So I was moving along, doing my fourth mock draft of the offseason and then the Los Angeles Rams threw us a curveball.
The Rams moved up to the No. 1 overall selection on Friday morning, exchanging first-rounders with the Tennessee Titans (well, there were other picks, too). The move means one big thing — the Top 2 quarterbacks will be off the board with the first two picks. By the way the Dallas Cowboys are working out Jared Goff on Friday, Jerry Jones tells us, for what that appears to be worth.
So how does this impact the Dallas Cowboys? Good question. We address some of that in our latest CowboysCast here ...
... and thankfully we were able to take the trade into account for my fourth complete First-Round mock draft. We have one more to go, the week of the NFL Draft. And don't forget — the entire CowboysHQ.com staff will be at the Dallas Draft party on Thursday, April 28, at The Maverick Bar in Carrollton. We hope to see you there.
1. Los Angeles: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Why? There isn't enough information out there right now to get an accurate gauge on what the Rams might do with this selection. I think they'll lean toward the player with the experience in the Power 5 conference. That will make a bigger splash with the local fan base, and perception is as important in this situation than talent. The Rams didn't move all the way up to No. 1 to fail.
2. Cleveland: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Why? With Goff gone, the Browns opt for Wentz and it's a good pick in my opinion. FCS quarterbacks drafted in the first round have done well since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
3. San Diego: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Why? Now things get interesting. What will the Chargers do? Will they go with the safety, Jalen Ramsey? Will they go with the defensive end, Joey Bosa? Will they address another need? Heck, they could even trade down because someone in the Top 10 might value Tunsil more than the Chargers. I don't believe the Chargers were planning on seeing Tunsil at No. 3 and that may allow them to swing a deal and trade down a bit to get an extra pick. But, assuming the Chargers stay put at No. 3 the value of taking the No. 1 overall player on every draft board would be too good to pass on, in my opinion.
4. Dallas: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Why? Well, before the trade I had the Chargers taking Ramsey at No. 3 and I had the Cowboys taking DeForest Buckner at No. 4. Now the Cowboys have their pick of every defensive player in the draft — Ramsey, Bosa, Buckner, whomever. This development might also cause the Cowboys to trade down, but now you're looking for a trade partner that sees value in moving up for a position besides quarterback, a team that wants one of the high-value defensive players or running back Ezekiel Elliott. I suspect Jerry Jones will hit the phones once the Cowboys are on the clock. But, assuming the Cowboys have their pick of the defensive players in the draft I think they'll lean toward Ramsey, who solidifies their back row.
5. Jacksonville: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Why? With Jack dropping past the Cowboys now the Jags grab a linebacker for the future. ... though the medical check news on Friday isn't exactly a positive.
6. Baltimore: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Why? Bosa remains the pick here. The Ravens need the help up front. But Tunsil's presence past the top two picks might prompt the Ravens to make a move, because they need offensive line help, too.
7. San Francisco: Vernon Hargreaves III, DB, Florida
Why? With Goff and Wentz off the board, and Paxton Lynch seemingly too much of a stretch here, the 49ers go to their most immediate need, which is at cornerback. Hargreaves is a great immediate fit here.
8. Philadelphia: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Why? There is plenty of talk about trading up here. But I think the Eagles stand pat and snag Elliott.
9. Tampa Bay: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Why? The Bucs need help on the frontline and on the backline, but with Buckner dropping into the Bucs' vicinity I think they'll choose to bolster their pass rush.
10. New York Giants: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Why? This is an acknowledgement that, after free agency, the Giants' needs on defense outweigh their needs on offense. Lee is the second-best linebacker on most draft boards and even though the Giants don't have a documented meeting with him, they probably saw enough at the Combine to know they're getting an impact player.
11. Chicago: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Why? The Bears have two documented meetings or workouts with Reed, who at 307 pounds would satisfy a clear need on the outside. He could be a 3-4 end or back up nose tackle Eddie Goldman. The Bears will find the flexibility attractive.
12. New Orleans: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Why? Another pick that feels right on paper, but without a documented visit or workout to back it up it feels like it could go another direction. But if Reed is off the board the Saints have to pounce. They need more push up front.
13. Miami: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Why? The Dolphins help their pass rush with a player that some consider a Top 10 talent.
14. Oakland: LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Why? The Raiders do need some help on defense. But can you really pass on giving your emerging QB Derek Carr one more true weapon? I don't think the Raiders will be able to.
15. Tennessee: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Why? So get this — the Titans trade down, get a boatload of draft picks and get the second-best tackle on the board. It doesn't seem possible the Titans would be that smart. But that's how it shook out.
16. Detroit: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Why? There might be some temptation to pick a wide receiver here. But Ragland is pure value at this point in the draft.
17. Atlanta: Mackensie Alexander, DB, Clemson
Why? The Falcons turn their attention to the defensive backfield and grab Alexander.
18. Indianapolis: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Why? Plug him in at right tackle and let him protect the heck out of Andrew Luck.
19. Buffalo: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Why? I'm sticking with Lynch here. I really don't think the Bills have what they need in Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manuel. More importantly, I think they know it.
20. New York Jets: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
Why? It's time for the Jets to start addressing their pass rush. Ogbah gives them the perfect tool to do so.
21. Washington: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Why? In some circles Butler has become a Top 15 talent. The Redskins need a party-crasher inside and Butler fits the bill.
22. Houston: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Why? Let's give Brock Osweiler one more weapon, shall we? Giving DeAndre Hopkins a partner in crime that can take the heat off of him is a bonus.
23. Minnesota: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Why? The Vikings could use another wide receiver, but getting a tackle for the future might be better, given their investment in QB Teddy Bridgewater.
24. Cincinnati: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Why? Doctson holds steady as the answer to Cincinnati's dearth of depth at wide receiver.
25. Pittsburgh: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Why? The 6-foot, 189-pound corner is moving into the first round value territory and he could bolster the Steelers' secondary right away.
26. Seattle: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Why? Legion of Boom, meet your next weapon.
27. Green Bay: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Why? The Packers need some depth behind their current starters. That Floyd could start right away is a bonus.
28. Kansas City: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Why? Boyd was one of the most productive wide receivers in FBS the last two years. His talent is finally catching up to draft day value. Kansas City needs help at wide receiver in a big way.
29. Arizona: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Why? The Cardinals add another pass rusher to their stable of defensive ends.
30. Carolina: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Why? Perfect pick for the perfect team. Only real question is whether it will happen.
31. Denver: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Why? The Broncos can't seem to get the Colin Kaepernick trade off the ground. Fortunately Cook embodies the traits Gary Kubiak wants in a quarterback. Cook likes cold weather and he likes pro-style offenses.
Note: The New England Patriots do not have a first-round pick this year due to the Deflategate saga.