NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0: 4/27/17

It’s here! Months of anticipation, and the 2017 NFL Draft will finally take place from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous in the Rocky movies. The Draft will kickoff in just under three hours, and I am here with your 1st Round primer just in the nick of time!

This is less a mock draft, and more a look at what I believe teams will do tonight. I have it broken into three sections. First, what the team is most likely to do. Second, an alternative option that is probably also very likely. Third and finally, a sleeper option that a lot of people may not expect, but options that make a lot of sense for the teams involved.

Keep this pulled up as you watch the Draft tonight, see how many I hit on and ridicule me when I’m dead wrong! We’ll start with the Cleveland Browns and the #1 overall pick. The Browns are on the clock!

 

1 – Cleveland Browns

Most Likely: I cannot stress this enough Cleveland, please take Myles Garrett with this pick and STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! This is as slam dunk a pick at #1 overall as there has been in recent memory, probably since Andrew Luck to the Colts. This would be the Brownsiest thing the Browns have ever done if they take anyone other than Garrett.

Alternative Option: While I know I said they have to take Garrett or else face the mightiest of ridicule from just about everybody in football, it’s no secret that this league is driven by the quarterback position, so if the Browns convince themselves that Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson are going to be the QB that can turn this franchise around, then I guess it’s possible that they go quarterback with this pick.

Sleeper: There’s no way this pick is anything other than Garrett or Trubisky, but I think the Browns will stay open to a possible trade up until they make their selection. If some team makes them an offer they can’t refuse, I could see them making that move.

 

2 – San Francisco 49ers

Most Likely: This will be the first pick of the John Lynch era, and being a defensive player himself, I think it’s likely that the Niners will address the defense. Solomon Thomas is the player getting the most buzz for this pick, and Jamal Adams, who a lot of people believe is the second best player in this class behind Garrett, is also a possibility.

Alternative Option: Based on what I’ve read, it is looking like the 49ers will keep this pick, but they have been very much open to trading down, and I still believe that getting out of the #2 spot is their ideal scenario. If a team is in love with somebody not named Myles Garrett, I think the talent-starved Niners would be wise to accumulate some extra picks.

Sleeper: Leonard Fournette has been mocked to the Niners by some people, but I’m not sure if there are many in the know who believe this is a real possibility. Carlos Hyde is a talented back, but he has dealt with a ton of injuries during his time in San Francisco. If Lynch wants to make a splash with his first draft pick, Fournette could be that pick.

 

3 – Chicago Bears

Most Likely: Like the Niners, most expect the Bears to go defense with this pick, and there are a number of ways they could go. Whoever they would take here defensively would be an upgrade over what they have on their roster going into the Draft. I think the secondary is the area they are most likely to address with this pick, with safeties Adams and Malik Hooker or cornerback Marshon Lattimore the guys most likely to go off the board here.

Alternative Option: If they don’t go with a defensive back, improving along the D-Line is the next best option. If Thomas would slip past San Fran, I could see the Bears scooping him up. If he’s not available, Alabama DT Jonathan Allen would probably be next on their board. He’s versatile, and can really get after the quarterback. He’d be a fine pick.

Sleeper: You’re going to see me discuss a lot of trade scenarios here, and while the Bears have not been discussed heavily as a team likely to trade back, there could be a team looking to move up ahead of Jacksonville to grab Fournette or a quarterback.

 

4 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Most Likely: The Jags spent a lot of money this offseason to improve their defense, so the overwhelming belief is that they will go offense with this first pick, but I believe that’s only true if Leonard Fournette is available. If the Niners don’t take Fournette, the Jags will just have to hope a team doesn’t move ahead of them, and they’ll add Fournette to take some pressure off of Blake Bortles.

Alternative Option: Despite a free agency spending spree that focused on defense, they could certainly stand to add some more talent on that side of the ball. Jonathan Allen would be a great addition to the D-Line, while they are also rumored to really like Solomon Thomas if he would be available here.

Sleeper: I mentioned Blake Bortles before, and the jury is still out on whether he can be the QB to lead the next successful Jaguar team. The team has yet to pick up the 5th year option on his contract, meaning that they could be prepared to move on from him after this year. If that’s where they stand, I could see them shocking a lot of people and taking Trubisky or Watson with this pick.

 

5 – Tennessee Titans (from LA Rams)

Most Likely: I truly believe that the most likely option here for the Titans, who acquired this pick for the #1 overall pick last season, is to trade back with a team looking to jump ahead of the Jets to take either Trubisky or Watson (I’m looking at you Cleveland). They have two 1st Round picks, and have made it well known that they’d love to trade down and get back into the 2nd Round, after giving up their 2nd Rounder this year during the 2016 Draft.

Alternative Option: If they stay put at #5, they will probably look to go defense, as it’s possible that at least two of Allen, Lattimore, Adams and Hooker will be available to them. They could really use an upgrade at the cornerback position after cutting Jason McCourty, so I think Lattimore is the guy that would make the most sense.

Sleeper: With Marcus Mariota at the helm, the Titans’ offense is ready to join the ranks of the elite offenses in this league. For that reason, they could look to add another weapon with this pick. Early on in the pre-draft process, it was looking like Mike Williams or Corey Davis would be the ones the Titans could take here, but don’t be surprised if Alabama TE O.J. Howard comes off the board at #5 to Tennessee.

 

6 – New York Jets

Most Likely: The Jets are a team very far away from playoff contention in my opinion, and I think they are actually in a good spot to go with the best player available, regardless of position. In the middle of the Top-10, it’s looking like that’s likely to be a defensive player, with Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore, and Malik Hooker the players that have a chance to be available here. That would be fine with the Jets, as their secondary needs a ton of improvement.

Alternative Option: This could be a spot for a team to move up to get the player they covet, and the Jets have made it no secret that they are willing to field offers for this pick. If they aren’t in love with any of the players available, they’d be wise to trade back and accumulate some extra picks.

Sleeper: The Jets obviously think Bryce Petty could be their starting quarterback, and they took Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd Round last year, so they could be looking to give him a shot, but I think there’s a chance they could take a quarterback with this pick. I think Trubisky could be off the board by this point, but they could look at Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes as well.

 

7 – Los Angeles Chargers

Most Likely: The Chargers are another team that should be looking to improve their defense with this pick, and the secondary is the weakest unit on that side of the ball. I think the Chargers would sprint to the podium if Jamal Adams falls this far, but they’d be okay with Malik Hooker as well. They really missed Eric Weddle last year, so the best case scenario would be to get one of the two top safeties in this class.

Alternative Option: The defensive line had its struggles last season as well, outside of last year’s #3 overall pick Joey Bosa. There’s a chance Jonathan Allen could fall here, and I’d expect the Chargers to heavily consider him if that happens. Solomon Thomas is more of a pipe dream, but I’d fully expect him to be the pick if he’s available at #7.

Sleeper: Philip Rivers isn’t getting any younger, so this is another potential landing spot for a QB. If they really love the potential of a Mahomes, Watson or Kizer, they could use this pick to grab them and have them learn the system for a season or two behind Rivers.

 

8 – Carolina Panthers

Most Likely: If you would have asked me about what I thought the Panthers would do here as recent as a couple weeks ago, I would have told you something way different than what I’m about to. Christian McCaffrey to the Panthers is the popular pick as we inch closer and closer to the Draft, and I think it has gotten to the point where I’ll be shocked if anything else happens here.

Alternative Option: Panthers’ GM Dave Gettleman loves his linemen, so making an addition to their depth on the defensive line is certainly another way they could go. If Allen or Thomas would fall to here, I’d expect the Panthers to heavily consider either of those guys. Derek Barnett is another potential D-Lineman that they could go with here.

Sleeper: It is unlikely that Leonard Fournette will be available at #8, but if he is, I believe they would choose him over McCaffrey or a defensive player. I could also see them making the move to go up and get Fournette in the Top-5, because he fits their offense perfectly.

 

9 – Cincinnati Bengals

Most Likely: It’s looking more and more like this is the spot where we’re going to see our first linebacker come off the board. Haason Reddick is gaining a lot of steam in draft circles, and he would fill a need perfectly for the Bengals. Reuben Foster is another option, as long as they are okay with his medicals and his attitude.

Alternative Option: If not a linebacker, defensive end would be the spot I’d expect them to look, with Derek Barnett being the most likely option. I doubt Solomon Thomas gets here, but I believe they’d take him if he did. Taco Charlton could be another option, but they would probably look to trade down if they coveted him.

Sleeper: The Bengals spent a 2nd Round pick on Tyler Boyd last season, but when A.J. Green was hurt, wide receiver became a weak position for them. They are likely to have their pick of the litter if they go receiver here, with Mike Williams and Corey Davis being the probable targets.

 

10 – Buffalo Bills

Most Likely: Speaking of pass catchers, I get the feeling that the Bills are most likely to address that part of their offense with this selection. Williams and Davis are again likely choices, but I think tight end O.J. Howard would bring the most to this Bills offense, and I think he’s the guy they will probably choose if they keep this pick.

Alternative Option: I could see the Bills trading up or down from this pick, but they’ve made it known that they would like to move down and get an extra pick or two later in the draft. I’m not sure what team would move up to here, but the Bills will be motivated to trade this pick if possible.

Sleeper: They brought back Tyrod Taylor, but I could see this as another landing spot for one of the top quarterbacks. Bills’ brass is rumored to love Deshaun Watson, so if that’s true, I could easily see them going that route.

 

11 – New Orleans Saints

Most Likely: With Drew Brees still under center, the Saints are again going to have a terrific offense. That is why they are most likely to go defense with this pick, and I think they will go front seven with this pick. Derek Barnett, Haason Reddick and Reuben Foster are the guys I would expect them to be choosing from if available

Alternative Option: They have needs all over their defense though, so secondary is certainly an option as well, more specifically at cornerback. If Lattimore would fall, the Saints could scoop him up. I believe they’ll also consider guys like Tre’Davious White, Marlon Humphrey and Gareon Conley (as long as they are comfortable with his potential off-field issues) are possibilities.

Sleeper: There are a lot of teams who could take a quarterback in the 1st Round this year either due to struggles or aging. The Saints fall under the latter category. They could very easily draft a developmental quarterback to learn under a sure-fire Hall of Famer like Drew Brees.

 

12 – Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)

Most Likely: The Browns got this pick as part of the package for the #2 overall pick last year. That pick was Carson Wentz, and I think the Browns will try to use this pick to go back up into the Top-10 and get Mitchell Trubisky. It is rumored that they’ve had discussions with at least four teams in the Top-10 about potentially trading up, and it makes all the sense in the world.

Alternative Option: If they keep this pick, I am to assume that they would have taken Myles Garrett #1 overall, which would lead me to believe they go offense here. Mike Williams, Corey Davis or O.J. Howard would be the most likely choices, with John Ross or a falling Christian McCaffrey also possibilities.

Sleeper: Joe Haden really struggled last season, and opposing offenses had a field day throwing against the Browns’ secondary. They could double down on 1st Round defenders and go with a Lattimore, Adams or Hooker if they fell. I don’t think they’d do it unless one of those three were available though.

 

13 – Arizona Cardinals

Most Likely: The early teens seems like the linebacker sweet spot, as everything I’m seeing leads me to believe the Cardinals are most likely to go linebacker in this spot. Reddick or Foster are the usual suspects, with Jarrad Davis being a reach, but a possibility. They could also look for an edge rusher like Charlton or Takkarist McKinley.

Alternative Option: If they want to make one last run at a title with Carson Palmer at QB, getting him a receiver to play opposite Larry Fitzgerald would be a smart move. Williams, Davis or John Ross would all be solid picks at this spot.

Sleeper: Another team with an aging quarterback, I’ve felt all along that DeShone Kizer and Bruce Arians are a match made in heaven, and if the Cards go quarterback here, I still, despite evidence to the contrary, believe Kizer is the one they’d go for.

 

14 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)

Most Likely: There are a number of ways the Eagles could go with this pick, but I think addressing the cornerback position appears to be the best bet. If they are comfortable with Gareon Conley’s off-field issues, it has been said that they really like him as far as on-field goes, so I could see them taking him. Marlon Humphrey is another likely choice.

Alternative Option: Their pipe dream would be for Christian McCaffrey to fall here, and I could see them entertaining the idea of moving up to get him, but I think they stay put, and getting an offensive playmaker is an option. They are known to like John Ross and Dalvin Cook, while Corey Davis and Mike Williams are also certainly potential picks for the Eagles.

Sleeper: Connor Barwin struggled at times last year, so I could see the Eagles trying to improve their pass rush with this pick. Derek Barnett is the most likely choice, but I could see them taking a guy like Taco Charlton as well if available. I won’t rule out Haason Reddick either if he falls to them.

 

15 – Indianapolis Colts

Most Likely: It’s a very weak offensive line class, but the Colts need to do a better job protecting their franchise quarterback, so being able to potentially grab one of the top offensive linemen in this class should be too good to pass up. Some think it’s Cam Robinson, others Ryan Ramczyk. Some like Garret Bolles, while Forrest Lamp has gotten some buzz as well. Regardless, I think it’s most likely one of those guys ends up in Indianapolis.

Alternative Option: If they don’t go offensive line, I would expect them to move to the other side of the ball and make an addition to their front seven. Haason Reddick is again a possibility, as are pass rushers Derek Barnett and Takkarist McKinley.

Sleeper: There is word today that the Colts are talking to teams in an attempt to move up into the Top-10, and their reported target if they do that would be Christian McCaffrey. Frank Gore won’t play much longer, so it makes sense that they would covet a player like McCaffrey.

 

16 – Baltimore Ravens

Most Likely: I had trouble trying to figure out what this team is most likely to look for with the 16th pick in the 1st Round, but I settled on getting Joe Flacco some help offensively with a playmaker. I think Mike Williams would be their ideal pick, but John Ross would be another good option.

Alternative Option: They have plenty of needs on the defensive side of the ball too, so I could easily see them going that route. Infusing some youth on the edge is where I think they’d go, with Barnett and McKinley, as well as Taco Charlton and Charles Harris being potential targets there.

Sleeper: While I mentioned that it is a weak offensive line class, Ravens’ GM Ozzie Newsome loves to draft linemen, and they lost Ricky Wagner and Jeremy Zuttah this offseason. Cam Robinson to the Ravens has been mocked by a few experts, so don’t be surprised if that happens on Thursday night.

 

17 – Washington Redskins

Most Likely: The Redskins are mostly set on offense, so I expect them to focus on defense early in this draft. Linebacker is their weakest position on defense, so I think that would be their main focus with this pick. I doubt Haason Reddick would get past them here, and Reuben Foster is another option if he is falling. If those two are taken, Jarrad Davis could be the pick. There’s another rumor floating around that they are enamored with the potential that Jabrill Peppers has. That could be an option as well.

Alternative Option: There’s been a lot of talk about the Skins looking to trade back in the 1st Round, and that makes sense for a team very talent starved on the defensive side. If a QB is falling, maybe a team jumps up into this range to grab them.

Sleeper: I said they are mostly set on offense, but they could use an upgrade in the backfield to take some pressure off of Kirk Cousins. If Christian McCaffrey slips to them, I believe they would think long and hard about him. Dalvin Cook is another possibility, and he is likely to be available.

 

18 – Tennessee Titans

Most Likely: The Titans are a good team that could move into great team territory with two 1st Round picks this year. I mentioned that their most likely option at #5 is to trade back into the early teens, so if that happens, it all depends what they do with that pick in order to determine what they do here. I think this ends up being the offensive pick for them, with players like Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Davis and tight end David Njoku likely being the selection.

Alternative Option: If they would go offense with their first pick, I’d expect them to address the secondary with this pick. Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White are a couple corners that I believe they’d be interested in here, and it wouldn’t shock me to see them take a versatile weapon like Jabrill Peppers.

Sleeper: There’s a good chance the Titans move back from #5, and they moved back from the #1 overall pick last year, so why not move back again? They could go from no 2nd Round picks to two or three 2nd Rounders with another trade back.

 

19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Most Likely: Dalvin Cook. It’s as simple as that. Some teams are concerned about Cook off the field, specifically the people that he surrounds himself with, but his college coach Jimbo Fisher says that Cook is one of the hardest working players he’s ever coached. The talent is evident as well. The Bucs’ running back situation is very cloudy, so Cook makes a whole lot of sense. It might be concerning to keep him in Florida, but for a team ready to fight for a playoff spot, it’s worth the risk.

Alternative Option: If they don’t go running back, I think their next best option is to get Jameis Winston another talented pass catcher. David Njoku would be who I believe best fits what they need, as he would immediately be an upgrade over Cameron Brate. If Mike Williams is still available though, I could definitely see them taking him to line up on the opposite side of Mike Evans. That would be a heck of a 1-2 punch at wide receiver. Who do you double-team?

Sleeper: Most experts believe the Bucs will go offense in the 1st Round, but they could use some upgrades on the other side of the ball as well. Grabbing a linebacker like Reddick or Foster is a possibility, and Derek Barnett would be a great pick if he fell to #19.

 

20 – Denver Broncos

Most Likely: Denver really needs to upgrade their offensive line, and they are in a good spot to do that here at #20, as they can take an offensive lineman and not be reaching for it. They’ve had a few of the top prospects in for visits, including Garret Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk. Cam Robinson could be enticing as well. I don’t think they take Forrest Lamp, only because he projects as a guard, and they really need the help at left and right tackle.

Alternative Option: With DeMarcus Ware’s retirement, the Broncos need to address the pass rush opposite Von Miller at some point in this draft. There are a number of talented pass rushers, including Charles Harris, Taco Charlton, Derek Barnett and Takkarist McKinley that could be potential choices at #20.

Sleeper: There have been reports today leading up to the start of the Draft that the Broncos are a team looking to trade up. Their likely target is unknown, but the speculation is that they love Christian McCaffrey, and besides the fact that he’s an extremely talented player, the family connection is right there, as his dad Ed won a couple Super Bowls with the Broncos.

 

21 – Detroit Lions

Most Likely: This 1st Round could be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory, but one team that appears to be taking one of a few specific players, rather than a position, is the Lions. I believe they are most likely to take Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis with this pick. The Lions struggled at linebacker last season, and they released their best one, DeAndre Levy, this offseason. Davis makes sense for the Lions for a whole lot of reason.

Alternative Option: Those that don’t have the Lions taking Jarrad Davis have them going offense and taking Miami tight end David Njoku. The Lions drafted Eric Ebron #10 overall a few years back with the idea that he would become one of the top pass catching tight ends in the league. It’s safe to say that Ebron has been a bust thus far, so adding a tight end who plays a similar style to Ebron coming out of college would be the Lions hitting the reset button and trying again. And if you’ve watched Ebron play, you certainly wouldn’t blame them.

Sleeper: It’s not a pressing need, but I could definitely see the Lions adding to their depth at the cornerback position. Their top two played extremely well last season, but if they get hurt, there is next-to-nothing behind them. Quincy Wilson makes a lot of sense, as he has the ability to play inside or outside. This would probably be a slight reach if they took him, but he fits what they’re looking for.

 

22 – Miami Dolphins

Most Likely: I fully expect the Dolphins to upgrade their offensive line with this pick, and Forrest Lamp is the guy that I believe they would target. They’re most pressing need on the line is inside at guard, and that is where Lamp, who many experts believe is the most talented offensive lineman in this class, projects best in the pros. If the Dolphins prefer a tackle prospect, Cam Robinson or Garret Bolles make sense.

Alternative Option: The weakest position on the defensive side of the ball for the Fins last year was linebacker, so it’s certainly possible that they’d look for an upgrade there with this pick. Jarrad Davis makes sense, as does Zach Cunningham from Vanderbilt.

Sleeper: I haven’t seen many mocks with the Dolphins taking a cornerback or safety, but I believe they could stand to improve at both of those positions. Marlon Humphrey is like a better Byron Maxwell, so that appears to be a fit. I think they could consider UConn safety Obi Melifonwu or Jabrill Peppers in this spot as well.

 

23 – New York Giants

Most Likely: This is another team that is likely to address their poor offensive line. The Giants would love to see one of Garret Bolles, Cam Robinson and Ryan Ramczyk available with this pick. I truly believe they would take any of those three guys if available.

Alternative Option: Another popular pick among mock drafts for the Giants is David Njoku. Will Tye is not a starting tight end in this league, and a threat at tight end is exactly what this offense needs to become nearly unstoppable after adding Brandon Marshall in free agency. Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram has been gaining some 1st Round buzz, and I think this is a spot where he could go.

Sleeper: Eli Manning is not only getting older, but he’s dealing with some off-field issues as well right now (alleged to be part of a fake memorabilia scheme). Don’t be surprised if the Giants snatch a QB like Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson if they see a Draft Day slide.

 

24 – Oakland Raiders

Most Likely: The Raiders got their man in Marshawn Lynch, so they can really focus on defense early and often in this draft. Linebacker is the weakest position on the roster, and even though GM Reggie McKenzie has not drafted a linebacker before the 4th Round during his tenure with the Raiders, now is the time to get a potential star at that position. I believe this is the floor for Reuben Foster if he slides, while Jarrad Davis and Zach Cunningham are the other two guys I would expect the Raiders to take if available.

Alternative Option: There are lots of holes in the Raiders’ defense, so if they choose not to go linebacker, getting a cornerback or defensive tackle are options as well. Kevin King or Gareon Conley (if they are okay with his off-field issues) would be good picks at corner, and Malik McDowell, while a risk, could turn out to be a great defensive tackle in this league.

Sleeper: If any of the top quarterbacks fall in the 1st Round, the Raiders could be sitting in the sweet spot for a trade back. The Texans are expected to take a QB early, and they pick next. There are no shortage of teams picking late in the 1st (Kansas City, Pittsburgh, New Orleans) or early in the 2nd (San Francisco, Chicago, NY Jets, Jacksonville) who could look to move ahead of the Texans to grab a Mahomes or Watson.

 

25 – Houston Texans

Most Likely: The most likely scenario for the Texans is to take a quarterback. This team is ready to compete for a Super Bowl, and the only thing they are missing is a QB. They will probably pray that Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson is available here, but I could see them taking DeShone Kizer as well.

Alternative Option: If the top QB’s are all off the board, the Texans could look to improve their offensive line while drafting a developmental quarterback in one of the next couple rounds. Forrest Lamp or Garret Bolles would be great picks here late in the 1st Round.

Sleeper: The Texans lost A.J. Bouye to Jacksonville in free agency, so I could see them using their 1st Round pick to replace him. I think they would target a guy like Quincy Wilson or Kevin King if they go that route.

 

26 – Seattle Seahawks

Most Likely: There’s a common theme among teams picking in the 20’s, and that is their need to upgrade along the offensive line. Unfortunately, there are only four offensive linemen in this class that are worthy of being 1st Round picks. I believe the Seahawks would pounce if Cam Robinson lasts this long, but Garret Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk would be good picks for them as well.

Alternative Option: Seattle would love to trade out of this spot, and there are already rumors that they are planning a swap with the Atlanta Falcons that would give Seattle an additional 4th Round pick. So look for the Seahawks to trade out of this pick.

Sleeper: The Seahawks have been shopping Richard Sherman this offseason, so they could look to add his potential replacement at corner with this pick. Kevin King is a hometown guy, and he fits their defense perfectly.

 

27 – Kansas City Chiefs

Most Likely: Derrick Johnson suffered an achilles injury near the end of last season, and their defense suffered mightily without him. He could never be the same guy, and he’s getting up there in age anyway, so I expect the Chiefs to go linebacker with this pick. I think they’d love if Jarrad Davis fell this far, but Zach Cunningham is the more likely selection.

Alternative Option: Can Alex Smith be a Super Bowl winning quarterback? I don’t think so, and I think there are people within the Chiefs’ organization who feel the same way. If Patrick Mahomes is available here, I think the Chiefs take him.

Sleeper: Marcus Peters is one of the top cornerbacks in the league, but they could use an upgrade on the other side of the field. Kevin King, Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White are all potential picks for KC.

 

28 – Dallas Cowboys

Most Likely: The Cowboys always seem to be tough to predict, and that is even more difficult this year given the uncertainty all across the 1st Round. I think Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett will look to upgrade the secondary, and it might be a reach, but USC corner Adoree’ Jackson just seems like the type of prospect the Cowboys would take here.

Alternative Option: If they don’t address the secondary, I think they’ll look to upgrade the pass rush, and Taco Charlton would be a slam dunk pick if he lasts this long.

Sleeper: I said that Dallas was most likely to upgrade their secondary, and a player that hasn’t been mocked to them by many, but that I believe they would love to have, is Jabrill Peppers. I think Garrett and D-Coordinator Rod Marinelli would figure out exactly how to use him.

 

29 – Green Bay Packers

Most Likely: T.J. Watt. This is another player-team combo that I feel really good about happening. The Packers need to improve on the edge, and Watt played at Wisconsin, just like brother J.J. It almost seems to perfect to actually happen, but I think it does.

Alternative Option: I like the idea of the Packers improving in the secondary, especially after losing Micah Hyde in free agency. Tre’Davious White and Adoree’ Jackson make a lot of sense for Green Bay if they are available.

Sleeper: They can’t really go into the season with Ty Montgomery as their starting running back, can they? If Dalvin Cook slides, I could see the Packers being a nice landing spot for him. Joe Mixon and Alvin Kamara are getting some 1st Round buzz, so they could be options as well.

 

30 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Most Likely: For a second consecutive season, I expect the Steelers to use their 1st Round pick to upgrade their secondary. I think safety makes the most sense, with Jabrill Peppers being a fantastic pick if he’s available. Obi Melifonwu and Budda Baker are options as well.

Alternative Option: The Steelers would like to upgrade their pass rush as well, as James Harrison can’t possibly play very much longer, and Jarvis Jones left in free agency this past offseason. Taco or Takkarist could be options, as could T.J. Watt if he gets past the Packers.

Sleeper: Ben Roethlisberger contemplated retirement this offseason, so it’s definitely possible that they could look to draft his eventual successor. DeShone Kizer has drawn comparisons to Roethlisberger, so I like that pick a lot.

 

31 – Atlanta Falcons

Most Likely: I mentioned that the Falcons have had discussions with the Seahawks already about moving up in the draft, so I think it’s very likely that they make that move. They’ve made it known that they want to improve their pass rush, and it’s believed that Missouri outside linebacker Charles Harris is their target.

Alternative Option: I believe they could stay put and still have a chance to get Harris. Another pick that has been popular in mock drafts is Jordan Willis from Kansas State. Most scouts have him as a 2nd-3rd Round talent, but he has been gaining steam as a potential 1st Rounder.

Sleeper: I could see the Falcons adding an offensive lineman here as well if any of the top four guys (Bolles, Ramczyk, Robinson or Lamp) falls to them here.

 

32 – New Orleans Saints (from New England)

Rather than tell you what the Saints might do with their second pick in the 1st Round in the fashion I have with the other picks, I’ll tell you what I think they’ll do based on what they might do with their first pick.

D-Line at #11: If the Saints go with an edge player at #11, I think they’ll look to upgrade their secondary here, with a number of talented safeties likely to be available here. Tre’Davious White or Quincy Wilson at corner are options as well. They could also go wide receiver here if John Ross or Corey Davis would fall.

Linebacker at #11: Same as above, but throw in edge rushers like Takkarist McKinley, Taco Charlton and Jordan Willis as possibilities.

Secondary at #11: They will likely go edge rusher or wide receiver here if they grab a corner or safety with their first pick.

NFL Mock Draft Version 2.0: 4/25/17

As I type this, we are less than 48 hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft! The schedule for next season was released last week, and now all attention will be focused on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for this year’s highly anticipated draft!

Last week I revealed the first version of my mock draft, which was a look at who I believe the teams should take in the 1st Round on Thursday. For this, Version 2.0, I have THREE rounds of picks, looking at what I think will transpire come Thursday and Friday. First, some specifics:

  • Picks are listed in a “Round.Overall Pick” fashion. For example, when you see “1.14” that means it is the 1st Round, overall pick #14.
  • I have decided to include trades in this mock. Trying to predict trades is nearly impossible, but trades will happen, they always do, so I gave it a shot to see which teams could look to move up or down, and what they’ll be doing with their new picks if/when the trades occur.
  • This mock was done over the course of a few days, so some picks were made prior to some news being released about some players. I have provided additional insight where those players fell in my mock.

I will have one more version of my mock draft that will be posted Thursday morning in advance of the start of the draft, and that edition will be less like a mock draft, and more like a draft primer, looking at each team in the first round, what they are most likely to do, as well as some alternative options.

Without any further delay, here is Version 2.0 of We Love Sportz’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft!

Round 1 

 

1.1 – Cleveland Browns

Pick: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Do the smart thing Cleveland, please, do the smart thing for once and just take Garrett here. Quit messing around with the idea of taking Trubisky here, and don’t be stupid just this one time. You might still have a chance to get your quarterback, so stick to your board and take the top player. That player is Garrett.

 

1.2 – San Francisco 49ers

Pick: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

It is well known that the Niners would love to trade back from this spot, but I struggle to see them getting an offer that they feel is worth the #2 overall pick. Because of that, I think they will stay put and draft a defensive lineman in the 1st Round for the third straight season (2015-Arik Armstead 1.17, 2016-DeForest Buckner 1.7). If a team would trade up here, I see Carolina, Arizona or Buffalo as the teams interested.

 

1.3 – Carolina Panthers (from Chicago)

Trade Details: Carolina gets 1.3; Chicago gets 1.8, 2.40, 2.64, Future 6th Rd Pick

Pick: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

There are two players that the Jaguars, picking next, covet most according to rumors, and they are Thomas and Fournette. I believe that these two players are likely at the top of the Panthers’ board as well. This is a big price to pay, as the Panthers will now be without another pick until the end of the 3rd Round, but I think it’s worth it to get the best running back in the class, one that fits what the Panthers want to do perfectly. An alternative trade package would be 1.8, 2.40 and next year’s 2nd Round pick, but the Panthers are already without a 4th next year, so I don’t see them wanting to already be down to five picks in next year’s draft.

 

1.4 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

The Jags get stuck here, as their top two options go off the board. They’ll listen to trade offers, but won’t get one to their liking, so they’ll stay put and grab another versatile defensive lineman to go with Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell. I feel you can never have too many talented players in the trenches. Allen would give the Jags one of, if not the, best defensive lines in the NFL.

 

1.5 – Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee via LA Rams)

Trade Details: Cleveland gets 1.5, 3.100, 2018 4th Rd Pick; Tennessee gets 1.12, 2.52, 3.65, 2018 6th Rd Pick

Pick: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Remember earlier when I said the Browns might be able to still get their quarterback? I’m not convinced that the Jets will go quarterback at 1.6, but I think most teams will operate under that assumption. The Browns have a bevy of picks with which to make the Titans an offer they can’t refuse. Tennessee is able to get back into the 2nd Round and move up to the top of the 3rd Round with this trade, while still having two 1st Round picks. Everybody wins here.

 

1.6 – New York Jets

Pick: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

This may come as a surprise to people who have been following the draft process, but word on the street is that Conley’s stock is skyrocketing. A guy who early in the process was expected to be a 2nd or 3rd Round pick now has the potential to be the first defensive back drafted. The injury concerns with his former teammate Marshon Lattimore and a clearer need at corner than safety are the reasons I think the Jets go with Conley.

*Update: Conley has been accused of sexual assault, news that came to light on Tuesday 4/25, just two days before the draft. The alleged crime took place a few weeks ago, but it is still terrible timing. That likely means there’s no way he goes this high, and he will likely slide at least to late in the 1st Round. Conley has yet to talk to police, and likely will not do so until after the draft. That makes him a major risk.

 

1.7 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

The Chargers’ war room would be absolutely ecstatic if the board fell this way. They have a huge need at safety, and they’d get their pick of the litter. Most mocks have them landing Hooker because Jamal Adams would be off the board, but I think Hooker is a better fit for what they want to do anyway.

 

1.8 – Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

Pick: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Yes, I do realize this would make three straight members of Ohio State’s secondary going in the Top-10, but these guys are that good. A lot of people believe the Bears would go with Lattimore at 1.3, so to acquire a couple 2nd Round picks and still get their guy, a brilliant move by the Bears.

 

1.9 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Is this the biggest need for the Bengals? No, and I’d argue that it’s not a need at all. But the Bengals have made it known that they would like to improve at the running back position, and many experts believe that McCaffrey could go in the Top-10. The likely landing spot would be Carolina if they stay at 1.8, but after going up to get Fournette, McCaffrey drops right into the Bengals’ laps.

 

1.10 – Buffalo Bills

Pick: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

As far as value goes, this is a clear reach. The O-Line class this year is not very strong, but it is a consensus among scouts that Robinson has the highest ceiling, and there are rumblings that some teams will be comfortable reaching for OL help in the 1st Round. Enter the Bills, who could use an upgrade at tackle. They had Robinson in for a visit, so the interest is there.

 

1.11 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama

The Saints’ linebacking corps was among the weakest in the league last season. They signed Manti Te’o, but he is not the answer. With Foster falling out of the Top-10, I’d expect the Saints to pounce, as he will be a difference-maker in their defense from day one. They are wasting some great seasons from Drew Brees due to a lackluster defense. The improvement of said defense would continue with this pick.

*Update: I was at this point in the mock prior to the news of Foster’s diluted drug test at the Combine. I do believe this could cause him to slide, but I still expect him to go in the 1st Round.

 

1.12 – Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland via Philadelphia)

Pick: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The Bears moved down and still got their guy, and the Titans do the same thing here. I think they might prefer to get one of the top corners, but almost every mock I’ve seen has Adams going in the Top-10, so for him to be available at 1.12, I think the Titans would sprint to the podium with this pick. ESPN’s Scouts Inc. has Adams rated as the #2 overall prospect in this year’s class. Incredible value for the Titans.

 

1.13 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

You can call this a hunch, but I’ve felt all along that Kizer is the quarterback that Bruce Arians wants, and I don’t think he’ll be able to wait until the 2nd Round to get him. It makes the most sense for the Cards to get Carson Palmer’s eventual replacement, and Kizer will benefit greatly from getting to watch from the sidelines for at least one season.

 

1.14 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)

Pick: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Do I think the Eagles should go wide receiver with this pick? No, but I get the feeling that if Williams falls to them and Reuben Foster doesn’t, then Williams will be the pick. I would also expect them to shop Jordan Matthews if they take Williams. I think their biggest weakness is in the secondary, but it’s a deep class there, so they can address it later on.

 

1.15 – Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

As with Cam Robinson earlier, this is probably much too early for Ramczyk, but teams are going to reach for help along the offensive line, and the Colts need that more than maybe any team outside of Seattle. They need to do a better job protecting Andrew Luck, and Ramczyk can start at RT from the get-go.

 

1.16 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

After trading Timmy Jernigan to Philadelphia, the Ravens have a gaping hole in their roster on the defensive line. They can choose to go with an edge rusher to eventually replace Terrell Suggs, but Barnett, who is more a power rusher that can play on the edge or inside, is a much better fit. Position versatility is the key here, but in addition, the analytics crowd LOVES Barnett. If he can produce like they believe he will, he’s an absolute steal at 1.16.

