1. San Francisco 49ers (0-9) – Saquon Barkley (RB/Penn State)
By virtue of not having a bye week, the 49ers now have the top pick over Cleveland. Jimmy Garoppolo now have a potential seven-game audition to be the team’s new quarterback. Given that they 49ers gave up a second round pick to obtain him, it’s hard to imagine they don’t bring him back in some capacity, so I doubt they take a quarterback with their top pick.
Instead, they can focus on running back. Carlos Hyde is finally healthy, but he is also a free agent after the season. Never really a fit in Kyle Shannahan’s offense, there’s a good chance they let him walk and replace him in the draft.
2. Cleveland Browns (0-8) – Josh Rosen (QB/UCLA)
Sam Darnold reportedly won’t make a decision on whether he wants to stay in school or declare until he sees what teams have the top picks. With Cleveland picking second overall, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him stay in school. The Browns, instead, can go for Rosen. DeShone Kizer hasn’t shown any potential and despite his status as a second round quarterback, it isn’t unheard of for a team to draft another quarterback one year later.
3. New York Giants (1-7) – Connor Williams (OT/Texas)
The Giants scouts are reportedly looking at quarterbacks to replace Eli Manning as well, but Rosen has been taken and I can’t imagine the Giants selecting Lamar Jackson. Instead, they can focus on replacing Ereck Flowers, who has shown no form of competency whatsoever.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) – Mike McGlinchey (OT/Notre Dame)
An edge rusher is definitely a need as well, but the Buccaneers need to do something to protect Jameis Winston, who will now miss playing time for the first time in his career. There’s really nothing positive to say about Donovan Smith, who has been overwhelmed in his NFL career.
5. Indianapolis Colts (3-6) – Arden Key (DE/LSU)
No surprise here, the Colts are struggling without Andrew Luck. This team has been the victim of incompetent moves by former general manager Ryan Grigson. Indianapolis will need to take the best player available and Arden Key fits a major need for the Colts, who are without a reliable edge rusher.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) – Bradley Chubb (DE/N.C. State)
The Bengals don’t have a bad defensive front but Carlos Dunlap enters the final year of his contract and turns 29. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them find his replacement early, especially is none of the top tackles are available.
7. Cleveland Browns (0-8) – Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB/Alabama)
Cleveland will likely do what they always do and trade down their second first round draft pick, but if they stand pat, they will target the best available player. With Fitzpatrick, they can solidify a secondary that has Jamar Taylor and an underrated Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
8. Denver Broncos (3-5) – Derwin James (S/Florida State)
I’m not sold that the Broncos are going to take a quarterback, especially since Paxton Lynch hasn’t had a fair shake at the starting job. Instead, Denver can target the best available player. Darian Stewart turns 30 soon.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) – Da’Ron Payne (DT/Alabama)
Brandon Mebane has been a weak link on the Chargers defensive line and turns 33 in January. He very well could be a cap casualty, so expect the Chargers to replace him.
10. Chicago Bears (3-5) – Calvin Ridley (WR/Alabama)
Mitchell Trubisky is struggling, but it’s not entirely his fault as the Bears are completely devoid of talent at wide receiver. Expect them to find a new target for him this spring.
11. Baltimore Ravens (3-5) – James Washington (WR/Oklahoma State)
Another team with issues at wide receiver, Baltimore is stuck using a past-their-prime Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace along with a never-was Breshad Perriman.
12. New York Jets (4-5) – Lamar Jackson (QB/Louisville)
The Jets have recently said that they are open to bringing Josh McCown back. It’s unsurprising as McCown has been impressive for New York this year, but given that he is 38, it would be wise to find an understudy for the year.
13. Oakland Raiders (4-5) – Roquan Smith (LB/Georgia)
Oakland’s defense is far from great, especially in the middle where the recently-acquired NaVorro Bowman hasn’t made much of an impact.
14. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) – Ken Webster (CB/Ole Miss)
Justin Bethel has struggled this year for the Cardinals. Luckily for them, he is a free agent, but they will need to find a replacement.
15. Miami Dolphins (4-4) – Quenton Nelson (G/Notre Dame)
The Dolphins offensive line is in shambles, especially on the interior. The 33-year-old Jermon Bushrod enters free agency this spring and now is a great time for the Dolphins to move on.
16. Atlanta Falcons (4-4) – Sam Hubbard (DE/Ohio State)
A year after posting 15.5 sacks, Vic Beasley has just four sacks on the year. The Falcons need to bolster a pass rush that isn’t much more than middle-of-the-pack.
17. Green Bay Packers (4-4) – Kevin Toliver (CB/LSU)
The one fortunate part of the Packers losing Aaron Rodgers is that they can get a pretty good draft pick in return. The secondary in Green Bay is in rough shape. Kevin King was added last year, but more help is needed.
18. Detroit Lions (4-4) – Christian Wilkins (DT/Clemson)
Haloti Ngata is a 34-year-old free agent coming off of a torn triceps injury after the season. His replacement, Akeem Spence, struggled in Tampa Bay and hasn’t fared much better with his new team. Another piece up front is needed.
19. Washington Redskins (4-4) – Ronnie Harrison (S/Alabama)
DeAngelo Hall is playing well at safety, but in a small sample size. He turns 34 in 10 days and it’s fair to ask how much he has left in the tank.
20. Seattle Seahawks (5-3) – Orlando Brown (OT/Oklahoma)
Seattle acquired Duane Brown, but they are far from finished overhauling this offensive line. Brown would slide in at right tackle.
21. Buffalo Bills (5-3) – Taven Bryan (DT/Florida)
Buffalo traded Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville and Kyle Williams is at the tail end of his career. Adolphus Washington hasn’t proven he can be a starting-caliber defensive tackle at the NFL level.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3) – Josh Allen (QB/Wyoming)
Jacksonville has a stout defense and a quality running game, but they are still being held back at quarterback. Blake Bortles has turned into a game manager this year, but he’s not someone you can depend on in key situations. Jacksonville does have options in free agency (Kirk Cousins?), but until they bring someone in, replacing Bortles is their top priority in the draft.
23. Carolina Panthers (6-3) – Austin Bryant (DE/Clemson)
Julius Peppers continues to be productive, but at age 37, it’s hard to imagine there’s much left in his tank.
24. Minnesota Vikings (6-2) – Harold Landry (DE/OLB/Boston College)
Danielle Hunter enters the final year of his contract in 2018 and the Vikings may have a hard time retaining him. Even if he is retained, Minnesota can continue to bolster an already stout pass rush.
25. Tennessee Titans (5-3) – Tavarus McFadden (CB/Florida State)
Tennessee selected Adoree’ Jackson in the first round last year, but they aren’t done improving their secondary. Adding McFadden will allow Jackson to slide into the slot.
26. Dallas Cowboys (5-3) – Carlton Davis (CB/Auburn)
Jourdan Lewis has impressed as a rookie, but the Cowboys need to add another quality corner across from him.
27. Los Angeles Rams (6-2) – Denzel Ward (CB/Ohio State)
Trumaine Johnson is going to be a free agent this offseason and given how poorly he has played, there’s a good chance the Rams let him walk.
28. New England Patriots (6-2) – Martinas Rankin (OT/Mississippi State)
Nate Solder has struggled in 2017. With his contract about to expire, don’t be surprised if New England moves on.
29. Buffalo Bills (5-3) – Josh Allen (LB/Kentucky)
There is a decent chance two player with the same name get taken in the first round. This Josh Allen would potentially replace Preston Brown, who is nothing more than a stop-gap for the Bills after trading Reggie Ragland.
30. New Orleans Saints (6-2) – Matthew Thomas (LB/Florida State)
The Saints defense has vastly improved this season, but one area of weakness is linebacker. Thomas would replace Manti Te’o, who could become a cap casulaty this offseason.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) – Hayden Hurst (TE/South Carolina)
With neither Jesse James nor Vance McDonald particularly interested in seizing the opportunity to be the full-time tight end for the Steelers, Pittsburgh could look for a new safety valve for Ben Roethlisberger.
32. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1) – Courtland Sutton (WR/SMU)
Alshon Jeffery was signed this offseason, but he’s only here on a one-year deal. If he does leave, the Eagles will need to find a new big-bodied wideout for Carson Wentz.