The Senior Bowl has come and gone. For many players it was their first NFL job interview. Who hurt and helped their stock? Below is the first of three mock drafts I will do this offseason. The next one will come after the combine and then the final one right before the draft.
1. Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold
For the Browns I believe it is between Darnold and Josh Allen for them. It would not shock me if they went Allen here as they might think he is the next Carson Wentz, but in the end they go with the tough guy from California.
2. New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen
Even if the Giants keep Eli Manning, with the No. 2 overall pick they need to start thinking about the future. Rosen would thrive in New York and give them an easy transition from Manning.
3. Indianapolis Colts – DE/OLB Bradley Chubb
Running back Saquon Barkley is still on the board, but with Marlon Mack showing what he did last year this is a Colts team that needs defensive talent. Chubb is the best defensive player in the draft making him the choice.
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley
The quarterback-running back combination that the Browns have here reminisces of the Trent Richardson/Brandon Weeden duo that turned out to be a disaster. However, Darnold is a lot younger and more talented than Weeden was, and Barkley is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, and probably better. The Browns rebuild starts right here with this foundation.
5. Denver Broncos – OG Quenton Nelson
The Broncos maybe try to trade back here. A lot of people have them taking a quarterback, but I firmly believe they will go after a Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Kirk Cousins, or Tyrod Taylor in free agency. After what happened with Paxton Lynch and the current set of coaches they have, a veteran guy makes sense. Denver gave up the third most sacks last season. Nelson is a good start to fixing that.
6. New York Jets – QB Baker Mayfield
The Jets need a quarterback of the future. Baker Mayfield showed his touch and accuracy this week at the Senior Bowl showing he is a top three guy in this class.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Minkah Fitzpatrick
The best cornerback in the draft has fallen into the Bucs’ lap here at seven. Depending on how many quarterbacks go, will depend on how far Fitzpatrick and the other top defenders drop. Teams from 7-15 could get top 5-10 talent.
8. Chicago Bears – WR Calvin Ridley
The Bears need to give Mitch Trubisky weapons if he is going to be successful. Cam Merideth is good receiver, but him alone won’t cut it. Ridley, while not an elite wide receiver prospect, fits a big need here.
9. Oakland Raiders – CB Denzel Ward
I so badly want to slot Roquan Smith to the Raiders, because he just seems like a their type of player, but I also can’t get over the fact that this secondary was one of the worst in the NFL a season ago.This is also very dependent on the coin flip. If the 49ers pick here, then Smith may be the pick for the Raiders at 10. However, right now, Ward is the pick.
10. San Francisco 49ers – LB Tremaine Edmunds
The 49ers have their quarterback and their defense is about to be one of the better ones in the division. With guys like Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and add Edwards, that’s a lot of talent in the front seven.
11. Miami Dolphins – LB Rashaan Evans
I see a lot of people putting a quarterback here, but I don’t think they go for it. Gase had success with Tannehill. The Dolphins need to sturdy up their linebacking corps. Evans is a very athletic guy that can play all three downs. Perfect fit here.
12. Cincinnati Bengals – LB Roquan Smith
This pick just makes too much sense. If Smith is gone they go best offensive lineman available. However, Smith has Bengals written all over him here.
13. Washington Redskins – S Derwin James
Another spot where I see a lot of people putting a quarterback. I’m not sure if Washington ends up keeping Kirk Cousins, although they’d be foolish not to. James has potential to be an elite safety.
14. Green Bay Packers – DE/OLB Arden Key
The Packers could go Connor Williams here. However, Clay Matthews is aging and this is a team that needs young pass rushers. Key is up and down, but could succeed with Mike Pettine in Green Bay.
15. Arizona Cardinals – QB Josh Allen
The bomb finally drops. The Cardinals don’t have a quarterback, and while I don’t think Allen is going to succeed at the NFL level nor is worth a first round pick, NFL teams are going to fall in love with him because of his physical traits. Allen makes sense. After what he’s shown at the Senior Bowl, it would surprise me if he was a top-10 pick.
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Courtland Sutton
The Ravens struck out on Breshad Perriman a few years ago. They just missed out on transitioning out of the Joe Flacco era with Allen going a pick before them. Sutton gives Flacco a legitimate weapon.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Connor Williams
The Chargers have done a fine job building their offensive line over the past few years. They get their left tackle of the future to protect Rivers now and their future quarterback down the line.
18. Seattle Seahawks – RB Ronald Jones
The Seattle Seahawks need a running game. They can’t roll the dice with Chris Carson and the other hodge-podge guys that they have at running back. They’ve missed Marshawn Lynch. Jones is a dual threat guy that will take some of the load off of Russell Wilson.
19. Dallas Cowboys – NT Vita Vea
This is disappointing as Vea is a guy I am really high on and would love for the Rams to take, but the fit is nice with Dallas. The Cowboys spent years building the offensive line and need to do the same to the other side of the ball.
20. Detroit Lions – RB Derrius Guice
The Lions, like the Seahawks, need to be able to take some of the pressure off of their quarterback. The Lions were hoping Ameer Abdullah would be their difference maker, but that hasn’t been the case.
21. Buffalo Bills – G/C Billy Price
There could be 4-5 very good free agent quarterbacks. If the Bills don’t stick with Taylor, that’s where they’ll go. They won’t go QB here. After the news of Eric Wood, the Bills need to fill that hole. Price is the best center in the draft.
22. Buffalo Bills – DT Maurice Hurst
It would not shock me if the Bills moved up or traded back. There’s almost zero percent chance they keep both of these picks. Hurst could be a steal late in the first as he has a ton of upside.
23. Los Angeles Rams – CB Mike Hughes
…and the moment we’ve all been waiting for. This is tough. After the week Marcus Davenport had in Mobile, I’m not sure I can slot him here or in the first round in general.
For me this comes down to cornerback, because Trumaine Johnson is gone. There’s little chance a deal gets done and those thinking one will are probably doing some wishful thinking.
Mike Hughes and Josh Jackson make the most sense. Hughes I think fits the scheme a little better. Chris Harris comes to mind as another sub-six foot guy that had success under Wade Phillips and we know how that worked out in Denver.
24. Carolina Panthers – CB Josh Jackson
The Panthers need a legitimate No. 1 cornerback. Josh Jackson, while this may be a little late for him, gives the Panthers their next Josh Norman.
25. Tennessee Titans – LB Malik Jefferson
The Titans hired Mike Vrabel as their next head coach. He knows what a very good and versatile linebacker can do for a defense. The Titans are on their way to taking that next step, Jefferson is not only best best player available but fits a need.
26. Atlanta Falcons – DT Da’Ron Payne
The Falcons are apparently big fans of Payne and Vea from what I’ve seen and heard. Atlanta is moving in a more defensive direction and Payne gives them a potential elite body up front.
27. New Orleans Saints – OLB Harold Landry
The Saints have slowly but surely created a respectable defensive team. They have the secondary, they have an elite pass rusher in Cam Jordan, but they could use an outside linebacker that can rush the passer as well.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Donte Jackson
Running back could be a choice here if the Steelers don’t bring back Bell, but I think that’s a deal that gets done. The Steelers however need defense, specifically a nice cover corner. Jackson is versatile as a guy who can play inside, outside, or safety.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – S Ronnie Harrison
The Jaguars won’t go quarterback. Blake Bortles is the quarterback the NFL needs and deserves. As if the Jaguars secondary couldn’t get any more talented.
30. Minnesota Vikings – OL Isaiah Wynn
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the most complete teams in the NFL this season, however, they could upgrade on the offensive line. Wynn is a guy that can start at guard and eventually kick out to left tackle.
31. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Orlando Brown
The Eagles need a future for after Jason Peters. Peters is a future Hall of Famer, but his time is up. Philadelphia makes the transition.
32. New England Patriots – Edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
The Patriots need somebody who can come off of the edge. Okronkwo met with Patriots at the Senior Bowl and has had a fantastic week. Unlike Marcus Davenport who I have falling out of the first round. The Patriots signed James Harrison as a stop-gap. Here they have the future.
Blaine Grisak is a staff writer for Rams Talk. He currently works in athletic communications for the University of Pennsylvania. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.