The draft is now less than 2 days away and there is still little conviction about how it will play out, even the first pick is still up in the air. We tasked our writing team to put themselves in the shoes of the 32 GM’s around the league and see how the first round plays out. A frenzied first round followed, with trade proposals and counter proposals flying around everywhere. Here is how it went down. 1. LA Rams (from Tennessee) picked by NFL Editor, David Pruett Jared Goff – QB, California The Rams need a QB in the worst way. GM Les Snead and HC Jeff Fisher stake their future on the California kid. 2. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland) picked by Editor-in-Chief, Gur Samuel Carson Wentz – QB, North Dakota State Because the Eagles didn’t trade that many picks for a punter! 3. San Diego Chargers picked by Senior Writer, Toby Durant Jalen Ramsey – DB, Florida St. The Chargers are very pleased by the desperate trades ahead of them as it allows their #1 player to fall into their lap. Ramsey is a superstar defensive back in the making. Capable of playing corner or safety he will slide into the starting line up and contribute immediately. 4. Dallas Cowboys picked by College Football Expert, Rebecca Rennie Ezekiel Elliott – RB, Ohio State Ramsey is the pick if available, but with him gone, Elliot is the next best player on the board (outside of the not-needed Tunsil), and a legit instant impact big time play-maker. The Cowboys lack true difference makers outside of Dez Bryant on offence, and the fact that Morris and McFadden are on the roster isn’t a deterrent. Some won’t like it, but they’ll get over it when he gets going in the fall. Joey Bosa would be the only serious alternative considered here. 5. Jacksonville Jaguars picked by Staff Writer, Thomas Clapham Reggie Ragland – LB, Alabama With questions surrounding the health of Myles Jack, and with the Jags first round pick not seeing the field last year, Jacksonville takes a plug in and play player who can make an immediate impact. 6. Baltimore Ravens picked by Assistant NFL Editor, Remy Cabache Myles Jack – LB, UCLA The Ravens would love to find themselves picking between Jack, Buckner, Bosa and Tunsil at this point and it would be so difficult to pass on any of them, but I think they would ultimately go for Jack. I don’t think his knee is really an issue and the prospect of Mosely and Jack roaming middle of the defense will be too enticing for the Ravens – especially with Ray Lewis’ absence still leaving its mark.
TRADE – Chicago jumps up, trading #11 and #41 for the San Francisco 49ers #7
7. Chicago Bears (from San Francisco) picked by College Football Expert, Rebecca Rennie Laremy Tunsil – OL, Ole Miss The Bears see the best player in the draft slipping down to 7th and can’t believe their luck. A huge area of weakness is now a potential area of strength with Tunsil on the left and Massie on the right. It cost a pick to get there, but the opportunity is too good not to move up. 8. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia via Miami) picked by NFL Editor, David Pruett DeForest Buckner – DL, Oregon Stockpiling draft picks is all well and good but at some points the Browns need to pull the trigger. The new regime in Cleveland goes with a BPA attitude here and picks up the top DL in the draft. Some consideration for Bosa here but Buckner solves more issues on a talent poor team. 9.Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked by Editor-in-Chief, Gur Samuel Joey Bosa – DE, Ohio State The Bucs are over the moon that Bosa’s fallen to them. TB haven’t had a player notch a double-digit sack season since Simeon Rice; a premier edge rusher to line up next to Gerald McCoy would go a huge way to restoring the teeth to this defense and Bosa is as premier as it gets in this draft.
TRADE – New Orleans trades #12 and #47 to the New York Giants for #10
10. New Orleans Saints (from New York Giants) picked by Staff Writer, Thomas Clapham Vernon Hargreaves – CB, Florida While the Saints have issues across the team, Hargreaves falling was too good to pass up, facing Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton twice a year the secondary gets a stud with real star potential. 11. San Francisco 49ers (from Chicago) picked by Staff Writer, Tom Parry-Jones Paxton Lynch – QB, Memphis There’s an obvious need at the position with Colin Kaepernick dying for a move away from the Bay and Blaine Gabbert nobody’s first choice. Lynch is a stretch at 11, but he’s got more of a chance of making a go of it than what the Niners currently have at the position.
