Well... cutting it a little close here. Fun fact: this is my fifteenth mock draft. I have been doing these for over half my life and I think I can safely say practice does not make perfect when it comes to mock draft. I think I could get a lot right here, but I also think there is a possibility I get two right. My best, for anyone keeping track, was 9 picks correct equaling out to roughly 28%. My worst was 4 correct which figures out to about 12%. My gut instincts is picks 3-13 becomes a hot spot for trades in this draft with teams like the 9ers, Cardinals, Jets, and Carolina looking to move down and teams like Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Denver looking to shoot up. I also think Miami is willing to throw picks around and move up and down as they please, Seattle trades just because, and New England is always a wild card. Also, if teams aren't just throwing smoke out about Tua and they really are worried about his injuries to the point that he slips that will create a new layer of chaos with teams realizing they have a chance to grab him from his slide. That sort of movement is the kind of thing that butchers a mock draft.
But anywhere. Here we go:
1. Bengals-Joe Burrow QB LSU
In what has become a running theme of my mock drafts I have the number one pick being used on a QB in which I either disagree with the choice all together, or think the wrong QB is being chosen. Two years ago I had Baker Mayfield well below most of his peers-- including current MVP Lamar Jackson, and less impressive, the, in my honest opinion, worst-luck first round pick of all time Josh Rosen-- and while after two years the jury is still out on Baker. I was, admittedly, wrong about my belief that Kyler Murrary should not be the Cardinals pick as it seems they have their franchise arm. Anyway, I think if you're going strictly off the best player available this pick should be Chase Young. If you're asking me which QB I think has the best career, I am going Tua Taga-spellcheck?. However, QB makes sense because while I think Andy Dalton is still more than serviceable as a QB in this league, the Bengals are rebuilding, and a half-hearted reboot never really works. Just ask Star Trek fans. Actually don’t, trust me. Anyway, I don’t think the gap between Burrow and Tua are as big as I have about prospects in the past and the story is nice. Burrow’s rise this year was meteoric, he’s a hard working, coaches son, hometown kid, and I think he will be a franchise player for a long time-- I just like the little extra Tua brings. But I am not the Bengals GM, or anyone’s GM for that matter. I am just a dude who has been making mock drafts half my life without ever getting more than like a hundred people to read them. So, Burrow is the pick.
2. Washington- Chase Young Edge Ohio State
The only way this is not the pick is if a QB hungry team unloads the vault for Ron Rivera and convinces him 3 or 4 great prospects are better than one all-pro prospect for his rebuild of Washington. Rivera is a defensive guy at heart, and Chase Young is everything he could ask for to make an already decent front seven into something that I, as an Eagles fan, will not appreciate.
3. Trade!!! Detroit trade pick to Miami. Miami- Justin Herbert QB Oregon
Matt Petricia is doing his best to build Detroit into Neo-New England so he seems likely to be willing to trade down if the offer is right. He likely has his eyes set on a particular player, and if he feels like he can get him while adding draft capital he will. I do admit however that Isiaha Simmons would make a lot of sense here. Anyway, trade. The Dolphins get a chance at leapfrogging and making sure they get their guy. Dolphins have lots of capital and have some leniency with their rebuild. I like what Flores is doing down there, and he gets his guy to start carving out a hole in the post-Brady AFC East. The unfortunate story of Josh Rosen’s NFL career continues with another team never giving him a full shot and giving up on him. I’d like to see him get traded to a team with a cemented veteran starter so Rosen could get a few years to just try and get his legs under him after what has been the last two years, and then down the line maybe get a real shot at showing what he’s got.
4. Trade! Giants trade their pick to Carolina. Carolina Isaiah Simmons LB/S Clemson-
Giants need lots of help, but the positions they will need can be reaped at positions lower than four. They like skill position players and linemen, but they need linemen. They probably like Simmons even, but again, they need lineman. Carolina could go a few ways with their pick, but I think they see an opportunity they didn’t think they would have and go for Simmons. It should be noted that Simmons is not a plug and replace answer for Luke Kuechly. I think the only way to do that is get in a time machine and steal Patrick Willis or convince Pete Caroll he is too cool for Bobby Wagner. What Simmons is, is a swiss-army knife defender who can play all over the field and let the rebuilding panthers create a defense that can line up with the high flying offenses typical in their division. Simmons is the type of player who as a college recruit would just be listed as athlete, and in a league of guys like that, having one who sticks out is pretty helpful.
5. Detroit-Jeff Okuduh CB Ohio State
Detroit would have probably liked the choice between Simmons and Okuduh but the Panthers made it easy for them. Detroit gets their replacement for Darius Slay who they shipped to my birds and Matt Patricia gets another New England staple, a shutdown corner.
6. Chargers- Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
I think this could go lots of ways, honestly. I like Tyrod Taylor and I think the Chargers probably do too. I wouldn’t blame them for giving him a shot and drafting elsewhere. I don’t, however, feel there is anyone who really screams “the Chargers have to have me!” and I think if they can sit and twiddle their thumbs and get a top prospect at QB they do. They could trade up, but I think they like Taylor enough to stay and see what happens. Taylor gives them a confident vetran started with dynamic playmaking abilities, and Tua gives them something to build for the future. I have seen rumors that Tua will slide, but I think that sounds like something a GM for a team like the Chargers says in hopes that they can whisper it into reality. Tua gets a great landing spot and the Chargers get someone to throw on their new builbords for their new stadium who just happens to be my top rated QB.
7. Giants- Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
Giants slide down and have their choice of the top tackle prospects to clear the way for Saquon and keep Danny Dimes upright. Andrew Thomas is not the top tackle prospect as far as projections goes but he is the most pro ready. With the current health crisis and typical off-season workout/ training camp scheduled up in the air, I am buying stock that teams value pro ready more than potential a little more this year than years past. Especially teams that have not won much in recent memory or don’t have the roster depth to let a guy develop. Giants need a plug and play 16 game starter and Thomas is that.
8. Arizona- Derrick Brown DT Auburn
Arizona would have been prime for a wide receiver here if they didn’t manage to pick up Deandre Hopkins during the off season. That’s like saying your shopping for a new prius and coming home with a lambo. Pretty neat. Anyway, they did their splashy rebuild last year with a stud young new-gen QB and a ton of developmental wide outs. This year they do the gritty rebuild and invite a monster to roam on their defensive line.
9.Jacksonville-Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
There are some health concerns with Kinlaw’s knees but eventually talent outweighs concerns. If all goes well, and it seems like that is likely, Kinlaw will become a force on their defensive line. They have a ton of needs and could go anywhere from wideout to corner to edge rusher with any of their early picks, but they have showed in the past a willingness to value defensive linemen over other prospects and Kinlaw has all the markings of a perennial stud.
10. Cleveland- Tristin Wirfs OT Iowa
Cleveland has to pick a tackle. I would include myself as pretty far outside of the Baker Mayfield camp, but even I will acknowledge that their is a chance he looks more like his rookie year than what last year looked like if they give him a better line. They spent some money on Jack Conklin who is certainly an improvement, but I think they double down to give Baker the best chance they can. I also think they weren’t sure Wirfs, the top prospect, would be here and they jump at the chance to take him. There are lots of unpredictable situations here that could change it, i.e. trading for Trent Williams or trading OBJ and needing a WR to replace him (theoretically using a new first to address the tackle position) but for now Wirfs is their man.
11.Jets- Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
Jets are the first non-surprising chance at a WR getting plucked out of this historical WR class. But Joe Douglas is from the Eagle family and when the eagles have even the slightest need in the trenches they draft for the trenches. I don’t think this will be a particularly popular pick, but I think Douglas decides he will protect his young QB first, then use the WR depth in this draft to give him some toys later. But maybe that is just the fan in my hoping a stud WR slips to the eagles.
