2021 WIWD 1 ROUND MOCK (NO TRADES)

Hello all, and merry Draftmas Eve. For my first and only published mock of the year I will be making the first 32 selections of the first round with no trades. This will proceed my free solo 2 round mock, with trades, that I will complete in podcast form tomorrow morning. Hope you all enjoy!

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson;  No surprises here as Jacksonville goes chalk with the best quarterback prospect we’ve seen in quite some time. Lawrence has dominated at every level and possesses an extremely high floor and ceiling, with all the intangibles you could want for a franchise quarterback. Lawrence developing under Urban Myer’s tutelage is a mouthwatering proposition for Jags nation.

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson QB BYU; I’ll be the first to admit, Zach Wilson is a high risk high reward proposition. His tape this past fall shows me an explosive arm with a quick release who routinely exhibits his ability to complete sublime off-platform throws, as well as every other throw in the book. His possible downsides are legit, he rarely threw under any pressure and competed against a group of five schedule this past year. That being said, the anticipation and arm talent is there, which leads me to believe with proper progression and coaching, Zach Wilson has elite franchise potential.

3. San Fransisco 49rs – Justin Fields QB Ohio State; Fields is a slightly safer prospect than Wilson and offers a similar ceiling mostly due to the elite athleticism he possesses at the quarterback position. His slight deficiencies as a passer will be significantly curbed in Kyle Shanahan’s system, and his rushing upside will give the rest of the league fits. 

4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts TE Florida; Being that this is a no trade mock, Kyle Pitts is the stick and pick for Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith. While Patrick Surtain would fill more of a need, adding an elite upper echelon offensive weapon like Kyle Pitts to this offense would give Matt Ryan the best chance of immediate success. Pitts is truly an offensive weapon,  who will create mismatches and give defenses nightmares from week 1.

5.Cincinnati Bengals –  Jamar Chase WR LSU; Who helps Joe Burrow more? Jamar Chase or Penei Sewell? After much internal and external debate with my colleagues here at the BackJudge, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jamar Chase should be the pick at five. Chase and Burrow were a special duo in their 2019 championship run, combining for 84 receptions on 121 targets for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Yes the offensive line is abysmal, but while Penei Sewell is a fantastic step, he will not change that. Jamar Chase is your wide receiver one from day one, and makes a solid receiving core great, which I believe Burrow his best chance at success.

Kyle Pitts is a Unicorn

6. Miami Dolphins –  Penei Sewell OT Oregon; At the risk of a perceived contradiction here, allow me to justify why Penei Sewell should be the pick here over Jaylen Waddle or Devonta Smith. The Dolphins really are a left tackle away from having an solid, well above average offensive line. Their receiving talent, is quite impressive now that Will Fuller has been added to Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Jakeem Grant, and Preston Williams.  Adding an elite prospect like Sewell at left tackle allows Austin Jackson to shift to right tackle, pushing Robert Hunt to the inside, a position that much more suits him (This also holds true if the Dolphins prefer Sewell to play right tackle, protecting Tua’s blindside.)

7. Detroit Lions – Trey Lance QB North Dakota State; If you follow our podcast this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Detroit has needs virtually everywhere, but quarterback seems chief among them. Jared Goff isn’t the answer in Detroit, something that will become quite evident this fall. Detroit is stocked with draft capital in 2022 and 2023 to continue to fill out this roster. In adding Lance, Detroit could have an elite quarterback in three to five years, his physical talent and upside is that good. Lance is an elite athlete much like Fields, and possess rocket arm strength. However, Lance has only played for one year and has 318 passing attempts to his name. In Detroit, Lance is perfectly situated to take a redshirt year and start in 2022 with hopefully a better roster surrounding him. 

8. Carolina Panthers – Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama; Carolina finds themselves in a similar spot as Cincinnati and Miami, weighing the opportunity cost of offensive line vs. receiver for their young quarterback in Sam Darnold. For me this came down to Waddle or Smith, rather than Slater or Darrisaw. As my wide receiver two, Waddle’s ceiling was too much to pass up on. Waddle is the closest thing to Tyreek Hill the NFL has seen since tore up the league as  a rookie in 2016. Waddle has legit 4.2/4.3 speed with an explosive twitch skill set that makes his an absolute nightmare after the catch. He also is a complete receiver who has great ball skills, giving me confidence he can thrive both on the outside and the slot. Waddle/Anderson/Moore gives Joe Brady and Sam Darnold an explosive, versatile trio to expand the passing game. 

9. Denver Broncos – Mac Jones QB Alabama; This is probably a little too sweet for Mac Jones but I don’t think the Broncos have much of a choice, they need to upgrade from Drew Lock. Jones is that upgrade, a high floor, limited ceiling quarterback prospect that will be able to make the most of Denver’s electrifying receiving weapons. Jones just needs to be a point guard and help this offense reach it’s ceiling, in order to justify this pick. 

