Well, we’ve made it through the Combine, and crossed one more hurdle on the track to the draft on April 23rd. As such, it’s time for the post-Combine hangover draft, after the Underwear Olympics have scattered the big board, following spectacular performances by some players, and lackluster demonstrations by others.
My prior two drafts can be found below:
In this draft, I stuck with my trade back philosophy, sending #2 to the Dolphins for #5, #26, and Round 5, pick 27. In the early rounds, I went largely BPA, per the actual Kyle Smith’s recently stated preference.
A link to the draft can be found here.
Round 1, Pick 5
Isaiah Simmons (LB) - Chase Young is a top talent, but Isaiah Simmons has my heart, and his stellar Combine performance only cemented that status. The Dolphins took Herbert at #2, the Lions took Young, and as many predict, the Giants took an OT, Tristan Wirfs at #4. I was ecstatic to have one of the top 3 defensive talents in the draft AND additional picks for later on to build the team. Simmons’ versatility makes him the perfect weapon for Rivera and JDR’s defenses for years to come.
Round 1, Pick 26
K’Lavon Chasson (EDGE) - I haven’t given much thought to Chasson in past mocks, primarily because I see EDGE as only a moderate position of need, but he was a steal at #26, and, in this draft, the second EDGE off the board. He may not be Young, but he was the BPA, and should end up making a fine Ryan Kerrigan replacement to bookend with Montez Sweat.
Round 3, Pick 8 (I took a slight trade back from R3, P2, to grab this pick and R4, P8).
Chase Claypool (WR) - Normally, I wouldn’t be looking for a WR this early in the draft, particularly in a draft this deep with WRs, but Claypool is projected as a potential TE at the next level, but could also simply be a large WR target, which Rivera has expressed interest in adding. Versatility, a strong combine performance, and BPA made him the right choice here.
Round 4, Pick 2
Albert Okwuegbunam (TE) - At this point in the draft, Albert O. was the best remaining TE, and at the top of the board, at a position of critical need. Top that off with a Combine where he ran a 4.49 40, and his stock is rising fast.
Round 4, Pick 8
Isaiah Wilson (OT) - By this point in the article, I suspect several reader’s faces are red with rage. “How could that idiot have not drafted an OL yet???” The stars weren’t aligning at the earlier slots, but they did here. Wilson likely isn’t a Day 1 starter, but with work, he could potentially be the answer to replace Trent or Moses.
Round 4, Pick 38
Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR) - This pick is sure to have its detractors as well. I certainly didn’t intend to pick 2 WRs in the first 6 selections, but AGG is another guy I think has the tools to be successful in the NFL, and another one of the “big targets” that Rivera likes. He was also close to BPA at this point in the draft.
Round 5, Pick 2
Julian Blackmon (S) - This is perhaps the least confident of my picks. At this point in the draft, “need” began to creep into my calculations more explicitly and Blackmon was the best of the safeties left on the board. He had a knee injury in December, which has caused his draft stock to slip a bit, but he offers some flexibility in the defensive backfield, with an ability to play nickel or either safety position.
Round 5, Pick 27
Lamar Jackson (CB) - The Redskins need CB help and Jackson was among the best players left on the board. Whether he would be ideal for JDR’s scheme is up for discussion.
Round 7, Pick 2
Round 7, Pick 15
Darryl Williams (C) - Williams has the center/guard flexibility that Rivera loves and was a team captain at Mississippi State, a trait this scouting group has elevated in the past. He too becomes IOL depth.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this mock draft in the comments.
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