NFL Mock Draft


Photo courtesy of thefbanalyst on Instagram

After the free agency period, NFL teams look to fill their biggest needs by drafting young players who are leaving college to start their professional career (Photo courtesy of thefbanalyst on Instagram).

Every year in April, the National Football League teams draft college players into their teams. First draft prospects compete in drills at the NFL combine and are measured and weighed. Players then have their Pro Day where scouts from NFL teams can watch while they workout and talk to their college coaches. Front offices from different teams can schedule meetings with prospects who interest them. Teams draft in reverse order of how they finished in the previous season. The worst team drafts first and then each team drafts after that, with the Super Bowl winner getting the last pick. This continues for seven rounds with slight variations for things like supplemental picks. Teams can trade their picks for players or other picks. For example, the Dallas Cowboys traded their first pick for Amari Cooper, so they no longer have a first round pick unless they trade up.

In this article, I will be predicting how I think each team might draft this season. I will be factoring in past draft strategy for each team, team needs, and the talents each player offers. I will not be having any teams trade in this mock, even though it remains a realistic possibility. I will also take into consideration rumors and player each team has shown interest in. Remember this is only an opinion and feel free to comment any thoughts at the end of the article. So with that, let the draft begin!

1.  Arizona Cardinals- QB Kyler Murray  (Oklahoma)

Positions of Need: DT, OT, WR, OG

Even after taking Josh Rosen last year in the first round, the Cardinals are still selecting Murray first overall. The Cardinals have done a poor job hiding their interest in Murray and they will have to find a trade partner for Rosen. The Patriots, Giants, and Chargers have all shown interest in Rosen.

2. San Francisco 49ers- DE Nick Bosa  (Ohio State)

Positions of Need: S, DE, WR, CB

The 49ers are delighted to have arguably the best prospect in the draft fall to them at the second pick. The 49ers have recently invested a lot in their defensive line but not many of the picks have panned out. Dee Ford and Bosa create a powerful duo of pass rushers for the 49ers for years to come.

3. New York Jets- DE Josh Allen  (Kentucky)

Positions of Need: DE, CB, OT, WR

After improving their linebacker core in free agency, the Jets look to improve their defensive line. Josh Allen can be paired with Leonard Williams to attack the quarterback. Allen is a fast, athletic player who can make an impact on the Jets’ defense.

4. Oakland Raiders- DT Quinnen Williams  (Alabama)

Positions of Need: CB, DE, RB, LB

The Raiders used the first of their first-round draft picks on one of the top college defensive players. After trading Khalil Mack, the Raiders struggled on defense. Their defensive line is immediately upgraded by grabbing Williams.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- LB Devin White  (LSU)

Positions of Need: LB, CB, DE, RB

The Buccaneers lost linebacker Kwon Alexander in free agency, and, even though they signed Deone Bucannon in free agency, they still need a linebacker. White is a fast linebacker who has the ability to make big plays in the National Football League.

6. New York Giants- DE Rashan Gary  (Michigan)

Positions of Need: DE, WR, QB, CB, OT

General Manager Dave Gettleman loves to build his team around the offensive and defensive lines. After trading Vernon Oliver to the Browns, Gary is drafted to replace him. Gary is a big, strong lineman who fits what Gettleman and the Giants are looking for.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Jawaan Taylor  (Florida)

Positions of Need: WR, DE, OT, TE

After addressing the quarterback position in free agency by signing Nick Foles, the Jaguars look to protect Foles by drafting a lineman. The Jaguars should continue to invest in their offense after their defense showed it could be a top unit in 2017.

8. Detroit Lions- TE Noah Fant  (Iowa)

Positions of Need: TE, CB, OG, WR

After losing Eric Ebron in free agency, the Detroit Lions have a need for a Tight End. By drafting Fant, the Lions add a weapon for Matthew Stafford to throw to. Fant will instantly be the best Tight End on the Lions roster.

