NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Dane Brugler of The Athletic recently released his mock 1.0 and it gave me a little more insight on player information and where he has them valued. Only 2 or 3 picks are similar to his as it made sense, but it is not a rip off of his mock. DRAFT ORDER IS BASED ON WEEK 13 STANDINGS


While not a massive need compared to other positions, the Lions can’t pass up on Hutchinson, the Detroit native and former Michigan Wolverine. He has the toughness, grit and competitive edge that HC, Dan Campbell gushes over.


Houston does need to look at taking a QB, and it’s possible they trade back to get one or use the draft pick they’ll acquire after trading Watson. Thibodeaux is great against the run and rushing the QB, and still getting better! He will automatically give them a big piece that they have been missing with Watt’s departure. Offensive line is a big need, so it would be a shock if they draft Neal to play RT.


Because of his unique blend of size, strength and flex, Neal has played RG, RT and LT while at Alabama, so his position flexibility is one of his strongest attributes for the Jaguars. If Cam Robinson returns, Neal will play RT, if not, he will be the new anchor for the offensive line at LT.


The Jets defense needs a lot of work, Stingley had a shortened season due to an injury, but is still by far the best corner in the draft. He would make an immediate impact on defense with his coverage skills and provide a big piece for Saleh to rebuild that defense to his liking.


OL isn’t the biggest thing the Jets need, but Icky has the flexibility to play guard or tackle, and he’s one of the highest rated run blockers in all of college football over the last 10 years. He’s been called a smaller Mekhi Becton, so landing on the Jets to play opposite of Becton is a perfect fit.


They already have 2 good safeties in Xavier McKinney and Logan Ryan, but passing up on Kyle Hamilton, who some believe is the best player in the draft, may be a huge mistake. Logan Ryan hasn’t been awful, but Hamilton will be a significant upgrade, and Ryan has a tradable contract that won’t add much to the dead cap.


The Giants need help at guard with Will Hernandez not being good and also being a FA, as well as a need at center. Linderbaum is one of the best center prospects ever and this will mark the first time a center has ever been drafted in the top 10. (If you don’t count Bruce Matthews who was drafted as an “inside blocker” at 9 in 1983.)


Derek Barnett is set for FA, so getting a guy to fill that end role is key for the Eagles defense to succeed. Karlaftis is very powerful and has tremendous handwork which enables him to get by the blocker.


Garrett Wilson is by far the best WR in this class, has next level body control, is a terrific separator and shows it week in and week out. The Eagles will need to give Hurts a better WR2 option since Reagor has failed at that position this season.


The Panthers could try to go for a QB here, but the smarter option is to go for an OT, since their line is ranked DEAD LAST. I mocked the Panthers to take Rashawn Slater last year because the line was an issue then as well, they opted to take Jaycee Horn instead. No QB will succeed with that offensive line. Penning is a small school tackle that will get looked down on, but is gritty and tough and could shine at the senior bowl and the combine to raise his draft stock.


Falcons need a Matt Ryan successor soon, and Kenny “Two Gloves” has been rising up boards. His knocks are that he’s a (Super senior), he’ll be 24 at draft time and he has 8-1/4” hands. According to Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Pickett has very good accuracy and has a good handle on the ball which are two things hand size limits, this could be attributed to the two gloves he wears for extra grip.


With Patrick Peterson, Mackenzie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland all being FA’s at the end of the season, CB is the biggest need for the Vikings. Booth is long, has controlled hip movement and has a great ability in tracking the ball. Although this season hasn’t been his best, he is still a tremendous cover corner.


With the experiment of Jameis seemingly over and the dumb contract extension given to Taysom, the Saints still need a legitimate heir to throne after the retirement of Drew Brees in 2020. Corral is the best opportunity for the Saints to finally get something going at the QB position.


I know I know, the Eagles don’t draft linebackers in the first round, I’m doing it anyways. Ryan Roberts of RiseNDraft says that Dean is a less physical but more flexible Nick Bolton, while Dane Brugler of The Athletic says he is more of a Jonathan Vilma 2.0


Clowney is a free agent at the end of the season, so filling the role he leaves will be important for the Browns. Ojabo is still learning and has sky high potential, adding him to a defense with Myles Garrett might be a scary sight for offenses to see.


The Steelers NEED to find a replacement for Ben regardless if he decides to play another season. If Ben stays another year, Howell could benefit sitting and learning from him, if not, then he has a fantastic cast of weapons at his disposal and a young line that keeps getting better every week they play together.


QB is also a pretty big need and is a very big possibility here, but the defense has a lot of free agents at the end of the season, especially at the LB position. Josey Jewell, Alexander Johnson and even Von Miller’s replacement Malik Reed are all set to be free agents. Devin Lloyd would be an automatic starter for their defense. Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Lloyd as his LB1 and mocked at #5 overall in his mock 1.0 on 11/30/21. While I think that’s a stretch, it says a lot about Lloyd, who has tons of speed and great instincts that you can’t teach. Ryan Roberts of RiseNDraft compares him to Titans legend, Keith Bulluck.


Now that Gruden is gone and not making anymore bad draft decisions in the top rounds. The Raiders have a few spots to address on offense, most importantly, the offensive line. Cross is young, still learning and needs to cut down on penalties, but would be a great addition to play RT.


Washington loves Heinicke, and what’s available in the draft at this point may not be much better than him. So adding weapons for him to throw to is what should be most important. Treylon will cause mismatches because of his size and athleticism giving Washington 2 incredible WR’s for defenses to fear.


At 6’7 350lbs (unconfirmed), Davis will be instrumental in shutting down RB’s trying to come up the middle, he will also help his ends by taking up a few blockers by himself. Playing time (40% of Georgias defensive snaps) will limit the teams and how high Davis gets drafted. But with 33 year old Linval Joseph being a free agent at the end of the season (50% snap count), the NT position is a pretty big need for the Chargers to fill if he’s not brought back. CB is also an option.


The OL is atrocious and needs help. They will likely try to go OT if one is available, if not then Kenyon Green at guard is the next best thing. Austin Jackson has been a bust at LT and is now playing LG. Kenyon can replace Jackson who will likely be relegated to a backup role or moved to RT to replace Jesse Davis if he’s gone.


Bills could use another CB on the other side of Tre’Davious White with the big time offenses that they have to play against in their conference. “Sauce” Gardner is a press-man corner with tremendous close ability, he has given up 0 TD’s in over 1,000 career snaps (entire college career) and QB’s have a 30% comp percentage when throwing his way.


Simply put, Lions need WR’s in a bad way for that offense to be able to do ANYTHING. London could go higher, but may also stay low because of a fractured ankle injury that ended his college season. He should be ready to go for the combine. According to Ryan Roberts of RiseNDraft, London has a lot of Brandon Marshall to his game.


Offensive line should be the priority here, but the Bengals have done a lot to overhaul their defense as well. Elam can be the CB1 giving Cincinnati a defense that teams would fear playing. Elam is excellent in both man and zone coverages, has fantastic recovery ability, great ball tracking, and is a willing tackler (RiseNDraft).


The Cowboys struck gold in the 2021 draft with Micah and Osa. The DL still needs more work inside as Trysten Hill has been a bad selection and Gallimore is either injured or giving subpar play. At 8.5 sacks with 12.5 TFL’s, Leal gives off a lot of Jonathan Allen vibes, but can also give you inconsistent play.


Chiefs have a number of spots on defense that need to be addressed, but CB seems like it should be the highest priority. Trent McDuffie is a fantastic athlete, consistent with no glaring weaknesses. Something the Chiefs could really use.


Titans brought in Julio Jones to pair with AJ Brown this season, unfortunately both have been injured almost the entire season leaving a glaring emptiness of depth. According to Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Williams, Williams is the best at stretching the field in the last several years of the draft. He would be a perfect addition to help the offense next season with Julio and AJ healthy.


Walker has a lot of position flexiblity, he can play inside or outside on the the defensive line. With Tampa running 3 down, he can play on the end next to Vea in the position that soon to be 31 year old free agent William Gholston currently plays.


Cornerback is a major need after the Stephon Gilmore trade, and JC Jackson who is on a 1 year deal has had to take the lead as CB1. LB is also a big need with Hightower becoming a FA. But another glaring need for the Patriots is the WR position. Bourne has started to look good, while the others are just guys. Olave’s smooth route running skills and and fantastic catch point is going to give them a true WR1 for Mac Jones to throw to for years to come.


ThE pAcKeRs DoNt DrAfT pLaMaKeRs In ThE fIrSt RoUnD. Packers opt to take a playmaker to go along with Adams to provide Love with a pair of great WR’s that Rodgers never got to have while in GB. Packers will do Packers things and not do this, but I will continue to mock a WR here. According to Ryan Roberts of RiseNDraft, Jahan is very similar to Emmanuel Sanders.


Patrick Mekari has proven to be a solid RT since Stanley was injured and Villanueva had to move over to LT… but Villanueva and Mekari are both going to be a free agents at the end of the season, and if at least Mekari is not brought back, RT is a glaring need. Kinnard is a mountain of a man and may fit better inside, but has been very dominant at Kentucky playing outside. Could also look at Minnesota’s 6’8 379lb monster, Daniel Faalele


Arizona needs a CB almost as bad as KC does. Murphy has done a good job, but they need to fill the other side in a bad way. McCreary is a tough, physical and fast man coverage CB. According to Dane Brugler of The Athletic, he has top 20 tape, but according to Jim Nagy nobody that he’s talked to views him in the first (yet), because of his 29 5/8 arm length. Jordan Reid of ESPN’s comp of McCreary is Chicago Bears, Jaylon Johnson.

Players that didn’t make it:

Cameron Thomas, E, San Diego St. Rising up the charts, Thomas is currently #1 in pressures in all of college football with 72. According to Dane Brugler of The Athletic, he’s been almost unblockable, has great lateral quickness and has a non stop hustle that coaches will love.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty. Has a great arm and will beat you with his feet, but he’s been very inconsistent despite the level of talent he plays against, and his accuracy is not desirable. A good enior bowl, pro day and combine could help him elevate to the 1st round.

Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota. At 6’8 – 379lbs, Faalele is a MASSIVE human who moved very well for his size and has anvil hands. He hasn’t been playing long, so he is still learning.

Carson Strong , QB, Nevada. Some believe him to be the best QB in the draft, but he didn’t make it because info has come out that NFL GM’s believe he’s more of a 2nd round guy because of his knee. He had osteochondritis dissecans lesion in 2017, and a clean up in 2020. How his knee will last long term is the biggest question mark.

Drake Jackson, E, USC. Didn’t make the list because I couldn’t find a place for him. He is definitely a 1st rounder, but I just couldn’t place him anywhere based on needs.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati. Draft stock is fluctuating between late 1st to 3rd round. A good senior bowl and the combine could help move him up.

Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan St. The top RB in the class, but nobody expects a RB to go in the 1st round this year.

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan. The S-2 in the class, and has a shot at the 1st round. I just couldn’t find a spot for him. May also be looked at as a slot CB.

John Metchie, WR, Alabama. He is not getting a lot of love from draft scouts, and has fallen to WR-7/8. Considering 5 are 1st rounders that’s not a big knock, but it’s a 2nd round value. Torn ACL on 12/3/21

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio St. Bouncing between late 1st and mid 2nd. Could be a riser at the combine. Frere was dominated by Hutchinson and Ojabo in the Michigan/ Ohio St rivalry game.

Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia. Despite having a terrific season, Kendrick has off field issues stemming from his dismissal at Clemson, that may keep him out of the 1st round.

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