It’s that time again.
The NFL Draft is just about here and since everyone else on the planet has a mock draft we figured hey, why not add to the zaniness? Some of these picks are what I actually believe will happen; others are things I simply would like to see happen for the entertainment value.
With the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select:
1) Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
This guy can wreck a game in a hurry. If Paul DePodesta’s computer does not spit out Garrett as the number one pick then it either has a virus or he has been replaced by Jonah Hill. Again.
2) 49ers – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio St.
San Francisco is switching to a 4-3 defense and they need more defensive linemen. One of the reasons for the switch is they want to do what the division rival Seahawks do. The Seahawks defense is not the same without Earl Thomas at safety. The Niners go get Hooker to be their Earl Thomas.
3) Bears – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Chicago is not going to reach for a QB here. They are in a division with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford so getting another guy to get after the passer is a good idea, especially when it’s a guy like Thomas who is productive inside or outside.
4) Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Blake Bortles needs more help from the running game. Fournette is the most physical back in this class. Good fit in a good spot.
5) Titans – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Marcus Mariota loved throwing to Delanie Walker but he’s 12 years in. Tennessee gets the best tight end in the Draft to help the development of their young quarterback.
6) Jets – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
The Jets always take a defensive lineman, right? Might as well go with a guy from the Saban stable who comes in ready to contribute immediately.
7) Browns – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Yes is where the Chargers are picking but I see them trading down. Cleveland is going to start to panic because they love Trubisky and they have Brock Osweiler under center right now. Brock Osweiler. Cleveland knows the Bolts will be willing to move out of this spot for the 12th overall pick plus a 2nd rounder next year (the Browns have three of them to play with).
8) Panthers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Cam Newton has guys he can go down the field with. He needs a versatile playmaker to bail him out underneath and McCaffrey can be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
9) Bengals - Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
Cincinnati needs youth and athleticism on its defensive front. This kid has been rocketing up Draft boards and can line up in several spots for the Bengals.
10) Bills – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
They need a WR in a bad way but when a top-5 talent at another position of need falls in their lap they go with the smart play. Lattimore is graded by many as the best pure cover corner in this class.
11) Saints – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
They should go with a pass rusher because that is hands down their biggest need. But when Williams is there they won’t be able to help themselves and get another elite target for Drew Brees.
12) Buccaneers – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Yes this is where the Chargers would be picking after their trade with the Browns but Tampa Bay needs a safety. They know for sure Adams, who is 1-A to Hooker’s 1, will not get by the Cardinals at 13 so they send the 19th overall pick plus their 4th rounder (125th overall) to the Chargers.
13) Cardinals – Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama
They don’t see another safety worth taking at 13 so they go with another position of need. Foster’s shady drug test is not going to scare them off because he might be the best inside linebacker in the nation and Arizona is either old or undersized in the middle.
14) Eagles – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Philadelphia needs a corner and Humphrey is a big, athletic guy on the outside. He is not a great pure cover corner but has the recovery speed to make up for it. Plus scouts say he has the makeup to improve with time.
15) Colts – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Indianapolis is in dire need of pass rush help. They check that box in a big way with Barnett, who can use his hands like Joey Bosa and was productive for three years in the SEC.
16) Ravens – John Ross, WR, Washington
He clocked a 4.22 at the NFL Combine. 4.22. That’s not running fast, that’s flying low. Joe Flacco has the big arm to get Ross the ball down the field so Baltimore brings in the Draft’s ultimate home run threat.
17) Redskins – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Tired of constantly wondering if Kirk Cousins will ever sign a long-term deal, Washington goes for the high-upside Mahomes and gives him a year to learn in Jay Gruden’s system before taking over in 2018.
18) Titans – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Mariota’s dream Draft continues. Tennessee adds another playmaker to a team that is very much in the playoff conversation in 2017.
19) Chiefs – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Yes this is where the Chargers would have picked after their trade with the Bucs but Kansas City is serious about wanting to find Alex Smith’s successor. They don’t think he’ll get past Denver at 20 because Mike McCoy knows they really have nothing to work with (Paxton Lynch is headed to bustville). KC sends the 27th overall pick and a 3rd round pick this year (91st overall) to the Chargers to get Watson, who is a good fit for Andy Reid’s system.
20) Broncos – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Broncos need to upgrade their line in a bad way so they get the massive Robinson. He’s probably better suited as a right tackle but they’ll give him a shot to stay on the left side in Denver.
21) Lions – T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Detroit has a desperate need for help at linebacker and Watt is a demon. He’s one of those guys you look at and 3-4 or 4-3 fit don’t apply, he’s just a football player. Plus he kind of has decent NFL bloodlines.
22) Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
Unless he is found smoking out of a gas mask Miami will take the fast-rising interior lineman. Actually, it’s the Dolphins. Even if he is smoking out of a gas mask Miami will grab him up because the original gas mask smoker Laremy Tunsil is moving back out to tackle this year.
23) Giants – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida St.
We know they can throw the ball but they have not been able to run it. With Cook on the board they get Eli Manning a good option to hand it off to.
24) Raiders – Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
There are concerns about durability but Las Oakland needs a linebacker and Davis is far too talented to pass on.
25) Texans – Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Houston needs QB but they also need help on the offensive line. Not seeing a guy they like more than Tom Savage, they go with the solid yet vowel-challenged Badger.
26) Seahawks – Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
Seattle loves their defensive backs and Richard Sherman’s future is uncertain in the Pacific Northwest. Jackson is an athletic freak of nature so Pete Carroll goes back his old stomping grounds for his 1st rounder.
27) Patriots – Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Yes this is where the Chargers would have picked after their trade with the Chiefs but New England needs an edge rusher. They never dreamed Harris would be here. So they package a 3rd round pick this year (72nd overall) and their 1st round pick next year to jump in to the 1st round now and get their pass rusher. Hello, 19-0.
28) Cowboys – David Njoku, TE, Miami
Dallas could go with a defensive end here but with Jason Witten at the end of his Hall of Fame career Dallas will add another weapon on offense.
29) Packers – Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Green Bay needs another rusher. McKinley does just that. The Packers scoop him up late in the 1st round.
30) Steelers – Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Pittsburgh has extra defensive backs on the field A LOT. Mike Tomlin would love to add a guy who can impact a game like Peppers, a safety who can cover.
31) Falcons – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Atlanta saw in the Super Bowl what happens you have trouble getting to the opposing QB. They take Charlton, the best pass rusher left on the board.
32) Chargers – Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
Yes this is where the Saints would be picking but the Chargers offer up this year’s 2nd round pick (38th overall) plus the two 3rd rounders they picked up in previous trades (72nd and 91st overall) to get Pumphrey, the record-setting Aztecs running back. When asked why they stretched for him Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos will reply “He’s the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher. He was the number one player on our board the whole time. We needed to replace Danny Woodhead and Pumphrey is going to be a huge part of our offense. Plus we need help brining San Diego fans up to watch us in Los Angeles and we don’t have to pay to fly him to the press conference.”
That is the first round. We'll look at what else might come in later rounds as things shake out.