#1 Tennessee Titans — Joey Bosa (DE, Ohio State)
The Titans have a good, young left tackle and spent a high second round pick on Dorial Green-Beckham. They have some support for Marcus Mariota and should appoint an open-minded, creative Head Coach (the newly-available Chip Kelly anyone?). Taking Bosa gives them a defensive cornerstone.
#2 Cleveland Browns — Paxton Lynch (QB, Memphis)
It seems inevitable that the Browns will part ways with Johnny Manziel creating another gaping hole at quarterback. You can win with Lynch. He’s big, athletic and accurate — a poor mans Cam Newton.
#3 San Diego Chargers — Laremy Tunsil (T, Ole Miss)
The #1 priority has to be to protect an ageing Philip Rivers. The Chargers’ O-line lacks talent. Tunsil addresses a big need at left tackle. He missed most of the 2015 season but played well against Texas A&M’s explosive Myles Garrett.
#4 Dallas Cowboys — Jaylon Smith (LB, Notre Dame)
The Cowboys are better than their record suggests and have the luxury of taking possibly the best overall prospect in the draft. Jaylon Smith is incredibly athletic and instinctive and could be an instant star in the NFL.
#5 San Francisco 49ers — Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)
They’re going through a major transition and just don’t have enough talent. Throwing a rookie quarterback into the mix is a recipe for disaster. This looks like a three or four year rebuild. If the Niners want character — White was given the coveted #18 jersey at LSU. He’s also an excellent kick returner.
#6 Jacksonville Jaguars — DeForest Buckner (DE, Oregon)
The Jags are getting closer. There’s plenty of offensive power on the roster. They’ll get Dante Fowler back in 2016 — why not add a compliment in the versatile Buckner? He quietly accumulated 9.5 sacks this season.
#7 Miami Dolphins — Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)
Apple doesn’t get beat over the top. He’ll give up some receptions underneath and people overreact. He doesn’t give up big plays, he can be a physical tackler and he has the deep speed to mirror perfectly.
#8 Baltimore Ravens — Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
They’ve given up on Eugene Monroe. Coleman was the best tackle in college football in 2015. He will turn 25 in 2016 and that could put some teams off. He battled cancer before returning to football. A born winner who plays with intensity and grit every snap.
#9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Cam Sutton (CB, Tennessee)
A fluid, natural athlete who could be one of the stars of the combine. Sutton has the potential to be an explosive playmaker at the cornerback position. He jumps off the screen when you watch the Vols.
#10 New York Giants — Myles Jack (LB, UCLA)
The Giants need some defensive stalwarts to build around. Jack is recovering from a knee injury but should be ready for the start of the 2016 season. He played running back in college too. He’s rangy and explosive.
#11 New Orleans Saints — Jared Goff (QB, California)
The Saints have been gradually rebuilding for a year or so. Sean Payton appears to be nearing the end. Drew Brees’ cap hit is $30m and they can save $20m by parting ways. Unless they come to some sort of agreement here — it could be time for the ultimate fresh start. New coach, new quarterback.
#12 Philadelphia Eagles — Tim Williams (DE, Alabama)
They aren’t getting enough edge rush. Tim Williams is one of the most underrated players in college football and could easily declare after the playoffs. He reminds me a little of Bruce Irvin, who also went in this range. Williams mentioned today he won’t declare — but we’ll wait until the deadline passes to completely rule him out.
#13 Detroit Lions — Taylor Decker (T, Ohio State)
It’d be very tempting to go defense here — but the Lions have to do a better job protecting their talented quarterback. Decker could fill in at either tackle spot or guard.
#14 Chicago Bears — Darron Lee (LB, Ohio State)
I love watching Lee play. He’s a sparky playmaker with range. He’s not the same type of unreal athlete as Ryan Shazier but he’s a more instinctive linebacker and would be a great fit for the Bears.
#15 Indianapolis Colts — Jack Conklin (T, Michigan State)
Andrew Luck was battered and bruised every week until the inevitable injury. Conklin would provide an ideal bookend for Anthony Castonzo.
#16 Buffalo Bills — Robert Nkemdiche (DE, Ole Miss)
There’s just too much going on with Nkemdiche — coupled with an underwhelming college career that promised much more. He won’t fall too far because he’s an incredible talent. Someone daring will take a punt. In this case — it’s Rex Ryan.
#17 Oakland Raiders — Jaylen Ramsey (CB, Florida State)
I’m not quite as sold on Ramsey as some others. He’s a bit of a tweener. There are good and bad plays on tape. The Raiders will need to bolster their secondary as an off-season priority.
#18 St. Louis Rams — Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)
The receivers in general drop a bit here — but this is where the rush begins. With the top two quarterbacks off the board, the Rams try to upgrade their passing game with Treadwell.
#19 Atlanta Falcons — Corey Coleman (WR, Baylor)
The Falcons can rely on Julio Jones — but imagine pairing him with Coleman? Even Matt Ryan can settle down with that duo. Dan Quinn might prefer to improve his defense in free agency (Bruce Irvin anyone?).
#20 Pittsburgh Steelers — Ronnie Stanley (T, Notre Dame)
I’m not a fan of Stanley and think he’s massively overrated. Pittsburgh have a way of doing things. That has generally meant using early picks on linebackers and the O-line over the last few years.
#21 Washington — Michael Thomas (WR, Ohio State)
He deserves more credit and could go earlier than this. His double-move to score a TD against Kendall Fuller in week one was a thing of beauty. He could be a big riser. Tall, fast, wins 1v1 and he’s able to get downfield.
#22 Houston Texans — Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)
They desperately need a quarterback but qualifying for the playoffs and picking as late as this makes it difficult. Will Bill O’Brien take a punt on Christian Hackenburg in the middle rounds? Elliott is explosive and brilliant — he deserves to go in round one.
#23 Seattle Seahawks — Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
Since 2011 the Seahawks have consistently taken unique athletes early (Irvin, Wagner, Harvin via trade, Michael, Richardson, Graham via trade, Clark, Lockett). It’d be a departure from their established approach to do anything different here. Fuller is sudden, technically gifted and has a fantastic demeanour. A true pro.
#24 New York Jets — Leonard Floyd (OLB, Georgia)
Floyd is a nice athlete but he hasn’t been productive or disruptive enough to warrant some of the praise he gets. He’s a developmental project with upside. He’d fit nicely as an OLB in the 3-4.
#25 Kansas City Chiefs — Kendall Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
He’d go earlier without the injury. He might take some time to recover. The Chiefs are good enough to wait — and imagine fielding Fuller in the slot or opposite Marcus Peters? Scary.
#26 Minnesota Vikings — De’Runnya Wilson (WR, Mississippi State)
They’re not getting a lot out of their receivers other than Stefon Diggs. Wilson is a big target similar to Kelvin Benjamin. Maybe Teddy Bridgewater needs a safety net like this?
#27 Green Bay Packers — Adolphus Washington (DE, Ohio State)
Another year — another Packers defense that looks a bit soft and struggles to impact games. Washington is disruptive and plays with an edge — but he’s streaky and dips in and out. He lurches from impactful to anonymous.
#28 Cincinnati Bengals — Mackensive Alexander (CB, Clemson)
Pacman Jones won’t go on forever and Dre Kirkpatrick has been a predictable disappointment. Alexander could go earlier than this and would provide some value here.
#29 Denver Broncos — Carson Wentz (QB, North Dakota State)
They don’t seem entirely sold on Brock Osweiler. Maybe it’s best to keep him another year and let him compete with a guy like Wentz? He’s tall, strong and mobile enough to run Gary Kubiak’s relentless bootlegs.
#30 Arizona Cardinals — Germain Ifedi (T, Texas A&M)
They might stop drafting O-liners early after selecting the disappointing Jonathan Cooper and D.J. Humphries. Or maybe they keep trying? Ifedi is a mountain of a man with minimal body fat.
#31 Carolina Panthers — Tyler Boyd (WR, Pittsburgh)
I’m desperate to fit Boyd into the top-25. What a player. The heart and soul of the Pitt Panthers. Just a brilliant receiver who knows how to get open. If he tests well at the combine — watch out. He will fly up the board.
Seahawks projection — picks R1-3
Round one — Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
The Seahawks like difference makers early in the draft with unique athletic qualities. Fuller ticks that box better than anyone else available in this projection. Jermaine Kearse is due to enter free agency, Doug Baldwin has one more year left on his contract and Paul Richardson has so far been unable to stay healthy.
Round two — Eric Striker (LB, Oklahoma)
When the Seahawks chose not to take up the fifth year on Bruce Irvin’s contract — despite having the cap room to comfortably keep him — it was a sign that they’re willing to let him test the market. If he moves on they’ll need a replacement. Striker is a dynamic, athletic and productive linebacker who can rush the passer.
Round three — Adam Bisnowaty (T, Pittsburgh)
He wears #69 and has the same body shape as Evan Mathis. He’s also a former four-star recruit who played basketball and crucially wrestled in high school and college (paging Tom Cable). Mathis went in round three — Bisnowaty could go in the same range.
Round three (compensatory pick) — Paul Perkins (RB, UCLA)
The Seahawks landed a star in Thomas Rawls but will likely need to find a #2 in the draft. Perkins breaks ankles with his cut-back ability and doesn’t go down after contact. He has the potential to be a terrific pass-catching third down back.
The Seahawks have previously targeted rounds 3-5 for the defensive tackle position and rounds 5-6 for cornerbacks. That’s the range I am projecting for those two positions here. I believe in trends (why wouldn’t you?) and the Seahawks have looked at receiver (first round via trade, rounds 2-3) linebacker (rounds 1-2) tackle (rounds 1-2) and running back (rounds two and four) early in the past.