We are now officially into mock draft season!
While we have officially crossed that threshold into draft season, opinions are still being formed on these prospects, and the consensus is all over the place. We’re still learning the needs of teams, and a lot still has to be determined by free agency and which players return or exit. However, it’s still enjoyable to begin learning about these prospects and team fits through this format, and there’s certainly not going to be a shortage of mock drafts as we move throughout the next few months.
With that in mind, let’s continue the evaluation process and dive into my Mock Draft 2.0!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal (OT – Alabama)
The Jaguars could end up going EDGE here, but protecting Trevor Lawrence has to be priority numero uno.
2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE – Michigan)
This fills a major need for the Lions and it keeps Hutchinson close to home. This pick makes too much sense.
3. Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE – Oregon)
There’s a lot of buzz circulating currently that Thibodeaux might not be a lock to be a top-5 pick. I don’t buy that at all. The tape is too good for him to fall and the Texans need cornerstone players.
4. New York Jets – Ikem Ekwonu (OT – NC State)
5. New York Giants – Charles Cross (OT – Mississippi State)
Cross has some things he needs to clean up from a technique perspective, but everything else is there to indicate that this is going to be a very good player in the NFL for a long time.
6. Carolina Panthers – Tyler Linderbaum (iOL – Iowa)
When it’s all said and done, Linderbaum might receive the highest overall tape grade from me from any player in this entire class. Carolina can’t reach for a QB or OT here, so if they can’t trade down, taking one of the best interior offensive line prospects since Quenton Nelson isn’t a bad idea.
7. New York Giants – George Karlaftis (EDGE – Purdue)
The Giants have a speed rusher with Azeez Ojulari already, so adding in some raw power on the opposite side with Karlaftis would be a perfect pairing.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Hamilton (Safety – Notre Dame)
Could Hamilton go much higher than this in the actual NFL Draft? Yes. However, the position he plays will knock him down the board slightly and the other teams up above him don’t necessarily have a glaring Safety need. The Falcons do though and he’d be an instant leader for this unit.
9. Denver Broncos – Derek Stingley Jr. (CB – LSU)
Do the Broncos actually make this selection here at No. 9 overall? My bet is that this pick will be in the hands of another franchise come draft night and Denver will have a veteran QB in town by then. Either way, Stingley would continue to help revamp that secondary if they do stay at this pick and the Broncos need cover players with the division that they play in.
10. New York Jets – Treylon Burks (WR – Arkansas)
The Jets need to continue to build around Zach Wilson in order for him to develop. They got the OT with their first pick and now they come back and get a top-tier playmaker in Burks to compliment Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.
11. Washington Commanders – Kenny Pickett (QB – Pittsburgh)
This is the point where we could start to see some QBs fly off the board. Pickett would come into Washington and immediately provide them with stability at the position.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Jordan Davis (iDL – Georgia)
The Vikings could go with the offensive side of the ball with Kevin O’Connell coming to town as the new HC, but they have too glaring of a need at iDL to pass up on the massive prospect out of Georgia.
13. Cleveland Browns – Drake London (WR – USC)
It didn’t work with Odell Beckham Jr. here in Cleveland, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need another playmaker on offense. London would instantly give Mayfield a big target to throw to and help right the ship for the Browns.
14. Baltimore Ravens – David Ojabo (EDGE – Michigan)
The Ravens invested in their EDGE room in the first round last year with the speedy Odafe Oweh and they come right back around and grab more speed with Ojabo this time too.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Jermaine Johnson (EDGE – Florida State)
The biggest riser after The Senior Bowl finds his new home here in Philadelphia.
16. Philadelphia Eagles – Ahmad Gardner (CB – Cincinnati)
Being able to cross off two major needs with these two picks is incredible for Philadelphia. Gardner’s a smooth CB prospect that has already proven that he can lockdown some of the best in CFB.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Andrew Booth Jr. (CB – Clemson)
The Chargers play in a division that is loaded with offensive playmakers. This means that they need to keep the cupboard stocked with solid secondary players and Booth has the potential to grow into the CB1 for this franchise very quickly.
18. New Orleans Saints – Malik Willis (QB – Liberty)
New Orleans is heading towards a multi-year rebuild anyway, so why not take the shot on a QB that needs a couple of years to develop? Let him play and acclimate to the NFL level while you’re not going to be competing anyway and then come out of it ready to roll in two or three years with a potential top-5 QB.
19. Philadelphia Eagles – Kenyon Green (iOL – Texas A&M)
The Eagles could play with fire a bit and draft a QB prospect in case Jalen Hurts can’t continue to develop, but they stay responsible here and invest in the offensive line in front of him with a solid iOL player in Green.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Zion Johnson (iOL – Boston College)
The Steelers are apparently infatuated with Malik Willis out of Liberty, but they’re most likely going to have to move up to get him. Instead, they stay put here and invest in their horrible offensive line with another riser coming out of The Senior Bowl.
21. New England Patriots – Devin Lloyd (LB – Utah)
From a talent perspective, Lloyd shouldn’t be here on the board at pick No. 21. However, team needs pushed him down and the Patriots will gladly scoop him up. Go check out the highlight reel for Lloyd if you haven’t already. You’ll fall in love just like I did.
22. Las Vegas Raiders – Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama)
This pick almost makes too much sense, right? Even with the injury, Williams is absolutely worth taking in the first round and he fills a massive hole on this roster after Henry Ruggs‘ departure.
23. Arizona Cardinals – Trent McDuffie (CB – Washington)
McDuffie’s draft stock has been picking up steam lately and he would fill a huge hole on this defense in Arizona.
24. Dallas Cowboys – Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)
Can we always count on Jerry Jones to make the most responsible decision? With Michael Gallup – and potentially Dalton Schultz too – exiting in free agency, Jones is going to want to keep this WR cupboard stocked. Wilson, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb just isn’t fair.
25. Buffalo Bills – Devonte Wyatt (iDL – Georgia)
The Bills love to have a loaded iDL room and rotate through players, so going back to the well here in the first round for a talented iDL prospect makes too much sense.
26. Tennessee Titans – Nakobe Dean (LB – Georgia)
There are size concerns with Dean, but that doesn’t matter all that much when you compare it with his tape. He’s freaking everywhere on defense and he’d instantly upgrade this unit in Tennessee.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Chris Olave (WR – Ohio State)
Tom Brady is now retired, which means that we could see Kyle Trask or Blaine Gabbert as the starting QB for the Bucs next season. If that’s the case, investing in the WR room has to be the top priority. Chris Godwin might move on in free agency, so adding in the smooth WR prospect out of Ohio State that can play everywhere is a dream replacement.
28. Green Bay Packers – Jahan Dotson (WR – Penn State)
I have some overall athleticism concerns with Dotson that could impact where exactly he goes in the NFL Draft, but there’s no denying his pure receiving ability. The Packers are most likely going to try to make it work with Jordan Love next season, which means that they need to invest in WRs.
29. Miami Dolphins – Trevor Penning (OT – Northern Iowa)
Penning showed up to The Senior Bowl ticked off and ready to beat people up. The Dolphins have tried piecing together the offensive line so far up to this point and it hasn’t worked. They need to continue to pour resources into it until it does finally click.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Travon Walker (EDGE – Georgia)
Walker needs a lot of refinement and coaching in pass rushing technique before he can be an effective presence in that aspect of the game. However, he immediately brings you high-level production in the run game. The Chiefs need EDGE help and they can afford to wait it out with Walker for a little bit while he develops his pass rushing arsenal, but he’ll immediately step in and help out in a big way in run defense.
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Darian Kinnard (OT – Kentucky)
Another riser from The Senior Bowl, Kinnard would instantly step in and help elevate the pass protection around Joe Burrow. That has to be the main priority for this front office this off-season.
32. Detroit Lions – Matt Corral (QB – Ole Miss)
Corral’s draft stock is all over the place right now, but I believe this is probably where someone will take the shot on him. The Lions need a player to develop at the position behind Jared Goff and Corral has plenty of upside.