It’s that time of year again, the NFL Draft is upon us. Two nights and a full day of couch surfing. In the words of the great Schwab, a four bags of chips weekend! You’ve seen a million mocks by now, so we’re gonna make this a quicky, just the way you like it.
#1 Cleveland Browns – QB, Josh Allen, Wyoming
The most talked about pick in what feels like forever. The Browns need a QB for the future for good. Allen has the highest ceiling in the draft, but also the lowest floor. With Tyrod Taylor in-house and apparent QB guru Hue Jackson as head coach, the Browns take the slight project with the highest upside and let him sit behind Tyrod for as long as its bearable. Wyoming weather can’t be too different than Cleveland’s. Hand size and strength are important traits, the other 3 QB’s have all played in warm climates.
#2 New York Giants – QB, Sam Darnold, USC
Despite all the Saquan talk, the Giants end up with the guy they’ve wanted all along in Sam Darnold. Darnold is probably the safest QB in the draft and could very well turn out to have the best career. He won’t be rushed and will be brought into a phenomenal situation and franchise with the Giants. Eli will play next year, but the Giants don’t ever expect to pick as high as number 2 again. Having the chance to draft a franchise QB while eliminating any gap between your aging QB and his successor is something the Giants can’t pass up even for arguably the best RB prospect of all time. They stay smart and grab their next franchise guy for next year when Eli is ready to hang them up.
#3 New York Jets – QB, Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Unless Sam Darnold falls, which at this point seems highly unlikely, the Jets will decide between Rosen and Mayfield. No one else is being considered and although there is support within the organization for both, Baker wins out because of his accuracy and his attitude. Yes, his attitude, if he can tame the stupid mistakes, its built for New York. If he has any type of success, boy watch out.
#4 Cleveland Browns – RB, Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The Browns look like the geniuses of the draft here and get the best overall player. The Jets trade opens up this possibility, especially if they give the Giants the chance to draft Darnold. They’ll receive a bunch of offers for this pick, but passing on someone like Saquon at the 4 spot it too much to give up, no matter how many Carlos Hyde’s they’ve already signed.
#5 Denver Broncos – QB, Josh Rosen, UCLA
Case Keenum isn’t the longterm answer and Elway knows that. The Broncos could trade this pick or take Chubb but they take the steal of the most NFL ready QB in the draft right here. Rosen and Elway have similar attitude comparisons leading up to the draft. Does he care enough about football, is he an elitist? Elway could covet that and take Rosen under his wing. The cold air and city atmosphere (wink, wink) could be a great landing spot for a QB like Rosen with a big arm, toughness and a free thinking mind.
#6 Indianapolis Colts – G, Quinten Nelson, Notre Dame
The Colts have left Andrew Luck out to dry with no weapons or protection for long enough. This time around they address offensive line concerns big time and take the top-ranked one here. Nelson will help keep Luck on his feet in a season where he needs it most. He is an immediate plug and play starter from day one and will provide that extra push up front for that rushing attack, that also needs work.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB/S, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Considered by some the best defensive player in the draft, this pick makes the most sense for the Bucs. He’s the right talent and the right spot coming into the right situation. The Bucs secondary is lacking. Grimes is old and Hargraves is small. Minkah provides both youth and size in the secondary and the ability to play multiple positions within it. He’s your shutdown guy or tall receiver end zone coverage guy. He’s got the size and speed to cover both. Easy decision, good pick for the Bucs here.
#8 Chicago Bears – DE, Bradley Chubb, NC State
The Bears get the steal of the top ten with Chubb at 8. Too much talent to pass up this late. While they addressed a lot on offense in free agency, they still need help on defense. In a city where its cold almost the entire season, having a tough hard-nosed defense is something they need. With a young QB, the Bears will go for the guy to help them keep the other teams score low.
#9 San Francisco 49ers – S, Derwin James, FSU
The Niners will continue to build out their defense. Although Roquon Smith could be an option here with Reuben Foster’s impending charges, Foster is still on the team for now. Eric Reed, their starting safety is not. With that hole present, the Niners will go after what they hope is the next Jalen Ramsey.
