The NFL draft is only two weeks away so let’s get a fresh mock going! There was another trade between the Eagles and Saints since my last mock so we have another first round shake-up. It will be interesting to see who the Saints are targeting with that 2nd first round pick. Your Washington Commanders will have a lot of options at 11 to improve what has been a quiet off-season. I think WR is atop the wish list but if a special defender drops to them they have to consider it.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchison, EDGE, Michigan
The Jaguars loaded up in free agency at multiple areas (by overpaying), including the O-line. They tagged Cam Robinson and signed Brandon Scherff so I think they’ll set their sights on their front four here and get the top defensive player in the draft at pick one.
2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
The Lions would love to have Aidan Hutchison drop to them but I don’t see that happening. Getting a physical specimen like Walker wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. Walker can rush from the inside and outside effectively, but will eventually be a double-digit sack guy off the edge before long. He was asked to eat blocks at Georgia because of all their talent on defense but has the talent to be lethal off the edge in a more prominent role in Detroit.
3. Houston Texans: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
The Texans can go for any player they want here and it would be an upgrade on their current roster. They have the worst roster in the league. I like Ekwonu here to pair with Laremy Tunsil to form one of the best tackles duos in the league. It would be a good start to set up Davis Mills for future success.
4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE Oregon
The Jets need a presence off the edge to go along with 2021 free agent signing Carl Lawson. Enter Thibodeaux who is one of the most talented players in this draft. He’s had some concerns about work ethic and motor, but his talent and upside is too much to pass up.
5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Evan Neal is a mammoth human being that has impressive position flexibility along the o-line. He can come in at RT or either guard spot from day one opposite of Andrew Thomas. The Giants offensive line has been a problem for years so they go with Neal here to help rectify it.
6. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
I think this is high for Pickett but the Panthers have struck out on so many QB upgrades this off-season that they get their guy here at #6. Pickett was recruited by Matt Rhule when he was at Temple so they have a long-lasting relationship that could be the driving force for this pick.
7. New York Giants (From CHI): Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Gardner didn’t allow a TD in his college career. Let that stat sync in! The Giants have been looking to get rid of James Bradberry and Gardner would be the perfect replacement. He’s 6’3” and runs a 4.4 forty. He has a chance to be special.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, FSU
Atlanta has the worst roster in the league outside of Houston. They need upgrades everywhere. They could go WR here, but with the WR class so deep I have them grabbing an edge rusher. Johnson II was the ACC defensive player of the year last year with 70 tackles and 12 sacks. The Falcons would love that kind of production at the next level.
9. Seattle Seahawks (From DEN) Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Malik Willis is my top QB in this class. He has top 10 QB upside if it all comes together for him. Willis’ work ethic and leadership will win over the locker room instantly. He can take over in 2023 and have great weapons like Metcalf, Lockett, and Fant to throw to.
10. New York Jets (From Seahawks): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Jets made a play for Tyreek Hill so we know they are in the WR market. Wilson is my favorite WR in this class. His suddenness in and out of routes along with being an acrobat while the ball is in the air will make him special at the next level. Getting Zach Wilson a guy like Garrett Wilson will go a long way in seeing if he can be a franchise QB.
11. Washington Commanders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
This pick came down to Chris Olave and Kyle Hamilton for me. I am a huge Kyle Hamilton fan due to his versatility and all-around game. I would probably go with him but it seems Ron Rivera and the organization are huge fans of Olave. I really like Olave as well. He’s the best route runner in this class and can start from day one. I think he can be an 800-1,000 yard receiver as a rookie. He’s a great deep threat for Carson Wentz but can also make a play for you underneath. Pairing Olave with fellow Buckeye alumni Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel would be a tremendously strong trio.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
The Vikings have had problems in the secondary for a few years now. Enter Derek Stingley Jr. who is my favorite CB in this draft. He has elite man-to-man traits and will be a top CB in the NFL before long. He can be mentored by fellow LSU Tiger Patrick Peterson which will only elevate his game.
13. Houston Texans (From Browns): Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Texans need talent everywhere so they can’t pass up an elite prospect like Kyle Hamilton here. Hamilton can do it all in the defensive backfield and will be an instant impact player for Houston.
14. Baltimore Ravens: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
The Ravens seem to be worried by Ronnie Stanley’s recent injuries so they go with Charles Cross to provide some insurance. Cross will need to develop his run blocking skills but he is already an advanced pass protector.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (From Miami): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Devin Lloyd is the best ILB in this class. He has sideline-to-sideline range and tremendous instincts. Philly has needed a good ILB for a while and Lloyd can give them that.
16. New Orleans Saints (From IND, thur MIA) Drake London, WR, USC
New Orleans gets a big body target for Jameis Winston with their first pick of the first round. London has some Mike Evans to his game. He is very nimble after the catch and is a terror in jump ball situations.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The Chargers have great WRs in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams but they could use some speed. Williams has some of the best speed in this class. Pairing him with Allen and Williams could be the best trio in the league. With those guys, Justin Herbert could be the MVP next year.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
The Eagles cut and re-signed Fletcher Cox but seem to be looking to move on sooner rather than later. Davis is an athletic freak(see his 4.78 forty time at 341 lbs) and a special run defender. He will elevate a team’s run defense immediately.
19. New Orleans Saints (From PHI): Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Saints go with a QB who has been steadily moving up boards as of late. I think Ridder can be a quality starter in time. Think Ryan Tannehill type. The locker room will love him. He can take over for Winston in 2023.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
If anyone watched the Senior Bowl practices or game you can tell Penning is a nasty dude. He was also mixing it up and giving something extra at the end of blocks. That kind of personality would fit well in Pittsburgh and give some quality blind side protection for Mitch Trubisky or whoever is beyond center.
21. New England Patriots: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Pats lost talented CB J.C. Jackson in free agency to the Chargers so they could use some more talent in the CB room. McDuffie can play outside or in the slot and will be one of their top corners from day one.
22. Green Bay Packers (From Raiders): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Packers need to get Aaron Rodgers some more weapons after losing Davante Adams. Burks can contribute in a variety of ways. From the outside, slot, the backfield, he can do a little bit of everything. He is that modern day chess piece that so many NFL teams crave nowadays.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
The Cardinals need some more talent in the middle of their defensive line. Wyatt is one of the best DT’s in this class. He’s a force against the run but is effective getting after the passer too.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
The Cowboys have had a lot of losses this off-season which is good news for the rest of the NFC East. Their o-line is getting old and is injury prone. Green is a top guard prospect in this class. He can help get their once potent run game back on track.
25. Buffalo Bills: Kaair Elam, CB, Florida
The Bills lost CB Levi Wallace in free agency to Pittsburgh. Tre’Davious White is coming off a torn ACL so it’s an unstable position group right now. Elam is a long, talented corner who can step in for White if he’s late to start the season before eventually forming a potent duo with White for the foreseeable future.
26. Tennessee Titans: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
The Titans as we know love to run the ball. If they will have success it will start with Derrick Henry so getting a road grader like Johnson to clear the way for him would be a wise investment.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
The Bucs lost Jordan Whitehead to the Jets in free agency so they could use a replacement for his services. They signed Logan Ryan, but only to a one-year deal. Hill can play FS, SS, and slot CB so Todd Bowles could put him anywhere and he’ll make some plays.
28. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Smith, G/T, Tulsa
Tyler Smith played tackle at Tulsa, but he’s a guard in the NFL. I think he’ll be a really good one too. He could help Green Bay switch to more of a balanced offensive attack. After trading Adams, they might look to pound the rock more with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (From SF, thru MIA) Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
The Chiefs made a shocking trade by sending Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins and now need to add more talent for the great Patrick Mahomes. After signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling they might look for more of a possession WR to build a complete receiver room. Watson’s performance at the Senior Bowl, then a 4.36 forty were huge boons to his draft stock. He would give Mahomes a quality 6’4” target that he really hasn’t had at WR before.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Ojabo unfortunately tore his Achilles during his pro day last month. He was a top 15 player before the injury and now he’s a borderline first rounder. The talent is there to become a Pro Bowl player off the edge. The Chiefs would be more than happy to wait for that type of player to recover from his injury.
31. Cincinnati Bengals Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Bengals signed Ted Karras to play center this off-season but they can’t pass up Linderbaum here, he’s too talented. They can shift Karras out to guard. Linderbaum is far and away the best center in this class and will be great up front for Joe Burrow.
32. Detroit Lions (From LAR): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
The Lions need more weapons for Jared Goff or whoever will be their QB going forward. Dotson had 91 catches and over 1,000 yards last year. Dotson can play the slot or outside. He would pair nicely with Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark.
This mock draft will also be a part of this week’s episode of my Roman Around The League Podcast. Download and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.