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Lorenzo Magazine

Sports

NFL Draft Survival Kit

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The Survival Kit...

While the average sports junkie has their eyes glued to the NBA or NHL playoffs, the year round football fiends have their sights set on the upcoming NFL draft. In our defense (admitted football fiend), the NFL draft has become more than a spectacle in its own right.  Generating more than twice the viewership of the average playoff game, the NFL draft has found its niche as the marquee sports reality television event of the year. Don’t worry, I’m here to make sure we all make it through this tremendous event. Let’s start with a mock draft:

 

 

 

1.      Cleveland

This pic should be a no-brainer. The dominant SEC defensive end, Myles Garret, is a forgone conclusion as the best player available (at this current stage) in the draft. However, the brownies like to complicate the easiest transactions and seem to be seriously considering taking a QB here. I would advise them to not draft a quarterback before the third round, if at all, but if you choose to disregard my warning, please, please, don’t do it with the first overall pick.

Browns select: DE Myles Garret

2.      San Francisco

The Niners have a huge need at quarterback, but also possess the second overall picks in rounds 2-5 and the need is better filled there. The Niners have a better front seven than we give them credit for. Their linebacking core could use another OLB, but getting help in the secondary is more of a priority. Marshon Lattimore, out of Ohio State, is a day 1 starter with blazing speed, outstanding cover skills, and a willing tackler. Regularly seeing the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Doug Baldwin, and Tayvon Austin, the Niner’s could use Lattimore as a building block for the future.

Forty-niners select: CB Marshon Lattimore

3.      Chicago

Desperate for help along the defensive line, the bears basically have to choose between Solomon Thomas and Johnathan Allen (Derek Barnett isn’t really a good scheme fit). Johnathan Allen is better suited to the 3-4 and can move inside to provide the pass rush on passing downs. Winner of the award for the best defensive player in college, Allen is too good to pass up.

 Bears select: DT Johnathan Allen

4.      Jacksonville

Leonard Fournette is a popular pick here, but the draft is deep at the position and this team isn’t a running back away from being relevant. What the jags should do is draft the talented rusher out of Stanford, Solomon Thomas. He has immense upside and boast incredible versatility. Thomas would provide some added nastiness to, what might be a surprisingly stingy front seven.

Jaguars select: DE Solomon Thomas

5.      Tennessee

Receiver is a need, but defense is the better value pick at number 5. Malik Hooker is a rangy, ball-hawking safety, with scary closing speed. Capable of going the distance anytime he touches the ball, Hooker would make an excellent pairing with free agency addition, Johnathan Cyprien.

Titans select: FS Malik Hooker

6.      New York (Jets)

Where to start? The jets need help everywhere except their D line. TE O. J Howard seems like a safe pick. The Jets have two young quarterbacks to try and groom and nothing helps more than a reliable safety blanket. O.J. Howard has no holes in his game and is perfect for any system. Boasting ideal size, athleticism and blocking skills, Howard will provide the threat over the middle that the Jets have been lacking for years.

Jets select: TE O.J. Howard

7.      L.A. (Chargers)

Safety out of LSU, Jamal Adams. Falling this far to the Chargers is a gift that they cannot refuse. He could end up being the best player in the entire draft.

Chargers select: S Jamal Adams

8.      Carolina

The Panthers seem intent on honing Cam Newtons skills as a pocket passer and taking some hits away from him, in an effort to prolong his career. Leonard Fournette seems like an easy choice to help do this. A punishing runner, Fournette is more than capable of carrying the load and alleviating Newton’s burden.

Panthers select: RB Leonard Fournette

9.      Cincinnati

With Tyler Boyd proving that he can play second fiddle to A.J Green in his rookie campaign, why not add a speedster to stretch the field and help open up the run game. Surprising the world, the Bengals take John Ross and suddenly possess one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.

Bengals select: WR John Ross

10.  Buffalo

As much as WR’s Mike Williams and Corey Davis make sense as a the pick here, DE Derek Barnett is too good of a pick to pass up. He would give Buffalo an enviable defensive line for their skill and depth.

Bills select: DE Derek Barnett

11.  New Orleans

Desperate for help in the secondary, the Saints pick the feisty CB out of Alabama, Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey has the size and tenacity to lockdown opposing receivers in Dennis Allen’s blitz happy scheme

Saints select: CB Marlon Humphrey

12.  Cleveland

Let’s pretend the Browns are a sensible organization and don’t go quarterback….Just kidding, this is the brownies after all.

Browns select: QB Mitchell Trubisky

13.  Arizona

With this being Larry Fitzgerald’s last hurrah, the Cardinals will need to draft his replacement. Bruce Arians has a roster full of speedsters and could use a big bodied pass catcher. WR out of Clemson, Mike Williams seems like a good fit and will benefit from Fitzgerald’s tutorship.

Cardinals select: WR Mike Williams

14.  Philly

The Eagles shored up their receiver issues through free agency and the additions of Alshon Jefferey and Torrey smith. Christian Mccaffrey could be a fit here, but seems redundant with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood already on the roster. Instead of the offensive swiss army knife, Mccaffrey, the Eagles turn to the defensive swiss army knife and select LB,S, and CB, Jabril Peppers.

Eagles select: S Jabril Peppers

15.  Indianapolis

The Colts need to do a better job protecting Andrew Luck. That being said, ILB Rueben Foster is too good of a prospect to pass up. Possessing everything you want in a three-down backer, Foster will be a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

Colts select: ILB Rueben Foster

16.  Baltimore

After losing their top two receivers from last year, the Ravens undoubtedly need help at WR. However, the draft is deep at that position and the elect to go O-line, as they try to build a bully in the mold of the Cowboys and the Raiders

Ravens select: OT Ryan Ramczyk

17.  Washington

Fat Rob provided a much surprising boost to the running game. Why not pair his bruising running style with an explosive slasher?

Washington selects: RB Dalvin Cook

18.  Tennessee

The Titans count their blessings and snatch WR Corey Davis off of the boards before anyone realizes what happens. Davis is an instant contributor, who could develop into a productive WR1 in a year or two. With the Titans boasting t