Todd McShay is ESPN’s NFL Draft guru, regularly publishing mock drafts in the months and weeks leading up to the big day.
But with less than a week until the draft, McShay’s latest mock looks completely different — all thanks to two blockbuster trades that have reshuffled the order at the top of the first round.
Not long ago, Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil looked like a lock for the Titans at no. 1 overall, an athletic lineman perfect to protect Marcus Mariota.
But then the Rams traded a war chest of picks to the Titans in exchange for the top pick, indicating that a quarterback, and not Tunsil, will be the first name called.
Then, on Wednesday, the Eagles and Browns pulled off the second mammoth trade of the draft, giving the Eagles the second overall pick.
McShay’s latest mock reflects the recent trade frenzy.
Let’s take a look at McShay’s updated top 10:
No. 1 Los Angeles Rams — Jared Goff (QB, Cal)
Although the Rams haven’t said explicitly that they will take Goff over Carson Wentz, McShay called it the “worst-kept secret in the world.” In McShay’s earlier mocks, Goff fell to the 49ers at no. 7. Now he’s likely to be the top pick — and it’s going to make him millions.
No. 2 Philadelphia Eagles — Carson Wentz (QB, North Dakota St.)
McShay initially had Wentz at no. 2, except landing in Cleveland instead of Philadelphia. The trade between the two teams is especially curious when you consider that the Eagles have Sam Bradford and the Browns have Robert Griffin III. Unsurprisingly, Adam Schefter reports that Bradford isn’t thrilled that the Eagles traded up for the second pick.
Here’s what McShay thinks: “Pairing him with QB guru Doug Pederson would be a great fit.”
No. 3 San Diego Chargers — Jalen Ramsey (DB, Florida St.)
McShay had Ramsey third before the two blockbuster trades, and he has him third again. But he also thinks that Tunsil could be in play, as could Note Dame lineman Ronnie Stanley. Both would be nice additions to a leaky San Diego line that needs to do a better job protecting Philip Rivers.
No. 4 Dallas Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio St.)
Another big surprise here. Elliott has been skyrocketing up mock drafts, but prior to the Cleveland/Philly trade it looked like the Eagles were going to take him at no. 8. Now Elliott might go even higher. Here’s what McShay’s sources have told him: “I’ve heard three names all along with Dallas: Elliott, Ramsey and Joey Bosa.”
No. 5 Jacksonville Jaguars — Joey Bosa (DE, Ohio St.)
McShay initially had Myles Jack here, but lingering concerns over Jack’s knee have pushed him all the way down to the teens. Still, McShay’s latest mock confirms that the Jaguars are prioritising defence — and if Bosa falls to five the Jaguars will be smart to act fast on him.
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens — Ronnie Stanley (OT, Notre Dame)
McShay still thinks Stanley is a top-10 pick, what’s surprising is that he has the Notre Dame product going ahead of Tunsil as the first offensive lineman in the draft. From McShay: “Some teams are cooling a little bit on Laremy Tunsil. He could go as high as No. 3, but he also could slide a bit within the top-10.”
No. 7 San Francisco 49ers — Laremy Tunsil (OT, Ole Miss)
Teams may be cooling on him, but he’s not falling too far. Again, before the big Rams trade, the 49ers looked poised to take the Goff here. Now they have fallen out of the race for Goff and Wentz, meaning that they will have to look at different position groups. If the Chargers don’t take Tunsil with no. 3, he could fall to the Niners here.
No. 8 Cleveland Browns — DeForest Buckner (DE, Oregon)
By trading down, the Browns suggest their rebuild is focused on more than just a new quarterback. So, McShay likes them to take Buckner — a supremely athletic defender. From McShay: “Buckner has some versatility, but he’s best suited to play 3-4 DE, which just so happens to be one of Cleveland’s biggest needs. Buckner is disruptive against the run and plays with a great motor.”
No. 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Jack Conklin (OT, Michigan St.)
McShay initially had the Bucs taking Vernon Hargreaves III, a cornerback from Florida. Now it looks like Tampa Bay wants to add insurance to Jameis Winston. But don’t count out a trade at this position, either.
Writes McShay: “Look out for a trade at this spot. Tennessee could move up from No. 15 to get a tackle like Conklin to protect Marcus Mariota. Even if Tampa Bay slides down the draft board, the Bucs could still get Vernon Hargreaves III (more on him later).”
No. 10 New York Giants — Darron Lee (LB, Ohio St.)
McShay changes the G-Men’s pick from Shaq Lawson, a defensive end, to Lee. This is most likely because the Giants spent heavily on Olivier Vernon, a free agent DE. But the Giants still need work at the linebacker position, and since McShay isn’t certain Myles Jack’s knee is 100%, Lee is the best linebacker available.
Read the rest of McShay’s updated mock draft at ESPN Insider.
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