Mock Draft 3.0
By Dwayne Wilton
This is my third and final mock draft for this year’s draft. The first round of the NFL Draft will be on Thursday night and the rumors are flowing hot and heavy. I will try to change things up a little bit on this draft. My goal is to highlight the different options available to each team when they get on the clock. So let’s get started:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – As much as I would like to change this pick and make it interesting, I don’t see any way the Bucs don’t draft Winston. I think he has done the best he can do in addressing his off the field issues and I think he goes first overall to Tampa Bay.
Mock 1.0 selection – Jameis Winston
Mock 2.0 selection – Jameis Winston
- San Diego Chargers (from Tennessee) – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – This is a really hot rumor right now. Sometimes where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but this is what many call “lying season”, so who knows? The scenario would move San Diego to this spot and would move Philip Rivers to Tennessee. Rivers has worked with Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt and would be comfortable playing in this system. The Chargers get a young QB that they can develop. The San Diego area seems to be the right fit for the laid back Mariota and even has a Polynesian community.
Mock 1.0 selection (Chargers) – Eddie Goldman
Mock 2.0 selection (Chargers) – Melvin Gordon
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Leonard Williams, DL, USC – The Jaguars have a decision to make. They need an edge rusher, but they didn’t expect a player that many have as the best player in the draft dropping in their lap. They could decide to go edge rusher, but I think Williams might be too tempting.
Mock 1.0 selection – Brandon Scherff
Mock 2.0 selection – Dante Fowler Jr.
- Oakland Raiders – Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida – The Raiders need a wide receiver for Derrick Carr, but this is a deep draft for receivers. They can’t believe the best edge rusher in the draft has dropped to them. Teaming Fowler with last year’s #1 Kahlil Mack gives them a fierce pass rush.
Mock 1.0 selection – Randy Gregory
Mock 2.0 selection – Kevin White
- Washington Redskins – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson – The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo in free agency. In Beasley I believe they are getting an edge rusher with the quickest first step I’ve seen seen DeMarcus Ware. Beasley would team with Ryan Kerrigan to give the Redskins possibly the best combo of edge rushers in the NFL.
Mock 1.0 selection – Shane Ray
Mock 2.0 selection – Trae Waynes
- NY Jets – Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky – Dupree may be the fastest riser of anyone in the draft. Calvin Pace is 35 years old and Quinton Coples has not been consistent as a linebacker, so the Jets need an outside linebacker. Dupree is very raw, but he has a few jaw dropping plays every game. With good coaching, he could be a special pass rusher.
Mock 1.0 selection – Marcus Mariota
Mock 2.0 selection – Randy Gregory
- Chicago Bears – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia – I have Amari Cooper rated ahead of White and I had Cooper here in my last mock. The Bears traded away Brandon Marshall, but still have Alshon Jeffery at receiver. White has a little more top end speed and can stretch the field a little better, so I think he may be a better fit here.
Mock 1.0 selection – Vic Beasley
Mock 2.0 selection – Amari Cooper
- Atlanta Falcons – Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska – Gregory could slide a lot further than here, but Atlanta needs a pass rush. Ray is also a possibility, but his toe injury may scare teams off. The Falcons may be willing to roll the dice on Gregory’s off field issues and hope they can help him overcome them.
Mock 1.0 selection – Dante Fowler Jr.
Mock 2.0 selection – Shane Ray
- NY Giants – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington – I still believe the Giants will go with an offensive tackle here, but the thought of Danny Shelton teaming up with Johnathan Hankins is intriguing. The Giants will have to stop DeMarco Murray, Alfred Morris and whoever Dallas gets to replace Murray (see pick #27). The combo of Shelton and Hankins would be tough to run against.
Mock 1.0 selection – Andrus Peat
Mock 2.0 selection – D.J. Humphries
- Louis Rams – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford – The Rams need receivers, but this is an extremely deep draft for receivers. They also need offensive line help and there is a drop off in offensive tackle talent after the first round. They may decided to address the offensive line in round 1 and pick up a receiver in round 2. Peat could take over the left tackle slot and allow last year’s first rounder Greg Robinson to move to the right side where he is a better fit.
