Christian's NFL Mock Draft 3.0
The last iteration of my mocks came just a couple of weeks ago, and while not a ton has changed, I think it's time to do a mock draft with trades. This is meant to be predictive, rather than what I'd do (obviously, seeing as we know who I'd take with the first overall pick). Find your favorite team and tell me why you hate it for them!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Trevor Lawrence just had his Pro Day; one in which he threw 41 on-target passes on his 52 attempts and capped off the day with an absolutely absurd 70-yard bomb. Lawrence weighed in a little light, but that won't stop the Jaguars from selecting him with the first overall pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers (from NYJ) - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
San Francisco sends picks 1.12, 2.43, 5.139, and 2022 first- and third-round picks to New York for pick 1.02 and 6.162.
We talked to Eric Crocker last week, and he seems to think the 49ers will stick with Jimmy Garoppolo because of the safety he provides. However, with the landscape of the NFC West quarterbacks changing already this offseason, I think the 49ers need a splash move. While we know that Justin Fields would be my pick, the league seems to be honed in on Zach Wilson as the quarterback immediately following Lawrence.
3. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
While Miami is a fun destination for Deshaun Watson, I don't think it's a very likely one. While the players may not believe in Tua, the front office and coaching staff seem to, and I think they go all out to give him the most ideal scenario. Because of this, I'm sticking to the Penei Sewell pick. I know the Dolphins just took Austin Jackson last year, but that was a bad pick when it happened, and Sewell is an immediate upgrade. This allows Robert Hunt to kick inside and be more effective, and then gives the Dolphins a strength.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
This isn't a sexy pick. It's not even really a good pick, in my opinion. But if the Falcons can't find a trade partner, I think they're going to have to reach for an edge rusher. They can't take a quarterback unless they find a destination for Matt Ryan, and ultimately, there's no need. Kwity Paye is a bendy, undersized guy with a crazy motor, and the Falcons desperately need help getting to opposing quarterbacks.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
"Incoming Joe Burrow trade demand." No. The Bengals had the 27th-ranked pass defense according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics, and they're only going to get worse. William Jackson III and/or Mackensie Alexander will likely leave in free agency, and Trae Waynes' return doesn't really give me a ton of confidence. Farley is my CB2, but his testing numbers are going to give teams wide eyes. He can immediately be a lockdown corner with some work on his technique, and the Bengals can address OL later.
6. Philadelphia Eagles - Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
This is a pick that I rarely see, and I'm not entirely sure why. I know we love to hate on Howie Roseman (and with good reason), but he has to understand that the trench play caused a ton of issues in 2020. Slater offers 5-position versatility, and while the Eagles have a few workable pieces at the tackle positions (and their offensive line wasn't awful), he's a guy that can immediately come in and make this team better. The receiver class is deep and they can snag an impact player later. Don't worry Eagles fans.
7. Detroit Lions - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
"There's no way Jaylen Waddle will be taken before Ja'Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith." There was no way Henry Ruggs would be taken before Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, either, but here we are. Waddle's speed is something that the Lions haven't had in their offense for a long time. They definitely need a dominant WR1 now that Kenny Golladay is gone, but I think Waddle may be too enticing for this front office to pass up.
8. Carolina Panthers - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Joe Brady, Matt Rhule, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey. That's the room of folks that Justin Fields would be stepping into. Justin Fields offers everything Teddy Bridgewater does and more, and he would immediately put the Panthers in playoff discussions. If he's here at 8, this is a sprint to the podium type of pick.
9. Denver Broncos - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The report surfaced that the Broncos aren't overly impressed with Drew Lock, and that can't be terribly shocking. Lock was fairly bad in 2020, and while Jerry Jeudy didn't do him many favors, most of the blame should be on him. Knowing this, I think the Broncos are absolutely in the market for one of these quarterbacks. In this case, they don't even have to trade up to get my QB3 and one of the highest-ceiling players in this draft. Trey Lance walks into Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler, thus giving him a fairly good shot at rookie success.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Putting together the 2019 Alabama corner room is probably a good plan, considering that both Trevon Diggs and Patrick Surtain II performed at a top-50 rate in terms of Coverage Snaps per Reception, per PFF. Surtain immediately comes in and slides into the CB1 role ahead of Diggs, mostly because of his incredible scheme versatility. Surtain is the smoothest technical corner of the top-3 guys, and I think he'll be appealing to a Cowboys team that couldn't cover anyone in 2020.
