Alas, my fellow football fiends! We have some sort of football to hold us over until August! Free agency was cool, Odell Beckham living it up at Coachella was even better, but nothing compares to the NFL Draft! During the 3 day (completely outside) spectacle, held in Philadelphia this year, prospects from nearly every college/university will be glued to the nearest TV in goes of hearing their name called. Meanwhile, many “experts” and fans attempt to predict who each team will select in mock drafts. Most predictions come back wrong, but it’s fun to channel your inner Ms. Cleo in the name of football! Our picks are based on these 4 factors: team needs, fan wants, off season chatter, and (every Cowboys fan’s favorite subject in school) history! It’s expected that most won’t agree with every selection, but let’s take a look:
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
With 2 of the first 12 picks in the 2017 Draft, the Browns have the luxury of taking the best player in the draft in Garrett, while picking for need at pick no. 12.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Mitch(ell) Trubisky, QB, N. Carolina
Kaepernick is gone. Matt Barkley & Brian Hoyer are the incumbents. Not excited yet? Neither are the 49ers front office. Trubisky is the best quarterback in a weak QB draft, but he makes almost too much sense for the Niners outside of trading the pick.
3. Chicago Bears –Malik Hooker, DB, Ohio St.
The Bears nabs arguably the best defensive back in the draft to help an upcoming defensive unit in Chi-Town
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
T.J. Yeldon, Denard Robinson, and Chris Ivory have failed to take the pressure off of struggling QB Blake Bortles, so the Jags snatch up arguably the best player in the entire draft in Fournette to do just that.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) – O.J. Howard, TE, BAMA
The Titans add the most complete tight end in the draft to continue QB Marcus Mariota’s progression trending upward.
6. New York Jets – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St
Outside of the defensive front 7, the Jets need help everywhere! Scooping up Lattimore is a step in the right direction and should alleviate the recent departure of Darelle Revis.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Young star receiver Kenaan Allen has been hurt for much of the past two seasons, so the Chargers injects the former Clemson star to give him and an aging Phillip Rivers much needed help on offense.
8. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Allen, DE, BAMA
Once considered to be the best prospect in the draft, Allen lands in Carolina and adds youth and potential to an already top 15 defense in the league.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
The Bengals have struggled to rush the passer the past few seasons, and the Stanford product has been flying up draft boards as of late. Sounds like a match made in heaven!
10. Buffalo Bills – Jamal Adams, DB, LSU
After killing his workout circuit (NFL scoring combine and Pro days), Adams could go higher than 10. The Bills gain a young leader in the secondary for years to come.
11. New Orleans Saints – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio St.
The Saints need help on defense… period!
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – Dashaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The Browns find their QB of the future (for the 3rd time this decade) in the National Champion Deshaun Watson. Good Luck, young man! You’re going to need it.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Reuben Foster, ILB, BAMA
The Cardinals fill a major hole in the middle of their defense with Foster. Recent questions about his character has virtually pushed him out of the top 10, so the Cards get a bargain here as well.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings) – Marlon Humphrey, CB, BAMA
With Nolan Carroll leaving in free agency, the need for secondary help is vital. Humphrey gives the Eagles a nice building block for a budding defense in Philly.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida St.
“Experts” may be thinking OL/DL here, but the Colt’s finally give Andrew Luck his very own Edgerrin James to take a little weight off his shoulders.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
All-Pro Terrell Suggs won’t be around forever and has been hampered by injuries the past few seasons. The Ravens take the former SEC sack leader Barnett to ease the transition.
17. Washington Redskins – Hasson Reddick, LB, Temple
The versatile, Senior Bowl star lands in DC, where his skill set could be heavily utilized in Washington’s complex defensive scheme.
18. Tennessee Titans – John Ross, WR, Washington
The Titans address their only “clear” need with the speed demon out of Washington to give Tennessee an offensive boost.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Takkarist Mckinley, DE, UCLA
Gerald McCoy can’t do it by himself on the defensive line, so the Bucs add Mckinley to continue their ascension to the top of the NFC South.
20. Denver Broncos – Ryan Ramczyk, OL, Wisconsin
Romo had interest in Denver? Behind that line we saw in 2016? No wonder he’s now working from the booth! It’s no secret that the Broncos need help along the offensive line, so they snag the former Wisconsin Badger to fill a huge hole at tackle.
21. Detroit Lions – T.J. Watt, DE/LB, Wisconsin
Pro Bowl DE Ziggy Ansah needs help on the opposite side of the line, and J.J.’s little brother fits the description. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to keep Ansah, who’s entering a contract year.
22. Miami Dolphins – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The signing of Mario Williams came back to bite the Fins in the butt, and Cameron Wake is turning 100 when the season starts. It’s only right that they address the future of their pass rush and Charlton should get the job done.
23. New York Giants – Cam Robinson, OL, BAMA
After 3 years, the Giants just may be done with offensive tackle Ereck Flowers. In comes another Bama product in Robinson to watch Eli Manning’s back.
24. Oakland Raiders – Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
The young, gritty Raiders add a thumper in Davis to the defense at no. 24.. His ability to play all 3 LB positions make this pick even more intriguing for the Vegas-bound Raiders..
25. Houston Texans – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
After Tony Romo retired for a TV role, the Texans were in “No Man’s Land” at quarterback. Many project Mahomes to be selected a lot earlier, but this a perfect fit for the Texans without them reaching or trading up for another prospect.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
The Seahawks line was putrid last season so they select Lamp to help keep Ciara Wilson.. I mean, Russell Wilson upright this season.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Kevin King, CB, Iowa
With no clear need at this point in the draft, the Chiefs have a luxury pick here. They add the Iowa star to an already young and overachieving secondary that features Pro Bowler Marcus Peters.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan
After losing both starting safeties in free agency, the Cowboys add the versatile and position-less Peppers to smooth the transition.
29. Green Bay Packers – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Some may say it’s a little late for McCaffrey, but this may be the most ideal spot for him. Eddie Lacy is off to Seattle, and Ty Montgomery is better suited as a wideout so McCaffrey should get right in where he fits in.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – David Njoku, TE, Miami
The Steelers easily upgrade the tight end position and give Big Ben another weapon in an already explosive offense with the versatile Njoku.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Charles Harris, DE, Mizzou
After an equally embarrassing and epic loss in Super Bowl LI, the Dirty Birds beef up its pass rush with Harris.
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots) – Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
The Saints get the secondary help they need and in the return game with the addition of Jackson.