It’s that time of the year, mock draft season is upon us! Going through the season with all the ups and downs your teams are taking, it’s always exciting to see what players they could possibly be bringing into the fold come draft time. And for us Dynasty/Devy enthusiasts, we can’t wait to see what our potential draft picks will look like! So without further ado, it’s time to take a look at some potential landings spot for CFB’s top stars. (Draft order taken from ESPN current league standings)
1. Cleveland Browns (0-4) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Yes you read that right, a RB sitting at #1 overall. I never thought I would do it either, but Barkley is every bit deserving of the draft selection. In actuality, the Browns would likely trade back but for this we will assume they keep it. Saquon Barkley is one of the best, if not the best, RB prospect we have seen since AP. His combination of size, speed, strength, and agility is at an elite level. He has the vision to find the running lanes and the explosion to hit them. The addition of Barkley would give the Browns offense an instant boost.
2. San Francisco 49ers (0-4) – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Some think Rosen hasn’t looked like the top QB; I think that’s bologna. Rosen, unfortunately, isn’t blessed with the weapons and offensive line to give him the support he needs. Nevertheless, Rosen has still shown the tools you look for in a franchise QB. He has poise within the pocket and isn’t afraid to stand tall and take a big shot. Rosen also has solid accuracy and arm strength allowing him to place pin point passes. He has also shown elite mental makeup as he is never rattled and has willed his team to some epic victories. Rosen should be the top QB taken and would be an excellent fit in the 49er offense.
3. Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Chargers have done a nice job plugging some holes on their team, but Rivers isn’t getting younger and his potential retirement looms over the franchise. Enter Sam Darnold. Darnold ended 2016 with many calling him the easy #1 draft pick this year but this far has been a little up and down. But Darnold continues to show poise under pressure and a very quick release. He has that awkwardly long throwing motion, but he continues to make it work. If Darnold continues to display these elite characteristics, he should be a top 5 lock.
4. New York Giants (0-4) – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
This is where things begin to get interesting. With the top 2 QB’s off the board the Giants have a decision to make; take the next best high upside QB or look elsewhere? In my opinion, the Giants can’t afford to wait on finding the replacement to Eli. Allen entered 2017 with just as much buzz as the other top prospects, but he hasn’t quite lived up to it. Regardless, Allen has maybe the most upside of anyone in this class. His arm strength and athleticism can’t go unnoticed. Drafting Allen to learn behind a 2 time Super Bowl champ is an excellent strategy the NYG front office should implement.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3) – Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Yes I know, after the first 4 picks an offensive tackle doesn’t seem too exciting. But believe me when I say, Connor Williams is an elite level OT. He is a mauler in the running game, has excellent feet, great hand usage, and adds in elite athleticism. Williams has all the tools to be a top LT in the NFL and in my opinion shows some shades of Zack Martin with the ability to move inside if need be. Williams is dealing with a knee injury at the moment but assuming he comes back at full strength, he would immensely help the Bengals offense.
6. Chicago Bears (1-3) – Derwin James, S, Florida St
After adding what they hope to be their franchise QB in 2017, the Bears can now turn their attention to other areas of need. Derwin James could potentially be the best player in this draft and is seemingly going under the radar. James is an extremely versatile safety. He has the strength and the hard hitting style to play in the box but also adds in the athleticism to get out into coverage and make plays. James is also very intelligent, knowing where to be and the angles he needs to get there. If the Bears are able to land James, he would be an instant leader and would bolster the defense.
7. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) – Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida St
The Colts have been trying to find someone to play opposite their star DB Vontae Davis, and Tavarus McFadden may be just the guy. McFadden is a tall, lengthy corner that does a great job getting his hands on balls and deflecting passes. He is also very athletic and extremely fluid in his movements allowing him to get in and out of his breaks with ease. Adding a ball hawking corner with excellent coverage skills would help solidify that Colts secondary.
8. Miami Dolphins (1-3) – Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Dolphins could decide to pull the trigger on a new quarterback, but ultimately I think they will ride it out with Tannehill going forward. Instead, they will look to add a truly elite defensive back. Fitzpatrick has experience playing both corner and safety which shows his versatility. Fitzpatrick is also very technically sound and has a knack for finding the football as he is seemingly always in the right place at the right time. The Dolphins could use a jump start on defense and Fitzpatrick is just that.
9. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
For some, this pick may be a bit early and for others it’s justification of what they have been campaigning for all off season. Either way, Jackson has made vast improvements in the passing game showing an ability to make plays from within the pocket. He also has excellent arm strength, something Bruce Arians drools over. His athleticism and ability to extend plays would be a great asset for a Cardinals team that has a struggling offensive line. This may be a slight reach, but Jackson in the Cardinals offense with the playmakers they have could prove to be a deadly combination.
10. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
It is no secret the Seahawks need help along the offensive line for both the run game and to give their franchise QB time to throw. I believe McGlinchey would help in both areas dramatically. Had McGlinchey declared after last season, he likely would have been the top OT taken off the board and rightfully so. He not only has the prototype body of an OT, but he is very technically sound. McGlinchey does an excellent job moving his feet in pass pro and uses his strength to perfection to move defenders in the run game. Look for the Seahawks to improve their offensive line with this selection.
11. Tennessee Titans (2-2) – Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College
If the board were to shake out this way, the Titans would be getting a steal landing Landry with the 11th pick. As perhaps the best all-around defensive lineman in this draft, Landry plays with aggression on every play. He has the athleticism to run down defenders and plays the run game to perfection. His pass rush is excellent as he uses an array of moves to beat linemen on his way to the QB. Landry would provide a much needed spark to the Titans defense.
12. New Orleans Saints (2-2) – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
I’ll repeat the words from the last pick, the Saints would be getting a steal landing Wilkins with the 12th pick. Wilkins is one of the more versatile interior linemen we have seen in some time. Wilkins is extremely athletic, as seen when Clemson uses him on offense. He is also very aggressive with his pass rushing as he routinely beats offensive linemen on his way to the QB. Wilkins has the ability to eat up space in the run game and a motor that never quits. The Saints could use a monster like this along their defensive front.
13. Washington Redskins (2-2) – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
For many, including myself, Guice came into the season as the top RB in CFB. Due to some injuries and inconsistent play, Guice has dropped just a bit. But make no mistake, Guice has all the makings of a RB1 at the next level. Guice blends strength and agility to perfection as he is able to beat defenders in space with ease but also drag defenders for extra yards. He uses his excellent vision and elite burst to make him a big play threat whenever he touches the ball. Behind the Redskins improved offensive line, Guice could do real damage to opposing defenses in the NFL.
14. Baltimore Ravens (2-2) – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Before the season I wouldn’t have thought the first WR wouldn’t be taken off the board until pick 14, but here we are. Courtland Sutton has seen his share of struggles, but the man has the physical abilities and upside of a high end WR1. Coming into college as a safety/tight end, Sutton has made tremendous strides in his route running ability. He also has some very deceptive speed, strong hands that he uses to high point the ball, and an elite ability at winning in 50/50 situations. Adding Sutton could give the Ravens offense the stability it needs in the passing game.
15. Cleveland Browns (via Texans:2-2) – James Washington, WR, OK State
Here we start to see the run on WRs begin! The Browns already added a stud in the backfield, here they will look to add an explosive and ultra-productive WR on the outside. Washington has made some good improvements from a trait perspective and continues to be an explosive speed freak that can stretch the defense. He also adds in some elite ball tracking ability which has lead him to be a very productive player in college. With no consistent threat at WR, the Browns should look to a player like Washington to help Kizer and that offense grow.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
I’m sure many will thank this is too high, but they are wrong! Ridley still shows some top level WR traits that will translate to the NFL. He is very explosive and can take the top off the defense at any moment but also adds in some high level route running to go along with it. His age will make many pause on selecting him, but talent is talent. Ridley would be a nice compliment to Dez Bryant and another explosive weapon for Dak to throw to.
17. New England Patriots (2-2) – Bradley Chubb, Edge, NC State
We aren’t used to seeing the Patriots draft this high and by the end of the season this certainly may change. As for Bradley Chubb, he is a fast rising edge prospect that could go even higher come draft time and would add some much needed pass rushing to the Pats defense. Chubb is an explosive player off the edge that does a great job finding creases in the defense and gets up field quickly. He combines good hand usage and strength to push back offensive lineman. Chubb would be an instant improvement to a struggling Pats defense.
18. Minnesota Vikings (2-2) – Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
Once thought of as an easy top 5 pick, Jefferson has slid just a little bit as he has struggled to show out this season. But regardless, Jefferson has just as much upside as any player in this draft and could be a top LB for years to come. Jefferson is extremely athletic giving him the ability to get sideline to sideline and run down defenders. Jefferson has also shown top run stopping ability and could be an absolute force on the Vikings defense.
19. New York Jets (2-2) – Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
In a season where most thought the Jets would be tanking, here they sit at #19 at 2-2 on the year. Unfortunately, they miss out on one of the top QBs but here are lucky enough to land a big time offensive lineman. Orlando Brown is a physical freak with a ton of upside in both the run and pass game. He is already a mover in the run game showing great tenacity. The Jets would be wise to shore up their offensive line to give their future QB some stability whenever they find him.
20. Oakland Raiders (2-2) – Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio St
The Oakland Raiders have done an excellent job over the years at building a top end roster with not many glaring needs. They have the luxury of taking a high upside LB like Jerome Baker with the 20th pick. Baker is a bit undersized, but more than makes up for it with his athleticism and elite instincts for the position. Baker has excellent range getting sideline to sideline quickly and would be a great compliment to some already high end pass rushers.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) – Marcus Allen, S, Penn St
Here we have another team that not many would peg to be picking at #21 prior to the season beginning. But here they are and here they land a high end safety to shore up the back end of their defense. Allen brings in excellent size for the position and great athleticism to fly around the field. He also has elite level instincts allowing him to make big plays in the passing game. Adding Allen to their secondary would really shore up their defense as a whole.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) – Arden Key, Edge, LSU
Coming into the season, many had Arden Key pegged as a top 5 pick and many had him as their #1 overall player. Unfortunately, Key he and the LSU defense have had their fair share of struggles to start the season. But nevertheless, Key still has tremendous upside at the edge position. He is one of the most athletic players in this draft and does a great job bending the edge in his pass rush. If Key could live up to the hype, he would be an excellent complement to McCoy in the middle.
23. Green Bay Packers (3-1) – Dorance Armstrong, Edge, Kansas
The Green Bay Packers don’t have many needs, especially on offense, so here they find one of the more underrated players in this year’s class. Armstrong is a special blend of physicality and athleticism leading him to be a major disruption to opposing backfields. Armstrong does a great job bending around the edge and has an excellent motor to keep getting after the QB. He would be another great young addition to an already great Packers teams.
24. Atlanta Falcons (3-1) – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Falcons, the defending NFC champs, are lucky enough to not have many holes in their team. Here they grab a big time space eater on the defensive line. Vita Vea has elite hand usage and drive as he is able to constantly move the offensive line back. Vea also does an excellent job getting off blockers in his pursuit in the run game. Adding Vea to a young, talented defense would be a huge asset to an already top level team.
25. Denver Broncos (3-1) – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
With an already stellar defensive unit, the Broncos should turn their attention to the offensive side of the ball. There is a lot of uncertainty seemingly each year about their QB situation but it is important to shore up the offensive line first. Nelson is easily the top OG in this class and should probably be drafted higher than this. Nelson is very athletic and does a great job getting out to blockers in space where he is a mauler in the run game. Nelson could be an instant starter for this Broncos team.
26. Carolina Panthers (3-1) – Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Seems like every year we are searching for players to help improve the Panther offensive line so hopefully this year they will do so with the drafting of Mitch Hyatt. Hyatt is a monster offensive lineman that has great footwork and does an excellent job getting off the ball in both pass protection and the run game. He has good hand usage and does a good job anchoring. Hyatt would be a great start to protecting their franchise QB.
27. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) – Auden Tate, WR, Florida St
Looks like the Rams have finally found their QB of the future, so why not give him some more weapons? The Rams added Watkins this year and adding a tower like Auden Tate would be a great compliment. Tate is a big, physical WR with excellent athleticism and some very strong hands. He has a good leaping ability and arm length making him a nightmare match up when the ball is up for grabs. He would, at the very least, be an excellent red zone threat for the Rams but could quickly turn into a top end WR.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) – Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
The Steelers have one of the more explosive offenses in the league and here will look to continue to add to the defensive side of the ball. Ronnie Harrison is a very rangy and versatile safety that can play anywhere. He has the ball skills and athleticism to play the passing game at a high level but also the physicality to play in the box and stop the run.
29. Detroit Lions (3-1) – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Lions have been looking for someone to pair with Slay at the CB spot and may have found their man. Jaire Alexander has established himself as one of the top ball hawking corners in CFB and uses his length to make it happen. Alexander also does a great job in coverage tracking the ball and mirroring the defenders. The Lions need a guy like Alexander when facing teams like the Packers twice a year.
30. Buffalo Bills (3-1) – Luke Falk, QB, Washington St
This may be controversial as some are very fond of Tyrod while others are not. But until they make a definitive move with him, drafting a QB will be in their future. Luke Falk is one of the underrated players cracking the 1st round but shows all the traits you want in a high end QB. He does an excellent job working from within the pocket and is a great decision maker. He has seemed to improve his arm strength and gets the ball out quickly. If the Bills move on from Taylor, look for them to bring in a guy like Falk.
31. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) – Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Through 5 games, Bryce Love has FLOWN up draft boards and into the Heisman talk as well. The Eagles should take notice and grab him to help boost the run game and take the pressure off their star QB. Love has shown excellent vision and is very explosive as he gets up the field quickly. He has the speed to break off huge runs and the strength to shed defenders. Love could end up being the best RB from this class and it wouldn’t shock me.
32. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs:4-0) – Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville
With the last pick in the 1st round, the Bills will again look to add to their offense and fill the void Sammy Watkins left. Jaylen Smith is a tall and physical WR with some elite level ball tracking ability. He is also a speed demon that can fly by defenders, which is unexpected for a guy his size. A healthy Smith would be an excellent addition and a much needed target for whoever they start at QB.