10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama; The Cowboys need help on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. Patrick Surtain is a scheme diverse prospect who offers the highest floor in this cornerback class. Simply put I would be shocked if Surtian is a below average starter at corner. This is what a win now team like Dallas needs, an instant impact starter as the CB1 in Big D.

Surtain II will be very good for a very long time

11. New York Giants – Devonta Smith WR Alabama; A continuing theme at the top half of the draft continues with the Giants, adding elite receiving prospects to help our quarterback on his rookie deal. Adding Kenny Golladay was a nice move by Dave Gentleman, adding Devonta Smith on top of that would be fantastic. Sterling Shepard is a good slot and would be a great wide receiver 3 here, as would Darius Slayton as your wide receiver 4 and deep threat. Giving Daniel Jones a healthy Saquon Barkley, these four receivers plus Evan Engram would allow the front office to properly evaluate Daniel Jones as his fifth year option looms. 

12. Philadelphia Eagles – Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina; With the elite receivers off the board, I think the Eagles have to address their defense. This came down to Jaycee Horn or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah for me, and with the scarcity and positional value present with corner, as opposed to linebacker, I went with Horn. It’s hard not to love Jaycee Horn’s tape, he’s long, physical, an elite athlete, with that dawg mentality to boot. Horn is in a perfect spot to learn opposite Darius Slay, and eventually grow into one of the leagues best man to man corners. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater OL Northwestern; The Chargers need a Left Tackle to fully complete their offensive line infront of Justin Herbert. This came down to Rashawn Slater or Christian Darrisaw, with Slater getting the nod because I think he has a higher floor while offering a similar ceiling. It’s tough to poke holes in Slater’s game, he’s a freak athlete for the position who can play all five positions across the offensive line. I’m not going to put being an elite left tackle past him, and if I’m wrong he can be an elite guard for the future in Los Angeles. 

14. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech; Both Jaelan Phillips and Kwity Paye were enticing here, but I’m not counting on Rashod Hill or Ezra Cleveland to protect Kirk Cousins blindside. The Vikings were abysmal in the trenches last year, Darrisaw has elite tools and will be a mauler in the run game from day one who can grow into a special player.

15. New England Patriots – Micah Parsons LB Penn State; While Parsons is a 1B to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in my LB rankings, I love the fit and potential of Parsons in New England. Parsons is right up Bill Belichick’s alley as a gab shooting linebacker who can be the heir apparent to D’onta Hightower, while playing meaningful, impactful snaps from week 1. Parsons is an special athlete and talent for the postion who can grow into a franchise center piece in New England under Belichick’s tutelage. 

16. Arizona Cardinals – Asante Samuel Jr. CB Florida State; I’ve firmly planted my flag on Asante island. Samuel is an instinctual, fluid corner with plenty of ball production throughout his time in Tallahassee. Samuels only real con is his size at 5’10 180, however I’m not betting against Samuel to be an absolute stud on the outside from day 1 across from Byron Murphy.

17. Las Vegas Raiders – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame; Addressing the offensive line seems to be chalk at this point for the Raiders but JOK is too talented to pass up on. Vegas needs major help with regards to their pass defense, and Owusu-Koramoah will do wonders for this need. Owusu-Koramoah is a true unicorn chess piece who can be used in multiple roles across the defense. The Raiders can address the OL on day two and three. 

Make it happen Mayock

18. Miami Dolphins – Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami; I was fully prepared to take Rashod Bateman here but Phillips upside is too much to pass up on. Phillips is the best EDGE in this class and will fill a top need on this already imposing Brian Flores defense. Miami still has two picks in round 2 to address the offense, and adding pass rusher of his potential would give this defense a threat it sorely lacks.

19. Washington Football Team – Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota; Out of the quarterback market here, I like Washington to continue to add to the receiving core with Rashod Bateman. Bateman is a NFL ready outside receiver who has fantastic release packages and route running ability allowing him to separate with ease. Pairing Bateman with the already elite Terry McLaurin and matchup nightmare Curtis Samuel, Washington will have a dynamic receiver trio for years to come. 

20. Chicago Bears – Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern; The Bears are the toughest team to mock for, having a glaring need at QB, but taking a shot on Kellen Mond or Davis Mills seems rich to me here. Instead I attacked perhaps the seconds biggest need on their roster, cornerback. Greg Newsome isn’t the same prospect that Caleb Farley is, but his lack of significant medical risk makes him the selection. Newsome is a fluid athlete with impressive change of direction, a scheme diverse prospect with pro bowl caliber upside who can slot right across from last years second round pick, Jaylon Johnson. 

21. Indianapolis Colts – Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC; With the acquisition of Carson Went and the retirement of Anthony Costanzo, the Colts top priority should be left tackle. Vera-Tucker was a standout at left tackle for the Trojans this past fall, who perhaps projects more as a guard at the next level. That being said, Vera-Tucker is fundamentally clean and while not being an elite athlete for the position, has the looks of a rock steady LT at the next level at the very least. 

22. Tennesse Titans – Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech; The Titans have a host of needs despite being a division winner in 2020. Cornerback is their biggest need in my opinion, and in Caleb Farley the Titans get a truly special athlete who can step in from day 1 and help keep the Titans in their competitive window. The elephant in the room of course is the medicals, Farley just underwent his second back surgery, a micro-discectomy, which should have him ready to suit up week 1. The question remains though, how will Farley’s back hold up over multiple NFL seasons at a position that is often put through intense contact. 

23. New York Jets – Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan; While I’d love to continue to add to the offense and aide Zach Wilson’s development, getting Robert Saleh a edge rusher with the talent of Paye is too much to pass up. Adding Paye to Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers, gives Saleh the type of depth at the position he had in San Francisco. On top of the positional need, Paye has sky high potential due to his truly rare burst and change of direction ability. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Tevin Jenkins OT Oklahoma State; While the masses shout for Najee Harris here, Pittsburgh will stay heady and take an instant impact player to slot in at right tackle. Jenkins is a entertaining watch, a mean people mover who thrives in the run game. He has room to grow as a pass protector but is no slouch by any means. With Jenkins in the fold, Pittsburg can address RB in the later rounds with a the requisite pieces in place on the offensive line. 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig S TCU; Jacksonville’s second selection is an interesting one, much like the Jets the have a host of needs on both sides of the ball. I opted for Trevon Moehrig over Azeez Ojulari to help round out this Jaguars secondary. Moehrig is a versatile defensive back who can play all over the backfield from day one at a high level. While he might not have the highest of ceilings, his high floor ability from both the safety, box, and nickel role should be felt in Jacksonville. 

26. Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins LB Tulsa; The once lowly Browns have dominated this offseason behind Andrew Berry, making their roster arguably the best in the NFL. Off-ball linebacker is their biggest remaining need and Zaven Collins is a perfect fit here. Collins is an absolute freak, he is a weapon both as a gap shooting blitzer and also shows good coverage ability for a 270 pound man. Getting a player like Collins would give Cleveland an impact player at every level of their defense. 

27. Baltimore Ravens – Azeez Ojulari EDGE Georgia; With the departure of Matt Judon, Baltimore is ripe to select his replacement in Ojulari. Ojulari is right up Baltimores alley, laden with upside but also presents an impact starter from day one. Ojulari has great cornering ability and has a great first step. Baltimore is back picking at 31 to help out Lamar Jackson and the offense.

28. New Orleans Saints – Rondale Moore WR Purdue; Rondale Moore is a difference maker plain and simple. He is a dynamic playmaker who reminds be a lot of Percy Harvin. Moore has had some issues staying healthy and was really an offensive weapon at Purdue, lacking a real route tree or defined role. Giving him to an offensive guru like Sean Payton, gives Moore the best chance of eclipsing his ceiling. Pairing Rondale with Michael Thomas would give New Orleans an electric, creative pass catching duo that would terrorize the rest of the league. 

BigEasy Baller

29. Green Bay Packers – Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss; Much like Rondale, Elijah Moore is a difference maker who will improve the offense of what ever team is blessed to draft him. Unlike Rondale, Elijah has a refined receiver skill set, is a nuanced route runner, and was used in a more projectable role at Ole Miss. While he’s not as explosive as Rondale, few are, and Elijah still has great athletic testing, posting a 4.35 40 and a 6.66 three cone. The Packers are firmly in their championship window, and while Devante Adams has been able to dominate without any real help around him, adding a weapon like Moore would continue to make Green Bay an elite offense for the rest of Rodgers career.  

30. Buffalo Bills – Christian Barmore DL Alabama; Buffalo has greater needs at corner and edge, but is solid enough to take a chance on Barmore who’s high end is greater than any other in this interior defensive class. I’m lower on Barmore than most due to his inconsistencies throughout last year, but theres no denying the impact he makes on a game as a do-it-all defensive tackle when he’s on. If Buffalo can get the player we saw throughout the CFB playoff, their interior duo of Barmore and Oliver will reek havoc on the AFC.

31. Baltimore Ravens – Kadarius Toney WR Florida; The Ravens could use more of a outside bigger body receiver, but I couldn’t let a talent like Toney slip past them. Kadarius has unteachable, perhaps even unprecedented elusiveness. He can attack the middle of the field alongside Mark Andrews, playing into Lamar Jackson’s strengths.  While his receiving skill set is raw, his upside as a weapon and go to guy for Lamar is too much for me to pass on at 31.

Cole Beasley + Lamar Jackson = Kadarius Toney

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M; This isn’t a move to help Tampa Bay win another championship in 2021, however, getting a first round talent in Mond at the quarterback position to sit behind Tom Brady is something I like the potential of. By the Brady retires Mond could have 2 to 3 years in the system already, and has all the tools to be a good starting quarterback. Mond had no NFL level weapons during his time in College Station and would instantly be thrust into a fantastic system with Bruce Arians.

