1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee): Jared Goff, QB, California
The Rams dealt a number of picks to move up to No. 1 in order to draft Goff. Nick Foles was not any good last season. If Los Angeles thinks Goff will be one of the top quarterbacks in the draft soon, then there is no such thing as paying too much. He will have the benefit of having one of the best running backs in the NFL at his disposal. He does not need to be great early on as the Rams have a very good defense.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
You don’t trade a number of draft picks to move up to draft anything but a quarterback. Sam Bradford didn’t cut it last year, and the Eagles are high on Wentz. They paid a steep price, but if they think Wentz is their guy, then it could end up being a good deal. I don’t believe Wentz will start early on, but when he does get his chance, he will have a solid cast around him, which includes Demarco Murray and Jordan Matthews.
3. San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
San Diego needs an offensive lineman in the worst way. Last year’s top pick Melvin Gordon constantly had very little room to work with last year as evidenced by the Chargers averaging a league-worst 3.5 yards per carry and the Bolts were sacked 40 times a year ago. San Diego has a number of needs, but offensive line needs to be addressed early in the draft. If the Chargers pass on Tunsil tonight, three other names to watch are Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
There has been a lot of buzz about either Ohio State product, Ezekiel Elliott or Joey Bosa, going in this spot, but I have Dallas taking the prospect who I feel is the best in the draft. Ramsey and last year’s first round pick, Byron Jones, could turn out to be a terrific duo in the secondary. Elliott is intriguing and running behind that great offensive line could be dynamic. Dallas chose not to re-sign Greg Hardy and both DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory have been suspended for the first four games next season, so the Cowboys need a pass rusher in the worst way, so Bosa would make sense as well.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
I was debating either Bosa or Myles Jack for the Jaguars, but ended up going with Bosa. Jacksonville needs to shore up the defense and Bosa could team up with last year’s first round pick Dante Fowler Jr., and have a potentially potent pass rush. Bosa is a well-rounded defensive end, equally good at stopping the run and rushing the quarterback. If they are not concerned about Jack’s injury, though, I could very easily see the Jaguars taking the UCLA linebacker.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Baltimore needs an offensive tackle with the Eugene Monroe experiment having been a disaster. He would step in and become the starting left tackle from day one, starting opposite Ricky Wagner. If Baltimore does not take him, they could very easily take Jack or DeForest Buckner.
7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
If he is on the board, it just makes sense. With Chip Kelly running the show in San Francisco, Buckner seems like a logical pick. In Philadelphia, Kelly took nine Pac-12 players out of 21 picks. Buckner constantly was facing double and triple teams at Oregon, but still managed to register an impressive 10.5 sacks. Despite his height (6-8), he plays low and is a great fit for the 49ers 3-4 defense.
8. Cleveland Browns: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I know, I will get ripped for this one, but call this a gut feeling on my part. This is my surprise first round pick. Despite what the Cleveland front office and coaches say, I don’t know if they feel Robert Griffin III is “the guy.” I mean, after all, they only gave him a two-year deal. I think Cleveland takes a quarterback early, whether it is Lynch or a trade down to take Connor Cook. Myles Jack would make sense here, as he would be the best player available, according to most. If Griffin pans out, then Lynch may become expendable, but that is a big “if.” Cleveland has not had a good starting quarterback since their re-birth in 1999 and you cannot win in the NFL without a capable one.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
If this were to happen, once again, the Buccaneers draft an in-state player in the first round. Tampa Bay gave up 31 passing touchdowns a season ago and Hargreaves could pair with new free agent acquisition Brent Grimes to try to trim down that number considerably. He is the No. 1 cornerback in this class (if you consider Ramsey a safety) and would it fit in nicely in the Tampa Bay defense.
10. New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Elliott is in play at No. 4 and No. 8. but ultimately lands at No. 10 to the Giants. Not many running backs end up being drafted this high, but Todd Gurley went No. 10 last year and proved to be well worth the selection. New York does not have one go-to running back at the moment. Rashad Jennings leads the Giants rushing attack, but he had less than 200 carries and fewer than 900 yards rushing last year. He is also 31. Elliott is easily the best running back in this draft class and will not get past Miami at No. 13 and I doubt he gets out of the top 10.
11. Chicago Bears: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
The Bears get a potential steal here. I think he is the second best player in this draft, only behind Ramsey. Chicago addressed their need at inside linebacker in free agency with the signing of Danny Trevathan, and they are looking at an outside linebacker to play along side Trevathan. Jack is an athletic freak and would be top five if teams were not scared off by his knee. Shaq Lawson and Leonard Floyd could also be in play for Chicago here.
12. New Orleans Saints: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
New Orleans needs to add a pass rusher in this year’s draft and Floyd fits that mold. He is terrific size and athleticism and has great upside. He will have to add 15 more pounds or so for when trying to get past the big offensive tackles in the NFL, but he has a variety of pass rush moves and would fit in nicely in the Saints defense. Drew Brees is not getting any younger, so if Lynch gets past the Browns at No. 8, he could be in play for the Saints here since they have started rebuild mode.
13. Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Miami got rid of Brent Grimes (and his wife) this offseason, so Miami is in need of a cornerback. With Hargreaves coming off the board at No. 9, the Dolphins turn to Apple to fill the void. Jack Conklin and Apple’s college teammate Taylor Decker could be in play, but Miami used free agency to sign a few offensive linemen and other needs, including Mario Williams, as well. Apple is a good fit and would start immediately for the Fins.
14. Oakland Raiders: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
I think the Raiders would prefer a cornerback here, but both Hargreaves and Apple are off the board and Rankins has moved up draft boards recently. I originally had Rankins going a few spots higher, but he settles in at No. 14 in this mock. Oakland took care of many needs in free agency this year and now will turn to the defensive line and secondary. Robert Nkemdiche also could be in play here.
15. Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Titans are finally on the clock after picking up this pick when trading down from No. 1. When having the top pick, Tennessee was thinking about taking Tunsil, but now they get to choose between the two Big Ten offensive tackles, Conklin and Decker. Either would be good choices to help protect the franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
16. Detroit Lions: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Lawson could very easily go higher. I am a big fan of his and the Lions could get a steal at No. 16. Lawson and Ezekiel Ansah would be a terror for opposing quarterbacks and the Lions need to pressure the opposing quarterback with Aaron Rodgers in the division. I could see Nkemdiche also possibly being a target for Detroit here.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Not surprisingly since Dan Quinn is the head coach, Atlanta is building defense first. After using its first two picks in 2015 to draft defense, I think Lee is the pick here. He has terrific athleticism and pass rushing ability. He is an ideal fit for the Falcons and I do not see him getting past Atlanta.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Indianapolis needs help all around the offensive line. He is a good fit at right tackle and would start right away opposite Anthony Castonzo. Indianapolis also has a gaping hole at center, so watch out for Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, as he is rising up draft boards fast.
19. Buffalo Bills: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Buffalo is completely depleted at linebacker and Ragland is the top inside linebacker in this draft class and would make an instant impact. He is a perfect fit for a Rex Ryan defense. He is not the fastest, but does everything else well. Nkemdiche could go here as well.
20. New York Jets: Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Mississippi
The Ole’ Miss product has loads of talent, but he comes with a lot of baggage, which makes him fall to No. 20 in the first place. With Muhammad Wilkerson’s future with the Jets up in the air, Nkemdiche would be nice selection for the Jets. New York could also look at a cornerback here like Artie Burns or William Jackson III.
21. Washington Redskins: Jerran Reed, DT, Alabama
Reed is a force in the middle, arguably the best run stuffer in the draft. He is versatile, as he could be a 4-3 defensive tackle or in either position in the 3-4 defense. Washington is another team that could look at drafting Kelly if he is there. The Redskins also could take West Virginia safety Karl Joseph.
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Texans gave a nice big contract to quarterback Brock Osweiler in order to try to help bring them to the next level. Houston also went out and signed running back Lamar Miller, which gives the Texans a weapon to go along with stud wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Coleman would give Osweiler another weapon at his disposal and help take pressure of Hopkins, which would make this offense even more lethal to go along with an already top notch defense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
There are not many holes on the Vikings roster, but wide receiver is one of them. He has loads of talent, as he was a 5-star receiver coming out of high school. He does not have blazing speed, but he is great at high pointing the ball and catching it with his strong hands. He would be a very good complement to 2015 draft pick Stefon Diggs and his big play capabilities. Minnesota could also look at TCU’s Josh Doctson in this spot.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
The Bengals are rumored to be big fans of the TCU wide receiver. After losing Mohamed Sanu in free agency to the Falcons, Cincinnati needs to find a receiver to line up opposite A.J. Green. Doctson has great ball skills and terrific leaping ability to go along with having arguably the best hands in the draft. They may think Doctson may go to Minnesota, so it would not surprise me to see the Bengals trade in front of the Vikings for him.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Steelers are in need of a No. 1 cornerback they have lacked for years, so they could choose either Artie Burns or William Jackson III, but I will have them taking Robinson to help form a solid defensive line. Pittsburgh has lacked a great nose tackle since the glory days of Casey Hampton, so picking Robinson makes sense. They could go defensive back here as well with one of the two aforementioned corners.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Dodd was the “other” Clemson defensive end, but he is a very good prospect as well. Dodd had 12 sacks in 2015, compared to 12.5 for Lawson. He had a great game for the Tigers in the National Championship game against Alabama, recording five tackles for loss and three sacks. Seattle will need a replacement for Bruce Irvin, who left for Oakland in free agency. The Seahawks also could look at Kelly or Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi to help the offensive line.
27. Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
B.J. Raji’s abrupt retirement made nose tackle a high priority going into the draft. Billings is a big space eater who has the ability to dominate games. Billings could very easily go before the Packers pick, but he falls into their lap at No. 27. Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler or Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence could also be possibilities at this spot.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
The fast-rising Notre Dame receiver could land on the Chiefs, who are looking for a receiver to team up with Jeremy Maclin. He is a dynamic playmaker with good ball skills who caught 30 touchdowns in 29 career starts. He and Maclin could be a solid receiving duo to go along with one of the best tight ends in the NFL in Travis Kelce. Kansas City could also go Butler in this scenario.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL)
Burns is raw, but has a lot of potential. He can play both outside and in the slot as a cornerback. The drop-off after Patrick Peterson is enormous, so Burns could step in and possibly earn a starting spot right away. William Jackson III is another cornerback who the Cardinals could draft here.
30. Carolina Panthers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The good thing about Carolina making the decision to pull the franchise tag from All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman recently is that it can look to the draft to try to fill the big shoes left by him. They find a possible replacement in Jackson, who has good size for the position and will be able to match up with the big receivers in the NFL. Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander could also be the selection here.
31. Denver Broncos: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Denver finally gets its quarterback. After losing Osweiler to the Texans in free agency, the Broncos would start Mark Sanchez at quarterback if the season started today. Yes, Mark Sanchez. Now Sanchez could still start out the season as the starter, even if Cook is drafted, but the rookie would start by mid-season. However, Denver might have to trade up since other QB needy teams like San Francisco could trade up to nab a quarterback right in front of them.