Barring a terrible showing at the combine, just about everyone expects that Bosa will be going first. And it’s easy to see why. Bosa’s has a bevy of rush moves in his arsenal that will him disengaged from blocks incredibly quickly. These block-shedding techniques, coupled with his elite athleticism, should be all it takes to see him off the board first.
2. Greedy Williams CB - LSU
San Francisco 49ers
While the 49ers need defensive line help, I doubt they will draft in that direction again because they’ve invested so many recent draft picks in that position. It makes more sense for them to further develop their young D-line before trying to replace any. Therefore, I envision that they will address another need: their secondary. Greedy Williams is very solid in coverage and has great ball skills. Drafting Williams will also work in favor of the 49ers' developing defensive line - as his ability to lock down his assignment will provide the line more time to get to the quarterback.
3. Josh Allen EDGE - KENTUCKY
New York Jets
Adam Gase’s only offensive first round pick was Laremy Tunsil, a tackle. With that in mind, they’ll almost definitely go defense here. Since they supposedly want to give Leonard Williams someone to rush the passer with, I think they will select Josh Allen with the 3rd pick. Allen is arguably the best pass rusher in the draft and would be a huge help to a defense that was merely average at rushing the passer last season - tied for sixteenth with 39 sacks.
4. Quinnen Williams DT - ALABAMA
The Raiders were one of the worst defensive units in the league by every metric. With that being said, there is little doubt that they will draft a player on this side of the ball. Quinnen Williams is a fantastic pass rusher, especially for the defensive tackle position, and will be a huge boost in stopping the run game. For a team that needs quality defensive players, Williams is a step in the right direction.
5. Rashan Gary EDGE - MICHIGAN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After being 19th in sacks last season, the Bucs will want to help their defensive line. At the 5 spot, Gary will likely be the best pass rusher available. Gary's appeal is that he combines physicality with skill. While his numbers weren’t as high as many had hoped, he should do spectacularly at the combine and that will raise his stock to where taking him at #5 is reasonable.
6. Jonah Williams OT - ALABAMA
New York Giants
The Giants desperately need help in two primary categories: Offensive Line and Quarterback. Williams is a strong blocker who rarely allowed players past him in college. He may not have a prototypical build for the position, but he’s a very strong player and he should give Eli Manning enough time in the pocket to play like a competent quarterback again.
7. Dwayne Haskins QB - OHIO STATE
Dwayne Haskins is a very accurate pocket passer who has showed better decision making than Blake Bortles ever has. The Jaguars have talented pieces, but it became evident last season that Bortles may not be the quarterback they hoped for. With the Bortles-Era reaching its collapse, the Jaguars will either try for Foles or Haskins.
8. Clelin Ferrell EDGE - CLEMSON
The Lions probably aren’t ecstatic with their position here. They desperately need a pass rusher, but most of the popular ones are off the board by the time the 8th spot comes around. With A’shawn Robinson and Damon Harrison at DT, they won’t be taking Ed Oliver. Therefore, I think they'll go with Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell is a fantastic pass rusher who was the best player on the best defensive line in the country last year.
9. Juwaan Taylor OT - FLORIDA
Originally, I had Greg Little from Ole Miss here. However, I’ve heard that scouts laugh at people who think he’s a first round prospect. Still, the Bills desperately need help along the offensive line, so I have them taking Taylor instead. Taylor is a mobile blocker who should help the offensive line on its quest to becoming competent again.
10. Drew Lock QB - MISSOURI
Multiple league sources say that the Broncos love Lock. They may have traded for Joe Flacco, but they still need a quarterback as Flacco is likely nothing more than an expensive stopgap. While I am not sold on Lock, I think that he has a chance to be a top 10 player. He needs to develop further - I see him as the 3rd best quarterback in a very weak QB draft. His accuracy leaves room for improvement, as does his read progression. If he can get those major aspects to where they need to be, he’ll be very good.
