The times we live in are less than ideal. Being stuck inside can bring boredom, but then you add in the lack of sports. We are a little over a week out from the NFL Draft one of the only sporting events not being canceled due to COVID-19. Up to this point in the draft process, the longest mock I’ve released is 3 rounds. That changes today, 7 rounds controlling all 32 teams, 8 total trades, and a whole lot of fun. So get conformable, pour yourself a glass of water, prepare your explanations of why the picks I made for your favorite team were awful and buckle in.
1. Cincinatti Bengals – Joe Burrow QB LSU
This year’s number one pick doesn’t come as a shock and there won’t be much debate on who it’ll be like in years past. Since the college season ended, we’ve pretty much known who was going number one. That being Joe Burrow; who is said to be the best QB prospect many have scouted since Andrew Luck; coming off arguably the greatest college QB season of all time he earns this draft spot. Burrow will get to work with an offensive-minded coach who has had experience with the QB position in the NFL in Zac Taylor. The selection of Burrow will help spearhead the rebuild of the Bengals who will get to work to finally win their franchise’s first playoff game since 1991.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young DE Ohio State
As the GM of the redskins I fielded offers, but also being the GM of every other team I just couldn’t fork up enough draft capital for the Redskins to come off this pick. An edge may not be the biggest need for the Redskins but Chase Young is the biggest name (and well person) on the board. Young will join Johnathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat to give offenses nightmares. The Redskins now not only have one of the best defensive lines, but also one of the youngest. New head coach Ron Rivera being a defensive-minded coach will love this acquisition. Young will have some familiar faces in former buckeyes Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin. Young will be welcomed by teammates, the coaching staff, the city of Washington and maybe most of all by the Redskins fans with open arms.
TRADE: The Jacksonville Jaguars trade picks 9, 20, and 42 to the Detroit Lions for pick 3
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via DET) – Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
Our first trade of the draft and its a blockbuster. The Jaguars trade both their firsts and their 2nd to move up 6 spots with the Lions. Okudah’s name at times would get lost behind all the hype behind Chase Young, but he may be just as special. Okudah ran away with the number one corner spot on most people’s boards in a very talented corner class. The Jaguars see that talent and they make this aggressive move to go and get a prospect that too me is better than even Jalen Ramsey was when they drafted him.
4. New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons LB/S Clemson
Two defensive players go ahead of Isaiah Simmons in this mock but when their careers are all said and done Simmons may be remembered as the best. When labeling Simmons’s position it may be easier to just write “Athlete”. I’ve had Simmons as the number one prospect on every single big board I’ve released on this year’s class for that very reason. His middle name may just be versatile. When watching his tape I came to the conclusion that he can play safety, MLB, OLB, or DE at the next level. Going here to the Giants I see him best being used at MLB. He can be the anchor to this defense and be used in so many different ways. No matter where he plays, he’s just too talented to leave on the field. He can play in any formation needed day one of entering the league.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
Fans of the Dolphins and the league as a whole have imagined Tua in a Miami Jersey for well over a year now. Most assumed it would be at pick number 1 but with the late-season success from the Dolphins and the injury of Tua the pairing comes at pick 5. The talent Tua possesses has been undeniable since the moment he took over for Jalen Hurts in the national championship to beat Georgia. His star qualities were put on display on the biggest stage college football has to offer. If Injuries weren’t a concern a team likely trades a haul of picks to move up to number 2. The Dolphins get their QB without having to make such a move.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert QB Oregon
The Chargers are in unfamiliar territory with having to draft their franchise QB. The Philip River’s era is officially in the rearview mirror and next up is Justin Herbert. Herbert with arguably the strongest arm in this QB class will excite WR’s Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both being deep ball threats. Then you add in the athletic ability that Herbert possesses should help him to translate to the mobile QB friendly NFL we witness today. Now, the Oregon offense didn’t let Herbert show off his arm as much as a scout would like. Oregon having a lot of screen passes and check-down routes implemented into the offense. Getting to sit a year behind the current starter Tyrod Taylor will be beneficial to helping Herbert succeed at the next level.
7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown DT Auburn
With the sudden retirement of defensive centerpiece Luke Kuechly the Panthers are in need of a replacement. They hoped for LB/S hybrid Isaiah Simmons to fall, but the Giants killed those dreams selecting him at 4. So, the Panthers turn to Derrick Brown, a great consolation prize. Brown DT1 on many boards an amazing talent and athlete to add to the defensive line of the Panthers. Will help in the panthers pass rush, and run-stopping immediately and could take over the leadership whole that is left with Luke Kuechly.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
Early on mocks including my own had the Cardinals taking the first WR off the board at this pick. Then the Cardinals pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of recent memory. Of course, speaking of the trade for elite WR DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals didn’t wait for the draft to grab Kyler Murray his WR 1 with Larry Fitzgerald not getting any younger. So that now opens them up to be able to take the number 1 tackle on their board Jedrick Wills. The most complete tackle in this class can slide right in and play LT right away and do it at a high level.
9. Detroit Lions (Via. JAC) – Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
Kinlaw is the 2nd DT to come off the board but don’t let that fool you Kinlaw is drafted in the top 10 for a reason. The Lions trade back from 3 to acquire 3 total picks in the top 50 to help fill wholes on a roster that leads them to having the number 3 pick. Head Coach Matt Patrica gets a high character high talent prospect in Kinlaw who will disrupt interior lines for years to come. Kinlaw fits a need to fill the spot of Damon Harrison who was released in February.
10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
The Trade of Hopkins to Arizona sent ripples throughout the entire league. Ripples still showing on draft night. The Browns thought to be where the first tackle of a very talented class would come off the board. But, do not freight Brown fans Wirfs isn’t your normal OT2. Wirfs is an athletic freak for the tackle position. Not very often is it that offensive linemen are the headlines the day after the combine. This year that wasn’t the case, Wirfs put up amazing numbers for his size to show just why he’s worthy of the top 10 selection to be plugged into the starting lineup right away in Cleveland.
Trade: The Denver Broncos trade picks 15, 77, 2021 2nd to the New York Jets for pick 11
11. Denver Broncos (Via NYJ) – Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
The Broncos have been eyeing the WR class ever since dealing Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers last season. Looking at the teams in front of them they decide they need to be aggressive to get their number one option to pair with WR Courtland Sutton. So, they move up 4 spots while only giving up a third this year, and a 2021 2nd giving them plenty of picks left this year to still fill wholes. The Broncos go Henry Ruggs out of Alabama the speedster on paper looks like the perfect compliment for Sutton and a great weapon for a young QB in Drew Lock.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
The Raiders shocked as they see Ruggs go off the board after the aggressive move by the Broncos to jump in front of them to do so. No reason to worry though the Raiders still have 2 exceptional options at WR that still are great value at pick 12. The Raiders choose to go with Rugg’s teammate at Alabama Jerry Jeudy. The versatile Jeudy has to play the outside or the slot position at a high level stands out to John Gruden who’s been known to mix things up in the play calling on offense. Carr gets a reliable target to try and get his career back 2016 form.
13. San Francisco 49ers (Via IND) – CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
After extending Amik Armstead in the offseason the 49ers decided to deal Deforest Buckner to Indianapolis for the 13th pick in the draft. The 49ers weren’t able to convince newly added WR Emmanuel Sanders to stay in the bay area which opens them up to take the best WR on the board here. Usually when your planning to take a WR seeing 2 go back to back right before you would send panic throughout your draft room. This year that isn’t necessary. CeeDee Lamb is the third WR drafted here, but in years past would have been easily the first. The 49ers benefit from the deep WR class here and sets up a team that is coming off a Super Bowl appearance a great addition to help them make a run back this season.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
The Buccaneers made arguably the largest free-agent signing of the offseason by signing QB Tom Brady. It’s still hard for me to imagine Tom Brady in a jersey that isn’t the New England Patriots. Now, Brady isn’t getting any younger and the window for Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl runs with him as the QB is short. So they have to fill the need at tackle immediately. Although I have Mekhi Becton higher on my board he has some injury concerns and a lower floor than that of Andrew Thomas out of Georgia. Thomas has all the ability to be plugged in at tackle and start day one. His ceiling may be lower than that of the other top tier tackles in this class but he will make the O-Line of the Buccaneers better now and help make Tom Brady’s job much easier.
