Wow. It feels like forever since I wrote anything on this site. But the NFL Offseason is in full swing. Now that some of the top free agency decisions have been made, we have a better idea of the biggest holes on every team. There will be a lot of debate about which players are taken after #1. Here’s how I see it playing out as of now.
1) Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett (DE/OLB, Texas A&M)
Although he was hurt this year, Garrett still has to be the #1 pick. There’s not a single must-take QB in this draft, which makes Garrett the obvious choice at #1. He looks like he could be the next great pass rusher in the NFL… Don’t pass this up Cleveland.
2) San Francisco 49ers – Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)
This might feel like a reach, especially since this draft class is loaded with corners, but Lattimore is on another level. His ability to make plays and cover top receivers is unbelievable. The Niners already have a ton of young talent on their defensive line, so it’s time to improve their secondary. Lattimore is the best player available.
3) Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen (DE, Alabama)
Ignore the rumors about Allen falling due to his shoulder injury concerns; Allen is a freak of nature. There are some incredibly talented edge rushers in this draft, but none of them possess the versatility and skill that Allen does. He’s a can’t miss prospect for a team that could use some toughness on their defensive line. Take the risk Bears.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars – Malik McDowell (DE/DT, Michigan State)
McDowell is a wild card. Watch his tape against Notre Dame, and you might convince yourself that he’s the best player in this draft. Watch some of his other tape, and you might talk yourself out of drafting him. Like Jonathan Allen, McDowell is incredibly versatile. He can line up anywhere on the defensive line. He’s quicker than he looks. He has phenomenal hand technique. The Jaguars continue to build a bully of a defense.
5) Tennessee Titans (Via Los Angeles Rams) – Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)
This is a no-brainer. Davis is the most skilled wide receiver in the draft. He’s a refined route runner who creates separation with ease. He’d immediately be the top receiver in Tennessee. While I usually am against drafting wideouts this high, the Titans are one of the few exceptions to the rule. They already possess a top offensive line, an effective rushing attack, a top-tier TE, and a franchise QB. Davis is the missing piece.
6) New York Jets – Mitchell Trubisky (QB, North Carolina)
With the Josh McCown signing, the Jets have the luxury to take a project QB here at number 6. Sit Trubisky behind McCown for a year, and let him develop. Trubisky isn’t the next Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but he feels like a safe prospect that a team will be able to depend on in the future.
7) Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker (FS, Ohio State)
This is the wrong pick. Hooker is not worth it. He’s a very talented player, and he might end up being a top safety. But this draft class is absolutely LOADED with talented safeties that will be available on day 2. But the Chargers will make the pick anyway.
8) Carolina Panthers – Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
What a beautiful fit here. Cook is such a well-rounded back. He has fantastic vision, speed, agility, and his ability to catch out of the backfield will make him such a valuable asset. Putting him behind that Panther’s offensive line feels borderline unfair.
9) Cincinnati Bengals – Jamal Adams (SS, LSU)
I’m not a huge fan of Adams either honestly. I have no idea why him and Hooker are getting so much more respect than players like Budda Baker and Tedric Thompson. But he’s a highlight reel. He fits the Bengals perfectly. His smash-mouth style of play will add more toughness to an already physical Bengals defense.
10) Buffalo Bills – Teez Tabor (CB, Florida)
So Teez had a bad combine. Who cares? Watch the film. This guy looks like a future star at cornerback. Tabor would be a great fit next to Ronald Darby. Good luck throwing the ball against those guys.
11) New Orleans Saints – Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)
Something here just feels right. Fournette is a freak athlete, but he still lacks the vision and ability to fit in between small holes. Luckily, the Saints have a high powered passing attack and a great offensive line, which would take pressure off of Fournette. Yes, they should be looking to build their defense, but Fournette is too talented to pass up on here.
12) Cleveland Browns (Via Philadelphia) – Deshone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame)
After getting the best player, the Browns go for the QB with the most upside. I personally am not a huge fan of Kizer, but that doesn’t change the fact that if he reaches his potential, he’ll be a superstar in this league. He’s a big and strong QB too, which fits the AFC North perfectly.
13) Arizona Cardinals – Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson)
The Cardinals have a good enough roster to make a move like this. Carson Palmer isn’t getting any younger. Watson isn’t ready to start in the NFL on day 1. This is a perfect match. Watson could take over within a few years, and the time he spends developing could be crucial.
14) Philadelphia Eagles (Via Minnesota) – Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)
Watson’s favorite target gets taken one pick later. Mike Williams paired up with Alshon Jefferey will create a ton of mismatches for opposing corners. Not to mention that if Williams reaches his potential, the Eagles can let Alshon go next year and roll with him. I’m not ridiculously high on Williams, but this feels like a nice fit.
15) Indianapolis Colts – Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah)
Bolles is the exact opposite of the type of player that the Colts have been known to draft, which is exactly why they should draft him. He would add more toughness to a soft offensive line. He can line up on either side too, which only makes him more valuable.
16) Baltimore Ravens – John Ross (WR, Washington)
Joe Flacco loves his speedy targets. Ross would be perfect for a team that is still lacking a star wideout. Pairing him with Perriman would put an immense amount of pressure on opposing safeties. It might be a bit of a reach, but it makes sense.
17) Washington Redskins – Curtis Samuel (WR/RB, Ohio State)
After losing Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, the Redskins desperately need a playmaker. Samuel can do a little bit of everything. He can line up in the backfield, he can line up in the slot, he can line up outside. He can make tough catches too. Samuel is the real deal.
18) Tennessee Titans – Reuben Foster (ILB, Alabama)
You may notice a reoccurring theme here, but I’m not buying into the Foster hype. But this isn’t a mock draft based on what moves I would make. It’s based on what I think could happen. Foster would be a great fit in Tennessee, and he’s been hyped as the best inside linebacker in this draft. I’ve seen him mocked as high as 2. The Titans won’t pass up on this opportunity.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee)
Barnett looks like one of the best pass rushers in this class. The Bucs have lacked a dominant pass rush over the course of the last few seasons. He’s too talented to pass up on here.
20) Denver Broncos – OJ Howard (TE, Alabama)
There are a few interesting options here. The Broncos could take one of the other talented safeties. They could gamble on a guy like Cam Robinson. But in the end, they lack offensive firepower. Howard looks like a future star at the tight end position. Regardless of who the QB is next year, it would be nice if they could have a reliable safety blanket to lean on. Howard can be that guy.
21) Detroit Lions – Solomon Thomas (DE, Stanford)
Solomon Thomas feels like this year’s “oversized Pac-12 defensive linemen who’s pretty talented, but who’s stats were inflated by playing against small Pac-12 offensive lines.” I’ve seen him ranked as a top 10 prospect. I wouldn’t go that far. Falling to about 20 feels right for him. This is a nice fit.
22) Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp (OG/OT, Western Kentucky)
This is a big reach, but it’s probably the best option for the Dolphins. Lamp will likely not be available by their second pick, and he could add a nice versatile dynamic to the Dolphin’s offensive line. Watching him against Alabama really sold him for me; he managed to hold his own against a slew of future NFL stars.
23) New York Giants – Cam Robinson (OT, Alabama)
The Giants need to improve that offensive line… Robinson definitely has some question marks, but he also showed signs of massive potential. Watch him against Texas A&M, and then you’ll understand why he’s worth the risk here.
24) Oakland Raiders – Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford)
This is actually unfair. McCaffrey might be the most skilled running back in this whole draft. He does everything well. He would be useful in the passing game. He can run out of the shotgun or the I-formation. He can return punts. He’d make the Raider’s passing AND running game that much more dangerous.
25) Houston Texans – Patrick Mahomes (QB, Texas Tech)
Until we see an actual Tony Romo transaction, the Texans will be in dire need of a new signal caller. Mahomes isn’t perfect by any means. He’s can be overly ambitious and erratic at times. But his natural talent is incredible. He can make throws that very few QBs can make. Even if Romo does come to Houston, Mahomes could be a nice developmental project. He’s worth the pick.
26) Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin)
The Seahawks need beef up that line. That’s it. That’s all they need to do. Draft 7 linemen. Seriously.
27) Kansas City Chiefs – JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, USC)
The Chiefs could use a big-bodied playmaker like Schuster. He would compliment Tyreek Hill perfectly, and would be a nice transitional piece as Jeremy Maclin gets older.
28) Dallas Cowboys – Carl Lawson (DE, Auburn)
At this point, the Cowboys should just build up their defense. Lawson is probably the best defensive player available at this point. There’s not really a glaring hole on the Cowboy’s defense… but there’s not a huge strong point either. So take the best player and let him make plays.
29) Green Bay Packers – Desmond King (CB, Iowa)
King is probably the best CB left at this point. The Packers need all of the help that they can get in the secondary, so this pick makes sense.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers – Tim Williams (OLB, Alabama)
Williams falling here could be huge for the Steelers. He has some off the field issues that might turn off some teams, but he’s too talented to fall out of the first round. He’s a tough minded player that will add some speed and intensity to the Steelers defense.
31) Atlanta Falcons – Charles Harris (DE, Missouri)
Harris would be a nice fit here. He just does everything well. He’s not an incredible athlete, which makes this an even better fit. Atlanta already has a ton of high speed players, so Harris wouldn’t need to overcompensate for that. He can line up all over the line and simply play his role.
32) New Orleans Saints – Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)
I don’t want you to think that I just randomly sent LSU players to the Saints… these picks just both make sense. White is fantastic in coverage. He does have some tackling issues to work on, but he’s probably the best combination of fit and talent that the Saints can get here.
Thanks for reading! A second Mock draft should be coming as more details about the draft fly in. Follow us on Twitter @TheMadManSports and subscribe to the blog! We’ll try to get more content up here for all of you supporters!
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