NFL Mock Draft 1.0
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - We're always late to the mock-draft party here because the party doesn't start until free agency dies down.
It's stipulated that all mock drafts are an exercise in futility but the dart board is now visible at least so educated guesses are in play now that the evaluation process has ramped up.
The cloudiness starts to dissipate in Indianapolis at the scouting combine and the crystal ball clears up even more when the pro days start to tick off the calendar, free agency slows to a crawl, and the top-30 visits pile up.
So feel free to start mocking our first mock but don't worry, no cornerbacks allowed in Round 1 to the Eagles:
1. Arizona Cardinals - QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma - Kliff Kingsbury really does love the undersized Oklahoma product so the assumption here is Steve Keim raffles off Josh Rosen -- with Washington leading a race that also includes the LA Chargers, New England and the NY Giants -- and gets his latest flavor of the month.
2. - San Francisco 49ers - Edge Nick Bosa, Ohio State - The Niners dealt a second-round pick to Kansas City for Dee Ford last month but it's tough to pass up on the best prospect in the process. In one fell swoop, San Francisco could possess one of the best pass rushes in the business.
3. - New York Jets - Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky - Keep an eye on the Jets. They have new unis, Sam Darnold is going to be a star and this team added Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and Keleche Osemele to help him on offense. Add a big-time pass rusher to a defense which has an emerging superstar in safety Jamal Adams and you can see the haze starting to lift in Florham Park.
4. - Oakland Raiders - DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama - Ed Oliver's athleticism might give the Raiders pause as will the lure of a QB to the fickle Jon Gruden but the safest pick is Williams and Al Davis isn't there to overrule it.
5. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State - The Bucs could look at LSU linebacker Devin White but the edge is the strength of this draft and Tampa Bay needs plenty of help. Sweat might be the best pure athlete of the bunch and the heart condition discovered at the combine was a minor one.
6. - New York Giants - QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State - The "Kansas City Model" commences. The Giants are crazy to keep going to the Eli Manning well but not crazy enough to again pass on the heir apparent.
7. - Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Jawann Taylor, Florida - The Jags gave Nick Foles the big money so why not get him the bodyguard by keeping Taylor in-state?
8. - Detroit Lions - LB Devin White, LSU - The defensive front was fortified a bit with Trey Flowers in free agency and adding White to the front seven will really give Matt Patricia some gas to cook with.
9. - Buffalo Bills - TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa - If Josh Allen is going to take the next step he needs weapons and Hockenson is the best tight end prospect to come along in years.
10. - Denver Broncos - QB Drew Lock, Missouri - The talk in the Rockies is that John Elway is smitten with Lock and Joe Flacco is only a short-term fix.
11. - Cincinnati Bengals - OT Jonah Williams, Alabama - With a new offensive-minded head coach in Zac Taylor the Bengals need to fix their problems up front.
12. - Green Bay Packers - LB Devin Bush, Michigan - The loss of Clay Matthews doesn't mean much from a talent perspective at this point but his energy could be missed and Bush offers some of that.
13. - Miami Dolphins - QB Daniel Jones, Duke - Ryan Fitzpatrick is my favorite bridge, at least after the Golden Gate, but that's all he is.
14. - Atlanta Falcons - OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma - Matt Ryan was hit way too much last season and Ford should be ready to go from Day 1 with the ability help the right side, either inside or out.
15. - Washington Redskins - WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss - The whispers say the Redksins are the late-chargers in the race for Josh Rosen so expect Washington to go for the athletic freak to stretch the field whether the signal caller is Rosen, Case Keenum or Colt McCoy.
16. - Carolina Panthers - DL Rashan Gary, Michigan - The Panthers have been suffering attrition on the defensive front for a number of years now and Gary might be the most versatile of the deepest position in the draft.
17. - New York Giants (from Cleveland) - Edge Clelin Ferrell, Clemson - With the QB box checked the Giants move on to the pass rusher and Ferrell is the best left on the board.
18. - Minnesota Vikings - DT Ed Oliver, Houston - Oliver might go the Raiders at No. 4 but if Oakland doesn't bite he may start drifting a bit. The Vikings need to carpet-bomb the offensive line but Mike Zimmer will pound the table for his defense again and get the closest facsimile to John Randle since John Randle.
19. - Tennessee Titans - DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson - The potential combination of Jurrell Casey and Wilkins on the interior of Mike Vrabel's defense would be a heck of a building block.
20. - Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma - Antonio Brown to "Hollywood" Brown. That's too perfect for me to pass up.
21. - Seattle Seahawks - S Deionte Thompson, Alabama - The “Legion of Boom” is a distant memory now and anybody coming in to replace Earl Thomas is going to have a difficult time living up to those expectations but you have to try.
22. - Baltimore Ravens - WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss - The Ravens are intent on adding a playmaker for Lamar Jackson.
23. - Houston Texans - OT Andre Dillard, Washington State - Deshaun Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times and the Texans must address the O-Line.
24. - Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) - TE Noah Fant, Iowa - Jon Gruden practically wept over losing Jared Cook in free agency so here's the replacement.
25. - Philadelphia Eagles - DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame - The options in play are Josh Jacobs, Chris Lindstrom, Johnathan Abram, Dexter Lawrence and Tilley, who is special as a person and a talent.
26. - Indianapolis Colts - DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson - The Colts could use a receiver as well but Lawrence is good value here.
27. - Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) - RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama - Isiah Crowell and Marshawn Lynch aren't good enough.
28. - Los Angeles Chargers - OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College - The Chargers seemingly always need help on the offensive line.
29. - Kansas City Chiefs - Edge Brian Burns, Florida State - With no Dee Ford or Justin Houston any longer, getting a speed rusher is paramount.
30. - Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) - S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State - Abram would give the Packers a talented last line of defense along with Adrian Amos.
31. - Los Angeles Rams - DT Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State - A torn ACL likely cost Simmons a top-20 slot but the Rams have enough talent to wait for the Ndamukong Suh replacement.
32. - New England Patriots - TE Irv Smith, Alabama - No Gronk means tight end has to be a priority in New England.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen