On our one year anniversary, we go back to how we started with our NFL Mock Draft!
Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
NB: Don’t be stupid Cleveland (which I know, is like telling a toddler not to touch something). Mitchell Trubisky has way too many red flags to take at #1 when there is a sure fire top pass rusher on the board. It’s true that you need a good QB to win in this league, but you also need a talented roster around him. The Browns have a ton of good picks from their Eagles trade last year and can go after another QB in the 1st Round or later in the draft if they please. The only guarantee is that a player of Garrett’s caliber won’t be available for them later. Take the stud.
RH: The Browns need impact players regardless of position and Garrett is the clear best player player in this year’s draft. Normally I’d be ok with a trade down here, but the Browns can only acquire so many picks before they’ll have to start actually using them.
San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
RH: The Niners may actually be in worse shape than Cleveland since the Browns at least have a good offensive line. I don’t think you can put anything past John Lynch in his first draft as the new Niners GM, but Thomas makes a lot of sense here. Stud player on defense you can build around while waiting for the next franchise QB. Side note, will Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins, and Troy Polamalu also get GM jobs in the next few seasons? Are All Pro safeties from the 2000’s the new mid 90’s Browns coaching staff in terms of the next wave of football minds?
NB: John Lynch went to Stanford, so why not start his tenure with a homer pick? The Niners need everything so they might as well take the best player available. They should also look to trade back and accumulate picks in order to restock their barren roster.
Chicago Bears – DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
NB: Does anybody really think Mike Glennon is the answer long term? Now, I don’t necessarily think the Bears will go QB here, but they should. They actually have a solid young defense forming in Chicago, so it’s time to rebuild the offense to be able to seriously compete once again. They need help on the offensive line and have glaring pass catching holes, but you can find those later in the draft. Get the stud QB who has won at all levels.
RH: Bears fans should riot if this is the pick. Unless the Bears are hoping for a Sam Bradford like trade opportunity to fall into their lap for Glennon, you are only hurting the development of both Glennon and Watson if this is the pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnathan Allen, DT, Alabama
RH: The Jags biggest need is quarterback, but I think they’ll ride the Bortles train for one more season. The addition of Allen to an already deep defensive line would just make this an unfair unit to deal with every Sunday for opposing offensive lines.
NB: While Allen is probably the best player available on the board, I do not think the Jags will really need him after signing Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson the last two offseason. This team has so many other holes, I think they would go for secondary or maybe even running back here.
Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams) – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
NB: Might be a reach at 5, but Williams is exactly what the doctor ordered for Mariota and the Titans’ offense. Tennessee has the luxury of another first round pick this year, so they need to start filling in their biggest needs. Tennessee could be scary very soon if Williams is as good as he looked in the National Championship game.
RH: Love the pick. Love the Titans (assuming Mariota’s health). Love being able to LOL @ the Rams for the next decade.
New York Jets – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
RH: The Jets don’t really have any good players and seem prime for a draft reach here. New York just took Christian Hackenberg in the second round last year, yet were doing everything they possibly could to NOT play him last season. So what should they do? Adding another QB seems like the most Jets pick possible.
NB: LOL Jets if they do this. Trubisky will be a bust.
Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, DB, Ohio State
NB: The Chargers need help at a few spots on defense, but as the NFL becomes more and more pass happy, it can’t hurt to get studs in the secondary. If the Chargers stay healthy on offense (for once) and they keep adding instant starters to their defense, they could make a playoff run in their first year in LA.
RH: No complaints with this pick. Could the Chargers shock the world and take their future QB here?
Carolina Panthers – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
RH: This pick has been rumored off and on for months and makes a lot of sense. Fournette is a beast and the idea of a Cam-Stewart-Fournette three headed monster is scary for anyone facing Carolina in 2017.
NB: I don’t love this pick for Carolina, but wouldn’t be surprised. Carolina can manufacture a good run game with any decent RB considering they have an extra RB in the backfield every snap with Cam. I’d love to see them upgrade the offensive line to protect Cam from big hits, or get some help for that bad secondary from last year.
Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
NB: This guy just seems like a perfect Bengal. Low football IQ, but high ability. Hopefully he isn’t as much of a hot head as Burfict and Pacman, but he will definitely fit right in and fill a position of need.
RH: I’d like to see the Bengals take Corey Davis or John Ross here to take some of the pressure off of AJ Green, but I love Foster as a prospect and think he will fit in great regardless of where he lands. Good pick for Cincy here.
Buffalo Bills – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
RH: The Bills had the #1 defense in football just a few years ago. They are now a dumpster fire on that side of the ball and need to add quality players regardless of which level of the defense they play on. Lattimore will be a good player and fills an immediate need for new head coach Sean McDermott.
NB: The Bills could really use either a receiver or OJ Howard here. That’s the direction I would expect them to go, but Lattimore is a good fit to replace the loss of Stephon Gilmore this offseason.
New Orleans Saints – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
NB: The Saints should only draft defense for the foreseeable future. Once again, their secondary was atrocious. Adams is a stud and is unlikely to fall this far. If he is still available, this is a no brainer to take the local kid.
RH: I like Adams, but the Saints are just not meant to have a good defense so this pick will surely be a bust.
Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) – OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
RH: The Browns are upset that there isn’t a quarterback left here for them to take. They will work the phones non stop in an attempt to trade out of this pick. I like the idea of Howard helping their pathetic passing game for whoever is under center.
NB: The next Ozzie Newsome for Cleveland?
Arizona Cardinals – Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
NB: Arizona has a chance to dip back into the DBU pool with another LSU alum. White could join Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in creating a devastating secondary and filling a major hole from last season.
RH: The Cardinals corner spot opposite of Patrick Peterson was a real problem last season and White gives them another option at the spot. QB should also be considered for them at this spot.
Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) – DE Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
RH: The Eagles put themselves in a spot to take the best player available at 14 and are lucky enough that Barnett also could push Vinny Curry if his inconsistent play from 2016 continues. As an Eagles fan, I’m praying Marshon Lattimore slides down to this spot.
NB: Barnett could be a scary good pass rusher in the NFL. I’m selfishly hoping he falls to the Ravens at 16 if Ozzie wants to go defense.
Indianapolis Colts – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
NB: You have Andrew Luck. Keep him healthy. This isn’t rocket Indy.
RH: ^ What he said.
Baltimore Ravens – Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
RH: The Ravens are usually a best player on the board team, but with some of their departures on the defensive side of the ball the last few seasons I could see them making pass rusher an area of need in the first round.
NB: I would also love Corey Davis or John Ross here, but pass rusher is definitely a need. Trust Ozzie no matter what. I also REALLY want the Ravens to get a player that I would buy a jersey of. No more boring offensive lineman.
Washington Redskins – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
NB: Personally, I’m not sold that McCaffrey will be a star NFL player. On the right team, he definitely could be, but if Washington takes him to fill their hole at running back, I would be weary. No matter what, he will be somewhat useful for the ‘Skins, even if the team around him turns into a dumpster value.
RH: Washington is a mess off the field and their defense is a mess on the field. So taking an offensive player makes perfect sense for a truly dysfunctional organization.
Tennessee Titans – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio St.
RH: The Titans get a steal at 18 that also fits a major need. Everything is coming up Titans these days.
NB: I don’t think Conley is the pick if this report is true. Titans need to keep acquiring talent. If they go defense at pick 5, this could be a wide receiver here (Ross or Davis).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
NB: The Bucs are basically done with Doug Martin at this point and I’m sure Jameis Winston would love to reunite with fellow Seminole Cook in his backfield. Tampa has other needs, but their best chance to become a truly dynamic team is to give Winston as many weapons as possible.
RH: The Bucs have a lot of flexibility with what they can do at 19. I do not think Cook should be a part of that plan however. Another pass catcher, a safety, or a quality offensive lineman should all be higher on the team’s list than a running back.
Denver Broncos – Garrett Boles, OT Utah
RH: The Broncos are in need of a youth infusion on their offensive line. Another pass catcher could be an option here as there is no real threat outside of DT and Sanders on this roster.
NB: Seems like a classic Broncos pick.
Detroit Lions – Corey Davis, WR, Central Michigan
NB: The Lions would love to grab the local product here to upgrade their passing attack. Stafford is good enough to get this team to the playoffs, but he needs more weapons to compete with Green Bay in the division. Davis would be perfect for Detroit.
RH: Love, love, love. Davis is one of my favorite players in this draft (I may run through the streets screaming in joy if the Eagles take him). Marvin Jones faded last season after a hot start and as good as Golden Tate is he doesn’t offer the size Davis has. Best pick of this mock so far.
Miami Dolphins – Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
RH: The Dolphins defense was a solid unit last season, but could use a dynamic weapon to help on the edge. Reddick could go higher, but the Dolphins are happy to take a slight discount here.
NB: I’m tired of talking about the lowly AFC East teams outside of New England. None of them seem to be able to move the needle to challenge the champs. The Dolphins aren’t going anywhere until they upgrade their QB and stop overpaying free agents.
New York Giants – Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
NB: The G Men NEED offensive line help. They may be able to find help later in the draft, but I would expect them to address it early and often. Also, this guy has an awesome name. Most importantly, his alma mater has the best mascot.
RH: The Giants are in a position where they have to take an offensive lineman with one of their first couple picks. Their offense will continue to struggle if they roll the same underwhelming group out there again in 2017.
Oakland Raiders – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
RH: This pick is almost too perfect. Humphrey is a great find at 24 and fills a huge need for the Raiders. I wouldn’t hate a John Ross pick here, but that just wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the league.
NB: If Al Davis was picking, John Ross would be a mortal lock. The Raiders need to go defense and Humphrey would be a solid pick.
Houston Texans – TJ Watt , DE, Wisconsin
NB: Too perfect right? JJ is injured too often and Clowney (also oft-injured) is about to need a huge contract extension. Maybe the long term solution is another Watt? If you can’t find a QB for yourself, might as well make sure your opponent’s QB stays on his back all game.
RH: If his last name wasn’t Watt I’d say this was a wasted pick, but it is so I’m all on board with the Watt’s destroying offensive lines in 2017.
Seattle Seahawks – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
RH: There might not be a bigger need for a title contender then Seattle needing to upgrade their offensive line. Robinson could become the next homegrown Seattle star.
NB: Good pick. Seattle needs to upgrade their line.
Kansas City Chiefs – John Ross, WR, Washington
NB: The Chiefs can be pretty flexible with this pick. They need to get more dynamic on offense (upgrading from Alex Smith would help with this) and adding the fastest man in the draft would do that. The Chiefs window to win is right now, they need to get an immediate impact guy.
RH: Ross will likely go way before this, but he slipped in this mock. It’s a shame his talents will be wasted this season with Alex Smith under center.
Dallas Cowboys – Kevin King, CB, Washington
RH: An average at best secondary lost its two starting corners. Dallas might have to reach if there is a big corner run before them.
NB: The Cowboys have to go defense. King seems like a decent choice for their secondary. I could see them going pass rush as well.
Green Bay Packers – Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
NB: If one of the running backs fall this far, the Pack should take him. If Green Bay is willing to overlook Joe Mixon’s domestic violence video (a gigantic if), he would be the pick here on pure football talent. Instead, I think the Packers get younger at cornerback and get the super athletic Jackson for their secondary.
RH: Like Dallas, Green Bay is in desperate need of a corner and may even have to reach a little bit just to add some talent to the position.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Charles Harris, DE/LB, Missouri
RH: This feels so Pittsburgh. Isn’t a crucial need, but there’s buzz Harris could jump into the top 15 picks on Thursday.
NB: Seems like a typical Steelers’ pick.
Atlanta Falcons – Budda Baker, S, Washington
NB: Dan Quinn could use Baker as Earl Thomas 2.0 in Atlanta. The Falcons’ secondary needs an upgrade and Budda could be a stud for them. He also has a great name.
RH: Best name of the first round if Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton doesn’t go.
New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots) – Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
RH: The Saints end up trading Drew Brees’ most dangerous receiver for his eventual replacement.
NB: I think Brees has a few more years left. I would hope the Saints use this pick to help him out to make another playoff run in NOLA.
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated