1. Los Angeles Rams- Who they will select: Jared Goff, QB, California
Who they should select: Goff or Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
Analysis: Leading up to the combine, Goff seemed to be the number one QB prospect in the draft. However, Wentz was the preferred QB by most draft experts after the combine and his pro day. Yet, the Rams have publicly stated they will view both prospects thoroughly leading up to the draft, but are leaning towards Goff.
2. Philadelphia Eagles- Who they will select: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
Who they should select: Wentz
Analysis: There is no way the Eagles traded up from pick 8 to select a player other than a qb. The Eagles would be fine with either Goff or Wentz, but might end up with the better of the two quarterbacks. Whether it is Goff or Wentz, it looks like the pick will be the number one quarterback this year with incumbent starter Sam Bradford asking for a trade.
3. San Diego Chargers- Who they will select: Laremy Tunsil, OL, Ole Miss
Who they should select: Tunsil or Jalen Ramsey, QB, Florida St.
Analysis: Ramsey is arguably the best prospect in the draft who can either be inserted at safety or cornerback. However, franchise quarterback Philip Rivers is on the wrong side of thirty and can’t take another beating this season making Tunsil the better pick.
4. Dallas Cowboys- Who they will select: Jalen Ramsey, QB, Florida St.
Who they should select: Ramsey
Analysis: Ramsey is the pick if he is still on the board. If the Chargers draft Ramsey, I can see the Cowboys drafting former Ohio St. Buckeye running back, Ezekiel Elliott, or his college teammate, Joey Bosa, as an edge rusher.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Who they will select: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Who they should select: Jack or Bosa
Analysis: Many teams are scared off by Jack’s knee injury from last fall that led him to decide not to run the 40 at the NFL combine. However, he is an incredible athlete who can play any linebacker position. I can also see the hard-hitting Jack converted to safety like the Dallas Cowboys did in the ’90’s with Darren Woodson.
6. Baltimore Ravens- Who they will select: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
Who they should select: Bosa or Deforest Buckner, DE, Oregon
7. San Francisco 49ers- Who they will select: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Who they should select: Lynch or Buckner
Analysis: New coach Chip Kelly would prefer to trade down and still be able to get his qb, but there is no guarantee Lynch will be available. The drop off after Lynch is significant so Kelly stays put and gets a qb to fit his system.
8. Cleveland Browns- Who they will select: Deforest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Who they should select: Buckner or Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Analysis: The Browns have so many holes to fill, but Buckner would fit in well. He is 6’7″ and is strong against the run and as a pass rusher.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Who they will select: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Who they should select: Hargreaves
Analysis: Hargreaves gets drafted by his hometown Buccaneers. He is a top flight corner who is quick, athletic, and strong as an open field tackler.
10. New York Giants- Who they will select: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Who they should select: Stanley or Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Analysis: The Giants need to do a better job of protecting quarterback Eli Manning. Stanley is athletic, agile, and can play either tackle spot.
11. Chicago Bears- Who they will select: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Who they should select: Lawson or Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
Analysis: Lawson ran the fastest time among defensive tackles ranked in the top 100 players at 4.70 seconds and has been moving up draft boards the past few weeks.
12. New Orleans Saints- Who they will select: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Who they should select: Rankins or Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Analysis: Rankins is a versatile defensive lineman who can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He is quick off the ball and was labeled “unstoppable” during drills at the Senior Bowl.
13. Miami Dolphins- Who they will select: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
Who they should select: Elliott
Analysis: Elliott is a three-down back coveted by many teams. He can go the distance on any one play and is an excellent pass-protector. It would not surprise me to see Elliott chosen as high as four by the Cowboys.
14. Oakland Raiders- Who they will select: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Who they should select: Floyd, Conklin, or Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Analysis: Floyd’s athletic ability and closing ability are what intrigue scouts. However, he needs to improve speed and strength to compete at the next level.
15. Tennessee Titans- Who they will select: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
Who they should select: Conklin, Decker, or Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
Analysis: Conklin is strong in run-blocking and should make a smooth transition to the NFL at right tackle adding a strong offensive line presence in front of franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota.
