By: Ryan Cooley
This year’s draft will be very different from any other. It will be interesting to see if any communication problems or technical difficulties occur. This draft may lead to teams being more conservative and not take a chance on a prospect that comes with question marks.
Here are a couple of notes beforehand.
- This mock draft does contain trades
- A GM has already said to an NFL insider that the mock drafts this year are off more than they have ever been. This may lead to a couple of big-name players that the media has hyped up, end up being taken a lot lower than people expect.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB) (LSU)
Football fans everywhere would be shocked if the Bengals do not take Burrow with the first pick. Burrow had arguably the best season ever for a college QB. I do not think the Bengals are even considering taking another QB.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young (Edge) (Ohio State)
Unless someone offers a king’s ransom, I do not expect anyone but Washington to have the 2nd overall pick. Young is the best player in this draft and will make the Redskins defensive front a nightmare for opposing QBs.
3. Miami Dolphins (from Lions): Justin Herbert (QB) (Oregon)
The draft starts at this pick. I believe the Dolphins will trade up with the Lions. This trade will not be a surprise to people, but the pick will. No team has done more work on Herbert than the Dolphins. However, they still may very well take Tua with this pick, but my gut feeling says Herbert will a Dolphin come Thursday night.
4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas (OT) (Georgia)
There has been a lot of different rankings when it comes to the OT prospects. Andrew Thomas is my #1 tackle, and I think he would be a good fit for keeping Daniel Jones upright and creating holes for Barkley.
5. Detroit Lions (from Dolphins): Jeff Okudah (CB) (Ohio State)
The Lions trade back and still get the player they would have taken at 3. Okudah is the best CB prospect since Jalen Ramsey. With Slay being traded, I do not think they are taking another player besides Okudah.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Jedrick Wills Jr. (OT) (Alabama)
Much like the Dolphins, people may be surprised that the Chargers also pass on Tua. I am not sure they are willing to put Tua and his injury history behind a very shaky offensive line. They may want to build up their team this draft and take a QB next year.
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons (LB/S) (Clemson)
Some may think Simmons will be taken higher. However, Simmons not having a definitive position may worry teams. I believe he could be best suited as a safety in the NFL. His coverage skill, along with his athletic ability, could make him one of the best in the league.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs (OT) (Iowa)
After the Hopkins trade, I fully expect Arizona to take an OT with this pick. Wirfs is my #3 tackle in this draft. Even though he ranked 3rd, that does not mean he isn’t as good as the others. He earned a 91.8 grade from Pro Football Focus last season.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jerry Jeudy (WR) (Alabama)
The Jags could go a couple of different directions here, but I think they end up going with Jeudy. They seem to want to give Minshew a real shot at being their franchise QB. Giving him the best route runner in the draft will help a lot.
10. San Francisco 49ers (from Browns): Javon Kinlaw (DT) (South Carolina)
After trading Bucker to the Colts, the 49ers give up their two first-round picks to take Kinlaw. Kinlaw has a ton of potential. His blend of size, length, explosiveness is a recipe for success in the NFL.
11. New York Jets: Ceedee Lamb (WR) (Oklahoma)
With Jeudy off the board, the Jets take Lamb. Some are not as high on Lamb, but I think he may be the best WR in the draft. Pro Football Focus has compared him to Deandre Hopkins. I believe he needs to bulk up a little, but he has a lot of potential.
12. New England Patriots (from Raiders): Tua Tagovailoa (QB) (Alabama)
After falling out of the top 10, Belichick makes the call and takes a chance on Tua. He seems confident in Stidham, but there is no denying Tagovailoa has a much higher ceiling. Some may think Bill won’t want to take a chance on an injury-prone QB, but his history tells us otherwise. He drafted Gronk in the second round even though he had a lot of concerns with injuries.
13. Atlanta Falcons (from Browns (from 49ers)): CJ Henderson (CB) (Florida)
The Falcons seem determined to try and trade up. They are desperate for defensive talent. Some teams are very high on Henderson and even said they believe he is better in coverage than Okudah.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton (OT) (Louisville)
I believe the media is generating Becton’s hype. He is a massive OT (6’7 and 370 lbs) but is not as NFL ready as the other tackles that have been taken so far. I think he has a very high ceiling, and the Buccaneers want to make sure they keep Brady upright.