12. Oakland- Jerry Juedy WR Alabama
Oakland absolutely needs a WR that can be their guy regardless of who is throwing the passes. I think Carr did an admirable job last year considering the WRs he had available, but John Gruden seems to not be sold. Anyway, Juedy gives them a pro ready prospect who also happens to have the skills to be a top WR in the league. He might not quite have the dynamic playmaking ability of some of his peers but he will kill you slowly with precision route running and sticky hands. He will make whatever QB throws to him happy. For the record, I like both Mariota and Carr and would like to see both be successful somewhere. I do think there is a decent chance that Gruden just prefers Mariota because he likes saying his name in interviews more.
13. San Francisco- C.J. Henderson DB Florida
This will be an unpopular pick but I do not think you build teams with rosters like the 9ers by jumping at pleasing the Madden-fan in us all. Adding a weapon like CeeDee Lamb to an offense as well-oiled, with a coach as creative as Kyle Shanahan, is certainly appealing. They even have a second first-round pick to make a move on a DB later. If that-- or another top WR-- is the pick I won’t blame them. WR is a need with Emmanual Sammuels gone. But I think with the depth of this draft they got to be thinking they can get a guy later on that fills the need if he isn’t already on the roster-- See last years third round pick, an injury red-shirt, Jalen Hurd. John Lynch clearly understands the importance of a strong defense, stockpiling talented corners never hurt anyone, and Richard Sherman isn’t getting any younger. Henderson is a top ten player that they can count on giving their d-line an extra half second of time to get to the QB, which sounds scary if your last name is Wilson, Golff, or Murray.
14. Tampa Bay- Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
Tom Brady is the GOAT. He is also very old and father time has to be looking for any cheap shots he can take at this point. Tampa could go overboard and draft a WR here and no one would blame them. They probably have the best WR duo in the league but when you manage to be the team Tom Brady choses after New England I think any move to appease him and your fan base is probably fair game. That being said Becton will help keep him upright because he’s going to have to throw the ball a little deeper down field than he has lately to take advantage of those WRs. Becton is the type of freak athlete that makes scouts and coaches drool because if he develops right he will be a paradox on the field-- bigger, stronger, and somehow faster than everyone else. He would probably be the first tackle taken if not for two things. First off, there won’t be a typical off season and the learning curve is steep in the NFL. It's not that he is raw per say, but in a win now league he isn’t the most win-now of the tackle prospects. Secondly he reportedly got flagged in a drug test during the combine. All reports are he’s a stand up kid and some might argue that what he reportedly did was not that big of a deal, but he did have to know he would be tested, and the draft process has made it more difficult for him to show his character in person which might scare some people away. It likely won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, hopefully he can learn whatever lesson he needs to learn, and this is nothing more than a steal for new look Tampa Bay.
15. Denver- Ceedee Lamb WR Oklahoma
That ringing in your ear is John Elway screaming from the tops of the Rockies with joy. Denver seems to have something in a budding set of skill position players including, drum roll, a young QB. What they still need is another WR to pair with breakout star Courtland Sutton. Pairing him with Ceedee Lamb is more Justice League team up than Batman-Robin, but I don’t think anyone in Denver will complain. Lamb is arguably the best prospect at the position and Denver sat and triddled their thumbs until he fell to them.
