The NFL season is over. Matthew Stafford won his first Super Bowl, Cooper Kupp won the MVP, and Eli Apple became the most roasted player on a Super Bowl Sunday in recent memory.
It’s also Valentine’s Day – which is funny because every NFL fan now falls back in love with their team and irrationally believes they will be the team holding the Lombardi trophy next year. And for one team, the journey to that Lombardi trophy will start in the draft. So let’s get into it.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: T Evan Neal, Alabama
Jacksonville needs to avoid Andrew Lucking Trevor Lawrence. They were gifted a great QB prospect and now it’s time to protect him. A lot of people are talking about Ikem Okwonu, who is a really good player, but Neal has the type of size and athleticism that you can’t pass up.
2. Detroit Lions: Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Detroit is building this roster back up the right way. Dan Quinn and Brad Holmes have time. They don’t need to reach for a QB. Take the best overall player in the class in Hutchinson and don’t look back.
3. Houston Texans: Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
Houston is a blank canvas. They need everything. Best player available makes sense here. There are some concerns about Thibodeaux stiff ankles, but I think we’re just nitpicking here.
4. New York Jet: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
The only knock against Hamilton is that he plays safety and teams don’t always value safety. I think Robert Saleh will see what he can do with a player like Hamilton and push to take him 4th overall.
5. TRADE: Denver Broncos (via NYG): QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Giants receive: 1st (9th overall), 2nd (40th overall), future 2nd (2023)
Broncos receive: 1st (5th overall)
This seems like the most logical place to jump up for a QB. You need to get in front of the Panthers since Rhule seems desperate to land a QB. Denver has been searching for the long-term answer at QB since Manning retired and haven’t found any success. Pickett may lack elite upside, but he can be a very good QB in the NFL.
6. Carolina Panthers: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State
Panthers owner David Tepper is growing impatient and wants to see a winning team, but Denver just jumped Carolina for the best QB in the place. Rhule’s Panther’s will settle with taking Ekwonu as they continue to build around their future QB.
7. New York Giants (via CHI): OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
After trading down from 5, the Giants still land one of the top tackles in the draft class. Cross might be the best pass blocker in the entire class. He’s one of the three OTs in this class that have true All-Pro potential.
8. Atlanta Falcons: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
With Calvin Ridley’s future in Atlanta shaky at best, the Falcons go after one of the best WRs in the class in Wilson. If they really want to roll this back again with Matt Ryan, they’re gonna need to get him help.
9. New York Giants (Via Denver): CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati
The expectation is that the Giants will move on from James Bradberry this offseason and Wink Martindale’s defense needs two very good CBs to operate. Sauce Gardner is the best CB prospect in the class and didn’t even allow a TD in college.
10. New York Jets: WR Drake London, USC
Robert Saleh got the future captain of his defense earlier in the class and now it’s time to help Zach Wilson. Drake London is massive, and his catch radius is insane. He’s also sneaky good with the ball in his hands after the catch. He’s the security blanket Wilson needs.
11. Washington Commanders: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
Derek Stingley’s fall continues as the Commanders pick the safer CB option in McDuffie. McDuffie is a bit undersized, but he’s fluid in coverage and plays the run incredibly well.
12. Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Jermaine Johnson, FSU
The Vikings defense has completely fallen apart over the last few years and needs an injection of youth. Johnson has high upside as a pass rusher and already plays the run well. He can come in and be an immediate starter as he grows into a franchise EDGE.
13. Cleveland Browns: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
The Cleveland Browns get the best WR in the draft on a discount because Williams tore his ACL in the National Championship Game. The Browns need to find out if Baker is their guy (he’s not) and Williams will give Baker (or most likely the next QB) a true WR1 on the outside.
14. Baltimore Ravens: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Devin Lloyd split time playing LB and EDGE at Utah and he did both well. He can cover TEs on one play and then rush the passer on the next. That’s the kind of chess piece the Ravens are going to like on defense.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Derek Stingley, LSU
Stingley’s fall stops here as the Eagles are desperate to add to their defense. Roseman will gamble on Stingley’s All-Pro potential that he flashed at LSU.
16. TRADE: Pittsburgh (Via Philadelphia via Indianapolis): QB Malik Willis, Liberty
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Mike Tomlin is in full bloom love with Malik Willis so Pittsburgh will jump up in front of the Saints to make sure they can grab him.
Philadelphia Receives: 2022 Round 1 Pick 20, 2022 Round 2 Pick 52, 2022 Round 5 Pick 138
Pittsburgh Receives: 2022 Round 1 Pick 16
17. Los Angeles Chargers: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
The Chargers need to continue to invest in keeping Justin Herbert upright. Kenyon Green has played every offensive line position except center and can be an anchor on the inside for the Chargers.
18. New Orleans Saints: EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue
With the return of Michael Thomas, the Saints can address the defensive side of the ball for defensive head coach Dennis Allen. Karlaftis should fit right into Allen’s 4-3 scheme and provide versatility to move inside.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan
Ojabo is an explosive athlete that is still learning how to play football. Because he’s still learning the game, he’s a very raw run defender but he comes with a lot of pure strength and a decent set of pass rushing moves.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (via Pittsburgh): S Daxton Hill, Michigan
The Eagles go back to back with Michigan men. Hill plays downhill very well and has the ability to line up in the slot against bigger receivers and tight ends.
21. New England Patriots: CB Andrew Booth, Clemson
The Patriots spent big on their offense last year and now they need to give their secondary some TLC. Booth is arguably the best man cover corner in the class and should step in as a day 1 starter across JC Jackson if he is retained.
22. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
Insert fastest WR to the Las Vegas Raiders.
23. Arizona Cardinals: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
Arizona has to do more to protect Kyler Murray. Linderbaum is going to fall in this class because he lacks the ideal size and strength but he’s fine value at 23.
24. Dallas Cowboys: DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
Jordan Davis is an enormous DT prospect that eats up double teams. He’ll eat up blockers in the middle of the field to make it easier for Parsons and Lawrence to rush on the edge.
25. Buffalo Bills: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Gabriel Davis may have made a name for himself in the AFC Divisional round this year but you can never have too many weapons. Burks is a lot like AJ Brown and plays a bigger WR in the slot.
26. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia
Travon Walker may be the more versatile player in the class. While at Georgia, Walker rushed from both the outside and the inside and also dropped back in coverage. Oh and he’s also 6’5, 275lbs.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Corral has the strongest arm in the class and athleticism that is on almost on par with Malik Willis. He’s gonna need to sit and watch for a little bit but under Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians, Corral could have the most potential of any QB in the class.
28. Green Bay Packers: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Penning is a powerful run blocker with the ideal size and strength to grow into a really good offensive tackle.
29. Miami Dolphins: OT Bernard Raimann, Central Michigan
The Dolphins need to build a line around Tua. Raimann has only been playing OT for a couple of seasons but he’s an elite athlete. He may struggle his rookie season, but he’s shown that he can develop and develop quickly.
30. Kanas City Chiefs: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Nakobe Dean is extremely undersized which will cause him to fall in the class. But he has great range and speed at the LB position. He’s the Kyler Murray of LO
31. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Kyler Gordon, Washington
Did anyone see how bad Eli Apple was this entire postseason? The Bengals desperately need to add to their secondary, so Apple never sees the field again. Gordon is a day 1 starter that moves well and plays very physical.
32. Detroit Lions (Via Los Angeles) : CB Roger McCreary, Auburn
Once again, the Lions need virtually everything. Getting two premium positions in the first round helps their cause significantly. The Lions need help in their secondary and McCreary is an intriguing prospect out of Auburn.