2021 3 Round Divisional Mock : NFC WEST

To kick off our Divisional Mock Draft series we head out to the NFC West, arguably the leagues best division. With all four of these teams in their respective Super Bowl windows, let’s see if we can find some fits for teams that are all expecting playoff seasons come this fall. There are no trades allowed in this exercise, so each team will be make their selections as they stand here in early April.

San Fransisco 49rs:

Round 1 Pick 3 – Justin Fields QB Ohio State

While I’ve been the BackJudge’s most vocal proponent of Zach Wilson and his ceiling, I also love the NFL prospects of Justin Fields. Fields is a superb athlete with arm strength and accuracy to boot. In two years of starting at Ohio State, Fields has demonstrated leadership, moxy, and some great tape against the nations top competition. Like Wilson, where Fields gets into some trouble is with his decision making and occasionally the ability to properly read the defense leading to some poor decisions and ugly turnovers. Enter Kyle Shanahan and his offense in San Fransisco, a system that I’ve long loved and consider to be elite. Shanahan’s system will be able to make Fields’ transition to pro game as seamless as possible while curbing some of the issues Fields has shown to have with going through his progressions. Despite my endless adoration for Kyle Shanahan and more broadly the San Fransisco organization, I will be disappointed if they pass on Fields, and to a lesser extent Trey Lance, for Mac Jones. 

Round 2 Pick 43 – Asante Samuel Jr. CB Florida State

Perhaps I’m just higher on Samuel than most, who’s lack of size will likely push him to day 2. Samuel’s lack of ideal size and physicality can lead to him getting bullied a bit by bigger, more physical receivers. However, he checks are the requisite athletic boxes to play the position at a high level and has multiple impressive moments of feel and instinct littered all over this tape. I think he’s a high floor, scheme diverse player, who at the very least can be a starting slot corner in the NFL. 

Round 3 Pick 102 – Jaelon Darden WR North Texas 

Despite having two young studs in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, receiver is still a sneaky position of need for the 49rs. While it seems prudent to bring in a receiver who fits, the recently departed, Kendrick Bourne’s mold, adding another RAC freak to Samuel and Aiyuk is too juicy for me to pass up. Darden has been a popular draft sleeper for good reason, he’s a twitched up jitterbug, who’s change of direction and make you miss ability is as elite as it gets. At 5’8 174 pounds, Darden will likely be restricted to the slot and gadget plays, but who better to give a weapon like this to than Kyle Shanahan. The idea of Justin Fields throwing to Kittle, Samuel, Aiyuk, and Darden already has me wanting to gobble up all the San Fransisco futures I can find. 

Asante Samuel Jr. will be a steal on Day 2

Arizona Cardinals:

Round 1 Pick 16 – Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina 

Despite being a well documented Kyler Murray fan and believer, I’m still hesitant too fully buy into the 2021 Arizona Cardinals. While most of this caution is due to my lukewarm opinion of Kliff Kingsbury, also a lot of my reservation stems with this defense. JJ Watt is no doubt a great piece to add the trenches and help free up Chandler Jones. Buddha Baker is an elite safety and Isiah Simmons should continue to develop towards being a high end starter. While Byron Murphy has justified my CB1 grade on him coming out in 2019, the rest of the corner room is a mess; enter Jaycee Horn. Horn is the modern cornerback prototype; 6’1 205 with 4.39 speed and a 42” vertical. On top of the measurables and projections, Horn’s tape is also impressive. He’s got that dawg mentality, he competes every snap and backs up his talk. While his tackling ability leaves a lot left to be desired, his coverage floor and upside gives him a firm round 1 grade. 

Round 2 Pick 49 – Joseph Ossai EDGE Texas 

Behind Chandler Jones there isn’t a lot of quality depth in the EDGE room. Joseph Ossai is a high floor edge who lacks the physical traits of the names we see more frequently mentioned in this EDGE class. He still however is a impressive athlete for this position positing a 4.65 40 yard dash and a 42” vertical. Ossai has a tremendous motor, which lead to so much of his production at Texas. While he may never become an elite pass rusher, he has the tools to be productive and should be plus as a run defender. I think he offers a higher ceiling than Markus Golden and Devon Kennard and should have a solid role from day 1. 

Jaycee Horn has that dawg mentality

Seattle Seahawks:

Round 2 Pick 56 – Walker Little OT Stanford 

As a result of “Organization Hubris,” (insert:BJP Trademark) Seattle has stripped themselves of their draft capital. Their seemingly harmonious marriage with Russell Wilson showed some deep seeded resentment and tension this offseason; supposedly stemming from philosophical differences between Wilson and Pete Carrol, on top of continued porous play from the offensive line. If Seattle has any interest in repairing their fractured relationship with their elite QB, it should start in the trenches come day 2. Walker Little is a former five-star recruit who was the ninth-best overall recruit in 2017. He has an impressive build at 6’8 313 pounds and has the potential to grow into a starting NFL left tackle. The concerns with Little come from the fact that he hasn’t played in two years, opting out this past year and tearing his ACL week 1 of 2019. Little played 783 snaps in 2018, impressing in pass pro while struggling a bit in the run game. While there is considerable risk with Little, the Seahawks should be enamored by his upside. 

