Since last year my final mock draft was done more than a week prior to the actual draft and many things changed, I decided to wait until the day before the draft in case some of the other Stampede Blue writers decide to compare our accuracy again. You will not fool me this time! Ok, ok, on to the good stuff.
As per usual, I won't be 100% right on this but this is my best guess based on my own analysis of best player available and team needs at each selection. Also, there are no trades because they take way too much time. For brevity, I'm only doing write-ups on Round 1 and the Colts picks.
- Rams: Jared Goff - QB - Cal
Goff is the perfect fit for Jeff Fischer to continue going 8-8.
- Eagles: Carson Wentz - QB - North Dakota State
Wentz should be a solid QB but probably nothing spectacular, a lot like Alex Smith in my opinion.
- Chargers: Jalen Ramsey - DB - Florida State
Ramsey is the best player in the draft. With the loss of Weddle, this solidifies their S position.
- Cowboys: Joey Bosa - DE - Ohio State
Bosa or Elliott, which Buckeye does Jerry grab? He wants Elliott but his football people will win this and they'll take Bosa, just like they won the Johnny Football debate.
- Jaguars: Myles Jack - ILB - UCLA
I'm torn on this pick. I actually think Jack could fall to Chicago or New Orleans but I've got him going here since he's the best player available. Jacksonville could surprise many and take DeForest Buckner here though.
- Ravens: Laremy Tunsil - OT - Mississippi
I hate Ozzie Newsome, as the best OT in the draft falls to him. It's so simple: let others make mistakes and you clean up.
- 49ers: Ronnie Stanley - OT - Notre Dame
Stanley is an athletic OT who could help Chip Kelly's offense immediately.
- Browns: DeForest Buckner - DE - Oregon
This is the player I think Cleveland wanted all along and would have taken at 2 if they didn't trade down.
- Bucs: Vernon Hargreaves - CB - Florida
The best CB left goes to Tampa Bay, who needed to improve their secondary in the worst way.
- Giants: Shaq Lawson - DE - Clemson
This pick makes me so mad because I wanted Lawson to fall to the Colts. That obviously didn't happen and the Giants get a hand up on everyone else by improving their pass rush.
- Bears: Ezekiel Elliott - RB - Ohio State
A surprise pick here but I'm not thinking Chicago is sold on Langford and with Elliott on the board it's a no-brainer.
- Saints: Leonard Floyd - OLB - Georgia
The Saints need to improve their pass rush and Floyd is the biggest boom.bust pass rushing prospect available.
- Dolphins: Eli Apple - CB - Ohio State
The Dolphins need to pick between Apple, Jackson and Alexander here. I went Apple due to the phsyical traits and upside he offers.
- Raiders: Sheldon Rankins - DT - Louisville
This is a great pick for Oakland as a penetrating DT like Rankins can cause havoc on opposing offenses.
- Titans: Jack Conklin - OT - Michigan State
This is a meh pick to me. The rumor is they want a RT and Conklin is a solid, mauler RT.
- Lions: Taylor Decker - OT - Ohio State
Detroit must upgrade their OL and thankfully take Decker off the board so Ryan Grigson can't crew up his entire draft and maybe won't get an F in the post-draft grades for not taking a RT in Round 1.
- Falcons: Keanu Neal - S - Florida
Boom! Biggest surprise right here. I don't like Neal as a prospect and I don't like his game. He's a big hitter in a time where the big hit is being legislated out. However, this is more of a Kam Chancellor style pick for the Falcons, plus Neal has been invited to the Draft so he'll probably go in the first 40 picks.
- Colts: Ryan Kelly - OT - Alabama
As if this pick is a shock to anyone who follows me on Twitter. Kelly immediately upgrades the Colts entire offense. How, you might ask? Because he makes Andrew Luck more comfortable in the pocket, he opens up big, beautiful running lanes. I mean they'll be the biggest, most beautiful running lanes you'll ever see. And you know what, the AFC South is going to pay for the running lanes. Ha! Alright. But seriously, Kelly is an intelligent center who will easily build a bond with Luck. He's a tough blocker who enjoys finishing plays. Kelly keeps his head on a swivel and doesn't get confused in pass protection. He's incredibly consistent as well, he wasn't penalized once last season and only gave up one sack. Please, tell me protecting Luck isn't the most important thing the Colts could do right now? Kelly does that and more.
- Bills - Kevin Dodd - DE - Clemson
Dodd, like Neal, isn't projected to go in Round 1 by many but got an invite to attend the draft. He's a perfect fit for Rex Ryan and his defense.
- Jets - Paxton Lynch - QB - Memphis
Even if Fitzmagic is re-signed, the Jets need a QB for the future and most of the best will be gone by the time their next pick comes along.
- Washington - Vernon Butler - DT - Louisiana Tech
Same as Dodd and Neal above, Butler got an invite to the draft so I assume there's a team that wants a massive NT. Washington fits that description.
- Texans - Josh Doctson - WR - TCU
The Texans land the best WR in the draft without having to move anywhere, which likely won't happen.
- Vikings - Laquon Treadwell - WR - Mississippi
Treadwell gives the Vikings and Teddy an option who can get open on his own but can help take pressure off AP.
- Bengals: Corey Coleman - WR - Baylor
The Bengals will likely try to move up to get another WR but in this case they go with the best available, which is arguably the best WR in the class.
- Steelers: William Jackson III - CB - Houston
Jackson is a great CB who I could see going in the early teens. He's got great talent.
- Seahawks: Jason Spriggs - OT - Indiana
Seahwaks will be pissed if they can't get Ryan Kelly but they need to improve the OL. Spriggs allows them to do that and gives them an athletic OT.
- Packers: Reggie Ragland - ILB - Alabama
The Packers take Ragland, which allows them to move Clay Matthews back to OLB.
- Chiefs: Mackensie Alexander - CB - Clemson
The Chiefs pair up another young corner with Marcus Peters, which may be overkill but you can never have enough talented coverage guys.
- Patriots: Still Forfeited
This pick is still forfeited. The Court of Appeals correctly overturned the District Court's ruling that Brady is a saint. That exact phrase might have been in the district court's opinion. Well, Brady isn't and the Pats got caught.
- Cardinals: Darron Lee - LB - Ohio State
Arizona loves to take "hybrid" players and put them in a position to succeed. Lee encompasses the hybrid style they love.
- Panthers: Jarran Reed - DT - Alabama
I'm not sure where the Panthers are going to go here but they have a lot of DL contracts coming up soon so it may be best to get some protections in case they can't sign them all.
- Broncos: Connor Cook - QB - Michigan State
Cook gives Elway a consistent QB that won't make the dumb mistake, for example, like butt fumble.
- Browns: Michael Thomas - WR - Ohio State
- Titans: Andrew Billings - DT - Baylor
- Cowboys: Artie Burns - CB - Miami (FL)
- Chargers: Germaine Ifredi - OT - Texas A&M
- Ravens: Noah Spence - OLB - Eastern Kentucky
- 49ers: Will Fuller - WR - Notre Dame
- Jaguars: A'Shawn Robinson - DT - Alabama
- Bucs: Emmanuel Ogbah - DE - Oklahoma State
- Giants: Tyler Boyd - WR - Pittsburgh
- Bears: Karl Joseph - S - West Virginia
- Dolphins: Derrick Henry - RB - Alabama
- Titans: Cody Whitehair - OG - Kansas State
- Raiders: Jonathan Bullard - DE - Florida
- Titans: Kamelei Correa - OLB - Boise State
- Lions: Robert Nkemdiche - DT - Mississippi
- Saints: Josh Garnett - OG - Stanford
- Colts: Chris Jones - DT - Mississippi State
This defensive line class is so deep that someone is going to fall. In this case, it's Chris Jones. He would be a dramatic upgrade at the DT position and could play right away. With the right coaching and some work on his technique, he could be a Pro-Bowl player. However, right now, he's still a bit of a project who needs to jump start his motor but he's got a ceiling that's through the roof. No, seriously, it's that high.
- Bills: Kenny Clark - DT - UCLA
- Falcons: Hunter Henry - TE - Arkansas
- Jets: Joshua Perry - OLB - Ohio State
- Texans: Vonn Bell - S - Ohio State
- Washington: Sterling Shepherd - WR - Oklahoma
- Vikings: Kendall Fuller - CB - Virginia Tech
- Bengals: Austin Johnson - DT - Penn State
- Seahawks: Nick Martin - OC - Notre Dame
- Packers: Carl Nassib - DE - Penn State
- Steelers: Vadal Alexander - OG - LSU
- Chiefs: Jeremy Cash - S - Duke
- Patriots: Jerald Hawkins - OT - LSU
- Patriots: Jahid Ward - DE - Illinois
- Panthers: Shon Coleman - OT - Auburn
- Bronocos: Devontee Booker - RB - Utah
- Titans: Xavien Howard - CB - Baylor
- Browns: La'Raven Clark - OT - Texas Tech
- Chargers: Christian Westerman - OG - Arizona State
- Cowboys: Christian Hackenburg - QB - Penn State
- 49ers: Kentrell Brothers - ILB - Missouri
- Jaguars: Landon Turner - OG - North Carolina
- Ravens: Pahraoh Cooper - WR - South Carolina
- Giants: T.J. Green - S - Clemson
- Bears: Jordan Jenkins - OLB - Georgia
- Dolphins: Su'a Cravens - OLB - Southern California
- Bucs: Braxton Miller - WR - Ohio State
- Raiders: Jonathan Williams - RB - Arkansas
- Titans: Leonte Carroo - WR - Rutgers
- Browns: Cardale Jones - QB - Ohio State
- Saints: Sebastian Tretola - OG - Arkansas
- Eagles: Deion Jones - DE - LSU
- Bills: Rashard Higgins - WR - Colorado State
- Falcons: Charles Tapper - DE - Oklahoma
- Colts: Jaylon Smith - LB - Notre Dame
This may be the biggest dream of dream scenarios that could actually come true. Smith is a Top 5 talent but no one knows if he'll ever play again. In the past few years, big name prospects that have gotten hurt late in the year or during pre-draft workouts have been taken at the end of Round 3. This is where Smith might end up. He also could be taken in Round 2 or Round 4. It's really a toss up but even if he comes back at 80%, I'd take Jaylon Smith at 80% than any other player available at this point.
- Jets: Nick Vannett - TE - Ohio State
- Washington: Jalen Mills - S - LSU
- Texans: Austin Hooper - TE - Stanford
- Vikings: Connor McGovern - OG - Missouri
- Bengals: Shalique Calhoun - DE - Michigan State
- Packers: Maurice Canady - CB - Virginia
- Steelers: Kyler Fackrell - OLB - Utah State
- Seahawks: Javon Hargrave - DT - South Carolina State
- Chiefs: Kenny Lawler - WR - California
- Patriots: Will Redmond - CB - Mississippi State
- Cardinals: Jack Allen - OC - Michigan State
- Panthers: Charles Tapper - DE - Oklahoma
- Broncos: Dominique Alexander - ILB - Oklahoma
- Lions: Tyler Matakevich - ILB - Temple
- Patriots: Makiek Collins - DT - Nebraska
- Seahwaks: Sheldon Day - DL - Notre Dame
- Broncos: Bronson Kaufusi - DE - BYU