01. St. Louis Rams — QB Jared Goff, California
You don’t trade six high draft picks unless you’re taking a quarterback. So, is it Wentz or Goff? I don’t think anyone outside of a few people in L.A. know the answer to that, but my gut tells me Goff. He’s does not have the higher upside, but he’s more ready to play and is very smooth and calm in the pocket. He has struggled a bit with accuracy, but that’s something he will fix. He’s leaner in the lower body than most teams like, but his arm strength and smarts are more important. The real issue is that he spent his entire college career in the shotgun or pistol so it will take him some time to get his footwork right for the NFL game.
02. Philadelphia Eagles — QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Wentz probably has a higher upside than Goff because he’s the better athlete, but he’s not as ready and is more of a wild card. The Eagles, it seems, are going to load up on quarterbacks. They threw $18 million a year for two years at Sam Bradford, who has never done anything. They gave $7 million per year to Chase Daniels, a career backup. Now they’ve traded a bunch of draft picks — right into 2018 — for, probably, Wentz or Goff. One of these three guys better be The One or the Eagles will be paying for this trade for years.
03. San Diego Chargers — OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
The franchise left tackle this blocking-challenged offense needs falls to the Chargers, who get, arguably, the best player in the Draft and all they had to do is sit on their hands and wait for him to fall to them.
04. Dallas Cowboys — DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
The Cowboys need to improve that defense and Ramsey is probably the best defender in this draft. The Cowboys, like most teams, are high on Ramsey and he’s good value at four.
05. Jacksonville Jaguars — DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
The Jags were all offense and no defense last season. Now they can add Dante Fowler, last year’s top pick, with Bosa and get a real pass rush for once. That might be enough in the terrible AFC South.
06. Baltimore Ravens — DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Baltimore’s pass rush was not a strong point last season and a big part of the problem with the secondary was the lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They’ll be tempted to take Tunsil here if he falls that far, but in the end I think they’ll grab the second-best pass rusher in the draft. Bucker, the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, is a perfect fit with his thick, NFL-ready frame and the ability to rush the passer with his hand in the dirt.
07. San Francisco 49ers — OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
A team that has question marks all over its offense solves at least one problem, finding a stud left tackle. Stanley is almost as talented as Tunsil and should lock down that position for a decade. Of course, that doesn’t solve the problems of who is going to throw the ball and who will catch it, but one thing at a time.
08. Cleveland Browns — ILB Myles Jack
A team that needs everything decided to trade down and get more picks. The Browns have done a lot of that and gotten very little value for those trades and picks, but grabbing Jack this far down is great value. His stock has slipped a bit due to injury concerns, but assuming his medical checks out, the Browns are getting a stud linebacker who will be the captain of their defense for years to come. Trading back again, possibly with the Titans, would not surprise me.
09. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Lawson led the nation in tackles for loss and is exactly the sort of playmaking defender the Bucs badly need.
10. New York Giants — RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
The Giants have a ton of running backs, but no one that scares a defense. Elliott is a terrific runner, receiver and blocker. He will be a big and immediate upgrade at the position for the Giants and their offense.
11. Chicago Bears — OLB Leonard Floyd
Very athletic linebacker with great potential as a pass rusher though he needs a lot of coaching and refinement. Can also play the run well. A good addition to the Fox/Fangio defense.
12. New Orleans Saints — DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Rankins will provide some interior pass rush and stout run defense.
13. Miami Dolphins — CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
I could also see a linebacker, but Apple fills a position of need and he appears to be moving up draft boards.
14. Oakland Raiders — DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
He’s a huge talent and a huge risk, but if the Raiders are trying to build one of the best defenses in the league, he might be the smart pick.
15. Tennessee Titans — OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
If they don’t trade back into the top 10 to get Tunsil or Stanley, the Titans stick here and get the third-best left tackle in the Draft.
16. Detroit Lions — DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
A big, powerful run-stuffer next to Haloti Ngata to get that Detroit defense back near the top of the heap.
17. Atlanta Falcons — OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
It continues to be a very good draft for Ohio State. [Maybe they should have won the national championship, eh?] The Falcons have a lot of needs on defense
18. Indianapolis Colts — OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
And it just gets better for the Buckeyes. Andrew Luck cannot take the beating he took last year.
19. Buffalo Bills — DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Rex Reed needs to re-establish his defensive guru bona fides after last year’s disastrous performance. Rebuilding his defensive line should be job 1.
20. New York Jets — ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Ragland is a dominant run stuffer who does pretty well in coverage and is a tremendous value at this spot.
21. Washington Redskins — WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
The Skins will trade down if they can, but if they are forced to stick I think GM Scot McCloughan will pass up a defensive lineman like A’Shawn Robinson and go for the value pick in Treadwell. He’s no speed burner, but he runs good routes, has sticky hands and tremendous ball skills. Both of Washington’s starting wideouts will be free agents after 2016 and Treadwell would be an excellent replacement for at least one of them. This is going to start a run on wideouts…
22. Houston Texans — WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
The Texans need a speedy wideout to go with DeAndre Hopkins and Coleman, whatever his faults may be, has got speed to burn.
23. Minnesota Vikings — WR Josh Doctson, TCU
They need a wideout. Josh Doctson is a wideout. A pretty good one, too, with the size NFL clubs like.
24. Cincinnati Bengals — WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
The loss of wideouts Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu leave the cats desperate for a receiver. Fuller’s got all the speed you can want, but his hands are suspect, which is why he falls to 24.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers — CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
The Steelers are still rebuilding their suspect secondary and Alexander would be a very nice fit in that defense.
26. Seattle Seahawks — DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
Here’s my dark horse for the first round. He’s fast and explosive and, I think, moving sharply up the draft charts for some teams.
27. Green Bay Packers — NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
A big, almost immovable force in the middle and good value for a team that thrives on finding good value in the draft year after year.
28. Kansas City Chiefs — CB William Jackson III, Houston
Things panned out with Marcus Peters last year so why not go back to that position? It’s actually a position of need for KC and Jackson 3 has great instincts and is the sort of rangy cornerback teams love to have.
29. Arizona Cardinals — C Ryan Kelly, Notre Dame
Keeping QB Carson Palmer in good health and building up that running game means continuing invest in the offensive line and Kelly is clearly the draft’s best center. Paxton Lynch is a possibility here if the Cards are concerned about finding a QB to take over for Palmer in a couple of years.
30. Carolina Panthers — FS Vonn Bell, Ohio State
The sixth and final Buckeye of the first round is Bell, who adds much-needed athleticism and the ability to play center field and range from sideline to sideline.
31. Denver Broncos — QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Clearly, the Broncos don’t want Mark Sanchez to be their future at QB. With Lynch, Sanchez might start only one season. Lynch is definitely not ready in 2016, though.