Updated October 5
1. Jaguars – Leonard Williams – DE/DT – USC – Scouting Report
If the Jaguars land the top pick, you can bet they’ll try hard to shop it to the quarterback-needy teams. If they stay put, it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll target the top offensive or defensive lineman. As of right now Leonard Williams looks like that guy. He isn’t an explosive edge rusher, but he has the same type of skill set that has made J.J. Watt the game’s most dominant defensive player.
2. Raiders – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State – Scouting Report
The off-field stuff will factor into Winston’s scouting report and some teams will probably choose to steer clear in the first round. I can’t imagine the Raiders would be one of those teams, however. Mark Davis will want to make a splash this offseason, and Winston would certainly bring the attention of the NFL media back to Oakland.
3. Buccaneers – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon – Scouting Report
Lovie Smith is getting an extended look at Mike Glennon, and it will probably lead him to throw in the towel on the former third-round pick. Mariota doesn’t quite have the raw tools that Winston possesses, but he’s far less of a risk. He’s praised by coaches for his work ethic and leadership on and off the field and should be capable of stepping into an immediate starting role.
4. Vikings – Shawn Oakman – DE – Baylor
The Vikings have been fairly conservative in the draft, so many this is off-base, but Oakman’s raw talent is going to entice someone to gamble on his upside early in the draft. Another weapon for Bridgewater would certainly be the ideal option here but if the Vikings are selecting this early, there isn’t a receiver (no, not even Cooper) that warrants top-five consideration this year.
5. Brett Hundley – QB – UCLA – Scouting Report
Despite a slow start to his season, I’m not throwing in the towel on Hundley’s status as an elite prospect. He possesses all the natural physical tools and he is going to impress during the interview process. Hundley definitely needs to be more consistent on the field, but if he ends his career on a high note, his stock will continue to rise during the offseason evaluation process.
6. Titans – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa – Scouting Report
Scherff is arguably the safest prospect in this draft class. He doesn’t have the elite athleticism of most top left tackle prospects, but he has the dominant strength and consistent fundamentals to play at a high level immediately. This pick wouldn’t turn things around immediately for Tennessee, but it’s a building block they need to put in place.
7. Texans – Connor Cook – QB – Michigan State
Cook is going to get drafted much higher than his collegiate performance would indicate. Maybe it’ll turn into Blaine Gabbert situation, but when you have skills like this, you end up hearing your name called early. Bill O’Brien passed on a quarterback last year, but it’s hard to imagine he’d let another draft go buy without picking out a guy to groom for the future.
8. Browns – Cedric Ogbuehi – OT – Texas A&M – Scouting Report
The Browns offensive line has actually played extremely well this year, but Mitchell Schwartz remains a weak link on the right side. The Browns need make sure their pass-protection is up for the challenge of blocking for Manziel once he takes over, and adding Ogbuehi to play opposite Joe Thomas would certainly help the cause.
9. Redskins – Landon Collins – S – Alabama
The Bucs have a lot of fun toys to play with on offense, but they lack the glue to hold it all together. Until the offensive line comes together, they may have a hard time taking that next step. Scherff looks like a 1st round lock entering the season.
10. Dolphins – Dante Fowler Jr. – DE/LB – Florida – Scouting Report
The Dolphins have a number of holes, but it would be tough to pass up on a pass-rusher like Fowler. He’s arguably the most well-rounded pass-rusher in this class in terms of his ability to win with both speed and strength. Cameron Wake turns 33 in January, so it would be a good time to add some youth to the front seven.
11. Browns – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – Scouting Report
Cooper is among the most players in the college game, but he won’t go quite as high as you might expect. Top-10 receivers need elite size or speed, and Cooper has neither. That said, he’s still a valuable weapon and has the fundamentals to contribute immediately. He would be a great addition next to Josh Gordon.
12. Giants – Randy Gregory – DE – Nebraska
The Giants once dominant pass-rush is a shell of its former self. Their front seven needs a youth movement, and Gregory would be a solid choice to be groomed as Mathias Kiwanuka’s eventual replacement. Gregory hasn’t quite lived up to expectations this year, but his raw talent should still earn him a spot in the first round.
13. Chiefs – Marcus Peters – CB – Washington
The Chiefs secondary has been a mess this season, and it could be one of the key reasons they don’t make it back to the playoffs. Peters comes with some character concerns, but his talent will land him in the first round. Adding Peters would allow the Chiefs to bump Marcus Cooper from his starting role where he has been overmatched this year.
14. Jets – Todd Gurley – RB – Georgia
Gurley is a stud, but how high will he go in the draft? He likely to get first-round grades from some teams, but will those grades match up with those who need a running back? The Jets have been willing to spend money on the running back position in recent years, so I’m betting they’re one of the few teams who still view it as a position worth targeting early in the draft.
15. Cowboys – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan State
The Cowboys could target any defensive position, but adding a cornerback should be high on their to-do list this offseason – especially if Morris Claiborne continues to look like a bust. Waynes has the height (6’1″) that many teams are intrigued by in defensive backs these days which should help his draft stock.
16. Steelers – Vic Beasley – LB – Clemson
The Steelers have some talent at linebacker but depth is a serious issue. Jason Worilds is a free agent after the season, and if he isn’t re-signed this becomes an even bigger area of concern. Beasley is among the top pass-rushers in this class and would be a perfect fit for the Steelers scheme.