NFL Two-Round Mock Draft: Vikings take Joe Mixon, Broncos get 'Baby Gronk'
Minnesota goes back to the well at Oklahoma to fill the void left by Adrian Peterson's departure
The Vikings had a good run the past 10 years with Adrian Peterson as the team's featured back and might again look to an Oklahoma product for the next decade. Based on talent, Joe Mixon is a top-15 draft pick and arguably the top running back in the draft. But his well-documented (and videoed) baggage is something that requires extensive investigation.
Only one head coach and general manager were at the Oklahoma pro day: Minnesota's Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman. That doesn't mean Mixon is on the Vikings' draft board, but it is a fair assumption that Zimmer and Spielman were in Norman to see the running back. Sure, they could have been there to see Samaje Perine, but the Vikings met with the Sooners' "other" running back at the combine, which was a few days before the Oklahoma pro day.
Mixon might be gone before the Vikings' second-round pick (No. 48 overall). But if he is still on the board, Minnesota should be a possible landing spot.
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett , DE/OLB, Texas A&M: The combine basically confirmed this pick. Cleveland choosing Garrett is the easiest decision for a team picking No. 1 overall since the Indianapolis Colts drafted Andrew Luck .
2. San Francisco 49ers
Solomon Thomas , DE, Stanford Cardinal : Yes, there is the Stanford connection with general manager John Lynch, but more important, Thomas is an excellent football player who adds immediate pass rush help on the defensive line.
3. Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky , QB, North Carolina: Yes, Mike Glennon is the (well-paid) No. 1, but adding Trubisky gives Chicago a young, talented passer to groom and take over as the starter, making Glennon a (well-paid) bridge quarterback.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jamal Adams , SS, LSU Tigers : The Jaguars added Barry Church in free agency, but that shouldn't stop Jacksonville from adding a player like Adams, who would give Jacksonville another potential Pro Bowl player on defense.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams )
Marshon Lattimore , CB, Ohio State Buckeyes : Cornerback isn't the top need on the roster, but the Titans are in position to take best available with this pick and Lattimore would give Tennessee valuable depth at a critical position.
6. New York Jets
Malik Hooker , FS, Ohio State: Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan believes in the best player available theory and in this scenario, it also matches with a need as Hooker gives New York a ball-hawking deep safety.
7. Los Angeles San Diego Chargers
Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide : A year after drafting Joey Bosa in the first round, the Chargers could again bolster the defensive line with a talent like Allen, who would bring versatility as a three-technique and edge rusher.
8. Carolina Panthers
Leonard Fournette , RB, LSU: Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per rush and reached the 100-yard mark in only one game last season, his ninth in the NFL. Fournette is a freak talent who would instantly add juice to the Panthers' offense.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Derek Barnett , DE, Tennessee: While not in the same stratosphere as Myles Garrett from a physical or athletic standpoint, Barnett has a more impressive résumé and that counts for something. He isn't a twitchy edge rusher, but his get-off, bend and awareness allow him to make an impact vs. the pass and the run.
10. Buffalo Bills
Corey Davis , WR, Western Michigan Broncos : The Corey Brown signing helps depth, but Sammy Watkins needs a sidekick and Davis offers the size, athleticism and receiving traits to make an immediate impact.
11. New Orleans Saints
Reuben Foster , LB, Alabama: Projecting as either a MIKE or WILL linebacker, Foster hits anything that moves with the closing burst and aggressive mindset to create violent collisions at contact. His combine incident has teams scrambling for more information, but the tape shows a player worthy of this selection.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
O.J. Howard , TE, Alabama: Do the Browns need an upgrade at quarterback? In the worst way. But is the "right" quarterback in this class? Time will tell. If Cleveland opts for another position here, Howard, who was coached by Hue Jackson and the Browns' staff at the Senior Bowl, makes a lot of sense.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Mike Williams , WR, Clemson Tigers : With Michael Floyd gone and Larry Fitzgerald on his last legs, Williams would give Arizona a talented wideout to help as a rookie and develop into a No. 1 target.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Christian McCaffrey , RB, Stanford: The Eagles have surrounded second-year quarterback Carson Wentz with weapons on offense, but adding a versatile threat like McCaffrey is something that should frighten the rest of the NFC East.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Haason Reddick , LB, Temple Owls : Coming from Kansas City, new Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands the impact of speed on defense and that is exactly what Reddick offers. He can line up inside or outside and give position flexibility to drop in coverage or blitz.
