After months of speculating about the NFL Draft, we are just a few days away from draft night. CLE4ME's Reece Helms, Travis Stone, Brandon Wells, and Mac Robinson play the role of NFL GM in this 1st-round Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns (Reece Helms)
Myles Garrett - DE, Texas A&M: The easiest decision in the entire NFL Draft is to pick Myles Garrett first overall. It should take the Browns less than 10 seconds to relay this pick to Roger Goodell on draft night, if it takes longer they're just wasting everyone's time.
2. San Francisco 49ers (Travis Stone)
Patrick Mahomes - QB, Texas Tech: After the predictable selection of Myles Garrett first overall....here comes a shocking draft selection of Patrick Mahomes 2nd overall. With so much uncertainty around the quarterbacks in this class, Kyle Shanahan opts to go with the one with the most upside. Mahomes possess the arm strength and accuracy that Shanahan loves in his quarterbacks and will be able to learn behind Brian Hoyer.
3. Chicago Bears (Brandon Wells)
Jamal Adams - S, LSU: After the shock of Mahomes going second wore off, the Bears made their pick. Chicago needs secondary help. Adrian Amos and Quintin Demps aren’t going to provide a lot from the safety position. The Bears may select a quarterback in the second or third round, but with the signing of Mike Glennon as the proverbial 16 million dollar per year bridge, I think they pass on QB in the 1st round.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Reece Helms)
Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU: This is an easy pick for Jacksonville. Blake Bortles needs a solid RB he can count on after the Jaguars ranked 22nd in total rushing yards this past season. Jacksonville has been in rebuilding-mode for several years now and the addition of Leonard Fournette can help get their offense over the hump. Jaguar fans will be hoping he can have an Ezekiel Elliott effect on the team.
5. Tennessee Titans (Mac Robinson)
Solomon Thomas - DE, Stanford: Titans go best player available here by selecting the Stanford pass rusher. While the Titans still have Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, the team can save $7.75 million and $7 million respectively in cap space if they are cut. Thomas gets time to develop as a pass rusher and grow into the nightmare that will haunt Andrew Luck’s dreams for the years to come.
6. New York Jets (Travis Stone)
O.J. Howard - TE, Alabama: The Jets will be tempted to take a quarterback in this slot but with Christian Hackenberg still an unknown, they elect to upgrade their offense. Howard can be a huge asset in the passing game but can also improve the Jets running game.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (Brandon Wells)
Malik Hooker - San Diego, er, Los Angeles has a glaring hole at Free Safety. Ever heard of Dwight Lowery? Neither had I, until I looked at their depth chart. Hooker provides a big play-maker at the back end of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s secondary.
8. Carolina Panthers (Reece Helms)
Christian McCaffrey - RB, Stanford: How the mighty have fallen. Two years ago the Carolina Panthers were a win away from winning their 1st Super Bowl and now they have a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. Cam Newton and the Panther offense were not as explosive in 2016 and the addition of Christian McCaffrey will give Cam Newton the help he needs.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (Mac Robinson)
Garett Bolles - T, Utah: After losing Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth in Free Agency, Cincinnati knows they need to protect QB Andy Dalton. Incumbent Offensive Tackles Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi both were rated below a 44 by Pro Football Focus in 2017. Bolles can start immediately and allow Dalton to rest easy.
10. Buffalo Bills (Travis Stone)
Mike Williams- WR, Clemson: The Bills elected to keep Tyrod Taylor on the roster so they need to surround him with weapons. Robert Woods is no longer on the roster and Sammy Watkins struggles to remain healthy so Williams looks to be a no-brainer for the Bills.
11. New Orleans Saints (Brandon Wells)
Marshon Lattimore - CB, Ohio State: Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams are the current starting CB’s for Sean Payton. Breaux was only healthy for 6 games last season and Williams missed the majority of last season with a severe concussion. Lattimore provides a top end corner for defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to use in several different spots in the secondary.
12. Cleveland Browns (Reece Helms)
Mitch Trubisky - QB, UNC: Almost everyone agrees with the Browns selection of Myles Garrett 1st overall, but here is where a lot of Browns disagree. Some want Trubisky, some want Watson, and some want to trade down. If Mitch Trubisky is still on the board when the Cleveland Browns are on the clock with the 12th pick, it's hard to see CLE passing on him. There are even rumors of them looking to trade up to get him. The common criticism of Trubisky is that he only started one year in college. But in that one season he was very efficient as he threw 30 TD's with only 6 INT's. The Cleveland Browns need a franchise QB and it looks like Trubisky might be the guy.
