The NFL draft is still months away, but with the Super Bowl just finishing up last week, we now know the complete draft order. With the combine and pro days still to come, players draft stock can still drastically change. If the draft happened today, this would be my full first round projection.
#1 Cleveland Browns – Jonathan Allen, DT/DE, Alabama
- The biggest area of concern for the Browns would be be their offensive line, but with no lineman worthy of the #1 pick, the Browns should address best available fit. With new DC Gregg Williams and the switch to a 4-3 scheme, Johnathan Allen would be the perfect fit alongside DT Danny Shelton. Williams previous had DT Aaron Donald with the Rams, so he knows first hand how valuable a versatile DT can be. Adding Allen would be the final piece to the Browns young defensive line, and it could be the foundation of the defense that the Browns can build upon.
#2 San Fransisco 49ers – Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
- By far, the biggest need for the 49ers is Quarterback. Last season, the 49ers were dead last in the league in passing. Colin Kaepernick is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason. With the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, who helped lead the falcons to the second-best offense last season, a franchise QB should definitely be in the future. Watson is coming off of a championship run, and he has proven that he is a winner.
#3 Chicago Bears – Myles Garrett DE/OLB Texas A&M
- The Bears have an obvious need at Quarterback as well but with Jay Cutler under contract for 3 more years, I do not see them taking one here. With arguably the best overall talent left on the board, Garrett could be a great addition to the Bears defense that ranked in the bottom half of the league in run defense.
#4 Jacksonville Jaguars – Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
- The Jags don’t have an immediate need on either side of the ball. Their RB play last season was very inconsistent but with the return of Chris Ivory, I can see next season being different. Barnett would make sense here to go on the opposite side of Dante Fowler Jr. He would be another piece added on to that up and coming defense.
#5 Tennessee Titans – Mike Williams WR Clemson
- In last year’s draft, the titans focused on helping out QB Marcus Mariota by drafting offensive linemen. The Titans offense improved tremendously, but the team still lacks a true #1 WR. Rishard Matthews came along towards the end of the season, but he did not eclipse 1,000 yards on the season. By drafting Williams, it could provide the Titans with another reliable weapon for Mariota.
#6 New York Jets – Mitch Trubisky QB North Carolina
- Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are both set to be free agents this offseason. Bryce Petty posted the worst QBR of any QB with 100+ pass attempts. Trubisky threw for 30 TDs and just 6 INTs. He completed 68.2% of his passes. The Jets have weapons that can make plays in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, but they just need someone who can get them the ball.
#7 Los Angelas Chargers – Cam Robinson OT Alabama
- The Chargers had 2 of the worst Offensive Tackles in football. They ranked 30th in the league in running behind the LT and ranked last in running behind their RT. The Chargers also ranked 23rd in pass protection. Robinson would come in and immediately help protect Rivers blind side and open up more running lanes for Melvin Gordon.
#8 Carolina Panthers – Leonard Fournette RB Louisiana State University
- Johnathan Stewart’s contract will be expiring after next season. He missed 3 games in 2016, and he hasn’t rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season since 2009. He also hasn’t even played in a full season since 2011. Fournette did struggle with a hamstring injury this past season but just a season ago, he was able to carry the ball 300 times and rush for close to 2,000 yards. With plenty of time to recover for next season, Fournette could be the reliable every down back that former MVP Cam Newton needs.
#9 Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster LB Alabama
- The Bengals had a rough time covering Tight Ends. Karlos Dansby will be turning 36 this year, and how much more longer he will be playing is uncertain. Foster would be a perfect fit into the Bengals 4-3 scheme. In addition to being a sure tackler, Foster also had 5 sacks last season, which would also help the Bengals in an area they struggled in.
#10 Buffalo Bills – Corey Davis WR Western Michigan
- Last season, the Bills did not have one WR with more than 650 yards or more than 4 TDs. Tyrod Taylor is one year removed from being a Pro Bowl QB. This season, the Bills ranked 30th in the league in passing yards per game. With Sammy Watkins plagued with injuries year in and year out, Davis could be the consistent weapon that Taylor has desperately been waiting for.
