1. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
As has been already stated on this site, the Rams are morons for making this trade. If Carson Wentz isn’t a generational quarterback (some believe he is), LA will forget all about the Rams in 4 years. However, when your starter at the moment is Case Keenum, you almost have to make this move in order to generate excitement. Some “sources” say that the Rams will take Wentz, while others are saying the Rams prefer Jared Goff. To me, it sounds like the Rams are still undecided, which makes this trade even more questionable. This could change very quickly, but right now, I think they take Wentz. Whoever ends up being the selection will be doing a whole lotta handing off to the best running back in the NFL anyway.
2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
The Browns may get their preferred quarterback anyway, as I am reading that some in their organization prefer Goff over Wentz. Is it a concern that I personally have bigger hands than Goff? Yes. Unfortunately, beggars can’t be choosers, and going into the season with RGIII as the starter with no competition is not an option, regardless if this is a throwaway season. The Browns may look to trade down, but it’s not worth selling low to move down in this underwhelming draft class.
3. San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
The Chargers have needs on both the offensive line and in the secondary, so Jalen Ramsey will get a bit of consideration here, but at the end of the day, when you’re paying your QB $21M a year, and have to deal with all of the ferocious pass rushers in the AFC West, this is a no-brainer pick. Move DJ Fluker inside (if he isn’t already playing there. I can’t remember), move King Dunlap over to the right, and start Tunsil at left tackle. The 17 Charger fans would all probably rather see Philip Rivers stay upright for the next 3 years rather than hope Ramsey is the next Ed Reed anyway.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida St.
The winners of the Rams-Titans trade, other than the Titans, are the Chargers and Cowboys. Both teams now pretty much have their choice of the top 5 non QB prospects. The Cowboys have needs in the secondary and at defensive end, so Joey Bosa will get some consideration here as well, but rumors say that Ramsey is the #1 prospect on the Cowboys draft board. If he falls to them, I think the Cowboys would be thrilled.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB/RB, UCLA
I want to mock Joey Bosa here, but in all honesty, the Jaguars have a pretty good defensive line and stopped the run really well last year. Myles Jack suffered a terrible knee injury, but by all accounts, he will be ready for the season opener. Besides, Todd Gurley also suffered a bad knee injury, and look how he turned out. The Jaguars have a need at linebacker, especially one who has the potential to excel in coverage like Jack.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
Some have DeForest Buckner as the better prospect, and that may be the case with the Ravens as well, but I think Bosa is the safer prospect (football talent-wise) who will excel with a stable organization such as the Ravens. Bosa has some character concerns, but he has very good length, athleticism, stops the run well, and can rush the passer. He also fills a big need for the Ravens. The Ravens are in an excellent spot as they can take whoever falls to them out of Tunsil, Ramsey, Jack, Bosa, or Buckner.
7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon
The 49ers have a need on the D-line, there are no quarterbacks worth taking this high, and Chip Kelly gets someone from Oregon. Let’s move on.
8. Philadelphia Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
From what I’ve read, the Eagles are showing a lot of interest in Elliott. DeMarco Murray was a disaster, and Ryan Mathews is unreliable. The Eagles addressed needs on the offensive line in free agency, so I think they bypass a lineman here to take Elliott. This pick makes a lot of sense for the Eagles as they hope to get a talented, durable 3-down running back for the next 8 years.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
This is a tough pick to predict. The Bucs added Robert Ayers to help Gerald McCoy on the defensive line already, but that’s not enough to improve the pass rush too much. They need a defensive tackle. An offensive lineman is certainly needed in the wake of Logan Mankins’ retirement, but this might be too high for Jack Conklin or Ronnie Stanley. Secondary is also a need, but a few months ago, Vernon Hargreaves was a surefire top 5 pick. Now? Teams don’t seem to be too hot for him. I think Tampa passes on him too and takes a safety or corner later in the draft. Leonard Floyd would really bring some speed off the edge to the Tampa Bay defense.
10. New York Giants: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
Yeah, I don’t care that Treadwell runs a 4.6. The Giants already have Odell Beckham to run fly routes and burn defensive backs. The Giants also have a huge need at #2 receiver. Reuben Randle is gone and wasn’t very good anyway. Victor Cruz cannot be counted on to regain his 2011 form at this point. Treadwell is strong, has great hands, is a great blocker, will be a threat in the red-zone, and had success in the best conference in college football. All of this won’t translate into NFL success, but the Giants have took an offensive lineman in the top 10 last year and don’t have a pressing need in the secondary. Maybe they take a defensive lineman here, but I think that if they don’t take Treadwell here, they trade down and look to take him a few picks later.
11. Chicago Bears: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Bears have a big need at corner. Perhaps they go with William Jackson out of Houston, but Hargreaves is the “safer” prospect from the SEC who should be able to start and contribute from day 1.
12. New Orleans Saints: Jack Conklin, OT/G, Michigan St.
The Saints have needs on defense, but there will be value with defensive linemen later in the draft. I think the Saints draft Conklin to play inside at guard, where they currently have guys named Tim Lelito and Cyril Lemon starting (with no backups). I think there’s a need at guard here. Drew Brees does not have much time left, so protecting him for one final playoff run should be a top priority.
