NFL free agency is working to help teams strengthen rosters, but it is also hurting the incoming quarterback draft class. With signal callers changing teams, most notably in San Francisco and Chicago, the need to draft a quarterback in the top 10 choices has greatly diminished.
I suspect Cleveland may grab a quarterback at No. 12 and if Houston does acquire Tony Romo, they may be in the market as well. Teams like the New York Jets may wait until the second round to address the issue.
This is a heavy defensive draft and the running back position is solid. Offensive linemen will be scarce and you don’t know what you are getting at the wide receiver position.
Here is a look at my first Top 10 NFL Mock Draft.
Cleveland Browns – Myles Garret, DE, Texas A&M – If this is not the pick, there is something seriously wrong with the Browns organization. Garrett is the best player in this draft. Arguably he could be the best pass rusher to come out since JJ Watt in 2011.
San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford – The first pick of the John Lynch/Kyle Shanahan regime helps the defense. I don’t think the 49ers draft a quarterback here, having brought in Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.
Chicago Bears – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama – The Bears have plenty of needs and now that they signed Mike Glennon, the focus will be on defense. Allen has some concerns with his shoulder injury, but he makes the Bears defensive front a lot stronger.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – Fournette makes the running game that much better. I have said before the Jaguars don’t need a running back here but the chance to draft an Ezekiel Elliott-type player has to make the front office giddy.
Tennessee Titans – Jamal Adams, DB, LSU – The Titans are a team on the rise and with the pick they acquired from Los Angeles (Rams), Adams makes a good secondary that much better. Tennessee, if Marcus Mariota is healthy, should challenge for a playoff berth this year.
New York Jets – Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – Watson is the best quarterback of this class in my opinion and gives Jets’ fans hope for the future. He may not start right away, but Watson’s arm and athleticism is a step in the right direction for this franchise.
Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, DB, Ohio State – The Chargers hit a home run last season with Joey Bosa and now get his teammate to boost the secondary. Los Angeles will also have to address the future replacement at quarterback at some point.
Carolina Panthers – Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama – Despite the issues at the Combine, Foster can come in and learn. He can learn from Luke Kuechley and Thomas Davis. Foster is still the top linebacker coming out in this draft and makes a good defense in Carolina even better.
Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee – The Bengals still have plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Adding another pass rusher doesn’t hurt. While Garrett and Thomas have gotten more press, Barnett will be a solid player in this league.
Buffalo Bills – Marshon Lattimore, Defensive Back, Ohio State – Some say he is the most gifted cornerback in this draft. However, there are some health concerns. In fact, if he can overcome the questions about his durability, the Bills may have gotten the steal of the draft.