In putting together a mock draft for next year, the strengths of the class are apparent. It should be another good year to draft offensive and defensive tackles with multiple featured below. That not only shows the talent at the positions but the need.
That's especially the case at offensive tackle where six come off the board. They're led by Ole Miss junior left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who closed out the season in excellent form after a rocky start while returning from injury.
This mock may only feature two true defensive tackles, but it was tempting to add more. A legitimate spot could have been argued for players likeof Mississippi State, Andrew Billings of Baylor, Kenny Clark of UCLA and Jarran Reed of Alabama. Each should be gone within the first 50 picks. For now they just barely missed the first round cut. Here's who made it:
1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Drafting another offensive tackle just two years after taking Taylor Lewan with the 11th overall pick may seem questionable. But the chance to provide legitimate bookend blockers for Marcus Mariota could be too great to overlook. Tunsil got off to a slow start to the season because of a suspension and rehabbing an injury. However, he was on point as the season closed. Physically, he's more ready for the NFL than any other blocker in this year's draft.
2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Clearly this move for the Browns would mean the team is ready to move on from Johnny Manziel as a starting quarterback. Between Goff and Paxton Lynch of Memphis, the California junior is more pro-ready right now. That shouldn't be construed as a slight on his talent, though. Goff's arm strength is good enough, and he's shown good maneuverability in the pocket.
3. Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
Drafting this high is a bit unusual for the Baltimore Ravens. The franchise has had just three top five picks, and the last one was in 2000. The back four of Baltimore's defense could be in flux this offseason, so Ramsey's position with the Ravens is unsettled. It doesn't matter, though, because he's a good enough player to excel at both safety and cornerback.
4. San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The Chargers have a star on the defensive line in Corey Liuget but really not much else. Bosa, who is the draft's best player, would be a nice fit in San Diego. He would improve a below-average pass rush and boost the team's run defense.
5. Dallas Cowboys: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Building a secondary around Hargreaves at cornerback and Byron Jones at free safety would go a long way in remedying one of Dallas' longstanding issues. Stacking a unit is the same philosophy the team used on the offensive line, and that's worked pretty well. Hargreaves is a shutdown outside corner with ball skills and the mindset to get physical with receivers.
6. San Francisco 49ers: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The way the top of the draft is playing out, the 49ers should be able to remain steady with this choice and take who is left between Lynch and Goff. Although there needs to be some developing with Lynch, it's hard to overlook his efficiency, size and athleticism. In the right hands, he could be turned into a star.
7. Detroit Lions: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Window antics be damned, Nkemdiche has the look of a disruptive, playmaking force along the front line. Sure, he'll be heavily scrutinized throughout the offseason process. But whatever team gets comfortable with him will get a defensive tackle who can really get after the passer, has improved against the run and can kick out to end.
8. New Orleans Saints: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
This might be a little bit of a surprise choice because Alexander is just a redshirt sophomore. But if he decides to enter the draft, a team like the Saints, who are hot after corners, could make him a top 10 pick. Alexander is a technician who plays his best against top opponents (he completely shut down Notre Dame's Will Fuller earlier this season, for instance).
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame
Three corners off the board would be bad news for the Jaguars, but that's the case. If that happens, the focus could remain on defense. Smith is a versatile player who can line up in the middle or outside and is a solid enough pass rusher.
10. Miami Dolphins: Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame is really tempting here, but Ragland is one of the surest things in this year's draft. He's a punishing three-down linebacker with good instincts.
11. Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Charles Leno was pushed into the starting lineup at left tackle for the Bears and it's just not working. Stanley is a quality player the Bears could play into that spot as a rookie and let him go. He's a really good athlete for the position and would bolster one of Chicago's weakest units.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
The Buccaneers have some options here should they choose to go with an end. Ogbah, Oregon's DeForest Buckner and Clemson's Shaq Lawson are all on the board. Ogbah gets the nod because he's such a high-effort player with good closing speed.
13. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
New York's line could use another player at end, and Lawson is a good scheme fit. He's a big body, but athletic enough to get around the edge. He's really helped his draft stock this season with 22.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 tackles for loss. There isn't a more complete end in next year's draft than Lawson.
14. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
If the Colts end the season with a top-15 pick, they should be in prime position to get a legitimately good offensive tackle. Decker could slot into either tackle spot and help improve a woebegone line.
