1. Cleveland Browns

Rob’s Pick: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Grant’s Pick: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M

This is an easy pick. Garrett has been the number one prospect since June. He has elite tools and the potential to be a multi-year All-Pro. Cleveland could use his destructive force off the edge.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Rob’s Pick: Solomon Thomas, Defensive Line, Stanford
Grant’s Pick: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
Rob: The 49ers have one of the worst rosters in the league. They need an instant impact player and Solomon Thomas could give their defense an identity. Thomas can play 5-technique in three man fronts, as well as the edge or 3-tech in four man fronts. He adds a lot of versatility to their defensive line. Pairing him with DeForest Buckner gives them two stud run defenders as well as two versatile pass rushers.

Grant: The 49ers have picked defensive linemen the last two years. While Thomas plays end, and DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead will play tackle, it wouldn’t hurt to bolster another position. Jamal Adams is a fantastic athlete with ability to stuff the run or be great against the pass. Former stud safety and current 49ers GM John Lynch may even see some of himself in Lynch.

3. Chicago Bears

Rob’s Pick: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
Grant’s Pick: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State

Lattimore is the draft’s clear cut number one corner. He’s nearly flawless, with impressive speed and length. He never allows separation and can play zone or man very well. Lattimore has the potential to be in the Peterson/Revis group of lockdown corners.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Rob’s Pick: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
Grant’s Pick: Solomon Thomas, Defensive Line, Stanford

Rob: The Jaguars have invested high draft picks and money in free agency on their defense. Now, it’s time for them to upgrade their offense. They need to get a tone-setter at running back and Leonard Fournette is perfect for them. He’s 6’1”, 240lbs with 4.51 speed. Fournette is the best running back in a deep class. He runs violently, but has deceptive breakaway speed. Put him in a power scheme and watch him bulldoze defenders.

Grant: As much as the Jags would love to have Fournette, they need to improve their offensive line before they get their bellcow back, and there isn’t an offensive lineman worth taking this high. By taking Thomas, the Jags can play him with Yannick Ngakoue at end, and line up Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell inside for an absolutely nasty front four.

5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)

Rob’s Pick: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Line, Alabama
Grant’s Pick: Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan

Rob: The Titans biggest positions of need are wide receiver and cornerback. With no player at either position worth the pick, trading back or picking best player available are the best options. Jonathan Allen, on tape, is a top five player in the draft. The arthritis in his shoulders is a concern, but the potential to have Allen and Jurrell Casey at the 5-tech is worth the risk. Allen can play every defensive line position and has the potential to be a dominant interior pass rusher.

Grant: Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe are Tennessee’s best two wide receivers right now. They desperately need a go-to guy. I love Corey Davis’s skills. He’s big, but surprisingly fluid and an excellent route runner. Davis also has the ability to win jump balls and make big plays after the catch. His comparisons have ranged from Terrell Owens to Amari Cooper.

6. New York Jets

Rob’s Pick: Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
Grant’s Pick: Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State

Malik Hooker is a day one starter at free safety for almost any team in the NFL. He has elite instincts and ball skills, and may have the best range of any prospect this century. The Jets current free safety is Marcus Gilchrist. Hooker would be a massive upgrade.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Rob’s Pick: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
Grant’s Pick: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee

Rob: The Chargers have one of the most underrated defenses in the NFL. If they can add a playmaking safety, “the ceiling is the roof” for them. Jamal Adams is the best strong safety prospect in years. He has the box safety mentality of putting his body on the line to break up passes and stop running backs. Adams also has the athleticism to holdup in coverage in the NFL.

Grant: Ideally, the Chargers would love to pick up one of the big play safeties. But in my mock, Adams and Hooker are off the board. The Chargers could use an edge rusher across from Melvin Ingram, and Barnett is excellent against the run or the pass, and could play outside linebacker or end in the Chargers’s 3-4 scheme.

8. Carolina Panthers

Rob’s Pick: Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Wester Michigan
Grant’s Pick: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU

Rob: The Panthers have neglected their wide receiver position for too long. Kelvin Benjamin is a number two option at best and they need to get Cam Newton a star receiver. Corey Davis can be the playmaker Carolina sorely needs. He has the versatility to play outside or in the slot, a perfect compliment to Benjamin and Devin Funchess outside. His route running, smoothness in the open field, and size are perfect for the Panthers.

