NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has the first post-free agency mock draft for NFL.com, and perhaps not surprisingly after a slew of high-profile running backs changed teams in the past week, Baldinger has a running back going in the top 10.
No running back has gone in the first round in either of the past two drafts.
Baldinger has Todd Gurley going sixth overall to the New York Jets. The last time a running back was selected in the top 10 of the draft? Trent Richardson went third to Cleveland in 2012, and that did not work out well. The last time the Jets took a running back in the first round? Blair Thomas with the second overall pick in 1990. That didn't work out too well, either.
Some other observations from Baldinger's mock:
» He has Jameis Winston going first to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has Marcus Mariota falling to 12th, to Cleveland. That would be the third time in four years the Browns took a quarterback in the first round. Cleveland spent the 22nd overall pick on Johnny Manziel last year, and the 22nd pick on Brandon Weeden in 2012.
» He has edge rushers Randy Gregory and Dante Fowler Jr., going second, and third, respectively, to Tennessee and Jacksonville. He also has edge rusher Shane Ray going in the top five, at No. 5 to Washington. In all, he has five edge rushers in the first round, with Vic Beasley going to Houston at No. 16 and fast-rising Bud Dupree to Pittsburgh at No. 22.
» Baldinger has each of the top three receivers going in the top 13, with Kevin White going fourth to Oakland, Amari Cooper 11th to Minnesota and DeVante Parker 13th to New Orleans. Three receivers went in the top 12 last year: Sammy Watkins to Buffalo, Mike Evans to Tampa Bay and Odell Beckham Jr. to the New York Giants.
» Baldinger has four defensive tackles in the first round -- Danny Shelton to the New York Giants at No. 9, Arik Armstead to Cincinnati at No. 21, Eddie Goldman to Dallas at No. 27 and Jordan Phillips to Denver at No. 28. Denver is looking for a run-stuffer to replace free agent Terrance Knighton (who is heading to the Redskins), but Phillips is seen by some as a risky pick. He enjoyed a good 2014 campaign, but a back injury that required surgery led to him missing almost all of the 2013 season and he is a raw prospect.