1. Cleveland Browns (1-15): Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M
There is always the thought of a trade here due to Cleveland’s rebuilding model that has them looking to accumulate as many draft picks as possible. However, a tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that the Browns have an astronomical grade on Myles Garrett could end any trade thoughts. With Garrett fitting such a need and the Browns showing that their willing to go after top tier prospects (trading for Jamie Collins) could lead to Garrett being the #1 pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers (2-14): DeShone Kizer QB Notre Dame
As we read this it looks like the 49ers are waiting until more teams are eliminated from the playoffs before they hire their next head coach and general manager, which makes this pick a little bit harder to predict. However, one thing we do know is that they need help at numerous positions starting with quarterback. While many want to trash this quarterback class, DeShone Kizer has all the tools to be successful and the size scouts love. Kizer may not be ready day one, but he has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback.
3. Chicago Bears (3-13): Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
Deshaun Watson has his flaws causing opinions of where he could go in the draft to be wide ranging, but it’s not unrealistic that he could go int the top five. Watson has the physical tools to succeed in the league and the leadership that teams crave from the quarterback position. If Watson decides to attend the Senior Bowl the Bears coaching staff, while on the opposite team, will still get an up close look at the intriguing quarterback prospect.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14): Jonathan Allen DE Alabama
Other than Myles Garrett falling to them there isn’t a better scenario for the Jaguars than to select Jonathan Allen. Jacksonville is staying with the Seattle Cover 3 style scheme that they’ve ran since Gus Bradley was hired. That means Allen could be their version of Michael Bennett who can play both the 3 and 5 techniques providing an inside pass rusher next to last year’s free agent pick up Malik Jackson.
5. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Jamal Adams S LSU (From Los Angeles)
While safety isn’t a huge need for the Titans with Kevin Byard and Da’Norris Searcy, it would be very difficult for the Titans to pass on a prospect like Jamal Adams, which don’t come around very often. Adams is a strong safety but there is not much he can’t do on the football field. A tremendous athlete who can fill running lanes , cover tight ends and excel in coverage. The duo of Byard and Adams would give the Titans a good safety duo for years to come.
6. New York Jets (5-11): Mike Williams WR Clemson
If the National Championship was your first view of Mike Williams then you’ve missed out on a spectacular season where Williams has been playing at an elite level all season long. Don’t be surprised if the Jets blow up their roster and get rid of a lot of high priced veterans such as receiver Brandon Marshall, whose game has really dropped off this year. If the plan is to have last year’s second round pick Christian Hackenburg as their eventual starting quarterback, Williams will remind him a lot of Allen Robinson who helped Hackenburg thrive at Penn State as a true freshman.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11): Malik Hooker S Ohio State
While there are reports that the Chargers are looking to hire Gus Bradley for their open defensive coordinator position, no matter who they hire will need to continue to build up their talented young defense. The Chargers have some high quality talent at cornerback, but still haven’t replaced Eric Weddle who left last offseason. Malik Hooker would give the Chargers an elite center field prospect that can sit back and make plays as their talented pass rushers put pressure on the quarterback.
8. Carolina Panthers (6-10): Leonard Fournette RB LSU
Despite some major needs at offensive tackle and in the secondary, the Panthers are not likely to take someone from either of those positions here in the top ten. Instead they could look to take Leonard Fournette and to eventually replace Jonathan Stewart, who hasn’t played a full season since 2011, as Fournette’s physical running style is similar to Stewart while being more explosive. Whether he instantly replaces Stewart or the two share the load initially, this gives the Panthers their next elite running back.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1): Reuben Foster LB Alabama
While it may be difficult to pass on Derek Barnett here, the Bengals defense is built on having athletic playmaking linebackers. Reuben Foster is highly regarded not only for his speed and physicality but the way he always seems to be around the ball. Foster should be able to win the starting middle linebacker position in training camp moving Rey Maualuga to the strong side or see him get released.
10. Buffalo Bills (7-9): Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina
Even though Tyrod Taylor isn’t without some flaws, normally teams with quarterbacks like him just don’t let him walk. Regardless of Taylor coming back or not, the Bills could still be looking to the future and take Mitch Trubisky here to be their franchise future. Trubisky has the arm talent to thrive in the league but his one year of experience could scare some teams off.
11. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
Falling out of the top ten could be a little low for Derek Barnett, who could go as high as the Jaguars at four, but New Orleans who needs edge rushers badly will not complain to see him fall into their laps. Barnett across from Cam Jordan and next to Sheldon Rankins, would give the Saints a tremendous pass rush they haven’t had in a very long time.
