So I haven’t been writing this week, but I have been working on something else. It’s an NFL Mock Draft. There are WELL over 500 words and since it hasn’t happened yet, it is fiction… Right? Maybe predictive non fiction. Is that even a thing? Anywho…. Here it is.
1.) **Cleveland Browns** – Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
So I’m taking taking back the first trade I made because, well, the generationalism of Garrett I realized is too good to not take. He can completely revolutionize their D with the additions of Jamie Collins as well. They can skip on QB for now because they can reevaluate later, and by establishing – well, improving the beginning signs of- a pass rush, they can begin to fix other parts of their Defense and Offense. Look at the Broncos w/ the last version of Peyton. A strong D can go a long way.
2.) **San Francisco 49ers** – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
I’ve seen a bunch of QB mocks with Kizer here, and I fail to see how the 49ers can afford to take someone who will really need to develop. Watson has the leadership skills necessary to take the job of a new Rookie starting QB, and quite frankly I like his stats more than Kizer. Or Trubs, for those who mock him here. Compare Watsons 67.4% completion rate (ignoring his inflated TD stats) as a starter over two years to Kizer’s 60.7% on a similar number of attempts. Perhaps the biggest bonus I see on Watson over Trubs is experience and decision making, and just watch the National Championship and the Sun Bowl to see the difference. While Trubs showed up at the last minute, Watson was in the zone the whole time – and in the NFL, any moment of failure is too many moments.
3.) **Chicago Bears** – Malik Hooker, FS, OSU
The biggest knock against Chicago’s Front 7 this season was their health and Freeman’s suspension. Other than that, they are developing and doing well. The biggest issue is finding big playmakers in their secondary. Jamal Adams is cerebral, focused, and intelligent… but Hooker is an absolute baller on the field and has the momentum-changing potential the Bears defense desperately needs. He’s young and exciting, just like Floyd, and they both will grow into fantastic impact players in the coming years.
4.) **Jacksonville Jaguars** – Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
While I still think they could go for Hooker if he drops here, I think that they have other needs they could address at this spot, but they’ve been developing their defense for the past two drafts (Fowler, Ramsey, Jack to name a few) and I think they continue the pattern here. Allen is a Day 1 starting defensive lineman who can provide the root behind their Front 7 attack. With Yannick showing great promise for a mid rounder and Fowler still poised to show his potential, I think they can be upgraded from “sp00ky” to “legit sp00ky”.
5.) **Tennessee Titans (via Rams)** – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
I’ve studied a lot of tape now on Corey Davis and Mike Williams, and while I think the jury is still out on which of them will end up better – I think Williams is the safest bet. He’s played against better talent at corner throughout his college career and that gives him an edge off the bat. Both are tall and will get a start wherever they go, but with the chance to pick between the two of them, the Titans secure the safe bet here. The other needs they have, especially corner, will be available later on, so I see them going for the scarce true WR1 here.
6.) **New York Jets** – Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
I am still of the opinion they’ll draft a QB here. Can they get a fantastic CB here? Absolutely. But they are still searching desperately for an answer at QB. Fitz is not the answer. Neither is Geno, Petty, or Hackenberg. With one last roll of the dice, the Jets go all in on Deshone Kizer, the QB with the best prototype build and a decent performance in his college years. Is he an instant starter? No. But I see him sort of like how Goff was this year. Take some time at the start of the season to learn the ropes, then come in and win the starting position.
7.) **Los Angeles Chargers** – Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
The loss of Weddle was real this year. While some amazing rookies helped shore up this Front 7 and Casey Heyward showed up as a great FA addition, Adams finally fills the hole at Safety as a player who can make this team even more solid. The only alternative I can see here is for the Chargers to draft a voodoo doctor to stop their injury curse.
8.) **Carolina Panthers** – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
> Fournette is a generational talent, and despite the arguments I’ve seen about Dalvin Cook being equal if not better, I just don’t see. This picks sets the Panthers up for years to come with a GREAT running back, something that Stewart rarely provided. Newton finally has a real weapon behind him, as well as in front of him (Greg Olsen and friends).
Nothing new to add here. This is still a phenomenal option at #8.
9.) **Cincinnati Bengals** – Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama
I previously had Foster here, and I think that would still be a solid fit here. Even with Barnett back in my memory bank, Maualuga is at the tail end of his contract and Foster would be a hell of an heir-apparent,. This is the best move for a team which has been consistently “on the cusp” until this past season.
