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Folks, we’ve officially reached the time of year where the free agent frenzy has settled down and it’s officially full on NFL Draft season. This is my absolute favorite part of the offseason as the rumor mill will start to heat up for who teams are trying to get.
Truth be told, we’re still pretty far away from the draft. There is still a ton of fluid information about prospects and without the combine we really haven’t noticed any fast rising players who fans love because they ran fast but smart teams generally don’t.
When Matt and I sat down and did this mock we figured that it was likely that four quarterbacks are going to go in the top 10 and teams will be aggressive in getting their guy. This resulted in us competing against one another to try and get the quarterbacks who we thought teams would try and target. It was a really fun mock and it’s going to be interesting to see which direction a lot of these teams end up going. You can check out Mock Draft 1.0 here and Mock Draft 2.0 here.
Let’s get to the picks!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2. TRADE: Carolina Panthers (Via New York Jets): QB Zach Wilson
Matt: Matt Rhule and the Panthers go grab their QB of the future. Wilson is a dynamic passer with really good mobility. Plug him into the offense with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffery and watch him succeed.
Jets receive: 2021 1st (8th overall), 2021 3rd, 2022 1st, 2023 2nd
Panthers receive: 2021 1st (2nd overall)
3. Miami Dolphins: WR Ja’Marr Chase
Dan: The Dolphins will have plenty of offers to trade out of this spot. If things were more clear with Deshaun Watson’s legal situation then maybe there is a pathway to bring him down to Miami but that’s becoming more and more unlikely by the day. Instead, the Dolphins get Tua the best pass catcher in this draft.
4. Atlanta Falcons: QB Justin Fields
Matt: The Falcons haven’t ruled out a QB at four even after restructuring Matt Ryan’s contract. If you Atlanta, you don’t hope to be picking this high again any time soon. Now is the time to find Ryan’s successor. Fields can be that guy and walks into the perfect situation where he can sit and learn for a year or two.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell
Dan: I toyed around with the idea of taking Kyle Pitts here to mess with Matt who is in love with him (and because he would be a legitimately good pick for the Bengals, of course) but the reality is that they need to protect Joe Burrow above all else. This is a no brainer.
6. Eagles: Receiver Kyle Pitts
Matt: Howie Roseman loves his tight ends and Kyle Pitts is the best TE prospect in YEARS. The Eagles get the added bonus that Pitts is an elite prospect as a receiver as well. Pitts could immediately step into the roll Alshon Jeffery had as a the big body receiver and move all across the field. Pairing Pitts with Goedert would give QB Jalen Hurts two big weapons to rely on.
7. TRADE: Denver Broncos (Via Detroit Lions): QB Trey Lance
Dan: The Broncos trade their ninth overall pick as well as a second round pick in 2021 to move up and select a guy who they think can be their quarterback of the future. In an ideal scenario Justin Fields falls a bit further and they’re able to grab him but the Broncos generally love strong armed quarterbacks so this will fit the bill.
Broncos receive: 2021 1st (7th overall)
Lions receive: 2021 1st (9th overall), 2021 2nd (40th overall)
8. TRADE: New York Jets (Via Carolina Panthers): CB Patrick Surtain
Matt: The Jets got a haul for the 2nd overall pick. Now, they can drop back and take the best player available in the class. Patrick Surtain has all the tools to be a lockdown corner in the NFL and a CB1 is a big need on the Jets defense.
9. TRADE: Detroit Lions (Via Denver Broncos): ILB Micah Parsons
Dan: What does new Lions head coach Dan Campbell want on defense? Toughness. Micah Parsons is a tough customer who can be a field general for the next decade on your defense.
10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Caleb Farley
Matt: Rashawn Slater is tempting here but Farley would be a great choice for Dallas. The Cowboys never replaced the gaping hold Byron Jones left in their defense when he left for Miami last offseason. The Cowboys can fill that void by adding Farley – especially after the New York Giants added star WR Kenny Golladay. (LINK OUR KG ARTICLE?)
11. New York Giants: OT Rashawn Slater
Dan: If the Giants didn’t make a huge splash and sign Kenny Golladay in free agency then I’d be sprinting to the podium to take WR Devonta Smith out of Alabama here. That being said, the Giants did sign Golladay and added depth at wide receiver by signing John Ross. The biggest hole the Giants have on their offense right now is tackle. Rashawn Slater is going to be a star.
12. San Francisco 49ers: WR Devonta Smith:
Matt: San Francisco is talented enough to sit back and take the best player available. Devonta Smith is that guy coming off one of the best WR seasons in college football history. He’s a shore handed WR and smooth route runner. He instantly adds an an elite element on the outside that Kyle Shanahan’s offense doesn’t have right now.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Edge Gregory Rousseau
Dan: With Melvin Ingram likely leaving town, there’s a massive hole on the edge of their defense. Rousseau could fill it very well and is the perfect scheme fit. He easily has the highest ceiling of any Edge Rusher in this draft.
14. Minnesota Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw
Matt: The Viking addressed the defensive line in free agency by adding Dalvin Tomlinson so now it’s time to address the offensive line. Darrisaw checks off all the boxes as the guy that can become your future LT. He has the athleticism, size, and length to be a really good LT in today’s NFL. With a little bit of coaching, the Vikings could finally have their LT of the future.
15. New England Patriots: WR Jaylen Waddle
Dan: The Patriots went all out during free agency to get weapons on offense. If Jaylen Waddle falls this far then they have a chance to add a receiver who can be a home run hitter to an offense that has a lot of good possession targets in tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
16. Arizona Cardinals: CB Jaycee Horn
Matt: The Arizona Cardinals have been blessed with standout corner player from Patrick Peterson for years. With his departure this offseason, the Cardinals have a void at the CB position. Enter Jaycee Horn, a three-year starter at CB in South Carolina and son of 4 time Pro Bowl WR Joe Horn. Horn is great in man coverage and has the potential to be a true CB1.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: OT Samuel Cosmi
Dan: Cosmi is an athletic tackle. We know two things about the Raiders: The first is that they really only like to take athletes in the first round of the draft. The second is that they always overdraft on their first round pick. Cosmi fits both criteria here as he would probably be a second rounder on most team’s boards. On top of all that, the Raiders decimated their offensive line this offseason.
18. Miami Dolphins: LB/S Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Matt: Owusu-Koramoah is a jack of all trade defender coming out of Notre Dame. He plays fast and physical with a ton of explosiveness. He’s a good run defender that should be able to cover RBs and TEs, which is important in today’s NFL. The only real concern is that Owusu-Koramoah is a tweener – he’s stuck between a safety and a LB. I think this is a great fit as Brian Flores will be able find creative ways to use his talent.
19. Washington Football Team: QB Mac Jones
Dan: By signing NFL legend and perennial bridesmaid Ryan Fitzpatrick to a contract, it will give the Football Team time to let Mac Jones develop for a season before putting him into game action. Do I think that Mac Jones is a first round talent? Absolutely not. But I firmly believe that a team will use a first round pick on him.
20. Chicago Bears: OL Teven Jenkins
Matt: Jenkins is a fast riser this draft season out of Oklahoma State. Some teams are going to view Jenkins as a tackle and others will push him inside to guard due to his shorter arms. I think you push Jenkins inside where he can use his power to open up lanes for David Montgomery.
21. Indianapolis Colts: DL Kwity Paye
Dan: The Paye free fall stops here. Paye is a tough prospect to judge because I’m not quite sure that he’s a true edge but he’d fit this Indianapolis scheme perfectly. I could see Paye having a lot of success in Indy if he slides this far.
22. Tennessee Titans: DL Christian Barmore
Matt: Christian Barmore is your classic Alabama Football interior defensive line prospect that have seen a ton of success in recent seasons. He’s strong and explosive off the snap and will draw double teams that will open things up for Bud Dupree.
23. New York Jets: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker
Dan: The Jets did a great job getting Sam Darnold weapons in free agency and based on what we know right now, the Jets absolutely could be going to go into next season with Darnold as their quarterback. It’s a bold strategy and keeping Darnold upright will be their best bet. Vera-Tucker will help with that quite a bit.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: DB Trevon Moehrig
Matt: Moehrig projects as a safety that can drop down into the slot when you’re in nyour nickel defense. Moehrig also has the ability to drop off and play deep safety. He’s a talent ball tracker in coverage which translated to 7 interceptions in college. He also has the ability to close well in coverage to knock the ball out of a receivers hands. Moehrig could drop into the slot role that the release of Steven Nelson vacated for Pittsburgh.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Edge Azeez Ojulari
Dan: Ojulari is a bit undersized but could be a quality outside edge rusher for the Jaguars. The Jags have done a nice job this offseason getting weapons on their offense and a great pass rush will help their defense out even more.
26. Cleveland Browns: EDGE Jaelen Phillips
Matt: Jaelen Phillips is the most talented and complicated EDGE prospect in the class. 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.
27. Baltimore Ravens: WR Rashod Bateman
Dan: This is the steal of the mock draft so far. I have Bateman as a top 15 player. Realistically I think he will go a bit earlier than 27 but if the cards play out like this then he may not. The Ravens desperately need a dominant receiver to help their passing game out and Bateman would be just that.
28. New Orleans Saints: LB Zaven Collins
Matt: A three-year starter and sure tackler, Collins has all the tools to become a productive starter at LB in the NFL.
29. Green Bay Packers- WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Dan: If the Packers are smart then they get Aaron Rodgers some more weapons. This team completely botched the draft last year and still ended up going to the NFC Championship game. They will not get that lucky again. Marshall is a must-get if he falls to Green Bay.
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 Jalen Mayfield
Dan: If the Super Bowl taught us one thing it’s that you can’t lose your best offensive lineman and expect to win in the NFL. This Chiefs team has virtually no weaknesses so suring up the offensive line and going on another Super Bowl run will be ideal for them.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Travis Etienne
Matt: Tampa is going to continue to stack weapons around Tom Brady as they try to add another ring to his finger. With Harris off the board, Etienne is a decent consolation prize that should offer an upgrade in the running game.