Though it may not feel like with everything being so different this year, we are in the heart of draft season. There is no combine this year, so players will need to make an impression on their pro days since that is the last chance you have to make your case. This year also has one of the best free agent classes I have ever seen, as there are a lot of stars looking for new teams. This is going to make things get exciting, because team needs are going to change much more than usual I feel. With all that being said, I am going to do this mock draft based on what I feel is the best pick for every team. There will be no trades or free agent predictions, just me playing GM for every team. Now let’s get started.
Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson. This is a no brainer. Lawrence has been the best quarterback in college football, from the moment he stepped onto the field. Jacksonville isn’t just getting a great player either, he is also the type of person you want to be the face of your franchise. Honestly my biggest question mark with the Jaguars is not if Lawrence will be successful, it is will Urban Meyer be the right coach.
New York Jets: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama. I don’t know how anyone could see this differently but shockingly a lot do. I know Ja’Marr Chase had an incredible season last year and he is super, but what Smith showed this season is a perennial All-Pro talent. He showed that he isn’t just a speed guy, but that he is also the cleanest route runner in the country and has very reliable hands. I think you are getting a player the style and caliber of Stefon Diggs, which is no doubt something that the Jets don’t have.
Miami Dolphins(via HOU): WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU. Chase opted out of the 2020 season and hasn’t played in a year, so he will need to show that he is still the same player from 2019. If he is, Miami will jump at the chance to draft him. The Dolphins made a lot of strides last season, but was definitely missing a true number 1 WR. Chase would absolutely step right in and be their top receiving threat. He is big, fast and strong and would give Miami a fantastic weapon for Tua to throw to.
Atlanta Falcons: CB Patrick Surtain Jr, Alabama. Atlanta has a lot of holes on the roster, but the offense was still the strong point of their team. Unless they want to start a complete overhaul of their roster, Surtain is an easy choice. He is a second generation NFL CB and it shows when you watch him. He will not only give Atlanta a lockdown corner, he will become a cornerstone of a defense that needs a lot of help. I just think this is a win of a pick in every aspect of the game.
Cincinnati Bengals: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida. Personally, Pitts might be my favorite player in this draft. He can play any WR/TE position and is always a matchup nightmare. He is extremely comparable to Darren Waller, but I think has a much higher ceiling. I say this because Pitts is much further along than Waller was at this point and so he should have an easier transition. No matter how you look at it though, Pitts will be a favorite target for Joe Burrow and could become a top QB-TE duo.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon. Anyone who watched the Eagles play last season, I’m pretty sure could make this pick. They did have some injuries, but boy it was a real struggle upfront and they lost a couple of players to free agency. Sewell opted out of last season, but he was the anchor of one of college football’s best O-Line units during his career. He is a big, strong, and very athletic lineman, who should have no problem filling Jason Peters' shoes.
7. Detroit Lions: LB Micah Parsons, Penn St. Detroit is just beginning a full rebuild and has many spots needing to be filled, but Parsons should be the easy choice here. He is not only a great player but is the type of player you choose to build around. He is good at all facets of his position and is a very smart player, which will help the rest of the defense and probably make him an instant leader on the team.
Carolina Panthers: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota St. Even if the Panthers bring back Bridgewater, I still think they draft a QB. Lance is somewhat of an unknown, but he comes from an FCS powerhouse in ND State and has all the tools to be great. It’s a real tossup for QB2 in this class between Lance and Zach Wilson, but Lance’s play style is a better fit for Carolina. I think he obviously opens up the pass game more than what they had last season, but he also gives the Panthers a more dynamic and dangerous run game, pairing with Christian McCaffrey.
Denver Broncos: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech. Denver needs a lot of help and mostly on defense, so I went with a shutdown corner in Farley. He will not only fill a very important position, but he is a very good overall player. Denver has lost a few players to free agency and they were already weak in the secondary, so I just think this is their best option.
Dallas Cowboys: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern. I know the Cowboys have other positions they definitely need, but with the contract they just gave Dak and the injuries the team had across the line, it would be smart to make sure Dak is protected. Slater is a big, athletic OT and had a fantastic pro day. I think he would be a great fit into an already talented offensive line unit and is someone who can fill the shoes of Tyron Smith someday.
New York Giants: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama. The Giants lack that big play threat and Waddle would definitely fill that role. He is coming off of an injury, but as long as he is healthy, he is electric on the field. It would give Daniel Jones a reliable target and someone who can change the game on his own and he is a fantastic returner.
San Francisco 49ers: QB Zach Wilson, BYU. The 49ers have paid a lot of money in the Jimmy G experience and if Wilson is still on the board, he will definitely be too good to pass up. Wilson has a fantastic arm and is really athletic, so should fit into Kyle Shanahan’s offense easily. This pick would not only allow the 49ers to spread the field more, it would force defenses to focus on the passing game and in turn would open the run game even more. I just think this would be such a smart pick and one that will be a win all around.
Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech. The Chargers drafted the QB of their future last season in Justin Herbert and they showed a bit of improvement throughout the season, but they did not protect their prize rookie well enough. Darrisaw is actually my favorite OT in this draft and is probably the best in pass pro. He has hulking size and extremely strong hands, I feel he will be a no doubt plug and play lineman. He also has more value in this spot, because he is able to play either OT position and versatility is always a plus when going to the next level.
Minnesota Vikings: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame. This is a steal, if you ask me. This fits the team in two ways, They are getting no doubt the best player still on the board(top 5 player in my opinion) and they will get a do it all linebacker. JOK is a fantastic cover LB, who can play sideline to sideline and is a force stopping the run. He also fits Mike Zimmer's style and will be another Notre Dame player who flourishes in Minnesota.
New England Patriots: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida. This is a necessity pick here. New England was in desperate need of a speedy, big play receiver and Toney fits the bill. He is someone who can create separation and give Cam a target when things break down, which is something they lacked completely. He can take a short pass and make something happen, I think he is very comparable to Percy Harvin.
Arizona Cardinals: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU. Arizona thinks they made a splash signing JJ Watt, but I don’t know how much he actually helps the defense. Moehrig will help strengthen the secondary, which just lost Cardinal great Patrick Peterson to free agency and this will give them a young playmaker to complement their pass rush.
Las Vegas Raiders: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa. Collins is a bit of an unknown coming from Tulsa, but the kid is a baller. He is a big and extremely athletic linebacker, who will make plays all over the field. Some fans will probably be upset not getting a big name, but Collins has a chance to be the most underrated player in this class. There is nothing an offense can do that he can’t counter and he will give the Raiders a big piece to improve the defense.
Miami Dolphins: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson. Miami lacked any type of run game last season and Etienne would be a huge addition to the team. He can do anything you ask of him, he is fast and very strong, he will also give you another reliable target in the passing game. I really think he is the complete package and gives the Dolphins' offense a huge boost, as well as giving them the ability to sustain drives.
Washington Football Team: WR Terrace Marshall Jr, LSU. Washington was definitely a surprise division winner and is looking to build on a strong start for the Rivera era. Marshall is a big body receiver, who can stretch the field and give whoever is playing QB a nice big target. With the defense being the clear strength of their team, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an offense heavy draft.
Chicago Bears: QB Mac Jones, Alabama. The Bears are going to once again be an intriguing story to watch. They showed how talented they can be last season, but they are so inconsistent. I think Jones gives them a more pro style QB, who is consistent and doesn’t make the big mistakes. I know most people will probably have Justin Fields ranked higher, but he is also more of a question mark and you know what you’re getting with Jones.
Indianapolis Colts: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota. The Colts are building a great team and need some more offensive firepower. Bateman played a huge role in Minnesota’s dream 2019 season and he will give Indy a reliable possession receiver, who will always find a way to make the necessary play. Wentz gives Indy a better chance to spread the field, so they are going to need to load up on offensive weapons and Bateman would be a fantastic addition to the team.
Tennessee Titans: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami. Mike Vrable has always been known as a very aggressive defensive coach, but last season was definitely a disappointment. Tennessee had a nonexistent pass rush, so I know they are going to want to fix that and Rousseau will definitely help. I have Rousseau ranked higher than his teammate Jaelan Phillips because Rousseau is much better vs the run and I think that will be a factor for Vrable too.
New York Jets(via SEA): C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma. The Jets seem to be giving Darnold one more shot, so I think you have got to give him the best opportunity and drafting him a reliable center will definitely help. The QB-Center relationship is one of the most underrated aspects of the game and just having someone who you know is always on the same page, gives an offense so much more confidence(ex Manning-Saturday, Kelly-Hull). I already have the Jets picking up Devonta Smith, so I think helping solidify the line is imperative.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Jaelan Phillips, Miami. The Steelers just lost Bud Dupree to free agency and Phillips could step right into that position. He would be a great fit for Pittsburgh too because he plays more like an outside linebacker and should be able to really showcase his skills in Pittsburgh’s defensive scheme. He might take a little time to really develop into the pro game, but I really think Pitt is the best place for him.
Jacksonville Jaguars(via LAR): OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC. If you want to give your rookie QB the best chance to succeed, give him protection. Vera-Tucker is a very skilled interior lineman, who would really bolster the Jaguars O-Line. They have a young core of skill position players and this is a deep draft, so this just seems like the smart pick.
Cleveland Browns: LB Azeez Ojulari, Georgia. Cleveland surprised a lot of people last season, but they are not resting on their laurels and keep trying to improve. Right now the weakest part of their team is probably the linebackers, so Azeez would be a nice addition to the budding defense. He is more of a pass rusher, so might a little time adjusting to playing a complete linebacker style. However, he is a very talented player and should be well worth the chance.
Baltimore Ravens: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss. If Baltimore ever wants to make a playoff run with this team, they absolutely need to improve the pass game. Moore will give another quick and athletic player for Lamar to connect and hopefully for them gives the team a dynamic pass attack.
New Orleans Saints: QB Justin Fields, Ohio St. Drew Brees has officially retired, so the quarterback position is in a state of limbo. They still have Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, but neither of them has proven that they are the future. Fields is somewhat of a question mark too, but being able to mold a pure QB(not Taysom) from the start could be a huge move for New Orleans' continued success.
Green Bay Packers: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama. Green Bay had a real confusing draft last year, so really anything is possible here. That being said as far as team needs go, Barmore is the best player still on the board. He is another big and disruptive Bama interior defensive lineman, who knows how to stuff the run and pass rush. Given the Packers already very good secondary, having someone cause havoc in the A gap would give opposing offenses real troubles.
Buffalo Bills: DE Carlos Basham Jr, Wake Forest. The only thing Buffalo was really missing on last season was a difference making pass rusher and Basham would be a fantastic addition to an already very good defense. I truly feel that Basham isn’t getting the attention he deserves, because he is the perfect combination of speed and power, while still making it a point to being able to stop the run. I think he and Ed Oliver have the same mentality and playing style, so I could really see them becoming a very dangerous duo.
Kansas City Chiefs: OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan. As we have seen KC pretty much lost their entire offensive line, so protecting Patrick Mahomes is priority number one. Mayfield has a lot of playing experience coming out of Michigan and has a very good skill set, so he should have no issue stepping in to solidify the tackle position.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina. Tampa may be coming off a Super Bowl title, but I think the way they took care of their own free agents should also be celebrated. With that in mind, I think Picking Horn will not only give them the best available player, it also strengthens what I feel was their weakest position. Horn is a big and physical CB, who will be very valuable in a division with many top tier receivers.