With the first half of the draft order set after Week 17, teams will now be able to see where they’re picking and who’s in front of them. Some teams locked up high draft picks and others fell just short of the playoffs. Regardless, every team wants to improve at the draft, and I will try to do that in my first mock draft of the offseason.
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Heisman trophy has been given out. The first playoff game has been won. Records have been broken. History has been made. The impossible was made possible. Joe Burrow defied all odds to become the best player in college football and also made it very easy for me to mock this pick. Cincinnati finally gets their QB for the future.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Whoever is coaching in Washington next year will be ecstatic to have Chase Young. Young took the college football world by storm and was invited to the Heisman ceremony as a defensive player. Young will step into an already very talented defensive line group, but they need to remember not to let a good player stop them from getting a great one.
1.3 Detroit Lions
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Ohio State is well represented at the top of this mock draft. Matt Patricia is known for his defense and so far in Detroit it has been lackluster. He wants to play a lot of man coverage and to do that you got to have talent. Here they get Jeffrey Okudah to play opposite of Darius Slay. Okudah is great in man coverage and has the best feet in the class.
1.4 New York Giants
The pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
When contemplating this pick, I looked at New York’s roster and saw Mike Remmers is starting at tackle for them along with Nate Solder. That’s all I needed to know to slot them Jedrick Wills. Wills has really put himself on the map this season and he will step and be a reliable bookend for Daniel Jones.
1.5 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The “Tank for Tua” idea ends up working after all. Head coach, Brian Flores has done a tremendous job for this team here at the end of the season and looks to be a promising leader for the organization. Here he finds another leader and the face of the franchise. Tua checks all the boxes and is phenomenal–when he is on the field. If Tua declares and clears all medical questions, there is no way the Dolphins pass up on him.
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Chargers have talent all over their roster but just can’t seem to get it done. This season we’ve seen a major drop off in Phillip Rivers’ play, but he does still have a few years left as it looks right now. That opens up a perfect opportunity to draft Jordan Love. Love is more of a traits guy as it stands now and could use some time to adjust to the speed of the game.
1.7 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
After an embarrassing season in Carolina they have a lot of holes to fill. Their run defense was a huge issue this past season and getting a true game wrecker like Derrick Brown will help fix that. Vernon Butler and Gerald McCoy both have expiring contracts this offseason.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
To maximize Kliff’s offense Kyler needs as much time as he can get in the pocket. Tristan Wirfs is the easy choice here for them to sure up at least one spot on their offensive line. The tackle race at the top is going to be really tight between Wills, Wirfs, and Andrew Thomas. I don’t know how I would rank the three as of now, but I do know that the league loves athleticism at the position. Wirfs brings just that after being ranked #1 on Feldman’s Freak List with some impressive athletic numbers.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Jags have had a very dysfunctional season and need more weapons on offense. Lamb is a playmaker after the catch and that is what they need right now. I think Lamb will solidify himself as the best receiver in the draft and really make an impact for a team early on. Nobody Safe.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Cleveland ignored the tackle position for too long and it showed this season. Bringing in Andrew Thomas will help Cleveland their new head coach gets better offensively. Thomas may very well be the best tackle in the draft and for Cleveland to get him at 10 would be a steal.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
In his time there, I don’t think New York has done a good enough job in helping out Sam Darnold. The uninspiring options at WR need to be upgraded. Henry Ruggs is a speedster and is likely to run sub 4.3. Ruggs isn’t just fast he is a true competitor and is one of the hardest working players in the draft. Here he goes off the board as the WR2 and if he runs the time, we’re expecting then this becomes very likely.
1.12 Oakland Raiders
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
So far in the Gruden-Mayock era they have drafted guys that are physical and cerebral. Isaiah Simmons brings that and more to the table. At 6’4” 230 Simmons has played slot corner, linebacker, both safety spots, and has rushed the passer and has been great at every one. Athletically, Simmons is a freak and is going to jump out of the gym in Indy.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
In August Indianapolis’ franchise cornerstone, Andrew Luck, retired just before the season forcing them to start Jacoby Brissett. While Brissett was fine he proved that he is not the long-term option as the starter. At 13 the Colts have an opportunity to get their Quarterback for the future. Justin Herbert might have the best arm in the draft, and he’ll step into a good situation where he can contribute early on.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Tampa Bay really struggled defensively this season, especially with stopping the pass. They drafted Sean Murphy-Bunting in the second-round last year and while he did have his fair share of struggles as a rookie, he looks to be someone they can build with. They get Kristian Fulton here to play opposite of Murphy-Bunting. Fulton has been overshadowed this season but teammate Derek Stingley Jr. but Fulton is also an exceptional player that would an important part of this defense.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Denver lacks much depth or even talent at the wide receiver position. Going into the season, Jerry Jeudy was my WR1. Although he hasn’t been talked enough that much as of late, he has great ball skills and makes some of the best, most violent cuts I have ever seen. Bringing Jeudy into their WR room is just what Denver needs.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
At one point in the season the Falcons were in position to potentially get Chase Young, but after finishing the season strong they will have to settle for the next best thing, AJ Epenesa. He is a much bigger rusher and will line up all across the Dline. The Falcons desperately need to fix their ability to get after other QB’s. Epenesa has great hands and moves very well for his size.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
After an ugly end to the season Dallas has a lot of questions to answer this offseason as one of Amari Cooper or Byron Jones will have to hit free agency. Regardless, Dallas needs more help in the secondary. Tevon Diggs is HUGE and after missing his Junior campaign he came back for his Senior season and has done well. Diggs is great all around and is great pressing receivers at the line.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (PIT)
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Miami really is building from the ground up and have already addressed the QB position in this mock. Here they bring in K’Lavon Chaisson at another very important position. Nowadays, if you can’t get to the QB your defense is going to struggle. Chaisson moves like a wide receiver out there and can really bend the edge and get to the Quarterback. This will be a great building block for the Dolphins.
1.19 Oakland Raiders (CHI)
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Coming into the season I though Javon Kinlaw had the talent but just needed to put it all together. I think Kinlaw really worked on his game last offseason and has been one of the biggest risers during the season. Bringing in Kinlaw and Simmons will bolster this Raiders defense.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (LAR)
The pick: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Telvin Smith’s future is up in the air and behind him Duval doesn’t have many other options to play next to Myles Jack. In 2016 they took a risk-taking Jack despite his injury history. Dylan Moses tore his ACL in August and would’ve gone a lot higher than this if he had played this season. His injury is nowhere near the severity of Jack’s and I expect him to make a full recovery and come back next year and get back to dominating offenses.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Ohio State Defense has improved so much this season and a big reason for that is Shaun Wade. The Redshirt Sophomore corner spends most of his time in the slot and is a true difference maker. He did a great job against Penn State’s KJ Hamler. He doesn’t get talked about much because of all the other talent on that defense. Philadelphia’s defense has been ridiculously bad against the pass and bringing in Shaun Wade could really strengthen this unit.
1.22 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Tennessee crushed all expectations this season and has thrived on their run game with Derrick Henry. Here I have them building on a strength by adding Creed Humphrey on the interior of their offensive line. Humphrey has only played center at OU and Tennessee already has Ben Jones who is competent, but Humphrey is the best player at the position on the board, so I say you just take him and figure the rest out later.
1.23 Miami Dolphins (HOU)
The pick: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Jonathan Taylor has had a very decorated career at Wisconsin and this season he also proved his ability as a pass catcher. He has really done everything to prove himself as a first-round pick. Miami will need him as they are trying to build an identity on offense.
1.24 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Bills have been able to make it by this season without much talent at the receiver position. Tee Higgins brings a different kind of style to their WR group because of his ability to high point the ball with his great ball skills and body control.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Minnesota has kind of always settled for an average safety playing next to Harrison Smith and while Anthony Harris has done a good job this season, I think it’s time to get a difference maker on the back end. McKinney has experience at a variety of positions for Alabama and can play in the nickel, as a safety, or even as a dime backer. I think his consistency as a tackler will get his name called ahead of Grant Delpit.
1.26 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Grant Delpit probably goes a lot higher than this in a lot of mock drafts, but I think he will fall a little bit because of his inconsistencies as a tackler. Safety is also a sporadic position when it comes to the draft and guys at the position fall for no reason. Nonetheless, Seattle gets a rangy playmaker on the back end that can play in the Earl Thomas role.
1.27 New England Patriots
The pick: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
There has been so much movement at the receiver position in New England and a way to kind of mask that is to bring in a consistent option at tight end. Hunter Bryant is more of that Y tight end and is more of a pass catcher. His ability to get open will hopefully solve Brady’s complaints with the receiving corps.
1.28 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Kansas City already has such an explosive offense but imagine Patrick Mahomes with more time to throw. Tyler Biadasz would slot right in on the interior of their O-Line. I am confident in his ability to play both center and guard which is very important in this situation.
1.29 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
New Orleans doesn’t have many holes on their roster, so I gave them Kenneth Murray to strengthen their defense even more. Murray is a rangy player that you also don’t want to meet in the hole. With questions about his game coming into the season, Murray has really showed out this year.
1.30 Green Bay Packers
The pick: KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
Green Bay’s receivers are all bigger guys that specialize at the catch point and playing physical. Adding Penn State WR, KJ Hamler, would be a nice change of pace for defenses to deal with. Hamler is an extremely sudden athlete and can create separation against anyone.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
A defensive lineman may not be an immediate need for San Francisco, but this is more of a luxury pick. Arik Armstead’s contract is expiring along with Deforest Buckner’s next year. Neville Gallimore is somewhat raw, but he is going to test out of this world and that alone is going to get him picked in the first round.
1.32 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Baltimore keeps their Alabama pipeline going with this pick. Terrell Lewis will add some much-needed depth as a pass rusher to this Ravens team. His career at Bama was minimized due to his injury history. Lewis has some juice coming off the edge and can really get to the Quarterback. I expect him to be a riser in the pre-draft process after a good Senior Bowl and Combine.