NFL Nation reporters played general manager for the teams they cover and executed a first-round mock draft in which trades were not allowed. Here are the results:
1. Los Angeles Rams*
The Rams really like both Goff and Carson Wentz, so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if they go the other way here. But Goff’s ability to maneuver in the pocket, combined with his more extensive playing experience at a higher level, gives him the edge for a team that needs to win now. — Nick Wagoner | Watch the pick.
*Acquired in trade with Titans
The Eagles won 10 playoff games in eight years after they selected Donovan McNabb, the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft. They have zero playoff wins since McNabb’s departure. It’s no surprise new coach Doug Pederson planned to recreate the Andy Reid era. The Eagles made a total of three trades to get the No. 2 pick. Carson Wentz is the guy they’ve decided to stake their future. — Phil Sheridan | Watch the pick.
*Acquired in trade with Browns
The Chargers allowed 2,000 rushing yards for the first time since 2003 last season, and gave up at least 17 rushing touchdowns for the first time since 1985, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. San Diego needs a run stuffer and interior pass rusher, and Buckner fills both needs perfectly. — Eric D. Williams | Watch the pick.
The news of DeMarcus Lawrence‘s impending suspension certainly would seem to make Bosa the guy, but Ramsey makes sense because of the Cowboys’ cornerback need. He is long, athletic and can make plays. He can play anywhere in the secondary. Oh, and if we’re on the best-player deal, he’s it. The Cowboys will get a pass rusher in the second round for the third consecutive year. — Todd Archer | Watch the pick.
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Jack is arguably the best athlete in the draft and excels in coverage and playing in space. He made plays all over the field in college and the Jaguars desperately need playmakers on defense. Adding Jack would allow the Jaguars to get middle linebacker Paul Posluszny off the field on third down, a move they had wanted to begin making last season but couldn’t because they didn’t have the personnel. Eventually Jack could take over as the Jaguars’ middle linebacker. — Mike DiRocco | Watch the pick.
The Baltimore Ravens would love to take a playmaker on offense or defense at this spot, but they can’t pass on arguably the best player in the draft falling to them. The Ravens need to find a long-term answer at left tackle because Eugene Monroe has proven to be unreliable and Joe Flacco is coming off a season-ending knee injury. So, it’s fitting that 20 years after drafting Jonathan Ogden, Baltimore finally finds his replacement, ending the revolving door at seven starting left tackles in the past eight years. — Jamison Hensley | Watch the pick.
With Goff gone, it appeared as though the 49ers would have their pick of five top defensive players. But three of them were already selected, Bosa does not fit the Niners’ scheme and they have used their first pick on a pure cornerback only three times since taking Ronnie Lott in 1981. Stanley is the safe bet, especially with so many questions at right tackle and the Niners unsure if Anthony Davis will indeed unretire. — Paul Gutierrez | Watch the pick.
8. Cleveland Browns*
There is only one offensive playmaker in this draft worthy of a top-10 pick — and that’s Elliott. It’s a risk taking a running back this high, as the Browns know, but Elliott averaged more than six yards per carry the past two seasons at Ohio State and scored 41 touchdowns. That and the Browns’ complete lack of playmakers makes this a pick worth the risk. — Pat McManamon | Watch the pick.
*Acquired in trade with Eagles
Hard to believe that Bosa, whom some believe is the best pass rusher in the draft, slipped this far, especially since he was considered the No. 1 overall pick at one point. In a division with Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, the Bucs’ pass rush had to improve significantly and now it has with Bosa (6-foot-5, 269 pounds) and free agent end Robert Ayers. — Mike DiRocco | Watch the pick.
10. New York Giants
The Giants haven’t used a first-round pick on a defensive player since 2011, and boy does it show. After allowing a league-high 420.3 yards per game in 2015, and even after spending big in free agency to upgrade the defense, the Giants are still looking for impact players on that side of the ball. Their coaches and scouts envision Floyd as a high-upside playmaker whose innate pass-rush ability can help all of their blitz packages and even allow them to move him up to the line on passing downs. — Dan Graziano | Watch the pick.
11. Chicago Bears
A versatile pass-rusher at Clemson, Lawson tallied 12.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss against elite competition in 2015. He can play five-technique or stand up on the outside. Lawson is the kind of high-character individual the Bears covet. He would be a great addition to a defense that often struggled to generate pressure last year. Lawson did have a shoulder injury in college, but he checked out OK at the recent NFL medical recheck. — Jeff Dickerson | Watch the pick.
The Saints have needs all over on defense after finishing 31st in both rushing and passing defense last year and setting the NFL record for most TD passes allowed. Rankins is the best defensive player available at this point, and he has the versatility to play both DT spots in their 4-3, rotating in with John Jenkins and Nick Fairley. Rankins can help as both a run defender and pass rusher. He had 14 sacks for 26.5 tackles for loss over his final two seasons at Louisville. — Mike Triplett | Watch the pick.
13. Miami Dolphins*
Cornerback is the Dolphins’ biggest need. They have two holes at both starter and nickel. Hargreaves is perhaps the best cover corner in the draft and has good ball skills. Aside from size, Hargreaves should fit in well with first-year defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s scheme. — James Walker | Watch the pick.
*Acquired in trade with Eagles
14. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders solidified their pass rush and pass defense in free agency. Now they solidify the run defense with the selection of Ragland, a thumper at middle linebacker, which, by the way, is a need for a team on the rise. Yes, the Raiders missed on the last All-American middle linebacker from Alabama in Rolando McClain. But there is enough talent around Ragland to allow him to grow into the role, unlike the situation that faced McClain. — Paul Gutierrez | Watch the pick.
15. Tennessee Titans*
The choice of the draft’s first receiver is tempting, but Marcus Mariota is best served by upgraded protection. In this scenario, they could go Conklin or Ohio State’s Taylor Decker. Conklin brings a toughness that the Titans want on the line in front of their franchise quarterback, and will help create room for running back DeMarco Murray. The hope is Taylor Lewan and Conklin can protect the edges for a long time. While the Titans have a lot of needs and a lot of picks, right tackle is the most glaring as the draft opens. — Paul Kuharsky | Watch the pick.
*Acquired in trade with Rams
16. Detroit Lions
The Lions need to solidify the offensive line and Decker does that immediately. He has the size and footwork to eventually slide over to left tackle but can plug-and-play at right tackle from Day 1. With the board breaking as it did, Decker was the pick considering the depth still available on Day 2 at defensive tackle. Other players I considered here were Alabama defensive tackles Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson along with Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee. — Michael Rothstein | Watch the pick.
17. Atlanta Falcons
Falcons coach Dan Quinn made an emphasis this offseason about improving the speed at linebacker. Lee would be a significant upgrade in that category after posting the top 40 time for all linebackers in the draft with a 4.47. Lee is confident in his abilities, and Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell envisions Lee thriving as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme with his ability to roam the field. The Falcons need a starting weak-side linebacker to emerge. — Vaughn McClure | Watch the pick.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson is a big believer in taking best player available. Pairing Eli Apple with Pro Bowler Vontae Davis gives Indianapolis two solid cornerbacks to make up for a lack of a pass rush from them. It also allows the Colts to slide cornerback Patrick Robinson to the slot, where it gives them three quality players at that position. — Mike Wells | Watch the pick.
19. Buffalo Bills
My eyes were on LB Darron Lee, who went to the Falcons at No. 17, but the Bills still get good value and fill a need with Reed at No. 19. He pairs with another former Alabama defensive tackle, Pro Bowler Marcell Dareus, to bulk up a defensive line that needs some bulk to run Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme. Reed also projects as a long-term replacement for another Pro Bowler, Kyle Williams, who turns 33 this summer and is coming off knee surgery. — Mike Rodak | Watch the pick.
20. New York Jets
The Jets also could pick a cornerback in this spot — William Jackson III is a possibility — but they succumb to the temptation of finding a quarterback of the future. Lynch won’t help them in 2016. Presumably, he’d sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for at least a year, assuming the unsigned Fitzpatrick returns. It’s a gamble for a team with an older roster whose window is closing. — Rich Cimini | Watch the pick.
The Redskins want to improve their defensive line, but the depth at the position in this draft enables them to do so after the first round. Safety Karl Joseph gives them a tough, smart, competitive player at a position they’ve struggled to fill since Sean Taylor was murdered in 2007 and, with the addition of corner Josh Norman, would improve the secondary. Joseph fits the mindset of what Washington general manager Scot McCloughan wants defensively. — John Keim | Watch the pick.
22. Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t need blazing speed to beat defenders, but for the receiving corps as a whole, the Texans could stand to add some. They’ve already gotten faster with the addition of running back Lamar Miller. Adding Coleman, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at his pro day, will also help. — Tania Ganguli | Watch the pick.
The Vikings need a big target for Teddy Bridgewater, and if Treadwell is still there at No. 23, they’ll be happy to take him. He’s physical with corners, gets separation out of his breaks and should be able to haul in contested passes. If concerns over his 40 time lead him to slide this far, it will be to the Vikings’ benefit. — Ben Goessling | Watch the pick.
The seemingly perfect fit for the Bengals all along has been Doctson, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound wideout from TCU, who could be considered Marvin Jones 2.0. Much like Jones, the receiver who left Cincinnati in free agency for Detroit last month, Doctson makes contested catches and has a knack for fighting for extra yards. He could be just what the Bengals are looking for as they replace Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and look for a young receiver to pair with A.J. Green. — Coley Harvey | Watch the pick.
Hallelujah for wide receiver runs. The Steelers can’t hide their affection for Jackson, who has combination of size, speed and natural cover skills to provide a much-needed upgrade at this neglected position. This fall to 25 is like manna from heaven. The staff spent a lot of time with him in Houston during the draft process. Some scouts consider Jackson a raw player who might be a third-down corner early on, eventually growing into an every-down role. The Steelers can work with that. — Jeremy Fowler | Watch the pick.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Ifedi is 6-foot-6, 324 pounds and has 36-inch arms. Ifedi began his college career at right guard before spending the past two seasons at right tackle. He has the measurables to play either right or left tackle in the NFL and could even start his career at guard. Ifedi’s college tape was inconsistent, and he’s far from a finished product, but the Seahawks put a strong emphasis on player development. Their plan is to start Garry Gilliam at left tackle this season, and they signed journeyman J’Marcus Webb to play right tackle. Ifedi can compete for a starting job right away, but this pick is made with the hope that Ifedi becomes a quality starting tackle the Seahawks can depend on down the road. — Sheil Kapadia | Watch the pick.
Robinson can play everywhere across the defensive line in a 3-4 system. He has similar size to Letroy Guion, their current nose tackle, and also offers some pass-rush prowess from the interior. He’s young (he just turned 21 last month) and has a rare combination of strength and athleticism. He also fills a hole left by B.J. Raji’s unexpected hiatus from football. If Robinson weren’t there, Baylor DT Andrew Billings would have been the pick. — Rob Demovsky | Watch the pick.
The Chiefs don’t have an immediate need here but Dontari Poe is a potential free agent at the end of the 2016 season. Butler might be one of the most talented defensive linemen in the draft and the Chiefs are afforded a little bit of time to allow him to develop. — Adam Teicher | Watch the pick.
Deion Jones, OLB, LSU
He’s got the size and speed to immediately come in and be an impact player, adding depth to the Cardinals’ outside linebacker/pass-rushing corps. But Jones also has the ability to cover receivers and tight ends in space. And with more teams spreading out their offenses, especially against Arizona, this will be a trait that could earn him significant playing time. — Josh Weinfuss | Watch the pick.
General manager Dave Gettleman needs a long-term solution to replace veteran DE Charles Johnson, who signed a one-year deal to return after being released. He had a choice between Dodd, Emmanuel Ogbah of Oklahoma State and Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky, but the upside on Dodd is tremendous coming off a breakout year in Clemson’s 4-3 scheme. He had 23.5 sacks, 12 sacks, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. There’s a chance the Panthers could go with safety Von Bell here, but Gettleman likes his hog mollies (big men),particularly ones that can pressure the passer. The best way to make Josh Norman’s replacement look good is to keep quarterback on their heels. — David Newton | Watch the pick.
31. Denver Broncos
If the board falls this way on Thursday, the Broncos, who take the best player available’ no matter where they have Pro Bowl players on the roster, will take a look at Alabama center Ryan Kelly and Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry before they select Bell, whose coverage ability will put him in the Broncos’ specialty packages as soon as he arrives. — Jeff Legwold | Watch the pick.
* There will be only 31 picks in the first round in 2016, with New England’s first-round pick forfeited.