Grant: Jonathan Stewart is old, and the Panthers would love to get a beast running back to pair with Cam Newton. Fournette would be perfect for Carolina’s power scheme; he wouldn’t be asked to catch the ball much out of the backfield and teams wouldn’t be able to load the box out of fear of the deep ball.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Rob’s Pick: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Grant’s Pick: Jonathan Allen, Defensive Line, Alabama

Rob: Barnett fits the criteria the Bengals like in a top prospect: big time production in a big time conference. He was dominant in the SEC for three years and has the tools to continue at the next level. Barnett isn’t a great athlete, but he has the most violent hands of any pass rusher in the draft. He also has very good bend around the edge for a less athletic player. Barnett and Carlos Dunlap would pair very nicely in Cincinnati.

Grant: Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are very good players, but the Bengals could use another monster on the defensive line. Allen could play 5 technique end or 3 technique tackle, depending on the situation. If his shoulders aren’t a long term issue (a big if), Allen is great value with the ninth pick in the draft.

10. Buffalo Bills

Rob’s Pick: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
Grant’s Pick: Gareon Conley, Cornerback, Ohio State

Rob: Buffalo’s best pass catcher is the often injured Sammy Watkins and after that there isn’t a whole lot else. The Bills need to build around quarterback Tyrod Taylor and get him more playmakers. Mike Williams is an extremely physical receiver and contrasts Watkins’ athleticism and smoothness nicely. He is the best YAC receiver in the draft and fights for every ball in the air. He’s exactly what Tyrod needs.

Grant: Gareon Conley was overshadowed at Ohio State by his ultra-talented teammates, Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker. However, Conley has ideal size and speed, and his change of direction makes him incredibly sticky in coverage. The Bills would love to have Conley to replace Stephon Gilmore.

11. New Orleans Saints

Rob’s Pick: Gareon Conley, Cornerback, Ohio State
Grant’s Pick: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama

Rob: The Saints defense needs help at every level. Their biggest need is cornerback and in a cornerback rich draft they can get a day one starter. Gareon Conley has the second highest ceiling of the corners in the class. He’s long, 6’0”, and fast, 4.44 40-yard dash, and physical. He’s an ideal NFL man to man cover corner and would be the Saints best cornerback.

Grant: New Orleans BADLY needs help at corner. With Conley and Lattimore off the board, Marlon Humphrey is the next logical choice. The lanky track star was uncanny at diagnosing routes in zone coverage. His long speed was questionable on tape, but put him in zone and Humphrey will excel.

12. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)

Rob’s Pick: OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Grant’s Pick: Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama

Rob: The Browns will get the best player in the draft at number one with Garrett. Here, they have many directions they can go and why not scoop up a playmaker at tight end. OJ Howard is one of the cleanest prospects in the draft. He does everything well and a few things great. He has fantastic size, hands, and athleticism. The Browns need to get a player with a high floor that can bail their QBs out. Howard is that guy.

Grant: Cleveland has made many impressive moves this offseason, all centered around the goal to beef up their talent in the trenches. With players like Myles Garrett and Danny Shelton on the defensive line, why not take a do-it-all linebacker to pair with Jamie Collins and form a formidable front seven?

13. Arizona Cardinals

Rob’s Pick: Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama
Grant’s Pick: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson

Rob: Reuben Foster is a top 10 prospect at a position not a lot of teams desperately need. He’s one of the most athletic linebackers to come out in years. He was dominant in coverage at Alabama and became known for highlight-reel hits. Foster is a see it and attack linebacker with the skills to stop the run, cover, and blitz. The Cardinals could play him at inside linebacker in three man fronts and weakside linebacker in four man fronts.

Grant: Larry Fitzgerald is a legend, but he was drafted in George W. Bush’s first term as president. Arizona will need another reliable receiver to go across the middle and dominate corners with his physicality. Williams will need to clean up his route running to be truly great, but his tools will give Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer a nasty weapon to work with.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)

Rob’s Pick: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
Grant’s Pick: Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State

The Eagles have a very good offensive line, and Carson Wentz showed potential last year as a franchise quarterback. However, they lack weapons. Cook is an elite running back prospect who can run between the tackles, make defenders miss, and catch the ball out of the backfield.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Rob’s Pick: Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
Grant’s Pick: Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky

Last year, the Colts finally made strides by drafting some offensive linemen, and for the most part they performed quite well. However, Denzelle Good was a liability at right guard and must be replaced. Lamp would be an instant starter and give the Colts the very talented combination of Jack Mewhort, Ryan Kelly, and Forrest Lamp on the interior of the offensive line.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Rob’s Pick: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
Grant’s Pick: OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama

Rob: The days of Baltimore’s dominant pass rushing duo of Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs is coming to an end. Dumervil was cut and Suggs has lost a step, so the Ravens need new blood on the edge. Charles Harris is perfect for Baltimore. He’s a very athletic pass rusher with multiple moves. At minimum he could come in as a rookie and take over Dumervil’s pass rush specialist role.

