We have pretty much made it through the main portion of free agency. Jadeveon Clowney appears to be the only player left that can re-shape a team’s draft needs at this point. So, what does that leave us?
Let’s get down to it, my penultimate Mock Draft:
Burrow was the pick for Cincinnati the minute after their Week 16 loss to Miami. No matter how many people try to perpetuate the idea that the Bengals may trade the pick, it is all horse manure. Joe Burrow will be the starting QB for Cincy whenever the NFL plays again.
EDGE-Chase Young-Ohio State
Some will argue Chase Young is the best player in the draft. Young is an ultra-talented pass rusher who can get at the QB in a variety of ways. Washington got their QB last year. They can now pair Young with another 2019 1st-rounder Montez Sweat to wreak havoc on opposing backfields.
CB-Jeffrey Okudah-Ohio State
After the trade of Darius Slay to Philly, the Lions now have a glaring hole at corner. Okudah is a lockdown cover man that can immediately help a coaching staff that is in win-now mode.
4-New York Giants
I have been locked onto an offensive tackle for the Giants for over a month. However, Dave Gettleman has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. He also never trades down. So, if the Giants stay put, you could do a lot worse than drafting a defensive chess piece that just so happens to be the best athlete in this draft class.
The closer the draft gets here, the more and more I believe Herbert is the QB apple of Miami’s eye. I think a lot of it has to do with medicals more so than on-field action. With that said, Herbert is a tremendous talent. He is an excellent athlete with a big arm.
6-Los Angeles Chargers
The LAC has said they are satisfied with Tyrod Taylor being the starter in 2020. That may work out perfectly if Tua needs some more time to truly recover. Taylor can bridge the year and Tagovailoa can take over in 2021.
It seems the Panthers are always drafting interior defensive linemen. Derrick Brown is a tremendous talent who is capable of disrupting all facets of an offense.
After acquiring Deandre Hopkins in a trade from Houston, the Cardinals now turn their focus to protecting Kyler Murray. Wirfs is a technician and a hell of an athlete. He has been a right tackle at Iowa but should be able to play either side.
DL-Javon Kinlaw-South Carolina
Jacksonville has a ton of holes on its roster, so they could go anywhere. Kinlaw provides pass-rush upside, tremendous competitiveness, and ridiculous length.
The Browns need an offensive tackle more than anything else. Of the three top tackles remaining Andrew Thomas seems to be more of a fit for Cleveland the other two.
11-New York Jets
The Jets have to start protecting Sam Darnold. Becton is a crazy athlete for his size. His length is phenomenal. This should be a slam dunk pick for New York.
12-Las Vegas Raiders
WR-Henry Ruggs, III-Alabama
The spirit of Al Davis perseveres into the Raiders’ new digs in Vegas. Ruggs ran sub 4.3 at the combine. He is a better route runner than given credit for. The only knock on Ruggs was his lack of production at Alabama. He was the third most productive receiver for the Crimson Tide.
13-San Francisco 49ers (F. IND)
The emergence of Deebo Samuel a year ago doesn’t preclude the need of a true #1 receiver for Jimmy G. Jeudy is masterful in the open field and one of the best route runners in this class. He has also been the most productive receiver for Alabama in the Tua era.
14-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wills is considered the top offensive tackle in this class by most but he isn’t a fit for every team. Wills has only ever played the right tackle and some may not want to wait on his adjustment period. Regardless, the Bucs need to protect their new 43-year old QB, Tom Brady.
Denver will be hoping that Ruggs or Jeudy is available but CeeDee Lamb gives them something they don’t have at the position, creativity in open space. Lamb is a magician in the open field.
The Vic Beasley experiment is over in Atlanta so let’s try again with a freaky athlete on the edge. Chaisson has incredible bend and speed.
The Cowboys attempt to replace Byron Jones with another top corner. Henderson is superb in coverage and is a tremendous athlete. He is a suspect tackler, however.
18-Miami Dolphins (F. PIT)
Miami continues to rebuild its defense. Delpit is a high character player. He is coming off of a down year due to a minor injury. However, Delpit was one of the best players in the SEC over the last three years.
19-Las Vegas Raiders (F. CHI)
Last year, new GM Mike Mayock stressed how character played a huge part in the players they selected. Epenesa would be another of those guys while adding some pass rush punch.
20-Jacksonville Jaguars (F. LAR)
The Jaguars have been rapidly dismantling their roster all offseason. While I wouldn’t be shocked to see a QB as the pick here, I believe they will add a tremendous all-around safety like McKinney to their defense.
The Eagles filled the biggest need on the roster with the trade for Darius Slay. Now, they turn to a wide receiver. Alshon Jeffery may be a cap cut. DeSean Jackson is entering his 12th season. They have to get better at WR. Denzel Mims showed at the Senior Bowl he can run the full route tree and at the Combine, he showed himself to be a superior athlete.
22-Minnesota Vikings (F. BUF)
The Vikings lost two corners to free agency and unless they plan on starting Holton Hill, they will need to address the position. I went with Terrell over Trevon Diggs for the sole purpose of I figured they didn’t want another Diggs on the roster.
23-Indianapolis Colts (F. NE)
QB-Jordan Love-Utah State
The Colts send the Patriots picks 34 and 75 to get back into the first round. New England didn’t see the value at 23 while Indy needed to get ahead of the Saints to draft their QB of the future. Phillip Rivers is on a 1-year deal and will serve as a bridge to Jordan Love.
24-New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ biggest need was probably a #2 receiver to pair with Michael Thomas, they did that with the signing of Emmanuel Sanders. Now they turn to upgrade the LB room. Murray is a highly productive, sideline-to-sideline machine.
EDGE-Yetur Gross Matos-Penn State
Minnesota gets another bite at the apple and this time they go with an edge rusher to pair with Danielle Hunter. I am not nearly as high on Gross-Matos as most are. However, he will probably end up in round one or damn close to it.
26-Miami Dolphins (F. HOU)
If one of the top four OTs fall, don’t be surprised if Miami uses some of their 14 draft picks to move up. If they stay put, Josh Jones would be a nice consolation prize.
OT-Austin Jackson-Southern Cal
Pete Carroll makes a call to Tinseltown and gets an offensive tackle with a lot of upside.
The Ravens like them versatile and Baun can give you that. He was mostly an edge rusher in Madison but he projects to an off-ball linebacker spot in the NFL.
Corner probably isn’t the most pressing need in Nashville, however, I don’t think they can pass on a talented player like Fulton.
30-Green Bay Packers
Green Bay needs more explosive playmakers on offense. Reagor is certainly that.
31-San Francisco 49ers
Igbinoghene is a track athlete that is still developing, the 49ers can afford to take a chance on that talent developing.
32-Kansas City Chiefs
RB-J.K. Dobbins-Ohio State
The defending Super Bowl champs have a loaded roster. RB may be the only position they can “improve”. Dobbins being well-rounded is why I gave him the nod over Taylor and Swift.