In a recent column here at CBS Sports, I detailed exactly why the quarterbacks in this draft class could potentially fall out of the top 10 and into unexpected places.
Why write about something like that if you can’t give it a spin in “real” life? That’s exactly what I decided to do in this version of my mock draft (No. 7, maybe?), allowing all the quarterbacks to drop out of the top 10 and to see where they would fall.
Three guys still went in the first round, but one went to a very surprising spot: Washington! That’s right, the Redskins are drafting a quarterback in the latest rendition of this draft.
Why, you might ask, would Washington do that? Well for starters, they’re not in a great spot when it comes to the position. Kirk Cousins has them completely leveraged. If they don’t ink a deal with Cousins before July 15 of this year, they’ll be forced to transition or franchise tag him next year and have handed him more than $70 million for three years worth of work. Or let him walk with nothing to show for it and no quarterback to play for them.
Grabbing someone here who can sit for a year and learn not only sets them up in case Cousins ends up leaving, but it allows them to let Cousins leave, or even potentially move him in a trade without having no safety net.
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: The easy pick for Cleveland at No. 1 overall thanks to how he’s tested, how he’s played and the upside he provides for a defense that sorely needs game-changers at multiple positions.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: You could make an argument for him at No. 1 overall because of his upside, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Thomas go as high as second overall.
3. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: Sometimes the draft process causes people to overthink things a lot and Allen, who was highly productive at Alabama, has been lost in the shuffle. The Bears never forget. (Well, technically that’s elephants, but maybe bears have good memories too.)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: The Jaguars could use some offensive line help, but in the absence of grabbing someone right now, they opt for a potentially game-changing running back who will help protect Blake Bortles by establishing the run.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles)
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: The Titans have done a nice job supplementing their secondary but picking up another stud young to slot in their defensive backfield.
6. New York Jets
Jamal Adams, S, LSU: This is where things can turn quickly when it comes to the quarterbacks falling in the draft. If the Jets don’t snag one of the top quarterbacks, it’s very possible we don’t see one of them go in the top 10.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State: The Bolts are a possible landing spot for a quarterback, but they’re also a good bet to snag another defensive player who can become another cog in a secretly potent defense.
8. Carolina Panthers
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Going to veer away a little bit here because I could see Carolina taking a stud tight end to beef up the receiving corps for Cam Newton while also improving the run game.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: When the glove fits, it’s easy to keep wearing it. Foster just feels like a good bet to land in Cincy if here’s there at the ninth spot.
10. Buffalo Bills
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: Getting another weapon for Tyrod Taylor should be a priority, and Williams would pair nicely with Sammy Watkins, another star out of Clemson.
11. New Orleans Saints
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: Feel like the Saints would kill to see Barnett sitting here at 11 because it means they can add at least one stud defensive player in this draft.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: And we have a quarterback off the board! The Browns just came away with a dream scenario for them.
13. Arizona Cardinals
John Ross, WR, Washington: Speed kills and no one likes to throw down the field to deadly speed quite like Bruce Arians. Ross would impact this offense in a big way out of the gate.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Some team is going to take McCaffrey and turn him into a monster, and I think the offense Doug Pederson runs fits the profile. Carson Wentz would be a huge offseason winner if the Eagles did this.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: It’s not hard to imagine one of the top three running backs falling to the Colts here, and it’s not hard to imagine them bringing in an explosive playmaker like Cook.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: The Ravens badly need to bring in some more weapons for Joe Flacco, and they can pick up an all-around quality wide receiver here.
17. Washington Redskins
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Surprise! With the Kirk Cousins situation hardly resolved, the Redskins snag a quarterback in the middle of the first round who gives them some leverage. They can strike a deal to trade Cousins now or let him walk and still have a quarterback. It’s actually a pretty smart solution.
18. Tennessee Titans
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple: The Titans need some more weapons for Marcus Mariota, but there’s a real possibility they come out of this draft with a pair of defensive studs.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: The Bucs can beef up their pass rush by adding the guy with the best name in the draft.
20. Denver Broncos
Ryan Ramcyzk, OL, Wisconsin: Even with Tony Romo headed to the broadcast booth, the Broncos still very much need to develop some offensive linemen.
21. Detroit Lions
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: Local guy who can be utilized by a creative defensive coordinator in different ways and would inject a playmaker into the Lions defense.
22. Miami Dolphins
Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky: This is another one of those spots where it just feels like a fit. Lamp would immediately help a run game that was the source of the Dolphins’ success last year.
23. New York Giants
Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama: The Giants have several needs, but protecting Eli Manning is the biggest one on the board.
24. Oakland Raiders
David Njoku, TE, Miami: The Raiders haven’t developed a tight end yet, and if they can maximize the potential from this guy, it will only make an already filthy offense even more dangerous. Yes, Oakland signed Jared Cook, but that could ultimately just be a single-year Band-Aid, and it gives them time to bring on Njoku.
25. Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: Pretty easy projection here after the Texans lost out on the Tony Romo sweepstakes. Mahomes might take a little time to adjust to the next level, but he might not get that time if he lands on Houston.
26. Seattle Seahawks
Garett Bolles, OL, Utah: This has been a need pick for a while and it remains a need pick moving forward.
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA: The Chiefs defense is a steady as all get out, but it definitely could use a little bit more youth injected into it. McKinley gives them a versatile pass rusher who can grow into that system.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: Dallas almost needs to draft defense given how the offseason has gone so far, and the Cowboys definitely need to find some pass rush help.
29. Green Bay Packers
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: The Packers badly need to improve the secondary after the disastrous run down the stretch last year and Humphrey lets them do just that.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC: Developing this youngster over the next year or so could pay some serious dividends, and he also gives the Steelers depth at cornerback right now.
31. Atlanta Falcons
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: Atlanta could suddenly have massive improvement in terms of their run defense and strength on the defensive line if they make a move like this.
32. New Orleans Saints (from new England)
Gaeron Conley, CB, Ohio State: The Saints get to walk away with a pair of defensive standouts from this draft in the first round, which could make that side of the ball immediately improved.