The time has come and finally the NFL Draft is here. Enough with the projects. Enough with the second guessing. Let the games begin.
When listening to many draft “experts” for the 32 teams in the NFL this week, it amazes me that almost all of them say the same thing when it comes to team needs and what each franchise wants to accomplish this weekend.
Find solid pass rushers, get help for the offensive line, and find a good free safety.
The NFL is becoming more and more a mirror image league.
If you are as hyped about tonight’s start of the Draft, you can barely contain yourself, but at the same time, you want it all to be over with. With that said, here is my final look at the first round and players I project to be drafted in the first round, without any more trades.
1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
This is just a formality. The Rams usher in a new era in Los Angeles with a new signal caller.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State
The Eagles had better hope he is Donovan McNabb. Some compare him to Blake Bortles.
3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
The Chargers are patient and get their left tackle for the next decade.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, FSU
He has been rated at the top of the Cowboys board. Forget the rumors about a running back.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
The Jaguars get a pass rusher to compliment Dante Fowler. The defense takes shape for the Jaguars.
6. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, Defensive End, Oregon
He helps a Ravens defense that has lost a step in recent years. Will flourish under John Harbaugh.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis
This is a panic pick. Lynch will take at least two years to become a reliable starter in this league.
8. Cleveland Browns – Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA
Patience pays off. The Browns get the best linebacker in the draft and a boat load of the Eagles’ picks.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves, Defensive Back, Florida
Solid pick for the Bucs. They could have gone defensive end, but Hargreaves has great cover skills.
10. New York Giants – Kevin Dodd, Defensive End, Clemson
He had a great Combine and has been a steady riser on most draft boards.
11. Chicago Bears – Leonard Floyd, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
He has been in this slot for some time on many draft boards. His versatility makes him a solid pick here.
12. New Orleans Saints – Darron Lee, Linebacker, Ohio State
The Saints could go in many directions. Defense is the main need and Lee is a solid man in the middle.
13. Miami Dolphins – Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Ohio State
A dream scenario for the ‘Fins, who traded down and could still grab Elliott, who is a must need.
14. Oakland Raiders – Shaq Lawson, Defensive End, Clemson
If it isn’t Lawson, the Raiders could look for interior line help. He gives the Raiders a solid pass rusher.
15. Tennessee Titans – Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
I am not as high on Stanley as others are. The Titans trade down and still fill their biggest need.
16. Detroit Lions – William Jackson, Cornerback, Houston
One of the steady risers in this draft. Jackson will give the Lions a shutdown corner on the back line.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Reggie Ragland, Linebacker, Alabama
I have stuck with this pick all off season. He could be the best Crimson Tide player in the draft.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State
The Colts have many needs, but none are as important as the offensive line. Conklin is a beast.
19. Buffalo Bills – Robert Nkendiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss
Another pick I have stuck with. Nkemdiche is a good fit in Buffalo. Forget the off-field woes for this stud.
20. New York Jets – Jarran Reed, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
The Jets are building a solid defense under Todd Bowles. Reed fits their profile better than Robinson.
21. Washington Redskins – A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Redskins would be thrilled to get Robinson, who can play inside and outside for Washington.
22. Houston Texans – Eli Apple, Defensive Back, Ohio State
The Texans could look for another wide receiver at this spot but cannot pass up this Buckeyes great.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
The first wide receiver off the board. Treadwell is a nice talent with great size. His does lack great speed.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Josh Doctson, Wide Receiver, TCU
The Bengals biggest need after free agency hit them hard. Doctson is a step behind Treadwell but fluid.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mackensie Alexander, Defensive Back, Clemson
He is a Steelers-type player. Good ball skills and can stick to wide receivers like glue.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Derrick Henry, Running Back, Alabama
I thinking outside the box on this one. Henry is a stud who will replace Marshawn Lynch.
27. Green Bay Packers – Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle, Louisville
The Packers need a man in the middle of the defensive line. Rankins will help stop the run.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Kenny Clark, Defensive Tackle, UCLA
Clark can play both on the end and in the middle for the Chiefs. You can’t have too many D linemen.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Noah Spence, Defensive End, Eastern Kentucky
The perfect fit for Spence. On a team of quality veterans, Spence would be asked to star right away.
30. Carolina Panthers – Artie Burns, Cornerback, Miami
The Panthers need to find someone to plug in at Josh Norman’s spot. Burns is a fast riser on draft boards.
31. Denver Broncos – Andrew Billings, Defensive Tackle, Baylor
Billings will be brought in to fill spot left by Malik Jackson. Don’t count a quarterback out at this spot.