Walker Little is a mountain of a man with upside for days

Los Angeles Rams:

Round 2 Pick 57 – Jevon Holland DB Oregon

Like the Seahawks, the Rams have also sacrificed major draft capital with their past acquisitions, most notably Jalen Ramsey. Unlike the Seahawks, the Rams have very few glaring needs on their roster. The biggest hole is currently the free safety position, the departure of John Johnson hurts and leaves a hole across from Taylor Rapp. Jevon Holland is one of my dudes in this draft class. Another 2020 opt out, Holland’s 2018 and 2019 tape shows a high floor, immediate contributor, who has positional versatility playing both slot corner and free safety. Holland excels in coverage, racking up 20 interceptions and pass breakups through his two years as a starter in Eugene. Paired with his coverage ability, he is a willing and sure tackler in run support who absolutely sells out to make tackles in space. If Holland were to fall to late round 2, I think he’d be an excellent Johnson replacement and an immediate starter in Los Angeles’ vaunted secondary. 

Round 3 Pick 88 – Jamin Davis LB Kentucky 

Another position of need for the Rams is off ball linebacker, as Micah Kiser and Kenny Young are serviceable, yet replacement level starters. Insert Adam Klepp’s boy Jamin Davis; Davis likely wont fall to pick 88 after destroying his pro day’ measuring 6’3 234 with a 4.41 40 yard dash and a 42 inch vertical. However, in this simulation Davis falls to the needy Rams, who could use a high ceiling off ball linebacker. Davis is a bit raw but has the tools to develop into an absolute stud at the second level for a team that is currently in their Super Bowl window. 

Round 3 Pick 103 – Kendrick Green iOL Illinois 

Guard is another position that could use a influx of depth and upside, Kenrick Green screams both those things. A three year starter in Champaigne, Green has consistently improved, playing both guard and center. He thrives in the run game and is a adequate pass blocker. His athletic testing is obscene too; 6’2 305, 4.85s 40 yard dash (99th%) and a 36” vertical (99th%). Green is a certified freak who has a high ceiling because of these traits, which are so rare for guards. Green is more than worth a shot at the end of round 3 for a team who has replacement level players starting across their interior offensive line. 

Jevon Holland; Elite Aesthetic meets Elite Ability

2020 NFL DRAFT GRADES: NFC EAST

Washington Redskins 

Round 1 (2): EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State
Round 3 (66): RB Antonio Gibson, Memphis
Round 4 (108): OT Saahdiq Charles, LSU
Round 4 (142): WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty
Round 5 (156): IOL Keith Ismael, San Diego State
Round 5 (162): LB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan
Round 7 (216): S Kamren Curl, Arkansas
Round 7 (229): Edge James Smith-Williams, NC State

It’s hard to peg the Redskins as losers, as they took the best prospect of the class in Chase Young. Young gives Washington one of the leagues top defensive lines from day 1 and should be a lock for at least 10 sacks. The rest of their class however, is underwhelming. Antonio Gibson at the top of round 3 is a bit of a luxury. I love the player and the versatile skill set, but passing on Josh Jones for at best a starting RB/Slot receiver is the wrong move. This is accentuated when you see that developmental 4th round pick  Saahdiq Charles is slotted to start at left tackle. Replacing All-Pro Trent Williams, who was denied a pre deadline move for a 1st round pick, only to be moved on draft day for a 5th and a 2021 3rd. WR Antonio Gandy-Golden sticks out as a nice pick on day 3, he’s a stereotypical jump-ball receiver, who made highlight reel catches at Liberty and should fill a similar role in DC.  Overall, Chase Young is a generational talent who should have a similar impact to Nick Bosa. That being said, Dwayne Haskins will be forced to rise above a porous offensive line, if Washington wants any chance of immediate success.

GRADE: B-

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Antonio Gibson has the skill set to be Christian McCaffrey lite for Ron Rivera.

 

New York Giants 

Round 1 (4): T Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Round 2 (36): S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
Round 3 (99): T Matt Peart, Connecticut
Round 4 (110): CB Darnay Holmes, UCLA
Round 5 (150): IOL Shane Lemieux, Oregon
Round 6 (183): LB Cam Brown, Penn State
Round 7 (218): Edge Carter Coughlin, Minnesota
Round 7 (238): LB TJ Brunson, South Carolina
Round 7 (247): CB Chris Williamson, Minnesota
Round 7 (255): LB Tae Crowder, Georgia

For the first time in recent memory, Dave Gettleman found himself as a winner on draft day. While Andrew Thomas wasn’t my OT1, he has an incredibly high floor and will be this teams best tackle instantly. He also thrives in the run game and will help the Giants finally establish an identity behind Saquon Barkley. On Day 2 the Giants continued to make great picks. Xavier McKinney is a polished defensive back who can also bring some versatility to the second level and bring coverage skills to the Giants LBs in sub-packages. Getting him at the top of round 2, is eerily reminiscent of former Alabama stud Landon Collins fall in 2015.  Matt Peart is a good tackle prospect who should succeed Nate Solder and form a tackle tandem with Andrew Thomas for the future. Day 3 saw the Giants continue to add talent; Darnay Holmes is high upside slot corner, with five star pedigree. Shane Lemieux gives interior depth to the offensive line, and may be pegged for a starting role into the future. Carter Coughlin seems to be a hybrid edge rusher/linebacker who can potential be a poor mans Kyle Van Noy for new bench boss Joe Judge. All-in-all, Giants nation should be optimistic with Dave Gettleman’s haul, his best yet in my opinion.

GRADE: A-

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Xavier McKinney will be an impact defender from Day 1

 

Dallas Cowboys

Round 1 (17): WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Round 2 (51): CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
Round 3 (82): DI Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
Round 4 (123): CB Reggie Robinson, Tulsa
Round 4 (146): IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
Round 5 (179): Edge Bradlee Anae, Utah
Round 7 (231): QB Ben DiNucci, James Madison 

The Cowboys completely hit it out of the park this year. Adding Ceedee Lamb at 17, independent of what they did with their remaining picks, is franchise changing addition. The leagues best passing offense adds arguably the draft’s biggest playmaker, giving Dak Prescott arguably the best weapons in the league. Passing on Kristian Fulton in favor of Trevon Diggs was a mistake in my book, but Diggs has been linked to Dallas all offseason and he can provide youth and depth at both corner and safety. Neville Gallimore at pick 82 is supreme value, as I had him as a top 50 player and think he’s already better than last years second round pick Trysten Hill. Day 3 was more of the same, Reggie Robinson over Amik Robertson will be another slight disagreement between Jerry Jones and myself, however Robinson has the tools to be an outside corner more of a need than a slot guy like Amik. Tyler Biadasz, was who I mocked to Dallas at pick 51, so getting him nearly 100 picks later was fantastic, I expect him to be in the mix to replace former Wisconsin alum Travis Fredrick. Getting Bradlee Anae in the 5th round was once again great value. He’s a proven pass rusher who was only available in round 5 due to lacking the ideal athletic profile for the position.

GRADE: A

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The next great Dallas Cowboy receiver, ladies and gents.

 

Philadelphia Eagles 

Round 1 (21): WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
Round 2 (53): QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
Round 3 (103): LB Davion Taylor, Colorado
Round 4 (127): CB K’Von Wallace, Clemson
Round 4 (145): OT Jack Driscoll, Auburn
Round 5 (168): WR John Hightower, Boise State
Round 6 (196): LB Shaun Bradley, Temple
Round 6 (200): WR Quez Watkins, Southern Mississippi
Round 6 (210): OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
Round 7 (233): Edge Casey Toohill, Stanford

The Eagles had one of the more underwhelming classes of 2020. While Jalen Reagor is a legit deep threat, passing on the more complete receiver in Justin Jefferson was puzzling. Even more puzzling than that was adding Jalen Hurts in round 2. I see the line of logic that due to Wentz’s inability to stay healthy and Hurts’ sub-package versatility, could indeed culminate in Hurts’ seeing meaningful snaps right away. However, this team isn’t in a position to take that kind of luxury pick, especially with the rest of their picks in context. Davion Taylor was far from the best LB available in my opinion at pick 103 and day 3 saw some more questionable picks. K’von Wallace and the two Auburn tackles; Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega Wanogho were brightspots. Wallace might be this teams best safety will Malcom Jenkins gone. He’s versatile, playing multiple alignments at Clemson. He’s a smart player who I expect to be one of 2020 day 3 steals. Driscoll and Tega Wanogho were two of the classes better tackle prospects, both hailing from Auburn. Driscoll has experience playing all across the offensive line and Tega Wanogho is a late bloomer who has all the tools to be a starting tackle in the league. If some of the players I highlighted manage to blossom, this class will age better than I’m currently projecting.

GRADE: C+ 

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K’von Wallace will play a big role in year 1

 

2020 NFL DRAFT GRADES: AFC EAST

Miami Dolphins 

Round 1 (5): QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Round 1 (18): T Austin Jackson, USC
Round 1 (30): CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
Round 2 (39): IOL Robert Hunt, Louisiana
Round 2 (56): DI Raekwon Davis, Alabama
Round 3 (70): S Brandon Jones, Texas
Round 4 (111): IOL Solomon Kindley, Georgia
Round 5 (154): DI Jason Strowbridge, UNC
Round 5 (164): Edge Curtis Weaver, Boise State
Round 6 (185): LS Blake Ferguson, LSU
Round 7 (246): QB/WR Malcom Perry, Navy

