Erik Hindenburg’s Mock Draft 1.0

Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and even in a pandemic riddled season, on a new team, in a new city, the NFL’s G.O.A.T. and ultimate super villain once again triumphed. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl Champions. Congratulations. For us here at DraftRite, it is always draft season, but it’s nice of you to join us. This is my first mock draft of the cycle. I’m sure you’ll hate it, and I want to hear it! Mocks are supposed to be fun, I tried to be creative while sticking to my gut and realism. I’m sure there will be some headscratchers, but this is just a first draft. Drop a comment or find me on Twitter @HindenburgScout!

This mock draft is not a predictive mock. This is me putting on my General Manager hat for each franchise and drafting the way I would draft, not what I expect to happen. I will do one predictive mock draft the week of. If you take the time to read this little paragraph in italics, you won’t get as irrationally angry. Or maybe you will. To be honest, I don’t care either way.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence/QB/Clemson

This is as easy of a pick to make as there is. Trevor Lawrence is the highest grade I’ve given a prospect in my time doing this. He is every bit as good as the hype suggests, and maybe even better. Next.

2. New York Jets: Justin Fields/QB/Ohio State

Sam Darnold needs a change of scenery in the worst way. I cannot see a scenario in which the Jets roll into the season without a new face at the quarterback position. Justin Fields has some how become underrated at this juncture of the process, but let me be perfectly clear here: Justin Fields would be QB1 in almost any draft class. He would have been last year over Joe Burrow. The Jets would be very fortunate to land him. His arm talent, athleticism and toughness are all incredible.

3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Kyle Pitts/TE/Florida

There’s a few options to go with here. Assuming that the Dolphins make the right decision in building around Tua, give him the best offensive weapon in this draft class. I know, I know, Mike Gesicki is Pitts lite, but hear me out. Pitts is more of a receiver than true tight end anyways. Having both of them on the field at the same time and moving them around would give them an advantage I’m not sure how defenses would be able to counter. Match up hell. 3 might be rich for Pitts, but he’s as talented and dangerous as any pass catcher I can recall.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Wilson/QB/BYU

The Falcons seemed poised to retain both Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, so some would advocate adding talent to the defense. I don’t mind that idea, but the chance to draft a successor at the sport’s most important position doesn’t come around often enough. Use this top 5 selection and take Wilson, a talented passer well worth the draft slot.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell/OT/Oregon

The Bengals drafted Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow and then watched him take a beating before suffering a severe, season ending injury. Protect your investment and take the best offensive lineman in the draft, and then take another one.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashod Bateman/WR/Minnesota

Jalen Hurts will be QB1 in Philly come Week One. I fully support this decision and they will likely get a good return for Carson Wentz. Rashod Bateman is the best receiver on my board and he excels in both YAC and contested catch situations. Bateman, Reagor and Goedert are more than talented enough to help in the development of Hurts.

7. Detroit Lions: Micah Parsons/LB/Penn State

Detroit altered the direction of their franchise in trading Matthew Stafford. Their new Head Coach wants toughness, and biting, apparently. I wouldn’t let Golladay walk in free agency, and the depth of this receiver class means adding a star to the defense here. Micah Parsons is raw, but insanely gifted athletically and can be a building block defensively with the potential to turn into a star.

8. Carolina Panthers: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah/LB/Notre Dame

This is a tough pick to make, considering the Panthers are very much in the quarterback market. Deshaun Watson is obviously the desire of more than a few franchises, but the Texans may not budge. Jimmy G and Sam Darnold are two other very strong possibilities here. But I can’t predict trades. I dont like the fit of Trey Lance here, so let’s add one of the most versatile playmakers in the draft defensively. JOK can line up all over the back seven, is a strong blitzer and fantastic in space. He’s a top 10 player on my board, and adding him to a defense already featuring Brian Burns, Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn make the Panthers one of the strongest and most flexible defensive units in the league.

9. Denver Broncos: Kwitty Paye/EDGE/Michigan

Denver is giving the Drew Lock experiment one more year to succeed. Adding a corner still makes a ton of sense here, but adding Paye to a front featuring Bradley Chubb and Von Miller would be too enticing for me to pass up. Want to know a way to make a secondary look better? Feature a ferocious pass rush.

10. Dallas Cowboys: Alex Leatherwood/OT/Alabama

Look, not even I am a big fan of Alex Leatherwood this high. However, The Cowboys need versatility up front and that includes the ability to play Tackle. Another common player I’ve seen here, Rashawn Slater, doesn’t have the size or length to play outside. The perception of Leatherwood on Twitter and in NFL circles is likely to be different. He’s a good tackle. He can kick inside and play well. He fits what Dallas covets and while it is a bit of a reach, sometimes need outweighs BAP.

11. New York Giants: Ja’Marr Chase/WR/LSU

Daniel Jones is very capable of being the guy for the Giants, but you’ve got to give him the pieces any quarterback needs to succeed. Chase is an alpha mentality player who would be the number one target in the pass game almost immediately.

12. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Surtain III/CB/Alabama

Patrick Surtain is a fantastic addition to a really fun defensive unit in San Fran. Adding a quarterback only makes sense if one gives you a better chance of winning THIS season, and no players left on the board provide an upgrade over Jimmy G.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Jaycee Horn/CB/South Carolina

The Chargers found their man in Justin Herbert. They have talent at the receiver position, a strong pass rush, and appear to be a team on the rise. Adding a player of the skill and intensity of Horn here bolsters a strong defense and is one more piece in making this team a contender.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw/OT/Virginia Tech

The Vikings were the most disappointing team last season for me as I really believed they were poised for a deep playoff run. Darrisaw is a violent and excellent tackle prospect and instantly upgrades the offensive line. Flashier players may appease the fan base more, but this is one my favorite fits of the first round.

15. New England Patriots: Jaylen Waddle/WR/Alabama

Doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the Patriots next season, this offense is void of talent. Jaylen Waddle is explosive, dynamic and he is the best Alabama wide out in this draft class. (I said what I said) The Patriots are in a tough spot, but the turn around can be quicker with Waddle. I expect quarterback to be addressed in free agency.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley/CB/Virginia Tech

The Cardinals decision to move on from Patrick Peterson is surprising as the position was already a need. Now, it is almost a must fill hole. Luckily for the Cardinals, Caleb Farley is still available here at 16. The top 3 corners could go in any order, some would argue they are getting the best here.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Rashawn Slater/IOL/Northwestern

The Raiders tend to be a bit unpredictable, so who knows what they’ll actually do. Adding Slater gives them an extremely talented football player to bolster the interior of the offensive line. It’s not a sexy pick, but it’s a damn good one. Richie Incognito has played well in his Raiders tenure, but he isn’t getting any younger.

18. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith/WR/Alabama

The “Slim Reaper” is a badass nickname, let’s be honest. As I stated earlier, the Dolphins should give their young quarterback every possible tool in being successful. After adding Kyle Pitts, selecting Tua’s former teammate and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith makes this Dolphins team down right scary.

19. Washington Football Team: Zaven Collins/LB/Tulsa

Given the way this board has fallen, adding a dynamic presence to the middle of the defense in Zaven Collins is the route I would go here. A sideline to sideline defender with plenty of thump to his game, he should be able to feast behind the ferocious front Washington has assembled.

20. Chicago Bears: Terrace Marshall Jr/WR/LSU

The Bears stand to lose Allen Robinson in free agency. The talent in that room is just not good enough. Regardless of what happens at quarterback position *cough Carson Wentz* cough, offenses need playmakers and Marshall is exactly that.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Dillon Radunz/OT/NDSU

Gosh, I hope I get to see Jacob Eason lead this team. I loved him coming out, but the team’s blindside protector just retired. PTSD of the tragic outcome of the Andrew Luck era isn’t likely to fade any time soon and for good reason. Radunz played his ass off in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, and he plays nasty too. Putting him next to Nelson puts the Colts’ minds at ease going into the season.

22. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari/EDGE/Georgia

It’s criminal that the Titans are able to add Ojulari at this juncture, but here we are. The Titans have a strong roster, and bolstering the pass rush has to be near the top of their priorities. Ojulari is athletic and a terror off the edge.

23. New York Jets: Jaelen Phillips/EDGE/Miami

Phillips isn’t without risk, but creating a “New York Sack Exchange”, as Quinnen Williams so eloquently put it, has to be a desire for this team. Phillips has upside I just can’t pass on here with the depth of the receiver class.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trey Lance/QB/NDSU

I am notably lower on Trey Lance than the consensus, but I recognize his talent. This is a great landing spot given Big Ben is poised to return for one more season. His last gift and finishing touch to his legacy? Preparing his ultra talented successor. Lance possesses the big arm Pittsburgh has always coveted, and his mobility is something they will be most certainly be thankful for in 2022.

