A few guidelines:
1) These are the picks I would make as a GM, this is NOT a prediction
2) Jaylon Smith is not included on this draft board due to his injury and the mystery of his draft stock
3) Since I am the GM and I don’t believe in drafting running backs in the first round, you will notice that Ezekiel Elliott is nowhere to be found in this mock. Even if Elliot ends up in Canton, there is no reason to draft a running back in the first round. It is a draft that is deep in RBs and teams can find a solution to that position in the 3rd or 4th round.
1) LA Rams:
Jared Goff (Cal QB):
After giving up a “king's ransom” for this pick, LA seems destined to land the QB whom they believe can take them to the promise land.
2) Philadelphia Eagles:
Carson Wentz (NDSU QB):
After trading up to #2, Philly will take whichever QB doesn’t go number 1.
3) San Diego Chargers:
Jalen Ramsey (FSU Safety):
Deforest Buckner is an intriguing pick here but why not fill the Eric Weddle hole with the best prospect on the board? Easy decision for Tom Telesco and co.
4) Dallas Cowboys:
Deforest Buckner (Oregon DE):
Plan A would be to grab Jalen Ramsey and pair him up with sophomore Byron Jones but Deforest Buckner is a great Plan B to bulk up the pass rush. A lot of experts like Joey Bosa here but I’m the only expert who counts for this draft and I like Buckner.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars:
Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss LT):
A surprising slide for the big guy from Ole Miss benefits Jacksonville in a huge way. Putting Tunsil on Bortles blind side, while adding newly acquired Kelvin Beachum on the right side, gives the Jaguars offense the line it needs to become one of the league’s elite.
6) Baltimore Ravens:
Myles Jack (UCLA OLB):
Easy selection for Ozzie Newsome. He gets arguably the best defensive player on the board and addresses the wakness that plagued the Ravens defense last year.
7) San Francisco 49ers:
Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame OT)
Although the 49ers quarterback position is still shrouded in mystery, a stout front 5 will help whomever lines up under center and Stanley is too good to pass up.
8) Cleveland Browns:
Joey Bosa (Ohio State DE)
There is a voice inside my head that is screaming “Paxton Lynch,” however with Bosa falling to 7, Cleveland can’t,and won’t, pass up on the best pass-rusher in the draft.
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Sheldon Rankins (Louisville DT)
A lot of pundits like Hargreaves here, but his size gives me pause.. Anyway, building inside/out is the way I believe the Bucs should go on defense and pairing Gerald McCoy up with Rankins will be a scary tandem.
10) New York Giants:
Jack Conklin (Michigan State OT)
Drafting a WR here is possible but Conklin is the safer bet. A Conklin/Flowers duo plus Richburg in the middle is already a much improved offensive front for the G-men.
11) Chicago Bears:
Leonard Floyd (Georgia OLB)
The Bears already made inside linebacker a priority this offseason by signing Danny Trevathan and by drafting Floyd to go with Pernell Mcphee that Bears will solidify the outside linebacker position as well.
12) New Orleans Saints:
Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida CB)
While there have been some reports that NO isn’t thrilled with Hargreaves’ size, he more than makes up for it with his ball hawking abilities. After losing the Josh Norman sweepstakes and with last years signing of Brandon Browner turning out to be a bust, pairing Hargreaves with intriguing second year man Delvin Breaux gives the NO secondary a compelling future.
13) Miami Dolphins:
Shaq Lawson (Clemson DE)
With Hargreaves off the board, Shaq Lawson becomes a no brainer selection. William Jackson from Houston is an appealing selection but passing up on the stud pass rusher from Clemson is too much to resist.
14) Oakland Raiders:
William Jackson III (Houston CB)
With the Raiders defense on the rise, Jackson is an easy selection. WJ3’s overall skill set is too much to pass up with the 14th pick.
15) Tennessee Titans:
Taylor Decker (Ohio State OT)
In trading out of the first overall pick the Titans will miss out on Laremy Tunsil. Lucky for Tennessee, this years draft has no shortage of starting caliber offensive tackles. Decker will step right in and contribute to an offensive line that already contains young talent such as Taylor Lewan and Chance Warmack.
16) Detroit Lions:
Kevin Dodd (Clemson DE)
With Ziggy Ansah shaping up to become one of the league's most ferocious and effective edge rushers, pairing him up with Clemson star Kevin Dodd doesn’t seem to be too bad of an idea.
17) Atlanta Falcons:
Darron Lee (Ohio State OLB)
Continuing last year’s trend of of selecting OLB’s in the first round (Vic Beasley), Darron Lee can immediately step in and add value to passing coverage situations in Atlanta. Building a young outside linebacking will help boost Dan Quinn’s defense.
18) Indianapolis Colts:
Eli Apple (Ohio State CB)
The secondary has been a problem area for Indy but Eli Apple presents them with a formidable option to pair with Pro-bowl corner Vontae Davis. Apple has the ability to step in right away and contribute to Indy’s run at reclaiming the AFC South.
19) Buffalo Bills:
Reggie Ragland (Alabama ILB)
Giving Rex Ryan’s defense the inside linebackers it needs to succeed is crucial to the future of Bills franchise. Look for Rex to add someone like Ragland who can improve his defense immediately.
20) New York Jets:
Paxton Lynch (Memphis QB)
Paxton at last! The Jets will select their QB of the future, hand him a clipboard and have him watch and learn behind a veteran for a year or two before taking the Big Apple by storm.
21) Washington Redskins:
Ashawn Robinson (Alabama DT)
After winning the Josh Norman sweepstakes and revamping the OLB position with Junior Gallette, DT is now the Redskins’ most glaring weakness. After having played at Alabama in their pro-style system, Robinson will be able to shore up the Skins D-Line from day one..
22) Houston Texans:
Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss WR)
Corey Coleman may be faster but Treadwell is better. Take Treadwell, line him up across from Hopkins and let Brock Osweiler chuck the ball down the field to his two newest favorite targets.
23) Minnesota Vikings:
Josh Doctson (TCU WR)
Another team in need of a WR, Minnesota should select Josh Doctson and be happy that they have a future star.
24) Cincinnati Bengals:
Karl Joseph (WVU Safety)
The experts believe that Cincy should go WR here with the departure of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu this offseason; but, the safety position is now a big need with the loss of pro bowl safety Reggie Nelson. Karl Joseph is the consensus next best safety after Jalen Ramsey and should be selected by the Bengals.
25) Pittsburgh Steelers:
Mackensie Alexander (Clemson CB)
Although there have been concerns about Alexander’s attitude, the Steelers have one of the biggest headcases in the business already (Joey Porter) so this shouldn’t be too big of an issue. Alexander projects to be a starting caliber player at his position for years to come.
26) Seattle Seahawks:
Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss DT)
My theory on great talents with bad behavior is this: A bad attitude enveloped into a winning/good environment has a good possibility of turning things around. I believe that this is the case Nkemdiche and Seattle.
27) Green Bay Packers:
Andrew Billings (Baylor DT)
Hunter Henry is an interesting option here but GB’s inability to push the line of scrimmage hurt them in 2015. Andrew Billings is a freak and can make an immediate impact in Green Bay.
28) Kansas City Chiefs:
Corey Coleman (Baylor WR)
Jeremy Maclin started playing real well towards the end of the season, Travis Kelce showed off his A game on national TV in late January, the Chiefs rebuilt their O- Line through free agency and will get Jamaal Charles back healthy alongside Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. So what’s left on the offensive side of the ball? Providing Maclin with a partner in crime. Corey Coleman has the playmaking ability to complement Jeremy Maclin and balance the field for Alex Smith.
29) Arizona Cardinals:
Artie Burns (Miami CB)
The secondary was exposed in the NFC Championship game last season but truthfully, so did every other part of the team. The Cardinals have thus far failed to put a good option across from Patrick Peterson. Artie Burns is a good piece for the Cardinal’s secondary puzzle.
30) Carolina Panthers:
Jarran Reed (Alabama DT)
With all of the top tier CBs off the board, the Panthers will look to fill another need. Jarran Reed is a total steal here. He will add a dose of youth to the aging Panthers d-line and like Ashawn Robinson he will be ready to make plays on Day One.
31) Denver Broncos:
Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M OG)
Partly due to injuries but mostly to lack of depth and talent, the Broncos offensive line struggled mightily this past season. Ifedi has the physical ability and size to play right away and contribute to Denver’s run at another Super Bowl.
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