Well, we certainly have some changes to make in this week’s mock! We had two blockbuster trades with San Francisco moving up to third overall and Miami trading back into the top 10. So while we did have some major shakeup, I still think it’s safe to say the top two picks will most likely stay the same throughout the process unless the Jets make a big splash at QB before the draft.
Pick #1 Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Previous Mock Draft Selection: Lawrence
It feels as if this pick has been three years in the making, ever since Lawrence burst onto the scene as a freshman at Clemson and led them to a national championship. At 6’6″, 220lbs with mobility, he is the type of prospect that scouts have compared to the likes of John Elway and Andrew Luck as a once-in-a-decade type talent. With a new regime in Jacksonville headlined by Urban Meyer, they aren’t going to begin their tenure by passing on a talent like Lawrence.
Pick #2 New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Previous pick: Wilson
His pro day certainly did not hurt his draft status, as one of his throws went viral and had scouts claiming that Wilson is the pick and the draft really begins at pick No. 3. Wilson has seen the biggest rise up draft boards in the past year both due to his “wow” throws but also his accuracy and mobility. His 2020 season justifies the praise he has been receiving as he threw for 33 TD’s and only three interceptions while completing 73.5% of his passes.
Pick #3 San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota St.
And we have our first trade of draft season! Yes, I have seen the speculation that this move is for Mac Jones, I’m not buying it. I don’t believe that the Niners would give up that type of draft capital a month in advance to target a player that may have been available to them at 12 — or if not 12, somewhere after the third pick on draft night, so that they wouldn’t have to give up as much. So to me, this is between Lance and Fields and I think Shanahan wants the opportunity to mold someone like Lance.
At his pro day, Lance reminded scouts that he is a unique talent and got them buzzing about him again. Turn on NFL Network or ESPN and you hear comps to Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. While there are questions about his competition and total number of games started, there is no questioning his physical tools and athleticism. To quote Daniel Jeremiah “it’s a limited body of work, but the foundation is outstanding.”
Pick #4 Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio St.
Previous pick: Fields
Like I said last week, I do think the #4 pick in the draft will ultimately be a QB, whether or not Atlanta is the team making the pick, I’m not 100% sure of yet. I do think Atlanta needs to either take a QB here or trade out because this pick has just increased in value with three QB’s expected to already be gone but since I am still not projecting trades a month out I will keep the Falcons here for now.
Pick #5 Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’marr Chase, WR, LSU
Previous pick: Chase
Due to Chase opting out of the 2020 season and combining that with the Heisman winning season from DeVonta Smith, it’s easy to forget the type of player Chase was as a true sophomore at LSU in 2019. He won the Biletnikoff Award as the best WR in college football while putting up 84 catches for 1,720 yards and 20 TD’s and that was all with an older Justin Jefferson on the team. And who was throwing him the ball that year? None other than Joe Burrow, who I’m sure would be thrilled to be reunited with his former LSU teammate.
Pick #6 Miami Dolphins – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
In the last iteration of the mock, I had predicted the Dolphins would potentially trade down, which I got right. What I did not foresee coming was the Dolphins already trading back up to sixth overall, which makes me think they strongly believe a player they would have considered at No. 3 will still be here at No. 6.
PFF had the Dolphins ranked as the 20th best pass blocking and 30th ranked run blocking unit in the league last year so they could use an immediate upgrade there. Even though Sewell sat out all of last season, he has been long thought to be the best offensive tackle in this draft and has all the characteristics of a cornerstone tackle in the NFL.
Pick #7 Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Previous pick: Waddle
I thought Detroit at No. 7 may have been a logical target for a team to move up for a QB but with San Francisco moving all the way up to No. 3, that might have changed the calculus a bit unless someone wants to jump up to take Mac Jones. So instead, they can not only fill a glaring need at WR with Waddle but also add someone who exemplifies the toughness that head coach Dan Campbell preached about in his introductory press conference.
