With the draft roughly a month away teams are starting to identify certain players that they want to target. It’s almost inevitable that some information will come out to knock someone down the board or someone will be a late riser but, right now the top 5 is looking to be some combination of these players. There are all types of rumors out there of who will pick who, but I will release mock picks, these picks will be based on team needs, what I would do as GM, and players available.
- Cleveland Browns Pick: Myles Garrett (Texas A&M ) EDGE
With this pick the Brown’s could finally do something right in the draft and change the direction of the franchise. Practically everyone in the league is expecting the Brown’s to draft Garrett and the Brown’s have said they will not be trading the #1 pick. In Garrett Cleveland will be getting a pass rusher that has excellent size and speed with the opportunity to be a franchise changing talent. Garrett can play with his hand in the dirt or standing up and has countless moves to rush the quarterback. Pairing Garrett with Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, and Joe Haden would provide the Browns with a good young defensive core to build around. By the time draft day comes everyone will be wondering about the #2 pick, because this pick is about as close to a lock as it gets.
2. San Francisco 49ers Pick: Jamal Adams (LSU) SS
Not many people have Adams mocked here, but think about who the new GM is?? John Lynch. I’m thinking he would like to add a game changer just like himself in the defensive backfield. Pairing Adams with FS Eric Reid would provide for a nasty, ultra athletic, and young pairing of safeties. Adams plays with physicality while also having the skills to interrupt plays at all levels of the defense. He is consistently around the ball and would provide leadership for a young team looking to rebuild. Kyle Shanahan has said they would like to replicate the Seahawk’s defense and what a perfect way to start by getting two young safeties, just like Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
3. Chicago Bears Pick: Solomon Thomas (Stanford) DL
Thomas plays with a burst of explosion not seen very often for linemen of his size. Watching his bowl game against North Carolina shows his explosion and ability to disrupt plays in the backfield. The Bear’s have many different needs, but none of the players remaining provide the upside and immediate contributions that Thomas offers. The Bears were 27th last season in rush yards per game allowing 121.9 yards, Thomas could help fix that problem and also provide inside pass rush on sub packages. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio would have plenty of ideas in mind to move Thomas around in his 3-4 scheme.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars Pick: Leonard Fournette (LSU) RB
If Fournette is here for the Jaguars they should debate on him and DT Jon Allen, but taking Fournette would dramatically help Blake Bortles. The Jaguars made off-season moves to sign Calais Campbell this year and Malik Jackson last year, while Allen would help, the Jaguars need a punishing running back to take time off the clock. Tom Coughlin would love the idea of a grind it out football game with what should be an above average defense and Blake Bortles not throwing the ball so much. The Jaguars finished 22nd in rush yards per game at 101.9 yards and Fournette could certainly boost that number by a significant margin. Fournette offers a rarely seen combination of size (240lbs) and speed (40 yard dash- 4.5 sec) that was last seen by the likes of Adrian Peterson. With Fournette the Jags could finally get a running game to help Bortles and hope the few passes he does throw won’t be intercepted and taken to the house.
5. Tennessee Titans Pick: Marshon Lattimore (OSU) CB
The Tennessee Titans are sitting back in their chairs thinking about how they stole the Rams pick last year. The Titans will be looking for help in the defensive backfield and also wide receiver to help young Marcus Mariota. Picking a wide receiver here would seem a little high and I would not be surprised to see the Titans trade back and gain a second round pick. But, if they stay Marshon Lattimore would be a great pick and an instant starter. He has the speed and size to stick with most receivers in the NFL and pairing him with Logan Ryan would provide the Titans with a formidable young cornerback duo. Lattimore is seen by many as a perfect prospect and after watching his film there’s not much to dislike unless you really want to knitpick. He does have hamstring problems that have bothered him in his college career which could be worrisome to some teams, but the Titans will be willing to take the chance and get a day one starter.