As I mentioned earlier, Cleveland would be stupid to select Trubisky over Garrett. Trubisky only has 13 games worth of experience in college and isn’t an overwhelmingly great prospect as it is.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Corey Davis (WR/Western Michigan)
I have seen a lot of mocks where Arizona drafts Pat Mahomes so that he can ride the bench for a year and develop while Carson Palmer handles the offense, but I can’t see them doing that with a draft pick this high. If they trade down, it’s a possibility, but Arizona has too many holes to fill as it is. In 2015, Arizona’s wide receiver corp was among the league’s best, but the unit imploded in 2016 and is in need of an upgrade.
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Marlon Humphrey (CB/Alabama)
The Eagles have a good pair of safeties, but the team is desperate for help at cornerback, where they signed Patrick Robinson this offseason to be a starter. Robinson struggled with Indianapolis last season and has become somewhat of a journeyman since leaving New Orleans. Humphrey has been trending downwards leading up to the draft, but he is still the second best cornerback in this class.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Taco Charlton (DE/Michigan)
The Colts are desperate for an edge rusher. Jabaal Sheard was signed this offseason, but after a hot start with the Patriots in 2015, he flamed out and was benched last year. John Simon was signed as well, but he has never been a significant pass rusher in his career.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Cam Robinson (OT/Alabama)
Baltimore drafted Ronnie Stanley last year, but tackle is again a position of need after losing Ricky Wagner to Detroit in free agency. It’s been reported that Baltimore really likes Robinson, who would slide in naturally at right tackle.
17. Washington Redskins – Kevin King (CB/Washington)
I would have slotted Gareon Conley here if it was yesterday, but the rape allegations may completely drop him out of the draft, similar to the situation La’El Collins found himself in two years ago. Washington desperately needs a cornerback across from Josh Norman.
18. Tennssee Titans – Mike Williams (WR/Clemson)
Williams should probably go much higher, but quite a few teams in the earlier part of the draft need help on defense or were able to address their receiver needs during the offseason. Tennessee already has a potent red zone attack, but the 6’4″ Williams would provide them with the big body they lack in the passing game.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook (RB/Florida State)
Tampa Bay is reportedly souring on Doug Martin, but surprisingly they weren’t too aggressive when it came to pursuing Adrian Peterson. Cook’s stock is taking a dive following a poor combine, but I don’t think the Bucs would hesitate to pull the trigger.
20. Denver Broncos – Garett Bolles (OT/Utah)
Denver had one of the worst pairs of tackles in football last year, so the team will definitely look to upgrade the position early in the draft. The Broncos are very high on Bolles, who turns 25 next month.
21. Detroit Lions – Haason Reddick (LB/Temple)
Detroit needs help across their front seven, especially at inside linebacker. Reddick had a monster combine and has been flying up draft boards because of it. I have had Zach Cunningham here in previous mocks, but I think at this point Reddick has surpassed him.
22. Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp (G/Western Kentucky)
Miami apparently really loves Lamp, but have tried to downplay their interest by saying that they are not “locked in” on him. With Laremy Tunsil sliding over to left tackle, the Dolphins have a hole at guard that Lamp could fill.
23. New York Giants – Ryan Ramczyk (OT/Wisconsin)
If the draft shakes out this way, I can see the Giants looking at either Ramczyk or David Njoku. I have Ramczyk as the pick due to the Giants need to protect Eli Manning in the twilight of his career. Drafting Ramczyk could allow the Giants to kick Ereck Flowers over to the right side, where he would be a better fit.
24. Oakland Raiders – Malik McDowell (DE/DT/Michigan State)
The Raiders were able to finalize the trade for Marshawn Lynch today, so running back is no longer a position of need early in the draft. Instead, they can focus on defense again, particularly in the front seven that struggled outside of Khalil Mack last season.
25. Houston Texans – Pat Mahomes (QB/Texas Tech)
I know Deshaun Watson is still available, but even if both are available, I still see Mahomes as the pick for the Texans, who were unable to resolve their quarterback woes this offseason.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Adoree’ Jackson (CB/USC)
Seattle is desperate for an offensive lineman, but unless they trade up, anyone available is going to be a reach. Instead, Jackson would fill multiple holes for the team as a nickelback and returner.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Deshaun Watson (QB/Clemson)
If Watson does indeed fall, I can’t see him going much further than here. Alex Smith has been good enough to bring the Chiefs to the playoffs, but he is too limited as a passer to take them far. As he enters the final year of his deal, Kansas City may opt to move on from him. Drafting Watson now allows the Chiefs to sit him for the year so that he is able to familiarize himself with the offense.
28. Dallas Cowboys – David Njoku (TE/Miami)
Dallas has tried before to find a heir to Jason Witten’s throne, drafting Gavin Escobar in the second round, but he has been terrible as a pro. Njoku is oozing with potential as a pass-catching threat, but his blocking needs to improve.
29. Green Bay Packers – Charles Harris (DE/OLB/Missouri)
The secondary is an obvious need, but I think Green Bay instead goes for the best available player in Harris. The Missouri edge rusher has been all over draft boards and it’s hard to project where his value truly is, but I think he is a good fit with the Packers.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – DeShone Kizer (QB/Notre Dame)
With Ben Roethlisberger approaching Brett Favre status when it comes to retirement rumors, Pittsburgh may want to bring in a new quarterback early. The Steelers reportedly are worried that Kizer won’t be available for them at 30, but I don’t understand why they’re so high on him. Kizer couldn’t keep his starting job at Notre Dame (though that is partially Brian Kelly’s fault) and the feeling from other teams is that Kizer cares more about the lifestyle of a top-tier quarterback than he does about improving his performance.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Takkarist McKinley (DE/OLB/UCLA)
Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks last year, but aside from him, Atlanta’s pass rush unit wasn’t that great. The NFC South has the most talented group of starting quarterbacks in football, so finding players who are able to put pressure on the quarterback is a necessity.
32. New Orleans Saints – Obi Melifonwu (S/CB/UConn)
The Saints used their top pick to improve their front seven. With their second pick, the will likely look to address their secondary. John Ross is still available, but I think the Saints traded Brandin Cooks because they were content with their receivers, so I don’t see them using an early pick to replace him.