Pick #8 Carolina Panthers – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Previous pick: Trey Lance, QB
If I were to predict trades this draft, Carolina is the team I would project to move up to try and secure Fields. I’m not sure the Falcons will be willing to work with a team in the division, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Instead, the Panthers go with maybe the most talented pass catcher in the draft with Pitts to surround whoever is playing QB with more weapons. Pitts wowed scouts by running an unofficial 4.46 and showed he should be able to line up anywhere on the field and still be a mismatch even at the NFL level.
Pick #9 Denver Broncos – Mac Jones. QB, Alabama
Previous pick: Micah Parsons, LB
Another major shakeup in this week’s mock. Now that we have more certainty that the QB’s will be going off the board early, I don’t think Jones goes outside of the top 10. Denver, somewhat under the radar, has one of the most talented rosters on offense and the only thing holding them back was their inconsistent QB play last year. A team with this kind of talent doesn’t want to waste another year of it so they go with a QB that fits more of John Elways’ typical profile at the position.
Pick #10 Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Previous pick: Surtain
There is a clear distinction in who the top three cornerbacks are this year but it is not as clear which one will go off the board first between Patrick Surtain II, Caleb Farley, and Jaycee Horn. Dallas goes with the 2020 SEC Defensive Player of the Year even while opposing offenses typically avoided throwing at him. At 6’2″, 202lbs, he is the prototypical size and speed combination NFL scouts covet at the position.
Pick #11 New York Giants – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Previous pick: Slater
Now that the Giants have officially signed their new WR1 in Kenny Golladay, I expect them to turn their attention to the offensive line. The Giants ranked 31st in the league in pressure rate allowed last year. At 6’4″, 315lbs, Slater may not be the biggest or strongest offensive lineman in the draft but he may be considered the safest because he could move inside. That’s exactly what a team needs that is trying to protect what they believe to be their franchise QB.
Pick #12 Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Eagles fans may be disappointed that they lost out on their shot at Kyle Pitts but have to feel good about getting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, who is coming off one of the most impressive seasons any college WR has ever had. Smith posted 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 TD’s and was on his way to a historic national championship game with 12 catches for 215 yards and 3 TD’s before being knocked out of the game early due to injury. This is another spot where a college QB-WR duo are able to reunite at the next level and I am sure Jalen Hurts will be thrilled at the opportunity to once again throw to Smith.
Pick #13 Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Previous pick: Darrisaw
The Chargers at least addressed the offensive line last week and made a big upgrade by signing Corey Linsley and Matt Fieler, but that didn’t solve all their issues along the line. Darrisaw is widely considered one of, if not the best pure blocker in this class as he consistently got better during his three years as a starter at Virginia Tech. Blocking for franchise QB Justin Herbert should be the Chargers’ top priority.
Pick #14 Minnesota Vikings – Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
Previous pick: Rousseau
Nobody in the league had a lower pressure rate on opposing QB’s last year than the Vikings. Defensive lineman, specifically edge rushers, at this point in the draft process have not distinguished themselves yet and may push each other down the draft boards as a result. Rousseau sat out last season but in 2019, he had 15.5 sacks while lining up all over the defensive line showing his ability to get pressure not just from the edge which Minnesota desperately needs.
Pick #15 New England Patriots – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Previous pick: Mac Jones, QB
The 49ers trade all the way up to three had ripple effects not only throughout the draft but possibly in the QB market as Jimmy G may now be on the move and if so, I fully expect Bill Belichick to be in line for his services. So with that said and all five QB’s gone at this point, Belichick does what he has a propensity of doing and drafts a player a year before the team has a perceived need at that position. There are rumblings however that they may move former South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore this offseason which would open up an immediate spot for Horn but either way Belichick takes Horn as Gilmore’s eventual replacement.
