This will be my final mock draft prior to the NFL Draft. My previous mock draft (which can be seen here) was conducted before the NFL Combine. Now that we are just a couple of weeks away, I thought I would roll out the latest and last of the mocks.
Without further ado, here are the selections below:
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – MYLES GARRETT (EDGE)
This pick is going to remain the same for the simple fact that Garrett is by and large the best player in the draft. If the Browns pass on him, they will be kicking themselves for years.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – SOLOMON THOMAS (EDGE)
With the 49ers set to move to the 4-3 defense, even though they have gone defensive line the past couple of years, Thomas could be just as much of a force as Garrett in the pass rush. The other alternative is that the Niners could be looking to trade out of this pick.
3. CHICAGO BEARS – MITCH TRUBISKY (QB)
Even though the Bears paid relatively big money for Mike Glennon, I am not sure they are sold on him not being challenged or pushed for that job. Quarterback is the most important position on the field. We saw Glennon replaced with Jameis Winston in Tampa. He could have a similar fate awaiting him if Chicago takes this route.
4. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – LEONARD FOURNETTE (RB)
This is another pick that will stay the same for me. While the Jags do have Yeldon and Ivory on their rosters, they do not have many holes to fill on the roster that they did not already accomplish via free agency. This is a classic case of best player available.
5. TENNESSEE TITANS – MIKE WILLIAMS (WR)
This is a big area of weakness for the Titans. While Sharpe was decent last year, most pundits in the NFL do not view him as a true number one. Williams would give Mariota an option outside of Delanie Walker as a go-to receiving threat.
6. NEW YORK JETS – JAMAL ADAMS (SAFETY)
Jamal Adams is considered by some to be the best safety in this years draft. It is debatable that Malik Hooker is in contention for that title as well. However, with the recent addition through free agency of Claiborne to replace Revis, and Skrine on the other side, the Jets would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t get some over the top help.
7. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – REUBEN FOSTER (LB)
With the departure of Manti Te’O, the Chargers really have a huge void to fill in the middle of their defense. While linebackers usually aren’t selected this high (Luke Keuchly 9th overall, Patrick Willis 11th overall), the Chargers won’t really have much of a choice if they want to get their defense on track. Foster going next to Ingram would ensure success at the linebacker position for years to come.
8. CAROLINA PANTHERS – MARSHON LATTIMORE (CB)
The cupboard is bare in the way of corners for this team with exception to Captian Munnerlyn. Some saw Bradberry as a decent replacement for Josh Norman when he left but it didn’t really work out. Adding Lattimore would push Bradberry inside to nickel and allow the corners of their secondary to be solidified.
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS – RYAN RAMCZYK (OT)
Ramczyk is considered to be the top prospect in this years draft in regards to offensive line. Some may disagree and place Bolles ahead of him … and quite conceivably some may even say Cam Robinson. Either way, the Bengals need to shore up their offensive front.
10. BUFFALO BILLS – MALIK HOOKER (SAFETY)
The Bills secondary needs some serious attention. I can’t imagine them not going secondary here whether it be Hooker or someone else. Buffalo’s corners don’t exactly inspire much confidence.
11. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – DEREK BARNETT (EDGE)
Cameron Jordan is one of the best pure pass rushers in the NFL. With that said, he can only do so much on one side of the field. Adding a player of Barnett’s caliber on the other side would give the Saints one of the deadliest pass rush tandems in the league.
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – DALVIN COOK (RB)
The movie Draft Day was a premonition of what is to come for the Browns. Defense then a running back. Cook would provide a game breaking presence at the running back position for Cleveland which they’ve lacked since Peyton Hillis had his one great season. Many think the Browns go quarterback here but they have the first pick in the second round to spend that on.
13. ARIZONA CARDINALS – JONATHAN ALLEN (DL)
Most people think that Allen is a sure fire number one pick. And that may very well be true. However, there are some mechanical things that worry me in his transition to the NFL. He lacks punch or at the very least the quickness of getting that first hit in. Out of the Top 10 prospects, I feel like Allen is the most likely to not live up to expectations. With that said, the Cardinals have some work to do along the defensive line with the loss of Calais Campbell.
14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – QUINCY WILSON (CB)
The Eagles starting corners per Ourlad’s Depth Chart has both Patrick Robinson and Jalen Mills slated to start at corner. Wilson would be given the opportunity to take one of those jobs and upgrade the Eagles secondary which finished 13th in the NFL in passing yards given up. They addressed a lot in free agency and will look to expand on that in the draft.
15. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – O.J. HOWARD (TE)
O.J. Howard is the most complete tight end to come out in a draft in a very long time. He would provide sound blocking along with the combination of being a legit receiving threat to compliment Hilton and Moncrief. I cannot imagine many Colts fans being too upset should the Colts take Howard here at 15th should he last this long.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS – GARRETT BOLLES (OT)
The Ravens need help along the offensive front. That’s all there is to it. Most mock drafts I have seen have them taking an offensive lineman; whether that be Ramczyk, Bolles, Robinson, or someone unforeseen remains a mystery. But Harbaugh realizes the importance of building both strong offensive and defensive lines to succeed even if the fans do not like the unsexy pick.
17. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – TACO CHARLTON (EDGE)
The Redskins desperately need another pass rusher to go on the other side of Ryan Kerrigan. While I think Takk McKinley has a bit more upside, Charlton is the safer pick for the Redskins here at 17.
18. TENNESSEE TITANS – JABRILL PEPPERS (SAFETY)
The Titans brought on a couple of safeties via free agency but there is no guarantee that they would start. Particularly if they were to land Peppers this far in to the draft. Peppers would provide versatility in the Titans defense that is much needed; mainly on the strong side.
19. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – CAM ROBINSON (OT)
There is little question that the Bucs need to protect their biggest asset in Jameis Winston and are weak at the tackle position. Cam Robinson has a ton of upside and with the right offensive line coach, and scheme, could be a top tier talent in this years draft.
20. DENVER BRONCOS – TAKKARIST MCKINELY (EDGE)
The Broncos WILL NOT replace future Hall of Famer, Demarcus Ware. I think we can all agree on that. You do not replace a player like that. But McKinley can be a solid pass rusher at the next level. John Elway has a formula of what he wants in a team and while he was an offensive juggernaut himself, he believes in a stout defense.
21. DETROIT LIONS – HAASON REDDICK (LB)
The Lions can easily upgrade their linebacker situation and would be getting a steal here with Reddick falling this low should that happen. If not, there will be players like Zach Cunningham they could look at as well.
22. MIAMI DOLPHINS – TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE (CB)
There is a bit of uncertainty at corner for the Dolphins with Howard and Maxwell slated to be the starters. Picking White here would help ensure that that the Phins had three solid corners. With all the receivers that their division rivals have, they will be in nickel packages most of the time anyway. A big physical corner like White would be a huge asset.
23. NEW YORK GIANTS – ZACH CUNNINGHAM (LB)
The G-men are a little light in the mid-level of their defense and could stand to upgrade here. This pick would be a well matched best player available that fits an area of need. The alternate pick here could either be corner or offensive line depending on how the draft goes.
24. OAKLAND RAIDERS – MALIK MCDOWELL (DL)
Oakland was ranked 23rd in stopping the run last year. While their secondary and mid level defense was very good, the defensive line struggled at times to get any kind of push back in the trenches. McDowell would add a ferocity to the front of that defense that has been lacking.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS – DESHAUN WATSON (QB)
In my last mock prior to the combine, I had the Texans picking Patrick Mahomes. Whether it’s the first round or second, the Texans will be taking a quarterback relatively high. I can’t imagine a scenario where O’Brien, who may be on the hot seat, will place all of his stock in Tom Savage.
26. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – FORREST LAMP (OL)
Lamp is a guy who projects to play inside or outside. His versatility will allow the ‘Hawks to play him wherever they see best fit. In any case, Seattle has struggled along their front for a couple years now as they have seen some of their bigger named guys leave via free agency. Lamp has Pro Bowl potential. Should the Seahawks land him this late, they will be getting a steal.
27. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – COREY DAVIS (WR)
Davis would be a nice pairing to go on the outside edge to provide size and an exceptional pair of hands. He is a guy who can go up for contested passes, something Alex Smith would benefit from highly. With Maclin on the other side and Hill in the slot with Kelce the main option at tight end, the Chiefs would have a scary looking offense. Running Backs can be had later on with how deep that class is.
28. DALLAS COWBOYS – ADOREE JACKSON (CB/WR)
The Cowboys need all the help they can get in their secondary with key departures to free agent veterans. Jackson can not only make plays in the secondary but can add depth to them on offense and special teams. He strengthens the Cowboys roster multi-faceted.
29. GREEN BAY PACKERS – MONTRAVIUS ADAMS (DL)
The Packers are a mess on defense and specifically up front. It has been a very long time since Green Bay has been dominant up front. Adams, behind Allen and McDowell, is the next best option at defensive line. While there are many places the Pack could go with this pick, it seems like the best option for them here.
30. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – JOHN ROSS (WR)
The Steelers have arguably the best wide receiver in the game but the rest of the cupboard is somewhat bare at that position. Darius Heyward Bey, Justin Hunter, and Sammie Coates aren’t exactly the most inspiring. They need another speedster, someone to stretch the field. Ross would be a great fit and with Big Ben’s arm, could provide a homerun threat.
31. ATLANTA FALCONS – BUDDAH BAKER (SAFETY)
The Falcons secondary is relatively young. While they held up for the first half of the Super Bowl defending Tom Brady and the Patriots, they got out played ten fold the second half. Baker is a hard-hitting safety that has good range over the top. He would be a great pairing next to Neal.
32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – CHRISTIAN MCCAFFERY (RB)
The Saints could really hit a jackpot with McCaffery should he slip this far. Not only would this provide depth at running back behind Ingram but it would also provide Brees another receiving threat as well since he lost Cooks. Giving Brees a Swiss Army Knife type player of this caliber could help catapult the Saints offense as well as boost their special teams. They have missed that type of weapon since Darren Sproles moved on.
Mock drafts are in essence a crap shoot. Some researched better than others obviously. I did take the time to look at team needs. While some of these picks were best player available scenarios, others matched a need and the highest rated player at that need. Let’s hear your thoughts … thanks for reading.