Closer and closer we get to the NFL Draft. The Combine is in the books, pro days finished, and teams are beginning to solidify their main list of targets for this year’s draft.
That is unless you’re the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams still have some work to do after trading with the Titans for the 1st overall pick on Friday. It’s clear that the team will draft a QB with their newly acquired pick, but who will they take?
Nothing seems to be a “for sure” lock at this point in time. This could be a very interesting NFL Draft.
With that being said, here’s my latest NFL mock draft:
Jared Goff, QB, Cal Golden Bears*
You don’t make this big of a trade unless you plan on drafting the top QB available. I was pretty convinced that the Rams would draft Wentz but, with more thought, I think the level of talent Jared Goff played in college will give him the edge of Carson Wentz.
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State Bison
This is yet another time where a team made a trade to grab the guy they think will lead their franchise for the next decade plus. Carson Wentz was my top QB but has been bumped down because of where he played. Either way the Eagles are thrilled to have a new starting QB.
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State Seminoles*
Ramsey is one of the most versatile players in the draft. He can line up anywhere in the backfield and be a playmaker. The Chargers have some other needs they could address and it’ll be hard not to draft Tunsil here, but Ramsey has the right attitude and the skills to back it up.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes*
Think back a couple of seasons when we all finally thought the Dallas Cowboys would get back to the Super Bowl. Who made that happen and what position does the team lack? I don’t think the Cowboys can afford to miss out on a super-talent like the next AP.
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss Rebels*
It’s about time to replace Luke Joeckel. It just hasn’t worked out well. Bortles is moving his way up the ladder of his progression, but if he continues to be sacked more often than nearly every other QB, he will not survive long enough for Jacksonville to enjoy his future.
Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA Bruins*
This Ravens defense just isn’t good anymore. They need someone to be able to rush the quarterback and be a leader on a Ray Lewis-less defense. Jack is one of the best players in the draft and the Ravens would be pleasantly surprised to see him fall out of the top five.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss Rebels*
The 49ers are feeling the burn from the Cowboys stealing Goff away. This team needs a QB, but they can’t afford to reach for Paxton Lynch. This is a great way to help out QB X by giving him the ability to just throw it up and hope this big body WR brings it back down.
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes*
Joey Bosa was once in the debate to be the number one pick and suddenly he ran a bit slower than expected and everybody jumped off the wagon. I think the Browns are getting a steal at number 8 and they know it. Things are really starting to turn around for a perennial disappointment in Cleveland.
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon Ducks
The next two teams are both in a world of pain after the Bucs stopped this freefall. This is a freak athlete with incredible size and skills. Tampa Bay gets to play two great QB’s in their division. They need to hope Buckner puts the pressure on them and gets games manageable.
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Tunsil is the big name offensive lineman in this draft, but there are plenty of other great prospects as well. The Giants are banking on this as they draft Stanley to help support this incredible passing attack. The Giants need a lot of defensive help, but Eli (also known as Equal Manning) is the key to winning the division next season.
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida Gators*
The Bears have a lot of needs/options at this position. Pass rushers are probably most important and offensive linemen are up as well, but this is too good for a chance to pass up. This will be the second CB that the team has drafted in recent years and should help keep games within reach for an under performing offense.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis Tigers
Here’s a shocking pick! The Saints drafting the replacement for Drew Brees? Rumors are beginning to spin that the Saints are pretty interested in this high risk-high reward QB. If the Saints don’t draft him here I fully expect another team to trade up and get him before we get into the mid-twenties.
Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State Buckeyes**
Eli Apple is a rising star after the combine. He has the ability to really become a star in this Miami defense. They’d love to grab a guard at this spot, but I don’t see the value at 13.
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Gerogia Bulldogs*
The Raiders really need to upgrade the entire linebacker position group. Floyd will be a great help to the rest of the defense and is the best option defensively right now.
Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State Spartans*
The Titans absolutely won the trade with the Rams, but they unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to grab the best offensive lineman in the draft. Fortunately, there are plenty of quality linemen in this draft. Conklin isn’t Tunsil but isn’t that far off.
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville Cardinals
I still believe that the Lions need to seriously consider drafting a WR here but I think when push comes the shove this team goes with the guys doing the pushing and the shoving. Rankins would be a monster on a once fearsome Lions defensive line.
Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame Fighting Irish*
I have tried hard but I can’t ignore how badly the Falcons need to get that offense moving again. They have a great QB throwing to one good target. Once the run game stopped being amazing last season the Falcons were done. Will Fuller is the best option here to be that reliable target for Matt Ryan when he needs help and number 1 is triple covered.
Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Ragland is a bit of a risk because he needs to be healthy, but if he can do it, he will be a three-down linebacker who can become a staple of this defense. If injuries aren’t an issue, he is a steal at 18. The Colts are passing on some much needed help on the offensive line, but they can address the interior needs later in the draft.
Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Buffalo Bills defense was supposed to be great last year, but really disappointed. Reed will be a big body to stuff the run. The entire line needs help in Buffalo and there are a few different options, but this is a rare combination of need and BPA.
Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State Buckeyes
The Jets need to reshuffle their offensive line. Fitzpatrick should (if he knows what is best for him) come back to the Jets and he needs help to stay upright.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU Horned Frogs
Doctson is a huge target who will go up and get the ball for his newly franchised (and overpaid) QB, Kirk Cousins. The Redskins have some higher needs, but any of them would be a reach here.
Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson Tigers*
J.J. Watt might make you question this pick, but he actually needs quite a bit of help. For a few years now, the Texans have been trying to get back to being one of the best defenses in the NFL. Kevin Dodd has fallen quite a bit and would be an excellent addition to this defense.
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor Bears
The Vikings need to finally get a great WR. Bridgewater finally is starting to look like a franchise QB and AP is still going to be the best RB in the NFL, but without a true number 1 target to throw to, this team will never truly compete.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama Crimson Tide*
The Bengals saw quite a bit of disappointment on their defensive line last year. Robinson is the best DT in the draft and should be a great addition with the WR’s worth drafting in round 1 off the board.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss Rebels*
This is a risky pick. I think this is one of the better fits for him though. The Steelers have a solid enough defense to where Nkemdiche doesn’t have to be an every down player. He can come in when needed, make a big play, and then get back on the bench.
Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State Buckeyes
For a team that has taken pride in being on of the best defenses in football there is never a bad time to draft someone to rush the QB. The Seahawks are going to be let down that they didn’t get the chance to steal away Nkemdiche but this pick should be able to get the job done.
Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson Tigers*
Lawson has fallen quite a bit compared to other mock drafts and if this is the case I’d expect someone to trade up and grab him, but without looking into trades he falls nicely into the Packers defense. He is a true BPA.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia Mountaineers
This is a pure need based pick. The Chiefs need to get a safety on this defense to help out Eric Berry. This will also add some security in case a deal can’t be reached. The Chiefs should consider a QB to groom here as well.
William Jackson III, CB, Houston Cougars
There is a big hole in the defense right now. The Cardinals should seriously consider grabbing a backup QB to sit and learn behind Carson Palmer but if they don’t want to make a reach they should get Jackson to play opposite Patrick Peterson.
Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL) Hurricanes*
This pick will surely raise some eyebrows. The Panthers don’t need a CB that badly right now, but if Josh Norman doesn’t get paid what he feels he is worth and/or Boykin doesn’t quite work out, this will be some added security.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State Spartans
With the Kap trade looking to be dead in the water and Mark Sanchez not being a long-term answer, this is the best pick to make. Any QB that might develop into a real NFL starter will likely be gone by the time the Broncos get to make another pick, especially because they have plenty of defensive needs to address in the next few rounds. Cook can sit and learn while Sanchez does just enough to keep the Broncos in the game but not enough to get back to a Super Bowl.