Well, ladies and gentleman, here
is my final First Round Mock Draft of the season. I hope you all enjoy. I have
to say, this is probably the most difficult draft to project that I have
encountered since I started following the NFL. We’ll see tonight how accurate I
really am. Have at it folks, and Happy Draft Day!

1. Cleveland
Browns: Myles Garrett – Defensive End – Texas

take: Browns have a serious pass rush need and Garrett is the unanimous top
player in the draft. No need to overthink this one. While I may not be as high
on Garrett as some other draftniks, he would undoubtedly present a huge upgrade
in the pass rushing department for Cleveland
from Day One.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas –
Defensive End – Stanford

take: John Lynch could easily take a safety like Jamal Adams
to fortify the backend, but I think he opts for the local kid. As a former
Stanford guy, I’m sure he knows Thomas real well already.

3. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen – Defensive End – Alabama

take: This may be the toughest pick for me to project in the whole draft. The
Bears have some interest in Solomon Thomas, but with Thomas off the board they
grab the next best thing here with Allen. Allen may have been the better
college player and would be an outstanding fit at the five technique in the
Bears’ 3-4 front.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette –
Running Back – LSU

take: Tom Coughlin knows what a good running game can do for a team. The former
Giants head man will look to fortify the running game and continue to build on
this young emerging defense with his remaining picks.

5. Tennessee
Titans: Jamal Adams – Safety – Louisiana

take: Tennessee
has needs all over this defense, but in particular in the secondary. To me, Adams is the second-best player in this draft and would
bring the leadership and playmaking ability this young defense sorely lacks.

6. New
York Jets: Marshon Lattimore – Cornerback – Ohio State

take: I remain skeptical that Lattimore will go this high with his injury
history and lack of starting experience. That being said, the Jets definitely
need the help in their defensive backfield and Lattimore is the consensus
number one corner in this draft.

7. Los
Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker – Safety – Ohio State

take: The Bolts have been looking for an upgrade at safety ever since Eric
Weddle departed in Free Agency following the 2015 season. Hooker is a true
center fielder type and interception magnet. Some consider Hooker a top-5
player in this class.

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey –
Running Back – Stanford

take: Reports are that the Panthers are very high on McCaffrey and the
overwhelming opinion is he will gone inside the top 10. Rivera eluded to
changes coming in the offense, to make them more explosive in 2017. Ed’s son
will certainly do that.

9. Cincinnati
Bengals: Haasan Reddick – Linebacker – Temple

take: Reddick has aced this offseason and is starting to emerge as a legitimate
Top 10-15 pick. The Bengals could use some speed at the LB position and Reddick
comes with less baggage than fellow LB prospect Reuben Foster, who could also
be considered here.

10. Buffalo
Bills: O.J. Howard – Tight End – Alabama

take: The overwhelming opinion here is that they will look to add a playmaker here
for Tyrod Taylor. With the Bills interest in FA tight ends this offseason, Howard
seems to make the most sense here. He is a top 10 talent in this draft and will
add another dimension to this offense.

11. New
Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster – Linebacker – Alabama

take: While many believe Foster’s recent failed Combine drug test may keep him
out of the 1st round, I believe the player is far too talented to
pass up here. A drop out of the top 10 is almost certain; however, the value is
too good at 11 for the Saints to pass up.

12. Cleveland
Browns: Mitchell Trubisky – Quarterback – North Carolina

take: This seems like a marriage that is likely to come to fruition on draft
night. Trubisky is an Ohio
native and the Browns have toyed with the idea of taking him #1 overall. In the
end, I believe he ends up in Cleveland.
Whether it be from trade or draft tumble is still to be determined.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams – Wide
Receiver – Clemson

take: Larry Fitzgerald is not getting any younger and John Brown’s health
always seems to be in question. Adding a nice big weapon for what could be Carson Palmer’s final
season would not be a bad idea. Williams can learn from Fitz and take over as
the #1 receiver as early as 2018.

14. Philadelphia
Eagles: Chidobe Awuzie – Cornerback – Colorado

take: This may be the first real surprise of the draft. While most media folks
would be surprised by the pick, this may be a case of the NFL liking a player a
bit more than the folks at home. Awuzie is a polished cover man with experience
all over the secondary and Philadelphia
sorely needs it.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley –
Defensive End – UCLA

take: New Colts GM Chris Ballard knows how important pass rushers are from his
days in Kansas City.
He will undoubtedly be looking to add one early in this draft. Charles Harris
of Missouri will likely be considered here, but I like McKinley as a slightly
better fit here.

16. Baltimore
Ravens: Cam Robinson – Offensive Tackle – Alabama

take: Baltimore would like to build a dominant
offensive line ala the Dallas
Cowboys in 2016. For my money, Robinson is best tackle in this draft and Ozzie
has an affinity for Alabama
players. Robinson would slide right in to replace the departed Ricky Wagner.

17. Washington
Redskins: Jarrad Davis – Linebacker – Florida

take: Davis
appears to be one of the fastest rising players in this draft. Washington needs linebackers and Davis could be a bull in the middle of this
defense. Safety and running back are also areas of need but Davis may be too good to pass up here.

18. Tennessee
Titans: John Ross – Wide Receiver – Washington

take: Ross has professed his admiration of Titan’s signal caller Marcus Mariota
and the pair would make a great match here. After the Combine, Ross appeared
headed for a Top 10 selection, but his injury history causes him to slide a
little and settle in right here.

19. Tampa
Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook – Running
Back – Florida State

take: Of all the first round projections this year, this one just seems to make
the most sense. Pairing Cook with his college teammate Jameis Winston and
giving the Bucs a replacement for inconsistent RB Doug Martin would make a lot
of sense for Tampa.

20. Denver
Broncos: Garrett Bolles – Offensive Tackle – Utah

take: The Broncos would love to grab Christian McCaffrey here, but I sense he
will be long gone by this pick. Bolles also makes a lot of sense here. The
Broncos need to get bigger and more talented on the offensive line. This kid is
tenacious with a ton of upside that Elway will love.

21. Detroit
Lions: David Njoku – Tight End – Miami (Fla.)

take: The Lions need to add more offensive weapons for Matt Stafford. Former
top ten pick Eric Ebron has been slower to develop than expected, so Detroit adds some competition in the form of this athletic
specimen from Miami.
Njoku’s upside is monstrous and he could become the Calvin Johnson of tight
ends in short order for the Lions.

22. Miami
Dolphins: Derek Barnett – Defensive End – Tennessee

take: Barnett’s limited athleticism could cause him to slide a little on draft
day. That works out just fine for Miami.
They have preached BPA and all this guy does is produce. The fact that he broke
Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee
speaks volumes to that production.

23. New
York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk – Offensive Tackle – Wisconsin

take: The Giants need to improve on the offensive line and in the run game.
Ramczyk is solid in all areas and gives the Giants a slightly more athletic
complement at bookend to former first rounder Ereck Flowers. Adding a RB &
TE in this draft will also be a priority.

24. Oakland
Raiders: Kevin King – Cornerback – Washington

take: The Raiders love long press corners and their big FA addition of Sean
Smith last season left much to be desired. Depth is also important here and
King would be a nice addition here. The former Huskie has been a big riser ever
since his outstanding combine.

25. Houston
Texans: Patrick Mahomes – Quarterback – Texas

take: The Texans need a Quarterback, plain and simple. Mahomes has stated that
he believes Coach Bill O’Brien is very interested in his services and I would
be inclined to agree with that. The former Red Raider may have the most upside
of any QB in this draft.

26. Seattle
Seahawks: Forrest Lamp – Offensive Guard – Western

take: It is an exercise in futility to try and guess what Pete Carroll will do
on draft day. However, no one can argue against Seattle’s need on the offensive line. Many
experts project Lamp as the top OG, maybe even the top OL in this entire draft
and he would make a lot of sense for Seattle
right here.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Deshaun Watson –
Quarterback – Clemson

take: Another match made in NFL Draft Heaven here. Many question Watson’s
upside and arm strength, but no one can argue his toughness, athletic ability
and leadership. This is just the type of QB Andy Reid looks for and he will do
well to sit and learn from Alex Smith for a year or two.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Tre’Davious White –
Cornerback – LSU

take: Much like departed former tiger Morris Claiborne, White is a long,
athletic corner with lots of starting experience in the SEC. The Cowboys were
ravaged by free agency in the secondary and need reinforcements badly. While
White may not carry the most upside, I believe he is the most pro-ready corner
in this entire draft.

29. Green
Bay Packers: T.J. Watt – Linebacker – Wisconsin

take: The Pack need pass rushing help, so they keep the hometown kid in-state.
JJ’s little brother is just scratching the surface of his potential and
learning next to a great pass rusher with similar traits like Clay Matthews
could do wonders for Watt in Green Bay.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: DeShone Kizer –
Quarterback – Notre Dame

take: Kizer is projected to the second round in most mock drafts these days,
but he makes way too much sense as the heir apparent to Big Ben in Pittsburgh. He is the
big, strong-armed Quarterback type that the Steel
Town has grown to love and would get
the proper time and seasoning he needs in Pittsburgh.

31. Atlanta
Falcons: Charles Harris – Defensive End – Missouri

take: Atlanta
is looking to add pass rushing help to their front seven. Harris could be the
target by either staying put or an aggressive trade up. This young defense was
very impressive last year but wore down late in the Super Bowl and could use
some more guys to get to the Quarterback.

32. New
Orleans Saints: Marlon Humphrey – Cornerback – Alabama

take: Another Saints pick, and another Alabama
player chosen. Humphrey may very well be long gone by this pick, but if he is
on the board, he would add some much needed talent to this Saints’ secondary.
He is technically sound on the outside and is great in run support.

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