This is the second part of my first mock draft, and its amazing how fast it seems these drafts change. I feel that there are a few players here who will find their way into the top 16 and I’ll make another mock draft closer to the draft. For now, Im picking from a players who all could be available at this point in the draft. There are several teams I could see trading down in the late twenties, especially if they do not need to address the receiver position.
Teams like the Jaguars, Raiders, Rams, and Vikings could all trade up if they fail to address the position earlier in the first round. Also tackles will start to come off the board pretty fast as there is a need for young controllable linemen, although most of the players taken this year will be moved to the right side of the line or inside to guard, there is still a huge need to protect the quarterback.
These picks are what I think teams will do at certain positions based off the needs I believe they need to address, but also from what I’ve been reading about each team from numerous sources. There is an occasional pick where I went with what I solely thought the team should do, but that’s only one or two picks. I did not include trades, but I will in the next mock draft. The three picks I like the most are the picks to Kansas City, New England, and Carolina, all of which I think got steals at their positions either based off value, or a player that I feel is underrated. Here we go, the San Diego Chargers are on the clock.
17) San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon III- RB Wisconsin
The best running back in college football this year with Todd Gurley sitting most of the year out. Even with Gurley playing Gordon would’ve still ben extremely productive and fighting with Gurley for position as the top running back. The Chargers watched their top running back leave for Philly, and even though he was injury-prone, he was a productive back and they have no immediate solution. Gordon will be the perfect fit for the chargers who have a third down back in Woodhead and would allow Gordon to focus on running and limit the number of passing plays he would be a part of as catching is one of his biggest weaknesses.
Other Options: Malcolm Brown, Cameron Erving, Breshad Perriman
18) Kansas City Chiefs: Cameron Erving-OC Florida St.
Erving is one of my favorite players in this year’s draft. He has been playing center for Florida State, but was originally a tackle and should have the ability to play multiple positions on the line. Here he would stay at center where the Chiefs lost their starter to Oakland. The Chiefs have a couple positions to draft on the line and have addressed the need with the acquisition of Grubbs from the Saints. They could also look for receiver here or try to address depth on the defensive side of the ball.
Other Options: Breshad Perriman, Jaelen Strong, Landon Collins,
19) Cleveland Browns: Breshad Perriman- WR UCF
Nobody has seen their draft stock rise faster than Perriman due to one test. His 40-yard dash at his Pro day came out with numbers below 4.24 seconds being reported. On top of that he has good height and hands but again lacks polish in focus and route-running. The browns are in trouble on offense with Josh Gordon facing another suspension and Manziel being in rehab. If they want to succeed with Josh McCown as their quarterback they are going to need to surround him with weapons like he had in Chicago.
Other Option: Malcolm Brown. Landon Collins, TJ Clemmings
20) Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins- S Alabama
Landon Collins may be seeing a drop due to an injury he sustained during the season, or it may be that teams reviewed the tape and were not as thrilled as they were originally, for any reason, he is still a quality player and will address a need for Chip Kelly. After their offseason of confusion, it’s a little difficult to predict anything for this team, but this seems like a logical and safe way to go for the Eagles.
Other Options: TJ Clemmings, Dorial Green-Beckham
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Malcolm Brown- DT Texas
The Bengals could really go a couple of different routes with this pick and if Malcolm Brown is available here I think this makes the most sense. This defense has been hit by injuries and players leaving in free agency, and could really use some depth especially along the offensive line. Being on a talented defense should help Brown’s development as he will probably see very few double teams and will opportunities created by other players on the defense.
Other Options: TJ Clemmings, Dorial Green-Beckham,
22) Pittsburgh Steelers: TJ Clemmings- OT Pittsburgh
Wow this would be a cool scenario for Clemmings to stay in town and play football for the same city he’s played for the last four years for. The Steelers definitely could go defense here, but adding depth along the offensive line to protect Roethlisberger is important. We saw last year, when Big Ben was protected, there was no way to slow down this offense, but Ben also had one of his healthiest seasons in a while. This offensive line has had some injuries and really could use the depth to make sure Big Ben stays upright all year.
Other Options: Marcus Peters, Brad Dupree
23) Detroit Lions: Brad Dupree- OLB Kentucky
The Lions were hurt in free agency this year when they lost Suh to the Dolphins. Adding Haloti Ngata was a great addition and they really could use more help along the defensive line, but their choices here are not great. Still this defense could really some cost-controlled play-makers to help negate the loss of their best player last year. Dupree brings a great rush to stop passers from having time to survey the field, also can be a run-stopper with his great speed. The only thing he needs to work on is his pass-coverage which he will be asked to do more being in a 4-3 system.