16. Trade!!! Atlanta trades with Philadelphia. -Eagles-- WR Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
So I don’t think this is likely to happen. I am getting a little too fanboy about it, which is strange because I am not even sure I want it to happen. I don’t know what I want. I guess I really am an Eagles fan. Honestly the more I look at the draft the more I think it’s likely the eagles stay put and either draft a WR with a few question marks or a stud linebacker/ edge player for the fans to boo from their homes. I mean they neeeeeed WR help even with the emergence of Greg Ward and the development of J.J. Arcegia-White Side. But they don’t have a lot of draft capital and they still have some needs that need addressed before the start of the season at edge, wide receiver,linebacker, and defensive back. They aren’t all glaring needs but they are all needs that could potentially damage any run at another NFC East title. They would likely have to give up any chance of addressing these needs with anything more than developmental players if they make this trade. So that’s why it doesn’t exactly make sense even if the idea of Wentz having Ruggs III and Jackson on the perimeter to clear out space for Ertz, Goedert, Ward, and Miles Sanders in the middle and flats sounds wonderful.
Okay, I am two paragraphs into my mock draft explanation of my favorite teams pick. The seams of unbiased decision making are starting to stretch. Let’s hurry this up: Atlanta wants more draft picks and a trade down will still let them fill needs with a high end prospect while adding later picks. Eagles need a WR and didn’t expect Ruggs to be there. They are also worried Jerry Jones is salivating over the prospect of a shiny new toy and they have shown a willingness to make sure they jump ahead of Dallas to get a guy they both like when they traded up in the second for Dallas Goedert. Eagles get their star to pair with Wentz and get to ruin Jerry Jones's day at the sacrifice of competition for defensive backs and edge pressure not named Josh Sweat, Gramam Sacker, or Derrick Barnett. Falcons get to fill more needs like Eagles maybe should have.
17. Dallas- K’lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
Dallas could go DB or Edge but they are feeling sour about Philly stealing Rugs III from them so they pick a defensive linemen with all the attitude and athleticism one expects out of LSU in the hopes that he spends his rookie contract making Wentz’s life miserable. I’d prefer they were wrong, but Chaisson’s skill set make that unlikely.
18. Miami- Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Pen State
The rebuild in Miami continues with an athletic edge rusher who Flores hopes is fast enough off the edge to beat the Bills left tackle, and strong enough to sack Josh Allen. There’s no guarantees in this league, but I think Gross-Matos has a pretty good shot.
19. Jacksonville- Kristian Fulton CB LSU
Jacksonville has lost so many key contributors-- and are reportedly still open for trades on others-- that they should probably just be at best player available mode this entire draft. I don’t know that Fulton fits that bill exactly, but he does give them a solid building block to try and replace the stud corners they have traded away.
20. Oakland- Trevonn Diggs CB Alabama
Mike Mayock showed in his debut draft last year that he puts value in players from established, winning-culture programs. Trevonn Diggs is that, coming from Alabama, and he is also a player who fits a big need who happens to also be very good. Brother of former Vikings current Bills WR Stephon Diggs, Trevonn has the ball skills rarely seen in corners aside from the truly elite, and has a chance of turning into a playmaking corner in the mold of Oakland naitive Marcus Peters.
21. Atlanta-A.J. Terelll CB Clemson
Atlanta has a lot of needs and trading down allows them to address them with a steady presence at corner from a program Atlanta has historically prefered with early picks while also giving them the chance to plug some other holes.
22. Minesota- Justin Jefferson WR LSU
Minnesota is in the WR market due to trading Diggs to the bills. Jefferson is a top end prospect who falls to them due to their being a sort of grey area between teams who need WRs at the top and bottom of this draft. In a normal draft with normal WR prospects Jefferson is probably the top prospect and he goes in the early teens. This year he is great value for a team that could use his help.
23. New England- A.J. Epenesa EDGE Iowa
A.J. Epenesa is not a physical specimen in terms of NFL athletes. Compared to the average person like say, me, he is a mutant, but everything is relative. He is a little slower than other prospects and doesn’t have the same quick twitch as someone like Chase Young. He is however technical, rock solid, and smart which allowed him to carve up opposing offensive lines for Iowa and Kirk Ferentz, who is a friend of Darth Hoodie himself. I know some people will slot QBs here, but you're expecting Bill Bellechick to flinch when history shows he hardly even blinks. This is the type of pick that makes the rest of the league look stupid when Epenesa is a year into his contract and racking up his tenth sack of the season. It almost makes too much sense. In fact, it makes so much sense that it’s unlikely to happen.
24. New Orleans-Patrick Queen LB LSU
There are likely two first round picks at middle linebacker. One is a ferocious home-town kid that fits a need for New Orleans and isn’t a developmental QB with a cannon just because Sean Payton claimed after Pat Mahomes got new-GOAT status that he would have drafted him if KC hadn’t traded up ahead of them. Way to put yourself out there Sean. New Orleans will be just fine on offense with Brees and the enigma shaped monster that is Taysom Hill. What they need is a presence in the middle of the field that they have been missing since their Super Bowl run with Johnathan Vilma.
25. Minnesota-- Jeff Gladney CB TCU
Minnesota uses their picks on a combination of the following needs: WR, DB,OT, and EDGE depending on what players fall to them. In this scenario they address their exodus at DB this off season after snagging a WR they didn’t expect to be there. Coach Mike Zimmer usually does his best to not play rookies if he can help it but they don’t have many bodies left and Gladney is the sort of technical, high-effort, physical corner that will get on Zimmer’s good side quickly.
26. Miami--Austin Jackson OT USC
Miami uses their third first round pick to shore up their offensive line in order to protect their new investment at QB. It's a natural pick, though if Flores is anything like his mentor-- and I think he is-- this feels like a pick that could be traded for multiple day two value picks if someone is looking to trade up or back into the first round.
27. Seattle-- Zach Braun EDGE Wisconsin
Honestly I could predict myself at this spot and I would feel just as confident with the choice. Zach Braun is the best player available at a clear position of need but nothing like facts and needs has ever determined a Seattle draft pick. Seriously, pick a name out of a hat and it has a good chance of being the Seahawks pick if they don’t just trade it all together, which they probably will.
28. Baltimore-- Kenneth Murrary LB Oklahoma
This feels wrong. Typically teams with Baltimore’s depth and talent of roster are picking from guys with question marks like bad decision making and checkered injury or guys. Or at the very least guys that flash athletically but never put it together on the field consistently. They should not be getting one of the best linebackers in the draft and an almost guaranteed difference maker on a team that is full of difference makers. They underachieved however, and the historical talent of other positions in this year's draft mean that Baltimore gets another weapon for their arsenal.
29. Tennessee-- Jaylon Johnson CB Utah
Tennessee is the opposite of Baltimore. They over achieved and while that is great they are now left with a late pick and more needs than typical of a team naturally picking at this point in the draft. That is not to say there isn’t talent on the roster, just that there are a few more holes than they would probably like and less pegs to plug them with. Jaylon Johnson is a Mike Vrabel type player, and it feels like if they are going to address anything its going to be on the defensive side of the ball. They could also go tackle here with someone like Joshua Jones or a top edge rusher available, but I think Johnson is the pick due to Logan Ryan being unsigned.
30. Green Bay- Jaylon Reger WR TCU
I think its funny mock drafts keep giving Green Bay WRs and they keep drafting ready to play prospects on the defensive line or back end. Even still, they really do need another wide reciever, and if there was ever a draft to break the trend it would be this one. Reger is in the Randall Cobb mold because that's an easy comparison and it kind of holds. He’s not huge, but he plays big, and he is physical at the point of attack while also being dynamic with the ball in his hands. It seems likely that in a historic draft of wide receivers there is likely to be one from the “middle” of the pack who turns into a star. Reger feels like he could be that guy.
31.San Francisco- Denzel Mims WR Baylor
Speaking of that guy, Denzel Mims has the potential to be a stud. He is a size-speed combination that seems prime for NFL success. He fits more with what I think the 49ers thought process is during this draft. Use their early pick to address a position that isn’t rich with talent, then come back later and trust that Shanahan can turn whatever WR they snag into a star alongside Debo Samuels and George Kittle. Mims even blocks like a 49ers WR--meaning he actually does it, and pretty well too. I don’t even think they need to draft a WR here, as I have said it before I think they trust their system and their coach, as well as having possible answers on roster as we speak, but they did address it with a trade at mid season last year, and Saunders is now gone, so it feels like they might. Mims would be an excellent addition to an already prolific offense.
