It’s Mock Draft Season
With the NFL Draft a little over a week away, the flood of mock drafts has begun. In just the past few weeks we have seen some dramatic moves. The 49ers traded up from pick #12 to pick #3. The Carolina Panthers, who were rumored to be heavily involved in the 2021 quarterback class, traded for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, leaving many experts perplexed as to if they will still be interested in drafting a rookie quarterback. As we approach the home stretch there are still trades to be made, players that will slip on draft night, and plenty of rumors floating around. Nevertheless, mock drafts must continue!
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence
No need to overthink this pick. Lawrence has been locked in as the #1 pick for years now.
#2 New York Jets – Zach Wilson
For some reason, the Jets have decided to let the world know they will be taking Zach Wilson with the #2 overall pick. I would have kept Darnold for another year and made Wilson the backup. The Jets, aside from a few key players such as Mekhi Becton, are a complete mess. There is no need to throw Zach Wilson into the fire week 1!
#3 San Francisco 49ers – Justin Fields
The 49ers traded up with the Dolphins leading many to think they would take Mac Jones. Taking Jones would be the dumbest selection of all time. If the 49ers intended on taking Jones they would have moved up to pick #6 and given up two first rounders instead of three.
#4 Denver Broncos (Trade with Atlanta Falcons) – Trey Lance
The Broncos have needed a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. The pressure is on in Denver for John Elway. By trading up to #4 and selecting Trey Lance, they can see what they have in Drew Lock for one more year while also developing the future of their franchise.
#5 Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell
Protect Joey B! I am on record saying that the Bengals should have sat Joe Burrow his rookie year to avoid injuries behind their god-awful offensive line. Sewell is clearly the best tackle prospect in the draft. I would still sit Burrow next year and focus on rebuilding the line.
#6 Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts
The Dolphins traded back to pick #12 with the 49ers before moving back up to #6 in a trade with the Eagles. They clearly have their eyes on a few playmakers as they try to build around Tua. Kyle Pitts and Mike Gesicki would be a scary one-two tight end punch.
#7 Detroit Lions – Ja’Marr Chase
The Lions lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency and will be looking for some explosiveness on the outside to replace them. Ja’Marr Chase was the number one wide receiver at LSU two years ago despite being on the same team as Justin Jefferson. After Jefferson’s historic season with the Vikings, I expect Chase to be an absolute stud.
#8 Carolina Panthers – Micah Parsons
The Panthers defense has not been the same since Luke Keuchly retired. Parsons is the perfect replacement with his tremendous side to side speed, size, and athleticism.
#9 Atlanta Falcons (Trade with Denver Broncos) – Patrick Surtain
Falcons corners ranked 80th, 88th, and 89th out of 90 cornerbacks who played at least 150 snaps in 2020. Falcons cornerbacks were responsible for more 15-yard pass plays than any other team in the league. Surtain fills an obvious need while Atlanta stockpiles future draft picks in a trade back with the Broncos.
#10 Dallas Cowboys – Rashawn Slater
There has been a lot of hype surrounding who the Cowboys will pick at number ten. With an aging offensive line, it isn’t a sexy pick, but Rashawn Slater will provide an instant boost and be a cornerstone protecting Dak for years to come.
#11 New York Giants – Jaelan Phillips
The Giants have a history of reaching, whether that is Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, or Andrew Thomas. Phillips was a top 3 recruit out of high school and is an excellent edge pass rusher when healthy. The Giants’ four best pass rushers in 2020 were interior defensive lineman.
#12 Philadelphia Eagles – Devonta Smith
The Eagles are not scared of drafting or signing smaller players, whether it be 5’6 Boston Scott or 5’11 Jalen Reagor. If Smith is available they will be all over him.
#13 Washington Football Team (Trade with LA Chargers) – Mac Jones
The Chargers traded up last year into the first round and selected linebacker Kenneth Murray. Look for them to do the opposite this year to acquire more picks and build around Justin Herbert. The WFT desperately needs a franchise QB and to leapfrog the Patriots to snag the last of the five first round quarterbacks.
#14 Minnesota Vikings – Jaycee Horn
The Vikings secondary was an absolute mess last year. If Jaycee Horn falls to fourteen, this is an absolute no-brainer for Minnesota.
#15 New England Patriots – Gregory Rousseau
The Patriots are not trading up. They are not drafting a quarterback. They are not even going to sniff a skill position player. Bill Belichick has a history of drafting defense when he is picking towards the front end of the draft, be that Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Jarod Mayo, Chandler Jones, or Dont’a Hightower. The mostly likely scenario is a trade back, but Bill was at the UMiami pro day so don’t sleep on Rousseau, who was supposed to be a top 5 pick before he took the year off due to Covid.
#16 Arizona Cardinals – Jaylen Waddle
The Cardinals need some young weapons for Kyler Murray. While they also could use some defensive help, Kliff Kingsbury is an offensive coach. We still don’t know if Larry Fitzgerald will be back, but Deandre Hopkins and AJ Green by themselves would be great mentors for Waddle.