#10 Oakland Raiders – LB, Roquon Smith, Georgia
Arguably the best linebacker in the class and a possible future defensive captain, the raiders grab the Georgia product here to pair with Kahlil Mack and anchor the center of that defense. Gruden loves tough, hard-nosed football and great tacklers, that is Roquon Smith’s game in a nutshell. He should make an immediate impact and fit right in with the new but old Raiders mentality.
#11 Miami Dolphins – LB, Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Although they could trade up for a QB, the Dolphins would be happy with either of the two linebackers. Some people have Edmunds ranked higher than Smith and he’s projected as high as 6th in some spots, so the value is great.
#12 Buffalo Bills – OL, Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Bills aren’t able to trade up to get their QB. They take that chance to bolster the protection for AJ McCarron after the departures of Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood. Mike McGlinchey is the best tackle in the draft and is quickly rising up boards. Keeping QB’s and RB’s on their feet in the Buffalo climate is important, for that you need a banger of an offensive line, so this pick makes sense filling a crucial need for the Bills.
#13 Washington Redskins – DT, Vita Vea, Washington
The Redskins need to improve their defense, particularly their run defense up the middle. They can solve this with a nose tackle or an interior linebacker. With both top linebackers off the board and none really in this range, Vita Vea is the guy here for them. Huge run stopper up the middle will pair perfectly with last year’s first-round pick Jonathan Allen.
#14 Green Bay Packers – WR, Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The Packers haven’t drafted a skill position player in the first round since Aaron Rodgers himself in 2005. Things have been rocky between Rodgers and the Packers this offseason. Highlighted by the release of his favorite WR in Jordy Nelson. With Cobb looking like a shell of himself, this is a good chance for the Packers to address a major need and make the best QB in the NFL happy.
#15 Arizona Cardinals – CB, Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Cardinals get a major steal here and fill a big need in their secondary, which is a weak spot right now following the loss of Tyrann Mathieu. They don’t have much aside from Patrick Peterson, who is himself starting to age. Ward is a versatile corner who some think of as the most talented in the draft. Great value that satisfies a need equals a good draft pick.
#16 Baltimore Ravens – WR, DJ Moore, Maryland
The Ravens need to try and do what they can to make Joe Flacco “Elite” again. He hasn’t had a decent number one WR in some time now. Although they could try and go offensive line here, I think they ultimately grab the local boy who I’m sure they’ve been scouting for years in their own backyard to try and give Flacco a guy he can’t out throw.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers – DT, Taven Bryant, Florida
The Chargers have a fantastic pass rush, probably the best in the NFL. What they need help with is stopping the run up the middle. With Ingram and Bosa taking care of the edges, Taven Bryant is an athletic nose tackle who could plug and play from day one on the defensive front and take care of a major need. Safety could be a thought here if one somehow slips to them.
#18 Seattle Seahawks – CB, Josh Jackson, Iowa
The legion of boom is all but finished. Richard Sherman is gone and the Seahawks are in trouble at CB. Jackson is great value in this spot and definitely one of the top corners in the draft. He can come in next year and instantly replace Sherman. He might not be there in his rookie year, but he’ll be good enough to come in a be their number one guy right out of training camp.
#19 Dallas Cowboys – WR, Courtland Sutton, SMU
The release of Dez Bryant leaves the Cowboys down a number one WR and an end zone target. Courtland Sutton solves that. There are other areas of need, but an immediate Dez replacement and a new toy for their young QB who went through a little bit of a sophomore slump last season seems like the Cowboys play here. Sutton has been projected as high as the top ten in some cases, so even though WR’s aren’t being talked about, there is value here.
#20 Detroit Lions – DE, Marcus Davenport, UTSA
The Lions have a big need for a defensive end, even with Ziggy playing under the franchise tag this year. New head coach Matt Patricia is a defensive guy so expect them to do something on that side of the ball. With where they’re picking and the talent at this position at this point in the draft, Davenport is a great pick.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals – C, James Daniels, Iowa
Cincinnati bolstered their offensive line a bit with the addition of tackle Cordy Glenn, but they need an anchor in the center of that line if they’re going to do a complete rebuild of it like they are trying to do. Daniels is the best center in the draft so this should be a pick that’s both available and easy to make for them.
#22 Buffalo Bills – LB, Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
The Bills need an athletic linebacker. He’s fallen a bit on draft boards because of health concerns but the Bills don’t have a problem with it here and fill in love with his talent to sure up the linebacker spot with their second pick in the first round after going with the offensive line with the first pick.
