The Hometown Fan has released a mock draft every year since April 2011. This year is no exception. This years draft is supposed by most national pundits to be extremely deep at a lot of positions. However, some positions such as the quarterback position isn’t as stacked as years past. There isn’t really one quarterback to this point who is noted as being a can’t-miss prospect.
Obviously mock drafts are not meant to be taken as gospel. These are for the most part done as an estimation. Some mockers are better than others but I have been doing these religiously since 2009. I am by no means a self-proclaimed expert but I have gotten pretty decent at doing these over the years.
Without further ado, here is a round one mock in what I believe will happen.
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – MYLES GARRETT (EDGE)
Garrett seems like the clear cut and obvious choice. He’s the best player in this years draft and there really isn’t a close second. The Browns would be monumentally stupid to let a player of this caliber slip to the next team.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – MITCH TRUBISKY (QB)
The 49ers signed Brian Hoyer but even as a bridge quarterback it’s likely the Niners are not sold on him as the starter for the duration of the season. Trubisky, should he picked here, would most likely be handed the keys at some point during the year.
3. CHICAGO BEARS – REUBEN FOSTER (LB)
The Bears haven’t had a leader at this position since Brian Urlacher walked away from the game. Foster is, or should be a Top 5 pick. With Vic Fangio as the coordinator, he will be looking for his version of Patrick Willis for his defense.
4. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – LEONARD FOURNETTE (RB)
The Jaguars may not have the most pressing need for a running back but Fournette is a best player available pick at this spot. He is a different kind of running back in terms of style than Ezekiel Elliott from last years draft but should have the same kind of impact for whatever team that drafts him.
5. TENNESSEE TITANS – JONATHAN ALLEN (DL)
Should Allen slip to this point in the draft it would make it a no-brainer for the Titans to pull the trigger here. Allen is exactly the sort of disruption that the Titans need in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball.
6. NEW YORK JETS – MARSHON LATTIMORE (CB)
Without Revis, the Jets will need a contingency plan. While they are still without a quarterback, this pick is based on the assumption that they will fill that need through free agency. Lattimore is quite conceivably the best defensive back in this years draft.
7. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – MIKE WILLIAMS (WR)
Rivers has not really ever had an elite Top 10 type of receiver to throw the ball to. Vincent Jackson was good there for a while, and they have Keenan Allen but neither was as good as Williams is projected to be. This would be a huge boost to that offense.
8. CAROLINA PANTHERS – CAM ROBINSON (OL)
Do not be shocked if there are three ‘Bama players drafted in the Top 10. Cam Newton was running for his life and dealt with a pocket that was less than he was used to having from the previous year when they went to the Super Bowl. While they did manage to get Matt Kalil in free agency, Michael Oher has struggled and may need to be replaced.
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS – JAMAL ADAMS (S)
There’s little question that the Bengals have two of the top corners in the league with Kirkpatrick and Jones. However, they’ve been somewhat hurting in over the top help from the safety position. If Adams were to fall here, it would be wise of the Bengals to consider him as their pick.
10. BUFFALO BILLS – MARLON HUMPHREY (CB)
The Bills are going to need to find a replacement for one of the best players on their defense in Stephon Gilmore as he went to the Patriots. Humphrey is one of the top corners coming out in this years draft. While they have other needs, this could very well be the way to go.
11. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – SOLOMON THOMAS (EDGE)
As the old adage goes, you can never have too many pass rushers. Thomas is one of the best coming out in the draft. As a rookie, he wold spell both Kruger and Jordan keeping them fresh for all four quarters of the game. With two picks in the first round, the BPA approach with their first pick makes a ton of sense.
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – DESHAUN WATSON (QB)
The Browns have been in search for their franchise quarterback since the turn of the century it seems. Watson knows how to win big games and step up when things are on the line. He has some flaws and some work to do but he would be a very solid option to go with here at 12.
13. ARIZONA CARDINALS – JABRILL PEPPERS (S)
Losing a guy like Tony Jefferson can and will take its toll unless he is replaced with someone as good or better. Peppers seems like he is the type of player that would jive well with the Honeybadger and Patrick Peterson. This would keep the Cardinals secondary relevant.
14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – DEREK BARNETT (EDGE)
Barnett is a younger and probably better skilled edge rusher (potentially) than Conor Barwin; a guy who played relatively well for the Eagles in his time there. Barnett has the opportunity to be one of the better pass rushers in the NFL if he is groomed the right way.
15. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – CHRISTIAN MCCAFFERY (RB)
Frank Gore seemingly still has a year or two left. Seemingly. But the Colts will need to find and mold a new running back for the future of this team. McCaffery is a multi-dimensional weapon that the Colts can utilize just about anywhere on the field with exception to maybe playing defense. Luck would be in heaven with a player to use like McCaffery. Would not hurt that they played in the same offense in college as well.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS – DALVIN COOK (RB)
Since the departure of Ray Rice, the Ravens have struggled to find much consistency at the running back position. They will need a franchise player at that position to create some balance on that side of the ball. Cook wold fit well in what the Ravens like to do offensively.
17. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – COREY DAVIS (WR)
While the Redskins lost both Pierre Garçon and Desean Jackson, they managed to add Terrelle Pryor on a 1-year deal. They also drafted Doctson last season and have another solid player in Crowder. They’re still down a receiver even with the signing of Pryor though and will need to grab another one as replacement at some point.
18. TENNESSEE TITANS – MALIK HOOKER (S)
The Titans recently upgraded at the corner position by the addition of Logan Ryan from the New England Patriots but still need some help over the top. Hooker wold come in as a day one starter and solidify the secondary as potentially one of the best in the AFC.
19. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – O.J. HOWARD (TE)
The Bucs already had their number one receiver in Mike Evans prior to bringing on Desean Jackson to stretch the field and take the top off the defense. They are still lacking at the tight end position though. This would give Winston the complete package in what would be expected at the position.
20. DENVER BRONCOS – TIM WILLIAMS (EDGE)
With the possibility of not having Demarcus Ware back, the Broncos will have to be looking for a replacement. I expect a ton of ‘Bama players to be drafted this year in the first round. Williams will be no exception and this would be an ideal fit for him.
21. DETROIT LIONS – RAEKWON MCMILLAN (LB)
The Lions aren’t what you would consider very deep at the linebacker position. They’re gonna have to find a way to patch up that portion of their defense. McMillan is one of the better 4-3 linebackers entering this years draft. An alternate pick here could very well be Zach Cunningham.
22. MIAMI DOLPHINS – HAASON REDDICK (LB)
The Dolphins are one linebacker away from having a very solid corps for that unit. Reddick is explosive and attacks the ball. If he is here, the ‘Phins would be hard pressed not to go this direction with things.
23. NEW YORK GIANTS – ADOREE JACKSON (CB/WR/KR)
Jackson will be a game changer and impact type player in the NFL. Weather at corner, wide receiver, or kick return duties, he wold bring instant value to the Giants. Prince Amukamara left via free agency and the Giants will be killing two birds with one stone in terms of grabbing a corner that has big game return ability.
24. OAKLAND RAIDERS – ZACH CUNNINGHAM (LB)
Cunningham would come in as a day one starter replacing Malcolm Smith would took his services across the bay to the 49ers. He is potentially the best linebacker in the draft that has not gotten as much notoriety as he deserves. His on-field speed and ability to attack the ball will make life easier for the rest of the Raiders defense.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS – PATRICK MAHOMES (QB)
Bill O’Brien has yet to find his franchise quarterback. They swung and missed big time with Osweiler last year in free agency. Should they not land Tony Romo like most people are expecting them to, they will need to look elsewhere. Mahomes is potentially the third best quarterback entering the draft. With that said, Davis Webb is gaining momentum heading in to the draft as well.
26. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – GARETT BOLLES (OT)
Since Russell Wilson earned the starting job at quarterback, he has never had the luxury of playing behind an elite offensive line. As he grows and develops his game, it would not hurt matters to start focusing on beefing up the talent across the front. Bolles could wind up being pro bowl caliber. This would be a wise move for the ‘Hawks.
27. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – SAMAJE PERINE (RB)
The Chiefs do not currently have a franchise player at this position with the regression and departure of Jamaal Charles. Perine is in the mold of Earl Campbell. The Chiefs have not had a bruising back like Perine since Christian Okoye, the Nigerian Nightmare. Also, Perine catches well out of the backfield which suits Andy Reid’s offense very well.
28. DALLAS COWBOYS – BUDDAH BAKER (S)
The Cowboys lost Church which was a huge piece to their recent success on defense. Baker would not only fill the need here but also be the best player available. The Cowboys still have a few holes to patch up but none larger than the one Church left behind.
29. GREEN BAY PACKERS – RYAN RAMCZYK (OL)
Ramczyk would love to stay in Wisconsin and enter the next level with the Packers. Rodgers still from time to time not have the best protection. There are a lot of ways the Packers could go here as they can stand to upgrade a few areas. But in order to ensure Rodgers staying clean in the pocket, I feel like this should be the pick.
30. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – TAKKARIST MCKINLEY (EDGE)
The Steelers have lost some chips on the defensive side of the ball this offseason and have had trouble being consistent in terms getting pressure. McKinley seemed to have gotten better and better as the year went on for the Bruins.
31. ATLANTA FALCONS – TACO CHARLTON (EDGE)
The Falcons got pressure decently but it seemed like they lacked depth. They spent all their gas in the first half of the Super Bowl this past season. Had they had some depth, they may have been able to continue to get after Brady in the second half of that game. As stacked as the offense is for the Falcons, I think they have to go defense.
32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – JOHN ROSS (WR)
With Brandin Cooks heading to the Patriots, Ross seems like the most logical way to go. He’s got better speed than Cooks and will be able to stretch the field to allow Brees to do work underneath. With two draft picks, the Saints would be wise to go this route.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop a comment or two with your thoughts.