Grant: Ozzie Newsome, an athletically impressive but underused tight end at Alabama, drafts OJ Howard, an athletically impressive but underused tight end at Alabama. While Dennis Pitta has performed admirably, his potential is nowhere near Howard’s floor. Howard is a very good run blocker, but he’s also a big, athletic tight end with very good hands.

17. Washington Redskins

Rob’s Pick: Malik McDowell, Defensive Line, Michigan State
Grant’s Pick: Taco Charlton, Defensive End, Michigan

Rob: Washington desperately needs to upgrade their defense, specifically their defensive line. They don’t have an above average defensive linemen on the roster. Malik McDowell has the perfect skill for the 5-technique position on Washington’s defensive line. McDowell has a lot of upside as pass rusher because of his elite athleticism for a defensive lineman, but questions about his motor and attitude could lead Washington to pass on his talent.

Grant: Washington’s defensive line is atrocious, but Malik McDowell’s character concerns terrify me. Why not take Taco Charlton, a long, quick end with an array of moves and the ability to play 3-4 end or outside linebacker? He gives you most of the talent of McDowell, without the reported headaches.

18. Tennessee Titans

Rob’s Pick: John Ross III, Wide Receiver, Washington
Grant’s Pick: Haason Reddick, Linebacker, Temple

Rob: The Titans need to get Marcus Mariota a pass catcher with one of their first round picks. John Ross III is the fastest player in the draft with his 4.22 40-yard dash, but he’s more than a burner. He has impressive feet that help him beat corners off the line of scrimmage and run crisper routes than most deep threats. Throw in his elite tracking ability and the Titans have a big time playmaker for Mariota.

Grant: In my mock, the Titans have already taken Corey Davis, and must now focus on fixing their defense. They need help at inside and outside linebacker, and Reddick can play both. He can play inside as a coverage specialist or line up outside and get after the passer if need be.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rob’s Pick: Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah
Grant’s Pick: Cam Robinson, Guard/Tackle, Alabama

Rob: Tampa Bay has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. They need to protect their franchise player, Jameis Winston, and take an offensive tackle. Garett Bolles will be 25 when the season starts, but he has a high ceiling. He’s the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft and plays with the mean streak many teams desire in their left tackle. He’s very raw, but his upside is mouth watering.  

Grant: As Rob alluded to, the Bucs have an atrocious line. Their tackles, Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson, are especially horrible. I think Tampa wants to build a physical, mauling line, and Cam Robinson is a much better fit than the skinny Bolles. Even if he doesn’t work out at tackle, Robinson can slide inside to guard and have a very productive career.

20. Denver Broncos

Rob’s Pick: Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle/Guard, Alabama
Grant’s Pick: David Njoku, Tight End, Miami

Rob: The Broncos need to address their offensive line early in the draft. Cam Robinson played left tackle at Alabama, but might be better off in the NFL as a guard. He plays with power and is the best run blocker in the draft. He handled Myles Garrett when Alabama played Texas A&M, but he also doesn’t have great feet for an NFL left tackle. Worst case scenario the Broncos get a great run blocking guard in Robinson.

Grant: The Broncos also need help on their line, but Bolles’s age and lack of size worry me. Instead, they’ll take David Njoku, the raw, yet hyper-talented tight end. Njoku is tall with very long arms and explosive vertical ability. If he reaches his potential, he’s an All-Pro tight end. If not, he’s an athletic vertical threat who demand attention in the red zone.

21. Detroit Lions

Rob’s Pick: Haason Reddick, Linebacker, Temple
Grant’s Pick: John Ross III, Wide Receiver, Washington

Rob: The Lions had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year. They need to take the best defensive playmaker available regardless of position with this pick. Haason Reddick has been a late riser in the draft process. He dominated as an edge rusher at Temple and then as an off-ball linebacker at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. Reddick has the athleticism to cover tight ends and running backs and the physicality to play the run and blitz. He would upgrade the Lions linebacking core immensely.  

Grant: Matt Stafford loves to throw deep, and John Ross has more speed than a Miami evidence locker. In the aftermath of Megatron’s retirement, the Lions receivers stepped up, but an addition of talent is much needed. Ross has blazing speed and foot quickness, and multiple reports say he blew the interview process out of the water.

22. Miami Dolphins

Rob’s Pick: David Njoku, Tight End, Miami
Grant’s Pick: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri 

Rob: The Dolphins traded with the Jaguars to acquire Julius Thomas to play tight end, but his injury history and lack of consistency are major questions. David Njoku is an athletic freak at tight end. He’s extremely raw, but his size and athleticism are off the charts. The Dolphins could be getting a huge playmaker for Adam Gase’s offense. Njoku is a first round tight with a higher ceiling than that of OJ Howard.

Grant: Cameron Wake is a good player, but he’s on the wrong side of 30. Other than Wake, the Dolphins lack a true threat off the edge. Harris is a versatile edge rusher who plays with impressive hand usage and stuffs the run.

23. New York Giants

Rob’s Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
Grant’s Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin

Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart were probably the worst pair of tackles in the NFL. Flowers was drafted two years ago as a 20 year old project, and in fairness he has improved since he got in the league. However, Hart must be upgraded immediately if the Giants want to make a deep playoff run. Ramczyk is a solid, not great, all around prospect. Though his ceiling is limited, he’s a tough, intelligent tackle who can clear lanes in the run game.

24. Oakland Raiders

Rob’s Pick: Tre’Davious White, Cornerback, LSU
Grant’s Pick: Jabrill Peppers, Linebacker/Safety, Michigan

Rob: The Raiders offense carried them this past season and they need to address defensive holes. Their cornerbacks had a lot of trouble with smaller and quicker receivers in 2016. Sean Smith and David Amerson are built to cover big physical receivers, and Oakland needs to get a player to compliment them. Tre White has extremely quick feet and smooth hips. He can play nickel and on the outside. White would help give the Raiders pass defense far more favorable matchups.

Grant: Right now, the Raiders will start some combination of Jelani Jenkins, Ben Heeney, Tyrell Adams, and Cory James at linebacker. That cannot happen. Peppers has his flaws, but he’s a run and chase weakside linebacker who can cover running backs and make plays all over the field, if teammates like Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack could eat blocks for him.

25. Houston Texans

Rob’s Pick: Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
Grant’s Pick: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson

Rob: In a weak quarterback class the Texans’ biggest need is, of course, the quarterback position. Houston needs to stop neglecting to draft quarterbacks and go all in with this pick. They need to take whoever they considered the best QB available. Mitchell Trubisky is far from perfect, but he has the skill set needed to succeed early in the NFL. He’s the most accurate QB in the class and will help an offense with playmakers. His mobility is above average and the Texans could build the offense around him; think Alex Smith in Kansas City.

Grant: Quarterback prospects from spread or air raid systems do not have a good track record. However, quarterback prospects who were a one year starter have an even worse track record. Watson may not have the arm of Trubisky, and he will definitely need to improve at reading defenses and throwing with anticipation, but he’s more accurate and experienced, and he’s a great leader.

26. Seattle Seahawks

Rob’s Pick: Obi Melifonwu, Safety/Cornerback, UCONN
Grant’s Pick: Quincy Wilson, Cornerback, Florida

Rob: Seattle should be looking to address their offensive line, but in a weak tackle class it’s doubtful a player will be available worth the pick. It’s no secret Seattle covets long and physical defensive backs. Obi Melifonwu is 6’4”, 224lbs with freaky athleticism. Melifonwu was primarily a safety at UConn, but a handful of teams reportedly view him as a cornerback. Seattle needs cornerback help and it’s hard to see them passing on a player like Melifonwu if he’s available.

Grant: Seattle loves lanky corners than can press at the line and play zone. If Richard Sherman stays, Wilson could play across from him in a similar role. If he leaves, Seattle will have to replace one of their best defensive players.

27. Kansas City Chiefs

Rob’s Pick: Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback, Alabama
Grant’s Pick: Kevin King, Cornerback, Washington

Rob: The Chiefs need to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. With the depth at cornerback in this class it’s likely they’ll have a few options with this pick. Marlon Humphrey is the most physical cornerback in this draft. He loves to chuck receivers at the line and hand fight down the field. Humphrey is also unafraid to come up in run support, not to mention he’s a track star. Peters has the athleticism to cover most receivers and putting the physical Humphrey across from him could make a dangerous duo.

