Now if you listen to our show (Blue Cheese Radio), you know my feelings on the endless mock drafts we are flooded with from the day after the Super Bowl until now. But with a little under a week until the Cleveland Browns go on the clock, I’ve decided to release my official mock draft. We’ve watched tape, watched the combine, and have seen what players are visiting which teams. So with all of that in mind, here is how I see the first round shaking out on Thursday.
“The NFL Draft is now open. The Cleveland Browns are on the clock.”
Rd 1-Pick 1 – Cleveland Browns
DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
The Browns do the right thing and take the consensus best player in the Draft. Pair Garrett with
last year’s 2nd Round pick Emmanuel Ogbah and DT Danny Shelton and the Browns have the makings of
a fearsome defensive front.
Rd 1-Pick 2 -San Francisco 49ers
DE/DT Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
The 49ers were dead last in run defense last year giving up 165 yards per game on the ground. They draft
a future pro-bowler in Solomon Thomas. Thomas should be able to come in right away and contribute.
He should instantly help improve a struggling run defense as well as help rushing the passer.
Rd 1-Pick 3 -Chicago Bears
S Jamal Adams (LSU)
The Bears have done a great job re-building their defense and they continue here as they add a solid
piece to the secondary and their possible defensive leader with Adams . If the Bears are going to
compete in the NFC North, they have to stop Aaron Rodgers. Period. Drafting a guy like Jamal Adams
can help you do that.
Rd 1-Pick 4 -Jacksonville Jaguars
RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)
The Jaguars desperately need help for their quarterback Blake Bortles. A one-man wrecking crew like
Leonard Fournette could be the missing piece to help Bortles’ progression and help finally bring
the Jags back into the discussion in the AFC South.
Rd 1-Pick 5 -Tennessee Titans
CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)
The Titans were near the bottom of the league last year in pass defense. With the release of Jason
McCourty, it almost seems obvious the Titans feel like they’re going to be able to get a day 1 starting
Cornerback to pair with the recently signed Logan Ryan. Either through the draft, or through a trade.
They get that in Marshon Lattimore.
Rd 1-Pick 6 -New York Jets
QB Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina)
Jets have drafted defense the last seven years. As much as they like Malik Hooker, I think the Jets
finally make a move to get Todd Bowles a franchise quarterback.
RD 1-Pick 7 -Los Angeles Chargers
S Malik Hooker (Ohio State)
New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley knows a thing or two about ball-hawking safeties patrolling
the middle of the field. Bradley’s first draft with the Seahawks, Bradley got Earl Thomas. In his first
draft with the Chargers, he gets a Safety who could be just as good as Thomas.
Rd 1-Pick 8 -Carolina Panthers
OT Cam Robinson (Alabama)
Carolina struggled protecting Cam Newton last year. Adding a big physical presence on the o-line to
pair with the newly-acquired Matt Kalil could help keep Cam upright and help the Panthers get back
into Championship consideration.
Rd 1-Pick 9 -Cincinnati Bengals
ILB Reuben Foster (Alabama)
The Bengals gave up over 113 yards per game on the ground last year. Bengals cut Rey Maualuga earlier
this offseason and get an upgrade at the position with the hard-hitting Linebacker out of Alabama.
Rd 1-Pick 10 -Buffalo Bills
DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)
Bills are transitioning to a 4-3 and the team cut Mario Williams earlier this offseason. The Bills struggled
defending the run last year, giving up the 4th most rushing yards to the opposing team (Jay Ajayi remembers).
Thomas could come in and help the defensive line from day one. Not to mention a steal for the Bills at 10.
Rd 1-Pick 11 -New Orleans Saints
DE/OLB Taco Charlton (Michigan)
Saints were dead last in pass defense last year. So they should probably draft a corner right? Well they
also finished 27th in sacks, The Saints bring in a freak pass rusher with pick #11. Cool name too.
Rd 1-Pick 12 -Cleveland Browns
QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
The Browns grab their franchise quarterback at 12. Just like the rest of the team, the quarterback position
was a complete nightmare last year for the Browns. A nightmare that I don’t think Hue Jackson plans on re-living.
Browns get the new face of their franchise in Watson.
Rd 1-Pick 13 -Arizona Cardinals
QB DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame)
The Cardinals continue the run on quarterbacks and take Kizer at 13. With Carson Palmer coming back for another
season, Kizer could greatly benefit from sitting and learning for a year or two. This is a perfect fit for a
team ready to make another run at the Super Bowl.
Rd 1-Pick 14 -Philadelphia Eagles
WR John Ross (Washington)
Eagles take the first WR of the draft with the selection of John Ross. They give their new quarterback a go-to
speedster in Ross to pair with the size of Alshon Jeffrey.
Rd 1-Pick 15 -Indianapolis Colts
DE/DT Malik McDowell (Michigan State)
Colts need to rebuild a depleted defense. They should start with beefing up a swiss cheese run defense that gave
up over 120 yards per game on the ground last year. McDowell is a raw talent that could give a boost to a Colts
defense still trying to recover from their previous GM Ryan Grigson.
Rd 1-Pick 16 -Baltimore Ravens
OLB/DE Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)
The Ravens were 24th in the league in sacks last year. (Yeah you read that right) Elvis Dumervil is gone.
Terrell Suggs isn’t getting any younger. McKinley could be the next great pass rusher to reside on Baltimore.
RD 1-Pick 17 -Washington Redskins
RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)
The Redskins lost some offensive firepower this offseason with the departure of Desean Jackson and Pierre
Garcon. With the Skins franchise-tagging Kirk Cousins yet again, maybe give him a little help by boosting a lackluster run game? Redskins get a dual-threat running back in McCaffrey.
Rd 1-Pick 18 -New York Giants (Trade From Tennessee)
TE David Njoku (Miami)
The Giants trade up to get Eli Manning another weapon on offense. Njoku could be the best tight end has
had since Jeremy Shockey. And Eli loves his tight ends.
Rd 1-Pick 19 -Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TE O.J. Howard (Alabama)
Tampa Bay grabs maybe the most complete tight end in the draft as they draft Howard at 19. The Bucs continue
to build around Jameis Winston with a monster tight end to team with Mike Evans and Desean Watson. Winston must be licking his chops (keep an eye on the crab legs).
Rd 1-Pick 20 -Denver Broncos
OT Garett Bolles (Utah)
Broncos have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. But struggled to protect the quarterback. The Broncos
o-line finished 24th in sacks allowed last year with 40. No matter who the quarterback is, the Broncos need to
do a better job protecting them. Bolles can be a day one starter on the offensive line.
Rd 1-Pick 21 -Detroit Lions
S Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut)
The Lions look to make life for Aaron Rodgers a bit more difficult with the addition of the 6’4 225 lb
size/speed freak athlete in Melifonwu. If the defense can help the offense, the Lions may be right back
into the playoffs next year.
Rd 1-Pick 22 -Miami Dolphins
ILB Jarrad Davis (Florida)
The Dolphins were terrible against the run last year giving up 140 yards a game on the ground. 4th worst
in the league. They getting a hard-hitting, run stuffing linebacker in Davis with pick 22.
Rd 1-Pick 23 -Tennessee Titans (Trade From New York Giants)
LB Haason Reddick (Temple)
The Titans pick up a player in Reddick who is everything GM Jon Robinson looks for in a player.
He’s tough, smart, hard-working, and team-first player. He can play multiple positions along the defensive front.
And he comes from a hard-nosed program at Temple. Dick Lebeau is a happy man.
Rd 1-Pick 24 -Oakland Raiders
CB Chidobe Awuzie (Colorado)
Raiders get a very good Cornerback to help bolster a secondary that gave up 257 yards per game in passing
defense last year. Ninth worst in the league. The offense is there for Oakland. This move could be key in
helping the defense catch up.
Rd 1-Pick 25 -Houston Texans
QB Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech)
It’s obvious to anyone watching the Texans are a quarterback away from being a serious threat in the AFC. They
find one in this draft and they don’t have to look far. Whether or not Mahomes is ready to be the starter day one,
the Texans can’t really do much worse than Brock Osweiller. And with a team on the verge and coach under the
microscope, they take a chance on this high-risk/high-reward player.
Rd 1-Pick 26 -Atlanta Falcons (Trade From Seattle)
OLB DE Derek Barnett (Tennessee)
Falcons were decent getting after the passer. But pairing Vic Beasley with a stud pass rusher like
Derek Barnett could be what helps the Falcons get back to the Super Bowl. I’m sure they wished they
had Barnett in last year’s Super Bowl.
Rd 1-Pick 27 -Kansas City Chiefs
WR Mike Williams (Clemson)
The slide for Mike Williams ends at 27 with the Chiefs who still needs a dominant #1 reciever to pair with
a speedster like Tyreek Hill and a savvy vet like Jeremy Maclin. Mike Williams could be the missing piece
for the Chiefs.
Rd 1-Pick 28 -Dallas Cowboys
OLB T.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
Jerry Jones said he wants to find a “War Daddy” in this year’s draft. Well, T.J. Watt certainly fits that
description. Watt can be a game-wrecking playmaker that the Cowboys are looking for.
Rd 1-Pick 29 -Green Bay Packers
RB Joe Mixon (Oklahoma)
Let the circus begin. The Packers take controversial running back Joe Mixon with pick 29. Mixon is the
high risk/high reward player that GM Ted Thompson isn’t known for taking with such a high draft pick. But if
there’s one thing we know for sure about Ted Thompson, it’s that he’s unpredictable and willing to take a
Rd 1-Pick 30 -Pittsburgh Steelers
DE/OLB Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova)
Steelers boost the defense with a 6’7 280 pound pass rusher in Kpassagnon. He can play a number of positions
on the defense. And he can help boost a Steelers defense still trying to hold up their end of the bargain.
Rd 1-Pick 31 -Seattle Seahawks (Trade From Atlanta)
OLB/DE Tim Williams (Alabama)
The Seahawks struggled to get to the passer at times last year. Cliff Avril isn’t the same player and Michael
Bennett is probably on the back-half of his career. The Seahawks get a solid pass rusher who can come in on
passing downs and get after the quarterback.
Rd 1-Pick 32 -New Orleans Saints (Trade From New England)
DE Tarell Basham (Ohio)
Saints double down on improving their pass rush with the last pick of the first round. Saints need help in
the secondary but they can get a solid corner later in the draft.