With the NFL Draft less than a week away, time for another stab at sifting through the hype and misinformation to determine what might transpire in Chicago on April 30.
1. Buccaneeers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
It’s either a tremendous smokescreen or the Bucs (and the league) have vetted Winston to the point where the red flags are in the past.
2. Browns (from Titans) – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Mariota’s going second overall—maybe to Tennessee, more likely to Cleveland or Philly or San Diego. In this mock the Browns give up at least their two 2015 first-rounders to get him.
3. Jaguars – Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
Gus Bradley starts rebuilding his defense with an edge-rusher.
4. Raiders – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Kevin White’s upside is undeniable, but Cooper is a rock-solid add who can make Derek Carr look good for the next decade
5. Redskins – Vic Beasley, LB, Clemson
News on Shane Ray’s toe injury bumps him down a bit, but the Redskins still opt for edge rusher over o-line help.
6. Jets -Shane Ray, LB, Missouri
Mariota is off the board, so the Jets beef up Todd Bowles’ defense with an edge rusher—toe injury be damned!
7. Bears – Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Doesn’t make sense for a John Fox team to add a receiver, especially when Williams has fallen into their laps.
8. Falcons – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Atlanta is desperate for an edge rusher, so they’ll overlook Gregory’s positive Combine drug test.
9. Giants – Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
Wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants make a push upwards if Leonard Williams falls, but in this scenario they settle for Scherff—who is hardly a consolation prize.
10. Rams – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
There’s a need for a receiver, and Kevin White is still on the board, but this is still a Jeff Fisher-coached team where defense reigns supreme.
11. Dolphins (from Vikings) – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
The Vikings love trading back, and they’ve dealt with the Dolphins before. Here they slide back four spots and the Dolphins add a big target for Ryan Tannehill.
12. Titans (from Browns) – Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford
If the Titans are committing to Zach Mettenberger, at least for this year, they need to keep the pocket clean. That’s definitely an area where Peat can help.
13. Saints – Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky
Edge rushers are thinning at this juncture, so the Saints scratch that itch here and can use their later first-round pick to address other needs.
14. Vikings (from Dolphins) – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Minnesota still gets the receiver they need, plus an additional pick somewhere along the way. Vintage Rick Spielman—especially if he uses it to deal back into the bottom of the first round.
15. 49ers – Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Tempting to have the Niners reach a little for Eric Kendricks, but they can find linebacker help on Day 2; chances to draft someone who can replace Justin Smith are rare.
16. Texans – Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Houston will be happy if Collins slips to them here, so happy they can wait until Day 2 to give DeAndre Hopkins a running mate.
17. Chargers – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
If Philip Rivers is going to stick around the Chargers will want to keep him upright. Flowers is a positive step in that direction.
18. Chiefs – Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Jaelen Strong is tempting, but the Chiefs’ o-line could use a presence in the middle.
19. Titans (from Bills via Browns) – Danny Shelton, DL, Washington
It’s not sexy, but the Titans parlay the second overall selection into much-needed help along both the offensive and defensive fronts. Enough to save Ken Whisenhunt’s job?
20. Eagles – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona
This would be the spot where Chip Kelly goes outside the box and takes Breshad Permian or Dorial Green-Beckham. We’ll keep Chip in check with Jaelen Strong, a more proven commodity who still gives Kelly another weapon in his scheme.
21. Bengals – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
After mocking Eddie Goldman to the Bengals in 1.0, the position remains the same but Cincy leans Malcom Brown this time around.
22. Steelers – Eli Harold, LB, Virginia
There are corners and safeties on the board that might entice the Steelers, but edge rusher remains thin and Harold is the last with a first-round pedigree.
23. Lions – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Jim Caldwell rolls the dice with a potential malcontent who might just be the most talented of the remaining cornerbacks. Hey, with Suh gone somebody has to keep things interesting.
24. Cardinals – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Gurley might be closer to helping immediately than initially expected after the ACL injury; he can share carries with Andre Ellington until he’s ready.
25. Panthers – La’el Collins, OL, LSU
Both lines need work, but Jonathan Martin as the potential starting left tackle is a cry for help answerable by the selection of Collins.
26. Ravens – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Getting out of the AFC means beating some pretty good quarterbacks, so even if Baltimore’s incumbents come back healthy Johnson will hardly be superfluous.
27. Cowboys – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
So tempting to put Melvin Gordon here, but Jerry snagged DeMarco Murray in the third round and he’ll find his replacement on Day 2. That allows Dallas to fill a gaping hole along their defensive front.
28. Broncos – D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida State
Unusual for Gary Kubiak to use a first-round pick on an offensive lineman, but Peyton Manning has enough weapons and Humphries has the feet to be a Kubiak mainstay for years.
29. Colts – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Probably the fantasy guy in me pulling the trigger here, as Indy has needs at safety and along the offensive line. But Gordon as Frank Gore’s understudy and eventual replacement in Andrew Luck’s backfield is too good to pass up.
30. Packers – Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Same position, different player from last mock. Either Kendricks or Benardrick McKinney free up Clay Matthews to move back outside, where he’s much more effective.
31. Saints (from Seahawks) – T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh
New Orleans turns Jimmy Graham into protection for Drew Brees and a run-blocker for what might be a newly-focused Saints offense.
32. Patriots – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
If the Patriots don’t trade this pick away, they have the luxury of swinging for the fences with a wideout who has monster upside.