Other Options: Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman
24) Arizona Cardinals: Todd Gurley- RB Georgia
The Cardinals were the surprise team of the NFL last year with how well they played with Carson Palmer under center. Although most of the credit should go to the defense for being in the top five for almost every defensive category last year. The goal now is to try and improve a little offensively to take some pressure off the defense. Gurley would give them the power back they’ve been lacking to convert short third down and short into a new set of downs. He can take pressure off the quarterback and really open the play-action passes while also keeping their defense off the field by extending drives. He is coming off an ACL injury, but his talent warrants the risk at this point in the draft.
Other Options: Dorial Green-Beckham, DJ Humphries
25) Carolina Panthers: Dorial Green-Beckham- WR Missouri
His name has been all over the news lately and this mock draft for other options. Green-Beckham is super talented at 6’5” and 230+ pounds, he runs extremely well and is a ball hawk in the air. The reason he could drop this far is he has a history of off-the-field issues and many teams were concerned, but after the combine, teams see so much talent that they almost cannot look pass him and I expect him to rise up draft boards and make a push towards the top ten. The Panthers really could use a lot of help on offense and another defensive linemen could help as well. Remember this team made the playoffs with a below .500 record so they are a team with a lot of needs, but I felt made several good under the radar moves to try and improve this team. It will be interesting to see who is available at this time because that will most likely determine which position this team will draft.
Other Options: Cedric Ogbuehi, Owamagbe Odighizuwa
26) Baltimore Ravens: Devin Smith- WR Ohio State
I think Baltimore is sitting here hoping a WR falls as drafting Smith here may be a little` bit of a reach. After losing Torrey Smith in free agency, the Ravens will need to replace his production. The Ravens really do not have a glaring need, but do have several areas across the board that could use help, depth, or may start to need a replacement due to aging players. This really allows the Ravens to draft the best available player and not draft a need. Then again how many teams actually draft the best available player instead of a need? The answer; very few.
Other Options: Trade Down, Eddie Goldman, Tevin Coleman
27) Dallas Cowboys: Jaelen Strong- WR Arizona State
The Cowboys really could go a lot of ways here as they have several needs and areas to improve. Really any position could use an upgrade outside of that fantastic offensive line. That said, the idea is to improve and draft the best available player. This team made the playoffs because it is already talented on one side of the ball and the defense really played a lot better than it should have thanks to Rod Marenelli. Adding Strong would be more to protect Dez Bryant and take some pressure off 0f him and I believe Strong is the best available player at this point. Obviously adding any defensive player would help this defense, but that can be addressed at a later point. If addressing the defense is the main concern, I would highly suggest trading down instead of reaching for a player.
Other Option: Eddie Goldman, Trade Down, Benardrick McKinney
28) Denver Broncos: Eddie Goldman- DT Florida State
Denver just lost their starting nose tackle to free agency and really could use a cost-effective solution that has upside. Enter Goldman, who will need to add some weight and would probably be a better fit in a 4-3 system, but he will bring effort and experience. His speed could cause some problems for centers, but the main benefit is being on a talented defense and not needing to perform immediately and could use the time to develop. The Broncos could also go offensive lineman to try and keep Peyton Manning upright, they also could use some depth at the position. Either way, it looks like the trenches is the way Denver to improve.
29) Indianapolis Colts: DJ Humphries- OT Florida
If there is any quarterback that needs a little protection in the pocket it would be Andrew Luck. The Colts have been one of the worst teams at protecting the passer that last two years. It’s actually scary to think how good Luck could be if he had time to throw. Now Humphries will not solve the problem, actually this does not even come close to solve the problem, but it will be a solid start as Humphries projects to be a solid right tackle or a great guard. Either way this is a start, with four other positions that could use long-term solution on the offensive line. Expect the Colts to draft a couple linemen.
30) Green Bay Packers: Kevin Johnson- CB Wake Forest
The Packers are in a great situation where they really do not have a glaring need and really can draft however they feel like drafting. The fact is the defense is solid and the offense is great as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center. Johnson makes sense here since the Packers are at risk of losing Shields in the future and could really use some depth now just to protect in case of an injury.
Other Options: Maxx Williams
31) New Orleans Saints: Maxx Williams- TE Minnesota
The Saints have two picks in the first round thanks to the Jimmy Graham trade that shocked the whole sports world. If Williams is available at this point I would declare the Saints the winner of the trade. I believe Williams to be a future Graham-like tight end that is an absolute match-up problem for defenses and a ball hawk in the air. The addition of Unger and Williams would really help Brees and the Saints to have a bounce back year.
32) New England Patriots: Marcus Peters- CB Washington
Arguably the most talented corner in the draft, but his stock has taken a hit due to off-the-field issue. Peters has great ball skills and plays faster than his 40 time shows. He can help fill the void left by Revis and Browner leaving this offseason. The Patriots will still need another corner, but getting a starter is more important than the nickel, and they will probably wait until a later round to address that need.