The NFL Draft is officially 7 days away, which means smoke screens will be at an all time. Using any of the information that will come this week will be futile, as for the most part it will be impossible to tell what is true and what is not. From all the information I have gathered through scouting, film watching, and listening to NFL insiders, this mock draft reflects what I think NFL teams will do, not what they should do. This draft will be the hardest to predict out of any in the recent memory, as the combine, media days, and media attendance at the Senior Bowl has significantly limited rumors from getting out. The number one pick is solidified in Trevor Lawrence, and all signs lead to Zach Wilson being pick number two, but beyond that the water is murky. Without further ado, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock.
Pick 1: Jacksonville Jaguars | Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
This pick is written in blood. Trevor Lawrence has been the pick for the Jaguars since the 2020-2021 NFL Season ended. His elite size along with amazing tape makes him the pick, and Jaguars fans have to be excited about their future with Trevor at the helm and Urban Meyer at coach.
Pick 2: New York Jets | Zach Wilson QB BYU
The Trevor Lawrence pick is already set in blood, but this pick is written in pen. Rumors circulated before Zach Wilson’s pro day that if all his medicals were cleared, he would be the pick for the Jets. Not only did all these medicals go well, but the throws he made only enhanced the probability that he would be the pick for the Jets. Even recently, on QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit, Steve Young, former BYU and 49ers QB, said he talked to the Jets QB coach and the insight he gave suggest he will be the Jets pick. Zach Wilson broke onto the stage late, as his amazing arm angles, play outside the pocket, and off script play has bolstered him to the number two pick. With the Jets recently trading away Sam Darnold, they have a great chance to reset the clock at QB and get it right this time.
Pick 3: San Francisco 49ers | Justin Fields QB Ohio State
Finally, we get to start the draft. The 49ers traded up with the Miami Dolphins to select a QB, and I am sure they already had a guy in mind when they made this trade. Kyle Shanahan coached Justin Fields at a couple of camps early in his QB career, and understands the hard work and love for the game he has, contrary to some media reports. Justin also fits the scheme they run well, as he can be a quick passer when needed as well as rolling out of the pocket and stretching the field. This pick was locked in per source, but as of recent Ian Rapoport reported that Fields suffers from epilepsy. According to Justin and his coaches, this condition is under control and he expects to outgrow it, but it makes this pick much more murkier. My understanding is that Kyle Shanahan already knew about this condition, and is still comfortable with drafting the talented quarterback from Ohio State.
Pick 4: Atlanta Falcons | Trey Lance QB NDSU
Many expect this pick to be traded as the Falcons already have star QB in Matt Ryan who they just restructured, but having the chance to take a talented guy in Trey Lance who will have the luxury of sitting is something they could not pass up. Trey Lance, outside of Trevor Lawrence, is the most talented quarterback in this class. His sheer arm strength matched with his quick mechanics and athletic ability have the makeups to be a great quarterback. While there is concern with his play time, he ran a lot of pro style offense at NDSU, so his understanding of the game should be just fine.
Pick 5: Cincinnati Bengals | Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
I can already hear Bengals fans saying “we need offensive line, not wide receivers.” That is true, and the late first early second round is filled with amazing interior guys like Creed Humphry, Landon Dickerson, and Wyatt Davis. AJ Green left the team this offseason, and they need someone that Joe Burrow likes to fill that WR1 hole. Ja’Marr Chase played with Burrow during their magical season that ended with a CFP National Championship, and I am sure on draft night Burrow will be begging the Bengals front office to draft his buddy.
Pick 6: Miami Dolphins | Kyle Pitts TE University of Florida
This is a steal for the Miami Dolphins. After trading the third overall pick to the 49ers and trading back up to six with the Eagles all in one day, the Dolphins are in a perfect spot to get a weapon for Tua. Kyle Pitts may be the best non quarterback player in the draft, and for good reason. His elite pass catching ability matched with his exceptional athleticism makes him a 100+ target a season weapon. Adding weapons like Kyle Pitts will either show that Tua is your franchise QB, or if you need to address it in the next draft.
