Last week HEROSports.com's NFL Draft Analyst Todd Worly released Mock Draft 3.0. In that mock, the Cleveland Browns landed an elite running back and an impact defensive star, the Buffalo Bills added a deep threat at wide receiver, Philip Rivers gets help at wide receiver, too, and the New York Jets get the draft's best cornerback.
Mock Drafts are difficult for numerous reasons. While it's easy to decipher team needs and even the top players in the draft, it's not easy to glean which players fit stylistically, scheme wise and in terms of of disposition and clubhouse personality. Nor can anyone outside the 32 NFL teams themselves determine how much the clubs value certain talents and skills, or even a position.
I'm here to do the easy thing, which is take guesses based off one thing: What if teams go in the other direction from Worly's mock? Call it an Alternate Universe Mock, call it a waste of ever-loving time, call it whatever you want, but here's another possibility for each club in Round 1. Oh, and here's alternate mock 2.1 from two weeks ago.
The Browns have two first-round picks, at least for now — this one and No. 12 overall. While the team needs a quarterback, Cleveland has been mentioned in discussions for New England's Jimmy Garappolo Dallas veteran Tony Romo, San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick, and others. Whether or not they land one of them may play quite a role in what they do with both first-round picks.
At No. 1, it's imperative the Browns either get that franchise quarterback or give themselves the best chance at a star, and that's Garrett.
Mock 3.0: Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. San Francisco 49ers
Mitch Trubisky, QB
The 49ers would like to get their hands on Kirk Cousins and have been linked to veteran QBs, too, but new head coach Kyle Shanahan may prefer to start anew with Trubisky if a Cousins deal can't be made.
Trubisky is generally considered the most NFL-ready of the top quarterbacks in the class, despite just one year as the starter in Chapel Hill.
Mock 3.0: Garrett
3. Chicago Bears
Mike Williams, WR
This may be a bit high for Williams, but considering where the staff and front office are in their tenure, drafting a QB here is far less likely to help the Bears flip the script in 2017 than almost any other position on the field.
Williams gives whoever the QB end up being (Garappolo?) an elite target from Day 1.
Mock 3.0: Jabrill Peppers, S — Michigan
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
DeShaun Watson, QB
Tom Coughlin is already on record saying the QB job in 2017 is not Blake Bortles' to lose and Bortles' contract is up after 2017 — unless the Jaguars want to exercise their fifth-year option.
Considering all that, the Jags get a future QB here who isn't playing behind a proven option, suggesting at some point in 2017 he undoubtedly takes over the reins.
Mock 3.0: Adams
5. Tennessee Titans (via L.A. Rams)
Solomon Thomas, DT
Tennessee has needs in the secondary and in their front seven but Thomas' ability to rush from the edge and the interior makes too much sense here.
The Titans could also look to grab the best safety, LSU's Jamal Adams, or cornerback, Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore.
Mock 3.0: Jonathan Allen, DE
6. New York Jets
DeShone Kizer, QB
Lattimore and Adams certainly fit here, but if the current Jets front office believe Christian Hackenburg is THE answer at quarterback, they'll ultimately be replaced someone who, presumably … doesn't.
Mock 3.0: Lattimore
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Jonathan Allen, DE
Would love to be a little more creative here but Allen is so far and away the best player on the board, the Chargers would be dumber than a box of NFL owners to pass on him.
Mock 3.0: Williams
8. Carolina Panthers
Marshon Lattimore, CB
Carolina isn't that far, in terms of talent, so essentially replacing Josh Norman with Lattimore could get them back into contention. They could use more speed on offense and offensive line help, too.
Mock 3.0: Marlon Humphrey, CB — Alabama
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Jamal Adams, S
Adams adds another playmaker on defense for the Bengals, who could field one of the top few secondaries in football with Adams joining Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick.
Alabama ILB Reuben Foster makes sense here, too.
