Growing up at school, we can all agree nothing quite matched the feeling when you were warmed and welcomed at the cool-kid table during chow time in the cafeteria. Working and collaborating with outstanding football minds throughout the week down at the Senior Bowl is always at the top of the list when looking back on the yearly event in Mobile, Ala.
After sharing notes, grinding film and sharing hot take observations before, during and after Senior Bowl practice, I found it necessary to continue the momentum of sharing our ever-changing draft opinions with some of the highest regarded people in the industry.
So, I gathered up my personal favorites for a City Slicker type trip through the ever-entertaining Mock Draft Mountains, exploring three rounds of possibilities of what could be.
Follow along as we rotate picks and give you a fresh look of which players are rising — in combination with teams’ biggest needs — getting outside of the groupthink box we are lulled into before the combine. Be sure to stay tuned for rounds two and three released in the upcoming days.
(Below is the list of participants in order of rotation.)
- Kyle Crabbs, Director of Scouting, @NDTScouting
- Mark Schofield, Director at Inside the Pylon, @MarkSchofield
- Jon Ledyard, Host of “Locked on NFL Draft” Podcast, @LedyardNFLDraft
- Shane Alexander, Inside the Pylon Contributor, @Alexander1Great
- Trevor Sikkema, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Beat Reporter, @TampaBayTre
- Arif Hasan, NFL Expert for ESPN 1500/ColdOmaha.com, @ArifHasanNFL
- Jeff Risdon, Editor for The Browns Wire, @JeffRisdon
- Luke Inman, NFL Draft Expert, @Luke_Spinman
1) Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, Edge Player, Texas A&M (Kyle Crabbs) – Best player in the draft, hands down. Cleveland needs a QB but shouldn’t force the pick.
2) San Francisco 49ers: Deshone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame (Mark Schofield) – Kyle Shanahan gets a QB who fits well with his system and becomes the face of his new franchise.
3) Chicago Bears: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson (Jon Ledyard) – Beat up on the almighty Alabama Crimson Tide, twice. What more do you need to say?
4) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle, Alabama (Shane Alexander) – Jaguars turnaround starts here, and starts by drafting elite talent.
5) Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan (Trevor Sikkema) – Titans give Mariota a WR1, doing their part to make sure his outstanding 2016 season was just the beginning.
6) New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State (Arif Hasan) – Versatile CB that can do anything the Jets require of him and perhaps better than any other CB in the class.
7) LA Chargers: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU (Jeff Risdon) – They finally replace Eric Weddle with a playmaking safety to complement Bosa up front.
8) Carolina Panthers: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford (Luke Inman) – Entering the draft after just two seasons, his stock cant get much higher as he ate up blockers both inside and outside. Ron Rivera continues to outmatch opponents defensively in the trenches.
9) Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, Inside Linebacker, Alabama (Kyle Crabbs) – Fools. Look what you allowed to happen. A top-5 talent falls in the laps of a unit desperate for a shot of youth.
10) Buffalo Bills: Malik Hooker, Free Safety, Ohio State, (Mark Schofield) – Keep Tyrod. Improve the secondary. Make Buffalo Great Again.
11) New Orleans Saints: Sidney Jones, Cornerback, Washington (Jon Ledyard) – Board didn’t fall the way they would’ve liked, but that doesn’t change need for defensive talent. Jones finally gives the secondary someone they can lean on.
12) Cleveland Browns: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech (Shane Alexander) – It wont be long until people start to realize there is another signal caller in the mix for the top spot.
13) Arizona Cardinals: Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina (Shane Alexander) – He’d be the number one overall pick next year. Getting him here has to be considered a steal for the most important position in sports.
14) Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley, Edge, UCLA (Arif Hasan) – Imagine the Colts with a pass rush. Like Robert Mathis or Dwight Freeney. Whew, that kind of defense can help out a good QB.
15) Philadelphia Eagles: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, FSU (Jeff Risdon) – Like the sixth rum and punch, Cook seems like a great idea at the time. Then he needs another shoulder surgery and the reality hits hard.
16) Baltimore Ravens: OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama (Luke Inman) – The headliner of the best tight end class we’ve had in a decade. This guy is as clean and polished as you’ll ever find.
17) Washington Redskins: Malik Mcdowell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State (Kyle Crabbs) – Their starting defensive ends are Ricky Jean-Francois and Chris Baker. Welp.
18) Tennessee Titans: Teez Tabor, Cornerback, Florida (Mark Schofield) – This team needs secondary help in the worst way. Tabor has bonafide number lockdown skills.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Budda Baker, Safety, Washington (Jon Ledyard) – His versatility will aid the Bucs in the slot and back end, where his range, ball skills and physicality overcome his lack of size.
20) Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama (Shane Alexander) – Bronco’s offensive line sucks. There, I said it.
21) Detroit Lions: Tim Williams, Edge, Alabama (Trevor Sikkema) – Take off the failed drug tests and he’s a top-5 player. If the Lions can keep him focused this is the steal of the draft at a dire position of need.
22) Miami Dolphins: Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee (Arif Hasan) – Cameron Wake is immortal, until he’s not.
23) New York Giants: David Njoku, Tight End, Miami (Jeff Risdon) – The joke is on the rest of the NFC East when this guy is unleashed in an offense already stocked with talent to move all over the field.
24) Oakland Raiders: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU (Luke Inman) – When life gives you Leonards… Show me a better young core of skill players than Carr, Cooper and Fournette.
25) Houston Texans: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin (Kyle Crabbs) – Brock just needs better pass protection… *Laughs nervously*
26) Seattle Seahawks: Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah (Mark Schofield) – Seattle needs to address OT. Bolles fits their scheme well up front.
27) Kansas City Chiefs: Forrest Lamp, Offensive Guard, Western Kentucky (Jon Ledyard) – They need an upgrade at left guard, and Lamp fits the bill perfectly as a versatile technician who can bump out to tackle in a pinch.
28) Dallas Cowboys: Carl Lawson, Edge, Auburn (Shane Alexander) – Injuries behind him, Lawson is the dynamic edge presence Dallas has been looking for since Demarcus Ware departed.
29) Green Bay Packers: Derek Rivers, Edge, Youngstown State (Trevor Sikkema) – A small school kid that proved he belonged when holding up against top tier competition during Senior Bowl week.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama (Arif Hasan) – Tempted to give them another undersized pass rusher, but have you seen that disaster they call a secondary?
31) Atlanta Falcons: Taco Charlton, Edge, Michigan (Jeff Risdon) – Who doesn’t like a Taco that packs a pass-rushing punch?
32) New England Patriots: Taylor Moton, Offensive Tackle, Western Michigan (Luke Inman) – In a weak tackle class Moton is floating to the top with his monster size and NFL ready strength. His football IQ that passes even Bill Belicheck’s test is just gravy on top. Want Brady to stick around awhile? Then help keep him upright.