This week was a huge week for the NFL, as star quarterback Russell Wilson got shipped to the Denver Broncos, and the Commanders acquired their potential QB of the future in Carson Wentz. We also saw Bears OLB Khalil Mack get traded to the Chargers, and many players get franchise tagged. This mock draft is primarily predictive, although there are some elements to it that may make sense in my mind, but will likely not happen. Just a reminder: players slide; if you see someone slide in this mock draft, it doesn’t necessarily mean I dislike them… or maybe it does… who knows? Enjoy.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The Jaguars decided to, once again, franchise tag OT, Cam Robinson. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t go tackle here, it definitely could indicate that they are content with what they have on the roster. Hutchinson is the best player in this year’s draft class, and it seems more and more likely he will be taken first overall.
2. Detroit Lions
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
With Hutchinson off the board, the Lions decide to focus on taking their QB of the future in Malik Willis. Willis has spectacular arm talent, paired with elite running ability. While he may be raw, Willis’s upside is too high to pass up on. He can sit behind Jared Goff for a year, and when given the chance to start, he should be an instant impact player.
3. Houston Texans
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
While it’d probably be more ideal for the Texans to snag an instant impact skill position player, taking an OT to protect second year QB, Davis Mills, should be a high priority. Evan Neal is a freak athlete and will serve to immediately help the Texans mediocre offensive line. With Laremy Tunsil returning, plugging Evan Neal in at RT should make for an excellent tackle duo.
4. New York Jets
Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Robert Saleh lands his Richard Sherman, at fourth overall, taking Cincinnati’s lockdown corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. While improving Zach Wilson’s surrounding pieces is a high priority, landing an elite outside corner of Gardner’s caliber is hard to pass up on.
5. New York Giants
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
Andrew Thomas has improved immensely over the years and may have earned himself the starting LT job for the future. The Giants choose to continue to build around Daniel Jones taking Ekwonu who should be able to play RT or OG year one.
6. Carolina Panthers
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
With Malik Willis going second overall, the Panthers are left deciding between one of the other quarterback prospects, a tackle prospect, or maybe Notre Dame safety, Kyle Hamilton. While Hamilton would be the best player, the Panthers need a LT badly, and reports suggest HC, Matt Rhule, has expressed his desire to take a tackle early. Cross is the most pro-ready tackle in this class.
7. New York Giants (Via Chicago)
Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
The Giants landed an offensive lineman at fifth overall to protect Daniel Jones; now, they help improve their defense taking the highly touted Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux has been seeing his name slide down draft boards a little bit in recent weeks, with questions of laziness arising. Whether they are true or not, it is hard to picture him sliding any farther than ninth overall, and here, the Giants take the apparent risk on the Oregon pass rusher at seven.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
This may be a shocker, seeing a player of Hamilton’s caliber sliding to the eighth pick. While Hamilton is a top three player in this draft class, it isn’t a lock that he goes as early as he is often projected. Due to positional value, we have seen elite safety prospects, such as Malik Hooker and Derwin James, slide to 15thand 17th overall respectively. While Hamilton is a better prospect, a draft day slide, to around the eighth overall range, is very possible.
9. Seattle Seahawks (Via Denver)
Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
The Seahawks are in a full blown rebuild now, it appears, after shipping Russell Wilson off to Denver and cutting all-time great, Bobby Wagner. While it is believed HC Pete Carroll is very high on QB Malik Willis, he is off the board here. Carroll has always been a guy to draft for high-upside, and with the Seahawks needing to beef up their defensive line, they take Walker who boasts a massive ceiling.
10. New York Jets (Via Seattle)
Drake London, WR, Southern California
The Jets land themselves a big-bodied, true #1 WR in USC’s Drake London. London is an excellent receiver, who high points the ball nicely, is a great route runner, and has fine speed for his size. He is the perfect wideout for their young, developing, QB, Zach Wilson
11. Washington Commanders
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Commanders have possibly found their QB of the future, in Carson Wentz. Garrett Wilson takes a huge amount of pressure off of Terry McLaurin, and gives Washington a potentially elite WR duo for years to come.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Derek Stingley, CB, Louisiana State
Minnesota has been searching for their franchise cornerback for years, but to no avail. Here, the Vikings finally land one of the best cornerback prospects ever, who slid down the draft board due to injuries.
13. Cleveland Browns
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Burks had a poor combine, but that shouldn’t destroy his draft stock. While there is a possibility that he slides to late round one, to maybe even early round two, the Browns need a WR badly and Burks should fit their offense like a glove.
14. Baltimore Ravens
David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
The Ravens have a handful of needs on their defense, including an edge rusher opposite of second year player, Odafe Oweh. Oweh and Ojabo are close friends dating back to high school, and pairing them up again could be a lethal duo for years to come.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Miami)
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Eagles offensive line has been a very solid unit for a while now, so let’s keep it that way. Philadelphia drafts Linderbaum to be the center of the future once Jason Kelce retires. For now, though, there shouldn’t be a problem with plugging him in at guard, opposite of Landon Dickerson.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Indianapolis)
Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
Philadelphia loses Derek Barnett, who wasn’t any good nonetheless, to free agency, and Brandon Graham is getting up there in age. Philly has a rising star in Josh Sweat, and pairing him up with the athletic Jermaine Johnson could take pressure off both Sweat, and the rest of the defense.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Jordan Davis, NT, Georgia
Jordan Davis had an exceptional combine, testing out as one of the best IDL in combine history. While he is relatively one dimensional as a player, a team is bound to reach on him. That team could very well be the Chargers.
18. New Orleans Saints
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The Saints hope to get star WR, Michael Thomas, back who missed all of last season. While Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris are okay receivers, New Orleans needs a true #2 to take pressure off of Michael Thomas and to help out whoever their QB is, likely Jameis Winston.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Eagles have needed CB help for years. Darius Slay played well last season, let’s give them a high-end #2 CB, who can develop into a #1, and be the eventual successor to Slay.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Ridder is the second QB to get taken in this draft. While Ridder is still developing, he is a solid athlete, who can beat you in more ways than one, and it sounds like that is what Pittsburgh wants.
21. New England Patriots
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Patriots LB core is old and washed up. While Lloyd had an underwhelming combine, he more than likely will be the first LB off the board. New England feels like the right fit.
22. Las Vegas Raiders
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Olave seems to be rising up boards following the combine. He probably won’t go any higher than the 18th pick, contrary to what many people believe, but he will still likely go in the 20-30 range. The Raiders need a WR badly, to help out Carr, and Olave could very well be that guy.
23. Arizona Cardinals
Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
The Cardinals need a CB opposite of Byron Murphy, and Andrew Booth fits perfectly in their system. Booth’s stock has been on the decline, and the Cardinals get, arguably, a top ten prospect in this draft at 23rd overall.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
The Cowboys offensive line looked rough throughout last season, with a lot of moving pieces due to injury. Penning is a raw, but extremely athletic, and extremely nasty prospect, who could develop at guard, and eventually be Tyron Smith’s heir at LT.
25. Buffalo Bills
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
With Cole Beasley either being cut or traded, the Bills could look for his replacement in the slot. Skyy Moore was one of the best wideouts in college football last season, and has been a hot riser in recent weeks.
26. Tennessee Titans
Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
The Titans had one of the worst pass blocking units in the NFL last season, and Rodger Saffold was just released. Kenyon Green can be plugged into any position on the offensive line, and be effective.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
Tampa Bay is in a rough position right now, now that Tom Brady is retired. It sounds like HC Bruce Arians wants to stick with either Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask at QB, and with star OG, Ali Marpet retired, and Alex Cappa set to hit free agency, protecting whoever their QB is should be a high priority.
28. Green Bay Packers
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
What? The Packers actually drafting a WR in the first round? Yup. Christian Watson tested out as one of the most athletic wide receivers in combine history. Watson is big, athletic, fast, and versatile, and would pair great opposite of Davante Adams, in Matt LaFleur’s offense.
29. Miami Dolphins (Via San Francisco)
Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
While it’d be ideal for the Dolphins to sign a veteran LT, Raimann is too good to pass up here. While he is an older prospect, his athleticism and upside is hard to pass up on for a team that needs offensive line help badly.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
It sounds like star S, Tyrann Mathieu is set to hit free agency, and outside of him the Chiefs safety core looks rough. Daxton Hill is an elite athlete who can play any position in the defensive backfield.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Smith, OG, Tulsa
The Bengals need offensive line help right now, and Tyler Smith is by far the best lineman available. While he is listed here as a guard, he played LT in college, and should be able to play either tackle position down the line.
32. Detroit Lions (Via Los Angeles Rams)
Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
The Lions just announced that OLB, Trey Flowers will be released. They took QB, Malik Willis at the second pick, and now add an edge rusher, in the athletic Boye Mafe. While Purdue’s George Karlaftis is arguably the better prospect, he does not fit the Lions scheme, hence why Mafe is the pick.