1.     Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
Comments: Jacksonville publicly committed to drafting Trevor Lawrence around March, and this has probably been a lock since they secured the top pick. Heck, you could even argue it’s been set it stone since he took over as the full-time starter at Clemson. With James Robinson and several talented pass-catchers in that offense, I believe Lawrence can have instant success in the NFL. He’s the type of prospect that will elevate the play of those around him, and the likely reason Urban Meyer made the jump to the NFL. This could be the happiest day Jaguars fans have experienced in that team’s history.
2.     New York Jets
Zach Wilson
Comments: Wilson is an exciting player to watch with his gunslinger mentality, and has a fitting swagger for the Big Apple. There will be durability concerns but it’s tough to argue against him in the second slot. He showed a ton of development in 2020, while toning down some of the reckless tendencies that plagued him in his limited action against top competition earlier in his career. Jets fans are sure to be entertained with this guy running the offense.
3.     San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance
North Dakota State
Comments: After all the speculation, the 49ers swing for the fence on Lance. I have to say I agree with this pick. You don’t make the move up to play it safe. Lance has the physical traits to be special, and I trust Kyle Shanahan to groom him into a star. That is, after all, the kind of confidence you should have in your head coach. He’s a big body with a cannon for an arm and scary mobility. His best football is also still ahead of him. The 49ers did not abandon the five-year plan for what is best for 2021. I think this is a franchise-changing decision that they got right.
4.     Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Pitts
Comments: A part of me still thinks Atlanta should have taken a quarterback, but it’s hard to argue with what Pitts brings to the table. He’s a game-changer over the middle of the field. That opens up a lot in an offense, especially now that run-pass options are showing up in the league at an all-time high. Defensive coordinators are not going to enjoy preparing to stop this offense, and whenever they do go after a signal-caller, it’s going to be nice to have Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts in place long-term.
5.     Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase
Comments: I don’t know about this decision. I believe Ja’Marr Chase can rejoin Joe Burrow and pick right up where they left off in that magical 2019 season. Still, Chase can’t protect Burrow’s surgically-repaired knee. That’s why this pick needed to be Sewell. He’s a special blend of size and mobility for the position, and he’s not even old enough to order a drink yet. This guy can protect Burrow for his entire career, and there has to be a comfort in that notion. I’m not saying Chase is the wrong pick. I’m just saying Sewell should have been there guy. Still, Bengals fans are going to enjoy seeing Burrow and Chase get back to their old ways.
6.     Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle
Comments: Tua Tagovailoa will be thrilled about this. Waddle is one of the most competitive and explosive players in this draft. He’s a big play waiting to happen, and I think he has the potential to be the best Alabama receiver to be drafted in the last two years. He’s the only one of the bunch that’s ready to handle the physicality of the game. He can line up anywhere on the field. Thought they might have considered Sewell after he slipped past Cincinnati, but it’s hard to argue when they have young players on that offensive line.
7.     Detroit Lions
Penei Sewell
Comments: I love this selection. He’s my second-best player and a special talent at the position, and Detroit is rebuilding. I’ve always believed you build from the inside out. Left tackle is the second most important position in the NFL, and the Lions have a good one now. This pick can make this entire offense better.
8.     Carolina Panthers
Jaycee Horn
South Carolina
Comments: The Panthers are certainly betting on upside here. Horn is my best corner in this class, but there are some technical things he needs to clean up if he wants to limit the penalties in the league. Still, this guy is an elite athlete with terrific size and the confidence teams want on the perimeter. Though Slater would be the better fit, but I’m not shocked that the Panthers chose to add another young piece to that defense.
9.     Denver Broncos
Patrick Surtain
Comments: This one caught me off guard a bit. It’s not that Denver doesn’t need to get better at corner, and I love the fit of Surtain with Kyle Fuller in Vic Fangio’s defense. He’s the most polished defensive back I’ve graded in some time. I also agree with not taking a quarterback considering Fangio is on the hot seat. You’d hate to draft Justin Fields and then have to change coaches a year later. I thought that is what they would do, but I think they are right for passing on that option.
10.   Philadelphia Eagles
Devonta Smith
Comments: Not often we see two divisional rivals make a first-round swap, but it appears Philadelphia decided to team up with the Cowboys to jump the Giants for Devonta Smith. Still, this is a great pick. We can make all the jokes we want about Philly passing on DK Metcalf and Justin Jefferson for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor. Now, the Eagles have taken the receiver they were supposed to take in the dependable Crimson Tide pass-catcher. Great move to give Jalen Hurts a chance to succeed.
11.   Chicago Bears
Justin Fields
Ohio State
Comments: The Bears are finally getting their hands on a quarterback. After trying all offseason to improve their situation at the position, they moved up to 12 to get their guy and it wasn’t glowingly expensive. Fields has tremendous talent, and he’s still developing which should give Matt Nagy plenty of excitement about what’s to come in the Windy City. Justin Fields never lost a game up north in the Big Ten, and I like this fit.
