Now that the NFL season has finished, each team has solidified their spot in the draft order and us fans can begin even more speculation. You can see my other mock drafts here, so as the draft process moves along you are able to see in real-time the changes of certain players and teams.
Keep in mind, these picks are what I think the teams should do, not what they will do.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- At least in this draft we genuinely don’t know who might get drafted first overall. Neal is a freak athlete that former #1 overall pick, QB Trevor Lawrence, will be thankful for going forward.
- Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
- He will be the local favorite, and Hutchinson should have immediate impact on an up and coming Lions roster. He matches the mold of what Detroit is trying to build.
- Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- This might not be the direction that Houston takes, however it’s the direction the NFL is taking; edge rushers are extremely valuable. Thibodeaux has shown glimpses of being able to develop into a cornerstone on defense.
- New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
- Saleh just can’t pass up a generational prospect in the secondary. Hamilton could have a Minkah Fitzpatrick-like ability to take away parts of the field and limit big plays.
- New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State
- Pro-football Network’s Ian Cummings believes NYG need to spend at least one of their picks protecting Daniel Jones, so they grab a safe and versatile option on the offensive line in Ekwonu.
- Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
- Sam Darnold has proven enough times that he is not worth starting for 17 games a season. Pickett is the safest QB and highly rated as the top QB in this class, as by draft analyst Ian Cummings.
- New York Giants (via CHI): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
- The highest drafted center in quite some time, Linderbaum and Ekwonu will anchor the offensive line for a generation. It’ll be easier to build a dynamic offense with these two players.
- Atlanta Falcons: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
- There’s a lot of directions to go here, and some Falcons fans believe the ‘best player available’ is the best option. Burks might not fit that mold, but he’ll fit nicely into that offense to add some more stability.
- Denver Broncos: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
- Even if Willis sits for a year, DEN can’t afford to not address the position in the off season. Willis has the best physical traits and talent of the QB’s in this years draft.
- New York Jets (via SEA): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
- They upgraded their secondary already this draft, so why not help out the first line of defense? Walker was a part of a historic college defense, so his college production might not tell the story. His athleticism and anticipation are off the charts for his size and position.
- Washington Football Team: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
- One of if not the most impressive player during the bowl season, Dean looks ready to be a defensive leader. Adding his instincts and traits to a defense with good pieces already (just not at LB) will make a positive difference.
- Minnesota Vikings: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
- With a good showing against Alabama in his playoff game, Sauce Gardner could see his draft stock rise as high as MIN, who could use a game-ready corner.
- Cleveland Browns: Garret Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- No doubt CLE needs a playmaker on the outside to replace what OBJ was supposed to be. Although they should primarily be a running team, getting a WR who can consistently get open and make contested catches might add another level to the offense.
- Baltimore Ravens: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
- This is about as far as Stingley would drop in this draft. BAL loves to have a good secondary, so adding the talent and potential of Stingley will make that easier without their def. coordinator.
- Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA): George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
- The most exciting team in the draft this year starts their first round trio of picks with a much needed boost in the front seven. Karlaftis can wreak havoc on offensive tackles with his power and relentlessness.
- Philadelphia Eagles (via IND): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
- Yet again, PHI boosts their front seven on defense, because it just makes too much sense. Lloyd is the perfect player to boost a front seven – he’s good at tackling and plays downhill on the ball more often than not.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
- LAC cannot afford to pass up an upgrade to their horrific run defense. Davis will be an excellent wall for the defense and probably rotated in throughout the game situationally.
- New Orleans Saints: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- With the current WR core of NO, there is no way they can pass up the skillset of Williams at this spot. If Winston comes back (which he should) he gets an explosive WR to air it out with.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Booth Jr, CB, Clemson
- Booth might actually have more value than Stingley has at the top of this draft, according to Pro Football Network draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson. PHI goes defense with all three of their first round picks.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
- With an offensive line as bad as PIT, taking the most versatile linemen in the draft is a no-brainer. If last year’s K. Green can earn a starting spot, this K. Green will be able to win a starting job at any position other than center.
- New England Patriots: Drake London, WR, USC
- This just seems like a good fit for NE; Mac will have London to through to when under duress and/or in the redzone. A lot can change in an offense when one guy can get to so many catchable positions.
- Las Vegas Raiders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
- A deep WR class will start to make it’s run at some point in this draft. Olave was paired up with fellow first-rounder G. Wilson for his whole career, but breaking away from him could make Olave a bigger star, similar to Justin Jefferson’s storyline.
- Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
- The ARI offense looks like it has the pieces to succeed, and McDuffie has many intangibles that can help win football games immediately.
- Dallas Cowboys: Bernhard Raimann, OL, Central Michigan
- Traditionally DAL has a top tier offensive line, however they are trending away from that given their current age and skillsets at the position. They need to make a pick here to stabilize the offensive line for years.
- Buffalo Bills: Devonta Wyatt, DL, Georgia
- If the top five WR’s are taken, don’t be surprised to see BUF boost their defensive line depth, which was put to the test (and failed) in their final game against KC. Wyatt would be the fourth member of last years Georgia team to be drafted in the first round.
- Tennessee Titans: Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
- Even after the top tier of OL prospects come off the board, there are some names that can make immediate impact, and Johnson is on the fringe of the first-round, per Oliver Hodgkinson from Pro Football Network..
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
- Ojabo falls in this mock more than most, due to his newness to the sport and overall raw potential. TB needs to generate more pressure without blitzing and Ojabo can make that happen.
- Green Bay Packers: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
- Well, a disappointing finish will certainly call for some changes in GB. For starters, they need someone to trust catching the ball other than Davante Adams, despite who may be throwing it to him.
- Miami Dolphins (via SF): Trevor Penning, OL, Northern Iowa
- Penning being left here would be a blessing for the Dolphins, who get this pick from the 49ers. It would boost the offensive line talent immensely and immediately, which MIA has shown they desperately need.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
- Mahomes and the new offensive line will be fine without taking an offensive player here. So, drafting a tremendous athlete that will hunt down the ball and cover in the slot can improve something else that struggled last year.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA
- I mocked Rhyan to the Bengals in the first mock draft a few months ago, so it feels right to keep him projected to protect the almighty Joe Burrow for the next few years or more.
- Detroit Lions (via LAR): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
- I couldn’t not include three QB’s in the first round, because I’ll probably place a bet near the draft at o2.5 taken. So, Corral gets to enjoy the bench for a year or so and then will inherit one of the leagues best young offensive line groups.
Just missed the first round:
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State University
Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
Logan Hall, DT, Houston