15. New York Jets (Via DEN) – Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
The Jets trade back from 11 after seeing the top 2 tackles come off the board. Gained this pick and a third in this year’s draft and a 2nd in 2021. The Jets didn’t take the leap last year that many believed/hoped they would. Part of that reason being Sam Darnold missing extensive time with what many believed to be mono. Now that isn’t on the O-line, but they saw the impact he brings to their team in his absence. Becton is OT3 on my board who oozes athletic ability that a man his size just shouldn’t have. Injury issues kept him off the field in college at times, but if he’s able to stay healthy at the next level he will be a great plug and play tackle with a very high ceiling to protect Darnold for the next decade.
16. Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Henderson CB Florida
Henderson was a high school running back converted to corner. When you watch the man run you can see all the skills needed to play running back. Very quick with his feet, but also his instincts and reaction time. Henderson’s best used in man defense allowing him to use his speed and instincts to help make big plays for the defense. Dan Quinn is a defensive-minded head coach who will be able to use Henderson in this manner and help him become an elite corner in this league.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Grant Delpit S LSU
This pick has been the one consistent in my mocks from the very beginning. There are a lot of athletic safety’s in this class and many have been rising on draft boards all offseason. Delpit’s 2019 season was a down year compared to his 2018. The talent was still there and the Dallas Cowboys notice that and see the fit is too good to pass up here at 17. Depit’s ability to read the run game and make the stop at such a high level fills a major need in the Dallas defense. While also being able to cover a lot of ground in the secondary to help make open-field tackles.
18. Miami Dolphins (Via PIT) – Xavier McKinney S Alabama
The Dolphins who own 3 picks in the first round of this years draft go defense after drafting their QB at 5. McKinney is a perfect compliment to put next to newly added safety Byron Jones. McKinney and Jones make a great combo to help fans forget that they traded away one of the best young safeties in the league last season to Pittsburgh.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (Via CHI) – Patrick Queen LB LSU
If there a player in the first round that just screams Raider its Patrick Queen. He plays so quick and with an attitude to him that Raider nation will fall in love after his first tackle. Queen will slide into the MIKE role and do it at a high level. Queen is best used when he’s not used in a man coverage role but instead able to be put in zones to attack when he sees where the QB is going with the ball. His instincts are 2nd to only Isaiah Simmons in the linebacker class and its closer than many think.
20. Detroit Lions (Via JAX/LAR) – Kristian Fulton CB LSU
The 2nd first-round pick the Lions acquire from the trade with the Jaguars they fill the position where most have them taking at 3. Fulton is a fiery personality and has confidence that is infectious. After trading Darius Slay away they are in need of a true number one corner to fill that role. Fulton has the ability to match his confidence and can step right in and play. He may struggle early if he is forced to match up with number 1 WRs in the NFL, but I believe it will help him in the long run of his career.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – K’Lavon Chaisson DE LSU
Back to back LSU Tigers come off the board here as the Eagles grab the 2nd edge rusher in this draft at 21. Many have them going WR here but the depth at WR and the lack thereof it at edge forces them to take Chaisson here. Chaisson’s first step is so fast you’ll miss it if you blink. Tackles will struggle against his first step on the outside and this will help him to have early success and add to an already talented line in Philly.
22. Minnesota Vikings (Via BUF) – Denzel Mims WR Baylor
The Vikings acquired this pick by dealing WR Stefon Diggs. They draft his replacement with that very pick here in Baylor wideout Denzel Mims. I’m not sure if there is a WR that has improved his stock more throughout the draft process than Mims. His strengths and speed combo gives you a great complement to Thielen to help Cousins and the Vikings compete in the NFC.
23. New England Patriots – A.J. Epenesa DE Iowa
The Patriots for the first time in two decades have a question mark at the QB position. Its hard to predict what coach Belichick is nearly impossible to predict but the Patriots have shown they can have success no matter who’s under center. So the Patriots elect to wait on QB and take their best player available in A.J. Epenesa. The pass rusher out of Iowa uses his strength to bully off the snap and just has that Patriot demeanor to him that makes this a match made in heaven.
24. New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
The Saints were projected to go WR at the end of round 1 until they were able to lure Emmanuel Sanders away from San Francisco. Now they are able to go best available player and get Kenneth Murray. Pairing Murray with Demario Davis gives the Saints two guys that can do it all at the ILB spot. Murray was a tackle machine at OU and was all over the field. His strength and speed gives him the edge on any TE or RB that has the job of blocking him.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney CB TCU
After using their first 1st round pick to replace Diggs, the Vikings use their 2nd to replace a player they released this offseason Xavier Rhodes. The Vikings elect to go Jeff Gladney out of TCU because of his ability to play the slot or outside at a high level. So, Gladney will be able to fill the role Rhodes held but also slide into the slot in certain packages to help his team.
26. Miami Dolphins (Via HOU) – Josh Jones OT Houston
Now that they’ve drafted their next QB they have to make moves to protect him and set him up for success. The Dolphins do just that by drafting Josh Jones out of Houston. He is a more raw tackle prospect than the ones that have been taken so far, but doesn’t lack ability and potential at the next level. Jones put himself on the first round map after dominating the senior bowl. He plays with his strength and attempts to out body and muscle defenders and doesn’t rely on his footwork. The coaches in Miami will get ahold of him and help him develop his footwork to the point that he’s able to use his strength and trust his footwork when his strength just isn’t enough.
27. Settle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos DE Penn State
The Seattle Seahawks never could get a deal in place to keep Clowney in town, who’s still a free agent. They get tired of waiting on his decision and instead draft his replacement in Yetur Gross-Matos out of Penn State. Matos is a very well rounded edge rusher who excelled in pass rush and run defense at the college level. The Seahawks trying to build their defense back to that of their super bowl run teams need that type of player and are fortunate to be able to stay put at 27 and have one fall in their laps.
TRADE:The Indianapolis Colts trade picks 34, 193, 2021 2nd to the Baltimore Ravens for pick 28
28. Indianapolis Colts (Via BAL) – Jordan Love QB Utah State
Another trade in round 1 has the Indianapolis Colts sending 3 picks in total to Baltimore to move up a total of 6 picks into the first round. One of the biggest surprises in sports in the last decade was the retirement of Andrew Luck. The Colts started off last year strong but the limitation of Jacoby Brissett would end up being too much to overcome. Indy has already made the choice to move on from Brissett by signing FA QB Philip Rivers this offseason. And with Brissett only under contract for one more season drafting a QB makes too much sense for Indy. The Colts draft the raw explosive talent in Jordan Love. Love will get to sit a year and learn from Rivers and when he’s ready will get to take snaps behind arguably the best offensive lines in football.
29. Tennesse Titans – Zack Baun DE Wisconsin
The Titans like the Seahawks have been coveting Clowney trying to pry him away from Seattle but with not choice made they decide to turn to the draft to fill the whole instead. Baun gives the Titans a nice addition to the young linebacker core they already hold and the ability to put Baun on the defensive line at times gives coach Mike Vrable some options with his first-round pick.
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State
The Packers had a tough choice here having Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk on the board here. They decide to go Aiyuk because of their failed attempts at drafting big bodied WRs in recent years makes them feel more conformable with Aiyuk’s quickness, and ability to create plays after the catch. Pairing him with Adams and being able to line him up on the outside and slot just set him apart from Jefferson here.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Neville Gallimore DT Oklahoma
A Super Bowl roster that didn’t have many wholes gets to fill 2 in the first round. Their first pick going WR to replace Sanders, now going DT to replace DeForest Buckner. Neville Gallimore out of Oklahoma is a rare athlete at his side with a lot of explosion and quickness that will make him fit in well with the young line in San Francisco.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Johnathan Taylor RB Wisconsin
The Rich get richer here as the Super Bowl Champs get to add the best running back in the class to already the best offense in the league. Taylors combo of strength and speed as a track runner will help give the Chiefs a consistent run game something they haven’t had since the rookie season of Kareem Hunt.