As you may know, the last few years I have been doing my mock draft purely from the Fantasy Football perspective. I put players where I think it would be best/most fun from that angle. It’s less guessing, and more wishful thinking. Sometimes reality matches up. So grab your favorite beverage, and let’s see what I can come up with this year!
1. Browns: Myles Garrett, DE: Texas A&M- Possibly the best defensive player in the draft. He should make an immediate impact on the Browns defense. He had a great combine too.
2. 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE: Stanford- New General Manager John Lynch is a Standford alum. Thomas is considered one of the best edge rushers coming out. Seems like a good union of talent/need, which is actually rare.
3. Browns (projected trade with the Bears): Leonard Fournette, RB: LSU- I know, the Browns could stay at 12 and probably get a really good RB there. They have a ton of picks though. If they don’t trade for New England QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, they need to trade them to someone. No way they can draft and keep that many players. This trade would give the browns two of the top 3 picks, and really add some stud players to a roster bereft of talent.
4. Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE: Alabama- The Jaguars probably had their sights on Fournette, and the Browns muscled back into the top 5. This will probably not happen, but it would be fun if it did.
5. Titans: Derek Barnett, DE: Tennessee- The Titans defense was pretty awful in 2016. The quickest way to make it better is on the D-line.
6. Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB: Ohio State- One of the most dynamic defensive backs coming out. Depending on what they do at quarterback, the Jets could take the first QB off the board, as they are competing with 3-4 other teams that will be at the top of the second round. They could try and move down a few spots, which is what I hope my Bears do.
7. Chargers: Corey Davis, WR: Western Michigan- The Chargers need a reliable receiver. Not sure they take this exact receiver, but Davis is one of the more dynamic players in the draft. He is a little banged up, but he is generally durable.
8. Panthers: Mike Williams, WR: Clemson- The Panthers add another tall, rangy receiver for Cam to throw to. Paired up with Kelvin Benjamin, and TE Greg Olsen, would give them one of the taller receiving corps in the NFL. They could opt for speed and go with John Ross from Washington.
9. Bengals: Marlon Humphrey, CB: Alabama- The Bengals could be eying a wide reciever, and could go with Williams (if there) or Washington’s John Ross. I think they upgrade and aging defensive backfield. They need someone to compete with Pittsburg’s potent offense.
10. Bills: OJ Howard, TE: Alabama- I can’t remember the last time the Bills had a dynamic tight end. This would help out QB Tyrod Taylor and also WR, Sammy Watkins. OJ is also a durable player who will be tough enough to play in those cold Buffalo winters.
11. Saints: Evan Engram, TE: Ole Miss- Engram is a playmaker in the mold of a Jimmy Graham. He might not be as big, but he’s more polished than Graham was coming out of college. If not Engram, I can see them drafting another WR to complement Mike Thomas who emerged as a solid #1 last year.
12. Bears (from Browns): Jabrill Peppers, Safety: Michigan- This is my dream scenario for the Bears: they move down, get a dynamic playmaker, and get an extra pick or two. Then they can move back into round 1…shenanigans ensue! *Update: Watching Path to the Draft last night, Charley Casserly mentioned the Panthers might have some interest in running back Leonard Fourette, which isn’t that big of a surprise. The good thing is, the more teams interested in Fournette, (or another top 5 player) the more likely the Bears will have a trading partner. The Panthers would be more ideal than the Browns, as they would be able to stay inside the top 10.
13: Cardinals: Jamal Adams, Safety: LSU- I don’t really think the offensive players will fall off the board like I hope they will. That said, if Adams is here, he would be a pretty awesome addition to the Cardinals defensive backfield. He and Peterson would make a fierce tandem. A WR or TE could be welcomed options as well.
14. Eagles: Haason Reddick, LB: Temple- Reddick stays in-state and goes to the Eagles. Brings immediate toughness to the Eagles D.
15: Colts: Christian McCaffrey, RB: Stanford- The Eagles very well could take a running back one pick ahead, and it very well could be McCaffrey. I think McCaffrey fits in with a lot of teams that like to throw the ball as much or more than they like to run. There are about 5-6 teams he would excel with.
16. Ravens: Dalvin Cook, RB: FSU- The Ravens are actually at a great spot in this year’s draft. They will have one of several players to choose from. I think Cook would have the most impact should he be on the board here. The Colts could very well choose Cook over McCaffrey, or another team could take McCaffrey sooner (Saints, Eagles, a team trading up). If not Cook, perhaps Njoku, or a wide receiver.