Josh Berg’s Mock Draft 1.0

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 12: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but it is officially draft season! With the Senior Bowl wrapped up, and the Super Bowl coming to a close, the NFL season has officially come to an end. Although we won’t be seeing any football games played on our TV’s until next September, this does not mean that football is done for the year. With all the games completed, NFL coaches, front offices and of course Draft Twitter are now diving head first into prospect tape and finalizing their evaluations and reports on the 2021 Draft class.

It is no secret that this past year of football has been crazy, and completely unorthodox. Games being cancelled, players opting out and missing games due to COVID-19, it has not been easy to complete all these games, but we’ve made it and now the fun of the NFL offseason begins.

I tried my best to make this mock as easy as possible for everyone to follow along, considering it is my first mock of the year. There are no trades, and I am acting as if Deshaun Watson will be a member of the Houston Texans next season (however that is highly unlikely if you ask me). In the future I will include trades, as I see fit and eventually I will be doing a full seven round mock to end the year. I have rambled on far too long and we’ve got 64 picks to get through so let’s move onto pick one of this mock.

Note: This mock is mostly a prediction of what I think the NFL team will do, with a few of my opinions sprinkled in. I will post my full posistional rankings later this week so you all know where I stand on certain players.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence/QB/Clemson

This is a pretty obvious selection if you ask me and pretty much everyone else. There just aren’t quarterbacks like Lawrence every year so when you have to opportunity to get one of his caliber, you bring him in. I know it is repetitive and boring to see the same thing by every single analyst on every single website, but if the pick is anything other than Trevor Lawrence the entire world will be shocked.

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson/QB/BYU

I am one of the biggest Sam Darnold supporters you will find on Draft Twitter. I think with Robert Saleh and a good arsenal of offensive weapons that he can be the long term starter for this team. I ultimately do think that they trade down from this spot and stick with Sam. With that all being said, there are no trades in this mock and if the Jets are sticking at two I would be shocked if it wasn’t a QB. Wilson as of now is my QB2 (barely ahead of Fields) due to his ability to make throws in and outside the pocket and throw downfield with accuracy and throw from multiple arm angles is special. The Jets are in for a long rebuild because of the massive holes on this roster, so giving Wilson, who has an incredibly high ceiling, time to learn and progress over the next few years as the Jets try to build their roster back up under Joe Douglas and Saleh seems like the logical option if they stick and pick.

3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Devonta Smith/WR/Alabama

As I stated above I am not predicting any Deshaun Watson trade. If I was a betting man I would place my bet on Miami because of the package that they can offer, surrounded by Tua Tagovailoa. However, with no trade here the Dolphins say thank you to Bill O’Brien and give Tua his former college teammate and 2021 Heisman winner Devonta Smith. You will hear from now until April concerns about Smith being too small, or he isn’t strong enough, and even that he had his best season at an older age. All of these should not matter. Smith can play. He is incredibly strong at the catch point, can create separation anywhere on the field and is one of the best in the country at getting yards after the catch. The Dolphins lack legitimate threats on the outside for Tua, getting Smith not only helps solve that problem but the established chemistry between the two is another reason why this pick makes way too much sense.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Fields/QB/Ohio State

Some will argue that the Falcons should add a key defensive piece, and although their defense needs improvement in a lot of areas they need to secure a franchise QB post Matt Ryan while they are in the draft position to do so. With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and a lot of other key pieces of the team aging, Atlanta needs to capitalize on their high draft position and grab one of these franchise changing QBs while they are able to. I know a few analysts will argue that North Dakota State’s Trey Lance would be a better fit here because he can sit and have the opportunity to learn and grow under Ryan, which would help his development. And although I don’t totally disagree with that narrative, Justin Fields is my next highest graded QB in this class so he is the choice here by Atlanta. Atlanta can let Matt Ryan lose next year for a smaller dead cap hit, while Fields can sit behind a former league MVP and learn the offense as Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot start rebuilding this team with their vision in mind for the future.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell/OT/Oregon

