OK, so much for my first version of this mock draft. Already the first pick has been moved so the draft picks must change. I've changed many of the picks after reading Greg's -- I liked his better.
Here's my latest mock draft of the Top 10:
1.1. Colts - CB Trae Waynes. The Colts moved up from the 2nd overall pick to the first, losing the 41st pick in the draft for the privilege. Waynes is clearly the best CB on the board and the GZL likes taking CBs early. Picking a QB probably makes more sense here, but Indy is committed to developing Terrelle Pryor. Is that smart? Time will tell. But with Winston sitting right there, this could be a make or break pick.
1.2. Eagles – WR Amari Cooper. By my accounting the Eagles have need at HB, WR, C, G, T, DE, DT and OLB. They do not, however, have need at QB, which means Jameis Winston falls a little further. In my first version of this mock I had the Eagles taking Odell Beckham Jr first overall, which produced a lot of ire. On one hand, I think it’s silly to say Beckham, Jr., with all that talent isn’t worthy a Top 5 pick. On the other hand – and this is ultimately what swayed me to Cooper here – Beckham has a SPD ceiling of 99…while Cooper’s is 98. So I’ll give the nod to Cooper.
1.3. Patriots - OT Brandon Scherff. Over the past 2 seasons, the Patriot starting tackles have combined to surrender 38 sacks total. That’s a lot. Scherff is the best O-Lineman on the board, and a safe pick. However, you have to wonder how tempting Winston is here. Sure they just acquired Matt Ryan and have been grooming Ryan Nassib. But you wonder if they are thinking about scooping up the future franchise QB.
1.4. Saints – QB Jameis Winston. In my first mock, I had the Saints picking Waynes, who is now the property of Indianapolis. Snagging QB Winston would make some sense for the Saints as they currently only have aging Jay Cutler to rely upon. Cutler has averaged 20 picks a season for the last 3 years, but still has a gun. How does a guy throwing 400 passes a year for 8 years only have 85 AWR? The big issue really may be cap-related. The Saints have the 2nd worst cap room in the league. Cutler counts for $14M, but cutting Cutler would be an $11M hit next year.
1.5. Bengals – DT Leonard Williams. Cincinnati very well could go O-Line with this pick, as McNeil is regressing and Wagner had an abysmal year in 2017. But the Bengals totaled 16 sacks last season, the single lowest season total of any team in league history ( I looked it up). Cincy needs some pass rush, and someone like DE Randy Gregory could do a decent job, but why not get a freak like Williams? Then again, the Bungles scored a league low 211 points last year – less than the 0-16 Eagles, and less than any other team in league history ( I also looked that up). Wow – maybe they should draft Odell…
1.6. Panthers - OLB Shane Ray. In Greg’s mock draft, he had the Panthers picking WR Beckham, Jr. What?! He’s not even 6’0”!! C’mon! Actually, Beckham would make a lot of sense here and it would surprise me at all. But Ray is a special player who could play OLB, MLB and even a tweener 4-3 DE.
1.7. 49ers – OT Ja'Wuan James. In my first mock I had the Niners taking a CB here, reaching for CB Ekpre-Olomu. San Francisco has more than a few needs. For example, Halfback. Charles Sims was an all-purpose wiz last year, but he may not be suited to an every down back role. Sims had 3 100+ yard games in his rookie season. Take away those 3 games and he averaged 2.8 yards per carry. Or Corner, where Darrelle Revis is scheduled to make $17M over the next 2 years, despite having 84 SPD. Or Offensive Tackle, where the Niners currently have only 1 under contract. I’m going to change to OT for this pick, as SF’s first priority is to protect Geno Smith.
1.8. Ravens - HB Todd Gurley. The Ravens seem poised to go RB. Last year’s starter Anthony Dixon regressed, isn’t under contract, and managed his first (and probably only) 1,000 yard season. Fun fact: Dixon currently sits atop the Ravens all-time rushing list. In my first version, I had Baltimore taking Hill. I’ve seen comments that suggest the consensus is that Gurley is better. Hill is bigger and has better acceleration, and is the best in the class at not fumbling, but Gurley likely has more upside. So Gurley it is!
1.9. Seahawks - OLB Dante Fowler. Initially I projected the Seahawks taking OLB Anthony Barr, who could still be a good target. I’ve switched this pick to Fowler as wonder if he would make a better 3-4 OLB. Either way, on paper it looks as if the Seahawks need help at Linebacker, both inside and out. The OLBs that Seattle has under contract combined for only 22 tackles in 2017.
1.10. Patriots – WR Odell Beckham, Jr. I wouldn’t be surprised if Beckham, Jr. slid past the Patriots here, but New England does the right thing and grabs this amazing talent. Don’t you just know that if he were 6’0” instead of 5’11” he’d be a Top 3 pick. C’mon people! Didn’t you see that catch he made on the TV!? Currently the Pats have 4 WRs on their roster – a Top 10 pick from 2016, a 3rd rounder, a 7th rounder, and a 31 year old undrafted free agent, with only one 1,000 yard seasons between them. May be time to get some playmakers.