Thomas Frank’s Mock Draft

Click on the link to view each player’s full scouting report.

  1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff QB Cal

California kid goes to the newly minted California team. The Rams gave up an absurd amount of picks to get Goff so treat him kindly Los Angeles. Goff has all the tools you’d like in a quarterback but he’s not a finished product yet and will need time to adjust to the NFL game coming from a spread offense. He likely won’t get it, which is worrisome. Goff can be what the Rams are seeking though. His game is reminiscent of Derek Carr.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State

Carson Wentz in my opinion is the better quarterback in this draft. He’s a faster Matt Ryan with a tougher build. Wentz is also stepping into a much better situation around him on offense than Goff. If he has to start right away, Wentz could have a similar career trajectory as Blake Bortles. The Eagles will need to find some more weapons to surround him, but Wentz has the potential to be a franchise altering player.

  1. San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil LT Ole Miss

The Chargers want their running game to be better. Melvin Gordon isn’t good enough to make it better on his own so adding Tunsil will help. He’s a good run blocker and a better pass blocker. Tunsil solves at least one major issue for the Chargers.

  1. Dallas Cowboys: Joe Bosa DE Ohio State

Not a huge fan of his tape, but Bosa has the name and the measurable to make him appealing to the Cowboys. Jalen Ramsey also makes sense to pair with Byron Jones, but without a pass rush, those young corners will be fed to the wolves. Bosa can add to the young rotation that Dallas is building.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey CB Florida State

The Florida State product stays in Florida and adds to a Jacksonville team that is quietly building a contender. With Ramsey, The Jags now have a presence in their secondary that teams have to account for. If Ramsey is gone to Dallas, Myles Jack would be a great addition to the team’s linebacking corp.

  1. Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner DE Oregon

Teams that are looking to leapfrog San Fran will be calling Ozzie Newsom about this pick. I think that this pick will be Paxton Lynch to X team. For the meantime, Buckner fills a hole on the defensive line for the Ravens. Pick any hole, Buckner can fill it. He’s not exactly plug and play, but he’ll be able to get by on sheer physical ability for the meanwhile.

  1. San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley LT Notre Dame

This pick is very tradeable. Any team that is looking to take a flyer on Paxton Lynch could easily move up to this spot. Stanley is the best player left that fits Chip Kelly’s need for nimble footed pass protectors. He’s not as fast as Kelly would probably like, but he’s the best pass protector in this draft. The cupboard is not as bare as some would say about the 9ers. That being said, trading down is smart if they don’t love Lynch.

  1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Jack OLB UCLA

This pick continues the fall of Paxton Lynch (unless trades happen). Teams will have their own opinions about Jack’s knee but the simple fact is that he’s the best player left in the draft at this point. At some point the Browns have to turn their picks into good players. Jack is a great start.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida

I’ll be honest, I’m not in love with this pick. It fills the biggest need for Tampa Bay but I’m not a huge fan of Hargreaves. He’s talented for sure, but something seems missing from his game for me. He’ll be good, but never live up to a top 10 billing.

  1. New York Giants: Jack Conklin T Michigan State

Conklin fills a major need for the Giants but they’re passing up some very talented defensive line prospects at this point. The depth of the draft dictates that Conklin has more value at this point.

  1. Chicago Bears: Andrew Billings NT Baylor

Most scouts will tell you that the Bears need a pass rusher to add to their roster. While that’s true, they’ve spent considerable money on Lamar Houston and Pernell McPhee in the past two years. I doubt they will give up so quickly on their investment. Instead they draft a massive human being to be a wall in their defense. Sheldon Rankins is also a consideration but Billings has the potential to be an all-pro for a decade.

  1. New Orleans Saints: Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

Treadwell is the ying to Bradin Cook’s yang. The Sean Peyton offense needs a hulking X receiver to hide a diminutive pass catcher like Cooks (See Bush and Colston or Sproles and Graham). Treadwell has the size, explosive quickness and hands to come in and re-energize this offense. Brees only has a few more shots and this team is built on offense. Defensive line is another need.

  1. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliot RB Ohio State

This one is such a no-brainer that it makes me want to not pick it. Elliot has the talent to go higher but there are no teams with a screaming need at running back other than possibly the Browns. Elliot brings the complete package to the Dolphins who need playmakers to surround Ryan Tannehill. A strong running game is a start.

  1. Oakland Raiders: Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville

The Raiders have actually been acquiring talent at an alarming rate and I don’t expect them to make a mistake with this pick. The Raiders have speed and pass rushing, now they need someone to clog up the middle. Enter Rankins. He’s fast, strong and can play any position along the defensive line. He’s an immediate upgrade and will free up Mack and Irvin to rush the passer. He’s a good rusher himself. The Raiders are quietly building a nasty front seven.

  1. Tennessee Titans: Josh Doctson WR TCU

The Titans need help all over the field. At some point they have to get a legitimate threat for  Marcus Mariota to throw to. Doctson gets the nod for being the best route runner on the board and being as pro-ready as anyone left in the receiver pool. Taylor Decker, Shaq Lawson (who should have gone ages ago) and anyone who can player corner are all considerations.

  1. Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker T OSU

The Lions need help along the defensive line but building around Matt Stafford has to take precedent now that Calvin Johnson has retired. This is not the draft to take a receiver this high, but Decker provides a good protector on either side of the line for Stafford and is a gritty run blocker.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: Shaq Lawson DE/OLB Clemson

Any front seven defender is a consideration here but Lawson gets the nod because he’s the best available and he’s versatile enough to play several positions. He’s a day one starter in the NFL who will be a premiere run stuffer and a pass rushing compliment to Vic Beasley.

