My second mock of the year. Let me know what you think.
1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M - The number one pick is essentially down to two players at this point - Garrett and Mitch Trubisky. It’s obvious the Browns need quarterback help, but they also need help in nearly every other position as well. Garrett is the best prospect in this draft by a mile and should hear his name called first overall come April. He’s a flat out monster who can do everything. Let’s not forget the Browns have the 12th pick if they want to reach for a quarterback like usual.
2.*Trade Alert* Washington Redskins - Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama - The 49ers use the second overall pick to land Kirk Cousins. Cousins has made it known that he wants to play with former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and even went as far as stating that he would not sign a long term deal elsewhere. There’s a chance he leaves at the end of the season via free agency so the Redskins could ship him to get something for him. Now, with the second pick, the Redskins get the second best player in the draft to help solidify the future of their defense and their defensive line.
3. Chicago Bears - Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina - The quarterbacks of the draft seem to be slipping a bit following the combine. Trubisky is highly valued by the Browns and could be selected first overall. The Bears could use this pick to grab one of the premier defensive backs or Solomon Thomas who’s making his way up the boards. However, the Bears have the chance to grab, what could be, the best quarterback of this draft. Trubisky’s size and arm are ideal for the league. I still believe Deshaun Watson will be the best quarterback out of the draft, but Trubisky fits John Fox better.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State - Lattimore has always been one of the best defensive back options in the draft but following the combine, he’s made his way to number one. I also like the possibility of Solomon Jones going here, but with the Jaguars having the likes of Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue on the defensive front who are still rather young and have potential, I feel there’s bigger needs. Jamal Adams is another possibility but I’m projecting John Cyprien to resign. That makes way for the best player available and that’s Lattimore. He’s going to be a stud in the NFL and will slot in on day one for the jags.
5. Tennessee Titans - Jamal Adams, S, LSU - I think this pick has been the same for a few months now. The Titans, picking from the Rams pick from last year’s Jared Goff trade, they have the chance to add the top rated safety in the draft. Adams is what you call a ballhawk and will slot in perfectly in the middle of the Titans defense, helping them push forward to battling for the AFC South title.
6. New York Jets - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU - Tigers taken in back-to-back picks. The Jets don’t know what’s currently happening with their franchise. Fournette killed it at the combine and some have even projected him going as high as second in the draft. For whomever is playing under center for the Jets next year, they’re going to enjoy having Fournette there to hand the ball off too.
7. Los Angeles Charges - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State - Another one of those picks I haven’t seen much change in. The Chargers need some desperate help on the defensive side of things. Hooker and Adams can be interchanged as the top rated safety in this draft. He’ll be out 4-to-6 weeks following surgery but does not seem that he will be missing any regular season action for his rookie season. This pick fills a huge need for the rebranded Chargers.
8. Carolina Panthers - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford - Thomas has rocketed up the draft boards following his stellar performance in Indianapolis this past week. The Panthers’ defense is not what it once was when they nearly had a perfect season and made it to the Superbowl. There are a few needs on the offensive side of the ball but at this point in the draft, best player available is Thomas who helps solidify their defensive front moving forward.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama - Foster has recently made some waves after he was dismissed from the combine following a dispute with a doctor. This probably won’t hurt his draft status much as he still remains the premier linebacker in the draft. The linebacking position is weak for the Bengals and Foster is the ideal fit. Also, it’s not like the Bengals haven’t dealt with troubled players on their roster in the past.
10. Buffalo Bills - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson - The Bills have come to terms with quarterback Tyrod Taylor and he will be their starting quarterback for 2017. Now, give him something to work with. We already know that Sammy Watkins is a real talent, if he can stay healthy, and Lesean McCoy is killing it out of the backfield. Adding Williams would make Taylor a happy man. Lining Williams opposite Watkins would be a dream come true for any signal caller.
11. New Orleans Saints - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee - There’s no question that the Saints can hang some points. There are questions if their defense can slow the opposing offense. They’re in desperate need of a pass rusher and luckily enough, Barnett is on the board at 11.
12. Cleveland Browns - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson - Here we are, at pick number 12 and Watson is on the board. If the Browns pass on him here, they’re complete and utter morons. Watson, in my opinion, will be the best quarterback coming from this draft. He has the tools and recent reports have teams and experts raving of his football IQ. Of course, there lingers questions of his accuracy, with 30 interceptions thrown over the past two seasons in Clemson’s spread offense, but he’ll transition well. The only question is, will he survive in Cleveland.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan - Could there be a better situation for a player than this. The Cardinals obviously need help on the outside. Larry Fitzgerald is still getting it done despite being up there in age and the likes of John Brown and J.J. Nelson have proven that they are not the answer. Draft Davis and allow him to be mentored by the future hall-of-famer Larry Fitz for a few seasons.
