Well ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived, one of the most exciting, and stressful days of the year - The NFL Draft. This year's draft class is stacked, top to bottom, with defensive studs left and right, one of the best running-back classes we've seen in recent years, and a ton of QB's with first-round potential.
I have yet to do a mock draft, on paper or blogging, so you will all get to see the first and only top-10 mock that I will do. I could have done the entire first round, but I feel that this top-10 is so stacked and exciting that it would be more than enough. So, without further ado, here we go:
First Overall Pick - Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett (DE - Texas A&M)
There are a few reasons why I think the Browns will end up taking the consensus top talent in this draft in Myles Garrett, and the biggest is that I think the Browns are going to make a trade to acquire another top-10, or better yet, top-5 draft pick. Garrett has faced some criticism for his perceived "laziness" and lack of dominance on paper from his season last year with Texas A&M, but I think when it comes down to it, this kid is a freak, no if's, and's, or but's. He reminds me (and many others) of Jadeveon Clowney, because of his size, speed, and skill-set. Will Garrett come right out of the gate and dominate? I can't say for sure, but if he sheds that "lazy" title, and puts forth a legitimate effort every play of every game, I think the sky is the limit for this kid.
Second Pick - San Francisco 49ers: Jamal Adams (S - LSU)
Jamal Adams is a freak athlete, and after his awesome pro-day where he shed a ton of time off his 40-yard dash, I think his draft stock has shot up even higher than it was. Adams was speculated to be a top 10 pick for almost all the year, but in recent weeks he has continued to climb the rankings. He's a physical safety, with great speed and coverage skills, and with new 49ers GM John Lynch being a stud safety his entire career, I think this pick makes sense, especially when the 49ers already have a great young safety in Eric Reid, they can potentially have one of the better safety duo's in the league. I know people have thrown a couple other names around for the 49ers, predominantly on the defensive side except for Leonard Fournette, but I think Adams is the safe pick and that's why I expect him to go #2.
Third Pick - Chicago Bears: Solomon Thomas (DL - Stanford)
I think this pick for the Bears all depends on who the 49ers take. We know the 49ers are high on Thomas as well, so if they do take Thomas and not Adams, the Bears will definitely take Jamal Adams, but for the sake of this mock, he's not on the board. Solomon Thomas is an absolute stud and terrorizes offensive lines. He can play outside and inside, and thrives in both spots, and with the Bears defense in need of help, I think Thomas is the perfect piece to keep building around. He's drawn comparisons to Aaron Donald with his quickness and strength, and I think the Bears would be ecstatic to get a player of Donald's caliber.
Fourth Pick - Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (RB - LSU)
On our last Podcast I said that I think Fournette is the best player in the draft, and I think he will explode onto the scene in this coming season, and I also said he will likely land in Jacksonville. I think this pick makes sense for the Jag's if they don't go with a QB here, which I don't think they should because although Bortles has struggled, they can grab a solid QB in the later rounds, and shouldn't pass on a player of Fournette's caliber. The Chris Ivory signing didn't pan out as the Jag's had hoped last season, as he couldn't stay healthy and failed to crack 100 rushing yards in any of the games he did play in, so getting Fournette and pairing him with Bortles to hopefully take some pressure off him and not force them to throw the ball 50 times a game, we could see Blake Bortles take a step forward in the right direction. Leonard Fournette is a bruising back who can hit the outside of the field and take off in an instant, while still stiff arming and hurdling everyone in his way, the kid is as good as it gets.
Fifth Pick - Cleveland Browns (Traded From Tennessee Titans): Mitchell Trubisky (QB - UNC)
We've heard rumors that the Titans have been fielding offers for the 5th pick, and we have also heard rumors that the Browns have been looking to trade for a pick somewhere in the top 7 or 8, so I think this is the deal that gets done in some way or another. The Browns are in desperate need of a franchise QB, and while I don't think Trubisky is the answer, they sure do. Trubisky is definitely a solid QB, I don't think he's a scrub in anyway, but I do find him to be more of a game-manger than a star, and I think the Browns need someone who will be able to take over games, but we will just have to wait and see. The Browns have a ton of draft picks in this draft, and people across the league are praying that this is the year that they actually get some of those picks right, and with two top-5 picks, they can hopefully do that.
