1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold QB USC
What the Browns do this offseason at quarterback is going to be a mystery. They’ve passed on quarterbacks in the past and took Kizer in the second round. Do they pass again and trust Kizer or go after AJ McCarron? If they do you would think that Darnold is their top option, but he’s no guarantee to come out. At this point I’m going to mock Danrold till he officially goes back to school.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Minkah Fitzpatrick CB Alabama
Getting an explosive edge pass rusher to complement Thomas, Buckner and Armstead would help but after going defensive line the past three drafts they could find the need to go elsewhere. Fitzpatrick would be a great addition as he could play both at cornerback or safety. Fitzpatrick fits the Cover 3 style cornerback that they want and could be their version of Jalan Ramsey.
3. New York Giants: Josh Rosen QB UCLA
It’s not often when the Giants draft this early and with Eli retiring soon they cannot pass up a chance to take another potential franchise quarterback. Rosen has some questions about his leadership and attitude issues but is a gifted passer. Having him come in and learn from Eli and continue his development before being thrown into the fire could really benefit Rosen.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb DE North Carolina State
Through one offseason of Chris Ballard as General Manager we’ve seen his desire for the Colts to get bigger and tougher. Chubb would give the Colts a true war daddy pass rusher that the Colts really lack. Chubb may look like a true DE on the eye test but he has the ability to play in space and can attack offensive tackles with speed/agility or with power.
5. Denver Broncos: Saquan Barkley RB Penn State
Quarterback could very well be an option for the Broncos as Paxton Lynch hasn’t developed while Trevor Siemen has proven he isn’t a starting caliber quarterback. But the Broncos could also go after a veteran which gives them plenty of options here at five. Last year the Broncos were rumored heavily to want Christian McCaffrey but were unable to taken him. The Broncos running back situation is fluid as Devonte Booker hasn’t developed and CJ Anderson isn’t the same back.
6. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
Mitchell Trubiskly isn’t setting the world on fire, but he is continuing to get better each week despite not having any weapons on the outside. Calvin Ridley doesn’t have great size but uses his elite speed to run away from cornerbacks and make plays down the field. Having this deep threat to go along with their strong running game and it could be a deadly play action weapon.
7.Oakland Raiders: Arden Key OLB LSU
While Khalil Mack is a complete stud, the Raiders routinely finish at the bottom of the NFL in total sacks largely because they haven’t had anyone to take the pressure off of him. A returning Mario Edwards was supposed to help but they are still tied for 31st in sacks with only 14 of the season. Key has been thought as the best player in this draft and his ability to play both with a hand in the ground and standing would help this hybrid defense.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Harold Landry DE Boston College
With only 15 sacks on the season (along with losing Noah Spence to injury) it’s clear that the Bucs biggest weakness on their defense is the pass rush. Something has to be done and likely leads them to drafting someone early. Landry is one of the three best pass rushers in this class and would give the Bucs an explosive rusher off the edge.
9. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Wilkins DT Clemson
It is not that the Chargers don’t have talent but they still have major holes on their roster. One of those weaknesses is in the interior of their defensive line which is one reason their run defense is ranked dead last in the NFL. Wilkins is a versatile athlete who played end in 2016 and has thriving at his natural tackle position. Wilkins presence inside can not only help the run defense but also provide a pass rush up the middle to go with their talented ends.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
Even if Bruce Arians is back it may benefit the Cardinals to move in a different direction with the quarterback position. Mainly draft the dynamic Lamar Jackson to spice up this offense. Jackson has the ability to win in the pocket and with his arm but his running ability can help the Cardinals below average offensive line out.
11. Cleveland Browns: Connor Williams OT Texas (From – Houston)
After a disappointing start to the season and a meniscus injury it looked as if Connor Williams stock was starting to tumble. After recovering from his injury Williams came back and looked like his old dominant self. Cleveland has invested a bunch in their offensive line but still have a hole at tackle. Williams could come to the Browns and give them someone to start at right tackle before he eventually takes over for Joe Thomas.
