I’ll close out the draft season with my final NFL Mock Draft.
This is shaping up to be one of the wildest NFL Drafts we’ve ever witnessed. Given the madness of 2020 and the inability to cover all the bases, the scouting community has been on their heels throughout the draft process.
We’ve been relying on single-season performances and Pro Day results. It’s been the most interesting draft season that I’ve ever experienced and I’m wrapping it up with my final first-round mock draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrecnce, QB Clemson
This has been the pick all along and it’s not changing now.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB BYU
It’s less of a sure thing than Lawrence at #1 but we can say with some confidence that Wilson will be the Jets’ selection on Thursday night.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance, QB North Dakota St
I’m not buying the Mac Jones – 49ers connection. To me, it’s clear that Jones is an entire tier below the rest of the top QB prospects.
Lance is the other quarterback that’s been tied to the 49ers and his selection is much more believable. He has all the tools that are coveted at the next level – arm strength, frame, feet, and athleticism.
There’s room for improvement in his accuracy and ability to read an entire field, which may be enough to keep him off the field in year one. The future looks bright, though, for the 49ers and Trey Lance.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
Rumor has it, the Falcons are shopping Julio Jones. If they find a trade partner, they’ll need another receiving threat opposite Calvin Ridley.
Chase is the closest thing we’ve seen to a can’t miss prospect at the receiver position in a few years. He profiles as a true #1 that can win in a variety of ways at the next level.
5. Denver Broncos via Bengals – Justin Fields, QB Ohio St
The Bengals are in the perfect position to trade down and add more bodies. They’ll be receiving calls for Justin Fields. The team that likes him most will be the one that lands him at #5.
We’re not sure which direction new GM George Paton is taking the Broncos but he’s already proven to be aggressive in free agency. He could bring that same mentality into the draft and pull the trigger on my third rated prospect, Justin Fields.
6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
The Dolphins were mobile during the offseason, ultimately winding up with the 6th overall selection. If the board falls this way, they’d be wise to stay put and take Kyle Pitts.
Pitts is a generational talent at the tight end position. He’d be a welcomed addition to an already solid duo featuring Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. The Dolphins’ coaching staff would have to jigsaw the usage patterns together but Pitts could potentially develop into Tua’s go-to target.
7. Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
I’m not personally high on Smith. His frame gives me pause but otherwise, Smith has everything you look for in a wide receiver prospect. If he were 20 pounds heavier, he’d be competing with Chase for the WR1 label.
With the Lions losing Kenny Golladay to free agency, they’ll be in the market for a new #1 receiving threat. Smith may not translate to that role exactly but he’s still a solid bet to have success at the NFL level.
8. Carolina Panthers – Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
This would be a huge win for the Panthers, as Sewell is my top-rated player if we disregard positional value. He has a high floor and no ceiling. Paired with Taylor Moton, the Panthers would have one of the top tackle duos in the league.
9. Cincinatti Bengals via Broncos – Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
Like his former ‘Bama counterpoint, Jaylen Waddle may not be a true #1 receiver in the NFL. He has some skill development to do but Waddle boasts more natural gifts than the rest of the receivers in this class.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
With questions surrounding Tyron Smith’s future with the Cowboys, they’ll likely be in the market for his replacement. Slater is a day one starter at left tackle with All-Pro potential.
11. Washington Football Team via Giants – Mac Jones, QB Alabama
It’s an NFC East affair as the Giants move the 11th overall selection to WFT, allowing them to jump the Philadelphia Eagles – the next potential QB needy team.
Jones is a solid fit with the Football Team and good value at 11th overall. He’d soak up the playbook in a hurry and eventually win QB1 duties from Fitzpatrick.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Micah Parsons, LB Penn St
This is a great fit. The Eagles need linebacker talent and Parsons has more of that than any prospect since Luke Keuchly.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Kwity Paye, EDGE Michigan
Melvin Ingram is still floating around in free agency. The Chargers could cut ties and opt for a younger option in the same squatty-edge mold. Paye doesn’t have much experience in a two-point stance but he’s got translatable traits for the coverage game and has already proven enough as a pass-rusher and run-stopper.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Darissaw, OT Virginia Tech
The Vikings are in a pretty undesirable situation, here, as they’ve already invested heavily in the cornerback position but three of the top four players available on my big board are cornerbacks. If nobody’s calling to fix that situation for them, they’re stuck with pick 14.
They could choose their favorite pass-rusher, interior defensive lineman, or offensive lineman. In this case they select the top offensive lineman available, Christian Darissaw, who would compete with Brian O’Neill for blindside duties. Loser slides over to RT.
15. New England Patriots – Patrick Surtain Jr, CB Alabama
Young man Surtain is the purest cornerback in this draft class. He can play any scheme and proved doubters wrong during his Pro Day. He’d go earlier if this class didn’t contain five blue chip quarterbacks. The Patriots aren’t complaining.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
Horn is the de-facto Patrick Peterson replacement, atleast on defense. He’s the type of corner that can man-up on the opposing #1 receiver. He’s a great fit in Vance Joseph’s defense.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Christian Barmore, IDL Alabama
Now that the Raiders have released Mo Hurst, the void in the middle of their defense is even bigger. Christian Barmore is a penetrating playmaker regardless of his role. He’s an extremely gifted talent and the clear #1 IDL in this class.
