1. Cleveland Browns (1-15): Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M
There is always a thought of a trade here because Cleveland’s rebuilding model has them looking to accumulate as many draft picks as they can. That thought process could change largely due to a tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Browns have an astronomical grade on Myles Garrett. 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 pick here.
2. San Francisco 49ers (2-14): DeShone Kizer QB Notre Dame
With both General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Chip Kelly gone it will be interesting to see who the 49ers bring in to run the organization and team. One thing we do know is that they need help at quarterback. While many want to trash this quarterback class, Kizer has all the tools to be successful and has 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): Jonathan Allen DE Alabama
All indications in Chicago seem to be that Jay Cutler has played his last down with the Bears but it looks like they’re more in the veteran quarterback market than taking someone early here. So to get a player like Jonathan Allen to fall into their lap here would be a dream come true. Allen has thrived being an inside pass rusher in the Crimson Tide 3-4 defense, so he should make an easy transition to Vic Fangio’s defense that would have him playing both the three and five techniques.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14): Ruben Foster LB Alabama
Foster may seem like an odd pick since the Jaguars already have Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny playing well and Myles Jack waiting in the wings. However, this team needs some physicality to it and that is exactly what Foster would bring giving them in the middle. Add in that Jack is still developing and Posluszny will be in a contract year in makes sense.
5. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Mike Williams WR Clemson (From Los Angeles)
Before the season started we heard about the “exotic smash mouth” rushing attack that the Titans were going to implement. It sounded like a coach speak but the Titans had the third best rushing attack this season averaging 136.7 ypg. While their running game has been a big reason why they’ve been an improved team the Titans could stand to really improve if Mariota had a true number one receiver to throw to. Mike Williams has all the tools to be a legit top receiver and it’s going to be hard for the Titans to get a top receiver in free agency.
6. New York Jets (5-11): Leonard Fournette RB LSU
With two elite running backs in this class you have to wonder if a team will target one of them hoping to get an Ezekiel Elliott like impact. While the Jets don’t have the offensive line that the Cowboys have, they do need to take the pressure off of whoever they have at quarterback and the best way to do that is get an elite running back.
7. San Diego Chargers (5-11): Jamal Adams S LSU
One of the few weaknesses the Chargers have on defense is at safety. While free safety Dwight Lowry has played good at times they’ve struggled to find any consistent play at strong safety. Adams is best known for coming up and laying down big hits, but quietly he can play back in coverage and even shown the ability to match up in the slot. For a defense that is still looking for an Eric Weddle replacement, Adams could be that guy.
8. Carolina Panthers (6-10): Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
Whether it is the inconsistencies of Kony Ealy, Charles Johnson on a one-year contract, or the general lack of production at the defensive end position should be addressed. Barnett has done nothing but produce at the college level even breaking Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee. Barnett fits what the Panthers like and at a minimum will be a pass rushing specialist early on.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1): Tim Williams OLB Alabama
It seems like the Bengals have been at the bottom of the NFL in pressuring the quarterback every year and it’s no different this year having them tied for 24th. The problem is the Bengals are very specific with their scheme looking for bigger defensive lineman who can play both the run and the pass. But with a lack of production they may go in a different direction adding Williams would could play the strongside linebacker position on early downs before being an edge rusher on passing situations.
10. Buffalo Bills (7-9): Malik Hooker S Ohio State
The Bills defense has not played up to an elite level all season and may have been the reason the let Rex Ryan go. While getting a full year out of Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland should help out the front seven so the Bills should look to fix their safety position that has been a liability lately. Although he’s only started for one year Hooker made a huge impact showing good range and ball skills and the ability to come up and make downhill plays.
11. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama
While the Saints secondary wasn’t great to begin with, injuries have ravaged this group and made them a sieve. Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams should both be back next year but that doesn’t mean they’ll be fine. As we know, this is a sub package league and having three good corners is how to have success. Humphrey is young but is an explosive athlete who loves to get physical which should be a welcome sign in New Orleans.
12. Cleveland Browns (1-15): Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina (From –Philadelphia)
While it’s hard to believe they take a quarterback with the first overall pick the Browns are studying the quarterbacks hard and could make their second first round picks a signal caller and take Trubisky who grew up just outside of Cleveland. Trubisky has the arm strength and accuracy to thrive in the NFL, but his biggest question is his experience only starting a year. But going to Cleveland and working with Hue Jackson could help with his learning process.
13. Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1): OJ Howard TE Alabama
When Bruce Arians was in Pittsburgh his offense really benefitted by having Heath Miller to control the middle of the field, while in Indianapolis he had the combination of Dwayne Allen and Colby Fleener helping out Andrew Luck. So far in Arizona he hasn’t found that player and a big part of that has been the poor draft classes the past few years. That could change this year with four elite tight ends including OJ Howard who might be the best we’ve seen in five years. With Larry Fitzgarrald nearing retirement finding someone to control the middle of the field is a must.
14. Indianapolis Colts (8-8): Jabrill Peppers S Michigan
It shouldn’t be a surprise the Colts aren’t having consistent success this season mainly because their defense lacks 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’s ranked 30th in average yards given up a game. This means that the Colts could realistically go in any direction and could take Peppers here looking to find a playmaker at safety. While you either love Peppers or you don’t there is no denying that he has the talent to make an impact. The major problem from scouts is that while Peppers has made plays in the return game and on offense he hasn’t made those same splashy plays on defense, which could be the difference from being a top 10 pick to likely falling into the teens.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9): Corey Davis WR Western Michigan (From – Minnesota)
With the emergence of Carson Wentz this season the Eagles have found their franchise quarterback and must spend the offseason trying to get 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 they could always turn to the draft and get a player like Corey Davis. Davis has physically dominated not only the MAC but even the three Big 10 schools he played. Davis gives Wentz a big body receiver that can go up and make catches to move the chains.
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8): Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
Whether it’s the aging Terrell Suggs or the potential cap casualty of Elvis Dummervil, the Ravens cannot stand pat with the pass rushers they have. McKinley is not a complete defensive end, but may have the best first step of any pass rusher. Even if McKinley is just a pass rushing specialist for the first couple seasons it can help ease the loss of the aforementioned aging stars. The future of the Ravens outside linebackers could be McKinley and Kamelei Correa.
17. Washington Redskins (8-7-1): Solomon Thomas DE Stanford
After making the playoffs in 2015 and narrowly missing out this year the Redskins are one more good draft class away from having a strong nucleolus to contend for years to come. One thing the Redskins should do is to find playmakers wherever they can find them. Thomas may not be a household name, but the redshirt sophomore has been practically unblockable this year rushing from the interior. Adding Thomas to go along with Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy only makes the Redskins more dangerous on pass rushing situations.
18. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Jalen Tabor CB Florida
While the Titans defense is not going to get confused with the 85 Bears or the Steel Curtain, their play along with the running game helped the Titans contend for the AFC South and narrowly miss the playoffs. That being said the cornerback position really struggled and is in need of a major upgrade, luckily this draft class is loaded with top tier talent. Tabor is lightning quick and does a tremendous job of covering receivers without having to rely on his hands. That should come in handy in the Titans defense that plays more off man and zone coverage.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): John Ross WR Washington
Tampa Bay has taken a big step forward and look like a team that could make some serious noise after adding a couple more pieces. While Jameis Winston has been playing well his only true offensive weapon is Mike Evans. We all know how good Evans is, but when Adam Humphries is your second leading receiver you need to upgrade. Looking to replace the deep threat that Vincent Jackson use to be, the Bucs could target the hottest receiver in college football in John Ross. If Will Fuller can go in the first round, then John Ross who has better hands should be a lock.
20. Denver Broncos (9-7): Malik McDowell DT Michigan State
One of the biggest reason the Broncos defense has taken a step back from last year’s elite unit has been because of the absence of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan who really helped stop the run. Jared Crick and rookie Adam Gotsis were supposed to step in and replace Jackson but Gotsis can’t see the field and Crick is just a rotational player. Even if Gotsis develops, Denver has shown that their not afraid to draft to a strength and could take McDowell who has top 10 traits but could slide because of inconsistencies. That being said McDowell would give the Broncos another penetrating defensive tackle who can play both the three and five techniques.
21. Detroit Lions (9-7): Charles Harris DE Missouri
Has anybody heard of Kerry Hyder? Maybe Lions fans and that’s because he’s leading the team in sacks. We all know of Ezekiel Ansah but he’s having a down year and a big part of that is all the attention opposing teams are giving him. Detroit needs to give him help rushing the passer and could turn to a loaded draft class to get some help. 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.
22. Miami Dolphins (10-6): Budda Baker S Washington
Miami has gotten into the playoffs with a good running game and a defense that improved as the year wore on. One area that the defense could stand to improve on is adding a playmaker to the secondary. Baker has played a hybrid safety/corner position and should be able to come in and compete for the free safety position next to Reshad Jones giving the Dolphins a safety that can also come down and match up man to man.
23. New York Giants (11-5): Garett Bolles OT Utah
With such a weak tackle class one trend you could see is teams reaching for tackles earlier than expected to snatch up the best players while waiting on some of the deeper position groups. While the Giants have invested heavily in the offensive line we all know that Ereck Flowers cannot stay at left tackle. Bolles isn’t a finished product but has the lateral quickness needed to play left tackle in this league and could push Flowers to the right side where he wouldn’t be as big of a liability.
24.Oakland Raiders (12-4): Quincy Wilson CB Florida
What General Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio have done to build up the Raiders is nothing short of amazing. While the offense is right on track the defense still needs some work done. Del Rio wants to run the same defense that you see up in Seattle, but to do so he needs upgrades at cornerback where David Amerson and Sean Smith have struggled with consistency. Wilson is big with good length, not afraid to be physical and has the speed to turn and run out of press coverage.
25. Houston Texans (9-7): Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
It’s clear that the Brock Osweiler experiment failed, while Tom Savage has been an upgrade he’s still not setting the world on fire. Houston has the pieces to win but the quarterback position has been holding them back. If Deshaun Watson falls to this point in the draft the Texans may find it very hard to pass on him. Watson is far from perfect but has all the tools you need and with the tutelage of O’Brien and a strong running game he can have success.
26. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Zach Cunningham LB Vanderbilt
For the past few years the Packers have struggled at inside linebacker and have even had to move Clay Matthews inside to help out. After investing a pair of fourth rounders on Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez maybe it’s time to spend a higher pick to solve the problem. Cunningham is an elite run defender who is able to knife through traffic and accumulate tackles for loss.
27. Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1): Forrest Lamp OT Western Kentucky
Lamp has been getting the Martin and Whitehair comparisons on a tackle moving inside to guard and they are not far off. Lamp has good lateral agility but he does better in short areas rather than deep drops. Seattle is continuing to rebuild their line and could see Lamp as a left guard or even right tackle.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): Jarrad Davis LB Florida
Not only is Lawrence Timmons an impending free agent but his play has slipped the past couple of years. Sure he may be brought back but likely on a short term deal. Looking to upgrade they could target one of the few elite linebackers in Jarrad Davis whose athletic ability and physicality fit right in with the Steelers mold of athletic defenders.
29. Atlanta Falcons (11-5): Daeshon Hall DE Texas A&M
Atlanta has slowly been adding pieces to their Seattle style defense, but a lack of an edge rush has held them back. Vic Beasley has started to find his groove but they want to move him full time to the strongside linebacker in a Von Miller type role. To do this they need someone to fill the weakside defensive end spot. Hall has good size and the athletic ability to thrive in the league while still having his best football ahead of him.
30. New England Patriots (14-2): Dalvin Cook RB Florida State
While it’s convenient and practical to mock Christian McCaffery to the Patriots because of his pass catching ability and versatility. However, it’s not unlikely for Dalvin Cook to slide a bit because his size turn teams off and then fall right into the hands of the Patriots like most of their draft picks happen to. Cook would give the Patriots an elite level back they haven’t had since the days of Curtis Martin.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): Sidney Jones CB Washington
Terrence Mitchell and Steven Nelson have played well this year helping the Chiefs to one of the best defenses in the league. But much like Marcus Peters who also happens to be from Washington who fell into the Chiefs lap, Jones would be a great addition and help the Chiefs have one of the best cornerback duo’s in the league.
32. Dallas Cowboys (13-3): Tre’Davious White CB LSU
With the emergence of David Irving and a deep defensive end draft class the Cowboys may be able to hold off drafting a defensive end and rather look at taking the next best available defender. That could be Tre’Davious White who isn’t the biggest cornerback but is a quick twitch athlete who isn’t afraid to hit and has the swagger that only the elite cornerbacks have.