1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson, 6’5″, 213lbs
This pick has been a lock for a long time, and there is no debate that the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars will forever be altered with the selection of Trevor Lawrence. Their offensive line is solid, but could be upgraded. Their playmakers are much the same. An experienced receiving core led by DJ Chark and Marvin Jones, with second year player Laviska Shenault as a versatile playmaker, will provide a baseline of stable play to help Lawrence as he enters the league and will most likely be boosted during the draft. They have James Robinson at running back, who was very productive as an undrafted rookie, although he is not a perfect scheme fit so it wouldn’t shock me to see them draft someone there early on day three. Tight end is bad, with the only decent option being Tyler Eifert. I would expect them to add a tight end early as it is something new head coach Urban Meyer has stressed during interviews this offseason. The worst part of the team by far is every part of the defense. The defensive line is bad on the interior, and only has one proven edge rusher in Josh Allen, even though they selected K’Lavon Chaisson in the first round last year. Former first round pick Taven Bryan has been very bad at defensive tackle for them. They have two good linebackers in Myles Jack and Joe Schobert, but after that it is atrocious. The secondary desperatley needs upgrades at both safety positions as well as nickel, but outside corner appears to be under control after the signing of Shaquill Griffin to pair with last years first round selection CJ Henderson.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU, 6’2″, 214lbs
The Jets won games down the stretch taking them out of the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. The Jets beating the Rams and the Browns at the end of the season is probably the best thing Adam Gase has ever done for a team in the state of Florida, and he coached the Dolphins for three seasons. Zach Wilson has long been rumored to be the pick for the 49ers. While I would personally select Trey Lance or Justin Fields here, Wilson is still a very good prospect who will go to a team devoid of talent. They signed Corey Davis in the offseason and hope for a jump from second year wide receiver Denzel Mims, and may look to add another receiver to their core in this draft, as their current third receiver is Jamison Crowder. They have Keelan Cole as well and can survive with their receivers, but it is not ideal. Their offensive line still needs improvement, and I would expect them to attack that on day two. They could use an upgrade over Chris Herndon at tight end as well bringing in another running back for competition. The defensive line could use an edge rusher opposite free agent addition Carl Lawson. The interior of the defensive line is excellent. They could use an upgrade at linebaker as well. The secondary had solid safety play, but did not have much in terms of outside corners. I would expect that to be a point of emphasis somewhere in this drat for them. The front office will have to balance trying to put the most that they can around Zach Wilson, something the previous administration failed to do around Sam Darnold, and trying to build up their defense with a defensive minded head coach in Robert Saleh. General Manager Joe Douglas comes from Philadelphia, where they have a focus on the trenches, so expect both sides of the ball to be built up there. Zach Wilson doesn’t have the arm strength of a Trey Lance, or the athleticism and running ability of Lance or Justin Fields, but he has enough of each to be a successful NFL quarterback. Having receivers who can win contested catches downfield will help with deep balls left short, and receivers who can separate in short to intermediate areas of the field will help fit him best by giving him targets where he is most accurate.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State, 6’3″, 224lbs
The San Francisco 49ers traded two first round picks and a future third round pick to swap 12 for 3 to go get a quarterback. The 49ers are apparently split between front office and coaching staff, with the coaching staff wanting to go with Mac Jones from Alabama and the front office wanting to go with Trey Lance. I believe that Trey Lance is the correct choice for them and also the one that I believe they will make. Lance will be able to add new dynamics to the offense that the 49ers have not had under Jimmy Garoppolo. His running ability adds a new dynamic to the highly efficient zone running game that Shannahan employs. He has the best pure arm that Shannahan has ever worked with. While there is much that Lance needs to improve, he doesn’t necessarily need to sit, even though with Garoppolo still in house it gives them the ability to have him sit. San Francisco is staking their future on this pick, and they will need to trust whoever they pick to take them to the next level. They already made the Super Bowl with Garoppolo, so now they need to find the quarterback that can win it for them. They have talented receivers who specialize in run after the catch, something beneficial for any quarterback. They have a highly effective running game and a solid offensive line. McGlinchey has been up and down, and the interior could use some improvement, but it was solidified with the signing of Alex Mack in free agency. The defense could use cornerback help, and the 49ers frequently look to add depth to their defensive line. If the defense can return to an elite level, and they stay healthy this year, the 49ers could look to jump into playoff contention with even moderate success from their rookie signal caller.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida, 6’5″, 245lbs, 9.66 RAS