TRADE – Tennessee trades #15 and #64 to the New York Giants for #12
12. Tennessee Titans (from New York Giants via New Orleans) picked by NFL Editor, David Pruett Ronnie Stanley – OL, Notre Dame GM Jon Robinson has played a blinder in this draft, manipulating the draft to stockpile picks and still get a premier player at a position of need. Stanley was the best OL on the board after Tunsil and the Titans didn’t want to risk losing him to Miami – the bounty of picks received from the Rams trade gave them the flexibility to make this move. 13. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia) picked by Assistant NFL Editor, Remy Cabache Jack Conklin – OL, Michigan State The Dolphins have had a need along the o-line for several years now, and Ryan Tannehill has payed the price. If the Dolphins really want to give him the chance to develop into the player they thought he would, he needs to be able to stand in the pocket and he’ll need a running game too. Conklin can play on the right or left and will be able to anchor this o-line for years to come. 14. Oakland Raiders picked by Staff Writer, Tom Parry-Jones Miles Killebrew – S, Southern Utah With the retirement of Charles Woodson, the Raiders have a hole to fill at safety. Plus Killebrew can play in that hybrid safety/linebacker role popularised by the Honey Badger himself, Tyrann Mathieu. 15. New York Giants (from Tennessee via LA Rams) picked by Senior Staff Writer, Toby Durant Darron Lee – LB, Ohio State The Giants are very happy with their days work. Collecting #47 & #64 to end up with the player they would have taken at #10 anyway. Lee’s superb athleticism will cover up his inexperience early on, but once he gets some more coaching under his belt Lee could be an elite linebacker for years.
TRADE – New York Jets ship WR Brandon Marshall, #20 and #51 for Detroit Lions #16, #46 and TE Eric Ebron
16. New York Jets (from Detroit Lions) picked by Assistant NFL Editor, Remy Cabache Taylor Decker – OL, Ohio State The Jets get themselves another tackle to shore up this o-line. Clady could end up being a one year player, and Decker will be able to fill in for him if that is the case. With Fitzpatrick looking less and less likely to be retained, it seems like it’s a matter of time until Brandon Marshall causes some sort of issue on the locker room. If they get rid of him now and get Ebron in return, they can go in a different direction with this offense and find Marshall’s replacement in the draft. 17. Atlanta Falcons picked by Senior Staff Writer, Toby Durant Shaq Lawson – DE, Clemson The Falcons can’t believe their luck, racing to the podium as perhaps the best pure edge rusher in this draft class is still available at #17. Lawson was a destructive force for Clemson as he used his speed and athleticism to terrorise quarterbacks and give offensive tackles fits. 18. Indianapolis Colts picked by College Football Expert, Rebecca Rennie Sheldon Rankings – DL, Louisville Ryan Grigson is a firm believer in going best player available, and not drafting / reaching for needs. With all the top offensive lineman gone, he sticks to his board and takes a player who should have been long gone by now. He still needs to find Andrew Luck some protection next though. Rankins is an explosive and disruptive force with outstanding initial burst and heavy hands, with the versatility to line up all across the defensive line. 19. Buffalo Bills picked by Staff Writer, Thomas Clapham Kevin Dodd – DE, Clemson With the departure of an underwhelming Mario Williams, the Bills immediately replace him with Kevin Dodd. His physicality, coupled with his desire to compete makes him a player ready to rock. 20. Detroit Lions (from New York Jets) picked by Editor-in-Chief, Gur Samuel Jason Spriggs – OT, Indiana This is a great twofer for the Lions. Picking up Brandon Marshall in the trade down fills the hole left by Calvin Johnson at least in the short term, while in Spriggs they draft someone who, while something of a project, has the potential to anchor the left tackle position for years. 21. Washington Redskins picked by Editor-in-Chief, Gur Samuel Jarran Reed – DT, Alabama Washington’s playoff appearance may have been down more to the flaws of the rest of the division than being a reflection on the team themselves, but they’re already behind where they were last year due to the massive hole in the middle of their defensive front following Terrence Knighton’s departure. Jarran Reed will not only fill that hole, but can play the NT position so well that he’s the kind of piece you can build a defense around.