11. New York Giants - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
It's unlike Dave Gettleman to take a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft. He did it once as GM of the Panthers (Kelvin Benjamin in 2014). But when a player like Ja'Marr Chase falls in Gettleman's lap, he's going to take him. Daniel Jones gets a dominant WR1, and this offense suddenly looks a lot more explosive. I don't have a ton of belief in Daniel Jones, but this would put the pressure on him to perform in 2021. Which is what the Giants need.
12. New York Jets (from SF) - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
From the San Francisco 49ers.
The Jets are a popular QB destination, simply because Sam Darnold hasn't shown us a ton in his three-year career. But Robert Saleh seems content with him, judging by what he said upon his arrival in New York. This fact mixed with the desperate need to get a dominant day one pass rusher makes Azeez Ojulari, my EDGE1, a great pick for the New York Jets.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
I understand that this pick is becoming a bit chalky, but it makes sense. It even makes sense if the Chargers re-sign Hunter Henry. Kyle Pitts is a weapon, not just a tight end, and the Chargers could stand to put as many lethal targets around Justin Herbert as possible. Pitts can split out wide, operate in the slot, or simply be in-line, and he presents a match-up problem at each. Remember when I said he's the 1.03 in superflex rookie drafts? How do you feel now, haters?
14. Minnesota Vikings - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Another guy with some positional versatility, Alijah Vera-Tucker would be a day one impact player for the Vikings at either tackle or guard (though I think he's a better guard). While I think the Vikings have some defensive issues, they're going to win by outscoring people in 2021. AVT helps that come to fruition.
15. Washington Football Team (from NE) - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Washington sends 1.19 and 3.83 to New England for 1.15.
This is quite the fall for DeVonta Smith, and Ron Rivera puts a stop to it to get his quarterback some additional pass-catching help. I'm not entirely sure who that quarterback is right now, though I'm leaning a Jimmy Garoppolo type in this situation. The Football Team needs some additional help on offense, and Smith definitely provides that opposite Terry McLaurin and alongside Logan Thomas. Jumping ahead of the Cardinals and Dolphins may be necessary, too.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
While I think the Cardinals could definitely look at Jaycee Horn at this spot to replace Patrick Peterson, I also think that they need to be tired of watching Kyler Murray baseball slide down to avoid sacks. Teven Jenkins isn't the greatest pass protector in the world, but he fits the Cardinals running scheme well and has every necessary tool to become a great pass protector.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Raiders suck at stopping the run. This isn't news. They also just don't have a good interior pass rush, and overall, there's no reason this pick should be anything other than a trench pick. I think Mayock will go with Christian Barmore (again over Jaycee Horn) to bring a stabilizer to this defensive line that struggled mightily in 2020.
18. Miami Dolphins - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Reunited, and it feels so good, am I right? Najee definitely doesn't fit the mold of running backs that the Dolphins currently have on the roster, but that's probably a good thing. Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin had bright moments, and the latter should retain some type of role in 2021, but Najee is an immediate upgrade and gets his QB1 back to hand him the ball. I'm not a huge fan of a mid-first running back pick, but I absolutely think it will happen.
19. New England Patriots (from WFT) - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
From the Washington Football Team.
The Patriots have a sneaky high amount of needs, but defensive playmakers are going to be critical if they are going to compete in 2021. The QB situation can be mended elsewhere, and while I think they absolutely need some pass catchers, we also know Bill's shaky history in drafting skill players in the first round. This pick allows them to bolster the wide receiver room even further with the third-round pick they acquired in the trade back. Win, win, win.
20. Chicago Bears - Christian Darrisaw, OL, Virginia Tech
The Bears have had some atrocious run-blocking offensive line play lately, and Christian Darrisaw would certainly fix that in some form or fashion. I think his fit would be at right tackle, replacing Bobby Massie or Germain Ifedi; either that, or he can kick inside. I think he has functional strength that would make that transition seamless. I also think he's a better tackle than all of the ones on the roster. Wherever he fits matters less; I think this is the pick.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Hybrid, Notre Dame
In this universe, the Colts have acquired Carson Wentz with a package consisting of two 2nd-rounders and a roster-filler. Therefore, they have some freedom to draft whoever they want. Owusu-Koramoah is simply a chess piece that allows Darius Leonard to return to his ideal role. Fitting him into a position is how you ruin him; he's not a top-tier linebacker, but he's not strictly a slot player. He is outstanding in coverage, one of the hardest hitters in the class, and would help the Colts' pursuit of a Super Bowl.
22. Tennessee Titans - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Titans have a desperate need for a physical, shutdown cornerback. Jaycee Horn is exactly that. Horn may get a little handsy and draw quite a few flags, but his physicality would take out a ton of the current WR1s in the division. This pick keeps the Titans rocking and rolling as AFC contenders and addresses probably their biggest need outside of edge rusher.
23. New York Jets - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
"Kadarius Toney." No, no. Rondale Moore is Kadarius Toney but significantly more effective. Rondale is going to prove just how healthy he is with his workout metrics and training videos. He'll then follow that up with some outstanding interviews, and everyone will be wondering why Rondale Moore was a projected late-2nd rounder in February when April rolls around. Moore gives the Jets an immediate Crowder replacement (assuming he's a cap casualty) and gives Sam Darnold a reliable, electric playmaker.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
People are all over the place on Dickerson, but I think he's going to sneak into the first round based on a) pedigree and b) some good 2020 tape. The Steelers just lost Pouncey, and while Big Ben's future is still up in the air, I tend to think they'll avoid a back-of-the-first quarterback selection. Dickerson is a day one starter for a playoff team that has their eyes set on a return to the Super Bowl.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Richie Grant, S, UCF
I honestly think this pick comes down to Trevon Moehrig, a tackle, or Richie Grant. In this case, I'm going to assume that Grant's versatility will be a preference of Urban's as he tries to fix the defense so as to not ask too much of his new shiny toy at QB. Grant can play single-high, he can match up in the slot, and he can operate in the box. He's one of the least-scheme dependent guys you'll find, and I think he'll be in Jacksonville when all is said and done.
26. Cleveland Browns - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Ifeatu Melifonwu is one of the more bursty players in this draft. His closedowns when he's breaking on a screen play from off coverage are some of the best in the class. He's one of the most physical tacklers in this corner class, and the Browns desperately need that, as we saw on 'The Scramble' in the AFC Divisional Round game. Melifonwu added to the secondary with Denzel Ward and mixed with the hopeful return of Greedy Williams would go from a glaring weakness to an immediate strength.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from BAL) - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Tampa Bay sends picks 1.32 and 4.122 to Baltimore for 1.27.
The Buccaneers, fresh off a dominant defensive performance in the Super Bowl, look to get in front of the Saints to make this selection. Rousseau is as raw as they come, but he's also got one of the highest upsides in the draft. You can't teach length, and he has a ton of it. Sliding him all over that defensive line would give everyone trouble, and getting in front of the Saints and three other teams that need trench help is crucial.
28. New Orleans Saints - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
There are different circles that claim Mac is QB1 in this draft; or, at the very least, not QB5. There were circles that said that about Josh Rosen, too. I'm not buying it, mostly because I'm not buying Mac Jones as a first-round talent in the first place. Evaluations are all over the place, and while I think there's a chance he goes top-15, he's still here for the Saints at pick 28.
29. Green Bay Packers - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
I'm not sure where the NFL is landing on Zaven Collins. He feels like a Zack Baun-type; a guy that consistently gets mocked in the first, only to fall in the NFL Draft. However, the Packers virtually need one good linebacker. They get one here. Aaron Rodgers may be fuming after this pick, but that's what makes it likely.
30. Buffalo Bills - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Let me start by saying: I would not select Jaelan Phillips in the first round. As good as he was in 2020, he's a single injury away from being done with football entirely. He shows some bend, some technical understanding of the position, but ultimately, looks to have lost a touch of athleticism to me. He's a high-risk, high-reward guy, though, and the Bills need to be able to get to the quarterback if they want to get past the Chiefs in 2021.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Dyami Brown, WR, UNC
Boy, oh, boy would this just be unfair. I've toyed around with the idea of a possession guy that wins in different ways, because the Chiefs can't just constantly beat people overtop right? Well, I think they are going to try. I've talked at length about how I think the Chiefs need tackle depth, but a late first-rounder would be a bit of a reach for that. Dyami Brown would immediately step into a role in which he's the third option in a high-volume offense. This.. really isn't fair.
32. Baltimore Ravens (from TB) - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Really, I think Joseph Ossai makes a ton of sense. He would immediately step into the Matthew Judon role and fill it well, but I think that Oweh's traits will be too much for the Ravens to pass up. The twitch and bend on Oweh don't match the production, and I definitely think we could see him off the board even earlier than this. I know the Ravens have a need at tackle, but here, they get a potential game-changing edge rusher.
So there you have it. What did you think? Let me know @FFBaldMan on Twitter or tweet at us @TheCutFFB.
Until next time.