The Bengals have a star in the making with last year’s number one overall pick Joe Burrow. However, he won’t be on this team very long if he keeps taking the beatings that he took during his rookie campaign. The Bengals offensive line was atrocious last season. This isn’t breaking news to anyone. Drafting Penei Sewell, who is the best offensive line prospect I have evaluated since Quenton Nelson, and best tackle prospect I have ever evaluated (I have been watching and grading prospects since 2012 and started writing full written reports in 2016 for reference). Sewell gives the Bengals one of the best young offensive tackle tandems in the league by moving Jonah Williams to the right side. Grabbing Sewell won’t completely fix the Bengals issues up front, but he will go a long way in helping stabilize the offensive line so Joe Burrow can actually play a full season upright going forward.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase/WR/LSU

I personally believe the Eagles will trade Carson Wentz and will be in the market for a QB. However, as of this writing Carson Wentz is still a Philadelphia Eagle so we are going to do our best to fix him the best we can. This starts by implementing systems that are easy for us to learn but complicated for the opponents to understand… and then getting Carson Wentz some help on the outside. The Eagles have tried and tried and tried to draft receivers but have failed. JJ Arcega-Whiteside is not good at all, and the jury is still out on Jalen Reagor but the early returns have been less than desirable. Zach Ertz is on the trading block, Alshon Jeffery is constantly injured, and DeSeasn Jackson has an early out in his contract that I would expect the Eagles to exercise. The Eagles cannot go into the season with Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham as the top pass catching options on the outide. Insert JaMarr Chase. Just a year ago we were talking about a guy that was coming off the best college football receiving season we had seen in a long time, and I think the opt out and the decision to not play this past season made some people forget just how good he can be.

7. Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle/WR/Alabama

I have Jaylen Waddle graded higher than Ja’Marr Chase, but I felt Chase was a better fit for what the Eagles need than Waddle, which is why he slides down one spot below the former Biletnikoff winner. With the Lions trading away Matthew Stafford for draft picks and Jared Goff it is a clear sign to me they are in for another lengthy rebuild. Even after the acquisition of the 2016 number on pick, I still could see Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes looking at taking a QB here and using Goff as more of a bridge guy to develop the rookie, but in this scenario the Lions go for the big playmaking receiver. With Detroit loosing potentially all three starters in Jones, Amendola and Golladay to free agency, addressing the wide receiver position is a must this offseason. Jaylen Waddle’s versatility and quickness will make him an incredibly hot commodity with the way today’s NFL is being played. He is great for opening up both the run and the pass game with his ability to act as a ball carrier in jet sweeps, as well as a vertical threat downfield. He really can do it all, and it would not be surprising to me at all if he was the first receiver taken in April.

8. Carolina Panthers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The Carolina Panthers were a much better football team than their record indicated, and I personally believe their poor QB play held them back from having a better record. I like Teddy, I really do, but at this point we know what he is in the NFL. He is a below average starter, and an elite backup QB in the league. He’s someone you want as insurance if your starter goes down, but not someone that can carry your team unless everything around him is absolutely perfect. Similarly to the Falcons, I don’t expect Carolina to be picking this highly in the draft much longer, so when the opportunity to draft a franchise QB arises, you have to jump on that opportunity. Trey Lance is a great combination of arm talent, athleticism, and upside. He can do it all. He will have his learning curves as he still will need some time to polish up some of the small details in his game, but there is no doubt in my mind that with Lance, and the offensive arsenal Carolina has assembled, that they could be a very high octane offense on the rise.

9. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain III/CB/Alabama

With the top four quarterbacks off the board the Broncos will have to stick it out with Drew Lock for another trial year (barring a massive trade for Dak Prescott or Kirk Cousins). In order for Lock to succeed a few things need to happen. First and foremost the offense has to get healthy. Courtland Sutton coming back this year will be a huge boost to an already talented young WR core of Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and now the emerging Tim Patrick. Getting their number one weapon back after a gruesome leg injury should help Lock tremendously. The second thing is the defense has to play better. I trust Vic Fangio to turn things around in Denver, right now he lacks some personnel in some key areas including the secondary. When looking at the Broncos roster they lack a true boundary corner. Bryce Callahan is a great slot option, Michael Ojemudia is still a work in progress, and it appears that AJ Bouye may have lost a step since his days in Jacksonville. Patrick Surtain is the best corner in this class. He has great length and size for the position, and is one of the few corners near the top of this DB class that isn’t dependent on coverage scheme. He fits the mold perfectly in any situation.

10. Dallas Cowboys: Rashawn Slater/OT/Northwestern

Dak Prescott has to be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason. Re-signing him will be essential to any success Dallas hopes to have any success in the postseason. The next biggest priority is keeping him upright. I understand the defense is an issue, especially the secondary, but if you can’t keep your franchise QB healthy for the duration of a season, you’re not going to go anywhere. Dallas’ past successes the last ten years have been because of the consistent great play of their offensive line. However, key cornerstone pieces like Tyron Smith, La’El Collins, and Zack Martin have battled numerous injuries over the last several seasons, and have caused play along the front to be diminished. Rashawn Slater has been touted by some as the best offensive lineman in this class, and while I still think it is Penei Sewell from Oregon, Slater is an intriguing prospect. He will be a hot commodity come draft day because of his athletic ability and versatility among the line, being able to play guard, tackle, and maybe even center. With the Cowboys having a lot of talent already along the offensive line with Smith, Williams, Martin and Collins, this pick might be controversial, but Slater offers versatility, insurance and the ability to plug and play at all five spots on the line that is just too good not to take here.

11. New York Giants: Micah Parsons/LB/Penn State

I was pretty harsh on the Joe Judge hire by the Giants, and I think it is no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Dave Gettleman as a front office leader. I am also certainly no believer in Daniel Jones as a franchise QB. With all that being said, the Giants surprised me last season. Judge has this team competing every single week and fighting to the end which I can appreciate. If they are going to succeed they have to get Daniel Jones some help on offense, however with no receivers worth taking in the top 11 picks, the Giants will have to help address the offense in the later rounds. They take advantage of Micah Parsons slipping here in this draft. There is no question about Parsons’ talent, he is easily a top 4-7 player in this draft class when we are just talking about performance on the field. Yet, potential off-field concerns and maturity questions could cause the Penn State linebacker to fall outside the top 10. Parsons will bring a vocal leader mentality to a Giants defense that is likely to start his career as an outside linebacker, before eventually transitioning to a full time MIKE where he will shine.

12. San Francisco 49ers: Caleb Farley/CB/Virginia Tech

This isn’t exactly how the 49ers want the board to fall come April, but if San Francisco is sticking and picking at 12, this is the likely reality they’ll have to face. If they want one of Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, or Trey Lance then they will have to trade up. With this draft having no trades San Francisco has two options: take one of the best players available, or reach for Alabama’s Mac Jones. I am not a huge Mac Jones fan and do not think he is an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo, so we take the best player available that fits this team which is Caleb Farley. The 49ers as a whole were decimated by injuries last season, and most of it was felt by their defense losing multiple key starters for the entire year. To go along with the injuries, the corner play outside of Richard Sherman was a little to be desired. With both Sherman and Jason Verrett expected to hit free agency, the 49ers have to look at the possibility of having to replace one of, if not both of their starting outside corners from last season. Farley seems to have been forgotten about in this draft class because he opted out and hasn’t played since 2019, but he is one of the best prospects in this class. He is ideally to fit more of a press and man heavy scheme, but he has all the tools to play in zone as well. If San Francisco loses one of, or both of Sherman and Verrett, Farley can step in day one as a starter and contribute at a high level.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw/OT/Virginia Tech

I WAS WRONG! I have said it a thousand times, but I will say it again. I WAS WRONG! If you don’t follow me on Twitter (which you should do by the way), you will know that I was very vocal about not being a Justin Herbert believer, and wow was I wrong. The Chargers got the next face of their franchise and now it is time to support him and more importantly protect him. The tackle play from the Chargers was without question their second biggest weakness for the team last season behind special teams. With drafting a kicker or any special team player at 13 overall significantly frowned upon, and for fear of me losing the very little credibility and self-esteem I have left, I decided to go with the smart choice in Christian Darrisaw for this selection. Darrisaw, who will likely suit up as the week one left tackle for LA if this is the selection, offers incredible movement skills for a player of his stature, as well as ideal length and technique for an NFL left tackle. With very few flaws to his game, Darrisaw offers a high floor to immediately plug and play Week 1.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Kwity Paye/EDGE/Michigan

I am going to first get this out of the way as a Minnesota Vikings fan. I do not believe that EDGE is the number one need for this team like most people. The pass rush was atrocious last year, but with Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce expected back this coming season, and the continued development of DJ Wonnum, James Lynch of Ifeadi Odenigbo, I see enough guys there in Minnesota that can create pressure against opposing QBs. With that being said, Kwity Paye is one of the best players available, and with no interior offensive lineman worth taking inside the top 15, this is the best option for Minnesota. Paye has an incredibly high ceiling, and Minnesota has been known to take guys who are a little more raw on the fundamental and technical side of the game, with incredibly high athletic profiles (Hunter and Odenigbo are prime examples of this), and similarly to those guys Paye fits that profile way to well and if he makes it this far down the board, I see Minnesota jumping all over it.

15. New England Patriots: Kyle Pitts/TE/Florida

Arguably the most popular fit outside of the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence is the Patriots and Florida “tight end” Kyle Pitts. Pitts is easily a top five player in this draft class, but positional value will push him down the board a little bit. Even though New England drafted two tight ends in Dalton Keene and Devis Asiasi last season, that should not stop them from running to the podium here with Pitts still on the board. The offense as a whole was really bad for the Patriots last year, and a lack of explosive threats to throw to was a key component to them struggling to move the football. Kyle Pitts is the best tight end i have ever scouted, and offers incredible versatility to line up in the slot or on the outside. Some don’t even classify him as a real tight end and more of an “offensive weapon” in this draft class. Regardless of who will be under center for New England next season, Kyle Pitts will be an immediate difference maker for opening up this offense.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn/CB/South Carolina

Finding a corner opposite of Patrick Peterson seems to have been a significant problem for Arizona for years. And now not only do they still need to find that lockdown number two to play opposite of him, they have to be thinking of a potential replacement for him as he enters his age 31 season when week one takes place. Horn offers the ideal length, strength and physical edge needed for an NFL outside corner. He is a super feisty and sticky player in coverage and exceptionally disruptive at the catch point. He is in my opinion the best press corner in this draft class and will bring a nasty edge to this secondary. With his ideal spot being on the outside, drafting Horn will create a great 1-2-3 combination of himself, Patrick Peterson and Byron Murphy in the slot. Combine that with the superstar safety Budda Baker and Arizona has themselves a great secondary to compete against the great WRs in their division.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore/IDL/Alabama

I hate mocking for the Raiders. Everytime I think I have them figured out, Mike Mayock comes out of left field with a player nobody was expecting to be drafted as highly as he chooses them. His type seems to be high character, high profile players from winning programs so that’s where I went here with Christian Barmore from Alabama. Defense still needs to be the main focus here for Mayock and Jon Gruden as they were ranked 26th in total yards allowed this past season. Barmore fits a big need for this team as an interior presence with both Johnathan Hankins and Maliek Collins impending free agents, Barmore would slide in nicely alongside former highly touted prospect Maurice Hurst. Barmore caught fire late this season with his disruptive run stopping ability and he has shown flashes of nice explosivity to get into the backfield to sack the QB as well. Inserting him in the middle of this defensive front can free both Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrel more often as well as help a run defense that was bottom ten in the NFL last season.

18. Miami Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah/LB/Notre Dame

After getting Tua a much needed number one weapon on the outside earlier in the draft, it is time to add some pieces to make this defense even better than it already is. JOK is one of my favorite players in this draft class. He offers great versatility in coverage as a linebacker and can also play some safety if needed. His athletic ability and explosive play style will translate tremendously to today’s NFL because of his ability to play as a box safety in certain subpackage situations. The Dolphins defense top to bottom was very good last season, but the one thing that they do lack is an explosive playmaker on the second level. Owusu-Koramoah can be that player in the middle of their defense that brings the entire unit to new levels. I know Brian Flores would love to have a player of his skillset and versatility on his team, and he gets him here at 18.

19. Washington Football Team: Mac Jones/QB/Alabama

Alex Smith was a great story this past season, defying all odds to come back and start in an NFL game and ultimately winning the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. Truly one of the most inspirational stories the NFL has ever had. However, Smith is 36 and will enter the year going into his age 37 season, the WFT has got to start looking at the future. I am not a big Mac Jones fan. He’s impressed some on film, but I have always viewed him, and still view him as a decent floor and low ceiling type of player. Luckily for him the Football Team seems to be a QB away from being a legitimate winning playoff team in the NFC. They have a great defense led by the nastiest front four in the league, and they have budding stars in Terry McLaurin and potentially Antonio Gibson. Inserting consistent QB play will create continuity at the position that Washington hasn’t had in years. There are not many teams that I would like to see take Mac Jones in round 1, but his fit in Washington is one of the few that I can get on board with.

20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman/WR/Minnesota

As of this writing the Bears and Eagles haven’t officially agreed to terms on a trade that would land Carson Wentz in Soldier Field. Although I do expect that to happen in the coming days, we have to act as if Chicago could be in the market for a QB. However, with all top 5 QBs off the board, and a substantial drop off to QB6, the Chicago Bears will look to replace the likely departing Allen Robinson here with a player that has gone incredibly under the radar: Rashod Bateman. Bateman is the perfect mold to replace Allen Robinson due to their very similar skill sets. He is one of the better route runners in this draft class, and he has the ability to go up and get the ball from all angles. Whether it is Wentz or Trubisky or Nick Foles throwing the ball, Bateman will go up and get it in traffic. This is one of my personal favorite fits in this entire draft.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi/OT/Texas

The retirement of Anthony Costanzo was expected, but his absence leaves a massive hole on the left side of a very good Colts offensive line. Replacing him has to be on the top priorities for Indianapolis regardless as to who is under center for them in 2021. In my opinion Cosmi is the best tackle in that second tier behind the big three in this draft. He is one of the more experienced tackles in this class, having started 34 games at tackle during his time at Texas. He offers swing tackle versatility, having experience at both left and right tackle so if Indianapolis wanted to try moving Quenton Nelson to left tackle and have Braden Smith slide to left guard (which I wouldn’t do by the way) they can insert Cosmi at the right tackle spot. The only flaw in Cosmi’s game is he doesn’t have the most upper and lower body strength, so his anchor can be moved a little too easilyy at times when faced with a bull rush, but with ideal length and athletic traits for the position, his upside is too much to pass up on for Indianapolis. Addressing the QB will likely happen internally this year with Jacob Eason and/or Jacoby Brissett the way the board is falling and how trades have panned out for the Colts this season.

22. Tennessee Titans: Joseph Ossai/EDGE/Texas

The Tennessee Titans are going to be a good team for a while. As long as Ryan Tannehill continues his high level of play, and Derrick Henry doesn’t fall apart this team is going to be a good football team. However, if they want to be great, they have to figure out a way to rush the passer. Harold Landry cannot do it all by himself for the next 5-10 years. The Titans tried many options here from Vic Beasley to Jadeveon Clowney to try and generate some sort of pass rush on opposing quarterbacks and they just couldn’t hit home. Joseph Ossai is a near perfect scheme fit for this defense and he offers a great blend of quickness, high motor drive and hand strength to get to the quarterback. Putting Ossai on the opposite side of Harold Landry will finally give Tennessee a dynamic pass rushing duo that they have been lacking for the past few seasons.

23. New York Jets: KaDarius Toney/WR/Florida

I do not know a single person that does not love KaDarius Toney’s game. His speed alone will make him a hot name in April with the success of Tyreek Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs vertical offense. I am not saying KaDarius Toney is Tyreek Hill, but his skillset will allow him to be used in a very similar way. And with Robert Saleh bringing over the Shanahan style offense to the Jets, if Toney can be utilized the same way as Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk were used, then he will find a ton of success at the next level. The Jets desperately need electricity and excitement brought to this offense regardless of who is at QB, and KaDarius Toney pairing with Denzel Mims gives the Jets a nice young 1-2 punch at WR for the foreseeable future.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Mayfield/OT/Michigan

With the Steelers seemingly bringing the band back together for one final run in 2021, this pick doesn’t make a ton of sense, but hear me out. Mayfield is what I consider a project tackle. He only has two years of starting experience and although his improvement from year one to year two was substantial and impressive, Mayfield only played in two games this past season and only has a handful of starts under his belt to begin with. But this past season he looked more technically sound and comfortable than ever before. Mayfield can play on either side of the line and I think if the Steelers can somehow find a way to bring Villanueva back next season, learning from him would be very beneficial for Mayfield. Especially because I project him more as a right tackle that can learn to move to the left side with time. If not, I still think he can start week one due to his progression he showed this past season, as well as his ideal athletic profile. The Steelers line is slowly aging and replacements are going to be needed eventually, Mayfield will fit perfect as a cornerstone to that narrative as a young athletic tackle who has yet to reach his upside.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dillon Radunz/OT/North Dakota State

