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Justin Bales | Archive | Email |

NFL Mock Draft: Version 1.0

Myles Garrett

Cleveland has many holes to fill including the QB position but Myles Garrett is the consensus No.1 pick.

1. Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

The Browns could opt to take their pick of the litter with the quarterbacks, but Garrett is the most likely option. Adam Schefter reported that the Browns are extremely high on Garrett, who is the most gifted defensive lineman in the draft. He recently put on a show during the NFL Combine and the Browns could use a difference maker on defense. It would be shocking if Cleveland passes on Garrett, who most people see as the best player in the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers – CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

The 49ers could go with nearly anyone with this pick. They have needs all over the roster, but Lattimore makes quite a bit of sense. He’s gaining a lot of momentum in draft circles, and he fills a need. Jimmie Ward is the only reliable cornerback on the roster, but there is talk that they want to move him to safety this season. If that’s the case, Lattimore would step in as San Fran’s top corner. If Ward stays at corner, he would make an elite pairing with Lattimore for years to come.

3. Chicago Bears – QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

I don’t personally believe there are any quarterbacks worthy of being drafted this high, but quarterbacks always seem to go higher than they should. The Bears are without a true answer at quarterback right now, and while Trubisky is not the clear-cut best quarterback in the draft, he does come with serious talent. If the Bears are comfortable with taking a “one year wonder” at the position, Trubisky is their best option.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

The Jaguars are in need of a pass rusher, and this draft class is loaded with them. Jonathan Allen struggled a bit at the Combine, which may cause him to fall below Solomon Thomas. Thomas is coming off an elite season, and a dominant bowl game against North Carolina. He is an athletic defensive lineman that will be able to lineup at multiple positions along the defense. Thomas would be an immediate upgrade to their defense, which finished 19th in total sacks last year.

5. Tennessee Titans – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The Titans have a huge hole at cornerback, but they will have to settle for a safety here. Adams and Malik Hooker are neck and neck for the first safety off the board, but Hooker is dealing with injuries right now. Tennessee’s biggest hole is currently in their secondary, and Adams is arguably the best player available here. They could reach on a cornerback, but it’s more likely they use this pick on arguably the best safety in the draft.

6. New York Jets – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Fournette to the Jets is the sexy pick at this point in time, and it makes quite a bit of sense. The Jets are shifting through a rebuild and having a stud running back would make it much easier. Fournette solidified himself as the top running back with a ridiculous 4.51 40-yard dash at the Combine. Some scouts have suggested that Fournette is better than both Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, who are two elite young running backs in the NFL. Fournette will be able to shoulder the load and having a potentially dominant running back to rely on should make it much easier for a young quarterback and defense.

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Hooker is expected to miss a few months due to recent surgeries or else he would likely be the first safety off the board. The Chargers reportedly love him though, and he would fill a big void in the defense. Jahleel Addae is going to be a free agent, and the Chargers desperately missed Eric Weddle in the secondary last season. Hooker is a ball-hawking safety who also has good skills with the ball in his hands. He lacks experience, but he is the type of turnover machine that teams are looking for at the backend of their defenses.

8. Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama

Allen is one of the biggest question marks coming into the draft. He has produced at an elite level for Alabama, but he struggled a bit at the Combine and there are questions surrounding his shoulder arthritis. This would be great value for the Panthers, who are always looking to add to their defense. Allen would be able to play on either the inside or outside, and he is a player that has looked great against both the pass and run during his time at Alabama. If his shoulder checks out before the draft, he’ll likely shoot back up team’s draft boards.

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Barnett is a top notch defensive end, but gets somewhat lost in the shuffle in a draft filled with elite pass rushers. The Bengals are in need of another pass-rushing defensive end, and Barnett could make an immediate impact. He was the all-time sack leader at Tennessee, and Barnett makes a ton of sense as a high-upside selection for Cincinnati.

10. Buffalo Bills – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

The Bills could select a quarterback here, but the coaching staff and front office are split on whether or not to keep Tyrod Taylor. If they opt to keep Taylor, the Bills will need to focus on weapons. Sammy Watkins is an elite wide receiver, but can’t seem to stay healthy. The Bills don’t have any great receivers behind him which is a cause for concern. Williams is a massive receiver, who uses his size well. He isn’t overly fast, but he can work each of the levels of the field, and uses his size to come down with the ball. Williams can learn behind Watkins for a while, but he has the look of a WR1 if Watkins does get injured at any point in time.

