Well, it’s officially draft day. The day we’ve all been waiting for…or at least for me. It feels like it’s been years since going to the NFL Combine and watching guys throw and test and being there when John Ross ran his 4.22 40 yard dash. I’ve been anxiously counting down the seconds until today and will be doing so all day today as I await the clock to hit 7:00 pm tonight. And if it wasn’t bad enough that I still have to wait until 7 pm tonight, now is the time of rumors flying all over the place – prospects being linked to teams from Arizona to Washington and everywhere in between. And how do you determine which rumors are just to stir up interest or to get other teams to trade up with you and which ones are legitimate links to teams? Well, I’ve shuffled through the rumors, heard from various sources, and through simple deduction and trusting sources, I’ve come up with a mock draft that I think could be very similar to what we’ll see tonight. Of course, everything changes as soon as one team trades up or another team takes a player nobody is expecting, so I’ve listed potential alternate picks for each team based on rumors or info I’ve heard.
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Nobody is dumb enough in that war room to take Mitchell Trubisky at #1 overall, right? I think this may be the only pick I feel overly confident coming into the draft tonight.
Other players rumored here: Mitchell Trubisky (QB, UNC)
2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
I’ve had Adams here for about a month now, but indication is Thomas might be the pick. Some of the mainstream media is starting to move into the direction of Adams, but there’s still some fogginess as to who the pick will actually be. The 49ers really want to trade down, but I have a feeling they’ll have a hard time finding a trade partner.
Other players rumored here: Jamal Adams (S, LSU), Mitchell Trubisky (QB, UNC)
3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Again, a team that could and probably will move down in the draft, but rumor has it they are down to four guys for this pick: two DBs, Thomas, and a QB (Trubisky if it’s my choice). Thomas may be the best available player and best edge rusher remaining.
Other players rumored here: Solomon Thomas (EDGE, Stanford), Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State), Mitchell Trubisky (QB, UNC)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Wait, what? Yes, McCaffrey could be a Jag. If you remember right a couple years ago, everyone knew Jacksonville was taking a QB. But what surprised everyone was that it was a guy that no one had foreseen. I’m once again being told to expect chaos at #4, and so that may mean it’s between McCaffrey and Watson. I also think it’s pretty likely they could trade down here too.
Other players rumored here: Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford), O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama), Quarterbacks
5. Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
If Lattimore doesn’t get taken at #3, he’s the Titans likely pick here. Titans are also rumored to trade down and accumulate picks to make up for their lack of a second round pick.
Other players rumored here: Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan), O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)
6. New York Jets – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
I think this pick will be Adams if he happens to fall this far, but it’s unlikely. Howard fits a need with one of the best players available here though. Could also trade down to #12 for Cleveland to take Mitchell Trubisky.
Other players rumored here: Jamal Adams (S, LSU), Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State)
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
He’s a perfect fit for LA at a position they need.
Other players rumored here: Mike Williams (WR, Clemson), Solomon Thomas (EDGE, Stanford)
8. Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Whatever RB Jacksonville passes up, Carolina now drafts. McCaffrey provides Cam a playmaker in both the run and passing game.
Other players rumored here: Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU), O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama), Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee)
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
A great value for a player I have ranked in my top four.
Other players rumored here: Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee), Solomon Thomas (EDGE, Stanford)
10. Buffalo Bills – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
I’ve heard conflicting reports of Foster going in the top 15 and not in the second round at all. But one thing I do know is that the Bills love Foster as one of their targets. I’m sure they’d prefer to trade down (so look for that tonight). They could also trade down if they want to wait.
Other players rumored here: Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson), Haason Reddick (LB, Temple), Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State), O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)
11. New Orleans Saints – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Should Conley get his name miraculously cleared prior to the draft or Lattimore fall this far, they should be the pick here. But as it were, Conley is going to fall at least a couple of rounds and Lattimore will likely be long gone so NO needs to find a new CB to pick here. Humphrey isn’t too far behind Conley in most big boards (and ahead in some), so he fits well here with position and value.
Other players rumored here: Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama), Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)
12. Cleveland Browns – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Get their top QB. Enough said. If Trubisky goes earlier or they fail to trade up, I think they trade down.
Other players rumored here: None
13. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Fits their system and would allow for growth. Might be gone before this though.
Other players rumored here: Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Barnett is one of the better true edge rushers in this draft and could make a Danielle Hunter-style impact on the defensive line.
