Ahh! It’s mock draft season kids! What do you like better, Christmas or mock draft season? The answer would be, um, mock draft season! I have spent countless hours at work ignoring clients, dodging management, and blowing off conference calls; as I researched each teams’ drafting tendencies and the footage of each prospect to guestimate who goes where. So let’s mock it up!
***DISCLAIMER- THE FOLLOWING SELECTIONS ARE WHAT I THINK EACH NFL WILL DO, NOT WHAT I THINK THEY SHOULD DO. AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO CURSE ME OFF OR TELL ME HOW MUCH OF AN IDIOT I AM, FEEL FREE TO TWEET ME @Lugerini ***
- CLEVELAND BROWNS - MYLES GARRETT, DE/OLB ,TEXAS A&M: I don’t care what the reports are saying, this is a no-brainer. Not even Cleveland can Browns this up, right?
- SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - LEONARD FOURNETTE, RB, LSU: The 49ers are a mystery. Everyone is predicting Solomon Thomas here but I don’t see it. This was a tough one because for me it was between 2 LSU Tigers, safety Jamal Adams and Fournette. But from what I am seeing the pick will be Fournette. Also, the 49ers have been showing a lot of interest in safeties that are considered day 2 prospects, meaning they will target a safety later on in the draft. This year Shanahan gets his bell cow running back and next year he gets his QB.
- CHICAGO BEARS - SOLOMON THOMAS, DT/DE, STANFORD: Apparently the Bears love Thomas. And while Jamal Adams would also make sense here, I still think Chicago upgrades their front 7. John Fox loves to build a dominant front 7, and he can’t have a dominating pass rush when he is starting Mitch Unrein at defensive end.
- JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - O.J. HOWARD, TE, ALABAMA: Unfortunately, the Jaguars miss out on Fournette. So they look to get the next safest offensive player to help restore Bortles‘ career. I also wouldn’t be shocked if they trade back and select Deshaun Watson.
- CLEVELAND BROWNS - MITCHELL TRUBISKY, QB, UNC: TRADE!!!! The Browns are frantically calling teams in the top 8 to trade up and find their partner. The Titans already have received interest in this pick and have an affinity for trading back.
- NEW YORK JETS - JAMAL ADAMS, S, LSU: The Jets would LOVE to trade back and maybe they can. Arizona might call the Jets to trade up but in this scenario the Jets select the second best player in the draft and get a much needed leader in the locker room.
7. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS - CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, RB, STANFORD: Shocking right? But not really. What do you expect from a former running back coach turned head coach. McCaffrey will check a lot of boxes for LA, running back depth, slot wide receiver, punt returner. This was the “special player” Telesco was talking about during his press conference
8. CAROLINA PANTHER - JONATHAN ALLEN, DE/DT, ALABAMA: Carolina is bummed these lost out on both Fournette and McCaffrey. So they go with plan B, upgrade their aging pass rushers (Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson). Derek Barnett could also be an option but the Panthers like a big, stout defensive line.
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS - HAASON REDDICK, DE/OLB, TEMPLE: No player has improved his stock during the draft process more than Reddick. The Bengals were in the market for Ruben Foster, but they stay away and decide to upgrade their pass rush. Cincinnati chooses Reddick over Barnett because of his elite athleticism.
10. BUFFALO BILLS - DESHAUN WATSON, QB, CLEMSON: Buffalo has a new head coach, and with a new coach usually comes a new QB if there is not an established starter already. The Bills have proven they aren’t committed to Tyrod Taylor. Rumor has it they are in love with Watson.
11. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - MARHSON LATTIMORE, CB, OHIO STATE: The Saints goals in the first round is to get a pass rusher and a cb. Somehow the best cornerback in the draft falls to them and they get their ball hawk backer.
12.TENNESSEE TITANS - MALIK HOOKER, FS, OHIO STATE: Hooker falls a little bit because of his injuries and small sample size. The Titans get an exciting safety that covers so much ground and often compared to Ed Reed.
13. ARIZONA CARDINALS - PATRICK MAHOMES, QB, TEXAS TECH: This is most likely Carson Palmer’s last year. Arians grabs his big armed QB of the future
14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - MARLON HUMPHREY, CB ALABAMA: I had Gareon Conley here before his recent run-in with the law. The Eagles need to improve their secondary and decide to go with Humphrey who has good size and speed.
15. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - RUBEN FOSTER, LB, ALABAMA: Foster is arguably the 5th best player in the draft but will slide because of character concerns. The Colts are an aggressive team that are willing to take risks. Foster will be an immediate leader on this defense .
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS - MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, CLEMSON: I almost put tackle Cam Robinson because Baltimore loves Alabama players and lost their starting right tackle, Ricky Wagner, to the Lions. However, Flacco needs more fire power as he is throwing to an aging Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman who is closely approaching bust status. Mike Williams will help solve some of the Ravens offensive woes.
17. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - DEREK BARNETT, DE, TENNESSEE: The Redskins are in the market for a pass rusher. Trent Murphy is suspended for the first 4 games, and Preston Smith seriously regressed last year. Barnett, will bring a much needed rush to a weak Washington defense.
18. TENNESEE TITANS - COREY DAVIS, WR, WESTERN MICHIGAN: In an ideal draft the Titans would want Lattimore and Mike Williams. However, they traded back earlier with the Browns and had to go to their contingency plan. Corey Davis is one hell of a backup plan. Personally, my favorite wide receiver in the draft, will give Mariota a legitimate threat on the outside.
19. TAMPA BAY - DALVIN COOK, RB, FLORIDA STATE: Even if Tampa Bay trades down I still expect them to draft Cook. The Bucs want to surround Winston with more talent and the Bucs GM was quoted saying that Doug Martin is fighting to make the team. Cook is an ideal home run threat that could provide a spark to their lifeless running game. It also doesn't hurt that Cook played with Winston 1 year in college so there is some familiarity with the two.
20. DENVER BRONCOS - GARRETT BOLLES, OT, UTAH: The AFC West is known for their elite pass rushers. Denver has no one at the left tackle spot. This is a huge problem. The Broncos look to sure up their o-line with the nasty, athletic Bolles.
21. DETROIT LIONS - DAVID NJOKU, TE, MIAMI: The Lions haven't picked up Eric Ebron's’ 5th-year option and from the sound of it, it doesn't look like they will either. Njoku is a mismatch nightmare, he is big, fast, and has great hands. He is the player Ebron was supposed to be.
22.MIAMI DOLPHINS - FORREST LAMP, OT/G, WESTERN KENTUCKY: The Dolphins would love to select an edge rusher here but none would be of value here. They wait for their edge rusher to fortify the right side of the offensive line. Lamp is the best offensive line prospect of the draft, and his game is reminiscent of Zack Martin.
23. NEW YORK GIANTS - RYAN RAMCZYK, OT, WISCONSIN: New York would love a tight end here but their top two are not on the board. They can still look at Evan Engram out of Ole Miss, but decide to fix their left tackle issue. With the selection of Ramczyk, the Giants can move Flowers over to the right tackle position, where he belongs.
24. OAKLAND (SOON TO BE LAS VEGAS) RAIDERS- KEVIN KING, CB, WASHINGTON: Apparently the Raiders are in love with the 6’3” King and his combination of speed and athleticism.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS - CAM ROBINSON, OT, ALABAMA: I think Bill O’Brien really thinks Tom Savage can be their game manager. The Texans GM hasn't selected a QB in the first round of the draft since he took over. Instead, Houston gives Savage more protection and Lamar Miller more running room with the addition of Cam.
26. ATLANTA FALCONS - CHARLES HARRIS, DE/OLB, MISSOURI- TRADE!!!! It has been rumored that the Falcons have been in contact with the Seahawks to trade up. Atlanta wants to move ahead of the rest of the pass rush needy teams to get their guy, and their guy apparently is the smooth edge rusher out of Missouri, Charles Harris.
27. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - JARRAD DAVIS, LB, FLORIDA: Between Tamba Hali, and Derrick Johnson, the Chiefs have an aging front 7. They also lost Poe and were already susceptible to the run last year. They need to strengthen the middle of their defense and decide to draft Johnson’s future replacement in Jarrad Davis.
28. DALLAS COWBOYS - ADOREE’ JACKSON, CB, USC: Dallas can go either edge rusher (Tak McKinley, TJ Watt) or cornerback. Apparently the Cowboys want to address the secondary with their first pick. Adoree Jackson is a player that NFL teams have loved more than the media during the draft process. The electric Jackson is a ball hawk that is a threat to score whenever he gets the ball in his hands.
29. GREEN BAY PACKS - T.J. WATT, DE/LB, WISCONSIN: Dom Capers gets another chess piece to the Packers front 7. Watt would be able to help soften the blow of the departing Julius Peppers. A former Wisconsin Badger going to Green Bay, this is a match made in heaven.
30. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - TAKKARIST MCKINLEY, DE/OLB, UCLA: Before Jabrill Peppers diluted drug test result, I had Pittsburgh selecting the former Michigan Wolverine here. However, the Steelers cannot rely on James Harrison for much longer. They also decided to let Jarvis Jones walk in free agency because of his lack of progression. McKinley would help give Pittsburgh some much needed juice on the outside and will form a great young pass rushing combo with Bud Dupree.
31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - OBI MELIFONWU, CB/S, CONNECTICUT: The Seahawks trade back with the Falcons and still get their big, rangy corner. Seattle is starting to get ready for life without Sherman. Obi would be a fantastic selection because he can play the big nickel position or even safety while learning from 2 of the best in the game.
32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - TACO CHARLTON, DE, MICHIGAN: Earlier I said the Saints want to get a corner and an edge rusher. Well looks like they accomplish their goal of getting young talent on the defensive side of the ball that can help their pass defense.