Pick #16 Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley, CB, South Carolina
Previous pick: Horn
If the draft plays out this way, the Cardinals will feel fortunate that one of the top three cornerbacks actually fell to them, especially after Patrick Peterson officially left for Minnesota. Farley only falls down to 16 because of his recent back surgery that kept him from performing at his pro day but all reports say he should be cleared by training camp so I don’t think he falls much further than this.
Pick #17 Las Vegas Raiders – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn St.
Previous pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE
As we have referenced on this site, Parsons has some character concerns and some questionable reporting accuracy on times recorded at their pro day so couple those factors together and that’s how you get a player with Parsons’s talent falling to No. 17. But we’ve seen Gruden and Mayock get enamored with “eye-popping” draft prospects and most likely won’t let him fall past here as he is the type of versatile and dynamic linebacker that can play all three downs that they have been looking for.
Pick #18 Miami Dolphins – Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
Previous pick: DeVonta Smith, WR
Paye did not disappoint at his pro day on 3/26 and solidified his status as one of the first defensive lineman to be selected in this draft. Paye has the ability to create pressure as a traditional end or showed he has the speed to stand up and rush off the edge as displayed by his 4.52 40 time.
Pick #19 Washington Football Team – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Previous pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL
Another team still looking to upgrade at the QB position, they may not be drafting 19th come draft night but again, for now we will keep them here and go with the most productive college linebacker in the draft.
The reigning Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Award winner showed he has the ability and range to make plays all over the field as evidenced by his 53.5 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and four interceptions, returning two of those for touchdowns. One knock on him is his ability, or lack thereof, to take on blocks, but that should be mitigated playing behind a very stout Washington defensive line.
Pick #20 Chicago Bears – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Previous pick: Bateman
There still remains a rather big wildcard between now and the draft and that’s Sam Darnold. I know the official Bears Twitter account tweeted out a statement about their new QB Andy Dalton, which drew the ire of pretty much the entire fanbase, but I expect them to still look to upgrade that position if Darnold or perhaps Jimmy G becomes available.
Much like the Panthers in this mock, they instead will settle on adding the best weapon available for whoever is playing QB for them next year. Although looking at Bateman’s college stats, coupled with his recent sub 4.4 40 at the Exos combine on 2/27 it’s unfair to describe picking Bateman as “settling.” Just a sophomore in 2019, he had 1219 yards and 11 TD’s while averaging over 20 yards per catch.
Pick #21 Indianapolis Colts – Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
Previous pick: Cosmi
The Colts did make a few more moves this offseason which not only included re-signing T.Y. Hilton but also addressed their immediate left tackle need by signing Sam Tevi from the Chargers to a one-year deal. I still think the Colts go offensive tackle here and invest for the future since Carson Wentz was the most sacked QB in the league last year as he has a propensity to hold onto the ball too long so trying to give him the best protection possible will be paramount both now and long term.
Pick #22 Tennessee Titans – Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
Previous pick: Phillips
The Titans had the third-fewest sacks in the league last year with just 19 and it looks like they will be losing Jadeveon Clowney on top of it. They did make a big splash with Bud Dupree, who signed a five-year deal and will certainly help create some pressure off the edge, but they still could use an upgrade along the defensive line. Phillips, who has had some medical issues and even “retired” from football briefly, may be the most talented defensive lineman in the draft, as he was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country.
Pick #23 New York Jets – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Previous pick: Najee Harris, RB
One player that may have had their draft stock drop a bit after their pro day measurables was Alijah Vera-Tucker, as his arm length of 32 ⅛ will have teams questioning his ability to play offensive tackle full-time at the next level. The Jets, who had the 29th ranked offensive line last year per PFF, could use an upgrade at pretty much every spot outside of left tackle so they don’t mind taking what could now be the best guard in the draft.
Pick #24 Pittsburgh Steelers – Jaylen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Previous pick: Mayfield
If the Steelers are going to give it another go with Big Ben at the helm they are gonna have to try and protect him so look for them to go offensive line here especially given their starting left tackle is now a free agent. Mayfield is another guy who can play outside or move in depending on what the Steelers do in the offseason but he should be able to help either way.
Pick #25 Jacksonville Jaguars – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Previous pick: Barmore
At 6’5″, 310lbs, Barmore has the size to stack up against the run but also the ability and explosiveness to get to the QB, as evidenced by his team-leading eight sacks last season, including one in the national championship game to also go with two tackles for loss and five overall tackles, earning him the defensive MVP of the game award.
Pick #26 Cleveland Browns – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Previous pick: Owusu-Koramoah
The Browns signed one of the top safeties available in John Johnson to a three-year deal but could still use some versatility on defense and few meet that criteria better than Owusu-Koramoah. At 6’1″, 215lbs, he may be a bit undersized but has shown he can make up for it not only with his ability in coverage but also attacking the line of scrimmage averaging a tackle for loss per game the past two seasons at Notre Dame.
Pick #27 Baltimore Ravens – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma St.
Previous pick: Jenkins
With Orlando Brown requesting a trade, the Ravens now have an opening on the right side of the line that Jenkins can fill. Jenkins is considered one of the better run blockers in the class, which will fit Baltimore’s style perfectly.
Pick #28 New Orleans Saints – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Previous pick: Toney
Now that Drew Brees has officially retired, the Saints will move forward with Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill. It would probably be best to try and give the offense easy throws/decisions and Toney, although a bit undersized, is an explosive, quick-twitch athlete, who not only caught 70 passes for 984 yards and 10 TD’s but also ran the ball 19 times for 8.5 yards per carry. He should be able to make the New Orleans quarterback’s life easier and a moveable piece in the Sean Payron offense.
Pick #29 Green Bay Packers – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Previous pick: Newsome
The lasting image in most Packers fans’ minds from the NFC championship game is Tom Brady continuously picking on CB Kevin King. Newsome may have solidified a spot in the first round with his 4.38 40 at his recent pro day. When on the field, Newsome earned first-team Big 10 honors but injuries have been a bit of a problem in his career. He has missed parts of each of the past three seasons, which puts him just below the top 3 CB’s in this draft.
Pick #30 Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Previous pick: Etienne
While I don’t personally subscribe to taking a running back in the first round, one or more always seem to be taken. With the Bills bringing back their entire offensive line from 2020, they could use a homerun threat at the position as Devin Singletary and Zach Moss, who were their two top RB’s last year, combined for only seven runs of 20 yards or more. Compare that to Derrick Henry who had 16 such runs on his own last season. Etienne confirmed his home run speed at his recent pro day, clocking a 4.41 40 while weighing in at 215lbs. That would add another dynamic to an already potent Bills offense.
Pick #31 Kansas City Chiefs – Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Previous pick: Eichenberg
The Super Bowl shined a very bright light on the importance of a competent offensive line. At the time, we could chalk up the incompetence of the KC o-line in the Super Bowl to injuries, but now it’s a more permanent problem with the release of both of their starting tackles. KC has addressed the inside of the line by signing the best available in Joe Thuney and also enticing Kyle Long out of retirement but could still use some help on the outside. They were reportedly in on Trent Williams before he re-signed with the 49ers. Eichenberg is a three-year starter at left tackle at Notre Dame and gives KC an experienced college player who can step in and contribute on Day 1.
Pick #32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
Previous pick: Levi Onwuzurike, DT
It’s hard to find many holes on the defending Super Bowl champions’ roster, so they go with a talented young player who they can groom to ultimately take over for Jason Pierre-Paul, who is a free agent after the season. As just a redshirt sophomore, Ojulari led the SEC in sacks last year with 9.5 and added another three in his bowl game against Cincinnati. At 6’2″ and just 249lbs he may not yet be ready to contribute outside of obvious pass rushing downs but a team like Tampa has the luxury of waiting and letting the 20-year-old develop.