9. Buffalo Bills- DT Ed Oliver  (Houston)

Positions of Need: WR, DT, OT, DE

The Bills draft Oliver to anchor their defensive line. Oliver had an extremely fast time at his Pro Day for a defensive lineman. The biggest knock on Oliver is his size. Overall Oliver has a huge upside to become a star for whoever drafts him.

10. Denver Broncos- QB Dwayne Haskins  (Ohio State)

Positions of Need: QB, C, LB, DT

The Broncos may have traded for Joe Flacco this offseason but they still need a quarterback for the future. Despite what GM John Elway says, Flacco is not a long term solution. This could be best case scenario for the Broncos by letting Haskins sit behind Flacco for a year or two before starting him. Haskins showed big-play ability last year and the Broncos hope that translates to the NFL.

11. Cincinnati Bengals- OT Jonah Williams  (Alabama)

Positions of Need: OT, LB, CB, OG

The Bengals have lost a few linemen in the past years and they need to fix their needs. After drafting Billy Price last year, the Bengals continue to rebuild their offensive line. Jonah Williams is a strong lineman who had a huge impact on Alabama’s football team last year.

12. Green Bay Packers- TE TJ Hockenson  (Iowa)

Positions of Need: TE, S, LB, OT

After signing Jimmy Graham last offseason, the Packers expected to upgrade their offense. The Packers saw little production from Graham and they decide to draft his replacement here. TJ Hockenson is an all-around good prospect who could learn from Graham who was a Pro Bowler earlier in his career.

13. Miami Dolphins- DE Montez Sweat  (Mississippi State)

Positions of Need: OT, QB, DE, WR

The Dolphins are in the middle of a total rebuild after a couple years of mediocracy. They draft a need as well as one of the best players available on the board. Sweat has a heart condition but that shouldn’t stop him from being taken here. Sweat blew the doors off the combine setting a new record in the forty-yard dash for a defensive lineman.

14. Atlanta Falcons- DE Brian Burns  (Florida State)

Positions of Need: DE, DT, CB, OT

The Falcons had an injury-riddled season last year. Their defense struggled so they add a good defensive prospect to help them get after the quarterback. Burns is a very flexible prospect that can adapt to almost any scheme.

15. Washington Redskins- QB Drew Lock  (Missouri)

Positions of Need: QB, WR, OG, DE

After trading for Alex Smith last season, the Redskins seemed set at quarterback until a gruesome leg injury put Smith’s football future in jeopardy. Even though they traded for Case Keenum, they still select Drew Lock to secure their future at quarterback and will still have a serviceable backup in Keenum.

16. Carolina Panthers- DE Clelin Ferrell  (Clemson)

Positions of Need: DE, S, OG, WR

With this pick, the Panthers add youth to an aging defensive end group. After Julius Peppers retired, Mario Addison was left as the only proven defensive end on the roster. Even after signing Bruce Irvin, Clelin Ferrell will provide youth and allow the Panthers to be more flexible with Irvin’s position.

17. New York Giants- WR DK Metcalf  (Mississippi)

Positions of Need: DE, WR, QB, CB, OT

After trading Odell Beckham to the Browns for this pick, the Giants were left with a hole at wide receiver. They pick Metcalf to fill this void left by Beckham. Metcalf put on a show at the Combine this year cementing him as a first-round pick. General Manager Dave Gettleman loves picking tall receivers and Metcalf fits that mold.

18. Minnesota Vikings- OT Andre Dillard  (Washington State)

Positions of Need: OT, DT, OG, S

The Vikings need to protect their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, after signing him last offseason. Andre Dillard adds stability to a horrendous offensive line. By investing in the line, the Vikings are also investing in their quarterback and their offense.

19. Tennessee Titans- OG Cody Ford  (Oklahoma)

Positions of Need: DT, OG, WR, DE

The Titans add another lineman to protect Marcus Mariota, who needs more protection after sustaining multiple injuries. Cody Ford is a strong lineman who can help protect Mariota after protecting Kyler Murray in college.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers- LB Devin Bush Jr  (Michigan)

Positions of Need: LB, CB, WR, S

The Steelers have a gaping hole at linebacker that they need to fill after Ryan Shazier’s frightening back injury. Devin Bush is an effective linebacker who can turn a petition of weakness into a position of strength for the Steelers.

