The draft process is always a volatile time. As far as mock drafts go, you have to be watching very closely around the NFL. The Senior Bowl often brings new prospects to light, which shakes up draft boards. The combine always shows off superior athletes, some of whom sneak into the first round come April. Free agency can often change needs of teams. Reports of injuries or stories about players can also make their draft stock change. We have arrived at a point where mock drafts and draft boards are about to be rattled to their core. The on-field combine drills begin tomorrow and run through Monday. Three days after the combine ends, free agency begins. So, before all the madness begins, let’s get one more mock draft in.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Some things just don’t change when it comes to draft day. The Browns, even with their quarterback need, must address other areas in order to have a better situation for a young quarterback to prosper. Edge rusher is a big need for the Browns, and why not grab a guy who many believe is head and shoulders above the rest of the class.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Niners do have a lot in place to make leaps and bounds under new coach Kyle Shanahan. Two important spots remain as big holes: quarterback and corner. I think the Niners are still in play for Kirk Cousins, and even if they don’t end up landing him in a trade, there’s a chance they don’t have confidence in this QB class. So, turn to the secondary, and Marshon Lattimore, an extremely talented cover corner, stands out.
3. Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Bears have built an excellent front seven, but they, like the Niners, need help in the secondary and need to pinpoint their franchise quarterback. The Bears will lean towards a strong armed quarterback who can make throws all over the field and has sneaky athleticism.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
I’m keeping Fournette mocked to the Jaguars. Like I have said before, I think the Jags have a nice unit in place defensively, and their secondary needs can be filled later in the draft. What Jacksonville does need is to give Bortles some help in the running game. Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon are not enough. Fournette could dominate the combine and has enormous potential.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
There’s no secret that the Titans need to revamp their secondary. Someone on the back end who has versatility like Adams can help. Adams has the ability to offer run support while still having the range to play on the back end of the defense in coverage.
6. New York Jets: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
These two safeties are not going to last long. Malik Hooker has the best range anyone has seen in quite a while. That range, combined with his ball skills, will start the rebuilding process in the Jets secondary.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Chargers have a lot of options, but we have seen what happens when Philip Rivers doesn’t have weapons. He tries to do too much. With Keenan Allen coming off another major injury, it may be time to find another number one. Mike Williams can win jump balls, but he can also separate on short and intermediate routes.
8. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
The Panthers could go in a variety of directions. They did franchise Kawann Short, but they still need someone to help out off the edge. Allen can rush from the interior or come off the edge, and that presence could take pressure off of the Panther secondary.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
If you’ve seen my big board, you know how high I am on Foster. If you haven’t, he’s number two on my top 50 board. I’m that high on him. He is going to be a special player. The Bengals have struggled in the middle of the field for some time, and who knows how much they can trust Burfict going forward. Foster can contribute immediately on this defense.
10. Buffalo Bills: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Two positions always get over drafted. One of those positions is quarterback, for obvious reasons. Everyone wants to have a franchise QB. The Bills don’t seem sold on Tyrod Taylor, but they may fall in love with what Watson brings to the table. Many have issues with his decision making, but the true gamer in Watson will attract suitors.
11. New Orleans Saints: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
The buzz is still growing on this guy. Some analysts now have him ahead of Allen on their boards. While I think that’s a little too far, I am a huge fan of Thomas. He is like Allen in that he can rush from the interior or be a solid edge player. Having him opposite Cam Jordan is a dream scenario for the Saints.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles): OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Yes, Browns fans, I know you all want a quarterback. But why reach for an unknown at this point? No one has separated themselves as of now. So, let’s continue adding pieces on both sides of the ball. Howard can do it all as a tight end. He can stay in and block, but he can stretch the seam and be a QB’s best friend.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Cardinals have needs in the secondary and at wide receiver. With pieces like Patrick Peterson and Ty Mathieu in place, why grab a corner here? Well, Wilson has the size and ability to be a great number two opposite Peterson, which allows Ty to roam around the secondary. This could be a lethal group.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
With rumors swirling about Brandin Cooks and his possible trade destinations, this pick could eventually change. But, for now, Carson Wentz needs weapons. Corey Davis is my favorite receiver in the class. His route running ability is unparalleled in the class, and he would fit real well in Philly.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Not much of a surprise here. The Colts desperately need help on defense, and a guy like Barnett, with a relentless motor, could fit right in and change the culture of this defense.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Ravens are in desperate need of a pass rusher for the future. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are both well into their 30s, and there’s no guarantee that they can continue to produce. Ozzie Newsome clearly likes bigger guys off the edge, and Charlton fits his bill.
