Holy smokes! Talk about turning the tables! Draft season turned from a snooze fest to absolute chaos overnight. The Titans and Rams pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent draft history. It will take some time to properly judge the deal, but as of now the Titans swindled a Rams team, who should know a thing about swindling people atop the draft board.
The Titans and Rams will switch first-round picks and then the Titans will receive both of the Rams second-round picks and their third-round pick in this year’s draft in addition to the Rams first- and third-round picks in 2017! The Rams get No. 1 overall and the Titans fourth- and sixth-round pick.
History says this won’t pan out good for the Rams when looking at the 2012 trade when the Rams got a boatload of picks from the Redskins in order to move up and acquire quarterback Robert Griffin III. He didn’t last his rookie contract. Then there was 1999 and Saints’ head coach Mike Ditka handing his whole draft over in order to move up and select running back Ricky Williams, who only lasted three years with the club.
Well, let’s get to it then. A brand new order to attack. Let’s see what we got…
1.) Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
Wentz is by all means considered the target desired by the Rams. That’s a lot to ask of anybody, let alone a prospect coming out of an Division 1-FCS school. The Rams are placing all of their chips on Wentz.
2.) Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Cleveland would be wise to take note of the Titans highway robbery. If someone expresses a strong desire to acquire Goff, make the move. Like the Titans, the Browns roster is filled with holes. But if they stay, Goff is the right call.
3.) San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
With back-to-back quarterbacks off the board that pushes Tunsil down the board and the Chargers couldn’t be happier. Quarterback Phillip Rivers was sacked 40 times last season. The line under produced and was devastated by injuries.
4.) Dallas Cowboys: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
The Cowboys could go a couple different ways here. After drafting a defensive back in the first-round last year, I think they pass on one early this year and instead take, arguably, the best player in the draft.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida St.
Ramsey, is a godsend at this point on the draft. Jacksonville is a few spots away from making a serious playoff run, they just need a few playmakers on defense. The former-Seminole, has great size and versatility for the secondary and finished his college career with 22 pass breakups over the last two seasons.
6.) Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Ten years ago Baltimore took an Oregon five-technique in the first-round. His name was Haloti Ngata. Here, Baltimore will select another in Buckner. Capping off his senior year with 10.5 sacks, Buckner would instantly make the Ravens d-line one of the best in the league.
7.) San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
There’s a piece of me that would like to see the Niners select Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott to give new head coach Chip Kelly’s run first offense a dynamic backfield, but I see cooler head prevailing. The Niners finished 27th in pass defense.
8.) Philadelphia Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
After missing out in getting a quarterback in Round 1, Elliott is quite the consolation prize. After back-to-back seasons of over 1,800 yards and Todd Gurley reassuring the NFL it’s okay to draft a running back early, Elliott is a no-brainer.
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
Bosa, has tremendous size and instantly upgrades a sore spot for the Bucs over the past few years. Bosa, could start Day One and that is a reassurance for new head coach Dirk Koetter who has to game-plan for Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan twice a season.
10.) New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Another interesting spot. Could we see the first wide receiver off the board? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be surprising. The G-Men selected Ereck Flowers in virtually the same spot last year, but despite spending numerous early round picks in recent drafts they are still lacking upfront, especially on the right side.
11.) Chicago Bears: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The Bears were 22nd against the run last season, Year One of the John Fox-Ryan Pace era. They transitioned to a 3-4 defense last year and are still searching for the proper players to fit the scheme. Reed, is the perfect prospect and is a force against the run.
12.) New Orleans Saints: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Another spot where a wide receiver could be selected. The Saints run as Drew Brees runs and currently Brees’ has no weapons. That being said, the Saints fielded one of the most atrocious defenses lasts season finishing 31st against the run AND the pass. Lawson, could help on both fronts and free up veteran Cam Jordan.
13.) Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
When you face Tom Brady twice a season you need cornerbacks and not only could the Dolphins use an upgrade, but they also have little to no depth at the position. Apple, has tremendous size and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the run game.
14.) Oakland Raiders: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The first ever selection in GM Reggie McKenzie’s tenure with the silver and black was D. J. Hayden, a Houston cornerback. Now, he delves back in to the waters of an emerging program. Jackson has the ability to grow into a quality playmaker.
15.) Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
The Titans got the king’s ransom they were looking for and still walk away with a massive upgrade at the tackle position. Conklin, is a mauler and will allow the Titans to shift last year’s third-round pick Jeremiah Poutasi to his more suitable position of right guard.
16.) Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Lions have other needs, but when, arguably, the best receiver in the draft falls to you and your hall-of-fame receiver just retired, it’s kind of a no-brainer, right? Treadwell compliments veterans Golden Tate and Marvin Jones well.
17.) Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
Lee, shot up draft boards following a killer performance at the Combine. He is the freakish athlete of today’s game that can fill up a stat sheet despite a smallish frame. The Falcons finally upgrade a sorely lacking position.
18.) Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Indy needs to protect quarterback Andrew Luck, but Floyd’s stock is on the rise and they have virtually no pass rush. Robert Mathis and Trent Cole aren’t getting any younger and Erik Walden isn’t the long term answer. Floyd had 15 sacks in three seasons.
19.) Buffalo Bills: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Surprise, surprise. The Bills have quietly worked out many of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s class. Lynch, progressed every year at Memphis. His yards, completion percentage, and touchdowns swelled while his interceptions dropped. Give him a few years to marinate and you could be looking at a star.
20.) New York Jets: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
The Jets are thin in the middle. Demario Davis left and age is catching up to longtime starter David Harris. Ragland, is a force. He’s got a lot of lead in the pencil and comes from a pro-style defense.
21.) Washington Redskins: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
They lost a pork chop but added a mountain. Veteran nose tackle Terrence Knighton signed with the New England Patriots via free agency and quite literally left a crater in the middle of the Redskins defense. Billings is a giant that can man the middle for a decade.
22.) Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Texans have a possibly burgeoning receiving corps with the addition of Coleman. They already have star in DeAndre Hopkins, a quality possession option in last year’s third-rounder Jaelen Strong, and with Coleman have a weapon to take the top off a defense.
23.) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Doctson’s numbers went up every year at TCU and he has great size at 6’2″ tall. While he is not a burner, he gets by and always works back to his quarterback. The Vikings’ finished 31st in passing offense due, mostly, to a lack of targets. Doctson, who is tough to beat on 50/50 balls, compliments last year’s draft steal Stefon Diggs.
24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Butler has been rising steadily throughout the draft process. A lesser known process, Butler will make sure you know his name quickly. He lived behind the line the past two seasons, racking up 23 tackles-for-loss and four sacks.
25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
A smaller than preferred corner (5’10”) and he didn’t register an interception over his two seasons at Clemson, but don’t hold those against him. He is a quality corner with the swagger to excel in the Steelers aggressive defense.
26.) Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Decker slips a little bit in our second mock draft and man are the Seahawks happy. He is versatile enough to play on the left or right and can even kick in at guard, a trait the Seahawks love. Russell Wilson, will appreciate the help.
27.) Green Bay Packers: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
When veteran nose tackle B.J. Raji decided to take a little hiatus, it left a whole in the middle of the defense. The Packers need their linemen to keep the linebackers clean (another thin position), Robinson can do just that.
28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Burns is a bit raw as a prospect, but he has a lot of talent. For now, he can jam receivers and rely on his physicality as his coverage continues to develop. A former track star, Burns has a high ceiling.
29.) Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has developed a locker room suitable for Nkemdiche to thrive. Nkemdiche, has Top 10 talent but character concerns have raised red flags. If he can put it all together, Nkemdiche could supplant veteran Frostee Rucker by season’s end.
30.) Carolina Panthers: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
The Panthers need an injection of youth and talent on the edge, especially after the retirement of Jared Allen. Dodd, who is still growing as a player has elite traits that could be realized with head coach “Riverboat” Ron’s tutelage.
31.) Denver Broncos: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins slips a bit in our second mock draft. Rankins has the ability to play anywhere on the line and in Denver’s 3-4 he would replace the big shoes left by Malik Jackson’s free agency departure. Just like Jackson, Rankins will be able to put the heat on the opposing quarterback on every play.