12. Washington Redskins: Josh Allen QB Wyoming
It looks all but certain that Kirk Cousins is going to leave in free agency and the Redskins are going to be left high and dry without only Colt McCoy at quarterback. If Washington isn’t able to lure in a free agent quarterback, they may have to rely on the draft. Allen has a ton of physical talent but hasn’t put it all together this offseason. But that talent is there and we see prospects like him go this early all the time. Doesn’t this scream like a Daniel Snyder pick?
13. Cincinnati Bengals: Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame
Cincinnati has had their best success when their offensive line has been a strength. Quenton Nelson is the clear top offensive line prospect in this class with an impressive combination of size, athletic ability and power. His presence would give the Bengals a dominant guard they lost when Kevin Zeitler left in free agency.
14. New York Jets: Tavarus McFadden CB Florida State
I have a gut feeling like the Jets are going to be player for an AJ McCarron sweepstakes. This could lead them to continue to build up their team. After loading up at safety last year the Jets could go back to their secondary and this time find help at cornerback. Adding McFadden alongside a resurgent Morris Claiborne could really do wonders for this emerging team.
15. Miami Dolphins: Derrius Guice RB LSU
After trading away Jay Ajayi to the Eagles the Dolphins are now stuck with Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams as their two backs. Neither of these two are starting caliber at the least. Derrius Guice hasn’t had the year most would expect but he still has first round talent and this RB needy team could really use an explosive tough runner.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Derwin James S Florida State
Offensively the Cowboys are relatively set and will more than likely continue to add pieces to their defense. The secondary has been a focus lately with two cornerbacks drafted early in 2017 but there is still a hole at the safety position next to Byron Jones. James can be a match up type weapon similar to Jones but also provide a strong presence in the box and underneath coverage.
17. Buffalo Bills: Clelin Ferrell DE Clemson
While linebackers have been the staple of McDermott’s teams in Carolina, it really starts up front with their defensive line. Buffalo really lacks anything as a pass rusher as Shaq Lawson hasn’t developed and Jerry Hughes isn’t the same player from a couple of years ago. Even if Lawson turns it around, Ferrell would give them a big, long, and athletic presence off the edge.
18. Green Bay Packers: Rashaan Evans LB Alabama
If we know anything about the Packers defense under Dom Capers is they love versatile players that can do multiple things well. Evans fits this defense well as he can play inside and run and chase, fill a hole and even rush the passer. There isn’t a lot that Evans cannot do which can really help a Packers linebacker core that has taken a step back.
19. Seattle Seahawks: Roquan Smith LB Georgia
Seattle is always a draft wildcard, but we know they like to draft good athletes that test well in the SPARK scoring system. Smith is an athletic run and chase linebacker for Georgia. Smith could come in and be that third linebacker next to Wagner and Wright and then eventually be a replacement.
20. Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Whitehair S Pittsburgh
Look for Atlanta to continue to build up their team speed on defense and add pieces till they have their own version of the Seattle Seahawks Legion of Boom. Keanu Neal has proven to be their version of Cam Chancellor they could still use better help at free safety. Ricardo Allen has played admirably but the Falcons could look for their rangy version of Earl Thomas. Whitehead is at his best when he’s playing back in coverage which is exactly what the Falcons could use.
21. Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame
There was plenty of buzz around the Ravens taking Cam Robinson in the first round last year as rumors had it that they wanted to build up their own version of an elite Cowboys style offensive line. While their line had plenty of holes to begin with, injuries have really depleted this unit. McGlinchey could be reunited with former teammate Ronnie Stanley and give the Ravens two bookend tackles to build around.
22. Tennessee Titans: Vita Vea DT Washington
Stopping the run isn’t a problem for the Titans whose 3.6 yards per rush is 4th best in the NFL. However, with DaQuan Jones becoming a free agent this offseason and Karl Klug the next year the Titans may find Vea too good to pass up looking towards the future. Vea is much more than just a run stuffing nose tackle has his burst and lateral agility offer him some penetrating ability.