32.Kansas City- Ceaser Ruiz C Michigan
I did have Indianapolis trading for this pick to draft Jordan Love. It makes sense. Indianapolis is a win-now roster who lost their heart in Andrew Luck, and have a few solid options at QB, but nothing that will likely take them to the top. Drafting Love gives a QB friendly team time to develop his raw skills into something that could be dynamic. However I think it is possible Love is either gone at this point or still on the board on day two, so instead I have KC staying put and Andy Reid doing what Andy Reid likes to do, drafting interior lineman. They don’t have an immediate need at C, but Ruiz can fit multiple positions as needed for now, then fall into a starting position down the road. Running back would make sense here, but I think they won the superbowl with the guys currently on their roster so I don’t think it is as pressing as other people might think it is to them. Defensive anything would feel like a strong candidate as well but I am pretty sure Andy figures one stop a game is good enough with Pat Mahomes at QB. Are you going to argue with him? He’s picking last.
Side note: congrats Andy. You shaped my childhood by giving me a team to root for that was a perennial contender and while I wish you had won one a lot quicker and in a different color, I’m glad you got one.
Before we finish here are a few other prospects I would like to comment on who could have easily been first round picks. There are others who I am sure will be first round picks that I am not even going to mention. I would bet they will be getting a call from Seattle:
There is a strange paradox that happens in the NFL when it comes to young QBs being drafted. The top, “sure-fire” prospects go to the worst situations, making it less likely for them to be successful. Then there are the wild cards who are all arm talent, but who for whatever reason never managed to make that next step too elite prospect. One of two things happen to these guys. Scenario 1: A team reaches for them and drafts them way earlier than they should be drafted due to the relative unicorn status of elite QBs and head coach a-type personalities believing they are the missing key to every high-talent, but flawed prospect. Scenario 2: The prospect falls to an early day two pick more fitting of their ability which puts less pressure on them and also puts them on a roster more likely to support them. In scenario 1 the prospect either quickly impolodes because duh, or the whole league looks stupid, think what apears to be happeing with Josh Allen. In scenario 2 there are also two possibilities, which I think makes this so strange. 1: The player flashes early, sits for 3 or 4 games, then gets the green light for the rest of the season and becomes the presumptive starter going forward. Or the QB sits all year and the team decides to move on from him because moving on from a second or third round pick isn’t near as rough as a first round pick. So, in these scenarios, a young QB really wants a team to over value him and pick him over other more pressing needs as this is the most likely way for him to get multiple years at developing into the guy. If you're a first round pick that your team gave up a lot for, they are going to give you plenty of chances to prove they weren’t idiots-- even if they were. If your picked closer to value you should have a better chance at developing into a high level player, but teams are quicker to give up on you before you even get a chance. It’s very strange, and while Jordan Love could go anywhere from the early teens to a second or third round pick, wherever he goes I hope he gets a real chance to prove himself.