12. Cleveland Browns (1-15): Solomon Thomas DE Stanford (From –Philadelphia)
This may be an odd pick for the Browns since I have them taking Garrett first overall while they took Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah last year. However, new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wants an aggressive defense and could see some Aaron Donald in Solomon Thomas. Thomas does his best work against guards and adding a little bit of weight we could see him next to Danny Shelton inside with Garrett and Ogbah on the sides. Quickly the Browns could have the best young defensive line in the league.
13. Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1): Jalen Tabor CB Florida
This team, despite their record, is built to win now and that means they should use this pick on an elite level defender to restock a defense that took a step back this past season. Arizona has struggled to find someone opposite of Patrick Peterson and even gave safety Tyvon Branch snaps at corner. Jalen Tabor is a lightning quick cornerback who does a tremendous job of covering receivers without having to rely on his hands.
14. Indianapolis Colts (8-8): Charles Harris DE Missouri
It shouldn’t came as a surprise that the Colts didn’t having consistent success this season mainly in part to their defenses lack of any true foundation players. After addressing the offensive line in the 2016 draft the Colts should turn their focus to fixing a defensive unit that ranked 30th in average yards given up per game. This means that the Colts could realistically go in any direction but should still focus on adding pass rushers in the early rounds. Charles Harris is looking to become the next top Missouri pass rusher and has shown stretches of dominance throughout his career rushing from a three or two-point stance.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9): Corey Davis WR Western Michigan (From – Minnesota)
With the emergence of Carson Wentz this season the Eagles have a franchise quarterback on their hands and must spend this offseason trying to find him a true number one receiver. Their priority may be to get a guy like Alshon Jeffery in free agency, but if they strike out there they could turn to the draft and select a player like Corey Davis. Davis has physically dominated not only the MAC but even the three Big 10 schools he played. This pick gives Wentz a big body receiver that can go up and make catches and move the chains when the Eagles need to.
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8): Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
Whether it’s the aging Terrell Suggs or the potential cap casualty Elvis Dummervil, the Ravens cannot stand pat with the pass rushers they have. Takkarist McKinley is not a complete 3-4 outside linebacker, but may have the best first step of any pass rusher in the draft. Even if McKinley is just a pass rushing specialist the first couple years it will breath some life into the Raven’s aging unit. The future of the Ravens outside linebackers could be McKinley and Kamelei Correa.
17. Washington Redskins (8-7-1): Malik McDowell DT Michigan State
Not only have the Redskins not hired a defensive coordinator yet, they’ve also interviewed candidates from a wide variety of schemes. No matter what direction they go in they will need to add playmakers to their defensive line. Malik McDowell is a prospect that can fit into any scheme and give the Redskins an interior pass rusher they lack to complement their talented edge rushers.
18. Tennessee Titans (9-7): OJ Howard TE Alabama
Mocking a big body receiver like Mike Williams or Corey Davis makes a ton of sense for an offense that is run heavy but lacks that true number one receiver for Mariota. Instead they could look to add another weapon in the passing game, but in the mold of a player that seems to fit their style of offense better. Sure the Titans already have Delanie Walker but adding OJ Howard would give them a talented run blocker and a playmaking threat. Can you imagine all the different looks the Titans could give out of two tight end sets?
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): Dalvin Cook RB Florida State
Tampa Bay thrived this season when it went with heavier sets and committed to the run game. While Doug Martin had some success he was hurt once again and is now suspended. Rather than wait round for Martin the Bucs could turn to Winston’s former teammate to give them an elite Jamaal Charles type running back. Let’s not forget the last time the Bucs turned to a smaller back from Florida State.
20. Denver Broncos (9-7): Garett Bolles OT Utah
In the Gary Kubiak era, the Broncos didn’t put a lot of emphasis on targeting offensive lineman early. But those days are gone with Vance Joseph leading the team and Mike McCoy back, the Broncos could look early to fix an offensive line that really cost the offense their momentum throughout the season. Garett Bolles is still an unpolished prospect but has top 10 physical skills, don’t be surprised to see him rise in the scouting process.
21. Detroit Lions (9-7): Quincy Wilson CB Florida
Darius Slay has developed into the best cornerback in the league that most people haven’t heard of. The big problem is that for Teryl Austin’s defensive scheme to play to its full potential they need two outside corners who can play press man and run with opposing receivers. Quincy Wilson is big and physical and should thrive playing press and using his size to his advantage.
22. Miami Dolphins (10-6): Taco Charlton DE Michigan
Even with Vance Joseph leaving the Dolphins promoted Matt Burke, continuing with their version of the Bengals defense. Needing help rushing the passer but wanting bigger defensive ends, the 6’6 270lb Taco Charlton fits both the size and need categories while providing an upgrade over Mario Williams who likely will be cut this offseason.
23. New York Giants (11-5): Ryan Ramczyk OT Wisconsin
While the Giants have invested heavily in their offensive line, we all know that Ereck Flowers cannot stay at left tackle while GM Jerry Reese even said they’re open to the idea of him moving to right tackle. New York must continue to address the position and Ryan Ramcyzk’s quick lateral agility and his ability in the run game make him a perfect fit for the Giants.
24.Oakland Raiders (12-4): Davon Godchaux DT LSU
When your head coach comes out and says that they need to get their interior pass rush going you know that it’s going to be a priority in the offseason. With their leading interior pass rusher, Stacy McGee and his 2.5 sacks, potentially leaving as a free agent the need only grows. With Mack and Irvin coming off the edge it means more one on one blocking in the middle where Davon Godchaux can win with an explosive first step attacking the gaps.
25. Houston Texans (9-7): Forest Lamp OT Western Kentucky
Houston spent last season upgrading their skill positions on offense and could use this offseason to try and fix the offensive line. Taking Forest Lamp here would give them a talented prospect who could play tackle or guard while helping the Texans to get their five best offensive lineman on the field.
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1): Marshon Lattimore CB Ohio State
For the longest time it’s been very easy to mock cornerbacks to the Seahawks in an effort to find a complement to Richard Sherman. While they’ve always passed there could be a time where the prospect is just too good that they just can’t pass. Seattle tends to go after elite athletes at the position in the first round and Marshon Lattimore should test well showing off his speed and fluid hips. While he isn’t your true Cover 3 type guy, the Seahawks have been more varied in their coverages with Kris Richard as their defensive coordinator.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): Jabrill Peppers S Michigan
With Eric Berry headed to free agency there is a chance that the Chiefs may not be able to bring him back and Jabrill Peppers could be the replacement the Chiefs are looking for. Even if Berry is resigned Peppers still isn’t out of the question, as he would give them a dynamic chess piece on defense that can move around to multiple positions, since defensive coordinator Bob Sutton loves to play with six and seven defensive backs and Peppers has experience all over the field.
28. Dallas Cowboys (13-3): Sidney Jones CB Washington
With the emergence of David Irving and a deep defensive end draft class the Cowboys won’t be forced to take a defensive end here and could instead take the best available here. Sidney Jones has the movement skills to stick with receivers but his ability to play the ball is second to none and will fit well in the Cowboys scheme.
29. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Gareon Conley CB Ohio State
Even with the Packers using a first and second round picks in 2015 on cornerback, they cannot afford to stand pat as they’ve been prone to giving up big plays. Gareon Conley gives them another corner to add to the mix, but with the Packers two starting safeties will be free agents after the 2017 season and either Rollins or Randall could transition to safety in the future.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): Ryan Anderson OLB Alabama
While the Steelers sack numbers have increased and they are getting pressure on the quarterback, both James Harrison and Jarvis Jones will be free agents along with key reserve Anthony Chickillo. Even if all three are retained the position should be addressed since Harrison is their best pass rusher and he’ll be 39 next year. Ryan Anderson is your stereotypical Steelers edge rusher and isn’t built terribly different than James Harrison. Anderson wins with power and technique and could become the perfect compliment to uber athletic Alvin Dupree.
31. Atlanta Falcons (11-5): Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama
Based on their record and how they’ve been winning, there isn’t a ton of weaknesses on this team. This likely leads to the Falcons looking to the future and taking the best player available. The defense did take a slight step back when Marcus Trufant went down with injury and add in that he is a free agent after the 2017 season where he could command big money. Marlon Humphrey has given up some plays down the field, but he’s at his best in press which fits well into the Falcons scheme.
32. New England Patriots (14-2): David Njoku TE Miami
Your telling me a team with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett already needs to invest a first round pick in a tight end? Yes, when you think about Gronk coming off another back surgery and Bennett always wearing out his welcome. The Patriots might be smart to lock up an athletic receiving tight end that they can groom to being the Gronk replacement someday.