15. Oakland Raiders: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Raiders sure do look like a team on the brink. With this pick, they could reach a little for a cornerback or go the best player available at a need route. Robinson is a brute up front, the key piece on Alabama's star defensive line. At this point his strength is stuffing the run, but he can push the pocket in the passing game.
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16. Philadelphia Eagles: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
After getting kicked out of Ohio State for drug use, Spence has turned his draft stock around this season at Eastern Kentucky. Invited to the Senior Bowl, Spence is a superstar athlete who will undoubtedly be an offseason riser.
17. Buffalo Bills: Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Southern California
Cravens is a do-it-all prospect on defense, capable of playing near the line of scrimmage as a linebacker and dropping in coverage as a safety. With that type of versatility, Cravens would give Rex Ryan a useful chip to use all over the field.
18. St. Louis Rams: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
At this juncture, a player of Treadwell's caliber is just too good to pass up. He's a true No. 1 wide receiver who excels because of his physical nature and good hands.
19. Atlanta Falcons: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
If Buckner is out there this late in the draft, he'd be too good to pass up. Buckner is a good pass rusher, even when coming out of a three-man front. He's a better player than former teammate Arik Armstead and would give Atlanta another rusher to pair with Vic Beasley.
20. New York Jets: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Oh, the fun Jets head coach Todd Bowles could have with Floyd, who can line up at every linebacker position. Floyd is a rangy athlete who should come into the NFL with the ready-made skill of getting after the passer.
21. Washington: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Washington's best weapon on offense is DeSean Jackson, who will be in his ninth season next year. A player like Doctson could be lined up opposite Jackson and give Washington a pair of deep threats, further opening things up for tight end Jordan Reed and wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
22. Houston Texans: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Good is good, regardless of positional value. Elliott is very good. He's the draft's best running back by a fair margin, and combines power and speed. He's not on the level of Todd Gurley in this year's draft, but he isn't far behind.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Head coach Andy Reid seems to have a subpar group of players overachieving this season, but is that sustainable? Maybe not. Enter Conklin, the last tackle before a notable drop off at the position. Conklin is an experienced left tackle who can be physical with defenders.
24. Minnesota Vikings: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Although a bigger receiver might be preferable, Ohio State's Michael Thomas was too inconsistent this season to use this high of a pick on. Coleman, however, was arguably the best receiver in college football this season. He's a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball and can line up in the slot and outside.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Seattle could use help on both lines, but those positions could be addressed later in the draft. Other than Richard Sherman, the play at cornerback for Seattle has been less than stellar this season. White, a smooth and fast athlete, would be a nice infusion of young talent.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
The Steelers need a sure thing at cornerback, and that's King. He's been very good for Iowa in each of his three college seasons. He also has a knack for intercepting the ball with 11 picks the past two seasons.
27. Green Bay Packers: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
At this point, Jack is just too good to pass up. Before he got injured this season, Jack looked like a top-10 pick because of his ability to come up and stop the run and drop back in coverage. He could be Green Bay's long-term answer at inside linebacker.
28. Denver Broncos: Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
It looks like the biggest issue for the Broncos to address this offseason is offensive line. Ryan Clady's injury history has made him a liability and veteran Evan Mathis is only working on a one-year deal. A player like Drango could be a valuable asset for Denver. He's a proven commodity at tackle, but many believe he's suited for the inside as well.
29. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
Even with A.J. Green locked up for the foreseeable future, wide receiver could be a need for the Bengals this offseason with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu entering free agency after the season. Thomas can be inconsistent, but when he's on he is a classic big body outside receiver who thrives on overmatching smaller corners.
30. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Bullard, DT/DE, Florida
Two of Arizona's defensive ends, Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding, will be 33 and 36 next year. Veteran Red Bryant is working on a one-year deal. If the defensive line is viewed as an issue for Arizona, they have some options this late in the first round. Bullard is a good combo player for Florida because of his ability to play inside and out.
31. Carolina Panthers: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
Carolina's situation at offensive tackle isn't ideal with Michael Oher and Mike Remmers on the bookends. With his athleticism and power, Ifedi is a player who can line up at either side. That type of versatility could make general manager Dave Gettleman's job of fixing the line much easier.
New England's first-round pick was forfeited as part of the team's DeflateGate punishment.