We’re now in the month of April and, during this time of nothingness in the world, all eyes are on the NFL Draft. With my big board now finalized, I’m excited to put it all together to make a mock draft. The goal of this mock is to predict what I think will happen, rather than what I would do. It’s an interesting time to do a mock, especially after Matt Miller released his latest Scouting Notebook. In it, he gave a lot of rumors that he’s been hearing around the league. Some of them are definitely just smoke, but others seem to have some real legitimacy to them. I’ll be looking to implement a few of them in the mock and play out a lot of different scenarios. After all, isn’t that what mocks are for? Nonetheless, let’s get into the mock draft!
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
It looks to be all but set in stone that the Bengals will go with Joe Burrow with the first pick. There was speculation after the Senior Bowl that they would go with Justin Herbert here after the Oregon QB was on their team the whole week. However, Burrow is just too good to pass up. After a marvelous Heisman season, Joe Burrow is the number 1 overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Chase Young is the most talented player in this class. After a dominant junior season for Ohio State, he comes off the board here at 2 to Washington. The Redskins already have a very solid defensive line with the likes of Da’Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan, and Montez Sweat. Even though they are already proficient up front, you can’t let a good player stop you from taking a great player.
TRADE: DET trades pick 1.3 for MIA picks 1.5, 2.56, and 3.70
1.3 Miami Dolphins (via DET)
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Dolphins trade up to come and get their guy in Justin Herbert. Throughout this entire process, it seemed like the “Tank for Tua” campaign would materialize and they would end up with the Alabama star. Due to the injury concerns and an inability to get him medically checked, they may go with Herbert over Tua.
1.4 New York Giants
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
More often than not, you’ll see a lot of mocks taking an OT here. In his days as a GM, though, Dave Gettleman has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. Even though that could change very easily, here I’m going to keep the trend going with Gettleman. Isaiah Simmons is the most versatile player in the draft and will be able to help the Giants on all three levels.
1.5 Detroit Lions (via MIA)
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
After trading back and acquiring picks 56 and 70, the Lions are still able to get their guy in Jeffrey Okudah. A staple of the Belichick/Patricia defensive system is that they value coverage over pass rush. Man coverage corners will always be highly valued by this regime. After the Darius Slay trade, Detroit will be ecstatic to get the best cover corner in the draft.
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Chargers need an answer at quarterback. Even though Tyrod Taylor can win a few games here and there, he’s not a franchise quarterback. Even though they have the 6th pick, they also have a roster that’s ready to win now. If Tua can stay healthy, he has the talent to get them to where they want to be.
1.7 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
This is starting to become one of the most wildcard selections of the draft. Now with Matt Rhule in town, it could be anything, including wide receiver or trading back. However, here I have them taking Javon Kinlaw. At the Senior Bowl, Kinlaw won over a lot of Draft Twitter with his dominant play and entertaining pressers. While Derrick Brown has the higher floor, Kinlaw probably has the higher ceiling because of the pass rush ability the Gamecock brings to the table. The Panthers defense is a mess right now after a lot of free agent departures. Kinlaw will be a franchise cornerstone on the interior.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
Before Arizona fleeced the Texans for DeAndre Hopkins, it was looking like Kliff Kingsbury would continue to stock up on receivers, but that’s been put to rest. Many question how much Kingsbury values the tackle position. After they re-signed both starters from last year, I’m going to have them passing on OT here and going with Derrick Brown. This defense needs another impact starter and bringing in Brown immediately improves that side of the ball.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Jaguars likely would’ve gone one of Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw here if available. With both off the board, I have them filling a need at wide receiver. DJ Chark had a big season for the Jags last season, but there wasn’t another consistent target. CeeDee Lamb offers tremendous ability after the catch and body control to be a legitimate number 1 option for any offense.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Browns have their pick of the litter here with the offensive tackles. Bringing in Jack Conklin secures the right tackle position, but Cleveland still has a need at the other tackle spot. After a freakish combine, Tristan Wirfs is the pick here because of the upside he has.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
With only 1 tackle taken before their pick, it’s a very tempting spot for New York, but they need a consistent weapon at wide receiver. Jeudy is an elite separator and will be someone that can finally give Sam Darnold a reliable target. Jeudy has the all around skill set that New York has been looking for.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Wide receivers are flying off the board in this mock while 3 of the top 4 offensive tackles still remain on the board. It is pretty clear that the Raiders want to address the position and Henry Ruggs may very well be that number 1 option. Mike Mayock has gone for culture changers with his previous draft picks and Ruggs is one of those guys. You see the hustle on every play. Combine that with his elite speed and you have a wide receiver built for the future in Vegas.
TRADE: SF trades pick 1.13 for MIA picks 1.18, 5.154, and a 2021 2nd
1.13 Miami Dolphins (via SF via IND)
The pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Miami is loaded with draft picks this year and there is no way they make all of them. They trade up again here with San Francisco to take Jedrick Wills once he started to fall. In this scenario, the Dolphins were shocked to see only 1 OT taken and they didn’t think the rest of them would make it to 18, so they come up here and take Wills.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
With Brady in town, Tampa Bay needs to surround him with as much talent as possible. They go with Andrew Thomas here because of his 3 years of experience starting at left tackle for Georgia in the SEC.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Denver was hoping to get one of the top three receivers in this class, but no one saw all of them coming off the board as early as they did. That ultimately pushed Mekhi Becton down the board. Becton is a powerful left tackle and moves well for his size. This will likely result in them kicking former first round pick Garrett Bolles inside to guard.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Ever since the Falcons addressed their need at EDGE with Dante Fowler, it has been one of the worst kept secrets in the league that they need to address CB. Here, they will look to do that with CJ Henderson. They need to replace Desmond Trufant and Henderson brings the man coverage ability and athleticism to get it done.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Dallas is ecstatic to address the edge position here with K’Lavon Chaisson. They need another consistent presence opposite Demarcus Lawrence. Chaisson has the pass rush ability to make him worthy of this selection.
1.18 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA via PIT)
The pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
After trading back and getting pick 154 and a 2021 2nd rounder, San Francisco is still able to address their need at wide receiver and get Jefferson. They lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency and need another option aside from Deebo Samuel, because Dante Pettis unfortunately hasn’t proven to be that guy. Jefferson was a big part of LSU’s historical season and is a dynamic slot receiver.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)
The Pick: Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
After bringing in Henry Ruggs, the Raiders want to continue to add athleticism. Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore tested out of this world at the combine and that can sometimes be enough to get you drafted much earlier than expected. Gallimore has his struggles technically, but his athleticism and motor are too good for Mayock to pass on here.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey during the season and recouped this selection for him. Jacksonville has so many needs and with Kristian Fulton still on the board, they will look for him to be the next guy up after the Ramsey and Bouye departures.
TRADE: PHI trades pick 1.21 for NO picks 1.24, 4.130, and 5.169
1.21 New Orleans Saints (via PHI)
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Saints saw Jordan Love falling down the board and had to capitalize. The value was there as they only had to trade up a few spots. With Teddy Bridgewater headed to Carolina, they need the heir apparent to Drew Brees. Taysom Hill, for all the talk around him, isn’t it.
1.22 Minnesota Vikings (via BUF)
The pick: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
With the top 4 receivers off the board, the Vikings now look to strengthen their offensive line. Cesar Ruiz is the best interior guy in this class and offers versatility to play center and guard. With Garrett Bradbury already the starter at center, Ruiz will slot right in to play guard right away.
1.23 New England Patriots
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
AJ Epenesa was once thought of as a top 5 pick, but after a disappointing season and a rough combine he’s fallen down boards. Epenesa offers unique run stopping ability on the edge, but will probably slide inside and play 5-tech for Bill Belichick, who values interior pressure highly.
1.24 Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)
The pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
After trading back and obtaining picks 130 and 169 from the Saints, Philly is still able to add speed at wide receiver. Down the stretch of last season, they faced a lot of issues because of their lack of talent at receiver. Although this is a bit early for Reagor in my opinion, I could see them wanting to go this direction here.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
After taking Cesar Ruiz just a few picks ago, Minnesota comes back here to take Jeff Gladney. The Vikings struggled mightily at CB last year and, with no real direction at the position, I have them going Gladney here. The TCU senior offers a lot in man coverage that Mike Zimmer will fall in love with.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
In Brian Flores’ defensive scheme, safeties that are smart and instinctive are as valuable as ever. McKinney is the smartest safety in the class. After trading Minkah Fitzpatrick, they are able to find his replacement here at 26.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
At this point in time, Jadeveon Clowney is still a free agent and the Seahawks are without a consistent edge rusher. Yetur Gross-Matos is their guy here. Gross-Matos is underdeveloped as a prospect and needs to clean up his technical skills, but the athleticism is there for him to develop into a solid pass rusher.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Ravens have a serious need now at inside linebacker and they’re shocked to see Queen fall to pick 28. Queen has the athleticism to be a great coverage linebacker, and is also a great blitzer. Queen will slot right into a starting role and add even more speed to an already fast roster.