The Atlanta Falcons have so many needs, especially on defense, but this is purely a best player available pick at a position that they will frequently use. If Trey Lance is available, I believe they will consider him as well, and they could be in the mix for offensive line. Their top choice is probably a trade out, but I do not believe anyone would be looking to trade up to four given Carolina is the only other top ten team who could reportedly take a quarterback, and that is if it is Fields, so teams will try to trade up above them and whoever they are competing against to trade up with. I believe pick seven is where we will start to see teams trading up into the top ten. They could use improvement on the offensive line, as well as running back and wide receiver depth, but those are not immediate needs. They can get by with what they have even if it isn’t ideal. The defense needs massive improvement. They need an edge rusher, as well as a defensive tackle to play next to Grady Jarrett. They need an upgrade at linebacker, and their secondary is a mess. However, this is the best player available at a position they need to improve. Arthur Smith played a lot of 12 and 13 personnel in Tennessee and is expected to do the same in Atlanta. Their current tight ends are Hayden Hurst and Lee Smith. Kyle Pitts is an adequate blocker at the tight end position, and has the versatility to line up anywhere on the field. He has amazing physical gifts, and is an extremely talented player technically. He is a generational tight end, and is the best non-quarterback in this draft and should be drafted as such.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU, 6’0″, 201lbs, 9.81 RAS
The Cincinnati Bengals desperately need offensive line help. However, it appears they have their hearts set on Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU. They reconnect Joe Burrow with his number one option from college and turn a solid receiver room into a very good one. They expect to be in 10 and 11 personnel frequently so they will use a lot of receivers. The reasoning behind this selection from their perspective is the depth of the offensive line class, and this year they don’t necessarily need an offensive tackle, they just need to improve their offensive line as a whole. However, Riley Reiff is on a one year deal and is getting older. He could be best served kicking inside to guard. I would say that the drop off from Sewell to the tackles available at 38 will most likely be larger than the drop off from Chase to the receivers available at 38. Whichever one they choose, it will help Burrow, and they will almost certainly draft offensive line at some point, but it is merely a matter of which option you believe to be more effective.
6. Miami Dolphins – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon, 6’4″, 331lbs, 8.99 RAS
The Dolphins traded away Ereck Flowers so they could free up some cap space. This leaves left guard open. The Dolphins have Solomon Kinley who was the right guard last year slide over to left guard and kick Robert Hunt, their rookie right tackle last year in to right guard, where he was drafted to play. If you draft Sewell you will kick him over to right tackle, which will be an adjustment for him, but this will put an elite tackle protecting Tua’s blindside. They also need playmakers, and could very easily draft a receiver here. If Kyle Pitts is available, I think they would take him without thinking twice, and if Chase were available as well as Sewell they would consider both. They have plenty of picks later to address skill positions.
Trade: Patriots send 15, 96, 188, and a 2022 1st to the Lions for 7.
7. New England Patriots – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State, 6’2″, 227lbs
The Patriots brought back Cam Newton on a backup quarterback contract for one year. With Fields set to slide in the draft from where many thought he would go following the end of the season, the Patriots are able to trade up for a player who can learn behind Newton for a year before taking over and becoming the face of the franchise post-Brady. They send their own first round picks this year and next year, as well as this years third round pick and a sixth round pick, to move up.
8. Carolina Panthers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern, 6’4″, 304lbs, 9.71 RAS
The Panthers are in need of a left tackle. The rest of their offensive line is solid, except for this one major hole. If Kyle Pitts were on the board, they would take him, and if Fields were on the board they would consider him as well. With Slater, they get a plug and play tackle with guard versatility who is also an elite athlete for the position. While he lacks elite length which may be a concern for the Panthers, he is very solid and will help give Sam Darnold the best chance to succeed. They still need a tight end, and their defense is still bad despite using all seven picks last year on that side of the ball.
Trade: Chicago sends 20, 83, and a 2022 1st to the Broncos for 9.
9. Chicago Bears – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama, 6’2″, 217lbs, 7.19 RAS
The Bears are in desperation mode. With both the head coach and general manager on the hot seat, they need to make a major splash and they do it by trading up to get themselves the last of the top five quarterbacks in this draft. This is a move to prolong their employment, as I do not know if Jones is an upgrade in year one of Andy Dalton. The Bears have needs at receiver, offensive line, and at corner, and if they don’t trade up expect them to address one of those needs at 20. They send their third and next years first to swap pick twenty for nine.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama, 6’2″, 208lbs, 9.96 RAS
The Cowboys want Kyle Pitts. So does every other team that doesn’t have a major need at quarterback to fill. With Pitts almost certainly being gone by the time the Cowboys do pick, they will most likely turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. This is too early to go edge rusher, unless they are extremely confident in Jaelen Phillips’ medicals. Instead, they go with the best fit in Patrick Surtain II, a player who it seems has been mocked to Dallas for months. The college cornerback tandem of Patrick Surtain II and Trevon Diggs reforms now in Dallas and hopefully is the building block of a solid secondary.
