*Photo credit – Eleven Warriors

The NFL Draft season is coming to an end, sadly enough. This weekend marks yet another exciting springtime transition into the NFL off-season. Personnel decisions are wrapping up as we’ll likely see players and draft picks traded often here in the coming days.

Don’t expect for players like Jimmy Garoppolo and AJ McCarron to be traded, not with Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick still free agents. I expect a fair amount of movement in the first round, especially with teams like Cleveland, New Orleans and Tennessee harboring two first round selections. Look for Tennessee to move down from pick five and add more picks, while still selecting two players in the middle of round one. I don’t see a lot of desire for many teams to move up, at least not drastically. Unless there is a specific love for a player, the draft is rich is edge rushers and secondary personnel. There are about 12 total cornerbacks and safeties that could realistically make a case for a first round bid, so I don’t expect a lot of reaching.

By now, most teams should stick to drafting best player available, but we know that roughly 2/3 of teams stick to incorporating a direct need into their methodology. New England continues to prove that drafting the best overall talent available tends to build a Super Bowl caliber roster.

I didn’t project any trades for 2017 as I opted to stick to my normal routine. They’re too difficult to predict especially with many trades happening at the end of the first round that tend to throw things off. My work for the 2017 NFL Draft is all wrapped up. Enjoy.

1 Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett* DE Texas A&M No brainer. Garrett fills a huge need at a premier position. Don’t think too hard about this one Cleveland.
2 San Francisco 49ers Solomon Thomas* DE Stanford I’m not a huge Thomas fan, but he can be the Michael Bennett for the 49ers new 43 defense. They still need a LEO, however.
3 Chicago Bears Jamal Adams* SAF LSU Adams is the best player available here. He’s got range and can make plays in the box. The Bears haven’t had this secondary presence in awhile.
4 Jacksonville Jaguars Jonathan Allen DT Alabama The Jags ranked 22nd inside against the run in 2016. They need someone who can plug the A gaps and allow Dante Fowler to make plays.
5 Tennessee Titans (from Rams) Marshon Lattimore* CB Ohio State Tennessee is a quality defense away from becoming a playoff ready team. Insert the play making ability of Marshon Lattimore. Assuming he has a clean bill of a health, he’s a stud for several seasons.
6 New York Jets Malik Hooker* SAF Ohio State The Jets can make plays in the front seven, although they could still use a few pieces there as well. Hooker brings a lot of range to cover centerfield while making plays while the ball is in the air.
7 Los Angeles Chargers Derek Barnett* DE Tennessee A quarterback doesn’t make sense here, not with a hole at pass rusher. Barnett is a top tier pass rusher who will need to be groomed a bit in space.
8 Carolina Panthers Leonard Fournette* RB LSU The Panthers 2016 struggles were an absolute fluke in my book. The defense should return with a healthy Luke Kuechly and studs around. While they certainly aren’t perfect, they can take a load off of Cam Newton by grabbing Leonard Fournette to go for five yards a carry in the Panthers system.
9 Cincinnati Bengals Haason Reddick ILB Temple Cincinnati could use a rangy linebacker who can line up all over. His ability to blitz the A gap should draw Marvin Lewis’s attention, while he cleans up missed opportunities from the defensive line.
10 Buffalo Bills Mike Williams* WR Clemson Tyrod Taylor is going to get another chance. The Bills are rumored to want a quarterback, but I just don’t see it. Taylor had success with an inconsistent corps. Keep Watkins healthy and add the physical ability of Williams.
11 New Orleans Saints Marlon Humphrey* CB Alabama No need to get Malcolm Butler when Marlon Humphrey can fill the need of a physical corner with length and range.
12 Cleveland Browns (from Eagles) Mitch Trubisky* QB North Carolina I really want nothing to do with any of these quarterbacks, but it just feels like such a Browns move. They’ll probably even trade up to ensure Trubisky.
13 Arizona Cardinals O.J. Howard TE Alabama The Cardinals could use a tight end that can make plays in the air and block. Howard really fits the bill here, causing fits for defenders of the Cardinals offense already struggling to stop David Johnson.
14 Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings) Gareon Conley* CB Ohio State I’m hoping that the allegations brought against Conley don’t negatively impact his draft stock. He’s a guy who played over Marshon Lattimore who was dealing with injuries and has done nothing but improve.
15 Indianapolis Colts Cam Robinson* OT Alabama It’s time to protect Andrew Luck. Further refusal is simply negligence.
16 Baltimore Ravens Charles Harris OLB Missouri The Ravens have a lot of great options here including Harris, Jarrad Davis, Corey Davis, Garrett Bolles, etc. I’m slotting them a pass rusher to fill the void of recently let go Elvis Dumervil.
17 Washington Redskins Jarrad Davis ILB Florida This is a tough pick as the Redskins have a lot more holes than their 17th overall selection would suggestion. I think Davis gives them a nice tackler who can make plays in space and offer up versatility in the front seven.
18 Tennessee Titans Corey Davis WR Western Michigan The Titans added Marshon Lattimor earlier and while they could certainly stock up on defenders, it’s hard to pass up Corey Davis. They’ve invested in Marcus Mariota, but his offensive weapons are average at best.
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian McCaffrey* RB Stanford The Buccaneers seemed like obvious favorites for Dalvin Cook, but word is his off-field issues showed concern. That could be a huge smokescreen however, as Winston certainly had his own issues as well. McCaffrey just offers up too much versatility to pass up here.
20 Denver Broncos Garett Bolles* OT Utah Offensive line help is much needed for the Broncos. Keep up whatever quarterback you opt to start this fall and provide some running lanes for CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker who need to improve.
21 Detroit Lions David Njoku* TE Miami (FL) The Lions didn’t quite get what they expected from Eric Ebron and I suspect it also has to do with their offense, which somewhat turns me away from Njoku. But Njoku is on a higher level than Ebron coming out and is more athletic. I like this move here.
22 Miami Dolphins Forrest Lamp OG Western Kentucky Lamp may be able to make the move to right tackle, but at the very worst he’ll be an All-Pro guard in the next few seasons. Smart pick for the Dolphins here.
23 New York Giants Ryan Ramczyk* OT Wisconsin Grab a quarterback to groom behind Eli or protect Eli for a few more years? I choose the latter. Ramcyzk doesn’t have a top tier talent experience outside of 2016, but he’s shown perserverence to adapt.
24 Oakland Raiders Jabrill Peppers* SAF Michigan Say what you want about Peppers, but he’s a quality defender. Sure he doesn’t fully have a home, but the Raiders do have holes in the secondary that surely he could fill, even if it’s more as an in the box safety.
25 Houston Texans Deshaun Watson* QB Clemson I’m reaching here because I do think Watson will be drafted in the first round, I’m just unsure as to where. Watson could get to Houston and challenge Tom Savage to start, or sit for half the season and learn. Not a bad fit for Bill O’Brien.
26 Seattle Seahawks Kevin King CB Washington Richard Sherman may not end up on the way out, but Kevin King could start working to fill his shoes sooner than later.
27 Kansas City Chiefs Zach Cunningham* ILB Vanderbilt The Chiefs need a guy that can go around and make tackles on a consistent basis. Cunningham isn’t a sledgehammer and may get caught up in a block, but when free, he can do a lot.
28 Dallas Cowboys Takk Mckinley OLB UCLA It seems like we’re mocking a pass rusher to the Cowboys ever year. McKinley fits the mold of what they want to do, however and he’s a good value at the end of the first.
29 Green Bay Packers Taco Charlton DE Michigan I really like Charlton who has shown an upside, despite being a bit raw. He’ll need to work in space, but has the physical ability to put it all together.
30 Pittsburgh Steelers Obi Melifonwu SAF Connecticut The Steelers won a lot of football games with Troy Polamalu in their secondary. Melifonwu is a different type of safety, but still comands a presence in a tough AFC North.
31 Atlanta Falcons Jordan Willis DE Kansas State The Falcons have started getting to the quarterback and want to ensure that they continue to build the edge. Willis is a damn fine choice here.
32 New Orleans Saints (from Patriots) Reuben Foster ILB Alabama Foster may slip even further. I’m not fully sold because we don’t live in an NFL period anymore in which sledgehammers dominate. Still, for the Saints, he could be just what they need combined with Marlon Humphrey drafted earlier.

 

About The Author Keet Bailey

Keet is the Breaking Football NFL Draft project leader. A huge draft enthusiast, Keet has covered the NFL draft for over 15 years. An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Keet resides in Ohio.