The NFL Draft is just over two weeks away, so now is as good a time as any to do the first mock draft for ClickonDetroit. There have already been two trades involving top 10 picks, including the No. 1 overall pick being sent to the Los Angeles Rams by the Tennessee Titans. More trades are sure to be made during the draft, however it is nearly impossible predict them so I won’t try with this mock.
1. L.A. Rams – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
You down trade away multiple draft picks in the first three rounds of the draft over the next two years unless you think you have a chance at landing a franchise quarterback for many years to come. Carson Wentz is the only player in this year's draft class with the potential to be a true franchise quarterback. By moving back to Los Angeles, the Rams needed to make a splash, this move falls in the category of big splash.
2. Cleveland Browns – Jared Goff, QB, Cal
The two best players in this year's draft class are OT Laremy Tunsil and CB Jalen Ramsey, the good news for the Browns is that both players will still be on the board for them, the bad news for the Browns is that the Browns currently have a pair of All-Pro’s at those positions and cant really justify taking either player at No. 2. In a perfect world, the Browns would trade this pick to a team desperate for either player with the fear that the Chargers will select them with the No. 3 pick. I am not going to predict trades here, so the Browns will do what bad teams do, try and find a franchise quarterback. Goff has the look of a franchise quarterback however he never worked a pro style offense in college, and will have a lot of learning to do to be successful on Sundays.
3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
The Chargers can’t really go wrong here, Tunsil and Ramsey will both become top players at their position, this pick really comes down to which player will make the bigger impact for the Chargers going forward. Tunsil will help sure up a very unstable offensive line in San Diego.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
The Cowboys need help defensively. Going into this season, Dallas will at least feel somewhat comfortable with their linebacking core, so that takes UCLA standout Myles Jack out of the equation. Ramsey is the top defensive player in this year's draft, and the case can be made that he is the best overall player in the draft. The Cowboys have spent a lot of money, and a lot of high draft picks on the secondary over the last 10 years, Ramsey could prove to be the best bet of all of them.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
The Jaguars have had a very busy offseason, and have become a very exciting team in a fairly weak AFC South. The Jaguars check all the boxes on the offensive side of the ball, so this pick will definitely go to a defensive player. Jack has the athleticism of a safety, with the size and strength of a linebacker. By day one Jack will become a player opposing offenses will have to game plan against. He is quick enough to cover the best tight ends, and strong enough to dominate against the run. The only question mark with Jack is his health, he is coming off of a season ending knee injury. As long as the knee holds up, he will be a star.
6. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon
The Ravens are known for having a tough, hard-nosed defense. That hasn’t been the case the last few seasons with their offense having to carry the team. Buckner is a big, nasty lineman who can play any position on the D-Line. His versatility will remind Ravens fans of a young Haloti Ngata.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
This is a tough spot for the 49ers, they would love to have either Wentz or Goff fall to them here, but the chances of either man being here at 7 are slim. San Fran could trade up if they really like Goff, but their roster is so depleted that they need every draft pick they have, so they cant really afford to give up picks to move up. Bosa has the physical ability to be a dominate lineman in the NFL, however expectations of him being another JJ Watt are simply unrealistic, and any comparison to Watt will only make Bosa look like a bust.
8. Philadelphia Eagles – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
Back-to-back Buckeye’s run off the board here. Elliott is a big play waiting to happen, and that’s exactly what the Eagles need here.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Hargreaves is a top flight prospect that has no business being available at number 9 for the Bucs. Ramsey is getting all the publicity in the secondary, but Hargreaves can cover with the best of them, no matter what system he is placed in. This could turn out to be the steal of the draft.
10. New York Giants – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Giants spent a lot of money this offseason on the defensive side of the ball, so this pick should go to the offense. Elliott would be welcomed here should the Eagles pass on him, but the Giants will happily select the best lineman available. Stanley has the speed and footwork necessary to play Left Tackle in the NFL, that makes his as valuable as just about anyone in this year's class.
11. Chicago Bears – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have proven to the rest of the NFL that you can never have enough pass rushers. The Bears have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball, when this is the case, you have to single in on the most important issues. The Bears were 22nd in the league in sacks last year with just 35. You cant be a good defense with so few sacks. Lawson is the best pure pass rusher in this year's class.
12. New Orleans Saints – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
With Bosa and Lawson off the board, the Saints can move their interest to the interior line. Robinson is a big, nasty lineman that can disrupt offenses in both the run game and passing game. Robinson is surprisingly agile for his size and will make everyone on the line better.
13. Miami Dolphins – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Dolphins only created 16 turnovers all of last season on Defense. Jackson is a turnover waiting to happen. He has excellent ball skills, and is always a threat to turn those turnovers into touchdowns. Miami has been desperate for a running back all offseason, however aside from Elliott, no running back warrants a pick here.
14. Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Missouri
The Raiders have done a fine job the last few seasons putting together a good core set of players on both sides of the ball. The one thing the Raiders are missing is a talented interior lineman that can force offenses to pay attention to their inside protection and not just on Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin off the edges. Rankins is explosive and strong, and dangerous combination for opposing offenses.
15. Tennessee Titans – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
When you have a franchise quarterback, you have to be able to protect him. Former Wolverine Taylor Lewon will remain the Left Tackle, allowing Decker to step in on the right side. Decker’s strength is his run blocking, and with the addition of DeMarco Murray, the Titans could turn into one of the top running teams in the league.
16. Detroit Lions – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
New General Manager Bob Quinn will run a draft room for this first time in his career. All accounts of Quinn say he learned a lot from Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, if that’s the case, Quinn will most likely look to trade down and acquire more draft choices, possibly even a future first round pick. In this mock he is forced to stay put and draft what’s on the board, Conklin is the safest choice for Quinn. Spartans fans will know everything Conklin brings to the table, solid pass and run blocker, and most importantly, a player that finishes every single block he starts all the way up until the whistle blows. WR Laquon Treadwell is a possibility here for Quinn, but the thought of a new GM taking another WR in the first round probably makes Lions fans cringe. Alabama DT Jarran Reed should also get a long look, he’s not Suh, but Reed is explosive enough to cause a few double teams which would make life a lot easier for Ziggy Ansah.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
I have mentioned the importance of pass rushers already, well no team is more desperate for pass rush help than the Atlanta Falcons. Last year they only mustered up 19 sacks. As you can guess, that was a league low. Floyd is quick and athletic, and at this point, anyone the Falcons add to their front seven will help their cause.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The Colts haven’t been able to stop the run for many years, Reed is the best run stuffer in the draft, this seems like a match made in heaven.
19. Buffalo Bills – Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Rex Ryan chose to switch the Bills from a dominate 4-3 defense to a average 3-4 defense. For Ryan to make his 3-4 defense formidable he needs to add players that fit his brand of football. Ragland is that player. He is a prototype middle linebacker in Ryan’s scheme and will fortify Buffalo’s interior presence.
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
Quarterbacks are in play here for the Jets, but Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook don’t really have the value to be selected here mostly because the Jets have other needs to fill. Lee has a lot of athleticism, and when you play the Patriots tight ends twice a year, an athletic linebacker is the best way to slow that down.
21. Washington Redskins – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
By now you should have noticed that the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes have a lot of really good defensive players entering the draft. Apple has the size and length NFL teams love, however he will enter the league a bit raw.
22. Houston Texans – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
The Texans spent a lot of money retooling their offense, Treadwell becomes the cherry on top so to speak. This year’s top catching prospect, Treadwell will pair well with DeAndre Hopkins in Houston, both are physical receivers that are nearly unguardable in the redzone.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Teddy Bridgewater turned into a solid QB last season, but a lack of weapons hindered his progression. Doctson is a big play waiting to happen, pair that with the threat of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings instantly become an offense to worry about in the NFC North.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Lets keep the WR trend going. The Bengals lost a few weapons in free agency and need to retool around A.J. Green. Fuller has great speed and will benefit off of all the double and triple teams Green demands on the other side of the field.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Steelers have one of the league’s best offenses, defensively however they have a few holes they need to tighten up. Pittsburgh was 30th in the league against the pass last season, Alexander is the best available corner, this seems like a no-brainer for the Steelers.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Seattle is littered with talent on both sides of the ball, so every pick they make is pretty much a luxury pick. Kelly is a smart center that will work perfectly with Russell Wilson.
27. Green Bay Packers – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Billings is big and strong, and can clog up any hole he chooses. The loss of B.J. Raji turns this pick into much more of a need.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Kansas City has one of the best rosters in the NFL, so they are in a position to draft outside of a current need position. Alex Smith has been great for the Chiefs and is coming off a career year, however Lynch fits the bill of an Andy Reid Quarterback. Lynch has a huge arm, and is very mobile, exactly what Reid likes.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Kevin Dodd – DE, Clemson
Dodd looked great playing on the other side of Lawson in Clemson, in Arizona he would join a defense rich with solid players across the board making his transition to the NFL an easy one.
30. Carolina Panthers – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Arguably the best talent in this year's draft, the only reason Smith is available this late is due to a serious knee injury he suffered late in the season at Notre Dame. The Panther’s are deep across the board, and have the talent to be able to sit on Smith. He won’t play in his rookie season, but the thought of Luke Kuechly playing next to Jaylon Smith will give opposing offenses nightmares for many years to come.
31. Denver Broncos – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St.
With Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler gone, the Broncos have a giant hole at the most important position on the field. Mark Sanchez is not the answer moving forward. There is a lot to like from Cook, and learning from John Elway will only help his progression.