23. Detroit Lions: Austin Bryant DE Clemson
Getting help for Ezekiel Ansah has to be a top priority as the Lions really don’t have another consistent pass rusher on their roster. Bryant is the latest Clemson defensive end to emerge once given the chance. Bryant’s ability to play with power would complement Ansah on the strongside.
24. Los Angeles Rams: Marquis Haynes DE Mississippi
With Wade Phillips running the defense the Rams will continue to add pieces to make it one of the elite units in the NFL. Phillips’ teams have always put drafting pass rushers a priority in the first round trying to accumulate three to four good edge rushers. Haynes is a prospect that could fit the Rams as his size limits him to a standing edge rusher where he can use his speed to fly off the edge and attack the quarterback.
25. Buffalo Bills: Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M (From – Kansas City)
After trading Sammie Watkins away and bringing in Jordan Matthews the Bills are loaded with possession receivers and lack anybody with explosiveness. Kirk has the quickness in and out of breaks to create separation underneath but also possesses the speed to stretch the field. He could really complement the likes of Zay Jones and Jordan Matthews.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
With a defense already set and no quarterback worth taking here (Josh Allen is too much like Blake Bortles) the Jaguars could look to find the best offensive player available. Andrews could give the Jaguars a playmaker at the tight end that they thought they were getting with Julius Thomas who was a massive free agent bust. Andrews isn’t a complete tight end but has a knack for finding openings in the defense giving whoever is their quarterback is next year.
27. Carolina Panthers: Da’Ron Payne DT Alabama
With Star Lotulelei heading towards free agency the Panthers will be losing their top run defender up the middle. While Vernon Butler was drafted a couple years back the Panthers would be wise to add another player who just isn’t a body up front. Da’Ron Payne is a good run defender but through hand usage and some burst can also provide some pass rush ability and give the Panthers a run defender they are missing with Star.
28. Minnesota Vikings: Maurice Hurst DT Michigan
We know that the Vikings will never stand pat on their defense constantly looking to add pieces to make it better year in and year out. Hurst would give the Vikings an interior disrupter to a unit that hasn’t had one since early in Shariff Floyd’s tenure. Adding an pass rusher from the middle will only help take some of the pressure off Everson Griffin.
29. New Orleans Saints: Josh Sweat DE Florida State
New Orleans focusing on the secondary in the 2017 NFL Draft which has paid off helping this defense take a major step forward. That being said they still lack the edge rusher to really take pressure off the defensive backs and make this defense even better. Sweat has first round talent but there are questions if a gruesome injury during high school will limit him going forward. New Orleans took a risk on Alex Anzalone last year and could could a similar risk here to get a talented player.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota State
Tight end has been an issue for the Steelers ever since Heath Miller retired. Ladarius Green was supposed to be a solution but he couldn’t see the field while they just traded for Vance McDonald. Don’t let the trade for McDonald fool anything as the Steelers could still use a weapon over the middle of the field. Goedert may still be under the radar for now, but he’s an athletic pass catcher that is getting Travis Kelce comparisons.
31. New England Patriots: Dorance Armstrong DE Kansas
New England has been able to get success out of power pass rushers in Trey Flowers and most recently Deatrich Wise, but they still lack that bendy athletic guy off the edge. Armstrong is still developing but he’s quick off the edge to attack tackles on the outside and use that quickness against the run. The Patriots could see Armstrong as an upgraded version of Rob Ninkovich.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mitch Hyatt OT Clemson
After trading for Jay Ajayi the need for a running back has gone down significantly which could allow the Eagles to find another position to target here. The Eagles starting offensive line is one of the best but they are razor thin and has left them vulnerable when they’ve lost Lane Johnson last year and now without Jason Peters. Mitch Hyatt has a ton of talent and potential and could give the Eagles a swing tackle initially but an eventual starter when they move on from Jason Peters.