By Harris Oates, Editor-In-Chief
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence | Clemson, QB
We all know Lawrence is a lock here and is the favorite to develop into one of the next great superstars in the NFL. He possesses elite physical attributes, mental processing, mobility and hair.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson | BYU, QB
Wilson to the Jets is now becoming as strong of a lock as Lawrence to Jacksonville. The only chance we could see this not working out is if Wilson and his agent decide that he would prefer to not play in New York.
3. San Fransisco 49ers – Mac Jones | Alabama, QB
The smokescreens have been HEAVY around this pick and we have heard all three of the remaining elite QBs mentioned here. We firmly stand with Jones as the guy that the 49ers originally thought was too good to wait for. Shanahan sure seemed to be in sync when talking with Justin Fields following his pro day, and will also be tied to Trey Lance following his today, but I am staying with this pick being used to take the star from Alabama.
The Atlanta Falcons trade the 4th overall pick to the Denver Broncos for the 9th Overall Pick, a 2022 1st Round Pick, the 71st Overall Pick and the 153rd Overall Pick.
4. Denver Broncos – Justin Fields | Ohio State, QB
The Falcons could take the Georgia native here to learn behind the former MVP, but instead elect to trade back and acquire a handsome amount of draft capital from the QB needy Broncos. The Falcons are in the biggest need of an offensive lineman or defender and could fill that need along with several others by trading back 5 spots along with acquiring an additional 1st, 3rd and 5th. Denver goes all in here to take their QB of the future and finally gives Elway a legitimate chance at landing a star in the draft (and a guy with normal sized hands).
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase | LSU, WR
The Burrow to Chase connection was one of the best that we have ever seen in college football and the Bengals determine that this class is deep enough in offensive lineman that they can afford to wait until the 38th pick to fill that gaping hole. Chase’s ceiling may just be the highest in the class and we could be looking at the next Julio Jones here.
6. Miami Dolphins – Penei Sewell | Oregon, LT
The Dolphins took Austin Jackson last year in the first, but he struggled at the LT position and likely can move to guard or the right side. Sewell is an elite, can’t miss prospect who will keep Tua clean…something that is absolutely mandatory if he is going to ever succeed. Tua is a left hander, but blindside tackle has become such an extinct position and many times the right tackle will draw the tougher matchup in the modern era. If they have both Jackson and Sewell it will be interesting to see who plays on what side, but likely will just come down to where they see Sewell fitting most comfortably (not to mention, Tua still may not even be the long term solution). Many may argue that Kyle Pitts is the no brainer here, but with Sewell having one of the highest floors in the draft along with filling an immediate need, I see them going in that direction.
7. Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle | Alabama, WR
Many may argue that DeVonta Smith is the better receiver here, but when you are taking Waddle you are getting the more dynamic, higher floor prospect. Waddle isn’t the route runner that Smith is, but he he adds to almost every element of the game. He is an explosive return, can play in the slot, backfield and outside. He may begin his career in many gadget type roles, but he has the potential and upside to transition into one of the best receivers in the league.
The Carolina Panthers Trade the 8th Overall Pick to the Washington Football Team for 19th Overall Pick, the 51st Overall Pick, 2022 2nd Round Pick and a 2022 3rd Round Pick
8. Washington Football Team – Trey Lance | North Dakota State, QB
The Panthers already solved their QB issues by trading for Sam Darnold, so they take advantage of this spot by trading down with a familiar front office in the capital city. The Panthers recover two 2022 picks that they lost in the Darnold trade as well as a mid 2nd this year, which should be more than enough to find several starters (they also will keep division rival Atlanta from taking their future guy). The Washington Football Team signed Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason, which typical means that they will target a young prospect to learn behind him. Lance is certainly a project, but has all of the physical tools to get it done at the next level.
9. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts | Florida, TE
Imagine this: Matt Ryan. Julio Jones. Calvin Ridley. Russell Gage. Hayden Hurst. KYLE PITTS. The Falcons maximized their trade back scenario and landed one of the few that they likely would’ve taken at 4. Matt Ryan is likely at the end of his career, but can the Falcons can surround him with enough talent to bring themselves back to contending? Pitts is certainly the place to start.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Rashawn Slater | Northwestern, OT
Word on the street is that Jerry Jones is enthralled with Kyle Pitts and may lose his mind if he misses him by just one pick, but the consolation prize is nothing to look down upon. Slater is an elite offensive lineman who has the potential to fill any position on the line.
11. New York Giants – Alijah Vera-Tucker | USC, IOL
The Giants could’ve used Slater here, but Vera-Tucker may turn out to be a better fit for their organization. Rookie Left Tackle Andrew Thomas improved through his rookie campaign and Nate Soldier should return to play in the RT slot, but where the Giants are in desperate need of help is on the interior. Shane Lemieux was a rookie last year, but he rated as the 80th guard out of 80 that were rated…a severe hole that needs to be improved through the draft.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith | Alabama, WR
The Eagles are no stranger to blowing picks, but luck out here if the Heisman winner is still on the board. Thanks in part to the QB frenzy in the top 10, the Eagles land a true number one receiver that can develop into one of the best route runners in the league.
13. LA Chargers – Christian Darrisaw | Virginia Tech, OT
Step 1: Find a QB✅
Step 2: Protect that QB
The Chargers are in desperate need of keeping Justin Herbert safe and land one of the most powerful blockers in the draft here.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Kwity Paye | Michigan, Edge
The Vikings defensive line was far from special last year, but they tried to add several additions through free agency. Paye can be another addition that will immediately start and become their cog of the defensive line.
15. New England Patriots – Jaycee Horn | South Carolina, CB
Patriots fans want a quarterback of the future, but trading up to settle on the fourth best QB doesn’t seem like a very Patriots style move. With Gilmore playing on a contract year, the Pats can’t pass on taking the first corner in the draft here at 15.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Surtain II | Alabama, CB
The Cardinals fill their need at CB with a true lockdown cornerback who plays the ball as well as anyone in the class. They lost their captain of the defense by saying goodbye to Patrick Peterson, but land a guy that will soon have the respect of the entire locker room.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Micah Parsons | Penn State, LB
Parsons fell harder than any of our other top prospects, but probably lands in the best possible spot to match his skillset. The Raiders are in desperate need of a do-it-all linebacker and Parsons is just that.
18. Miami Dolphins – Jamin Davis | Kentucky, LB
The Dolphins may have gotten their hopes up that Parsons was going to fall to them at 18, but instead get the pure run stuffer that emerged in 2020 as one of the top linebackers in the country. Davis may be a one year wonder, but his athletic abilities and film combines to make him into a first round lock.
19. Carolina Panthers – Elijah Moore | Ole Miss, WR
The Panthers lost their gadget slot receiver, Curtis Samuel, but pick up the highly talented route runner Elijah Moore at 19. Moore may not be the media favorite, but he will rank as the top pure slot receiver on many draft boards. If there is one thing we know about the Panthers offense, it is they love to give Joe Brady as many weapons as possible and the combination of D.J. Moore, Elijah Moore and Robby Anderson could become one of the best WR trios in the league.
20. Chicago Bears – Greg Newsome II | Northwestern, CB
The Bears land the hometown kid here and bring some much needed help at cornerback. Newsome played exceptionally well in zone schemes at Northwestern and could also match feet with everyone in the Big 10, but will be challenged by some of the best receivers in the league, playing in the NFC North.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | Notre Dame, LB
The Colts declined Malik Hookers’ fifth year option and have a glaring need in the secondary, but with Owusu-Koramoah are getting much more than a safety. JOK can play a “Jeremy Chinn-esque” role as a rover/hybrid and make plays all over the field. He has the speed to keep up with any tight end in the league.
22. Tennessee Titans – Kadarius Toney | Florida, WR
The Titans lost both Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in free agency, but still have one of the best young receivers, AJ Brown. Rather than having Brown as their sole receiving threat, they add Toney here, which brings an extra element to their offense. Toney is a talented slot receiver who thrives both underneath and in the lateral screen game…both areas that can help open the field for Derrick Henry.
23. New York Jets – Caleb Farley | Virginia Tech, CB
Possibly one of the farthest fallers in the draft since the start of the month, Farley has seen a true dip following the announcement of his second back surgery. Although it is minor, it is his third surgery since joining the VT Hokies, something that will be investigated deeply. He should be back by the start of the season and is an elite corner outside of the medical history.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Teven Jenkins | Oklahoma State, OT
The Steelers could take the top running back here, but instead opt to take the run blocking specialist that will also attempt to keep Big Ben as healthy as possible. Jenkins is one of the strongest maulers in the class and has the ideal size and reach to become an elite tackle.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Azeez Ojulari | Georgia, Edge
The Jaguars could go in any direction here, but take the speed rusher Ojulari. Josh Allen and Ojulari could create one of the fastest edge duos in the league and work wonders for the Jaguars defense.
26. Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins | Tulsa, LB
The Browns have built a team that is solid throughout, but if there was one position of need it is inside linebacker. Collins played on the outside at Tulsa, but has the skillset and athleticism to fit into any spot in the Browns LB scheme.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman | Minnesota, WR
Hollywood Brown hasn’t been the dynamic receiver that the Ravens have hoped for and Sammy Watkins probably doesn’t move the needle too much, but Rashod Bateman has the potential to develop into a true number 1 receiver. He played both inside and out at Minnesota, but what was most impressive is his do-it-all X-Factor ability to become a legit star.
28. New Orleans Saints – Christian Barmore | Alabama, DT
The DT class is about as weak as the Edge class, but Barmore has developed into an elite, starter quality prospect. I wasn’t high on his tape early in the year, but he became a force to reckon with in the postseason…so much so that he likely will be taken in the 1st.
29. Green Bay Packers – Jabril Cox | LSU, LB
Cox may not be an elite level run stuffer, but he is one of the best LBs in coverage, which is an area that Green Bay was extremely weak in last year. This roster is rich and really doesn’t have too many immediate needs, but by adding Cox they add another element to their defense.
30. Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne | Clemson, RB
The Bills have gotten just about every ounce of ability out Zack Moss and Devin Singletary, but lack an elite running back that can take their offense to another level. Etienne had an incredible career at Clemson where he showcased his patient, yet aggressive running style that couple well with his elite receiving abilities.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Landon Dickerson | Alabama, IOL
If Dickerson had stayed healthy, he likely wouldn’t have been on this board this late, but the Chiefs get an absolute steal here that can immediately strengthen their interior offensive line. They still will need to address the tackle position, but this class is deep and the value here with Dickerson is too good to pass up.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kelvin Joseph | Kentucky, CB
Kelvin Joseph is relatively unknown on many draft boards, but has flown up the charts following a strong offseason. He has few starts for his age, but he has played very well and shown a lot of promise on his film. Joseph may seem like a reach, but a prospect who shows that much promise and runs a 4.3 won’t last much longer in the draft.
I have a hard time accepting the idea that the Lions will take one of the top 3 WR at #7 (which many if not most mocks are projecting) when generational or top tier talents (depending on the mock) like Penei Sewell,Kyle Pitts, Micah Parsons and Rashawn Slater are still on the board. This is a very deep draft at WR and to do that means believing that the difference between a Waddle, Smith or Chase and a player that would be available in round 2 or 3 is worth passing on a sure fire star at those positions. I don’t see it. The best way to help Jared Goff succeed is to give him a rock solid OL, which Slater or Sewell would do. Pitts is a Rob Gronkowski type talent (with maybe a little bit of Calvin Johnson thrown in) that doesn’t come around very often. It’s like having Barry Sanders come up when it is your turn to pick. Even if you don’t need a running back you take him. And he would also provide Goff with a very good target which defenses would find hard to cover. Parsons would fill a big need and is also the type of talent you don’t pass on. The only hesitation here is the character concerns which would have to be considered. I will be very disappointed if Detroit takes Chase, Smith or Waddle unless all of the four players I mentioned are off the board when they pick and that isn’t going to happen.