Insiders

Mock Draft: Early April Edition

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1. Tennessee Titans: 3-13

The Pick: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Laremy Tunsil just makes too much sense for the Tennessee Titans. They just invested their first-round pick in Marcus Mariota last year; therefore, it should be paramount for them to protect him as best they can. Tunsil is not only the best offensive lineman in this draft, but also the best player in this draft, which makes it a no-brainer for Tennessee.

2. Cleveland Browns: 3-13

The Pick: Carson Wentz QB, North Dakota State

The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback and Carson Wentz may be the most impressive one in the draft. He has a lot of faults to his game, but he has the size, athleticism and arm talent that you covet in a signal caller. Furthermore, he is a great leader and one of the players who commands a room when he enters it. Hopefully for head coach Hue Jackson’s sake, it works out.

3. San Diego Chargers: 4-12

The Pick: Deforest Buckner, DL, Oregon

DeForest Buckner is a big-time talent as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense, which the San Diego Chargers run. Buckner has the length and strength to two gap and the ability to be productive in any nickel defense situations. Buckner might end up being the best defensive player in this draft if he ends up in San Diego.

4. Dallas Cowboys: 4-12

The Pick: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

A year after drafting Byron Jones, the Dallas Cowboys get another versatile defensive back with Jalen Ramsey. The Florida State star could play at numerous positions on the back end of Dallas’ defense, which give the Cowboys the ability to give opposing offenses a lot of different looks. Ramsey can line up on the outside as a corner, in the box as a strong safety or in the deep middle as a free safety.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11

The Pick: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Myles Jack may be the best talent in this draft, but his knee injury causes him to drop to pick No. 5. Jack has the athleticism and instincts to make a ton of plays for Jacksonville, who highly value athleticism in their linebackers. Jack is the best linebacker in cover since Luke Kuechly and he will be a perennial Pro Bowler if he stays healthy.

6. Baltimore Ravens: 5-11

The Pick: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Every year, it seems like the Baltimore Ravens luck into a great value pick and this year is no different as they get possibly the best defensive player in the draft in Joey Bosa. The Ohio State defensive lineman can line up as an outside linebacker or reduce down to a five-technique defensive end if the Ravens want. He will be a menace against the run and will put a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks opposite ELvis Dumervil or Terrell Suggs.

7. San Francisco 49ers: 5-11

The Pick: Jared Goff, QB, California

Jared Goff gets to stay home as the Bay Area native goes to San Francisco 49ers in this scenario. Goff’s skill set fits well with head coach Chip Kelly’s scheme and he wouldn’t have as big of a learning curve in the quick-hitting offense. Goff has great pocket awareness and accuracy with his throws, which should allow him to compete right away.

8.Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9 (Trade with Miami)

The Pick: Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State

Another great value pick, the Philadelphia Eagles grab a top-five talent in Ezekiel Elliot. The Ohio State superstar would be a great fit the Philadelphia’s new offense and he would take a lot of pressure off whoever starts at quarterback. Elliot can do it all as he is the best runner and blocker in this class at running back.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10

The Pick: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Vernon Hargreaves is the best pure cover cornerback in this draft class, but his lack of height and length limit his ability to defend in jump ball situations. He has the quickness, hip fluidity and speed to be a nuisance to opposing wide receivers.

10. New York Giants: 6-10

The Pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

The New York Giants selected an offensive tackle in the top 10 last year and they want to give him a bookend this year. Ronnie Stanley is much better suited to play on the left side than Ereck Flowers, which would allow Flowers to play at a more natural position. Stanley has elite movement skills for a left tackle and he can mirror any edge rusher.

 11. Chicago Bears: 6-10

The Pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Sheldon Rankins isn’t Aaron Donald, but he is an extremely defensive tackle who warrants the selection here. Rankins has great hand usage and his closing speed is excellent for his size. Rankins will make an instant impact against the run and as an interior pass-rusher for the New Orleans Saints.

12. New Orleans Saints: 7-9

The Pick: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

The New Orleans Saints need to improve at outside linebacker on their defense, which makes Darron Lee a great pick here. The Ohio State linebacker is extremely athletic and he plays well downhill. he can be utilized in spot drops, as a blitzer and he can rush the passer off the edge too.

13. Miami Dolphins: 6-10 (Trade with Philadelphia)

The Pick: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

With Brent Grimes (and his wife Miko) gone, the Miami Dolphins need to upgrade their cornerback position. William Jackson III would be able to make an immediate impact there for the Dolphins. He has the length, height, movement and ball skills to develop into a very good cornerback in the NFL.

14. Oakland Raiders: 7-9

The Pick: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

The Oakland Raiders want length and height at cornerback and Eli Apple fits all those criteria. Apple has some warts technically, but he has the natural tools that you want in a cornerback. Apple needs to work on his transitional footwork and work on playing the ball at the catch point, but he has all the potential in the world.

15. Los Angeles Rams: 7-9

The Pick: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

The Rams have been plagued by poor receiver play since Torry Holt retired, and their latest attempt to rectify that will be by selecting Laquon Treadwell. He isn’t a player that is going to routinely stretch the field, but Treadwell is a chain mover and a dominant threat in the red zone. The Ole Miss receiver would give the Rams their first legitimate No. 1 receiver in nearly a decade.

