As I talked to people around the league for this first mock draft of the season, I was reminded over and over again that, essentially: "We're just getting started with these guys." Two postseason all-star games are in the midst of practice, the Senior Bowl is a couple weeks off and we're still over a month from the NFL combine. And with some front offices still in flux, and coaches still being hired, there are literally months remaining for organizations to get draft boards lined up. I expect my grades to change considerably as well between now and May.
" I tied picks to need a little more than I would closer to the draft, because teams don't have a sense of who that "best player available" really is just yet.
" Heights, weights and current speed reports are what I have now -- and most I assume are pretty close -- but these won't become official until the combine. Inevitably, some shift.
" Remember: I can't reflect trades. What I will do is point out good spots for a move.
There were two players I wanted to get into the first round, but didn't. I think Derek Carr of Fresno State will end up in Round 1, but I didn't project him in here because I can't reflect trades. I also wanted to get Ohio State's Ryan Shazier in (I have a first-round grade on him). It's a reminder that mock drafts reflect projections, not my overall prospect grades.
An asterisk denotes a junior or redshirt sophomore at the time of draft entry.
The ^ symbol indicates that Baltimore and Dallas will flip a coin to determine which team picks first.
The order for the last four picks is currently according to regular-season record. Final draft order will be determined after the Super Bowl.