16. Baltimore Ravens
John Ross , WR, Washington Huskies : Adding Ross would give the Ravens a track team at wide receiver and plenty of toys for Joe Flacco to play with.
17. Washington Redskins
Gareon Conley , CB, Ohio State: Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland form a talented duo, but more depth is needed and Breeland, who might also be tried at safety, is entering a contract year.
18. Tennessee Titans
David Njoku , TE, Miami (Fla.): Assuming the Titans go with a defensive stud with the fifth pick, the selection here is a good bet to be an offensive playmaker. Njoku, who is still only 20 years old, has arguably the highest ceiling of any offensive skill player in this draft class.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Obi Melifonwu , S, Connecticut Huskies : Tampa has shown plenty of interest in Melifonwu, a player who can wear several hats in the secondary. His tape wasn't nearly as impressive as his testing numbers, but teams can't teach his athletic skill set.
20. Denver Broncos
Garett Bolles , OT, Utah Utes : A polarizing prospect in league circles, Bolles has a checkered past and is an older prospect who still needs plenty of strength and technique work. However, he is a fantastic athlete with a mean streak that will endear him to NFL coaches
21. Detroit Lions
T.J. Watt , DE/OLB, Wisconsin: While an extension sounds likely for Ziggy Ansah, another pass rush weapon opposite him should be high on the wish list. Watt can put his hand on the ground and create pressure from the edge in Detroit's scheme.
22. Miami Dolphins
Forrest Lamp , G, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers : The Dolphins have done some shuffling on the offensive line, shifting 2016 first-rounder Laremy Tunsil from guard to his more natural left tackle spot. The left guard spot is ready and waiting for Lamp.
23. New York Giants
Patrick Mahomes II , QB, Texas Tech Red Raiders : The Giants are ready to win now, but the allure of landing an exciting building block for the future might be too great to pass on a talent like Mahomes. There is obviously interest from the Giants so this possible pairing can't be ruled out.
24. Oakland Raiders
Jarrad Davis , LB, Florida Gators : The Raiders are missing an athletic and powerful thumper in the middle of the defense, something Davis would answer.
25. Houston Texans
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin: Regardless of who is at quarterback, the Texans need to invest in the offensive line to have any hope at a passing game. Ramczyk should continue the long, successful parade of Wisconsin blockers to the NFL.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Kevin King , CB, Washington: A tall, long athlete at cornerback who played his college football in Seattle. Almost seems too obvious that he will be the pick here for the Seahawks if available.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Deshaun Watson , QB, Clemson: An ideal match for both the Chiefs and Watson, Kansas City might not be able to pass on quarterback if the "right" one falls in their laps.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: Smart money has the Cowboys selecting a cornerback or pass rusher here, but it is anyone's guess who they will select. Harris is the type of edge threat who can thrive under Rod Marinelli's leadership.
29. Green Bay Packers
Dalvin Cook , RB, Florida State Seminoles : Running back isn't the top need, but value might win out over need here if Cook is on the board, giving Green Bay a much-needed upgrade in the backfield.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jabrill Peppers , SS, Michigan Wolverines : Pittsburgh hasn't been able to properly replace the hole left by Troy Polamalu at strong safety and although Peppers isn't on that level, he has an intriguing blend of athleticism and physicality.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Tyus Bowser , DE/OLB, Houston Cougars : Misused in Houston's defensive scheme, Bowser has tweener size, but his athleticism, power and juice off the edge are the type of traits that NFL coaches want to develop.
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England)
DeShone Kizer , QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish : At 38 years old and entering a contract year, Drew Brees is still playing at a Pro Bowl level, but how long will that last? And do the Saints wish to find out? Kizer needs time to sit and learn, but he has the highest ceiling of any of this year's quarterback prospects.
33. Cleveland Browns: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Cleveland needs corner help and the coaches had a chance to interact with White at the Senior Bowl.
34. San Francisco 49ers: Marlon Humphrey , CB, Alabama
Humphrey needs work down the field, but his speed, size and aggressive nature make for a bargain here.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Engram , WR/TE, Ole Miss Rebels
The Julius Thomas experiment fizzled and Engram would be an upgrade over the Jags' current group.
36. Chicago Bears: Josh Jones , FS, NC State
If the Bears don't go secondary in Round 1, they likely will in Round 2 with Jones being a possibility.
37. Los Angeles Rams: Takkarist McKinley , DE/OLB, UCLA Bruins
The Rams have needs all over the roster and McKinley is the best available at this point in the draft.
