A shocking move at the top of the draft could change the fortunes of the Jacksonville Jaguars in this two-round mock.
I’m sure I’ll receive a lot of backlash for the way I have the top of the draft setup. The Cleveland Browns hold the key to this year’s draft. I believe the Browns will do their best to land both Myles Garrett and Mitch Trubisky. But, the chances of Trubisky falling to pick 12 are slim, so if they want both they’ll have to trade up to get him. With that being said, if they are unable to work out a trade…quarterbacks are more valuable than defensive ends. Low and behold, my second mock draft, this time going all the way to pick number 35 with the Jacksonville Jaguars second selection. Here we go, three weeks out.
- Cleveland Browns-Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
While the Browns would love to add the consensus top overall pick Myles Garrett and then take Trubisky with their second first round pick at number 12 overall the risk is simply too great that Trubisky will have already been taken. There are at least four other teams that have quarterback issues before the Browns next pick that could take Trubisky, not to mention teams outside of the top 12 could trade up to snag him. The quarterback position is way too valuable in today’s NFL, and Trubisky seems like a perfect fit in Hue Jackson’s offense. Trubisky also grew up in the Cleveland area and everyone loves a hometown hero. While it may be a bit of a reach, the Browns can NOT afford to miss out on another franchise quarterback and elect to roll the dice on Trubisky.
- San Francisco 49ers-Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M
If the Browns do indeed take Trubisky, the 49ers will either sprint to the stage with their draft card or they will auction off this pick to the highest bidder. The 49ers could then trade down to collect picks and pieces to help fill the holes of the weakest roster in the NFL. Garrett will go here but it may not be the 49ers who take him.
- Chicago Bears-Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
The Bears could go in a number of different directions with this pick, but I believe they’ll stick with Jamal Adams in this case. Adams is the best safety in this class and can play any position in the secondary. He is a playmaker on defense and that is something the Bears sorely lack.
- Jacksonville Jaguars-Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford
What will the Jaguars do? There is still no consensus idea what the Jaguars will do with this pick. They could improve the running game by taking Leonard Fournette, improve the weapons around Blake Bortles with O.J. Howard, or continue to build what already looks to be a scary defense. The Jaguars just paid Calais Campbell a lot of money and he figures to start at the strong side defensive end position, but there isn’t a lot of depth behind him. Solomon Thomas can play any position on the defensive line and could be the strong side end of the future.
- Tennessee Titans-Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Titans have a huge need at the cornerback position. There have been reports that the Titans like Lattimore and he is the consensus top corner in the draft. Lock him in here.
- New York Jets-O.J. Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Whoever starts at quarterback for the Jets this year is going to need someone to throw the ball to besides Eric Decker. Enter O.J. Howard. While number six overall may be high for a tight end, Howard is well worth it. He is the complete package at the tight end position and can block as well as many offensive linemen.
- San Diego Chargers-Jonathan Allen, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Allen could very well go higher than this and maybe even to Jacksonville at number four. But, shoulder concerns have caused his draft stock to slip a bit. However, that won’t stop the Chargers from selecting him here as they still have holes to fill along their defensive front.
- Carolina Panthers-Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
What could be scarier than a 6’5 245lb quarterback running the read option? The same quarterback running the read option with a 240lb running back next to him. This one is easy for the Panthers as they add another dimension to their offense.
- Cincinnati Bengals-Taco Charlton, Defensive Tackle, Michigan
Bengals add another piece to their defensive line, getting another big body who can line up next to defensive tackle Geno Atkins will be scary for any offense.
- Buffalo Bills-Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
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Hooker likely would have been the top safety in the draft if not for injury concerns. The Bills jump at the chance to add a key piece to their secondary, especially after losing cornerback Stephon Gilmore to free agency.
- New Orleans Saints-Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee
The Saints need help at every defensive position, and will take the highest rated defender on their draft board. But for now, let’s give them Barnett as a good pass rush can fix a lot of things on defense in a hurry.
- Cleveland Browns-Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
With their second pick in the round the Browns grab a true number one wide receiver, and the best receiver in the draft. Corey Coleman had a solid rookie year when he was able to stay healthy, but there isn’t anyone who inspires much confidence on the depth chart after him. Josh Gordon should not be relied upon in any way, and anything he contributes should be considered a luxury.
- Arizona Cardinals-Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
Carson Palmer started to show his age last season and the Cardinals cannot neglect the future of the position any longer. Watson has the skill set to step in and play immediately if needed, but he will benefit from sitting behind Palmer for a year.
- Philadelphia Eagles-Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama
The Eagles lack a true number one corner, and grab Humphrey here to step in and be that guy immediately. Humphrey is the first of three Alabama players about to come off the board in a row.
- Indianapolis Colts-Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
The Colts grab Foster here and he mans the middle of their defense for the next decade. Foster is one of the safest prospects in the draft and would give the Colts a defensive piece they have needed for several years.
- Baltimore Ravens-Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Ravens lost right tackle Ricky Wagner to free agency, and in this case, they grab the top tackle prospect in the draft to step in and take his spot.
- Washington Redskins-Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
The Redskins are another team that could go a number of different directions as they have holes to fill on both sides of the ball. In this case, they select best available player, and make life easier for quarterback Kirk Cousins.
- Tennessee Titans-Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The Titans are quickly becoming the team to beat in the AFC South. The biggest weakness on their team is the lack of playmakers at wide receiver. Enter Corey Davis, the receiver with the most yards in Division I history. He has the skillset to become a true number one receiver for the Titans, and gets the edge over Washington speedster John Ross here.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
If Dalvin Cook makes it to this pick quarterback Jameis Winston will personally run the draft card up to the stage to select his former FSU teammate. But, since he is not available the Bucs grab Ramczyk to protect their prized young quarterback Winston.
- Denver Broncos-Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah
Denver likes their two young quarterbacks they already have on their roster, so I don’t think they take one here. If they want to continue to develop their young quarterback talent they must protect them. They still need a new offensive tackle after losing Russell Okung to free agency, so they grab Bolles here.
- Detroit Lions-Haason Reddick, Defensive End/Linebacker, Temple
Reddick is one of the most interesting players projected to go in the first round. The lions front seven could use some improvement, so they grab Reddick here and let the defensive coaching staff figure out how to maximize his talents.
- Miami Dolphins-Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
The Dolphins rode running back Jay Ajayi to the playoffs in 2016, and if they want to return they’ll need to do it again. Lamp is a big athletic guard that would come in and start immediately on most teams.
- New York Giants-David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
Say whatever you want about rookie sensations Ezekiel Elliot, and Dak Prescott over in Dallas. The Giants are the team to beat in the NFC East as they boast a top 5 defense and have added another top wide receiver in Brandon Marshall. Now they add Njoku, an athletic freak at tight end to give Eli Manning yet another weapon on offense. Watch out for the Giants in 2017.
- Oakland Raiders-Christian Mccaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
Mccaffrey stays in California, well for another couple years anyway. He adds speed to the running back position for the Raiders, and can be a playmaker on special teams as well, something the raiders could use if they want to compete for a super bowl.
- Houston Texans-Deshone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame
The Texans don’t have a pick in the second round so the Texans can’t afford to miss on this pick. There is no way the Texans go into the new year with only Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden on the roster. Kizer is arguably the best quarterback on the board at this point and can step in and start if needed.
- Seattle Seahawks-Malik Mcdowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State
The Seahawks are salivating if McDowell falls all the way to them at pick 26. The Seahawks can use help on both the offensive and defensive lines, so McDowell make perfect sense here.
- Kansas City Chiefs-Tre’davious White, Cornerback, LSU
The Chiefs grab a corner to pair with Marcus Peters. The Chiefs defense is already good and another good corner can take them to the next level. LSU is widely regarded as DBU, so White gets the edge over Sidney Jones here.
- Dallas Cowboys-Jabrill Peppers, Linebacker/Safety, LSU
Peppers is one of the best athletes and intriguing prospects in this draft class. He can play linebacker or safety on defense, and he can also return kicks. I have him slipping a bit in the draft because there have been reports that teams like him more as a safety, but he does not have a lot of experience there as he primarily played linebacker at Michigan. The Cowboys need help at several positions on defense and grab Peppers here and will likely play him at strong safety, to fill the hole Barry Church left.
- Green Bay Packers-Sidney Jones, Cornerback, Washington
With the NFL being such a high passing league now cornerback has become a premium position. The Packers are another team that can use help at corner and grab the best one available.
- Pittsburgh Steelers-John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington
- Atlanta Falcons-Takkarist McKinley, Defensive End, UCLA
I’m not sure what collapsed quicker I-85 or the Falcons in the super bowl…sorry Falcons fans. Anyway, the Falcons don’t have many weaknesses on their roster, and it never hurts to have too many pass rushers, Falcons get a steal at the end of the first round.
- New Orleans Saints-Gareon Conley, Cornerback, Ohio State
Once again, the Saints need help all over the defense. They already added a pass rusher in Derek Barnett, so they’ll look to add to their secondary here. Especially if they don’t pull the trigger on a trade for Malcom Butler.