 

1.17 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Washington)

Trade Details: Tampa Bay gets 1.17; Washington gets 1.19, 4.125, 2018 4th Rd Pick

Pick: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

There are rumblings that O.J. Howard could be a Top-5 pick, but I think that’s the media overblowing his stock. I think it’s certainly possible that he goes earlier than this, but if he falls, I think the Bucs would love to add him to their offense. They give up a couple 4th Round picks to jump ahead of Tennessee and give Jameis Winston another huge weapon.

 

1.18 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Double down on 1st Round defensive backs? Only because the Bucs jumped them to grab Howard. The Titans major weakness last year was their secondary, and they did sign Logan Ryan in free agency, but he is best suited playing in the slot. For that reason, they get Humphrey here, a guy who has the skill set necessary for a #1 cornerback. The secondary is well on its way to becoming a strength for this team.

 

1.19 – Washington Redskins (from Tampa Bay)

Pick: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

The Redskins are able to move back, acquire a couple 4th Round picks, and still get a player they’d have been happy taking at 1.17. Reddick has been a workout warrior in the pre-draft process, boosting his stock big time at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. He played defensive end at Temple, but he projects as a three-down linebacker in the league. The Redskins certainly could use one of those.

 

1.20 – Denver Broncos

Pick: Garret Bolles, OT, Utah

The Broncos had Bolles in for a visit, and as long as they are comfortable with his attitude, this pick makes too much sense for it not to happen. Regardless who’s playing quarterback, they need to do a better job protecting him. Bolles has the potential to be one of the best left tackles in the league.

 

1.21 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

There are some durability concerns with Davis, but after cutting DeAndre Levy, the Lions need to look to improve their linebacking corps early in this draft. I think Haason Reddick would be a dream scenario for them, but he went two picks earlier, so they go with Davis, who has the ability to play inside or outside, but he is one of the best run stoppers in this linebacker class.

 

1.22 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: Forrest Lamp, OG/OT, Western Kentucky

This is another team that I would think would be all over Reddick if he got to this point, but with both Reddick and Davis now off the board, I think the Dolphins would move to another position and improve their interior offensive line. Some scouts think Lamp is the most talented offensive lineman in this class, but they also think he is best suited at the guard position. Miami got their left tackle last year in Laremy Tunsil, and they might get their left guard this year.

 

1.23 – New York Giants

Pick: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss

There are no shortage of places for the Giants to go here if the draft would fall this way. Many expect them to go linebacker, but they haven’t taken one in the 1st Round since the mid-80’s. With Davis and Reddick off the board, it’s even less likely than usual. They could also draft their quarterback of the future, but I think they are built to win now, and I think they’ll lean towards getting Eli Manning another weapon. Engram’ stock is gaining a lot of momentum, and many think he’ll go in the 1st Round. Add him to the Giants’ pass catchers and that offense becomes that much scarier.

 

1.24 – New York Jets (from Oakland)

Trade Details: NY Jets get 1.24; Oakland gets 2.39, 3.70

Pick: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Call this a hunch, but I get the feeling that the Raiders really would love to trade out of this spot to acquire another pick in a deep draft class. With only two quarterbacks off the board so far, the Jets make a move to go get Watson, knowing there’s no way he lasts to 2.39. I think they personally favor Watson to Mahomes, and decide to jump the Texans to get him. Watson isn’t ready to start right away, but he’s a winner, and the Jets haven’t been doing much winning lately.

 

1.25 – Houston Texans

Pick: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech

Even though the Jets jumped them to get Watson, Bill O’Brien happily takes Patrick Mahomes here. Mahomes said that he feels the Texans really like him, and I have a hard time seeing him fall past this pick come Thursday night. Mahomes has the strongest arm in this class, but he’ll have a lot of adjustments coming from an Air Raid offense at Texas Tech. I would think they’ll give him a shot to win the starting job, but he’ll ultimately sit out this year, which will benefit himself and the Texans in the long run.

 

1.26 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Kevin King, CB, Washington

This pick just screams Seahawks. They are actively shopping Richard Sherman, so they obviously are looking to switch it up in the secondary. King is tall (6-3), big (200 lbs) and extremely physical. He will fit in perfectly in Seattle.

 

1.27 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

There are lots of varying opinions in the draft community on Cunningham, but he has the potential to become a standout inside linebacker for whichever team takes him. He’s extremely rangy and shows terrific instincts. He’s an inconsistent tackler, but with Derrick Johnson coming off an injury and not getting any younger, the Chiefs would be wise to draft his eventual successor here.

 

1.28 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan

Another prospect with a lot of question marks, but also an extremely high upside, I just feel like Jabrill Peppers is meant to be drafted by Jerry Jones. Peppers is too small to play linebacker, but he doesn’t have the coverage or ball skills to be a top safety (or so some scouts believe). He is a true tweener, but the other thing his is, is a football player. Peppers will be a special teams dynamo, and Jason Garrett will find a way to utilize him on defense. I think Peppers will be a difference maker in the mold of Tyrann Mathieu, and what team wouldn’t want that?

*Update: Peppers, like Reuben Foster, had a diluted drug test at the NFL Combine. There are varying opinions as to what “diluted” necessarily means, but it’s certainly possible this could cause him to fall out of the 1st Round, which was a possibility before this news anyway.

 

1.29 – Jacksonville Jaguars (from Green Bay Packers)

Trade Details: Jacksonville gets 1.29; Green Bay gets 2.35, 4.110, 2018 6th Rd Pick

Pick: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

I could easily see Green Bay making this pick, but I see them more likely to shop the pick to a team wanting to come up to grab either Cook, Corey Davis or John Ross, all falling skill players in my projection. The Jaguars are looking to contend right now, and they could use an improvement in the backfield. Cook is not without his concerns (off-field, inconsistent workouts), but his pure talent makes him a steal at the end of the 1st Round.

 

1.30 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: John Ross, WR, Washington

There is belief that John Ross could drop due to concerns over his durability at the next level. He missed the entire 2015 season due to injury, and there’s a rumor that at least six teams have taken him completely off their boards. I’m not sure if Pittsburgh is one of those teams, and wide receiver is not necessarily a need for the Steelers, but I think the idea of having Ross and Antonio Brown on opposite sides of Big Ben might be too great to pass up.

 

1.31 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri

Vic Beasley is a star on one side of the defense for the Falcons. Here they have their pick of a few edge rushers to pair with him. I think Harris is the perfect blend of size and speed for a rush linebacker. Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Jameis Winston better be ready to see a couple physical freaks coming at them when they play Atlanta next season.

 

1.32 – New Orleans Saints (from New England)

Pick: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

This would be a fabulous 1st Round for the Saints. Get a potential All-Pro middle linebacker at 1.11, then jump all over Taco Charlton at the end of the round. This would be one of those inexplicable draft slides that occur just about every season. Charlton might be the best pure pass rusher in this class not named Myles Garrett. Put Charlton opposite Cameron Jordan, and with Reuben Foster at middle linebacker, this defense will be transformed.

 

Round 2

 

2.33 – Cleveland Browns

Pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

I think Davis is the best wideout in this class, but there are concerns about his ability to stay healthy and his level of competition playing in the MAC. Bologna, I say. Is it possible for the Browns to have this good a draft? It’s possible, but they’ll find a way to screw things up like always.

 

2.34 – Los Angeles Rams (from San Francisco)

Trade Details: LA Rams get 2.34; San Francisco gets 2.37, 5.149

Pick: David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)

Not a great spot for the Niners, so they move back three spots and pick up an extra 5th Round pick. Njoku is a 1st Round talent who falls here, and the Rams take the opportunity to go up and get Jared Goff a potential big time target at tight end.

 

2.35 – Green Bay Packers (from Jacksonville)

Pick: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

The brother of J.J. isn’t quite at the level of his older brother, but he’s a talented rusher off the edge in his own right for sure. He’s getting some 1st Round buzz, especially to Green Bay. If the Packers could trade back, pick up a couple more picks and still get Watt, I think they’d be doing pretty good for themselves.

 

2.36 – Chicago Bears

Pick: Jordan Willis, OLB/DE, Kansas State

After trading back and nabbing a shutdown corner in the 1st Round, the Bears grab a talented edge rusher whose stock is rising in a big way as we get closer and closer to the draft. You can never have too many pass rushers. I think I might have said that earlier. Oh well, it’s still true.

 

2.37 – San Francisco 49ers (from LA Rams)

Pick: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

I hate the fact that this person is going to be drafted at all, especially this high, but he will, and the 49ers make a lot of sense. The Niners are bad, and when you are bad, you need to take some risks in an effort to get better. This would be a huge risk, but the potential rewards are astronomical.

 

2.38 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA

The Chargers take a player here that could go as high as the middle of the 1st Round. Joey Bosa needs a partner on the other side of the line, and McKinley is a great pass rusher in a class full of them.

 

2.39 – Oakland Raiders (from NY Jets)

Pick: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

This is someone that I see the Raiders taking in the 1st Round, so to drop back into the 2nd Round and still get him would be fantastic on their part. There are motivation concerns with McDowell, but if anybody can get the most out of him, it’s probably Oakland.

 

2.40 – Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

Pick: Obi Melifonwu, S/CB, Connecticut

The Bears picked up this selection by moving back in the 1st Round, and they use this pick to grab another defensive back. Melifonwu boosted his stock with an impressive performance at the Combine. He’s likely a safety to start his career, but could shift to corner if he progresses like some believe he will.

 

2.41 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Josh Jones, S, NC State

Reggie Nelson left last season in free agency, and the Bengals subsequently struggled on the back end last season. Jones is great against the run already, and has the potential to become great in coverage as well. He is an extremely physical player, and that will allow him to fit seamlessly into the Bengals’ defense.

 

2.42 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State

One of the best playmakers in this draft, Samuel is flying under the radar a little bit. The Saints had pretty good success with a 2nd Round wideout from Ohio State last season, so they hope lightning strikes twice here. Drew Brees will love having a versatile weapon like Samuel.

 

2.43 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

In Version 1.0 of my Mock Draft, I had the Eagles taking Wilson in the 1st Round. If they can get Mike Williams AND Quincy Wilson in this draft, boy oh boy, what a coup that would be. Wilson is a ball hawk in the mold of former Eagle corner Asante Samuel.

 

2.44 – Buffalo Bills

Pick: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado

There are some draft experts who believe Awuzie is one of the most underrated players in this entire draft class. After losing Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots in free agency, the Bills need to address the secondary with an early pick.

 

2.45 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

Calais Campbell signed with the Jaguars in free agency, so the Cardinals look for his replacement here in Walker. Like Campbell, Walker is an end that has the ability to slide inside in certain sub packages.

 

2.46 – Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

Frank Gore’s career will end at any moment, so the Colts need to infuse some youth into that position. Kamara has a similar running style to Gore, but he is a much more talented pass catcher out of the backfield. Andrew Luck’s new best friend!

 

2.47 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina

Jones is one of my favorite players in this class, and I believe he has the potential to wind up as the best receiver from the 2017 draft class. With Steve Smith’s retirement, the Ravens need to try and replace that production. Jones is a great talent.

 

2.48 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple

The Vikings finally get a pick, and they immediately address their putrid offensive line. They definitely need help at tackle, but Dawkins is the best O-Lineman on the board here. He played tackle at Temple, but projects as a guard at the next level. Regardless, he’s an improvement over what they have right now.

 

2.49 – Washington Redskins

Pick: Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee

It’s clear that the Skins don’t see Kirk Cousins as their QB for the long haul. This is a slight reach, but Dobbs is probably the smartest quarterback in this class, and he will benefit from sitting behind Cousins for a season.

 

2.50 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Adoree’ Jackson, CB/WR, USC

As an athlete, there’s nobody better in this class than Jackson. He needs to improve his skills, but the athleticism is there. Jackson will struggle covering the bigger wideouts in the NFC South, but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his instincts and ball skills.

 

2.51 – Denver Broncos

Pick: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland

A virtual unknown prior to the draft process, the small school product is drawing comparisons to Gronk. At 6-6, 278 pounds, Shaheen is a physical freak at the tight end position. This is a popular prediction in mock drafts, but it makes total sense for the Broncos.

 

2.52 – Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland via Tennessee)

Pick: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

The Titans get this pick back from the Browns in the trade for the 5th overall pick, and after doubling up in the secondary in the 1st Round, the Titans get Marcus Mariota a talented pass catcher with the potential to be a #1 receiver down the line.

 

2.53 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

The Lions double up on Florida defensive players, as they have struggled to replace Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Brantley takes some plays off, but when he decides to turn it on, he is dominating on the inside. The Lions will have to make sure Brantley stays motivated.

*Update: Brantley was arrested a few weeks ago for allegedly knocking a female unconscious outside a bar in Gainesville. I can’t remember a time when this many prospects were getting into trouble with drug tests and the law this close to the draft. I think it is very likely that this event causes Brantley to slide, possibly out of the first three rounds.

 

2.54 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan

Speaking of Ndamukong Suh, he needs some help on the interior of the Dolphins’ defensive line, and Wormley is talented enough to be a very good partner for Suh. Wormley is a little smaller than Brantley, but he is also a little quicker. The Dolphins struggled against the run down the stretch, and this pick would help them improve in that department.

 

2.55 – New York Giants

Pick: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy

The Giants need a left tackle, and while I’m not sure if Garcia is that guy, at this stage of the draft, he’s the best O-Lineman available. He may be best suited at guard, but I think the Giants would be wise to start him at RT, and if he progresses well, possible move him to LT down the line.

 

2.56 – Oakland Raiders

Pick: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

I’ve seen White go as high as 1.11 to New Orleans, but I think teams will be concerned about his size (5-11, 192) and his poor ball skills. I don’t see those things bothering the Raiders, as they need the most help at slot corner, where White can start from the get-go.

 

2.57 – Kansas City Chiefs (from Houston)

Trade Details: Kansas City gets 2.57; Houston gets 2.59, 5.170

Pick: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

The Chiefs give up a 5th Round pick here to shoot for the moon. Prior to getting hurt during the pre-draft process, Jones was considered one of the top defensive backs in this class. He thinks he’ll be ready for the start of the season, but that’s a huge question mark. If he gets healthy and comes even close to his potential, he’ll be the steal of the draft here late in the 2nd Round.

 

2.58 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana

The Seahawks’ offensive line is downright awful, and while their biggest need is at tackle, they could use upgrades all across the line. Some scouts believe Feeney is the best pure guard in this class, so the Hawks would be wise to grab him here.

 

2.59 – Houston Texans (from Kansas City)

Pick: Budda Baker, S, Washington

For a playoff team, the Texans have a ton of needs. After getting their quarterback in the 1st, they grab an undersized, but very talented safety here with the potential to become a pro bowler in the future. Baker has drawn Tyrann Mathieu comparisons.

 

2.60 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

The Cowboys have never been ones to shy away from taking a troubled prospect, and Williams had his fair share of off-field issues during his time in Tuscaloosa. If he can straighten out his act though, he has the ability to be one of the best edge rushers in this class.

 

2.61 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas

It’s pretty simple, the Packers just cannot go into the season with Ty Montgomery as the starting running back. He is great as a change-of-pace back or a 3rd down back, but he’s not a bell cow. Foreman has some fumbling concerns, but he is a violent runner, and has the potential to be a stud.

 

2.62 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston

There’s a real possibility that Bowser could go a lot higher than this, as ESPN has him rated as a Top-30 prospect. The Steelers need an infusion of youth on the edge, as James Harrison can’t possibly play too many more seasons.

 

2.63 – San Francisco 49ers (from Atlanta)

Trade Details: San Francisco gets 2.63; Atlanta gets 3.66, 6.198, 2018 6th Rd Pick

Pick: Davis Webb, QB, California

Matt Barkley is not the long-term answer for the Niners. Neither is Brian Hoyer. Two 6th Round picks is a small price to pay to go up and get the guy that they think can develop into the long-term answer at quarterback. Webb has the prototypical size and arm strength of an NFL quarterback, and Kyle Shanahan is the perfect coach for him to develop under.

 

2.64 – Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

Pick: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

After going defense with their first three picks in this projection, the Bears address the hole in their roster left by Alshon Jeffery departure in free agency. Kupp has the size and the production (broke 15 FCS records), but he did not test well in the pre-draft process.

 

Round 3

 

3.65 – Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland)

Pick: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

They addressed their three biggest needs with their first three picks, so with this pick that they acquired from trading down in the 1st, they address another need by grabbing a versatile defensive end.

 

3.66 – Atlanta Falcons (from San Francisco)

Pick: Derek Rivers, OLB/DE, Youngstown State

Deciding that good pass rushers are a premium in this league, the Falcons decide to use a second straight pick on an edge rusher. Picking up an extra 6th Round pick allows them the ability to do this.

 

3.67 – Baltimore Ravens (from Chicago)

Trade Details: Baltimore gets 3.67; Chicago gets 3.78, 4.122

Pick: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

Having already made four picks, the Bears are afforded the luxury of moving back 11 spots and grabbing an additional 4th Round pick. Meanwhile, John takes the advice of his brother Jim and moves up to grab a 1st Round talent that Jim coached at Michigan who has slipped here due to some off-field issues (domestic violence accusations).

 

3.68 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan

The Jaguars’ offensive line was mediocre at best last year, so any improvement has to be considered a good idea. Some think Moton is better suited at guard, but the Jags can put him anywhere on the line and he’ll make that position better.

 

3.69 – Los Angeles Rams

Pick: Desmond King, S/CB, Iowa

After playing mostly cornerback at Iowa, most believe he is best suited at safety in the pros due to his height. That’s fine for the Rams though, as they need to improve on the back end.

 

3.70 – Oakland Raiders (from NY Jets)

Pick: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

This pick becomes a luxury for the Raiders, as they are able to add a guy that had a chance to be a 1st Round pick prior to a knee injury and the end of last season. With Jared Cook on the roster, along with a hopefully improved Clive Walford, Oakland can afford to let Butt heal properly (that’s hilarious), and reap the benefits when he gets healthy.