#11 New Orleans Saints – Marshon Lattimore CB Ohio State
- The Saints were dead last in passing last season. For the majority of the season, the Saints were playing with their 4-6th string CBs. Delvin Breaux is the only reliable CB on the roster, and he went down early last season with a broken fibula. The Saints cashed in on 2 Buckeyes last year, and I can see them trying to cash in on one more with this selection. Lattimore showed last season that he can run with just about anybody. His recovery speed makes it near impossible for WRs to expose him.
#12 Cleveland Browns – Jamal Adams S Louisiana State University
- Once again, the Browns have a lot of team needs. The Browns were very inconsistent in the secondary having many different names start at safety. With the recent release of CB/FS Tramon Williams, Adams can be the centerpiece of this depleted secondary.
#13 Arizona Cardinals – Solomon Thomas DE Stanford
- With Larry Fitzgerald most likely retiring at the end of next season, the Cardinals could use a WR but with Mike Williams and Corey Davis already off the board, I don’t see the reaching for one with this pick. Thomas would be a perfect fit into the Cardinals 3-4 system. With the uncertainty of free agent to be Chandler Jones, Thomas could come in and be the same disruptive force off the edge.
#14 Indianapolis Colts – Dalvin Cook RB Florida State University
- Last season, Frank Gore rushed for over 1,000 yards; however, Gore is not getting any younger. By the start of next season, he will be 34. His contract also will be expiring after next season. The addition of Cook will make a solid 1-2 punch at RB for the Colts next season and will also give them a future at this position.
#15 Philadelphia Eagles – Sidney Jones CB Washington
- A weapon for Carson Wentz is a must for the Eagles this offseason but at pick 15, there is no reason to reach for one here. Jones could come in and impact the Eagles secondary instantly. Last season, the Eagles ranked 28th in the league against the pass.
#16 Baltimore Ravens – Jabrill Peppers LB/S Michigan
- Because no one knows what position Peppers will play in the league, it makes him a very risky prospect, but his versatility could make someone take a chance on him early. I believe Baltimore will be that team. The Ravens struggled covering RBs and opposing teams #3 WR, and Peppers is a guy that is athletic enough to cover them.
#17 Washington Redskins – Malik Hooker S Ohio State
- Hooker is a safety that can cover from sideline to sideline. The Redskins statistically had trouble covering #2 WRs and TEs. Hooker had 7 ints, 3 returned for a touchdown, last season and his playmaking ability will help a Redskins defense that was in the bottom half of the league in interceptions.
#18 Tennessee Titans – Jalen Tabor CB Florida
- The Titans were the second worst team in the league when it came to covering #2 WRs. They also were in the bottom half of the league in interceptions. Tabor had 4 ints and returned 2 of them for a TD. Tabor could be a solid playmaker on that defense on the opposite side of Jason McCourty.
#19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tim Williams DE/DT Alabama
- The Bucs ranked 22nd against the run. Gerald McCoy can not hold it down in the middle by himself. Williams could come in and be a versatile lineman. Early on in the season, scouts had Williams rated as the best defensive lineman in the draft. With the emergence of his teammate Johnathan Allen and Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, his stock has fallen a bit but at pick 19, the Bucs can find great value in Williams here.
#20 Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk T/G Wisconsin
- The Broncos do have a need at QB, but with them taking Paxton Lynch last year in the first round, I highly doubt they use another first round pick on a QB. Regardless of who is at QB, he will need to be protected. The Broncos ranked 27th in pass protection, and they also ranked 29th in power running. Ramczyk could be a STEAL for the Broncos.
#21 Detroit Lions – Zach Cunningham LB Vanderbilt
- All season, especially in their playoff game against Seattle, the Lions struggled in run defense. They ranked in the bottom half of the league in runs at the second level and in open field. They also ranked 29th when it came to covering TEs. Last season, Cunningham had 7 games with double-digit tackles. He is a linebacker with great instinct and can flow to the ball well. He can also cover TEs, so this pick would make a lot of sense.
