1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee)
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State – What the Rams gave up to land this pick is downright shocking. They’ve mortgaged the future for quarterback and they still don’t have any weapons for him. While I think that Jalen Ramsey should be the pick here, I am going to make the pick the team likely intended when they gave away the front half of their 2016 and 2017 drafts.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami)
Jared Goff, QB, Cal – Whether it’s Goff or Wentz, the Eagles are taking a QB. Whether the rookie plays much or at all this season probably depends on how the Sam Bradford saga plays out.
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi – The Chargers take their left tackle of the future, despite many needs on defense.
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State – Dallas is in need of a pass rusher and Bosa is the best in the draft. His abilities are a perfect fit for Rod Marinelli’s scheme and he will provide the Cowboys with critical depth.
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State – As much as the Jaguars want to take Myles Jack, his knee is a concern, so the Jaguars improve their defense by taking the best player on the board in Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey instantly helps a safety or the cornerback position in need of help for the Jaguars. The Jaguars will let training camp decide where exactly Ramsey fits in the defense.
DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon – The Ravens continue to build on their lines with a perfect 5T guy who is used to playing in the 3-4. Long, strong and athletic, Buckner will make a quick impact in the AFC North.
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame – The Niners’ biggest needs are along the offensive line. It all starts at tackle and Stanley gives the Niners some incredible size and ability. Additionally, Brian Kelly has done a great job at Notre Dame of not just getting guys ready for the NFL, but preparing them to have lengthy and established careers.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State – Not the perfect pick/fit for the Browns, but Jack’s medicals are concerning. Elliott could be a stud back for 10 years and more than likely trade bait at pick 8 for Miami and others.
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA – Our medical checked out fine on Jack. Pairing Jack with David and Alexander gives the Bucs the best young trio of LBs in the NFL. Nickel defense becomes a 3-3-5.
10. New York Giants
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi – Treadwell is the top receiver on the board and with Victor Cruz’s return in question and Rueben Randle’s departure, he could be the perfect complement to Odell Beckham Jr.
11. Chicago Bears
Shaq Lawson, OLB, Clemson – Lawson is a three-down defender who can play outside linebacker or defensive end in the Bears’ 3-4 defense. A Pernell McPhee clone, Lawson will improve the pass rush and run defense, and help solidify a rebuilt front seven.
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville – The Saints need defensive players across the board. Most people seem to believe the Saints need cornerbacks. Maybe, but their need at defensive line is so much greater and Rankins projects to an immediate and long-term starter.
13. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia)
Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State – The Dolphins were hoping for Hargreaves to fall, but Apple is a fine consolation prize. Apple would be penciled in as a starter immediately.
14. Oakland Raiders
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia – The Raiders have many of the offensive pieces in place to compete, but are still a ways off on defense. Khalil Mack is a great start, and Mario Edwards, Jr. has potential, but Leonard Floyd can immediately impact the Oakland defense and give Jack Del Rio another pass-rushing weapon to deploy. Floyd also serves as a failsafe in the event that Aldon Smith continues to go off the rails.
15. Tennessee Titans
Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State – There were three players considered here, but in the end the need wins out as the Titans desperately need to find a right tackle to protect Marcus Mariota and improve their running game now that DeMarco Murray is the feature back. Decker does both. He is a massive, powerful man who plays with a nasty streak that reminds me of another former Titans right tacke, David Stewart. Titans fans should appreciate that.
16. Detroit Lions
Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State – The Lions need help at receiver and defensive tackle, too, but the offensive tackles are getting thin and they also need to better protect Matthew Stafford. Getting Conklin would allow Riley Reiff to move to right tackle and give the Lions hope of a passing attack after the loss of Calvin Johnson.
17. Atlanta Falcons
Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State – The Falcons have big needs on defense. Lee can be the Falcons’ version of Bobby Wagner.
Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama – The tackles that the Colts coveted are gone, so they address a position of continual need. Finally, quarterback Andrew Luck will have a center to anchor an O-line in need of improvement.
19. Buffalo Bills
Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky – Spence has the talent to become the best edge rusher in this draft class. At pick 19, that’s too much talent for Rex Ryan to pass up. He’ll have the opportunity to make an immediate impact with Buffalo in 2016.
20. New York Jets
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis – I’m still not convinced the Jets will take Lynch at 20, but I do know Lynch has fans in the building. Mike Maccagnan would have a lot of options here, at DT like Jarran Reed or Andrew Billings, and CB Vernon Hargreaves III is still available so Jets could go BPA and get a steal but I’ll give them their future QB. Time will tell if that’s a good future or a disastrous one.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia – The great aspect of Washington’s situation is that the board offers so many quality options at areas of need. LB Reggie Ragland and DT Jarran Reed are tempting. So is the aggressive Joseph, who would give the Redskins their first tone-setting safety since Sean Taylor. Combined with the edge rushers on the roster and newly signed CB Josh Norman, this defense won’t be 28th next season.
22. Houston Texans
Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama – As tempting it is to take a wide receiver here, trading back would be optimal, especially with the amount of talent still on the board. Jarran Reed is the best player available and allows the Texans to stay true to their board and also land a day one starter at defensive end. BPA is a way of life for the Texans and now monitoring the receivers becomes key for them.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU – There are still some very good defenders left that would be tempting, like Reggie Ragland and Robert Nkemdiche with his character concerns, but the Vikings need help most immediately at wide receiver and Doctson fits just what they need, a big receiver that can stretch the field some and high-point the ball with great leaping skills.
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor – By adding this legitimate deep threat, the Bengals now have a legitimately scary offense that will keep safeties back and open up the middle for Tyler Eifert, among others.
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida – The Steelers have had their share of star players fall to them in the draft, but this – even though Hargreaves is only 5-10 ½ – is more than likely a mistake on the part of at least one team. Party night in Pittsburgh!
26. Seattle Seahawks
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi – The talent is simply too much for John Schneider and Pete Carroll to ignore. Powerful enough to handle the tough interior run-plugging duties that Seattle lost with Brandon Mebane signing a free agent deal with the Chargers, Nkemdiche is a plug-and-play nose guard with the burst to boost the interior pass rush, as well.
Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama – With Clay Matthews moving back to outside linebacker, there is a glaring need for an inside linebacker. In that light, Ragland would appear to be a no-brainer pick, though he doesn’t necessarily fix the need to find an inside linebacker who can cover. He’s the hardest hitter and best tackler among this year’s inside backers.
William Jackson III, CB, Houston – With the departure of Sean Smith in free agency, the Chiefs hope to strike gold in back-to-back years at the cornerback position. A year ago they selected Marcus Peters, and if Williams is on the board, KC would have a pair of young shutdown cornerbacks that could evolve their defense to an elite level in 2016 and beyond.
A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama – The Cardinals don’t have major holes to fill, but adding youth along the defensive line wouldn’t be a bad thing. Tabbing the massive and athletic Robinson does the trick.
Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M – Seeing as the Panthers let Pro Bowl corner Josh Norman fly the coup, adding one of the top options in the draft makes sense. Protecting prized asset Cam Newton does as well. Carolina’s left tackle spot needs an upgrade.
31. Denver Broncos
Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech – With the departure of Malik Jackson, the Broncos have a huge hole to fill on the D-line. John Elway wanted Paxton Lynch and was hopeful the draft would bring him within reach, but no other QB has a first-round grade and Vernon Butler is too transcendent a talent to pass up. He can get after the quarterback and single-gap aggressively. He proved in college how disruptive he can be in the backfield. Now imagine him in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, under the positional tutelage of Bill Kollar — the man who once wrestled a bear.