While the Dolphins may passed on some of my guys, for their guys, all in all I think they had a solid haul. It starts at five overall with Tua Tagovailoa, despite not being as refined as Joe Burrow, Tagovailoa possesses a dynamic skillset that is tailor made for NFL stardom.  Like many other pundits, I am worried about his ability to stay healthy due to his occasional reckless play and an bottom five offensive line in Miami. However, he can sit behind Fitzpatrick and learn the nuances of the position, before being sprung into action hopefully towards season end. Selecting OT Austin Jackson and CB Noah Igbinoghene with their remaining first round picks were rich for me, but are both players with the requisite youth and athletic profile for the position. Outside of OL Robert Hunt their day 2 haul was also unspectacular, as Raekwon Davis and Brandon Jones were day 3 guys in my book. Day 3 was more of the same, however drafting EDGE Curtis Weaver at pick 164 was fantastic value and a selection I expect to pay dividends.  While I disagree a majority of the individual selections, the logic displayed here by Chris Grier and co makes sense. They attacked high positions of need and value; quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and secondary. Miami opted for doubles with their 11 picks, let’s see if it pays off for them Cotton.

GRADE: B-

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Will Tua reach his sky high potential?

New York Jets 

Round 1 (11): T Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Round 2 (59): WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
Round 3 (68): S Ashtyn Davis, California
Round 3 (79): EDGE Jabari Zuniga, Florida
Round 4 (120): RB La’Mical Perine, Florida
Round 4 (125): QB James Morgan, FIU
Round 4 (129): OT Cameron Clark, Charlotte
Round 5 (158): CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
Round 6 (191): P Braden Mann, Texas A&M

I’ve been critical of Joe Douglas’ first offseason so far, especially in the way he addressed the offensive line, opting for diversifying his cap across 5 OL signings rather than being aggressive in pursuing the top end of the OL market. Douglas’ draft however, was one of my favorites. Getting Mekhi Becton at pick 11 was great value as Becton is an upgrade over newly signed George Fant, with upside to develop into a perennial Pro Bowl LT. Their day 3 haul was even more impressive, WR Denzel Mims at the end of round 2 is another pick similar to Becton, Mims should win the WR1 spot and has the potential to be an elite outside WR. In Round 3 they took two of my favorite players at their respective positions; S Ashtyn Davis and EDGE Jabari Zuniga. Both of these players are Day 1 talents who slipped to day 2 because of injury concerns. Zuniga should be an impact player at a position of need immediately and a Davis/Adams safety tandem could be the leagues best by 2021, no cap. Day 3 provided more good value, namely, RB La’Mical Perine and CB Bryce Hall. Perine is a guy who I had higher than most, he’s experienced and has a NFL ready skill set to be a three down back. Bryce Hall would have been a top 40 pick last year but returned to school and was playing great until he suffered an ankle injury mid season. The Jets CB room is one of the leagues worst and Hall should play an immediate role from the jump.

GRADE: A

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Ashtyn Davis will have a long productive NFL career.

Buffalo Bills 

Round 2 (54): EDGE AJ Epenesa, Iowa
Round 3 (86): RB Zack Moss, Utah
Round 4 (128): WR Gabriel Davis, UCF
Round 5 (167): QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
Round 6 (188): K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern
Round 6 (207): WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State
Round 7 (239): CB Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh

In acquiring Stefon Diggs, the Bills were left without a 1st round pick. Brandon Beene was not phased however as the Bills selected quality players with limited picks, proving their competence once again. On day 2, the Bills took two of the Murray boy’s favorite prospects in EDGE AJ Epenesa and RB Zack Moss. Epenesa is a versatile defensive lineman who can set the edge on running downs and kick inside on passing downs. Moss is a RB who has all the tools outside of elite burst, I compared him to Kareem Hunt multiple times throughout the draft process and I expect him to carve out a role instantly in this offense. With their remaining picks on day 3 they took one of my top 5 QB’s in Jake Fromm. Fromm is the polar opposite of Josh Allen; he lacks the requisite arm talent for the position but has the mental intangibles to be a serviceable NFL QB. The rest of their day 3 picks I’m less keene on but I wont be surprised to see Beene hit on any of these late round picks.

GRADE: B+

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Zack “Contact Balance” Moss

New England Patriots

Round 2 (37): S Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne
Round 2 (60): EDGE Josh Uche, Michigan
Round 3 (87): EDGE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
Round 3 (91): TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA
Round 3 (101): TE Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
Round 5 (159): K Justin Rohrwasser, Marshall
Round 6 (182): IOL Michael Onwenu, Michigan
Round 6 (195): OT Justin Herron, Wake Forest
Round 6 (204): LB Cassh Maluia, Wyoming
Round 7 (230): IOL Dustin Woodard, Memphis

With the 2020 draft kicking off the post Tom Brady era, the Patriots yielded a mixed bag. After trading out of round 1, they picked versatile players on both sides of the ball on day 2. S Kyle Dugger seems to fit into a coverage off ball LB spot on this defense and EDGE Josh Uche can be the Kyle Van Noy replacement. Uche can put his hand in the dirt and also has the movement skills to operate in space as an off ball LB. Double dipping at TE was a little rich for me, especially not addressing the WR position in this class. Day 3 saw New England bring in some offensive line and special teams depth. Overall, this haul was uninspiring and it seems New England will present the same strengths and weaknesses as last year, only with Jared Stidham under center.

GRADE: C+

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Josh Uche seems like a career Patriot

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 NFL DRAFT GRADES: NFC NORTH

Detroit Lions 

Round 1 (3): CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
Round 2 (35): RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
Round 3 (67): EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
Round 3 (75): G Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
Round 4 (121): G Logan Stenberg, Kentucky
Round 5 (166): WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin
Round 5 (172): RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico State
Round 6 (197): DI John Penisini, Utah
Round 7 (235): DI Jashon Cornell, Ohio State

I’ve been critical of Bob Quinn and his personnel decisions for some time now, but with the 2020 class he may have done his best work. Jeffrey Okudah may not have Isaiah Simmons’ ceiling but he’s a world class cornerback prospect who fits their biggest need and will be the best player on Detroit’s defense from day 1. D’Andre Swift at 35 was a reach, but he will undoubtedly upgrade this offense, and when put into context next to Detroit’s remaining selections he provides good value. I expect Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg to start at guard and Julian Okwara will be leaned on heavily to bring a much needed pass rush presence. Jason Huntley was an explosive college football player and should bring special teams value. Penisini and Cornell are nice day 3 depth picks across the interior defensive line.

GRADE: A- 

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#FreeJeffe is gamebred

Chicago Bears 

Round 2 (43): TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Round 2 (50): CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
Round 5 (155): Edge Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
Round 5 (163): CB Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern
Round 5 (173): WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane
Round 7 (226): T Arlington Hambright, Colorado
Round 7 (227): IOL Lachavious Simmons, Tennessee State

The Chicago Bears did what they could with limited assets and a depleted roster. Taking Cole Kmet at 43 was solid, I’m not sure how big of an asset he’ll prove in year 1 but he undoubtedly has a NFL skillset. Jaylon Johnson was great value at pick 50, and will be leaned on heavy to contribute as a rookie in a sparse corner room. Their slew of day 3 picks are average, with Darnell Mooney sticking out as a potential impact player for Matt Nagy’s offense.

GRADE: B-

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Jaylon Johnson could be CB1 in the Windy City.

Minnesota Vikings 

Round 1 (22): WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Round 1 (31): CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
Round 2 (58): T Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
Round 3 (89): CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
Round 4 (117): Edge DJ Wonnum, South Carolina
Round 4 (130): Edge James Lynch, Baylor
Round 4 (132): LB Troy Dye, Oregon
Round 5 (169): CB Harrison Hand, Temple
Round 5 (176): WR KJ Osborn, Miami (Fla.)
Round 6 (203): T Blake Brandel, Oregon State
Round 6 (205): S Josh Metellus, Michigan
Round 7 (225): Edge Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
Round 7 (244): QB Nate Stanley, Iowa
Round 7 (249): S Brian Cole II, Mississippi State
Round 7 (253): IOL Kyle Hinton, Washburn

The Vikings made fifteen overall selections in the 2020 draft, infusing an aging roster with ripe young talent. Justin Jefferson is a great Stefon Diggs replacement, bringing a WR2 skillset ready for Sunday’s with potential to grow into Adam Thielen’s eventual replacement. Jeff Gladney is Mike Zimmer’s type of corner, versatile, tough, and physical, he’ll be thrust into starting snaps right away. Getting developmental, high upside, day 2 players like Ezra Cleveland and Cameron Dantzler at positions of value was wily. The day 3 slections that stick out to me are Troy Dye and Kenny Willekes. Both were top 125 players for me, who fill needs and could be thrust into a starting roll sooner than later. The only problem I had with the class overall is making fifteen selections, I would of liked to see them get aggressive and move up across day 2 and 3.

GRADE: A

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Zimmer gets his dawg.

Green Bay Packers 

Round 1 (26): QB Jordan Love, Utah State
Round 2 (62): RB AJ Dillon, Boston College
Round 3 (94): TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati
Round 5 (175): LB Kamal Martin, Minnesota
Round 6 (192): OT Jon Runyan, Michigan
Round 6 (208): IOL Jake Hanson, Oregon
Round 6 (209): IOL Simon Stepaniak, Indiana
Round 7 (236): DB Vernon Scott, TCU
Round 7 (242): Edge Jonathan Garvin, Miami (Fla.)

The Green Bay Packers are the biggest looser’s of the 2020 NFL Draft. While I’m not a huge Jordan Love believer, trading up to take him at pick 26 is just the peak of this iceberg of failure. On day 2 drafting AJ Dillon to be your second or third running back and Josiah Deguara to be your fullback is criminally negligible. Spending day 3 capital to provide depth to your offensive line, is fine, but where are the weapons for Aaron Rodgers? and, God forbid, Jordan Love. Not spending one pick on a pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers is so illogical it can only be interpreted as petty and childish. Green Bay was already a candidate for a major regression, it has just been accentuated.

GRADE: F

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Jordan Love better be Patrick Mahomes.