After Owain’s storming effort with a December mock draft, I was inspired to have a go and see where this years top college prospects may land. Here is my NFL Draft mock 1.0
How will those teams with more than 1 first round pick – Miami, Oakland and Jacksonville – utilise the opportunity to potentially revive their fortunes? Will the NFL’s elite add even more top level talent to their roster? Read on and find out.
*** All draft positions are based on current draft rankings ***
The top 10
1. Cincinatti Bengals – Joe Burrow QB – LSU
No player has seen their draft stock rocket as quickly in recent years as Joe Burrow. After an underwhelming debut season in Baton Rogue, the Ohio state transfer was sensational this year. With the Andy Dalton era over in Cincinatti, Zac Taylor gets his Quarterback of the future with the first pick
2. New York Giants – Chase Young EDGE – Ohio
The Giants lack an effective pass rush. Chase Young, if he chooses to forego his final year at Ohio, gives them an immediate presence from the edge. One of the best pass rushers to come out of college in recent years, and the best player in this draft, this pick is a no brainer. Gettleman should be sprinting up to turn his card in.
3. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa QB – Alabama
The ‘Tank for Tua’ program comes to fruition. The Dolphins snare the QB they have been rumoured to covet all year. Injury concerns have muddied the waters, but Tua should be ready to go come September. The Dolphins are the one team that has the ammunition to make a splash next year too, should Tua’s injury problems rumble on.
4. Washington Redskins – Jeffrey Okudah -CB – Ohio
There are a few options that the Redskins could explore here. Offensive tackle seems an obvious choice, and some more weapons for Dwayne Haskins wouldn’t go amiss. However, here the Redskins go for the number 1 defensive back in the draft. Josh Norman is no longer the player he was in Carolina and the rest of the CB corps is not spectacular.
5. Detroit Lions – Isiah Simmons S/LB – Clemson
A hybrid linebacker/safety, Isiah Simmons can line up in various position on the defensive side of the ball. The Lions have disappointed after a bright start and can use help all over the field, particularly defensively. Simmons provides a day 1 starter, with the ability to make plays in various spots.
6. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs OT – Iowa
Having invested in their future by picking QB Kyler Murray lasy year, the Cardinals now need to support their investment. I feel the Cardinals could use help at TE to expand their offence, but with no 1st round caliber tight ends available, they select a top level tackle in Wirfs. Quick feet, strong and long, he will no doubt help Kyler Murray even if he plays mainly on the right.
7. New York Jets – Andrew Thomas OT – Georgia
Another QB in need of protection is Sam Darnold. The Jets O-line play does their 2nd year starter absolutely no favours. Here they get an absolute monster of a blindside protector. Only a one year starter on the left side of the line, he may lack some experience but he is an immediate upgrade on what the Jets have.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy WR – Alabama
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been in free fall since their 2017 AFC Championship game loss. Jerry Jeudy was proven to be an elite receiver in his time in Tuscaloosa. Jalen Ramsey needs replaced but the Jags can’t afford to allow a player like Jeudy slide past them, particularly with another 1st round pick to come. He will compliment DJ Chark well.
9. LA Chargers – Justin Herbert QB – Oregon
Philip Rivers time with the Chargers looks to be drawing to a close. Even if he plays in 2020, the Chargers need to look the future. By snagging Herbert, they do that. A great rhythm passer, Herbert has the ability to make huge plays. If the Chargers can protect him well, they will have a player kn their hands
10. Denver Broncos – Derrick Brown – Auburn
A complete wrecking ball of a player, Derrick Brown is fun to watch. He has the ability to draw double teams, push pockets and wreck backfields. How many teams would look forward to facing a defensive front containing Brown, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb?
The middle rounds
11. Carolina Panthers – Grant Delpit S – LSU
All depends on who is coaching Carolina in 2020, and the big question around Cam Newton’s future. I think Cam comes back for another year on a (in QB terms) relatively cheap contract. Delpit would fill a position of need for the Panthers at safety, and could become a fixture in their secondary for years to come.
12.Atlanta Falcons – AJ Espenesa EDGE – Iowa
Atlanta lack a top level edge pass rusher. Takk McKinley’s production since entering the league has been moderate at best. Grady Jarrtt gets his fair share from the DT position, but still the Falcons lie 30th in team sacks, above only the Bengals and Dolphins. Incredibly strong, and difficult to stop one on one, Espenesa is just what they are looking for.
13. Oakland Raiders – CeeDee Lamb WR – Oklahoma
The Raiders started off promisingly in 2019, but fizzled out down the stretch. After the Antonio Brown fiasco, Gruden is still looking for his WR1. Here, he goes to Oklahoma in the first round to draft Lamb – a tough, strong receiver that gives Derek Carr another weapon moving forward.
14.Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills OT – Alabama
The darlings of the offseason have flattered to deceive in 2019. There is talent on the Browns roster, however. Most people will agree that their O-line has sucked. By snapping up Wills, they immediately upgrade. With his skills in run blocking, he would be an ideal fit for the backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
15. Indianapolis Colts – Jordan Love – Utah
The Colts suffered a huge setback this offseason when franchise QB Andrew Luck retired. Jacoby Brissett has been fine stepping in, but he isnt going to lead a franchise moving forward. Love has shown great arm talent and escapabilty from pressure in the pocket. Sitting behind Brissett until he is to run the offence sounds like a decent place for him to land.
16. Philadelphia Eagles – Henry Ruggs III WR – Alabama
The Philadelphia Eagles coming into tue draft need help on the perimeter on both sides of the ball. Their CB and WR groups need major upgrades. With the depth of CBs available later in the draft, I give them Ruggs, the Alabama speedster. With his ability to stretch the field, he and Wentz could replicate the succesful Mahomes-Hill dynamic.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jonathan Taylor RB – Wisconsin
The middle of the draft is often a difficult place to pick, and so it proved selecting for the Bucs. Jameis Winston is a polarising figure, capable of the sublime and the ridiculous in equal measures. By giving him the top RB in the draft, the Bucs can potentially reduce his workload and cut down on costly turnovers?
18. Oakland Raiders (via Bears) – Dylan Moses LB – Alabama
Despite missing the whole of the 2019 season, Moses has shown enough to be considered as a day 1 prospect. With speed, size and intelligence in abundance, Moses would immediately upgrade one of the leagues weakest linebacker groups.
19. Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE – Penn State
The Tennesse Titans are one of the better defensive outfits in the league. Yetur Gross-Matos has a high motor, works hard and only good things seem to be spoken about the 6ft 5, 264lber. With Cameron Wake in the Autumn of his career, pairing Gross-Matos with Harold Landry would give the Titans a nice pass rush duo moving forward.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams) – Kristian Fulton CB – LSU
Picking up this 1st round pick from the Rams in exchange for Jalen Ramsay, the Jags draft his replacement here. Better in man to man, than zone coverage, Fulton has all the tools to succeed at the next level. Having played well against college football’s top receivers will stand him in good stead.
The playoff teams
21. Miami Dolphins (via Steelers) – K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE – LSU
With their second 1st round pick, acquired in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, the Dolphins pick up another position of need. The Dolphins have logged a paltry 18 sacks this seasons. Not since Cameron Wake in his prime have the Dolphins had a consistantly productive pass rusher. Chaisson will hopefully give them that, and if it all works out he has the potential to be a star in the NFL
22. Buffalo Bills – Tee Higgins WR – Clemson
The Bills have surpassed expectations this season, reaching the playoffs and still. On contention for the AFC East heading into week 16. Their defence has been strong, and Josh Allen has improved no end. Higgins is huge, with a large catch radius which will help Josh Allen’s accuracy issues. With John Browns field stretching speed, and Cole Beasley working the middle of the field, adding Higgins to this wide receiver group will give the Bills a great mix at the position.
23.Minnesota Vikings – Javon Kinlaw DT – South Carolina
The Vikings have an elite outside rush preesence in Danielle Hunter. They are well stocked at corner also. By adding Kinlaw they would be beef up the centre of their defensive line – his ability to wreck offensive lines would make their defence even more formidable.
24. San Francisco 49ers – CJ Henderson CB – Florida
Starting the season like a house on fire, the 49ers defence seemed unstoppable. However, over the last couple of weeks, some minor cracks have started to show, particularly in the secondary. Richard Sherman, althiugh great, is on the back 9 of his career. Fellow starter Ahkello Witherspoon is solid, if unspectacular, but they lack depth behind these two. Adding Henderson to the rotation would provide a more interesting dynamic
25. Dallas Cowboys – Xavier McKinney S – Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys have been in the market for a safety for some time, with rumblings about trading for Earl Thomas last year, to enquiring about Jamal Adams at the trade deadline. Here, they pick the best safety available on the board. Adept at playing deep or close to the scrimmage line, Cowboys fans will quickly warm to him.
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston) – Tyler Biadasz C – Wisconsin
With a QB and edge rusher in place, the Dolphins turn their attention to the offensive line. A big, strong dude with ability to throw off defensive lineman, he is just what the Dolphins need to help with their huge roster rebuild.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Shaun Wade CB – Ohio State
Compared to last season, the Chiefs have made strides on defence. They have a great safety duo in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill, but lack something at corner.by taking the second Buckeye corner off the board, the Chiefs get a strong tackling, versatile corner who can play on the slot or cover the outside.
28. New Orleans Saints – Laviska Shenault JR WR – Colorado
The Saints have a well rounded roster without huge glaring holes. Michael Thomas is a freak and one of the best WR in football. By pairing Shenault, with his blend of size and speed, and Thomas, the Saints will give defensive ive co-ordinators fits. Sean Payton would love to have another weapon like Shenault at his disposal.
29. New England Patriots – Curtis Weaver EDGE – Boise State
New England’s defence has kept them in the playoff mix all season, witht their anaemic offence struggling to hit the heights on a consistant basis. However, they have lacked a consistant pass rusher with Chase Winovich taking his time to find a role in a complex scheme. Tough, with a good football IQ, Weaver looks like a Patriots pick
30.Green Bay Packers – Kenneth Murray LB – Oklahoma
A quick sideline to sideline linebacker, the Oklahoma man may be seen more as a developmental project, than an instant starter, but he has the tools to make an impact on Lambeau Field in the future.
31. Seattle Seahawks – Alex Leatherwood OT – Alabama
Leatherwood has had a stellar 2019 at left tackle for the Crimson Tide. Russell Wilson would not turn down some better protection in 2020. It is unclear who will be returning from the current incumbents on the O-line. With Leatherwoods past experience at Guard, he should find a role in Seattle
32. Baltimore Ravens – D’Andre Swift RB – Georgia
Baltimore continue to build their ‘track team’ with the most explosive back of rhe draft. With good hands he is an effective pass catching running back. With electric speed in the open field, he could soon become Lamar Jackson’s best friend