This mock is sponsored by: Off Topic Sports Segment. Join our conversations in our Facebook group!
There are NO TRADES in this mock and the information used comes from multiple sources with a history of accuracy and great analysis:
- Dane Brugler of The Athletic
- Lance Zierlein of NFL.com
- Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com
- Ryan Roberts of RiseNDraft
- Kevin Hanson of EDSFootball
- Josh Norris & Hayden Winks of Underdog Fantasy
The Jaguars need to bolster their offensive line to protect Trevor Lawrence. Cam Robinson is likely gone. Norwell and Cann are also set to hit free agency as well.
Neal has unique blend of size, strength and flex, for his 6’7, 360lb frame, Neal has played RG, RT and LT while at Alabama, so his position flexibility is one of his strongest attributes for the Jaguars if they are able to build up their OL through free agency.
The Lions don’t really need another Edge rusher, but this is a Dan Campbell kind of guy and it’s very likely he will be in the draft room fighting to get him.
Hutchinson has the toughness, grit and a competitive edge that HC, Dan Campbell gushes over. He can win in multiple ways with his quickness, his power and his hand play. Not a great Orange Bowl performance stat wise, but he actually didn’t do bad considering UGA’s RT, Salyer had to get help the entire game from RB’s and TE’s chipping him.
The Texans have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball, but with Justin Reid set to be a free agent. Safety is just as high a priority as any other positional need, as well as this being BPA
Most “draft experts” believe Hamilton is the best player in the draft. His size, explosiveness and his high football IQ will create massive problems for offenses he’s facing, especially TE’s.
The Jets need help everywhere, mostly on defense. With Saleh being a defensive specialist, and needing to get some pass rush going. This is not only a priority pick, but BPA as well.
Thibodeaux is great against the run and rushing the QB, and still getting better, is great at creating leverage using his athleticism and with his 34 1/8” arm length. He can move into an OLB position giving the Jets some legitimate fire power chasing down opposing QB’s. Ryan Roberts comp for Thibs is former Ram, Leonard Little. Per Dane Brugler, Thibs isn’t universally liked by NFL evaluators the way a lot of draft analysts love him. Top 7 is his range.
The Giants offensive line is in shambles. Mainly the interior, but with Solder likely done and Matt Peart not really looking like the piece they hoped he would be, OT is also a pretty huge need.
Icky has been called a smaller Mekhi Becton because of his mauler style of play. He’s also one of the highest rated run blockers in all of college football over the last 10 years. According to Dane Brugler, there is a growing sense that Ikem’s all around blocking will be what sets him and Neal apart (Dane’s mock 2.0 has Ikem going #1). Neal is a better pass blocker, but Icky isn’t far behind, and is a far superior run blocker.
The Panthers were ranked 31st in blocking last season. Luckily they have a great RT in place and under contract. LT needs a massive upgrade from Cameron Erving who was the starter last year and is a free agent.
Per Dane Brugler, the evaluation on Cross so far has been split as some believe he belongs in the top half of the draft, while others think he’s Andre Dillard. Cross is young and still learning, but should be a day 1 starter at LT. He needs to cut down on penalties, but would be a great addition on such an awful offensive line blocking for Darnold or whoever ends up being the QB next season. Ryan Roberts compares him to D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
The Giants don’t necessarily need a corner with Bradberry and Jackson under contract. But Bradberry has a massive $21m contract that can be moved, with $9m in dead cap, giving the Giants room to improve elsewhere on the roster.
Stingley does his best work in press coverage. After an amazing freshman season, Stingley has suffered through a foot injury that shortened the last two seasons finally causing him to get surgery, he is still viewed as the best corner in the draft, medicals at the combine will determine where he sits. Tackles like Deion.
The Falcons have a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but if Ridley is traded they will need to find his replacement.
Treylon has the blend of size and speed (rumored to be below 4.40, if true, he’ll be WR1 without question) along with massive hands that requires 5x gloves and a devastating catch radius that all together will cause major mismatches and a perfect target for Mac to throw to. He gets a lot of comps to DK Metcalf and AJ Brown, but Ryan Roberts compares Treylon to DeMaryius Thomas while Dane Brugler compares him to Deebo Samuel.
The Broncos have a few things they could do during this draft, but the main thing is finding a QB that can lead this team. Unfortunately, there are no tier 1 or 2 type QB’s in this draft. A trade is a likely option and has been widely speculated on since the end of the regular season.
Kenny “Two Gloves” is now the favorite to be QB1 in this draft class. His knocks are that he’s a (Super senior), he’ll be 24 at draft time, he has 8-1/4” hands (which matters in cold weather) and that he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm. According to Dane Brugler, Pickett has very good accuracy and has a good handle on the ball which are two things hand size typically limits. Pickett worse gloves for the first time in 2021. His comp% improved from 61% to 67%, and his fumbles went from 9, 7 & 7 to 3 in 2021. With the gloves on, his hand size should not be a factor in any weather.