 

3.71 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh

The Chargers signed Russell Okung in free agency to shore up the left tackle position, but they could use an upgrade just about everywhere else on the line. Johnson has the potential to be one of the best guards in the league.

 

3.72 – New England Patriots (from Carolina)

Pick: Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio

The Patriots finally get to make a pick in this draft. They got this pick along with Kony Ealy from the Panthers, and they decide to make it an end-heavy trade by grabbing Basham here. The Pats don’t have many weaknesses, but the pass rush is something that they are likely to address in this draft.

 

3.73 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

When A.J. Green was injured last season, the passing game disappeared for the Bengals. For that reason, they are likely to add a wideout early in the draft, and Godwin has prototypical size for a receiver, and he tested well in the lead-up to the draft.

 

3.74 – Baltimore Ravens (from Philadelphia)

Pick: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State

After trading away Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens get the #1 center prospect in this draft in the 3rd Round to replace him. That has to be considered a big victory for Baltimore.

 

3.75 – Buffalo Bills

Pick: Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech

After moving to wide receiver last year for the Hokies, Hodges projects as a freakishly athletic tight end in the pros. He struggles with blocking, but he has the size necessary to develop into a good blocker. He’s a big play waiting to happen, and will be a nice addition to the Bills’ passing attack.

 

3.76 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (FL)

Coming into last season, Kaaya was right up there with the top prospects in this class, but he had an inconsistent season for the Hurricanes. He’s a project, but he’s got great size and a strong arm, and he’ll benefit greatly learning from a guy like Drew Brees.

 

3.77 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Tabor was a likely 1st Round pick entering the draft process, but off-field concerns coupled with alarmingly low 40-yard dash times have caused his stock to plummet. The Cardinals need somebody opposite Patrick Peterson, and Tabor has the skills to be a top corner in this league.

 

3.78 – Chicago Bears (from Baltimore)

Pick: Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh

The Bears gave Mike Glennon $15 million a year this offseason (mind-blowing, honestly), but that does not mean they should ignore the quarterback position in the draft. Peterman could be the sleeper at QB in this class, and the Bears would have a steal if he reaches his full potential.

 

3.79 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell

The Vikings double up on offensive lineman with their first two picks in this draft? I know Sam Bradford is on board with that! Their offensive line was putrid last season, it needs to be improved, and they will do so in this draft.

 

3.80 – Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Marcus Maye, S, Florida

It is inevitable with a class this deep that some really good defensive backs are going to fall into the 3rd Round and possibly even further. Maye has a 2nd Round grade from most scouts, and the Colts need a safety after Mike Adams left in free agency.

 

3.81 – Washington Redskins

Pick: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

While the Redskins have never been ones to invest heavy in the running back position, I just don’t think Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley will be able to get it done. Kareem Hunt is a thumper, and is an immediate improvement over what they have now.

 

3.82 – Denver Broncos

Pick: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama

The Broncos lost Malik Jackson in free agency before last season, and they never really replaced him. It showed, as they became one of the worst defenses against the run. Tomlinson is a massive interior presence, and will certainly help against the run and the pass.

 

3.83 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson

Delanie Walker is on the downswing of his career, so the Titans grab Leggett hoping that he can be Walker’s eventual replacement, but in the meantime, they can run some two TE sets and wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

 

3.84 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

It’s a very unclear situation at running back for the Bucs. Doug Martin will be suspended for three games, Charles Sims can’t stay healthy, and Jacquizz Rodgers certainly is not a feature back. Perine, though, has the potential to be a very productive back at the next level.

 

3.85 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Ziggy Ansah is a star on one side of the defensive line for the Lions, but he could use some help coming off the other side. Lawson has a ton of durability concerns, but if he can stay healthy at the next level, the Lions will have a steal at this point in the draft.

 

3.86 – Minnesota Vikings (from Miami)

Pick: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson

The Vikings address the trenches once again, just on the opposite side of the ball. Shariff Floyd played through injury last season and just wasn’t very effective. Watkins helps give the Vikings depth on the defensive line in case Floyd can’t regain his form again this season.

 

3.87 – New York Giants

Pick: Alex Anzalone, ILB, Florida

The only real weakness left at this point for the Giants is at the inside linebacker position, and there are a fair amount of mid-round prospects in this class that could turn out to be quality starters. Anzalone drops due to durability concerns, but he has the skills to be a three-down middle linebacker for the Giants.

 

3.88 – Oakland Raiders

Pick: Marcus Williams, S, Utah

Safety isn’t a need for the Raiders necessarily, but they could use some depth at the position after losing Nate Allen in free agency. Williams could also potentially replace the aging Reggie Nelson, whose contract is up after this season.

 

3.89 – Houston Texans

Pick: Dawaune Smoot, DE, Illinois

J.J. Watt spent most of last season on the sidelines due to injury, so I think the Texans will address the defensive end position early in this year’s draft just in case Watt’s issues linger this season. Smoot was a top prospect before a mediocre 2016 season.

 

3.90 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Zach Banner, OT, USC

The Seahawks have to fix this offensive line eventually, so they use two early round picks on lineman in this year’s draft. Banner is a project, but he is a massive human being, and definitely somebody that O-Line coach Tom Cable can work with.

 

3.91 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte

With Dontari Poe in Atlanta via free agency and the release of Jaye Howard, the Chiefs have a massive hole at the defensive tackle position. They added Bennie Logan, but depth is necessary, and Ogunjobi provides that at the very least.

 

3.92 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International

Jason Witten’s career has to be coming to a close sooner rather than later, so it’s time to start seeking out his eventual successor. Smith, at this point, is the blend of blocker and receiver that most closely resembles what Witten gives to this Cowboys’ offense.

 

3.93 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

I’m not sure if Moreau will actually fall this far, but a torn pectoral muscle suffered during a pre-draft workout has caused his stock to tumble. If he properly recovers, the Packers will have a steal near the end of the 3rd Round.

 

3.94 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State

I think the Steelers would much prefer to go safety here if they don’t address that position with their first two picks, but they settle for an undersized, but very talented corner to add some depth at that position.

 

3.95 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State

The Falcons continue to address their defense, which is no surprise considering they blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl (I’m sure they’re tired of hearing it, but it’s not going to stop). Scouts aren’t sure if McMillan can be a three-down linebacker in the pros, but he is improving in coverage and has that potential.

 

3.96 – New England Patriots

Pick: ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama

The Patriots have already addressed the pass rush, so they don’t really have any true needs left. That affords them the luxury of being able to take a versatile offensive weapon like Stewart at this point in the draft. The rich get richer.

 

Round 3 Compensatory Picks

 

3.97 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: Kendell Beckwith, ILB, LSU

Kiko Alonso played okay last season, but the Fins could really stand to improve the middle of their defense. Beckwith is better suited as an inside linebacker in the pros than his LSU teammate Duke Riley, who is arguably more talented.

 

3.98 – Carolina Panthers

Pick: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

The Panthers finally get their second pick after making the move up to get Leonard Fournette, and they use it to continue to try and shore up their protection for Cam Newton.

 

3.99 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Baltimore)

Pick: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama

Connor Barwin really struggled at times last year, so the Eagles should look to improve on the edge. Anderson is much more talented than players typically chosen at the end of the 3rd Round.

 

3.100 – Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee via LA Rams)

Pick: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama

The Browns attempt to add another weapon to help out Mitchell Trubisky down the line, and Everett is one of the best pure pass catchers in this tight end class. He falls due to his mediocre blocking ability.

 

3.101 – Denver Broncos

Pick: Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida

C.J. Anderson has been a very good back for Denver, but he’s been banged up at times, and they could stand to add some depth at the position.

 

3.102 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M

Myles Garrett got all the attention at Texas A&M, but Hall did a lot of good things on the opposite side. Some are concerned that Garrett made Hall better, but the Seahawks’ defensive scheme should make Hall better too.

 

3.103 – New Orleans Saints (from New England via Cleveland)

Pick: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado

Another very talented cornerback has slid down the board, and the Saints pounce, potentially adding a Day 1 starter at the end of the 3rd Round. The Saints are having a great draft here.

 

3.104 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Anthony Walker, ILB, Northwestern

There’s a chance 1st Round pick Zach Cunningham will be better suited at outside linebacker, so the Chiefs grab Walker here just in case that happens. Walker is a little undersized for an inside backer, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in talent.

 

3.105 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State

Le’Veon Bell is arguably the best running back in the league, but the Steelers do not have a whole lot of depth at the position, so they would be well inclined to add a back fairly early in this draft, just in case anything would happen to Bell.

 

3.106 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: John Johnson, S, Boston College

There’s a chance that Earl Thomas will leave in free agency after this season, so the Seahawks use an early pick on his potential replacement.

 

3.107 – New York Jets

Pick: Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn

Sheldon Richardson’s time in New York is coming to an end, so the Jets get his potential replacement with the last pick in the 3rd Round. Adams is not as versatile as Richardson, but he’s a disruptor in the middle, just like Richardson.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0: 4/18/17

You may not realize it, given that the NBA and NHL Playoffs are currently in full swing, but the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia is just over one week away! With that in mind, now seems like a good time for the first of two NFL Mock Drafts you will see here on We Love Sportz!

For the first edition, I will go through the 1st Round of the upcoming Draft and tell you who I think the teams should take, as if I were their general manager. With that being said, a fair amount of this will include my personal opinion, so you have been warned.

I will not be projecting any trades in this mock, but I will note some places where I could see some trades happening. Version 2.0 will come at some point prior to the Draft, and there I will mock some trades and give you a better idea what I think actually will happen. Read this mock as what I think should happen, not what will happen.

Let’s not waste any more time, here is Version 1.0 of We Love Sportz’s NFL Mock Draft!

1 – Cleveland Browns

garrett

Pick: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

There is no quarterback in this class worthy of the #1 overall pick, so despite Cleveland’s gaping hole at that position, they need to get the best player available, considering they have needs just about all over the field. Garrett has been compared to some of the best defensive ends in the league, and ESPN’s Todd McShay has him graded one point below where he had Khalil Mack graded coming out of college in 2014. You know, Khalil Mack, who in three seasons has been an All-Pro three times (at two different positions) and is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett is a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball, and he is the slam dunk #1 pick in this year’s draft. There are rumors that Leonard Fournette is still in play for the Browns at this pick, but if they are smart, they’ll take Garrett. Hang on, the Browns rarely do the smart thing. Seriously, I can’t stress enough how hard this will be to mess up. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Browns! *Update: They are trying to screw it up…*

2 – San Francisco 49ers

thomas

Pick: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

The 49ers are in a very similar situation to the Browns, in they have a big need at quarterback, but can take the best player available given all of the other holes on their roster. I could very easily see the Niners trade out of this spot to acquire more picks, but if they stay put, Thomas should be the pick. He put on a show in the Sun Bowl against Mitchell Trubisky and North Carolina, sending his draft stock toward the moon. He is a very good pass rusher, something the 49ers sorely lacked last season. He is also scheme-versatile, with the size to slide inside in a 4-3 alignment. There are a number of players that would make sense for San Francisco here, but Thomas fits the bill best.

3 – Chicago Bears

adams

Pick: Jamal Adams, S, LSU The Bears addressed their quarterback issue by moving on from Jay Cutler and signing former Buccaneer Mike Glennon to a contract that will pay him $15 million a season. Yeah, you read that correctly. I don’t believe that Glennon is even close to the answer under center for this team, but you don’t spend that kind of money on a quarterback if you don’t think you can win with him. With that in mind, I believe that Jamal Adams is the best defensive back in this class, and he could end up being the centerpiece of the next great Chicago defense. He is the smartest, most versatile safety in this class. He can play centerfield, or he can play in the box. He even has skills that allow him to slide into the nickel if absolutely necessary. Scouts also say that his team leadership skills are second-to-none. The Bears addressed the cornerback position in free agency by adding Prince Amukamara, B.W. Webb and Marcus Cooper for depth, so I think they can wait there given the deep class at corner. Jamal Adams would be a great pick for the Bears.

4 – Jacksonville Jaguars

fournette

Pick: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

I think Blake Bortles is an extremely mediocre NFL quarterback, but the Jaguars are giving him yet another season to prove that he can lead them to the promised land. With that in mind, they need to give him some help. The Jags spent a boatload of money on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, signing DL Calais Campbell, CB A.J. Bouye and S Barry Church. That leads me to believe that they will lean offense early in the draft, and if you want to take some pressure off of a struggling quarterback, give him a really good running back. The top back in this class is Leonard Fournette. He was considered a slam dunk Top-5 pick at one point, but now there are weight and durability concerns. That being said, he has Adrian Peterson-level talent, and if he reaches his ceiling, he’ll be one of the best backs in the league in no time.

 

5 – Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 31 CFP Semifinal - Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Clemson Pick: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State The Titans traded the 1st overall pick last season to the Rams, and it was a brilliant move. They have already begun to reap the benefits, and that will continue in this year’s draft, as a team on the brink AFC title contention gets a Top-5 pick in a great draft. They have a few needs on offense, but having the top corner in this class fall to them at 5 is something that I would expect them to jump all over. Lattimore is extremely athletic, and has great coverage and ball skills. The weakness of this defense was the secondary last season, and after adding Johnathan Cyprien and Logan Ryan in free agency, getting a #1 corner in Lattimore has them on the way towards turning it from a weakness to a strength.

 

6 – New York Jets

allen

Pick: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama

I had a tough time with this one, as the Jets have a whole lot of needs, number one on that list of needs being quarterback. If they fall in love with one of the top quarterbacks in this class (Trubisky, Kizer, Watson, even Mahomes), I could easily see them going that route, and I wouldn’t see an issue with it. I do not particularly like any of the top QB prospects this year for a variety of reasons, and I do not think the Jets would be best served going that route with this pick. Therefore, they go with the best player on the board, which I believe is Allen. He is versatile and he is great against the run and rushing the passer. Sheldon Richardson’s days in New York are numbered, and Allen is a great talent to add to this front seven. There are concerns about his shoulder, and his workout results weren’t fantastic, but watch the game film, and you could argue that he’s the most talented player in this class.

 

7 – Los Angeles Chargers

hooker Pick: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State This would be best case scenario for the Chargers. A very talented team that was riddled with injuries and bad luck, they have a chance to compete in the best division in football if things swing back their way in their first season in Los Angeles. They lost Eric Weddle to free agency last season, and it was clear that he was missed. Hooker has some of the same qualities as Weddle, as he has better ball skills and instincts than any defensive back in this class. The Chargers have a very good run defense, so they can live with Hooker’s limitations against the run. Hooker is a ball hawk, and he will completely change the Chargers’ defense. This pick would be a home run.

 

8 – Carolina Panthers

robinson

Pick: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

I really struggled making a pick here for Carolina. I think if Fournette were available, he’d be the pick no question, but I don’t see them going with McCaffery or Cook here. Cornerback is a huge need, but they have shown in past years that they do not value that position enough to take one in the Top-10. They are also very old at the defensive end position, and could use an infusion of youth, but I don’t think any of the pass rushers available at this point are deserving of a Top-10 pick. That leaves one true need position, and that’s the offensive line. I also do not believe there is an offensive lineman in this class that should go in the Top-10, but the Panthers need to do something about Cam Newton’s protection, and Robinson has the highest ceiling of any O-lineman in the class. He will go through some growing pains, and the Panthers will need to be patient, but he has the size and the potential to be their left tackle of the future. There have been rumors that teams could reach for offensive line help this season. There might not be a team that needs the help more than Carolina.

 

9 – Cincinnati Bengals

foster Pick: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama Linebacker is not an obvious need for the Bengals, but they cut Rey Maualuga, replaced him with Kevin Minter, who is not a long-term solution, and it seems like Vontaze Burfict’s Bengal career could end at any moment, since that guy appears to have rocks in his head. For those reasons, I think Reuben Foster will be very attractive to Cincinnati here at #9. He is not without his issues, as he had an incident at the Combine which resulted in him being sent home, and some scouts have said there are concerns with the company he keeps. Seems like he’ll fit right in with the rest of the Cincinnati defense! All jokes aside, Foster is an every-down linebacker, and if he can keep his head straight and stay healthy, he’ll be a fixture in the middle of this defense for a very long time.

 

10 – Buffalo Bills

howard

Pick: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Word on the street is that there are people in the Bills’ organization who love Deshaun Watson. I think this is too early for him, and after re-signing Tyrod Taylor, the Bills do not necessarily have a need at the quarterback position. If they want to make it work with Taylor, it would be best to give him another weapon, and I believe Howard is the biggest offensive weapon in this draft class. He was criminally underutilized at Alabama, and many scouts are excited for Howard’s potential in the NFL. Charles Clay is a good, not great tight end, so Howard is a clear upgrade. He has the size, athletic ability and skills to be one of the top tight ends in the league, and along with LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins, Howard could help turn the Bills’ offense into one of the best units in the AFC.

 

11 – New Orleans Saints

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 30 Music City Bowl - Nebraska v Tennessee Pick: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee I have to believe that Drew Brees’s days in this league are numbered, but for right now, he is still one of the top QB’s, and as long as he’s under center, the Saints have one of the top offenses in the NFL. They traded Brandin Cooks to New England this offseason, so they may look to add an offensive weapon here, but I think they’d be much better served adding more talent to one of the weakest defenses in the league. Cameron Jordan is fantastic, and the middle of the line is set with Nick Fairley and last year’s 1st Round pick Sheldon Rankins, but they do not get much production on the other side of that line. This is where Derek Barnett fits in. Some scouts believe Barnett is the best pure pass rusher in this draft class, and the best way to take pressure off of a struggling secondary is to get after the quarterback. Drafting Barnett gives the Saints one of the scariest D-line’s in football.