14. Philadelphia Eagles - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington - If I were to be writing this a day or so ago, there’s no doubt you’d see John Ross or another receiver here. However, rumors have it, that Alshon Jeffery may find his way into Philadelphia. The Eagles could use this pick to help their god-awful secondary. Jones’ name is not widely known with the likes of some of the other top-tier cornerback options in the draft. The reason for that is, PAC-12 quarterbacks knew better than throwing at him.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Garrett Boles, OT, Utah - The Colts need to do something to help Andrew Luck, who is one of the most hit quarterbacks in the league each year that he’s been in the league. At 15, there’s options to get a runningback or defensive-end, but I feel the biggest need is on the offensive line. This year’s draft does not feature crazy talent on the offensive front but has players that will develop into suitable starters. Anything is better than nothing.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan - Charlton is one of those names climbing the board. He’s a bit raw at this point but the Ravens desperately need pass rushing help. They have recently released Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs is 35 years old.
17. Washington Redskins - Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida - The Redskins need help at a lot of positions, defensive tackle, inside linebacker and safety. So we’ll go best player available and have them select Brantley here, the potential top defensive tackle option in the draft. I projected them adding Allen with the second overall pick with a trade with the 49ers. Why not use the second first to fully solidify that defensive front.
18. Tennessee Titans - John Ross, WR, Washington - The star of the combine is off the board at 18. John Ross stole the show, running a 4.22 40-yard dash, setting the combine record. This would give Marcus Mariota a legitimate over-the-top option to help stretch the defense, allowing Delanie Walker and others to be more open underneath.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State - It’s time the Bucs move on from Doug Martin. Martin gave the Bucs a few good seasons but now he can’t stay healthy long enough to help at all. Cook is a day-one starter in the backfield and will add a consistent backfield threat for the Bucs offense as they progress forward.
20. Denver Broncos - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin - Ramczyk is arguably the most talented offensive lineman in the draft but is battling a shoulder injury that will require surgery. The Broncos need some desperate help keeping Trevor Simmion or Paxton Lynch, or Tony Romo, on their feet. The defense is still one of, if not, the best in the league. Helping keep their quarterback upright will be a huge help.
21. Detroit Lions - Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA - Another one of those names that’s making his way up the board. The Lions need a lot of defensive help, mainly at the defensive front in the form of a pass rusher. McKinley is rising quickly and by the time the draft rolls around, he could easily be off the board way before the Lions at 21.
22. Miami Dolphins - Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt - The Dolphins desperately need help at the linebacking position. Cunningham, outside of of Foster, is one of the best linebacking options there are in this draft.
23. New York Giants - Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama - The Giants have a few options they could go for here. With the recent addition of Brandon Marshall, their offense is looking good. Their defense performed beyond expectations last season and are ready to perform well in 2017. They have still not addressed their offensive line until now. Robinson is the third offensive tackle off the board at this point but he is desperately needed to allow Eli Manning to make his progressions and get the ball out of his hands.
24. Oakland Raiders - Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU - The Raiders are on the verge of being legitimate contenders. They proved that last season prior to Carr’s broken leg leading into the playoffs. One of their most obvious weaknesses is their secondary and picking White at 24 could help them take one step closer to returning to relevance.
25. Houston Texans - Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Michigan - I’m so tempted to project someone like Kizer or Mahomes here but despite how bad their quarterback situation is, they’re paying Brock Osweiler way to much to be giving up this early into his contract. With that being said, they’ll look to bolster their offensive line and take the best lineman available, which at this point is guard Lamp.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida - The Seahawks need to address their offensive line but there are no more first round caliber offensive lineman on the board at 26. Deshawn Stead tore his ACL in the playoffs and will miss the start of the season. Their cornerback depth isn’t the greatest so adding Wilson makes sense.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech - Alex Smith isn’t the answer and he won’t be player forever. Lets reflect back to 2007 when Reid took Kevin Kolb despite Donovan McNabb being the solidified starter. Reid is a quarterback guy and will get the best out of Mahomes. Mahomes has been tagged a second round guy but naturally, as a quarterback, that means the end of the first round.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Charles Harris, DE, Missouri - The Cowboys need help getting to the quarterback. Picking at 28, Harris is a great talent to add to the defensive front. There isn’t much the Cowboys can do for improving, but if there’s anything, it’s getting to the quarterback.
29. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin - I’m not sure why this feels so right, but it does. The younger brother of defensive star J.J. Watt is making his way into the league and will slot in perfectly on the piss-poor defense of the Green Bay Packers. The Packers could use help at every position by quarterback.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Haason Reddick, Temple, DE - Here’s another pick that I feel like just fits. Reddick is making waves, dominating the senior bowl and had a great combine. The Steelers defense is alright, and their offense is phenomenal. It’s time to bring in James Harrison’s predecessor and have Reddick learn from Harrison over the next two seasons.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama - I’ll never be sold on Alabama defensive backs but Humphrey does look decent. The Falcons are fresh off the tragic Superbowl and need some help on the defensive side of the ball. Humphrey may not be a day one starter but he has the talent to someday be one.
32. New England Patriots - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama - How perfect. Martellus Bennett is leaving town and rumors are floating about that Gronk may not be a Patriot for much longer. We know how important that position is for that offense so why not draft the draft’s highest rated TE at 32?