Super Bowl Monday is just a fancy way to say Mock Draft Monday. There are plenty of different ways to attack a mock and we tried to get inside the minds of all 32 GMs and be predicitve using teams’ recent draft history, needs, and (likely) urges.
Our first installment includes some high profile trades and one top QB dropping way down the board.
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1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
A no-brainer. The Jaguars are going to sprint this card in and start the Urban Meyer Era with the best QB prospect of the last decade.
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Here is where it gets interesting. With a franchise-altering decision to make, the Jets opt for Wilson. New OC Mike LaFleur has seen his brother’s success with a QB who isn’t afraid to break script every once in a while and Robert Saleh will fall in love with Wilson’s competitive fire.
3. Houston Texans (from MIA): QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Projected Trade: Dolphins send 3, 18, 36, 50, and their 2022 1st to the Texans for Deshaun Watson
Our first big shake-up, the Texans appease Watson by sending him to Miami for a bounty of draft capital and replace him with Fields. Tall, strong, cerebral, and fast, Fields was built in a lab to play quarterback. Apart from the physical tools, Fields was the most accurate QB in the country last season per PFF with a 72.4% accurate-pass rate and is a tremendous building block for a franchise starting over.
4. Atlanta Falcons: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Standing pat, the Falcons intend to stick with Matt Ryan for the time being and compete with their current roster. Surtain is a technician who has NFL size and is the most pro-ready CB in this class.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Peneii Sewell, Oregon
How often have you seen a tanking team’s fans bring signs to games pleading with their front office to draft a certain player…and that player not be a QB?
Sewell is one of the most physically gifted tackle prospects of all time and will fortify Joe Burrow’s blind-side for years to come. A need filled in a beautiful way.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has struggled with receiver evaluation in recent seasons opting for JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor over DK Metcalf and Justin Jefferson. Yikes. In a bit of an over-correction, he takes Smith due to his high level of production over Chase and Waddle’s physical traits.
7. Detroit Lions: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Here is a definite knee-cap-biter for new HC Dan Campbell. Parsons is an otherworldly athlete with the physical ability to play in space, rush the passer, and cover at an elite level from the linebacker position. Think of him like a souped-up Anthony Barr, a little better across the board.
8. Carolina Panthers: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Matt Rhule and Joe Brady get a gift here. While their QB situation is fluid, they get to bring in the best WR of the class. Chase gives this offense a new element as a true X and would make a fantastic partner for DJ Moore.
9. Denver Broncos: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
With no obvious option to improve upon the quarterback position, the Broncos opt for the best player on the board. Farley is a freak of nature who projects as a true #1 CB and represents the cherry on top of this resurgent defense.
10. Dallas Cowboys: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Back to back Hokies off the board. The Cowboys O-line’s fall from grace last season was difficult to watch and hard to believe. They bring in Darrisaw to help them get back to a place of dominance. I can see them falling in love with his size and powerful hands, much like Tyron Smith.
11. New York Giants: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
The Giants have been dying for a true pass rush since the days of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Paye can help them fix that problem. He is very raw, but offers a sensational physical foundation for a game-breaking edge. Dave Gettleman will not be able to help himself.
12. San Francisco 49ers: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
It is no secret that the 49ers are ready to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and Jones represents their most logical course of action to do so. Kyle Shanahan will love his short-area accuracy and willingness to play on script, not to mention the massive arm.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Whew, wouldn’t this be something. Hunter Henry is gone in free agency and Mike Williams will likely meet the same fate next off-season. Frankly, Pitts in a massive step up from either. He moves differently from most TEs not named Kelce and would be a very fun toy for the ascending Justin Herbert.
14. Minnesota Vikings: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
The Vikings have been working to improve their line for years and still need help. Slater’s floor is very high given his blend of power, athleticism, and versatility. Some teams may be worried about his length going up against NFL edges, he consistently held up in the Big 10 and could very easily transition to guard if need be.
15. New England Patriots: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
The Patriots are desperate for speed. When is the last time this team had a true game-breaker on offense? Randy Moss?? They scoop Waddle here on the recommendation of Bell Belichick’s trusted confidant, Nick Saban, and add a much needed element to their offense.
16. Arizona Cardinals: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
GM Steve Keim comes from the old-school of NFL executives and wants to give his team an edge in the trenches. Desperately needing an upgrade there, they target the clear-cut #1 DT Barmore. He blends power and agility in a way that should be effective at the next level. It doesn’t hurt that he managed to rag-doll the offensive lines of both Notre Dame and Ohio State.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The type of player Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are sure to fall in love with, Moehrig just does everything right, man. Not elite physically or at any one particular facet of the game, it is like he is everywhere at once and could be the uniting factor in this defense. This may feel a little high for him, but the Raiders’ recent 1st round history shows they will not conform to the universal Big Board.
18. Houston Texans (from MIA): EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Projected Trade: Texans receive 18 as part of the package for Deshaun Watson
Rousseau is a tantalizing prospect: he does not have many reps on tape and is admittedly raw, but has elite length, speed and bend. Starting from square-one on defense, the Texans are in position to swing for the fences and take a guy who has the potential to grow into one of the best pass rushers in the league.