Other players rumored here: Gareon Conley (pending investigation), Defensive Linemen, Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
15. Indianapolis Colts – Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
Harris could end up going even higher than this, which will surprise some, but shouldn’t surprise you now!
Other players rumored here: Edge Rushers
16. Baltimore Ravens – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Seems like a long way for the receivers to drop, but for some reason I don’t know if we see one before pick #16 here (with the exception of maybe Tennessee or the Los Angeles Chargers).
Other players rumored here: Edge rushers, Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan), John Ross (WR, Washington)
17. Washington Redskins – Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
This will probably end up being too low for Reddick by the time the first round is finished tonight, as he has an outside shot of being taken by Buffalo, Indianapolis, or even Washington trading up into the early teens/top ten to grab him.
Other players rumored here: Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan), Obi Melifonwu (S, Connecticut)
18. Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Davis is my #1 WR and #8 overall on my board. He becomes a great playmaker for Mariota where they lack a true #1 wide receiver.
Other players rumored here: Mike Williams (WR, Clemson), John Ross (WR, Washington), Adoree Jackson (CB, USC), Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama)
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Chidobie Awuzie, CB, Colorado
A good corner that solidifies their defense and helps shore up their defensive backfield for years to come with Awuzie and Hargreaves.
Other players rumored here: Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin), Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah), Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan)
20. Denver Broncos – Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
Denver needs a LT more than anything and Bolles or Ramczyk can be that.
Other players rumored here: Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin), Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford)
21. Detroit Lions – David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)
It seems weird they would draft a TE with Ebron, but indications are that they are very interested in taking Njoku if he falls here.
Other players rumored here: Taco Charlton (EDGE, Michigan)
22. Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
This really seems to be the guy they want, and I don’t blame them. He’s my #6 overall player.
Other players rumored here: Tyus Bowser (LB, Houston)
23. New York Giants – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
They could go linebacker, but I’ve heard from Giants’ sources directly that they value Cam highly.
Other players rumored here: Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah), Tyus Bowser (LB, Houston), Jarrad Davis (LB, Florida)
24. Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
He’s the athletic interior linebacker the Raiders have been looking for, it makes perfect sense with fit.
Other players rumored here: Malik McDowell (3Tech, Michigan State), Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah), Zach Cunningham (LB, Vanderbilt), Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
25. Houston Texans – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
He’s a good fit with the Texans and will help whoever their quarterback is going to be. Also wouldn’t surprise me to see them move up to the top 15 to grab their QB fo choice.
Other players rumored here: Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson), Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama), Cam Robinson (OT, Alabama), Gareon Conley [if cleared] (CB, Ohio State)
26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin King, CB, Washington
Just too perfect of a fit. They very well could trade down as well for a team looking to move up for a QB or playmaker.
Other players rumored here: Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama), long, rangy corners
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The plan is to prepare Watson to be the QB of the future while Alex Smith continues to start. They could also move up to grab a QB they like in case Mahomes/Watson won’t fall this far.
Other players rumored here: Jarrad Davis (LB, Florida), Zach Cunningham (LB, Vanderbilt)
28. Dallas Cowboys – T.J. Watt, EDGE, Wisconsin
They really seem to like him and he fits their biggest need.
Other players rumored here: Taco Charlton (EDGE, Michigan), Adoree Jackson (CB, USC), Chidobe Awuzie (CB, Colorado), Takk McKinley (EDGE, UCLA)
29. Green Bay Packers – Takk McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
As long as the shoulder checks out, he should be ready to go.
Other players rumored here: Edge rushers, Joe Mixon (RB, Oklahoma), Kevin King (CB, Washington)
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
He just seems to be what they need at safety on that defense to return to the dominance they one had with Troy Polumalu back there.
Other players rumored here: Deshone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame), Carl Lawson (EDGE, Auburn)
31. Atlanta Falcons – Jordan Willis, EDGE, Kansas State
I don’t have him rated this highly, but from what I’ve heard, they really like him and want to pair him with Vic Beasley. There’s talk that they could even trade up to get him (which makes me wonder what his draft stock really is). Takk is the other option in my opinion, although a lot of the edge rushers would make sense here.
Other players rumored here: Takk McKinley (EDGE, UCLA)
32. New Orleans Saints – Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
The nice part of having this second first-rounder is that they can do whatever they want with it: trade it for Malcolm Butler, grab a QB to replace Brees in a few years, grab an EDGE player, or take another cornerback to boost that secondary.
Other players rumored here: Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU), Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah)