It’s officially mock draft season. In an offseason full of angst and anticipation, it’s exciting to predict where certain prospects will go in the draft. Let’s get into it.
Miami receives: 1.03, 2021 fifth-round selection
Detroit receives: 1.05, 1.18
Carolina receives: 1.13
Indianapolis receives: Cam Newton, 4.103
1. Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals have a new franchise quarterback. They need to do all they can to put protection and talent around Joe Burrow, who had one of the most electric seasons in college football. Put this selection in ink.
2. Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
It is impossible to see Ron Rivera trading away an incredible edge talent like Chase Young. He’s a franchise cornerstone and as close to a can’t miss-talent as you can get. With 16.5 sacks in 13 games, Young is ready to play at the next level.
3. Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
*The Miami Dolphins traded the 18th overall selection to obtain this pick along with a future fifth-round pick. The full trade can be seen at the top of the page*
The Dolphins were always the team with Tua Tagovailoa. Despite his injuries, Tua likely has the best deep ball placement in this draft class. He is a great talent, and if not for his injuries, might be the first quarterback taken (at least, there would be more of a debate).
4. Giants – Isaiah Simmons, Hybrid, Clemson
My only concern about Simmons is that whatever team he lands on might use him incorrectly. Dave Gettleman drafted Shaq Thompson back in 2015, and he gets a similar-ish player here with a top-5 pick. Isaiah Simmons is an impact player. He is all over the field constantly and is elite at just about every spot he was played in college. Don’t get it mixed up — his versatility is an absolute positive.
5. Lions – Jeff Okudah, Corner, Ohio State
*The Lions traded the third overall selection to move back and acquire the fifth and eighteenth selections. The full trade is at the top of this page*
Okudah is a shutdown corner and one of the best secondary prospects since Jalen Ramsey. The Lions are able to move back and get another staple for their defense. While it would have been nice to improve upon the defensive line, you simply cannot pass up on a CB1 like Okudah with the fifth pick.
6. Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Phillip Rivers looks to be done in Los Angeles. If that’s the case, I expect the Chargers to either select an offensive lineman or quarterback with this pick. Herbert is accurate and, if he can improve upon his mental processing, could end up being a franchise quarterback.
7. Panthers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
If the Panthers do, indeed, end up trading Cam Newton (like I have them projected to in this mock draft), then you can bet on them selecting a quarterback with one of their first two selections. Love is an incredibly talented quarterback that needs to improve on the mental side of the ball. He can make all of the throws and has the talent to be an NFL quarterback, it’s just whether a team is willing to afford him that time.
8. Cardinals – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Cardinals need to add more weapons and protection around Kyler Murray. With this pick, they add one of his former college teammates. Lamb’s RAC ability is special for a player of his size. Both he and Jeudy are special WR prospects and I anticipate the first team to select a receiver will pick from those two based on fit.
9. Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy is a polished route-runner with the speed and separation ability to become an elite WR1 at the next level. The Jaguars need more weapons, so I would be surprised if they passed on Jeudy here.
10. Browns – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Browns get lucky as all three top-tier OTs fall to them at ten. Jedrick Wills is the best of the bunch, and could likely play at either tackle slot at a very high level. The number one priority of the Browns should be to get Baker Mayfield protection.
11. Jets – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Look, I know Joe Douglas has never taken an offensive player (other than Darnold) in the first round. But Thomas is a franchise left tackle and the Jets need all the offensive line help they can get.
12. Raiders – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
While the defensive line may not be a major need, the Raiders are able to snag a top defensive talent that falls to them in Derrick Brown. Mayock took Ferrell, Abram, and Jacobs last year, and will look to continue off of what looks to be a solid young core of players.
13. Panthers – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
*The Carolina Panthers traded QB Cam Newton to the Colts along with a mid-round pick in order to obtain this selection. The full trade is at the top of the page*
The Colts trade out of the first round to get an elite quarterback (when healthy) that could possibly put them over the top. Newton, with an offensive line and weapons like the Colts could afford him, could easily get back into pro bowl form. To get him for a mid-first round pick would be a win.
The Panthers get the defensive line help that they desperately need in Kinlaw, a 6-5 315 pound monster. He is another body in the middle to help with one of the worst run defenses in history last year. Next to Kawann Short and Brian Burns, he should be able to flourish.
14. Buccaneers – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Buccaneers need offensive line help. Tristan Wirfs is a versatile lineman that can become a franchise tackle. I honestly have no clue what the Buccaneers are going to do about their quarterback situation (rumors have pointed towards Phillip Rivers [????]), but I believe Wirfs would greatly improve this line in both the passing and running game.
15. Broncos – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Broncos could use this pick in many different ways. I think they pass on the receivers left on the board and opt for someone in round two to improve a once-elite secondary. Fulton was a great corner at LSU that could have been a first-round pick last year but instead opted to stay for his senior season. Fulton helps a Broncos secondary that needs it.
16. Falcons – AJ Epenesa, DL/EDGE, Iowa
Remember when Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks back in 2016? Well, now he sucks. The Falcons need another edge rusher, and Epenesa could end up going in the top-10. He’s an easy selection for a struggling Falcons defensive line.
17. Cowboys – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Cowboys could go with either McKinney or Delpit here, but that part does not matter as much as getting Jeff Heath away from the starting lineup. The Cowboys need a safety, and McKinney is the best in this class in my opinion.
18. Lions – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
*The Lions acquired this pick as part of the Tua Tagovailoa trade. The full trade can be seen at the top of the page*
Patrick Queen shined in the CFB National Championship game. He’s quick for a linebacker and was all over the field the entire year for LSU. The Lions need a lot of defense in this draft. Okudah/Queen is an excellent combination.
19.Raiders – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
The Raiders need more weapons, and Henry Ruggs is one of the fastest players in college football. It’s hard to see him falling beyond this spot given that most receivers with his combination of speed/lack of injury history always go top-15. In a stacked receiver class, he falls to 19.
20. Jaguars – Kenneth Murray, LB, Jaguars
The Jaguars picked Jerry Jeudy with their first pick, and now it’s time to help the defense. Murray was LB1 before Queen declared. He’s a great linebacker talent that deserves to go in the first round, and he finds a home here.
21. Eagles – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Eagles need help outside the numbers, and Diggs is a tall corner that has the traits to become a CB1. If the Eagles address wide receiver in free agency (I’m looking at you, Robby Anderson), then they should absolutely get some youth at corner.
22. Bills – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
I very desperately want Henry Ruggs with Josh Allen, but he simply is not available here. Chaisson is a nice consolation prize, though. He’s an edge that has a lot of bend, speed, and creativity. The Bills had a great pass rush this past year without a truly elite edge rusher. They might find one here in Chaisson.
23. Patriots – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
The Patriots had 56-year old Ben Watson catching passes this past season. Cole Kmet is a great all-around talent that would give (likely) Tom Brady another threat over the middle that he was missing this past year.
24. Saints – Tyler Biadasz, iOL, Wisconsin
The Saints will need a new left guard after Andreas Peat is a pending free agent. Instead of paying him, they pick Biadasz, the top interior lineman in this class.
25. Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Vikings really need secondary help. Xavier Rhodes looked incredibly slow this season. They need to add more youth to defense that has very little weaknesses. Gladney helps with that.
26. Dolphins – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
It’s a bold move using one of the picks you got for Laremy Tunsil on another offensive tackle, but Becton is a really solid player that has the power and frame to succeed at the next level.
27. Seahawks – Netane Muti, iOL, Fresno State
Yes, I know this is a reach. But, it’s also the Seahawks. The same Seahawks that took Rashaad Penny in the first round of 2018. The same Seahawks that took LJ Collier in the first round of 2019. Muti is an intriguing player at left guard that I would bet on being successful at the next level.
28. Ravens – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Admittedly, I’m not as high on Lewis as others are. I think the Ravens could add another playmaker like Tee Higgins or Jalen Reagor here, but Lewis would help a pass rush that already has a lot of interior pressure.
29. Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Titans picked Harold Landry in the second round of 2018, but they do need more pass rush. As good as Landry is, Gross-Matos would help a defensive line that consists of Jeffrey Simmons and Jurrell Casey.
30. Packers – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Reagor is a very talented receiver in a loaded class. He’s got speed, separation, and contested catch-ability. He could go very well next to another playmaker like Devante Adams, and would give Aaron Rodgers another non-practice-squad receiver to throw to.
31. Chiefs – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Chiefs need another corner. Kendall Fuller is really good, but they have to add more around him in the secondary. Thornhill and Mathieu are a great pair in the back, but Henderson would give Kansas City another option at corner — and a good one too.
32. 49ers – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The 49ers adding Delpit to an already loaded defense would just be incredibly fun. John Lynch picks a safety here that struggled this past year but can become truly elite at his position if he performs up to post-2018 expectations.