With the Draft only 16 days away (at the time of starting this article) This is the final shot I get at this mock draft malarky. I think following the moves made by the Dolphins, Eagles and 49ers a final Mock Draft allows me to put down my final thoughts on who goes where come the 29th April.
As always I am sure there will be many things that you all disagree with and I welcome the feedback. If it is negative though, let’s try to be more constructive than “it’s shit”, I dare you!
My last one is here.
Let’s see what’s changed.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB – Clemson)
I’d love to put the cat amongst the pigeons straight away but there is no way that Urban Meyer and co are not taking Lawrence to be the franchise Quarterback for the next 10-15 years.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB – BYU)
I still maintain that Justin Fields is the better Quarterback and that picking Wilson here is a mistake. That doesn’t matter though, the Jets are in love with him I think. That ridiculous pass at his pro day all but sealed the deal. A deal swayed by so much PR it is ridiculous.
3. San Francisco 49ers (from the Texans via the Dolphins) – Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
Everyone is saying it is (Big) Mac Jones at this pick. I just don’t see it. There is no way you trade up to 3 for someone who could well have been there at 12. Yes the Patriots are a risk but I don’t see them coming up for Jones. Fields has just had his second pro day, at which he ran some specific 49er routes to show off to Kyle Shanahan. I expect it to pay off as Fields steps into the best position to succeed immediately. He dodges the Jets, a dream for him!
During the 1st round it comes through that despite his legal troubles DeShaun Watson has been traded to the Denver Broncos for their 2021 1st and 2nd and their 2022 1st. The price reflects the legal troubles (which I won’t comment on here, sufficed to say, as a civil claim it is for damages, Watson would not be going to prison if found guilty) and the desire for him to get out of Texas. He may well have a season worth of suspension to sit through but long term he improves Denver. The Texans also need the trade to go through and are willing to take slightly less because…
4. Houston Texans (from the Falcons) – Trey Lance (QB – North Dakota State)
With no franchise Quarterback and suddenly multiple 1st round picks instead, Houston immediately trade both received 1st rounders to come up from 9th to 4th to select the first piece of the next iteration of the Texans. Tyrod Taylor can start the season and Trey Lance can be eased in carefully and when the time is right. That may not even be this season. The ceiling is high but he will need time to develop. Can David Culley hold his patience and not throw him in too early? Who knows.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell (OT – Oregon)
As much as I would like to say th eBengals will keep being awful, I don’t think the front office are totally inept. They know Burrows needs protection. They drafted Tee Higgins last year and have Tyler Boyd, I am not sure what Chase brings them. Yes Pitts is an option here but protection for Burrow and his future is more important here. Tackles this good don’t come around often.
6. Miami Dolphins (from the Eagles) – Kyle Pitts (TE – Florida)
I sat and considered Ja’Marr Chase here for a long time. Then I realised it’s clear where the Dolphins go. Brian Flores is a Patriots guy and was witness to the devastation Gronkowski and Hernandez wreaked. The opportunity of having Pitts and Gesicki do this is too much to pass up on. Chase is special but Pitts may just be the best player in this Draft. you don’t let that go if you can help it.
The Detroit Lions, accepting their rebuild status trade the 7th pick for the Philadelphia Eagles 12th and 84th picks. The two teams also switch 2nd round picks, the Lions moving up to 37th and the Eagles down to 41st.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (from the Lions) – Ja’Marr Chase (WR – LSU)
The Eagles have nothing on the outside really. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey are gone and Reagor hardly set the world alight. Behind him Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward are not players anyone fears. Ja’Marr Chase comes into the WR1 spot from day 1 and offers Jalen Hurts a legitimate threat on the outside. Chase could be the spark this team needs on Offense. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are ok at Running Back but the Eagles are going to need to score a lot this season as their below average Defence struggles to get off the field. Yes they could have waited for DeVonta Smith but Chase is a class above the other receivers coming out this year.
8. Carolina Panthers – Jaylen Waddle (WR – Alabama)
If you listen to our Podcast you will know that I think this is the ideal landing spot for Jaylen Waddle to have a sneaky good run at Offensive ROTY. Having lost Curtis Samuel Waddle steps straight into the slot role and also returns kicks. His speed is legit, he will make defenders miss all year and if used correctly can easily eclipse 10 touchdowns. Tackle is another consideration for the Panthers but that can be addressed in the 2nd round. Waddle cant get past them here!