13. Miami Dolphins: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
After running a 4.37 at the combine, William Jackson started shooting up draft boards. He produced in college and has good height as well. Cornerbacks with height and speed are all the rage in the NFL these days so even though it might take Jackson a few years to adjust, some team is going to take a chance on him early in the draft. There also isn’t very much corner talent in this draft class, and the Dolphins have a big need here.
14. Oakland Raiders: Sheldon Rankins, DE/DT, Mississippi
The Raiders could reach for Eli Apple, but this is my mock draft and I don’t want them to do that. Sheldon Rankins won’t be asked to play all 3 downs right away…he’ll be asked to provide a situational interior pass rush, which is just what the Raiders need. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders traded down and took a chance on Robert Nkemdiche either.
15. Tennessee Titans: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Ronnie Stanley could certainly go higher than this, but in this draft, he’s still here so the Titans snag him. The issue with Stanley is he isn’t very strong, and who knows if he has the work ethic and desire to get stronger and better. He was a long time productive starter at Notre Dame, however, so the durability and potential is there.
16. Detroit Lions: Jarran Reed, DE/DT, Alabama
The Lions have a big need on the defensive line after replacing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley with a declining Haloti Ngata. Jarran Reed won’t offer much in terms of a pass rush, but he is an excellent run defender. He paid a visit to the Lions recently as well so the interest is there.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Yes, the Falcons were last in sacks last year, but they have signed some defensive ends and outside linebackers in free agency already, so I think they look to add depth at these positions in the later rounds while adding a fresh middle linebacker to their defense. Besides, it’s not like the Falcons already have an excellent run defense. Adding Ragland will help them take a step in that direction.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
It doesn’t even matter if this is too high for a center, the Colts need to draft the best offensive linemen early and often. We all saw what happened when Andrew Luck got injured this past season. Sure, Matt Hasselbeck could beat the bad teams, but the Colts didn’t stand a chance against any decent teams and were not close to contending for the Super Bowl. The days of having Luck on the cheap are coming to an end, so if they do not protect him, it will only get even more disastrous. Kelly will need to get stronger, but should be able to start right away.
19. Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
I think Shaq Lawson slips a bit due to injury concerns, but if he falls to the Bills, I think they go ahead and take him. They need a replacement for Mario Williams. Lawson will be a good fit at outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
20. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Hopefully the Jets still re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick for the year, because Paxton Lynch should not start right away. This pick would make Jets fans very excited anyway because there has not been much hope at the quarterback position for the Jets.
21. Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Redskins lost Terrance Knighton to the Patriots, but he is getting old anyway. Here is a replacement. Some may wonder why he is going below teammate Jarran Reed when Robinson got most of the attention at Alabama. All I know is that to me, they are both similar players in that they struggle to rush the passer, and that the Lions seem to prefer Reed.
22. Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
The Texans already have their possession receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, so here, they grab a deep threat to complement him. Fuller is a typical deep threat…able to take it the distance on any play, if he can catch the ball…
23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
I’m sure the Vikings will be glad to see the Texans take a chance on Fuller after having to deal with Mike Wallace. Doctson has good height, 4.5 speed, and a 41-inch vertical all while being highly productive at TCU. The Vikings will be glad to have him.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
It’s hard to predict the order on this run of wide receivers. Coleman could very easily go to the Texans as he and Fuller are very similar prospects. The Bengals would probably prefer a possession receiver such as Doctson due to Andy Dalton’s limitations, but maybe Coleman will work on his hands and become a reliable slot receiver rather than just an outside deep threat.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas St.
The Seahawks really, really, really need offensive line help. The trade for Jimmy Graham really hurt them as far as offensive line talent, and then Graham got hurt anyway and missed the playoffs. I’ve read the Seahawks like other guards such as Germain Ifedi out of Texas A&M but for now I will just mock them the highest rated available lineman. A pas rusher is in play here as well.
27. Green Bay Packers: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
I’m not sure what the team’s plans are with Clay Matthews. I hear they want to move him back outside but either way, Julius Peppers isn’t getting any younger. Darron Lee is very fast and has a lot of potential, but he needs to add more muscle in order to be a successful outside linebacker. The Packers groom him to eventually take over a starting role.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Justin Houston is looking to play in 2016 after tearing his ACL in February, but the Chiefs could use depth at the position anyway with Tamba Hali getting older. Safety help is also needed, so if Dodd goes earlier than this, the Chiefs take a safety here.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Keanu Neal, S, Florida
The Cardinals signed Tyvon Branch, but he’s not a long term solution. The Cardinals need to make sure they have insurance for Tyrann Mathieu because their secondary play really dropped off after Mathieu got hurt last year. The Steelers have interest in Neal as well so he could easily be gone by this point.
30. Carolina Panthers: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
The Panthers offensive line figured to be a problem area last year. It wasn’t…until the Super Bowl. The Denver pass rushers completely abused the Carolina offensive line. With Kelvin Benjamin returning from injury, I think the Panthers focus more on upgrading the offensive line. Clark isn’t very strong, but the Panthers already have a good running game. The issue is protecting Cam Newton, and Clark has the potential to do that very well.
31. Denver Broncos: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
The Broncos lost starter Malik Jackson to the Jaguars. Vernon Butler had a lot of production his junior and senior years with 106 tackles and 23.5 tackles for a loss. I thought about mocking Robert Nkemdiche here for fun, but I doubt the Broncos will draft someone who fell 15 feet off a balcony and then got a possession charge for having 7 joints in his room. Colorado would not be the best place for someone like that.