SportMap's Cody Stoots takes a look at the draft before free agency gets started

Cody Stoots' NFL mock draft 1.0

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My first go at a mock draft this year. This is a pre-free agency look and some of this picks will be rendered obsolete with the players added via free agency. That isn't going to stop me because after a little while in free agency we will do another one of these.

1. Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Can't see this playing out any other way right now.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State


3. New York Jets - Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Ditto again.

4. Oakland Raiders - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Let's get wild Gruden. Metcalf was a monster at the combine and though Gruden is calling the shots there is still Davis blood at the top. There is almost no talent on the offense and this helps in that category. With two other picks in the first round there is room for error here. High risk, high reward.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Devin White, LB, LSU

The Buccaneers missed the chance to have a field general and tone setter at safety last year by passing on Derwin James. Different position but the missed result gets righted here. White can ball and Tampa needs ballers on the defense.

6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

I wanted to put a tackle here to protect Eli Manning since they're set on him being the quarterback but making sure the future is buttoned up is a necessity at this point.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

A new toy for Nick Foles and hopefully a player to help their rushing attack as well. They have invested heavily in the offense and the quarterback has held them back. It will be Nick Foles' job to make sure the quarterback isn't a huge negative for Jacksonville.

8. Detroit Lions - Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

The Lions have to be jumping for joy this guy is still here.

9. Buffalo Bills - Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

Too much investment at defensive tackle to put Ed Oliver here. I almost thought about a tackle here but surely they can piece the spot together for another year to make sure they have a pass rusher for years to come.

10. Denver Broncos - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

John Elway has disappointed a ton for the Broncos in the draft. The idea of pairing Greedy Williams with veteran cornerback Chris Harris seems like a situation even Elway can't mess up.

11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

There needs to be a makeover on defense getting away from the dirty and poor linebacker play they have been known for in recent years. Bush is freak and will earn back respect with thump after thump patrolling the middle for the Bengals.

12. Green Bay Packers - Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

There is an intense need to get better on defense and Burns' impressive combine has him flying up draft boards.

13. Miami Dolphins - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Miami very well could be getting another Ryan Tannehill level quarterback but they have to start turning the page at the position.

14. Atlanta Falcons - Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

Biggest steal of the draft if this happens.

15. Washington Redskins - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

Williams' potential versatility helps with playing now and the age of their tackles makes his future secure protecting the unsure quarterback position going forward.

16. Carolina Panthers - Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

This helps Cam Newton stay durable and Christian McCaffrey get even better.

17. Cleveland Browns - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

This has the potential to be a nasty tandem pairing Baker with last year's selection Denzel Ward.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

A nasty defensive lineman to help ease the pain of any potential cuts and a hole at defensive tackle.

19. Tennessee Titans - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

I am sure Mike Vrabel can find a way to use him on his defense.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Bud Dupree 2.0 is a potential outcome but pairing him with T.J. Watt could mean the Steelers are a formidable pass rushing team.

21. Seattle Seahawks - Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Plug and play another good player on defense for Seattle. Seems like they consistently get good players dropping into their laps.

22. Baltimore Ravens - N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

There is no talent at the wideout position and Harry solves that.

23. Houston Texans - Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

Likely a dream scenario. I am betting on teams getting scared off from his lack of experience blocking in the run game allowing him to fall this far. The Texans couldn't get the card up there fast enough.

24. Oakland Raiders - Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

A safer selection than Metcalf but another talented player to assist in the rebuild.

25. Philadelphia Eagles - Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

This was one of the harder teams to peg. Alshon Jeffery has worked out just fine for the Eagles why not another South Carolina pass catcher.

26. Indianapolis Colts - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Adding talent to the secondary is never a bad option especially when money spent on cornerbacks rarely works out so drafting one is a better option.

27. Oakland Raiders - Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

Two offensive players in the books so the Raiders have to go defense here. They've failed at safety in recent years so they try to right the ship in the secondary.

28. Los Angeles Chargers - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

A nice player in a nice spot for the Chargers who keep adding to a nice defense.

29. Kansas City Chiefs - Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

They have to add defense and Layne has tremendous potential and size in a division loaded with impressive wideouts.

30. Green Bay Packers - Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

Versatility gets him on the field early.

31. Los Angeles Rams - Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Safety help with the safety turnover will be a popular thought for the Rams.

32. New England Patriots - Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

Before the combine he was a high pick and he will still be in the first round when he falls right into the lap of the Patriots.

54. Houston Texans - Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

There has to be more talent in the cornerback room for the Texans and Love is a dynamic player. He was a huge key for the Irish and could start being a key for the Texans.

55. Houston Texans - Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

There is no reason Nick Martin shouldn't be pushed. While Garrett Bradbury would be the ideal selection he will be long gone before this spot. The next center off the board should be McCoy. I don't know if he could usurp Martin right away but push him and maybe the other guards from the start of camp would be a welcome sight.

86. Houston Texans - Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

I would love to say Michigan defensive lineman Chase Winovich is here and the Texans snatched him up to be a versatile defensive weapon but I believe he will be gone. Adding beef to the middle making the linebacker's job a bit easier and maybe even stealing some pass rush from the middle of the defensive line.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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