Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
I want to give the Redskins a safety, inside linebacker or a five-technique, as they desperately need to upgrade the interior of their defense. One of the top players available happens to fill one of those positions. Zach Cunningham is the sort of player the Redskins have coveted over the years; he has the size and experience that Washington prefers its prospects to have.
Tennessee Titans: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Delanie Walker has had some great years with the Titans, but he turns 33 in August and will be set to make about $6 million in 2018, so Tennessee could take O.J. Howard as the best player available and groom him for a year behind Walker, much like the Chargers have done with Hunter Henry playing behind and alongside Antonio Gates. Howard blew up the Senior Bowl and seems like he'd be a great fit in Tennessee.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR, Stanford
I moved Christian McCaffrey to the second round of my 2017 NFL Mock Draft because I figured some teams might be down on him after he skipped the historic Sun Bowl, but based on conversations I had in Houston, I'm putting him back into the opening frame. The Buccaneers make a lot of sense, as they desperately need a running back, and their current regime loves players who are very passionate about football. McCaffrey, who figures to blow up the combine, fits that description.
Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Broncos are absolutely desperate at right tackle. I've been mocking Ryan Ramcyzk to them, but the Wisconsin blocker has a hip injury and could be flagged by team doctors. We won't know if that's the case prior to draft night, in all likelihood. Fortunately for Denver, there's another first-round tackle besides Ramcyzk and Cam Robinson.
Pick change; previously Ryan Ramcyzk, OT
Detroit Lions: Adoree Jackson, CB/KR, USC
The Lions have two terrific cornerbacks in Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson, but there's very little depth behind the two, which is not good when trying to defeat the Packers. Plus, Lawson is entering his contract season. Teams think very highly of Adoree Jackson, so he could go much earlier than this; I had him slotted at No. 15 to the Eagles in a previous update.
Pick change; previously Sidney Jones, CB
Miami Dolphins: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Dolphins made a huge mistake by signing Mario Williams this offseason. He struggled mightily, and he was released as a consequence. The Dolphins have no successor in place for Cameron Wake, so here's their chance to acquire some young blood at defensive end.
New York Giants: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Let me explain. The Giants have a great defense and some play-makers on offense, and it's become quite apparent that Eli Manning is one of the weakest parts of the team. General manager Jerry Reese even told the media that he and the rest of the front office have "started to think about who is the next quarterback" following Manning. They have no logical successor on the roster, so I imagine they plan on spending an early pick on a quarterback. Maybe a second-rounder, or something.
However, they could like Deshaun Watson, and if they do, they may believe that they have to pull the trigger at No. 23. Manning is 36 - a year older than Brett Favre was when the Packers spent the No. 24 choice on Aaron Rodgers. If the Giants see Watson as a favorable draft prospect, they'll talk themselves into picking Watson at this juncture.
I should note that no team we've spoken to has him as a first-round prospect. One high-ranking personnel man in the NFC told me he has Watson as a third-round prospect. It's so much like the Teddy Bridgewater draft, when the media had Bridgewater in the first round, and yet NFL franchises considered him to be a second-day prospect, even before his woeful pro day. However, this was prior to the national championship, so I have to believe some team will trade up into the back end of the opening frame to take Watson, much like the Vikings did with Bridgewater. In this case, New York is simply taking Watson with its own pick, and I think it's a very logical selection.
Oakland Raiders: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
Oakland's defense improved as the season progressed, but there was always a big void in the middle of the defensive line. I imagine the Raiders will want to spend a high selection on a prospect who can generate some pressure in the interior, and Caleb Brantley is one of the top prospects available.
Houston Texans: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The Texans selecting a quarterback in the first round would've seemed unfathomable a few months ago, but Brock Osweiler has been so horrible that he was benched in favor of Tom Savage, who isn't a good quarterback either. I can't imagine the Texans going into next year with Osweiler and Savage as their only quarterbacks. They'd need to find someone else, and that someone else could be Pat Mahomes.
Charlie Campbell reported that some teams have Mahomes slotted as a second-round prospect, but given that Mahomes is a quarterback, he's likely to be chosen earlier than most anticipate. The NFL Draft Advisory Committee apparently agrees, as they gave Mahomes a Round 1-2 grade. Thus, it only seems logical to slot Mahomes into this spot, because if the Texans like him, they won't be able to obtain him with their second-round selection.
Pick change; previously David Njoku, TE
Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin
The Seahawks are clearly desperate for some offensive line help, as Russell Wilson barely had any time to throw this past season. I'd have to think that Seattle would jump at the opportunity to select one of the first-round tackles if one happens to be available, and that would be the case in this update.
Ryan Ramcyzk's designation is a tricky one. He's a talented tackle, but will be undergoing hip surgery, so it's unknown if he'll work out for teams leading up to the draft.
Pick change; previously Garett Bolles, OT
Kansas City Chiefs: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Andy Reid selected Kevin Kolb with his initial draft choice back in 2007. Donovan McNabb was entrenched as his starter, but he was about to turn 31, and Reid was thinking of the future. Perhaps Reid will make a similar decision at this juncture, as Alex Smith is a few months away from 33. Smith performed poorly this past season, so the Chiefs need to get better at quarterback anyway. Plus, DeShone Kizer seems like great value at this spot. Kizer has fallen in this mock draft update, but I think this is the right range for him.
Dallas Cowboys: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
Both Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox happen to be free agents, so the Cowboys could select Jabrill Peppers if he's available. As discussed in a recent NFL Draft Rumor Mill entry, teams are split on whether Peppers is a first-round prospect or not. If the Cowboys like him, I'm sure they'll think he provides great value at No. 28.
Green Bay Packers: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
The Packers place great pressure on opposing quarterbacks with Julius Peppers and Nick Perry, but both happen to be impending free agents. Peppers turns 37 in January, while Perry could prove to be too expensive to retain.
Pick change; previously Quincy Wilson, CB
Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA
James Harrison played out of his mind this past season, but the Steelers have to be aware that this won't last much longer. They'll need to find someone to replace Harrison as a starter across from Bud Dupree in the near future.
Atlanta Falcons: Malik McDowell, DE/DT, Michigan State
The Falcons could stand to improve the interior of their defense. They don't have much of a pass rush outside of Vic Beasley, so adding a prospect who would generate heat in the middle of the defensive front would help improve the mediocre stop unit and perhaps prevent another tremendous comeback from a Hall of Fame quarterback.
New England Patriots: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Patriots have a trio of talented cornerbacks, but two of them (Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan) will be hitting free agency over the next couple of years. I don't anticipate New England letting Butler get away, so Ryan may not stick around. Teams think very highly of Adoree Jackson, so he could go much earlier than this; I had him slotted at No. 15 to the Eagles in my previous update.