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Cam Robinson is not very good and needs to be replaced immediately. You just drafted Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick to be the savior of the franchise. You cannot have him go under center week one with that offensive line. Protecting and finding as many ways to benefit him has to be a top priority for Jacksonville in this draft class. Radunz has gone somewhat under the radar in this draft class due to being from NDSU, but he is one of the more polished tackles in this draft. He is a great finisher and has a little bit of a nasty side to his game which is always appreciated as a left tackle, and he possesses all the necessary movement skills and length for the position. Lawrence being protected by Radunz for the next decade should make Jaguars fans very happy.

26. Cleveland Browns: Ifeatu Melifonwu/CB/Syracuse

Tell me why he isn’t a first rounder? That seems to be the theme of social media these last few weeks as Melifonwu has seen his draft stock skyrocket from a mid round pick all the way to getting first round buzz and rightfully so. If someone were to ask me why he isn’t a first round player I honestly couldn’t tell you. He has the ideal frame and length for the position, his movement skills are off the charts for a guy his size, and his physical tools are special. He is incredibly fluid laterally and has all the tools to become a damn good starting corner. Some will want to move him to safety, and although I think he would be a fine player as a safety, this guy screams boundary corner in my eyes. Pairing him with Denzel Ward will finally give the Browns secondary some balance and consistent play that they noticeably needed in some games this past season.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Gregory Rousseau/EDGE/Miami Fl

Yes. I am one of those people that are lower on Rousseau than others. I do not doubt any of Rousseau’s physical gifts or athletic ceiling at all. He is one of the most explosive athletes in this draft class, and the production he had in 2019 was unreal. However a lack of fundamental pass rush technique, strength, and active hands concern me as an evaluator. Rousseau is super athletic and has all the traits necessary to succeed at a high level in the NFL, but the lack of technical ability worries me as an evaluator. I like the fit in Baltimore because could potentially lose Yannick Ngakoue, and Matthew Judon to free agency, Rousseau’s high athletic profile will allow him to be a starter right away if he needed to, and working with Wink Martindale could benefit Rousseau a lot.

28. New Orleans Saints: Zaven Collins/LB/Tulsa

Drew Brees will be missed. He truly is one of the all time greats. However, the Saints have other issues than who will be at QB next season. The Saints cap situation is very ugly. Even after Drew Brees’s 24 million dollar cap restructure the Saints are still projected to be way over the salary cap for next season. In order to make the salary cap line up, New Orleans might have a few cap casualty cuts this offseason. One of the likely names is linebacker Kwon Alexander who was acquired via trade from San Francisco. Kwon ended the season on IR last year after tearing his achilles and has a 13 million dollar cap hit for next season. Cutting him and drafting a replacement like Zaven Collins seems to be the smartest route for the Saints. Collins will bring versatility and a vocal alpha dog mentality to the defense. His fluidity for a player his size is what stands out the most as an evaluator, his ability to move and react in zone coverage, as well as get in the backfield to stop the run, or hit the QB is impressive.

29. Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes/CB/Georgia

Another draft, another year where the Packers do not take a first round weapon for Aaron Rodgers. I thought about going backup fullback here, but decided to go elsewhere in Eric Stokes. The Packers secondary outside of Jaire Alexander got torched by the Buccaneers. Kevin King is a free agent, and I don’t anticipate them bringing him back. This leaves a void opposite of Jaire in the secondary. After the initial top 3-4 corners in this draft class it gets a little dicey, but Stokes is a solid player. He is not an elite athlete for the position, and his play speed isn’t the highest, but he has great fundamental length for an outside corner as well as done a really good job at being opportunistic at creating turnovers. Green Bay has to get better in the back end so taking a corner early to pair with the elite play of Jaire Alexander would be a smart option.

30. Buffalo Bills: Jaelan Phillips/EDGE/Miami Fl

Sean McDermott is building a powerhouse in Buffalo, and as long as Josh Allen stays at the level he performed at this past season the Bills are here to stay. The defense has a lot of really good pieces, but sometimes had trouble with consistency throughout the season. Pass rushers Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are entering their mid 30s and an infusion of youth is needed along the front of this defense. Jaelan Phillips has been a late riser in the process and some (including myself) view him as the best pass rusher out of the Miami trio that is in the draft this season. Phillips is super scheme-versatile with incredible flexibility and lateral movement skills. He has a lot of positives to his game, like his ability to bend around the edge, especially for a guy of his stature. Unlike some of his counterparts in this draft class Phillips wins a lot of different variations with a combination of spin moves, cross techniques, and a subtle dip move. Technique is still a little raw from him but all of the traits are there and if he get coached up on hand usage and placement, Phillips will be one of the better players in this draft class.

31: Kansas City Chiefs: Wyatt Davis/IOL/Ohio State

Protecting Patrick Mahomes has to be a priority for Kansas City. Losing as many starters along the offensive line as they did before the Super Bowl isn’t ideal. And the play of the offensive line was just downright horrendous. Mahomes had little to no time to throw the ball. Wyatt Davis is still the best interior offensive lineman in this draft, in my opinion. But I think the injury scare as well as posistional value will push him down the board. Luckily for KC, Daivs can slide right in at guard week one and start to keep Mahomes upright.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Azeez Ojulari/EDGE/Georgia

The Buccaneers pass rush was downright nasty against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl getting a ton of pressure on Mahomes early on and it spelled game over for KC early. However, with Shaq Barrett a pending free agent, and Jason Pierre-Paul nearing the end of his career, a replacement could be needed. I know Ojulari isn’t a scheme fit in this defense. But he can play as an outside linebacker, as a pass rusher and utilize his speed and lateral movement skills in a very similar role that Shaq Barrett is used in this defense. I know he does not have the ideal length for the position, but his athletic upside is too intriguing to pass up on. Todd Bowles will 100% find a fit for Azeez in his defense.

Round Two

33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Pat Freiermuth/TE/Penn State

34. New York Jets: Carlos Basham Jr./ EDGE/ Wake Forest

35. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris/RB/Alabama

36. Atlanta Falcons: Trevon Moehrig/S/TCU

37. Cincinnati Bengals: Terrace Marshall Jr./WR/LSU

38. Philadelphia Eagles: Asante Samuel Jr./CB/Florida State

39. Detroit Lions: Nick Bolton/LB/Missouri

40. Carolina Panthers: Alijah Vera-Tucker/IOL/USC

41. Denver Broncos: Chazz Surratt/LB/North Carolina

42. Dallas Cowboys: Elijah Molden/CB/Washington

43. New York Giants: Rondale Moore/WR/Purdue

44. San Francisco 49ers: Creed Humphrey/IOL/Oklahoma

45. Los Angeles Chargers: Landon Dickerson/IOL/Alabama

46. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Minnesota): Tyson Campbell/CB/Georgia

47. New England Patriots: Daviyon Nixon/IDL/Iowa

48. Arizona Cardinals: Travis Etienne/RB/Clemson

49. Las Vegas Raiders: Baron Browning/LB/Ohio State

50. Miami Dolphins: Teven Jenkins/OT/Oklahoma State

51. Washington Football Team: Alex Leatherwood/OT/Alabama

52. Chicago Bears: Liam Eichenberg/OT/Notre Dame

53. Indianapolis Colts: D’Wayne Eskridge/WR/Western Michigan

54. Tennessee Titans: Elijah Moore/WR/Ole Miss

55. Seattle Seahawks: Trey Smith/IOL/Tennessee

56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Javonte Willilams/RB/North Carolina

57. Los Angeles Rams: Jayson Oweh/EDGE/Penn State

58. Cleveland Browns: Jabril Cox/LB/LSU

59. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Myers/IOL/Ohio State

60. New Orleans Saints: Tutu Atwell/WR/Louisville

61. Green Bay Packers: Amon-Ra St.Brown/WR/USC

62. Buffalo Bills: Aaron Robinson/CB/UCF

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Pete Werner/LB/Ohio State

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Levi Onwuzrikie/IDL/Washington

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