 

12 – Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 01 Western Michigan at Ball State

Pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

After taking Myles Garrett with their first pick (Seriously, Browns, don’t be stupid. Take Myles Garrett), I would expect them to switch over and look to add a weapon on offense, and with Leonard Fournette and O.J. Howard off the board, two players that I would definitely expect them to take here if available, the Browns could have their choice of wide receiver. There have been rumblings that they like Corey Davis a lot, and it just so happens that I too believe he is the top receiver in this class. Level of competition is a concern, as is durability, as he missed the Combine due to injury, but look at the tape, and you can see why this guy is a no-brainer 1st Round pick. He’s a great route-runner, has strong hands, and he can win the jump ball, making him a nice red zone target. Terrelle Pryor is in Washington and nobody knows what the situation will be with Josh Gordon, so getting a #1 target here in Davis makes a whole lot of sense. But then again, when have the Browns ever done the sensible thing?

 

13 – Arizona Cardinals

kizer Pick: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame Carson Palmer isn’t getting any younger, folks. With that in mind, I really believe it would best serve the Cardinals to draft his eventual successor, and while this is a weak quarterback class, Kizer has loads of upside. His ceiling is higher than any of the quarterbacks in this draft, and he seems like a Bruce Arians-type of quarterback. There is a lot of work that will need to be done for Kizer to reach that ceiling, but the Cards are a team that can afford to be patient with Kizer, given that they’ll have at least one more season of Carson Palmer. There are other positions they could address here that would help keep the team competitive in the short-term, but I think it’s time to start thinking about the future, specifically post-Carson Palmer.

 

14 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings)

wilson

Pick: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

If you know me, you know I despise everything Eagles. That makes it very difficult to give them credit where it’s due, but they made a couple fantastic trades before last season’s draft. Moving up to #2 to take Carson Wentz appears to be a great decision, as does getting back into the 1st Round this year by moving Sam Bradford to Minnesota. There are a number of different ways the Eagles could go with this pick, including running back or wide receiver to give Wentz another weapon, but I think they’d be best served addressing the secondary with this pick. Quincy Wilson has terrific ball skills, and if you were to design the perfect cornerback based on size and speed, he’s it, measuring over 6-1 and 211 pounds, running a sub-4.50 40-yard dash. His cover skills are not up to par with some of the other top corners in this class, but he has the tools to become a shutdown corner, and the Eagles could definitely use one of those.

 

15 – Indianapolis Colts

ramczyk Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin For a team picking in the middle of the 1st Round, the Colts have a crazy amount of needs to address. With 14 players off the board, you could argue that anything other than a quarterback makes at least some kind of sense for this team. The most glaring weakness on defense is at the linebacker position, and that makes Haason Reddick really hard to pass on here, but priority #1 for the Colts has to be protecting their franchise QB Andrew Luck, something that they have not been able to do, despite addressing the O-line early in the last few drafts. They need to keep doing it until they figure it out, and while there are some big concerns with Ramczyk, he is believed to be the best pure pass protector at the tackle position in this draft class. He will slot in immediately at right tackle and hopefully help keep Luck upright and healthy.

 

16 – Baltimore Ravens

NCAA Football: UCLA vs BYU

Pick: Takkarist McKinley, OLB/DE, UCLA

In my opinion, the Ravens have two major needs, one on each side of the ball. With Steve Smith’s retirement, one need is at wide receiver, and specifically, finding Joe Flacco a true #1 target. Mike Williams could turn into a #1 receiver, but when the Ravens have been successful, it has started with defense, and unfortunately, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil aren’t getting any younger. An infusion of youth on the edge is the other big need, and that is where McKinley comes in. The pass rush skills need some work, but there might not be a better guy for him to learn under than Suggs. When Suggs decides to retire, McKinley will seamlessly slide right into that spot in the Ravens’ defense.

 

17 – Washington Redskins

peppers Pick: Jabrill Peppers, OLB/S, Michigan Could the Skins draft the eventual successor to Kirk Cousins here? Sure. Could they improve the offense by adding an every-down running back or another talented receiver? They could. Do I think they should do either of those things here? No, I do not. They need a difference maker on defense, and there might not be a bigger potential difference maker in this draft class than Jabrill Peppers. He doesn’t really have a position, as he’s not good enough in coverage to play safety on every down, but he’s not big or strong enough to be an every-down linebacker. However, we have started to see these tweener prospects have a fair amount of success in the NFL (Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron come to mind), and when it comes to athleticism and football IQ, Peppers tests off the charts. It’s an added bonus that he is a dangerous weapon in the return game, and if he doesn’t become a Pro Bowl defender, he should surely be a Pro Bowl special teamer.

 

18 – Tennessee Titans

williams

Pick: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

If it hasn’t already happened, I would be fully expecting teams to be calling the Titans to move up to take either Trubisky or Watson (if the Cardinals would truly take Kizer over these two). However, I am not mocking trades here (as that is a futile exercise), so the Titans, having made a huge addition to the secondary with their first pick, get Marcus Mariota another weapon as they look to become a threat to win the AFC. John Ross could be in play here as well, but I believe Williams is the more well-rounded receiver, and he probably has the highest ceiling of any receiver in this draft class. The Titans love Tajae Sharpe, but I have my doubts whether he can become a #1 wideout in the NFL. Williams can, and he will certainly take some pressure off of Mariota entering his third season in the league.

 

19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

mccaffrey Pick: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford Jameis Winston, to my surprise, looks the part of a quarterback that can lead a championship team. He has a solid offensive line and a huge threat on the outside in Mike Evans. The one thing that Winston could use is an every-down running back, and in this draft class, that guy is McCaffrey. He is an absolute gamer, with a work ethic that is off the charts, and on top of that, he will instantly be one of the best receiving backs in the NFL. The Doug Martin situation is a huge question mark, but take McCaffrey, and the Bucs can just cut ties with Martin and line McCaffrey up behind Winston for many, many years. I am a big believer in McCaffrey, and I think he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl running back. The Bucs are really close, and I think this pick would get them even closer.

 

20 – Denver Broncos

NCAA Football: Washington at Utah

Pick: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

For a team just one year removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Broncos have a ton of holes to fill. New head man Vance Joseph does not have an easy task ahead of him. I’m sure John Elway and Joseph would love to add another offensive playmaker here, or get some help for the middle of the front seven (which was awful last season), but the biggest issue for this team in quarterback protection, and that is why they should go offensive line here, and Bolles is the best prospect at this juncture. Forrest Lamp may project as the better player, but he is better suited inside at guard. Bolles has the tools to be a future LT, and that is exactly what Denver is looking for. Whether it’s Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch under center, the Broncos need to do a better job protecting them. Bolles has some character concerns, and he only played one season of Division I football, but he has lots of potential, and it’s worth the risk for this team.

 

21 – Detroit Lions

reddick Pick: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple This is a match made in heaven, and I would be very shocked if this did not happen. DeAndre Levy was the only linebacker worth anything for Detroit last season, and they cut him. They also let Josh Bynes walk in free agency. They signed a couple new linebackers, but the guys they signed aren’t really going to improve the unit very much. Reddick will, though. He very much flew under the radar this past season, but put on stellar performances at the Senior Bowl and the Combine, skyrocketing up draft boards in the process. He is a former walk-on defensive back who transitioned to defensive end at Temple, but projects as an every-down linebacker at the next level. He had 22 tackles for loss and 10 ½ sacks last season at Temple playing on the edge, but he played some inside linebacker at the Senior Bowl and excelled. He has the athletic ability to play inside on 1st and 2nd down, and then slide outside to either drop in coverage or rush the passer on 3rd down. That makes him a 1st Round talent, and it makes him a perfect fit in a Lions’ defense that needs to improve.

 

22 – Miami Dolphins

lamp

Pick: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky

The Dolphins definitely outperformed expectations last season, especially down the stretch, nearly sneaking into the playoffs. They still have a very glaring weakness, and that is the offensive line. They struggle with health along the front, but even when healthy, the line could use some work. Some scouts believe Forrest Lamp is the top O-Line prospect in this class. He was a four year starter at left tackle for the Hilltoppers, but he projects as a guard at the next level, though one that will start from day one and be productive. Tackle prospects will always go higher, but Lamp is probably the most talented lineman that will be drafted this year, and he makes a ton of sense for the Dolphins. Linebacker is also a distinct possibility with this pick, but they signed Lawrence Timmons in free agency, so I think they can afford to address that spot later on in the draft.

 

23 – New York Giants

njoku Pick: David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL) No contending team needs offensive line help more than the Giants. That is why this scenario might be the worst case for the G-Men, with the clear top four O-Line prospects off the board already. If the Giants want to look towards the future, jumping on a quarterback would be the move. However, I believe that the Giants are built to contend for a title right now, and getting Eli another weapon could give them the most explosive offense in the league. Njoku is a 6-4, 246 pound athletic freak, and we have seen in recent years how much a talented pass catching tight end can transform an offense. Njoku ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, which is absolutely unreal for a man his size. After adding Brandon Marshall in free agency, getting Njoku as well to go with Sterling Shepard and OBJ gives Eli no shortage of options in the passing game. NFC East secondaries should probably be concerned at this scenario.

 

24 – Oakland Raiders

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Vanderbilt

Pick: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

The Raiders are ready to be Super Bowl contenders, but outside of making sure Derek Carr stays on the field, the biggest thing keeping them from becoming a legit title team is an extremely poor linebacking corps. Head Coach Jack Del Rio has said that improving the interior pass rush is a must, but there are no defensive tackle prospects worth taking at this point in the draft. A true three-down middle linebacker is what this defense desperately needs, and beyond Reuben Foster, Cunningham is the prospect best served for that role. He misses a fair share of tackles, and that is something that will need to get better in the pros, but he has incredible range, and is probably better in coverage than any inside linebacker in this draft class. The Raiders have been downright awful covering tight ends the last few seasons, and Cunningham can certainly help them in that department.

 

25 – Houston Texans

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 17 James Madison at North Carolina Pick: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina Talk about best case scenario. I have a hard time believing that the Texans won’t take a quarterback in the 1st Round one way or another, whether it’s by trading up or waiting to see who’s available at this pick. I have a hard time thinking that Trubisky will actually still be on the board here come Draft day, but he is in this projection, and the Texans should certainly jump all over him. Most experts believe Trubisky is the best quarterback in this class, and he is certainly the most pro ready. The tools are there for him to succeed, but he didn’t show a whole lot in his time at UNC. The Texans could certainly do worse at this point in the draft. Trubisky would start immediately for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

 

26 – Seattle Seahawks

NCAA Football: Washington State at Washington

Pick: Kevin King, CB, Washington

I think this is a pick that Seahawks fans could get behind. The cornerback isn’t necessarily a need position for Seattle, but will they trade Richard Sherman before or during the Draft? It certainly seems like both parties are interested in making that happen, and that would give the Seahawks a big hole in their defense. King is similar to Sherman, just more athletic, but probably a little less talented. King might be the most athletic cornerback in this draft class, and his stock has been rising rapidly of late. Many expect him to go in the 1st Round, and I think staying in Seattle would probably be the best possible landing spot for King.

 

27 – Kansas City Chiefs

watson Pick: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson I mostly believe the Chiefs should do this because I have never been a believer in Alex Smith. I think the Chiefs could be so much more with a better QB, and no signal caller in this draft class has a higher ceiling than the National Title winner from Clemson. Watson has his deficiencies, specifically his accuracy, but he has great arm strength, he is extremely mobile in the pocket, and he is a winner. That last thing might be the most important thing. It will benefit Watson immensely to be able to stay on the sidelines for his first season to learn everything that comes with being an NFL quarterback, and when he is ready to step in, he will be doing it for a very talented team in Kansas City. Another best case scenario situation for a prospect and a team.

 

28 – Dallas Cowboys

charlton

Pick: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Dak Prescott was a complete revelation last season as a 4th Round rookie QB, so much so that Tony Romo will be calling games for CBS this season. The emergence of Dak and fellow rookie Zeke Elliott have the Cowboys looking like perennial NFC champs. They still need a lot of work on the defensive side of the ball though, and finding a pass rusher should be the top priority. In this scenario, they have a few edge players that they can choose from, and I see them favoring Taco here. Outside of Myles Garrett, there might not be an edge player with better game film in this class than Taco. He is extremely physical as a rusher, and he uses his size and length to absolutely bully offensive tackles. I think lining him up opposite DeMarcus Lawrence would give NFC East quarterbacks a lot of nightmares.

 

29 – Green Bay Packers

conley Pick: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State As long as Aaron Rodgers is under center, the Packers will be Super Bowl contenders. That is why they should look to fill the biggest hole on their roster here, and that is in the secondary. I think I might’ve been able to throw for 300-plus yards against the Packers last season. That’s obviously an exaggeration, but it gives you an idea how poor their secondary was last year. I think they would be thrilled to see Conley fall here. There are rumors that some teams have Conley as the top cornerback on their boards, and that is in one of the best cornerback classes we’ve ever seen. The athleticism is there, and he has all the skills in the world, but there is concern with him matching up with the big, physical wideouts that are all the rage in the league right now. That might not be too big an issue in the NFC North now that Calvin Johnson is retired and Alshon Jeffery is in Philadelphia, and he is clearly the most talented corner available at this juncture. I think Green Bay would be thrilled to take Conley here.

 

30 – Pittsburgh Steelers

mahomes

Pick: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Hear me out on this one. The Steelers, as they sit right now, have to be considered one of the favorites to take the Super Bowl next year. They have some areas on their roster that they’d love to address with this pick, including at safety, cornerback, edge rusher and wide receiver, but Ben Roethlisberger surprisingly entertained the idea of retiring this offseason, which makes me believe that he may have one foot out the door. He has also dealt with a rash of injuries over the course of his career, and when he’s been out, they have struggled mightily. Landry Jones is one of the worst backups in the league, and he’s most certainly not the guy who should be Big Ben’s eventual successor. For those reasons, I think Patrick Mahomes to the Steelers makes almost too much sense. Mahomes has the best arm strength in this quarterback class, and he is a fearsome competitor. He’s a little smaller and quicker than Roethlisberger, but other than that, they have a lot of similarities. Mahomes will have some growing pains in the league having played in an Air Raid system at Texas Tech, but that is why being able to sit behind and learn from Roethlisberger could be so beneficial. The Steelers have other picks to address their current needs, so with Mahomes falling to this point, they absolutely should take him and start grooming him to become the eventual replacement for Ben Roethlisberger. This makes too much sense for it to actually happen.

 

31 – Atlanta Falcons

harris Pick: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri We should absolutely be talking about how the Falcons built a 28-3 lead on the Patriots, and were able to withstand an epic comeback attempt to knock off Tom Brady and win Super Bowl 51 in Houston last season. Instead, the Falcons enter this offseason with major question marks after squandering a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, suffering one of the worst losses in NFL history. There aren’t a whole lot of holes on offense, so I expect the Falcons to address their defense early and often in this draft, and it starts with giving Vic Beasley some help on the edge. Charles Harris is very much built in the mold of Beasley, and putting him on the other side would give opposing quarterbacks a lot to worry about. An ESPN scouting report describes Harris as a “Tasmanian devil type” pass rusher. I think adding a guy like that should be at the top of the Falcons’ wish list.

 

32 – New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots)

ross

Pick: John Ross, WR, Washington

The Saints acquired this pick when they traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Pats this offseason. After taking a pass rusher in Derek Barnett with their first pick, why not grab a potential Cooks replacement here in John Ross. I believe some teams will have Ross as their top wide receiver, so getting him with the last pick in the 1st Round could be a huge steal. He is just 5-10 and 188 pounds, but he has elite speed and acceleration, with the ability to make defenders miss after the catch or take the top off on a vertical route. Despite his size, he lined up in the slot a fair amount and Washington and was fearless going across the middle. It might be best to limit that in the pros to keep him healthy, as he does have some durability concerns, but he is a gamer and a big play just waiting to happen. Sounds a lot like the guy the Saints gave up to acquire this pick. I love John Ross a lot, and pairing him with Michael Thomas would keep the Saints’ offense among the best in the league.

 

Best Players Available:

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Adoree’ Jackson, CB/WR, USC

TJ Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State

Budda Baker, S, Washington

Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado

Josh Jones, S, NC State

Dion Dawkins, OL, Temple

Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina

Note – I have 15 players listed there that would go in the 2nd Round in this scenario, and I have seen all of those players on at least one mock draft leading up to the Draft, which goes to show how deep this draft class really is.

2016 NFL Draft: Team Grades

Just as quickly as it came, the 2016 NFL Draft has now gone, and it’s time to look at how each of the 32 teams did in setting themselves up for both current and future success through their selections.

On paper, it appears that some teams did a fantastic job, some made some very puzzling decisions, and others just did the complete opposite of what they should have. I am joined again by my friend and Fantasy Pros correspondent Jeff Greco (@jeffrey_greco on Twitter), as we analyze each and every selection, and assign a grade for each team. We’ll start in the AFC East!

*Picks are listed by – Round (overall selection) Player, Position, College*

AFC East

Buffalo Bills
1 (19) Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
2 (41) (from Chicago) Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
3 (80) Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State
4 (139) Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
5 (156) Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas
6 (192) Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU
6 (218) Kevon Seymour, CB, USC

Jayson: A-
“Rex Ryan probably thought he was having a wet dream when Shaq Lawson fell to him at #19. He’s a perfect fit as Mario Williams’s replacement. Trading up to get Reggie Ragland in Round 2 was smart. He’s a 1st Round talent, and could be the Bills’ starting MLB for a long time. The only pick I dislike is Cardale Jones in the 4th. I don’t see him becoming even a serviceable back-up in the NFL. Other than that pick, this was a great draft for Buffalo.”

