With the New England Patriots’ overtime win over the Falcons in Super Bowl 51, the NFL offseason is officially upon us. Draft analyst Grant Baker provides us with the first version of his mock draft. Click here to view the first version of Grant’s big board.
- Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett, Edge Rusher, Texas A&M
This pick is a slam dunk. Myles Garrett is the undisputed number one prospect in this year’s draft. His body looks like a more jacked version of Aldon Smith. He can beat any tackle around the edge or just overpower people using his strength. He’s not a finished product technically, but when you have a chance at this kind of prospect, you take it.
- San Francisco 49ers
DeShone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame
San Francisco finally hit the full reset button, hiring John Lynch as their new GM and Kyle Shanahan as their new coach. The 49ers could go many different directions with this pick, but taking a pro-style quarterback with a big arm is a good place to start.
- Chicago Bears
Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Bears need a cornerback. Badly. Marshon Lattimore is the best corner in this class and an all around stud. He is excellent in man coverage, where his length, hips, and athletic ability don’t allow any separation. He has no holes in his game and is effective in any scheme.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
The Jaguars are putting together an impressive young core with players like Jalen Ramsey, Allen Robinson, and Yannick Ngakoue. Adding Adams gives them the versatile safety this defense desperately needs. Adams’ ability against both the run and the pass would give Jacksonville one of the best young defenses in the league.
- Tennessee Titans (From Los Angeles Rams)
Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The Titans have several talented, young pieces on their offense. Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, and Jack Conklin were acquired in the last two drafts and already look phenomenal. Tennessee lacks a true number one receiver, and they get one in Davis. At 6’3, 200 pounds, Davis has the size, speed, and hands to be a deadly deep threat. What sets him apart is his route running. Davis is extremely fluid; a rare combination of size and quickness.
- New York Jets
Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. New York appears to have struck out on their quarterback picks in recent years. They took Geno Smith in 2013, Bryce Petty in 2015, and Christian Hackenberg last year. None of those quarterbacks have worked out so far, and reports have said the Jets are infatuated with Trubisky.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Malik Hooker, Free Safety, Ohio State
Losing Eric Weddle was a massive blow to the Chargers last year. They have a huge hole in that back of their secondary, and adding Hooker would go a long way in repairing that hole. Hooker has elite, elite range, length, and ball skills. He’s the best ball-hawking safety to enter the draft this decade.
- Carolina Panthers
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
What’s better than one athletic freak in a backfield? Two athletic freaks in a backfield. The Panthers running back situation is rather grim, Jonathan Stewart is worn down, and nobody else has the talent to be an every-down back. The Panthers have other needs, but they cannot turn down this value.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
Reuben Foster has all the tools to be an elite inside linebacker. He has speed, the ability to shed blocks, good cover skills, and is a proven leader. The Bengals need an upgrade at inside linebacker, and Foster fits in well with their needs.
- Buffalo Bills
DeShaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
The Bills have a complicated quarterback situation. Tyrod Taylor is not an elite quarterback, and cutting him could free up $15 million in space for a team with little cap wiggle room. Assuming the Bills and Taylor part ways, EJ Manuel will be the best quarterback on their roster. Watson is clearly an upgrade over Manuel. He may not have the elite upside of Deshone Kizer, but he is a proven leader with the ability to make defenders miss and a good arm.
- New Orleans Saints
Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama
New Orleans’s secondary has been a mess for several years. Marlon Humphrey is a very instinctive zone corner who reads route combinations very well and is a former track star. He’s also one of the best tackling corners in this class. At 6’1”, Humphrey has the desired length to play in the NFL, and drafting him would fill a massive need for New Orleans.
- Cleveland Browns
Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Cleveland gets a massive steal in Jonathan Allen. The sixth-rated player on my big board, Allen falls due to other teams lack of need at defensive tackle. Allen is an elite run stuffer, with enough power and quickness to get after the passer. By pairing Allen with Myles Garrett and Danny Shelton in their new 4-3 defense, Cleveland has a position group to build around.
- Arizona Cardinals
Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
Larry Fitzgerald has had a Hall of Fame career and is one of the most beloved and respected players in the game. But he’s retiring soon, and the loss of Michael Floyd means Arizona needs to add talent to their receiving corps. Williams doesn’t have the elite athletic ability and measurables of Corey Davis, but he is a big, physical receiver with great hands and route running.
- Indianapolis Colts*
Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
The Colts need a new running back, badly. Frank Gore has had a great career, but he’ll be 34 at the start of next season. Robert Turbin is a decent backup, but he’s a free agent. Dalvin Cook is a dynamic runner and receiver out of the backfield. He has fantastic vision and lateral movement, with a low center of gravity that allows him to break tackles. His ability to run will take pressure off Andrew Luck and the passing game, and give the Colts the balance they need so desperately.
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)*
Quincy Wilson, Cornerback, Florida
The Eagles have some young talent, but they need to improve their pass defense. Wilson is a large zone corner with good long speed and length. Due to his impressive size, his hips and acceleration aren’t great. Wilson would be an immediate starter for the Eagles.
- Baltimore Ravens
Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford
The Ravens need an elite pass rusher on defense. Solomon Thomas is a versatile lineman who plays with phenomenal hand usage. He is best in pass rushing situations, where he can line up inside and dominate guards with his quickness. If Thomas can overcome his size limitations, he’ll be a stud in the NFL.
- Washington Redskins
Taco Charlton, Defensive End, Michigan
Washington needs a defensive lineman with the versatility to get after the passer and stuff the run in a 3-4. Charlton is the perfect prospect for this role. At 6’6”, 270, Charlton has fantastic length and power. He can line up as a 5 technique end or a 3 technique tackle.
- Tennessee Titans
Jabrill Peppers, Safety, Michigan
The Titans need a playmaker on defense. A safety with the speed to chase down ball carriers or break up passes across the middle. Peppers is the type of athlete a great coordinator (like Dick LeBeau) could use in a myriad of ways.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Ross III, Wide Receiver, Washington
Tampa Bay already has a number one receiver in Mike Evans. They need a complimentary receiver who can line up across from him or in the slot. John Ross possesses elite quickness and route running. Putting him in the slot with Evans outside would be very difficult for defenses to stop.
- Denver Broncos
OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama
OJ Howard is a tremendous talent at the tight end position. Several NFL talent evaluators have compared Howard to Jimmy Graham, but a better blocker. That combination of blocking and receiving could be absolutely deadly in Denver.
- Detroit Lions
Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee
With this year’s regression of Ziggy Ansah, the Lions need a reliable edge rusher in their 4-3 scheme. Derek Barnett may not have the elite athletic ability of Ansah or Myles Garrett, but he has great power and technique. He can shed blocks in the run game and bend the edge getting after the quarterback.
- Miami Dolphins
Tim Williams, Defensive End, Alabama
Tim Williams has his shortcomings in the running game. He struggles to get off blocks and is somewhat undersized to play defensive end. But man can he get after the passer. Williams has more pass rushing tools than any prospect in this year’s draft. His elite edge bend and quickness are matched by his deadly spin move and hand usage. With Miami’s edge defenders getting older, Williams is the infusion of youth this team needs.
- New York Giants
Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
I watched a lot of football this year, and I saw a lot of left tackles. Ereck Flowers may have been the worst one I saw all year. Eli Manning may be tough, but he takes way too many hits for an eleven-year veteran. Cam Robinson doesn’t have elite feet, but he is a powerhouse in the run game and performed admirably against Myles Garrett and Derek Barnett this year.
- Oakland Raiders
Zach Cunningham, Linebacker, Vanderbilt
In Khalil Mack, the Raiders have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. However, the Raider defense needs pieces at inside linebacker and safety. Zach Cunningham has the length and athletic ability to stuff the run up the middle or make tackles along either sideline. He has the versatility to play all three linebacker positions and the cover skills to play on third down. He needs to improve his tackling technique and add weight, but he could be the missing piece the Raiders’ defense so desperately needs.
- Houston Texans
Jarrad Davis, Linebacker, Florida
The Texans may have the best pass rush in football with Jadeveon Clowney, JJ Watt, and Whitney Mercilus. However, they need a coverage linebacker. Jarrad Davis may have the best cover skills of linebacker in this draft. He’s not great against the run, but in Houston, he doesn’t have to be.
- Seattle Seahawks
Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State
The Seahawks’ offensive line is horrendous, but in this draft, there is no lineman available that wouldn’t be a major reach. Malik McDowell has all the physical tools to be a stud in the NFL. He has length, power, and athletic ability, he just needs to learn how to use leverage and his hands to shed blockers.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Sidney Jones, Cornerback, Washington
The Chiefs have an All-Pro corner in Marcus Peters. They just need someone to play across from him. Jones, who attended Washington, like Peters, is a smooth, athletic corner. He’ll need to add weight to his very thin frame and improve his ability to press at the line of scrimmage. However, Jones does an excellent job of limiting separation, which is a corner’s main job.
- Dallas Cowboys
Carl Lawson, Defensive End, Auburn
With Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and a dominant offensive line, the Cowboys are set up to be a force for a decade. However, they need to greatly improve their defensive personnel. Dallas lacks a true pass rusher, and Carl Lawson has the speed and power to be that guy. His only limitation is his size, particularly his arm length. If he measures well at the Combine, Lawson probably won’t be available at this spot. But if he is, Dallas could get a player they desperately need.
- Green Bay Packers
Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Cornerback, Florida
Aaron Rodgers has played with a good defense once in his career. He won a Super Bowl with that defense. The Packer secondary was a joke last year. Part of this was due to injuries, but an upgrade is badly needed. Jalen Tabor is a talented zone corner with good ball skills. Getting him this late in the first round is a big steal for Green Bay.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles Harris, Defensive End, Missouri
James Harrison is a legend in Pittsburgh and throughout the NFL. He went from undrafted free agent to future Hall of Famer. However, Harrison is old, and the Steelers need another pass rusher. Charles Harris is a powerful defensive end that should fit nicely in Pittsburgh’s scheme.
- Atlanta Falcons
Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
Forrest Lamp is a stud. Lamp is a 305-pound athlete with nimble feet and a good punch. Although he started at left tackle in college, his lack of length will likely force him inside. Lamp can handle power or speed and can play multiple positions along the line. He is a big upgrade over Atlanta’s starting right guard, Chris Chester.
- New England Patriots
Gareon Conley, Cornerback, Ohio State
New England won a title behind the arm of the GOAT, Tom Brady. Their offense is very solid, but they need to add pieces to their defense. Gareon Conley wasn’t the best corner on his college team, but he’s the best available player for the Patriots. Conley is better suited to play zone, but he has the ball skills, speed, and length to be a long time starter for New England.
*The Colts and Eagles’ picks will be decided by a coin flip at the scouting combine.