16. Detroit Lions- Who they will select: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Who they should select: Decker or Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Analysis: Decker is a strong run blocker who played both tackle spots in college. He has the moxie to start as a rookie.
17. Atlanta Falcons- Who they will select: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Who they should select: Dodd, Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky, or Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
Analysis: While only spending one season as a starter, Dodd took advantage of Shaq Lawson’s presence opposite him on the d-line. Dodd recorded three sacks and three tackles for loss in the National Championship game against Alabama. He had a poor scouting combine which could lead to him dropping in the draft.
18. Indianapolis Colts- Who they will select: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Who they should select: Spence or Lee
Analysis: Spence started his career at Ohio St. before being dismissed from the team for using ecstasy in 2014. He rebuilt hios career last season at Eastern Kentucky and was selected co-defensive player of the year for his conference. Lots of upside here if teams are willing to take a chance on him.
19. Buffalo Bills- Who they will select: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Who they should select: Nkemdiche or A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Analysis: Nkemdiche has character issues as evidenced by falling out of a hotel window in December and being suspended from his team’s bowl game, but his size, speed, and agility should bring about good production.
20. New York Jets- Who they will select: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
Who they should select: Lee or Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.
Analysis: Lee, a former high school quarterback, is an elite athlete who ran a 4.7 at the combine and has the innate ability to be around the ball.
21. Washington Redskins- Who they will select: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Who they should select: Kelly or A. Robinson
Analysis: Much like Travis Frederick of the Dallas Cowboys, Kelly is a cerebral player who understands what is needed against defensive schemes put in front of him.
22. Houston Texans- Who they will select: Laquan Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
Who they should select: Treadwell
Analysis: New quarterback Brock Osweiler gets a new toy to play with as the Texans nab the top receiver in the draft. Treadwell was the top-rated wide receiver recruit in the nation in 2013. He has continued to drop down draft boards after not running at the combine and posting a 4.65 40 at his pro day.
23. Minnesota Vikings- Who they will select: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Who they should select: Coleman, Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame, or Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Analysis: Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver last year. He ran a 4.4 at the combine and is a big-play receiver.
24. Cincinnati Bengals- Who they will select: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Who they should select: Fuller or Doctson
Analysis: Fuller is a deep threat who can stretch the defense. However, he needs to improve his catching ability and route running.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers- Who they will select: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
Who they should select: Apple or K. Joseph
Analysis: Apple ran a 4.34 40 at the combine and is comfortable in man coverage. He is a NFL ready starting corner as a rookie.
26.Seattle Seahawks- Who they will select: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Who they should select: Robinson or William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Analysis: Robinson is much stronger against the run than putting pressure on the quarterback. He will need to improve shedding blockers if he is to get to the quarterback.
27. Green Bay Packers- Who they will select: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Who they should select: Ragland or Doctson
Analysis: Ragland, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has excellent read and react instincts as a linebacker. He is said to fit the mold of a tough-nosed, old-school linebacker.
28. Kansas City Chiefs- Who they will select: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Who they should select: Jackson III or Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Analysis: Ran a 4.32 at the combine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go higher based on his speed and tenacity.
29. Arizona Cardinals- Who they will select: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Who they should select: Burns, K. Joseph, or Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Analysis: Burns has a good blend of size and speed. He was one of the top 60-meter hurdlers in college track and field. Long arms broke up many high passes last season. Burns has soft hands and recorded six interceptions last season.
30. Carolina Panthers- Who they will select: Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Who they should select: Alexander, Ogbah, or Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Analysis: Alexander is excellent in press coverage and ran a 4.49 40 at the combine. However, he left college with no career interceptions leaving many scouts to question his hands and his ability to intercept passes.
31. Denver Broncos- Who they will select: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Who they should select: Reed or Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas St.
Analysis: Reed is another defensive lineman who is strong against the run and needs to do a better job of getting to the quarterback.
There you have it. If teams listen to me, they will strike gold with their selections. Enjoy the draft tonight and throughout the weekend.
And that’s as I see it!
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Scott D. Mikulski