12.   Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons
Penn State
Comments: Even though the Cowboys needed help on their defense, I don’t like this pick for them. They’ve invested in linebackers with very similar skill sets to Parsons, and while 2020 wasn’t a good year for them, that’s true of everyone on that defense. Yes, Parsons is the best defender in this draft, but those character issues scare me. I thought it would be Slater, who can be one of the better guards in the league very early in his career. He also provides insurance at the left tackle position if Tyron Smith continues to struggle with injuries. This team has always prioritized their offensive line in the draft, and after paying Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott all that money, that made sense. Not saying Parsons can’t be a great pick, but the character concerns are very real.
13.   Los Angeles Chargers
Rashawn Slater
Comments: What an outstanding grab for the Chargers. I did not expect Slater to get out of the top ten, and Los Angeles filled their biggest need with him at 13. More importantly, he’s bust proof in my opinion. If he doesn’t work out at tackle, they can slide him in to guard, where I think he could have been an All-Pro very early in his career. Many thought the Chargers would look to move up if the tackles slid. They stayed put and got a gem.
14.   New York Jets
Alijah Vera-Tucker
Comments: I love the Jets being aggressive to move up and add help for Zach Wilson. Wilson is not a big guy by any means, and Alijah Vera-Tucker is another step in the right direction to protecting him from harm. This new regime in New York is certainly off to a good start. I can’t count the number of times I heard people include “the Jets didn’t help him” when mentioning Sam Darnold. By taking Vera-Tucker here, the Jets are making sure that narrative doesn’t live on for the Jets. He can play next to Mehki Becton at guard or move over to right tackle and bring instant improvement.
15.   New England Patriots
Mac Jones
Comments: Did this just happen? Did the New England Patriots just sit at 15, and still get a quarterback? I am a huge fan of this fit. No, I don’t think Jones is as talented as the first four signal-callers we saw drafted. Still, Jones has a very similar skill set to what has worked for the Patriots for so long. I’m not saying Jones is the next Tom Brady, but the skill sets and intangibles are very similar. Jones is a terrific leader and a quick study, and don’t get me started on the Saban-Belichick connection. The rest of the NFL should be worried about this.
16.   Arizona Cardinals
Zaven Collins
Comments: This one caught me off guard, but not in bad way. This defense wants versatility and Collins brings it. He can play inside or out, rush the passer or drop into coverage. Put him on the field with Isaiah Simmons and it’s going to make the quarterback’s pre-snap process very difficult. The value isn’t blowing me away, but the scheme fit is outstanding.
17.   Las Vegas Raiders
Alex Leatherwood
Comments: Yuck, the Raiders have done it again. I didn’t love either of their first-round selections a year ago, nor did I love the selection of Clelin Ferrell. I just don’t think Leatherwood can play at tackle, and as a guard, I didn’t think he was a day-one talent. I’m not sure how much sure there is much upside left to develop. With Leatherwood, you know what you are getting. Can he be a day-one starter? Sure, but I’m not sure he’s got Pro-Bowl potential. Like a lot of the moves the Raiders have made, Leatherwood is a good player, but the value leaves a lot to be desired at 17 when he’s my 62nd-ranked player.
18.   Miami Dolphins
Jaelan Phillips
Comments: A second-straight head-scratcher for me. I am a big fan of Phillips on the field. He’s arguably the top pass-rusher in this class with room to grow. The problem is keeping him healthy. Anytime you hear about a player retiring from football at the collegiate level, it should raise red flags to what’s going on with his body. Among the list of injuries, the three concussions worry me the most, as it was the third that pushed him to leave the game. What happens when number four shows up?
19.   Washington Football Team
Jamin Davis
Comments: Washington is betting on Davis’ continued develop which will unlock some very desirable upside. He didn’t play much at Kentucky, but he exploded in 2020 when he finally became a starter. He flies around the field with a lengthy, albeit slender build. However, if they can beef him up without slowing him down, Davis can be a terrific player.
20.   New York Giants
Kadarius Toney
Comments: Not my favorite pick for the Giants who are probably not thrilled with the Eagles and Cowboys teaming up to keep DeVonta Smith out of their hands. Toney is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands, but getting it there has been an issue. He’s got some injury concerns, and I was disappointed with how many balls hit the ground off his hands in Mobile. Is he going to beat out Sterling Sheppard in the slot? He is certainly not more polished than Darius Slayton on the outside. Toney will have to develop at some of the more advanced traits of playing the position to get on the field, but if he does, they will benefit from the big-play ability he possesses.
21.   Indianapolis Colts
Kwity Paye
Comments: Once the Dolphins took Phillips, I knew we would start to see the edge players come off the board. The Colts are fortunate to still have this many options available at the position, and may have just drafted the only end on their roster with double-digit sack potential. I will say, he has not played a ton of football and needs to continue to develop in quite a few areas. Still, I love this guys’ life story, and his work ethic is the first thing you usually hear about when his name is mentioned. A bit shocked they passed on Christian Darrisaw.
