Leave it to me to leave a mock draft to the last minute. I thought about submitting this to BucsNation.com but I haven’t touched Bucs District in too long. Time to get back in the swing of things!
This is a no-holds-barred mock. Trades, crazy picks, you name it. It’s a rough estimation of what I think will happen combined with what should happen (pick #8 should not happen, but then again neither should pick #2).
Tell me I’m a genius or tell me I’m an idiot, but tell me! Reply below or tweet me at @BucsDistrict!
1. Los Angeles – QB Jared Goff, California
This pick is a foregone conclusion. The Rams didn’t trade up to take anything other than a quarterback. Goff may not be the best prospect in this draft, but he’s the best passer which makes him a worthwhile number one pick.
2. Philadelphia – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota St.
If Philadelphia made this trade for anyone but Wentz, well, it is the Eagles. They gave up way too much for a quarterback with barely two years experience, but it’s a done deal now. Philly fans thought it couldn’t get worse after Chip. They were wrong.
3. San Diego – S Jalen Ramsey, Florida St.
Ramsey may be the best player in the draft. San Diego badly needs offensive line help, but they have a lot of guaranteed money tied up with their tackles. It’s hard to see them adding Laremy Tunsil just have him sit or play guard.
4. Dallas – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio St.
Unless Jerry Jones pulls his “I’m the owner” card and does something silly like take Ezekiel Elliot, Bosa is the pick here. They need an edge-rusher badly and Bosa is one best players on the board at this point.
5. Jacksonville – LB Myles Jack, UCLA
Without the injury concerns, Myles Jack might have gone even higher. In any case, I don’t see Jacksonville passing on the guy primed to be the heart of their defense. It is also possible they trade out of this pick to a team trying to grab Laremy Tunsil.
6. Baltimore – OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
The Ravens get a steal with Laremy Tunsil falling to them. He could be gone with any of the three preceding picks via trade. Ozzie Newsome wins the draft. Again.
7. San Francisco – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
The San Francisco defense is in a state of transition with their third coach in three years and many of their best starters from the Harbaugh era gone. The draft’s best defensive lineman just plain makes sense.
8. Cleveland – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Cleveland is still Cleveland so they reach big time for Paxton Lynch. At least they take a quarterback and not a running back, even if it is Ezekiel Elliot. Honestly, if Cleveland makes this pick, it will force everyone to change their draft plans.
9. Tennessee (from Tampa Bay) – OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
And so the trades begin. Tampa Bay has to be chomping on the bit to trade down and Tennesee has second round picks to use to go get Ronnie Stanley, their bookend to Taylor Lewan.
10. New York Giants – RB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio St.
The Giants surprise everyone with this one, but it makes sense. Elliot makes their offense a near powerhouse, taking pressure off a talent-limited defense. Try accounting for Elliot and Odell Beckham Jr. on the same field.
11. Chicago – CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
The first cornerback to goes to Chicago. Hargreaves is basically a shorter, twitchier version of Kyle Fuller. They could also go with either line, but Ryan Pace isn’t going to reach on the guys still available like Jack Conklin or even Shaq Lawson.
12. Indianapolis (from New Orleans) – LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
While GM Ryan Grigson has missed on many of the pass-rushers he’s drafted before, Floyd is a gift at the 18th pick. He’s a bit slight but he’s fast and athletic. He’ll be well schooled with Robert Mathis and Trent Cole still around.
13. Miami – LB Darron Lee, Ohio St.
Miami fails to trade up for Ezekiel Elliot or either of the top tackles, so they settle for the draft’s second best 4-3 outside linebacker.
14. Detroit (from Oakland) – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
With Tampa Bay trading down to 15, Detroit might get nervous that they’ll lose out on a top defensive tackle so they go up and get Sheldon Rankins. Losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley left the middle of their defense soft as ever. Rankins brings the draft’s best interior pass rush to the Lions defense.
15. Tampa Bay (from Tennessee) – LB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
What’s tough about this pick is figuring out what Jason Licht values in an edge defender. If he’s looking for pure pass rush, this pick is Noah Spence. If he wants a 3-down player, Lawson packs his bags for Tampa Bay. The swerve that’s not a swerve would be Andrew Billings, who makes that defensive interior utterly lethal. Spence ought to be the pick, but Licht’s marginal history drafting defensive players doesn’t provide much insight.
16. Oakland (from Detroit) – CB Mackenzie Alexander, Clemson
Oakland is transforming into an actual NFL team, but the secondary is still problematic. Alexander isn’t the best cornerback available, but he is the best fit for Oakland’s defense.
17. Atlanta – WR Josh Doctson, TCU
The Falcons pass offense sputtered last season because they have exactly one legitimate receiver, Julio Jones. Doctson is the best receiver in the draft, greater even than Treadwell. Opposing defenses will have a hard time defending two tall, physical receivers.
18. New Orleans (from Indianapolis) – WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
New Orleans has been gutting its offense thanks to Mickey Loomis’ awful cap management. Treadwell is the perfect possession receiver to replace Marques Colston and complement the smaller, speedier Brandin Cooks.
19. Buffalo – LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
With Paxton Lynch gone, Rex Ryan is going to make sure his defense looks like one of his defenses rather whatever it was he fielded last year. Ragland isn’t ultra athletic, but he’s a physical presence the middle of the Buffalo defense badly needs.
20. New York Jets – QB Connor Cook, Michigan St.
The Jets miss out on Paxton Lynch, but they desperately need a quarterback so Cook is the call. He gets a bad rap for his uneven play and reportedly sour leadership, yet he’s more productive than any passer going in the first round. Still, like pretty much every quarterback pick in the first round this year, this is a reach.
21. Washington – DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Billings is powerful and versatile, everything Washington needs. Adding him and Josh Norman makes that defense surprisingly formidable.
22. Houston – WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Houston’s offense was one-note last year, relying on Deandre Hopkins to carry a QB and RB carousel. Coleman is not a polished receiver, but Houston would be nuts to skip out.
23. Minnesota – S Keanu Neal, Florida
Keanu Neal + Harrison Smith = pain.
24. Cincinnati – WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
Cincy actually does better with its Day 2 picks so this “eh” pick should come as no surprise.
25. Pittsburgh – CB William Jackson III, Houston
Jackson III is a great fit for Pittsburgh and reinforces a shaky secondary.
26. Seattle – DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
Something about Robert Nkemdiche just seems very Seattle. It could be his insane quickness and power. This is a project move, but if it pans out, that defense is nastier than ever.
27. Green Bay -DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana St.
Another draft, another defensive lineman for Ted Thompson and the Packers.
28. Kansas City – WR Tyler Boyd, Pitt
This pick is just me going nuts. I have no idea what the Chiefs will do (I also don’t care what they do that much so…)
29. New England – Pick Forfeited for Deflategate
30. Arizona – C Ryan Kelly
Anyone else see that NFC Championship game? Time to shore up that offensive line.
31. Carolina – DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Carolina makes a lot of curious personnel decisions, but it more or less works out for them. Dodd is no sure thing, but don’t be surprised if he becomes a formidable pass-rusher.
32. Denver – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
No QB? No problem. They won a Super Bowl with a geriatric and a suffocating defense. Why not do it again?