So now I feel an obligation to provide my expert analysis on the NFL Draft to all three of my loyal readers.
Enough procrastinating; here is the low down:
1) Los Angels Rams (from Tennessee TItans) – Jared Goff QB, California
I have already written an article on this trade. I think it works for both teams. But a team like the Rams obviously is not making this trade to draft an offensive tackle. They obviously see their quarterback of the future and I believe Jared Goff is their man.
2) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns) – Carsen Wentz QB, NDSU
I wrote about this trade as well. And I hated this one. The Eagles are a bad team that have mortgaged their future to take the Rams’ sloppy seconds. Although I do like Carsen Wentz and I personally think he is the best quarterback in the draft.
3) San Diego Chargers – Jalen Ramsey DB, FSU
This pick remains the same. Ramsey is super versatile and can play all the defensive back positions and even some drop down linebacker. There has been some scuttlebutt about his lack of turnovers, but his natural athleticism and talent will make a very good pro for the next decade.
4) Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott RB, Ohio St.
Elliott is possibly the best overall player in this draft and will be a game breaker from day one. I think Jerry Jones has already called this one in just in case his staff tries to hog tie him. And for once I actually agree with Jones. Elliott can be a perennial pro bowler and will instantly help the Cowboys contend for the playoffs.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Myles Jack LB, UCLA
The Jaguars will get Jack to pair with Dexter Fowler and establish their defensive core for the future. And in a division that is still up for grabs this pick cold potentially help Jacksonville contend for years to come.
6) Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, DL – Oregon
The Ravens are usually good candidates to trade down, but with Buckner sitting their at 6 I cannot imagine Baltimore passing this one up. Buckner should be another instant impact player and at #6 he is good value as well.
7) New York Jets (from San Francisco 49ers) – Paxton Lynch, QB Memphis
Thanks to the virtual guarantee that the top two quarterbacks will be gone immediately, this means certain teams will be desperate to get Lynch. And seeing as that we are on the eve of the draft and the Jets have not signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, I still believe they will use Mo Wilkerson as leverage to move up in the draft.
8) Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland Browns from Philadelphia Eagles) – Laremy Tunsil OT, Ole Miss
With all the new ammunition the Titans acquired, they will be able to move up to #8 from #15 to take the player they would have originally taken at #1. The Browns will want more value from the extra draft picks and the Titans will get the player they wanted for less money and with a few extra draft picks to boot.
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ronnie Staley OT, Notre Dame
10) New Orleans Saints (from New York Giants) – Joey Bosa OLB/DE, Ohio St.
11) Chicago Bears – Shaq Lawson, DE/OLB Clemson
He is probably the best player on one of the best teams in college football and the Bears need to get a consistent pass rusher to help out Pernell McPhee. Bears would have liked Bosa, but they will be happy to take Lawson.
12) New York Giants (from New Orleans Saints) Laquon Treadwell, WR Ole Miss
The Giants spent all their money signing defensive talent, so in the draft they will want to get Eli a little help. They can drop a couple spots, get a few extra picks and still take Treadwell; a big physical receiver that is good at using his body in traffic. A perfect compliment to the smooth skill of Odell Beckem Jr.
13) Miami Dolphins – Vernon Hargreaves, CB Florida
The Dolphins drop on their collective knees and thank the heavens that Hargreaves falls to #13. Prior to all the major moves, the Dolphins likely would have taken Eli Apple, but Hargreaves looks like the better player and with the departure of Brent Grimes, Miami will be looking to get someone to play opposite Byron Maxwell.
14) Oakland Raiders – Robert Nkemdiche DT, Ole Miss
Nkemdiche is a top 5 talent that is going to fall do to a plethora personal red flags. But the Raiders have a good young core of talent and would be willing to assume the risk of Nkemdiche’s personal problems at the benefit of his prodigious skill.
15) Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee Titans from Philadelphia Eagles) Josh Doctson WR, TCU
The Browns lost a lot in free agency including their best wide receiver. RGIII has to throw to someone, so drafting arguably the best wide receiver in the draft seems like a very good idea at #15.
16) Detroit Lions – Jack Conklin OT, MSU
With Megatron gone Stafford loses his security blanket. Therefore he is going to need more protection. Conklin is a big physical player who can jump right in and save Stafford from some of the beatings he has been taking over the past few seasons.
17) Atlanta Falcons – Leonard Floyd OLB, Georgia
The Falcons need help all over, so they will likely take the best available player which is Floyd. He is very athletic and is capable of making big plays and would be an instant starter on a very weak defense.
18) Indianapolis Colts – Kevin Dodd, DE Clemson
Personally I am not sold on Dodd and think that a lot of his production in college was due to playing alongside Shaq Lawson. That being said, the Colts are desperate on defense and many scouts are high on Dodd; so Dodd goes to Indianapolis.
19) Buffalo Bills – Darron Lee, OLB Ohio St.
It is a Rex Ryan team. I fully expect the Bills to go defense and to bolster an iffy linebacking group. Lee goes to Buffalo for clean up work behind a very good defensive line.
20) San Francisco 49ers (from New York Jets) – Eli Apple CB, Ohio St.
The 49ers get their defensive lineman in the trade with the Jets and now they seek to bolster their secondary in a division that features Carsen Palmer, Russell Wilson, and (presumably) Jared Goff.
21) Washington Redskins – Keanu Neal S, Florida
I am convinced the Redskins will take a safety here. I am not 100% sure which one. I like Neal because he was very productive at an elite program from a school that has a history of producing some good safeties. I like Neal at #21.
22) Houston Texans – Will Fuller WR, Notre Dame
The Texans absolutely need to get help for their new quarterback and to take pressure off of DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller is a very good player who will be able to benefit from the high number of one-on-one matchups he will see playing opposite of Hopkins.
23) Minnesota Vikings – Corey Coleman WR, Baylor
They need to get a deep/speed threat for Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a solid quarterback, but he is not the type to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. He needs help and Coleman is that help.
24) Cincinnati Bengals – Mackensie Alexander CB, Clemson
The Bengals may go with A’Shawn Robinson, but they really need another cornerback and Alexander is the best one left on the board at this point. I think they go with need over best available in this instance.
25) Pittsburgh Steelers – Kendall Fuller CB, Virginia
Again, I think the Steelers go with need over best available. The Steelers have been in desperate need for a good cornerback for years and this year is no different.
26) Seattle Seahawks – Reggie Ragland ILB, Alabama
With the departure of Bruce Irvin the Seahawks have an opening in their linebacker corps. Ragland is a good sideline-to-sideline player who was a instrumental to Alabama’s success.
27) Green Bay Packers – A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
The Packers once again benefit from the unlikely dropping of an elite player. Robinson was the anchor of the best defense in college football and with the departure of B.J. Raji, the Packers need a big defensive tackle to fill the void.
28) Kansas City Chiefs – William Jackson III, CB Houston
The Chiefs defense is aging and injury prone and I think they would like to rebuild around a pair of great corner backs. Jackson III can play opposite Marcus Peters an give the Chiefs a dynamic and young 1-2 punch for years to come.
29) Arizona Cardinals Jarran Reed, DT Alabama
I could also see Arizona going offensive line here, but I think they will go best available and that means Reed. The running mate of A’Shawn Robinson made plenty of plays himself en route to a national championship.
30) Carolina Panthers – Jordan Howard RB, Indiana
I am not thrilled with the pick, but the Panthers leaned heavily on the aging legs of Jonathan Stewart and they would love to get a complimentary player that could eventually supplant Stewart.
31) Denver Broncos – Conor Cook QB, MSU
The Broncos are going into the season with Mark Sanchez as their expected starter. If Cook’s available and they do not draft him, John Elway will have to face an angry mob…a stoned one….but angry nonetheless.
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