The NFL Draft is now 24 hours away(as I write this at least) after what has been a long and grueling process. I’ve given you detailed reports on the quarterbacks and more specifically, Carson Wentz, the quarterback the Eagles will take. I also gave you a full 7 round Philadelphia Eagles mock draft. This is where I take a crack at predicting what will happen in the first round. This mock is complete with trades, heresay and actual information I have heard regarding what could happen on Thursday night.
With the lack of truly elite prospects and the overall depth of this draft, there will be a ton of surprises and a few weird picks on first round. That’s what makes it impossible to predict, but a blast to attempt to project.
So here goes nothing
1) LA Rams: Jared Goff QB/California- The Rams have been locked in on Goff every since they traded up with the Titans. For an accuracy standpoint he makes a ton of sense and playing on the west coast makes his smaller hand size and average arm strength less of an issue.
2)Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz QB/North Dakota State- This has been a dream scenario for the Eagles. They trade up from 13 to 8 to 2 and only lose two players they wanted to get rid of along with a future 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounder all in separate drafts. They also pick second while getting the guy they would take 1st overall. Wentz is a great athlete with a big arm who comes from a west coast offense very similar to what Doug Pederson and Frank Reich are going to run in Philly this year. He’s the most NFL ready quarterback by a mile and he has a lot of similarities to Andrew Luck.
3)***TRADE*** Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliot RB/Ohio State- The Dolphins view themselves as contenders in need of that final piece to put them over the top. They have their franchise quarterback, they have good receivers, now they get an elite running back to take the pressure off Ryan Tannehill. They’d love to trade up for Elliot later in the top 10, but if they want Elliot they have to get ahead of Dallas.
4)Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey DB/Florida State- This is the best case scenario for the Jones family. Jerry is going to want Elliot and Stephen will covet Ramsey. With Elliot off the board at 3 this is an easy pick with no family drama. Ramsey is an elite cover corner who has also thrived at safety. He’s an exceptional athlete and a sure tackler.
5)Jacksonville Jaguars: Laremy Tunsil OT/Ole Miss- The Jaguars have a ton of weapons on offense right now, but they have to find a way to protect quarterback Blake Bortles. Getting Tunsil at 5 is insane value. I have him as my number one overall prospect. I also think moving Joeckel to right tackle is best for everyone involved.
6)Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner DL/Oregon- Offensive tackle is probably a bigger need, but Buckner is such a rare prospect with everything he can do. In their base he is a 5-tech end who can play inside or outside in sub-packages as a rusher. He’s a freak athlete at 6’7, 290 pounds with the frame to add a lot more weight.
7)San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley OT/Notre Dame- Chip Kelly learns from what helped start his tenure in Philly so well by again taking an offensive tackle with his first pick in his second NFL stop.
8)Cleveland Browns: Myles Jack LB/UCLA- Cleveland is a team in need of a total rebuild that has no pressure to win right now. They are a perfect team to take Jack in the first round. If he can stay healthy he is the rarest of linebacker breeds to ever play the game. If he can’t, the pick is a bust but Cleveland has two more first rounders coming in 2017.
9)Tampa Bay Bucs: Joey Bosa DE/Ohio State- A lot of people will be surprised to see Bosa fall this late, but I really think Draft Twitter values Bosa a lot more than the league does. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a really good prospect, but the lack of elite explosion and Ramsey available to Dallas at 4 will push Bosa down just a little bit.
10)New York Giants: Jack Conklin OT/OG/Michigan State- The Giants spent a lot of money upgrading their defense in free agency. Now they attack their offensive line issues. Conklin won’t play left tackle in the NFL, but he can thrive at right tackle or guard as the nastiest blocker in the entire draft. Very Jon Runyan-esque.
11)Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd OLB/Georgia- The Bears are still transitioning to the 3-4 defense and really need to find that true edge rusher with the explosion to consistently get after the quarterback. Floyd is a fluid athlete who can drop back and explode off the snap.
12)New Orleans Saints: Vernon Hargraeves CB/Florida- The Saints really just need to take the best defensive prospect on their board here. Their defense is embarrassing and their really isn’t a position they don’t need to upgrade on that side. This would be a huge steal as the Saints get the best corner in the draft and someone who can play in any scheme.
13)***TRADE*** San Diego Chargers: Jason Spriggs OT/Indiana- The Chargers have to upgrade their offensive line and secondary and trading down with Miami will help them do just that. They pick up an extra second rounder in the process while also still getting a solid left tackle in Spriggs.
