The NFL Draft is now less than a week away and all 32 teams are setting their sights on the players of the future. Teams are eyeing up players to best fit their needs in order to better themselves and increase their chances at a championship title. In the shadow of the 2016 season, here are the picks that we believe teams will make come Thursday.
- Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB. The Rams made the trade up to the No. 1 position for one main reason, and that reason is to address their lacking QB position. Although the Rams front office wanted to convince the public that Case Keenum is the Rams QB of the future, however they are not fooling anyone. The Rams select Goff with this pick by Goff barely edging over Carson Wentz due to Goff’s superior
pocket presence and blitz awareness.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB. The Eagles also traded up for a higher draft pick, receiving the No.2 pick from the Cleveland Browns. A trade that was considered wild, and unorthodox by many experts and fans alike. However the Eagles moved up to the second position either way, and a QB is most likely on their minds. Now with Sam Bradford wanting out of Philadelphia, the need for a QB is almost solidified.
- San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT. The Chargers have the first pick that was not traded up for. This means that the Chargers will have a wider choice selection than simply just a QB. With the Chargers adding Casey Hayward in free agency, and with Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers already being on the Chargers roster the Chargers’ need for a CB is stunted, making Tunsil the more obvious choice with the third pick.
- Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S. The Cowboys front office have made it very clear that they will not be searching for a QB in this year’s draft. With both Wentz and Goff gone at this point, a QB like Connor Cook or Paxton Lynch wouldn’t make much sense. The Cowboys’ defense was just average in 2015,with many holes in their secondary that were exploited throughout the length of the year, Ramsey would add quickness and a se
nse of awareness to the Cowboy’s defense and will give them a sense of flexibility that seemed to be lacking in 2015.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB. With a few major free agency selections for the Jaguars, they filled a few of their needs. Malik Jackson on the defensive line, and Prince Amukamara and Tashaun Gipson in the secondary, the Jaguars will most likely search for other areas of need. With Paul Posluszny getting older the Jaguars will most likely pick Myles Jack to fill the void.
- Baltimore Ravens: Joey Bosa, DE. The Ravens had a very poor pass rush last year, their only defensive player that ranked in the top 50 players for the number of sacks was Elvis Dumervil, and his position is an OLB not a defensive lineman. With Joey Bosa coming from a 3-4 scheme at Ohio State, Baltimore’s 3-4 scheme would be the best fit for Bosa.
- San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE. Arik Armstead was the first round pick for the 49ers in last years draft, coincidentally Armstead and Buckner were both on the defensive line together at Oregon. Armstead had a impressive rookie year on the 49ers’ defensive line, however he did not have much assistance, the 49ers reunite Buckner and Armstead with the seventh pick and solidify their defensive line.
- Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Elliot, HB. The signing of Robert Griffin III was not a signing that many saw coming, however what’s done is done, and the Browns’ front office is saying that RGIII is their QB for the foreseeable future. A few teams are looking to trade with the Browns for the eighth spot (Jets and Dolphins.) The fact that the Browns are even considering this trade shows that they are not in the market for a QB, and instead the Browns may be looking to improve their offense elsewhere. Elliot would add the most diversity to the Brown’s unstable offense.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB. The Bucs, brought in veteran, CB Brent Grimes in the free agency, signing a CB with this pick would allow him to learn from one of the best CB’s in the last 10 years. With some proper mentoring Hargreaves could excel, and be a deadly complement to an already solid group of corners.
- New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley, OT. With the Giants having one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL, giving Eli Manning more time to throw to these receivers should be the highest priority for the Giants. By adding Stanley, Eli Manning would spend less time either forcing passes, or being knocked down play after play. Stanley would open up the Giant’s deep offense.
- Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, OLB. The Bears, filled in the middle of their linebacking corps in the free agency, signing both Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. With the Bears drafting Eddie Goldman with their first pick last year, it seems unlikely that they would draft another defensive tackle. That being said the Bears most likely approach to the draft would be trying to improve their outside linebackers in order to completely top off their linebacking corps.
- New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT. The Saints run defensive in 2015 was in the gutter, and this can be attributed to the Saints having missing pieces on their defensive line. Sheldon Rankins would fill the middle of the field both in the run and in the pass rush, and would add some strength to a defensive line that was consistently falling short.
- Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB. The departure of Brent Grimes leaves a massive hole at the corner spot, and with the Dolphins signing Mario Williams in the free agency,
it would not make much sense to pursue a DE in the first round. Eli Apple is a very capable cornerback who would be able to step right into Grimes’s place and fill a gap that is very apparent in the Dolphins defense.
- Oakland Raiders: Shaq Lawson, DE. The Raiders made a haul in the free agency, signing many player like Bruce Irvin, and Sean Smith to fill their gaps. The Raiders also signed veteran Reggie Nelson to complement their secondary. Due to this the Raiders going after a CB with this pick seems illogical especially with a lacking pass rush that the Raiders had in 2015. A versatile pass rusher opposite Khalil Mack would be a very deadly addition.
- Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT. Marcus Mariota seems to be the Titans’ QB of the future, and the Titans need to address the situation of protecting him. The Titans originally had the first pick of the draft until they traded down with the LA Rams. however the Titan’s draft plans won’t change and they will still get a very talented Tackle here.
- Detroit Lions: Jarran Reed, DT. The Lions lost both Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh after the 2014-2015 season, and last year the Lions felt the impact. With this year’s draft class being very deep with talented defensive tackles, the Lions selecting a DT here makes the most sense.
- Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB. Speed is cornerstone in Dan Quinn’s defense, the addition of speedy Vic Beasley Jr. in last years draft just goes to show this. Darron Lee is debatably the quickest LB in this year’s draft, adding Lee to a slowing linebacking corps makes the most sense for the Falcons with this pick.
- Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT. The Colts began the 2015 season with high hopes due to a solid free agency in 2015, however the Colts QB’s were knocked out of almost every game, literally. The Colts’ offensive line was a disaster in the first few weeks of last year’s season, and although the line got slightly better over the last few games in 2015, the Colts need to upgrade their line. Decker is the most logical pick for the Colts at 18.
- Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd, DE. With this year’s draft having an abundance of defensive lineman, it is very possible that a versatile pass rusher like Kevin Dodd will fall to the No. 19 pick. With the departure of Mario Williams, Dodd would be a solid replacement on the edge. A side note on this pick is that Rex Ryan has a tie to Clemson as well, his son goes to Clemson, and Ryan has praised Clemson players because of it.
- New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB. The Jets are currently in talks to move up to the eighth spot, this shows that the Jets either really want a certain prospect, or they are looking for a QB. Paxton Lynch would be the best available QB at the twentieth pick, and with some time, Lynch could develop into a solid NFL QB.
- Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson, DT. The Redskins took a large blow to their defensive line this off-season, the loss of Terrance Knighton, and veteran Jason Hatcher will leave a large hole in their defense. With the re-signing of Mason Foster and Junior Galette, and the addition of Terence Garvin the linebacker problem that the Redskins had in 2015 has been addressed. The most logical pick for the Redskins is a diverse defensive lineman, the Redskins address their D-Line problem and A’Shawn Robinson fills the gap.
- Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR. The Texans made an offensive push in the free agency this past off-season, it seems like the only position they did not address was the WR position. With DeAndre Hopkins becoming a star in the NFL the Texans can give new QB Brock Osweiler yet another target in Coleman. This would make the newly-forming Texans offense even more versatile.
- Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR. The Vikings got rid of veteran Mike Wallace at wide receiver, and now have a fairly large gap in their offense. The Vikings defense excelled last year, and the Vikings picking a defensive player here would not be very logical. Treadwell has drawn comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Vikings could use a WR like him.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Doctson, WR. With the loss of both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, the Bengals will be looking to replace their receiving corps. Josh Doctson was the top performer in the vertical jump, broad jump, 20 yard shuttle, and the 60 yard shuttle, clearly making the statement that he is an athletic freak. With such a gaping hole in the Bengals offense, an athletic receiver would be the Bengals’ safest bet.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB. The Steelers parted ways with 5-year Cornerback Cortez Allen on April 15, a likely indicator that the Steelers will use their No. 25 pick to replace him. The Steelers secondary was very swiss cheese-like, meaning there were a lot of gaps, and Alexander would fit perfectly into the Steelers defense.
- Seattle Seahawks: Jason Spriggs, OT. Russell Okung’s departure for Denver leaves a large hole in the Seahawks’ offensive line. With both the Seahawks’ offense and defense both clicking in 2015, it would be most logical for the Seahawks to fill their largest needs rather than take “the best player available” approach.
- Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland, LB. Although the Packers’ defense looked very flexible last year, they relied on many inexperienced players to make big plays. With Clay Matthews playing out of position as well, the Packers defense wasn’t fully in sync. By drafting Ragland, a defensive leader at Alabama, the Packers would be allowing Matthews to move back to his original pass rushing position and their defense may be able to regroup.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Artie Burns, CB. The departure of Sean Smith leaves a hole in the Chiefs secondary. The Chiefs need to fill this gap and give Marcus Peters some help in the secondary, by adding Burns with the No. 28 pick, the Chiefs defense could really solidify.
- New England Patriots: Forfeit Pick.
- Arizona Cardinals: Noah Spence, DE. With the retiring of Dwight Freeney the Cardinals may be looking to replace him, although Spence is more of a defensive end, the Cardinals would not have nay problem shifting him to an Outside Linebacker, as the Elephant Position. This pick would help the Cardinals’ pass rush, as well as help out veteran Calais Campbell on the D-line.
- Carolina Panthers: William Jackson III, CB. So long Josh Norman. The Panthers star CB is off to the nation’s capital to play with the Redskins, and all of the sudden there is a large hole in the Panthers’ secondary that will need to be addressed if the Super Bowl runner-ups are trying to make back to back championship appearances. Jackson would be the most logical fit for the Panthers with their No. 31 pick.
- Denver Broncos: Robert Nkemdiche, DT. The Denver Broncos got torn apart this past free agency, and now they will be looking to fill their most important gaps. Malik Jackson’s departure to the Jags is the Broncos largest hole, and Nkemdiche would fill this gap very nicely for the Broncos.