Mock Draft 5.0 (Hicks)

By Sawyer Hicks, Senior Analyst

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence | Clemson, QB

Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. The Jaguars better not try to get too creative or over think this decision because he is a future hall of famer in my mind.

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson | BYU, QB

Wilson is in the next tier of quarterbacks in this class, but he is alone as the clear cut number 2. The Jets are apparently infatuated with Wilson, which shows why they were so eager to get rid of Darnold. New York is banking on him coming in and immediately changing the culture and being a difference maker with new coach Robert Saleh.

3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance | North Dakota State, QB

The Niners see Lance as the most intriguing quarterback prospect of the three elite guys left. They have also been very adamant about having Garoppolo as their starter this year, which would make perfect sense if they want to let Lance learn for a year behind him. Lance would be the perfect guy for Shanahan’s dynamic offense.

🚨TRADE ALERT🚨

The Atlanta Falcons trade 4th overall pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange of the 9th overall pick a 2022 1st Round pick, and a 2022 3rd Round pick.

4. Denver Broncos – Justin Fields | Ohio State, QB

The Falcons have been sending out smokescreens all offseason about who they will take to create uncertainty and cause a bidding war for their selection. New GM Fontenot is notoriously tight lipped behind the scenes, so whenever it gets reported about who they have interest in, it is most likely a calculated leak by him. Elway and the Broncos give up a huge haul in draft picks, but it could be worth it for them if they finally get their franchise quarterback rather than playing another year of checkers with Drew “Tiny Hands” Lock.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase | LSU, WR

Although the Bengals should try to keep Burrow healthy and avoid as many hits as possible by taking a top lineman, drafting a generational receiving threat is too good of an opportunity to pass up. It is no mystery that Burrow and Chase had one of the most unstoppable connections in football on their way to the National Championship a couple years ago.

6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts | Florida, TE

Although the Dolphins love acquiring future assets and have been entertaining this pick through trade, Pitts is too good to pass here and might be the best receiver in football in a couple of years. The Dolphins have been one of the most active teams in their talks with Pitts and have been linked to him with this pick for weeks now.

7. Detroit Lions – Micah Parsons | Penn State, LB

The Lions need major help across the board, so they just go with best player available here and from a talent perspective Parsons is that guy. He will immediately bring an intensity and competitiveness to this team from Day 1.

8. Carolina Panthers – Patrick Surtain II | Alabama, CB

The Panthers have entertained trading the pick but they decide to just take the top corner in the draft, Patrick Surtain II. Secondary is the team’s biggest weakness and Surtain helps immediately against the highflying offenses in the NFC South.

9. Atlanta Falcons – Penei Sewell | Oregon, OT (From Broncos, see above)

The Falcons get their guy all along with Penei Sewell. The new regime has the philosophy of drafting best player available regardless of need and Sewell can play anywhere on the line at a high level.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Jaylen Waddle | Alabama, WR

They desperately need defensive help, but Jerry Jones only cares about his explosive offense and trying to increase the value of the team. Waddle can be the next Tyreek Hill and gives Dak another exciting weapon at his disposal.

11. New York Giants – Rashawn Slater | Northwestern, OT

Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley desperately need quality blocking up front and time to make plays and Slater provides a solidifying presence to the line. Slater could be a generational talent and the Giants are thanking the draft gods for letting him fall into their laps.

12. Philadelphia Eagles – Jaycee Horn | South Carolina, CB

The Eagles are reportedly targeting a cornerback with this selection, and Horn is the best available option. He will be a shutdown guy on the outside for many years to come.

13. LA Chargers – DeVonta Smith | Alabama, WR

The Chargers are pairing up rookie of the year winner Justin Herbert with Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, who has incredible hands and feel for the game. This helps set up a connection that has the potential to be one of the most unstoppable in all of football for years to come.

14. Minnesota Vikings – Kwity Paye | Michigan, Edge

The Vikings defense was putrid last year and needs help across the board. Paye is the best edge available, so the Vikings take him here in hopes that he helps contribute into making their defense respectable again.

15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones | Alabama, QB

The Patriots and Belichick are ecstatic that Jones fell all the way to them and that they didn’t even have to trade up to get a QB. In all likelihood, Cam will probably be the opening day starter until he loses it to Jones who is waiting in the wings for his opportunity.

16. Arizona Cardinals – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | Notre Dame, LB

The Cardinals need to continue to add top level defensive talent to be able to compete in the competitive NFC West. Owusu-Koramoah and Isaiah Simmons will create the most versatile LB tandem in the league and will both be able to play all over the field, but primarily will play a key role inside the box as the defenses tone setters.

17. LV Raiders – Azeez Ojulari | Georgia, Edge

The Raiders had a very puzzling offseason to say the least. They released multiple good, young players across their defensive front along with destroying half of their starting offensive line. They have to get some help on at least one of their lines and Ojulari has tantalizing potential to be an elite speed rusher that will also ease some of the pressure off of Clelin Ferrell.

18. Miami Dolphins – Najee Harris | Alabama, RB

Harris has been heavily linked to the Dolphins with their second first round pick. He would provide immediate workhorse potential for a Dolphins team with desperate need to have a run heavy scheme with a developing quarterback.

19. Washington Football Team – Christian Darrisaw | Virginia Tech, OT

The WFT will take an offensive lineman in all likelihood if they are not able to trade up for Trey Lance and Christian Darrisaw is the best tackle available. He provides a good fit for this team and can start on the right side and then eventually make the transition to the left side.

20. Chicago Bears – Rashod Bateman | Minnesota, WR

Bateman could be this draft’s Justin Jefferson and thrive from day 1. With Allen Robinson’s eventual departure after getting the franchise tag, the Bears are going ahead and getting their future top receiver. He has the potential to start in the slot, but eventually will cover ground all over the field.

21. Indianapolis Colts – Teven Jenkins | Oklahoma State, OT

The Colts have invested heavily into Carson Wentz and now they want to make sure they can protect him much better than the Eagles did last year to help him reach his MVP level form again. General manager Chris Pollard has shown a knack for being able to identify quality NFL players wherever he is selecting and Jenkins is known to be a nasty offensive lineman with tremendous potential.

22. Tennessee Titans – Jaelan Phillips | Miami, Edge

The Titans desperately need pass rush help and Phillips is talented enough to where he could start on day 1. The hope is for Mike Vrabel and his coaching staff is to help develop Phillips into a dominant edge rushing force because the Titans need immediate contributors to that putrid defensive line.

23. New York Jets – Caleb Farley | Virginia Tech, CB

Farley’s tape is some of the most impressive in the corner class and could very end up being the best corner out of this class. There are major red flags regarding his injury history and the recent reports of his second back surgery a couple of months ago. This pick is a major gamble, but with it being the second of the Jets 1st round picks, it allows them to take a lottery ticket with this.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Greg Newsome II | Northwestern, CB

Although the Steelers need major help at the point of attack in regard to rushing the ball, they elect to help fill their spotty secondary with the speedy shutdown corner in Newsome. He has really helped his draft stock with a strong pro day and very good measurable that have helped pursue intrigued teams to fall in love with him. He will fit right into this elite Steelers defense and be a solid starter for years to come.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig | TCU, DB

The Jaguars have a gaping hole in the middle of their secondary at safety and Moehrig is the best safety in the draft. With the Jaguars taking Lawrence and Moehrig, they are making very important building block moves to help the team for the next decade plus to help the team establish an identity under new coach Urban Meyer.

26. Cleveland Browns – Christian Barmore | Alabama, DT

The Browns have had one of the best offseasons in recent memory in attempting to put together a new winning culture that has eluded the Browns franchise for so long. Barmore immediately comes in as the anchor to this dominant defensive front and helps solidly the defense as one of the best in the league, while also being the best defensive tackle in this draft.

27. Baltimore Ravens – Jayson Oweh | Penn State, Edge

Oweh is a major project, but the Ravens are confident in their ability to help turn projects into great NFL players. Oweh has tantalizing speed and bend off the edge, but just did not have the stats throughout his college football career to back up his potential.

28. New Orleans Saints – Asante Samuel Jr. | Florida State, CB

The Saints had to make some tough decisions this offseason in releasing key veterans across the board. Samuel is an intriguing prospect in that he might not be the biggest or fastest out of the corners in this class, but he is a gamer and will compete at a high level no matter the competition. This is especially a good pick for the Saints because they have to go against future hall of famers Tom Brady and Matt Ryan in four of their games every year.

29. Green Bay Packers – Kadarius Toney | Florida, WR

The Packers finally give Aaron Rodgers some help at receiver and Toney has shown an ability to play in the slot exceptionally well in his career at Florida. Toney would help relieve some stress and pressure on Davantae Adams so that he would finally have some receiving talent around him.

30. Buffalo Bills – Zaven Collins | Tulsa, LB

Collins is one of the highest rated linebackers statistically in the draft. His only knock is that he didn’t go up against enough elite talent to back up his stats. Collins is one of the most pro ready players in the draft and will be a beast on this Bills defense.

31. Baltimore Ravens – Alex Leatherwood | Alabama, OT

Now that the Ravens have traded away starter Orlando Brown, they look to replace him with this pick of steady longtime Alabama starter Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood is one of the most high floor prospects in this lineman class and will be a good/decent starter for a long time.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kellen Mond | Texas A&M, QB

Although the Bucs have Tom Brady leading the charge, they have to start considering what the future has in store. Many teams have fallen in love with Mond and the Bucs feel like he could really thrive in the future being able to sit behind the GOAT. It might make Brady angry similarly how it did Rodgers last year, but it is the right decision for a franchise looking to extend its super bowl run window.

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