  1. Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd OLB Georgia

I am not a fan of Floyd. He is simply too thin to play linebacker in the NFL. But GM Ryan Grigson has the exact sort of track record that suggests he would take a chance on the Georgia Pass rusher. The roster under Grigson has crumbled and has holes everywhere despite their draft position. The Colts need a strong draft to surround Andrew Luck with talent. I think they miss with this pick.

  1. Buffalo Bills: Vernon Butler DT LA Tech

The run on defensive lineman continues with Butler going to Buffalo. The Bills seem determined to flirt with every quarterback in this draft class, so if Paxton Lynch is at this pick, I believe they will think about it. They also have a sneaky need at safety. Rex Ryan doesn’t put a premium on pass rushers so expect them to pass up Dodd, Spence and every other pass rusher. Vernon Butler is huge, and unexplainably fast. He didn’t make as many plays as you’d like in college, but Ryan loves to take defensive linemen. Butler could be devastating alongside Darues. He also doesn’t have to come off the field on 3rd down.

  1. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch QB Memphis

Consider this pick a “where else do you put him?” selection. The Jets have a very good roster, if not a little long in the tooth. Outside linebacker has been a need for the Jets for ages but they have yet to address it in a meaningful way. I expect them to trade up for Lynch instead of waiting here so he’s their at 20 for now. Lynch has great accuracy from any platform but like all spread otpion

  1. Washington Redskins: Robert Nkemdiche DE/DT Ole Miss

Splashy teams like big names and the Redskins are exactly that. Nkemdiche fills a major need along the defensive side of the football. He’s the best defensive lineman left in the draft at this point and this team isn’t afraid of him.

  1. Houston Texans: Hunter Henry TE Arkansas

Bill O’Brien’s offense thrives on tight ends that can do it all from blocking to catching. Henry is the most complete tight end to come out of the draft since O’Brien became coach of the Texans. While defensive line and corner are needs, Henry is a plug and play talent who fits perfectly in this scheme.

  1. Minnesota Vikings: Corey Coleman WR Baylor

Is Stefon Diggs good? Or is he a product of the fact that Teddy Bridgewater had no one else to throw to? Either way the Vikings need a receiver to compliment him. The problem is that there aren’t many in this draft that are worth a first round selection. Corey Coleman isn’t an NFL ready product and scares me, like every other Baylor receiver. The Vikings have very few holes outside of this position. Coleman will provide more speed than Diggs, and will be a good compliment if he can learn how to run routes quickly.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: Braxton Miller WR OSU

There are more pro ready players in this draft at the receiver position but none are as talented as Miller. He’s got incredible hands, he’s the fastest, the quickest, and he was an impact player in his first year at receiver. With A.J. Green opposite Miller, the pressure will be off and he will have time to grow. Miller and Green will make a deadly combination.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarran Reed DT Alabama

Do you know the last time the Steelers drafted a corner in the first round? It was 1997. The last time they took a defensive back in general was Troy Polamalu in 2003. Until they draft a corner in the first round, I’m not going to mock them one. The Steelers have been searching for Casey Hampton’s replacement for several years now. They found him in Reed, who is an instant top shelf run stuffer in the NFL. They need pass rushers (or for theirs to mature) as well but Reed is too good to pass up.

  1. Seattle Seahawks: Noah Spence DE/OLB Eastern Kentucky

The Seahawks are another team that aren’t scared to take a chance on a player they like. Spence isn’t a complete player but he’s got a similar enough game to Bruce Irvin that he would a good for Seattle. Spence is a more natural pass rusher than any of the other rushers taken ahead of him but he’s not great vs the run. Seattle has the bodies on defense to rotate him and bring Spence in to do what he does best.

  1. Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland ILB Alabama

Ragland is the type of player who will have teams split down the middle on draft day. Some see him as a player who is out of time and can’t be trusted. Others see him as more athletic than he’s given credit for and will have success being a thumper in a 3-4. With the talent around him. Ragland can get to doing what he does best, erasing running backs. He’s mature and will handle stepping to that linebacking crop well.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller Notre Dame

Andy Reid loves taking wide receivers in the first round. This team has a lot of holes at the moment but Reid loves his receivers. Corey Coleman would be a fit here given Reid’s love of receivers (have I mentioned that he loves receivers?) but with Coleman off the board Fuller is the pick. Fuller’s game is far from complete but he’s explosive and can get deep in a hurry.

  1. Arizona Cardinals: William Jackson III CB Houston

Jackson is lighting quick and has the nasty swagger that the Cardinals defense is coming to be known by. He’s a bit raw but he has all the tools to be a starter for Arizona. They still need to address their defensive end/linebacker position, but there is still talent to be had later in the draft. Jackson is a top five player left on the board and fills a need.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson

As an athlete, he’s a step behind Burns and Apple, who are left on the board. As a football player, he’s miles ahead of both of them. Alexander is impressive in man coverage and can start right away for the Panthers, who need more than one corner.

  1. Denver Broncos: Darron Lee LB Ohio State

Lee’s lack of play strength and the depth at defensive line push him down the board. Lee bring speed and explosiveness to the Broncos. More importantly, they can protect him with big bodies up front. Best player left on the board not named Jaylon Smith.