16. Detroit Lions: 7-9

The Pick: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

One of the biggest risers from the NFL combine, Josh Doctson, would be a great fit with the Detroit Lions. With Calvin johnson’s retirement, the Lions need to find a receiver to complement Golden Tate. Doctson hasn’t run the full route tree, but he has great athleticism and he is the best receiver in contested situations in this entire draft.

 17. Atlanta Falcons: 8-8

The Pick: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

The Atlanta Falcons defense improved steadily last year, but they still suffer from poor linebacker play. Reggie Ragland may be the most technically sound linebacker in this draft against the run. He understands how to destroy blocks and he is always around the ball. he isn’t the best athlete, but his instincts more than make up for it and once he gets to the ball, he brings a lot of force.

18. Indianapolis Colts: 8-8

The Pick: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

The Indianapolis Colts need to keep Andrew Luck upright or they risk diminishing their otherworldly talented quarterback, Andrew Luck. Jack Conklin is fast riser who has a lot of athletic ability. He played through a leg injury this past year, but he still was one of the best run blockers in the nation. Conklin would go a long way to making Luck a happier and healthier man.

19. Buffalo Bills: 8-8

The Pick: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Robert Nkemdiche is one of the most polarizing players in this draft class. He has all the physical tools you want in a defensive tackle, but he doesn’t flash the ability to utilize those gifts on a consistent basis. Plus, he has a considerable amount of off-field concerns. Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan isn’t afraid to take chances and he will take a huge one as he selects Nkemdiche here.

20. New York Jets: 10-6

The Pick: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Leonard Floyd is an interesting player in this draft class. He has experience playing as an edge-rusher and a off-ball linebacker, but with the New York Jets, he’d likely end up on the edge. Floyd doesn’t have great size, but he is a bendy and quick pass-rusher who can develop into a great outside linebacker if he bulks up and focuses on improving his technique.

21. Washington Redskins: 9-7

The Pick: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

The Washington Redskins have made it out of the awful NFC East and even though they made the playoffs, their team is full of holes. At this point, they decide to get the best player available at one of their needs with Jarran Reed. The Alabama defensive tackle is dominant against the run as he utilizes his length, strength and deceptive quickness to disrupt opposing running plays.

22. Houston Texans: 9-7

The Pick: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Corey Coleman may have the highest ceiling of any wide receiver in this class. he boasts elite athleticism and ball skills, but he isn’t a great route runner and his size may limit him in the eyes of certain teams. Opposite of DeAndre Hopkins, Coleman would be a great big play threat who could feast on the No. 2 cornerbacks of opposing teams.

23. Minnesota Vikings: 11-5

The Pick: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Taylor Decker is as solid of an offensive tackle prospect in this class as anybody outside of Tunsil. He is a dominant run blocker who also has the length and footwork to compete in pass protection. He would be a great fit for Minnesota and go a long ways toward keeping Teddy Bridgewater upright for years to come.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: 12-4

The Pick: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Will Fuller is the best deep threat in this class with his incredible long speed. He doesn’t tend to body catch too much, but that still doesn’t take away from his game-breaking ability. Fuller would be able to stretch the defense and give A.J. Green more room to work in the middle of the field.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6

The Pick: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

The Pittsburgh Steelers have done their due diligence on all the top cornerbacks in this draft class, which is why they go Mackensie Alexander here. The Clemson cornerback has the swagger, football intelligence and movement skills you want in a premier cover cornerback.

26. Seattle Seahawks: 10-6

The Pick: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

When you talk about the interior defensive linemen class, Chris Jones may have the most potential. He is extremely long and he plays with great strength and surprising quickness. When he is on, he may be the most disruptive interior player in this draft; however, that is stymied with too many plays of him getting taken care of by player who are much less talented than him. The Seattle Seahawks will try to pull the talent out of him like they did with players like Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

27. Green Bay Packers: 10-6

The Pick: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

The run on defensive tackles has begun as the Green Bay Packers desperately need to improve their interior defensive line and Andrew Billings is the best one left on the board. The former powerlifter is a best in the middle of the defense where he uses his squatty frame and elite strength to press and shed offensive linemen all day long.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5

The Pick: Artie Burns, CB, Miami

Another defensive tackle who has tremendous potential is Vernon Butler. You have to worry about the level of competition he faced in college, but he showcased the ability to win in variety of ways. Butler would be a great replacement to Jaye Howard and allow the Chiefs’ defensive line to be great.

29. Arizona Cardinals: 13-3

The Pick: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky

The Arizona Cardinals have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but they don’t have many pass-rushers who can consistently get after the quarterback. Noah Spence is the best pass-rusher in this class and the Cardinals should be extremely happy he fell this far. Spence’s talent suggests he should be gone in the top-15, but the Cardinals take advantage of him falling here.

 30. New England Patriots: 12-3

The Pick: Forfeited. 

 31. Carolina Panthers: 14-1

The Pick: Karl Joseph, DB, West Virginia

Karl Joseph is coming off an injury, but he is as talented as any defensive back in this class. Joseph is a premier coverage safety who can range from the hash or cover in the slot. As a run defender, Joseph is a huge hitter who makes opponents pay for running into his area.

32. Denver Broncos: 12-4

The Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

The Denver Broncos are desperate for a new, young quarterback to develop and they luck out that Paxton Lynch falls to him here. Lynch may not be ready to contribute right away, but with some seasoning, he can be as good as any quarterback in this class.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com