We finally made it. After months of speculation, rumors and the general exhaustion of the NFL Draft cycle, the first round kicks off on Thursday night. We are ready for the madness to ensue and wanted to take one last opportunity to have fun with a mock draft scenario.
Also, it is another chance to plug Maize n Brew’s NFL Draft live stream, which we will be running from 8 p.m. ET to midnight. We will react to all the picks, welcome special guests and have a good time all while raising money for the good people at the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation. The link to the broadcast will be up on the site later today, but we will also be live via YouTube, Facebook Live and Twitch.
Back to the mock!
Keep in mind that I carry the unbreakable curse of being a Detroit Lions fan (shoutout to Pride of Detroit, who will have incredible coverage all weekend long), so a few trades here reflect my own selfish desires.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
This pick has been set for months. Yawn.
Wilson wouldn’t be my QB2, but this is another pick that has been set for a long time.
I vehemently disagree with the idea that Jones is the draft’s third-best quarterback and hate the talk of how he “fits Kyle Shanahan’s system.” Systems should adapt to talent and I believe Justin Fields and Trey Lance have much higher ceilings.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
This is where the draft truly kicks into high gear because we have no idea what direction Atlanta goes. People believe Pitts is the best non-QB in the class and might help extend Matt Ryan’s window a bit longer. This pick would be better used on Penei Sewell or a quarterback.
This is another pick where Sewell should come off the board, but probably will not. The photo of Joe Burrow’s scar from ACL surgery should be seared into the brain of everyone in the Bengals front office.
6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Miami moved back up into this slot to take the best pass catcher left on the board. Their best-case scenario is that Sewell goes above them, but Waddle is a heck of a consolation prize to Pitts or Chase.
7. TRADE! Carolina Panthers (from Detroit Lions): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Lions get: No. 8, No. 113, No. 191 picks
Mock drafts are exercises in wish fulfillment, so despite a top talent on the board I am all for trading back and accruing as much capital as possible. Should the Lions stay at No. 7, Fields or Sewell would be who I prefer in that order. The trade back is my No. 1 option.
Lions get: No. 15, No. 46, No. 177 picks
As I said, wish fulfillment. The Leos just turned two picks into six. The problem is, it comes with the caveat of giving Bill Belichick another star quarterback. I do not understand the Justin Fields hate and believe he is a prospect akin to Deshaun Watson (the football player, not the other stuff).
Broncos get: No. 19, No. 51 picks
I like the makeup of Washington’s roster and the leadership in place. They have a shot to take a bit of a stranglehold on the NFC East with strong QB play. Ryan Fitzpatrick can give them that this year after they empty the chamber and grab their passer of the future.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Surtain might be the best defensive player in this draft and the Cowboys need a corner. It makes a lot of sense.
11. New York Giants: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Parson the football player is excellent. Some of the things he has been accused of as a person are abhorrent. It’s rumored Dave Gettleman prefers him in this spot.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers): Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Eagles did what a smart rebuilding team does and traded back, which allows them more draft capital over the next few years.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Slater could go as early as No. 7, it seems. Watch for the Chargers in a trade-up scenario for Sewell, which would reunite him with former Oregon teammate Justin Herbert.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)
Danielle Hunter does not seem like he will be in Minnesota much longer. Phillips is a big question mark, but he’d be heading to a defensive line factory.
15. Detroit Lions (from New England Patriots): Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Lions fans say every year they want every pick to be defense, but the offensive line is the closest unit on the team to being completed. Why not grab the final piece to having something legitimate to build around?
16. TRADE! Jacksonville Jaguars (from Arizona Cardinals): DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Cardinals get: No. 25, No. 65 picks
The Jags do not necessarily need to make this move, but it is a fun one to think about. They have a ton of draft capital and would have a shot to give Lawrence the draft’s most technically sound wide receiver in the process.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
The Raiders love to reach for players from legacy programs (think Clelin Farrell a few drafts ago). Leatherwood fills a need after they blew up the OL this offseason.
18. Miami Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Unless Miami is in love with Parsons at No. 6, it feels like their second pick could be earmarked for a linebacker. A fun scenario to think about would be Pitts at 6 and either a running back or wide receiver with each of their next two picks. Not a bad way to invest in Tua, eh?
19. Denver Broncos (from Washington Football Team): Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
If the Broncos don’t come out of the first round with a quarterback, it seems likely the pick will go to linebacker.
The Bears are reportedly calling about moving up for a quarterback. Whoever could have seen this coming after they leaked their proposed Russell Wilson trade and instead wound up with Andy Dalton?
21. Indianapolis Colts: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
This could be a bit of a reach on paper, but there might not be such a thing when it comes to offensive tackles in the first round. Eichenberg can be a plug-and-play starter from day one.
22. Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
It would not be surprising if Farley was one of those surprise players that fell to day two because of the back injury issues, but he still provides great value here after sliding out of the top 20.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks): Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Robert Saleh coordinated a defense in San Francisco built around a terrific pass rush. Paye’s full skillset has yet to be unlocked, so Saleh might be as qualified as anyone to pull that out of him.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
There is a ton of Najee Harris smoke here, but the Steelers are not the type of organization that usually spends first-round picks on skill players. Newsome would be an upgrade in the secondary for them.
25. Arizona Cardinals (from Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams): Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
There seems to be a vocal contingent of Cardinals fans who would not like this pick, so maybe they are able to stomach it a bit more in a trade-back. His range is all over the place, as I’ve seen mocks with him as high as 15 and as low as making it to the Lions at 41. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
26. Cleveland Browns: Azeez Olujari, EDGE, Georgia
He’s a little undersized to play in a 4-3 and there have been whispers of knee concerns, but the Browns pass rush is far from complete just because they signed Jadaveon Clowney. An EDGE, linebacker or corner should come off the board here.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
Tyus Bowser and Jaylon Ferguson had four sacks between the two of them last year. Baltimore is going to wind up with a pass rusher somewhere on Thursday.
The Saints have defensive needs, but also have never found a true No. 2 to compliment Michael Thomas.
29. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
This pick makes my skin crawl, as Bateman feels underrated and would head to the mortal enemy of most of us here in the midwest. But goodness gracious, get Aaron Rodgers some help. Bateman reminds me a ton of Michael Thomas.
30. Buffalo Bills: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The best way to describe Harris is Optimus Prime in football pads. This would help round out the Bills' offense and cement them as an AFC power for the next few seasons.
The Ravens picked up an extra pick in the Orlando Brown trade and elect to stay on defense.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC
Tampa Bay is bringing everyone back from its Super Bowl team, leaving them available to take the best player on the board with this pick. Vera-Tucker could go way higher than this, but couldn’t find an interesting spot for him.
Thanks for reading, everyone! We’ll see you tonight on YouTube, Twitch and Facebook Live for our draft stream.