by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Once again the draft got a major shakeup thanks to a trade, with the Eagles trading up for the second time (this time moving from #8 to #2). With it now an absolute lock that the top quarterbacks are selected in the top two spots in the draft, there is obvious fallout. How do things currently shake out? Let’s take a look:
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. Philadelphia Eagles – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (trade from Cleveland)
The Eagles gave up a bounty to select one of the two top quarterbacks in the draft, though they don’t know specifically who will be available. I’m not sure which is more surprising, the price they paid with the intent of still utilizing Sam Bradford in ’16 or the fact that they made the deal without knowing who they would be selecting. Regardless it’s a lock that the top two picks will be quarterbacks, it’s just a matter of who goes where.
3. San Diego Chargers – CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
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 original speculation was that the Chargers would target an offensive tackle, but there has been a lot of talk that the fit doesn’t make sense. It’s fair and with a significant hole in their secondary it makes sense for the team to look at correcting that issue.
(Previous Pick – OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss)
4. Dallas Cowboys – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio 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 while they’d love to get their hands on Ramsey to help solidify their secondary that’s not going to be in the cards. Instead they look towards their pass rush and while Bosa does have character concerns when has they ever stopped the Cowboys?(Previous Pick – CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
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. While Myles Jack could be an option in this spot, concerns over his knee injury could scare them off. Instead they get a pass rusher who, when paired with the returning Dante Fowler, could make this defense scary.
(Previous Pick – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State)
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 – OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
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. “Lucky” for them, the potential top prospect in the draft somehow falls in their lap. Considering they tied for the second most sacks allowed (53) last season, the pick also fills a significant need.
(Previous Pick – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon)
8. Cleveland Browns – OT Ronnie Staley, Notre Dame (trade from Eagles)
The Browns traded back in the first round, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the bounty they received. The question now is what they are going to target, since a QB is no longer on their radar. Could they look to bolster a running back corps that desperately needs it? Perhaps, but with all of their additional picks they can easily address RB later on in the draft (and I’m not sure the new, more analytical approach, the team is taking would warrant a selection of a RB). Instead it makes sense for them to target a position where they can’t the same quality later on in the draft while also filling a significant need.
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 – RB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State
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 as well as add a wide receiver, there isn’t a prospect that makes a ton of sense. Do you know what does? Solving the mess that was their running back corps, that’s what. Could you imagine how dynamic this offense can be when defenses need to focus on Elliot, allowing Odell Beckham Jr. more room to work?
(Previous Pick – OT Ronnie Staley, Notre Dame)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Jarran Reed, 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 A’Shawn Robinson, 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.
27. Green Bay Packers – DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
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 – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama)
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.
29. Arizona Cardinals – C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
They need help at safety as well as at center, and they will have options at either spot. At this point protecting their quarterback and opening holes for the running game takes priority.
(Previous Pick – S Keanu Neal, Florida)
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 after the shockingly parted ways with Josh Norman they are in desperate need of help in the secondary.
31. Denver Broncos – DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
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 – DE Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss)
Make sure to check out all of our MLB team Top 10 Prospect Lists: