Projecting the Top Five NFL Draft Picks

As Radio City Music Hall prepares to welcome a new class of NFL players in the upcoming NFL Draft, it’s time for us to critically examine some of the class’s top prospects. With the verdict all but decided on Myles Garrett going to the Cleveland Browns, let us turn an eye to the next four teams in line and some of their possible projected picks.

2. San Francisco 49ers
Needs: Quarterback, linebacker, offensive line, defensive line

  • QB Mitch Trubisky or DeShaun Watson
  • DE Solomon Thomas
  • CB Marshon Lattimore

3. Chicago Bears
Needs: Offensive line, cornerback, quarterback

  • S Malik Hooker
  • CB Marshon Lattimore
  • S Jamal Adams

4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Needs: Offensive line, defensive line, safety

  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • CB Marshon Lattimore
  • S Jamal Adams

5. Tennessee Titans
Needs: Cornerback, wide receiver

  • WR Mike Williams
  • CB Gareon Conley
  • S Jamal Adams

Note that these four teams share some common needs on the defensive line and in the secondary. According to, there are three defensive backs and three defensive linemen among the top ten prospects–meaning the 49ers will be setting the tone for who goes where.

Many pundits have San Fran selecting Solomon Thomas with the second overall pick. But rookie General Manager John Lynch has publicly mentioned the D-Line as a strength for his new team. He and new coach Kyle Shanahan may end up choosing a quarterback. In that regard, either Mitch Trubisky or Clemson’s DeShaun Watson are viable options.

Mitch Trubisky has the potential to throw off the entire draft with his West Coast appeal.

Mitch Trubisky has the potential to throw off the entire draft with his West Coast appeal.

Earlier this month, the 49ers conducted a workout with Watson, and brought him to Santa Clara for an official visit. They did the same with Trubisky. But right now the rumor mill is spinning that the Browns may forgo Myles Garrett for Trubisky. The Browns are looking for a QB of the future and Trub may not be there when the Browns go back on the clock at no. 12. This might leads the 49ers to grab DeShaun Watson, but don’t forget one of San Fran’s main needs is defensive end–meaning we could easily see them taking Myles Garrett with the number 2 pick.

At number three, the Chicago Bears will most likely go in a different direction. With some big holes in the secondary, they’ll look to take one of the top defensive backs. That will either be Jamal Taylor, Malik Hooker, and Marshon Lattimore. Chances are, Lattimore is going to fall to the Bears here and you’ve got to think they’ll go with him. With a solid build for a back (6’0/193), a 4.36 40-time and 96th-percentile athleticism, Lattimore allowed a 30.2 passer rating on throws into his coverage last season, missing zero tackles. If the Bears select Lattimore, they’ll got one of the best defensive backs to appear in the draft in years.

At number four, many have Leonard Fournette as a consensus pick for the Jaguars. Tom Coughlin has come in as a top executive, and he’ll be looking to transform the Jags offense into something resembling his old Giants teams with their run-first, smash mouth offenses, power backs, and a sharp focus on ball control. Even though there’s likely to be a handful of solid defensive players at this spot, it’s the offense that needs a real boost.

Then at number five, the Titans might just have some solid options. Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker might still be available; Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas, too, depending on whether QBs take the top two spots. Other solid options here would be Clemson’s 6’3 WR Mike Williams, who would pair well with young QB Marcus Mariota, and CB Gareon Conley. Conley has a bit of an edge over fellow top DB Marshon Lattimore with his size and durability, and might just have the grapes to get drafted earlier than expected.

But again it all depends on what the Browns do. If they don’t take Garrett the whole thing gets muddled up. If Mitch Trubisky is as solid as scouts say he is, he might just be the X-Factor in this year’s draft. I guess we’ll find out.