11. New Orleans Saints – Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

Simply put, the Saints need a pass rusher. They struggled to reach the quarterback last season (27th in sacks), which hurt the value of their secondary. Tim Williams is the type of player that can get to the quarterback in the hurry causing the secondary to have to cover for less time. Williams is as explosive as they come, and his pass rushing skills were on full display with nine sacks last season. He has the potential to become a full-time linebacker, but he will make an immediate difference on a defense that needs to find a way to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

12. Cleveland Browns – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

The Browns will add another first-round defender to their team with this pick. Their secondary struggled mightily last season, and it may be time to move on from Joe Haden. Humphrey has the potential to become a number one cornerback, as he comes with great size and speed. He isn’t quite ready to step in and shut down his opponents, but the Browns aren’t a team that is looking to make a playoff push this season. Humphrey could learn behind the Browns’ current corners before taking over once he’s ready.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Larry Fitzgerald is on his last legs, and Michael Floyd is out of Arizona. That means they are going to need someone to step in as the top receiver after Fitzgerald retires, but John Brown and J.J. Nelson don’t fit the mold. Corey Davis does, boasting great size with good routes and strong hands. He’ll make a great red-zone option for Arizona this season, while learning behind Fitzgerald. He will make an outstanding replacement that can take over as soon as Fitz announces he’s done.

14. Philadelphia Eagles – John Ross, WR, Washington

The Eagles have multiple positions of need, but they need to find Carson Wentz weapons this season. Ross helped his stock at the Combine when he blazed a ridiculous 4.22 40-yard dash, while potentially running with a cramp in his calf. He certainly comes with injury questions (shoulder), but he is a player that can take the top off of the defense and provide an immediate spark to the Eagles’ offense.

15. Indianapolis Colts – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

The Colts must hate the idea of keeping Andrew Luck healthy, which makes me question this pick. Robinson is a player that is projected to become a right tackle or guard, but some teams believe he’ll be able to handle himself at left tackle. That type of versatility will help Indianapolis, who absolutely need to find someone who can protect their franchise quarterback. Robinson is a three-year starter in the SEC, which means he has been playing against great pass rushers throughout college. There are a few concerns about his inconsistencies, but the Colts do not have much of a choice here.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Cook underperformed at the NFL Combine, but he has such elite tape and production in college that teams are likely to overlook that. The Ravens recently stated that they need help at running back and Cook is an elite prospect. He could step into the starting role and be a workhorse running back. He’s the type of player that teams can build their offense around, and he would solve the Ravens running back issues for quite some time.

17. Washington Redskins – Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama

Foster is an elite prospect, but there are a ton of question marks surrounding him, which has caused his value to fall. He has suffered multiple concussions during his time at Alabama. He also recently had rotator cuff surgery and was kicked out of the NFL Combine after getting into an argument with a hospital worker. There are no questions about his talent though, and the Redskins need major help in their front seven. Foster would immediately help their run defense, which was lacking last season. If the Redskins can get over his question marks, Foster is an elite value pick here.

18. Tennessee Titans – Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

As mentioned earlier, the Titans have a huge hole at cornerback, which they will be looking to fill with this pick. Jones is a high-upside player, who has elite ball skills with the desire to get better. He has the look of a cornerback, who can shut down number one wide receivers, but he’ll need to add muscle to his frame. If he’s able to do this, he should have no problems being a starter in the NFL for years to come.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR, Stanford

McCaffrey is the type of Swiss army knife the Bucs need in their offense. In the season-ending news conference, Coach Dirk Koetter stated that the Bucs need players with catch and run ability in their offense. McCaffrey isn’t exactly a wide receiver, but he has more than enough receiving potential to play in the slot. He’s a big play waiting to happen, and he’s also a matchup nightmare for defenses. He tested well at the Combine, which should certify that he’s selected in the first round this April.

20. Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

The Broncos badly need an offensive tackle. Ramczyk is the best tackle on the board, and he has the potential to become a solid left tackle for a long time. He has looked good in both run and pass blocking during his time at Wisconsin. He’s a fairly athletic player, and he should immediately help the Broncos offensive line. He’ll likely start at right tackle as a rookie before moving to left tackle later in his career.

21. Detroit Lions – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

The Lions need help along the defensive line, and Charlton is a player who is quickly rising up draft boards. He doesn’t have elite production at Michigan to show, but his size and athleticism more than make up for it. Charlton is a player that coaches tend to say, “he can be as good as he wants.” The only problem is that some coaches do not believe he has the passion needed. He could step in and immediately help the Lions, who desperately need help along the defensive line.

22. Miami Dolphins – Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

McKinley isn’t exactly the ideal fit for the Dolphins, as he’s best suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but Miami runs a 4-3. They have a serious need at outside linebacker though, and McKinley is the best available. They could overlook the fit because of McKinley’s athleticism and rawness. That could set him up to have an easier transition to a new position. The Dolphins could also try to move him to a 4-3 pass rushing end, but that is much less likely.

23. New York Giants – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

The Giants have a serious need at tight end and Howard is an elite option to fill that void. He didn’t produce at an elite level during his time at Alabama, but he tore apart the Combine and he has all the tools to be successful in the NFL. Some scouts have pegged Howard as an All Pro waiting to happen, while others have stated that he will be drafted in the top 10. That certainly could be the case, but tight ends are rarely selected that high. The Giants won’t be a team that passes on him here.

24. Oakland Raiders – Malik McDowell, DT/DE, Michigan State

Coach Jack Del Rio stated that it is critical for the Raiders to get an interior pass rush working next season and McDowell is the best option plug the hole. He struggled last season for Michigan State with only 1.5 sacks, but that was because of an injury, as he had 4.5 sacks the year before. He’s a high upside pick that does come with some risk, but McDowell has the potential to play multiple positions, which only increases his upside. This is a matchup made in heaven for the Raiders.

25. Houston Texans – Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

It’s difficult not placing a quarterback here, but the Texans are paying Brock Osweiler so much money that it seems more likely that they try to add pieces around him this season than adding a first round quarterback. This doesn’t mean they won’t draft one, but it’s more likely to be in the second or third round. Bolles is a high upside player, who fits with the Texans offense. They need a swing tackle in case of an injury again this season, and Bolles would be just that as the Texans groom him into a starting caliber player.

26. Seattle Seahawks – Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

The Seahawks never seem to take offensive linemen in the first round, but they don’t have much of a choice this offseason. Russell Wilson was sacked 41 times in 2016, and they need to keep their franchise quarterback upright in the future. Johnson is the best tackle available, even though he is more known for his run blocking. He has the potential to play both left and right tackle as well. He isn’t the safest player in the draft, but he fills a hole in a solid Seahawks roster.

27. Kansas City Chiefs – DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Quarterbacks always go higher than they should, and that will likely be the case again this season. Teams will likely trade up, but Kizer makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs. Alex Smith is aging, and it’s questionable whether a game manager is going to be able to lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl. Kizer has all the tools to become a great quarterback, but he needs to improve his decision-making and accuracy, which he could work on while waiting behind Smith. Keep in mind, Andy Reid isn’t afraid to groom a young quarterback behind an aging starter.

28. Dallas Cowboys – Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

The Cowboys have other needs, but they’re a team that loves to draft the flashy player. Godwin recently tore up the Combine after there were a few questions about his athleticism. He is a wide receiver that could sneak in to the first round because of these numbers. He also has displayed great hands; consistently catching contested balls at Penn State. Godwin doesn’t get all the recognition as the other wide receivers in the class, but he could end up as the best value a few years down the road.

29. Green Bay Packers – Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

The Packers continue to stockpile cornerbacks, as they add Tabor to a promising trio of Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and Ladarius Gunter. Green Bay struggled in the playoffs with inconsistent play from these corners. It isn’t surprising, as the Packers tried to man up Gunter on players like Dez Bryant and Julio Jones. Tabor is the big, physical type of corner that can guard these players one-on-one. He would add a physical presence to the Packers secondary and he has the potential to become a shutdown press corner.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt

James Harrison is aging to say the least, although he may not be playing like it. Regardless, he’s likely to hang up his cleats soon, and the Steelers will need a replacement. Cunningham is a linebacker that has good range which can be seen by his elite production at Vanderbilt. He’ll be able to take a year to put on extra muscle with the Steelers as well.

31. Atlanta Falcons – Forrest Lamp, OG/C, Western Kentucky

Lamp is a player that has been gaining steam throughout the process. He tested well at the Combine, and he’s a player that has the potential to play tackle, guard, or center. He’s coming from a small school, but he’s a four year starter, who has plenty of tape to study. The Falcons have a need in the interior line and Lamp is a player that can fill multiple holes as a sixth lineman.

32. New England Patriots – Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan

Peppers is in an interesting position. Some scouts believe he’s a top 5 talent in this draft, but he doesn’t have a defined position. Some teams see him as a safety, while others see him as a linebacker. He was even asked if he would workout as a running back and wide receiver. The Patriots are the type of team that love using athletes. He’s great value at this point in the draft if the Patriots find a way to utilize his interesting skill set.