The NFL season won’t kick off for another couple months, but the lights will be bright in Philadelphia this Thursday with the first round of the NFL draft. This year, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is the consensus top overall pick for the 1-15 Cleveland Browns, so most of the intrigue will be on the incoming class of quarterbacks. Factoring out trades, these are my predictions for the first 10 picks of the draft.
1) Cleveland Browns- Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
No surprise, as the Browns pick the best athlete on the board and a potential nightmare for AFC North quarterbacks.
2) San Francisco 49ers- Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
New GM John Lynch makes a gutsy move by choosing the 49er quarterback of the future. The Niners shouldn’t pass on Watson, a proven winner and national champion.
3) Chicago Bears- Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is an option here, but the Bears opt to shore up their secondary with the selection of Adams.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The Jags have a defense loaded with young talent, but they need a game-changing talent for their offense. Fournette, a former Heisman candidate, is worthy of this spot.
5) Tennessee Titans (from Rams)- Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Titans replace Jason McCourty in the secondary with the talented Lattimore.
6) New York Jets- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
With Watson off the board, the Jets beef up the defensive line with this Alabama standout.
7) Los Angeles Chargers- Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The Chargers’ first pick as the LA Chargers in decades is strong, as Malik Hooker brings All-Pro potential to a deficient Charger secondary.
8) Carolina Panthers- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Fournette would be the no-brainer if he’s still on the board, but with this pick the Panthers go with the versatile Christian McCaffrey to give Cam Newton more talent on offense.
9) Cincinnati Bengals- Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Reuben Foster would be the pick before his off-the-field issues weeks prior to the draft, so the Bengals instead go to the defensive line to add Solomon Thomas.
10) Buffalo Bills- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Trubisky is an intriguing option here, but his stock continues to slide as the Bills draft a talented receiver to play opposite another Clemson product, Sammy Watkins.