by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously there is significant fallout to the draft in the wake of yesterday’s trade with the St. Louis Rams jumping from #15 all the way to the top pick. It’s fairly obvious that they are going to be selecting a quarterback, the question is how the move impacts the rest of the draft. Let’s take a look at how the first round currently shakes out:
1. Los Angeles Rams – QB Jared Goff, California (trade from Tennessee)
The Rams gave up a bounty to move from #15 to the top selection and we know that they crave a franchise quarterback. You can argue if this was the right year to make such a move or not, but clearly they have their sights set on one of the top two options. Whether it’s Goff (as we currently have it) or Carson Wentz, there’s now little doubt that it’ll be a pair of quarterbacks going 1-2 atop this year’s draft.
2. Cleveland Browns – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
The team moved on from Johnny Manziel, so there’s little doubt that the Browns are going to look for a new franchise QB. Unfortunately for them the Rams made a bold move, jumping into the top spot, and that will force Cleveland to settle for whoever is left. Will it be Goff? Will it be Wentz? This will likely change in the days leading up to the draft, but for now we’re leaving it as Wentz.
3. San Diego Chargers – OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
The Chargers are among the biggest winners from the Rams trade up, because it means the player they most covet will definitely be there for the taking. The team needs a rock on the offensive line, to protect Philip Rivers and open some holes for Melvin Gordon. Now they will be able to select the top offensive tackle in this draft class and the entire offense will reap the benefits.
(Previous Pick – CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State)
4. Dallas Cowboys – CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
It’s easy for the attention to be drawn to the Cowboys offense, but with Dez Bryant and Tony Romo each missing significant time the issues there shouldn’t be a surprise and should correct themselves. It’s the defense where the team desperately needs help and, thanks to the trickledown effect of the Rams trading up they ultimately land the player some felt would go first overall. Not only that, Ramsey fills a glaring need as Dallas managed just 8 INT in ’15. It should be fun watching him and Odell Beckham matching up for the foreseeable future, won’t it (assuming Ramsey doesn’t slide to safety)?
(Previous Pick – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
The Jaguars desperately needed help in the secondary, allowing the fourth most passing yards in the league (268.2/game) and mustering just 9 INT. They addressed that hole in free agency, adding CB Prince Amukamara on a prove it deal and S Tashaun Gipson. They also added Malik Jackson for the defensive line, though it’s easy to argue that they can use even more pressure. It’s possible that the team passes on Bosa, thanks to character concerns, but his upside potential will likely be too much for them to pass up.
(Previous Pick – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon)
6. Baltimore Ravens – OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
The team’s biggest need may be in the secondary (6 INT in ’15), but with Ramsey off the board and with Shareece Wright resigned it makes sense for the team to wait on further addressing the position. Instead the bulk up their pass rush by adding a dynamic talent at linebacker (something they need with Terrell Suggs now 34-years old), this is a perfect fit.
7. San Francisco 49ers – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Blaine Gaebbert? Colin Kapernick? Who knows what to expect from Chip Kelly, but at this point it’s obvious that the 49ers need to bolster their QB play and it makes sense for the new coach to target a new franchise QB. However, barring a trade down in the draft there no longer is a prospect that makes sense at this spot. So now we begin to wonder what does make sense at this spot. Conventional wisdom would be DeForest Buckner that generated the fourth fewest sacks in the league in ’15 (28), but is anything Kelly does “conventional”? For now that’s how we’ll have this go, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see a tackle like Ronnie Staley be the selection.
(Previous Pick – QB Jared Goff, California)
8. Philadelphia Eagles – RB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State (trade from Miami)
The fact that they resigned Sam Bradford makes it less likely that they use their first round pick on a QB (not that they don’t need one, but it’s more likely that they address the position later in the draft). Instead, by trading into the Top 10 they give themselves a chance to land one of the top two secondary prospects in the draft (potentially Vernon Hargreaves), but they also could arguably grab their new workhorse running back. While it makes sense for them to make the solid pick, right now we’re going to go with them making a flashy selection.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
The Buccaneers need help getting pressure on the QB and Floyd should slide in and help. That said, it’s easy to argue that the secondary is a bigger need, so if either Ramsey or Hargreaves fall it’s easy to imagine one of them landing in Tampa Bay.
10. New York Giants – OT Ronnie Staley, Notre Dame
The Giants needed to upgrade their defense and while that could still be the focus, their free agent spending spree (resigning Jason Pierre-Paul while adding DE Olivier Vernon, DT Damon Harrison and CB Janoris Jenkins) should change that (unless Myles Jack falls in their lap). They need to add another young piece to the offensive line, with Staley being a perfect fit to slot in with 2015 first round pick Ereck Flowers.
11. Chicago Bears – CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
Getting a pass rusher is the biggest need for the Bears, after managing just 35 sacks a year ago. However there isn’t a perfect fit for their 3-4 defense at this spot, so it’s more likely they either look for the best offensive tackle on their draft board or select a cornerback to help a secondary that managed 8 INT (tied for second fewest) and 31 passing TD (tied for fifth most in the league). Given the talent that’s the way the makes most sense.
(Previous Pick – OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State)
12. New Orleans Saints – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
The Saints allowed the second most rushing yards per game (129.4) and desperately need help plugging the hole up the middle. They also need help in the secondary, but with the top two options already off the board this makes the most sense.
(Previous Pick – CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida)
13. Miami Dolphins – CB Eli Apple, Ohio State (trade from Philadelphia)
The Dolphins traded down a few spots, but there should be ample prospects available to fill their needs on the defensive line (despite the Mario Williams signing) and in the secondary.
(Previous Pick – DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama)
14. Oakland Raiders – DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
The suspension of Aldon Smith, lost for all of ’16, makes pass rush a need for the Raiders. With Lawson falling into their laps, it’s hard to imagine them bypassing him.
15. Tennessee Titans – OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State (trade from St. Louis Rams)
The Titans dropped down from the top spot in the draft, accumulating a bounty of picks in the process. That said, even in the middle of the round they appear primed to get one of the better offensive lineman in the draft (our previous mock draft had them take Laremy Tunsil with the top overall selection. Considering that it’s easy to call this deal a home run for the team.
16. Detroit Lions – OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
The Lions allowed 44 sacks last season and managed just 83.4 rushing yards per game (the worst in the league). They need to bolster the offensive line so they can open some holes and have time to throw the football. Remember they’ve watched Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley walk, so a getting an option to help plug the middle makes sense if they opt not to select an offensive lineman.
(Previous Pick – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville)
17. Atlanta Falcons – ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Is linebacker the biggest need for the Falcons? Probably not, but there isn’t a wide receiver or tight end who makes sense. The price is right for Ragland, though, and it helps to bolster a unit that needs it.
18. Indianapolis Colts – OLB Darron Lee, Alabama
The Colts could use help on the offensive line, but with their being a bit of a run earlier in the draft they may not see a perfect fit at this spot. Instead they give their line backing corps a much needed boost.
19. Buffalo Bills – DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
The Bills cut ties with Mario Williams and are going to need help with their pass rush in Rex Ryan’s defense. Help on the offensive line is another option, but given their head coach it makes sense to expect them to go defense first.
(Previous Pick – DE Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss)
20. New York Jets – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
The biggest need for New York is at linebacker, the offensive line and running back. With the issues surrounding the resigning of Ryan Fitzpatrick it makes sense for the Jets to consider a quarterback, and with one of the Top 3 falling in their laps it may be too much for them to overlook.
(Previous Pick – OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State)
21. Washington Redskins – CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Fuller’s draft day value is dropping due to his 2015 season ending with an injury, but he’s the next best option and the Redskins have a significant need. This could ultimately prove to be a steal.
22. Houston Texans – WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
They need a franchise QB, but with the top three already off the board they are going to have to wait until the second round. They also need a RB, but with Elliot gone they aren’t going to go in that direction either. Maybe they trade up to fill one of those needs, but instead they arguably land the top wide receiver in the draft who can create an impressive one-two punch with DeAndre Hopkins and give new quarterback Brock Osweiler all of the weapons he needs.
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR William Fuller, Notre Dame
This pick could easily change, as there is a debate as to who the second best receiver in the class is (William Fuller and Corey Coleman are also in the mix). For now we’ll go Fuller, as the Vikings desperately need to find a go to receiver for Teddy Bridgewater.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Another wide receiver needy team, thanks to the potential departure of Marvin Jones & Mohamed Sanu plus A.J. Green is no spring chicken. They also need help on the defensive line, and there are a few intriguing names available for that position.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
They could use help in the secondary and up front, so it’s going to depend on which direction they opt to go.
(Previous Pick – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama)
26. Seattle Seahawks – DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
They need help on the offensive line (especially now that Russell Okung moved to Denver in free agency), so look for them to address that spot with whomever they deem the best prospect at the time, though it’s possible that there isn’t an ideal fit. Instead they grab a defensive lineman to help produce more pressure on opposing QB.
(Previous Pick – OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana)
27. Green Bay Packers – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
They need to get a pass rusher from the linebacker spot, but they also could use some help in the middle of their defensive line. Reed could prove to be a great value pick at this spot and too good to pass up.
(Previous Pick – DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State)
28. Kansas City Chiefs – DE Jonathan Bullard, Florida
They need help on both lines, so it really will come down to who they view as the top name available. For now we’ll have them adding a pass rusher, especially with Justin Houston’s status in doubt, but that could easily change depending on how things fall.
(Previous Pick – DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson)
29. Arizona Cardinals – S Keanu Neal, Florida
They need help at safety, so at the end of the first round look for them to grab the top name on draft boards.
30. Carolina Panthers – CB William Jackson, Houston
They desperately need help on the offensive line (most notably a tackle), but there isn’t an obvious fit. Look for them to address that on Day 2, instead finding a long-term solution across from Josh Norman.
(Previous Pick – CB Eli Apple, Ohio State)
31. Denver Broncos – DE Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
It’s possible that the Broncos go after help on the defensive line, after losing Malik Jackson in free agency, but they also need help on the offensive line in order to protect whoever ultimately emerges as the starting QB. It’s all a matter of who they feel the best fit is.
(Previous Pick – OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M)
Make sure to check out all of our MLB team Top 10 Prospect Lists: