It’s many football fans’ favorite time of the year: Draft Day. Why? Because everyone is a winner on Draft Day. Even if your team gets ripped off in a trade, reaches on a player, or picks the wrong position, the draft gives hope to NFL viewers. Fans think to themselves, “Maybe, just maybe, this is the guy who is going to turn this around.” It’s a beautiful day in the NFL, and one of the most fun nights on the sports calendar. This is my final mock, a simple first round prediction with no trades. Enjoy or criticize as you feel necessary.
1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, Quarterback, California: The Rams went all out on trading up for the number one pick, so the selection will most definitely be Quarterback. Reports say they like Jared Goff more than Carson Wentz.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State University: Much like the Rams, you do not trade as much as the Eagles did to move up to the top spot in the draft to take anything but a Quarterback. Goff is gone, Wentz is Philly’s man here.
3. San Diego Chargers – Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame: Whatever decision the Chargers make impacts the entire first round. They could go in many different directions with the third overall pick. Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, DeForest Buckner, Joey Bosa, and Ronnie Stanley are all options here. They should take Tunsil, but reports claim they prefer Stanley. They take the pass protector here to keep Phil Rivers upright.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, Florida State: Much like San Diego, the Cowboys have many options here. Ultimately, they will take the best defensive player and arguably the best overall talent in the draft and plug him in as a starter immediately. Ramsey is the pick.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Vernon Hargreaves, Defensive Back, Florida: Myles Jack would make sense here, but more and more reports about the linebacker falling outside of the top ten due to injury concerns are prevalent. The Jaguars still need major help on defense, especially in their secondary. They miss out on Ramsey, but Hargreaves is a good Plan B.
6. Baltimore Ravens – Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi: Ozzie Newsome will take the best player available, and luckily for Baltimore it will come at a position of need. They will get what many believe to be the top player in the draft in Laremy Tunsil, who was originally projected to be the first overall selection before the Tennessee Titans traded away the pick.
7. San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner, Defensive Lineman, Oregon: Many reports claim the 49ers are infatuated with DeForest Buckner, and rightfully so. He is a blue-chip prospect and they would be lucky to have him.
8. Cleveland Browns – Joey Bosa, Edge Rusher, Ohio State: The Browns could very well trade out of this spot to a team who wants Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Floyd, or Sheldon Rankins, but if they stay they will take Bosa to help solidify their defense. Some project them to take Elliott, but if the Browns are all about value then taking a running back top ten would not make sense.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State: Tampa Bay has a lot of options here, but they need to protect their investment in Jameis Winston. Conklin makes sense here.
10. New York Giants – Leonard Floyd, Edge Rusher, Georgia: The Giants have spent the off-season rebuilding their defense, they will continue that trend here by adding Floyd to their pass rush.
11. Chicago Bears – Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Ohio State: The Bears need play-makers, and Elliott is the top one on the board. Recent reports also state that the Bears love the Buckeye running back.
12. New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Lineman, Louisville: The Saints need all the help they can get on defense. Rankins is a top ten talent, so getting him here would be great value for New Orleans.
13. Miami Dolphins – William Jackson III, Defensive Back, Houston: Miami needs secondary help bad. They will miss out on Ramsey and Hargreaves, but Jackson will be there for the taking.
14. Oakland Raiders – Reggie Ragland, Linebacker, Alabama: The Raiders would largely benefit from Ragland eating up the middle of the field to free up more space for Khalil Mack. A Mack/Ragland tandem would be fun to watch in Oakland.
15. Tennessee Titans – Eli Apple, Defensive Back, Ohio State: Tennessee needs help on defense, and Apple fills a position of need at cornerback for them. Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau would love to have a talent like Apple in his secondary.
16. Detroit Lions – Laquon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Mississippi: There is no such thing as a replacement for Calvin Johnson, but Treadwell is the best receiver in the draft and the Lions would benefit from his help across Golden Tate.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Kevin Dodd, Edge Rusher, Clemson: Atlanta needs pass rush, and Dodd would be a nice fit to pair on the edges with Vic Beasley.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Taylor Decker, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State: If the Colts do anything other than draft protection for Andrew Luck, they will have made a mistake.
19. Buffalo Bills – Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA: Reports are now stating Jack will fall out of the top ten. If he falls to Buffalo, they would be out of their minds not to take him. Jack is a stud, and worth the potential injury risk at 19th overall. Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley should be salivating if the linebacker falls to them.
20. New York Jets – Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis: There is a strong possibility Lynch gets picked before the Jets have a chance to take him themselves. It is likely someone will trade up for the quarterback, but if he falls to New York they will have to strongly consider taking him since Ryan Fitzpatrick is still not under contract.
21. Washington – Andrew Billings, Defensive Lineman, Baylor: Washington needs a nose tackle, and Billings is a perfect fit. The value is good here as well.
22. Houston Texans – Shaq Lawson, Edge Rusher, Clemson: The Texans might want to take a wide receiver to give Brock Osweiller more weapons, but imagine adding Lawson to a defensive front with JJ Watt, Vince Wilfork, and Jadeveon Clowney? A quarterback’s nightmare for sure.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Josh Doctson, Wide Receiver, TCU: Teddy Bridgewater needs more targets to throw to, and Doctson would make a nice pairing with Stefon Diggs.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Lineman, Alabama: Robinson would be a steal this late in the draft, and he would fill a position of need for the Bengals. He would fit in well with Marvin Lewis’ tough defense.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Karl Joseph, Defensive Back, West Virginia: If anyone needs secondary help, its the Steelers. Joseph would start and contribute at safety immediately.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Kelly, Center, Alabama: The Seahawks offensive line never recovered after trading Max Unger, and Russell Wilson ultimately paid the price for it. They will invest in protecting their franchise quarterback.
27. Green Bay Packers – Darron Lee, Linebacker, Ohio State: The Packers would be very lucky to have Lee fall to them. With Clay Matthews moving back to edge rusher, Lee would start at linebacker for them on day one and give them the athleticism they have been lacking in the middle of the field.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Corey Coleman, Wide Receiver, Baylor: Andy Reid needs more receiving options outside of Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce. Coleman would be a nice addition to an offense in dire need of an explosive wide receiver.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Jarran Reed, Defensive Lineman, Alabama: Reed would be a steal this late in the draft, and would contribute right away to Arizona’s defensive front.
30. Carolina Panthers – Artie Burns, Defensive Back, Miami: After losing Josh Norman, the Panthers have a hole to fill at cornerback. With Burns, the Panthers would fill that hole with a talented player that could start on day one.
31. Denver Broncos – Connor Cook, Quarterback, Michigan State: The Broncos may pull off a trade for a veteran quarterback at some point during the next three days. However, they have not done that yet, so they need to draft a guy they believe can be a franchise quarterback. Cook makes sense here.