Now that we’re three weeks into the season, teams are starting to finally take shape. Squads that were supposed to make the playoffs like the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are winless, leaving their playoff hopes in doubt. While the NFL is going strong, the college football season is off to a hot start as well. With that said, here’s another early-season mock draft based on the current odds to win the Super Bowl. The New York Jets are on the clock.
1. New York Jets – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
This is currently the talk of the scouting community. Should the Jets continue to build around Sam Darnold, or should they take Lawrence? In this exercise, New York have fired Adam Gase finally and brought in a bright offensive mind, be it Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, or Lincoln Riley. The Cardinals and Packers have brought in new head coaches that bring their own quarterbacks in, and that is exactly what New York is doing. Lawrence is one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory and should kickstart the Jets out of mediocrity.
2. New York Giants – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Giants could go in a variety of ways here. They could give up on the Daniel Jones experiment altogether, continue to build their offensive line, or go with any player at any level of the defense. With Joe Judge coming from New England, the Giants take Surtain. New England’s strategy is to build the defense from the back forward, and Judge brings that approach to the Giants. James Bradberry was an excellent addition last offseason, and giving him a partner would do wonders.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Joe Burrow is getting eaten alive so far this season. He has gotten no help from his offensive line, and it’s time the Bengals finally shore it up. Jonah Williams is currently the only player that should be starting-caliber, so adding Sewell would give the Bengals a young tackle duo for years to come.
4. Denver Broncos – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Broncos are in a prime spot to trade down and get a king’s ransom from a quarterback-needy team. In this scenario, they don’t get what they’re looking for and take the best player available. Rousseau is a bit raw, but with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb ahead of him, he won’t have to perform at a high level right away. You can never have too many pass rushers.
5. Washington Football Team – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Dwayne Haskins is yet another controversy that is ongoing in the scouting circles. Washington hasn’t given him a good supporting cast outside of Terry McLaurin, and this pick needs to give him a weapon or help on the offensive line. Chase and McLaurin would form a tremendous duo for Haskins, and Washington could look to get him some protection in the second round.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
With Gardner Minshew‘s recent development, Jacksonville doesn’t need a quarterback. While the two biggest needs for the Jaguars are cornerback and offensive tackle, Parsons is the best player available on a defense that is looking to get back to its 2017 form. In a stacked offensive tackle class, Jacksonville can wait until their second first-round selection.
7. Carolina Panthers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Carolina’s front office has given whoever is playing quarterback plenty of weapons. Teddy Bridgewater is the ultimate bridge quarterback and will let Fields have time to sit and learn Joe Brady’s offense. In a division where Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady are the other quarterbacks, Carolina needs someone that can try to keep them in the game.
8. Miami Dolphins (via Houston) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently doing his thing as the starter trying to keep Miami in games while Tua Tagovailoa sits and learns. Tagovailoa would love to get one of his two receivers from his time at Alabama, so Chris Grier helps him out by selecting Waddle to pair with Preston Williams and DeVante Parker.
9. Miami Dolphins – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Let’s get wild. Tagovailoa has so much influence on the draft that he wants both of his former Alabama teammates at his disposal. With Parker, Smith, Waddle, Williams, and Mike Gesicki as Tagovailoa’s weapons, he should have no issues getting accustomed to Miami’s offense. The Dolphins have two second-round picks to help solve the offensive line and pass rush.
10. Atlanta Falcons – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Atlanta’s defense is still a mess, which will likely result in Dan Quinn’s departure. Farley will form a cornerback room that the Falcons have attempted to remake that includes A.J. Terrell, Isaiah Oliver, and Kendall Sheffield. Atlanta was trying to make the most out of their Super Bowl window, but it seems as though that window has passed.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
Minnesota’s defense has regressed horrendously following the departures of many key veterans. With Mike Zimmer’s job likely safe for another year, he can get his replacement for Linval Joseph and hope the young secondary develops.
12. Los Angeles Chargers – Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
Tom Telesco has finally started to get his quarterback protection after he signed Bryan Bulaga in the offseason. Davis has been likened to Quenton Nelson and would be a welcome addition to the Chargers who are still starting Forrest Lamp at left guard. Get Justin Herbert some help in any way possible.
13. Detroit Lions – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
With Matt Patricia likely gone, the Lions bring in an offensive-minded head coach to help Matthew Stafford potentially win a Super Bowl. Moore is one of the most explosive players in college football, and if someone like Bieniemy were to become the head coach, he would be a perfect fit in Detroit.
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
If Moses is available when the Eagles select and they pass on him, Eagle fans have the right to be upset. Philadelphia has blatantly disregarded the linebacker position for years. Moses is one of the better linebacker prospects to come out in some time and gives coverage ability at the linebacker position, something the Eagles desperately need.
15. Chicago Bears – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles aren’t the answer. Lance is one of the biggest risers in the last year as he is coming off of a 2019 season where he threw 28 touchdowns compared to no interceptions. Chicago has needed a quarterback forever and could finally have their answer with Lance.