18. Miami Dolphins – Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL USC
The Dolphins added Pitts at #6 but they need one more piece along the offensive line to give Tua everything he needs to be successful. Vera-Tucker is the type of versatile blocker that can fill any role that the Dolphins need him to.
19. New York Giants via WFT – Azeez Ojulari, EDGE Georgia
Right now, Ojulari is the best pass-rusher in this draft class. He’s got room to grow – literally – but he’ll make a day-one impact for the Giants.
20. Chicago Bears – Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
Kyle Fuller is gone and there’s a hole opposite Jaylon Johnson, unless Des Trufant can find his former Pro-Bowl caliber play. Caleb Farley has his health issues but if he can stay healthy, he’s a lockdown corner at the next level.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami
Similar to Caleb Farley, Phillips has lingering health issues. He’s entering the NFL with multiple concussions which drops his value a bit, landing him here at #21. If not for the concussions, Phillips might be the top edge defender in this class and a top-16 selection.
22. Green Bay Packers via Titans – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
The Titans got a serious haircut this offseason, releasing all their cornerbacks and losing Corey Davis -among others – to free agency. They need to add talented bodies quickly to stay competitive and the best way to do that is to trade down.
As for the Green Bay Packers – queue the cheering – Brian Gutekunst has been active in every single one of his drafts. He’s traded up every year and I believe that trend will continue.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the ultimate defensive chess piece. He’s an every-down guy that’s capable of manning the slot, covering tight ends and running backs, and blitzing the quarterback. He’s a playmaker against the run, as well, making him one of the most valuable defenders in this draft class.
The biggest knock on JOK is his size. He’s shown some limitations in defeating blocks and may have to be hidden against the run at the next level.
The other big question is whether or not he’ll fit with the Green Bay Packers and new DC Joe Barry. If used correctly, JOK is capable of dominating every underneath passing game and making huge plays against the run.
23. New York Jets – Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn St
The Jets took a step in the right direction with Wilson at #2. They still have multiple needs to address and would probably benefit from adding a solid, reliable, every-down starter. But that’s not what I have them doing here. Oweh is a massive projection. He’s arguably the best athlete we’ve seen in years but hasn’t learned the technical skills needed to be successful in the NFL. Definition of boom or bust.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB Alabama
I’ve been outspoken about fading the running back position during the offseason. Harris is not an exception but he’s the RB1 for most of the scouting community. He’s a Le’Veon Bell comp and an easy insert into the Steelers offense.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
The Jag’s offense lacks a true #1 receiver. Trevor Lawrence would certainly like one and Rashod Bateman is one. He’s my WR3 and the easiest projection to success at the position, after Chase.
26. Cleveland Browns – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
EDGE (opposite Myles Garrett) may be the biggest hole on the Browns defense. Rousseau is an every-down defender in the NFL but he lacks that explosive edge bending potential of other prospects in this class.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Trevon Moehrig, S TCU
The Ravens have struggled to replace Ed Reed… go figure. Earl Thomas clearly wasn’t the answer. I’m not saying Moehrig is Ed Reed but he’s the best center-fielder we’ve seen over the past couple years. He’s one of the top prospects available and a very SAFE dude.
28. New Orleans Saints – Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern
Newsome has the tape of a perennial Pro-Bowler. Injuries matter for his projection but he could wind up the top corner from this draft class.
29. Tennessee Titans via Packers – Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma St
The Titans need cornerback talent but the value isn’t there at this point in the draft. Teven Jenkins is a home run at 29. He’s an immediate starter at right tackle, a position the Titans are desperate to add talent to after losing Jack Conklin.
30. Buffalo Bills – Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
The Bills have needs to address but they can do that later. What they can’t do later is select Kadarius Toney. He’s an electric playmaker that’s easy to deliver the ball to.
31. Baltimore Ravens – Alex Leatherwood, OT/IOL Alabama
The Ravens clearly lacked talent in the interior offensive line after Marshall Yanda retired. Then they traded one of their most promising young talents in RT Orlando Brown. Alex Leatherwood has the ability to start at either guard or right tackle. I’m not crazy about Leatherwood but he can potentially fill two different positions of need for the Ravens.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Etienne, RB Clemson
This is very much a luxury pick. Leonard Fournette drove it home last year for the Bucs and I doubt they were comfortable with him in that role. Etienne is my top running back and a safe bet to dominate fantasy leagues in this offense.
My Top 10 BPA
Samuel Comsi, OT Texas
Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
Kyle Trask, QB Florida
Terrace Marshall Jr, WR Florida
Carlos Basham Jr, EDGE/IDL Wake Forest
Elijah Moore, WR Ole Miss
Jevon Holland, SLOT/S Oregon
Eric Stokes Jr, CB Georgia
Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota St