Welcome to my first version of the NFL mock draft, complete with a Hogs Haven imposed "no trade-back" clause, which is exactly what I, among others, would like our Redskins to do. The team is wrought with a lack of talent and depth and this will not be an easy fix. Until he proves me wrong though, I will buy fully into "In Scot We Trust". Scot McCloughan, who will be leading this ship for the first time, has said more than a few times that he believes in the draft and prefers to infuse talent to the roster through it as opposed to free agency, so I look forward to all the wheeling and dealing that should be done starting this year.
Until then, here is your first first round mock from me*:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
This is a no-brainer. The Buccaneers need a quarterback and Winston needs a place close to home where he can obtain the freshest crab legs.
2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Mariota has been the popular pick here in other mock drafts, but reports have surfaced that Titans coaches would like to give Zach Mettenberger another chance to prove he can be a legitimate starter in this league. I'll go with Williams, as he can fit the pass-rushing bill for them and make an immediate impact.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
The Jags need offensive line help first and foremost, but Gregory and the pass rushing prowess he brings to the table is too attractive to pass on with the third pick.
4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The two best pass rushers are off the board and the Raiders need offensive playmakers to help out Derek Carr. Cooper is just what the doctor ordered.
5. Washington Redskins: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa (Pick made by one Ken M.**)
Trading back continues to be the goal for most of us--including me-but that is not an option in this particular mock. In the next round of mock drafts, each Hogs Haven writer will be picking for the Redskins based on what he feels is the best selection for the Redskins. As we are still in the Prima Nocta phase of Hogs Haven mocks, however, I must continue to deflower each #5 pick. Whether I am winning anyone over at this point is neither here nor there-I truly believe that drafting the best offensive tackle at #5 unites the BPA side of the house with the need-filling side of the house. We can all agree that there will be multiple players at multiple positions that are capable of coming into Ashburn and meaningfully impacting this roster when the Redskins are on the clock. Despite my drum-beating for the OL, please don't confuse me with someone who doesn't understand how badly we need an infusion of talent on the defensive side of the ball. I just continue to believe that until we invest meaningfully in the OL, we can't get serious about developing a quarterback or establishing whatever our style of football is going to be on offense. That is why today, I double down on Brandon Scherff, the OT out of Iowa. In terms of pedigree, you don't do much better than Iowa and Kirk Ferentz. I also considered Andrus Peat, as I continue to be kind of mesmerized by his potential, but Scherff is the kind of big-bodied offensive lineman that Jay Gruden favors (look at what he had in Cincy) and he is currently the top-rated OT prospect in this draft. He is absolutely an upgrade for us at right tackle, but I also recognize the possibility that he might only be a Pro Bowl guard for us (see what I did there?). I'm staying the course on this one, y'all.
6. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Let's just say the Jets won't need the full fifteen minutes to make this pick. Their new quarterback will fall right into the lap of Todd Bowles.
7. Chicago Bears: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
Chicago needs defensive help, and Ray eats quarterbacks for breakfast.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
Fowler is too good to pass up at this spot, and quarterback sacks tend to create real crowd noise.
9. New York Giants: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Eli Manning needs more time to throw passes that Odell Beckham can catch one-handed, and Peat would help.
10. St. Louis Rams: La'el Collins, OT, LSU
The Rams may not have a quarterback, but having quality big uglies up front can make average passers look decent.
11. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
12: Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
13: New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
14: Miami Dolphins: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
15: San Francisco 49ers: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
16. Houston Texans: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.)
17. San Diego Chargers: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
18: Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
19. Cleveland Browns(from Buffalo): Landon Collins, S, Alabama
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
23. Detroit Lions: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
24. Arizona Cardinals: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
25: Carolina Panthers: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
26. Baltimore Ravens: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
27. Dallas Cowboys: Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (Ohio)
28. Denver Broncos: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
29. Indianapolis Colts: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
30. Green Bay Packers: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
31: Seattle Seahawks: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
32: New England Patriots: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
* I only bothered with notes on the first ten as we will go through this several more times before draft day. The next step will be going through the NFL combine with a fine-toothed comb in the coming weeks.
** No, that's too obvious. Let's say K. Meringolo)