Okay so we’re going to call this Mock Draft 1.0 for me, the one I’ll really go back and look at when the draft is just about here. I technically did one early November but that was RIGHT when I started my research and also used uh, interesting draft order. Not only have I been cramming and tape grinding since then, but an official order for non-playoff teams is set. So, tell me why you hate my picks:
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Not a lot of reason to go over what everyone’s pick for the next four months will be. I have my reserves on how much better Burrow will be than Dalton immediately. Don’t get me wrong, I love Burrow as a prospect. People just seem to forget Dalton was a solid QB when this offense and team had its stuff together. Regardless, this is the right pick and Cincy shouldn’t think twice about getting their guy.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Same as the previous pick. EDGE nor pass rush is a huge need but some players are too good to be passing on and Chase Young is that. I thought the DL of Washington would carry them to at least a near .500 season, instead bad coaching, a QB carousel, and just under performance resulted in them picking 2nd anyway. Young should supercharge this unit to one of the best in the league.
1.3 Detroit Lions
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okay something we can talk about. While pick #3 is just a tad rich for a corner, I think you’re getting the perfect blend of current and future need, with a mix of BPA. Okudah is the next in line in an incredibly impressive list of CBs to come from what I deem to be DBU (hopefully that didn’t offend you but I’m sure it did someone). Darius Slay is 29 on the back end of a contract deal. While he’s around you have a dynamic duo that can give you a lot of versatile looks and match-up freedom for a defense that was one of the worst against the pass in 2019. Once Detroit moves on you now have a surefire CB1 for the foreseeable future. HC Matt Patricia loves to play man coverage and Okudah can match and mirror excellently. If there’s a new regime this time next year, the OSU alum is scheme versatile enough to fit directly into whatever the new coaching staff wants to run. This pick is as good as it gets on every front.
1.4 New York Giants
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
GM Dave Gettleman has always been a strong believer in getting hog mollies and I agree. While the defense needs reinforcements, the value for a future franchise tackle here is too good to pass on. While the OT1 may be up for debate, at this moment Thomas gets my bid and he fits into the Giants OL perfectly as well. The Giants can get off Nate Solder’s contract without dead cap this offseason, so if they want to slide the rookie into the blindside right away, they have that option. If they let Solder play most of his contract out which I expect them too, Thomas spent a good deal of time on the right side in college as well. Thomas can shore up the pass protection right away to benefit Daniels and open up running lanes for Saquon. With plenty of weapons already available I expect the Giants to get younger in the trenches early and start patching up the defense with the rest of their picks.
1.5 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Yup. But this is where I start to get less confident. However, when you undergo a rebuild like the Dolphins did it seems silly to bypass on a QB of Tua’s potential and the interest from the Dolphins dates back as early as last season. I was originally on board with the Dolphins passing on a QB altogether, believing they weren’t ready to let a QB reach their upside as well as having the draft stock next year to go after one. Miami managed to really pull it together over the second half of the season though and had a good passing attack over that time. DeVante Parker finally found his stride and Mike Gesicki might not be half bad either. This may actually even prove to be an ideal spot where you can redshirt Tua early and let Fitzpatrick handle the reigns of an improved offense. Still plenty to fix up but now Tua ending up here feels a lot better to me.
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Less confident here. Early on I just can’t tell where Herbert is going to land. Obviously, he has all the physical tools for someone to take a chance on him early, but Oregon has such a QB friendly offense that doesn’t allow a lot of growth in their QBs that’ it’s impossible to know what Herbert is really made of. I can definitely see him falling to the 2nd. However, the Chargers needs and wants don’t match up as kindly after a super disappointing year. Tristan Wirfs makes sense on a need basis, but I don’t think he fits into that scheme well. If the management is sold on Herbert it won’t be hard to pull the trigger, and this team is talented enough to support a young QB. We’ll see in LAC opts to go for a younger but still veteran QB and tries to patch up the rest of the roster with this pick.
1.7 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
We’ll see who the new Panthers HC is before we commit to this pick, but at the moment it seems to be a great combination of need and talent. Like the Chargers, Carolina could be one of those teams trying to leap Miami for Tua, or is locking onto Herbert or Love, regardless if Cam comes back or not. Should they feel content at QB or don’t like the options available, Brown will be a great get. Already working on the pass rush, Carolina exceeded at hitting the QB but at the cost of being vulnerable against the run. Derrick Brown will provide an answer for both and will pair with Brian Burns as a young DL duo for years to come.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
To me this is one of the better matches in the draft and while I can see Wills being gone by this point, I can also see him falling right into the lap of Arizona. The defense could use help, but there’s still good talent there and with Vance Joseph returning it doesn’t seem like they’re interested in improving on that side. With Kyler and Kliff running this team the offense remains a priority and the OL is still a huge weakness for the Cardinals, so this need/talent pick works out beautifully for them. The fleetest footed of the big three tackles this draft, Wills should comfortably be able to buy Murray more time and help open up the run for both the QB and whoever is getting carries for them next year.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
I was surer of this pick last week but with Coughlin out there seems to be more traction to keeping Yannick Ngakoue in Duval. I still like this pick though; Jacksonville has more talent than their record and play alludes to so they can afford something of a luxury here. The Jaguars missed Calais Campbell’s presence most of last year and will now be a FA, but the Jags get a perfect opportunity to replace him. I LOVE Epenesa in Campbell’s role. Epenesa is someone you can rush off the edge or move inside to 3T, he’s just versatile enough where I think you can get a super dynamic pass rush with him, Allen, and Ngakoue, with both the formers being cost-controlled as the latter gets his payday. It’s possible Jacksonville looks for a corner here, possibly OL or falls in love with one of the WRs available, but the talent best aligns here where the pass rushers start drying up. Without Ramsey on the backside, get after the other QB with hordes of pass rushers.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Pretty ideal situation for the Browns as back to back Iowa prospects go off of the board. A down season might be a blessing in disguise as the Cleveland roster is far more talented than the 2019 season showed, but the offensive line remains a hole that contributed to holding back this team. I don’t expect the big three OTs to last much longer than this, so nabbing a powerhouse like Wirfs to pair with Mayfield for the next decade or so is as good of a pick you can get at #10. Not only should be shore up pass protection but Nick Chubb was an incredibly effective rusher without getting much push from the guys up front. Rather it’s the left or right side, Wirfs should provide a strong presence that will immediately give Chubb larger rushing lanes.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
This pick gets easy for the Jets as a result of how the board is falling. An OL would be great for them as well but there’s no longer one worth taking at this pick. The WRs have yet to start coming off the board and with such a deep class I expect them all to fall a bit but getting Darnold a go-to weapon for his foreseeable future is a no brainer. It’s going to be up to the team and pre-draft process to determine who the WR1 is between Lamb and Jeudy. For New York I prefer Lamb who at the moment is my personal WR1. Lamb makes even more sense should they re-sign Robby Anderson to take the top of the defense, but regardless he has such a skillset to perfectly slide into a top option for a young offense. Jamison Crowder and hopefully an eventual Chris Herndon breakout should give Darnold all the firepower he needs going forward.
1.12 Oakland Raiders
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Time to start getting used to the new location in the name, it took me about three years just to start calling the Chargers “LA’’. There’s a good chance the Raiders go defense here and wait for a quality offensive threat with their next 1st round pick courtesy of the Bears. However, going BPA at a need seems like an equally good idea. Jon Gruden clearly wants a true WR1 for his offense and was spending the 2019 season trying to cover the hole Antonio Brown left. Jeudy gives them just what they want. With a Darren Waller breakout, a successful Josh Jacobs rookie season, and Hunter Renfrow developing nicely, this team just needs that centerpiece to fulfill a complete offense. Tyrell Williams would make an excellent WR2 and the OL is one of the best in the league. Draft Jeudy here and focus the rest of the draft on patching up the defense.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
This is where I get a little bold, but I loved Kinlaw’s tape on initial viewing. While Simmons or a WR would also make sense, I do like how Kinlaw could fit into this defense and continue the stacking of the trenches Indy has been doing. Like with Epenesa, the lack of strong pass rushers is thin which may push up Kinlaw’s stock. Sheard and Houston gives them a solid pass rush off the edge, but both are old, and the lack of interior push makes their jobs harder. Get younger on the defense and put more pressure on the QB right away while those edge threats still have some juice.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