Mock 1.0 selection – Amari Cooper
Mock 2.0 selection – Devante Parker
- Minnesota Vikings – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – The Vikings might have wanted to reunite Teddy Bridgewater with Devante Parker, but having Cooper fall to you at 11 is too good to be true. He is the most polished receiver in the draft and he will instantly make Bridgewater better.
Mock 1.0 selection – DeVante Parker
Mock 2.0 selection – Todd Gurley
- Cleveland Browns – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville – The Browns don’t know how much they can trust Josh Gordon since he’s had multiple drug related suspensions. They picked up Dwayne Bowe, but he was a disappointment in Kansas City. Parker will give them a receiver with good size and speed and should help whoever ends up starting at quarterback.
Mock 1.0 selection – Danny Shelton
Mock 2.0 selection – Marcus Mariota
- New Orleans Saints – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas – The Saints need an edge rusher and Shane Ray is still on the board. However, Ray is trying to overcome a toe injury and was arrested this week for marijuana possession. Brown is the safer pick here. The Longhorns played in three man fronts at times and Brown has experience playing at the nose and even as a 5 technique.
Mock 1.0 selection – Marcus Peters
Mock 2.0 selection – Vic Beasley
- Miami Dolphins – Brandon Scherff, G/T, Iowa – The Dolphins need O-Line help. Scherff is a versatile player that could start inside and eventually move to left tackle if Branden Albert can’t go.
Mock 1.0 selection – Landon Collins
Mock 2.0 selection – Dorial Green-Beckham
- San Francisco 49ers – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State – The 49ers need help in their front seven, but they can’t resist the top corner falling to them. They have lost both starting corners in two straight off-seasons, so they need to get a player that will be with them for a while.
Mock 1.0 selection – Arik Armstead
Mock 2.0 selection – Arik Armstead
- Houston Texans – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia – The Texans probably didn’t go into this draft thinking they needed to draft a running back in the first round. However, when a player like Gurley falls to you, you gotta take the best player. The truth is that Arian Foster has a lot of miles on his tires. He may be the best back in the league when he’s healthy, but he tends to miss games at times and the Texans need someone to back him up. Having Foster will allow them to take it easy on Gurley this year while he’s coming back from injury. He could be relegated to kickoff returns and spot duty unless Foster gets injured.
Mock 1.0 selection – Kevin White
Mock 2.0 selection – Danny Shelton
- Tennessee Titans (From San Diego) – Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida – The Titans upgraded their offense by trading down and picking up Philip Rivers. Now, they go to work getting him some weapons. Perriman has been rising up draft boards after running a sub 4.3 40 at his pro day. That type of speed to go with a 6’2” frame makes him an attractive pick here.
Mock 1.0 selection – Leonard Williams
Mock 2.0 selection – Leonard Williams
- Kansas City Chiefs – La’el Collins, G/T, LSU – The Chiefs are probably devastated by the previous pick. They had zero TD’s from a wide receiver last year. However, this draft is strong at the position. The choice here could be whether to go with a receiver or to upgrade the offensive line which is also a concern. They may decide to go with Collins here and then try to pick up a receiver in the second round.
Mock 1.0 selection – Trae Waynes
Mock 2.0 selection – Jaelen Strong
- Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo) – Eli Harold, DE/OLB – Virginia – With their earlier pick, the Browns decided to strengthen their receiving corps. The Browns have Barkevious Mingo as a starter at one of the outside linebacker spots. They really need to upgrade that position. The decision could be between Shane Ray and Harold. Both of the Browns first rounders struggled last year, so they need players that will contribute. Harold is a safer picker here than Ray.
Mock 1.0 selection – Devin Funchess
Mock 2.0 selection – Malcom Brown
- Philadelphia Eagles – Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami – The Eagles offensive line was banged up last year. Flowers will give them depth and some options if they continue to have offensive line issues.