14)Oakland Raiders: A’Shawn Robinson DL/Alabama- The Raiders are loaded with talented edge rushers. Now it’s time to beef up their front to create more favorable matchups for those explosive pass rushers.
15)***TRADE*** New York Jets: Paxton Lynch QB/Memphis- The Titans miss out on the top 4 offensive tackles and the Jets need a quarterback for the future. This is a perfect storm for a trade. Lynch won’t be mentally ready to run a NFL offense in year one, but it allows for either Geno Smith or Bryce Petty to hold the fort down for a year without paying Ryan Fitzpatrick ridiculous money.
16)Detroit Lions: Corey Coleman WR/Baylor- With the surprise retirement of Calvin Johnson, the Lions have to go wide receiver here. That offense will be dreadful without another wide receiver to compliment Golden Tate. Coleman is an elite athlete who can sky for the ball and separate against any corner.
17)Atlanta Falcons: Jarran Reed DT/Alabama- The Falcons can go any number of ways with this pick, but I think getting a very polished defensive linemen who can clog the middle and draw double teams is the best way to go.
18)***TRADE*** Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson CB/Houston- I know the Steelers covet Jackson who would shore up a huge need for them. They move up 7 spots and probably still keep their second rounder in the process all while acquiring a top 10 prospect.
19)Buffalo Bills: LaQuon Treadwell WR/Ole Miss- The Bills get the perfect compliment to Sammy Watkins by drafting the most physical wide receiver to come out since Dez Bryant.
20)***TRADE*** Tennessee TitansL Germain Ifedi OT/Texas A&M- Not the left tackle prospect they wanted to take, but they still get a first round caliber left tackle while acquiring a ton of extra picks since they were awarded the first overall pick.
21)Washington Football Team: Reggie Ragland ILB/Alabama- A physical linebacker who can blitz the A-gap and immediately improve their run defense.
22)Houston Texans: Josh Doctson WR/TCU- It’s not often a quarterback leaves a Super Bowl team and improves situation, but with Doctson, DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller to go with an already stout defense, this would be pretty damn close to that.
23)Minnesota Vikings: Michael Thomas WR/Ohio State- Stefon Diggs was a real find for Minnesota last year as they got a true deep threat with at on of speed. Now they need to get Teddy Bridgewater a more physical receiver who can win the contested battles and be a reliable third down target.
24)Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller WR/Notre Dame- The Bengals losing both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu was a blessing in disguise. They save a ton of money and get an elite speed threat in Fuller. Fuller will force defenses to take some extra attention away from A.J. Green and make life easy for the running backs at the same time.
25)***TRADE*** Indianapolis Colts: Noah Spence OLB/Eastern Kentucky- Ryan Kelly is the popular pick, put I’m not crazy about taking a center in the first round. You can get quality centers in almost any round, but getting an explosive edge rusher is pretty much an early round only find.
26)Seattle Seahawks: Robert Nkemdiche DT/Ole Miss- The Seahawks have proven to be that team that is never afraid to take a player with character issues. If they can get Nkemdiche to give consistent effort and stay clean off the field this will be the steal of the first round.
27)Green Bay Packers: Darron Lee LB/Ohio State- I have been mocking speedy inside linebackers to the Packers for years but they never seem to find their guy. If Lee falls to them they have to jump at the chance to add some serious speed to their front 7. I don’t like his ability to shed blockers, but he should be well protected in that front.
28)Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple CB/Ohio State- This would be back to back years with a corner as their first round pick, but two years ago it was a huge need. Now they can be set at the position and be a couple years away from having one of the best secondaries in the league.
29)Arizona Cardinals: Sheldon Rankins DL/Louisville- Arizona has so much speed on defense, but getting more physical up front is what the defense needs to take the next step.
30)Carolina Panthers: Shaq Lawson DE/Clemson- A lot of people have Lawson as a top 10 prospect, but as a pass rusher he really is a one trick pony. He is a power rusher off the edge who lacks the athleticism you want out of a high end defensive end prospect. For Carolina he fits in perfectly playing next two to outstanding defensive tackles and probably playing behind Charles Johnson for a year.
31)Denver Broncos: Connor Cook QB/Michigan State- Let me just preface this by saying this is in no way, shape or form who I would take if I was the Broncos GM, but this is who I think they will pick. Denver has a huge need at quarterback and the price for either Colin Kaepernick or Sam Bradford appears to be too high right now. This pick could drive those prices down for two teams who really don’t want the quarterback they have on the trade block.