The NFL draft is rapidly approaching and it could not be more welcomed at this time. There are no other sports happening and even more eyes are going to be glued to what the NFL has to offer draft night.
Nearly a week out and you are starting to see all kinds of information being “leaked” about what team likes, who or who they don’t like, and certain players rising or falling down draft boards. Who really knows what is true and what is just a smoke screen.
For this mock we are going to take all of the information that is out there, try to decode it like Tom Hanks in “The Da Vinci Code,” watch some film, and predict what is going to happen in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.
There will be no trades in this mock draft. Let’s get to it!
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
One of the rumors circulating now is that Burrow has told the Bengals he doesn’t want to play for them. I can’t see the Bengals passing on him, however.
2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Arguably the most talented player in the draft. No brainer for Washington.
3. Detroit Lions- Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
This is where things could get interesting in the draft, but with no trades in this mock the Lions take the best player at a position they desperately need.
4. New York Giants- Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Becton is a massive human being and a very good offensive lineman. He finishes every play and will help protect second year QB Daniel Jones.
5. Miami Dolphins- Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers have both been connected to Herbert. Here the Dolphins get the future of their franchise.
6. Los Angeles Chargers- Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Chargers moved on from Philip Rivers this offseason as he moved on to the Indianapolis Colts. They replace him with a QB who has some injury history, but if healthy could be considered as good as any QB in the draft.
7. Carolina Panthers- Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
He is a freak in the best way possible. An absolute beast, versatile, and will make be a difference maker for first year head coach Matt Rhule.
8. Arizona Cardinals- Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The skill players are set in Arizona. Now they need to protect Kyler Murray. Andrew Thomas could have been the first OT taken, the Cardinals get their guy to protect Murray for the next 10 years.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
The Jaguars had one of the best defenses in the NFL only a couple years ago. Now they have to rebuild. They start along the interior with Derrick Brown.
10. Cleveland Browns- Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Browns have the best skill players in the NFL , but they need to be able to protect Baker Mayfield. Wirfs tore up the combine and comes from Iowa, who is known to produce NFL offensive lineman.
11. New York Jets- Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Jets, like the Browns, are desperate for an OT. They are able to get their guy, Jedrick Wills out of Alabama.
12. Los Vegas Raiders- Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Al Davis may no longer be with us, but he would love this pick. Ruggs has speed to spare and the Raiders need a threat on the outside to pair with Darren Waller underneath.
13. San Francisco 49ers- CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
CeeDee Lamb gives Kyle Shanahan another weapon for the Super Bowl runner up. CJ Henderson was considered here, but Lamb is too good of a fit for the 49ers.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Bucs acquired Tom Brady in the offseason and would have liked to be able to draft one of the big four OTs, but with them all gone they look to the defensive side. Here they get corner CJ Henderson, who is getting some top 10 buzz as of late.
15. Denver Broncos- Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The Broncos add standout WR Jerry Jeudy from Alabama to pair with Courtland Sutton on the outside. The Broncos have a sneaky amount of weapons on offense. If Drew Lock can take a jump this year they could be the 2nd team to come out of the AFC west.
16. Atlanta Falcons- K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
The Falcons need a lot of pieces on the defensive side of the ball. They add another one here.
17. Dallas Cowboys- Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Cowboys lost Byron Jones in free agency to the Miami Dolphins. They look to find his replacement in Jeff Gladney.
18. Miami Dolphins- Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Dolphins found their franchise QB earlier this round. With this pick they add to an already stout defensive backfield that includes Byron Jones and Xavien Howard.
19. Las Vegas Raiders- Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
Mike Mayock continues to rebuild this defense. The Raiders added multiple defenders in free agency, but that doesn’t stop them from drafting a potential day one starter here.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars- A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The defensive rebuild continues, this time on the back end. Terrell is a solid player despite having a rough outing in the NCAA Championship game.
21. Philadelphia Eagles- Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
This was a tough decision between Justin Jefferson and Kenneth Murray. With such a loaded WR class, the Eagles land the best LB prospect in the draft.
22. Minnesota Vikings- Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Vikings traded Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for this pick and here they find his replacement. Justin Jefferson was a main target for number one pick Joe Burrow and he has the great ability to get open in the slot. However, he has the ability to play any of the WR positions.
23. New England Patriots- Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Wide receiver was a clear issue for the Patriots last year. Mims is a big target for whoever lines up under center for New England this year.
24. New Orleans Saints- Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Saints are looking to make one more run at a Super Bowl before Brew Brees retires. Queen is a supremely athletic LB that fits great in today’s NFL.
25. Minnesota Vikings- Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
The Vikings need a CB and Johnson fits that need. He is a good athlete that would fit well in Mike Zimmer’s scheme.
26. Miami Dolphins- Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Dolphins take a tackle with their third pick of the first round. He will be protecting newly drafted Justin Herbert.
27. Seattle Seahawks- Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
Ruiz is a stud along the interior. He can play Center or Guard and would be a great addition to protect Russell Wilson. He is also a force in the run game, which the Seahawks love to do.
28. Baltimore Ravens- Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin
The Ravens defense is already very good. Baun is another chess piece for Wink Martindale to play with on that side of the ball.
29. Tennessee Titans- Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
The Titans fell short of the Super Bowl, losing to eventual champions, Kansas City. Gross-Matos gives them long pass rusher to help try and get them back to the AFC title game.
30. Green Bay Packers- Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
This may be a little high for Aiyuk for some. He still has some development that needs to take place, but he is a big play waiting to happen. He pairs well with Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones.
31. San Francisco 49ers- Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The 49ers use their second pick in the first round on CB Trevon Diggs. You can never have enough good CBs and Richard Sherman is getting a little long in the tooth.
32. Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs- Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise St.
The Chiefs are bringing back 20 of 22 starters from the Super Bowl. LB and CB are still positions that need to be addressed. They also could draft someone along he interior of the OL. However, this pick is a look to the future. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are getting older. Fisher is a due a lot of money next year and could be released to save that money. Cleveland could be his replacement waiting to take over.