After the two trades from the Dolphins last week, the draft order was shaken up. It is interesting who the 49ers wants, but for me even more interesting who else will try to trade up, to be able to select their most coveted player.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson: This is a no brainer. The only questionmark with Lawrence is the situation of his non-throwing shoulder which was fixed few weeks ago. Actually this is a minor issue, would be a bigger one if it would be the throwing shoulder, but Trevor is expected to be ready for training camps. He is the clear cut, best QB in this draft. Has leadership, success and all the needed tools for a QB who will get the opportunity to turn a franchise. It would be shocking if the Jaguars would select someone else.
2. New York Jets – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: Reports tell, the 49ers offered the same package to the Jets what they offered to the Dolphins, but the Jets wasn’t open for it, which tells me, they will go for a QB. Robert Saleh’s OC will be Mike LaFleur, who comes from San Francisco as well and he is part of the Shanahan group. I don’t think LaFleur will exactly copy the 49ers offense, but he could use a mobile QB with arm strenght and experience in stronger competition. I know, there is a Wilson hype in the last few months and his Pro Day was great, but the Jets will go with the more experienced player, who can start right away. Yes, Darnold will be traded.
3. San Francisco 49ers (trade with Miami) – Zack Wilson, QB, BYU: I guess, this is exactly the dream scenario for Shanahan. Wilson is good, but he needs more experinece against higher level teams and with a year behind Jimmy G, he will have a smooth transition. Wilson fits in Shanahan’s system which was built on Jimmy’s strenght. The young QB is a rich man’s Garoppolo for me, the team won’t need to adjust much for Wilson, so the transition from one QB to the other will be easy. Frisco can and I think will trade Jimmy after the season, when there won’t be a no-trade clause anymore in his contract.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Miami: Ok, that would be really early for a TE, but hey, he is a very rare talent at his position and he is even considered as the best pass catcher this year. The Falcons made sure, Ryan wouldn’t go anywhere this season and maybe not even in 2022, so they will upgrade Ryan’s supporting cast. Jones won’t be younger, but still very productive and the offense has Calvin Ridley too, but the TE group is not very strong. With Pitts on the field, they could have a three-headed monster, good luck for the DCs.
5. Carolina Panthers (trade with Cincinnati) – Trey Lance, QB, NDSU: I am not so high on Lance as many analysts and fans, because of the level of competition he had and his overall experience, but he could be a perfect fit in Charlotte with Matt Rhule (HC) and Joe Brady (OC). These two coaches just came from the college world, they understand the latest trends and Brady is a young and bright mind. Bridgewater shouldn’t be traded this year, he could give a year to Lance to learn and grow. Their styles fit together. Cincinnati has no problem with this trade, since the teams are in different conference and they still will be able to select in the top10.
6. Miami Dolphins (trade with Philadelphia) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama: Maybe Chase would be a sexier pick, but how else would you help your starter QB, if not bringing for him one of his ex-playmakers from his college? Smith is the latest Heisman Trophy winner, had a brutal year and he shouldn’t be the immediate star in the unit, which already has DeVante Parker and Will Fuller. This trio will be a terror on the field.
7. New England Patriots (trade with Detroit) – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama: I think, this is the last possible spot to get Jones, before other teams (for example Denver) would jump ahead of the Pats. I wrote it in my last article, that after such a free agency, this is the year when the Patriots will trade up and take their future franchise face. Since Fields is out (who could be a good fit with Cam), I turned back to my favourite QB in this draft class, who has everything what is needed in the Pats system. Additionally, his ex-HC is a good friend of his next HC, so he won’t have any problem with the culture he arrives in. Before the big trades on Friday I said, the Pats won’t need to involve any first round pick for this trade, but now it will be necessary, so the Lions will move back 8 spots and will get the Pats‘ first rounder next year and their 4th round comp pick from this year.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (trade with Carolina) – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon: One of the biggest winner in this early stage of the draft is definitely the Bengals, which moved back 3 spots, got additional pick(s), but still has every opportunity to draft the best OT or Ja’Marr Chase. Reports say, that Burrow tries to convince the GM to draft his buddy, Chase, but after the injury he had last season, the main focus should be on his long-term health. Jonah Williams and Sewell could form a good OT-tandem in the future.
9. Denver Broncos – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State: Every top QBs are out and with the Ronald Darby signing, the CB position is not that huge need. Von Miller won’t be a Bronco too long, so why not bring in his successor, who almost has the same size like Miller. It might be a luxury pick here, but the Miller-Chubb-Parsons trio looks dangerous on paper and defitnitely will look dangerous on the field as well.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama: It is no secret, that the Cowboys secondary is screaming for help and upgrade. Last year second round pick, Trevon Diggs and Surtain will form one of the best young corner tandem in the league for the upcoming years. Surtain is not slow (4.40 40-yard dash), he is long (6‘2) and played under Nick Saban, wich is a guarantee, that he is technically sound.
11. New York Giants – Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State: The Giants wasn’t really a treath in the category „pass-rush“, so they will take the player, who had extremely good Pro Day (4.36 – 40-yard dash, 39.5“ vertical jump and 6.83 3-cone) and be a force on the field. He is a prospect, who needs time to be a complete player, so you might wonder why he is the first rusher off the board. His athleticism is off the charts, he has huge upside, he is long. He brings a very good package, which could be way better with some coaching.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU: In this scenario Chase falls out of the top10 and the Eagles will bring him to Philly to give Hurts a true nr.1 receiver for the future years. The team traded back 6 spots, got an extra first rounder for next year and still could have the arguably best receiver of the draft. His presence will give a big boost to this group.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern: Keeping the young QB healthy should be the nr.1 priority and because of the QB rush in the top10, a real gem is falling into the Chargers hands. Slater is the second best LT prospect this year, who is really fast (4.88 40-yard dash) for his size (304 pounds). He might be too short (6‘4) for some evaluator for the LT position, but I think he will fit there. With the FA signings this year, the team will have now a very strong Oline, which can support and protect Justin Herbert.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan: Danielle Hunter wants out of the town and we saw last year what happened without him. The pass-rush was weak, so there is a big need for upgrade. Paye will bring versatility around the Dline, speed (4.52 40-yard dash), strenght (benched 36 times the 225) and big motor.
15. Detroit Lions (trade with New England) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama: The Lions lost Golladay, Jones and Amendola in free agency, so drafting a WR early is not a surprise. This trade down with the Patriots is a win for the Detroit front office, since they could inquire an extra first round pick for next year and they can pick one of the top3 wide receivers this year. Waddle will be a true playmaker for Jared Goff and pair him with Perriman will give a very fast duo for the team.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina: There is no nr.1 corner on the roster at the moment. Robert Alford is on the wrong side of 30 and he didn’t play since 2018. Malcolm Butler is younger, but since he left New England, he is not the same player anymore, additionally he got only a 1 year contract. This unit needs help and fortunately for the Cardinals, Horn is still available. Great speed, great athleticism, good man-cover corner. He can be a day 1 starter in the team.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech: After trading more than half of the starting OL from last year, I can’t see other option, than drafting a first round tackle prospect. Darrisaw is a very athletic, young man, who was the highest graded OT in the Power 5. Franchise LT for a team, which still looking for their true identity.
18. Miami Dolphins – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama: We can say the Dolphins pull an all in for Tua and signs not just one of his ex-receivers earlier, but the best RB of this draft class as well, who comes from Alabama. Miami’s offense is well equipped for the success, but Harris will give them another layer. He is a great runner, who can catchest he ball as well. I see, this offense will make headache for the coordinators on the other side.
19. Washington Football Team – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC: I am not so convinced, that WFT’s Oline is good enough for the future, so the team picks Vera-Tucker, who can play both on LG and LT positions. I see him more as a tackle, but wouldn’t surprise me, if the team would use him as guard. Anyway, he is a good first round pick.
20. Chicago Bears – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State: If you’re looking for your long term QB, but nobody is there at the moment (on the draft), then draft someone who will make his life easier. Signing Jenkins will give a boost for the not so strong Bears Oline and some security for Andy Dalton (and maybe for the rookie QB). He can play both on the left and the right side, so gives the team some flexibility. Bears can find their next QB in the second round.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami: After loosing both Justin Houston and Denico Autry in free agency, the Colts will bring some help for their Dline. Rousseau is a long pass-rusher, who has great athleticism and success (15.5 sacks in 2019) and can play on multiple positions. He has only one full year of experience in college, but he showed enough to be taken at this point.