#23 New England Patriots- Jaire Alexander CB- Louisville
The New England Patriots saw their “star” corner depart this offseason to the Tennessee Titans, and even with the signing of Jason McCourty the Patriots still need to address this area. The Pats will go ahead and take Jaire Alexander who at times looked like the best Corner in College football. He is a long physical corner, who has the speed to match up with any wide receiver. A player who played very fluid, who should lock down a side for New England.
24) Carolina Panthers- Mike Hughes CB UCF
With Mike Hughes, you get a winning player who is relentless, strong, and athletic. He’s resilient, never giving up on play and was part of two undefeated teams at UCF. He had an insane combine posting 20 bench reps, the second most for a corner as well as the fourth-longest broad jump for a corner and the third best 3-cone drill. The only thing going against him is his size as he’s just 5”10 190lb but he plays extremely physical so he should be a great pick for the Panthers who ranked 18th in passing yards allowed per game.
#25 Tennesse Titans- Harold Landry De/OLB- BC
The Titans have a couple different holes, but they sit in a perfect position to nab Harold Landry who is an excellent pass rusher whose stock has been hit by a recent string of injuries. If Harold can stay healthy he can be a versatile player who can switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. A healthy Landry had 16.5 sacks in 2016 and could get to the QB fast as he ran a 4.65 40.
26) Atlanta Falcons- Da’Aron Payne DT Alabama
There’s no question if the Falcons can get their hands-on Payne, they’re taking him. The Falcons could use some help on the defensive side of the ball, specifically the line. He’s a dynamic talent who can get to the QB with 27 pressures last year, bat balls down, and is known for his run stuffing abilities.
#27 New Orleans Saints- Mike Gesicki TE- Penn State
The Saints have a good problem on their hands, they don’t really need to fill any specific position in this draft as they have really improved in drafts of past years. One could say they need a wide receiver, but with their recent signing of Cam Meredith that is no longer a first round need. Look for the Saints to add Mike Gesicki a Tight End out of Penn State whose explosiveness is very reminiscent of a guy named Jimmy Graham that worked out so well in New Orleans. Mike is a great vertical threat TE, that should make this offense even more explosive.
28) Pittsburgh Steelers- Rashaan Evans LB Alabama
Evans is a monster at 6”3 235 and would be a near perfect fit to fill their need an LB sadly due to the horrific Ryan Shazier injury. Evans led the Alabama defense with 13 tackles for loss last year and contributed 6 sacks. Defensive players from Alabama are generally studs unless you’re the Jets and take Dee Millner.
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk – Texas A&M
The Jacksonville Jaguars basically hemorrhaged pass catchers this offseason, with the departures of both Hurns and Lee, Jacksonville will look to fill their slot receiver position and will do so with drafting Christian Kirk a 5″10 out of Texas. Christian has a mixture of the perfect size and speed to excel catches passes underneath to open up the long pass to both Brooks and Lee.
30) Minnesota Vikings- G Isiah Wynn, Georgia
The Vikings are notorious for making need-based picks in the first-round. Wynn had a great senior bowl and week for that matter which took him from a late second rounder to hear at 30. Mel Kiper has him ranked as his fourth-best guard so there’s a chance he should be available. They had Joe Berger retire and Jeremiah Sirles leave for Carolina so the need is more than there.
#31 New England Patriots – OT Tyrell Crosby- Oregon
The New England Patriots have a massive void to fill on the offensive line with the departure of Nate Solder to the Giants in this offseason. With their 31st pick look for the Patriots to fill this need by taking Crosby out of Oregon. Crosby is a towering tackle at 6 feet 5 and a with a massive frame and strength that can help protect Brady’s blindside. Pair him with legendary OL coach Dante Scarnecchia and he can develop into a mainstay on the OL for years to come.
32)- Philadelphia Eagles- Sonny Michel, RB, Georgia
The Eagles may not seem like they are in dire NEED of RB but they currently only have two back on their roster. One being jay Ajayi and the other Corey Clement. The running back position has really changed and is being asked to do more in the passing game. Sonny Michel is just that an explosive weapon who could not be stopped last year averaging 7.9 yards per rush and 10.7 yards per reception to boot. See Alvin Kamara here, very similar players Michel just bigger at 5”11 215 but still ever so quick.