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Folks, aside from making a trade, nothing messes the landscape of a draft up more than a quarterback needy team finding a quarterback. This is exactly what happened today when the Carolina Panthers traded for Sam Darnold.
So we finally have some answers about how this draft will shake out. The real draft starts with the 4th overall pick as we know the top 3 picks are all going to be quarterbacks. With Carolina out of the quarterback sweepstakes, the draft is set to shake up like this:
It should be a pretty wild ride to the finish line as we gear up for the draft. I sure can’t wait to get there. While we’re waiting for the draft to start just 23 days from today, let’s get you updated with our latest mock draft!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson
Dan: The Jets take the second best quarterback in this class. After trading Sam Darnold, this is a no brainer.
3. San Francisco 49ers (Via Miami via Houston): QB Justin Fields
Matt: Justin Fields gives Kyle Shanahan’s offense something he hasn’t had before, a mobile quarterback. You’re not moving up to pick a guy like Mac Jones, who you hope will someday be as good as Jimmy G. You want to get someone with a much higher ceiling.
4. Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts
Dan: It’s tempting for the Falcons to trade back here and if they get a good offer then they absolutely should. With that being said, after Carolina traded for Sam Darnold it definitely hurt the Falcons trade value here a bit. The only two really big quarterback needy teams that are in the top 15 that will trade up are the Broncos and Patriots. It’s tough to see a package getting done when those teams can sit and wait a little bit longer to make their move if they want to.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell
Matt: There’s a lot of talk that the Bengals are going to take Ja’Marr Chase to make Joe Burrown happy. Reunite the LSU boys. You know what else will make Burrow happy? Having his blind side protected. Sewell is the right and still most likely pick for Cincinnati.
6. Miami Dolphins (Via Philadelphia): WR Ja’Marr Chase
Dan: You can check number 1 receiver off of the Dolphin’s offseason wishlist. Chase is the real deal and he’s going to be an incredible player at this level.
7. Detroit Lions: WR Devonta Smith
Matt: The Lions lost both Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay this offseason. It makes sense for them to refill those holes at receiver with one of the best playmakers in this draft. If Jared Goff really is their guy for the future then he’s going to need some weapons. Even if Goff isn’t that guy, Smith is a top 10 player and fills a major need.
8. New England Patriots (Via Carolina): QB Trey Lance
Dan: This move just makes sense on so many levels. The Carolina Panthers can add another first round pick next year after trading next year’s second round pick for Darnold. The Patriots get a guy who they can develop behind Cam Newton for a season before taking over.
New England Receives: 2021 1st Round Pick (8th overall)
Carolina Receives: 2021 1st Round Pick (15th overall), 2022 1st Round Pick, 2022 5th Round Pick
9. Denver Broncos: CB Patrick Surtain
Matt: New England jumps in front of Denver to make a move for Trey Lance. So Denver will have to settle with getting Vic Fangio more weapons on defense. You may not be able to get your QB of the future but you can add Surtain to a secondary with Justin Simmons and Kyle Fuller while Chubb and Miller rush the passer.
10. Dallas Cowboys: OT Rashawn Slater
Dan: The Dallas Cowboys need to reload their offensive line and Slater is the perfect piece to help do that. He can play all five positions on the line and that’s extremely beneficial to a team like Dallas that still has a lot of good offensive linemen as he can fill in where he’s needed.
11. New York Giants: EDGE Kwity Paye
Matt: Listen, I don’t like this pick but it’s not about what I would do. I’ve had a very bad gut feeling for a while that Dave Gettleman will fall in love with Kwity Paye. Let’s set the record straight, Paye is a good football player. He’s just not worth the 11th pick.
Paye is a very good run defender that fits well into what the Giants do on defense. Michigan lined him up everywhere, including over center, which is something Patrick Graham and Joe Judge will love. He can line up outside on early downs and rush inside on later downs.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Miami via San Francisco): CB Jaycee Horn
Dan: The Eagles take a physical cornerback who could help their secondary right away next year. Horn is an insane athlete and he will endear himself to the city of Philadelphia.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: WR Jaylen Waddle
Matt: I don’t think the Chargers come into the draft expecting to select Jaylen Waddle but he falls into their laps. After losing Hunter Henry in free agency, they need to continue to surround Justin Herbert with playmakers. Waddle gives the Charger offense speed that they don’t have right now.
14. Minnesota Vikings: OG Alija Vera-Tucker
Dan: The Viking addressed the defensive line in free agency by adding Dalvin Tomlinson so now it’s time to address the offensive line. Vera-Tucker is the third best offensive lineman in this draft. He projects as a guard but the Vikings need all of the offensive line help that they could get.
15. Carolina Panthers (Via New England): ILB Micah Parsons
Matt: After landing Sam Darnold and picking up his 5th year option, the Panthers are locked in on Sammy for the next 2 seasons. So what will Matt Rhule do? Continue to build that defense. Parsons is a really good football player that is likely going to fall due to some character concerns. I don’t think that will scare Matt Rhule away.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Edge Gregory Rousseau
Dan: The Cardinals lost Haason Reddick and they replace him with the most boom or bust prospect in this draft.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: 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 but that hasn’t ever bothered Gruden before.
18. Miami Dolphins: OT Christian Darrisaw
Dan: The Dolphins get a number one receiver and now it’s time to make sure that their fragile quarterback is able to stay upright. Darrisaw would likely be better as the weakside tackle for the Dolphins but this would still be a pick that meets value.
19. Washington Football Team: DB Trevon Moehrig
Matt: Washington continues to remake their secondary by adding Moehrig. Moehrig is excellent in deep coverage, which will pair him nicely with Landon Collins, and a very sound tackler. This isn’t a flashy pick but it immediately makes your secondary better.
20. Chicago Bears: WR Kadarius Toney
Dan: Matt Nagy won’t be able to resist taking this offensive weapon if he falls here. Are there better receivers on the board? Yes. But Matt Nagy loves the gadget type of players and Toney can do a lot with the ball in his hands.
21. Indianapolis Colts: EDGE Jaelen Phillips
Matt: Jaelen Phillips is the best natural EDGE rusher in the class. If you removed the fact that he struggled with injuries and retired early in his collegiate career, you’d probably have a prospect going much higher than 21. But when you take all those things into account, you have a very good talent falling to 21. The Colts will take a risk on Phillips, who will line up nicely next to Buckner.
22. Tennessee Titans: WR Rashod Bateman
Dan: The Titans lost Corey Davis in free agency and replace him with another receiver who can go up and get the ball. Bateman is a great route runner and he’d compliment AJ Brown very well.
23. New York Jets: CB Caleb Farley
Matt: The Caleb Farley fall FINALLY stops. I think once Farley checks out medically he’ll go much higher than this. Until then, we have to assume that team’s are going to take his injury history very seriously.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Najee Harris
Dan: The Steelers offense hasn’t been the same since they’ve lost Le’Veon Bell so they go and draft his clone here with the 24th overall pick. He instantly adds an element to their offense that they don’t have.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Matt: Jacksonville just needs to load up on weapons. Surround Trevor Lawrence with support. They’ll dip back into WR U (LSU) and grab a very talented player in Terrace Marshall. Marshall and Chark will give Lawrence a great duo to kick start the Jags franchise again.
26. Cleveland Browns: CB Greg Newsome
Dan: The Browns are expecting Greedy Williams back healthy this season and they add Newsome to make their secondary even deeper. In today’s league you need to have good cornerbacks and Newsome gives them more options.
27. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Jayson Oweh
Matt: After losing Ngakoue and Judon on free agency, EDGE became a hole for Baltimore. Jayson Oweh is a certified freak. He ran a 4.36 40 yard dash (we know all the times are a bit embellished but he’s still fast) at 6’5, 252 lbs. He’s still a very raw football player but Baltimore has the coaching staff to build him up.
28. New Orleans Saints: QB Mac Jones
Dan: If you’re Mac Jones, this is exactly where you want to end up. We saw Sean Payton tear the league up with an accurate pocket passer at quarterback for 15 seasons. While Mac Jones isn’t Drew Brees, he’s the same type of player.
29. Green Bay Packers- OT Teven Jenkins
Matt: With a run at WR at the end of the first round, Green Bay selects a guy who can help keep Aaron Rodgers upright. Jenkins is a mean tackle that can step in and play guard at first if he can’t win the job from Billy Turner
30. Buffalo Bills: RB Travis Etienne
Dan: Normally I’m against taking running backs in the first round but the Bills really don’t have any holes on their team. Etienne would give them a three down back who could add another wrinkle to their already potent offense.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Samuel Cosmi
Matt: 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: DT Levi Onwuzurike
Dan: The Buccaneers have virtually zero holes on their team and Ndamukong Suh is getting up there in age a bit so they can take the best defensive tackle in this draft.