9. Atlanta Falcons (from the Broncos via the Texans) – Patrick Surtain II (CB – Alabama)
Finally Atlanta get to pick someone. It was nervy there for a while whilst they attempted to get out of 4th. Whilst they would have been ok with Pitts, the extra pick next year and small move down sets them up in a better position. They did not want a QB this year, Matt Ryan is still well above average and to take anyone else at that position would have been a reach. What they do finally do is select a player to help the train wreck of a Defence that threw away leads like it was going out of fashion last year. Selecting Patrick Surtain II, the best Corner in the Draft, allow them to start to take away the deep balls from oppositions who routinely beat the Falcons that way last year.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Jaycee Horn (CB – South Carolina)
Whilst Patrick Surtain II would have been nice, and is probably the best Cornerback in the class, Horn is not a bad second prize. He is a big physical cornerback who is extremely disruptive and is tall enough to match up against guys on the outside. Some tackling issues to sort through and he needs to work on his off-man coverage in general but the ceiling is high for Horn. He should instantly improve the Cowboys secondary.
11. New York Giants – Rashawn Slater (OT – Northwestern)
With Kenny Golladay coming in, receiver is no longer the top need for the Giant. More important to them is keeping Daniel Jones on his feet and knocking opposing Quarterbacks off theirs. Slater here is good value and although he played Left Tackle in College it is more than likely that he ends up coming inside to Guard, perhaps even Centre. .If everything goes as it should then he has the skill to become an All-Pro in the not to distant future.
12. Detroit Lions (from 49ers via Dolphins and Eagles) – DeVonta Smith (WR – Alabama)
Whilst they could trade back again, the Lions have the chance to address the receiver position with a legitimate WR1 option still available. The room is bare in Detroit and Smith is the de-facto WR1 immediately. Whilst Defence, and specifically Parsons, would have been just as justified a choice, Detroit has no Offense at this point in time. Smith at least gives Goff a chance, someone to throw to and who the team can be built around in the next few years. Not bad for trading back and acquiring an extra pick as well.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw (OT – Virginia Tech)
With the top 3 receivers gone, the Chargers look to the O-line. Darrisaw has all the skills to become a franchise Left Tackle sooner rather than later. Over three years with Virginia Tech all he has done is improve. Unlike the two Tackles already taken who may move inside, Darrisaw will live on the outside for his career. He has the size and length you look for in a Tackle and his blocking ability is outstanding. An NFL weight room is only going to make him stronger and that is a scary thought for the rest of the league. This guy has multiple Pro Bowls in his future and will quickly become Herbert’s best friend.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker (IOL – USC)
The Vikings O-line was tragic last year. Not much more needs to be said about it. Kirk Cousins could use all the help he can get there as he is not a bad Quarterback at all. Vera-Tucker has slowly risen up Draft boards and what he offers is exactly whet the Vikings need. He has Left Tackle experience from college but I see him lining up at Left Guard come the start of the 2021 season. He has a solid anchor and athleticism and projects to be a starter for years to come in the league. For the Vikings, anything that allows Kirk more time to pick his pass, thus reducing interceptions must be a good thing!
15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)
It’s a boring pick as everyone thinks this is going to happen. I don’t see why it wouldn’t. Jones had two good Pro Days and is the type of player Belichick loves. He studies, hard, and his accuracy is impeccable. Yes people will say that is a result of playing behind the line he did in college but he still needs to make the throws. He is a pocket passer with good feel for pressure. His feet are quick and allow him to move about the pocket smoothly, whilst he looks for quick rhythm throws. He skill set matches the Patriots game plan perfectly. He will dink and dunk and take the odd long shot if needed. Jones is a leader and a very smart player, much like a former Quarterback who played in New England. Is he the long term answer? Who knows, he is worth the pick to find out though.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley (CB – Virginia Tech)
With James Connor coming to town my previous expectation that a Running Back goes here ended. Instead the Cardinals look to bolster a position group that is bare. Yes Farley has had surgery but it was not major surgery. His ceiling makes this pick almost a no-brainer, he is the best corner in the class. His athleticism, length and physicality mean that he will match up well against opposing WR1s. As he settles in he has the skills to become the Cardinals next shutdown corner, assuming the mantle vacated by Patrick Peterson.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Micah Parsons (LB – Penn State)
The Raiders could get better at many places across both sides of the ball. Parsons falling this far means that their slip will be in within seconds. Yes he may have a few character concerns but let’s be honest, this is the Raiders. They embrace players like that and in doing so they get the next captain of their Defence. Parsons can blitz with the best of them and makes himself known going up against Offensive Linemen. On a team that needs help to generate pressure he is a breath of fresh air. He possesses All-Pro potential as long as it can be coaxed out of him.
18. Miami Dolphins – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB – Notre Dame)
Every now and then it pays to go against what everyone thinks you will do. Najee Harris is the expected pick here however the Dolphins also have pick 36. By addressing a need at pass rush/Linebacker here they are in prime position to lump for either Etienne or Williams later on. Owusu-Koramoah is a 3 down defender who can also drop back to help in pass coverage if needed. Owusu-Koramoah will help to generate pressure on Quarterbacks on blitz packages, he is an all around Defender who was often the best player on the field last year. It’s a calculated risk for the Dolphins who now need to cross their fingers that at least one of the Running Backs survives the next 18 picks.
19. Washington Football Team – Rashod Bateman (WR – Minnesota)
Outside of Terry McLaurin and newly acquired Curtis Samuel the Washington pass attack doesn’t strike fear into the opponents. Rashod Bateman on the field means that teams will have try and work out who they’re going to double. He is not the tallest or heaviest receiver but he is very good making contested catches on the outside. Although he did much of his work on in breaking slot routes in college he has all the skills to succeed outside as well. His route running is smooth and he has a variety of moves at the top of routes to achieve separation. This Washington Offense is going to be a lot of fun to watch.
20. Chicago Bears – Liam Eichenberg (OT – Notre Dame)
Chicago were a poor team who somehow made the playoffs last year. Tackle is a position that needs an upgrade and Liam Eichenberg will step onto the field on Day one of next season as the starting Left Tackle for the Bears. He has good footwork and fundamentals which help him to compensate for the fact he isn’t the quickest out of his stance. He is effective and attacking the line vertically and gets to his gap and through well. Chicago use a lot of gap run plays and Eichenberg excels in this kind of scheme. David Montgomery should have an easier time running behind him than those he did last year.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Teven Jenkins (OT – Oklahoma State)
The Colts are primed to attempt to win now. Anthony Costanzo vacating the Left Tackle position is their biggest issue. Teven Jenkins, although raw, possess the skills to step up and be an above average Tackle in the NFL. He has experience across the line and is mean at the point of impact. His stock has risen recently for good reason. He is a 6’6″ 320 pound prospect who is quick into contact and hits with a lot of force and momentum. He controls defenders in front of him and will provide Carson Wentz ample protection to make his reads.
22. Tennessee Titans – Azeez Ojulari (Edge – Georgia)
Edge was an issue for the Titans last year. Sacks were few and far between. Ojulari, although relatively new to football, has come on very quickly. He lacks the ideal length to fit a 3-4 Defence but can play out of a 2 or 3 point stance in a 4-3. Ojulari has very quick reactions and hits well. He should immediately improve the Titans Edge room.
23. New York Jets (via Seahawks) – Greg Newsome II (CB – Northwestern)
The secondary was not a fun place to play last year for Jets defenders. Whilst Safety has a leader in Marcus Maye the corners could use some help. Bryce Hall shows promise but someone like Newsome could come in and provide help. The Jets will likely be the fourth place team in their division but against Players like Josh Allen, who rely on the deep ball, taking this away may help the Jets to stay competitive for longer. Newsome attacks the football and has the strength to challenge receivers on the outside, more often than not holding is own. He should remain a starter for the forseable in New York,
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris (RB – Alabama)
I was going to go cornerback here but with Harris sliding the Steelers don’t miss the chance to snag him. Harris is a 3 down back who offers the same kind pf physicality as Derrick Henry. With James Connor leaving, the Steelers have no real run game to speak of. Kalen Ballage and Anthony McFarland are not the answer. As much as it pains me to say it as a Ravens fan, Harris should thrive in Steel City. Opposition teams will have to respect the run game which should open up the bevy of receivers at Big Ben’s disposal. An even more dangerous passing attack to go with an improved running attack, great…
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams) – Trevon Moehrig (S – TCU)
With so many picks the Jags can go BPA and Moehrig is in a class of his own at his position this year. The safety situation in Jacksonville is appalling and this is the kind of blue chip player that will help the Jags to improve quickly. Yes they need a tackle but there are plenty still available and they pick again in 8 picks time. Moehrig has 7 career interceptions to go along with above average ball disruption skills. Any help is good help for the Jags and they get a good one here.
26. Cleveland Browns – Christian Barmore (IDL – Alabama)
With the arrival of Jadaveon Clowney Edge is not such a pressing need. What does need to be addressed is the fact that the ACF North is a run heavy division. With Clowney and Garrett on the edge teams will attack the middle of the line and Barmore has outstanding power and will occupy spaces alone whilst getting through and disrupting plays in the backfield when he can. The Browns continue to add to a front 4 that looks scary on paper, they need to hope it’s as effective in real life.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Jalen Phillips (Edge – Miami)
I was all set for the Ravens to trade back here and still wouldn’t be surprised if they do on April 29th. That said they also have a dire need for help on the Edge. Phillips is many people’s top Edge rusher in this class and a tremendous value at 27. Yes he has some injury concern but when healthy he is a game changer. He can play equally as well against the run and the pass. He is a versatile defender who plays in 2 and 3 point stances and he would offer the Ravens a swiss army tool on the edge to send after the Quarterback when needed but who can set the edge when required as well.
28. New Orleans Saints – Kwity Paye (Edge – Michigan)
Kwity Paye is an athletic freak who has only fallen so far as a result of teams addressing other needs. He has powerful hands and a good core strength that allow him to win more often than not. He has some areas that need improving and a team like the Saints are ideal to bring these out of him. They have the potential here to groom Cam Jordan’s heir if they play this right whilst allowing Paye to initially see the field as a situational player whilst he learns the league. In return the Saints should be getting their next franchise starting Defensive End.
29. Green Bay Packers – Terrace Marshall Jr (WR – LSU)
Finally…finally… the Packers go Receive in the 1st round. Aaron Rodgers gets a player who has just started to truly come out of the shadow of those around him. Playing behind Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase meant that Marshall went relatively unnoticed until this year when he went off for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 7 college games. He offers thePackers a legitimate WR2 to play opposite Davante Adams and could be part of the solution in getting over the hump to the Superbowl.
30. Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne (RB – Clemson)
A run game, something the bills didn’t really have last year. Zach Moss and Devin Singletary will immediately see their game time reduce as Etienne takes over from day 1. He is the ACC’s all time leading rusher who comes to the league with fantastic hands to match his physicality. Etienne has burst, control and balance in spades that make him a home run threat every time he touches the ball. He will demand Defences pay the ground game attention which they didn’t have to last year. This will only open things up for Josh Allen. The Bills are legitimate Superbowl contenders this year.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Dillon Radunz (OT – North Dakota State)
Protection for the King in Kansas. After the Superbowl showed that Mahomes is human when he has no help the Chiefs address this immediately. Radunz played Left Tackle in college where he was fantastic in the run game, and was more than effective in pass protection. The other benefit he brings is that he has the ability to swing to the other side of the line if needed. If he had been on the Chiefs team this year the Superbowl may have looked very different.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joe Tryon (Edge – Washington)
The Bucs have the luxury of picking BPA as they have brought back all of their starters form last year. As such they line up the long-term replacement for Jason Pierre-Paul in Tryon. He brings an explosiveness off the edge and likely would have gone higher had he played last year. He is a perfect fit for the scheme the Bucs play and aside from his rushing ability he also sets the edge extremely well against the run. This really is a case of the rich getting richer.
Well there we go, the last mock is in the books. Let me know what you think at the usual channels, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We will review these after the Draft and see if we were close on anything!
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