#22 Miami Dolphins – Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama
- The Dolphins had a tough time covering #3 WRs. They were the second worst team defending that position. Humphrey may be the best man-to-man corner in this draft. He has great size and can also play inside or on the outside. By being in a division that includes 5 time champion Tom Brady, the thought of adding another CB should be one of the top priorities.
#23 New York Giants – Jaleel Johnson DT Iowa
- The Giants have an initial need of RB. This year’s RB draft class is deep, so they should be able to secure guys like Joe Mixon or Kareem Hunt in the second round. Johnson, alongside Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Jason Pierre-Paul, would help create one of the best defensive lines in all of football.
#24 Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis LB Florida
- Jarrad Davis’s potential is through the roof! He’s one of the most talented linebackers in this draft, but his inconsistency will scare off a lot of teams. With Oakland being a playoff team last season, I can see them taking a guy like Davis since they can afford to roll the dice on him. Adding Davis would just add on to an already solid LB core.
#25 Houston Texans – Deshone Kizer QB Notre Dame
- The texans just signed Brock Osweiler to a long term contract last year, but it did not work out at all for them. Houston made the playoffs, but Osweiler was ranked the second worst QB with more than 200 pass attempts. Star wideout Deandre Hopkins posted his worst season since his rookie year. Kizer could come in and be the competition that Osweiler needs to step his game up.
#26 Seattle Seahawks – Fish Smithson S Kansas
- With the uncertainty of Earl Thomas’s future, Smithson could be the pick that will come in and not miss a beat. Most analysts do not believe Smithson should be a first round pick, but Pete Carrol loves high risk/high reward players. We see how Bruce Irvin paid off for him when they took a chance on him in 2011.
#27 Kansas City Chiefs – Taco Charlton DT/DE Michigan
- The Chiefs were last against defending runs between the guard and center. Charlton would come in and fill the void in the middle, but he would also be versatile enough to play on the edge. Kansas City already has great edge rushers so that would make Charlton’s job way more simple. The Chiefs are only a couple of players away from being real Super Bowl contenders.
#28 Dallas Cowboys – O.J. Howard TE Alabama
- The Cowboys don’t have any major needs. They may have one of the most complete rosters in football. Last season, the cowboys offense was very dynamic, but if O.J. Howard is still on the board here, I could see them taking him. Jason Witten has always been the Cowboys reliable TE, but he is starting to get up there in age. Howard can come in and add blocking to an already loaded Cowboys line, and he can also go and run any route needed. He would be another weapon for Dak Prescott to utilize.
#29 Green Bay Packers – Gareon Conley CB Ohio State
- The Packers had an obvious problem in their playoff game against the Falcons. They could not stop the air attack. Green Bay also has recently released CB Sam Shields. Conley could come in and be the new wave at CB that the Packers desperately need. He is a reliable man-to-man cover guy and can be used inside or outside.
#30 Pittsburg Steelers – Desmond King CB Iowa
- I’m sure the Steelers would love to have Gareon Conley based on their history of drafting Ohio State players. Most likely by this pick, he won’t be on the board anymore. I know the Steelers used a first round pick last year on CB Artie Burns but with Ross Cockrell being inconsistent and William Gay getting up there in age, I can see them going with a CB again. They were dead last in covering teams’s #1 WR, and King would come in and change that instantly.
#31 Atlanta Falcons – Malik McDowell DT Michigan State University
- We all saw the Super Bowl. Defensive line fatigue caught up with the Falcons. In the second half of the game, Tom Brady had all day to throw. With a deeper rotation on the defensive line, you could make a strong case that the Atlanta Falcons would have been Super Bowl Champions. McDowell is not a guy that will stuff a stat sheet, but his presence will be felt all game.
#32 New England Patriots – Forrest Lamp T/G Western Kentucky University
- Early on in the Super Bowl, the Falcons were getting to Tom Brady at all. If the Patriots want Tom Brady to be around for at least 3-4 years, they are going to need to make sure he is well protected. Lamp played LT at Western Kentucky but due to his size, he may convert to Guard. The way that the Patriots utilize players, I am sure Bill Belichick would find a spot where he would prosper.