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!
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.