Alright, the NFL Draft is less than a week away now. Soon all this mock stuff will all be over and we’ll have actual players to talk about. But since we’re not quite there yet, here’s the second of my final three mock drafts leading up to draft day.
Unlike the first one, where I covered only the first round and kept every team in their original draft position, this second one goes up until the Bills second round pick at 44 and all bets are off. Teams can make trades to move up or down, and (hint) some do. So without further ado, enjoy!
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 – There’s a high possibility we see the first quarterback off the board here, but San Francisco has a lot of needs, especially on the defensive side, and can’t pass on the elite pass-rushing talent of Thomas.
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) Leonard Fournette, RB LSU – T.J. Yeldon hasn’t been a consistent enough back for them, and one way to take some pressure off of Blake Bortles is to give him a complimentary back in the backfield.
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) TRADE (from Jets): Jonathan Allen, DT Alabama – The Jets really wanted Lattimore, but after missing out on him the value isn’t there to take a CB in this class, so they move back and acquire some draft capital in return.
7) Malik Hooker, S Ohio State – The Chargers desperately missed Eric Weddle 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) Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee – Cinncinatti has a handful of needs to address, but they choose to address their lack of edge rushers with Barnett.
10) TRADE (From Bills): Mitch Trubisky, QB North Carolina – Trubisky was still likely to be on the board by the time another QB-needy team, Cleveland, picks at 12. Arizona desperately wants to find the aging Carson Palmer’s predecessor, and fearful they’ll miss out on the best in the class, they trade their 13th pick to Buffalo along with their third round pick, 77th overall, and a fourth rounder for next season, to move up to 10 and snare Trubisky. It’s a lofty price to pay, but for a franchise QB, they do it.
11) TRADE (From Jets…from Saints) – Patrick Mahomes, QB Texas Tech – After watching Arizona make a move to jump the Browns and go get their guy, Houston is feeling both inspired and panicked to do the same. Meanwhile, the Jets trade back again, acquiring and acquire even more draft capital for themselves.
12) DeShaun Watson, QB Clemson – A little frustrated that they missed out on Trubisky, Cleveland still needs a quarterback and settles for Watson.
13) TRADE (from Cardinals): Haason Reddick, OLB Temple – Sean McDermott’s admission that this cornerback class was very deep, combined with the fact that during his Carolina days they found Josh Norman in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, there’s a good chance he can address that need later on in the draft. In the meantime, Buffalo turns their attention towards another defensive need, linebacker, which is a top-heavy position class. Reddick displays excellent pass-rushing ability, range and awareness and could fit nicely in McDermott’s defense as that weakside backer. He will, however, have to improve on his coverage skills at the next level. McDermott loves players that are versatile and Reddick fits that mold perfectly as a former safety, turned linebacker. If the Bills do decide to wait on drafting a cornerback or wide receiver, Reddick is a very real option in the first round.
14) Christian McCaffery, RB Stanford – The Eagles traded up all the way to No. 2 last year to ensure they got themselves a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, now they use the pick they acquired from Minnesota in the Sam Bradford trade, to give him a versatile weapon out of the backfield.
15) Garett Bolles, T Utah – Andrew Luck just revealed that he had shoulder surgery back in January, to repair an injury from two seasons ago. With that fresh in their minds, the Colts aren’t messing around anymore when it comes to protecting their biggest asset. Bolles has been dubbed the most athletic lineman of the class and can help solidify Indy’s offensive line.
16) Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan – The Ravens need weapons for Joe Flacco and Davis is the best receiver in the class. Easy decision here.
17) Reuben Foster, LB Alabama – Great value here for Washington by taking Foster. Talent wise, he’s argueably the best linebacker of the class and has fallen a bit here.
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, now they get themselves a reliable running back out of the backfield and a fellow Seminole of Jameis Winston.
20) Ryan Ramczyk, T Wisconsin – Ramczyk injury history has him as the second tackle to come off the board, as the Broncos get themselves some o-line help.
21) Taco Charlton, DE Michigan – The Lions defense was second to last in the league last year in sacks. Charlton should help change that.
22) Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky – The Dolphins allowed five sacks on Matt Moore in their AFC Wild Card lose to Pittsburgh. They’ll prioritize protecting the quarterback.
23) David Njoku, TE Miami – It’s no secret that the Giants were a pass first team in 2016. With that in mind, they select Njoku to give Eli Manning a new, big weapon to throw to.
24) Malik McDowell, DT Michigan State – In anticipation that Marshawn Lynch is unretiring to join them, missing out on the top three RBs isn’t an issue. Instead, Oakland can focus on improving the defense and do so by adding McDowell to their front seven.
25) TRADE (from Houston): Gareon Conley, CB Ohio State – New York is done trading back. They make their first pick of the draft and fill a huge need at CB with Conley.
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 at the position.
28) Charles Harris, DE Missouri – The Cowboys top priority is finding themselves a pass rusher. Fortunately, they have a solid class of them to choose from and snag Harris in the first round.
29) Kevin King, CB Iowa – The Packers pass defense was abysmal last season, so in an effort to improve the back end they add King into the mix.
30) Jabril Peppers, S Michigan – Peppers just feels destined for the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s defense thrives with these hybrid players. They could certainly find a use for his athleticism.
31) Zach Cunningham, OLB Vanderbilt – The majority of the Falcon’s needs revolve around strengthening the defense and adding depth. Cunningham does that.
32) John Ross, WR Washington – The Saints found a way to swing that deal with the Jets to move up to six without giving up pick 32. Now, this pick – acquired as part of the Brandin Cooks trade to New England – could easily be flipped back to the Patriots for Malcolm Butler, but if not, New Orlenas could use it to replace Cooks with a new speedster in John Ross.
33) Obi Melifonwu, S UConn – It’s back to addressing defense for the Browns in round 2.
34) DeShone Kizer, QB Notre Dame – After addressing a defensive need in round 1, new head coach Kyle Shanahan gets himself a potential franchise quarterback in round two.
35) Carl Lawson, DE Auburn – Dante Fowler hasn’t lived up to the hype, so Jacksonville grabs some insurance at defensive end.
36) Takkarist McKinley, OLB UCLA – After missing out on the top 4 quarterbacks entirely, Chicago goes defense again. McKinley is a value pick at this point. Best player still available.
37) T.J. Watt, OLB Wisconsin – The Rams draft for the first time, adding Watt, who – like his brother – can get after opposing quarterbacks.
38) Dan Feeney, G Indiana – In the second round, Los Angeles prioritizes protecting Phillip Rivers.
39) Budda Baker, SS Washington – Two picks in, and the Jets have already revamped their secondary immensely.
40) Alvin Kamara, RB Tennesee – Caolina missed out on Fournette in the first round, but get address that need one round later by selecting Kamara.
41) Dion Dawkins, G Temple – Cincy got a pass-rusher in the first round, now they focus on the o-line.
42) TRADE (from Saints): Jordan Willis, DE Kansas State – Yet another defensive pick for the Jets. This time they snare a pass rusher.
43) Chidobe Awuzle, CB Colorado – A value pick and fills a need for the Eagles.
44) Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama – Ironically enough, the player I had Buffalo taking at 10 in my first mock draft, falls to them at 44 in this two round draft. To clarify, no, I don’t have a crazy infacuation with Humphrey, but other corners like Gareon Conley and Kevin King have seen their stock rise past Humphrey leading up to the draft, so I do think I had him overvalued in that first mock. Late first round, early second round seems to be that soft spot where he’ll be taken. The Bills have already had Humphrey in for a visit, so they’re interested, and his unique size, strength and speed would make him a valuable asset in McDermott’s defense. As far as going defense with the first two picks, McDermott is a defensive minded coach, but no, I haven’t forgotten about receiver. This receiver class is so deep though, so I think there will be some extremely viable options available in the third round. Stay tuned for my three round mock draft next week and you’ll see what I mean…
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