TRADE – New York trades #40, #47 and #109 to the Houston Texans for #22
22. New York Giants (from Houston) picked by Senior Staff Writer, Toby Durant Eli Apple – CB, Ohio State The Giants jump back into the first round, using their extra picks accrued from moving down and grabbed the sliding Cornerback Eli Apple. Apple should be able to come in and contribute in a real way immediately, his positioning and instincts are terrific while a great combine eased fears about his top end speed. 23. Minnesota Vikings picked by Staff Writer, Tom Parry-Jones Josh Doctson – WR, TCU Not most people’s top-rated wide receiver in this year’s class, but Doctson’s height and his ability to put the moves on defenders makes him a legitimate deep threat, something that they haven’t had in Minnesota for a good few years. He’ll need to improve his run blocking with a player like Adrian Peterson on the team, but his other weaknesses can be ironed out in the coming months. 24. Cincinnati Bengals picked by Senior Staff Writer, Toby Durant Laquon Treadwell – WR, Ole Miss Treadwell has fallen far enough. The huge wideout is probably the best receiver in this draft and Cincinnati need someone next to AJ Green after Sanu & Jones left in free agency. 25. Pittsburgh Steelers picked by College Football Expert, Rebecca Rennie Karl Joseph – S, West Virginia Steelers will get some injured CBs back, including last year’s 2nd rounder Golson. They need secondary help though still at S & CB. Joseph is one of the best pure football players in this entire draft, and great value here. He flies around the field like a rocket with incredible closing speed and hits with force, while being just as adept at reading the quarterback, breaking on the ball and making interceptions. 26. Seattle Seahawks picked by Staff Writer, Thomas Clapham Cody Whitehair – OL, Kansas State Losing Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey and JR Sweezy in free agency this year has left Seattle very thin on the OL. Whitehair played, effectively, all across the OL in college and fills an immediate need. 27. Green Bay Packers picked by Assistant NFL Editor, Remy Cabache Andrew Billings – DT, Baylor BJ Raji’s retirement has left the Packers d-line without a real presence at its heart, so finding a replacement is key. Billings is a huge man with excellent physical tools who will be able to plug the middle of the defense, and allow the Packers host of playmakers to do exactly that. 28. Kansas City Chiefs picked by Staff Writer, Tom Parry-Jones Jaylon Smith – LB, Notre Dame The Chiefs have a real need developing in their linebacking corps as Derrick Johnson cannot go on forever. However, the need isn’t that stark this year. Prior to his injury, Jaylon Smith was the consensus best LB prospect in the draft. With KC able to have him sit for a year as he recovers they hope he turns into a steal at #28. 29. Arizona Cardinals picked by NFL Editor, David Pruett Hunter Henry – TE, Arkansas Without a 2nd round pick – traded to the Patriots for Chandler Jones – and with few areas of need the Cardinals can afford to reach a little and plug the one hole in their offense. Henry will wreak havoc in the intermediate areas of the field so often open due to the field stretching nature of the Arians playbook. It would not be a surprise to see Henry catch over 50 balls in his rookie season. 30. Carolina Panthers picked by Editor-in-Chief, Gur Samuel Noah Spence – DE, Kentucky The Panthers defensive front last year was one of the best in football, but they can still ramp up their pass rush. Kony Ealy had a hell of a game in Super Bowl 50, but Charles Johnson is getting on, and is on just a one-year contract. Spence could be a huge contributor in a DE rotation as a rookie, and then take over from Johnson as the full-time starter in his second year; with Short and Lotulelei in the middle, the Panthers could have the scariest young DL in the league for years to come. 31. Denver Broncos picked by Senior Staff Writer, Toby Durant Ryan Kelly – C, Alabama The defending Champions don’t necessarily need a center, but he is the best player left on their board and an upgrade on the inside of the line will help protect who ever is throwing passes as well as open up lanes in the run game.