Jeff: B-
I thought the Bills came away with a pretty decent haul. They filled some need on the defensive line and at linebacker early in the draft with good picks like Ragland and Lawson. Sixth Round pick Listenbee could easily be the team’s 3rd WR by season’s end. However, I thought they needed to add an OT to help protect whomever lines up at quarterback. They did not.”

Miami Dolphins
1 (13) (from Philadelphia) Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2 (38) Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
3 (73) Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama
3 (86) Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
6 (186) (from Miami via Minnesota) Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech
6 (204) Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State
7 (223) Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky
7 (231) Thomas Duarte, WR, UCLA

Jayson: B
“The “Gas Mask” incident just minutes before the start of the draft caused Laremy Tunsil to fall, and the Dolphins should reap the benefits of that. LT wasn’t necessarily a big need, but they got the best player available, and he’ll help protect Tannehill. I like Kenyan Drake, but I wish they could’ve gotten more of a workhorse-type RB like Kenneth Dixon. Jakeem Grant and Thomas Duarte are two late picks that could help this team as early as this season. Grant especially as a Darren Sproles-like weapon. I just wish they would have done a little bit more on the defensive side of the ball.”

Jeff: B+
Miami did a pretty good job of drafting for need and getting good value. Getting Tunsil 13th overall is a steal. I loved the Xavien Howard pick. Drake may have been selected early, but they needed RB help. My only criticism is that I didn’t think they needed to draft three pass catchers, even though I like Carroo pick.”

New England Patriots
2 (60) Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama
3 (78) (via New Orleans) Joe Thuney, G, NC State
3 (91) Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State
3 (96) Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska
4 (112) (from New Orleans) Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
6 (208) Kamu Grugier-Hill, CB, Eastern Illinois
6 (214) Elandon Roberts, ILB, Houston
6 (221) Ted Karras, G, Illinois
7 (225) (from Dallas via Seattle) Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State

Jayson: C-
“Not exactly the best draft on paper, but in Belichick fashion, I’m sure at least a couple of these guys will turn into good NFL players. They needed O-Line help, but more at tackle than guard, and they took two guards. Jacoby Brissett in the 3rd Round was entirely too early, especially for a team without a glaring need at QB. I think it was a failure to not address the DE position after trading Chandler Jones to Arizona.”

Jeff: C+
I thought some of the Patriots’ picks were good, like G Joe Thuney. However, others like Jacoby Brissett were not. I think they needed a DE or OLB after trading Chandler Jones, but they only chose interior linemen and linebackers. Grugier-Hill was a reach. Wideouts Mitchell and Lucien could be steals.”

New York Jets
1 (20) Darron Lee, ILB, Ohio State
2 (51) Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
3 (83) Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia
4 (118) Juston Burris, CB, NC State
5 (158) (from Washington) Brandon Shell, OT, South Carolina
7 (235) (from Los Angeles via Houston and Denver) Lachlan Edwards, P, Sam Houston State
7 (241) Charone Peake, WR, Clemson

Jayson: C
“I don’t understand the Hackenberg selection. I’m not saying he can’t become a decent NFL quarterback, but I don’t think this is the right fit for him to begin his career. I love the Lee, Jenkins and Peake selections. All could be steals relative to where they were picked. The low grade is because I feel that they didn’t address their needs as well as they could have.”

Jeff: C+
Again I thought the Jets should have drafted an OT earlier than the 5th Round. They did address many of their other needs fairly well. Hackenberg has potential and fills a need, but is a reach in the 2nd Round. Picks like Burris and Shell filled needs, but weren’t necessarily the best value.”

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens 
1 (6) Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
2 (42) (from Miami) Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State
3 (70) Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU
4 (104) Tavon Young, CB, Temple
4 (107) (from Miami) Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati
4 (130) (from Denver) Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska
4 (132) Willie Henry, DT, Michigan
4 (134) Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
5 (146) (from Jacksonville) Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State
6 (182) Keenan Reynolds, WR, Navy
6 (209) Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia

Jayson: A-
“I was a little surprised the went OT at #6 overall, but it’s a terrific pick in my eyes. Stanley will develop into a good starting LT. After trading back to collect picks, they nailed the 4th Round. Young will be great in the slot from day one, and Willie Henry is a space eater in the middle. They got one of my favorite players in the draft at the end of that round in RB Kenneth Dixon. I think he could be the starter by the end of this season, definitely by next season.”

Jeff: B+
I thought the Ravens did a damn good job filling needs at great value. Tavon Young is my least favorite pick, even though he fills a need. Bronson Kaufusi is one of my favorite picks, even though he doesn’t fill a huge need. Kenneth Dixon in the 4th is a steal and he will compete for carries.”

Cincinnati Bengals
1 (24) William Jackson III, CB, Houston
2 (55) Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
3 (87) Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State
4 (122) Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
5 (161) Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State
6 (199) Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss
7 (245) Clayton Fejedelem, S, Illinois

Jayson: B+
“They addressed a lot of needs, and at terrific value. Tyler Boyd will be the starter opposite A.J. Green, and I think that benefits Green, and it benefits Boyd for fantasy purposes at the least. LOVE Billings in the 4th Round. I have no idea why he lasted as long as he did, but the Bengals brass should have been doing backflips in anticipation of that pick. Westerman and Core are both great late picks as well, and could both contribute this season.”

Jeff: B+
Some experts had Jackson III as the best CB in the draft, so getting him at 24th overall is good value. Billings in the 4th Round is not only great value, but he fills a need. The only thing keeping them from an “A” is their WR’s (Boyd and Core), both of whom I am not a fan of.”

Cleveland Browns
1 (15) (from Los Angeles via Tennessee) Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
2 (32) Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
3 (65) Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
3 (76) (from Los Angeles via Tennessee) Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn
3 (93) Cody Kessler, QB, USC
4 (99) Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin
4 (114) Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn
4 (129) (from Carolina) Derrick Kindred, S, TCU
4 (138) Seth Devalve, WR/TE, Princeton
5 (154) (from Oakland) Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
5 (168) (from Carolina) Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
5 (172) Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
5 (173) Trey Caldwell, CB, Louisiana-Monroe
7 (250) Scooby Wright III, ILB, Arizona

Jayson: C+
“Quantity over quality? It would appear so for the Browns, which I actually think, at least the quantity part, is smart. They have so many holes, and I think they did a good job giving themselves options, but some of the picks were questionable. Nassib, Kessler, Louis, and Devalve were all major reaches. But I do like a couple of their later picks, especially Rashard Higgins and Scooby Wright. I think both of those guys could become starters.”

Jeff: C
The Browns had so many picks that it’s tough to judge their performance. But they didn’t get good value on any single pick. There were so many needs, I’m not sure Coleman was the pick in Round 1. Ogbah, Nassib and Coleman are pretty good picks. After that, Kessler makes no sense and the additional four (yes, FOUR) receivers they drafted are all bad.”

Pittsburgh Steelers
1 (25) Artie Burns, CB, Miami
2 (58) Sean Davis, S, Maryland
3 (89) Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
4 (123) Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
6 (220) Travis Feeney, OLB, Washington
7 (229) (from New York Giants) Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston
7 (246) Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple

Jayson: B
“Burns and Davis aren’t great picks, but it was smart to address their awful secondary with their first two selections. Hargrave was one of my biggest sleepers in this draft class. He could become a starter at DT for the Steelers this season. Ayers and Matakevich are two fantastic 7th Round picks. They both have the traits to become solid contributors at their respective positions.”

Jeff: B
The Steelers had major issues in the secondary and addressed them with their first two picks. Hargrave is a good prospect, although he doesn’t fill a need. I thought they needed to take another guard, as well as a backup QB so that I don’t ever have to see Landry Jones take the field again.”

AFC South

Houston Texans
1 (21) (from Washington) Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
2 (50) (from Atlanta) Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
3 (85) Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
4 (119) Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State
5 (159) KJ Dillon, S, West Virginia
5 (166) (from New England) D.J. Reader, DT, Clemson

Jayson: B+
“I like what the Texans did, but they didn’t address all of their needs, and that keeps this grade from being higher. Will Fuller wasn’t my favorite WR in this class, but he’s the type of receiver the Texans needed. He’ll open the field up for DeAndre Hopkins. Braxton Miller I see as a Percy Harvin-type player, and that should help Osweiler. Tyler Ervin is another nice weapon, as I think he’s the perfect 3rd down back.”

Jeff: B
The Texans filled offensive needs with their first three picks, which I thought was good. Miller is raw, but has potential. I don’t get the Ervin pick in the 4th. I wish they used that to grab an offensive lineman. KJ Dillon is one of my favorite sleepers in the draft.”

Indianapolis Colts
1 (18) Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
2 (57) (from Green Bay) T.J. Green, S, Clemson
3 (82) Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
4 (116) Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
4 (125) (from Green Bay) Antonio Morrison, OLB, Florida
5 (155) Joe Haeg, OT North Dakota State
7 (239) Trevor Bates, OLB, Maine
7 (248) (from Green Bay) Austin Blythe, C, Iowa

Jayson: B
“This draft is all about upside for me. I don’t know how many of these guys can become good contributors right away, but if the Colts are patient, they should be good to go. Kelly is the one guy ready to step in and start immediately. He’s the perfect center for Andrew Luck. Green, Clark and Ridgeway are all a little raw, but with the right coaching, they could all become at least solid NFL starters at their positions.”

Jeff: B
After lots of thought, I think the Colts came out pretty strong. Kelly and Clark will both help protect their franchise QB. Ridgeway fills a need and is good value. T.J. Green was a bit of a reach to me, but he is a monster who can help in the secondary. Late picks were below average and are likely insignificant.”

Jacksonville Jaguars
1 (5) Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
2 (36) (from Baltimore) Myles Jack, ILB, UCLA
3 (69) Yannick Ngakoue, DE/OLB, Maryland
4 (103) Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
6 (181) Tyrone Holmes, DE/OLB, Montana
6 (201) (from Pittsburgh) Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas
7 (226) Jonathan Woodard, DE, Central Arkansas

Jayson: A
“Welcome to relevancy Jacksonville! The Jags got what I believe were the two best players in this draft in Ramsey and Jack. If not for the knee issue, Jack would’ve been a Top-5 pick. I may be a bit biased (ND fan), but I like Sheldon Day a lot, especially in Round 4. He’s like a poor man’s Aaron Donald, and could develop into a really good starting DT. I also like Brandon Allen as an upgrade at backup QB over Chad Henne.”

Jeff: A-
I will never, ever give a team a perfect grade right after the draft. But wow, Jacksonville got maybe the two best prospects in the draft in Ramsey and Jack. Even beyond that, they got good value in Ngakoue and Holmes at OLB and Day at DT. I wish they would’ve spent a pick on an offensive lineman though.”

Tennessee Titans
1 (8) (from Miami via Philadelphia & Cleveland) Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
2 (33) Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
2 (43) (from Philadelphia via Los Angeles) Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
2 (45) (from Los Angeles) Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
3 (64) Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee State
5 (140) Tajae Sharpe, WR, Massachusetts
5 (157) (from New York Jets via Denver) LeShaun Sims, CB Southern Utah
6 (193) (from Atlanta) Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas
7 (222) Aaron Wallace, OLB, UCLA
7 (253) Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Mississippi

Jayson: B-
“The Titans got good players, but I don’t know how well they addressed their needs. I think the Conklin pick is a slam dunk. He’s the most reliable lineman in this class, and he’ll help protect Mariota no matter where he is on the line. I think Dodd and Henry will both be good players, but they had needs that could have been addressed nicely with those two 2nd Round picks. I also wish they would’ve addressed the cornerback position earlier than Round 5.”

Jeff: B-
Another team with a ton of picks, and another that should have capitalized more. Conklin, Dodd and Johnson were good picks. So is Byard at safety. I also love the potential in Tajae Sharpe (boy, it sounds like people have said that about TEN WR’s before). However, the Henry pick makes no sense with Murray and three other backs on the roster.”

 

AFC West

Denver Broncos
1 (26) (from Seattle) Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
2 (63) Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech
3 (98) Justin Simmons, S, Boston College
4 (136) Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
5 (144) (from Baltimore) Connor McGovern, G, Missouri
6 (176) (from Cleveland) Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska
6 (219) Will Parks, S, Arizona
7 (228) (from San Francisco) Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse

Jayson: C
“Some people love Paxton Lynch. I, on the other hand, think he is a bust waiting to happen (Watched his pitiful performance against Temple last year live, in a game that Memphis needed to win. He looked nothing like an NFL-caliber quarterback). I guess time will tell. Despite losing Danny Trevathan in free agency, they did not take a single linebacker. They took two safetys, a fullback and a punter, but no linebacker. Very odd.”

Jeff: B-
I don’t mind the Lynch pick as much as others. I like their continued focus on defense in taking Gotsis and Simmons. Booker will compete with Hillman and Anderson for touches and make the Denver backfield a fantasy nightmare. Why on earth did they not draft a single linebacker?”

Kansas City Chiefs
2 (37) (from Jacksonville via Baltimore) Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
3 (74) (from Tampa Bay) Kei’Varae Russell, CB, Notre Dame
4 (105) (from San Francisco) Parker Ehinger, G, Cincinnati
4 (106) (from Chicago via Tampa Bay) Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
4 (126) Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
5 (162) (from Seattle) Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
5 (165) Tyreek Hill, WR, West Alabama
6 (178) (from Dallas via San Francisco) D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech
6 (203) Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, OLB, Virginia Tech

Jayson: C
“They did a nice job addressing their needs, and being able to move out of the 1st Round and still get a 1st Round talent in Chris Jones is a great move. Kevin Hogan is an Alex Smith clone, and I think under Andy Reid’s tutelage, he could become the incumbent starter in a few years. This grade is low for me due to one pick, and that is Tyreek Hill. Convicted of domestic violence, leading to his dismissal from Oklahoma State, and on probation until 2018. They drafted that guy. That guy, who also said that fans have every right to hate him. Well, I’m not a fan, but I still hate him, and I hate the Chiefs for drafting him.”

Jeff: C
“In true Andy Reid fashion, the Chiefs traded down and drafted a good lineman with their first pick. Kei’Varae Russell should help with the loss of Sean Smith, who helped make Marcus Peters the best rookie CB in 2015. The Chiefs needed an OLB earlier and someone who can maybe outplay Albert Wilson at WR, not scrubs Dadi Nicolas, Demarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill.”

Oakland Raiders
1 (14) Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
2 (44) Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois
3 (75) Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
4 (100) (from Tennessee via Philadelphia) Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
5 (143) (from Dallas) Deandre Washington, RB, Texas Tech
6 (194) (from Indianapolis) Cory James, OLB, Colorado State
7 (234) Vadal Alexander, G, LSU

Jayson: B+
“Safety was a huge need for the Raiders following Charles Woodson’s retirement, and they got the top safety in the class in Karl Joseph. Trading a 5th Round pick to move up and grab Connor Cook is questionable, but it’s incredible value, and it fits GM Reggie McKenzie’s philosophy. He’ll be a good backup for Derek Carr now, and a possible trade chip down the line. Vadal Alexander is a steal in the 7th Round. He’ll add depth to the Raiders’ O-Line, which is already one of the best in the league.”

Jeff: B+
Oakland filled needs and got value around the whole draft. Adding to the defense with their first three picks is a plus. Drafting Connor Cook next made no sense to me. DeAndre Washington should push Latavius Murray for touches. Vadal Alexander should compete for a reserve spot on the O-Line.”

San Diego Chargers
1 (3) Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
2 (35) Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
3 (66) Max Tuerk, C, USC
4 (102) Joshua Perry, ILB, Ohio State
5 (175) Jatavis Brown, ILB, Akron
6 (179) Drew Kaser, P, Texas A&M
6 (198) (from Minnesota) Derek Watt, FB, Wisconsin
7 (224) Donavon Clark, G, Michigan State

Jayson: D
“Yikes. Just yikes. I think Bosa could become a great player, but he is not a good fit for the Chargers defense at all. They got the best TE in the class, but it was an extremely weak class, so early in Round 2 was a reach for sure. They needed help in the secondary, especially with Eric Weddle now in Baltimore, so to address that, they drafted exactly zero defensive backs. Brilliant.”

Jeff: D+
Ugh. Bosa is good but he isn’t a fit and doesn’t fill as big a need as Ramsey or Tunsil would have. Hunter Henry is the best TE of a bad class and not worth a 2nd round pick to me. Adding a center in Tuerk and OLB’s Perry and Brown are good depth picks. Punter Drew Kaser isn’t that bad of a pick in the 6th Round.”

 

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
1 (4) Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
2 (34) Jaylon Smith, ILB, Notre Dame
3 (67) Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
4 (101) Charles Tapper, DE, Oklahoma
4 (135) Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
6 (189) (from Oakland) Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue
6 (212) Kavon Frazier, S, Central Michigan
6 (216) Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan
6 (217) Rico Gathers, TE, Baylor

Jayson: B+
“Their whole draft might not have been the best, but they had one of the best single picks in the entire draft when they took Ezekiel Elliott at #4 overall. I didn’t think they’d pull the trigger, but they did. I’m not sold on Elliott being a superstar, but behind their offensive line, he has a damn good chance. They’re taking a huge risk with Jaylon Smith early in Round 2, but if he comes back and plays like he did at Notre Dame, it’s an absolute steal.”

Jeff: B-
Even though Elliott was the pick, they could’ve traded back and gotten better value. If Jaylon Smith works out, he’s a steal. I love Collins in the 3rd round and I think he starts in Week 1. Tapper could help the Cowboys awful pass rush. Prescott isn’t a terrible prospect to have behind Romo.”

New York Giants
1 (10) Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
2 (40) Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
3 (71) Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
4 (109) B.J. Goodson, ILB, Clemson
5 (149) Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
6 (184) Jerrell Adams, TE, South Carolina

Jayson: C+
“I had the Giants taking a CB in Round 1, but with Hargreaves and Jackson III on the board, they went with Apple, who I don’t think will help them as much immediately as the other two would have, and Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger. They drafted players that I like, especially Shepard, Thompson and Adams, but they failed to address some pretty big needs (OT, OLB, DE).”

Jeff: B-
They took Eli Apple with Hargreaves on the board…automatic deduction of a letter grade. Shepard however is a great pick and will get targets early and often. They waited until Round 4 to get a LB. Paul Perkins in Round 5 is a steal and could see the majority of carries by the end of the year.”

Philadelphia Eagles
1 (2) (from Cleveland) Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
3 (79) Isaac Seumalo, C, Oregon State
5 (153) Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia
5 (164) (from Pittsburgh) Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU
6 (196) Blake Countess, CB, Auburn
7 (233) Jalen Mills, S, LSU
7 (240) Alex McCalister, DE, Florida
7 (251) (from Arizona) Joe Walker, ILB, Oregon

Jayson: C-
“If you like Carson Wentz, you’d grade this draft higher. I do not think he is worthy of a Top-2 pick, therefore that drops the grade for me, considering what they had to give up to move up and get him. Beyond that, they took multiple players with off-field issues (Smallwood, Countess), which could become problematic down the road. Jalen Mills is my favorite pick for them. He’s great value in Round 7.”

Jeff: C-
Well, I’m not grading the trade. But drafting Wentz at #2 overall to upset the current starter isn’t smart, especially if Wentz was going to sit out for a year. Seumalo might start Week 1, which isn’t saying that much for the Eagles O-Line. Smallwood is alright, but won’t push Mathews that much.”

Washington Redskins
1 (22) (from Houston) Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
2 (53) Su’a Cravens, S, USC
3 (84) Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
5 (152) (from New Orleans) Matt Ioannidis, DT, Temple
6 (187) (from New Orleans) Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana
7 (232) (from Tampa Bay) Steven Daniels, ILB, Boston College
7 (242) Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia

Jayson: A-
“I like this draft a ton. Doctson might be the best all-around receiver in this year’s class, and he’ll fit nicely opposite DeSean. Su’a Cravens is a tweener (safety/linebacker), but he’ll definitely help their defense. Kendall Fuller in Round 3 could be one of the best picks in this entire draft. If he returns to form following the knee injury he suffered this past season, he could be a future Pro Bowler. Keith Marshall in the 7th Round is another potential steal. He’ll be a nice complimentary piece for the Skins’ offense.”

Jeff: B+
Washington had one of my favorite drafts of 2016. Doctson is maybe the best WR in the class. Cravens, Fuller and Ioannidis should all see some rotational snaps in the defense. Sudfeld pick is bad, even though QB was a need. I would’ve liked to see an offensive lineman drafted at some point.”

 

NFC North

Chicago Bears
1 (9) (from Tampa Bay) Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
2 (56) (from Seattle) Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
3 (72) Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
4 (113) (from Philadelphia via Tennessee) Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB, West Virginia
4 (124) (from Seattle) Deon Bush, S, Miami
4 (127) (from New England) Deiondre’ Hall, CB, Northern Iowa
5 (150) Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
6 (185) DeAndre Houston-Carson, S, William & Mary
7 (230) Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

Jayson: B+
“I’m not as big a fan of Leonard Floyd as some are, but I think he is a really good scheme fit. They added a few nice pieces to the offense in Howard and Braverman, but they focused mainly on defense, which was very smart. Between Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson, they should have their starting SS. Bullard adds nice versatility along the defensive line as well. Good draft.”

Jeff: B
The Bears had great value all around the draft. They got three pass rushers with their first four picks. The other pick was OL Cody Whitehair, who is versatile and can help protect Langford and Cutler. Speaking of Langford, Jordan Howard is another great value pick who will push Langford for touches. Braverman could find value as a slot receiver.”

Detroit Lions
1 (16) Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
2 (46) A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
3 (95) Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan
4 (111) Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
5 (151) Joe Dahl, G, Washington State
5 (169) (from Denver) Antwione Williams, ILB, Georgia Southern
6 (191) Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan
6 (202) (from Seattle) Anthony Zettel, DE, Penn State
6 (210) Jimmy Landes, LS, Baylor
7 (236) Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington

Jayson: B-
“I think it was very wise to invest a couple early picks in the offensive line. Decker is a great pick, but Glasgow was a bit of a reach. Robinson in Round 2 is great value at a need position. They made some curious picks late in the draft. I don’t understand drafting a long snapper at all, and I don’t see Jake Rudock ever becoming anything more than an emergency 3rd QB.”

Jeff: B
“The Lions needed offensive line help for Ameer Abdullah. Decker is a great pick who will help early. Glasgow was a reach in Round 3, but Dahl is a steal in Round 5. A’Shawn Robinson is a start in replacing Fairley and Suh. In other news, they drafted a long snapper in the sixth round…”

Green Bay Packers
1 (27) Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
2 (48) (from Indianapolis) Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
3 (88) Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
4 (131) Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford
4 (137) Dean Lowry, DE, Northwestern
5 (163) Trevor Davis, WR, California
6 (200) Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

Jayson: B
“I think they reached a little taking Clark in the 1st Round, but he’s a typical “Packer” selection. He’ll take the spot of the recently retired B.J. Raji. They got good value with Spriggs, but I think they had more glaring needs that could have been nicely addressed with that pick. I also wish they would’ve taken a tight end. They signed Jared Cook, but taking a young guy to develop would have been smart.”

Jeff: C+
In my eyes, Green Bay missed a few key needs that should have been addressed in this draft. They drafted Clark in the 1st Round at a good value, but he did not fill an immediate need. Spriggs, Fackrell and Martinez are all good picks that filled needs. At the end of the day, not drafting a cornerback drops their grade a bit.”

Minnesota Vikings
1 (23) Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
2 (54) Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
4 (121) Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan
5 (160) Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
6 (180) (from San Francisco) Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany
6 (188) David Morgan, TE, UTSA
7 (227) Stephen Weatherly, OLB, Vanderbilt
7 (244) Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson

Jayson: A-
“The Vikings addressed their needs while getting proper value all over the board. I don’t think Treadwell will be the best WR from this class, but he’s the type of receiver Minnesota needs opposite Stefon Diggs. Mackensie Alexander could be boom or bust, but he’s worth the risk late in the 2nd Round. They get a high grade from me because of their last three picks. Morgan could replace Kyle Rudolph eventually, and Weatherly and Kearse could both contribute as early as this season.”

Jeff: B+
“The Vikings drafted for need, but often got great value with their picks. Treadwell fills an immediate need and could be a huge offensive contributor. Alexander and Brothers both filled needs AND were good value. They needed an OT, but I’m not sure if Beavers was the pick. David Morgan II will push Rudolph for the starting job sooner rather than later.”

 

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons
1 (17) Keanu Neal, S, Florida
2 (52) (from Houston) Deion Jones, ILB, LSU
3 (81) Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
4 (115) De’Vondre Campbell, OLB, Minnesota
6 (195) (from New York Giants via Houston) Wes Schweitzer, G, San Jose State
7 (238) Devin Fuller, WR, UCLA

Jayson: C-
“The Falcons addressed their needs, but I don’t think they got good value anywhere. Keanu Neal is a reach in the middle of Round 1. Neal, along with Jones and Hooper, are three guys that I don’t see making a big impact this year, and I don’t know that they are necessarily in rebuild mode right now, yet this draft suggests that they are.”

Jeff: C+
I thought the Falcons had an average draft. Neal was a bit of a reach in my eyes, although he will be an impact player. Deion Jones is the best pick, addressing the team’s anemic pass rush. Hooper isn’t a bad pick in the third, considering Jacob Tamme was their starting TE in 2015. I’m not as high on the Fuller pick as others. He’s a return man or nothing.”

Carolina Panthers
1 (30) Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
2 (62) James Bradberry, S/CB, Samford
3 (77) (from Cleveland via Detroit via Philadelphia) Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia
5 (141) (from Cleveland) Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
7 (252) Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State

Jayson: D+
“This draft felt like a team saying that because they were in the Super Bowl last year, they don’t have many needs, and can afford to have only five picks. But the Panthers do have some holes, and to use THREE of their five picks on cornerbacks just doesn’t make any sense to me. I like Sanchez the best, but after already taking two, I think it’s a mistake. I wouldn’t be happy with this draft if I were Cam Newton. They had to take at least one O-Lineman, and they took zero.”

Jeff: C-
Very disappointed. They needed to address the offensive line after their Super Bowl loss. Instead, they overdrafted for a stopgap DT in Vernon Butler and drafted three raw CB prospects to show the world that they don’t need Josh Norman, but rather 60% of a draft to replace him. Seventh Round selection Beau Sandland is an athletic tall dude who can maybe play tight end one day.”

New Orleans Saints
1 (12) Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
2 (47) Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
2 (61) (from New England via Arizona) Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
4 (120) (from Washington) David Onyemata, DT, University of Manitoba
7 (237) Daniel Lasco, RB, California

Jayson: B-
“The biggest failure here was the fact that they traded up twice in this draft, despite the insane amount of holes on their roster. Sheldon Rankins is a home run pick though, as he could be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s that good. I also like Michael Thomas as Marques Colston’s replacement, and Vonn Bell could end up being a very good safety in the league.”

Jeff: B-
The Saints did fairly well with their five picks. Rankins is a stud in my eyes, and improves a team weakness. I love Michael Thomas in the second. Vonn Bell is a good safety who should help the awful secondary. Onyemata is a reach, especially after drafting Rankins. Lasco is a good depth pick. I wish they had taken another defensive back to improve their awful secondary.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 (11) (from Chicago) Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
2 (39) Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
2 (59) (from Kansas City) Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State
4 (108) Ryan Smith, CB, North Carolina Central
5 (148) Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA
6 (183) Devante Bond, OLB, Oklahoma
6 (197) (from Washington) Dan Vitale, FB, Northwestern

Jayson: C
“I love the Hargreaves pick. To trade down and still get him is a huge plus. Noah Spence is nice value in the 2nd Round, but he’ll need to keep his act together. If he does, it’s a great pick. And then they took a kicker with their other 2nd Round pick. Hang on, THEY TOOK A KICKER IN THE SECOND ROUND?!?! They took a kicker in the 2nd Round. I would’ve liked to have seen them address the offensive line a little earlier, like maybe in Round 2, WHERE THEY TOOK A KICKER!”

Jeff: B-
I would have given them a B+ if they didn’t waste a 2nd Round pick on a kicker. Hargreaves is a great pick who filled their biggest need. Spence fills a need and is a good pick as well. Ryan Smith is a good value pick in the fourth round. They waited a bit to take an OT (MAYBE ROUND 2)*, but Benenoch could be a starting RT in the league.”

*Clearly great minds think alike…

 

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals
1 (29) Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
3 (92) Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M
4 (128) Evan Boehm, C, Missouri
5 (167) Marqui Christian, S, Midwest State
5 (170) Cole Toner, OT, Harvard
6 (205) Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Jayson: C
“I think Arizona is a good locker room for Robert Nkemdiche to be in. Well, at least I hope it is, because he could be a force. While Brandon Williams addressed a need, they took him in Round 3 when most experts had an undrafted free agent grade on him. Carson Palmer isn’t getting any younger, so I’m quite surprised that they didn’t try to draft someone that could eventually replace him.”

Jeff: C+
Did the Cardinals need Nkemdiche? No. But they got a great player. Brandon Williams is also a decent pick. The Cardinals waited too long to draft a center, which was a glaring need. However, Boehm in the fourth is great value, and he could end up starting in 2016. Waited too long for a safety too and overdrafted Marqui Christian.”

Los Angeles Rams
1 (1) (from Tennessee) Jared Goff, QB, California
4 (110) Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
4 (117) (from Buffalo) Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
6 (177) (from Tennessee) Temarrick Hemingway, TE, South Carolina State
6 (190) Josh Forrest, ILB, Kentucky
6 (206) (from Carolina via Chicago) Michael Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi

Jayson: B+
“From a football ‘team’ standpoint, I’m skeptical of trading all of those picks to move up and get Jared Goff. From a football ‘franchise’ standpoint, I love it. They need to create some excitement in LA, and getting the California kid #1 overall to be the new face of the franchise is smart. What was also smart was trying to get some weapons for him. I love Higbee and Thomas, and I think Cooper and Hemingway were both solid selections who could become contributors.”

Jeff: B-
It makes more sense to me to stock up on young talent in this draft before trading up for Goff. However, the Rams overpaid for a QB now. Higbee in the 4th is a pretty good pick as a guy who can replace Jared Cook. I think Pharoh Cooper is a steal.. They also got “the other” Michael Thomas, who is one of my favorite sleepers. They didn’t draft anybody in the secondary though, which was a need.”

San Francisco 49ers
1 (7) DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
1 (28) (from Kansas City) Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford
3 (68) Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State
4 (133) Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
5 (142) (from San Diego) Ronald Blair, DT, Appalachian State
5 (145) John Theus, OT, Georgia
5 (174) Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss
6 (207) (from Denver) Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech
6 (211) Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
6 (213) Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
7 (249) (from Kansas City) Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky

Jayson: B-
“The Buckner pick keeps this draft from being a ‘C.’ He is going to be an absolute force wherever they decide to line him up. I do not understand trading back up into the 1st Round to draft Garnett. Many experts had him rated as the #1 guard in the class, but the 1st Round is a bit early. Driskel is a nice fit in Chip Kelly’s system. Kelvin Taylor is the player to watch for me from this draft. I think he’ll take more and more carries away from Carlos Hyde as the season progresses.”

Jeff: C+
Boy did the Niners have a ton of picks. Getting Buckner early was one of the good ones. Taking Redmond in the 3rd was not. They really needed an ILB and did not draft one. They needed help on the offensive line too. Garnett wasn’t a bad pick in Round 2, but waiting until Round 5 to grab Theus and Cooper was a mistake. Watch out for Kelvin Taylor and Aaron Burbridge at the end of the season.”

Seattle Seahawks
1 (31) (from Denver) Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
2 (49) (from Buffalo via Chicago) Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
3 (90) C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
3 (94) (from Denver) Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
3 (97) Rees Odhiambo, G, Boise State
5 (147) Quinton Jefferson, DT, Maryland
5 (171) Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
6 (215) Joey Hunt, C, TCU
7 (243) Kenny Lawler, WR, California
7 (247) Zac Brooks, RB, Clemson

Jayson: B
“I think it was very wise to trade back in Round 1 and still get the guy I’m sure they wanted regardless. Ifedi needs some polishing, but he’ll be a nice addition to the O-Line in Seattle in due time. Jarran Reed is tremendous value in the 2nd Round. I could see him becoming a star, a la Michael Bennett. I would’ve liked to see them address the cornerback position, but in not doing so, they are showing a lot of faith in Jeremy Lane to take a big leap this season.”

Jeff: B+
Another good draft from Seattle. Ifedi may have been picked early, but he filled a need. Jarran Reed also filled a need and was great value. C.J. Prosise AND 5th Round steal Alex Collins will both push Thomas Rawls for carries. Keeping them from an “A” is the lack of a DB pick and wasting a pick on their third RB of the draft, Zac Brooks.”

 

There you have it, folks. Please feel free to drop a comment and let us know what you agree with and what you disagree with. Both Jeff and myself love to talk football, so feel free to ask us any question you may have, and we’d be happy to join in discussion with you!

We hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see here on We Love Sportz, and I’d be happy to make it happen!

 

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Rounds 1-2

It has been a pretty wild couple months in the NFL following the Denver Broncos’ win in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers. Peyton Manning decided to go out on top, Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension was reinstated, the Raiders are getting buzz as a potential playoff team following a spending spree in free agency, and the top two picks in this year’s Draft have already been traded to quarterback-needy teams in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

There is a lot of intrigue with this year’s draft class, after the first two picks anyway. There are top prospects with major character concerns (Robert Nkemdiche, Noah Spence, Mackenzie Alexander), teams that so many holes that it’s nearly impossible to predict what they’ll do, and with quarterbacks likely to go #1 and #2, how far will teams move up to try and get the next batch of QB’s?

For this mock draft, I enlisted the help of my friend Jeff Greco, Tennessee Titans correspondent for Fantasy Pros. For the 1st Round, I took the odd numbered selections, while Jeff took the evens.  We made choices as if we were in the shoes of each team’s general manager. So this necessarily isn’t always the pick we personally would make (sometimes that’s the case), but more it’s the pick that we would make as the team’s GM. We decied to include possible trades as a part of this mock, and we actually ended up with a few that we think would make a lot of sense. After the 1st Round, I took a stab at projecting how the 2nd Round might go.

Without further ado, here is the 1st Round of We Love Sportz’s 2016 NFL Mock Draft!

*Picks that are traded will be listed in “Round-Overall Pick” format. For example, the first overall pick would be “1-1” and the first pick of the 2nd Round would be “2-32.” There are only 31 picks in Round 1 due to the Patriots being stripped of their 1st Round pick as part of their penalties for Deflategate*

1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee): QB Jared Goff, California
Jayson: The Rams have been trying to make teams think that they are still considering both Goff and Carson Wentz, but they wouldn’t have made this massive trade if they didn’t know exactly who they’re taking on Thursday night. Goff is the local prospect, and with the team back in Los Angeles, it makes the most sense to pick the player that will create the most excitement for the fan base. Goff is a very accurate passer, and his game tape is superior to Wentz’s. This is the pick that makes the most sense.

 

2. Philadelphia Eagles (From Cleveland): QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Jeff: I probably wouldn’t have made this trade in the first place, given all of the money they have invested into the quarterback position already, but they made the trade, so they’re taking their QB of the future. Wentz has been compared to Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger, and I think the Eagles would be thrilled if Wentz can be close to what either of those guys are. I have to believe they’re thinking they’ll now have three quarterbacks that they like, and odds are that one of them will stick. Wentz has all the physical tools, he’s big, he can run, and he throws a great deep ball. But he is not nearly as pro-ready as Jared Goff is. He’ll benefit from at least one season on the sidelines.

 

3. San Diego Chargers: CB/S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Jayson: The Chargers have needs on both sides of the ball, but their defense was one of the worst in football last season, and they lost the heart and soul of that defense when safety Eric Weddle signed with the Ravens this offseason. I think they’ll see a chance to replace Weddle while also getting the best player available in Ramsey. He’ll step in at safety from day one, and could eventually transform into one of the league’s top cornerbacks. He has great size and a nose for the football, something San Diego’s defense sorely needs.

 

4. Dallas Cowboys: DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Jeff: You can’t fix interceptions by drafting a running back. Many people believe Jerry Jones will take Ezekiel Elliott here, but I think this team has more glaring needs. They’d consider Ramsey if he fell here, but with injuries and suspensions affecting their defensive line already, they grab this draft’s top defensive end in Bosa. He’s not a pure edge rusher, but he is very good against the run and the pass, and he’ll make the Cowboys defense better right away. There are character issues with him (sources say he loves to party), but when have the Cowboys ever shied away from a player with possible off-field issues?

 

5. Tennessee Titans (from Jacksonville): OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Trade Details: Tennessee gets 1-5, Jacksonville gets 1-15, 2-43, 3-76
Jayson: Tennessee needs a LT to protect Marcus Mariota, and I think they’d love to see Tunsil fall to this spot. I have Tunsil rated higher than Stanley and Conklin, and I think the next three teams could all take an offensive tackle. Some would argue that Tunsil is the best overall prospect in this class, and he’d be a great get for the Titans. With both Mariota and DeMarco Murray, the Titans need to invest in the O-line. This move makes too much sense for it not to happen.

 

6. Baltimore Ravens: DE/DT DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Jeff: Many mocks have the Ravens taking an offensive lineman here, but John Harbaugh is a defensive coach, and they’ve always been about solidifying their defense. Buckner is extremely versatile. He’s 6-7, just under 300 pounds, can play inside and disrupt the run game, and can slide outside and get after the quarterback. Flacco will be healthy, Steve Smith is back, Breshad Perriman will debut, and they signed Benjamin Watson from the Saints. The Ravens offensive will be fine, they should improve their defense in the 1st Round.

 

7. San Francisco 49ers: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Jayson: I’d argue that the 49ers have more holes than any team in the NFL, and unfortunately, you can’t fill every hole with this pick. They have Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick on the roster right now, but I don’t think they should reach for Paxton Lynch here. It’s hard for a team to do this, but the 49ers have to admit that this season is going to be a major struggle. They can take Stanley here as their left tackle for the future, and address quarterback early in the draft next season. Brad Kaaya, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer are all better options than Lynch, and at least one of those should be available for the Niners in next year’s draft.

 

8. Miami Dolphins (from Miami through Philadelphia and Cleveland): RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Trade Details: Miami gets 1-8, Cleveland gets 1-13, 2-42
Jeff: I’ve got to think that most draft boards would have Elliott as the best available player at this point, and their might not be a more glaring need in the league than running back for the Dolphins. Some think he could fall to them at 13, but I think they won’t want to take the chance. Only giving up a 2nd Round pick to move up here is worth it for Miami. Elliott projects as a three-down back in the NFL, and he’d be a great replacement for the departed Lamar Miller.

 

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Jayson: There are a lot of ways Tampa Bay could go here, and I’d be a little surprised to see them pass on Vernon Hargreaves here, but they just drafted their quarterback of the future last season, and they need to protect him. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bucs offensive line was ranked 23rd in the league in efficiency last season. They have lots of room for improvement, and Conklin can play all over the line. His physicality will probably have him start at guard with the potential to turn into the team’s left tackle down the road.

 

10. New York Giants: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Jeff: This might not be a glaring need after the signing of Janoris Jenkins, but with Elliott and the top three tackles off the board, the Giants see a chance to add another impact player on what figures to be a much improved defense. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has started to fall off a little, and I think Hargreaves, who is undersized at 5-10, can benefit from playing predominantly in the slot to start his NFL career.

 

11. Chicago Bears: OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Jayson: I think the Bears would sprint to the podium with this pick. They have improved the middle of their defense with free agent signings Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, but they still need a pass-rushing outside linebacker that fits in their 3-4 defense. Leonard Floyd is a raw prospect, and he needs to fill out his wiry frame, but once he does, he could be a lethal pass rusher. Some believe he’s the best pure pass rusher in this draft class. He’s the perfect pick for Chicago.

 

12. New Orleans Saints: CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Jeff: New Orleans has needs everywhere, especially on defense. Many project them to address the defensive line in the 1st Round, but their secondary is atrocious. Last season, the Saints gave up 4,544 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns. Quarterbacks had an average rating of 116.2 against them. The next worst team gave up an average QB rating of 102.5! They were really bad against the pass, and a big, physical corner like Eli Apple is a good start in attempting to solve the issue.

 

13. Cleveland Browns (From Philadelphia through Miami): OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
Jayson: It’s well known that the Browns may look to move back again in the 1st Round to collect more picks, and in our mock, they are successful in doing so. I could see them moving back yet again, but instead, I think they’d take the risk on a game-changer like Jack. Some experts say his knee is like a “ticking time-bomb,” but the Browns need to create some excitement, and nabbing a player like Jack could do that. I don’t know if they’d take the risk at 8, but I could see them doing it here at 13. Jack is a sideline-to-sideline, three-down linebacker, and he’d immediately improve the Browns defense.

 

14. Oakland Raiders: DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Jeff: I fully believe that the Raiders have put themselves in the position to take the best player available here (outside of quarterback). They do have a few needs, one of those being defensive tackle, and Sheldon Rankins could be the best player available here at 14. He is a little undersized for a DT, but they said the same thing about Aaron Donald, and he has become one of the top defensive tackles in the league. Rankins is good against the run and can push the pocket, forcing the QB out towards Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. That’s exactly what Oakland’s front seven needs.

 

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (From Los Angeles through Tennessee): DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Jayson: Despite an improved defense last season, Jacksonville didn’t record many sacks. They drafted Dante Fowler Jr. third overall last season, and he didn’t play. He’s expected back this year, but there are a lot of good ends in this class, and I think the Jags would be wise to add another. With Shaq Lawson on the opposite side of Fowler and new signing Malik Jackson in the middle, the Jaguars would instantly have one of the top defensive lines in the league. I think Gus Bradley would be extremely pleased with this selection.

 

16. Detroit Lions: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Jeff: I think they really need to address their front seven in the 1st Round, and I like Jarran Reed as a good fit for the Lions. They’ve recently lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, and while Haloti Ngata is still a quality player, he’s getting up there in age, and probably doesn’t have much left in the tank. Reed can play alongside Ngata for now, and will eventually be his successor.

 

17. Atlanta Falcons: OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Jayson: The Falcons need help on defense, and an all-around linebacker is the best fit. They will be thrilled to see Darron Lee available at 17. Lee has prototypical size and above-average speed for the linebacker position. He is very good against the run and is a very good coverage linebacker. Based on talent and need, Lee to the Falcons is perfect.

 

18. Indianapolis Colts: OL Taylor Decker, Ohio State
Jeff: Andrew Luck is their prized possession, and the inability of their offensive line to protect him resulted in him missing much of the 2015 season with a lacerated spleen. In addition, their run game is well below average. The Colts have to go offensive line here, and Taylor Decker is the best available at 18. He may be able to step in at right tackle, but he’ll likely start at center or guard and eventually move outside.

 

19. Buffalo Bills: DE/OLB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Jayson: Noah Spence was at Ohio State, but off-field issues led him to FCS Eastern Kentucky. You have to be pretty bad for Ohio State to not want you anymore. Spence might have more ability and potential than any defensive player in this draft, but his issues could push him into the 2nd Round. After losing Mario Williams in free agency, Spence to Rex Ryan and the Bills seems like a match made in heaven. Rex has rarely shied away from a player with character concerns if they can help his team.

 

20. New York Jets: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Jeff: This is the best fit at this point for the Jets. Ragland is a Todd Bowles-type player, and the Jets projected starter at middle linebacker, David Harris, is getting up there in age and down there in ability. Ragland is a high-IQ player, and he is fantastic against the run. He struggles a little bit in pass defense, but I think Bowles will be smart enough to maximize his abilities.

 

21. Washington Redskins: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Jayson: Cornerback was a major need for the Skins, but then they went and made Josh Norman the highest-paid corner in the league. I’d say secondary is still in play here, but they have a more glaring need up front, and Andrew Billings would be a great pick. Billings is built like a house. He is capable in pressuring the quarterback, but that’s not his specialty. He’s arguably the best run stopper in this draft class, and he’ll slide right into the spot vacated by Terrance Knighton.

 

22. Houston Texans: WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
Jeff: They need somebody to open up the field for DeAndre Hopkins, and the prospect in this class best suited to do that is Fuller. His hands are suspect, but he can absolutely fly down the field. He’ll be a nice little weapon for Brock Osweiler, allowing the new franchise QB to show off his rocket arm. The Texans could use a tight end, but I don’t see one worth taking at 22nd overall.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Jayson: This seems like a perfect fit to me. They have Stefon Diggs as a speed burner, and they could use a true possession receiver on the opposite side, somebody that Teddy Bridgewater can rely upon. Treadwell ran a very slow 40-yard dash, and that has him dropping on some draft boards. But he has good size and above-average hands. He can win a lot of jump balls, and that should definitely help with Bridgewater’s development.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Jeff: Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones weren’t anything spectacular, but they were very reliable targets for Andy Dalton. Sanu is a Falcon and Jones is in Detroit, so the Bengals have a glaring need at wide receiver. I think Doctson could be the best all-around receiver in this draft class, and Andy Dalton would be very pleased to see this pick become reality. Doctson is tall (6-4), he has a solid frame (around 190-200 pounds), and he has really strong hands. 

 

25. Cleveland Browns (from Pittsburgh): QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Trade Details: Cleveland gets 1-25, Pittsburgh gets 2-32, 3-65, 5-141
Jayson: This might be the most far-fetched scenario in this mock draft, but hear me out. I think Lynch compares favorably to Ben Roethlisberger, and if the Steelers would have had a good backup quarterback last season, they may have reached the Super Bowl. I could easily see the Steelers taking Lynch here. Instead, they get offered 3rd and 5th Round picks from the Browns, and decide they value those picks over Lynch. The Browns, meanwhile, get a quarterback for Hue Jackson to groom into the eventual starter. They have RGIII for now, and Lynch can sit on the sidelines and learn Jackson’s system.

 

26. Seattle Seahawks: DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
Jeff: When Robert Nkemdiche signed on to play at Ole Miss, many expected him to be a future #1 overall draft pick. He’s had some off-the-field issues though, and some teams don’t like his personality, but I can easily see a coach like Pete Carroll seeing Nkemdiche’s talent and deciding that it’s worth the risk. Nkemdiche is huge, and he’s fast. That’s a scary combination. He just seems like a typical Seahawks defender.

 

27. Green Bay Packers: DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
Jayson: If you look strictly at talent, Chris Jones is one of the five best defensive players in this draft. The biggest knock is that he takes plays off. He doesn’t show maximum effort on every play, and that can be a huge red flag for a lot of NFL teams. But for a team with a need at defensive tackle, there might not be a better fit for Chris Jones than Green Bay. I think this coaching staff can get the most out of Jones, and if that happens, he could be the steal of this draft.

 

28. Kansas City Chiefs: CB William Jackson III, Houston
Jeff: Marcus Peters was great last season, but I think that had a lot to do with Sean Smith being on the opposite side. With Smith now in Oakland, the Chiefs need to find somebody to play opposite Peters. Mackensie Alexander is probably more talented than Jackson, but he lacks size and has character concerns. Jackson is big like Smith, and he is just a solid cornerback prospect. I think he could help Peters avoid a sophomore slump.

 

29. Arizona Cardinals: OC Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Jayson: This pick makes a whole lot of sense. Carson Palmer needs as much protection as possible as his career winds down, and they don’t have a center right now. The Cardinals would be thrilled to see Kelly fall to them, as there are rumblings that he could go as high as 16 to the Lions. Not only will Kelly protect Palmer, but he’ll open up more running lanes for David Johnson.

 

30. Carolina Panthers: OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Jeff: GM Dave Gettleman sent a message when he pulled the Franchise Tag off of Josh Norman, and that message is that he does not value the secondary as high as he values the front seven. I’d have a hard time not taking Kevin Dodd here, but ultimately, after the Super Bowl, it’s clear that they need help on the offensive line. Jason Spriggs is tall at 6-7, but he weighs in right around 300 pounds, which is relatively small. He projects as a right tackle in the pros, but his speed could help him develop into a solid left tackle.

 

31. Denver Broncos: DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
Jayson: I don’t get the feeling that Broncos are as concerned about the quarterback position as everyone thinks they should be. I could easily see them taking Connor Cook or Christian Hackenberg here, but they lost a lot of key defenders in free agency this year, including Malik Jackson to Jacksonville. Vernon Butler could step right into that slot and start in Week 1. I don’t know if he’s as good as Jackson, or if he’ll ever be that good, but he’s a similar player, and Elway will like that. 

 

Thank you to Jeff for helping me out with mocking the 1st Round of this year’s NFL Draft! Not sure how many of these picks will be correct, but I hope we’ve at least given you an idea on what these teams should be looking at on Thursday. You can follow Jeff on Twitter (@Jeffrey_Greco).

Based on how the 1st Round went in our mock, I decided to take a stab at the 2nd Round as well. I’d say the biggest thing you should take away from this is just a further look at team needs, and the prospects that you can expect to see in the 2nd Round, or possibly even sneak their way into the 1st Round.

32. Pittsburgh (From Cleveland): CB Artie Burns, Miami (FL)
Have needs in the secondary. Raw prospect, but is rising up draft boards.

33. Tennessee: WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Could go as high as #10 overall. Gives Marcus Mariota another weapon.

34. Dallas: QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Have to find Romo’s heir apparent. Some believe he’s a 1st Round talent, others wouldn’t take him at all.

35. San Diego: OG/OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Need to protect Rivers better. Will start at guard, eventually move to tackle.

36. Baltimore: CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Willing to take the risk in Round 2 considering the glaring need in the secondary.

37. San Francisco: QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
Could easily go in Round 1. Fits what Chip Kelly wants to do on offense.

38. Jacksonville: OG Joshua Garnett, Stanford
Need to protect the future of the franchise.

39. Tampa Bay: DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Bucs race to the podium with this pick. Likely 1st Rounder, can get after the quarterback.

40. NY Giants: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
Would’ve loved Dodd, but they’ll take Ogbah to play in a rotation with JPP and Olivier Vernon. Can never have too many pass rushers.

41. Chicago: S Vonn Bell, Ohio State
First safety off the board. Bears get a playmaker for the back end of their defense, something they sorely need.

42. Cleveland (From Miami): WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State
Get this pick as part of a mocked trade. No matter who their QB is, he’ll need weapons.

43. Jacksonville (From Philadelphia through Los Angeles and Tennessee): DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Another pick resulting from a mocked trade. A potential 1st Round pick, would add more youth and talent to Gus Bradley’s D-line.

44. Oakland: OLB/S Su’a Cravens, USC
Tweener prospect, but will help with covering tight ends and running backs, a major weakness for the Raiders last season.

45. Tennessee (From Los Angeles): CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Coming off a bad knee injury, but worth the risk for a Titans team with a terrible secondary.

46. Detroit: OT Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
They hope he can be their left tackle for a very long time.

47. New Orleans: DE/DT Jonathan Bullard, Florida
Versatility is important for a Saints team with so many holes on defense.

48. Indianapolis: OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Can’t stress enough how important it is for them to protect Andrew Luck.

49. Buffalo: WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Fits right into the spot vacated by Percy Harvin’s retirement.

50. Atlanta: S Keanu Neal, Florida
Could be a bit of a project, but he fills a need for Atlanta.

51. NY Jets: TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Not a sexy pick, but they get the top tight end in this class.

52. Houston: DE Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
Could be a steal here, as he’d benefit from playing with J.J. Watt.

53. Washington: S Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Slips a little bit here. Would start for the Redskins immediately.

54. Minnesota: OT Shon Coleman, Auburn
Very raw, but could become a good left tackle if given time to develop.

55. Cincinnati: DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
Has been compared to Domata Peko, so he’s a perfect fit for the Bengals’ scheme.

56. Seattle: OT Jerald Hawkins, LSU
Slight reach maybe, but they need to find some help for Russell Wilson.

57. Green Bay: LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
This seems like the appropriate spot in this draft for a team like Green Bay to swing for the fences. 

58. Pittsburgh: S/CB T.J. Green, Clemson
Continue to retool the secondary. Could go late in Round 1. Oozes potential at both safety and corner.

59. Kansas City: WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
Huge upgrade over Albert Wilson. He’s the perfect compliment to Jeremy Maclin.

60. New England: DE/OLB Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
Have to find a way to make up for Chandler Jones’s production.

61. New England (From Arizona): RB Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
He just simply is a Patriots running back. Belichick will get more out of him than any other coach.

62. Carolina: RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
Slips a little bit in this scenario. Teams could be scared by his heavy workload in college. 

63. Denver: OC/OG Nick Martin, Notre Dame
They have multiple needs on the O-line, and Martin can play guard or center for them.

That does it for We Love Sportz’s 2016 NFL Mock Draft for Rounds 1 and 2, and now you hopefully know what to look out for come Thursday and Friday. Jeff and I will be back next week following the Draft as we give each team a grade for how well they’ve done. Thanks for reading! Enjoy the NFL Draft!