22. Tennessee Titans – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern: The team lost 3 corners in free agency, but signed only Janoris Jenkins (33 years old for 1 year) and Kevin Johnson (1 year), so they need a long term nr.1 player for this position. Newsome was still on the board, so they pull the trigger and took the fast (4.37/4.40 40-yard dash) corner, who can play in man- and zone-coverage as well. He will fit into the Mike Vrabel culture.
23. New York Jets – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia: The Jets CB room is quite a mess, so an immediate help is necessary here. Stokes is a very fast (4.25 unofficial 40-yard dash), often very underrated. He still needs learn a lot, since his skills are littlebit raw, but he was a second-team All-SEC selection last year. Stokes will be able to keep up the speed with any receiver in the league.
24. Green Bay Packers (trade with Pittsburgh) – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota: Aaron Rodgers likes to throw the ball to different targets, so give him another very good receiver and he will love game days even better. Pairing Bateman with Adams, plus Tonyan as TE, will give Matt LaFleur’s team a scary trio. Good luck to defend all the three.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas: After selecting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, the Jaguars will opt to keep him healthy as much as possible, so they are selecting the very experienced tackle out of Texas. Cosmi played both at right tackle and left tackle positions, had more than 1,500 pass-blocking snaps. He has quite good athleticism and good technique for the position.
26. Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa: The team signed Malik Jackson and Takkarist McKinley in free agency, which pushed the Dline need to day2, but drafting the second best linebacker of this class is something where the Browns can’t say no. Collins is very versatile, he can rush, he can be used is space, will be a lethal weapon in Kevin Stefanski’s defense.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Dillon Radunz, OT, NDSU: It could be a little high for the young FCS star, but the Ravens needs a new RT after they try to trade Orlando Brown Jr. Radunz had a great Senior Bowl and showed he is able to compete against NFL ready players. Although he played on the left side in North Dakota State, he will switch sides and be the RT of the future for the Ravens.
28. New Orleans Saints – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: JOK would fit in the 4-3 system as OLB, who can rush the passer, but is good in coverage as well. He is a smaller LB, but plays much bigger. If the team wants to run a nickel defense, he is perfect for it as well. The team must find him the perfect role, but Sean Payton is a very good coach, who will put him where he can make plays.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (trade with Green Bay) – Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia: He will fit is Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme as an edge player. He can form a dangerous tandem with T.J. Watt. His 4.63 40-yard dash time showes, how fast he is and he is even more explosive. He still has room to grow, but he will be in a good place at the Steelers.
30. Buffalo Bills – Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington: The Bills doesn’t have many weak spots, maybe Dline is one of them. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are over 30 and won’t be long with the team, so the team can start to think about a succession plan. Tryon opted-out because of covid, but was a force in 2019, when he had 12.5 TFL and 8 sacks. He still needs time to develope, but behind the two veterans, he has all the opportunity to learn and be ready, when the time is coming.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan: Cutting both starting (but injured) tackles creates some problems and those problems must be solved. So the Chiefs selects a tackle prospect out of Michigan. Mayfield can play on the left or the right side. He had limited playing time under his belt, but the competition was strong enough (Gross-Matos, Chase Young, etc) to showcase his skills.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Carlos Basham Jr, DE, Wake Forest: After the champioship run, the Bucs was able to bring back every bigger name from last year, but some of those players will stay only one year. Basham would be rather a 4i or 5-tech player in early downs and could play inside in passing plays. He is strong, but not really fast, he will win with his technique not with speed. He had 11 sacks in 2019 and 5.5 in 2020, despite the fact, he missed games due to covid and didn’t participate in the team’s bowl game.
Just to summarize my mock, I took 5 QB, 1 TE, 1 RB, 4 WR, 8 OL, 5 DL/edge, 4 LB and 4 CB in the first round. Some player who were projected in the first round, slipped out, because of injury concerns. Thank you for your time and support again. I would love to see your opinion about my mock, so please leave a comment. If you liked it, please help me to reach more people and share it.