We are now almost halfway through the NFL season. In two short months, only 14 teams will be playing while the other 18 will be looking ahead to the offseason. The holes on each roster are becoming more obvious as time goes on, and while free agency can fill those voids, most teams look to build through the draft. The draft order for this mock was based on The Draft Network’s mock draft machine order. Let’s get it started.
1. New York Jets – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
While Lawrence made comments this week that suggested he could return to school, it’s the best decision on his part to enter the draft. The Jets are likely to snag the first pick and will select him unless an Eli Manning-like situation occurs. By the time the draft rolls around, Adam Gase will be gone, and New York will have a competent coach.
2. New York Giants – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
It was difficult to not put a quarterback here with how Daniel Jones has performed. While most have this pick pegged as an offensive tackle, the Giants selected two good ones in Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart last year. New York’s defense is one of the worst in the league, and they need a do-it-all linebacker to pair with the tackling machine and coverage liability that is Blake Martinez. Parsons is excellent in coverage and gives the Giants a cornerstone defensive piece.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Jacksonville will elect to take a chance on Gardner Minshew or make a run at one of Dak Prescott, Sam Darnold, or Dwayne Haskins. Sewell is a franchise tackle and would immediately slot in at left tackle for the Jaguars. The Jaguars have a roster devoid of talented players, and selecting a quarterback could cause that player some major growing pains behind the horrid offensive line that Jacksonville has.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Falcons have a horrible defense and could use this selection at any level. Atlanta could also shop this pick for a king’s ransom to some quarterback-needy team. In this mock, there are no trades meaning Atlanta stays put. Rousseau is the pick for Atlanta who will continue to remake their defense that could potentially trade former first-round selection, Takkarist McKinley.
5. Miami Dolphins (via Houston) – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Tua Tagovailoa makes his starting debut that is going to be met with a lot of expectations. While he could bust out his first few weeks, let’s act as if he balls out. The receiver trio of Devante Parker, Preston Williams, and Chase would give Tagovailoa a great arsenal to go along with Mike Gesicki.
6. Minnesota Vikings – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The Kirk Cousins experiment to get Minnesota to the promised land failed miserably and put the Vikings into mediocrity. He has thrown way too many errant passes, and Minnesota desperately needs to go through a cleanup of sorts through their roster. Lance is one of the best quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class that has only thrown one interception over the last two years. With Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Irv Smith Jr, and Dalvin Cook, Lance will have plenty of help. Help the defense and offensive line in the later rounds.
7. Cincinnati Bengals – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
While most mocks have the Bengals picking an offensive lineman, cornerback could become their biggest need come draft time. With William Jackson III a free agent after this year, Cincinnati will have to find a new stud cornerback and get that with Surtain.
8. Dallas Cowboys – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Even if Prescott had stayed healthy, Dallas may not have made the playoffs thanks to their horrid defense. None of their cornerbacks can cover, and they let Byron Jones walk, which is coming back to haunt them. Farley can cover, which is more than can be said for some of the players in Dallas.
9. Washington Football Team – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Haskins is currently being given the Josh Rosen treatment from Washington. He has a head coach that doesn’t want him, and he hasn’t even been active recently for games. The current regime was around Cam Newton in Carolina, and reports coming out from Ohio State have likened Fields to Newton.
10. Los Angeles Chargers – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
The left tackle spot and interior of the offensive line for the Chargers are weak spots that desperately need help for Justin Herbert to succeed. Leatherwood is one of the best tackle prospects this year, and while he’s playing tackle for Alabama, he could make the move inside at the next level. Protect Herbert at all costs.
11. New England Patriots – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Patriots could undergo a ton of turnover this offseason. Offensively, they are missing one thing, and that’s explosiveness. Well, Waddle brings that and a whole lot more. While he may have broken his ankle a few weeks ago, he should be ready for training camp. At this point, it may be more beneficial for the Patriots to receive a higher draft pick instead of making the playoffs.
12. Denver Broncos – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
13. Carolina Panthers – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
By now, the Panthers have gotten themselves out of the top-three quarterback range. After they had all defensive selections last year, Carolina begins this draft by getting their Luke Kuechly replacement. Moses will become the new face of the Panther defense and be a staple for years to come.
14. Miami Dolphins – Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
The Miami front office has been known to take developmental prospects who could exceed expectations. Roche was a transfer from Temple who will stay in Miami as the Dolphins make him their lead pass-rusher. He currently leads the nation in tackles for loss opposite of Rousseau. He will likely become a team captain early in his career and become a face of the future for Miami.
15. Las Vegas Raiders – Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
The offensive line class as a whole is one of the best in recent memory. Humphrey is one, if not the best interior linemen in the class. While Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson are getting up there in age, Humphrey could sit and learn behind those two and team-up with John Simpson to form a young interior duo.
16. Detroit Lions – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Lions could go in a variety of different ways in April. They could trade up for a quarterback or build-up for their quarterback by taking the best weapon available. Smith is still on the board at the 16th pick and would form a great duo with Kenny Golladay if the Lions can retain him. If not, they could also snag Smith to pair up with Golladay.
17. San Francisco 49ers – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Wade is another cornerback in the long line of Ohio State studs to come out in recent years. With Richard Sherman not getting any younger and his contract expiring after this season along with Jason Verrett and almost every other cornerback on the roster. Wade would slot in as the top cornerback on the roster and continue to shape up San Francisco’s elite defense.
18. New Orleans Saints – Carlos Basham Jr. EDGE, Wake Forest
The Saints are in a rough spot. This could be a quarterback, or it could be the best player available. Basham isn’t that, but he offers a tremendous upside for a Saints pass-rush unit that could use reinforcements due to Marcus Davenport‘s injury concerns.
19. Philadelphia Eagles – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Secondary or a receiver is likely the choice here. The cornerback room has been obliterated and needs a second man opposite of Darius Slay. Campbell would fit right in for Philadelphia and hopefully fare better than Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, and Chandon Sullivan did in Jim Schwartz’s scheme.
20. Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Colts desperately need help opposite of Justin Houston. Kemoko Turay hasn’t been healthy enough to play this season, and Indianapolis could make a run at an edge rusher at the trade deadline. Paye is one of the best developmental prospects on the edge in the draft and could learn from Houston.
21. Cleveland Browns – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Outside of Mack Wilson, the Browns have nothing at the linebacker spot. Owusu-Koramoah would be a great addition to a defense that is lacking leadership and coverage ability at the second level. He already had a great first game against Duke this year and will likely find himself as a late first-round pick.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
While Lance gets all the attention from North Dakota State, Radunz is also a superstar that could be selected on day one. The Buccaneers need another young project along with Tristan Wirfs on the offensive line to protect whoever is playing quarterback for Tampa Bay in the future.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LA Rams) – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Jacksonville desperately needs help at tight end. Pitts stays in his home state and has gotten off to a fantastic start this year. While he is more of a receiver, Pitts will likely play a role similar to the one Gesicki is playing for Miami. He already has 17 catches for 274 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.
24. Buffalo Bills – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Buffalo desperately needs a second option alongside Tre’Davious White. After Josh Norman was stiff-armed into oblivion, they may elect to take someone who has elite physical traits that can also help in the running game. He may eventually overtake Campbell as the best Georgia cornerback.
25. Chicago Bears – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Bears are who we thought they were. They have a horrendous offense led by two backup quarterbacks and need someone new to provide a spark. Wilson is this year’s, Joe Burrow. He has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes and Johnny Manziel from their college careers and will electrify a Chicago offense that desperately needs it.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
Davis has drawn comparisons to Quenton Nelson this year. Arizona needs help on the interior of the offensive line and will help Kyler Murray finally be able to be in the pocket for more than two seconds and help Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds in the running game by bulldozing defenders.
27. New York Jets (via Seattle) – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Getting both Lawrence and Bateman is a dream scenario for New York. If the Jets get a playmaker for Lawrence, it will make his development much easier. While Bateman may not be talked as highly as the top three in the class are, he will provide a great duo with Denzel Mims for Lawrence to throw to.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The Ravens always seem to find the steal of the draft. Last year it was Patrick Queen, and now this year, Moore falls right into their lap. With him in the lineup, the Ravens now have their dynamic playmaker at the receiver spot that can take end-around and reverses to the house. Moore, Marquise Brown, and Devin Duvernay would make opposing defenses have nightmares.
29. Tennessee Titans – Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
With Jurrell Casey gone, the Titans need reinforcements on the interior of the defensive line. Twyman has been mentioned as Aaron Donald-like, which is mainly because of his ties to Pittsburgh, where Donald went as well. He isn’t as good as Donald, obviously, but he will find his way onto the field sooner than later and team up with Jeffery Simmons.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
The Chiefs are still one of the best teams in the league, led by an explosive offense. This year though, the offensive line play has drastically regressed. Smith is one of the best interior linemen in the class and can play on the interior or outside at one of the tackle spots.
31. Green Bay Packers – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Wide receiver, linebacker, and cornerback are the three biggest needs for the Packers, and it isn’t close. With Bateman and Moore going just before this pick, it hurts. With Owusu-Koramoah gone to Cleveland earlier in the round, the Packers could trade down or address their cornerback need. Horn is the son of former NFL receiver, Joe Horn. He’s great in man coverage and would form a great duo with Jaire Alexander. With Kevin King‘s contract situation in question, adding a cornerback could be a top priority.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw has flown up draft boards and lands with the Steelers. At 6’5″ and 305 pounds, he has the elite size to make it at the next level. He lands with Pittsburgh, who needs younger players on the offensive line that could succeed their current starters. Darrisaw is the fifth tackle in the first round and eighth offensive lineman.
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