The NFL season has come to an end…which can only mean one thing, ladies and gentlemen. It’s Mock Draft Season!!!! Let’s not forget though how awesome of a Super Bowl we were graced with this past week. Congrats to you Rams for knocking off Burrow and the Bengals!
This is honestly one of the best times of the NFL offseason for us here at TFTB, and I can think of nothing more exciting than starting off with my first Mock Draft of the year. You guys know how I do this at this point. I’ll give you the picks and then my reasonings of why they were picked. LET’S GOOO!!!!!!!
|1.) Jacksonville Jaguars||Evan Neal (OT/Alabama)|
|2.) Detroit Lions||Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE/Michigan)|
|3.) Houston Texans||Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE/Oregon)|
|4.) New York Jets||Kyle Hamilton (S/Notre Dame)|
|5.) New York Giants||Ikem Ekwonu (OT/NC State)|
|6.) Carolina Panthers||Charles Cross (OT/Mississippi State)|
|7.) New York Giants||Derek Stingley Jr. (CB/LSU)|
|8.) Atlanta Falcons||Ahmad Gardner (CB/Cincinnati)|
|9.) Denver Broncos||David Ojabo (EDGE/Michigan)|
|10.) New York Jets||Drake London (WR/USC)|
|11.) Washington Commanders||Malik Willis (QB/Liberty)|
|12.) Minnesota Vikings||Trent McDuffie (CB/Washington)|
|13.) Cleveland Browns||Garrett Wilson (WR/Ohio State)|
|14.) Baltimore Ravens||Jordan Davis (DT/Georgia)|
|15.) Philadelphia Eagles||Devin Lloyd (LB/Utah)|
|16.) Philadelphia Eagles||Tyler Linderbaum (C/Iowa)|
|17.) Los Angeles Chargers||Trevor Penning (OT/UNI)|
|18.) New Orleans Saints||Matt Corral (QB/Ole Miss)|
|19.) Philadelphia Eagles||Andrew Booth (CB/Clemson)|
|20.) Pittsburgh Steelers||Kenny Pickett (QB/Pitt)|
|21.) New England Patriots||George Karlaftis (EDGE/Purdue)|
|22.) Las Vegas Raiders||Jameson Williams (WR/Alabama)|
|23.) Arizona Cardinals||Treylon Burks (WR/Arkansas)|
|24.) Dallas Cowboys||Nakobe Dean (LB/Georgia)|
|25.) Buffalo Bills||Kenyon Green (G/Texas A&M)|
|26.) Tennessee Titans||Jermaine Johnson (EDGE/Florida State)|
|27.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Travon Walker (EDGE/Georgia)|
|28.) Green Bay Packers||DeMarvin Leal (DT/Texas A&M)|
|29.) Miami Dolphins||Zion Johnson (G/Boston College)|
|30.) Kansas City Chiefs||Roger McCreary (CB/Auburn)|
|31.) Cincinnati Bengals||Bernhard Raimann (OT/Central Michigan)|
|32.) Detroit Lions||Sam Howell (QB/UNC)|
Who Drafted Who and Why?
1.) Jacksonville – Why Evan Neal?
The first pick of the draft will be an offensive tackle and not an edge. With the number of great edge players in this draft, the Jaguars will bounce on the ability to take the best offensive tackle in this draft in Evan Neal to further their development with one Trevor Lawrence.
2.) Detroit – Why Aidan Hutchinson?
This just seems too good to be true right? Wrong. The blue-collar edge rusher from Michigan will head not too far and walk into the Detroit Lions system instantly making their defense ten times better. Plus, the guy seems just like a Dan Campbell guy right?
3.) Houston – Why Kayvon Thibodeaux?
KT ends up sliding down from the prospected number one pick to number three which isn’t a huge loss, but it proves to be Houston’s gain here as they have desperately been looking for that edge rusher since Clowney left. They will finally get it in this great Oregon prospect.
4.) New York (J) – Why Kyle Hamilton?
The Jets have a couple of ways they can go here. Ultimately, I have them going with possibly the best player in the entire draft; Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. The offensive line does need to be addressed but grabbing the best player talent-wise to help this secondary out is the best thing the Jets can do for their team.
5.) New York (G) – Why Ikem Ekwonu?
The Giants capitalize on the Jets pick by picking up what some consider the best tackle in the draft; NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. Ike instantly upgrades this leaky offensive line that had been. Daniel Jones will be very thankful that this can be the first step in the process of protecting him.
6.) Carolina – Why Charles Cross?
The Panthers are now on pins and needles. What do they do? Do they go, quarterback? Offensive Line? Defense? No matter who they selected as a quarterback, they wouldn’t be able to survive under that terrible offensive line. Getting the best offensive lineman is a must so they grab the great pass protector from Mississippi State; Charles Cross.
7.) New York (G) – Why Derek Stingley Jr?
For their second pick, the Giants need to address the defense. Edge or linebacker help could be good, but with a guy like Derek Stingley sitting there for the taking, you just can’t pass him up. Add to the fact that James Bradberry could be leaving the Giants and this just makes so much sense.
8.) Atlanta – Why Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner?
Atlanta needs a lot. They could use a wideout, edge help, safety help, but I also have them going corner in this situation. Sauce Gardner in Atlanta just feels right to be the best secondary in their division. Put him alongside AJ Terrell, and it becomes a match made in heaven.
9.) Denver – Why David Ojabo?
Denver could use a quarterback, but honestly, there could be a big name heading there so I am not too concerned. What Denver needs to do is address their edge help. The loss of Von Miller needs to be replaced. With Ojabo, this instantly can be fixed as he is paired with Bradley Chubb.
10.) New York (J) – Why Drake London?
The Jets are up for their second pick, and while offensive line and defense are still issues, it would be a sin to ignore the fact that Zach Wilson needs weapons. Both Keelan Cole and Jamison Crowder are free agents so grabbing a big-bodied receiver like USC’s Drake London instantly makes Zach Wilson a much better quarterback.
11.) Washington – Why Malik Willis?
The Washington Commanders have a new name so now they need a new quarterback. Taylor Heinicke was a great story, but he can’t lead this team to where they want to be. The Liberty quarterback Malik Willis has become the biggest discussion after the Senior Bowl so grabbing him to lead this new team is a great move for Washington and Ron Rivera. He might not be the most startable quarterback right now, but he is the best athlete out of all the prospects.
12.) Minnesota – Why Trent McDuffie?
Bad corners and Minnesota just seem to go hand in hand. However, Mike Zimmer is gone, and it is finally time to lock down the corner position for the Vikings. Enter Trent McDuffie. I am a little higher on the Washington prospect than most, but I feel like he’s the right guy for the right team that needs him even it is a little bit earlier than expected.
13.) Cleveland – Why Garrett Wilson?
Cleveland needs a lot, but in order to make Baker Mayfield their quarterback, they need to get him some weapons. With Odell gone and Jarvis Landry possibly being out the door as well, this offense is shaping up to be a run offense with nothing else. Garrett Wilson is already in Ohio being from Ohio State so keeping him in the state of Ohio should be a win-win for both the Browns and Baker Mayfield.
14.) Baltimore – Why Jordan Davis?
Baltimore goes with the pure run defender Jordan Davis from Georgia. Their defense fell short throughout the season with injury issues so grabbing this massive man can lock down the run defense in the AFC North from the likes of Nick Chubb, Najee Harris and Joe Mixon.
15.) Philadelphia – Why Devin Llyod?
With the first of their three picks, the Eagles will finally select a linebacker and a good one at that in Utah’s Devin Lloyd. His freak athleticism and how perfect the board fell make this pick for the Eagles a great one given how they haven’t picked the position in such a long time.
16.) Philadelphia – Why Tyler Linderbaum?
With the second of their picks, the Eagles go and address the offensive line. The perfect selection falls into their lap again with Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Adding him instantly takes away the worry of not being able to replace the aging Jason Kelce currently at center. He’s a massive man that will help out the rushing attack and Jalen Hurt’s ability to play football.
17.) Los Angeles (C) – Why Trevor Penning?
At first I was going to go Jordan Davis, but with him already getting taken by the Ravens I move on to the next important need for the Chargers and that is the offensive line. Rashawn Slater was a great fit in last year’s draft so adding the mammoth of a man known as Trevor Penning will finally solidify the offensive line to protect Justin Herbert.
18.) New Orleans – Why Matt Corral?
The Saints are a complete mess. They are over the cap, Sean Payton retired, Jameis Winston could be out the door, and Michael Thomas might not be there. What Dennis Allen needs to do right now is find a quarterback who can lead this broken team. Matt Corral is that man. With his injury, he was able to slide down the draft board, and New Orleans will capitalize on it by drafting him.
19.) Philadelphia – Why Andrew Booth?
Philly comes in with their last pick, and they need secondary help so Darius Slay doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. So they have to take the best corner on the board, and that would be Clemson’s Andrew Booth. His body and speed are just what the Eagles need to take the pressure off Darius Slay and the rest of the secondary.
20.) Pittsburgh – Why Kenny Pickett?
Seems too good to be true right? The Pittsburgh quarterback falls into the lap of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So of course, the Steelers slide in and grab him. He is an instant starter over the likes of Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins. He has the arm talent, field presence, and rushing ability to make the Steelers great at the quarterback position yet again in the AFC North.
21.) New England – Why George Karlaftis?
Karlaftis has slid down the draft board long enough as New England decides to pick him up. While it may not be the neediest position for the Patriots, he certainly is the best talent on the board so they sweep him. The Purdue edge rusher will definitely add a lot of pressure to quarterbacks in the AFC East.
22.) Las Vegas – Why Jameson Williams?
Vegas experienced a lot of hardships last year, but they can at least right one wrong in this situation with the replacement of Henry Ruggs. Yes, I know Jameson Williams is a risk because of the injury, but hearing his recovery is going well and on time makes me believe that they should replace a speedster with another speedster. Williams is that guy.
23.) Arizona – Why Treylon Burks?
Arizona is facing some tough issues right now. Whether Kyler Murray comes back or not, they need to add some wide receiver help to their arsenal. A.J. Green and Christian Kirk are both free agents which leaves Arizona with DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. That isn’t good enough. Treylon Burks immediately fixes this mess with his unusual playstyle. It almost kind of the same play as Deebo Samuel which should help the Cardinals out a lot.
24.) Dallas – Why Nakobe Dean?
Dallas goes ahead and selects Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean. I thought about other positions here, but with the injuries to Leighton Vander Esch, it almost makes sense. Now, Dallas will have both Micha Parsons and Nakobe Dean. Offensives beware this two-some in the NFC East.
25.) Buffalo – Why Kenyon Green?
Buffalo is in need of two positions; corner and interior offensive linemen. So, I decided to give them a guard that can help defend Josh Allen in the best of ways. Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green normally would have gone a lot higher in this mock draft, but with the board falling the way it did, Buffalo ends up with arguably the best guard in the class.
26.) Tennessee – Why Jermaine Johnson?
Tennessee could use some help at the edge position, so I decided to give them the rising star from the Senior Bowl; Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson. The kid showed amazing promise and his draft stock rose to him being taken in the first round. Some would argue he should be higher, but I feel like right now he is in the right place to improve Tennessee’s defense.
27.) Tampa Bay – Why Travon Walker?
Tampa Bay is in trouble. They don’t have Brady anymore, and they have a bunch of free agents they will need to get back for this season. I would be smart and try to take the defensive tackle/edge hybrid in Georgia’s Trayvon Walker. This instantly helps you out with Suh not getting any younger.
28.) Green Bay – Why DeMarvin Leal?
Green Bay could be without Rodgers this upcoming year, but if I know them they will be begging and pleading for Rodgers to stay put there. Will that plan to keep him involve drafting a wide receiver? Of course, it won’t because they are the Packers. Instead, look for them to take Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal. His draft stock took a bit of a hit with an arrest, but overall he should still be a first-round talent defensive tackle to draft, and the Packers are his spot as of right now.
29.) Miami – Why Zion Johnson?
Zion Johnson’s draft stock has grown in recent weeks and with a lot of offensive linemen taken, the Dolphins should absolutely capitalize on taking him in the first round. Sure he isn’t a pure offensive tackle, but the guy can play any tackle position including center which he demonstrated by staying after to work on his snaps. Good worker for this team right here.
30.) Kansas City – Why Roger McCreary?
Originally, I would have thought receiver or safety for this unit, but there are still opportunities to get players like that in the second round. If I was the Chiefs, I would pounce on the ability to take Auburn corner; Roger McCreary. Kid reminds me a lot of a young TreDavious White so the Chiefs would be lucky to have him as they have a lot of defensive players to pay, and not a lot of money to spare.
31.) Cincinnati – Why Bernhard Raimann?
Cincinnati will now focus their efforts to build an efficient offensive line to protect Joe Burrow so what happens in the Super Bowl doesn’t happen again. The best tackle on the board can be a number of names, but I have my sights set on Bernhard Raimann. The Central Michigan man would be a great fit for this Bengals offensive line to finally have the ability to protect their franchise quarterback.
32.) Detroit – Why Sam Howell?
Speaking of a franchise quarterback, Jared Goff is not the answer in Detroit. After taking Hutchinson with the 2nd overall pick, the Lions will also get the Rams’ pick here and they will use it to find Goff’s replacement for the future. UNC’s Sam Howell is the perfect answer to the Lions’ problem. Howell is a good passer and rusher and developed while facing some hardships after some of his offensive pieces left for the draft last year. He’s perfect for Detroit.