With the draft harrowing upon us, I thought now would be a good time to give some insight as to what to expect to see from the league as the NFL version of Christmas sets in with a little note off to the side about each pick.
Disclaimer- This was done with the assumption that no further trades will occur. While it is likely that there will be at least 1 trade in some way (and I have marked any picks where I believe a trade may happen), this mock was done assuming that every team stays pat with their respective picks.
1st overall pick (Cleveland Browns): Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett- The Browns, simply put, are a team with a ton of holes, even after a successful free agency, so the number one overall pick goes towards the most talented player in the draft, as opposed to aiming for a need.
2nd overall pick (San Francisco 49ers): North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky- Trubisky is an ideal fit for new head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive game plan, and as a result, he is the man San Francisco hopes to build its time around with this pick.
3rd overall pick (Chicago Bears): Stanford DE Solomon Thomas- By far the most explosive at his position in the draft, and for a team in dire need of pass rush assistance, this is the obvious pick.
4th overall pick (Jacksonville Jaguars): Alabama DE Jonathan Allen- Here, the Jaguars get to draft Joey Bosa 2.0, as the intangibles of Allen are nearly identical to those of Bosa’s. A very safe pick here as Jacksonville bolsters up their defense.
5th overall pick (Tennessee Titans): Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore- The Titans very quietly bulked up a bit their secondary during free agency, but only the drafting of Lattimore will help to make some noise on a unit that ranked 31st in the league last year.
6th overall pick (New York Jets): Ohio State FS Malik Hooker- On a team that struggled so mightily defending against the pass, Hooker’s ballhawk skills will be a welcome asset. A very safe pick.
7th overall pick (Los Angeles Chargers): LSU SS Jamal Adams- Regarded as the safest pick in the draft, Adams might be the most NFL ready out of any draft prospect, and his all around amazing skills will be welcome on a Charger defense in dire need of a play maker.
8th overall pick (Carolina Panthers): Tennessee DE Derek Barnett- Despite concerns over RB Jonathan Stewart’s durability, the Panthers err against drafting his replacement and go for one of the most dynamic Defensive Ends to come to the draft this year. Would not be surprised to see this pick get traded.
9th overall pick (Cincinnati Bengals): Alabama ILB Reuben Foster- Assuming his recent drug test failure gets cleaned up adequately, this is the obvious draft pick for the Bengals. He has plenty of off the field concerns, but the talent level is undeniable.
10th overall pick (Buffalo Bills): Alabama TE OJ Howard- The Bills made a commitment to Tyrod Taylor by giving him an extension, so getting him a new weapon is a top priority. Conveniently, Howard also fills a position of need, as the Bills have been sorely lacking at the position for a long time.
11th overall pick (New Orleans Saints): Michigan DE Taco Charlton- The Saints’ 27th ranked pass rush unit needs a boost that Charlton easily provides.
12th overall pick (Cleveland Browns): Clemson QB DeShaun Watson- Having moved on from Robert Griffin III and being uncertain about the futures of Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler, bringing Watson in the fray gives the position some long term stability and gives the Browns another piece to base their seemingly eternal rebuilding process around. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this pick traded.
(due to length constraints, I’ve left the brief analysis out of the rest of my 1st round mock draft)
13th overall pick (Arizona Cardinals): Texas Tech QB Patrick Maholmes II
14th overall pick (Philadelphia Eagles): Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
15th overall pick (Indianapolis Colts): Temple OLB Haason Reddick
16th overall pick (Baltimore Ravens): LSU RB Leonard Fournette
17th overall pick (Washington Redskins): Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
18th overall pick (Tennessee Titans): Washington WR John Ross
19th overall pick (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Washington FS Budda Baker
20th overall pick (Denver Broncos): Western Kentucky OG Forrest Lamp
21st overall pick (Detroit Lions): Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
22nd overall pick (Miami Dolphins): Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
23rd overall pick (New York Giants): Miami TE David Njoku
24th overall pick (Oakland Raiders): Michigan State DE Malik McDowell
25th overall pick (Houston Texans): Utah OT Garett Bolles
26th overall pick (Seattle Seahawks): Alabama OT Cam Robinson
27th overall pick (Kansas City Chiefs): Florida ILB Jarrad Davis
28th overall pick (Dallas Cowboys): Missouri DE Charles Harris
29th overall pick (Green Bay Packers): Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
30th overall pick (Pittsburgh Steelers): Michigan SS Jabrill Peppers
31st overall pick (Atlanta Falcons): Houston OLB Tyus Bowser
32nd overall pick (New Orleans Saints): Southern California CB Adoree Jackson