We are two months away from the NFL Draft but the media are full of early projections that vary as every expert has his own opinion. As I wrote last year we have to be honest and admit that EVERY mock draft is, at best, an educated guess. Even guys that do this for a living don't know what the 32 teams are thinking and planning.
The draft boards of every team will change as soon as free agency begins. Players will sign new and lofty contracts, teams will fill some of their needs and then they will turn to the draft to put the final touches to their rosters.
This year there are no hot QB's on the board but don't let that fool you: some of the young guys will go on and have succesful careers in the NFL. here is my Mock Draft 1.0. Hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I will not make assumptions for any trade that could alter the draft order. But be assured that there will probably be many on Draft Day.
1. ARIZONA CARDINALS – NICK BOSA, DE, Ohio State
They have a myriad of needs, mostly on the offensive side. but they cannot pass on the best player in the Draft. Most scouts grade him higher than his brother, Joey, at this point of their careers.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – QUINNEN WILLIAMS, DE, Alabama
Many experts believe that Williams might even be a better prospect than Bosa. When you have the chance to draft a difference maker like that you just grab it.
3. NEW YORK JETS – JOSH ALLEN, OLB, Kentucky
Same as the Cardinals, they need help in various positions but Allen is an explosive play maker that will upgrade their defense.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – GREEDY WILLIAMS, CB, LSU
Gruden's rebuilding process has a long way to go and the Raiders need help in many spots. They can start by upgrading their cornerback corps.
5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – JONAH WILLIAMS, OT, Alabama
How about three players with the same surname in the Top-5? The Alabama product will anchor the blind side of Jameis Winston (or whoever is under center next year) and help him stay upright.
6. NEW YORK GIANTS – DWAYNE HASKINS, QB, Ohio State
Eli is going for his farewell tour so the Big Blue draft his successor who will be groomed for a year before taking over. At least that’s the plan.
7. JACKSONSVILLE JAGUARS – KYLER MURRAY, QB, Oklahoma
A team is going to fell in love with Murray and get crushed. He is an excellent athlete and a real good QB but he is too short and skinny for the NFL.
8. DETROIT LIONS – CLELIN FERRELL, DE, Clemson
A fantastic player who will be vital for Matt Patricia's defense. A true champion who can play superbly against the run and is a nightmare for opposing QBs as an pass rusher.
9. BUFFALO BILLS – CODY FORD, OT, Oklahoma
They need to protect Allen better and Ford is a massive tackle who will help them immediately.
10. DENVER BRONCOS – ED OLIVER, DT, Houston
Many think of Oliver as a new version of Aaron Donald. A true force that will take over for Domata Peko in the middle of the DL.
11. CINCINNATI BENGALS, RASHAN GARY, DT, Michigan
They have many needs and a talented player like Gary will fit right in next to Geno Atkins and will be a nice replacement if the All-Pro decides to move on at some point.
12. GREEN BAY PACKERS – DEVIN WHITE, LB, LSU
The Pack needs pass rushers and help in other positions as well, but White is too talented to pass up. He will make an excellent partner to Blake Martinez on the second level.
13. MIAMI DOLPHINS – DANIEL JONES, QB, Duke
The Gase – Tannehill era is over in Miami as the Dolphins are in rebuilding mode. Jones has the tangibles to be an accomplished starter but needs a year to be groomed. Regardless, if he does get drafted at this spot he will probably need to start right away though.
14. ATLANTA FALCONS – JACHAI POLITE, OLB, Florida
He is a force to be reckoned with and will instantly upgrade Dan Quinn’s pass rush.
15. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – DREW LOCK, QB, Missouri
The Redskins are in a horrible position having to deal with the vicious injury to Alex Smith without any cap space available to them. They need to draft a QB for the present as well as the future.
16. CAROLINA PANTHERS – MONTEZ SWEAT, OLB, Miss. State
They need to replace Julius Peppers and Seat is a player with a high motor and great potential.
17. CLEVELAND BROWNS, DEANDRE BAKER, CB, Georgia
Baker will help force a fantastic tandem with Ward and solve the Browns' cornerback problems for many years to come.
18. MINNESOTA VIKINGS, GREG LITTLE, OT, Ole Miss
Little is huge and can help immediately witj the everlasting problematic OL of the Vikings.
19. TENNESSEE TITANS, A.J. BROWN, WR, Ole Miss
Brown will play on opposite of Corey Davis and provide Mariota with an extra weapon.
20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS, MACK WILSON, ILB, Alabama
They need to find the heir of Ryan Shazier and Wilson is a plug and play linebacker who will fill a big need.
21. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, DEXTER LAWRENCE, DT, Clemson
You pair Lawrence with Frank Clark and form an impenetrable wall on the defensive front.
22. BALTIMORE RAVENS, D.K. METCALF, WR, Ole Miss
They need to add weapons for Lamar Jackson and the Ole Miss product is an excellent option.
23. HOUSTON TEXANS, JAWANN TAYLOR, OT, Florida
They need to protect Watson better and the Florida alum is a clear-cut upgrade for their OL.
24. OAKLAND RAIDERS, CHRISTIAN WILKINS, DT, Clemson
The Raiders’ many many (black) holes need to start be filled with talented players and Wilkins is surely one. His huge frame will anchor the middle of their DL for years to come.
25. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, BRYON MURPHY, CB, Washington
The problems in the secondary cost them dearly last season so they address their need with their first pick.
26. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, N'KEAL HARRY, WR, Arizona St.
He has excellent hands and will benefit greatly from the double teams T.Y. Hilton constantly faces.
27. OAKLAND RAIDERS, DEIONTE THOMPSON, S, Alabama
Gruden picks three defensive players in the first round to start filling their huge holes at that side of the ball. Thompson is arguably the best safety of this draft class and the Raiders’ secondary needs the most help it can get.
28. LA CHARGERS, JERRY TILLERY, DT, Notre Dame
Terry can create havoc on opposing backfields and is stout against the run. A very good addition to an already excellent Line.
29. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, DRE'MONT JONES, DT. Ohio State
The Big Red will probably lose a few linemen in the upcoming free agency and they will fill the void with this tenacious interior pass rusher.
30. GRREN BAY PACKERS, ZACH ALLEN, DE, Boston College
Green Bay needs pass rushers badly and Allen looks like a solid pick at this point in the draft.
31. LA RAMS, BRIAN BURNS, OLB, Florida State
The Rams have several important free agents such as Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler. Burns could help Snead let one of them go by bringing instant starter potential.
32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, NOAH FANT, TE, Iowa
The champions love their TEs and Fant is one of the best in his class. With the possibility of Gronkowski retiring they can draft his successor (or running mate if he chooses to stick around) with the last pick of the first round. They could also go with his teammate from Iowa here, T.J. Hockenson.