Mock 3.0: Taco Charlton, DE — Michigan
10. Buffalo Bills
Reuben Foster, ILB
The Bills need a QB before any receiver brings any No. 10-type value to their roster and they could use more OL help, too. Despite a weak class of O-linemen, this may be the earliest the run starts on them.
Mock 3.0: John Ross, WR — Washington
11. New Orleans Saints
Teez Tabor, CB
Tabor offers size and coverage skills to a Saints pass defense torched to the tune of 274 yards per week, dead last in the NFL in 2016.
Charlton, perhaps the best pass rusher available at this stage, makes sense here, too.
Mock 3.0: Zach Cunningham, ILB — Vanderbilt
12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia)
Leonard Fournette, RB
There's a great chance Fournette is gone by the time the Browns come up a second time, with the Jets, Panthers and Bengals all appearing like a fit to some degree.
The Browns could prefer a playmaker at safety or linebacker here, such as Peppers, Cunningham or Tim Williams.
Mock 3.0: Jarrad Davis, ILB — Florida
13. Arizona Cardinals
Cam Robinson, OT
Robinson fills a need for Arizona, whose line imploded a year ago and had problems keeping Carson Palmer upright.
The Cardinals could go in a lot of directions here including cornerback and wide receiver.
14. Indianapolis Colts
Jabrill Peppers, S
The Colts need OL help as much as anything, but the value here suggests Peppers, one of the available linebackers such as Davis or Cunningham or perhaps one of top defensive backs.
Mock 3.0: Robinson
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota)
Corey Davis, WR
Davis offers Carson Wentz a big-time go-to receiver and the Eagles a more complete offense. Philly has been a rumored landing spot for free agent DeSean Jackson, too, which should not impact the club's efforts here.
Mock 3.0: Davis
16. Baltimore Ravens
Malik Hooker, S
I'm not saying Hooker is the next Ed Reed — who is? — but Hooker may have the highest ceiling of any defensive back in the entire class. Baltimore could use a pass rusher here, too — UCLA's Takkarist McKinley?
With the top three receivers off the board, the Ravens probably don't consider No. 4 — JuJu Smith-Schuster? Curtis Samuel? Dede Westbrook? — at No. 16 overall.
Mock 3.0: Tim Williams, OLB — Alabama
17. Washington Redskins
Dalvin Cook, RB
Any of the top three receivers would make sense here with Pierra Garcon and DeSean Jackson free agent this offseason, but in this scenrio they're off the board.
Matt Jones and Robert Kelley looked good last season but Jones fell into the doghouse due to ball security issues and Kelley isn't as complete a back as Cook, nor does he bring the upside.
Mock 3.0: Hooker
18. Tennessee Titans
Marlon Humphrey, CB
The Titans filled a need with Thomas at No. 5 giving them the freedom to fill another need in the secondary. Hooker and any of the top three receivers make sense here, too.
Mock 3.0: Sidney Jones, CB — Washington
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Christian McCaffrey, RB
The Bucs could go with a pass rusher such as Derek Barnett or Charles Harris here, and a receiver to complement Mike Evans also fits.
McCaffrey's the best player available and despite the Bucs having handed Doug Martin a new deal last offseason McCaffrey offers a lot of versatility and Martin will miss the first four games of the season to suspension.
Mock 3.0: Charles Harris, DE — Missouri
20. Denver Broncos
Ryan Ramczyk, OT
Denver released tackle Russell Okung this month, making OL the club's No. 1 need heading into free agency and the draft. Ramczyk may ultimately be the best tackle in the class if he fights through hip surgery and doesn't miss significant developmental time over the summer.
Mock 3.0: Malike McDowell, DE (3-4) — Michigan State
21. Detroit Lions
Taco Charlton, DE
Detroit could also go secondary here with several worthy corners available in this scenario. Charlton offers edge help, however, one of the Lions' top needs entering the start of the 2017 season.
Mock 3.0: McCaffrey
22. Miami Dolphins
Garrett Bolles, OT
While a pass rusher or pure linebacker would also make sense here, Bolles allows the Dolphins the flexibility to leave Laremy Tunsil at guard, where he played all of last season.
Mock 3.0: Barnett
23. New York Giants
Alvin Kamara, RB
The Giants could go defense here, particularly at tackle and linebacker, but Kamara could be the answer at running back the club has been seeking since their thunder and lightning combo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw was the last Giants back to surpass 900 yards when he ended the year at 1,015 in 2012.
Mock 3.0: Caleb Brantley, DT — Florida
24. Oakland Raiders
Tim Williams, OLB
Williams can offer Kahlil Mack some pass-rush help. The Raiders finished last in sacks and sack percentage in 2016.
Mock 3.0: Gareon Conley, CB — Ohio State
25. Houston Texans
Haason Reddick, OLB
While QB is the Texans biggest problem it seems Round 2 is a better range for them to take a shot at their future — Pat Mahomes? — and instead bolster an elite defense with Reddick.
Offensive line help makes a lot of sense here, too.
Mock 3.0: Dan Feeney, OG — Indiana
26. Seattle Seahawks
Quincy Wilson, CB
The Seahawks' biggest need is tackle, both left and right, but since we're looking for first alternatives, corner makes sense at No. 26.
LSU's TreDavious White played this year for Ed Orgeron, whom Seattle head coach Pete Carroll had on his staff at USC for seven seasons. One would imagine Seattle gets reliable info on White. Wilson is generally considered the better player, however, and fits the Seahawks press coverage style better, also offering better size and physicality.
Deshawn Shead is a free agent and will miss a good portion of 2017 anyway (torn ACL). Seattle will have to do something at corner before the season.
Clemson corner Cordrea Tankersley and several offensive linemen are logical selections here, too.
Mock 3.0: Garrett Bolles, OT — Utah
27. Kansas City Chiefs
Sidney Jones, CB
Jones joins former Huskies teammate Marcus Peters in Kansas City to form one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL. Jones isn't as big as Peters but plays physical and is technically sound with ball skills and recovery speed.
The Chiefs could go with Smith-Schuster or Westbrook here to offer Alex Smith another playmaker, and if Kamara, McCaffrey or Cook fall each fits here, too.
Mock 3.0: Kizer
28. Dallas Cowboys
Derek Barnett, DE
Dallas' pass rush will need help with Randy Gregory suspended and no Cowboys defender having recorded more than six sacks last season. Barnett should make an immediate impact.
Mock 3.0: Desmond King, CB — Iowa
29. Green Bay Packers
Zach Cunningham, LB
The Packers could use a pass rusher or corner here, too, but Cunningham is the best player available, offering inside-outside versatility and a backup plan to one of Green Bay's biggest free agents, Nick Perry.
FSU's DeMarcus Walker also fits here, as does McKinley, Barnett or Williams.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles Harris, DE
Harris helps replenish the aging middle of the Steelers defense, offering pass rush skills and bit of experience with 3-4 concepts out of Missouri's 4-3 base defense.
A corner, safety or one of the top tight ends make sense here, too.
Mock 3.0: O.J. Howard, TE — Alabama
31. Atlanta Falcons
Jarrad Davis, ILB
The Falcons could consider Bolles, Feeney or one of the tight ends here such as Miami's David Njoku, and it may not be out of the question for Dan Quinn to add another corner.
Mock 3.0: Tabor
32. New England Patriots
Caleb Brantley, DT
The Patriots could draft a player at any one of the position groups outside the kicking game and QB and it wouldn't be surprise. Some wouldn't be shocked if they tapped a QB here, but considering the talent they'd be leaving on the table, that's a tough one to buy.
Brantley offers interior pass-rush ability, complementing the Patriots' 4-3 defense and improving their ability to make opposing QBs feel uncomfortable.