The NFL season is now officially over. The order has been set, and it’s time to turn our attention to the prospects in this mock draft.
1. Jaguars: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
An offensive lineman is becoming the popular pick here, but I’m going to give them the star defensive end from Michigan. They need talent at every position, so grabbing one of the best players in the draft is a win.
2. Lions: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
The Lions will likely choose whichever edge rusher is still available, and Thibodeaux is a great fit for Aaron Glenn’s defense and provides one of the highest ceilings in the draft.
3. Texans: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
Hamilton has become somewhat underrated because he doesn’t play a premium position, but he is a generational talent at safety and adds much needed talent to this Texans team.
4. Jets: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State
The Jets grab a player who some see as OT1 to help with the development of Zach Wilson. Ekwonu provides some versatility with the ability to play inside or outside, and could help turn the Jets offensive line into a strength of the team.
5. Giants: OT Evan Neal, Alabama
The Giants are the biggest winners of Hamilton going top 4, as it means they’re guaranteed one of the top 2 edge rushers or tackles, and in this case it’s a tackle. Neal provides a very high ceiling at either tackle spot and can protect Daniel Jones or a new QB for years to come.
6. Panthers: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
The run on tackles continues here as the Panthers choose to improve their offensive line over restarting at the QB position. It comes down to the fact that Matt Rhule can’t wait on a rookie QB to develop, so instead they go after a veteran and provide that QB with some more protection up front.
7. Giants (via Bears): CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati
The Giants add to their secondary with their second pick in the top 10, and they get a good one. Sauce has legitimate All-pro potential and gives the Giants a CB1 for the next 10 years
8: Falcons: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
Stingley could fall due to injury concerns, but the talent is undeniable. The Falcons would have a great CB duo with Stingley and Terrell and could have a very good secondary for a long time.
9. Broncos: QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
The first QB domino falls at 9 as the Broncos get one of the more pro ready QBs in the draft in hopes of competing soon. The roster is pretty close to contention, and if Pickett can develop into a top 15 QB in the next 2-3 years, they could be a perennial playoff team
10. Jets (via Seahawks): WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
The Jets once again add help for Zach Wilson and get him a WR1. Wilson shows a lot of the traits you want in a WR1, and the Wilson to Wilson connection would immediately give the Jets a more explosive offense.
11. Commanders: QB Malik Willis, Liberty
Ron Rivera once again gets to work with an uber talented QB. Malik is by far the most talented QB in this class, but he also comes with a lot of risk. The Commanders will look to get the best out of him and start the “Commanders” era off with a bang.
12. Vikings: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue
Corner is a possibility here, but with the new GM spending time in SF and Cleveland, I’m betting that they try to beef up their defensive line. Karlaftis brings incredible hand work and moves better than someone his size should. He’d be an immediate impact player opposite Danielle Hunter.
13. Browns: WR Drake London, USC
The Browns need to find weapons for Baker, or whoever their QB might be going forward. Wilson is probably their target, but London is a fine consolation prize. He brings elite size, versatility, an insane catch radius, and solid route running for someone his size. He has a very high ceiling, and hopefully gives the Browns a long term receiving threat.
14. Ravens: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
The popular pick here is someone on defense, but I think they make an investment on offense. A run oriented offense needs to have a good offensive line, and this season showed that the Ravens are lacking that, especially on the interior. Linderbaum is by far the best IOL in the draft and will likely be a long time contributor.
15. Eagles (via Dolphins): WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas
In just 2 years the Eagles turn their WR room into a major strength. Burks and Devonta Smith are both versatile and can be moved around a lot, giving the Eagles many options on offense. If they choose to hang on to Hurts, he would have plenty of help to prove himself.
16. Eagles (via Colts): CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
The Eagles use their second pick to improve their secondary. Booth has quite a bit of versatility and can play in man or zone, and I even see him being able to play at safety if needed. He’s best as an outside CB and would be a great CB2 to compliment Slay, but brings the versatility if the Eagles need it.
17. Chargers: DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
This pick feels a little too obvious. The Chargers have to add talent on defense, and Davis would bring that. The value here would be my question. Is a 2 down lineman worth the 17th pick? Maybe they go with his teammate Wyatt, or an edge rusher, or even Trevor Penning, but I think that they decide getting a monster up front to stop the run is worth a first round pick.
18. Saints: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
This feels a little low for Penning after the Senior Bowl he had, and the combine that he’s likely have, but someone has to fall. The Saints get their Terron Armstead replacement and commit to Jameis as their QB for the foreseeable future.
19. Eagles: EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan
The slide stops here. Another guy who could easily go top 10 falls to the Eagles at 19, and they are ecstatic about it. They need to find a reliable edge rusher with Brandon Graham getting older, and Ojabo will bring an energy that fans will love.
20. Steelers: OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
With Willis and Pickett off the board I don’t think the Steelers take a QB. Corral would not surprise me, but I don’t like his fit in Pittsburgh. Instead the Steelers go with a veteran in free agency or through a trade and decide to give him protection up front while also helping out their first round pick last year, Najee Harris.
21. Patriots: LB Christian Harris, Alabama
The first linebacker comes off the board, and it’s not either of the ones that are expected to go. Harris fits what Belichick wants out of his linebackers, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s from Alabama.
22. Raiders: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Back to back linebackers here as the Raiders finally find a linebacker to lead the team for many years. With a Patriots like regime in place I expect them to draft and attempt to play like past Patriot teams, which means placing more of am importance on the linebacker position.
23. Cardinals: OL Zion Johnson, Boston College
The Cardinals will need to protect Kyler if they want him to stay healthy and continue to develop. Insert the Senior Bowl standout Zion Johnson. He has good tape at BC as well and will immediately be a starter on the interior of Arizona’s offensive line.
24. Cowboys: DB Daxton Hill, Michigan
The Cowboys defense played surprisingly well over the course of the season, but they still have some holes to fill. The secondary needs more talent, especially with so many expiring contracts. Hill brings versatility, with the ability to play as a deep safety or drop down and play as a slot corner.
25. Bills: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
The Bills need to keep adding to their defense to finally stop the Chiefs. DL and CB are their biggest needs, and a great CB falls into their laps here. McDuffie is a great number 2 to Tre’Davious White and gives the Bills another counter to the Chiefs lethal offense.
26. Titans: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
The Titans need a different QB if they want to truly compete, and Corral is considered by many to be QB1. He goes to a favorable situation with the best RB in the league and a very good WR1. There would be no pressure on Corral to start right away, and even when he does start he would have the run game to lean on.
27. Buccaneers: DL Travon Walker, Georgia
The Bucs look to get younger on the DL and add the versatile Travon Walker. He can play anywhere from the 1-tech to outside in a 7-tech and has a high ceiling. He hasn’t really mastered anything as he’s been asked to do multiple things, but he will only get better as he continues to develop.
28. Packers: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
The fall finally ends. Lloyd could very well be a top 10 pick this year, but here he falls to 28. Someone always falls much farther than they should, and in this case it’s Lloyd. The Packers could look to add on offense for Rodgers, but the value is too good to pass up as they find their De’vondre Campbell replacement.
29. Dolphins (via 49ers): WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
The Dolphins will likely be choosing between a lineman of receiver here, and in this case they take the receiver. Olave is a great route runner and would create space for Tua to find him. He can work the intermediate and deep parts of the field very well, but the Dolphins will eventually have to upgrade the line so Tua has time to throw those routes.
30. Chiefs: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
The Chiefs add yet another burner. He may not be ready for Week 1, but the Chiefs don’t need him to be. They need more options for Mahomes down the stretch when teams find a way to contain Hill and/or Kelce. Hardman is solid, but not a great WR2. Williams would make this offense even more lethal, and it would be a scary sight for opposing defenses.
31. Bengals: OL Tyler Smith, Tulsa
I was recently put on to Tyler Smith, and I must say I am impressed. I think he could sneak his way into round 1, and the Bengals are a great fit. He played tackle in college, but I think guard is his spot in the NFL. The Bengals interior offensive line was atrocious in the playoffs, and adding a player like Smith could be just what they need to start turning that line around
32. Lions (via Rams): CB Roger McCreary, Auburn
I was torn between McCreary and Jahan Dotson here, but it came down to the fact that I think it’s more likely the Jaguars take McCreary than Dotson at 33, leaving Dotson there for the Lions at 34. The Lions just need talent everywhere except offensive line, and McCreary can be a CB1 for them, thought he may be better suited as a CB2.