The NFL Draft is just around the corner, and with mock drafts abound, we here at Babble Royale wanted to put in our two cents. Now that the free agency frenzy has died down, the holes left on each team are becoming more clear. Whether these holes will be filled in the first round is the real question. While there are 32 picks in the first round, only 29 teams making pick. The goal is to cover each team leading right up to the draft. So let’s start with the first two teams picking in this year’s draft: Cleveland and San Francisco.
1st Round Picks: #1, #12
Cleveland has an excellent opportunity to acquire multiple starters in the draft this year. After making some solid moves to improve the team (adding OG Kevin Zeitler, C J.C. Tretter, and WR Kenny Britt), the Browns are poised to add a future superstar or two. The number one pick can go in multiple directions, and based on recent speculation, the Browns have yet to make a decision on what they need more. However, the addition of truly game-changing talent should come before simply filling a hole.
Pick #1: DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
Garrett is an athletic beast and more than capable of putting together an All-Pro career. Though he is a top flight pass rusher, there are a few minor improvements to be made before he truly takes off. But the explosiveness and agility Garrett possesses will be enough to make him a force to be reckoned with, and a true superstar that Cleveland can further build their defense around.
Pick #12: QB Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
If rumors are to believed, the other choice Cleveland is considering at #1 is Trubisky. Playing in a spread offense at North Carolina, Trubisky is adept at throwing accurate passes both in the pocket and on the run. A true duel-threat QB, there is certainly potential for Trubisky to grow into a franchise QB. However, he is likely to need a year to work on reading pass rushes and adapting to the speed of the NFL. Though many teams are looking to grab a QB, there is equal amounts of likelihood that a QB isn’t picked in the first round as there is a QB to be picked 1st overall. If things fall Cleveland’s way, Trubisky should be available come the number 12 pick, and Cleveland can walk out of the draft with a superstar pass-rusher and franchise QB with their first two picks.
San Francisco 49ers
1st Round Picks: #2
The 49ers have fallen on some bad times in the last couple years. After Jim Harbaugh left in 2014, San Francisco has seen back to back single season coaches in Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly, the retirement of defensive starters Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, and Justin Smith, and a complete overhaul of the front office. Now under the watch of GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers are hoping to turn things around this season and continue to rebuild to the team that once dominant in the league. Free agency was a solid first step, signing WR Pierre Garcon, QBs Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, and LB Malcolm Smith. However, there is still plenty of holes to fill.
Pick #2: DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)
There are many directions this pick could go. If San Francisco believes in a QB enough, they will invest the #2 pick in him. After releasing starting CB Tramaine Brock, there is a big hole the secondary that could be filled with this pick. But the draft is deep enough in both positions to make these picks later in the draft. Adding a blue chip talent from a hometown school would do wonders to improve their defense. Solomon Thomas could just as easily be the best player in the draft depending on if he can increase in size to compete with NFL offensive lineman. He has the motor to be in on every play and strength to disrupt any play. A nice piece to add to a rebuilding defense.
And those are my first two teams. Do you agree with my picks? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like this post, share it on Facebook, and subscribe to Babble Royale. And be sure to check back every day leading up to April 29th to see the rest of my picks for the first round of this years draft.