Pre-Snap Reads Mock Draft 2.0
In this mock draft, I will make selections that I think teams should make but I will restrict my options to ones that are realistic based on the widespread media coverage. In other words, this is what I would do except I won’t put Vernon Adams in the first round.
1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB.
Both the Rams and Eagles have to take quarterbacks, they’ve given up too much to add another position. Goff is the best of the realistic options. He could help the Rams a lot as a rookie starter if the offense is focused on Todd Gurley as expected.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB.
It is what it is.
3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE.
I’ve thought about this pick a lot and I think you can go in a variety of directions if you’re the Chargers. I think Tunsil would be the best pick but I can also understand the Chargers’ reluctance because they have money invested in their offensive tackles already. Jalen Ramsey is obviously appealing but there should be good safety options atop round two. Buckner would make an immediate impact as a disruptive and resilient interior lineman.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, S.
Ramsey could immediately be the Cowboys starting strong safety, allowing Byron Jones to drop back into a more natural position of free safety. Ramsey could play some cornerback also, his skill set would diversify the back seven while improving the overall athleticism. Joey Bosa would make a lot of sense here too but the Cowboys will likely wait until the top of round two to add another skill position player.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE.
In this scenario this pick will come down to Bosa and Myles Jack. Jack’s health concerns will probably push it in Bosa’s favor and I’m okay with that. Bosa would address a major need for the Jaguars ahead of a critical season for the current regime.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, T.
7. *Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, T.
With Tunsil off the board and the 49ers left without an obvious option, the Bears and 49ers work out a deal that lands the Bears their long-term left tackle.
8. *Oakland Raiders: Myles Jack, MLB.
If the Oakland Raiders really want to make that leap into the playoffs this year, this is the type of move that could push them there. Ben Heeney may have flashed starting ability but Jack is a game changer. They would give the Browns their first and second round picks.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sheldon Rankins, DT.
Pair Rankins with Gerald McCoy, destroy worlds, prosper.
10. New York Giants: Leonard Floyd, EDGE/LB.
I think this pick should be Josh Doctson, I think it will be Jack Conklin. Of the regularly linked names, Leonard Floyd is the most appealing. He would bring much-needed athleticism as an off-ball linebacker while coming off the edge on passing downs across from Olivier Vernon.
11. San Francisco 49ers: Shaq Lawson, EDGE.
Lawson is a value pick for the 49ers at this point in the draft. His talent says he should have gone in the top 10 but that’s just the way the draft fell.
12. New Orleans Saints: Vernon Hargreaves, CB.
The Saints have a few cornerbacks who they are hopeful for but their interest in Josh Norman highlights their need to add options outside. Hargreaves has the potential to be a true shutdown cornerback in the NFL.
13. Miami Dolphins: William Jackson III, CB.
The Dolphins would probably take Ezekiel Elliott in this scenario but they are crying out for help in the secondary. Jackson is a big body who could play press across from Byron Maxwell.
14. Cleveland Browns: Josh Doctson, WR.
Nobody really knows what the specifics are of the Browns’ analytical approach but it’s unlikely that Josh Doctson’s combine performance hurt him. Doctson would be the best receiver that the Browns have had since Josh Gordon.
15. Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, T
Taylor Decker would be the better pick for the Titans but Jack Conklin is close to consensus right now so being realistic we stay with that choice.
16. *Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB.
The Cowboys can’t watch Elliott fall any further. They go all in on winning one more Super Bowl with Tony Romo, giving up a 2017 first-round pick and their second round pick in this draft. Elliott behind that offensive line with Ramsey on the other side of the field.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB.
I’d like to put Cody Whitehair here but everywhere you look people are projecting Darron Lee in this spot. Lee or Myles Jack if he falls. Anything else feels unrealistic.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, T.
Taylor Decker is an overwhelmingly popular pick for the Colts here so we default to the consensus even though defensive players make more sense.
19. Buffalo Bills: Reggie Ragland, LB.
The Bills have a lot of needs and Ragland is an ideal fit with Rex Ryan.
20. New York Jets: Corey Coleman, WR.
The Jets need a quarterback but they aren’t going to find one worth taking here. Coleman is not the second best receiver in this class but he would be an ideal complement to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in Chan Gailey’s scheme.
21. Washington: Karl Joseph, S.
Joseph is a rangy, physical and disciplined safety. Putting him inside of Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland would allow Washington to make a major leap forward with their secondary from 2015 to 2016.
22. Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR.
Consensus suggests this is going to be Will Fuller. It should be Ryan Kelly but we’ll default to the consensus to stick with as realistic an outcome as possible.
23. *Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly, C.
The Cardinals are in win now mode, evidenced by the trade for Chandler Jones. Kelly is one of the best players in this class. He can step in and start for the Cardinals from day one, significantly improving their running game and offering an anchor in pass protection.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: LaQuon Treadwell, WR.
Treadwell makes a lot of sense for the Bengals. They would make use of his blocking ability, scheme him open and Dalton would trust him to win the ball in the air like he did Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackenzie Alexander, CB.
With Senquez Golson returning, the Steelers would give themselves some versatility by adding Alexander. This could very easily be Eli Apple, as the Steelers have an affinity for Ohio State prospects, but Alexander is the better cornerback. This could signal a move to safety for William Gay.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Nkemdiche, DT.
The Seahawks need offensive linemen and Cody Whitehair is on the board but no rational human being could expect them to take him. Nkemdiche has phenomenal talent as a penetrating interior presence. The Seahawks could coach him up some while absorbing any character concerns.
27. Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings, NT.
A wide receiver here would be a good selection for the Packers, but Michael Thomas isn’t as talented a receiver as Andrew Billings is a nose tackle.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Kevin Dodd, EDGE.
The Chiefs can’t rely on Dee Ford and chances are Justin Houston won’t be ready to start the season. Dodd would project as the short-term starter for Houston and the long-term replacement for Tamba Hali.
29. Minnesota Vikings: Michael Thomas, WR.
The Vikings can go a lot of ways in the first round of this draft and none of them are overwhelmingly attractive. Thomas is the best receiver available and he will help Teddy Bridgewater create big plays downfield.
30. Carolina Panthers: Eli Apple, CB.
Losing Josh Norman cost the Panthers a cornerback who could turn and run with receivers down the sideline. Apple would give them a defensive back with that kind of athleticism.
31. Denver Broncos: Cody Whitehair, G.
This draft is working under the presumption that the Broncos figure out their quarterback situation with a trade. Whitehair is a plug-and-play guard who perfectly fits what Gary Kubiak wants to do.
32. Cleveland Browns: Chris Jones, DL.
33. Tennessee Titans: Noah Spence, EDGE.
Spence would be a part-time player as a rookie, playing primarily on passing downs.
34. Detroit Lions: Vernon Butler, DL.
Butler is great value here as a penetrating defensive tackle.
35. San Diego Chargers: Darian Thompson, S.
Thompson isn’t Ramsey but at this point of the draft he doesn’t need to be.
36. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Bullard, DL.
In the Ravens’ multiple scheme, Bullard offers great value.
37. San Francisco 49ers: Hunter Henry, TE.
The 49ers tight end depth chart is devoid of talent.
38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Keanu Neal, SS.
Neal offers the intimidation that Jonathn Cyprien never has.
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sterling Shepard, WR.
Not just a slot receiver but someone who could thrive inside for the Buccaneers.
40. New York Giants: Vonn Bell, S.
Bell could be a viable complement to Landon Collins even if not a spectacular addition.
41. Chicago Bears: Kendall Fuller, CB.
The Bears add Kendall to Kyle, but more importantly get a slot CB to play in nickel.
42. *Indianapolis Colts: Su’a Cravens, LB/S.
The Colts need middle-of-the-field speed whether it’s at linebacker or safety. Cravens could split time between both.
43. Tennessee Titans: Jarran Reed, NT.
Reed falls because of his limited pass-rushing ability. Dick LeBeau’s next Casey Hampton.
44. Cleveland Browns: Paxton Lynch, QB.
Kaepernick-like in his skill set. A project for Hue Jackson.
45. Tennessee Titans: Jaylon Smith, LB.
Dick LeBeau loves his linebackers. Smith is an obvious risk but offers huge long-term upside.
46. Detroit Lions: Jason Spriggs, T.
Spriggs will need some time to refine his athleticism but could be the long-term option at RT.
47. New Orleans Saints: Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE.
The Saints take a risk on an athlete in the hopes he can quickly develop into an impact player.
48. Miami Dolphins: C.J. Prosise, RB.
Prosise is a better complement to Ajayi than Derrick Henry.
49. Buffalo Bills: A’Shawn Robinson, DT.
A second Alabama front seven defender for Rex Ryan.
50. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Westerman, G.
Westerman should fit perfectly in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. An immediate upgrade over Andy Levitre.
51. New York Jets: Connor Cook, QB.
Cook has a lot of talent but needs to avoid the major mistakes.
52. Houston Texans: Nick Martin, C.
A day one starter who offers Brock Osweiler a strong, if not exceptionally mobile partner.
53. Washington: Javon Hargrave, DL.
Washington have two clear needs, safety and defensive line. Hargrave is an obvious option.
54. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Green, S.
Mike Zimmer likes athletes that he can mold into football players.
55. Cincinnati Bengals: Braxton Miller, Gadget.
The Bengals need someone to replace Mohamed Sanu, Miller and Treadwell would reload the offense.
56. Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, T.
The Seahawks would grab Ifedi and hope that he could be their starting right tackle from day one.
57. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, DT.
Ted Thompson doubles down on defensive linemen like he did on cornerbacks last year.
58. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Boyd, WR.
Ben Roethlisberger has lost his sure-handed tight end in Heath Miller, so Boyd can come in and carry out the same role from the slot.
59. *Carolina Panthers: Paul Perkins, RB.
Derrick Henry is tempting but Perkins is similar to Jonathan Stewart in style and quality.
60. New England Patriots: Joshua Garnett, G.
Garnett is a value pick at this point for the Patriots but his physicality could immediately slide him into the starting lineup.
61. New England Patriots: Derrick Henry, RB.
The Patriots are going to try and run through all of these smaller, faster defenses that are developing across the league.
62. Kansas City Chiefs: Austin Johnson, DT.
Johnson will probably land somewhere as a nose tackle, but in Kansas City he and Dontari Poe could swallow blockers as a two-man line in nickel packages.
63. Denver Broncos: Maliek Collins, DT.
The departure of Malik Jackson leaves Wade Philips looking for a penetrating interior presence alongside Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams.