We’re just two weeks out from the opening round of the NFL Draft and so with it comes three final mock drafts leading up to it. This week’s version will cover only the first round, and in this scenario, I assume everyone, including the Bills, stays put in their original draft position. I’ve included the segment from this week’s episode of Sports Talk w/ Spencer, where I tried to discuss what the Bills are thinking of doing at 10, and then revealed the Top 10 picks of this mock draft. The rest of the first round is included below.
So without further ado, the Browns are on the clock…
1) Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M – A recent report from Adam Schefter suggested that Cleveland is torn between Garrett and UNC quarterback Mitchel Trubisky at No. 1, but that information leaking at this time of year sounds like a smokescreen. If the Browns can trick a team into trading up to the top spot so they can acquire more picks, they will, but assuming they stay put, Garrett is the slam dunk of the class. Easy decision.
2) Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford –
Like the Browns, the 49ers need just about everything. Thomas is the best player available and has the high ceiling to become an elite NFL pass rusher.
3) Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State – The Bears have many holes of their own to fill including quarterback, but in a weaker QB class, they won’t reach for one with the third pick. Instead, they snag themselves Lattimore, an NFL-ready starter at corner.
4) Jonathan Allen, DT Alabama – The Jaguars have stockpiled some great defensive talents over the last few drafts and add yet another one in Allen. That defense could be scary.
5) Jamal Adams, S LSU – The Titans biggest needs are mostly on the defensive side of the ball and they fill one with the addition of Adams, the top rated safety of the class.
6) Mitchell Trubisky, QB UNC – Okay so I flip-flopped over night from what I said on the show yesterday, when I had the Jets taking Patrick Mahomes. Looking to re-galvanize the fan base with the hope of a future franchise quarterback, I do think New York takes a QB here, the reason I flipped to Trubisky is simply because if they’re going to take one this early, it better be the best one.
7) Malik Hooker, S Ohio State – The Chargers desperately missed Eric Weddles on the back end last season and Hooker should serve as a nice, younger replacement especially in Gus Bradley’s Cover-3 scheme.
8) O.J. Howard, TE Alabama – How many elite years of play does Greg Olsen have left in the NFL? I’d estimate 1-2. With that in mind Carolina finds his future replacement in Howard, giving Cam Newton a fun, dynamic duo of tight ends.
9) Reuben Foster, LB Alabama – Couple directions Cincinnati could go here and they may be reflected in my upcoming mock drafts, but for now they take Foster. Outburst at the combine and shoulder injury aside, Foster is probably the best LB in the class.
10) Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama – Here it is, the pick you’ve all been waiting for. Assuming the Bills stay put at 10 Humphrey makes a ton of sense for them. With former top cornerback Stephone Gilmore off to New England, finding another suitable corner to pair with two-year man Ronald Darby has become a top priority and the secondary remains the Bills biggest need. Humphrey possess a unique combination of speed, size and strength that make him great for press coverage, but also great awareness in zone-coverage. Ironically enough, he was just in for a visit with the Bills yesterday, so the interest is certainly there from the organization. I understand the arguments for receiver here or even O.J. Howard if he falls, but given Sean McDermott’s recent comments about the No. 2 receiver being on the roster already and the fact that he’s a defensive coach with plenty of areas to address on that side of the ball, cornerback seems like the logical pick here.
11) Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee – Saints could go offense here in an attempt to maximize the remaining peak years of Drew Brees, but their defense needs far too much help.
12) DeShaun Watson, QB Clemson – Well it’s not Trubisky, but ultimately the Browns find themselves a QB in Watson, who I think is dedicated enough to improving as a player that he’ll work to fix any deficiencies.
13) DeShone Kizer, QB Notre Dame – Suddenly the quarterbacks are being snatched up quickly. Carson Palmer can’t play forever and talent wise, Kizer may be the best QB in the class.
14) Leonard Fournette, RB LSU – Somehow, Fournette has fallen out of the top-10 so the Eagles waste no time in getting their card to Roger Goodell and getting Carson Wentz a running back.
15) Haasan Reddick, OLB Temple – The Colts had next-to-no pass rush last season, so adding Reddick who can be a hybrid linebacker/edge rusher will suffice.
16) Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan – The Ravnes need weapons for Joe Flacco and Davis is the best receiver in the class. Easy decision here.
17) Taco Charlton, DE Michigan – Charlton should kill two birds with one stone for Washington, as a guy who can get to the quarterback and provide some support in stopping the run.
18) Mike Williams, WR Clemson – They addressed a need on defense with their first pick, this time around they go offense, getting some wide receiver help fo Marcus Mariota in the big bodies Mike Williams.
19) Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State – The Bucs added DeShean Jackson as a speedy receiver opposite of Mike Evans, only thing they’re missing offensively is a reliable back.
20) Garett Bolles, T Utah – He’s been dubbed the most athletic lineman of the class and Denver needs to solidify their offensive line in a big way. They pass on Ryan Ramczyk due to his injury history and take Bolles.
21) Zach Cunningham, LB Vanderbilt – Detroit needs some bodies in the middle of the defense and Cunningham offers some great range to make plays all over the field.
22) Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky – The Dolphins allowed five sacks on Matt Moore in their AFC Wild Card matchup against Pittsburgh. Protecting the QB will be a priority.
23) Ryan Ramczyk, T Wisconsin – He’s a value pick at this point. New York helps sure up the O-line by drafting Ramczyk.
24) Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford – Improving the defense is probably a more pressing need and even though it sounds like Marshawn Lynch will end his retirement and join his hometown team, adding McCaffrey as a versatile weapon out of the backfield would give this already explosive offense another dimension.
25) Patrick Mahomes, QB Texas Tech – The Texans rid themselves of Brock Osweiler and his ridiculous contract and probably thought they were getting Tony Romo. No dice. Now they’re still left without the most important position in the game and hope Mahomes can be the long-term answer.
26) Cam Robinson, T Alabama – Tempted to give the Seahawks Kevin King here, given all the Richard Sherman trade rumors, but they need to strengthen that O-lin in the worst way.
27) Jarrad Davis, LB Floria – With the 34-year-old Derrick Johnson coming off an Achillies tear, Kansas City needs to start thinking about the future of the position.
28) Charles Harris, DE Missouri – The Cowboys top priority is finding themsevles a pass rusher. Fortunately, they have a solid class of them to choose from and snag Harris in the first round.
29) Jabrill Peppers, S Michigan – After losing versatile safety Micah Hyde in free agency, why not replace him with another versatile player? Also at this point, Peppers has fallen so far, he’s a steal.
30) David Njoku, TE Miami – Defense should probably be the priority here, but just the other day Ben Roethlisberger channeled his inner LeBron James and made it known he wants more playmakers. They haven’t found a suitable replacement for Heath Miller and Njoku has fallen so far at this point, Pittsburgh can’t pass up taking him.
31) Malik McDowell, DT Michigan State – McDowell has fallen into the Falcons lap at this point and wouldn’t you know they need to bulk up in the trenches on defense.
32) John Ross, WR Washington – The Saints use the first round pick they acquired from the Patriots in the Brandin Cooks deal, to replace him with another speedy receiver.
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