Mock Draft Friday: First-Round Mock - A 'Why' For Wentz To The Cowboys

Now that the Scouting Combine is over, it's time for me to file my first, full, first-round mock, including who I think the Cowboys will take at No. 4 overall.

This week for Mock Draft Friday I'm doing my first complete First-Round mock draft, featuring all 31 teams with a first-round pick, including the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4. This mock takes into account what happened at the Scouting Combine last week. I'll post a new First-Round mock every other Friday up until the NFL Draft.

 

1. Tennessee: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Why? Think of this selection as the Dallas Cowboys picking Zack Martin in the first round two years ago. Tunsil has the ability to solidify the Titans' protection scheme and take the entire line to a new level. Just the thing for a second-year quarterback named Marcus Mariota.

2. Cleveland: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

Why? The only reason the Browns haven't released Johnny Manziel is that it's financially advantageous to wait. The Browns will happily take Goff, who was highly productive with the Golden Bears and appears to have his personal thing together. Goff would be the fifth quarterback to be taken in the first round by Cleveland since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999 (Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, Manziel). Goff might be better than all four immediately.

3. San Diego: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Why? This pick could be a safety if the Chargers lose Eric Weddle. But premium pass rushers are hard to find in the NFL and Bosa looks the part.

4. Dallas: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Why? Here's the thing — after Goff and Wentz there might not be a quarterback taken until the second round. A first-round QB isn't a sure thing, but he's the best option on the board in the first round at this point. To me if the Cowboys don't take a quarterback in the first round they may not take one at all in this draft. The Cowboys got a good look at Wentz at the Senior Bowl, he has the skill set for Jason Garrett's offense and he could be ready to play as early as 2017. Hopefully Tony Romo has more time, but our Mike Fisher put forth the thought that Romo may only have 25 games left in his career recently, and it's worth a read. That frames the selection of Wentz. Of course, Gil Brandt just told everyone on Thursday that the Cowboys definitely aren't taking a quarterback at No. 4. He's a credible source, but for now I'm sticking with Wentz because, you know, it's Jerry Jones. Do you really expect what he says in early March to be the last word?

In fact, if you read Fish's review of the comments from Jerry, Stephen, Garrett and Jerry again ... you realize Dallas might just be throwing chum in the water.

5. Jacksonville: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

Why? He is the best defensive back in this draft and the Jaguars are still in accumulating talent mode. He becomes an instant starter for the Jags.

6. Baltimore: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Why? I need to hear more about his health before I turn my back on Jack going to a team that could sorely use his ability on defense. With two more months before the draft, there is plenty of time to evaluate. 

7. San Francisco: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Why? Yes, I did just say that I felt there was clear separation between Goff, Wentz and the rest of the quarterbacks. But, hey, the quarterback situation in San Fran is in flux and Chip Kelly, while no longer in charge of talent, may be persuasive enough to convince the management there to get him a new toy to build his offense around.

8. Miami: Vernon Hargreaves III, DB, Florida

Why? The Dolphins have the pass rushers but they don't have the corners to defend the pass. Hargreaves should get a chance to step in immediately.

9. Tampa Bay: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon

Why? Buckner gives new defensive coordinator Mike Smith a tackle with the ability to stop the run and press the passer. The Bucs need help up front. Easy decision.

10. New York Giants: LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

Why? The Giants have other needs, and I could see them going defense here. But with Eli Manning moving toward the twilight of his career the Giants want to give him all the talent he needs to produce. Treadwell can stretch the field and make an immediate impact.

11. Chicago: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Why? There is talk out of Chicago that the Bears might be done with Jay Cutler. Perhaps adding a quality piece to their offensive line would help Cutler. Perhaps not. Cutler is what he is at this point.

Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports Images

12. New Orleans: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

Why? The Saints need upgrades on defense and the position really doesn't matter. Robinson can help the Saints stuff the run and crash the quarterback immediately. 

