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NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Offense Dominates First Round (Picks 1-16)

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We are right in the middle of draft season, and there are plenty of interesting nuggets about prospects worth monitoring. The NFL Combine won’t function normally this season, which is putting an added emphasis on tape evaluation.

That could be a good thing, or it could prove to be an issue. But either way, it’s the situation NFL teams find themselves in.

This mock is dominated by offensive players. Of the 32 first-round selections, 21 of them come on that side of the football, including the first eight players. With where the game is trending, it shouldn’t be shocking to see 17 of the Day 1 selections be quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive tackles.

Let’s see what you think, though. Enjoy!

*Note: There are no projected trades in this mock.

Part II: Coming Soon!

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Previous Pick: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

There have been reports that a few teams prefer Zach Wilson to Lawrence. Even if that were true, Jacksonville isn’t one of them. Urban Meyer wants the generational talent out of Clemson, and there’s no reason to make a bold move like taking Wilson over Lawrence in his first year on the job.

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Previous Pick: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The Jets are reportedly looking for a second- and mid-round pick for Sam Darnold. If that happens, they will have more opportunities to grow around a new franchise signal caller. Wilson has a top-shelf arm to go with playmaking ability. Swing for the fences.

3. Miami Dolphins – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Previous Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Dolphins should go with a wide receiver or an offensive lineman here. The debate has mostly been between Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith, but I believe Miami could surprise people by taking Jaylen Waddle. He’s a game-breaking talent who can make an impact at wide receiver or on special teams.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Previous Pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Matt Ryan has been the face of the Atlanta franchise for some time now. But with the arrival of new coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot, it’s time to start looking towards the future. At one time, Fields was considered QB2 — and it’s still possible he ends up in New York.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Previous Pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

You’ll see plenty of people mock a wide receiver or tight end such as Kyle Pitts here, but I’m not buying it. The Bengals have a chance to snag the best offensive lineman in the draft, and I can’t stop thinking about that injury to Joe Burrow. Don’t overthink this, Cincy.

6. Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Previous Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Yes, Philadelphia could be a player for a quarterback here, but I believe they’ll sign a veteran backup in free agency and give Jalen Hurts a chance. The decision between Smith and Chase will be difficult, but I don’t think they can go wrong with either one. Give whoever starts a true WR1.

7. Detroit Lions – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Previous Pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

I’m still not 100% convinced Detroit passes up on a quarterback. I understand they brought Jared Goff back in the Stafford trade, but not because they wanted the former top pick. Still, I’d let him ride for a season, and if he does become the starter, he’ll needs weapons, especially since Kenny Golladay is a free agent.

8. Carolina Panthers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Previous Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Carolina desperately wants a new quarterback. They’ve reportedly gone after high-profile trade options Stafford and Deshaun Watson, but so far, nothing has panned out. Trey Lance in Joe Brady’s offense would be interesting.

9. Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Previous Pick: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

There are some out there who believe Caleb Farley is the top cornerback in this class. They’re close, but I still say it’s Patrick Surtain II. Either way, one of those two guys should be the pick, especially after the team released A.J. Bouye.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Previous Pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

I’ll stick with Rashawn Slater for the Cowboys. The team will still have Tyron Smith and La’el Collins as the bookend tackles, but I believe Slater could slide in and start at guard — or even center — immediately. Plus, he could be a long-term replacement option for Smith, who is constantly dealing with injuries.

11. New York Giants – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Previous Pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kyle Pitts in Cincinnati, Carolina or Dallas. He’s a top-10 player in this draft, but he slides to No. 11 in this mock. The Giants need more playmakers for Daniel Jones, and the top 3 receivers are gone. Evan Engram has been inconsistent and injury prone, which means he’s replaceable.

12. San Francisco 49ers – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Previous Pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

I’ll go ahead and reuse my justification from the last mock because nothing has changed:

The 49ers have work to do at cornerback. The group isn’t bad, but Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jason Verrett and multiple others are all slated to hit the free agent market. Farley has size and length (6-foot-2, 207 pounds) as well as an ability to play press and man coverage, making him a nice fit in San Francisco.

13. Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Previous Pick: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Chargers haven’t used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman since D.J. Fluker in 2013. Sure, that didn’t work out great, but it’s time to take another chance. Justin Herbert desperately needs more protection, and Christian Darrisaw is a steady tackle who has continuously gotten better throughout his career.

14. Minnesota Vikings – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Previous Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Minnesota is in prime position to trade down from No. 14. Any team wanting a potential starting quarterback out of this draft might need to make a move ahead of New England in order to make it happen. With that said, there are no trades here, so I’ll give the defense a balanced edge presence in Kwity Paye.

15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Previous Pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The love for Mac Jones has come in waves. First, I thought No. 28 to New Orleans was a realistic landing spot. Then the Senior Bowl happened, and it looked like the Alabama quarterback could be a top-10 lock. I’m in the middle here, which I feel like is a good place to be. I’ll keep the same pick from the last mock.

16. Arizona Cardinals – Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC

Previous Pick: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

I still believe that Horn could be an option here, but the more I watch Alijah Vera-Tucker, the more I think he’s a top-20 pick. At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, the USC left tackle will probably move inside to guard. Arizona’s offense is trending in the right direction, and getting Kyler Murray more protection would help accelerate that process.

Previous mock drafts: Part I and Part II (Jan. 31)

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

6 Comments

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  1. I believe several teams will try to make a move up higher in the draft to get into the top 3 picks. This opportunity for QBs doesn’t come along too often, so I think teams will look to deal. Carolina makes a lot of sense to move up to 3. Miami needs a WR or OL, but using the 3rd pick for that need in this draft is overkill. They don’t need to use that high of a pick to fill such a need, but Carolina does if they really want a franchise QB. Miami can trade down to 8 and still have plenty of big time players on the board at WR or OL. It’s not too often a team goes 10-6 and has the third pick, so I’d try to maximize that value as much as possible if I’m Miami. I think we will see a move or two early on draft day.

  2. we need a ‘cap sensitive’ mock draft, that accounts for teams that are way over and way under the cap. can teams draft really high in April, if they are not in line with the cap?

    can the Jets or Falcons or Eagles draft a new QB while in Cap hell? inquiring minds wanna know… how the Redskins can get a good QB 😜

    • It looks like the Jets are in really good shape, and able to spend money like a drunken sailor if I read the figures correctly. I’m surprised they haven’t come up more in the Watson talks. ATL, Philly and Detroit are drafting high and over the cap already for 21, so they may be wanting to move some contracts through deals. If ATL wants to get a Fields then you’d think they’d first need to unload Matt Ryan’s $41 million contract. Could Washington make a move there to trade for Ryan? They might get a good deal if they’re willing to eat his huge contract for a couple years. It just so happens Washington has about the same cap space and Ryan’s contract figure right now. Might be an opportunity if they want to make a run now?

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