Here we go again. My first mock mock draft came before free agency started, which means there have been a ton of changes, especially at the top of the draft and with the Bears.
What I don’t have is changes at the very top. I think the Titans and Browns are pretty much locked into who they are going to take and both picks make a lot of sense. After that, however, it’s anyone’s guess.
By now, the Bears are likely keying in on a handful of players they either want to take at 11 or will try to trade back. I did a “big board” a couple weeks ago, but this is very fluid. If I did that again, there would be several changes.
Before I get to the mock draft, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• If you’re wondering why I might have a player going much higher than I did last time, it’s because I’m not putting too much thought in this. Nobody knows what is going to happen, everyone is guessing and probably guessing wrong. Except me. I promise I have every pick right.
• I don’t follow the Twitter consensus on this stuff. I have a handful of guys who I read regularly, most of whom are former NFL scouts like Greg Gabriel and Louis Riddick or legitimate media guys who speak directly to NFL scouts.
So, here we go:
1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi. They can move Taylor Lewan to right tackle and have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
2. Cleveland Browns: Carson Wentz, QB, One of the Dakotas or maybe Montana. Like I said last time, Hue Jackson has a thing for gingers.
3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida St. Considered one of the best players in the draft and could replace Eric Weddle. Seems too easy.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jared Goff, QB, California. I don’t believe anything Jerry Jones says, so I definitely think a quarterback is an option here and Goff would be a fit.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA. Jack to Jacksonville makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels. That is most basic draft pick explanation I can write. I hope you enjoyed it.
6. Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon. The Ravens usually draft defensive players and Buckner is a good fit. They don’t have a stud up front.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU. Chip Kelly believes in loading up on receiving options (drafted four in first 3 rounds in Philly) and the 49ers are currently very short there. Doctson doesn’t have many flaws.
8. Philadelphia Eagles: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida. Some consider him to be the best cover corner in the draft.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St. I don’t know how I ended up with Bosa dropping this far. Shit happens. I have heard some concerns about his ability to rush the passer in the NFL.
10. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson. They invested a lot in their defensive line in the offseason, but I don’t see a reason why they wouldn’t continue to add players. When they were at their best they had a steady rotation of pass-rushers.
11. Chicago Bears: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. The Bears have two attractive options here. 1. They can trade this pick to Miami, which desperately needs a running back. 2. Take the best player on their board, likely Elliott. I think they’ll go with the second option because they need to take the best player and worry about positional value later. They have familiarity with Elliott (Stan Drayton coached him at Ohio State), he gives them an explosive playmaker and both Ryan Pace and John Fox come from organizations that have invested in the position early numerous times. I think an argument can also be made that the Bears have the coaching staff to do more with less on defense, as long as the cupboard isn’t completely bare. Last year they showed they can find good defensive talent later in the draft.
12. New Orleans Saints: A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama. Robinson will immediately help one of the worst run defenses in the league and he has some upside as a pass-rusher.
13. Miami Dolphins: William Jackson III, Houston. WJIII has a lot of talent and can step in immediately. With quality coaching, he could be a star.
14. Oakland Raiders: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame. This might be a bit low for Stanley, but there seems to be some questions about his attitude and physicality. The Raiders could start him at right tackle and have him replace Donald Penn in the near future.
15. St. Louis Rams: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. The Rams have said they need to improve their quarterback position…and have also said they don’t. Whatever, they need a quarterback.
16. Detroit Lions: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State. The Lions need to get tougher up front and Conklin will do just that for them.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State. Lee would add some more speed to Atlanta’s defense. It’s no secret that they’ve been trying to upgrade their linebackers, losing out to the Bears on both Trevathan and Freeman.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge, Oklahoma State. The Colts just need more talent on defense. The best way to help Andrew Luck is by making sure he doesn’t have to score 30 points a game.
19. Buffalo Bills: Jurran Reed, DT, Alabama. Bills need to add some youth to their defensive line.
20. New York Jets: Leonard Floyd, Edge, Georgia. Floyd is one of the biggest question marks in this draft, but the Jets are a good fit for him. They have enough bulk up front that he won’t have to take on many big guys.
21. Washington Redskins: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor. Billings is a beast in the middle and gives Washington an immediate replacement for Pot Roast.
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor. Coleman would give the Texans an explosive weapon across from DeAndre Hopkins.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State. The Vikings add a receiver with good size to help their quarterback who struggles throwing the ball.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson. The Bengals like big defensive ends and Dodd fits the mold.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State. Apple has the size and the speed, just needs to be coached up.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi. Seattle is known to take risks on talented players with character issues. Nkemdiche could be the best defensive lineman in this draft, he’s the most talented.
27. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA. The Packers badly need depth on their defensive line. Clark gives them a run-plugger.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Artie Burns, CB, Miami. They really struggled without Sean Smith early in 2015 and now lost him as a free agent. Burns gives them a replacement.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State. Jones is incredibly long and athletic. The knock on him is attitude and work ethic. What does Bruce Arians say? “Gotta risk it to get the biscuit.”
30. Carolina Panthers: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana. Spriggs can start at right tackle next year and left tackle for the next 10 years.
31. Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis. Sure. This works.
41. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida. In most years Bullard would probably go earlier and, hell, he might do so this year. Very athletic and would complement Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman very well.
72. Chicago Bears: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia. Might be the best safety in the draft, he would go higher if he weren’t coming off of a knee injury.
106: Chicago Bears: La’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech. Very raw, but talented. Could compete at either tackle spot with some development.
127: Chicago Bears: KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame. Has the physical skills they’re looking for. Good project for Eddy D.