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

The lack of production the Jaguars have dealt with at the tight end position is almost impressive. It’s almost been a lost position in the offense. After selecting their first true franchise quarterback, giving him a best friend at the tight end position is a must. Freiermuth is nicknamed “Baby Gronk” for good cause. He’s big, physical and an excellent football player.

26. Cleveland Browns: Marvin Wilson/DT/FSU

Marvin Wilson is so much better than Twitter would have you believe. He steps in as a day one starter for the Browns and makes that defensive line one of the best in the league. This is another team fit I really, really like.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Creed Humphrey/IOL/Oklahoma

The Ravens need help up front. Creed Humphrey is the best center in the draft. Any questions?

28. New Orleans Saints: Baron Browning/LB/Ohio State

I hope we get see Jameis Winston have a career resurgence in NOLA, no have Taysom Hill forced upon us. Time will tell. Either way, the Saints have been playing with fire for far too long when it comes to the salary cap, even with Drew Brees doing what he can to help. The linebacker room isn’t very impressive. Enter Baron Browning, an incredible athlete with tons of untapped potential. He offers great coverage skills, juice as a pass rusher and a much needed infusion of talent.

29. Green Bay Packers: Rondale Moore/WR/Purdue

The sixth receiver off the board is finally one for Green Bay. Call it a reward for Aaron Rodgers following another MVP season. This team is poised for a run, and adding a playmaker like Moore is a step in that direction.

30. Buffalo Bills: Asante Samuel Jr./CB/FSU

The Bills are one of the most complete teams in the league right now. Adding another playmaker to the secondary helps them in their quest to dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC. Samuel may have played for a bad team, but he’s a stud who answered the ball skills question in a big way this past season.

31: Kansas City Chiefs: Samuel Cosmi/OT/Texas

Mike Remmers has started in two super bowls, with exactly the results you would expect. Eric Fisher isn’t terrible, but a severe injury in January puts his week one availability into question. Cosmi may be good enough to push Fisher at LT, but at worst he can be the swing tackle until he is ready to take over. Given where this team is right now, there is no bigger need. I had them going OL before yesterday’s disaster, for what it’s worth.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jevon Holland/Safety/Oregon

The band is staying together, so that’s that. Adding the best safety in Holland is a wise move. He’s versatile in coverage and can line up at both safety positions and play the nickel as well. He’s a playmaker. The rich get richer here.

Round Two

33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ifeatu Melifonwu/CB/Syracuse

34. New York Jets: Travis Etienne/RB/Clemson

35. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris/RB/Alabama

36. Atlanta Falcons: Trevon Moehrig/S/TCU

37. Cincinnati Bengals: Trey Smith/IOL/Tennessee

38. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Stokes/CB/Georgia

39. Detroit Lions: Dez Fitzpatrick/WR/Louisville

40. Carolina Panthers: Hunter Long/TE/Boston College

41. Denver Broncos: Israel Mukuamu/CB/South Carolina

42. Dallas Cowboys: Gregory Rousseau/EDGE/Miami

43. New York Giants: Patrick Jones/EDGE/Pittsburgh

44. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones/QB/Alabama

45. Los Angeles Chargers: Spencer Brown/OT/UNI

46. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Minnesota): Christian Barmore/DT/Alabama

47. New England Patriots: Wyatt Davis/IOL/Ohio State

48. Arizona Cardinals: Jabril Cox/LB/LSU

49. Las Vegas Raiders: Levi Onwurzurike/DT/Washington

50. Miami Dolphins: Hamsah Nasirildeen/Safety/FSU

51. Washington Football Team: Jalen Mayfield/OT/Michigan

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

53. Indianapolis Colts: Tylan Wallace/WR/Oklahoma State

54. Tennessee Titans: Chazz Surratt/LB/North Carolina

55. Seattle Seahawks: Josh Myers/IOL/Ohio State

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

57. Los Angeles Rams: Carlos Basham/EDGE/Wake Forest

58. Cleveland Browns: Kadarius Toney/WR/Florida

59. Baltimore Ravens: Sage Surratt/WR/Wake Forest

60. New Orleans Saints: Davis Mills/QB/Stanford

61. Green Bay Packers: Marlon Tuipulotu/DT/USC

62. Buffalo Bills: Rashad Weaver/EDGE/Pittsburgh

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyree Gillespie/Safety/Missouri

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joseph Ossai/EDGE/Texas

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