The NFL Draft is the most important part of the NFL team building process. Screw free agency. That shit’s just for the average fans to get excited over names they already know who are now getting paid waaaaaaaaay too much money.
The real winners in the NFL build their team through the draft. With a great draft, your favorite team could potentially add up to 3-5 new starters at a very reasonable rate. With a horrible draft, your franchise could set itself back for years.
That’s why the draft is awesome.
Another reason the draft is awesome? WE DON’T HAVE TO READ MOCK DRAFTS ANYMORE!
However, we do have one more to get out-of-the-way and it’s my final mock draft. So enjoy it in all it’s glory. You never know when they could come to an end (I do have another daughter on the way you know…..).
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett (EDGE), Texas A&M
Don’t be stupid Cleveland. There is talk about Cleveland taking Mitchell Trubisky #1 overall. That would be the most Cleveland move of all-time….wouldn’t it?
2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas (Defensive Line), Stanford
No one knows what the 49ers are going to do which makes this pick a difficult one. They could take Jamal Adams, Leonard Fournette, Marshon Lattimore, or hell….even Mitchell Trubisky. I’m going with Thomas because the 49ers need some more pass rushers. Plus, this draft is loaded at corner and San Francisco could grab a QB in the second round if they wish.
3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams (S), LSU
Jamal Adams might be the best player in the draft outside of Myles Garrett and the Bears need a lot of help at the safety position. Somethings just make sense.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette (RB), LSU
Tom Coughlin is back in town and his first priority should be getting Blake Bortles some help on offense. The Jaguars have no idea what they have in Bortles as far as a franchise QB is concerned. He’s sucked ass the last few seasons, but part of that is also on the Jaguars not having a lot of weapons on offense. Leonard Fournette has been the love of draft pundits for years now. Remember last year when people said Fournette should actually take the year off rather than play just to ensure that he’s healthy for the draft? Well, now he’s in the draft and he also happens to be the best offensive player in the draft.
5. Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore (CB), Ohio State
The Titans could very well trade back if they’re targeting a wide receiver. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a trade happen here. If the Titans stay put though, Marshon Lattimore would be a hell of a selection. The Titans need a true shutdown corner. They were on the verge of making the playoffs next year and the addition of Lattimore could help push them over that edge.
6. New York Jets – Mitchell Trubisky (QB), North Carolina
Todd Bowles needs a good QB that his staff can groom. They don’t currently have one on their roster. Bryce Petty sucks. Christian Hackenberg sucks. And Josh McCown is decent, but he’s also 37 years old. Get this franchise a QB that they can actually be excited about. That would sure be a hell of a change, eh Jets fans?
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker (S), Ohio State
The Chargers made an amazing pick when they selected Joey Bosa last year in the first round of the draft. They have the chance to hit another home run on the defensive side of the ball this year with the selection of Malik Hooker. A guy I personally would love to have on my football team. How’s that for an endorsement?
8. Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffery (RB), Stanford
Sometimes during the draft process, you hear a player’s name connected to a team so much that there has to be something brewing there. The people in charge of drafting for the Panthers are reportedly so enamored with McCaffery that they would draft him over Fournette if he’s still available. So what’s the deal? Yes, the Panthers need a running back…but is the McCaffery talk just talk to get another team to potentially trade up (Denver) or do the Panthers really love the kid? The good news, we will find out in just a few short hours.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Allen (DT), Alabama
The Bengals need some help at linebacker and could very well go in that direction, but at this point in the draft, they have the chance to add a potential top 3 talent with the selection of Jonathan Allen. Cincinnati needs some help on the defensive line, so it all works out in the end.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mike Williams (WR), Clemson
Buffalo needs another wide receiver to go along with Sammy Watkins. Mike Williams is easily the most talented wide receiver in this draft and if the Bills have a chance to add him with the tenth pick, you got to do it. Tyrod Taylor is just an average QB, but you know how you make an average player better? By surrounding him with excellence. Williams will be an excellent wide receiver in the NFL as long as he’s paired with a QB that isn’t afraid to take chances with the football.
11. New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett (EDGE), Tennessee
New Orleans is still in desperate need of a lot of defensive help. They own two first-round draft picks so they have the real possibility to add two potential starters to their defense if they make the right moves. Derek Barnett at #11 would be huge. Barnett is a pass-rusher who some feel is just a step behind Myles Garrett. I mentioned before that this draft is loaded at cornerback, which is another position the Saints need a lot of help in. Take the pass-rusher now and focus on the secondary later.
12. Cleveland Browns – Patrick Mahomes (QB), Texas Tech
First shocker of the draft. Of course it comes from the Browns. I have a feeling that Cleveland is going to take a QB with this pick, I just don’t know which one. Something tells me they’ll shock everyone and go with Mahomes. Why do I feel that way? I’m not sure exactly. Maybe because it’s the Browns?
13. Arizona Cardinals – Haason Reddick (LB), Temple
The Cardinals are another team that could go QB here. They have the perfect set-up in place to draft a talented guy and have him sit for a year under Carson Palmer. In this instance though, they would be wise to take Haason Reddick, whose name has shot up draft board since the draft process begun. Reddick is now widely considered a fringe top 10 talent in this draft and the Cardinals also have a huge hole at middle linebacker.
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Corey Davis (WR), Western Michigan
Carson Wentz is looking like a potential good pick for the Eagles. The guy needs a true #1 WR though if he’s going to continue to blossom into a good franchise QB. The second year is a huge year for a QB because now defensive coordinators everywhere have a lot of tape on you. The Eagles have to make sure they put all the pieces in place for Wentz to be successful. Step one. Draft a wide receiver who can make his life easier.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Kevin King (CB), Washington
Indianapolis needs a cornerback and they have a chance here to grab the biggest one in the draft. Kevin King is 6’3 and is ready to terrorize NFL wide receivers everywhere. New general manager Chris Ballard comes over from the Kansas City Chiefs and he knows how important it is to have playmakers on defense. Watch for Indianapolis to add a few of them in this draft.
16. Baltimore Ravens – John Ross (WR), Washington
I know. I know. Baltimore doesn’t exactly have the best luck drafting wide receivers in the first-round….but that’s exactly why they need to keep swinging for them.
17. Washington Redskins – Reuben Foster (LB), Alabama
Reuben Foster has a good chance of sliding in the draft due to off-the-field concerns. However, the linebacker is extremely talented and he’s a top 10 talent in this draft as long as his head is on straight. When have the Redskins ever been afraid to take chances? If they have the chance to get ahold of Foster and he keeps on the straight and narrow…they just hit a grand slam.
18. Tennessee Titans – O.J. Howard (TE), Alabama
Marcus Mariota not only gets a weapon…..but he gets a GREAT weapon.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook (RB), Florida State
Much like Christian McCaffery with the Panthers, I’m hearing all sorts of talk connecting Dalvin Cook to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In this instance, I would be a fool to pick otherwise.
20. Denver Broncos – Forrest Lamp (OL), Western Kentucky
Denver is in dire need of help along the offensive line. unfortunately for the Broncos, this is a weak draft for offensive lineman. Fortunately for the Broncos, the team will likely have their pick of the top offensive lineman in the draft at this point. In my opinion, that’s Forrest Lamp. The Broncos could plug him anywhere on the line, which is good considering offensive tackle is their main concern.
21. Detroit Lions – Charles Harris (EDGE), Missouri
Ezekiel Ansah is a good player, but the Lions need another pass-rusher to help on the other side.
22. Miami Dolphins – Marlon Humphrey (CB), Alabama
The Dolphins made the playoffs last year and with some good draft picks, they might actually be able to dethrone the New England Patriots as “Kings of the AFC East”. OK, that’s probably a little far-fetched, but Dolphins fans can dream. Miami is a good team, but they need some help in the secondary. This is a loaded draft at the corner position so the Dolphins can find a good one in the first-round. Marlon Humphrey happens to be a great one if you ask me.
23. New York Giants – Garett Boles (OT), Utah
Boooooooooooring. But it’s needed. Just ask fans of the New York Giants.
24. Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis (LB), Florida
The Raiders are a good team, but they need a few more pieces before they can be considered a consistent playoff threat. The addition of Jarrad Davis would be a big plus for them as he would be a big help defending the run. Oakland could also add a cornerback or a running back if one of the top ranked ones falls to them.
25. Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson (QB), Clemson
You’re welcome Houston. I’m lukewarm on Deshaun Watson’s pro prospects, but he gives you more hope for the future than anything you currently have.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Ramczyk (OL), Wisconsin
The Seahawks need a lot of help on the offensive line. I don’t care which one of the top offensive lineman is available when Seattle selects with the 26th pick, but the Seahawks would be wise to choose them. That unit was extremely hard to watch at times last season and they are in dire need of a lot of help.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Chidobe Awuzi (CB) – Colorado
The last time the Kansas City Chiefs selected a PAC-12 cornerback in the first-round, it worked out pretty well for them (Marcus Peters). Now, imagine if the Chiefs can clone that player and put him on the other side of the field. That’s a dream scenario for Chiefs fans.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Takk McKinley (EDGE), UCLA
If Jaylon Smith is unable to come back and make an impact, the Cowboys are hurting bad for pass-rushers. I didn’t think Takk McKinley would be available at this spot, but here he is. If the Cowboys are able to get their hands on McKinley and Smith comes back at 100%. YIKES. That’s all I have to say.
29. Green Bay Packers – Tre’Davious White (CB), LSU
Remember how bad the Packers corners were last season? Well, they still haven’t gotten much better in that aspect. The draft will provide them plenty of opportunity to do so.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – David Njoku (TE), Miami
Pittsburgh needs a tight end and if they have the chance to add the draft’s second best one, something tells me they would jump all over that chance. There’s a great chance that Njoku is drafted higher than #30 and I’m overlooking him. Tight ends haven’t exactly been a hot commodity come draft time in recent years though.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Taco Charlton (DE), Michigan
Atlanta doesn’t need any help on the offensive side of the ball. It wasn’t the offense that couldn’t stop Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
32. New Orleans Saints – Adoree’ Jackson (CB), USC
OK Saints. Now you can take your corner.
AND THERE WE GO EVERYONE!
I hope you enjoyed reading this thing as much as I did writing it. Much like the rest of you, I can’t wait for the draft tonight. Make sure you put the family to bed early and you tune into THE USB’s Twitter feed for my thoughts on all the picks during tonight’s first round!