1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
The Browns select the best player in the draft.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford
The 49ers could use a quarterback, but their horrendous supporting cast and rumored interest in Kirk Cousins could prompt them to look elsewhere with this selection. Solomon Thomas offers a safe, high-upside alternative at the second-most important position.
3. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, IDL, Alabama
Garrett and Thomas are gone, so the Bears snag the next-best pass-rusher on their draft board. Jonathan Allen is a plug-and-play 5-tech in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 base defense, and he offers the versatility to slide inside to 3-tech on passing downs.
4. Jacksonville: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Fournette upgrades Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon, and he takes pressure off of Blake Bortles.
5. Tennessee Titans (from LA): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Titans replace Jason McCourty with the draft’s best cover man.
6. New York Jets: Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State
The Jets could take Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson here, but they just selected Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd-round last year. If the team decides to pass on a quarterback, it makes sense to pair Hooker with Calvin Pryor.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
The Chargers likely would have preferred Malik Hooker here, but they’ll settle for Adams.
8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR/RS, Stanford
Jonathan Stewart is aging and the Panthers have a need at slot receiver. Christian McCaffrey can fill both of these roles, and he can contribute on special teams.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross III, WR, Washington
Last year the Bengals “missed out” on Will Fuller. This year they have an opportunity to select a better version of a prospect they coveted last year.
10. Buffalo Bills: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
The Bills have essentially no receiving threats outside of injury-prone Sammy Watkins. The addition of another top receiving option like Howard would set Tyrod Taylor up for success.
11. New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
The Saints have needs at every level of the defense, so their options at this pick are many. Pass rush is one area where the team has struggled in recent years. Pairing Derek Barnett with Cam Jordan would go a long way in improving an underwhelming unit.
12: Cleveland Browns (from PHI): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Browns get their quarterback of the future, although they’ll likely need to trade up into the top 10 to secure his services.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
This is probably a bit high for Mahomes considering his projected learning curve, but Carson Palmer is regressing rapidly and the Cardinals have no long-term answer at the position. Mahomes would be a good fit for Arizona’s vertical offense, and he would be afforded the benefit of learning behind Palmer for a year before taking the reins.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Eagles signed Alshon Jeffery to a 1-year contract and brought in Torrey Smith as well, but they could still add more depth and talent to a receiving corps that was among the league’s worst last year. If Christian McCaffrey is available I’d expect him to be the pick, but in this scenario he’s not, so the Eagles opt for the draft’s best receiver instead.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick, LB/EDGE, Temple
The Colts need to upgrade their linebacking corps and improve their pass defense. Haason Reddick seems like a natural fit as a fluid cover linebacker who can rush off the edge on third downs.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Steve Smith’s retirement leaves Baltimore incredibly thin at wide receiver. Mike Williams might not be a no. 1 option right away, but he can grow into that role in time and for the present he’ll provide Joe Flacco with a big target to compliment the speedsters on the roster.
17. Washington Redskins: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The Redskins could use help at every level of their defense. Injury and off-field concerns could push a top-10 talent like Foster down the board — a perfect scenario for the Redskins.
18. Tennessee Titans: David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
Marcus Mariota needs more weapons in the passing game. In this scenario, the top 3 receivers are gone, so the Titans select a dynamic receiving tight end to pair with (and eventually replace) 32-year-old Delanie Walker.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Doug Martin’s suspension and substance abuse problems make his future in Tampa Bay uncertain. Dalvin Cook could be a long-term solution at running back.
20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Broncos desperately need an upgrade at left tackle. Garett Bolles offers the best left tackle traits in the class, he’s a good fit for Denver’s zone-blocking scheme, and he should be able to start immediately.
21. Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Detroit needs to get more athletic on defense — especially at the second level after moving on from DeAndre Levy this offseason. Jarrad Davis seems like a natural fit as a rangy sideline-to-sideline defender who can make plays all over the field.
22. Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
The Dolphins brought in William Hayes to bolster their pass-rush this offseason, but they still need to find a successor for 35-year-old Cameron Wake. Charles Harris is a prime candidate for the job.
23. New York Giants: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
At some point the Giants have to replace Ereck Flowers, right?
24. Oakland Raiders: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Awuzie provides cornerback insurance in the event that Sean Smith walks next offseason.
25. Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Deshaun Watson doesn’t exactly fit the Bill O’Brien quarterback prototype, but I believe that he’d be a significant upgrade over Tom Savage.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Forrest Lamp, IOL, Western Kentucky
Seattle needs offensive line help, like, yesterday. Russell Wilson will get killed if the Seahawks continue to trot out street free agents up front. Forrest Lamp is a plug-and-play option at any of the interior offensive line positions.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Marlon Humphrey upgrades Steven Nelson and Phillip Gaines at the starting outside cornerback spot opposite Marcus Peters.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
The Cowboys lost Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to free agency this offseason, leaving the team extremely thin at the cornerback position. Tre’Davious White offers a plug-and-play option for Dallas in the slot.
29. Green Bay Packers: Kevin King, CB, Washington
The Packers lack proven, reliable starters as well as depth at the cornerback position, which is why I expect them draft one with an early pick. Kevin King probably isn’t ready to start right away, but he fits the athletic profile of a Ted Thompson corner and he offers tremendous upside with his rare combination of size (6’3″, 200 lbs.) and athleticism (4.43 40, 39.5″ vert, 6.56 3-cone).
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
The Steelers need to upgrade their pass defense, and they need find a replacement for James Harrison. Takk McKinley satisfies both needs with a single selection.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Malik McDowell, IDL, Michigan State
McDowell is one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in the draft, but he could provide the pass rush Atlanta desperately needs.
32. New Orleans: Adoree’ Jackson, CB/RS, USC
The Saints continue the overhaul of their porous pass defense with the addition of Adoree’ Jackson.