1) Arizona Cardinals- Nick Bosa EDGE, OSU
The Cardinals are in a tight spot with this pick. They have probably the worst offensive line in the recent history of the NFL and a Quarterback who’s skillset makes it imperative to have at least a competent O-line. In that case, you could make the case for the Cardinals to take Alabama Tackle Jonathan Williams. Look for the Cardinals to trade down if they have this spot because they have 2 really good pass rushers in Markus Golden and Chandler Jones. Furthermore, I would put my money on Nick Bosa being the No.1 pick no matter who holds it. He is the best EDGE prospect since Myles Garrett and is in the class of prospect that Jadeveon and Garrett are in. He’s a twitchy athlete who can overpower and run past any Tackle, with minor injury concerns that will be shutdown by any competent medical staff. If the Cardinals do trade down, best believe they will have many suitors.
2) Oakland Raiders- Ed Oliver DT, Houston
Somebody who can match Jon Gruden’s craziness is coming off the board at No.2, and while taking a DT as No.2 is not the most conventional move, the Raiders have the draft capital to take risks on elite talent. Ed Oliver is one of those elite talents. While the team could not go wrong with either Quinnen Williams or Oliver, Oliver is the clear prospect with a lot more potential. Simply put, people who are 6’3” 290 lbs should not be able to move like Ed Oliver does. If there was ever a player to compare to Aaron Donald, he is the one. Sure he didn’t put up the numbers at Houston, and had some spats with Coach Major Applewhite. That stuff doesn’t bother me because he was mostly double and triple teamed in college, and as long as he owns up to his behavior, GMs should forgive his “antics.”
3) NY Jets- Josh Allen EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets are quietly on their way to building an elite defense. They have their core with Jamaal Addams, Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, and Leonard Williams; but they need a Pass-Rusher. Josh Allen comes off the board as the perfect antidote to their pass-rushing woes. Allen is the ultimate motor guy with a chip on his shoulder. As a player who didn’t even get an offer from Rutgers, he is uber athletic and powerful who can bull rush and still comeback into coverage when asked. He is the perfect fit for any defense and could be a star EDGE rusher the moment he steps on the field.
4) San Francisco 49ers- Greedy Williams CB, LSU
Quinnen Williams is the best player available, but the 49ers can’t take 4 D-Lineman in 4 of the last 5 first rounds. Besides, Greedy Williams is as special as it gets at the CB position, of which they need a major upgrade. Watching Williams’ tape is not always fun because he lacks the INT numbers, but that is because he is so good at his man-to-man skills that opposing WRs are never open so no balls are ever thrown his way. I have not been enamored with a combination of man-to-man instincts and elite speed since Jalen Ramsey. Except in this case, there is no faux position controversy with Greedy. He is a lockdown, shutdown corner. My only question with Greedy is his ball skills, not that he doesn’t have them, he just has not had enough opportunity to show me consistency .That is honestly a nitpick, Greedy is one of the few can’t miss prospects in this entire class.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars- Justin Herbert QB, Oregon
Finally, it seems as though the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville is over and they can finally move on to an actual Quarterback. The roster is still a good mix of veterans on their contracts and rookies still playing on the rookie wage scale. They need a QB who won’t lose games fast and if they don’t get Flacco this offseason, why not just go for the best college prospect while you have the opportunity? Herbert doesn’t have elite arm strength, but he has a more than acceptable NFL arm. What sells Herbert is his ability to move out of the pocket and throw on the run. Jacksonville lived with the worst version of this for a while and now could finally have a guy who can actually throw a football. The only question will be, will Herbert declare? Well when he sees a guaranteed 8 million dollar signing bonus in front of his face and an awareness of the QB class next year that includes Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa, I think he’ll declare.
6) Atlanta Falcons- Quinnen Williams DT, Alabama
The Falcons need to do something about the run defense they have and beef up that defensive line somehow. Grady Jarrett is a big man up front but he needs help. In walks Quinnen Williams. He may be the “safe” prospect, but he is a monster up front and a monster against the run. No one is safe running up the gut if Grady Jarrett and Quinnen Williams are there to stop you. To me this is a no brainer pick for the Falcons and the pick should be in not 3 seconds into them being on the clock.
