Featured Image Credit: TigerNet.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Folks, sometimes in a mock draft, the inevitable happens. What I mean by this is that it’s inevitable that Deshaun Watson is going to get traded. There is absolutely no chance that he’s on the Houston Texans next season.
The Texans can say that they’re not trading him all they want but that doesn’t change the fact that when it’s all said and done that they will be trading Deshaun Watson. He doesn’t want to play for them anymore. They have a situation where they can rebuild the rest of their team pretty quickly and still get a franchise quarterback if they’re smart about who they trade him to.
So that’s what ended up happening in our mock. Both Matt and I sat down and did this mock together and we were able to arrange a deal that sends Deshaun Watson to Miami for Tua Tagovailoa and their two first round picks this year. It’s a realistic solution to the problem of Watson simply not wanting to play for them anymore.
With all of that being said, let’s get into the full first round mock!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence:
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson
Dan: Do I think Sam Darnold got a fair shake in New York with Adam Gase as his head coach? Definitely not. Do I think that the Jets have the option to wait and see any longer when they have the number 2 pick in a quarterback rich draft? Also no. Wilson is a talent with a truly elite arm and he is absolutely in play for the Jets at number 2. Don’t let anybody fool you.
3. TRADE Houston Texans (via MIA, via HOU): WR Ja’Marr Chase – Tua was apart of the trade
Matt: The Miami Dolphins get a deal done for DeShaun Watson that sends QB Tua Tagovailoa, the 3rd overall pick, and the 18th overall pick to Houston. With their QB of the future in place in Tua, Houston grabs him the best receiver in the draft.
4. Atlanta Falcons: CB Patrick Surtain
Dan: The Falcons have an atrocious defense that can’t stop anyone. Is there a chance that they go quarterback here? Sure. Is there a chance that they also trade back? Absolutely. If they don’t, they can take who I feel is the best cornerback in the draft and happily smile.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell
Matt: Cincinnati needs to protect their investment in Joe Burrow and they do so by grabbing Sewell. Sewell has the potential to be an All-Pro LT and should be protecting Burrow’s blindside for the next decade.
6. Eagles: WR Devonta Smith
Dan: The Eagles have had an extremely tumultuous offseason. One thing that is certain is that whoever ends up being the quarterback in Philadelphia will need weapons to throw the ball to. Devonta Smith is an absolute weapon.
7. Detroit Lions: WR Jaylen Waddle
Matt: The Lions add some speed on the outside and get Jared Goff another weapon. With multiple picks in the first round over the next couple of years, Detroit can afford to take the the best player available in Waddle.
8. Carolina Panthers: QB Justin Fields
Dan: It’s no secret that the Panthers are trying to move on from Teddy Bridgewater and get a new quarterback. For some reason, it feels like Justin Fields is dropping on big boards. It makes no sense to me as I see him as a top 5 pick and Matt Rhule would absolutely love to be able to get his guy here.
9. Denver Broncos: QB Trey Lance
Matt: All signs point to Denver moving on from the Drew Lock project this year. They were in on Matthew Stafford before he was traded to the Rams. Now, Denver starts another project on Trey Lance. A raw QB prospect with a ton of potential.
10. Dallas Cowboys: OT Rashawn Slater
Dan: For years, the Cowboys were able to dominate teams in the trenches by having a superior offensive line. Over the past season or so, it seems that their offensive line depth is slowly eroding. Getting a guy like Slater who is easily the second best tackle in this draft will help restore that balance and get the Cowboys offensive line back to being a top unit in the league.
11. New York Giants: CB Caleb Farley
Matt: Caleb Farley is my favorite CB in the draft. He has the size (6’2, 207) and speed to lockdown NFL WRs. He’s great in press man coverage and has excellent awareness in off coverage. Those hips don’t lie either. He’s also aggressive in the run game and is able to work through blockers to take down ball carriers.
12. San Francisco 49ers: DL Kwity Paye
Dan: The 49ers are an interesting team to watch in this year’s draft. There is absolutely a chance that they end up trading this pick for a quarterback. There is also a chance that they add to the strength of their team which, when healthy, is their defense.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: TE Kyle Pitts
Matt: Hunter Henry is a free agent, but even if he does end up back in LA, Pitts makes sense. Pitts is a RECEIVING WEAPON that can line up all over the formation. The Chargers need to continue to build around Justin Herbert if they want to win football games. Getting Herbert another mismatch does exactly that.
14. Minnesota Vikings: CB Jaycee Horn
Dan: Mike Zimmer straight up admitted that the Vikings defense was pathetic last season. Jaycee Horn would give them immediate help on the outside of their defense and give them a fighting chance to cover some of the elite receivers that are in their division.
