While I do not have to sit in an airport to get to the NFL draft this year (thank God!) and write this mock draft, I did still sketch my two full-round mock draft complete with trades. 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. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, QB
The undisputed No. 1 pick, no matter what anyone says. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is familiar with Murray and he is going to start his rebuild of forging the Cardinals to fit his offense, of which Murray will be the focal point. The question we should really be asking, is where will Josh Rosen land?
1.2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE
Bosa is the best defensive player in the draft — bar none. The 49ers were anemic last year on defense, so it’s essentially the smartest move of the draft being able to get such a huge talent here.
1.3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, Kentucky, DE/LB
Honestly the 3-5 picks are all interchangeable, but reports have said that Allen seems to be the most pro ready of the three, so it would be silly to not have him selected here as the pick. The Jets have some good defensive pieces already, but adding Allen to the group will make the defense scary.
1.4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, Alabama, DT
Coach Jon Gruden gets three picks in the first round. Three picks. The first one is at No. 4 and they have to select a player to fill their biggest need, and after trading away arguably one of the best pass rushers in the league last year, they need to get the best one available, which should be Williams.
1.5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, Houston, DT
I have fluctuated with Oliver going from No. 3 overall down to No. 8, but I think here at No. 5 to the Buccaneers is the best option. Rumors have been that the Buccaneers are trying to move on from Gerald McCoy and Oliver seems like the best replacement for him.
1.6. New York Giants: Rashan Gary, Michigan, DE/DT
The big question of the draft I think isn’t “Will Kyler Murray go No. 1?” it’s “Will the Giants select a quarterback with their first pick?” And I think the short and simple answer is, “no.” Gary is too big of a talent to let slip past No. 6 and that Giants could use a boost to their defense after seeing multiple defensive stalwarts of their team leave.
1.7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, Florida, OT
I’ve compared my draft picks to many others, and I am happy that almost 90 percent of us are in agreement on this one. The Jaguars made the big play for Nick Foles, and they have enough offensive weapons for him, now they just have to protect him. Taylor has a huge ceiling as a prospect and I think the Jaguars are going to snatch him up without hesitation.
1.8. Detroit Lions: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, DE/OLB
I am actually making a change to this pick in the 11th hour. I originally had Montez Sweat here, and while I think in my heart of hearts that he could still be the pick, his health issues may cause him to slide. The Lions are going to be in the market for someone who can create the disruption on the edge, and while Sweat may be the best prospect down from Bosa and Gary, the health issues are going to scare teams off. It just depends on if the Lions are one of those teams that will be scared away.
1.9. Buffalo Bills: T.J. Hockenson, Iowa, TE
The Bills have a lot of different options here, but something tells me they want Rob Gronkowski 2.0. Hockenson was one of the great Iowa tight ends last season, and if Buffalo wants any chance of bouncing back, it has to get offensive weapons in there. Buffalo already has LeSean McCoy pounding the rock, and brought over Cole Beasley and John Brown to help their receiving corps, but the team lacks a tight end.
1.10. Denver Broncos: Devin White, LSU, LB
While general manager John Elway may be dying to get himself a new quarterback, I think cooler heads prevail and he takes White. White is an NFL ready linebacker who will be starting Day 1 and will help the Broncos succeed on the defensive side of the ball, while Elway figures out what he needs for the offense.
1.11. Cincinnati Bengals: Drew Lock, Missouri, QB
I previously had Lock going to the Broncos, and while that still could be the pick, I believe if he makes it past that No. 10 pick and the Bengals pounce on him. Andy Dalton is not getting better with age like Tom Brady, and the time is coming to find the next man up since they let A.J. McCarron go (solid choice). Lock has got an arm that rivals Dalton, and with the proper coaching, can be the guy to finally take the Bengals past the first round of the playoffs.
1.12. Green Bay Packers: Cody Ford, Oklahoma, G/OT
The Packers are back with a new coach and that I believe that coach’s first and foremost goal is going to be to cater to Aaron Rodgers so he can take them back to the Super Bowl, and the first part of that is making sure he doesn’t get hit. Ford is a versatile player being able to play tackle and guard and can be an immediate help to the team under their new leadership.
1.13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, Clemson, DT
The Dolphins never really found someone to fill the shoes for Ndamukong Suh, and while a lot of people think that the Dolphins might go quarterback, I think they’re going to wait for Tua Tagovailoa next year so they can go and get a championship-winning defensive tackle now.
1.14. Atlanta Falcons: Andre Dillard, Washington State, OT
The Falcons need help on both lines, but I think the offensive line wins out due to how much deeper the defensive prospects are this year compared to the offensive. Dillard is a blue chip offensive tackle talent, and while he may or may not be an improvement over Ty Sambrailo, he at least provides good depth and the ability to plug-and-play to keep their line fresh.
1.15. Washington: Daniel Jones, Duke, QB
Washington is a hot prospect for the Josh Rosen trade, but I think once the clock starts ticking, the team might pull the trigger on Jones. Jones is a quality prospect that if groomed right, could be a franchise quarterback. Washington is in no rush to put a rookie quarterback in with its acquisition of Case Keenum, but the team could have him hold a clipboard and learn from Keenum and Smith to where he could be the guy for years to come.
1.16. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, Florida State, DE/OLB
Burns is one of the big beneficiaries of Montez Sweat’s slide. Sweat could end up here at 16, but I think the Panthers are wanting to get a “for sure thing” as opposed to taking a risk. Burns is a solid defensive end who provides way better upside than what is currently on their roster.
1.17. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, QB
AND HERE IT IS. The quarterback of the future for New York. After trading Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants manage to get a pick in the middle of the first round, and can select one of their top quarterback prospects. Haskins was at one point considered the best quarterback prospect in the draft but has since slid. The Giants are committed to playing with Eli Manning this year, so it gives Haskins time to adapt to the NFL and the Giants’ playbooks.
1.18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams, Alabama, OT/G
Kirk Cousins was touted as the most mesmerizing free agent quarterback signing last offseason, and for good reason. The Vikings were coming off a stellar playoff run behind Case Keenum and Cousins was a great talent in Washington. It seemed like this match was going to tear through the NFC, but that didn’t happen. Cousins was sacked continuously due to poor offensive line play, and the Vikings war room has made this the highest priority. Out of all the offensive line talent in this year’s draft, Williams is the one with the best value at this pick. He has a high reward and low risk and seems to be NFL ready.
1.19. Tennessee Titans: Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State, C/G
Marcus Mariota has never played a full year, and that has got to be on the Titans offensive line. Upgrades need to be done, so that Mariota can be the franchise-leading quarterback that he is meant to be. Bradbury is one of the best offensive linemen available and can immediately start at right guard.
1.20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, Michigan, LB
The Steelers haven’t really replaced Ryan Shazier, because I think they hope he will come back, but they have to face facts. Even if he does come back, will he be the talent that he was? I think that they need to draft an insurance policy. Bush is one of the best linebackers in the draft and putting him and T.J. Watt together is going to spell trouble for opposing offenses.
1.21. Seattle Seahawks: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State, DE/OLB
I think the slide of Sweat ends here. Sweat is easily a Top-10 talent, and even with the heart condition, he can’t fall out of the first round. The Seahawks have just traded Frank Clark and will need someone to take over for him at defensive end. Sweat can be that talent and bring in the new era of Seahawks defensive dominance.
1.22. Baltimore Ravens: DK Metcalf, Mississippi, WR
I’ve been struggling with this pick as I believe the Ravens can honestly go with any of the big receivers (Metcalf, Marquise Brown, A.J. Brown) but that they settle on Metcalf due to his speed alone. Lamar Jackson can pound the ball on the ground and he will have a giant speedy receiver to chuck it down to.
1.23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, Mississippi, OT
The Texans are atrocious on the offensive line. Honestly, if they would have had a better offensive line, they might have gone to the AFC Championship. Little is one of the best offensive tackles in this year’s draft, and while the Texans also need secondary help, it would be crazy to let him pass on this pick when they can get that in the second round.
1.24. Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, Alabama, RB
The Raiders have a huge question mark at running back. Jacobs is easily the best running back of the draft, and coach Jon Gruden will scoop him up to have him split carries for a while before taking over as the workhorse.
1.25. Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College, G
The Eagles made a trade for Jordan Howard last month, and now they need to make sure that they can utilize him. Lindstrom is a quality guard who can start immediately on a team that is lacking in talent at the position and makes the Eagles running game relevant.
1.26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, DT/DE
The Colts need help on the defensive side of the ball and Lawrence is such a versatile player that he can help as either a defensive tackle or a defensive end. I have actually seen a couple of mock drafts that share my opinion on this pick, and it’s easy to see why. Andrew Luck has the offense clicking on all cylinders, and if the defense gets going, we could be seeing the New England Patriots miss out on the Super Bowl.
1.27. Oakland Raiders: Byron Murphy, Washington, CB
The last pick for the Raiders in the first round and they need to solidify their last pressing need, corner. Murphy is the best corner in the draft and the Raiders will be able to luck into drafting him before the next two teams who also need corner help.
1.28. Los Angeles Chargers: Rock Ya-Sin, Temple, CB
While the Chargers could be looking at a quarterback to take over for Philip Rivers, I think they opt to help their secondary which lost them a lot of games last year. Ya-Sin has quickly moved up draft boards during the combine.
1.29. Seattle Seahawks: Greedy Williams, LSU, CB
Seattle will need to start rebuilding its defensive backfield and there is no better start than with Williams. Williams was once looked at as the top cornerback prospect of the class but has since slid down the list. The Seahawks know talent when it comes to secondary, so I feel like it would be remiss for them to let him go any lower than here.
1.30. Green Bay Packers: Noah Fant, Iowa, TE
In the Packers’ second pick of the first round, I think they get Aaron Rodgers a weapon he really needs: a complete tight end. Fant and Hockenson are easily the Top-2 tight ends of the draft and while there could be arguments for either to be “the best,” I think that just goes to Hockenson and Fant falls here. With Rodgers being able to spread the ball between Davante Adams, Equanimeous St. Brown, Geronimo Allison, Jimmy Graham and Fant, the offense will always be guessing.
1.31. Los Angeles Rams: Erik McCoy, Texas A&M, C/G
The Rams were embarrassed in the Super Bowl and it seemed like it was because Jared Goff couldn’t get anything going. The Rams can take McCoy here and help improve their offensive line, so that maybe Goff can develop more and get the offense going so that a game like that never happens again.
1.32. New England Patriots: Zach Allen, Boston College, DE
While I originally had the Patriots taking a tight end here to replace Rob Gronkowski, they then went out and signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins who I think Bill Belichick is going to turn into a bonafide star. So that means they move on to their next need, defensive line. Allen is a quality prospect in a defense that is probably always going to need to be tweaked. With proper coaching, Allen will be able to mold into holding down probably the left defensive end position for years to come.