The NFL Draft is a little over one month away and free agency has just begun. Before too many big moves are made, let’s enjoy one more mock draft:
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB) – This pick is fairly obvious and should not need an explanation.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young (DE) – Young is a generational talent that should not be passed up, especially with the number one quarterback in the draft gone.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah (CB) – The Lions have a need at cornerback and Okudah is the best CB in this draft. They could go in a variety of directions at the 3rd pick, but in this case, they get a future star in their defensive backfield.
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons (LB) – The best available player outside of quarterback, the Giants get a stud. Simmons is extremely versatile and athletic and can help shore up the Giants’ defense immediately.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa (QB) – Another quarterback off the board. The Dolphins could use a franchise guy and Tua should be able to slide in just fine. The only question mark is his health. If he stays healthy, he could emulate Russell Wilson and bring stability to the Dolphins’ quarterbacks room for the foreseeable future.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert (QB) – With Philip Rivers on his way out, the Chargers need a new franchise quarterback. Luckily, they are in a perfect position to pick one. Herbert is the next best quarterback on the board and should be able to be their guy.
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (DT) – With Brown, the Panthers get a guy that can provide an instant boost to any defensive line. With Okudah and Simmons gone, they get the best available defensive player.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton (OT) – The Cardinals are in need of offensive line help, and Becton is one of the top prospects in this year’s NFL Draft. While he may be a risky prospect, his upside is tremendous. With the recent trade for Deandre Hopkins, offensive tackle is the optimal combination of best player available and filling a need.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw (DT) – After trading away Calais Campbell, the Jaguars are in dire need of defensive help. Kinlaw is the best player available and should be able to fill in the hole left by Campbell’s departure.
10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills (OT) – The Browns need help at both offensive tackle spots and they can solve half of that problem by adding Wills. One of the top pass protectors in the Draft, Wills should be able to protect Baker Mayfield’s blindside for at least a decade.
11. New York Jets: Ceedee Lamb (WR) – The Jets have a need for playmakers and Lamb should help alleviate that need. The best wide receiver in the draft, he should become an instant starter and help Sam Darnold become an even better passer.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy (WR) – The next best wide receiver in the Draft (although it is a close call), Jeudy should also be able to step in and have a similar effect as CeeDee Lamb for the Jets.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Henry Ruggs III (WR) – The 49ers desperately need an upgrade at wide receiver. Ruggs’ speed and explosiveness can provide a tremendous weapon for their offense.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas (OT) – A replacement at left tackle, Thomas could be a future pro bowler. A solid-value pick, given the players left.
15. Denver Broncos: Tristan Wirfs (OL) – Wirfs played offensive tackle in college, but he should excel playing in the interior in the NFL. The Broncos are in a great position to upgrade their subpar offensive line since Wirfs is one of the best linemen in the Draft.
16. Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE) – Chaisson is the next best available pass rusher, and the Falcons are in need of one. Another case of the best available player meets team needs.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney (S) – With Byron Jones on his way out of Dallas, they are in need of a strong presence in their secondary. McKinney is a solid, well-rounded defensive back that can also play nickel linebacker.
18. Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift (RB) – The first running back selected, Swift is a versatile back with an innate ability to make defenders miss. He should be able to solve the mess that is the Dolphins’ running backs.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: C.J. Henderson (CB) – The Raiders are in need of help in their defensive backfield and Henderson provides that. While he isn’t the best tackler, he is great in coverage and should boost their pass defense.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kenneth Murray (LB) – After initiating a fire-sale of their defense, the Jaguars need to replace the guys that they lost. Murray should be able to step up and become a solid linebacker for the Jaguars.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: A.J. Epenesa (EDGE) – The Eagles could go in numerous options here as they also need playmakers on offense and an infusion of youth for their offensive line. Despite this, Epenesa is too good of a prospect to pass up at this point in the Draft. He should provide instant results as a pass rusher.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson (OT) – The Vikings could use some help along their offensive line. Jackson should be a solid prospect that could slide in immediately or develop for a season or two at the left tackle spot.
23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love (QB) – The Patriots can’t keep hiding from this forever, especially this year. Without Tom Brady, the Patriots need to think about this position now more than ever. Love is a raw prospect that should be able to develop under Belichick.
24. New Orleans Saints: Jake Fromm (QB) – In a similar situation as the Patriots, the Saints need to think about the future. Drew Brees is still playing at a high level, but the Saints will want to be prepared if he decides to hang up the cleats soon. Fromm is the next best quarterback in the Draft and could produce well, given the right circumstances.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Jaylon Johnson (CB) – The Vikings are in desperate need of a cornerback given the uncertainty of their top guys being there next years. While this may be a reach, the Vikings cannot risk missing on a first-round cornerback.
26. Miami Dolphins: Grant Delpit (S) – With Reshad Jones gone, the Dolphins should spend their remaining first-round pick on a replacement. Delpit is a safety with a high ceiling, assuming he can stay healthy.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Marlon Davidson (EDGE) – Davidson is a solid player that can play the exterior and interior of the defensive line. His versatility should make it difficult for the Seahawks to choose anyone else at this point in the Draft.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Tee Higgins (WR) – The Ravens do not have many needs at all, and this pick will mainly serve to boost their offense even further. They could use a tall, outside threat at wide receiver, however. With another weapon, this Ravens team could be even scarier next season.
29. Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis (EDGE) – With their current pass rushers getting up there in age, the Titans could use an infusion of youth. While Lewis is a raw albeit athletic prospect and his health can be questioned if he pans out this will be a great pick for the Titans.
30. Green Bay Packers: Justin Jefferson (WR) – Luckily for the Packers, this year’s wide receiver class is insanely deep. Jefferson is a well-rounded wide receiver who is really only lacking elite speed. He can step in immediately and provide a weapon for Aaron Rodgers.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Ross Blacklock (DT) – The 49ers had the best defensive line in football last year, but sometimes you just can’t pass up the best available player. Blacklock is a risk, but it is not one that will hurt the 49ers too badly if it doesn’t work out. If Blacklock can develop in the NFL, the 49ers will have one of the scariest defensive fronts we have seen in a long time.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Cesar Ruiz (C) – The Chiefs are not weak in many areas, but they do need help when it comes to the interior of their offensive line. Ruiz is the best center in this Draft and will be able to start as a solid piece immediately.