As I have stated too often in the past, I don’t like doing mocks because as soon as there is a trade, the whole thing is wrong. There will be trades, and there could be many.
In recent weeks, there has been much talk on teams supposedly trying to trade up for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. While that may be true, I feel that in reality, there are clubs picking after about the five slot who want both Mariota and Winston gone so another positional player is left for them to take. These are the teams that are pushing these rumors.
While I believe the Mariota will eventually be a solid NFL quarterback, he is presently a work in progress and will need a couple of years to develop before he is ready to step in and lead a team. Do you take that type of player in the top five? I wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Also, regardless of what media said about Todd Gurley’s foot at the medical recheck, he still is a risk. He won’t be 100% in practice until right before the start of the regular season, and no one knows for sure if he will be the same back he was before the injury. Only time will tell. Because of that, I have left him out of my first round.
1) Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida St. –I’m not sure the Bucs really want to take Winston, but they almost have to. They need a quarterback badly, and there is almost no alternative. As I said back in March, they roll the dice here and hope for the best. Winston is the best QB talent in this draft, but character is a huge issue.
2) Tennessee – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon - In my last mock, I said that Tennessee could very well select Mariota and I still feel that way. The only way that changes is if San Diego offers Phillip Rivers, which, contrary to what many feel, has not happened as of yet. Also, if a club wants to move up and offers a bounty of draft picks, the Titans could move down. Regardless, it looks as if Mariota will go in the top two, and that will make the clubs in the next few positions happy.
3) Jacksonville – Leonard Williams – DT – USC –There are many, including myself, who have Williams as the highest rated player in the draft. He is a defensive difference maker, and that is what the Jags need. They could also go for Dante Fowler who is the best edge rusher. Either way, the Jags win.
4) Oakland – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama –If Jacksonville selects Williams, then I feel that the Raiders will select Cooper who is the best offensive playmaker in the draft. In this mock, Fowler is still available, but because they took Khalil Mack last year, I think they would pass on Fowler. If Williams gets by Jacksonville, then the Raiders will jump on him.
5) Washington – Dante Fowler – OLB/DE – Florida –A few weeks ago, I don’t think the Redskins felt they had a shot at Fowler. With the QB’s going one and two, that changes. This could be a great pick for Washington and give them a strong pass rusher.
6) New York Jets – Vic Beasley – OLB –The Jets may want to draft a QB, but there isn’t one here to take. They have a huge need for a pass rusher, and Beasley is one of the best in the draft. He fits what Bowles likes in an OLB/pass rusher
7) Chicago – Kevin White – WR – West Virginia –I feel the Bears have one or two players they will select if they are still on the board at 7. If neither is available, I can see them trading down 5 or 6 slots. White could be the type of player they stay for. That said, if the draft goes as I have it here, there might not be a player that teams below want to move up for. The price is too high.
8) Atlanta – Bud Dupree – OLB – Kentucky –Yes, I have Dupree as my most overrated player in the draft. I still feel that way. Dupree has to send out a thank you to Shane Ray for allowing himself to get busted with pot three days before the draft. Dupree has the natural physical traits, but I don’t see those same traits on tape. The Falcons are hoping Dupree can turn that around.
9) New York Giants – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford –Some people will have Brandon Scherff here, and he would be a good selection. I feel that Scherff is better suited to play inside. Peat is a natural tackle, is still very young, and has played in an NFL type system. He also has a ton of upside.
10) St. Louis Rams – Brandon Scherff – OT/OG – Iowa –The Rams still have to shore up their offensive line. Last year’s number one, Greg Robinson, will move to tackle. That opens a spot at guard and Scherff can come in and play guard and tackle. Some people have him as the top offensive lineman in this draft. If they don’t go O-Line, it could be wide receiver.
11) Minnesota – Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State –The NFC North is loaded with tall receivers and you need tall corners to match up. Waynes is the best corner in this draft and helps Minnesota upgrade their defense. If they don’t make this selection, they could very well choose a wide receiver.
12) Cleveland Browns – DeVante Parker – WR – Louisville – There are a number of people who have Cleveland selecting Danny Shelton at this spot. It’s too early for Shelton. He is a excellent nose tackle, but he is only a two down player in the NFL. The Browns will hope that he is there at #19.
13) New Orleans Saints – Randy Gregory – OLB – Nebraska – This is a roll the dice selection. If Gregory didn’t have his issues he would be a top 10 pick, so getting him at 13 is a bit of a bargain. Still, the Saints have to keep their fingers crossed that he stays clean.
14) Miami Dolphins – Breshad Perriman – WR – Central Florida –The Dolphins could go O-Line or wide receiver. Perriman is a Dez Bryant clone who has the speed to get deep and can play a physical game.
15) San Francisco – Arik Armstead – DE – Oregon –The 49ers are looking at the upside with this pick. Armstead is still very young and learning how to play, but he has unlimited potential with his freakish physical traits.
16) Houston Texans – Ereck Flowers– OT – Miami– I look at the Texans offensive line, and it just doesn’t excite me. Drafting offensive lineman is usually sound decision making. Flowers can come in and start at tackle or guard and will upgrade the unit.
17) San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon – RB - Wisconsin –Todd Gurley may be the better running back prospect, but he is coming off a severe ACL injury and may not be ready to start the season. There is also no guarantee that he will come back as good as he was before the injury. Gordon is a far safer choice. Still, Gordon has to improve his inside run skills and pass blocking. That said, when he gets in the open field it’s usually 6 points!
18) Kansas City Chiefs – Nelson Agholor – WR – USC –I have had Agholor high on my wide receiver list for months. My only concern was top end speed. He proved at Indy that he could run. Nelson is an excellent route runner and also very good after the catch. He will be a very good compliment to Jeremy Maclin.
19) Cleveland – Danny Shelton – DT – Washington – Being patient pays off for the Browns as Shelton is still available. While he won’t be much of a pass rusher, he will be excellent stopping the run. If the Browns don’t go with Shelton, look for them to select an offensive lineman with his pick.
20) Philadelphia – Kevin Johnson – DC – Wake Forest –Corner is a huge need area for the Eagles, and Johnson is considered by many NFL scouts to be a better player than Trae Waynes. He has the height and length that Chip Kelly looks for in a corner.
21) Cincinnati – Malcom Brown – DT – Texas – The Bengals could go in a number of different directions with this pick but they value is there at defensive tackle. Brown showed at Texas that he can play anywhere along the line.
22) Pittsburgh - Landon Collins – DS – Alabama –With Troy Polamalu retired, the Steelers have a need in the secondary. General Manager Kevin Colbert never makes the flashy pic, rather, he always makes the right pick. The right pick is Alabama safety Landon Collins who will step in and replace Polamalu.
23) Detroit – Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida State –I feel safe in saying that the Lions will select a defensive lineman here. Goldman has versatility to go along with strength and power. They could also look at Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
24) Arizona - Cam Erving – OC/OT – Florida State –This is where need and value come together. Erving has versatility in that he can play anywhere along the offensive front. Another position to look at here is inside linebacker, but there may not be an inside ‘backer worth taking at this slot.
25) Carolina Panthers – T.J. Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh –Yes, I know that Clemmings struggled at the Senior Bowl, but he is a player who has only played the position for two years and will keep getting better. If the Panthers don’t draft an offensive lineman, I feel they will take a defensive lineman.
26) Baltimore - Byron Jones – DC – Connecticut -I had Kevin Johnson is this spot two months ago but his stock has gone up. Jones may be the most athletic corner in the draft but his tape doesn’t match his athleticism. Still there is a lot of upside with this player.
27) Dallas – Jordan Phillips – DT – Oklahoma –Phillips has the kind of traits that Rod Marinelli loves. Marinelli can turn Phillips into a perennial Pro Bowler.
28) Denver Broncos – D.J. Humphries – OT – Florida –As I said in March, The Broncos need athletic tackles with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Humphries, while still raw, is one of the most athletic lineman in the draft.
29) Indianapolis – Shane Ray – OLB/DE –A week ago Ray was looked at as a possible top 10 selection. There is a reported foot problem, but the medical staff will answer that concern. Ray also was dumb enough to get busted Monday morning with a bag of pot in his car. At #29, Ray becomes a bargain value.
30) Green Bay – Ron Darby – DC – Florida St. –There may be a few corners that have a little more talent than Darby but they all have issues, and Ted Thompson usually stays away from those type of players. Another player who could go at this slot is Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney.
31) New Orleans – Mario Edwards Jr. – DE – Florida St –Edwards has been climbing teams draft boards since his outstanding pro day in early April. He has experience in playing in this type of scheme and will give the Saints another pass rusher.
32) New England – Marcus Peters – DC – Washington –I keep giving Peters to the Patriots and for the same reason. Bill Belichick has a history of working well with players with issues. On talent alone, Peters should have been drafted long before this selection.
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