Poor Tee Higgens. He has somehow become the forgotten man it seems. It is altogether possible that he is the forgotten man only because everyone is sure what they are getting from him, it feels like teams are just overlooking what should be a first round pick. I think if you look at the first wide receiver chosen in the past decade Tee Higgens is as good, or better, than a decent amount of them. I don’t want to say half of them because that would take me actually researching instead of just making bold claims I don’t want to have to back up with imperical evidence. But seriously, if the Wide Receivers are flavors of ice cream it goes like this. Jerry Juedy is a twist-- sweet, rich, and classic. Ceedee Lamb is cookies and cream-- smooth and full of sweet surprises. Ruggs III is cotton candy with pop rocks-- flashy, eye-catching, and more than a little sizzling. Jaylon Reager is a chocolate peanut butter with real reeses bits-- familiar but tasty, with a little something to keep you coming back. Denzel Mims is double chocolate fudge-- seems like it might be too good to be true, but it just might not be. Then there is Tee Higgens. Tee Higgens is vanilla. But not just any old Vanilla. Tee Higgens is sweet, flavorful homemade vanilla made with love and patience. It goes with everything and anything and everyone has nothing bad to say about it. It just doesn’t stick out. It feels familiar because it is so classic, and so expected, that it almost becomes under appreciated. Tee Higgens is going to go in the second round. He is going to be an instant starter and he is going to develop into one of those guys who just quietly puts together year after year of thousand yard seasons. Whoever gets him is likely to have the steal of the draft. I hope it is the Eagles and I also hope that extended ice-cream metaphor wasn’t too weird. I kind of feel like it was. But hindsight is 20-20, so what do you do?
Swift will be a day one starter unless he goes to a team that has an established starter in which case he will become a high quality back up that makes saying goodbye to a veteran looking for more money an easy decision a year or two down the road. He could easily go in the first round but he feels like a really solid second round pick to me.
Depending on the team that picks him, Taylor feels like a real sleeper for the rookie of the year. He is a Wisconsin running back, meaning he’s had a great line, but he tested really well and it sure seems like he might just be able to step into the league and continue where he left off with his 2000 yard season in college. Unfortunately most teams undervalued running backs and the teams that don’t are already paying someone else a lot to be their guy. Teams that need a running back probably feel like they can get someone later, and so Taylor falls to the second round. That won’t stop him from becoming someone’s go to ball carrier.
He’s a top twenty prospect in a weird draft. A combination of team needs, draft positions, and bloated talent positions cause him to fall. He’s a steal day two, and a modern day play maker that can be moved around the field. He will probably go in the first round. He just didn’t in this mediocre mock draft.
A talented but raw prospect in a year where being raw is akin to being a red shirt, which is not something a team wants with a first round pick if they can help it.He could easily go in the late first, but I think the strange unheard of times we are in right now hurt his chances.
A very capable and dynamic slot player in a draft full of stars that aren’t necessarily quite as one dimensional. He will likely land on a team that can take advantage of his skill sets and frees him up to have a strong rookie season.
A playmaker who has a tendency for eye-popping moments, he did not have the best numbers however. This is in large part due to his team struggles and not his own, but in a field as crowded at WR as this year, that leaves him out of the first. He could be a “surprise” standout once the season rolls around though.
A classic second round pick at running back. He does everything you could want with the ball in his hands but has to learn some finer skills if he wants to be an every down back in the current NFL. Ten years ago he is a to fifteen pick, but things change fast and instead he ends up being something similar to Swift earlier.
K.J Hamler is a pros-pro and he will make some team very happy with his sure hands and crisp route running. He just won’t make them as happy on draft day as landing one of the top prospects. It’s like going shopping for a lambo and coming home with a reliable subaru instead. It might have been the better choice, and it will certainly get the job done, but people aren’t going to jump out of their seats to see you drive by. If that sounds harsh, it shouldn’t. I like him. He is going to be in the league a long time. He just isn’t as eye-catching as some of his peers. That doesn’t mean he won’t be in the league longer than them.
Antoine Winfield Jr. -
If injuries weren’t a concern he would be a first round lock. He’s everything you want and he is pro ready mentally and physically. If he stays healthy he is going to make some team very pleased. I don't know that he will play to the age of 70 like his dad, but he sure seems like a lock to be a starter for a very long time.
He’s not the runner some of his other peers are but he can sure catch the ball, which in this NFL means he just might sneak into the first round. Why do I suddenly feel like Seattle is going to be calling his name.
