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Mason's Mock Draft 3.0: Rams-Titans trade shuffles the deck


1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee)
QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Previous (as Tennessee): OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi

For the next two weeks, every pundit will try to interpret smokescreens and read tea leaves to figure out whether the Rams will take Wentz or California's Jared Goff. Although Wentz has a steeper climb from FCS to the NFL, his measurables and the growth he showed at the Senior Bowl will help him be the pick.


  1. Cleveland Browns** CB/S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
    Previous: Wentz

Cleveland is the ultimate wild card in this entire draft. Will the analytics-driven perspective lead them to go into asset-acquisition mode and trade down? Will they still draft a quarterback, even if and when the Rams select one atop the draft -- or will they wait? If they stand pat and pick the best pure player on the board, that would be Ramsey.

3. San Diego Chargers
OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi
Previous: Ramsey

Perhaps the Chargers' biggest problem in recent years has been protecting Philip Rivers. Tunsil will provide immediate help.

4. Dallas Cowboys
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Previous: Same

The Cowboys could take Bosa, Ramsey or Myles Jack and find a helpful new component for their defense. Bosa looks like the best fit, and has high upside.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
Previous: Same

Assuming the Jaguars feel positive about Jack's medical recheck Friday, they should find him to be a needed upgrade to a defense that could be poised for a big leap with Dante Fowler Jr. returning and Malik Jackson arriving.

6. Baltimore Ravens
DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Previous: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame

As with the Browns, the Ravens could make a deal down, but Buckner would provide excellent value at No. 6.

7. San Francisco 49ers
QB Jared Goff, California
Previous: Same

This pick shows how the Browns may hold the key to the entire draft in regards to how the quarterback position shakes down. If Cleveland takes Goff, the 49ers could go for Paxton Lynch here, or could sit and wait and grab another quarterback in the second or third round. If they like Lynch but think the value is better, they could take a calculated risk and move down a few picks if a trade offer is right.


  1. Philadelphia Eagles** RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
    Previous: Same

The Eagles have worked out quarterbacks, but that could just be a due-diligence play. Elliott can make their entire offense better, and new head coach Doug Pederson knows all about riding bellwether backs after doing so with Jamaal Charles in Kansas City.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Previous: Buckner

Hargreaves reminds me a bit of Chris Harris Jr., and he should immediately go inside in nickel and outside in the base; he has the versatility and intelligence to handle that role. The Bucs would be wise to keep the Tampa-area product at home.

10. New York Giants
OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Previous: OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State

As with the Chargers, the Giants must fortify the front to keep their 13-year veteran quarterback upright and extend his effective life.

11. Chicago Bears
OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Previous: Hargreaves

John Fox and Vic Fangio need speed off the edge; Floyd can provide that.

12. New Orleans Saints
DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Previous: Same

Free-agent pickup Nick Fairley upgrades the Saints' D-line in the short run; Robinson provides an upgrade for the long haul.

13. Miami Dolphins
OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Previous: Same

The Dolphins could move up if Elliott is their target, but Lee will also prove helpful to a defense that needs it.

14. Oakland Raiders
CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Previous: Same

Which cornerback do you favor? Eli Apple and William Jackson III are on the radar here, as well.

15. Tennessee Titans
OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Previous (as Los Angeles): WR Corey Coleman, Baylor

Conklin isn't Tunsil, but with the additional picks the Titans get in their swap with the Rams, he's a good start in getting proper value from the deal.

16. Detroit Lions
OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
Previous: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama

A common theme: Protecting a mid-to-late-career quarterback in whom the franchise has a significant investment. Enter Decker.


  1. Atlanta Falcons** DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
    Previous: Same

Dan Quinn needs some fire and nastiness from his defense. Rankins can provide that up front on the inside.

18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8)
C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Previous: OLB/DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson

With Conklin and Decker off the board, upgrading outside protection for Andrew Luck means making a reach. But they can aid the inside, and perhaps find their center for the next decade in the steady, technically sound Kelly.

19. Buffalo Bills (8-8)
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Previous: OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

If the mock draft falls this way, this is where you start looking at Paxton Lynch. With rumblings of contract issues with Tyrod Taylor, Lynch could be a possibility here, but for now, Reed is the pick.

20. New York Jets (10-6)
QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Previous: DE/OLB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky

And there it is. With Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned and Bryce Petty still a project, the Jets go for the best quarterback still on the board.

21. Washington Redskins (9-7)
ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Previous: Same

If Kelly drops, he would be a good fit, but Ragland will also provide an immediate upgrade.

22. Houston Texans (9-7)
WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Previous: Kelly

In search of a complement to DeAndre Hopkins and another target for Brock Osweiler, Houston takes perhaps the top receiver on the board.


  1. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)** WR Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
    Previous: Same

His skill set and ability to battle for footballs and make plays in traffic is a good match for Teddy Bridgewater, who can drop the football into tight windows.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Previous: WR Corey Coleman, Baylor

Doctson is a good complement to A.J. Green and within a year could be an upgrade over free-agent departure Mohamed Sanu.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Previous: Same

A cornerback corps in need of reinforcements could use a potential lockdown cornerback like Apple.

26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
G Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Previous: Decker

Seattle has needs all along its offensive line, and Whitehair is arguably the best player available (not just among linemen). His technique makes him ready to play right away.

27. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
Previous: Same

Baylor's Andrew Billings is another possibility here, and the Packers could look to Shaq Lawson or Noah Spence to help on the edge if they think either could work as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
CB William Jackson III, Houston
Previous: Same

If Jackson, Apple or Alexander are at this spot, the Chiefs would have a valuable player who could step in right away opposite Marcus Peters. Lawson or Spence could be in play here in the wake of Justin Houston's injury as the Chiefs are down to Tamba Hali and Dee Ford on the edge.

29. Arizona Cardinals (13-3)
DE/OLB Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Previous: S Vonn Bell, Ohio State

An unexpected descent for Lawson drops him into Arizona's lap.

30. Carolina Panthers (15-1)
OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Previous: Whitehair

Noah Spence is still on the board, and the Panthers could find him tempting, but the offensive line still needs an upgrade.

31. Denver Broncos (12-4)
DE/DT Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi
Previous: Same

The range for Nkemdiche to go off the board would appear to start with the Bills at No. 19. Seattle is an intriguing possibility at No. 26, and has the organizational confidence to take a chance on a supremely talented player who needs guidance and teammates' support. But in Denver, he would find the perfect fit of scheme, coaching (Bill Kollar) and a strong locker room. Nkemdiche wouldn't just be good for the Broncos; the Broncos would be good for Nkemdiche.

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