The NFL Draft is almost here! Every year I find myself alone on an island when I say the NFL Draft is the most exciting event of the year. Yes, that goes for the Super Bowl, Opening Day for any sport, The Oscars, or whatever you think is a big event. The NFL Draft is the single greatest live-tv drama to ever exist.
FYI: This mock draft is what I think teams will do and NOT what I would do if I were GM.
That’s enough dilly-dally– let’s get on with this mock draft.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson
A no-brainer. Trevor Lawrence is the cleanest prospect in the draft and possibly the sole reason why Urban Meyer came out of retirement to take on the NFL.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson – QB – BYU
This pick was made the second the Jets traded away Sam Darnold. Wilson has outstanding arm talent and is hopefully the saving grace for the Jets and its fans.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields – QB – Ohio State
I refuse to believe the Niners gave up all of that draft capital for Mac Jones, who looks like the worst QB among the five projected to go in first-round. Fields is a terrific prospect who has leadership traits teams look for in franchise quarterbacks. If it’s not Justin Fields, San Fransisco takes Trey Lance. Again, there’s no way it’s Mac Jones and if it is, it will turn into a total disaster.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts – TE – Florida
The Falcons are looking to trade down and that would be a mistake for the first year GM Terry Fontenot. Atlanta has (foolishly) committed to Matt Ryan for the next two years. Pairing Pitts with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley may be enough to take one last shot in making the playoffs with the current core and it gives the future QB a good surrounding cast.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase – WR – LSU
Bengals fans will be clamoring for Penei Sewell to protect Joe Burrow’s blindside, but Cincinnati signed Riley Reiff during the offseason to pair with Jonah Williams. Chase is the best player on the board and already has chemistry with Burrow. Easy decision.
6. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith – WR – Alabama
Miami has to maximize Tua’s potential and why not do that with the reigning Heisman trophy winner who also played with Tua in college?
7. Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell – OT – Oregon
Detroit needs everything and is sitting at a good spot. Jared Goff is just a bridge for now, but the Lions would be wise to protect him. Some see Sewell as the second best player in the draft, so nabbing him at pick No. 7 is good value.
8. TRADE! Panthers to Washington: Trey Lance – QB – NDSU
Ron Rivera calls his former team to make a deal for a signal caller. Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter for now, but Fitzpatrick is too streaky to lead a franchise for the entirety of a season. Lance is an intriguing prospect, reminds of Josh Allen.
9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State
Watching the tape, Parsons jumps off the screen. He deserves to be the first defender off the board. Parsons is most effective rushing the passer and pairing him with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb would be practically unstoppable.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II – CB – Alabama
Dallas needs everything on defense. Pairing Surtain with his former teammate in college with Trevon Diggs would make a very solid CB duo moving forward.
11. New York Giants: Rashawn Slater – OL – Northwestern
Slater is the best offensive lineman in the draft. Dave Gettleman loves drafting big people and the Giants could really use him on the line. Will Hernandez and Andrew Thomas have been disappointments and the Giants need to do all they can to keep Daniel Jones upright.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaycee Horn – CB – South Carolina
Can anyone name a cornerback on the Eagles besides Darius Slay? Exactly, neither can Howie Roseman and that’s why they draft Horn at pick 12. Philadelphia prioritizes the CB position and they were interested in signing Adoree’ Jackson. Horn is a physical corner who thrives in zone and press coverage.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw – OT – Virginia Tech
Protecting Justin Herbert is priority number one. Darrisaw can come in and start right away.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Kwity Paye – EDGE – Michigan
The Yannick Ngakoue experiment went up in flames very quickly. Mike Zimmer needs pass rushers as Danielle Hunter is coming off a serious neck injury and isn’t happy with his contract. A young pass rusher is much needed in Minnesota.