Sixth Pick - New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore (DB - OSU)
Many people are speculating that if the Browns can't get a deal done with the Titans, they will look to make one with the Jets, but again, for the sake of this mock, let's just say they get the #5 pick and the Jets are still on the board at #6. This is one of my harder picks, because the Jets truly need help everywhere, but I think as a franchise and team that has had its best years from successful defenses, they go with the best cornerback in the draft in Lattimore. The Jets have had a dominant secondary for the majority of the last 10 years because of Darrelle Revis and co., but with all of those guys gone, it's time to get another stud in their secondary for Todd Bowles to help build this defense around. However, I would not be surprised if the Jets went with the O.J. Howard here, but I still say they go defense.
Seventh Pick - San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker (S - OSU)
In almost any other year's draft, Hooker would be the #1 Safety on the board, but Jamal Adams is just too much of a freak athlete for Hooker to claim that #1 spot. The Chargers need help on defense, and the secondary especially after they lost Eric Weddle, so I think Malik Hooker is the perfect move here for the Chargers. Hooker has great range, ball skills, and closing speed, which helped him rack up 7 interceptions last year at Ohio State. The Chargers defensive line also needs help, with Joey Bosa virtually a one-man wrecking crew, so Alabama's Jonathan Allen would also make sense at #7, but I think Hooker will provide the Chargers with a huge spark in the secondary and will be a great addition to a struggling defense.
Eighth Pick - Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey (RB - Stanford)
The Panthers are in desperate need of some help for Cam Newton on the offensive side of the ball, and while I think they'd love to have Leonard Fournette fall to them at #8, I just don't see it happening. Christina McCaffrey is an absolute stud with the ball in his hands and has seen his draft stock rise higher than almost anyone in this year’s draft in recent weeks between his Pro-Day and Combine. McCaffrey is a dual-threat out of the backfield, with great hands and can run crisp routes to work defenses in the passing game, and we all know what he can do with the ball in his hands in the backfield. Not only can he be a passing game threat out of the backfield, but the Panthers will absolutely put him out in the slot and let him wreak havoc there as well. And if they're confident enough in his durability, there aren't many return-men better than Christian McCaffrey.
Ninth Pick - Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen (DL - Alabama)
Jonathan Allen is an absolute animal on the defensive line, and after his 2016 season many people placed him in their top-5 picks, and almost everyone has him as a top-5 talent, but I think the way the chips fall, he lands in Cincy at #9. Allen can play inside and out just like Thomas can, and he can bring power and speed to a defense that needs help. However, he has been battling a serious shoulder injury, which has scarred some teams away, and that could have him sliding out of not only the top-5, but the top-15 in some people's mock drafts, but I think the Bengals take the risk on this kid and get one of the best players in the draft at #9. If he can beat the shoulder injury and play the way almost everyone predicts he can and will, the Bengals will be in for a real treat.
Tenth Pick - Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams (WR - Clemson)
This was hands down the hardest pick for me to decide on, because I think the Bills are very unpredictable in this spot. Do I think they need a QB? Absolutely not, I think Tyrod Taylor can be the starting QB for this franchise for years to come, but for whatever reason, it seems as if Buffalo does not feel that way, so them grabbing Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes wouldn't shock me. But I think if they are going to put some trust in Taylor, they need to get him some help in the receiving game, and I think there's no better option that Mike Williams. While O.J. Howard wouldn't surprise me here either as they could look to move Charles Clay and keep Howard at TE, I still think Mike Williams is the move. Pairing him with Sammy Watkins, if Watkins can stay healthy, would be perfect for the Bills.
Those are my top-10 picks, but as we all know, anything and everything can happen on draft night, so we will just have to wait and see how things shake out. Let me know what you guys think either in the comments or on social media, and may the odds be in your team's favor tonight.