Grant: Marcus Peters is a beast, making first team All-Pro in his second season. However, the Chiefs have needed someone across from him since Sean Smith left last year. King is very good in press coverage and has great instincts and ball skills. He would be a great fit in Kansas City’s zone scheme with help over the top from Eric Berry.

28. Dallas Cowboys

Rob’s Pick: Jabrill Peppers, Safety/Linebacker, Michigan
Grant’s Pick: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA

Rob: The Cowboys lost a handful of defensive backs in free agency, including strong safety Barry Church. If Jabrill Peppers is available he would be a great fit in Dallas. With the versatile Byron Jones at free safety putting Peppers next to him could allow Dallas to become more exotic with the way they play. Jones has the ability to play nickel or deep safety, throw in Peppers as a box safety and nickel linebacker and the Cowboys get a lot more interesting on the backend.

Grant: Takkarist McKinley may be the biggest boom or bust pick in this draft. He has the long arms, the lightning first step, and the tenacity to be an All-Pro monster. However, his effort against the run left much to be desired, and I have questions about his work ethic. He may be the superstar pass rusher Dallas needs, or he could be the next Dion Jordan.

29. Green Bay Packers

Rob’s Pick: Kevin King, Cornerback, Washington
Grant’s Pick: Tre’Davious White, Cornerback, LSU

Rob: The Packers were burned last year because of inconsistency at their cornerback spots. Kevin King is a second round talent that has shot up boards thanks to great testing at the combine. His combo of size, 6’3”, speed, 4.43 40-yard dash, and agility, 6.56 three-cone drill, are unmatched by any corner in the draft. He will be a first round pick because of those numbers, but his tape shows a player with questionable feet and a lack of strength. His athletic numbers don’t clearly translate to the tape, but the Packers need will force the pick.

Grant: Corner is probably Green Bay’s biggest need. Tre’Davious White has tremendous hips that allow him to stick to his man and restrict throwing windows. He doesn’t have great size and must improve in press coverage, but even if he fails outside he can be deadly in the slot.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Rob’s Pick: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
Grant’s Pick: Budda Baker, Safety, Washington

Rob: Pittsburgh will have plenty of options with this pick. Their biggest needs are where the draft is strongest, cornerback, safety, edge, and tight end. Due to injury Takk McKinley should be available come Pittsburgh’s pick. McKinley doesn’t play with much technique and is very raw, but his nonstop motor and arm length can be building blocks for him. McKinley could be slowly integrated into the defense behind James Harrison and Bud Dupree while he learns to play with technique.

Grant: Troy Polamalu was a slightly undersized, dynamic playmaking safety in Pittsburgh and contributed to one of the best defenses in the NFL. Last year’s second round pick Sean Davis showed flashes, but the Steelers could use another safety along with Davis and Mike Mitchell. Budda Baker lined up all over the field at Washington, as a nickel corner, box safety, and free safety. He could do the same thing in Pittsburgh and transform that team.

31. Atlanta Falcons

Rob’s Pick: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
Grant’s Pick: Dan Feeney, Guard, Indiana

Rob: The Falcons offense is well put together, but their defense needs another pass rusher alongside Vic Beasley. Taco Charlton is a bit of a project, but he’s 6’6”, 277lbs and flashes pass rush potential. Despite, being so big he doesn’t play with consistent strength and often gets lost against the run. He, like McKinley, is very raw, but his upside is undeniable. His fit in Atlanta would be interesting.

Grant: Last year’s Falcons had a good offensive line, particularly for their zone scheme. However, right guard Chris Chester retired and left guard Andy Levitre is getting old. Dan Feeney is a tough technician with the athleticism to make blocks on the second level and a talent for setting the edge. He’s not great in pass protection, but he’s good enough, and plugs a hole for a title contender.

32. New Orleans Saints (from New England)

Rob’s Pick: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
Grant’s Pick: Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford

Christian McCaffrey has a similar skill set to Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush, both of whom flourished under Sean Payton. McCaffrey might not be the running back on first and second down, but his absurd quickness and route running give him the potential to have 1000 yards receiving as a running back/receiver hybrid.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d be perfectly happy with the Steelers taking either of those guys. McKinley’s injury and combine performance worry me, but his numbers are similar to Bud Dupree’s. Budda Baker can come in and play in the dime and allow Sean Davis to move down into the box and eventually replace Mike Mitchell in a few years.

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