13. Philadelphia: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Why? The Eagles signing Sam Bradford to a two-year contract earlier this week might not be the best play, but it does allow the Eagles to solidify their linebacker group with one of the best in the draft. 

14. Oakland: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

Why? The Raiders are a rising team, and there's some thought that they could add another offensive piece for quarterback Derek Carr. But Lee gives them a solid piece at linebacker to fortify the middle row of their defense. 

15. Los Angeles: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Why? I think the Rams have their eyes on one of three quarterbacks taken above, so if one happens to fall to them I figure the Rams will pounce. If not, it's time to get a quality weapon in the passing game, and Docston was one of the fastest risers at the combine last week. I saw him play in person several times the last two years and he has the opportunity to be a top option right away. 

16. Detroit: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

Why? The Lions have turned over several pieces on their defensive line the past couple of years. A pass rusher with Lawson's talent would go a long way toward replenishing their front four.  

17. Atlanta: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Why? Another player I had the chance to see in person last year. He's quick, strong and gets past the line of scrimmage fast. He was the biggest reason Baylor's defense was so strong last season. The Falcons would be getting a gem here.  

18. Indianapolis: Mackensie Alexander, DB, Clemson

Why? The Colts wait, and wait, and wait, and get a nice piece to complement their secondary, which frankly could use some help after last season. Some consider Alexander to be the top cornerback in the draft, so he might not drop this far.

20. New York Jets: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Why? Now and in the future the Jets need some help on the offensive line. Ryan Fitzpatrick may be the quarterback of right now, but the Jets don't know who their quarterback of the future will be. Whoever it is, Decker should be capable protection.  

21. Washington: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

Why? You can never have enough pass rushers, and Spence represents good value at this stage of the draft. The Redskins and Kirk Cousins agreed on his franchise tender, so that eliminates one huge headache.    

Josh Winslow/BSB

22. Houston: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Houston

Why? A quarterback at this point would be a reach. Taking one of college football's most productive backs the past two seasons at this point would not be a reach. The Texans released Arian Foster on Thursday opening up the top of the depth chart.  

23. Minnesota: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Why? The Vikings have the tools for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Now they need some protection, plus some earth-moving ability for running back Adrian Peterson. Conklin gives them both, and coming from Michigan State's pro-set offense makes him a great selection.  

24. Cincinnati: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Why? The Bengals are going to lose wide receivers to free agency. It's unavoidable. Coleman would soften the blow and take the heat off A.J. Green.  

25. Pittsburgh: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Why? Nkemdiche addressed the personal issues that emerged after the season ended, but rest assured NFL teams aren't done vetting him. He's talented, he can push the pocket and he's the kind of player that would fit in great with the Steelers.

26. Seattle: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

Why? After three years of tremendous success, the Seahawks can't keep everyone from their terrific defense. Reed brings depth to their front line, which is sure to undergo changes this offseason.

27. Green Bay: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Why? Clay Matthews needs help. Floyd would provide that, giving them a second potential playmaker at outside linebacker.    

28. Kansas City: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

Why? One of the most consistent pass rushers in college football last year, Ogbah has speed to get around the corner and muscle to fight off offensive tackles. The Chiefs could use him immediately.   

29. Arizona: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Why? The Cardinals have a team that is pretty well locked up, contract-wise. So they have the luxury of picking based on the board and not on need. Rankins gives them depth in the middle of their defensive line and a piece for the future, once their linemen hit the end of their careers or free agency.

30. Carolina: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

Why? The Panthers can probably squeeze another year out of Jonathan Stewart, though the vet broke down late in the year. Henry can be used as a fine complement until Stewart retires, and then become the centerpiece of the Panthers' run-based scheme.   

31. Denver: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State

Why? The Broncos have had injury issues on the offensive line the past couple of years, so adding a player like Whitehair makes sense. He can start now or sit a bit.  

Note: The New England Patriots do not have a first-round pick this year due to the Deflategate saga.

 


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