While I do not have to sit in an airport to get to the NFL draft this year, I did still sketch out two rounds, here is Round 1. Keep in mind, these are picks based on rumors, where players have made visits and other general information based on team needs. Enjoy!
1.1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, LSU QB
Everyone know this is going to be the pick, so there isn’t a need to elaborate too much on this. He’s the top QB prospect going to a team that has been needing a QB for years. It does suck though that the O-Line is terrible because he’s going to get killed.
1.2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Ohio State DE
Chase Young is the best player in the draft and should be going #1 if the Bengals didn’t need a QB. While I don’t think that Washington should be getting him just because I believe they could get more by trading to fill the multiple holes that they have, this is probably the smart selection to get the player that will help their team the most.
1.3. (TRADE!!!) Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, Oregon QB
While it’s hard to predict who, where, or if any trades will happen, I think with the QB controversy this year, it’s entirely plausible for a team to trade up to get the player they want, and I feel that’s the Chargers for now. Justin Herbert is being looked at right now as the #2 prospect and with no hope of getting Burrow, the Chargers make their trade up and grab him; he will compete with Tyrod Taylor for the starting gig.
1.4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, Iowa OT
Tristan has slowly climbed draft boards to become the best offensive line prospect in the draft. The Giants have a great running back and a good quarterback, so they have to get someone that can help both the run game and the passing game. Wirfs is their guy.
1.5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB
This has been the argument of the draft. Who goes 5 and who goes 6? Tua or Herbert? While a lot of people, including Mel Kiper think that Herbert is the one that will get the pick at 5, I just find it hard to believe. Tua is the better QB, and all this talk about Herbert passing him just because he was injured doesn’t change it for me. All medical reports have said Tua is looking great, with some saying he’s even MORE mobile then he was before. Tua is a phenomenal QB that I think Miami has had their eye on since last year and they are going to follow through on it.
1.6. (TRADE!!!) Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, Ohio State CB
The Lions trading down makes the most sense. This is the last possible space before a different team that needs a corner would be. I have the Lions taking Okudah at #3 and it’s great for them that they are able to trade back 3 spaces, get some additional draft picks and get the guy they wanted all along to help out their awful secondary.
1.7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, Auburn DT
The Panthers may be all in the news because of their movement at QB and extending McCaffrey, but their defense needs to be their focus. The Panthers need to replace Gerald McCoy and with Derrick Brown they are going to replace him with the best DT in the draft.
1.8. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons, Clemson LB
Isaiah Simmons‘ draft stock has been climbing the past two weeks and for good reason. I believe he is easily the best linebacker in the draft and has the ability to impact the team he plays for immediately. While the Cardinals have issues all over the place, I can’t see them passing on such a talented defensive playmaker when their defense is as bad as it is.
1.9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, South Carloina DT
The Jaguars need help on both sides of the ball, so I really just have them taking the best available player when it comes to their pick and at this point it WOULD have been Mekhi Beckton, but I believe after Beckton’s failed drug test, he is going to slide a couple spaces and so Kinlaw wins out to let the Jaguars put a stud DT on their defensive line.
1.10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, Georgia OT
After the departure of Greg Robinson, the Browns are in desperate need of an offensive tackle. While Beckton is available, I think his slide continues because the Browns don’t want to take on any more players that could turn into media headaches. Thomas I believe is the next best, but it could be a tossup between him and Wills.
1.11. New York Jets: Jedrick Wills, Alabama OT
While the Jets could easily grab a wide receiver, I think their focus would be more on protecting Sam Darnold and beefing up the offensive line so that Le’Veon will have the space to make the runs he needs to make. With Beckton still sliding, Wills is the best option for them and I think they grab him.
1.12. Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma WR
With Gruden’s first season in Vegas, they are going to have to make a splash and nothing screams excitement by taking the best receiver on the board. While there is argument over who that is between Lamb and Jeudy, I give the edge to Lamb because I believe that he did more with less at Oklahoma then Jeudy did at Alabama. He goes to Vegas to be the dominant playmaker for them.
1.13. San Francisco 49ers: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama WR
While it’s still a tossup between Lamb and Jeudy, the 49ers get the other receiver in Jeudy to give Jimmy G the best wide receiver he has played with yet. Jeudy is a dominant playmaker that will fit in great with Shanahan’s offense and will light up scoreboards all season.
1.14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton, Louisville OT
The Becton slide stops here. While the Buccaneers need help on their defense and a new running back, the first pick HAS to be a new offensive lineman that is going to protect their new golden goose, Tom Brady. Thomas was at one point projected to be a Top-5 pick and still has the talent to not only protect Brady, but also make a contribution to their running game when they get a new running back. I don’t think Tampa will let such talent slide.
1.15. Denver Broncos: Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma LB
The Broncos really needed a wide receiver, but with the top tier being drafted already and with how deep it is after them, they can afford to wait until Round 2 and instead take the top linebacker in the draft in Murray. Denver has done some work to their defense but a pick like Murray is going to make their defensive line even better.
1.16. Atlanta Falcons: CJ Henderson, Florida CB
There’s a general consensus that Atlanta really needs a corner and that Henderson seems to be the pick so I don’t really see a point in arguing with it. Henderson is a great corner and the Falcons secondary is pretty awful.