I say this every single year in this article, but Merry Christmas everyone! This truly is Christmas for a hardcore NFL except our Santa Claus is Mel Kiper Jr. and instead of elves, you get people like me who fill your stocking with tidings of last minute Draft notes. There are surprises every single year but I’m proud to say among the absolute bevy of things I got wrong, that I went 5/5 on Quarterback desitinations so make of that what you will. Here are some of my key takeaways and predictions from my predraft research this year, followed by my Final Mock Draft.
- 6 Offensive Tackles will go in round 1 (They will also result in several trades)
- Trent Williams will be traded tonight
- No wide recievers will be drafted in the top 10 but 7 will be drafted in the 1st round
- Corners will also dominate the 1st with 6 going in the first round
1) Cincinatti Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
This is a no brainer, not even the Bengals could pass on a hometown kid fresh of the most dominant season in NCAA history.
2) Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
I have been pounding the table for the Redskins to trade this pick for a few months, and had them doing so until this morning because no one that I’ve spoken to with any personally knowledge of the team believes they are going to pass on a rare talent like Young.
3) Miami Dolphins (via Det): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I believe that both the Dolphins and the Chargers will attempt to make this trade and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chargers are willing to give up more to pull it off. However, I believe that the player that the Lions are targeting (see pick 5) will be easier to attain at 5 and will certianly keep that in mind and trade with Miami. As for the Dolphins, don’t buy into the talk that anyone but Tua will go here, if they trade up, he is the pick.
4) New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
There is a possibility that any of the 4 Offensive Tackles go here, but this is the position that is the best value, as well as the biggest need, while Thomas is the #1 OT on my board. He should step in and start day 1 on either side.
5) Detroit Lions (via Mia): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
While I don’t believe the Lions will acquire an additional first round pick from Miami in this trade, Detriot still pulls off an absolute coup by picking up its targeted player and a few additional day 2 and 3 picks.
6) Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
If the Chargers fail to trade up to the third pick then they will happily still take Herbert at 6. Many are reporting that Herbert could be the target in a trade up so landing him at 6 is a major win.
7) New York Jets (via CAR): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Just like with pick #4 this pick could end up as any of the top 4 Offensive tackles because there is so much variance in how much these players are ranked. The Jets in this case trade up to secure the top player on thier board at the biggest position of need to keep Darnold upright. Wirfs is an explosive athlete for an OT and has an other worldly cieling, and should be a fantastic player in New York.
8) Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Rinse and repeat the previous pick’s disclaimer. Despite Murray campaigning for his college teamate Ceedee Lamb, the Cardinals brass opts to spend this pick keeping him protected.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Henderson has seen his stock soar after the combine, but I believe that this is merely the result of the media catching up how the NFL feels about the player. Tackling issues are overblown, he is a stud.
10) Cleveland Browns: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
SHOCKER!!! I believe that the recent reports of a failed drug test could cause some concern with Becton and without the appropriate time to vet the concerns, I believe the Browns may rather take a risk with Jackson who is a bit raw but could develop into a very good pro, than Becton at this point.
11) Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Simmons could very well be the pick here, I would say it’s very close to 50/50, but I believe that this a match made in Heaven after both of last Season’s DT’s moved to Dallas.
12) Oakland Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
The Raiders want a WR here, and Lamb is especially enticing here but I don’t think that Mike Mayock will give this a second thought if perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best player in this year’s class all the way down at 12. A trade up for Simmons could be in play after the first 6 picks
13) Philadelphia Eagles (via SF): Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Don’t be surprised if Ruggs is the pick here, that depends on the team’s plans for Alshon Jeffrey. I believe Jeffrey could be traded on day 2 or 3 of the draft which makes me think that the more complete WR in Lamb is the pick here.
14) Washington Redskins (Via TB): Mekhi Becton, OT, Lousiville
If the board falls in this way then this may be a perfect situation for both teams, Trent Williams no longer wants to play in Washington and the Brady-led Buccaneers want to win now, so waiting a year for Becton to fully develop may not be optimal. Brady is protected by Williams and Washington gets an OT that actually wants to be there. I’m sure that several other picks are exchanged on both sides to make the trade work but I’d call this a win-win.
15) Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Some fits are too perfect to not happen. Lock has a huge arm, Ruggs projects to be a great deep threat early and will likely compliment Cortland Sutton and Noah Fant extremely well. Something tells me that John Elway may be getting a Christmas Card from Drew Lock this year.
16) Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Chaisson and Epenesa are at play here as well but Kinlaw has a top 10 grade by several teams and I believe the Falcons are one of them. He will be an instant contributor.
17) Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy is rumored to fall due to a knee injury, if this happens he will fall no farther than into the lap of Jerry Jones. The team has other needs but a 3 WR set of Cooper, Gallup, and Jeudy would be impossible to cover. Dak Prescott may want to sign that deal soon just to get to work with this fantastic group,
18) Miami Dolphins: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Phins just secured the QB of their future, his biggest question is injury, this pick is a no brainer.
19) Oakland Raiders: Kristian Fulton
Don’t buy the recent talk of Fulton falling, he is a true CB1 and the Raiders run to the podium to make this pick
20) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kenneth Murray, OLB, Oklahoma
Murray fits the new breed of Linebacker that teams are moving towards and should be a great fit for the Jags.
21) San Francisco 49ers (via PHI): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
San Fran isn’t a team with alot of needs but could use a WR capable of replacing Emmanual Sanders, Jefferson is a great fit in this role and could start on the outside or in the slot.
22) Seattle Seahawks (via MIN): K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
I’m not so sure the Seahawks wouldn’t attempt this trade up sooner in the draft if Chaisson falls, but if he falls to 22, there is no way that they let him fall to the Pats at 23.
23) New England Patriots: AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa
The Patriots could trade back here, but in either scenario I believe that a productive player like AJ that is falling due to athletic testing would florish in New England
24) New Orleans Saints: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Payton gets a true hier apparent in Love, and Love gets a perfect situation
25) Minnesota Vikings: AJ Terrelle, CB, Clemson
Other than 3 plays against the most talented WR in the country Terrelle has been really good, and should be a good pro as well
26) Miami Dolphins: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Reagor is the most explosive player in this draft and will provide Tua with the type of playmaker that young QB’s dream about
27) Minnesota Vikings: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
What doesn’t Mims do well? It’s a short list and that will come in handy replacing a great WR in Stefon Diggs
28) Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Good luck dealing with a defense that was already great before adding a player like Queen in the draft. At least thier offense isn’t prolific, oh wait…
29) Tennesee Titans: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
This isn’t the pick I would make but Matos is a good player, that fills a big hole and I think this is direction they go.
30) Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shennault, WR, Colorado
Shennault finally gives Green Bay a WR capable of rolling coverage away from Devante Adams.
31) San Francisco 49ers: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Richard Sherman played excellent last season but isn’t getting younger and is the idea CB for Diggs to model his game after.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Deandre Swift, RB, Georgia
The one hole on the Kansas City offense was the running back postion last season, why not fill it with the best 3 down back in the draft? Good luck stopping that