It’s safe to say my first mock draft was rather, well, extreme. It consisted of a lot of trades and surprise moves, but this one is a much more toned back mock with the exception of maybe two trades max. This is also a 2 round mock.
- Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett- Defensive End (Texas A&M)
This is basically the consensus pick for the Browns here. They get the best defensive player in the draft and a legit pass rusher for years to come.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Allen- Defensive Tackle (Alabama)
Many have the Niners taking Solomon Thomas here, but with him being a defensive end and already having DeForrest Buckner and Arik Armstead at end, I could see them grabbing Allen and loading up their D-line. Allen would be a great addition to a defense that needs to reestablish its identity.
3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams- Safety (LSU)
The Bears signed both Mike Glennon (their presumed starter) and Mark Sanchez at quarterback so its safe to say the Bears won’t address that spot until later in the draft. They could look at wide receiver here to give Glennon playmakers, but the Bears pride themselves on defense, something they have young pieces at but need more at. Jamal Adams is the best safety in this draft and would be the building block in the Bears secondary for years to come.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette- Runningback (LSU)
The Jags did a great job in free agency building up what looks to be like a ferocious defense for the next several years. The attention now turns to giving Blake Bortles and the offense more playmakers. If the Jags want to cut down on Brotles’ turnovers and take pressure off of him, what better way than to give him the draft’s best talent at runningback.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore- Cornerback (Ohio State)
The Titans landed safety Jonathan Cyprien to go with an up-and-coming playmaker in Kevin Byard. The Titans could wait til later to give Marcus Mariota a playmaker in the offense, as the attention here is to take the draft’s best corner and solidify their secondary.
6. New York Jets: Reuben Foster- Linebacker (Alabama)
Not many mocks have the Jets going linebacker, but at this position, they go best player available, something the Jets desperately need to address. The Jets have a lot of holes to fill but a guy like Foster who could be an immediate playmaker, much like Luke Kuechly in Carolina, would really bolster their anemic defense. The Jets still have the opportunity later on to address their secondary and offensive line as I think they should wait on the quarterback until late in the draft or next season.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker- Safety (Ohio State)
The Chargers have a solid defense and a lot of young pieces around that adding a guy like Hooker would really skyrocket their defense. When the Bolts lost Eric Weddle, many thought this year’s draft was the best way to correct losing Weddle. Hooker comes in day one as a starter and as someone who just has a knack for making big plays. Pair him with Jason Verrett and Casey Heyward and the Chargers have themselves a solid, young secondary.
8. Carolina Panthers: Mike Williams- Wide Receiver (Clemson)
Okay, so many would argue Carolina HAS to go defense to strengthen up a unit that really underachieved last season. But I see Carolina aiming to get Cam Newton another playmaker. Mike Williams is built like a tank who ran a 4.5 at his combine day. Pair him with Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen and suddenly Cam Newton has a nice core of weapons around him. This draft is deep enough with defense that Carolina could address that later. Just get Cam more receivers.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas- Defensive End (Stanford)
The Bengals need a lot of help, most notably on their offensive line but their defense is really lacking surefire talent. Thomas is a freakish pass rusher who would pair nicely with Carlos Dunlap. This pick definitely gets the roar back in the Bengal defense.
10. Buffalo Bills: Corey Davis- Wide Receiver (Western Michigan)
The Bills have a strong defense and a head coach in Sean McDermott who, I believe, will do wonders for their defense. The Bills had the league’s best rushing attack a year ago. They also have an underrated offensive line. What’s missing? Tyrod Taylor having weapons on the outside. Sammy Watkins has been up and down thus far into his career but that’s due to injuries; when he’s playing he’s hard to cover. Giving Taylor a duo of Watkins and Corey Davis who is a dynamite playmaker would pay huge dividends for the Buffalo offense.
11. New England Patriots (Saints trade this pick after signing restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler) OJ Howard- Tight End (Alabama)
So here’s your first big trade. Because Malcom Butler is a restricted free agent, the Saints (assuming they sign him as reports believe they will make a strong push to) the Saints would have to give up the first round tender to do so. Here come the Patriots. Are there really any weaknesses on this team? They lost a couple of defensive pieces in free agency but signed and traded for more and they also landed Brandin Cooks. Let’s all sit back and imagine Tom Brady throwing to; Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Dwayne Allen and OJ Howard who is the draft’s best tight end and the next “Gronk” in the league. Your Super Bowl 52 champs everybody.
12. Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky- Quarterback (North Carolina)
Okay, the jury is out on Trubisky who had a decent year at UNC but really shined at his pro day and combine. The consensus seems to be that Trubisky needs time and that’s okay for this spot. The Browns loaded up their offensive line in free agency and have a defense that is slowly coming together. Here, they FINALLY get their quarterback and use the rest of the draft to give him weapons and continue building the defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Derek Barnett- Defensive End (Tennessee)
The Cardinals lost Calais Campbell in free agency who was the backbone of this defense for years. With Tyrann Mathieu slated to come back healthy this season and the team re-signing Chandler Jones, the Cards add more to their pass rush with Barnett. Barnett is easily a 10-15 sack per year kind of guy in this defense and would pair nicely with Robert Nkemdiche and Chandler Jones.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffery- Runningback (Stanford)
Whoa. Many mocks have signaled the Eagles taking McCaffery and addressing cornerback later in the draft. Let me tell you why this helps the Eagles a ton. McCaffery is immensely talented whether running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield or blocking. He’s the “white” Brian Westbrook and Eagles fans know how valuable BWest was. McCaffery’s skillset pairs nicely with sophomore Wendell Smallwood who is more of a “in-between the tackles” runner, where McCaffery can explode on stretch runs, tosses, screens, and dump offs. With McCaffery being so versatile, it gives Carson Wentz yet another weapon for years to come.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook- Runningback (Florida State)
The Colts need to give Andrew Luck more weapons. They actually had a solid free agency getting some much needed defensive help but Luck has never had an explosive run game. Cook gives him and the Colts offense just that and would keep Luck from getting knocked around like a rag doll. It’s almost like Peyton Manning having Edgerrin James….Almost.
16. Baltimore Ravens: John Ross- Wide Receiver (Washington)
The Ravens lost Steve Smith to retirement and Kamar Aiken in free agency. General manager Ozzy Newsome, as always, nailed free agency getting the Ravens some defensive help. While they need more pieces on the offensive line, getting strong-armed quarterback Joe Flacco a deep, speed threat in Ross would really open up the Ravens offense.
17. Washington Redskins: Malik McDowell- Defensive Tackle (Michigan State)
The Redskins need an upgrade on their defensive line after losing Chris Baker in free agency as well as Ricky-Jean Francois. McDowell is a fearless run stuffer and a solid pass rusher giving the Redskins a nice building block on their defensive line.
18 Tennessee Titans: Taco Charlton- Defensive End (Michigan)
The Titans use their second pick in the first round to really solidify their defense. With them taking Lattimore at 5 to sure up their corners, Charlton slides in here and strengthens the Titans defensive line and pass rush. Now, you’re looking at a young defense that will make a name for themselves in no time.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hassan Reddick- Linebacker (Temple)
The Bucs signed DeSean Jackson in free agency giving Jameis Winston a reliable deep threat to go with Mike Evans. Not too shabby. Now, you add one more huge piece to an already respectable defense with selecting Reddick. Suddenly, the Bucs linebackers lineup as Reddick, Kwon Alexander and Lavonta David. That’s impressive.
20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk- Offensive Tackle (Wisconsin)
The Broncos don’t have a lot of glaring holes, but the one that sticks out is their offensive line. It doesn’t matter who’s playing QB for the Broncos next year if they don’t protect him. Ramczyk comes in on day one as the starting left tackle alongside with free agent addition Ron Leary. Nice start by the Broncos to finally sure up their line.
21. Detroit Lions: Tim Williams- Linebacker (Alabama)
The Lions have completely rebuilt their offensive line and their offense alone was a pleasant surprise a year ago. Matthew Stafford was playing at an MVP level but their defense did not have enough playmakers. Williams comes in and really boosts the Lions linebackers and gives them a guy who just has a nose for making plays. Great pick up for a team that is a playoff caliber team in ’17.
22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp- Guard (Western Kentucky)
Not the sexiest pick by the Dolphins but strengthening their offensive line and protecting Ryan Tannehill has to be the priority here. Laremy Tunsil was a great steal by the ‘Phins a year ago and Lamp has that mauler presence at guard that the ‘Phins need.
23. New York Giants: Cam Robinson- Offensive Tackle (Alabama)
The Giants have a hall of fame quarterback and a ton of weapons around him. The Giants also have one of the league’s best defenses. Where they’re hurting is the offensive line especially the left side where grabbing Robinson would solve a huge need. With Justin Pugh, Weston Richburgh and newly signed DJ Fluker on the line, Robinson comes in and gives the Giants a huge presence on their O-line which is vitally important in keeping Eli Manning upright.
24. Oakland Raiders: Marlon Humphrey- Cornerback (Alabama)
The Raiders have a ton of pieces on offense and on defense. They really struggled last year, however, in stopping the pass. Cornerback David Amerson had a solid year but the team lost DJ Hayden in free agency and Sean Smith was disappointing in his first year in Oakland. Humphrey gives the Raiders their true, shutdown corner which really puts this team in the Super Bowl contention conversation.
25. Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson- Quarterback (Clemson)
Head coach Bill O’Brien would have to be salivating at this position if Watson does indeed fall to 25. Watson is a winner and would come in with a top rated defense behind him and a plethora of weapons around him. Watson would be incredibly successful in this system and might just be the best quarterback in this draft given the circumstances.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Garrett Bolles- Offensive Tackle (Utah)
Plain and simple, the Hawks need O-line help and need to protect Russell Wilson. They added a couple of pieces in free agency but they still have work to do. Bolles solves a lot of problems in being able to protect Wilson’s blindside.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Teez Tabor- Cornerback (Florida)
The Chiefs already have a solid defense as is but the rich get richer here. Marcus Peters has established himself as one of the league’s best corners. Beyond him, the Chiefs are thin albeit they have Eric Berry at safety. Give the Chiefs Tabor, a shut down man-to-man corner to go alongside Peters and it almost becomes impossible to throw against the Chiefs defense.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris- Defensive End (Missouri)
The Cowboys have some solid pieces on defense but they’re really lacking a consistent pass rusher. Selecting Harris gives them a bonafide pass rusher who would fit nicely in the 3-4 system Dallas runs.
29. Green Bay Packers: TJ Watt- Linebacker (Wisconsin)
The Pack lost Julius Peppers in free agency and really need a boost to their pass rush. TJ, the younger brother of superstar JJ Watt would really give the Packers that needed boost especially playing on a defense with Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Zach Cunningham- Linebacker (Vanderbilt)
The Steelers continue to add to their young, star filled defense. They can pair Cunningham, a tackling machine with Ryan Shazier in the middle of their linebacking core while having Bud Dupree and James Harrison outside. That’s a “steel curtain” looking defense if you ask me.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson- Defensive End (Auburn)
The Falcons don’t have many needs, but grabbing a solid pass rusher in Lawson would really begin to give their defense the “dirty birds” feeling again. Head coach Dan Quinn would have to be loving what his defense would be looking like with Lawson on the edge and Vic Beasley and Deion Jones behind him at linebacker.
32. New Orleans Saints: Gareon Conley- Cornerback (Ohio State)
Not only do the Saints land Malcolm Butler but they add Gareon Conley to finally solidify their secondary once and for all. A tandem of Conley and Butler plus safeties Vonn Bell and Kenny Vaccaro would really give the Saints the needed jumpstart to their defense.
33. Cleveland Browns: Jabrill Peppers- Safety/Corner (Michigan)
34. San Francisco 49ers: Deshone Kizer- Quarterback (Notre Dame)
35. Jacksonville Jaguars: David Njoku- Tight End (Miami)
36. Chicago Bears: JuJu Smith-Schuster- Wide Receiver (USC)
37. Los Angeles Rams: Dede Westbrook- Wide Receiver (Oklahoma)
38. Los Angeles Chargers: Taylor Moton- Offensive Tackle (Western Michigan)
39. New York Jets: Quincy Wilson- Cornerback (Florida)
40. Carolina Panthers: Chidobe Awuzie- Cornerback (Colorado)
41. Cincinnati Bengals: Roderick Johnson- Offensive Tackle (Florida State)
42. New Orleans Saints: Takkarist McKinley- Defensive End (UCLA)
43. Philadelphia Eagles: Tre’Davious White- Cornerback (LSU)
44. Buffalo Bills: Fabian Moreau- Cornerback (UCLA)
45. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Mahomes- Quarterback (Texas Tech)
46. Indianapolis Colts: Raekwon McMillan- Linebacker (Ohio State)
47. Baltimore Ravens: Curtis Samuel- Wide Receiver (Ohio State)
48. Minnesota Vikings: Dan Feeney- Guard (Indiana)
49. Washington Redskins: Joe Mixon- Runningback (Oklahoma)
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Obi Melifonwu- Safety (UConn)
51. Denver Broncos: Antonio Garcia- Offensive Tackle (Troy)
52. Cleveland Browns: Adoree Jackson- Cornerback (USC)
53. Detroit Lions: Derek Rivers- Defensive End (Youngstown State)
54. Miami Dolphins: DeMarcus Walker- Defensive End (Florida State)
55. New York Giants: Bucky Hodges- Tight End (Virginia Tech)
56. Oakland Raiders: Budda Baker- Safety (Washington)
57. Houston Texans: Dorian Johnson- Guard (Pittsburgh)
58. Seattle Seahawks: Ethan Pocic- Center (LSU)
59. Kansas City Chiefs: Caleb Brantley- Defensive Tackle (Florida)
60. Dallas Cowboys: Zay Jones- Wide Receiver (Eastern Carolina)
61. Green Bay Packers: Desmond King- Cornerback (Iowa)
62. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Godwin- Wide Receiver (Penn State)
63. Atlanta Falcons: Nazair Jones- Defensive Tackle (UNC)
64. Carolina Panthers: Ryan Anderson- Linebacker (Alabama)
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