10.) **Buffalo Bills** – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
So, this is kind of my curveball pick here. With both safeties gone, and my strong belief that they’re going to re-sign Gilmore under their new HC, and Woods entering the FA, this seems like a good option regardless of their quarterback situation. You can look at a team like Denver for example. Thomas and Sanders have a much higher ceiling that’s limited by quarterback play. That said, they made Trevor Seimen a very passable QB last year. Put McCoy, Watkins, and Davis in the same offense and the QB’s important becomes greatly minimized.
11.) **New Orleans Saints** – Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
If you thought that Adams to the Chargers was a match made in heaven, then Barnett to the Saints is on that exact same level. Saints are in desperate need of some pass rush, and Barnett is signed, sealed, delivered a large part of the cure to their ailments. I question whether he makes it to 11, but if he does, he’ll find a very appreciative home.
12.) **Cleveland Browns (via Eagles)** – Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan St.
First and foremost, the Browns STILL need a Franchise QB. Kessler is young and somewhat promising, but I don’t think he has a sky high ceiling. RG3 is a waste of an IR spot, and McCown showed how poor he is at the tail end of last season. I think that the Browns will work to develop their Defense in the draft and then either try and build up Kessler or take a chance on Tyrod or Kaep, or even trade for someone like McCarron with a later pick. So… this takes us to Malik McDowell. I honestly feel like he is going slightly above his value at 12, but not too high as there is no way he slips into Rd 2. The Browns need someone opposite of Shelton to lock down their 4-3 D, and with an Ogbah-Shelton-McDowell-Garrett combination, the future would look very bright. And as we’ve seen, stacking up on defense can save an offense.
13.) **Arizona Cardinals** – Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
With two picks in the Top 50, I think that even though they have a desperate need for the next level of QB with Palmer consistently declining and Stanton getting up there as well, but they have an extreme need at CB, and that weakness helped escort them to the #13 pick in the first place. Quincy Wilson is, IMO, the best all around corner. He’s got no glaring holes in his game and is more than just one step up from his replacement across from Patrick Peterson. The defense of the Cardinals will now be back to its former self (or at least it should be).
14.) **Indianapolis Colts** – Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
It’s a shame losing Mathis, if not inevitable, and despite the URGENT pressing need to help out Luck, the value on Thomas is far too high to pass on. I know he’s a draft riser, but I feel confident that the combine will only reinforce rather than hurt his stock.
15.) **Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings)** – Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
With this new mock, Davis and Thomas are off the boards by 15. John Ross is not a bad choice for a wide receiver, but I feel like at 15 he’s a bit of a reach. However, if you want to talk about a steal, Dalvin Cook at 15 has the potential to really change the Eagles offense. Now, their running situation isn’t entirely awful, but they lack a true three-down back and Cook and go above and beyond in that role. Being able to catch passes as well – emphasis on catch – will only help Wentz more than establishing a strong run game will do automatically.
16.) **Baltimore Ravens** – Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
This pic comes right after they announced Tim Williams drug issues. I would have put him here, but I think the Ravens will not pass on McKinley who I view as his different, but equal player. He’s an athletic freak and almost reminds me a bit of Bud Dupree. With Suggs getting up there in age and Ross not serving as anything different than Wallace 2.0 for their corps, this seems like a great pick up.
17.) **Washington Redskins** – Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt
Redskins are in the market to find a franchise MLB, and they have generally been going BPA. Now, if they didn’t have JNo I think they would obviously draft a CB, but I think they will value Cunningham super high and he will be their pick here. He’s the perfect combination of coverage and aggression which will supplement their assets, especially Kerrigan.
18.) **Tennessee Titans** – Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Same player, same reason, different analysis. He’s not only in my opinion the 2nd best corner (damn/bless you draftbreakdown for eating my time), but fills a strong need for the Titans. Getting their guy for offense with their first pick and Teez with their second balances both sides of the field for the Titans in what I feel is a surefire recipe to a playoff berth.
19.) **Tampa Bay Buccaneers** – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Releasing Doug Martin would remove a player with an injury history and off field issues while saving a ton of cap. It’s an unfortunate no-brainer, and while Rodgers was good in the short term, Buccs need a long term kind of guy here. I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that he’s white or that Fournette and Cook are better options, but people shouldn’t discount this pick. McCaffrey is a solid three-down back and can catch from the backfield as well. Him and Jameis will be a dynamic duo in no time at all.
20.) **Denver Broncos** – OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
With Robinson and Ramczyk still on the board, this pick is a bit harder for the Broncos, but I think it still ultimately ends up being Howard. They’ve lacked a true impact player at TE for the past few years and Howard can provide. In addition, I’ve seen some half decent blocking from him which could help their failing O-line.