He’s getting a lot of hype recently as a defensive linemen whose physicality and motor would allow him to move all around a four front. One of the d-linemen has to not go in the first and the others have been on the radar longer. He feels like a Packer though-- or maybe KC.
Delpit was in many evaluator’s top five before the season started. He’s been compared to Derwin James, which is the new token for any Safety that can hit hard and get a guy to the dirt without being an absolute liability on the back end in much the same way that Julian Edelmen has taken over for Wes Welker as being the comparison to any white wide receiver regardless of measurables or skill set. He struggled this past year, but reportedly he also played injured. He’s a second round value with the potential to make someone who passed on him earlier look really smart a few years down the road.
A raw tackle prospect, he feels like a guy who would rise late in the process to become a first round pick but it's not a good year to be a raw anything.
Another d-lineman who seems more likely to slip than rise but whose film and potential to keep getting better makes him a prime candidate for a classic late first-round steal. See Patriots, Ravens,Tennessee, or Seattle if no one had ever heard of him, but alas.
He’s got arm talent that could cause him to get drafted a little higher than his consistency might call for. I don’t think he goes in the first, but he could be a day two guy. The problem is there aren’t many teams right now who both want a new QB, but also don’t try to address it early in the draft. He could go to a team looking to develop someone, or he could be targeted as a high level back up.
Similar to Eason, who was once his teammate at Georgia, Fromm feels like he could become a team's long term solution at QB someday if he goes to the right situation where he doesn’t need to play right away, and they hide his needs while highlighting his strengths. He would fit in New England, if they want to have an insurance policy for Jarrett Stidham.
Speaking of fitting in New England. Hurts had a prolific year in an offense that spits out prolific years in a conference where I could probably throw a few TDs in and my arm is absolute garbage. That being said however, Murray is fitting in well in AZ and for whatever concerns you might have of Baker Mayfield, I don’t think that there are concerns with him not being capable of matching NFLs skill levels. I’ve seen some people comparing him to Tim Tebow and all due respect to Tebow, I don’t think that is fair to Hurts. I think, if given the chance to develop, you get a great leader who falls somewhere closer to a more physical Tyrod Taylor-- a presumptive NFL starter as of now.
So Tuszka probably seems like the odd man out here. He’s not likely to be an early round selection, but he could got middle to late. I actually know him- sort of -- as he used to play AAU basketball with my little brother so I thought I would give him a shoutout in a mock draft that no one cares about. Congrats Dereck! Bust seriously, Tuszka was a stud on the defensive line for the NDSU bison, gaining all sorts of accolades as he helped them add another trophy to their collection this year. He is a hard working, technical athlete that fits the mold of a high impact rotational defensive lineman for a long time with the potential of becoming a solid starter in this league due to his workman attitude, game IQ, and technical play. He is also a perfect example of another story in this year's draft. Typically small school guys can rise up the board during the off season if they get a chance to prove they can compete with the big school athletes through workouts and interviews. This year however, these players have been unable to do this due to the current health crisis, making it harder for them to prove that they are worthy of being drafted ahead of some of their peers who might only be ahead of them because they attended a major D1 program. I hope Derek the best of luck, and I am certain he won’t need it. Who knows, maybe he will join Sd natives Nate Gerry and Dallas Goedert as well as NDSU alum Carson Wentz on the eagles and help address some of these D-line depth concerns that I have.
Well there you go, that’s my mock draft. I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn’t, that’s okay. Just flood the comments with how many picks I got wrong.
Actually, who am I kidding.
No one is reading this.
LA is Editor-in-Chief and Head Writer at Lot 10 Underground. He is an avid Eagles fan and a weary Lakers one. He grew up sneaking through the halls of Hogwarts after dark with Harry and his more talented friends, stumbling along the dark walls of Rock Tunnel in Pokemon Red, storming through flood riddled ships with Master Chief, and questioning Goku's parenting techniques in DBZ. If you'd like to contact him, you can try an owl, but he prefers social media: