WRGW NFL Mock Draft 3/31

By: Daniel Stettin

With the NFL draft just under a month away, it is time to look at who we at WRGW think is gonna go where!

  1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
    1. Is there any doubt that the Browns are going to draft Garrett? He is the best defensive end to come out of college since at least Jadaveon Clowney in 2014. Garrett has a tremendous combine, showing off an unbelievable mix of size, strength, and speed that will make him difficult to stop at the next level. While defensive end isn’t the Brown’s most important need, you do not pass on the best player in the draft. The only other player I can see going here is UNC QB Mitchell Trubisky, but I believe that the Browns could still get him with the 12th pick (which they acquired from Philadelphia in a trade in last years draft).
  2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
    1. Coming off his redshirt Freshman year at Stanford, Thomas looked like a promising prospect that could one day be a NFL player. Then he slowly began creeping up draft boards throughout the 2016 season, eventually ending the season with a dominant performance in the 2016 Sun Bowl vs UNC and Mitchell Trubisky. The 49ers once had a dominant pass rush under Jim Harbaugh, but that is no more. Similar to the Browns, this isn’t the most important need for the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan but the 49ers just need special talent and Thomas is that.
  3. Chicago Bears – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
    1. Many are pegging the Bears to take an defensive linemen but I don’t think the Bears are fine with their pass rush currently. Instead, the Bears can go after the next Ed Reed to play next to Quintin Demps. Despite having surgery on for a torn labrum, Hooker is still expected to go in the first round. Hooker looked like a potential All-Pro safety in his Redshirt Sophomore year at Ohio State but it was still a surprise he came out considering the lack of experience. The Bears could also go D-Line, but I think the Bears don’t pass up on fixing the safety spot for the next ten years.
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
    1. Despite having a rough combine, I still expect Allen to go in the top 5. Like Garrett and Thomas, Allen is a special pass rusher that the Jags can combine with Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue to have one of the best young D-Line’s in the league. Considering Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck consist of a quarter of their regular season, it is crucial for the Jaguars to have a defense to keep up with those star QB’s. Jacksonville is also expected to consider Leonard Fournette as well, but I don’t think a RB will solve their problems.
  5. Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
    1. The Titans had arguably some of the worst cornerback play in the NFL last season and they still finished with a 9-7 record. They signed Logan Ryan to be their number 1 CB but I think he will be better off being the second CB behind Lattimore, who has the potential to be the a shut down CB in the NFL. The expectation for Tennessee is to go DB or WR so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to take Mike Williams or Jamal Adams but with the signing of Jonathan Cyprien, they can get away with what they have at safety this year.
  6. New York Jets – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
    1. Similar to the 49ers, the Jets are trying to cling on to the dominant defenses they have had in the past. Adams is another special safety that many deem to be a “safe” pick. New York is so close to being a perennial playoff team. It isn’t that former first rounder Calvin Pryor is bad, it is more that how good insiders expect Adams to be. Nobody really has a clue where the Jets are going to go with the sixth pick, some pegging them to go after Fournette, OJ Howard, Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, or any of the already mentioned DB’s, but I can’t see the Jets passing on a safety as talented as Adams (especially with Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill in the division).
  7. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
    1. First off, it just sounds weird to say Los Angeles instead of San Diego. Second, if the draft plays out the way it has so far, don’t be surprised if LA trades out of this slot. The Chargers are praying that one of the two top safeties falls to them but that doesn’t happen here. I’m not predicting trades so I’m gonna give Phillip Rivers a stud receiver to pair with Keenan Allen to give the Chargers one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL. Rivers only has a few years left so why not give him a plethora of receivers to connect with. Like I said, the Chargers really want to get Adams or Hooker here, but if not (and if they don’t trade out) I can also see them going offensive line here.
  8. Carolina Panthers – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
    1. If you have watched the Panthers play at all in the last ten years, you know they love to run the football. They also like to split up their carry’s three ways (last year that was Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert, and Jonathan Stewart). With Tolbert gone combined with the struggles of Stewart last year, it’s a no brainer for the Panthers to after Fournette (who might be the best RB to come out of college since Adrian Peterson). Look past Fournette vertical jump and realize how scary of a back he was in college. The Panthers are definitely going offense in this draft whether that be a receiver, tight end, or a running back.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals – Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama
    1. The Bengals are transitioning to a 4-3 defense which means the Linebackers are being asked to a lot more than they have in the past. Signing Kevin Minter to help replace Rey Maualuga and Karlos Dansby is a smart move but adding the top LB in the draft to play alongside Minter and Vontaze Burfict will shore up the middle of the Bengals defense. If not a LB, then the Bengals will probably go after a pass rusher or a WR.
  10. Buffalo Bills – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
    1. Saying the Bills need weapons for Tyrod Taylor (or whoever Buffalo decides to be their QB) is like saying Myles Garrett is the best player in this draft, everybody knows this. Sammy Watkins, when healthy, is a deadly receiver who can do it in the slot and outside. However, across from Watkins currently is a combination of Corey Brown, Brandon Tate, and Andre Holmes. So…yes the Bills desperately need receivers. They want Mike Williams badly, but he isn’t available so they instead go for Davis, who has the most receiving yards ever for a FBS player. Look out for speedster John Ross or TE OJ Howard here as well.
  11. New Orleans Saints – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
    1. Derek Barnett might not be as talented as some of the other first round DE’s, but Barnett makes up for it grit, hard work, and lots of effort. Barnett broke the Tennessee career sack record, formerly held by Reggie White. 33 sacks in three seasons is awfully impressive, especially in the SEC. The Saints had one of the worst group of, if not the worst, pass rushers in the NFL. Barnett instantly upgrades that, giving them a strong line with Cameron Jordan, Nick Fairley, and Sheldon Rankins as well. The Saints could really go any defensive position as a result of their horrific defense last season.
  12. Cleveland Browns (From Philadelphia) – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC
    1. The Browns take the hometown kid in Mitchell Trubisky, born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland. Despite being just a one year starter, Trubisky shined in his first (and only) season as a starter at UNC, throwing 30 TD’s and completing 68% of his passes. The Browns seemingly have to take Trubisky here, they can’t go out on opening day with Cody Kessler (who wasn’t terrible as a rookie, but projects as a quality backup), Brock Osweiler, or Kevin Hogan and expect to see improvements over last year. Drafting Trubisky with his inexperience could allow Kessler to open the season as the starter with Trubisky taking over later in the year. If not a QB here, I could see the Browns going OJ Howard or another WR to help out their offense.
  13. Arizona Cardinals – Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
    1. The projections for Kizer are all over the place as Kizer was at one point considered a potential first overall pick to maybe being a second rounder to now going to Arizona at 13. Kizer was solid in his redshirt freshman season leading the Fighting Irish to a 10-3 record where they lost the last two games of the year but his redshirt sophomore year was inconsistent with a 4-8 record. Kizer is still considered a first rounder and with Carson Palmer playing a few more seasons, he will get plenty of time to sit behind Palmer and develop. If not a QB, the Cardinals are definitely going DB, where they struggled to find someone who can play consistently across from Patrick Peterson.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
    1. Conley was never one to wow you on the field but he still was a highly productive player in Columbus for the Buckeye’s. Conley stock is soaring with a tremendous combine and accounting for the injury to Washington CB Sydney Jones. The Eagles are desperate for some help in the secondary and the experienced Conley could start from day 1 for the Eagles. This pick is gonna come down a DB or RB but I think with how deep this draft is at RB, they could afford to wait a round or two to get a back.
  15. Indianapolis Colts – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
    1. Colts GM Chris Ballard has publicly stated that he is looking to move down to acquire more picks as well that the Colts top three draft needs are a pass rusher, CB, and RB. Charlton fills the need for a pass rusher, putting up 10 sacks as a senior. He is big, strong, and fast linemen that will instantly upgrade the Colts pass rush. The only players last year to put up more than 3 sacks were both linebackers (Erik Walden with 11 and Robert Mathis with 5) so upgrading the D-Line is priority #1 in my mind. If not a pass rusher, I can see the Colts going after a RB or CB which are both pretty big needs as well.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
    1. There are reports out there that GM Ozzie Newsome absolutely loves Cam Robinson, the top rated tackle in this draft. After losing Ricky Wagner in free agency to Detroit, the Ravens are in need of a RT to pair with Ronnie Stanley. To win the AFC North, you must play well in the trenches and the Robinson would help fix that. There are some doubts if Robinson could play LT but by having him on the right side there won’t be an issue. If the Ravens don’t go offensive line, they are definitely going WR where they lost both Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken this offseason.
  17. Washington Redskins – Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
    1. The key to this pick is how the Redskins announce it. Peppers played multiple positions at Michigan so people don’t know what he will play (he worked out as both a Safety and Linebacker at the Combine). I believe Peppers will play a similar role to what Deone Buchanan and Mark Barron play for Arizona and LA. Peppers is a little overhyped right now because he did so much for Michigan but he was never elite at any of the positions that he played in. The Redskins can also go RB or WR here, where Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffery, John Ross, etc could instantly help out Kirk Cousins.
  18. Tennessee Titans – John Ross, WR, Washington
    1. Tennessee already took care of fixing their secondary by taking Marshon Lattimore at 5 and here they can fix their lack of a speedster/deep threat by taking Ross, who broke the combine’s 40 yard dash record by running a 4.22. Ross didn’t do much his first two seasons at Washington then he tore his ACL as a junior. He came back in his redshirt Junior season and dominated with over 1000 yards and leading Washington to the playoff. Ross doesn’t look like a traditional number 1 receiver, but he is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. If not a WR here, I can see Tennessee go for a Tight End such as OJ Howard or David Njoku.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
    1. From his first game as a Freshman, Cook showed why he is a special RB. He isn’t as big as Fournette, but he is much more explosive and just seems to make plays. He ran for at least 1000 yards each year in Tallahassee and fits perfectly into Tampa Bay’s offense. The Buccaneers couldn’t run the ball at all last year and they might have made the playoffs if they had a reliable back. Tampa is definitely going offense year, whether it be a RB or TE they desperately need to help Jameis Winston.
  20. Denver Broncos – Garrett Bolles, T, Utah
    1. The Broncos lost Russell Okung in free agency and just in general had some poor Offensive Line play throughout 2016. This can partly be attributed to Trevor Semien’s play but still is telling how the line gave up 40 sacks. Bolles only played one year at Utah, previously playing a Junior College,  but he was dominant. Bolles is older than most prospects in the draft, he spent two years on a LDS Mission, but that shouldn’t stop him from going in the first round and starting Week 1. The Broncos could also go with Christian McCaffrey here, where his father Ed starred in the 1990’s, and help out in both the running game and catching passes out of the backfield.
  21. Detroit Lions – Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
    1. Not very often do you see a Vanderbilt player going in the first round but Cunningham is that good. He is phenomenal in coverage and playing the run, both areas where the Lions need help. Cunningham isn’t gonna explode for double digit sacks but he will do just about everything else in Detroit. Cunningham is my favorite player in this draft and wouldn’t be surprised if he was a future All-Pro. If the Lions don’t go with Cunningham, they are gonna go after the best pass rusher available.
  22. Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
    1. While Miami made the playoffs last year, they still have many holes to fill. After trading Brandon Albert to Jacksonville, they are shifting last years first rounder Laremy Tunsil to LT. While I think Lamp can play LT (and play it well), I think he will be best able to physically dominate as a Guard. If Lamp was 2 inches taller and had a longer wingspan, he would be a top ten pick as a Tackle. Nonetheless, I see Lamp being a stud at Guard that is capable of filling in at Tackle if need be. If not Lamp, Miami could go TE, LB, or S here. If Jabrill Peppers were available, I know owner Stephen Ross would be drooling at the opportunity to take the former Michigan star.
  23. New York Giants – OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
    1. Despite many pegging Howard as a player shooting up draft boards, I see him falling to New York where he could team up with Odell Beckham Jr, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard to form what might be the best set of pass catchers in the NFL. Howard might not get the amount of targets he should be getting in New York but he would still be a very valuable contributor the Giants offense. The Giants have always had good, but not great TE’s. Howard will change that. If the Giants don’t go TE, I can see them going Offensive Line or Running Back.
  24. Oakland Raiders – Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
    1. Reddick has never played MLB before but that is the position NFL coaches believe he will thrive in. He came to Temple as a walk on DB and then became a pass rusher putting up 9.5 sacks as a Senior. Reddick might be undersized but he is relentless in his pursuit of the QB. The Raiders lost LB Malcolm Smith in free agency to San Francisco so Reddick could potentially start day 1 for the Silver and Black. If the Raiders don’t go LB, then a Running Back or Defensive Linemen could be in play.
  25. Houston Texans – Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
    1. Until the Texans sign another QB (hey, I heard a veteran QB in Dallas is available!), they are planning on giving the starting job to Fourth Year QB Tom Savage. Bill O’Brien has been talking up Savage a ton but I have a hard time believing he would pass on Mahomes II, who set the combine record for fastest throw ever at 60 MPH. I know Mahomes II played in the air raid offense at Texas Tech, that shouldn’t stop a team like Houston from drafting a QB who has one of the strongest arms in Football. If the Texans don’t go QB here, they will go Offensive Line.
  26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin King, CB, Washington
    1. The Seahawks go with the local kid over Marlon Humphrey as the Seahawks love their big corners (See Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Byron Maxwell, etc). Before the combine, King was probably going second or third round but then he had a tremendous combine shooting up to the first round. The Seahawks currently have DeShawn Shead set up to start opposite Sherman so they should be looking for a quality DB in the draft. If the Seahawks don’t go with a cornerback, an offensive linemen could definitely be in play.
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
    1. How far will the Chiefs go in 2017? As far as Alex Smith can go, which is most likely losing in the Divisional round. The Chiefs are a strong QB away from being a Super Bowl Contender. Watson won’t be ready to play for at least one season, so he can sit behind Smith until his contract expires after the 2018 season. The Chiefs have a stacked roster so they can afford to go with a luxury pick here at 27. The Chiefs can also with Christian McCaffrey if they don’t want to go with Watson.
  28. Dallas Cowboys – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
    1. The Cowboys get a steal here in Humphrey, who some think could go as high as the Top 10. The Alabama CB has the size (6 feet) and the speed (4.41 40) to keep up with any receiver in the NFL. He only played two seasons of College Football after redshirting as a True Freshman. Nolan Carroll is currently slated to start for the Cowboys, Humphrey will change that. The Cowboys could also go with an offensive or defensive linemen here but the value with Humphrey is too much to pass up on here.
  29. Green Bay Packers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
    1. If you didn’t know, the Packers had to convert WR Ty Montgomery to RB in the 2016 season because of injuries and poor play. While Montgomery was solid, the coaching staff just didn’t trust him to handle a starters workload. Picking McCaffrey gives the Packers a 3 down back that can really do it all. Don’t be surprised if McCaffrey wins Rookie of the Year, considering he will have Aaron Rodgers as his QB. The Packers can really go anywhere (besides QB of course) here.
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers – David Njoku, TE, Miami
    1. The Steelers signed Ladarius Green to a big contract last season but he was injured or most of the season, only playing in 6 games. Njoku came out of Miami after his Redshirt Sophomore year with scouts drooling over his potential. He can come to Pittsburgh and instantly help out the passing game for Big Ben. Njoku might not be the best blocker out there, but they can mix in Jesse James to help out with the blocking while Njoku is out catching passes. The Steelers are expected to go defense for a lot of the draft so a DE or LB is not out of the question.
  31. Atlanta Falcons – TJ Watt, LB, Wisconsin
    1. Right now people might know TJ Watt as the little brother of JJ Watt, but Atlanta fans will soon learn that TJ can rush the passer pretty well as well. Watt put up 11.5 sacks as a Junior and he could be dominant playing opposite Vic Beasley. As we saw in the Super Bowl, Atlanta needs a relentless pass rush for 60 minutes if they want to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. Atlanta could also go offensive line here, where you can never have enough depth.
  32. New Orleans Saints (From New England) – Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
    1. The Saints got this pick from New England in the Brandin Cooks trade.  After getting Derek Barnett at 11, the Saints are able to upgrade their secondary with Wilson. He’s a big corner at 6-1 and some think he could potentially move to Safety. There was talk the Saints could trade for Patriots CB Malcolm Butler considering how poor their secondary was this past season. There are no doubts that the Saints are gonna try to upgrade their secondary with this pick.

 

 

Posted on March 31, 2017, in NFL, Off-Campus. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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