15. New England Patriots – LB Micah Parsons
Matt: Micah Parsons is a top 10 player in this class with some character concerns. The Patriots aren’t strangers to guys with off the field issues. Parsons an explosive athlete as a downhill LB. He can rush the QB and stand up against the run. He has the potential to be a foundational piece and the Patriots have a strong enough organization to keep his focus on football.
16. Arizona Cardinals: OT Christian Darrisaw
Dan: Once you’ve found your franchise quarterback, the name of the game is to protect your franchise quarterback. Darrisaw is a big, strong tackle who will do just that. He has tremendous upside and would be a great fit for the Cardinals here.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Matt: People are going to be concerned about his weight (215lbs) at LB in the pros. People are going to call him a tweener – is he a safety or a linebacker? “Owusu-Koramoah is a football player,” Jon Gruden (probably on draft night). He’s the kind of explosive player that Gruden and Mayock will fall in love with.
18. TRADE Houston Texans (via MIA): EDGE Gregory Rousseau
Dan: The worse organization in the NFL gets a piece that many pundits had going in the top 5 of the draft in the preseason. But when you’re really raw and you skip a season of college football, you end up falling in the draft. Rousseau may end up being a nice piece for a decimated Texans defense but he definitely is a risky pick.
19. Washington Football Team: DL Christian Barmore
Matt: Barrmore is an Alabama defensive lineman. This is still Dan Synder’s team. Need I say more?
20. Chicago Bears: OT Alex Leatherwood
Dan: Something tells me that the Bears are going to be trading this pick for a quarterback this offseason. I can’t see them letting Ryan Pace draft another failure. If they do end up somehow keeping this pick then bolstering their offensive line would be a great decision.
21. Indianapolis Colts: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker
Matt: Vera-Tucker shifted from left guard to left tackle this offseason for USC and thrived. While many think Vera-Tucker is a guard, he played well enough to warrant consideration at tackle.
22. Tennessee Titans: WR Rashod Bateman
Dan: One of my favorite wide receivers in the draft, the Titans get a big bodied playmaker who can replace (likely) departed free agent Corey Davis. Bateman is going to be good. This would be a great fit for his skillset.
23. New York Jets: EDGE Jaelen Phillips
Matt: Phillips is a complicated prospect. He retired from football after some nagging injuries in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA. He then transferred to Miami and wreaked havoc on the ACC this year with 15.5 tackles for a loss and 8 sacks in 10 games. He’s a special player with a complicated past. When healthy, he might be the best EDGE in the entire class which is too good to pass up at 23.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Joseph Ossai
Dan: The Steelers could lose Bud Dupree in free agency. Ossai would be able to slide right in as a pass rushing edge linebacker and fill his shoes. He’s got a high motor and he’d become a fan favorite in Pittsburgh immediately.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Jalen Mayfield
Matt: Cam Robinson is a free agent and Jacksonville needs to protect Trevor Lawrence at all costs. In steps Jalen Mayfield, who has the size, feet, and strength to step in and be a day one starter with potential to be much more. The only real concern about Mayfield is his lack of playing time. He only started 15 games at Michigan but he looked the part the entire time.
26. Cleveland Browns: WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Dan: The Browns finally fixed their offensive line so now it’s time to get some more weapons for their offense. They already have two LSU receivers so why not go for the trifecta? Marshall is a versatile receiver who can do it all. He’d be very exciting to watch in Cleveland.
27. Baltimore Ravens: G Wyatt Davis
Matt: We all know that Baltimore loves to run the football and Davis is going to be an absolutely amazing run blocking guard in the NFL. It would also pair him back up with Ohio State RB JK Dobbins.
28. New Orleans Saints: WR Kadarius Toney
Dan: With Drew Brees retiring, I really think that the Saints are going to lean into the gadget style offense centered around Taysom Hill. Toney would be a great addition to that because he can do a lot with the ball in his hands.
29. Green Bay Packers- CB Tyson Campbell
Dan: Aside from Jaire Alexander who is a beast, the Packers are thin at cornerback. This is good value for Campbell here who I believe will grow into a good player.
30. Buffalo Bills: RB Najee Harris
Matt: The Bills really struggled to run the football this year. While teams are rarely a running back away, this explosive Bills offense could really use a game changing running back.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Samuel Cosmi
Matt: Samuel Cosmi played both RT and LT at Texas. He projects as a guy who can immediately step in and contribute from day one, something the Chiefs will need with Eric Fisher on the mend from a torn achilles.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Edge Carlos Basham
Dan: Shaq Barrett has already said that he wants to get paid this offseason and he likely will. The Buccaneers need quality play from their edge rushers to make their defensive system work. Basham is someone who I can see squeaking into the late stages of the first round and he’d be a great fit.