This mock is going to serve as an extension of my Justin Herbert article, where I argued my case for him at 1. I will include trades in this mock draft but only in the first round, and the trades themselves will be simple. I do not have trades outside of the first round, but there are plenty of opportunities for trades after round one.
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I stated my case in my article to have Herbert at 1, but for those who didn’t read it, I will give a short explanation. I love his arm, size, and mobility combination and I like the progress he has made throughout his career.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
There has been a lot of talk about a QB here but I don’t think that happens. With that being said when you take a QB as late in the first as Rosen and Haskins were taken you aren’t necessarily married to the pick. Still Young is too good to pass up.
TRADE: DET trades pick 1.3 for CAR picks 1.7, 2.38, and a 2021 2nd
1.3 Carolina Panthers (via DET)
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Joe Brady is flipping out at this point, pounding the table with a 10-lb mallet to draft Burrow. This isn’t a tough sell, to be honest. The question will be how much will it take. For this scenario I have the Panthers trading their 1st and a couple of 2nds, which would be a steal. It could likely cost two 1sts to get the deal done though.
TRADE: NYG trades pick 1.4 for MIA picks 1.5 and 3.70
1.4 Miami Dolphins (via NYG)
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Dolphins are starting to sweat at this point and get a little worried that they may come out of this without getting a QB they like. They move up to get their guy.
1.5 New York Giants (via MIA)
The pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Gettleman doesn’t normally trade his picks, but in this case he picks up an extra pick and still gets his guy. Becton will line up next to Will Hernandez, which will be one of the meanest left sides of the line in all of football. Gettleman made it clear that he wanted to build around the run game and this is a step in that direction.
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
The Chargers miss out on getting one of the top three QBs in the draft, but they still hit a home run. Wills may be the best tackle in the draft and the Chargers get him at six.
1.7 Detroit Lions (via CAR)
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
What a fantastic outcome for the Lions. They get extra picks from Carolina and still get Simmons. This is the kind of pick that can have a Luke Kuechly type of impact on their defense.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Kyler Murray had a solid season last year and looks to improve next year, and Lamb can help do that. Murray and Lamb already have some chemistry, which helps, but with or without the chemistry Lamb is a game changer and will make a huge difference for the Cardinals.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Out goes Ramsey and Bouye and in comes Okudah. I’m not sure whether or not Mr. Khan can dance, but if this happens I’m sure we will find out when we see him dancing on the war room table. This will be the first key piece to a defense heavy first round.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
With the new shift towards analytics in the Browns organization, I feel that they will go with the safest tackle pick here. If you didn’t read my OT Combine preview, I stated that I think Thomas is that pick. That is why I have him going here.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Wirfs is perhaps the most physically gifted of the tackle group. He has incredible upside, but can the Jets harness that ability? That will be decided at a later time, but they take that chance at eleven.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
I seem to be in the minority when it comes to Derek Carr, but I think he can be the Raiders quarterback going forward. If nothing else, he’s a better option than Love or Eason short term. For that reason, I think Gruden and Mayock need to keep surrounding him with talent. Jeudy is arguably the best receiver in this draft class and to get him at twelve is a steal.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
The Colts get one of the top five players in the draft at pick thirteen, which is a good deal. Henry Ruggs, K’Lavon Chaisson, and Jordan Love are all possible picks here, but with Brown on the board it seems like a no brainer.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
I had a couple of rough drafts of this mock before finalizing it, and Kinlaw moved the most throughout that process. I’ve had him as high as thirteen and as low as twenty-seven. Pairing Kinlaw with Vita Vea could be a deadly combination and that is what the Buccaneers do at fourteen.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Young QB Drew Lock came on strong last season but realistically, he needs more weapons. Combining Lock’s arm with Rugg’s speed is a tantalizing idea.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
One of the most popular picks that I have seen for the Falcons at sixteen is K’Lavon Chaisson, but I really like Henderson. Either is a good pick but in this scenario, they go cornerback.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
This pick gets much more simple after Henderson comes off the board. McKinney is the top overall safety in the draft class, and that’s who the Cowboys take here. If they like Kristian Fulton enough, maybe he gets picked here.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (via PIT)
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson is a great prospect and although he isn’t Young, he is a solid pick at eighteen. He needs to develop a little bit to reach his full potential, and Miami is a location where he will have time to do so.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)
The Pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray is a high character player who played a long career at Oklahoma and plays a position that the Raiders need. That means that this is a match made in heaven, right? He check all the boxes for what Mayock seems to like in the draft, so that’s where I’m going here.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
The pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The second pick of the Jaguar’s defensive stimulus package is Patrick Queen. Jake Ryan, Myles Jack, and Queen make for a solid linebacking group.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
At this point you will notice a little run on LSU players as the Eagles select Fulton. Receiver is another option.
1.22 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
This offseason should be about assisting Josh Allen by building up the offense. That begins with receiver, where the Bills are lacking when it comes to height. Jefferson will fix that. He’s a good height-speed guy who can provide Allen with a large catch radius.
1.23 New England Patriots
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
A raw, uber talented EDGE threat falling to the Patriots. Yikes. This is one of those situations where Gross-Matos can provide an instant impact. Offensive line and receiver are strong possibilities here, specifically Josh Jones and Jalen Reagor.
1.24 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Speaking of Reagor, the Saints add a weapon for whoever is throwing the ball in New Orleans. Pairing Reagor with Michael Thomas is a scary idea and could yield great results.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Whether the pick is Diggs, Noah Igbinoghene, AJ Terrell, or Jeff Gladney, I think this pick is definitely a corner. This idea is further solidified by the release of Xavier Rhodes. The selection of Diggs also allows two brothers to play with one another, at least until Stefon is traded.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
The pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
After trading away Laremy Tunsil, it is clear that tackle is now a glaring concern. Josh Jones had one of the best offseasons for an NFL prospect. Following his Senior Bowl week, Jones found his name being brought up with the top tackles, and as a first round pick. He will have time to develop and become a good NFL tackle in Miami.
TRADE: SEA trades picks 1.27 and 2.42 for JAX EDGE Yannick Ngakoue and pick 2.59
1.27 Jacksonville Jaguars (via SEA)
The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Jaguars add their final first round defensive piece by bringing in Grant Delpit, who has fallen out of favor for some. I, however, still love his game as a free safety. While the Jags lose Ngakoue in this instance, they solidify their back seven. Jake Ryan, Myles Jack, Patrick Queen, Jeffrey Okudah, Tre Herndon, Delpit, and Ronnie Harrison: now that sounds like a group with some promise.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
Marshall Yanda announced his retirement this offseason, which opens a gaping hole on the offensive line. There are a few options here: Ruiz, Lloyd Cushenberry III, and Lucas Niang. I do think offensive line is the way to go in the first, though the question will be whether or not the Ravens see value in the offensive line selection here.
1.29 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Zack Baun is versatile, and on the other side of Harold Landry, he can become an important piece quickly. Vrabel does a great job of getting production out of edge threats, and that makes me like the pick here.
TRADE: GB trades pick 1.30 for IND picks 2.34 and 3.75
1.30 Indianapolis Colts (via GB)
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Packer fans won’t love the trade out here, but the value will be there. Trust me. The Colts seem to like Brissett, but just in case they change their mind it is good to have a backup plan. Trading back into the first allows the Colts to gain a fifth year option, which is nice for a prospect like Love.
TRADE: SF trades pick 1.31 for LAC picks 2.37 and 3.71
1.31 Los Angeles Chargers (via SF)
The pick: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
The reasoning is similar to the prior pick so I won’t repeat myself. I’m not sure that we will see two trades of similar nature at the end of the first, but I can almost guarantee that one of the last five picks in the first is a quarterback, and likely comes via a trade.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Yep, that’s right folks, all gas no brakes. The Chiefs add another weapon to the scariest offense in the NFL. Defense might be the more pressing need, but the top RB in the class just fell in their laps at thirty-two. I’m not high on running backs in the first round in general, but in this case I just don’t see many places where it makes sense. The Bills, Dolphins, Titans are all possible landing spots for Swift but just don’t seem right given each of their circumstances.
2.33 CIN – AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
2.34 GB (via IND via WAS) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
2.35 DET – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
2.36 NYG – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
2.37 SF (via LAC) – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
2.38 DET (via CAR) – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
2.39 MIA – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
2.40 ARI – Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU
2.41 CLE – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
2.42 SEA (via JAX) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
2.43 CHI (via LVR) – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
2.44 IND – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
2.45 TB – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
2.46 DEN – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M
2.47 ATL – Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
2.48 NYJ – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
2.49 PIT – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
2.50 CHI – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
2.51 DAL – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
2.52 LAR – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
2.53 PHI – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
2.54 BUF – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
2.55 ATL (via HOU) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
2.56 MIA (via NO) – JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
2.57 HOU – Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
2.58 MIN – Jonah Jackson, IOL, Ohio State
2.59 JAX (via SEA) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
2.60 BAL – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
2.61 TEN – Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
2.62 GB – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
2.63 KC (via SF) – Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
2.64 SEA (via KC) – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
3.65 CIN – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
3.66 WAS – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (MN)
3.67 DET – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
3.68 NYJ (via NYG) – Robert Hunt, IOL, UL Lafayette
3.69 CAR – Marlon Davidson, IDL, Auburn
3.70 NYG (via MIA) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
3.71 SF (via LAC) – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
3.72 ARI – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
3.73 JAX – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
3.74 CLE – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
3.75 GB (via IND) – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
3.76 TB – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
3.77 DEN – Evan Weaver, LB, Cal
3.78 ATL – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
3.79 NYJ – Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
3.80 LVR – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
3.81 LVR (via CHI) – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
3.82 DAL – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
3.83 DEN (via PIT) – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
3.84 LAR – DaVon Hamilton, IDL, Ohio State
3.85 PHI – Nick Harris, IOL, Washington
3.86 BUF – Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
3.87 NE – Trey Adams, OT, Washington
3.88 NO – Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
3.89 MIN – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
3.90 CLE (via HOU) – Rashard Lawrence, IDL, LSU
3.91 LVR (via SEA) – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
3.92 BAL – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
3.93 TEN – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
3.94 GB – Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
3.95 DEN (via SF) – Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M
3.96 KC – Ben Bredeson, IOL, Michigan
3.97 CLE – Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
3.98 NE – Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
3.99 NYG – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
3.100 NE – Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati
3.101 SEA – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
3.102 PIT – Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame
3.103 PHI – Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame
3.104 LAR – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
3.105 MIN – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
3.106 BAL – Joe Bachie Jr., LB, Michigan State
Steals of the Draft
First Round: Derrick Brown, Colts; Jeff Okudah, Jaguars
Second Round: AJ Epenesa, Bengals; Tee Higgins, Jaguars
Third Round: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cardinals; Kyle Dugger, 49ers; Chase Claypool, Raiders; Bradlee Anae, Broncos