- Brandon Brown
NFL Mock Draft
After witnessing what could be the greatest offseason in the past decade, I thought it might be fun to come up with a first round mock draft and predict what teams might do after the trading frenzy that was this offseason. With that, let’s dive right in!
#1 - Jacksonville Jaguars : Evan Neal, OT (Alabama)
While a majority of mock drafts I’ve seen have Jacksonville taking Aiden Hutchinson with this pick, I don’t buy it. After seeing the resources the Jags have thrown toward the offense this season, I bet they take it an extra step and grab another OT to protect Trevor Lawrence’s blindside.
#2 - Detroit Lions : Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE (Michigan)
Detroit has more pressing needs than D-Line, but who wouldn’t take a chance on the most promising rookie of this class.
#3 - Houston Texans : Kyle Hamilton, S (Notre Dame)
I’m tempted to say Houston picks cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. here, as reports from H-Town say they are high on him, but I just can’t see them passing up a potential superstar safety, especially after losing Justin Reid to free agency.
#4 - New York Jets : Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (Oregon)
A premiere edge rusher is just what the Jets need after having one of the worst defenses in the league last season, especially against the run. Thibodeaux would surely be an upgrade over any defensive lineman currently on that roster.
#5 - New York Giants : Ikem Ekwonu, OT (NC State)
Offensive Tackle has been one of New York’s biggest needs for years. Why not address that In a O-Lineman heavy draft?
#6 - Carolina Panthers : Matt Corral, QB (Ole Miss)
Carolina is one of the few teams that didn’t make a big trade for a QB this off-season, and you can’t convince me that they would even entertain the thought of sticking with Sam Darnold for another year. While there are probably better QB’s here, Corral seems to be the best fit and I have a feeling that Carolina takes the more surprising passer with this pick.
#7 - New York Giants : Drake London, WR (USC)
It’s pretty hard to believe that despite having the most expensive WR room in the NFL, they ranked 32nd overall. It’s even harder to believe that New York won’t take another receiver with this pick.
#8 - Atlanta Falcons : Travon Walker, EDGE (Georgia)
Atlanta can’t believe Walker falls this low, and ignores their primary positional need of Wideout to grab the best overall player available.
#9 - Seattle Seahawks : Sauce Gardner, CB (Cincinnati)
With Drew Lock and Geno Smith vying for a starting QB job, Seattle looks on the other side of the ball, picking up the best corner available.
#10 - New York Jets : Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU)
The Jets need somebody to pair with D.J. Hill and Stingley fits the bill.
#11 - Washington Commanders : Garrett Wilson, WR (Ohio State)
Although I do think Malik Willis could be taken here as well, It’s clear that Washington needs someone to pair with Scary Terry. With London gone, Wilson is arguably the most balanced receiver available.
#12 - Minnesota Vikings : Trent McDuffie, CB (Washington)
Outside of an aging Patrick Peterson, this backfield has no stand-out names. Why not take a chance on a raw but promising corner?
#13 - Houston Texans : Charles Cross, OT (Mississippi State)
Even though taking Jermaine Johnson II would be a Houston-esque move here, I have a hard time seeing them pass on a top 3 tackle who’s fallen this far, especially after publicizing their commitment to supporting QB Davis Mills III.
#14 - Baltimore Ravens : Trevor Penning, OT (Northern Iowa)
After losing some of the strength on their O-Line with the Orlando Brown trade last year, Baltimore would have to be crazy not to take Penning here if he’s still available.
#15 - Philadelphia Eagles : Chris Olave, WR (Ohio State)
For the third straight draft in a row, Philly takes a receiver in the first round. Olave figures to be a compliment to DeVonta Smith, and a replacement for Jalen Raegor.
#16 - New Orleans Saints : Tyler Smith, OT (Tulsa)
Maybe I’m insane for saying New Orleans won’t take a receiver with this pick, but with Terron Armstead out of the picture, I can’t imagine the Saints are willing to leave a hole that big on their otherwise great offensive line.
