1. Buccaneers- Jameis Winston QB, Florida State
The number one overall pick will likely come down to Winston or Mariota. Winston has impressed throughout the interview process, likely securing his spot atop the draft when combined with his arm talent and knowledge of NFL offenses.
2. Titans- Marcus Mariota QB, Oregon
Mariota going number two has gained steam in recent weeks whether it’s with the Titans or a team such as the Chargers or Jets trading up. The Titans would prefer to trade the pick and collect a bounty of additional picks, but even if they can’t find a worthy suitor, I think they pull the trigger on Mariota anyway.
3. Jaguars- Leonard Williams DL, USC
Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper are certainly possibilities, but having what many scouts deem as the best overall prospect in the draft would be difficult to pass up at number three. Gus Bradley will love his versatility on the defensive line.
4. Raiders- Amari Cooper WR, Alabama
This selection goes beyond the Raiders’ desire to truly evaluate what they have in Derek Carr. Cooper is a polished product and will be immediately ready to make an impact. If Cooper goes to the Jags at three, I would expect the Raiders to scarf up Williams to pair him with last year’s first round stud, Kahlil Mack.
5. Redskins- Dante Fowler Jr. DE, Florida
Fowler seems like a no-brainer if available at this spot for Washington. He’s exactly the type of athletic edge rusher the Redskins are currently lacking.
6. Jets- Brandon Scherff OL, Iowa
The Jets could certainly target a pass rusher here, but with Randy Gregory’s off-the-field concerns and Shane Ray’s injury and own recent drug charge, it’s a risky proposition. Vic Beasley and Bud Dupree are other possible edge rushers, but they don’t offer the value of Scherff who also addresses a need at right tackle or guard.
7. Bears- Kevin White WR, West Virginia
Similar to Jets, the Bears have a need for a pass rusher, but once again the risks may not be worth the investment so early in the draft. Plus Kevin White offers massive upside at a position of need for the Bears.
8. Falcons- Todd Gurley RB, Georgia
Gurley has been cleared medically and as a result he has shot up mock draft boards in recent weeks. Gurley was always thought of as a top-tier talent, but questions surrounding his health deflated his value. Atlanta opts for Gurley over a handful of pass rushers with weight, health and off the field concerns.
9. Giants- Vic Beasley OLB, Clemson
Scherff would be a perfect match here, but with the road grader off the board, the Giants select Beasley to boost a pass rush severely lacking of talent outside of Jason Pierre-Paul. Gurley could also be a possible candidate here, but he’s also off the board.
10. Rams- DeVante Parker WR, Louisville
Parker has major upside with playmaking skills and an ability to attack the ball at its high point and make plays downfield. Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes is a possibility here as well, but Parker presents better value at a more glaring position of need.
11. Vikings- Trae Waynes CB, Michigan State
The Vikings could look at a wide receiver to pair with Mike Wallace, but with Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson it isn’t as pressing of a need as corner, and with the top three off the board at this point doesn’t provide the appropriate value. Waynes has the ability to contribute right away.
12. Browns- Danny Shelton DT, Washington
The Browns also have needs at wide receiver and right tackle, but Shelton offers a massive gap plugger in the run game with the team not being sold on Phil Taylor at nose tackle. If Parker gets past the Rams and Vikings, I would expect the Browns to nab him. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman of Central Florida is also a possibility.
13. Saints- Randy Gregory OLB, Nebraska
The Saints take the gamble hoping Gregory’s talent and speed to power pass rushing skills outweigh his past history with marijuana. The Saints could target a different pass rusher such as Shane Ray or Kentucky’s Bud Dupree. Wide receiver and offensive line help are also worth a look here as well and offer fair value.
14. Dolphins- Marcus Peters CB, Washington
Two major back-to-back risks here by the Saints and Dolphins. Peters’ off the field issues have been well-documented, and have garnered appropriate red flags, but he is the most talented secondary prospect in this draft with terrific ball skills and the athleticism to mirror in man coverage.
15. 49ers- Arik Armstead DE, Oregon
Armstead couples breathtaking potential with maddening frustration. He has a well-built frame and long arms, but his technique and production often suffered at Oregon. Cornerback is also a need area after losing Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver this offseason, but they opt for Armstead over corners like Kevin Johnson and Byron Jones.
16. Texans- Bud Dupree OLB, Kentucky
The Texans don’t have any glaring holes in their roster except at the most critical position. However, outside of J.J. Watt the team doesn’t have much in the way of pass rush production. With Watt, Jadaveon Clowney and the athletic Dupree, the Texans have the potential to boast a trio of devastating rushers.
17. Chargers- Malcolm Brown DT, Texas
The second running back of the first round could come off the board here in Melvin Gordon. The Chargers could also target edge rusher Shane Ray or one of the plethora of tackle prospects still on the board, but Brown fills a major need at the nose tackle, and although he’s better suited to play as a 3-tchnqiue in a 4-3 alignment, he’s excellent at playing the run and has the ability to get into the backfield quickly.
18. Chiefs- Cameron Erving C, Florida State
Even after adding Jeremy Maclin in free agency, wide receiver is position of need, and the Chiefs would have multiple options here. However, after losing center Rodney Hudson to free agency, Erving would be a sensible add to the interior.
19. Browns- Breshad Perriman WR, Central Florida
Adding a right tackle is a possibility, but since Josh Gordon’s off the field issues forced him off the field, the wide receiver position has been devoid of talent in Cleveland. Perriman may struggle with focus drops, but he can make contested catches and possesses game-breaking separating speed.
20. Eagles- Landon Collins S, Alabama
The Eagles did upgrade at corner in the offseason with the signings of Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond, but the safety position was nearly equally disastrous last season. The selection of Collins continues the upgrade in the secondary as the Eagles need someone to team with Malcolm Jenkins on the backend.
21. Bengals- Andrus Peat T, Stanford
The Bengals could select the embattled Ray here as pass rushing help is much needed, but Peat has the potential to be the best tackle of this class and one that could possibly become a reliable blindside protector on the left side. Andrew Whitworth struggled last season at left tackle and right tackle Andre Smith will be a FA after this season. Peat could sit and develop for a year, or push Whitworth inside to guard.
22. Steelers- Shane Ray DE, Missouri
Former 1st-rounder Jarvis Jones hasn’t met expectations and while James Harrison played well last season after returning to Pittsburgh, he can’t play forever. The Steelers are desperate for pass rush help and although Ray may start the year on the PUP list, the Steelers will look at his long term value in the 22nd spot. Corner is also a need so Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson and Connecticut’s Byron Jones are possibilities.
23. Lions- Ereck Flowers T, Miami
Cornerback and defensive tackle are other options, but tackle offers the best value at this point. Flowers’ hand usage technique needs refinement, but he has the physical tools to start right away on the right side, and projects as high upside player.
24. Cardinals- Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
Gordon would pair with Andre Ellington to give the Cards an explosive committee system constantly creating fear in defenses. Defense, however, is also in play here as the Cardinals are severely lacking pass rushing talent. If Gregory or Ray fall to them here, the Cards would likely give them a long look, but with both off the board here, the value just isn’t there in terms of pass rushers.
25. Panthers- D.J. Humphries T, Florida
The Panthers have been linked to a handful of tackle prospects in nearly every mock draft, but wide receiver is a sneaky possibility here. Jaelen Strong is still on the board as is Ohio State’s Devin Smith, USC’s Nelson Agholor and Miami’s Phillip Dorsett. All are fringe first rounders and present playmaking value at this point.
26. Ravens- Nelson Agholor WR, USC
Despite Joe Flacco’s statement that the team is pleased with the current receiving core, the Ravens opt for a wideout here. Agholor is a talented route runner, adept at creating space and an overall versatile target in the passing game. Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson also offers a useful value-need combination at this spot for the Ravens.
27. Cowboys- Kevin Johnson CB, Wake Forest
Johnson provides help at the corner position where the Cowboys struggled last season, and Sterling Moore left via free agency while Brandon Carr looms as a possible post-June 1st cut. The Cowboys could also consider Connecticut’s Byron Jones who may also be able to play safety in the NFL.
28. Broncos- La’el Collins T, Broncos
The Broncos could deploy Collins at right tackle, or more likely, kick him inside to guard. Other tackles like Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings or Oregon’s Jake Fisher are in play, but they don’t project as well at guard. Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman also looms after the Broncos lost Terrance “pot roast” Knighton this offseason.
29. Colts- Damarious Randall S, Arizona State
Randall’s stock had increased substantially in the past two weeks or so, and several scouts have said he’s the best safety in the draft. He has range and playmaking potential on the backend, tracking the ball and aggressively attacking. The Colts added safety Dwight Lowery this offseason, but he’s a borderline starter at this point in his career, and the Colts are in need of a playmaker at the safety spot.
30. Packers- Byron Jones CB, Connecticut
The Packers don’t have any pressing needs (surprise), and this is an organization that regularly adheres to the strategy of value over need anyway. Jones offers value and depth at corner where after Sam Shields and Casey Hayward there is a void of talent.
31. Saints- Devin Smith WR, Ohio State
Smith hasn’t appeared in too many first rounds across the mock draft landscape, but scouts adore his ball tracking and adjustment skills on deep balls. Smith provides the downfield threat the Saints lost when they dealt Kenny Stills to the Dolphins.
32. Patriots- Eddie Goldman DT, Florida State
Bill Belichick will be attempting to trade down and gather more picks as usual, but I’m not projecting trades, and I’m not sure how many teams will be itching to trade back into the first round. Despite taking Dominque Easley in the first round last year, the Pats elect to go with another defensive tackle. Vince Wilfork is about the size of two men, and it may take two to replace what he offered to this defense.
33. Titans- Cedric Ogbuehi T, Texas A&M
34. Buccaneers- Jake Fisher T, Oregon
35. Raiders- Preston Smith DE, Mississippi State
36. Jaguars- Jaelen Strong WR, Arizona State
37. Jets- Hau’oli Kikaha OLB, Washington
38. Redskins- T.J. Clemmings T, Pittsburgh
39. Bears- Eli Harold OLB, Virginia
40. Giants- Eric Kendricks ILB, UCLA
41. Rams- Laken Tomlinson G, Duke
42. Falcons- Ogwamagbe Odighizuwa DE, UCLA
43. Browns- Bryce Petty QB, Baylor
44. Saints- A.J. Cann G, South Carolina
45. Vikings- Denzel Perryman ILB, Miami
46. 49ers- Jalen Collins CB, LSU
47. Dolphins- Phillip Dorsett WR, Miami
48. Chargers- Tevin Coleman RB, Indiana
49. Chiefs- Dorial Green-Beckham WR, Missouri
50. Bills- Benardrick McKinney ILB, Mississippi State
51. Texans- Eric Rowe CB/S, Utah
52. Eagles- Devin Funchess WR, Michigan
53. Bengals- Paul Dawson LB, TCU
54. Lions- Jordan Phillips DT, Oklahoma
55. Cardinals- Maxx Williams TE, Minnesota
56. Steelers- Quinten Rollins CB/S- Miami (OH)
57. Panthers- Tyler Lockett WR, Kansas State
58. Ravens- Senquez Golson CB, Mississippi
59. Broncos- Carl Davis DT, Iowa
60. Cowboys- Michael Bennett DT, Ohio State
61. Colts- Tre’ Jackson G, Florida State
62. Packers- Stephone Anthony ILB, Clemson
63. Seahawks- Ali Marpet G, Hobart
64. Patriots- Ameer Abdullah RB, Nebraska