21.) **Detroit Lions** – Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama
The Lions need to up their pass rush game and a beast like Williams will be a solid choice. Falling this far because of his rumored drug issues, I see this guy actually ending up being a steal like Tunsil for the Dolphins. Williams has such a large repertoire of skills he should an impact wherever the Lions play him.
22.) **Miami Dolphins** – Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
Mario Williams should be gone, and in his place, it will be Taco Time. He has shown continuous improvement as the season went on, and his explosiveness should suit Miami’s Wide 9 Defense very well. Putting him with Suh and Wake will make their run defense stouter than before and make their Secondary’s lives easier.
23.) **New York Giants** – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Ereck Flowers has become a serious liability and left tackle and if the rumors are true, a move to Right Tackle could be in his approximate future. This leaves (another) gaping hole in their O line, and at 23, the value on Cam Robinson is pretty remarkable. While many Giants fans may be uncomfortable with another first round pick on an offensive tackle, I feel like this is a very good case scenario and would – if anything – buy them more time to find a new quarterback by giving Eli more time in the pocket.
24.) **Oakland Raiders** – Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
> Sidney Jones is the BPA by a landslide, and the Raiders could certainly use an upgrade in their DBs that Jones would provide. He’s an electrifying player and will start immediately in certain packages, before – I would predict – becoming an all-time starter.
Nothing new here. He’s a fantastic corner.
25.) **Houston Texans** – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Anyone who watched the game against the Patriots probably realized that the Texans need to spend a first-round pick on quarterback. Savage is without a doubt better than the Lobster, but he’s not a franchise quarterback from my perspective. While Trubisky will definitely need some learning the ropes, I feel like his ceiling is much higher than Osweiler. His floor is probably higher as well.
26.) **Green Bay Packers** – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
As I mentioned above, I spent a lot of time trying to work out with the best cornerbacks in this class though. Corner is definitely a deep position this year, and it looks like it’ll be giving out starters well into the 2nd round. Conley has gone up in my book as the #4 CB, and his position as such is reflected here. Packers have a need, he is near the top of the BPA, so it’s a match made in heaven.
27.) **Seattle Seahawks** – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Pete Carroll has put out a bounty on his O Line after that pisspoor game against the Falcons, and praises the gods when he sees Ramczyk here. This is a direct need fulfilled, and will do Russell Wilson more good than any sort of recovery water can do. Yes, he’s having a surgery this offseason but he will still be well worth his pick up at this spot.
28.) **Pittsburgh Steelers** – Charles Harris , EDGE, Missouri
> With James Harrison managing to be the best Pass Rusher on the team at 38 years old, the question isn’t “if” he will retire soon, but a very nervous “when.” Charles Harris has the build and impact to be a standing 3-4 Defensive End, much like how Harrison is used now. Jones is likely lost to the FA after a very unproductive time in the Pitt, so Harris can work to rotate in with the LBs and add to recreating the signature powerful Blitzburgh defense.
Same but sub Taco with Charles Harris!
29.) **Atlanta Falcons** – Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn
Carl Lawson is pretty controversial ranking-wise (Standard Deviation of 14.8~ from 7 rankings) but I feel like he’s a solid fit here for the Falcons. Dwight Freeney is phenomenal but he is way too old to start as many times as he did and young talent will absolutely invigorate this defense. And give them a pass rush stronger than one that can only embarrass the Seahawks.
30.) **Kansas City Chiefs** – Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
> Jarrad Davis is a great value for the Chiefs with Derrick Johnson entering his 13th season next year, and their need to replace him in what could be the very approximate future given the severity of Achilles injuries. Despite being the 3rd ILB taken, he is not a reach at all at 30 and will provide the already menacing Chiefs D with yet another weapon.
Same thing here. Still a great value.
31.) **Dallas Cowboys** – Dawuane Smoot, EDGE, Illinois
> Despite many attempts, the Cowboys have yet to find a suitable pass rusher to fill their DE spot and make a consistent impact. Smoot, while not the most renown of players, has shown himself to deliver a serious impact on defense. The Cowboys find themselves a real threat here to match their new and improved secondary.
> See above.
32.) **New England Patriots** – Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
> With Jamie Collins gone, the Patriots have a hole at ILB, and McMillan is an exciting player who can (and should) develop into a real terror at the position in Belichick’s system. He’s a bit raw, but given that he’s falling to an organization which knows how to develop and cultivate talent, he’s in the perfect situation to excel.
Same rationale here.