Written by Bobby Greco
We are now two weeks away from the NFL Draft and though it’s going to be a little weird this year, it will be as exciting as ever. As teams hunker down in virtual war rooms and prospects prepare for their lives to change, we will take a look at what might happen in the 1st round. I’m going to take the approach of GM and make every pick in what I think is in the best interest of each team. I am going to stick to the picks, so there are no trades in this. I’m not going to play predictor here, so there will most likely be some surprises. This is just how I would draft for each team, strictly from the standpoint of what teams look like right now. So let’s see how this goes(insert epic music)...
1. Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow QB LSU: This is a given, honestly this might be one of the easiest picks in a long time. Personally I think Burrow is the best QB prospect we have seen in a while. Of course, this isn’t going to be an overnight fix, Cincy will still have a lot of holes to fill. But hang in there Bengal fans, because Joe Burrow is a special player.
2. Washington Redskins, Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson: Yes I know, you were expecting to see Chase Young here. However, Isaiah is the best defensive player in this draft and could end up being a generational player. With versatility and pure athleticism, he is the type of player who can be used all over the field. He is the perfect player to cover and shut down the modern TEs dominating the NFL.
3. Detroit Lions, Jeffrey Okudah CB Ohio St: This one is based purely on the team’s need for a shutdown corner, after trading away Darius Slay. Detroit has been building up their pass rush the past two offseasons, so Chase Young doesn’t add as much to the team as Okudah. Detroit isn’t missing out though, because Okudah is by far the top corner in this draft.
4. N.Y. Giants, Chase Young DE Ohio St: The Giants win the lottery here because getting Chase Young instantly improves their pass rush. Don’t get me wrong New York needs offensive line help, but having Young fall to them is something they can’t pass up on. With the impact Nick Bosa had for the 49ers last season, NY would be thrilled for this to happen.
5. Miami Dolphins, Justin Herbert QB Oregon: In all honesty, I think this is probably too early for Herbert, but unfortunately for Miami, they are in a really tough position. Tua Tagovailoa has a higher ceiling, but he is a major injury risk and I mean major. Herbert definitely has some things to work on, but he should be able to sit behind Fitzpatrick for a year and become a more accurate quarterback.
6. L.A. Chargers, Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa: I know the Chargers need a QB, but they really need O-Line help. Drafting Tua here without building the line, could seriously end in disaster for both him and the Chargers. Drafting Wirfs gets you instant experience up front, as he was a four-year starter in college and the most polished lineman in this class.
7. Carolina Panthers Derrick Brown DT Auburn: Carolina gets an interior force with Brown.Not only that, but I think he could end up being the second-best defensive player in the draft. Staying for his senior year was the best decision Derrick could have made because he became a top 10 prospect and a huge talent.
8. Arizona Cardinals, Mekhi Becton OT Louisville: Arizona made a big splash trading for Deandre Hopkins, now they need to protect Kyler Murray and Becton will be a huge addition. A massive frame and freakish athleticism make Becton one of the most polarizing players in this year’s draft, thanks in part to his eye-popping performance at last month’s combine.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars, CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma: Will this finally be the year Jacksonville gets a playmaker for their quarterback? For the sake of Gardner Minshew’s mustache, let’s hope. CeeDee would be the perfect fit because he is a stud receiver, who’s abilities can fit any offense. He could be a Stefon Diggs type player and someone you can rely on every play, I mean he only helped three quarterbacks become Heisman finalists with two winners.
10. Cleveland Browns, Andrew Thomas OT Georgia: Cleveland lost starter Greg Robinson to a major drug offense a few months ago, there is a hole to fill and Thomas would maybe even be an upgrade. He is big, strong and has a lot of experience, plus he would be coming from a pro style offense and an offense centered around the run game. Not to mention, he already has a great rapport with former college teammate Nick Chubb.
11. N.Y. Jets, Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama: The Jets could go a few different ways here, Jerry is by far the best player still on the board and will have a massive impact on Sam Darnold. He will be another receiver in the Bama line of talented playmakers. Jerry is also the best route runner in this class and will be a needed safety blanket for Darnold.
12. Las Vegas Raiders, Jedrick Wills OT Alabama: The Raiders didn’t get their money’s worth when signing Trent Brown last year, so Wills should be able to help protect Carr and get the offense to where they want to be. He played multiple positions during his college career, so he can be a difference-maker at tackle or guard.
13. San Francisco 49ers via Ind, Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama: The 49ers would be getting a homerun hitter out of Ruggs and something the offense needs with the departure of Emanuel Sanders. Pairing Ruggs with Debo Samuel would give San Fran an explosive and young dynamic duo for Jimmy G to throw to. I even think Ruggs has a chance to be the next Tyreek Hill.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, CJ Henderson CB Florida: Tampa is the most interesting team coming into this season, adding six-time Super Bowl Champ Tom Brady. So with the offense looking to make a big jump, it’s the defenses turn to improve and Henderson would give them a solid number one corner. Henderson is probably the most athletic corner in this draft too, so he would bring a lot to a defense in a really tough division.
15. Denver Broncos, Grant Delpit S LSU: This may not be the biggest need for Denver, but it gives a starter and a leader for their secondary after losing Chris Harris Jr. Delpit has a little injury risk, but the pros heavily outweigh the cons here. He is a very good player in every aspect of playing defense, so he will give Denver a lot of help on the back end.
16. Atlanta Falcons, Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama: Now I know this is a shocking pick and most likely won’t happen, but the window for Atlanta is closing. If Tua is still on the board here, it could be a great marriage for both parties. He can learn from a former MVP and if the season goes bad, he can be in a starting position sooner than you think.
17. Dallas Cowboys, Trevon Diggs CB Alabama: Dallas just lost their top corner and Diggs would be a good replacement. I think Center is the biggest hole, but there isn’t a player who is pick 17 talent.
18. Miami Dolphins via Pit, Austin Jackson OT USC: Miami is in great a good starting LT and Jackson is that guy. He was a four-year starter at USC and with some NFL coaching, could become a centerpiece for the Dolphins O-Line. He is a fantastic athlete for his size and a leader on and off the field.
19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chi, Brandon Ayiuk WR Arizona St: Though I think Chase Claypool is the fourth-best WR in the draft, Ayiuk fits the Raiders better and would give Carr a reliable playmaker, who can do a bit of everything.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars via L.A., Xavier McKinney S Alabama: Jacksonville needs some secondary help and with the top three corners off the board, I think McKinney is the logical next option. He is a great safety, who always seems to rise to the occasion and probably should have won the Thorpe Award this past year. He will bring stability and leadership too, which is something the Jaguar defense is missing.
21. Philadelphia Eagles, Chase Claypool WR Notre Dame: This would be a huge addition for the Eagles. This is a loaded receiver class and they could probably wait until the second round, but Claypool has a chance to be the top WR in this class. As he showed in the combine, he can do anything for a receiver and is a great competitor. I just think he is a no brainer.
22. Minnesota Vikings via Buf, Josh Jones OT Houston: The Vikings need to build the offensive line and Jones would be a great start. He dominated the Senior Bowl and didn’t lose a rep of 1on1s during the practice sessions. He will become Cousins top protector right away.
23. New England Patriots, Jordan Love QB Utah St: Perhaps you have heard, but New England is looking for a new quarterback and if Love drops to them they have to pull the trigger. I doubt he will be here still, but since I am not doing trades this is possible. Love has all the talent in the world, but let’s not call him Mahomes yet. He has the potential, but he didn’t show it off enough and I think this is where he should be drafted. Plus it would give Belichick a fresh new start.
24. New Orleans Saints, Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma: Murray is a beast of a linebacker and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Oklahoma had a really bad defense a few years ago and has had a real resurgence of late. Murray is a big reason why he is a big physical linebacker and has a fierce demeanor. He would be a strong presence on the Saints defense for years.
25. Minnesota Vikings, AJ Epenesa Edge Iowa: Minnesota lost EJ Henderson to free agency and could use a pass rusher. Epenesa would be a good fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense and though I think they need a WR more, this pick comes down to value. They should be able to get any receiver they want in the next round, so address another need with a player who won’t be around in the second.
26. Miami Dolphins via Hou, D’andre Swift RB Georgia: Miami takes the first running back off the board here, because they really need a back and they get the pick of the litter drafting one now. Swift is also the playmaker they need because he is a good receiving RB and will help Herbert in his development. Miami would be getting the top RB in this class, so I really like this pick for them.
27. Seattle Seahawks, Antoine Winfield Jr S Minnesota: Seattle would be getting a fantastic player and someone who fits Pete Carroll’s defense perfectly. If Winfield didn’t have any injury history, he would have been a top 15 pick. He may not be as athletically gifted as Delpit or McKinney, but he is just as good of a player and will have a great career if he stays healthy.
28. Baltimore Ravens, Lloyd Cushenberry OG LSU: With longtime veteran Marshall Yanda retiring, the Ravens have a big hole to fill. Cushenberry is a big, physical guard, who will fit Baltimore’s offense very well.
29. Tennessee Titans, Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame: Cole is a good pick here because Tennessee is building a strong offense and could use a young TE. He is not only a good receiving threat but is a very good blocker and that is very important in the Titans offense.
30. Green Bay Packers, Ross Blacklock DT TCU: I think Green Bay needs to keep the defense they started last year and Ross would give them a big interior presence. He will be a major help in run D and will cause enough disruption, that it should free up the “Smith Brothers” even more in the pass rush.
31. San Francisco 49ers, Jaylon Johnson CB Utah: This would be a great pick for San Francisco because Richard Sherman is getting old and Johnson has a very similar skill set. Letting him get mentored by Sherman for a couple of seasons would really let his game flourish. Johnson has cover skills and would be a big addition to an already formidable defense.
32. Kansas City Chiefs, Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin: They could definitely use more help on defense, but this is a player too good to pass on and he would really make that offense even more terrifying. Taylor is the best pure running back in this draft and underratedly one of the best college players ever. He would really bring a power aspect to the Chiefs offense… Yikes is all I have to say about that!