1.29 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Titans lost Jack Conklin in free agency and now have a need at right tackle. For a team that wants to run the ball as much as they do, they need to address this hole. Josh Jones is a polarizing prospect and although he needs to get better with his hands, he looks to be a stable piece on any offensive line moving forward.
1.30 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
It’s gotten to the point where the Packers need another serious option aside from Davante Adams in order to make a Super Bowl push with Aaron Rodgers. Denzel Mims’ stock skyrocketed after a very good combine and Senior Bowl. The first round isn’t unlikely for him, especially since 5 wideouts went off the board before this pick.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
The 49ers don’t have many needs and after taking Justin Jefferson earlier on in this mock, I have them addressing the cornerback position with Terrell. They need another reliable option opposite Richard Sherman. Even though they had a slew of guys that came in and did well, none of them are as good as Terrell. Despite an admittedly poor performance against Ja’Marr Chase, Terrell was lockdown all season. The Clemson product has the athleticism to be a good man coverage player and has great instincts that will make him a great zone corner.
TRADE: KC trades pick 1.32 for CAR picks 2.38, 4.113, and a 2021 3rd
1.32 Carolina Panthers (via KC)
The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
The Panthers trade back into the 1st round here for Kenneth Murray. The Panthers were shocked when Luke Kuechly retired this offseason, leaving them with a huge need at Linebacker. With Murray still on the board, they wanted to make sure they got their guy while also getting a potential 5th year option on “K9.” Murray has the straight line athleticism to be a great run stopper for the Panthers.
2.33 CIN – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
2.34 IND (via WAS) – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
2.35 DET – Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
2.36 NYG – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
2.37 LAC – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
2.38 KC (via CAR) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
2.39 MIA – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
2.40 HOU (via ARI) – Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU
2.41 CLE – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
2.42 JAX – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
2.43 CHI (via LVR) – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
2.44 IND – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
2.45 TB – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
2.46 DEN – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
2.47 ATL – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M
2.48 NYJ – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
2.49 PIT – Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
2.50 CHI – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
2.51 DAL – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
2.52 LAR – Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
2.53 PHI – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
2.54 BUF – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
2.55 BAL (via ATL via NE) – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
2.56 DET (via MIA via NO) – Jonah Jackson, IOL, Ohio State
2.57 HOU – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
2.58 MIN – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
2.59 SEA – Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
2.60 BAL – JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
2.61 TEN – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
2.62 GB – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
2.63 KC (via SF) – Robert Hunt, IOL, UL Lafayette
2.64 SEA (via KC) – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
3.65 CIN – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
3.66 WAS – John Hightower, WR, Boise State
3.67 DET – Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
3.68 NYJ (via NYG) – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
3.69 CAR – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
3.70 DET (via MIA) – Jon Greenard, EDGE, Florida
3.71 LAC – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
3.72 ARI – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
3.73 JAX – Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
3.74 CLE – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
3.75 IND – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
3.76 TB – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
3.77 DEN – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
3.78 ATL – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
3.79 NYJ – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
3.80 LVR – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
3.81 LVR (via CHI) – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
3.82 DAL – Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa
3.83 DEN (via PIT) – Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
3.84 LAR – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
3.85 DET (via PHI) – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
3.86 BUF – Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
3.87 NE – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
3.88 NO – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
3.89 MIN – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (MN)
3.90 HOU – Darrell Taylor Jr., EDGE, Tennessee
3.91 LVR (via SEA) – Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
3.92 BAL – Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
3.93 TEN – Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
3.94 GB – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
3.95 DEN (via SF) – Jason Strowbridge, IDL, North Carolina
3.96 KC – Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
3.97 CLE – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
3.98 NE – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
3.99 NYG – K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
3.100 NE – Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
3.101 SEA – Keith Ismael, IOL, San Diego State
3.102 PIT – Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon
3.103 PHI – Zack Moss, RB, Utah
3.104 LAR – Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri
3.105 MIN – Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
3.106 BAL – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue