Dave Gray brings us his first and final mock draft of the season. There’s plenty of moves in this one as we look ahead to tonight’s draft
I have held off on mock drafts this year. Partly due to time constraints but mainly because I have done so many in the past that by mock draft 4.0 it all just gets a bit muddled and I am finding ways to make it more interesting.
On this I have tried to do what I think will happen, rather than what I would do. However, I do think there could be a little more movement in the bottom half of the round, but I didn’t want to get too crazy with the trades.
1 – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – Jacksonville Jaguars
2 – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU – New York Jets
There is not much to say on these so I won’t waste much time. These have been written in pen for some time.
3 – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama – San Francisco 49ers
All the reports suggest Kyle Shanahan wants Mac Jones and I think the 49ers will let him have his guy. I will just say this is one I would not do, but seems more than likely as we close in on the draft.
4 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida – Atlanta Falcons
For me the best moves Atlanta could make here is either take a quarterback or trade back, but in the end I think they stay put and take perhaps the best player in the draft.
5 – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU – Cincinnatti Bengals
6 – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama – Miami Dolphins
I have grouped these two because I think their decision is pretty similar – take Penei Sewell or a pass catcher. There is a lot of depth a both positions but in the end I think both take the wide receiver they have at the top of their boards. DeVonta Smith is certainly an option, and I personally have him ahead of Waddle, but I think the Dolphins plump for Waddle and reunite him with Tua.
TRADE! New England Patriots give picks 15, 46, 139 in return for pick 8
7 – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State – New England Patriots
I have been convinced since the Patriots went big in free agency that they were planning to make a move up for a quarterback and I have them doing so here. The Lions are in a rebuild (again? still?) and it makes sense for them to accumulate some picks.
8 – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State – Carolina Panthers
The Panthers traded for Sam Darnold, and have now traded away Teddy Bridgewater. While I think Darnold will certainly be given a chance to win the job, the Panthers didn’t actually give up that much to get him and if Lance, who I think has a sky high ceiling, can beat him out then they will not mind the former Jet just being a back up.
TRADE! Los Angeles Chargers give picks 13,92 and a 22 3rd in return for pick 9
9 – Penei Sewell, T, Oregon – Los Angeles Chargers
This draft is packed with talented tackles but Sewell may be the best of the bunch. With all the quarterbacks and pass catchers going ahead of him he has a mini slide, but the Chargers end that as they go up and reunite Justin Herbert with his college teammate.
10 – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama – Dallas Cowboys
Widely regarded as the best corner in the draft, the Cowboys fill a glaring need. I do think that they are a potential trade partner for teams wanting to come up if any of Fields, Lance or Jones do make it this far.
11 – Rashawn Slater, T, Northwestern – New York Giants
Another top tackle and the Giants give Daniel Jones every chance of success after signing the likes of Kenny Golladay in free agency.
12 – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles could go in a lot of different directions, and investing another first round pick on a wide receiver may make them lean elsewhere, but at 12 I believe Smith is too good to pass up. He may be undersized, but just watch some tape and you will see that it does not hold him back. He is an electric receiver and gives Jalen Hurts some much needed help.
13 – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina – Denver Broncos
Horn is the best corner in the draft for some people – I am one of those people – and the Broncos get a player that can slot into their system perfectly.
14 – Alijah Vera-Tucker, T, USC – Minnesota Vikings
Another team that could do lots of different things here, but they need to protect Cousins and Vera-Tucker is a versatile player that can really strengthen the line in Minnesota.
15 – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State – Detroit Lions
The list of Lions needs is a pretty long one, but they select one of, if not the best defender in the draft and the clear number one linebacker. He is a phenomenal athlete that can make almost any defence in the league better.
16 – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern, Arizona Cardinals
I have had Caleb Farley pencilled in here for some time but the injury concerns mean he will drop and instead the Cardinals fill a big hole with Newsome who is a great prospect in his own right.
17 – Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech – Oakland Raiders
The Raiders blew up their offensive line this offseason and Darrisaw is a plug and play right tackle for Oakland, even if his long term future is on the left.
18 – Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan – Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins staff will love the versatility that Paye can bring as a rusher. He is a top athlete and while he needs to work on some things in the NFL, he has the raw talent to succeed and Miami would be a great landing spot for him.
19 – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame – Washington Football Team
A really versatile and ahtletic linebacker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can really add something to an already excellent Washington defence.
20 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota – Chicago Bears
Allen Robinson is playing on the tag, Anthony Miller looks to be on his way out and that just leaves Darnell Mooney. Bateman is one of many talented wide receivers in this class but it feels like he just fits into that group as well as any other receiver.
21 – Teven Jenkins, T, Oklahoma State – Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have a big hole on their line following Anthony Castonzo’s retirement and they fill it with the impressive Teven Jenkins. He is great value here at 21 and it makes a lot of sense for Indy.
22 – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss – Tennessee Titans
The Titans could well go tackle here, particularly if Jenkins reaches them, but they need help here. After paying Ryan Tannehill it would seem crazy to go into the season without giving him some more help with AJ Brown looking pretty lonely in that group of pass catchers. Moore can do so much damage from the slot for the Titans and will be a nice fit for them.
23 – Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State – New York Jets
Robert Salah’s system in San Francisco was built around being strong in that front seven, and Oweh is the best pass rusher available here. He is certainly raw, but he has so much upside here and the Jets could get a bargain at 23.
24 – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama – Pittsburgh Steelers
I do not like it, but it feels the way it is heading. Harris is the latest in a long line of talented backs to come out of Alabama, and he certainly fills a need for Pittsburgh, but I am just against drafting a running back this high for all the reasons I am sure you have heard before. However, he will do well there and give Big Ben a solid producer at the position, something they haven’t had for a few seasons.
25 – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU – Jacksonville Jaguars
Another pick that feels wide open. I have them choosing the best safety in the class, but do not be surprised to see something completely different with tackle, corner or even running back seeming to have a shot.
26 – Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama – Cleveland Browns
The Browns are crying out for help on the interior and while Barmore has received some criticism of late, but in what is a thin class, the Browns take a chance at the back end of the first.
27 – Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia – Baltimore Ravens
With Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue heading out the door the Ravens need to get some pass rushers, and Ojulari fits the bill. He feels like such a Ravens pick that it is almost too easy to put him in here.
28 – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech – New Orleans Saints
Injury concerns see him slide, but the Saints end that as they take what could turn out to be a steal at the end of the first. Farley has had some back issues but on pure talent he may well be the best corner in the draft. Sean Payton has said that they are likely to address the position and don’t be surprised if they are a team that makes a move up to do so.
29 – Asante Samuel Jr, CB, Florida State – Green Bay Packers
Samuel Jr looks to be the perfect fit for the Packers new scheme under Joe Barry. They look to be going zone heavy and he can slot into that second cornerback role from day one. He has great instincts and will improve the Green Bay pass defence from day one.
30 – Jaelen Phillips, Edge, Miami – Buffalo Bills
I was tempted to slot in my second running back here, but I think the Bills take the supremely talented Phillips at 30 instead. He is a physical freak who would perhaps have gone higher if it were not for injury concerns.
31 – Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens passing game needs some help, and Marshall could well be just what they need. There are all sorts of WR still on the board here, but Marshall’s excellent production in 2020 gives him the edge. With Chase sitting out and Justin Jefferson in the NFL, he stepped up and really made himself the number one in less than perfect circumstances. he can really help unlock Lamar Jackson.
32 – Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It is hard to work out what the team that just won the Super Bowl and brought everybody back needs, but you can never have too many good pass rushers. Jason Pierre- Paul is 32 and the huge Rousseau could be groomed to take over that spot, while still contributing right away. He had a chance to go higher but after opting out in 2020 he seems to have fallen down the rankings a little, but he is an excellent athlete and a great fit for the great Bucs defence.