22.   Tennessee Titans
Caleb Farley
Virginia Tech
Comments: Farley was my top-ranked corner before this latest surgery. The surgery on his back was minor, although also the second in his collegiate career on his back. There’s also a knee surgery on his ledger, and experience concerns after moving from quarterback to corner. Still, if he plays in 2020 and stays healthy, he’s long gone and most-likely the first defender drafted here. This was a home-run swing for Tennessee, and they should be cautiously optimistic about their ability to connect.
23.   Minnesota Vikings
Christian Darrisaw
Virginia Tech
Comments: I didn’t think Minnesota had aa chance to get Darrisaw at 14, let alone 23. This is one of the biggest steals thus far for me. He’s a powerful blocker that will be a day-one starter at tackle and Dalvin Cook is going to love running behind this guy. He can still develop a bit in pass-protection, but I was willing to take that risk when I predicted him to go 13, and I’m certainly not concerned here.
24.   Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris
Comments: The Steelers get their guy in Harris, who can be the focal point of this offense very soon. He’s a physical runner that won’t be fun to tackle on those December nights at Heinz Field. Over the course of Ben Roethlisberger’s career, the Steelers have been best when he had a talented rushing attack to pair with his arm. I thought some teams might target Travis Etienne over Harris based on running style, but the Steelers weren’t one of them.
25.   Jacksonville Jaguars
Travis Etienne
Comments: How about that? The Jaguars decided to keep the Clemson duo together. Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne combined to be a constant terror for three years in college football, with teams pulling their hair out when considering which to focus on more. Yes, James Robinson had an impressive rookie year, but Urban Meyer is a college guy that knows how unstoppable this pair can be.
26.   Cleveland Browns
Greg Newsome
Comments: What a terrific turnout from the Dawg Pound with the draft in their backyard. The rain didn’t deter them, nor did the cold, and the expectations are higher than they have been in a very long time in Cleveland. I mentioned in our final mock draft that the Browns had done a lot of homework on the corners, and that the only thing that might sway them would be an edge-rusher. It appears no defensive end on the board was more tempting than the elite athlete from Northwestern. He needs to get more polished with his footwork, as his success has mainly come from his raw athletic ability. Still, if he gets more technically sound, the interceptions that he lacked in college are going to show up.
27.   Baltimore Ravens
Rashod Bateman
Comments: I really thought the Ravens could wait until 31 to take a wide receiver, and with Teven Jenkins still on the board, I thought that was where they needed to go. Still, Bateman is the kind of reliable route-runner that this offense needs. Although he measured smaller than expected, he’s got a favorable catch-radius that will make Lamar Jackson more accurate. If this offense is going to expand to a more complex passing attack, this is the kind of guy they needed.
28.   New Orleans Saints
Payton Turner
Comments: I’m a big fan of Turner as a prospect but this is much higher than I expected him to go. Furthermore, I’m not exactly sure where they Saints plan to play him. His best fit is not on the edge, but rather as a four or five-tech. New Orleans does implement an interior-shaded end like that, but Cameron Jordan fills that role. Either New Orleans feels Turner can be a better edge player than I do, or we could see some shuffling on that roster that involves a youth-movement.
29.   Green Bay Packers
Eric Stokes
Comments: Stokes has elite speed, but he was far from a first-round talent in my assessment. He’s still got a lot of room to grow with his technical ability, and his lateral quickness is nowhere near as impressive as his straight-line speed. The Packers were likely to draft either a corner or receiver with this pick, and I thought the value was much higher at receiver with a guy like Terrace Marshall or Elijah Moore. If Stokes continues to develop, this can be a very good pick. Still, he’s more of a track star than a football player at this point.
30.   Buffalo Bills
Gregory Rousseau
Comments: A lot was made about Rousseau’s Pro Day being a bit of a disappointment, but of the top defensive ends in this class (Paye, Phillips, Oweh), he had the best 10-yard split of the bunch, despite being the tallest. For an edge rusher, an explosive get-off is one the most essential traits when assigning a grade. The Bills continue to imposing players to their front-seven, and considering how good they’ve been on that side of the ball, it’s working.
31.   Baltimore Ravens
Jayson Oweh
Penn State
Comments: Well, I did predict Baltimore to go with a wide receiver and edge rusher in the first round, but I got them in the wrong order with different players at each spot. Everyone can talk about Oweh failing to record a sack this year, but the pressure was certainly there. He’s a freakish athlete that may benefit from standing up as an outside linebacker, and the Ravens needed a guy that can come off the edge after losing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue. Still a bit shocked that they passed on Jenkins after trading Orlando Brown though.
32.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Tryon
Comments: In my final mock draft, I considered Tryon here, but Oweh was still available. After the Ravens took Oweh at 31, Tampa Bay moved on to the former-Husky who will be a future-replacement for Jason Pierre-Paul across from Shaq Barrett. Like most of the edge rushers in this class, Tryon’s best football is still ahead of him, and he can learn while sitting behind the Bucs’ pass-rushing duo.

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