We’re almost there.
Draft stocks are all but solidified as the pre-draft process nears the home stretch, and teams have a clear idea of positional needs now that all but a few of the marquee free agents have been scooped up.
Here’s an updated first-round projection with just over three weeks to go until the NFL’s main offseason event.
1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Lock it in.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
John Lynch goes with the fellow Stanford product with the first pick of his tenure in San Francisco. Thomas rounds out a talented defensive front in filling a foundation spot on the edge.
3. Chicago Bears – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
A quarterback to groom behind Mike Glennon is definitely possible, but the Bears will probably be more inclined to address the defense following that move. Adams can be the leader for a secondary that badly needs an overhaul.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Unless Jacksonville goes quarterback, which seems unlikely, this is the first of several realistic landing spots for Fournette. The Jaguars pairing a dominant ground game with their up-and-coming defense is a step in the right direction.
5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
With all other pieces in place, Tennessee’s offense is a receiver or two away from being one of the NFL’s most well-rounded scoring units. Davis immediately steps in as the No. 1 target for Marcus Mariota.
6. New York Jets – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
(Photo courtesy: Action Images)
The Jets again put off taking a quarterback to instead land a potential shutdown corner. Knowing all about how such a player can put a defense over the top, New York would hope that Lattimore can be the next Darrelle Revis.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
A centerfield playmaker may be the final piece to a Chargers defense that suddenly has the makings of a top-tier group. Hooker, who racked up seven interceptions in his final season at Ohio State, is that and more.
8. Carolina Panthers – John Ross, WR, Washington
Why not? Receiver isn’t Carolina’s biggest need, but the opportunity to give Cam Newton a dominant deep threat is incredibly enticing. This could be the ideal landing spot for Ross, who set a combine 40-yard dash record at 4.22s.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Landing Kevin Minter on a one-year deal shouldn’t deter Cincinnati from taking a potential long-term centerpiece at linebacker. Foster and Vontaze Burfict is a scary good tandem over the middle of the field.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
One of the top three receivers still being on the board at No. 10 is a dream scenario for Buffalo. Williams fills that No. 2 spot alongside Sammy Watkins in providing a much-needed upgrade to the Bills passing game.
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