Brandon Wells: Trade down: - The Browns should target Patrick Mahomes, and if he isn’t available at 12, then the option of trading down becomes very viable. Mahomes is the only quarterback in this year’s draft near the top that has the potential to be a top 5 player. As per Trubisky? The one year sample size scares me off from selecting him here. See Mark Sanchez. The pressure of being a local kid may not seem like a huge deal, but it’s another piece of the puzzle in my passing on Trubisky and trading down. I’m okay with Kessler, Osweiler and Hogan going into next season, or adding a late 3rd round or 4th or 5th round qb like Josh Dobbs if he falls.
Travis Stone: Jonathan Allen DE, Alabama: The Browns get a steal here as Allen falls right into their lap with the 12th pick. Allen is a consensus top 5 pick but given this draft’s depth and Allen’s shoulder injury he could be in store for a draft night slide. Selecting Garrett and Allen in the first round would give the Browns one of the brightest front 7’s in the NFL.
Mac Robinson: Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson: Deshaun Watson would be a great pick here for the Browns in this mock draft. Watson has shown in each of the past two National Championship games that no moment is too big for him. He stays calm and poised, always looks downfield, and possesses the athleticism to extend plays if need be as well. Watson is just the kind of QB Hue Jackson would love to get his hands on.
13. Arizona Cardinals (Mac Robinson)
Corey Davis - WR, Western Michigan: With Larry Fitzgerald aging and former 1st round pick Michael Floyd cut late in the season, the Cardinals could use some help with their receiving corps. Davis, known for his big frame and good route running, would be an excellent apprentice to Larry Fitzgerald, and a fantastic weapon for Carson Palmer.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (Travis Stone)
John Ross III - WR, Washington: The Philadelphia Eagles select the NFL Combine 40-yard dash record holder John Ross. He will give the Eagles a threat on special teams as a returner and Carson Wentz a speed wide-out.
15. Indianapolis Colts (Brandon Wells)
Reuben Foster - ILB, Alabama: Indianapolis solidifies their linebacking corps with the Alabama ILB. Foster’s combine incident may have scared off some teams ahead of Indy, but from a football standpoint, the Colts get potentially the best defensive player in the draft.
16. Baltimore Ravens (Reece Helms)
Derek Barnett - DE, Tennessee: The Baltimore Ravens pad their defensive line with selecting the Tennessee defensive product Derek Barnett. His NFL combine wasn’t overly impressive, but his production in college was. With all the talent in the SEC (Mostly Alabama) Barnett made the All-Conference squad three years in a row. He has a high-motor and in the NFL that is perhaps the most important character-trait teams look for in draft prospects.
17. Washington Redskins (Mac Robinson)
Jonathan Allen - DE, Alabama: Easy selection here for Washington, deciding to pick best player available. Allen, who was projected to go as high as number 2 overall, falls here due to some injury concerns and a lackluster combine, but his powerful play at Alabama, racking up 22.5 sacks over the past two seasons, is too much to pass up here..
18. Tennessee Titans (Travis Stone)
Gareon Conley - CB, Ohio State: The Titans released longtime defensive back Jason McCourty earlier in the week so there is a need on the roster. Conley doesn’t get the attention that Lattimore gets but Conley’s talent level is right up to par with his.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Brandon Wells)
Jabrill Peppers - S, Michigan:The draft’s million dollar question lies with Peppers. Is he a safety? What type of safety? Is he a returner? Some coaches and scouts have said that Peppers would be best used on the offensive side of the ball. The Bucs’ new defensive coordinator, former Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith, will know what to do with Peppers. Boom or bust pick for Tampa Bay, but at minimum, they have a weapon.
20. Denver Broncos (Reece Helms)
Ryan Ramczyk - OT, Wisconsin: The Denver Broncos need to strengthen their offensive line and Ryan Ramczyk is the perfect fit. Trevor Siemian could use some protection.
21. Detroit Lions (Mac Robinson)
David Njoku - TE, Miami: The Detroit Lions will be hoping David Njoku follows in the footsteps of past Miami TE's such as Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and Jimmy Graham. Matthew Stafford can use the help offensively.
