It’s mock draft SZN folks. I’ve put together a few predictive mocks based on rumors and general consensus already, but it’s way more fun to put yourself in the GM’s shoes and hash out what you would do. PFF’s Steve Palazzolo does a great series of “what I would do” mock drafts, where he describes that this draft is an exercise in what he would personally do in that team’s situation in the very first paragraph, and yet the replies on social media are full of randos yelling at him that “so and so would never fall that far” or “[insert team here] would never take this player.” This is my warning that if you do not read this intro and do the same thing to me, I’m screenshotting this paragraph and making you look like a fool.
Let’s get into the perfect picks I would make.
1. Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
- I believe Kyler Murray is a #1 overall quality QB. He has a skillset that we have literally never seen before (an accurate Michael Vick!!). PFF has a very high grade on Murray. In comparison to the 2018 QBs, they put him just behind Mayfield. I trust their process.
- Yes, it is too early to call Josh Rosen a bust. But we have to play the percentages. Coming back from a historically awful rookie season to be a great QB would make him a statistical outlier. If he couldn’t play behind that o-line last year, how much is going to improve this year without the line improving? And even if Rosen does develop into a capable starter along the lines of a Stafford or Carr, does building around a player like that give you a good shot at a Super Bowl? Not usually. It’s the greats that keep their team in the Super Bowl windows. Take another swing and don’t fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy
- I would consider trading down. But I would need Oakland’s three firsts. Or New York’s two firsts and a pick next year. As GM of those other two teams, we both offered two firsts, but not three. Arizona does not accept.
- You hired a coach with a dynamic offensive mind. Get him the QB that can make that work.
- Rosen still has value. You’re not just completely giving up on him if you can still recoup an early 2nd.
2. New York Jets (From SF) – EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
TRADE: The Jets give up a future 3rd to move up one spot. I know the Jets are looking to recoup picks from the Darnold trade, but in this scenario they don’t have any takers willing to come up to 3. The 49ers value Williams and Bosa equally, so they are willing to trade down one spot to pick up some capital. The Jets BADLY need a star edge rusher and don’t have to pay too much to get him.
3. San Francisco 49ers (From NYJ) – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Bosa would fit nice in this defense, but could you imagine putting Quinnen Williams next to DeForest Buckner? Who would you double team? Arik Armstead will be a draft day trade and Solomon Thomas will be a rotation player.
4. Oakland Raiders – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
We’ve got to get ourselves some pass rushing help off the edge. Allen is no Khalil Mack but he’ll do. Would look to trade down for any QB needy teams, but no takers at this point.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Surprise! For some reason we have all forgotten that Jameis Winston is an untrustworthy weirdo that has never NOT thrown a ton of interceptions. He’s on his last strike and last year of his deal. The Bucs will have to decide if they want to give him a big contract next year or let him walk. Drafting Haskins gives them tons of options. If Winston struggles or fucks up off the field again, you can cut bait and hand over the keys. If he plays great and you want to lock him up, you should be able to trade Haskins for a solid return. Bruce Arians loves his tall big armed QBs, let’s make sure he has one for more than a year. An argument could be made for Devin White or Ed Oliver, but neither would make the impact that Haskins would if he hits, and I think he will.
6. New York Giants – OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
Well that last pick really caught us off guard, as we were locked and loaded to take Haskins. The plan shifts to protecting the 2020 QB we inevitably take. Williams is an absolute stud and should make this offensive line quite formidable.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Fill a major hole at RT and set up our new QB for success
8. Green Bay Packers (From DET) – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
TRADE: Green Bay gives up their third round pick to move from 12 to 8. The Packers have a lot of draft capital and addressed a lot of needs in free agency. They see an impact player like Oliver fall a bit and pounce on him before Buffalo can take him. A lot of teams don’t like to trade between division rivals, but if it’s mutually beneficial, who cares?
9. Buffalo Bills – TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa
We got sniped on their top option Oliver, so we decide to fill a major hole with a complete player.
10. Denver Broncos – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
We’re going to punt on QB until next year’s class. Vic Fangio loves his heat-seeking missiles at the ILB position.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – LB Devin White, LSU
Let’s get a replacement for Vontaze Burfict
12. Detroit Lions (From GB) – EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
We picked up a third round pick and still got the guy we wanted at 8. I value PFF’s opinion, but have a hard time seeing why they’re so down on Sweat. His athleticism and size is otherworldly, he put up solid numbers in the SEC, and he plays a premium position. Even if his grades haven’t been great, the ceiling is astronomical.
13. Houston Texans (From MIA) – OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
TRADE: Houston gives up one of their second round picks to move up to 13 to get ahead of other tackle-needy teams such as Atlanta, Carolina, and Minnesota. We get the best pass blocker in the draft and finally have some protection for Deshaun Watson.
14. Atlanta Falcons – OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The board doesn’t shake out very well for us, but with a huge need on the offensive line, we opt for a versatile guy that can start right away at both guard or tackle. We considered Brian Burns here, but are worried that he’s too similar to Vic Beasley.
15. Washington Redskins – EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
Our most pressing needs are QB and WR, but Burns is too good to pass up here, and no QBs are worth this pick. He fills an immediate need and is the best player on the board.
16. Carolina Panthers – EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
We opt to take the last consensus top edge rusher off the board after all of our offensive tackle prospects were taken right before our eyes.
17. New York Giants – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
We’ve decided to either trade our second round pick for Josh Rosen or take a QB next year, so at this point we’re just going BPA. Murphy is a stud.
18. Minnesota Vikings – OL Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Offensive line talent flew off the board early and didn’t leave us with many options, but Bradbury is a great zone center and will allow us to move Pat Elflein to guard. We may double up on offensive line in the next round.
19. New England Patriots (From TEN) – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
TRADE: New England gives up pick 64 to move from 32 to 19. Here is another player that I diverge from PFF on: Noah Fant. I believe that he has transcendent athleticism and could be a tremendous offensive weapon. We have a big hole at this position and a lot of picks. Let’s use one to move up and lock down a premiere weapon before he gets taken by PIT or SEA.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR DK Metcalf, Mississippi
There is not enough panic in this building around losing Antonio Brown. He will be impossible to replace. But we need someone to take the pressure off of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Metcalf has the size and speed to put the fear of God into defensive backs. Even if he isn’t refined, he’ll open up the offense.
21. Seattle Seahawks – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
With the trade of Frank Clark we need an edge rusher badly, but the board doesn’t fall our way. CB is a big need and we love long, fast guys like Greedy.
22. Baltimore Ravens – WR AJ Brown, Mississippi
We need receivers bad, and I think Brown is the most well-rounded, pro-ready one. He should be able to start right away and play all over the field. Marquise Brown was considered, but was a little too risky for our blood. We need this pick to be the guy right away.
23. Miami Dolphins (From HOU) – DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
Don’t tell anybody, but we’re tanking this year. We picked up an extra 2nd round pick to trade down and still nabbed a top 10 talent in Simmons. He may not be able to play this year due to his ACL tear, but it will fit in perfect with our 2020 window. We’ll pick up some offensive line help for Tua with our second rounders.
24. Oakland Raiders – CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
I’m taking shots on defensive playmakers at premium positions if I’m the Raiders. Baker fits that bill.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
We’ve got Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor on the last year of his deal and an aging DeSean Jackson rounding out our thin receiving corps. Other than that we don’t really have too many needs. Let’s take the uber-explosive Hollywood Brown as a version of Jackson that is 12 years younger, and profit.
26. Indianapolis Colts – DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
Pure value pick here. We’ll take an extremely disruptive, athletic interior player and continue to bolster our lines.
27. Oakland Raiders – QB Will Grier, West Virginia
Hear me out on this one. First, I’m high on Grier because the people I trust are high on Grier. Both PFF and Matt Waldman believe he is a first round talent. Picking him at the bottom of the first makes a lot of sense because if he pans out, you’re going to want to have that fifth year option in your back pocket.
I think he makes sense for this Raiders pick for several reasons. Derek Carr is in the danger zone of being an average but highly paid QB. My team building philosophy says to only pay top 10 QBs big money. We’ll give Carr one more year, if he doesn’t significantly improve, we’re moving on from him and saving cap space. After a year with Grier, Gruden should know if he can be the guy. If Carr does improve, then that’s great. We’ve got ourselves a high end backup. Ask the Eagles about those.
One other reason I like this pick is that in this specific draft, we already addressed two premium positions with premium players and have two first round picks next year. If we hit on Grier, we’ll have the draft capital and cap space to really build out an exceptional roster.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
This is just the perfect mix of value and fit. We need beef up the middle badly. Wilkins is the BPA here.
29. Seattle Seahawks – EDGE Chase Winovich, Michigan
Maybe a bit of a surprise pick here, but I’m not sure why. Winovich was highly productive in college and tested out as an elite athlete at the combine. Other than his advanced age, he has everything you look for in a pass rushing profile. We did good in the Frank Clark trade, but still need to get pass rushing help that can contribute right away. I considered Winovich’s teammate Rashan Gary here, but his lack of production and shoulder injury scared me off.
30. Green Bay Packers – OT Dalton Risner, Kansas State
We have a need at guard and also may be looking to replace oft-injured RT Bryan Bulaga. Risner is a good value here and gives us options along the offensive line. Objective #1 is protecting Aaron Rodgers.
31. Los Angeles Rams – C Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
We had an exodus of interior offensive line talent this offseason and keeping the pocket clean for Jared Goff is the key to our offense. The C and G positions must be addressed early.
32. Tennessee Titans (from NE) – WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
Let’s give Marcus Mariota a big, fast, outside WR opposite Corey Davis.
But what about the running backs? I’m not a guy that thinks RBs should NEVER be taken in the first round, but there’s no one in this class deserving of a pick that high. Oakland, resist the temptation!
What about Daniel Jones and Drew Lock? I don’t think either of them have the profile of a first round QB. I’m fine with them in the second though.
Where are the safeties? About to go off the board fast in the second round. The position is deep which is why I didn’t spend a first on any.