For my second mock draft, I didn’t want to have a carbon copy of my 1.0 version. So, I decided to take a different approach this time around. I tried to move some names in this first round mock draft. Though some picks stayed the same, many are different. Similar to my first mock draft, I made a few trades. So, let’s take a look at the mock scenarios I created.
- The San Fransisco 49ers agree to let Deebo Samuel out, sending him and the 172nd overall pick to the New York Jets for the 10th and 35th overall picks. The Jets also receive a 2023 second round pick. The Jets were players for Tyreek Hill and fell just short. The 49ers would potentially be more likely to send him to the AFC so they wouldn’t have to deal with any revenge games. They would also be getting a great haul in return for Samuel. If Deebo were to be moved, I would expect the former 49ers DC Robert Salah to be on the phones quickly.
- The Seattle Seahawks trade Tyler Lockett to the Patriots for the 54th and 158th overall picks in the 2022 NFL draft. The Patriots are in need of a true #1 target, and Lockett could be their answer. This would likely be a short-term move, as Lockett isn’t necessarily young. Yet the Patriots would gain a speedy deep threat and the Seahawks would acquire more draft capital. It is hard to justify a Lockett trade for the Seahawks, as they already don’t have much left. But if he were to be traded, a second-round pick and some change is likely the compensation they would get in return.
- The Houston Texans trades the 13th and 108th overall picks to the Kansas City Chiefs. In return, the Texans get the 29th and 30th overall picks in the NFL draft. Like my 1.0 mock draft, I have the Chiefs trading up. The Chiefs could really use a stud at wide receiver. It doesn’t look like they will be able to land a top five guy with where they are in the draft. Houston needs as many pieces as they can get. This makes them a prime candidate for teams who are interested in trading up. Especially for teams like the Chiefs and Packers who have multiple first round picks.
These are just mock scenarios. It is unlikely these come to fruition, but it is entirely possible one of these is somewhat accurate. After watching this past offseason, nothing will surprise me anymore.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – EDGE Aiden Hutchinson (Michigan)
Though it is tempting to go with Walker here, I’m going with my gut. Sure, Walker may provide a higher ceiling. But the Jaguars most importantly need a building block, and that is exactly what Hutchinson is. He wanted to help rebuild Michigan, and he did. In conclusion, Aiden Hutchinson could be a key contributor in the turnaround of any team that grabs him. If he doesn’t go first, certainly don’t expect him to be on the board for long.
2. Detroit Lions – EDGE Trevon Walker (Georgia)
Here is the first of many differences from my most previous mock. Trevon Walker is extremely versatile, and it seems like we’ve only seen him scratch the surface in terms of what he’s capable of. Walker could immediately take on a starting role for the lions, adding an extra sense of versatility to the defense. His ability to drop back and defend but also successfully rush the passer makes him an intriguing prospect. He may not be as refined as other pass rushers in this draft, but some believe he could end up being the best out of the class.
3. Houston Texans – OL Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu (NC State)
Ickey Ekwonu is malicious in the run game. Aside from Laremy Tunsil, the Texans don’t have much up front. Tunsil could be off the roster this time next year, so hitting a home run at OL with the 3rd pick is a must. Ekwonu is regarded as the most versatile of all of the offensive line prospects this year. He can play just about anywhere, and with this Texans team that would be a huge grab. Keep an eye out for what else the Texans do in the first round of my mock.
4. New York Jets – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Cincinatti)
Sauce Gardner is a high rated prospect in this class. He is big and athletic, and was a shutdown corner in college. Sure, he might not have faced the most fierce competition. That doesn’t seem to be much of an issue, as many still think of hom as a top 10 prospect at the least. Gardner could step in immediately for the Jets and be their CB1. Pass rush could have been the move here, but I like the Jets’ defensive front much more than I like their secondary.
5. New York Giants – OT Evan Neal (Alabama)
At 5th overall in the first round, I have the Giants taking tackle Evan Neal. They have Andrew Thomas who is still developing, adding Neal to solidify the opposite side of Thomas would be great for the Giants. They are apparently all in on Daniel Jones, so might as well provide him some protection. Neal is a monster, who should transition to the NFL just fine on either side.
6. Carolina Panthers – QB Malik Willis (Liberty)
Last mock draft, I had the Saints trading up to 5th to take Willis. In this mock, this is unfortunately the more likely scenario. I say unfortunately because Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is on the hot seat. I don’t necessarily have an issue with Rhule, but I could think of a few handfuls of people I’d rather have develop Malik Willis. Willis is far from a finished product, and frankly needs more time. This could end up as the ideal situation for Willis, the Panthers have good skill position players. Benching Willis for Darnold would be ideal in my opinion. Time will tell to see how the QB situation in Carolina unfolds.
7. New York Giants – EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)
I have Thibodeaux falling a bit in the first round here in my 2.0 mock. I am a fan of his, but some teams are sketched out by his personality. “Falling” may not be the correct word to use if a player is taken 7th overall, but that’s kind of what it feels like. The former Oregon pass rusher was the consensus top pick going into the season last year. Now, he may not even be the second player taken at his position. Thibodeaux certainly has the ceiling to be the best pass rusher in this draft. However, it seems like some teams aren’t sold on him. To clarify, it all could be a smoke screen for teams to try and grab him. If the Giants were to be able to grab a premier tackle AND Thibodeaux, the Daboll era is off to a hot start.
8. Atlanta Falcons – WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)
The Falcons desperately need a receiver. Calvin Ridley is suspended, leaving the Falcons with backups for Marcus Mariota to heave the ball to. Enter Garrett Wilson. Garrett Wilson is many analysts’ top receiver in this draft. He is quick and has great hands. Before Ridley’s suspension, he wanted out. The Falcons will have to find their future #1 target, and Wilson fits the description.
9. Seattle Seahawks – OT Charles Cross (Mississippi State)
I am doubling down on Cross going 9th overall. It is a bit of a stretch to even say he will be available there, but for the past two mock drafts I’ve had him going to Seattle. The Seahawks need a franchise LT, and Cross landing in their laps at 9th is a good start to their rebuild.
10. San Fransisco 49ers – WR Drake London (USC)
Alright, bear with me. With Deebo now on the Jets, receiver is a need. Drake London going to San Fran with Kyle Shanahan gives me Julio vibes. I could be completely whiffing on this take, but Shanahan using London similarly to how he used Julio could be more valuable to the 9ers than Deebo. I am saying this as a Rams writer, who knows that Deebo Samuel virtually owns the Rams. At least in the regular season. Call me crazy, I love this fit.
11. Washington Commanders – S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
Gauging where Hamilton goes is difficult. On one side, he’s a top five prospect in the class. On the other, he doesn’t play a premier position. This is why I have Hamilton going 11th again. I believe you could justify taking him second overall if you wanted to. But, I could also see him falling outside of the top 15 simply due to his position. The Commanders would benefit from drafting the stud safety, as he would bring his athleticism and instincts to an already good defense.
12. Minnesota Vikings – CB Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
I’m sticking with Stingley going 13th overall in the first round. The Vikings could use a corner and Stingley was once touted as a top 5 pick. Minnesota knows a thing or two about LSU stars, Stingley would be an instant upgrade for the Vikings. This feels like the potential floor for Stingley, he could end up going inside the top 10.
13. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)
I have the Chiefs trading up in the first round to select Jameson Williams for the second time in my mock draft. They have the capital to do so, and need a speedy stud receiver to replace Tyreek Hill. Patrick Mahomes loves to air the ball out, therefore speed at receiver is most likely one of the more important attributes the Chiefs are looking for.
14. Baltimore Ravens – DL Jordan Davis (Georgia)
Jordan Davis may be the most intriguing prospect in this class. His size paired with his athleticism makes him a lock to go in the first round. The Ravens have Michael Pierce and Calais Campbell, but I still wouldn’t disregard Davis heading to Baltimore. He seems like a player who would play for an AFC North team. I can’t explain why, but you might be able to see what I mean.
15. Philidelphia Eagles – WR Chris Olave (Ohio State)
The Eagles need a receiver to pair with Devonta Smith. Plain and simple. I understand they’ve taken their swings and missed on many. But if they want a fair evaluation of Jalen Hurts, they’re going to have to provide him some weapons. Olave has experience playing inside and out but was primarily used outside. With Smith in the slot and Olave on the outside, there can’t be any excuses for Hurts, can there?
16. New Orleans Saints – QB Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
The Saints need a long-term answer at quarterback. Pickett has an argument to be QB1, and the Saints would likely pull the trigger if he’s available here at 16th overall in the first round. Pickett’s hand size has been in question, but I think it would be less of a problem in New Orleans. The Saints play in a dome and aren’t in a cold weather division. This would potentially be the most ideal situation for Pickett in the draft.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa)
This class is filled with tackles, but Penning’s nasty playstyle and traits probably makes him the most intriguing developmental tackle at this point on the board. He looks good on film, but Penning does have a few question marks. He is coming out of Northern Iowa, so the level of competition he was facing wasn’t the best. Trevor Penning has penalty issues, which makes sense considering his playstyle. He became very well-known after the Pro Bowl, where he showcased his aggressiveness. The Chargers need to sure up their tackle position opposite of Rashawn Slater, could Penning be the Chargers’ selection in the first round?
18. Philidelphia Eagles – LB Devin Lloyd (Utah)
The Eagles addressed pass rusher with Hasson Reddick this offseason. I already have them getting a wide receiver with their first pick, so with their second I have them going defense. Devin Lloyd is probably the most versatile of the linebackers in this draft. He is able to drop back in coverage with success and is a sure tackler. Lloyd could step in right away and be an improvement for the Eagles in the box. If the Eagles could walk away with a premier WR and LB, Philly fans should be optimistic.