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs (WR) (Alabama)
The Broncos have had their eyes on Ruggs for a while. Some reports have said they may look to trade up, but I think Ruggs could easily fall to 15. He is the fastest WR in this draft and has been compared to Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill.
16. Cleveland Browns (from Falcons): Josh Jones (OT) (Houston)
The Browns finally make a pick after trading back twice. They are desperate for an OT, but if the top three tackles are taken, they may look to trade back. Jones is still a very good prospect and should be able to play right away. One thing to look out for is them trading for Redskins LT, Trent Williams.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Kristian Fulton (CB) (LSU)
After Byron Jones left for Miami, the Cowboys need a CB badly. I personally like Fulton a little more than Henderson and think he could have a big impact on Dallas’ defense.
18. Detroit Lions (from Dolphins): Derrick Brown (DT) (Auburn)
A lot of people are going to tell me I am insane to think Brown could fall this far. However, with the amount of talent at other positions and DT not being as valuable as them, Brown could fall. The Lions would hit the lottery if this happens. There have already been rumors they could potentially take him with their first pick if they trade back.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Grant Delpit (S) (LSU)
The Raiders took Abram in the first round last year, and he looked good in the short amount of time he played. However, they still need a safety that can cover well, and Delpit can do just that.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Xavier McKinney (S) (Alabama)
After going offense with their first pick, the Jags go defense here. They could go CB too, but I think they take McKinney since he is more talented than any CB left on the board.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson (WR) (LSU)
I believe there are better WRs the Eagles could take here, but they have been linked with Jefferson quite a bit. The Eagles need to give Wentz weapons, and I do not expect this to be their only pick spent on a WR.
22. Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Epenesa (Edge) (Iowa)
The Vikings need to get a defender who can rush the QB. They get a very talented player, while also filling a big need.
23. Las Vegas Raiders (from Patriots): Jaylon Johnson (CB) (Utah)
The Raiders continue to build up their secondary. He is a very physical CB, and I believe he fits into Jon Gruden’s system perfectly. The Raiders could have a very scary defense in their first year in Vegas.
24. New Orleans Saints: Laviska Shenault (WR) (Colorado)
The Saints could do a few things here, but I think they will go WR. Shenault is somewhat of a wildcard in this draft. He was used anywhere and everywhere for Buffalo’s offense. We have seen what Sean Payton could accomplish with Taysom Hill, just imagine what he could do with Shenault.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Jalen Reagor (WR) (TCU)
After trading Diggs to the Bills, they could look to find his replacement. I am pretty high on Reagor and think he would be a great fit in the Viking’s offense. He actually reminds me a little of Diggs.
26. Miami Dolphins: Netane Muti (IOL) (Fresno State)
After taking Herbert, they will need to find a way to keep him protected. Muti is my #1 interior offensive lineman.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Weaver (Edge) (Boise State)
I do not think Clowney returns to Seattle, so they could look to take a pass rusher with this pick. Weaver is very good at getting O-lineman’s hands off of him and generated a 92.3 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen (LB) (LSU)
The Ravens have had a great offseason so far. After adding Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, they improve their defense even more. Many have Queen as the best LB in the draft.
29. Tennessee Titans: Jordan Elliott (DT) (Missouri)
With Jurrell Casey being traded to Denver, the Titans look to find his replacement. Elliot is a great athlete, and he managed to win his pass rushes 18.7% of the time, which is impressive for a DT.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiuk (WR) (Arizona State)
I think teams are a lot higher on Aiuk than the media is. The Packers need to find a weapon that can compliment Adams. Aiuk is a very explosive receiver and is a threat after the catch.
31. Cleveland Browns (from 49ers): Jonah Jackson (IOL) (Ohio State)
I think the Brown’s main task this offseason is fixing the offensive line problem. They took a tackle with their first pick and could take an interior O-lineman with their second pick.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Trevon Diggs (CB) (Alabama)
Kendall Fuller left in free agency, but they managed to resign Breeland. Still, they need help at CB. Diggs is best when facing bigger WRs.