The Jets passing up on Stingley leaves them still needing someone to play with Bryce Hall who was a breakout player for the Jets last season.
“Sauce” Gardner is a press-man corner with tremendous close ability, he has given up 0 TD’s in over 1,100 career snaps (entire college career) and QB’s have a 30% comp percentage when throwing his way. He is a bit aggressive with WR’s so he could get a few DPI’s called on him early in his career.
The Commanders could take a QB here, but they seem to like Heinicke enough that he may get 1 more season before they ultimately go get the QB of the future in the year’s draft. Pairing the former Buckeye, Garrett with the other former Buckeye, McLaurin would really help their offense run smoother.
Garrett Wilson has been considered the best WR in this class for some time, that may or may not change by the time the combine rolls around. While he’s not going to give you size mismatches, he is a terrific separator with a great route tree and has next level body control.
The Vikings are losing a lot of players on defense to free agency, including both of last seasons starting CB’s, Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander. They also need to improve in the pass rush. If both Stingley & Sauce are gone. That is likely where they’ll turn next.
Ojabo is an absolute freak of an athlete and his football IQ is off the charts. He is still learning how to play the game, and is dominating while doing it. He has sky high potential and could end up being the best pass rusher to come out of this draft, but is a major liability in the run game. Would be perfect to fill the Sam role that Jarrad Davis will leave, regardless if he is brought back.
The Browns defense is losing a ton of players to free agency, including both starting DT’s, as well as DE Jadeveon Clowney. So the DL is likely the biggest need come draft time.
Walker is a tremendous player and is rising up the boards, especially after having such a great National Championship game vs Alabama. His lack of stats is what is hurting his stock at the moment for most draft experts, but Dane Brugler’s analysis of him says that because they have him playing all over the field 4i, NT & LB, it’s hard for him to collect stats. Dane has him ranked as his DE3.
The Ravens offensive line needs a little work. Alejandro Villanueva was brought in to play RT last season and is set for free agency. Center is also a big need, so don’t be shocked if they go either way. The Ravens are known for their defense, they could opt to go that route with how bad it’s been and who is set to hit the free agent market.
Penning is a small school tackle that will get looked down on, but is gritty and tough and after having a good senior bowl, his stock seems to be intact. Next is the combine to help his draft stock. He would be a great addition to play RT for an offensive line as a rookie, before making the transition to LT afterwards.
The Eagles need help on the opposite side of Slay. Especially since they have to play the Cowboys two times a year.
Booth has long arms, has controlled hip movement and has a great ability in tracking the ball with terrific speed, his tackling is a huge concern. Although this season wasn’t been his best, he is still a tremendous cover corner that will fit best in a man heavy defensive scheme.
The Eagles could take the best center in the last several years and have him sit behind Kelce if he returns, or start if he decides to retire.
Linderbaum is the best center prospects in the last several years, but Lance Zierlein believes his size and being scheme specific (zone blocking only) could be a factor with how far down he will get drafted. Dane Brugler adds to this by saying that he lacks ideal arm length and will likely struggle in pass protection. Has only allowed 2 sacks in 2300+ career snaps.
The Chargers need to do something about their defense. Linval Joseph is a free agent, Jerry Tillery needs to be replaced, and they need another outside rusher to pair with Bosa.
Dane Brugler had Johnson going 24 prior to the Senior Bowl, as of 2/15/22, has him as his 15th ranked prospect in the draft. Lance Zierlein had Johnson at 13 in his post senior bowl mock draft. Johnson was a transfer from UGA and finally got to shine for the ‘Noles. Went from 4 sacks on 189 snaps to 14 sacks and 9 TFL’s on 739 snaps.
The Saints gave Taysom Hill a weird contract extension, and they may let him start next season, but grabbing a QB is still not out of the question.
Malik Willis needed a good Senior Bowl to impress teams, and while he did have some struggles, he was still able to put on a good show during practices and the game. Big arm and athletic but has inconsistent timing & accuracy. There could be a battle for QB1 between him and Pickett based on all the tools he has. He may not be ready year 1.
The Eagles typically stay away from off ball Linebackers in the 1st round, but with 3 picks, I think it’s fair game to make this kind of pick.
Lloyd played inside and weakside for the Utes, he has a long frame and an excellent change of direction but has an issue with missed tackles (12.5% career rate) due to diving tackles. Dane Brugler has Lloyd as his LB1 and mocked at #5 overall in his mock 1.0 on 11/30/21, as of 2/15/22 he is Dane Brugler’s 7th ranked prospect. Ryan Roberts compares him to Titans legend, Keith Bulluck.
The Steelers will need a QB for the first time in 18 years. Rudolph is clearly not the answer, and there’s a chance they could look to free agency or a trade.
Corral is a great athlete and has a big arm with smooth tools but can be stubborn at times with his decision making. He’s got quick feet and quick eyes, but played in a very QB friendly offense. A good combine performance can help him out.
The Patriots have not done well at taking WR’s in round 1 (N’Keal Harry), but they need to get someone for Mac to throw to consistently.
Per Ryan Roberts, London will need to clear medicals at the combine or his pro day (broken ankle) before his stock can be truly assessed, clean medicals can raise his stock quite a bit. What could hold him back is a bad 40 time despite being the best contested catch WR in the draft. The perfect endzone target. Ryan Roberts believes he has a lot of Brandon Marshall to his game.
The Raiders need OL help, but with OT’s off of the board, they’ll have to wait for round 2, over draft, or look to improve at WR or the defense. Losing both starting DT’s to free agency raises that importance.
Often overshadowed by the hulking Jordan Davis, Wyatt was still pretty dominant at Georgia and was able to show off during the Senior Bowl to raise his draft stock. He fires off the ball, has great lateral range and chase down speed. Will be good in pass rush and run stopping, per Dane Brugler
The Cardinals need an outside CB badly. Letting go of Peterson and then having free agent pick up, Malcolm Butler abruptly retire left a massive hole in the secondary with just slot CB Byron Murphy trying to handle the load.
Trent McDuffie is a fantastic athlete who might put up some crazy good numbers at the combine. NFL evaluators already like him more that draft analysts might. He dominates in zone coverage and isn’t afraid to go in and make a tackle. He’s consistent with no glaring weaknesses.
The Cowboys will likely lose starting OG, Connor Williams in free agency, so filling that spot will be a high priority since the Cowboys identity is having a strong OL.
Green will be a day 1 starter inside. He started at 3 different positions on the line for the Aggies in 2021 and still only gave up 1 sack on 700+ snaps. Green is also very explosive off the line, being able to make contact first to get the upper hand on whoever he’s facing.
The Bills can go a few ways in the draft on defense, but having a guy like Dean land in your laps may cause them to go BPA over need of a CB.
Dean is fast and plays like a mad dog. He’s very physical and has a fantastic change of direction and has a very high football IQ, but he will get dominated in coverage by TE’s. Ryan Roberts says Dean is a less physical but more flexible Nick Bolton, while Dane Brugler and Daniel Jeremiah, say that he reminds them of Jonathan Vilma. Matt Miller (oof) says that NFL people he’s talked to believe he’s a mid to late 1st rounder, his short arms and the possibility that he may be under 6’0 are main factors for that.
The Titans play in a division against Jonathan Taylor and James Robinson, so stopping the run will be a high priority for their defense. That priority will start in the trenches.
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.
The Buccaneers don’t really need another edge rusher since they grabbed Tryon in last year’s draft. But Karlaftis would be BPA, and I can’t think of a better spot for a team to swoop in and grab him.
Karlaftis is very powerful, technically refined and has tremendous handwork and a heavy bullrush which enables him to get by blockers but his arm length may be an issue as he doesn’t get a lot of separation when shedding a blocker. Not a huge problem at the college level, could be one at the NFL level. Per Dane Brugler, Karlaftis isn’t loved by the NFL as much as he is by Twitter (arm length). Most draft analysts have him as DE3 and typically top 10, but Dane’s NFL sources say they grade him as a late 1st to early 2nd round.
The Packers don’t draft weapons in the 1st round, but with Rodgers done with Green Bay, they may want to make sure they give Love everything he possibly needs to succeed.
Olave has smooth route running skills, fantastic catch point, amazing hands and good speed to be a perfect #2. On the downside, he’s not going to break many tackles. Has 10 career broken tackles off of 176 receptions.
The Dolphins 32nd ranked offensive line needs help more than anything else. Draft any available lineman and they’ll be able to start.
Converted from TE, he’s only been playing OT for 2 years giving up 1 sack in over 1300 career snaps. Has incredible feet and balance with an explosiveness that lets him shoot off the line. Arm length could be a concern.
The Chiefs really need to find a better WR2 for Mahomes to pair with Hill and Kelce. Hardman just isn’t the answer.
According to Dane Brugler, Williams is the best at stretching the field in the last several years of the draft, he’s both quick and fast. Does a great job of changing speeds on routes to fool the corners. The ACL tear in the Natty is the only reason he’s available at this spot.
The Bengals offensive line is clearly the biggest need after seeing Burrow get sacked a record tying 7 times in the Super Bowl and was pressured on 43% of his dropbacks. Burrow was also sacked 19 times in the post season, which is the most in NFL history.
Zion raised his stock after his impressive performance dominating players during the senior bowl, he also took reps playing center which he had no experience doing prior, leading to him having some extra position flexibility if he was needed to move over to center for a game or 2. Has only given up 3 sacks in his career (1 in 2021) on 2,000+ snaps.
The Lions can go several different ways here. QB, WR, LB, S. It’s all up for grabs. St Brown was a steal but they really need to find someone to pair up with him and focus on a QB in the 2023 draft. Goff’s contract will be cut/traceable by that time.
Jahan is a great route runner with great body control, elusiveness and has LONG arms to go with amazing hands. Speed may be his only knock, it’s not ideal for a guy of his size.