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Mock Draft: Pre Free Agency Edition

A new quarterback goes to the Browns at No. 2. Find out who it is.

John Owning



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: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

The San Diego Chargers were a mess last year as they were been riddled with injuries and subpar play. They will likely let one of the best safeties in football, Eric Weddle, walk in free agency and they decide to add another versatile cog in their secondary with Jalen Ramsey. The Florida State defensive back has the ability to play in the box, center field or in the slot and he will be a key piece to the Chargers defense for the next decade.

4. Dallas Cowboys: 4-12

The Pick: Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State

A ton of draft analysts believe that No. 4 is way to early to draft a running back no matter how special he is, but in this draft class Ezekiel Elliot is a great selection for the Dallas Cowboys. Outside of Tunsil, Elliot is the best player in this draft class and he would improve the Cowboys’ offense right away and take a lot of pressure of Tony Romo’s (injury-riddled) shoulders.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11

The Pick: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

The Jacksonville Jaguars are lucky enough to get the best pure football player in this draft class. Joey Bosa isn’t the flashiest player, but he gets the job done play in and play out. Bosa plays with the best technique in the draft and he combines that with great power and explosiveness. Bosa could be the type of player you build around for the Jacksonville defense.

6. Baltimore Ravens: 5-11

The Pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

With Kelechi Osemele entering free agency, the Baltimore Ravens need to upgrade their offensive line, especially at tackle. While Ronnie Stanley may not be the finisher people want, he is a very gifted offensive lineman with great technique and a high ceiling. The Ravens will need to iron out some of his warts against power players, but Stanley could be a top-10 offensive tackle in the NFL within a few years.

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. Miami Dolphins: 6-10

The Pick: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Even though the Miami Dolphins have Brent Grimes, they are void of any other competent cornerbacks, which makes Vernon Hargreaves, III the easy pick here. Hargreaves is one of the most talented cornerbacks to come into the draft since Patrick Peterson. The only knock on him is that he isn’t the biggest player and there are questions about whether he can cover the monster receivers like Dez Bryant in the NFL.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10

The Pick: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

At first glance, DeForest Buckner doesn’t appear to be a fit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as most believe Buckner should play in a 3-4 defense. Nevertheless, they are missing on the type of talent that Buckner is as an interior defender. He has incredible power to go with immense length and he has been steadily improving his hand use since arriving at Oregon. He could be a stellar fit on the Buccaneer’s defensive line next to Gerald McCoy.

10. New York Giants: 6-10

The Pick: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

The New York Giants need a dominant pass-rusher and while Shaq Lawson may never be that, he will be a very good defensive end for years to come. Lawson may have the highest floor among the edge-rushers in this draft, but his ceiling may not be as high as others. He is a fantastic run defender who uses his hands and power to win as a pass-rusher.

 11. Chicago Bears: 6-10

The Pick: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Throughout history, the Chicago bears have been known for their Hall Of Fame linebackers whether it is Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and (soon to be) Brian Urlacher. In this scenario, they find another one in Myles Jack. The UCLA linebacker has everything you want in a linebacker; he is athletic, plays with good instincts and is excellent in coverage.

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. Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9

The Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

With a new regime, even with Sam Bradford returning to the Philadelphia Eagles roster next season, the team will be in the business for a quarterback in the draft. Luckily for them, one of the big three prospects at quarterback is available, Paxton Lynch, who would be a great player to grow with the new regime in Philadelphia.

14. Oakland Raiders: 7-9

The Pick: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

The Oakland Raiders are a team on the rise and they try to continue that rise with Mackensie Alexander. He doesn’t fit their usual height requirements, but the brash cornerback fits everything the Raiders do as a team. he is physical at the point of attack and he has great football intelligence. he would be a great addition to an up and coming Oakland defense.

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: Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State

In a draft class that is littered with great interior offensive lineman, Cody Whitehair is clearly the best prospect. The Kansas State offensive tackle will likely move to guard in the NFL, but he has the footwork, mental processing and strength to make it a seamless transition.

19. Buffalo Bills: 8-8

The Pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Sheldon Rankins may be the best defensive tackle in this draft class; therefore, he is a steal for the Bills as pick No. 19. Rankins doesn’t have an elite first step, but he plays with power and great hand usage. He can win in a variety of ways and he will make a living in the backfield in the NFL.

20. New York Jets: 10-6

The Pick: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

The New York Jets’ offense was pretty good last year, but for them to take the step to great, they need to improve their offensive line, which makes Taylor Decker an easy selection here. Decker is a mauler in the run game who uses his length and strength in pass protection. He is working on his craft at LeCharles Bentley’s O-Line Performance, a facility that has improved numerous offensive lineman in the NFL, which means you’re likely to see Decker develop a lot in the coming years.

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: Christian Hackenberg, QB

The Houston Texans have a very talented team, but they’re are missing a competent quarterback. Head coach Bill O’Brian will be tempted to pick his old protégé, Christian Hackenberg, and his temptation will prove to be too much as he remembers Hackenberg’s stellar freshman season. Hackenberg has a lot of warts, but head coach Bill O’Brian may believe that he can erase those warts and bring out the excellent quarterback that may still be within the former Nittany Lion.

23. Minnesota Vikings: 11-5

The Pick: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Another big riser from the NFL combine was Jack Conklin. he was thought to be unathletic on film, but he proved to be otherwise in Indianapolis. The Minnesota Vikings really need help at offensive tackle or they risk ruining Teddy Bridgewater. Conklin is a mean and nasty finisher who takes it to every defender he goes against, which is a stark contrast to what the Vikings have had with Matt Kalil.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: 12-4

The Pick: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

With Marvin Jones’ impending free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals will likely be in the market for a wide receiver. Even though he isn’t a polished product. Corey Coleman may be the best playmaker in the draft. He is great with the ball in his hands and he has a nose for the end zone unlike anyone else.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6

The Pick: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense isn’t the same as they once were. The smash-mouth defensive-minded Steelers have been replaced by a high-powered offensive minded team. William Jackson III would be a step in the right direction for Pittsburgh’s defense. He is a long, fast and playmaking cornerback and that is exactly what the Steelers need.

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: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

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: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

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. Georgia’s Leonard Floyd is an extremely raw and athletic pass-rusher who can be developed into a great outside linebacker in the Cardinals scheme.

 30. New England Patriots: 12-3

The Pick: Forfeited. 

31. Carolina Panthers: 14-1

The Pick: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

One of the fastest rising prospects in the draft after a dominant showing in the national championship game, Kevin Dodd is a great fit for the Carolina Panthers. With a ton of talent up the middle, the Panthers may want to upgrade the pass rush off the edge this season, which is what Dodd will do.

32. Denver Broncos: 12-4

The Pick: Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida

The Denver Broncos love versatile defensive lineman, which is why they choose Jonathan Bullard here. With Malik Jackson likely leaving in free agency, Bullard could fill his role as a pressure interior player who wins one-on-one matchups. Bullard can play either defensive tackle spot and strong-side defensive end, which makes him a valuable chess piece for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

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

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