15. New England Patriots: Mac Jones – QB – Alabama
The worst quarterback in first-round finally comes off the board. Not sure exactly why teams would even consider drafting Jones in the first-round but the Patriots continue to their (foolishly) aggressive approach to the offseason and select a statue to compete with a rundown Cam Newton.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL – USC
The Cardinals’ season fell apart when Kyler Murray got injured, protecting him should be priority number one. AVT will be a starter on day one. Wanted to mock Caleb Farley to replace Patrick Peterson but Kyler’s safety is the more important.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Teven Jenkins – OT – Oklahoma State
Las Vegas is going under reconstruction on the offensive line and Jenkins is the best OL left on the board.
18. Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari – EDGE – Georgia
Miami’s defense was exceptional last season but lack a great pass rusher, especially after releasing Kyle Van Noy. Ojulari is declared to be the best pass rusher by some and nabbing him at pick 18 is great value.
19. Carolina Panthers: Greg Newsome II – CB – Northwestern
After trading down with Washington, the Panthers are still able to grab a stout cornerback. Newsome is a nice-sized corner and is feisty. Fits what Matt Rhule wants to do on defense.
20. Chicago Bears: Samuel Cosmi – OT – Texas
The Bears need help everywhere on offense but if they’re going to have any chance with Andy Dalton, they have to protect him. Former University of Texas head football coach Tom Herman joined the Bears staff this offseason and can provide plenty of information on Cosmi for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Leatherwood – OT – Alabama
The run on tackles continue. The Colts need to find a replacement for Anthony Castonzo who retired this offseason.
22. Tennessee Titans: Jaelen Phillips – EDGE – Miami
The Titans need all the pass rush they can find. Phillips has great potential but some teams are concerned with his commitment to football after he retired in college to pursue a rapping career.
23. New York Jets: Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama
The fall of Jaylen Waddle finally ends. Hard to envision Waddle falling down to pick 23 but it can happen. Nobody thought CeeDee Lamb would fall to Dallas at pick 17 in last year’s draft. Waddle is the second best WR in the draft and immediately becomes the number one option for Zach Wilson. A steal for the Jets.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Travis Etienne – RB – Clemson
The Steelers were one of the worst running teams last season. The offensive line was in shambles, Ben Roethlisberger was throwing the ball too much, and James Conner is no longer a Steeler. Etienne can do almost everything a team can ask for. He is a one-cut back, a weapon catching the ball out of the backfield, and is a reliable blocker.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig – Safety – TCU
Trevon Moehrig is the best safety in the class. He flashes onto the scene with his burst and plays with a passion that’s very contagious. The Jaguars need a culture change and that’s what Trevor Lawrence and Moehrig bring to the table first and foremost.
26. Cleveland Browns: Christian Barmore – DT – Alabama
This is too early for Barmore for my liking but teams seem to be very high on him. After releasing Sheldon Richardson for Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns need a big guy in the middle of that defense.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Gregory Rousseau – EDGE – Miami
The Ravens lost both Yannick Ngakoue and Matthew Judon. That defense won’t be close to being the same if it doesn’t have any sort of pass rush. Rousseau is a raw prospect, but he’s explosive and an outstanding athlete.
28. New Orleans Saints: Caleb Farley – CB – Virginia Tech
Farley’s fall finally ends and New Orleans couldn’t be happier to reap the benefits. Farley was once projected to go in the top 10, but back injuries will scare a lot of teams, thus the reason he slides to pick 28.
29. Green Bay Packers: Creed Humphrey – Center – Oklahoma
The Packers lost one of the best centers in the league when Corey Linsley signed with the Chargers. They need to find his replacement and Humphrey does just that.
30. Buffalo Bills: Joseph Ossai – EDGE – Texas
The Bills need a pass rusher to pair with Jerry Hughes and A.J. Epenesa.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman – WR – Minnesota
The Chiefs trading for Orlando Brown was a great move for them. Not sure why Baltimore traded Brown to a conference contender. However, Lamar Jackson needs more help and Bateman is an underrated prospect that should complement Marquise Brown’s game very well.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Levi Onwuzurike – DT – Washington
The Bucs are in great position to repeat as they returned every starter from the Super Bowl team. They are now drafting for luxury purposes but Onwuzurike can be the eventual replacement of Ndamukong Suh who turned 34 in January.