Pick 7: Detroit Lions | Penei Sewell OT University of Oregon
This is great value for the Lions, as Dan Campbell knows that he must address offensive line early, even with a depleted WR core. This draft is stacked with receivers, and with this understanding, taking best player available in Penei Sewell makes sure the Lions have cornerstone on their offensive line for Jared Goff or their future 2022 QB they inevitably draft.
Pick 8: TRADE. Carolina Panthers Send Pick 8 to the New England Patriots for 15, 46, and a 2022 Second Round Pick. New England Patriots | Mac Jones QB University of Alabama
The Panthers trade out to recoup lost draft capital when trading for Sam Darnold and the Patriots get aggressive to land their QB of the future. Cam Newton is not the future for the Patriots, and if anything he is holding them back from resetting the clock and getting their QB of the future. The Patriots were extremely aggressive this offseason, spending the most money out of all NFL teams, and I think that aggressive nature will carry over into the draft as well. Mac Jones is an elite short passing QB with an okay arm and little outside the pocket athleticism. He will most likely sit a season and learn the Patriot way, but don’t count out him coming in early due to Cam Newton’s inevitable short comings.
Pick 9: Denver Broncos | Micah Parsons LB Penn State
If the board falls and one of the top four QBs is not there, the Broncos are basically locked into taking Parsons here per source. The Broncos need an upgrade at linebacker with Jewell on his last year of his contract, and Micah Parsons fills that role well. An extremely rangey linebacker, he can not only play in pass coverage, but he can even rush the edge. A team who needs a big playmaker on defense will fall in love with Parsons, and I think that is the case with the Denver Broncos.
Pick 10: Dallas Cowboys | Patrick Surtain II CB University of Alabama
At pick number 10 Dallas gets their choice at cornerback in an extremely talented class. Patrick Surtain II is my number one cornerback, and the name alone will have Jerry Jones running up the pick himself. Surtain II is an absolute lockdown corner, and Dallas desperately needs help in the secondary. While Dallas could use a versatile tackle in Rashawn Slater, that pick is not flashy enough for Jerry Jones, making PSII the pick here.
Pick 11: New York Giants | Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
This is a Dave Gettleman pick. Obviously there will not be a trade out, and the Giants need help on the offensive line. They upgraded their receiving corpse in free agency with John Ross and Kenny Golliday, and the last piece they need to truly see if Daniel Jones is their quarterback of the future is a good offensive lineman. Rashawn Slater is a mauler who provides positional versatility, as he can play OT and OG with high success.
Pick 12: Philadelphia Eagles | Jaylen Waddle WR University of Alabama
The Eagles are a dysfunctional franchise and I can completely see them going with DeVonta Smith or an EDGE rusher, but lets assume that they actually get it right this time and take arguably the number one wide receiver in this class. Jaylen Waddle is a speedster, and aside from that he is a great route runner and can win contested balls. There is nothing he really cannot do. Adding a player like Waddle allows the Eagles to further asses Jalen Hurts to truly see if he is their franchise QB
Pick 13: Los Angeles Chargers | Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
The Chargers have done a good job at filling their interior offensive line needs in free agency, but they can still use some help protecting Justin Herbert’s blind side. Christian Darrisaw is a mauler in the paint, and while he may not be the most athletic of the tackles in this class, his sheer size and angry play will be a great addition to this needy offensive line. This pick is not about the now, but it is about the future of protecting Justin Herbert.
Pick 14: Minnesota Vikings | Kwity Paye EDGE University of Michigan
This could be a spot for offensive lineman, but the Minnesota Vikings desperately need a pass rusher alongside Daniel Hunter. Jaelen Phillips is the better EDGE rusher after my scouting, but the injury concerns are too much for the Vikings to draft him at 14. Instead, they go for a hard nose, much larger, run defender in Kwity Paye. Kwity is a freak of nature, and his size and strength is easy for teams to fall in love with.
Pick 15: (Via Trade) Carolina Panthers | Alijah Vera-Tucker OG/OT USC
The Carolina Panthers traded back here with the New England Patriots to recoup draft picks lost in the Sam Darnold trade. The Panthers need to protect Sam Darnold, unlike what the Jets did, to accurately see if he is truly their franchise quarterback. Cornerback and linebacker are enticing here as they are both big needs for the Panthers, but their depleted offensive line is too depleted to not draft a swiss army on the offensive line that is AVT.
Pick 16: Arizona Cardinals | Jaycee Horn CB University of South Carolina
With Patrick Peterson leaving the team, the Arizona Cardinals need to find their future outside cornerback. Jaycee Horn, arguably the best cornerback in the NFL Draft, is a great outside corner option with a battle tested resume in the SEC. While Horn can get handsy at times, his ability to play great man coverage as well as zone would be a massive get for the Cardinals. If they want to make a real run at the Super Bowl this year, they have to address cornerback early.
Pick 17: Las Vegas Raiders | Christian Barmore IDL University of Alabama
This is absolutely a Raiders pick, and while it probably isn’t the right pick or the most popular one, it is one I foresee the Raiders making. Barmore is a disruptor in the back field; coming onto the scene late in this season, his impressive disruption has earned him top twenty consideration. The Raiders have major holes at OL and LB, but how can Mayock and Gruden say no to a traitsy defensive lineman from the SEC?
Pick 18 Miami Dolphins | Jaelen Phillips EDGE University of Miami
This pick may be a surprise to many, but without making too many trades here the Dolphins land the best EDGE rusher in the NFL Draft at pick 18. Miami can take another weapon, OL, and linebacker later as Phillips offers great size, length, and pure athleticism. His tape was amazing this year and his numbers were also great. If Jaelen can stay healthy, he will be a steal at pick 18 and a great piece defensively for Brian Flores.
Pick 19: Washington Football Team | Tevin Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
I love Tevin Jenkins. His bully ball play alongside his versatility on the offensive line is great for a team on the cusp of a deep playoff run. While the quarterback situation has not been properly addressed yet, adding guys to protect your future quarterback is a great investment into the future. The WFT defense is already stellar, but if they can get their offense truly clicking, they can be a real problem in the NFC East.
Pick 20: Chicago Bears | Devonta Smith WR University of Alabama
Typical Chicago Bears to pick a 166lb receiver when they already have a decent receiving core. In all seriousness, DeVonta Smith has seriously slipped down the board as the NFL is not high on him per source, and that matched with his new reported weight has him falling to the Bears at 20. This pick is in match with the Anthony Miller trade rumors as well as the impending exit of Allen Robinson. Chicago royally messed up their QB search, and DeVonta Smith is their last ditch effort to try and keep their jobs. PS, I don’t think it will work
Pick 21: Indianapolis Colts | Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
The Colts are in a position where they can risk this pick on Caleb Farley, who has had back to back back surgeries…that is a lot of backs. Caleb Farley is my number one cornerback without injuries, but because of them I have him falling significantly. Caleb, if healthy, would make an immediate impact on the Colts and would bolster their already strong defense. The Colts could use offensive line here, but they know that they can get similar value in the second round. We have to remember the strengths and weaknesses of this class when deciding where we mock players, as the NFL does the exact same things.
Pick 22: Tennessee Titans | Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
Back to back cornerback picks here as the Tennessee Titans desperately need help on defense. They released Adoree Jackson and Malcom Butler this year, leaving them with not much flexibility come the NFL Draft. Greg Newsome is a lock down corner, and in my opinion one of the more underrated players in this class. He was huge for the Northwestern defense this year, and barring any injuries, will make an immediate impact on the Titans this upcoming year.
Pick 23: New York Jets | Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
This probably is not the best way the board can fall here for the Jets at 23, as the top corners, offensive lineman, and edge rushers are all off of the board. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is staring at them in the face, and the Jets cannot pass up on taking the best WILL linebacker in the draft. New head coach Robert Saleh has already made major additions to the defensive line, and he takes JOKR here to be his eyes and ears on the field. Owusu-Koramoah has elite speed and coverage ability as well as the ability to play box safety if needed. He can add some weight and improve his run defense, but this is great value for the Jets here at 23.
Pick 24: Pittsburgh Steelers | Najee Harris RB University of Alabama
Najee Harris makes it six Alabama players drafted in the first round ties the record previously held by the 2010 Miami Hurricanes. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a terrible run game last year, but I am not sure it was strictly because of the running backs. None the less, the media and rumors have turned heavily to Harris being the pick, especially after James Conner signed with the Cardinals. The Steelers are getting a brute in the backfield with surprising speed and a great catching ability.
Pick 25: Jacksonville Jaguars | Trevon Moehrig S TCU
Relax Jaguars fans, Christian Barmore isn’t here so you don’t have to worry about Urban calling his shot and taking him. The Jaguars desperately need help at safety, and Moehrig is easily the best safety in this class. His ability to make great hits while also being stellar in pass coverage make him a steal here, even if his position is not one that is drafted really high in the draft. The Jaguars have had a great draft to this point, and this pick should excite fans.
Pick 26: Cleveland Browns | Jamin Davis LB University of Kentucky
The Cleveland Browns recently signed Clowney, and with that I do not see them taking an EDGE at 26. The one large position of need they have is linebacker, and welcome 6’4 WILL linebacker Jamin Davis. Jamin has elite traits and great tape, and while he may be a developmental guy the Browns have the time and resources to mold him into an elite linebacker.
Pick 27: Baltimore Ravens | Rashod Bateman WR University of Minnesota
The fall for Bateman finally ends here with the Baltimore Ravens taking him. It is no secret that the Ravens need help at wide receiver, and since they only escaped free agency with Sammy Watkins, Rashod is the easy choice here. He can work inside the slot and on the outside, providing Lamar with a reliable target to push deep into the playoffs with. I love Bateman, and this is an absolute steal for him.
Pick 28: New Orleans Saints | Eric Stokes CB University of Georgia
The Saints are extremely high on him per source, and after the Marshawn Lattimore fiasco as of recent, they could use some insurance at corner. While there are rumors of them potentially taking Davis Mills here, the Saints believe they are able to win now, and with that they take a player who can help them win now. Stokes had one of the best testing periods of any player this year, and with his battle tested resume in the SEC, Eric Stokes is a player that GM Mickey Loomis can not pass up.
Pick 29: Green Bay Packers | Zaven Collins LB University of Tulsa
The Packers upset Aaron Rodgers again in the first round, but at least this time it will actually help them win games. The Packer’s linebacker core last season was not the best, and Zaven adds a physical upgrade to bolster that group. In this scenario the Packers understand the copious amount of speedy slot receivers in the later rounds and opt to take a much shallower position early.
Pick 30: Buffaloe Bills | Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
The Bills take a freakish athlete that needs some development in Jayson Oweh here at 30. Their offense was buzzing last year, but their defensive line could have gotten more pressure. Jayson Oweh had an absolutely amazing testing period, and his comparisons to Danielle Hunter have sky rocketed his stock. The Bills usually like bigger EDGE rushers, and Oweh fits that bill very well.
Pick 31: Kansas City Chiefs | Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama
The Chiefs had an epic meltdown in the Super Bowl this year due to an injured and frankly bad offensive line. Since then they have signed Joe Thuney and look to upgrade at tackle in the NFL Draft. Alex Leatherwood fell in this mock draft, and the Chiefs would love to have this mauler on the team. leatherwood is a freak of an athlete and is going to be a great protector for the 500 million dollar man that is Patrick Mahomes.
Pick 32: Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Kadarius Toney WR University of Florida
This would be an interesting pick to say the least, but it is one that the defending champs can afford. With Antonio Brown not resigned yet, Kadarius Toney is an immediate difference maker who can truly open up the field. Tom Brady will love throwing quick five yard passes to Toney just for him to make 25 yards out of it. The rich get richer…right?
Link to Podcast Discussing My Final Mock Draft: Click Here