We are one day away from the NFL Draft and I am all types of excited. The noise about the Jets trading Mo Wilkerson and drafting Paxton Lynch has me a little down, but I’m hoping its just noise. With only one day left I had to get my last mock draft out and my final predilection on the first round. I hope you enjoy the read and let me know if you like your teams pick.
1.Los Angeles Rams- Jared Goff, QB, Cal-
When you trade up for the #1 pick it better be for a QB. The Rams desperately need a franchise QB, as they haven’t had one since Kurt Warner. This move makes sense in a few other ways in that Goff is probably the most ready of all the QB’s in this class. They are obviously moving to LA, so they need a new star to lead the team, and also Jeff Fishers job is on the line this year so he needs to win.
2. Eagles- Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State-
Again whn you trade up like this it better be for a QB. The Eagles are trying to get rid of the Chip Kelly stain fats and furious. New head coach Doug Pederson is doing what Chip never did, and that’s go get the QB he really wants. Pederson now can groom his new QB in to what he believes can be a cornerstone in Philly. Wentz needs some time still, but he possess all the elite traits you want out of a franchise QB.
3. Chargers- Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss-
The Bolts can go in like 4 different directions with this pick. They can go with Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, or trade down. The last choice is the one I’m going with in drafting the best LT in this class. Rivers isn’t going to play forever, but the longer he stays healthy the longer he plays. The best way to do that is to protect him with this monster Laremy Tunsil. The Chargers are in a perfect spot to make their team better next year.
4. Cowboys- Jalen Ramsey, DB, FSU-
The Cowboys need a lot of help on defense and they need a future replacement for Tony Romo, but defense it is. The Boys are in a great spot here because they have so many things, and because the guys that are left. I ended up taking Jalen over Bosa and DeForest Buckner. I had a real back forth with myself on this one between Bosa and Ramsey, but pass rushers are at a bulk in this class and guys like Ramsey aren’t. Talking about talented kids, Ramsey might have the most in this class. The one glaring issue with him is where to play him? Is he a corner or safety? Good thing the Boys need both positions filled, so just take him and figure it out later.
5. Jaguars- Joey Boas, DE, OSU-
The love seems to be fading on Bosa pretty quickly. Once known as a lock to go #1 seems to be sliding in other mock drafts. Now, of course that means shit because almost 97% of these things are our gut feelings on what this team will do. I just can’t see the Jags passing on a kid with his talent. He can play all over the line if you need him to, he could be the most complete player in this class. The guy is a monster that can do it all for you up front and a guy that fills a big need for a rebuilding defense. They also signed Malik Jackson who will team up with a healthy Dante Fowler Jr., so this team can get very scary quick on this side of the ball.
6. Ravens- Myles Jack, LB, UCLA-
This one came down to Stanley or Jack and it was another tough call. I went with Jack because that defense needs a playmaking leader like Jack on their defense. The Ravens have been good all these years because they have always had a vaunting defense, and last year they didn’t. They need to get back to those days and that starts with drafting Jack. If Jack didn’t get hurt at UCLA this wouldn’t even be a question, but I’m taking a shot on him. Myles Jack is built for this new pass happy NFL, with easily being the best cover backer in this draft. It also helps that he can get after the QB with his combination of power and speed.
7. 49ers- Ronnie Stanley, LT, ND-
The 49ers need a whole lot of things and that includes a QB. Paxton Lynch could be the pick here but that would be a big reach for me. Instead I went with Stanley a premier LT talent that will protect whoever the QB is. Chip Kelly also loves athletic lineman and Ronnie is arguably the most athletic lineman in this class.
8. Brown- DeForest Buckner, DE, Orgeon-
Cleveland is in another trade down spot, especially to the Titans that will be eyeing a Tackle like Jack Conklin. If they do stay here, I monster like DeForest Buckner should be the pick. Buckner would fit their 3-4 scheme perfect. He is a very versatile player that they can move around that front and cause havoc.
9. Buccaneers- Jack Conklin, OT, MSU-
This pick has trade down written all over and I would put a lot of money on it. For now we will keep the Bucs here, because if I start predicting trades the actual draft won’t be fun to watch because you will know what already happened. I’m going Conklin here because he is a safe, plug and play pick that will keep Famous Jameis upright for many years to come. Again this is a very high possible trade down pick, especially with the Titans, because again they like big Jack. Maybe check down at #15 to see who they pick, a guy that the Bucs would without a doubt love to have but just not at #9. If you can’t see what I’m doing here then just stop reading.
10. Giants- Leonard Floyd, OLB/DE Georgia-
The Giants went out and spent a boatload on the defense. They signed Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and re-signed JPP. I don’t think they should stop there as they could just use more on defense. JPP and Vernon will man the end spots of the 4-3, while Harrison aka “Snacks” will man the one spot inside. So why draft another guy that can come off the edge? Well because the Giants are at their best when they have a pass rusher like when they won those 2 Super Bowls. It’s time for them get back to those days, and they could also have their long-term replacement for JPP in Floyd.
11. Bears- Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson-
Lawson was one of the most productive pass rushers in college football last year. The Bears went out and added two linebackers in free agency so time to address the front line. Lawson will step in on day 1 and give the Bears another pass rushing end.
12. Saints- Sheldon Rankins, DT, L’Ville-
The Saints need a lot of help on defense and Rankins will help. This is a guy has top 10 talent and he could fall right in the Saints laps. He has very good quickness for his size which gives him some pass rushing ability to go along with his run stuffing ability.
13. Dolphins- Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State-
The Fins lost Lamar Miller to the Texans, so a running back in a need. Elliot is the clear best back in this class and is a complete back. Elliot will start day 1 for Gase and his Dolphins and will give him another weapon to play with.
14. Raiders-Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama-
The Raiders have a solid build on offense, but the defense needs some improvements. Oakland did go out and sign Bruce Irvin and Sean Smith so that helps. They are missing that leader at MLB that can run the show, but that ends here with them picking Ragland. I don’t know about you, but Reggie just seems like a perfect type of Raider.
15. Titans-Vernon Hargreaves, CB, UF-
I have loved this kid since the Under Armor Bowl. He is a true man to man corner that lives on an island. He was compared to Revis when he was a high schooler and just showed that to be true when at Florida. He would lock half the field down and struck fear into opposing QBs. He may be a little small, but boy he showed up at the combine and did everything at a high level. This could be a trade up candidate, especially with the Bucs at #10, where they want Conklin. It’s a perfect swap because the Bucs would like Vernon.
16. Lions- A’ Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama-
The Lions really need o-line help but they never seem to draft a big hog molly in the 1st round so why start here? The Lions still need to replace Suh in the middle of that defense and A’Shawn could be that guy. Now he won’t have the same pass rushing abilities like Suh, but he will demand attention in there.
17. Falcons- Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State-
The Falcons still need tons of help on defense even after taking Vic Beasley last year. Darron Lee would help that side of the ball right away with his blazing speed, another thing head coach Dan Quinn loves. Beasley and Lee together on the field give the Falcons a whole lot more of team speed.
18. Colts- Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State-
The Colts have to address the o-line right? I mean both trenches were pretty bad, but Andrew Luck is your franchise and you must keep him healthy. Decker is a player that can step right in and play from day 1, which will make Luck a happy man.
19. Bills- Kevin Dodd, DL, Clemson-
Rex Ryan loves taking players from his son’s school, Clemson. Dodd would also be a nice fit for a team looking to bolster their d-line. Dodd was Shaq Lawson’s running mate and they made one heck of a pair. Dodd will now pair up with Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes.
20. Jets-William Jackson III, CB, Houston-
This could be a potential Paxton Lynch spot, but the Jets are so close to getting back to playoffs and they need guys that can compete day 1 and that is not Paxton Lynch. Todd Bowles loves his corners and after losing Cro, he adds a player that profiles a like him. Jackson is a very long athletic speedy corner that can flourish along Revis Island, Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams.
21. Redskins- Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama-
Washington has been trying to get tougher on both sides of the ball, and Reed might be the best run stopping interior linemen in this draft. He can really plug up holes, and a guy that can really cause havoc in the back field.
22. Texans- Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame-
DeAndre Hopkins is an absolute stud, but he needs some help out there. Will Fuller is a big-time play waiting to happen. He has elite speed as he showed with his 4.32 40 at the combine. Hopkins is a do it all stud, so pairing him with a home-run hitter in Fuller could be a dynamic duo for their new QB.
23. Vikings- Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Vikings have a good one is Diggs but could use another guy. The difference between Treadwell and guys like Will Fuller, Corey Coleman is that he is a bigger receiver. Diggs is a smaller receiver, so they go with the bigger wide out that can go get any ball.
24. Bengals- Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Three receivers go in a row and the Bengals might have just got the best of them all. Doctson doesn’t have blazing speed, but is a big bodied guy that catches everything. Cincinnati needs a guy to go along Green and Eifert, and Doctson could be that player.
25. Steelers-Karl Joseph, S, WVU
Karl Joseph seems to be over his knee injury and is shooting up draft boards. The Steelers desperately need playmakers in the back end of their defense, and Joseph fits that bill to a tee. He is the best safety in this class and could go even higher than this, so the Steelers will very happy.
26. Seahawks-Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss-
This pick just makes too much sense. Nkemdiche has off the field issues but tons of talent. Without those issues he would be a top-10 pick for sure. The Seahawks seem to do just fine with guys that have character issues but are extremely talented. The Seahawks also need to get younger on the d-line, so this is their guy.
27. Packers- Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor-
Billings is a big ole boy weighing at 315 pounds. He is a great run stuffer but also has the quickness to get some pressure on the QB. BJ Raji is starting to get up there in the middle so why not get him some protection with Billings, and Billings can also learn the ways of the big men.
28. Chiefs- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State-
The Chiefs lost Sean Smith to the Raiders, so another corner could be the pick here. I know they with Peters last year, but look who that worked out so why not another one. Apple is a longer corner that has very good comparison to Sean Smith. Apple is a guy that can go even higher so if he is there the Chiefs should run to the commish with this pick.
29. Cardinals-Noah Spence, OLB/DE, Eastern Kentucky
This was a tough choice between Noah Spence and Ogbah out of Oklahoma State, but I’m going with Spence. He is a great fir for what the Cards are looking for. Dwight Freeney was a huge player for the Cards, and Spence with the right development can be that type of player. His physical tools are off the charts, so the potential is there. He could have been a lot higher than this (pun intended), but he has some off the field issues. The Cards have never backed away from a player that has issues with talent before, so why stop now?
30. Panthers- Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
Bell is a ball hawking safety that the Panthers have been missing. They don’t have many weaknesses but if you had to say one it would be those safeties. Bell is the best in this class at coverage skills by a safety not named Ramsey. Many also seem to think he could switch to corner in the future which would help since Lake Norman isn’t around anymore.
31. Broncos- Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The Broncos lost Brock Osweielr to the Texans so the QB will be a need. Now Lynch isn’t the answer for the present, but could be for the future. The Broncos did bring in Mark Sanchez and will add another vet. They can let Paxton sit and learn and really development into that great QB that many see, if he developments. He has the talent but is a project and I think the Broncos could take the chance on him because they can afford to.
The last mock draft is in the books before the draft and I’m feeling pretty confident with this one. Now that means nothing because I’m sure I will have like 6 of the 31 right. Make sure to tune in Thursday night for one of the best parts of the NFL off-season, THE NFL DRAFT!!!
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : George