Free agency will shake all of this up, but let’s begin this *fun* exercise. In the meantime, if you think I totally whiffed on your selection from a GM trends or roster building standpoint, let me know. Future mocks will include trades. We have a ton of content headed your way over the next few weeks, including my Team Needs/Mock Draft series with Evan Silva.
1. Arizona Cardinals - QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
I so wanted to have the Raiders move up to one and go all in on Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray. Every report certainly points to the Cardinals taking Murray, but we only have to travel back 365 days to know draft reports at this point in the calendar do not matter. Sam Darnold was written in sharpie as the first pick last March. If you’re going to fire a coach after one season to shift to an offensive-minded play-caller, it makes sense to go all in on the players he wants. Maybe that is the case here.
2. San Francisco 49ers - EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
49ers fans might be upset by another first round pick spent on a front seven player. Don’t be, as Nick Bosa is eerily similar to his brother. Both are great athletes (80th percentile for Joey, 69th percentile for Nick) and both win in similar ways. Their patented move is a slap, swipe, rip to flatten out around the corner and get to the quarterback.
3. New York Jets - EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
We have zero insight which of the trio of defensive players this will be. It seems like we’ve all been clamoring for the Jets to land a top tier edge rusher for years. While the focus should be on his pass rushing, Allen also displays uncommon comfort dropping into coverage.
4. Oakland Raiders - iDL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
If the Cardinals do drop back to this stop, they would still secure one of the top 3 defenders. The Raiders drafted P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst last year. Just think of that trio, in a rotation, fresh, wrecking offensive lines and creating interior disruption.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs - EDGE Rashan Gary, Michigan
Rashan Gary won with athleticism in college. Rashan Gary tested in the 95th percentile at the NFL Combine. That part of his game will translate. Todd Bowles and Kacy Rodgers lacked edge talent with the Jets. This might turn it into a strength in their new roles.
6. New York Giants - EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St
I was a bit surprised that Dave Gettleman went with a running back over and edge rusher last season. He will never stop adding pieces to trenches. This pick makes even more sense if Olivier Vernon is dealt. I’d bet on Sweat’s game translating after testing in the 97th percentile.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St
Nick Foles might be on the roster next week. Even if he is signed, Haskins can still be in play. If the Jaguars were to self-scout, the two things that held them back last season were OL injuries and, more importantly, quarterback play that destroyed the momentum of the offense when asked to throw. Fix that area, at all costs.
8. Detroit Lions - TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
The Lions have been linked to tight ends for years during the draft process, and it makes sense with so many New England ties on the coaching staff and front office. Hockenson roaches linebackers when working as an inline tight end, and offers plenty of receiving upside.
9. Buffalo Bills - WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa St
The goal of the offseason should be to make the offense easier for Josh Allen. There’s an argument that Allen succeeds outside of structure, and perhaps is even more comfortable there. I’m surprised Butler isn’t considered the top receiver. He wins big at 6-foot-5, 223 lbs and flashes agility and athleticism which showed up in a composite score in the 92nd percentile. Get over the drops.
10. Denver Broncos - QB Drew Lock, Missouri
This will be one of the most common connections in every mock. I’m buying it, as Joe Flacco is a clear bridge.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin White, LSU
The Bengals needed an injection of athleticism at linebacker three years ago. White tested in the 94th percentile, is an absolute missile at the second level, but also plays under control when necessary. That’s an important line to toe for a linebacker.
12. Green Bay Packers - EDGE Brian Burns, FSU
Nick Perry is expected to be cut. Clay Matthews is a free agent. If you want a pass rusher, you need to draft them early. Burns’ game was based on athleticism in college. Then he posted an athletic profile in the 94th percentile. That gives us comfort in his game translating.
13. Miami Dolphins - T Jawaan Taylor, Florida
If the Dolphins aren’t investing long term in a quarterback in this draft, set up that future quarterback for success with a talented offensive line. Taylor has experience on both the left and right side.
14. Atlanta Falcons - iDL Ed Oliver, Houston
Explosiveness. Disruption. Athleticism. Ed Oliver and Dan Quinn are a fantastic match.
15. Washington Redskins - WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Beat writer J.P. Finlay said he’s heard “lots of Ashburn folks say they need a playmaker.” That is D.K. Metcalf.
16. Carolina Panthers - T Andre Dillard, Washington St
Andre Dillard racked up a ton of pass pro reps in college, and looked excellent. Then he hit the 20-yard shuttle threshold, instilling more confidence in his evaluation. Full season team success is heavily reliant on offensive line talent, health and continuity.
17. Cleveland Browns - iDL Christian Wilkins, Clemson
18. Minnesota Vikings - T Jonah Williams, Alabama
In some ways, the Vikings Offense only could go as far as the offensive line allowed them to last year. I firmly believe Williams can play left tackle, but numerous evaluators believe he can lock down multiple spots. The Vikings have needs at multiple spots.
19. Tennessee Titans - EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Brian Orakpo, cupcake baker. Derrick Morgan, free agent. I love Harold Landry’s future thanks to his flexibility and bend around the corner. Pairing him with Ferrell, who understands distance, length and hands would form a great young duo.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Byron Murphy, Washington
21. Seattle Seahawks - OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma
For a team that invests so much in the running game, the Seahawks could use improvements at a few spots along their offensive line.
22. Baltimore Ravens - iOL Garrett Bradbury, NC St
The Ravens two tackles are locked in. Center deserves an upgrade. Bradbury tested like one of the best athletes at the position, is a fantastic reach blocker and could be fun to watch getting to the second level in the ravens running game.
23. Houston Texans - CB Greedy Williams, LSU
24. Oakland Raiders (via CHI) - RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
It would not be a surprise to see RB be left out of the first round. But I could totally see Mike Mayock loving Jacobs’ evaluation and Gruden buying in to help the “balance” on offense.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
26. Indianapolis Colts - iDL Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
Another Ballard homerun. It is clear Ballard weighs in athletic profiles in his evaluations. Tillery, in the 84th percentile, is an outstanding athlete with great bend and flexibility along the interior. He’s fantastic.
27. Oakland Raiders (via DAL) - WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona St
A number of Harry’s big plays started in the slot. He’s certainly not limited to that area, as he was used across the formation. And with an athletic profile in the 88th percentile, Harry possibly could emerge as the Raiders go-to pass catcher for the long term.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - iDL Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio St
Jones didn’t test like a great athlete, but he exhibits fantastic pass rushing qualities. Bend, flexibility, upside. Makes a strength stronger for the Chargers.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
I wanted to find an edge pass rusher here, but did not feel one warranted the selection. Kendall Fuller is certainly starting caliber. Nelson and Scandrick are free agents. If Mitch Morse leaves, interior offensive line also makes sense.
30. Green Bay Packers - S Deionte Thompson, Alabama
I don’t know if the Packers value the safety position enough to draft one in round one. Outside of the top names, many systems seem to view the position as replaceable. There are other safeties like Adderley who can also operate closer to the line of scrimmage.
31. Los Angeles Rams - iOL Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi St
32, New England Patriots - TE Noah Fant, Iowa
Not fair. 98th percentile tight end athlete with production to back it up to a team with a need at the position.