19. New Orleans Saints – OT Bernhard Raimann (Central Michigan)
After the Saints select their future project QB, I have them drafting their attempt of replacing Terron Armstead. Raimann, like Penning, is a bit of a project. The Saints have had success developing offensive linemen, which makes me think they won’t shy away from an athletic tackle with improvements needed with technique.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Trent McDuffie (Washington)
If McDuffie were to fall into the twenties, it could most certainly be the steal of the draft. McDuffie has a legitimate argument to be considered in the same tier as Stingley and Gardner. The Steelers lost Joe Haden and truthfully have multiple CB2s. That isn’t the worst place to be in, but with McDuffie on the board still it is hard to say no. This class is deep in offensive line, which makes it easier to go best player available. The Steelers could still end up with an upgrade through the draft at offensive line after getting a corner (or another position).
21. New England Patriots – LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)
Nakobe Dean would be a nightmare under Bill Belichick. Dean has phenomenal instincts and is a menace in run stop. The Patriots could use an upgrade at linebacker, and Dean would be a great fit. In mt mock trades, I have the Patriots trading for Tyler Lockett. If they don’t get trade for one of the rumored wide receivers on the move, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went wide receiver with this pick.
22. Green Bay Packers – WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas)
The Packers need a receiver. If they can’t trade for one, they need to draft one with the 22nd pick in the first round. Treylon Burks is versatile and could be used similarly to how Deebo Samuel was last year. Burks is slippery after the catch and is a powerful runner. He isn’t the best route runner, but he has traits that get a many people excited. If Burks were to end up in Green Bay, I think the Packers could get the best out of him compared to other teams.
23. Arizona Cardinals – EDGE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State)
The Cardinals need to replace Chandler Jones and if Johnson were to fall this far, he would be a fantastic pick. In my first mock, I had him going 13th overall. Some mocks even have him going inside the top 10, however I have Johnson falling simply due to other team needs. He could easily go earlier, but I personally don’t think there will be an insane amount of edge rushers off the board inside of the top 20.
24. Dallas Cowboys – OL Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)
The Cowboys need a new RT. Unfortunately for Dallas, many of the top offensive linemen are off the board at this point. There isn’t a premier tackle left. There are a few tackles left that many think would benefit transitioning to guard. Kenyon Green has experience playing all over but was most productive at guard. The Cowboys could give Green a try at RT, since he has shown so much versatility. This pick is not a lock, but if they aren’t going best player available, I think they will go offensive line.
25. Buffalo Bills – CB Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson)
Next in the first round, the Bills go defense. Buffalo could use an upgrade at CB2. Therefore, I have them taking Andrew Booth Jr. in the first round. This class is littered with corners, but I think Booth has an advantage over those who are left. Running back would be an interesting spot to go here, there hasn’t been much talk about them in this class. Corner here would really help complete that defense.
26. Tennessee Titans – OG Zion Johnson (Boston College)
The Titans need a new starting guard. Zion Johnson falling into their lap would be a cause for celebration. The Titans are based around the run, so figuring out their offensive line is most likely close to the top of their priorities. Johnson is intelligent and was a two-year captain, he should have success wherever he goes.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OL Tyler Smith (Tulsa)
Tyler Smith is one of the tackles I was referencing when talking about tackles who could benefit moving to guard. The Buccaneers need a new guard to block for Tom Brady and the Tampa offense. Unfortunately for Tom, he doesn’t have the wheels to roll out of the pocket. Therefore, protecting him is vital. Smith may not be a polished tackle, but his run blocking makes him a prime candidate for a starting tackle in the league.
28. Green Bay Packers – EDGE George Karlaftis (Purdue)
Karlaftis is a scenario very similar to Jermaine Johnson. He may have the talent to go inside the top 20, but teams may just not need him more than someone else at another position. Karlaftis is certainly an interesting prospect, as he already has the physicality to be successful in the league. I already have the Packers taking a receive. After that, look for them to go best player available.
29. Houston Texans – DL Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
After selecting Ikem Ekwonuwith the 3rd overall pick in the first round, I have the Texans going to the other side of the ball. Devonte Wyatt could end up being better than his college teammate, Jordan Davis, in the future. He isn’t as big as Davis, but he has fantastic technique. Interior defensive linemen don’t always go off of the board the highest, but I think Wyatt is well worth the selection. Houston needs building blocks.
30. Houston Texans – EDGE David Ojabo (Michigan)
Next in my first round mock draft, I have the Texans continuing to build through the trenches. They don’t have a terrible pass rush, and this pick could easily be spent on another position. Yet, Ojabo was such a goo prospect before his injury. It would be hard not to take him, especially after you have already had multiple selections. His injury hurts his stock, but I think it would be foolish if Ojabo were to fall outside of the first round.
31. Cincinatti Bengals – C Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)
I think Linderbaum could easily go inside the top 20 purely due to how good he is at the position. He would be worth it however early a team selects him. The problem is he is limited to only playing center. Centers don’t typically go off of the board early, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that trend continued. However, some mocks have him going in the early teens. 31 may be a bit late for him, but it is difficult to mock him earlier comfortably.
32. Detroit Lions – LB Leo Chenal (Wisconsin)
Chenal is widely viewed as a day two pick, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sneak into the first round. He is a fantastic run stopper. As a result, he narrowly trailed college Micah Parsons in PFF run stop grade. This seems like a Dan Campbell pick. The Lions could really use a new linebacker, and Chenal’s hardnosed style fits Detroit’s mantra.
Thanks for reading!
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