17. Washington Redskins: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The Redskins need to start finding pieces to help out their defense, especially when it comes to the secondary. Marlon Humphrey has the speed to run with defenders, but his physicality has proved he is worthy of a first round pick.
18. Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington
The Titans have a chance to really make waves with their two first round picks. They got a blue chip safety with their first pick, and now they turn to the offense. John Ross has some DeSean Jackson and Brandin Cooks in him, but he’s also a bit more polished as a route runner. His ability to generate separation will help the development of Marcus Mariota.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami
Njoku was a name I hadn’t heard much of in the fall, but more analysts and scouts took notice of his tape this winter. He is extremely athletic, and has a chance to push OJ Howard as the best tight end in the class. He is a bit raw, but his potential is great. Plus, Jameis Winston could use another weapon.
20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Broncos could think about revamping their defense, especially on the interior of the defensive line, but there’s too much of a need on the offensive line. The Broncos won a Super Bowl title thanks in part to the holes they opened for CJ Anderson and company. They faltered last season because of the line, and now they have a chance to grab Bolles, who can start from day one.
21. Detroit Lions: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
The Lions need help in a multitude of spots. One of those would be the secondary, where they need help to stop the likes of Aaron Rodgers and his receivers. Putting a guy like Tabor across from Darius Slay would help out a ton.
22. Miami Dolphins: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Jarrad Davis might be closer to Reuben Foster in the rankings then you might think. He brings a similar skill set to the table. He is a great downhill player and is underrated in coverage. He would complement Kiko Alonso well.
23. New York Giants: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The slide of Cook stops right here. The Giants clearly struggled running the ball last season, and it didn’t help losing Shane Vereen down the stretch. Dalvin Cook can do it all. He has breakaway speed and can be a factor in the passing game. He will bring balance to the Giants.
24. Oakland Raiders: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
This just seems like a perfect fit for the Raiders. A long, rangy corner who will impress at the combine this week. The Raiders need help in the secondary, and Jones would help solve those issues.
25. Houston Texans: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
It’s hard for me to leave Peppers out of the first round. Why? I think if he goes to the right team, they can use his strengths to build a foundational defender. It’s anyone guess where he could land at this point. The Texans could use some help both at safety and at linebacker. Peppers might be able to carve out a weak side linebacker/slot corner role in an excellent defense.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
The Seahawks desperately need offensive line help. Their offensive line was one of the big reason why the offense could move the ball in their Super Bowl seasons. They need to get back to that style of football. Ramczyk is a true technician at left tackle.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Cunningham is another name that flies under the radar. He has similar skills to the linebackers taken in front of him, and he has really improved against the run and pass this past season. The Chiefs need someone to take the place of aging vet Derrick Johnson, so this is a perfect fit.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
The only reason that McKinley is falling this far right now is because he will have shoulder surgery after the combine. I have seen great things on tape. His ability to stack up against the run and be a fastball off the edge could shoot him up the board despite his injury. Dallas needs a player who can be a game wrecker.
29. Green Bay Packers: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
Packer fans will not be happy about this, but I think anyone who is level headed knows that Ted seems to deviate from what we think he will do. With TJ Lang and JC Tretter both set to test the free agent market, the Packers could plug Lamp in at guard, where they could get Pro Bowl returns.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Haason Reddick, LB/EDGE, Temple
With the way he performed at the Senior Bowl, combined with his versatility, there’s no way he escapes the first round. What do the Steelers get with this pick? A guy who can help off the edge on passing downs? Check. Someone who can be paired with Ryan Shazier? Check. An heir apparent to Lawrence Timmons? Check. He checks all the boxes for Pittsburgh.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
They have found interior presence with the emergence of Grady Jarrett. Now, they need to help out Vic Beasley off the edge. Harris wasn’t talked about much on an underperforming Missouri team, but the tape doesn’t lie. Harris is worthy of a first round pick based on his ability to get to the quarterback (check out his wicked spin move).
32. New England Patriots: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Conley is definitely worthy of a first round selection. The Patriots often draft versatile players who fit their system, and they might end up trading this pick anyway. But, let’s assume they stand pat. Conley is a big and physical corner that could fill the possible loss of Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan.
Questions? Comments? Disagree with the picks? Comment here or get at me on Twitter @JSchyvinck13.
Jake Schyvinck covers the NFL and NFL Draft for The Sports Guys. Follow him on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 for tons of coverage during the combine, and if you have draft questions.