11. New York Giants – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama, 6’0″, 166lbs
The Giants signed Kenny Golladay to a massive deal in free agency. They trying to surround Daniel Jones with everything he needs to be successful so they can see what they have in him as he enters year three in the NFL. While they could still use upgrades on the offensive line, and have desperate needs at edge rusher and at corner opposite Bradberry, they give Jones another weapon to work with to eliminate any excuses. Smith plays hard, evident by his effort level as a blocker. He is an outstanding route runner, has good hands, and can contribute on speciall teams in multiple facets. The concern with him is his size, at just 166lbs.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina, 6’0″, 205lbs, 9.99 RAS
The Eagles grab Horn to pair opposite Slay. The rest of the back seven is still very bad, and the offense needs work, but you fill a need that has been killing them for years. Horn is a tough, aggressive corner, who can start out as a CB2 and perhaps eventually take over as a CB1. While the Eagles have needs at receiver, offensive line, and linebacker, they historically do not select linebackers early, and they just selected a receiver last year in the first round.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech, 6’4″, 322lbs
The Chargers snag Christian Darrisaw to protect Justin Herbert’s blind side for years to come. They also have a major need at corner, and could even go receiver if the right one is available, but their top priority should be protecting their franchise quarterback.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL, USC, 6’4″, 308lbs, 9.04 RAS
Alijah Vera-Tucker played left tackle for the Trojans this past season but is best suited to play guard in the NFL. He can play outside in a pinch if your starter gets injured. He is the best interior offensive lineman in this class, with Landon Dickerson’s injury concerns taking him out of the conversation.
15. Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama, 5’9″, 180lbs
The Lions trade down and amass future assets to be able to quicken the rebuild, or go up and get a quarterback, and they still luck into one of the top receivers in this years draft. Waddle is a field stretcher who also has good route running, good hands, is good at run after catch, you get the picture. He is just a good receiver. The Lions could use multiple picks at receiver in this years draft just to get NFL caliber players in there.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Zaven Collins. LB, Tulsa, 6’4″, 259lbs, 8.72 RAS
The Cardinals reportedly love Zaven Collins. With Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II both off the board, and Farley and Newsome having injury concerns, they get a big, athletic linebacker. Sound familiar? They just drafted Isaiah Simmons last year at eighth overall, but Collins does bring different dynamics. He is a bigger body better suited to be a more natural linebacker and play in the box. It would give them two athletic freaks at linebacker, each with versatility in their own ways. While they have other needs, it is an upgrade and Collins is a first round caliber player.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Christian Barmore, iDL, Alabama, 6’4″, 310lbs, 8.22 RAS
The Raiders got rid of three of their starting offensive linemen as well as their star defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. Barmore is an athletic 3-technique who has flashed a lot throughout his career at Alabama, but lacked the consistency that is needed to be a high pick in the draft. Given this drafts poor group of defensive tackles, especially in the pass rushing department, Barmore’s upside will be intriguing to many teams and he could end up going very high. He fits a need for the Raiders and is probably going to go somewhere in this range.
18. Miami Dolphins – Jaelen Phillips, Edge, Miami (FL), 6’5″, 260lbs, 9.87 RAS
Miami has not valued edge rushers highly in the past, and has instead focused on coverage. With their secondary playing at a high level, they can spend their second first round pick and a high end edge rusher to go in their rotation. He fits what they like size wise and has the versatility to stand up or put his hand in the dirt. They would also consider both of the top linebackers still available, Micah Parsons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. They can use their first pick in the second round to take advantage of the depth of this receiver class and still get Tua a good playmaker.
19. Washington Football Team – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State, 6’3″, 246lbs, 9.59 RAS
Washington sits at nineteen and lands an athletic freak at linebacker. Linebacker is one of the few needs on this defense, and with Parsons they can look to have an elite defense for years to come. They could still use a third wide receiver, as well as offensive line help, and obviously a quarterback given Fitzpatrick’s age and contract.