21. Seattle Seahawks- CB Byron Murphy  (Washington)

Positions of Need: CB, OG, S, DT

After losing Richard Sherman last offseason, the Seahawks cornerback position was weakened. With the addition of Murphy, the cornerback position can become a strength again. Murphy excels in coverage and can excel in the NFL too.

22. Baltimore Ravens- WR N’Keal Harry  (Arizona State)

Positions of Need: WR, LB, DE, OG

The Ravens add a weapon for second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens are in need of receivers after losing John Brown in free agency to the Bills. Harry is a physical receiver with good hands who can help Jackson grow and develop.

23. Houston Texans- C Garrett Bradbury  (NC State)

Positions of Need: OG, OT, CB, S

Deshaun Watson was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL last season due to a horrendous offensive line. The Texans add a solid lineman in Bradbury to give Watson a little more protection for this season.

24. Oakland Raiders- CB Greedy Williams  (LSU)

Positions of Need: CB, DE, RB, LB

The Raiders upgrade their secondary here by drafting Greedy Williams. Williams can work with Gareon Conley to form a formidable cornerback duo. Williams excels in man coverage and can help the Raiders lock down opposing wide receivers for years to come.

25. Philadelphia Eagles- OT Dalton Rinser  (Mississippi State)

Positions of Need: OT, LB, S, DE

The Eagles use their first round pick to upgrade their offensive line. Carson Wentz has been injured in the middle of the last two seasons and without Nick Foles, the position would be a major weakness. Rinser provides more stability for the Eagles offensive line.

26. Indianapolis Colts- DT Christian Wilkins  (Clemson)

Positions of Need: DT, CB, WR, S

The Colts pick Christian Wilkins to help anchor their defensive line like he did at Clemson. Wilkins is a great player who loves to play the game. He is a solid locker room presence who can make an impact on the field.

27. Oakland Raiders- RB Josh Jacobs  (Alabama)

Positions of Need: CB, DE, RB, LB

With Marshawn Lynch considering retirement, the Raiders stabilize the Running Back position by drafting Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is a physical running back who can be on the field for all three downs on offense.

28. Los Angeles Chargers- DT Jerry Tillery  (Notre Dame)

Positions of Need: DT, OT, CB, WR

The Charger had a good defense last year and they build on it by adding Jerry Tillery to it. Tillery will work with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to create a terrifying line. Tillery is terrific at getting after the quarterback and it will be fun to watch Bosa, Ingram, and Tillery race after the quarterback.

29. Kansas City Chiefs-  CB DeAndre Baker  (Georgia)

Positions of Need: CB, OG, LB, DE

The Chiefs have already started to upgrade their secondary by signing Tyrann Mathieu. DeAndre Baker can lock down the top wide receivers for the Chiefs as he did for Georgia in college.

30. Green Bay Packers- S Nasir Adderley  (Delaware)

Positions of Need: TE, S, LB, OT

The Packers have struggled to develop a secondary through the draft but they continue to try with this pick. Adderley can partner with other members of the secondary like Jaire Alexander, who they drafted last year. Adderley is a physical safety who can help the secondary succeed in Green Bay.

31. Los Angeles Rams- S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson  (Florida)

Positions of Need: S, LB, DE, C

The Rams need to replace Lamarcus Joyner after he left to sign with the Raiders in free agency. By adding Gardner-Johnson, the Rams add a versatile safety who can prevent big plays and help them succeed when the stakes are high.

32. New England Patriots- DT Jeffery Simmons  (Mississippi State)

Positions of Need: TE, DT, DE, OT

The Patriots add a defensive lineman to help fill the spot of Trey Flowers after he left for the Lions in free agency. Simmons can help the Patriots attack the quarterback and continue to annoy NFL fans by winning games.