22. Miami Dolphins (Travis Stone)
Haason Reddick - OLB, Temple: The Dolphins need playmakers on defense and Reddick is one of the better undervalued defensive prospects in this draft. Reddick paired with current Dolphin Cameron Wake will provide the Dolphins with a dynamic duo on the edge.
23. New York Giants (Brandon Wells)
DeShone Kizer - QB, Notre Dame: Coming off of an 11-5 season, the Giants could use this pick to shore up TE if Njoku falls or take Forrest Lamp or Dion Dawkins to solidify the guard position, but Kizer is too hard to pass up. The successor to Eli Manning is certainly not Geno Smith, the current Giants backup quarterback, so the Giants take Kizer and let him learn for a few seasons like Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay during the Favre era.
24. Oakland Raiders (Reece Helms)
Jarrad Davis - ILB, Florida: Derek Carr’s injury ended Oakland’s Super Bowl aspirations this past season. Oakland’s offense is fine, but their defense could use some work. After giving up the 26th most yards in the NFL last season, Jarrad Davis gives them an athletic linebacker.
25. Houston Texans (Mac Robinson)
Deshaun Watson - QB, Clemson: The Houston Texans are a QB away from being serious Super Bowl contenders. GM Rick Smith tried to sign QB Brock Osweiler last offseason to solve the issue, but ended up shipping him to the Browns along with next year's 2nd round pick. Watson showed that he welcomes and embraces the big stage in the National Championship vs. Alabama the past 2 seasons. Watson will try to do the same in Houston.
26. Seattle Seahawks (Travis Stone)
Forrest Lamp - OT, Western Kentucky: This is one of the most obvious picks in the draft given the Seahawks troubles along with offensive line. Lamp played tackle at Western Kentucky but will be a guard in the NFL level. Lamp doesn’t get the credit that he deserves given his small school background but watch the Western Kentucky/Alabama game from this past season to see the potential he possesses.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (Brandon Wells)
Marlon Humphrey - CB, Alabama: The Chiefs would have selected Watson as the heir apparent to Alex Smith under Andy Reid’s west coast style offense, but Houston snapped him up two picks earlier at 25. Humphrey’s versatility and potential to play either cornerback or safety prompts the Chiefs to stay true to the best player available on the board.
28. Dallas Cowboys (Reece Helms)
Charles Harris - DE, Missouri: The Dallas Cowboys dominated the 2016 regular season but lost a heart-breaker to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional round. The offense is set with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant. So they will be thinking defense with this pick. They need to add some pass-rushers, so outside linebacker Charles Harris is a good fit. In 2015 he led the SEC with 18.5 tackles for loss with seven sacks.
29. Green Bay Packers (Mac Robinson)
T.J. Watt - OLB, Wisconsin: Packers suffered some key losses in Free Agency, losing starters OLB Julius Peppers and OG TJ Lang. After OG Forrest Lamp was taken by the Seahawks, TJ Watt made a lot of sense with this pick. Watt had an extremely productive RS junior season in 2016, racking up 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. His ability to set the edge also gives the Packers a lot more flexibility with their defensive fronts. This allows the defense to move Clay Matthews back to linebacker with Jake Ryan in Nickel formations with Watt and Edge Rusher Nick Perry playing up front.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (Travis Stone)
Taco Charlton - DE, Michigan: The Steelers can go numerous ways with this pick but with no quarterback worthy of this pick, they elect to improve their pass rush. Charlton figures to be a defensive end in the Steelers 3-4 defense but has the ability to switch to an OLB.
31. Atlanta Falcons (Brandon Wells)
Malik McDowell - DE, Michigan State: Start with this. 6’6’, 295 lbs, 4.85 40-yard dash. The Falcons have a solid defensive line, but need depth to avoid wearing down late in games (ahem, 28-3 lead). McDowell has the potential to be an All-Pro according to most scouts, and the Falcons can’t pass him up at 31.
32. New Orleans Saints (Reece Helms)
Budda Baker - S, Washington: After picking CB Marshon Lattimore with the 11th overall pick, the Saints keep adding to their secondary with the selection of Budda Baker. New Orleans had the worst passing defense in the NFL last year so it makes sense for them to spend their 2 first round picks on the secondary. Baker is an explosive safety who ran a 4.45 in the combine. Fun fact: His birth name is Bishard, but his mom started calling him Budda because he looked like a Buddha doll. Strange...but true.