11. Devin Bush LB - MICHIGAN
The Bengals had one of the worst linebacking corps in the league, to the point where every single one of their linebackers graded as below average by PFF. Bush is a great linebacker, both in the run game and in coverage, and he should do a lot to improve a defense that finished last in the NFL in yards allowed per game.
12. Kyler Murray QB - OKLAHOMA
PREDICTION: GB TRADES 12th PICK TO WSH
Washington Selects Kyler Murray.
The Redskins are in dire need of quarterback help after Alex Smith’s gruesome injury, so they’ll make this trade to jump above the Dolphins. Murray might be the most accurate quarterback in the draft and he’s definitely the most mobile. The Redskins only had four games with more than 21 points. If Kyler can translate his game to the NFL, then he's their answer. Murray delivered more than 3 touchdowns in nine of his fourteen games last year. He can drastically increase the offense’s production, which will be incredibly beneficial to their incredible defense from the beginning of last year.
13. Daniel Jones QB - DUKE
I’m still not sold on Daniel Jones, but he’s popular in scouting circles. And with Murray and Lock going before him, he's the last first round quarterback on the board. He’s an accurate prospect with a bit of mobility. In the NFL, the Dolphins will look for Jones to develop into a better QB than Ryan Tannehill - which shouldn’t be too hard.
14. Ed Oliver DT - HOUSTON
After suffering injuries throughout the defense last year, the Falcons could use some help. Grady Jarrett is on the last year of his deal and could be on the move. At worst, Oliver provides a very strong replacement for Jarrett in the case that he leaves. At best, Jarret and Oliver will rival Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh as the best interior defensive line corps in the NFL.
15. Montez Sweat DE - MISSISSIPPI STATE
PREDICTION: WSH TRADES 15th PICK TO GB
Green Bay Selects Montez Sweat
Sweat is one of the best prospects in this draft and his Senior Bowl week proved that. He’s a versatile rusher who should be fantastic in the NFL. It feels weird having him this low, but Derwin James dropped last year. Plus, this year's draft contains so many elite defensive linemen that it’s not unreasonable to suggest that one of the best will drop.
16. TJ Hockenson TE - IOWA
Cam Newton has relied on his tight ends for most of his career so I have the Panthers taking the first tight end off the board. Greg Olsen was injured twice last season and getting up in age - turning 34 in early March. Hockenson is an elite tight end prospect, both in blocking and in the pass game. He should be a weapon for Newton and his blocking will open up space for Christian McCaffrey.
17. D.K. Metcalf WR - OLE MISS
I had been afraid of D.K. Metcalf as a prospect because of his neck injury. Then, this image came out and I was simply afraid of him. He’s a strong (obviously) receiver who can get downfield and make catches anywhere. He’s also a red zone threat, which the Browns desperately need.
18. Dalton Risner OT - KSU
The Vikings had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year, which contributed to Kirk Cousins’ mediocre season. While Risner isn’t the best run blocker, he might be the best pass blocker in the draft.
19. Irv Smith Jr. TE - ALABAMA
Irv Smith is the premier receiving tight end in this class. Delanie Walker is getting older and has been injured recently. If Smith has a chance to play under Walker and is willing to learn, he’ll be among the best tight ends in the league for years to come. Smith's biggest downside is his blocking ability. However, even though he's never been a physical blocker, he’s been able to get the job done.
20. Devin White ILB - LSU
Devin White is a thrilling physical specimen with great instincts for the linebacker position. In college, he was often the first to the ball. He's also fully capable of staying with other players in coverage. With Shazier still gone for the foreseeable future, White could become the next great Steelers linebacker.
21. Chris Lindstrom OG - BOSTON COLLEGE
Lindstrom is a very good run blocker and a very proficient pass blocker. Against Clemson, he was very perceptive of stunts and never let anyone through. All of these traits would be incredibly beneficial to a terrible Seattle offensive line that nearly cost the team a playoff bid.
22. Hakeem Butler WR - IOWA STATE
Set to be Iowa State’s second ever first round pick, Hakeem Butler is a fantastic athlete with a solid build and a huge catch radius. His drops scare me the most - with Butler having a Josh Allen-like propensity to make easy catches look hard and hard catches look easy. With time, his technique may catch up with his athleticism. Nevertheless, Hakeem Butler is a gifted player who should help the Ravens open up the pass game in the new Lamar Jackson-era.
23. Andre Dillard OT - WASHINGTON STATE
Deshaun Watson was sacked a league high 62 times last season. Andre Dillard is an elite pass blocker who can help Deshaun Watson stay up. The only reason the Texans won’t take Dillard is if he’s already off the board. If he is, don’t be shocked to see them reach for Chuma Edoga from USC. Edoga only allowed one pressure in his senior year and is a great blocker, despite being one of the most penalized players in the nation. Andre Dillard is the obvious choice here for Texans, but it may be too good to be true.
24. N'keal Harry WR - ASU
N'keal Harry is a very good receiver who routinely makes circus grabs. He’s sure-handed and a brilliant route runner when he tries. He can occasionally play lazy, but Gruden won’t let him. He'll have to recognize that he can’t rely on physical skills alone in the NFL career.
25. Zach Allen DE/DT - BOSTON COLLEGE
While the Eagles have other needs, their Super Bowl run came on the heels of their fantastic defense, led by a fearsome pass-rush. If their wishy-washy offense can be carried by a fantastic defense, the Eagles may need to double down. With many in their rotation over 30, it’s time for them to invest in their future. Zach Allens will add fresh legs to a solid, yet aging, defense.
26. AJ Brown WR - OLE MISS
While T.Y. Hilton has been amazing, he needs help. He’s currently the only receiver the Colts have who can realistically be considered a threat. That needs to change, especially with Andrew Luck at the helm of the offense. Brown is excellent, no matter where he is on the field, and he should do a great job with one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing to him.
27. Jachai Polite EDGE - FLORIDA
Yes, I already have the Raiders taking Quinnen Williams. Adding Polite gives their defense a very promising future. Polite is a great speed rusher who’s got some power to him. Pairing him with Maurice Hurst and Quinnen Williams will give the Raiders a fearsome line for years to come.
28. Christian Wilkins DT - CLEMSON
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are lucking out here because Wilkins is one of the best players in the draft at arguably their biggest need. He’s a dominant force who easily disrupts plays on a regular basis. Considering that the Chargers’ top four defensive tackles are headed to free agency - and it’s already the weakest part of their roster - this is the best possible situations for both parties.
29. DeAndre Baker CB - GEORGIA
Kansas City Chiefs
After their predictable collapse against the Patriots, it’s clear that the Chiefs need to drastically improve their defense. The Chiefs had a surprisingly competent pass defense last year, but it needs to be better. DeAndre Baker may be the best in coverage amongst everyone in this draft, providing the Chiefs with much-needed defensive help.
30. Deionte Thompson S - ALABAMA
Green Bay Packers
After trading away Ha-Ha Clinton Dix last season, the Packers desperately need a safety to shore up their secondary. They picked up two corners last year, so we know they are committed to improving their secondary. Deionte Thompson is probably the best safety available for Green Bay.
31. Ben Burr-Kirven ILB - WASHINGTON
Los Angeles Rams
Burr-Kirven isn’t expected to go in the first round, but he might be the best player available here. Burr-Kirven might also be the best coverage linebacker in the draft. He’s also a solid run stopper. That versatility will be greatly valued by Wade Phillips. With Cory Littleton as their current ILB1, they could use an upgrade, and I think Burr-Kirven is that upgrade.
32. Nasir Adderley S - DELAWARE
New England Patriots
Both Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty are 31 and, having been born six days apart, both will be 32 by the time the season starts. Belichick likes Duron Harmon, but he’s 28. Adderley is an athletic safety who shines in coverage and should be an excellent future replacement to Devin McCourty.