The NFL Draft kicks off on April 27 in Philadelphia.
Local 4's Ian Rhodes breaks down some predictions for the first round of the NFL Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett/DE/Texas A&M
Garrett is seen as one of the best DE prospects in a long time; better than Clowney, Julius Peppers - and even Mario Williams. He is a physical freak. This should be a no brainer for the Browns. Greg Williams is the new defensive coordinator in Cleveland and he will have a stud to build his defense around.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas/DL/Stanford
Thomas seems to be the consensus number two overall DL in the draft. He is versatile and can play multiple positions on the line. He is a high energy, high motor guy. San Fran isn’t going to address QB here. They signed two this offseason. Thomas also plays right in their backyard so they are very familiar with him.
3. Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams/S/LSU
Adams has a reputation as a natural born leader. Chicago’s defense his needs new leadership. Leadership doesn’t usually come from rookies but Adams was the first true freshman to be a game captain under Les Miles at LSU. Adams was also involved all over the field; whether he is coming down hill or playing center field he has great range as a Safety.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Marshon Lattimore/CB/Ohio St.
This is probably the most unpredictable spot in the top 10 but it will have a domino effect on the rest of the first round. The Jags could go in a few different directions. They were very active in free agency and attempted to fill some glaring holes. They need another offensive playmaker but I think it’s a little early for Fournette or O.J. Howard. Lattimore battled Hamstring injuries early at OSU. If he didn’t carry that baggage he probably would be a no brainer at number three. Lattimore is 6 feet tall, he can play press, he can play off. He has great hips and make up speed when the ball is in the air. He will translate great into any NFL scheme. Pairing him with Jalen Ramsey will really improve the Jags D.
5. Tennessee Titans (From Los Angeles Rams) - Jonathan Allen/DE/Alabama
The Titans would love if Lattimore fell here. If they take an offensive playmaker he might. It’s probably too early for the next available corner so, I see the Titans just taking the “Best Available” player on the board. Allen fits the Titans 3-4 scheme well. He has a big frame and can rush the passer from inside or outside. Another option here for the Titans is Allen’s teammate Reuben Foster. I think the Titans address defense here and offense with their next pick in round 1.
6. New York Jets - Leonard Fournette/RB/LSU
The Jets are equally as interested in selling tickets as they are winning. They love to make a big name splash in the draft and Fournette would definitely do it. He is a stud plain and simple. For my money he is the next Adrian Peterson but bigger. Is RB their biggest need? No. They need a QB but there isn’t that sure thing at QB. It’s probably too high to take Watson or Trubisky, which means they probably, will.
7. Los Angeles Charges - Malik Hooker/S/Ohio State
Hooker is an Ultra Talent safety. He is not only the best available at this spot but fits a need as a center field FS for the Chargers. For a 6-1, 205 safety he has unreal range and great ball skills. Adding Hooker to Chargers secondary would be pretty scary. Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward on the outside and then Hooker would be paired up with Jaheel Addae up top. Throwing on the Chargers will be no easy task.
8. Carolina Panthers - Derek Barnett/DE/Tennessee
The Panthers would love if Fournette would fall here. If he doesn’t they should take Derek Barnett. Barnett might be the steal of this draft when you look back in 5 years. Barnett hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential. His frame and his motor will make him a lethally every down lineman. He has the a strong and fast get off that drives offensive linemen crazy. He has a great ability to drop his shoulder and get around the corner in a heartbeat.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Ruben Foster/LB/Alabama
Foster is hands down the number one inside linebacker in this draft. The guy is a human missile. He is undersized for an NFL MLB but he makes up for it with his speed and the overall way he plays the game. The guy is nasty. He wants to take your head off every time you touch the ball. If the NFL can add 25 pounds to him without diminishing his sideline to sideline movement, he will be a stud for years to come. The Bengals already stop the run really well when Vontaze Burfict is in the game, adding Foster could be really fun to watch.
10. Buffalo Bills - Corey Davis/WR/Western Michigan
I think there is a pretty good chance the Bills go Wide Receiver here. The question becomes which one. My money is on Corey Davis. Davis is a physical specimen. He can run the whole route tree, he catches everything and he can run away from you will he does it. Sammy Watkins would love to pair up with fellow Clemson WR Mike Williams but I think Davis is the better player here.