#17 - Los Angeles Chargers : Jermaine Johnson III, EDGE (Florida State)
Sure, the Bolts have more pressing needs than Edge, but in a loaded AFC West and with a lot of the top tier offensive talent having been selected already, LA decides to stop Johnson’s fall and pair him up with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack to form a nasty QB chaser combo.
#18 - Philadelphia Eagles : Andrew Booth, CB (Clemson)
The Eagles need someone to alleviate pressure from Darius Slay, so taking Booth here would be ideal for both parties.
#19 - New Orleans Saints : Jameson Williams, WR (Alabama)
With Williams still on the board, the Saints don’t need to think twice about adding this playmaker to their receiver core.
#20 - Pittsburgh Steelers : Malik Willis, QB (Liberty)
Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff are enamored by Willis, so it only makes sense to take him here if he’s still available. Besides, it might not hurt to give former NVP Mitch Trubisky some pre-season competition.
#21 - New England Patriots : Kenyon Green, G (Texas A&M)
After trading Shaq Mason for a half eaten hot dog, New England needs to fill a glaring hole to keep Mac Jones upright for his sophomore season.
#22 - Green Bay Packers : Treylon Burks, WR (Arkansas)
Green Bay currently has Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins as their starting receiver trio. This pick aims to give a little more spice to that group.
#23 - Arizona Cardinals : Jordan Davis, DT (Georgia)
After losing Chandler Jones to the Raiders in free agency and with J.J. Watt becoming injury prone these last few seasons, Arizona needs someone to create pressure for opposing QBs while also being able to stop the run.
#24 - Dallas Cowboys : George Karlaftis, EDGE (Purdue)
With Randy Gregory gone, why not take an edge rusher with a potentially huge upside to pair with reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Micah Parsons?
#25 - Buffalo Bills : Kyler Gordon, CB (Washington)
While a WR makes sense here too, Buffalo picked up Jamison Crowder in free agency and are reportedly high on third year pro Gabriel Davis. Giving superstar corner Tre White somebody to pair up with on the opposite side of the field is never a bad idea.
#26 - Tennessee Titans : Zion Johnson, G (Boston College)
With Ben Jones back as Center, Tennessee looks to add someone next to him to try and give Tannehill more protection moving forward.
#27 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Kaiir Elam, CB (Florida)
With Tennessee nabbing their ideal guard a pick before, Tampa decides to look on the other side of the ball, and finally gives their defense a much needed CB1.
#28 - Green Bay Packers : Devin Lloyd, LB (Utah)
Green Bay gets a steal out of this pick, nabbing arguably the best pure linebacker in this class.
#29 - Kansas City Chiefs : Jahan Dotson, WR (Penn State)
After trading Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target in Tyreek Hill, Kansas City nabs a new WR1 with this pick.
#30 - Kansas City Chiefs : Nakobe Dean, LB (Georgia)
Although they consider trading this pick, Kansas City ultimately looks to improve their linebacking core with Dean. Given that Frank Clark eats a huge chunk of their cap, rookies are the best (and most affordable) way to pick up Clark’s slack.
#31 - Cincinnati Bengals : Daxton Hill, S (Michigan)
The Safety position is far from Cincinnati's biggest need, and while selecting a corner would make much more sense, Cincinnati just watched all of the first round, big name corners fall off the board. Taking UTSA’s Tariq Woolen or Auburn’s Roger McCreary could realistically happen; however, I see the Bengals looking ahead and selecting the second best Safety in this draft, potentially replacing Jessie Bates III if a long term extension cannot be reached, or Vonn Bell, who hasn’t lived up to his best potential.
#32 - Detroit Lions : Kenny Pickett, QB (Pittsburgh)
Even though Detroit’s staff have been in support of sticking with former Rams QB Jared Goff, they also can’t believe Carolina took Matt Corral instead of Pickett. Dan Campbell and company decide to change course on draft night and bring in the most pro-ready QB of this class.