7) Detroit Lions- Devin White LB, LSU
As a Lions fan it is hard for me to be unbiased when it comes to the Lion’s draft. Ideally, I would want a pass rusher here, but as the last of the elite talents in this class, Devin White to me is a no-brainer. To me White is the best Linebacker prospect in a decade. He’s faster than most safeties, and has ridiculous coverage skills as well as an insane motor. It may not be the biggest need and Trayvon Mullen will be enticing, but you cannot pass up a talent like White at No.7. Some fans may groan because the Lions already have Jarrad Davis. Jarrad Davis is a great run stopping LB with a good nose for the ball and excellent tackling skills. What White gives you is a center fielder at middle linebacker who can cover TEs and slot Receivers, chase down a broken-away ball carrier for minimal gain (which has been a weakness for Davis), and he can even rush the passer on the edge, which is the Lions biggest need by far. To me the Lions need versaitility and elite talent for the culture change that is happening in Detroit, and Devin White is the perfect guy for that situation.
8) NY GIANTS- Trayvon Mullen CB, Clemson
I don’t understand why more scouts are not high on Trayvon Mullen in this class. He’s the ideal size, he's got good man-to-man skills, and he’s quick. After Greedy it really comes down to pick your poison with CB prospects. For me I’ll take Mullen and his high floor. This is what the Giants need from this draft: a beefed up O-Line and secondary. The Giants somehow have Eli Manning for another year, which may turn out to be a smart decision so they can punt for next year’s class of Tua and Fromm. In fact. look for the Giants to trade down from this pick to accumulate assets in case they need to trade up in the draft next year. (Don’t count on it with a 1 year older Eli Manning.)
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Deionte Thompson S, Alabama
This pick is the Bucs making up for last year. They were primed to take Derwin James and passed up on him for Vita Vea. The Bucs’ secondary is horrendous. Vernon Hargreaves has not become what I thought he could be. The Bucs could improve that with the best center fielder in this draft. Deionte Thompson to me is a better prospect than Minkah Fitzpatrick, he is clearly a better safety in the box and has much better ball skills. The only place Minkah has him is straight up speed (but few can outrun Minkah in the first place). The Bucs are one of the interesting teams in the draft because they need to move on from Jameis Winston, but they cannot afford to overvalue a player in this draft.
10) Buffalo Bills- Jonah Williams OT, Alabama
The Bills are ascending under rookie QB Josh Allen. Let’s get him some protection, Jonah Williams is by far and away the best lineman in this draft. He has started at Tackle for Alabama since game 1 as a true freshman. That’s telling. Draft “experts” will tell you he is a guard because he is a little undersized at 6’5”, but I don’t care. It feels as though that the NFL won’t let you be a tackle unless you are 6’7”. Jonah Williams is DEFINITELY a tackle. He is the best pass blocker in this draft, and his run blocking technique is stellar. He may not be the most athletic guy on the field, but he should be able to handle NFL DEs with ease. This team needs a little bit of everything on offense, and since there is no receiver worth taking this early, they may as well take a talent like Williams.
11) Green Bay Packers- Jachai Polite EDGE, Florida
The Green Bay Packers are going to have to make sure that Mike Daniels’ medicals are okay if they are gonna be move on with a plan going forward. However, the Packers’ main problem in McCarthey has already been taken care of, but their second main problem needs to be addressed, and that is the pass-rush. Try as they might Clay Matthews can no longer be the featured pass-rusher anymore, and Nick Perry is good but no game changer. They need to get more athletic at the position and in comes Jachai Polite. He’s an uber-twitchy athlete who will shine the moment the combine hits. He was made to blow by defenders and that is what Green Bay lacks. They need people who can convert speed to power instead of just big bodied bruisers (which they already had). In my opinion Polite will be THE riser of the draft and Green Bay Should be happy to have him.
12) Carolina Panthers- Montez Sweat EDGE, Miss St.
Montez Sweat is big, he’s fast, he’s powerful, he converts speed to power. These are all traits that do not describe the Carolina pass-rush. This team is too talented and well coached to be picking this high, and their big problem is that they let teams back into games by not being able to rush the passer late. Montez could be a top 10 player in this class if you can overlook the off-field issues. That will be up to each NFL team, but for the purposes of this mock, he is a perfect fit in Carolina.
13) Denver Broncos- Deandre Baker CB, Georgia
The Broncos are in a predicament because they really need an upgrade at receiver, but there is no one worth taking, The Broncos need a little bit of everything outside their front 7, and it is not incredibly clear where they should start. Perhaps CB is a good place to start, especially with the injury to Chris Harris. This team needs a guy who can cover in zone because they clearly miss Aqib Talib. There could be an argument in taking a Quarterback, but I think GM John Elway does not wanna make that error again. I think he will correctly punt for next year's draft and build a team around a better QB class.
14) Cincinnati Bengals- Rashan Gary DL, Michigan
In all honesty, this is too low for Rashan Gary to go. He will not last until No.14, let me be clear. He is a physical specimen and the moment he gets to the combine he could be a top 7 player. His lack of production is not as concerning to me considering he got double and triple teamed on most plays with two other good pass rushers still on Michigan’s blitz-happy defense. The tape won’t be great either because he played out of position at Michigan. He is not an EDGE rusher, he can rush off the edge but his ideal role is interior penetrator à la Cam Jordan. Whatever team lands him will be intrigued by his upside. With the Bengals they will get Geno Atkins side-kick and replacement, as well as a gifted interior rusher who can help with the worst run defense in football.
15) Cleveland Browns- Byron Murphy CB, Washington
The Cleveland Browns have maybe the best, most exciting young roster in football. They really do have a lot of everything, but they could use another CB opposite Denzel Ward. Byron Murphy has really impressed me with his quickness and change of direction. His man-to-man skills are also very impressive. He may be moved inside to a slot role in the NFL, but there is nothing wrong with having the intermediate of the field filled. The Browns should be the most interesting team in the NFL this year and have the draft capital to plug up every hole.
16) Miami Dolphins- Brian Burns EDGE, FSU
For what feels like the 5th year in a row, it is unclear whether the Miami Dolphins should or will move on from Ryan Tannehill. For my money, one more year can’t hurt and Cam Wake can’t play forever (try as he might). Charles Harris has not really done anything so why not hedge their bets on athletic pass rushers? Not flashy but definitely well needed.
17) Washington Redskins- Dwayne Haskins QB, OSU
By all appearances, Alex Smith's NFL career may be over. It is time for a new era in Washington that has never truly moved on from the RG3 debacle. They need to build around a new quarterback. And truth be told, Haskins is not that far off from Herbert. He has an ok arm, with a good release on the ball. He is clearly mobile and can make down the field throws. I think he is a relatively safe Quarterback prospect. The question is does he have star potential, but in the right situation, anyone can be good in the NFL. He will go to Washington with a great O-Line, and solid receivers with plenty of potential along with Derrius Guice.
18) Philadelphia Eagles- Mack Wilson LB, Alabama.
A lot of the strength of this class, the former Super Bowl champs already have. They have pass-rushers and Lineman, they NEED CB help. After the top 4 there is a drop off in talent, and Mack Wilson is no consolation prize. He is an athletic game changing LB in the middle of the field. With the Eagles unsure of the future of Jordan Hicks; they could sure use a replacement in the middle of the field. Wilson is great in coverage, and recognizing and diagnosing plays. I think the Eagles can worry about their secondary later and take elite talent right away.
19) Indianapolis Colts- Jeffery Simmons DL, Miss St
Yet another top D-Lineman falls due to other needs. Yet in this case he falls to a team that really needs a space-eater up front. The Indianapolis Colts have more money than any other team to spend in free agency so we don’t know what they will look to do come draft night, but I know Chris Ballard has an eye for talent and will see Simmons much in the same vein as a player he helped draft in Kansas City, and another Miss St alum, Chris Jones. With all that draft capitall do not be surprised if the Colts are a Super Bowl favorite this time next year.
20) Tennessee Titans- Noah Fant TE, Iowa
It sucks when a career underrated player like Delanie Walker has to leave due to injury but this is where we sit. In drafting Noah Fant, they draft the best TE prospect since OJ Howard and with the production that Howard didn’t have. He is quick and maybe one of the best route runners regardless of position in this class. Plus, you know if you get an Iowa degree, that automatically makes you tough. This should be a no brainer for the Titans if he’s available.
21) Minnesota Vikings- Yodny Cajuste OT, WVU
The Minnesota O-Line has continuously been the Achilles heel of the Vikings all season. Teams know that you can just rush the edges and give Kirk Cousins no time to throw the ball. If they could find a way to move opposing lines, this offense could be special. The Vikes could go with Greg Little, but I have way more questions about whether or not he could bust, despite his potential. Yodney is just a massive mauler who is a starting Tackle the moment he hits the field. Sometimes safe isn’t sexy, but it gets the job done.
22) Seattle Seahawks- Dre’Mont Jones DL, OSU
The Seattle Seahawks have quickly turned their roster into a contender out of nowhere. However, they need to quickly fix the run defense on this team if they are going to contend with the Sean McVays and Kyle Shanahans of the world. They have no real DTs who really scare you, unless you like Malik McDowell. Dre’Mont Jones can come in and already be one of their best run-stuffers. He’s big and powerful, which is a good counterpoint to their speed based defense.
23) Baltimore Ravens- N’Keal Harry WR, ASU
It feels as though the Ravens have been looking for a WR for the last five drafts. They tried getting 2 TEs, and that hasn’t looked incredibly successful yet. They have a bunch of guys who can fill a role in an offense but they need a go-to guy. Harry is an enigma: he is a 6’4” receiver who is great after the catch, but doesn’t necessarily wow you with his ball skills. I think this is the perfect fit for a guy like Lamar. A big target where if he refines his ball skills can catch over any CB, and even more so get a lot after the catch when the play breaks down and Lamar wants to scramble. At the end of the day the first draft after the Ozzie Newsome era will give the Ravens the one thing Ozzie could never draft.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers- Clelin Ferrell EDGE, Clemson
The Steelers have found their No.1 pass-rusher in TJ Watt. They could use a No.2 guy, and that is probably what Clelin Ferrell will succeed at in the next level. Clelin Ferrell is an okay athlete, but it’s his instincts and technique that will allow him to succeed at the next level. He has the ability to play in any scheme and be successful; however due to his lack of athleticism, he is not suited to be a team's go-to pass rusher. Luckily for Ferrell ,he will be able to shine when teams are focusing in on TJ Watt and the combo of Tuitt and Heyward.
25) Oakland Raiders (via DAL)- Devin Bush LB, Michigan
The Raiders defensive woes go way beyond just the interior pass rush, it’s everywhere. Teams regularly pass up the middle and make long gains on the runs once they get through the first level of the defense. Devin Bush is a stud Linebacker whose main job will be to clean up all the messes the front seven cause. If there is someone who gets a glimmer of open space, best believe that Devin Bush will clean up the gap real fast. Devin Bush is one of my favorite players in this class, and to me he almost screams “Raiders Football”; tough and physical with deceptive speed. The Raiders will have a long ways to go, but with 3 first round picks, they have a lot of room to work with.
26) New England Patriots- Irv Smith Jr. TE, Alabama
It’s time. The Patriots have to start getting ready to replace a guy who is almost synonymous with Patriots football. Yet it is not Tom Brady. I would go Daniel Jones here, but I think the idea of selecting a player who will not be able to help win right away in the first round has to be incompatible with the cyborg known as Bill Belichick. Irv Smith is a guy who can come in, play with Gronk, and eventually take his place. With the Patriots seamless transition into a run-first football team, they could use the draft's best blocking TE in order to make it easier on Sony Michel. Not only is he a good blocker, he is a great route runner and can be lined up all around the field, if need be. Plus, it also works into Bill Belichick being unable to resist a Nick Saban coached player.
27) Oakland Raiders (Via CHI)- D.K. Metcalf WR. Ole Miss
The Raiders need to get their replacement for Amari Cooper. They may as well swing for the fences with D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf would be the No.1 receiver in this class if it weren’t for his medical issues. Of all the receivers in this draft, he may be the only one with top 10 receiver potential. However the tape of him is not very consistent in terms of his route running ability, and his medicals are a legit concern. However, on tape his athleticism popped as much as any top receiver in the past few draft classes. At the beginning of the year everyone believed that AJ Brown was the top receiver in this class and now it turns out it is his own teammate. The Jon Gruden era wanted a rebuild, well with 3 picks in the first it better have been worth Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
28) Kansas City Chiefs- David Montgomery RB, ISU
The Kansas City offense is really missing its running attack. Patching it up with Spencer Ware and Damien Williams has only resulted in straight losses and forcing Mahomes to win on his own (which is a task he might be up to). This team has to get a power run game back, and no one defines power run in this class like David Montgomery. There is no better in between the tackles runner in this class. He epitomizes the North to South run attitude. It remains to be seen how he will run in the 40, but on tape he is deceptively fast. It may be a reach for a running back this early in the draft, but the Chiefs can’t afford to continue relying only on the passing game if they wanna make the best of this Super Bowl window.
29) Houston Texans- Greg Little OT, Ole Miss
This pick kind of reminds me of the recently Seattle Seahawks strategy. Draft the best Tackle no matter what, even if he has bust potential. And yes, Greg Little has bust potential, but Greg Little has more potential than any tackle in this draft, even Jonah Williams. He is the most athletic of the group, yet matches up with the 6’6/7” size needed to pass the scout's questions. The only downside is that he is unrefined in his technique. The Texans desperately need to upgrade at the Tackle position. Even though the interior line has improved recently, Martinas Rankin is still a liability on the line. What is hurting Deshaun Watson this year has been the little time he has to throw until he has to scramble. Greg Little may be a risk, but it is a necessary risk.
30) LA Rams- Elgton Jenkins OC, Miss St
The Rams are an interesting team to predict. They kinda have needs everywhere, yet nowhere at the same time. They need pass-rushers, but have some developing and Aaron Donald. They could use a CB in case they need to replace Peters and Talib, but they have time to address that. With the 30th pick I suggest they take the best player at a position they are of low key need in. The Tackles and offensive scheme are great in LA. Todd Gurley can hide a lot of weak points, but it should be obvious that the interior of the Rams O-Line is a problem. They constantly have to pull guards, and it puts Goff in danger if his first target isn’t there. Most of the time in a Sean McVay offense it is, but they could use help on the interior. Easily the best center in the class, he can play guard if John Sullivan plans to keep playing or step right into center if need be. Could you imagine a world where Todd Gurley’s life is easier, and Jared Goff is given more time. I’d be even more scared for opposing defenses.
31) LA Chargers- David Edwards OT, Wisconsin
The LA Chargers have very few holes on their team except for one and that is Linebacker. Well in this instance there is no Linebacker worth taking in the first round after White, Wilson and Bush. If there is no Linebacker to take it NEVER hurts to beef up an Offensive Line. David Edwards may exclusively be a Right Tackle in the NFL, but that should not be an issue. Wisconsin Linemen always come out strong and ready to be physical. Plus, the Chargers have improved on the interior of the line, but the Tackles are a bit of a weakness. Make life easier for Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers.
32) Green Bay Packers (via NO)- Marquise Brown WR, Oklahoma
It never hurts to help Aaron Rodgers and get him more weapons. The Packers have been looking for a No.2 opposite Davante Adams for what seems like forever. With Randall Cobb set to hit Free Agency, it seems like the perfect time to get a new slot target. Marquise Brown would thrive in an offense led by Rodgers. He is the best route runner in this class, and has great after the catch ability. With Davante running deep routes, and Equanimeous being a deep 50/50 catcher, Marquise Brown will step in as Aaron’s go to safety and yard-getter.