16. Las Vegas Raiders – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Mike Mayock loves his raw athletes that have tremendous upside, and that is just what Hutchinson is. He took over the Rashan Gary role, playing all over the defense at Michigan. With Clelin Ferrell struggling and Maxx Crosby not continuing his excellent sack rate, the pass rush still needs to be addressed.
17. Cleveland Browns – Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Wyatt Teller isn’t cutting it at the right guard spot, and J.C. Tretter isn’t getting any younger. Humphrey would’ve been a first-round choice last year potentially but elected to return to Oklahoma. The Browns offense has looked to have found its groove, and adding another great lineman would help continue that progress.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Jacksonville has the worst tackle duo in the league with Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor. Taylor needs time to develop, but he doesn’t have a partner on the opposite side to help him. Like Humphrey, Leatherwood could’ve been selected in the first round last year but elected to return to school. Minshew finally gets some protection.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Without Byron Jones, the Dallas secondary is a mess. Wade would immediately compete for the shutdown cornerback on Dallas with the abundance of other young cornerbacks they have. The Cowboys have forgotten the cornerback position matters and have ignored the spot for far too long.
20. New England Patriots – Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
Bill Bellichick has a weird approach when it comes to the draft and getting his type of players. Twyman would ultimately be a force on the defensive line that New England is missing.
*** TRADE: THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS SEND PICK 21 TO THE NEW YORK JETS FOR SAM DARNOLD ***
The Colts only signed Philip Rivers to a one-year deal this last offseason meaning they will be left with Jacoby Brissett and Jacob Eason, who they drafted in the fourth round this year. Chris Ballard is one of the best general managers in the league, and giving up pick 21 for a starting quarterback when you already have a tremendous roster and tons of cap space, is a great move for Indianapolis. Darnold will finally have an adequate supporting cast.
21. New York Jets (via Indianapolis) – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
In yet another loaded receiver class, Bateman is one of the best. He isn’t special at one thing but is good at everything. He is a spectacular prospect that opted out before the season but will be playing for the Gophers this year. The Jets give Lawrence his number one receiver.
22. Arizona Cardinals – Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
Arizona has blatantly ignored their offensive line, and it’s coming back to bite them. While Kyler Murray can scramble, why not just give him protection so he isn’t running for his life? The interior of the line is awful, and the selection of Smith would solve one of those spots.
23. Tennessee Titans – Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
The Titans signed Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year contract. Even if they retain him, Tennessee could use yet another pass rusher. Clowney is a high-end number two pass rusher. If the Titans were to bring in Roche, they’d have a trio of good pass-rushers.
24. Buffalo Bills – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Buffalo has been looking for a number two cornerback opposite of Tre’Davious White for some time now and get that man in Campbell. He would be a perfect fit in Leslie Frazier‘s scheme and form a great duo on the outside with White.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Both Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler have expiring contracts after this year as well as Zach Banner. The Steelers will likely only be able to keep one of Feiler or Villanueva due to their cap situation, so adding a tackle of the future should be a priority. Cosmi would likely be the first tackle off the board in another class, but in this stacked one, he slides to the bottom of the first round.
26. New Orleans Saints – Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
The Saints have Cameron Jordan as their top pass rusher, and Marcus Davenport has struggled to stay healthy since being drafted in 2018. Carl Granderson and Trey Hendrickson are solid rotational pieces, but Basham would give the Saints another young player on the edge to pair with Jordan and lessen Davenport’s play.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Jason Pierre-Paul isn’t getting any younger. Paye would be a great addition to a pass rush rotation that needs to continue to get after the passer.
28. San Francisco 49ers – Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
San Francisco’s secondary is going to be decimated this offseason by expiring contracts. Jaquiski Tartt, Marcell Harris, K’Wuan Williams, Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, and Akhello Witherspoon are all going to need new contracts after this season, and some won’t return. Holland is the top safety in the class and would fill in for Tartt.
29. Green Bay Packers – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Once again, the Green Bay Packers have ignored the linebacker spot. Green Bay is currently ranked 30th against the run and desperately needs a new linebacker. Christian Kirksey is better than Blake Martinez but is once again injured. Owusu-Koramoah is great in coverage and has incredible sideline-to-sideline speed. He has had success as a blitzer and could likely play a role like Isaiah Simmons for Green Bay as a linebacker/safety hybrid.
30. Baltimore Ravens – Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
Baltimore’s success rolls through the rushing attack, and the interior of the offensive line has fallen off with Marshall Yanda’s retirement. Meyers would start immediately for the Ravens and continue to reshape their offense.
31. New York Jets (via Seattle) – Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
After years of Jet fans watching Rob Gronkowski decimate their defense, they get “Baby Gronk” as Freiermuth is nicknamed. The Jets continue to reshape their offense and have given Lawrence several playmakers.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Kansas City desperately needs help in the secondary, specifically at the cornerback spot. Adebo is a perfect player for Steve Spagnulo’s scheme and would likely start his rookie season.
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