20. Denver Broncos – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame, 6’1″, 221lbs, 8.71 RAS
The Broncos need to upgrade at linebacker. They are currently rolling out Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell, both of which should be upgraded and both in need of new contracts. Owusu-Koramoah is a hybrid linebacker/safety wo can cover out in the nickel as well as play in the box. He gives their defense a lot of versatility, and will play with a quality defensive line, good edge rushers, and an excellent secondary. He makes the Broncos a championship level defense, but the concerns on offense still remain, mainly at quarterback.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State, 6’5″, 217lbs, 9.74 RAS
The Colts lost Anthony Castanzo to retirement after last season, and need a new left tackle. Although Jenkins has mostly played right tackle, he should be able to make the switch over to the left side, which will be perhaps the most nasty side of an offensive line in the league with him and Quenton Nelson. They also have needs at edge rusher and corner, as well as concerns at quarterback and wide receiver. They are a very good team outside of, well, all of the really important positions.
22. Tennessee Titans – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota, 6’0″, 190lbs, 8.05 RAS
Rashod Bateman is a great fit next to AJ Brown. The Titans need secondary help badly, as well as a right tackle, but with Jenkins having just gone, it is too early to get anyone else. The Titans most likely need to select multiple playmakers in this years draft.
23. New York Jets (via SEA) – Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan, 6’2″, 261lbs, 9.34 RAS
The Jets have so many needs. The Jets have shown a willingness to build up the trenches, and they continue to do so by picking Paye. Paye will play opposite free agent addition Carl Lawson, making for a massive upgrade at edge rusher over what they had last year. They still maintain plenty of high picks to attack other positions of need.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama, 6’1″, 230lbs
This appears to be written in permanent marker. The Steelers reportedly like Harris a lot, and the interest is mutual. The Steelers have a gluttony of team needs (at least a depth player if not a starter at every position besides wide receiver), and running back first round is not the best use of resources.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU, 6’0″, 202lbs, 7.37 RAS
The Jaguars need significant help at safety after trading away Ronnie Harrison. They get a safety in Moehrig to help their secondary consisting of last years first round pick CJ Henderson and free agent signing Shaquille Griffin.
26. Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern, 6’0″, 192lbs, 9.66 RAS
The Browns have Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward at corner, neither of which can stay healthy for a full season. Drafting Newsome is a risk injury wise, as he has missed 14 games over three years, but he is a lower risk than Caleb Farley and those are the top two corners remaining. The Browns have needs at edge rusher, defensive tackle, linebacker, and receiver as well. If the right edge rusher is there they would take him. When they will take a defensive tackle is unknown. It is unlikely that they take a liebacker round one.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU, 6’2″, 205lbs, 9.77 RAS
The Ravens need receiver help, and Marshall gives them an athletic freak who can play inside or outside. They still need edge rushers, a safety, and a right tackle as well following the Orlando Brown trade.
28. New Orleans Saints – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia, 6’1″, 193lbs, 7.53 RAS
There seems to be a lot of smoke for Tyson Campbell to the Saints. Sometimes when there is smoke this time of year, it is just a smokescreen, but other times where there is smoke, there is fire, and I believe this to be one of those times. Campbell is a big, athletic corner out of Georgia. I personally prefer his teammate Eric Stokes, but 6’2″ can’t be taught at cornerback. The Saints need to replace Janoris Jenkins, and they don’t have a lot of other significant needs, so doing so in the first round would make sense. With the top three corners outside of Caleb Farley, who has major health concerns due to multiple back surgeries and perhaps the need for further surgeries, it is much more open as to who that selection would be.
29. Green Bay Packers – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama, 6’5″, 312lbs, 9.69 RAS
I personally do not believe Leatherwood should go this high. I’m not 100% certain he is an offensive tackle. He is, however, a freak athlete and has a lot of experience. The Packers could use his versatility to play either spot.
30. Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson, 5’10”, 215lbs, 9.13 RAS
The Bills are rumored to be considering moving up to go get Travis Etienne. That would be an unmitigated disaster. The Bills have a few other needs besides running back that they need to address as well, and giving up picks is not the best way to fill them. They also need edge rusher and corner two.
31. Baltimore Ravens (via KC) – Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington, 6’5″, 250lbs, 9.29 RAS
The Baltimore Ravens lost a lot of production from their edge rusher room in free agency. They replace them with a great athlete in Joe Tryon. He will play in a rotation with Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee. They still need to address offensive tackle, but they have now filled two needs in the first round thanks to their trade with Kansas City.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State, 6’4″, 257lbs, 9.92 RAS
The Bucs don’t have a ton of needs for this year. You expect their to be a possibility of needing to replace Suh and/or JPP after this season, so you can select a player to be a rotation player this year and hopefully start next year. They have yet to resign Antonio Brown but are rumored to be close, and if they resign him that takes receiver off the table. They could also use a safety, and could upgrade at running back, although that would mean giving up on someone they recently signed or drafted that they like.