Week 5 made it more evident of the draft needs some teams have. Draft analysts are getting more information on prospects, making it clear that certain positions are deeper than others. Specifically, quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and linebacker are some of the best groups and have game-changing players.
There are three potentially franchise-changing quarterbacks who are top 10 picks, thus the teams picking in the top five may get lucky. For this mock draft, the order is based on the website Tankathon, which uses the strength of schedule (SOS) and up to date records to determine the draft order.
1. New York Giants – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Giants are stuck with Daniel Jones after drafting him as a top 10 pick in 2019. They still need offensive line help opposite Andrew Thomas, and Sewell is the closest thing to Quenton Nelson, as a slam dunk pick at offensive tackle. Sewell has the movement skills of a 250-pound tight end, except he’s 330 lbs. He can make almost every block and would give the right side of the Giants’ offensive line a significant upgrade.
2. Atlanta Falcons – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Falcons have an easier schedule than the Jets, allowing them to grab Lawrence. While the next head coach will have a significant say in whether they grab Lawrence or not, he’s a generational quarterback. What does Lawrence do well? Currently, he’s consistently making National Football League caliber throws in college and showing elite decision-making. Additionally, he creates plays outside of structure, throws well on the move, has a cannon for an arm, and can scramble for extra yardage.
3. New York Jets – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Jets have options: either get the best defensive player in the draft or try again on the quarterback of the future. The most realistic option is going quarterback as a new head coach will be able to develop the offense the way he wants. However, there is a growing debate in the scouting community of who QB2 is – Trey Lance or Fields? Each has a unique style and requires a different offense. In terms of stability and consistency, Fields takes the cake as he doesn’t make many mistakes. Fields’ running ability allows him to extend plays and scramble for first downs, which he should have no business getting.
4. Los Angeles Chargers – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The best defensive player falls to fourth and pairs with last year’s first-round pick, Kenneth Murray. Murray and the second level have struggled to stop the run and cover tight ends and running backs. As the NFL moves to a more spread out, run after catch, space game, linebackers are starting to have more relevance in regards to coverage and getting sideline to sideline. Parsons is a once-in-a-generation field general linebacker. His instincts mixed with his freakish athleticism make him have the look of a young Bobby Wagner.
5. Washington Football Team – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Haskins might not be on the roster by the end of the year. However, the defense may not perform poorly enough to get the team a top-five pick. In this scenario, Washington – more specifically Ron Rivera – selects (Carson Wentz… Er, I mean) Lance, who has a similar play style to Wentz. Lance does everything well. However, his best plays are when he can scramble to extend the play, throw the deep ball, and go through his progressions.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
This is a problematic draft spot for the Jaguars, as Minshew isn’t the problem, but he also is not the solution. The team is also devoid of talent and has holes everywhere in the roster. Really, the pick will come down to if General Manager Dave Caldwell is still in office. With that said, cornerback is still a significant need for the team. Farley is a big, physical press-man corner who can pair with C.J. Henderson, who has struggled with big wide receivers thus far. This pick not only improves the secondary but will give Henderson better matchups; basically improving two positions.
7. Minnesota Vikings – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
It’s becoming clear that the Vikings need a new quarterback. However, there is none left on the board that is worth a top 10 selection. They elect to go with the second biggest need, which is cornerback. The secondary looks lost and gets toasted every game. Surtain is another Mike Zimmer cornerback mold; a lengthy and physical cornerback who can stop the run.
8. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle brings something Rondale Moore and Ja’Marr Chase doesn’t have: polished deep ball skills. If paired with Tua Tagovailoa (again), it would be devastating. Waddle is a bonafide speedster, except he’s got some of the best ball-carrying vision and run after catch ability in the draft. Moreover, there are rumors he’s going to run in the 4.2’s in the forty-yard dash.
9. Detroit Lions – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
There are lots of holes in the Lions’ roster, but they have a chance to draft a surefire elite receiver and replace Marvin Jones. Chase should not go after Waddle. However, it is based on the preference of receiver. Chase projects to be an alpha receiver similar to Kenny Golladay. Chase is the best receiver in this draft, as he excels at all levels of the field. He’s not a burner but has the best body control, hands, and physicality from the past three drafts. Chase changes the offense, and stopping him and Golladay would be borderline impossible.
10. Denver Broncos – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Denver needs to get help in the secondary. The loss of Chris Harris hurt the defense significantly more than anticipated. Wade doesn’t play the traditional outside role but fits into the slot, where he is great at stopping the run. He plays well in man-to-man coverage but can be too physical at times.
11. Philadelphia Eagles – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Eagles have holes in multiple places. However, they elect to go with the highest upside player at a position that could always be upgraded. Rousseau is the classic unpolished product, capable of being a 12 plus sack edge rusher. His upside is largely a result of his length (6-foot-7) and freakishly long arms, allowing him to win in multiple ways. Once he learns to refine his technique, the sky is the limit.
12. Cincinnati Bengals – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Leatherwood is possibly one of the most inconsistent tackles in the draft, largely due to balance concerns. His athleticism, strength, and technique make him a borderline top 10 player, but he also falls to the ground and gets dominated on the odd play. Once he fixes his inconsistencies, he could be a significant addition to the worst offensive line in the league and keep Joe Burrow upright.
13. Miami Dolphins – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The second level of Miami is still lacking a strong linebacking presence. Moses is everything fans want in a linebacker; a hard-hitting and sure-tackling player. However, Moses is elite at play processing and has a knack for getting to the ball, making him unlike anyone else in college. While he isn’t as athletic as Parsons, he’s going to be a great player for a long time.
14. San Francisco 49ers – Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
The decline of the secondary has been a significant reason for this defensive regression in San Francisco. Nasirideen is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, but has the movement skills of a cornerback. He’ll draw comparisons to Derwin James, but he doesn’t have the versatile skills James has. Once his processing speed at safety improves, he’ll be a playmaker on all levels of the field.
15. New England Patriots – Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
The classic Bill Belichick pick for the trenches. Not only does drafting Wilson improve the trenches, but he’ll eat double teams and give more one-on-one matchups for his fellow defensive linemen. Wilson hasn’t been overly impressive this year, but at times he flashes and is the best player on the field.
16. Carolina Panthers – Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Freiermuth adds another dimension to an already dynamic offense. Ian Thomas has been serviceable, but Freiermuth allows offensive coordinator Joe Brady to utilize a tight end who can be a security blanket, but also bring run after the catchability.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay has one of the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL, but Ndamukong Suh is already 33. Twyman has some elite burst but only dominates with two pass-rushing moves – swipe and swim/rip and the push-pull. Letting him learn from Suh for one year would allow him to refine his pass-rushing moves and adapt to the speed of the NFL.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Call this a replacement for T.Y. Hilton, who hasn’t been the same downfield threat fans saw last year. While Moore doesn’t have the route running or deep threat nuance that Hilton does, he is a threat to break tackles each play. His run after the catch ability is elite, and he continues to improve his receiving ability, making him a lock for the first round. Moore can be a top wide receiver in the NFL with his tools. He just needs time to refine them.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
No Dallas fans, Cowboys aren’t taking a quarterback. Instead, almost every defensive position needs help, but no more so than cornerback. After the loss of Byron Jones, the secondary has struggled significantly. Campbell is a 6-foot-2 physical cornerback who looks like he could play box safety. His man-to-man coverage skills mixed with his size could make him a dominant corner in the NFL.
20. New Orleans Saints – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Saints need more playmakers and there is no one better at creating separation and getting first downs than Smith. Smith isn’t elite at anything, but he’s great at everything. He would be a top 10 player if he was faster, but will most likely run in the high 4.4′s in the forty-yard dash.
21. Las Vegas Raiders – Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
Building the trenches or “Gruden’s Grinder” is what comes to mind with this pick. Davis plays the guard position so well, he has drawn a comparison or two to Nelson in regards to his intelligence and strength. The movement skills have yet to be similar. However, he’s the perfect replacement for Richie Incognito, who will turn 38 next season.
22. Arizona Cardinals – Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Humphrey may be the perfect fit for this Kingsbury spread offense. He’s athletic and has the movement skills of a 250-pound tight end, allowing him to make incredible reach blocks. He struggles with power (a problem considering he’ll face Aaron Donald twice a year), but is capable of making both guards better with his awareness. He is always in the right place and making the right block.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
STOP!!!! If Pitts goes to the Chiefs, the NFL is over, there will be no way to stop them. Fans can legitimately skip the 2021 season. In reality, Pitts is a supersized wide receiver (who doesn’t block well) and is similar to Travis Kelce. However, contrary to Kelce, Pitts is more of a downfield threat, bolstering reliable hands and body control to make important third down plays. This pick makes more sense considering Kelce needs a successor in two to three years; the typical amount of time it takes for tight ends to adapt to the league.
24. Baltimore Ravens – Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
The Ravens didn’t replace (soon to be Hall of Famer) Marshal Yanda, who consistently dominated the NFL. Smith has streaks of pure dominance where he looks like a top 15 player. However, health is a concern. If he stays on the field, he’ll be worth a first-round pick.
25. Chicago Bears – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Bears likely aren’t resigning Allen Robinson (a big mistake), but they turn out to be the luckiest team as they draft the second coming of Robinson. Bateman is a carbon copy of Robinson in size, skill, body movement, and play style. He’s a first-round talent and will have the same effect Robinson had on this offense.
26. Cleveland Browns – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
A versatile and athletic linebacker is becoming a necessity in today’s NFL. Owusu-Koramoah jumps out of the screen when watching the Notre Dame defense. He’s the perfect fit for a defense that needs the blitzing presence and sideline-to-sideline guy.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
As stated previously, Minshew isn’t the problem, but he is also not the answer to winning. Enter rising star, Zachary Wilson, who has an 85 percent completion percentage through four games!! Wilson is the perfect quarterback for extending and making plays out of structure. He’s got all the tools of a first-rounder and a successful quarterback.
28. Buffalo Bills – Samuel Cosmi – OT, Texas
Once Cody Ford kicks into right guard, the Bills will have one of the most dominant offensive lines in the NFL. Cosmi has a significant upside due to his size and movement skills but is inconsistent with his hand placement on passing downs. He gives up his chest to defenders and is pushed back too often. Experience and coaching from an NFL caliber coaching staff should improve his mistakes.
29. Green Bay Packers – Brevin Jordan, WR/TE, Miami
Jordan and Robert Tonyan are not the same type of tight end. Jordan is a super-sized wide receiver who can play outside for the Packers and become a dominant no. 2 receiver. His run-after-the-catch ability at 250 pounds is elite, and his ability to go up for contested catches would give the Packers a new element to the offense. Jordan is everything the Packers currently do not have and he could transform the offense.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Harris exemplifies the Steelers’ brand; a hard nose running back who is extremely difficult to bring down in short areas as well as in space. One thing that needs to be said though. Travis Etienne is a more complete and talented running back than Harris. However, this is about the system. Harris is better in the box and at maximizing yardage than Etienne, who is a better home run threat. In essence, Harris is a larger version of James Conner except with additional power. He would replace Conner, who becomes a free agent this offseason and cannot stay healthy on the field.
31. Tennessee Titans – Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
Basham at 31 is a steal. He’s a pro-ready player who will be able to dominate the run and be a consistent six-to-nine sack guy. He would fit in the 3-4 defensive end role in the Titans’ defense and be a force next to Jeffery Simmons. In essence, while Simmons replaces Jurrell Casey who was traded this offseason, Basham gives the other side of the line a boast.
32. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
This pick is about bringing the first great pass rusher to the Jets in a decade. Paye isn’t a polish product but has significant upside and the tools to be a dominant edge rusher in the league. Once he gets experience and coaching in the NFL, he could be a +10 sack guy.
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