38. Los Angeles Chargers: Cam Robinson , OT, Alabama
The Chargers need offensive line help and Robinson can provide relief at either tackle or guard.
39. New York Jets: Adoree' Jackson, CB, Southern California
The Jets went secondary in the first round and could do it again, landing one of the draft's top athletes.
40. Carolina Panthers: Taco Charlton , DE, Michigan
The Panthers added Julius Peppers , but need to develop youth at edge rusher like Charlton.
41. Cincinnati Bengals: ArDarius Stewart , WR, Alabama
A player reminiscent of Mohammad Sanu out of Rutgers, Stewart could grow into the No. 2 role.
42. New Orleans Saints: Fabian Moreau , CB, UCLA
Moreau has a pectoral injury that might make him slip a few spots, which the Saints would be happy to see.
43. Philadelphia Eagles: Teez Tabor , CB, Florida
With his slow 40-yard dash times and brash attitude, Tabor could end up being a bargain this late.
44. Buffalo Bills: Budda Baker , CB/FS, Washington
After adding an offensive threat in Round 1, the Bills get a play-making nickel corner in the second.
45. Arizona Cardinals: Davis Webb , QB, California Golden Bears
Quarterback is very possible at No. 13 overall or with a trade back. Webb is the best left in this scenario.
46. Indianapolis Colts: Chidobe Awuzie , CB, Colorado Buffaloes
With his experience at safety, cornerback and nickel, Awuzie brings immediate depth at multiple spots.
47. Baltimore Ravens: Carl Lawson , DE/OLB, Auburn Tigers
Baltimore always has its eye on upgrading the pass rush and Lawson can be the heir to Terrell Suggs .
48. Minnesota Vikings : Joe Mixon , RB, Oklahoma Sooners
It is anyone's guess where Mixon and his baggage land, but the Vikings have shown interest.
49. Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham , LB, Vanderbilt Commodores
Cunningham has the play range and instincts that the Redskins need in the middle of the defense.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Curtis Samuel , RB, Ohio State
With Doug Martin's future up in the air, Samuel would be a valuable rusher and receiver out of the backfield.
51. Denver Broncos: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
The Broncos have some talent on the tight end depth chart, but Shaheen -- dubbed "Baby Gronk" by some -- has more upside than all of them.
52. Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee): Malik McDowell , DL, Michigan State Spartans
A top-five talent in this draft, McDowell could fall down draft boards due to maturity and effort concerns.
53. Detroit Lions: Duke Riley , LB, LSU
The Lions need to address the linebacker position early and Riley will compete for a starting role as a rookie.
54. Miami Dolphins: Jordan Willis , DE, Kansas State Wildcats
With his testing numbers and college production, Willis will be a welcome addition to an NFL locker room.
55. New York Giants: Raekwon McMillan , LB, Ohio State
The Giants are missing a thumper at linebacker, something McMillan would help address.
56. Oakland Raiders: Caleb Brantley , DT, Florida
Although he disappears for stretches, Brantley would give the Raiders an interior pass rush threat.
57. Houston Texans: Nathan Peterman , QB, Pittsburgh
The Texans will almost assuredly draft a quarterback and Peterman fits Bill O'Brien's offense.
58. Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Moton , OT/G, Western Michigan
Offensive line continues to be the top need for Seattle and Moton offers tackle/guard versatility.
59. Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
Defensive line might not be the top need, but the value is too good for John Dorsey to pass up.
60. Dallas Cowboys: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Cowboys need secondary help and Wilson was a top-30 visit in Dallas, making this marriage a possibility.
61. Green Bay Packers: Cordrea Tankersley , CB, Clemson
With his height, length and speed, Tankersley matches up with what Green Bay is looking for at cornerback.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derek Rivers , DE/OLB, Youngstown State
The Steelers need to add youth and athleticism to linebacker and Rivers checks both categories.
63. Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Williams , FS, Utah
A true center-field safety, Williams would help form a dynamic safety duo with Keanu Neal for the next several years.
64. Carolina Panthers (from New England): Zay Jones , WR, East Carolina Pirates
With his performances at the Senior Bowl and combine, Jones has put himself in the second-round discussion.
A diluted drug test continues recent alarming off-field concerns for talented Alabama pros...
Here are players from Air Force to Wyoming who might not be drafted but could make an NFL...
Who should the Rams take with their first pick? We break down all their options
Who should the Seahawks take with their first pick? We break down all their options
Who should the Cardinals take with their first pick? We break down all their options
Who should the 49ers take with their first pick? We break down all their options