With most of the big free agents off the board, the attention has begun to shift towards the NFL Draft. Moves are starting to be made with the draft in mind, such as the Miami Dolphins wheeling and dealing their draft picks this past week. We previously ran through a mock draft last month detailing who we thought each team would pick in the first round of the draft. This time, I’ll run through who I think each team should pick with their first overall selection. With some changes in the draft order, that has had a direct effect on how some teams will view the draft, with the potential for a lot of QB’s coming off the board higher than ever. With that being said, let’s get into the action.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Pick previously: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
The worst kept secret in the NFL currently is that the Jaguars are drafting the Clemson QB with the first overall pick in the draft. New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has even assisted Lawrence with his surgery process, which just further solidifies the idea that he is going to go #1 in the draft.
2. New York Jets (2-14) – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Pick previously: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
While Wilson to the Jets is much less of a lock than Lawrence to Jacksonville, Wilson is viewed by some as a better QB than Lawrence. The Jets have to realize that their current QB Sam Darnold needs to get a fresh start elsewhere if he wants to have any chance at success. Wilson also has much higher upside with his ability to make plays off schedule and use his athletic ability to extend plays and pick up yards on the ground. Wilson showed out in his pro day and further proved why he will be the second pick in this year’s draft.
3. San Francisco 49ers (6-10; via Miami, via Houston) – QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Pick previously: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
The 49ers made a huge move this past week trading up to the #3 spot, and they have presumably set themselves up to take a QB. Despite these developments, San Francisco remains adamant that they have “no plans” of trading QB Jimmy Garappolo, and that he is their guy in San Fran for the upcoming season. However, this story has happened too many times where a team makes a move to position themselves to get a QB, and then they say that their current QB is “their guy”, just to move on from him a few months later, and that’s what this situation looks set to become. As a GM, you don’t give up three first round picks to not select a QB. It has been rumored that the 49ers moved up before the Panthers due to their rumored interest in the Alabama QB. Jones has high IQ and good footwork in the pocket and awareness, which will help Jones run the Kyle Shanahan led offense.
4. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Pick previously: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
The North Dakota State QB has enormous upside with elite mobility and arm strength, which he put on display at his pro day. There is an issue with Lance having limited experience which can be solved by having him sit a year being current Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Ryan will be able to mentor Lance as a passer which will allow him to get a better understanding of an NFL offense and such. I would expect Lance to be a top four pick in this years draft, as he seems to have surpassed Justin Fields in the QB rankings for the time being.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1) – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Pick previously: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
With the recent trade up by the 49ers, the Bengals will have the choice of the best non-QBs available in this year’s draft more likely than not. Reuniting Chase with his former QB at LSU, Joe Burrow, could form a lethal combination on the Bengals offense, as they already have an amazing rapport with one another. It’s rumored that Burrow is even lobbying for Chase to be the pick at five for the Bengals. You’d expect that the Bengals would want to keep their franchise QB happy, as they failed to do that in the past with Carson Palmer. Chase would give the Bengals a true WR1 along two solid WR2’s in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.
6. Miami Dolphins (10-6; via Philadelphia) – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Pick previously: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
The Dolphins are still able to get one of their two top targets after trading down with the 49ers and then back up with the Philadelphia Eagles, all while profiting significantly. This is a huge win by GM Chris Grier and the Dolphins’ front office, as they get the offensive lineman with the highest potential in this draft class. By trading down it shows their confidence in QB Tua Tagovailoa moving forward, so providing him with protection will help his confidence as they look to build around him. Some people will say that Rashawn Slater is better than Sewell currently, but Sewell has the higher upside of the two. Sewell has traits that give him generational potential at tackle, which makes him the perfect choice for the Dolphins at the #6 pick.
7. Detroit Lions (5-11) – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Pick previously: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
While the Lions already have a Pro Bowl tight end that they drafted with the eighth pick in the 2019 draft in T.J. Hockenson, Pitts is more than a tight end. Pitts is a ridiculously versatile weapon on offense who can be lined up all over the field, and he would complement Hockenson and the Lions other weapons well. Pitts is too fast to be covered by a linebacker and too tall to be covered by cornerbacks, which provides matchup nightmares for defenses. Pairing up Hockenson and Pitts would be a nightmare for opposing defenses for the foreseeable future.
8. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Pick previously: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
After the 49ers traded up many believed that it was to take either Trey Lance or Justin Fields. However, it has come out that the 49ers felt that the Panthers would have taken Alabama QB Mac Jones at 8, as they are extremely high on him. As a result, the 49ers traded up for “their guy” in Jones. Now the Panthers have an arguably better QB prospect in Fields fall to them at #8.
9. Denver Broncos (5-11) – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick previously: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
The Broncos were able to bolster their secondary significantly during free agency, singing Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, and bringing back Kareem Jackson on a cheaper deal. Needless to say that adding to the secondary will no longer be as much of a concern for them this early in the draft. That will lead them to address their linebacker core, and Parsons stands out as a solid choice for the Broncos. Parsons posted a 4.39 40-yard dash time as a linebacker, which is just unheard of for a player at his position. Parsons is a versatile linebacker who’s able to pass rush, cover sideline to sideline in the run game, and go back in to coverage at times as well.
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10) – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Pick previously: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Free agency wasn’t kind to Dallas, as they lost one of their starting cornerbacks in Chidobe Awuzie to the Bengals, and even before that they fielded one of the worst secondaries in the league last season. Surtain showed out at his pro day, which only further solidified his draft stock as the top cornerback in this years draft. Surtain II plays with physicality and uses his height at 6’2 to his advantage in coverage as well, and will provide the Cowboys with a player they can build their secondary around in the future.
11. New York Giants (6-10) – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Pick previously: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Kwity Paye is an athletic freak that can play both inside and outside on the defensive line, which will be an amazing skill set for the Giants to add to their line. Paye is a Joe Judge type player, as he is completely focused on football and is a work-aholic. Judge has ties to Michigan, which will only further the explanation behind this pick. Giants GM Dave Gettleman has a fascination with edge linemen who are athletic, and Paye falls perfectly into that classification.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1; via Miami, via San Francisco) – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Pick previously: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Philadelphia needs to get themselves a WR1 and the speedster from Alabama who, if able to stay healthy, could be the downfield threat Jalen Hurts needs in order to help him take the next step up as their “franchise” QB. Waddle’s speed is one of the things that sets him apart from the other receivers in this class, as he’s able to create constant separation and is the best kick/punt returner in this draft. A little preview of what a Hurts to Waddle connection could look like in the video below.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (7-9) – OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Pick previously: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Justin Herbert’s Rookie of the Year performance was a preview of what his future could be, so imagine what it would be like with an improved offensive line. It should be a top priority for the Chargers to improve their offensive line to ensure that Herbert is able to stay healthy and protected for the long term. Slater could be seen as the best offensive tackle currently due to Sewell being more of a raw prospect. Slater has a lower potential than Sewell but still has the potential to be a long term Pro Bowl left tackle, and the Chargers would be wise to snatch him up.
14. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Pick previously: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
With the Vikings heavily addressing the defensive side of the ball in free agency, the offensive side seems likely to be targeted heavily in the draft. Protecting Kirk Cousins and opening running lanes for Dalvin Cook is crucial if the Vikings are looking to make a deeper playoff run than they have in past seasons. Darrisaw’s skills in pass protection is what set him apart, as he utilizes his strength and mobility to help keep his QB upright.
15. New England Patriots (7-9) – WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Pick previously: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Despite spending money on the offense and wide receiver specifically, it is still a need for the Patriots after adding Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor. Smith would be the best player available for the Patriots if he is still around at #15. Smith has fantastic run after catch and playmaking ability that sets him apart from the other receivers in the draft. It is his longevity and injury possibilities due to his small frame that is a concern for teams as he comes into the league.
16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Pick previously: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Jaycee Horn solidified his draft stock at his pro day after he ran 4.39 40-yard dash, along with some solid performances in his drills. Horn was tasked with many different assignments during his time at South Carolina, facing tight ends, slot wideouts, and x-receivers, showing off his versatility. Horn will be a perfect choice for the Cardinals after losing Patrick Peterson, as he offers the potential to be his long-term replacement.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (8-8) – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick previously: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
The Raiders have been able to add a couple defensive pieces in free agency, with Yannick Ngakoue being their biggest addition, while also retaining some of their own guys too. Moehrig would fill the free safety ballhawk role that the Raiders need in their secondary, especially in a Gus Bradley style defense. Moehrig would give the Raiders a safety with versatility and a partner for Jonathan Abrams. Despite not being the best tackler, Moehrig can cover in both zone and man schemes, and he would be able to seamlessly slide into the Raiders secondary.
18. Miami Dolphins (10-6) – RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick previously: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
There have been two teams that have been the most interested in the Alabama running back, with the Steelers sitting at pick 24 and the Dolphins at #18. Harris offers above average hands out of the backfield, while providing a versatile rushing style that allows him to run outside and in between the tackles. Tua and Harris would be reunited in Miami where they would hope to translate their success at Alabama together to the NFL with the Dolphins.
19. Washington Football Team (7-9) – OG/OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Pick previously: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
In order to ensure their offense is productive by any means, the Football Team have to start in the trenches by adding offensive linemen. Vera-Tucker is a versatile lineman that has the ability to play both guard and tackle if need be, which should be very appealing to Washington. However, it wasn’t until this past season that he made the transition to left tackle, so he isn’t as experienced at the position as some of the other linemen in this class. By drafting Vera-Tucker, it will give the Football Team flexibility going forward, as they won’t be forced to keep Vera-Tucker at a position if he initially doesn’t pan out.
20. Chicago Bears (8-8) – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Pick previously: OG/OT Alijah Vera-Tucker
For the Bears, the WR position seems to be one that is currently is disarray, as Allen Robinson reluctantly signed his franchise tag, and there are rumors that they are looking to trade Anthony Miller. Bateman excels due to his superb route running skills and after the catch ability which he put on display while at Minnesota. Bateman has the potential to be a Pro Bowl level receiver in the upcoming future with his route running and physicality.
21. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
Pick previously: EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Cosmi is one of the more pro ready tackles in this year’s draft class and would slide right in to the left tackle position in Indy after Anthony Castonzo retired this offseason. Cosmi could see more success at right tackle and the Colts could opt to move Braden Smith to left tackle to accommodate Cosmi’s transition to the NFL, but either way they are improving their offensive line by adding Cosmi.
22. Tennessee Titans (11-5) – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Pick previously: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
After releasing Adoree’ Jackson, the Titans clearly need to add at the cornerback position before the start of the season. If Farley is able to stay healthy he could be one of, if not, the best cornerbacks in this year’s draft. Farley has the ball skills, man and zone coverage skills, size, speed, and athleticism that few can compete with if he is able to stay healthy and properly develop. That is the issue though, as Farley has already had two back surgeries and a torn ACL before even getting drafted. That is a big red flag for any team drafting him, but if the Titans can keep him healthy they will have a steal at #21.
23. New York Jets (2-14; via Seattle) – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Pick previously: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
Owusu-Koramoah would be a perfect linebacker for new head coach Robert Salah’s defense, as he possesses amazing athletic ability and is able to play in coverage when needed to. Some say that JOK is more of a safety than a linebacker and even if that is the case, this would fill a major need for the Jets, as an in-the-box safety/hybrid linebacker type role is becoming popular in the NFL in recent years. Adding JOK would allow the Jets top address that recent trend, and keep their defensive unit up to date.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) – LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Pick previously: OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Zaven Collins is a linebacker that’s able to get after the passer as an edge rusher if needed but he’s also able to play as an off-ball linebacker, which will help the Steelers replace some of their free agency losses. Collins is also able to drop back into coverage when called upon, which is another big plus. He’s the complete all-around defense that will help solidify this Steelers’ defensive unit for years to come.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15; via LA Rams) – OT Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Pick previously: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Protecting Trevor Lawrence should be the Jaguars’ top priority going forward because if they want see any success next season, it will be a result of his play on the field. Drafting Jenkins would give them a player who has played both tackle positions along with right guard during his time at Oklahoma State. That will give Jacksonville some versatility going forward, but Jenkins will most likely be a tackle for the Jaguars.
26. Cleveland Browns (11-5) – CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
Pick previously: LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
Getting Denzel Ward some help in the secondary should be one of the Browns top priorities in the draft, and adding Newsome II will do just that. Newsome has length, measuring at 6’1, along with his athleticism and speed that allows him to recover to prevent completions if he is beat by even a few steps. His change of direction ability for his size is also another great skill that sets him apart from the other corners in the draft.
27. Baltimore Ravens (11-5) – EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Pick previously: EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
The Ravens lost some of their pass rushers this offseason, with Matthew Judon going to the Patriots and Yannick Ngakoue to the Raiders, which has created a big hole on their defense. While Ojulari still needs to develop, he has the potential to be a good pass rusher at the next level for the Ravens. Ojulari would be a great fit in the Ravens hybrid defensive scheme, despite not having the ideal length for his position.
28. New Orleans Saints (12-4) – CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
Pick previously: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Even before Marshon Lattimore’s recent arrest, the Saints needed to upgrade their cornerback position. Stokes is a burner at the cornerback position and his addition will greatly help the Saints after they had to release multiple players this offseason to get under the league salary cap. While not the most polished cornerback in this draft class, Stokes has shown the ability to play man and zone, but would likely be more successful in a zone based scheme.
29. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Pick previously: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
After failing to draft Aaron Rodgers a wide receiver in the first round of last year’s draft, it seems to be a forgone conclusion that the Packers will add offensive playmakers this year. If Rodgers had another go-to weapon on offense last season, there’s a good chance they would have atleast made the Super Bowl, which makes adding a WR like Moore a priority for the Packers in this draft. Moore primarily functions as a slot receiver, but he can also lineup outside, and is tough to guard no matter where he is. Moore has elite speed, running a 4.34 40-yard dash at his pro day recently, which could lead to him becoming a late first round selection.
30. Buffalo Bills (13-3) – EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Pick previously: DL Christian Barmore, Alabama
Jayson Oweh had a freakish pro day performance that saw him run a 4.36 40-yard dash while also performing extremely well in the other drills he participated in. While he might not have had the college production that some other pass rushers had, Oweh could continue to develop and become an athletic freak of nature as a pass rusher at the next level.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Pick previously: OT Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Protecting QB Patrick Mahomes needs to be the top priority for Kansas City, and the Chiefs seem to be trying to do that this offseason by adding Guard Joe Thuney and Guard/Tackle Kyle Long in free agency. With holes at their tackle positions after releasing both of their starters from last season, it isn’t a question that they must add a tackle in the draft. Eichenberg can be a day 1 starter at left tackle for the Chiefs, and while the upside isn’t as high, he will be an instant starter for the team.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) – DL Christian Barmore, Alabama
Pick previously: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
After being able to bring back all of their starter free agents this offseason the Buccaneers will look to make upgrades at the positions that they can. The interior defensive line was aging and Vita Vea has struggled to stay healthy, and adding Barmore would bring in another run stopper to an already elite level defense of the defending champions. In a star studded defensive line room, look for Barmore to be mentored under Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett.
Click on the images below to shop for new NFL gear!