19. Washington Football Team: QB Kyle Trask, Florida
After missing out on the off-season’s QB carousel, the WFT takes matters into their own hands with Trask. OC Scott Turner will love his ability to distribute and his age and experience line up (relatively) well with the team’s desire to build on their 2020 division championship. Lest we forget Trask was getting a bit of first round buzz before Florida’s nightmarish close to the season.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (from CHI): LB Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah, Notre Dame
Projected trade: Bears send 20 to the Eagles for Carson Wentz
This trade was made to seem inevitable over the weekend. As shocking the price may seem after Wentz’s disastrous 2020, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are both fighting for their respective lives. Betting on someone who was a consensus MVP candidate just 3 short seasons ago is not the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
As for the pick, the Eagles turn around and take swiss-army knife out of ND. Owuso-Karamoah is not going to be a bruiser at 215 lbs, but he moves and covers like a safety with the strength to contribute at the line of scrimmage. He will give a defense that needs a spark tons of flexibility.
21. Indianapolis Colts: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
The Colts saw just how fragile their line was when Anthony Castonzo went down with an injury and need to find a permanent replacement given his retirement. Cosmi is physically gifted with premier length, agility, and power. Often inconsistent at Texas, his production finally caught up to his traits this past season, only allowing 8 pressures over more than 300 pass-blocking snaps.
22. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Starving for an impact edge rusher, the Titans go after Ojulari. His floor is very high given his already solid array of pass-rush moves, speed, and high motor. Of all the edges in this class, he is clearly the best equipped to produce from the jump.
23. New York Jets (from SEA): EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Having multiple first round pickers offers the opportunity to take some chances. Oweh checks every box physically and then some, but has never materialized his ability on the field. The potential is to be a dominant Wide-9 edge, one of the key components in new HC Robert Saleh’s scheme, is too great to pass up. Just don’t expect Oweh to be a marquee player right away.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Some picks just write themselves. The Steelers can look at their team this off-season and reason that they are simply a dynamic RB away from jumping to the next level. I can’t definitively say they’re wrong. Harris improved tremendously in 2020 and comes into the league as a complete RB. His attitude and demeanor also fit in well with the Steeler’s culture, something the Yinzers are sure to love.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): DT Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
Judging from his teams in Columbus, Urban Meyer is going to want to bring some tenacity to Jacksonville. Nixon is a force on the interior who is more agile than assumed and will add teeth to this defense. It is also important to note that new GM Trent Baalke made a habit of taking defensive players in the 1st round while holding the same position in San Francisco (2011-2016).
26. Atlanta Falcons (from CLE): QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Projected Trade: Browns send 26 to Falcons for 35, 68, and their 2022 2nd
The slide ends here as the Falcons move back into the first round to grab Lance. Similar to the Ravens move for Lamar Jackson, the Falcons are able to secure their QB of the future without mortgaging too much draft capital while their current core still has the opportunity to compete. No one can dispute Lance’s physical ability, but many will be scared off by his lone year of tape against FCS competition. A worthwhile risk to take for a new Coach-GM regime who have a long leash from ownership, though.
As for the Browns, they have made a habit of trading down in recent drafts and are thrilled to snag a few extra picks.
27. Baltimore Ravens: OG Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
The Ravens certainly felt the loss of Marshall Yanda last season as their rushing efficiency cratered. Davis is a good ol’ fashioned mauler and may be the best pure guard in this class. He is ready to step in and help this offense get back to their previous levels of dominance on the ground.
28. New Orleans Saints: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Nothing is more Saints than over-drafting an invaluable position of need in the first round. They have a potential out from DeMario Davis’ contract and will likely only consider bringing him back after a substantial pay cut given their financial issues.
The uber-productive Collins would help to ease that burden while adding a new dimension to this defense. He set PFF’s all-time record for coverage grade by a linebacker (93.7) and was a menace rushing the passer. He should transition nicely to an off-ball role in New Orleans.
29. Green Bay Packers: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Watching the NFC Championship game, one could not help but think that if the Packers had a few more WRs they would have had a much better chance to win that game. Bateman is the most pro-ready of the WRs still on the board and mixes silky smooth route running with underrated athletic ability. He has the ability to move all over this offense and take some of the burden off Davante Adams.
30. Buffalo Bills: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
The Bills will not soon forget the thorough beating they took at the hands of the Chiefs and you can bet this pick will be made with them in mind. Horn plays the game with an edge and possesses all the tools to develop into a dominant press man corner. Tre White needs a partner suitable of matching his own dominance and Horn represents a worthy choice.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
It was clear while watching the Super Bowl that there is a serious drop-off among the Chiefs’ weapons after Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Tired of watching Sammy Watkins or Mecole Hardman masquerade as legitimate options, the Chiefs nab the dynamic Moore. His freshman tape is top 10 worthy, but questions about his durability have tanked his value. This is a risk worth taking and my head is spinning thinking about the ways Andy Reid could utilize Moore’s talents.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
After hitting a home run drafting for needs last year with Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield Jr, the Bucaneers go for it all again with Etienne. Sure, Leonard Fournette morphed into ‘Playoff Lenny’ before our eyes, but he is still just OK as a receiver and honestly may have priced himself out of Tampa Bay. Etienne is a dynamic talent who could take this offense to an even higher level.