11. New Orleans Saints - Tre’Davious White/CB/LSU
This pick could go many different directions. The Saints need a corner but the value isn’t here at 11. White is bunched up with a group of corners. There will be a run on DBs to end the first round and many of them are interchangeable. Don’t get me wrong, they are all great players but they don’t stand out from each other. They could get the same value 10-15 picks later. Don’t be surprised if they move out of this spot, either up to get Lattimore at 4 or down into the 20’s. I think the move is to go to 4 get Lattimore and the Jags move here and get O.J. Howard and gain a pick or two in the process.
12. Cleveland Browns - Mitchell Trubisky/QB/North Carolina
The smart thing here would to not take a QB. They have Brock, ride that out for a year till a much better QB class next year. Take a Dalvin Cook, take Mike Williams, take another defensive playmaker. They won’t. They will take another QB. Mitchell Trubisky and DeShaun Watson are a toss-up here. Trubisky is from Ohio, and grew up a Browns fan. Maybe he could return to save the franchise.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Deshaun Watson/QB/Clemson
The Cardinals have the luxury of taking the best player available on their board. Maybe the add to the O-Line, maybe a LB. I think they go out and get a QB to groom behind Carson Palmer. Watson could really benefit from playing behind a Veteran QB for a year or two. He has all the tools and all the ability to be a franchise QB but if they throw him into the fire to quickly he could eaten alive. The plays he makes with his feet won’t get him as far in the NFL. He needs the right system to be ultra-successful. Arizona could be that place.
14. Philadelphia Eagles - Gareon Conley/CB/Ohio State
The Eagles are in need of a new number 1 corner. They will take the best player corner on their board when pick 14 is called. Who that will be is a craps shoot. My best guess is the third member of the dynamic OSU secondary Gareon Conley. Conley is a lock down corner with quick feet and good ball skills. He is excellent at high pointing the ball.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Forrest Lamp/OL/Western Kentucky
The Colts have to protect Andrew Luck better. Their offensive line play has been bad. They specifically need help on the inside part of the line. Lamp is one of the few OL being mentioned in the 1st Round this year. Lamp played LT at WKU but will size up as a guard most likely in the NFL.
16. Baltimore Ravens - John Ross/WR/Washington
The Ravens need to add multiple wide receivers to their offense. Mike Williams is probably the best receiver available on the board but Ross is a burner. He ran a 4.22 at the combine and that speed is sexy. The Ravens need a down field threat for Flacco’s big arm. Think of a better, faster Torrey Smith. This guy is a deep threat machine. He has 99 speed and your just running vertical routes with him all day. Once he catches the ball he is pretty darn shifty too. When I watch his film he looks like a bigger Brandin Cooks.
17. Washington Redskins - Dalvin Cook/RB/Florida State
The Redskins need are in desperate need of a real “playmaker” feature back. Dalvin Cook is the very definition of a playmaker. His explosiveness and ability to catch out of the back field make him an every down NFL back. Cook is also bigger and stronger than people give him credit for. He weighs in at 210 and put up 22 reps at the combine.
18. Tennessee Titans - Mike Williams/WR/Clemson
I believe the Titans didn’t go get a WR in free agency because they knew they could get a stud in this year’s draft. They will be happy to take whichever of the top 3 receivers are left when they pick at 18. If Williams is the guy they will be getting a steal. He is the definition of the prototypical NFL Receiver. He is big and fast and isn’t just a deep threat. He would give Marcus Mariota a third big body to throw to in Tennessee.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - O.J. Howard/TE/Alabama
There are some out there who are sweet on Cameron Brate as the long term solution at TE for the Bucs, I am not one of them. They have shown that they love to get their TEs involved and they need to replace ASJ who they shipped to the Jets last year. O.J. Howard is a playmaker at TE. It will be hard for the Lions Fans reading this to believe because they were burn by Eric Ebron but Howard could be what Ebron was supposed to be.
20. Denver Broncos - Garett Bolles/OT/Utah
The Broncos are looking for a new LT with Russel Okung going to the Chargers. I believe they will go with the agile Garett Bolles. Their other option here is Cam Robinson from Alabama. Robinson is a bigger physical mauler. Bolles is an extremely agile LT, and he will fit much better in Denver’s Offense?
21. Detroit Lions - Taco Charlton/DE/Michigan
Charlton was a Monster at UofM. He is extremely athletic for a 6’6” DE. He would be a great addition to the Lions D-Line opposite Ziggy. Another option is to draft an Outside Linebacker where they have serious holes. They can definitely use another playmaker at Wide Receiver and Running Back but defense is a more pressing need. They will most likely address those positions later in the draft.
22. Miami Dolphins - Haason Reddick/LB/Temple
Reddick would be a good fit for the Dolphins because he can play a lot of different positions and they need a lot of help. No one can seem to pin down if he is a LB or DE so the team that drafts him will need to mold him into what they are looking for. Reddick has tested off the charts athletically. He will probably be a great weapon for the Dolphins because he has the perfect skill set to cover athletic TE. Fun fact, he went to Temple as a walk-on DB and has experience at DB, LB and DE.
23. New York Giants - Ryan Ramczyk/OT/Wisconsin
The Giants definitely need help on their OLine early in this draft. Luckily for them Offensive linemen won’t be flying off the board too early. I went with Ramczyk here over Anderson because I think Ramczyk is a better pass protector. They need to do a better job keeping Eli upright and Wisconsin has produced another dominate LT for the NFL.
24. Oakland (Vegas) Raiders - Zach Cunningham/LB/Vanderbilt
The Raiders have two major needs, Middle Linebacker and DB. Their secondary got torched a lot last year but they have the money already invested in their secondary. Zach Cunningham would be a great addition for the Silver and Black. He is a defensive playmaker who can get side line to sideline in a hurry. He reads the offense exceptionally well and gets downhill quick. He was over looked out of high school and played with a chip on his shoulder at Vanderbilt and he is going to do the same when 20 something other teams pass on him in this draft.
25. Houston Texans - David Njoku/TE/Miami (FL)
The Texans have a lot of needs for a team that made the playoffs last year. They really need to figure out their Quarterback situation long term. I wouldn’t really want to invest heavily in anyone in this draft though. When I watch the Texans I often wonder “when are they going to get a playmaker at TE?” They can do that this year with Njoku. There are 2 or 3 potential first round talents at TE. Houston should get the best available when they are up. Njoku has the size of a TE and a speed of a WR.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Malik McDowell/DT/Michigan State
McDowell is such a hard player to project. He is a freak athletically and extremely talented but he has a bad reputation of being super inconsistent. You could get the Defensive Rookie of the Year or he could flame out. Hopefully he lands in a locker room with great leadership like Seattle. They need an LT and a RT but they probably can’t get the value they want here.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Zay Jones/WR/East Carolina
Zay is fun to watch, and the Chiefs could desperately use someone like that at Wide Receiver. Jones is the all-time receptions leader in FBS history. You’re not completely surprised when you watch him play because the guy catches everything. He catches everything with his hands, not with his body, not against his body, always with his hands. It’s beautiful to watch. It’s exactly how it’s taught.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Evan Engram/TE/Ole Miss
Jason Witten is on his last years and it would be great for the Cowboys to replace him with a super athletic pass catching TE. Engram could be that guy. He is more of a really big WR than a TE. Engram is 6’3” 235 and ran a 4.42 at the combine. Dez Bryant is 6’2” 225 and ran a 4.5.
29. Green Bay Packers - Christian McCaffrey/RB/Stanford
Talk about a match made in heaven. Christian McCaffrey and Packers would be a perfect fit for each other. He is Stanford smart and would be able play multiple roles for the Packers as an every down back. He eats up yards and can catch the ball really well out o the back field. He wouldn’t need to be flashy even though he can be. He just needs to be in the right place at the right time for McCarthy and Rodgers. If he is even on the board this late I don’t see anyone he falls past 29.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jabrill Peppers/S/Michigan
I honestly don’t think he will fall this far but I just want you to imagine Peppers in a Troy Polamalu role for the Steelers. Kind of all over the field, just making plays. Michigan fans know this guys is an amazing talent. No matter where he ends up he will be successful. Hopefully he goes to a team that can take advantage of his skill set.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Takkarist McKinley/DE/UCLA
This would be great value for the Flacons if McKinley slipped this late. He is a high motor guy who loves to get after the quarterback. His size and speed may make him more of a hybrid stand up pass rusher. I’m sure Falcons fans would have loved to have someone like that in the second half of the Super Bowl last year.
32. New Orleans Saints (From New England Patriots) - Marlon Humphrey/CB/Alabama
Humphrey could very easily be the Saints Pick at 11 and White the Saints pick here at 32. There are so many options at DB teams will have to know which guys will fit best in their system. Pick 32 could be any number of guys; Teez Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Jourdan Lewis, Marcus Maye, Chidobe Awuzie or Kevin King. No matter which one of these guys gets picked, the Saints need two DBs in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
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