Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams — USA Today Sports Image

NFL Draft fans, you could have seen Hub Arkush's latest mock draft on Friday morning in your inbox. It's true! Sign up for PFW's NFL Draft Insider newsletter, and get exclusive analysis and more. It's free to sign up, do it today.

It’s still way too early to know what any of these clubs are actually thinking, and we know their draft boards are still going to change a dozen times after they’ve had a chance to review and organize their combine results, go to pro days, bring players in for visits, etc.

But if you go back and study prior drafts and match up each team with the best available athlete/player at one of their top two or three needs, you’ll be surprised to see how close you can get to how the draft actually works out.

Of course you have to have the same best available list that each team has and that almost never happens, but it’s still almost too easy to make an argument for most of these picks.

Where things always go south using this method is that in the actual draft, somewhere in the first 10-to-15 picks if not sooner, some team goes off the reservation — see Denver at No. 10 — and either reaches way too far to match a need or picks a player it has no need for but thinks is just too good to pass up.

But, if every team does pretty much exactly what they should do on April 25th, the first round of this year’s draft could end up looking an awful lot like this.

1. CARDINALS — Quinnen Williams, DT, AlabamaThey didn’t hire Kingsbury to take three steps backwards, and after drafting their franchise QB last year, they take best player in draft this year.

2. 49ers — Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky Niners fix one of the NFL’s weakest pass rushes with the top edge rusher available.

3. N.Y. JETS — D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole MissNobody likes wideouts this high, but this kid measures and tests absolutely off the charts.

4. RAIDERS — Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio StateGruden needs a difference maker on defense and Bosa is the best one available.

5. BUCS — Jonah Williams, OT, AlabamaEven with Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson back, Winston needs a lot more protection if Arians is going to resurrect him.

6. N.Y. GIANTS — Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio StateMurray may be a great pro some day, but Haskins is a safer bet and much better fit for the Giants.

7. JAGUARS — N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona StateAssuming they reel in Foles – which is hard to see how they’ll do with their cap issues – Harry should be the perfect complement.

8. LIONS — T.J. Hockenson, TE, IowaThis kid’s flying up draft boards and should be exactly what Matt Stafford needs.

9. BILLS — Dexter Lawrence, DT, ClemsonThis kid’s a top-5 talent who’s only still on the board because of a failed drug test end of last season.

10. BRONCOS — Kyler Murray, QB, OklahomaDrafting small forwards at QB – Osweiler, Lynch – didn’t work for Elway, so why not a point guard?

NFL Draft fans, you could have seen Hub Arkush's latest mock draft on Friday morning in your inbox. It's true! Sign up for PFW's NFL Draft Insider newsletter, and get exclusive analysis and more. It's free to sign up, do it today.

11. BENGALS — Devin White, LB, LSUThis is a match made in Heaven if White can get stronger and overcome his lack of height – it sure didn’t hurt him in the SEC.

12. PACKERS — Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi StateSweat has the skills to be a big-time pass rusher, and the Packers need a new anchor and focal point of their "D."

13. DOLPHINS — Rashan Gary, EDGE, MichiganThe Dolphins need help everywhere, and Gary is clearly the best athlete on the board here.

14. FALCONS — Ed Oliver, DT, HoustonWith Grady Jarrett tagged at least one more year and Oliver next to him, don’t try and run the ball on the Falcons.

15. WASHINGTON — Greedy Williams, CB, LSUWashington needs help in the secondary, and it’s been a long time since the best corner in the draft lasted to 15.

16. PANTHERS — Andre Dillard, OT, Washington StateDillard may never be a an All Pro, but he can be a 12-year starter, and the Panthers line has been a problem for a long time.

17. BROWNS — Christian Wilkins, DT, ClemsonRare athleticism for a big man capable of providing the kind of inside presence next to Larry Ogunjobi to make Myles Garrett even better.

18. VIKINGS — Josh Jacobs, RB, AlabamaI love Dalvin Cook, but he can’t stay on the field and the Vikings can’t be fixed without a ground game. Jacobs is the top back in the draft.

19. TITANS — Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, ClemsonThe Titans needed pressure before Brian Orakpo hung them up. Ferrell’s just what the doctor ordered.

20. STEELERS — Deandre Baker, CB, GeorgiaThe Steelers have been trying to fix the corners forever; hopefully, Baker can be the answer.

21. SEAHAWKS — Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi StateSeattle fixed the outside with a franchise tag on Frank Clark, and they’ll bet on Simmons plugging the middle as soon as he's healthy.

22. RAVENS — Jawaan Taylor, OT, FloridaIf Lamar Jackson is going to be the franchise, he’s going to need time. Ronnie Stanley’s one bookend, but the other is missing.

23. TEXANS — Cody Ford, OT, OklahomaEasiest pick on the board, as Texans have to have the best O-lineman available.

24. RAIDERS — Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio StateIf it seems strange that Gruden needs his first two picks to replace Mack and Cooper, it is, but he does.

25. EAGLES — Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana TechEven with Brandon Graham back, Philly needs pressure off both edges and Ferguson can bring it.

26. COLTS — A.J. Brown, WR, Ole MissBrown has some special tools and Andrew Luck will know exactly what to do with them.

27. RAIDERS — Julian Love, CB, Notre DameGruden’s always had a thing for the Golden Dome, so don’t be surprised when he looks there to plug another big hole.

28. CHARGERS — Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas StateRight tackle may be the only soft spot on the Chargers offense and Risner should step right in to fix it.

29. CHIEFS — Byron Murphy, CB, Washington — The Chiefs could be a secondary away from a Super Bowl and Murphy is an instant upgrade.

30.PACKERS — Irv Smith, TE, AlabamaEven Aaron Rodgers needs a security blanket and Jimmy Graham can’t do the job anymore.

31. RAMS — Devin Bush, LB, MichiganBush is undersized, but he’s a superb athlete and super productive, not to mention exactly what the Rams need.

32. PATRIOTS — Drew Lock, QB, MissouriBrady’s still winning rings but the end is in sight and the Pats can’t wait until it’s too late. Lock checks an awful lot of the boxes.

— Hub Arkush

NFL Draft fans, you could have seen Hub Arkush's latest mock draft on Friday morning in your inbox. It's true! Sign up for PFW's NFL Draft Insider newsletter, and get exclusive analysis and more. It's free to sign up, do it today.