Mock 1.0 selection – Denzel Perryman
Mock 2.0 selection – Brandon Scherff
- Cincinnati Bengals – Jalen Collins, CB, LSU – The Bengals corners are getting some age on them. They need to try to get more youth in the secondary. Collins has good size and athleticism. He doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he could start out in nickel and dime situations and work his way into the starting lineup. The fact is you can never have enough good corners in the NFL.
Mock 1.0 selection – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
Mock 2.0 selection – Eddie Goldman
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington – Peters should have gone earlier based on his ability, however, he had issues with the Huskies coaching staff and was kicked off the team. The Steelers top need is a corner and they have to be hoping that Mike Tomlin and his staff can get through to Peters.
Mock 1.0 selection – Carl Davis
Mock 2.0 selection – Jalen Collins
- Detroit Lions – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State – The Lions lost both starting defensive tackles to free agency. They picked up Haloti Ngata, but they could use more help inside. Goldman is a big presence that is hard to block. He will help the defensive line continue to be a source of strength for this team.
Mock 1.0 selection – Melvin Gordon
Mock 2.0 selection – Andrus Peat
- Arizona Cardinals – Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Mizzouri – The Shane Ray slide stops here. The Falcons need to upgrade their pass rush and they roll the dice on a guy with a big motor, but has questions about his health and decision making off the field. Talent trumps red flags at this point.
Mock 1.0 selection – Malcom Brown
Mock 2.0 selection – La’el Collins
- Carolina Panthers – Landon Collins, SS, Alabama – I had the Panthers taking offensive tackles in my first two mocks, so I decided to go a different way here. Roman Harper is 32 years old, so the Panthers may decide to go after his replacement. Collins would bring a physical presence to the Panthers defense that could set the tone for the entire unit.
Mock 1.0 selection – T.J. Clemmings
Mock 2.0 selection – Ereck Flowers
- Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest – The Ravens have Ladarius Webb and Jimmy Smith penciled in as their starters. Webb struggled and has a big cap number. Smith was injured part of the year. Johnson would have a pretty decent chance to get on the field and possibly even start.
Mock 1.0 selection – La’el Collins
Mock 2.0 selection – Marcus Peters
- Dallas Cowboys – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – Last year the Cowboys upgraded their offensive line. They used that improved line play and the running of Demarco Murray to end up second only to Seattle in rushing offense. Murray moved to Philadelphia in free agency, so they need a running back. They may think about going defensive line or defensive back here, but I think if Gordon falls to them, they don’t have much choice than to take him. Gordon may not run quite as tough as Murray, but he is tougher than you think and is an explosive back that can get you yardage in huge chunks.
Mock 1.0 selection – Maxx Williams
Mock 2.0 selection – Landon Collins
- Denver Broncos – D.J. Humphries, OT, Miami – The Broncos offensive line was inconsistent last year and Orlando Franklin left in free agency. Humphries could start at right tackle and eventually take over for Ryan Clady on the left side.
Mock 1.0 selection – Devin Smith
Mock 2.0 selection – T.J. Clemmings
- Indianapolis Colts – Arik Armstead, DT/DE, Oregon – The Colts need defensive line help. Armstead is a versatile player with the length to play 5 technique. He can also move inside when they go to a four man line and rush the passer.
Mock 1.0 selection – Cameron Erving
Mock 2.0 selection – Denzel Perryman
- Green Bay Packers – Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson – The Packers would really like an edge rusher here, but I think Anthony is a better value. Anthony has good speed and has the range to run sideline to sideline. He would help the interior of the Packers defense.
Mock 1.0 selection – Eli Harold
Mock 2.0 selection – Bud Dupree
- New Orleans – Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota – Not many people have Williams going in the first round, but he sneaks in. The Saints traded away Jimmy Graham so they need a replacement. Williams won’t make anyone forget Graham, but he’s an upgrade over what the Saints have at the position.
Mock 2.0 selection – Devin Smith
- New England Patriots – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State – Strong has slipped a little, but he’s a physical receiver that can get separation. I think Tom Brady would like the pick.
Mock 1.0 selection – Bud Dupree
Mock 2.0 selection – P.J. Williams