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.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.