So, this pick gets a little tricky because it’s hard to put together a great fit between the Bucs needs and talent available at this spot. It’s trickier with Love who, like Herbert, could be a highly sought commodity or a possible 2nd round option, it’s just so hard to tell with QBs, especially those who played at smaller schools. I think there’s enough pro traits with Love to warrant this selection at the time. I thought Tampa Bay may opt to run with Winston, but HC Bruce Arians end-of-season comments makes me think they’re looking to go a different way and paying Winston $30M+ for his play won’t help the Bucs stay competitive. Instead they can hit Jameis with a franchise tag, grab a young talented QB to let Arians groom like he does, and either redshirt him if they win early or let him get experience if they don’t. It really comes down to if Arians likes Love or not. A CB would also make sense, but with the front-7 they’ve built, an elite WR duo, and no quality OL available to be worth the pick, a long-term pick makes sense.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
This is going to be a very ideal pick for the Broncos and it is very possible Simmons stock rises over the process, especially after he seemingly crushes the combine. If he does manage to make it to 15, I think Denver runs this pick to the podium. Simmons as a tweener LB/S won’t be for every defense, but his size/athleticism combo makes him a great chess piece for the right defensive coordinator. I feel like Vic Fangio could use him in a lot of creative ways that makes the defense faster and harder to predict. LB Alexander Johnson doesn’t keep Elway from picking Simmons either, Johnson has fit very well into the MLB spot whereas Simmons can play so many other positions but traditionally would fit better as a WLB anyway. While a WR or DB makes more sense need wise, the talent and potential will be too good to pass on.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Early in the season the Falcons were quite commonly mocked Jeff Okudah and that pick made a lot of sense. A second half rebound put them well out of the reach of the Ohio State product, but they can grab an excellent consolation prize out of Louisiana. There isn’t much offensively Atlanta can upgrade, but good defenders are much needed. If Keanu Neal can be healthy (big if), Ricardo Allen can provide solid support, and Desmond Trufant can bounce back, Fulton could be the piece that really sets up a quick turnaround in the Falcons secondary. The talent will be there, but health and upside must be reached. A pass rusher makes sense as well, but a strong second tier of CBs lets cover corner talent fall to Atlanta and Fulton at this moment seems to be the 2nd best CB available.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
A pretty ideal situation for the Cowboys as well. I’m going back-and-forth between the top safety prospect, but I think Delpit will fit in better with what the Cowboys need. With Byron Jones likely on his way out in FA Dallas will need someone to pick up the slack on the backend. A new coaching staff will have plenty of influence on this pick, but it seems like the offense is pretty well set. A Henry Ruggs pick would be interesting a super stack the Cowboys offensive firepower. At this time though, the need and talent align to add defensive talent to help protect a high-flying offense.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (PIT)
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
What a great way for the draft board to fall for the Dolphins. Not going defense early is brutal but with a young QB in the waits getting a young offense threat should be a higher priority, however this pick has more to do with the best player available and Ruggs can conveniently reunite with his college QB in south beach. While the Dolphins already have a speedster, I really like in Jakeem Grant, Ruggs provides similar speed in a more complete WR package. Not only will he help long term but if Tua redshirts early and Fitzpatrick returns he can provide an instant spark to a passing offense that found its stride the last half of the season, while being a fantastic compliment to DeVante Parker.
1.19 Oakland Raiders (CHI)
The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Back-to-back Alabama prospects off of the board and back-to-back Alabama picks for the Raiders. With Jeudy being the cherry on top to finish the offense Las Vegas can now turn to getting the defense right. The order which CBs will go 2-5 and further will be up for debate for a long time. A young safety and two young EDGE prospects pigeonhole the Raiders a bit into the best CB available, however the upside with Diggs is apparent and cover corners are certainly a place they can upgrade.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (LAR)
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
It’ll take a committee of defenders to replace Jalen Ramsey. While the best CB available might make sense I’m not positive enough which one belongs here. I do love the skillset McKinney brings as a versatile impact safety that Jacksonville has always lacked even when they did have a dynamic CB duo. AJ Bouye helps you not NEED a true CB1 so while one is still likely, it’s not enough of a need to warrant passing on the better players.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
It’s no secret the Eagles need playmakers for Carson Wentz. This team is built exceedingly well in the trenches but a lack of skill players on both sides are holding back a team that’s just two seasons removed from a Super Bowl win. Alshon Jeffrey, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert are all good to great options, but even if DeSean Jackson was healthy they’re all something of one-trick ponies (not completely just work with me here). They’re missing that extra element of a playmaker who can make things happen after the catch. This Colorado product does just that without being forced into a prominent pure WR role with the talent around him.
1.22 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
While it’s tempting to help shore up the run defense or even add another weapon for Josh Allen to grow with, we opt to add a premium position to add onto an already elite secondary. With a true CB1 and pair of safeties already on the roster opposing teams have been able to pick at whoever Tre’Davious White isn’t covering. Adding Adebo will make that hard to do going forward, while adding youth to a secondary where both safeties are nearing 30.
1.23 New England Patriots
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Well New England hasn’t had this kind of draft stock fire power in a good minute. We’ll also be going with the assumption that Tom Brady returns as his arm looked good in his playoff outing and it doesn’t seem like him to leave on this note. While I wish I could give them a more proven playmaker that’s not really how the board fell. A slightly more upside-based EDGE rusher may not be ideal, but for such a good defense they need difference makers. If they try to improve the offense, I expect it’ll be through veterans.
1.24 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
New Orleans is in the same situation as New England is drafting this high. Their needs are a little more pronounced however as getting a playmaker across from Michael Thomas or Marshon Lattimore is important. With the acquisition of Janoris Jenkins they may be able to hold off on corner for a minute and focus on having the most explosive offense possible. Tee Higgins can step in and benefit from all the attention Thomas requires. Getting younger at WR with Cook and Ginn Jr at an older age the Saints could find some early production in Higgins.
1.25 Tennessee Titans
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
This second group of EDGE rushers is really interesting and is going down to preference, fit, and combine/pro day/senior bowl performance. The Titans have the luxury of being able to take what they want with a loaded roster. A high upside Chaisson off the edge can help them get younger off of the edge while providing a higher ceiling or complement than the EDGEs like Landry or Correa? Continue the youth movement on the pass rush for defensive-minded coach Mike Vrabel.
1.26 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Admittedly I haven’t gotten to watch a ton of Becton yet – something I plan to change very soon. A lot of people I trust have though and they’re raving about him. With his size I do wonder if he fits into the type of offense the Vikings run, but Minnesota needs to get better up front. They’re young on the inside but EDGE protection has remained a problem. Becton can help keep Cousins clean and open lanes even further for Dalvin Cook who has already had success with less than adequate lines.
1.27 Miami Dolphins (HOU)
The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
While I really wanted to address the offensive line, the board is falling in a way they may be able to pick up a good one at the top of the second. I also really wanted to get at least one defensive pick in the 1st considering how far behind that unit is. With a young DL being the pick last year we can pass on that and get the true centerpiece of the defense in Kenneth Murray. His stock may raise further considering how weak this LB class is. Sideline-to-sideline speed and instinctual, Miami will now how a piece on every level of the defense to start building around. Not a bad haul for the Dolphins.
1.28 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Usually Seattle is going to trade down and make a boggling pick. Considering at lowest they’ll be picking here that seems likely once again. Should they opt to stay in their spot and take BPA I really like what Henderson could do on the backend. While he lacks physicality, Henderson demonstrates some of the best pure coverage ability in the class and Seattle has been missing that since the LOB broke up. Henderson can either play across from Diggs and Griffin while also having a chance to leap them.
1.29 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
The Green Bay defense took a considerable step forward by spending money in free agency for the first-time in… forever. With playmakers across the D it’s time to invest in sound and solid dirty work players and Raekwon Davis fits in perfectly. Nothing flashy, just a strong, reliable run stuffer who has a little bit of pass rush upside. It’s exactly what the Packers need as teams have been able to avoid throwing into a dangerous secondary and slow down a pesky pass rush. Davis can help immediately complete a stacked DL.
1.30 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The best defender available would make a lot of sense too but the severity of having to do that depends on who and who they don’t retain. However, a scheme changes and adding Tyrann Mathieu has helped a lot to make that side not to detrimental to their goals. While the committee employed at RB has worked out alright, the Chiefs offense was far more efficient with a talented bell-cow back. The high-end talent at RB will push talent down, so with the best prospect available at the position, Kansas City can add an immediate playmaker on a loaded offense.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
The 49ers have made a drastic turn around in one season and that’s not overly shocking considering they got their QB back. With a full season of Garoppolo and the addition of Nick Bosa, San Francisco has turned into a genuine contender. With that it may be the time to continue investing in safe and sound players either in the secondary or the OL. Guard hasn’t been a position of strength between two bookend tackles. With Staley having limited years left adding a young talented Guard sounds rather ideal.
1.32 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
The Ravens will have to decide between getting future talent in older positions or filling in holes where they’re weak. I’d love to give him Oklahoma iOL Creed Humphrey as keeping the run game success is vital to their success. However, with the Ravens having a time of possession monster of an offense it may be smart to bolster the front-seven that’s been picked apart over the last couple off seasons. They could go with the Alabama prospect Terrell Lewis here as well, as their history favors, but a new GM might go with the other option.