Mock us if you will, but now that we’re half way through the NFL season, and only have about a month left of college football (bowl season withstanding), we’re gonna give it the ole’ college try with our first attempt at projecting what this spring’s draft may look like.
Scheduled to take place in beautiful Las Vegas between April 23-25 (come on out and experience Vegas, if you haven’t been April is a fabulous time to come out, take part in the draft festivities and get in a round or 3 of golf). Right now the Dolphins are scheduled to dominate the first round, while what will be the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS will also have multiple first rounders, as will the Jaguars.
1. Chase Young – Miami Dolphins – Defensive End – Ohio State
The generational pass rusher is simply the best player available. The 76ers showed us the tank process is not a 1 year gig. The fish will build up the talent level this spring, and make a run at Trevor Lawrence in 2021.
2. Tua Tagovailoa – Cincinnati Bengals – Quarterback – Alabama
The new face of the franchise will immediately step in and be the best quarterback in the Queen City since Boomer was the man.
3. Andrew Thomas – Washington Redskins – Offensive Tackle – Georgia
With assumed to be franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins in place, you’ve gotta make sure he is protected. Trent Williams reported to the team this week, but I wouldn’t hold out hope of seeing him in our nation’s capital in 2020.
4. Grant Delpit – Atlanta Falcons – Safety – LSU
The Falcons seemingly shouldn’t be this bad. On paper anyways. They fortified the line with 2 first rounders last year. They’ve got skill position talent. So lets try and take the best defender available. Its close between Delpit and Simmons, but the Falcons have long sought a stud safety.
5. Jerry Jeudy – New York Jets – Wide Receiver – Alabama
The Jets spent big in free agency last year. But they still haven’t paired their young quarterback with a true number one receiver. Jeudy is just that. This kid is a stud.
6. Isaiah Simmons – New York Giants – Linebacker – Clemson
Is Simmons a safety? An edge player? An inside backer? Who cares, the kid is a playmaker. The Giants would love for Jeudy to fall into their laps. But they’ll recover to select Simmons a year after using two first rounders on the 1st and 3rd levels of their defense.
7. Justin Herbert – Denver Broncos – Quarterback – Oregon
All reports and evidence suggest that the Broncos have a bit of second round buyers remorse with their selection of Drew Lock last season. John Elway will take another stab at finding a new franchise QB.
8. Jeff Okudah – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cornerback – Ohio State
Vernon Hargraves hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. Joe Burrow will be a popular thought here, but ultimately I suspect the Bucs take the best player available, which would be the buckeye corner.
9. Trey Adams – Cleveland Browns – Offensive Tackle – Washington
The Browns need a left tackle in the worst way. They built a really nice looking house on a shitty foundation. With a ton of cap room they’ll likely toss big bucks at every pretty offensive tackle that looks their way, but even if they nab one, its not like Chris Hubbard has set the world on fire on the right side.
10. Joe Burrow – Los Angeles Chargers – Quarterback – LSU
The former Buckeye turned Tiger will be selected to serve as apprentice to Philip Rivers. The young ball slinger has shown terrific accuracy this season and will be able to learn from one of the best.
11. Terrell Lewis – Las Vegas Raiders – Linebacker – Alabama
The linebacking core of the Raiders has some room for improvement. A replacement for Derek Carr, or a new toy for Carr will be a consideration here. But ultimately Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden decide the defense needs fortifying.
12. Derrick Brown – Miami Dolphins- Defensive Tackle – Auburn
Brian Flores will be thrilled to be able to pair Brown with last year’s first rounder Christian Wilkins, along with edge rusher Chase Young. This would be the foundation for an outstanding front line.
13. CJ Henderson – Las Vegas Raiders – Cornerback – Florida
Trayvon Mullen has shown some improvement as the season has gone along, but the Raiders also jettisoned former first rounder Gareon Conley just before the trade deadline. Henderson is the second best corner in the draft.
14. Raekwon Davis – Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Tackle – Alabama
Last off season there was a re-vamping of the offense. Its time to bolster the other side of the ball. Davis has been on the NFL radar for a while now and will be able to step in and make an immediate impact.
15. Curtis Weaver – Tennessee Titans – Defensive End – Boise State
What do you get the team that needs most everything? How about a pass rusher? The Boise State end could spend a year learning his craft from Cameron Wake before slotting in opposite Harold Landry.
16. Trevon Diggs – Jacksonville Jaguars – Cornerback – Alabama
The trade of Jalen Ramsey netted some nice draft capital, but also left a gapping hole on one side of the defensive backfield. Diggs isn’t Ramsey, but he’s experienced and talented.
17. CeeDee Lamb – Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma
The Eagles receivers have looked anemic far too often this year. They seemed to have counted too much on the aging Desean Jackson and the enigmatic Nelson Algholar. An injection of youth and talent here is just what Carson Wentz needs.
18. AJ Espenesa – Detroit Lions – Linebacker – Iowa
It says linebacker, but in reality it should just say pass rusher. He can line up at end, or backer, either way his goal is to end up on top of the quarterback. With Ziggy Ansah gone, and Flowers more of an edge setter end, the Lions could use the pressure Espenesa can generate.
19. Xavier McKinney – Carolina Panthers – Safety – Alabama
The Panthers have all sorts of draft and free agency capital invested in their front seven, but a first round safety may just be the cherry on top this defense needs. A quarterback like Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm has to be a consideration as well, but I expect they’ll give Kyle Allen a chance with the success he’s had this season.
20. Jared Pickney – Jacksonville Jaguars – Tight End – Vanderbilt
The big target could become a quick favorite of Nick Foles. The Jags aren’t THAT far away, and adding Pickney could help. They’ve been snake bitten at wide receiver, and that is certainly an option here, but this is not a deep draft for tight ends, so if you can get one now, do it.
21. Tee Higgins – Miami Dolphins – Wide Receiver – Clemson
Preston Williams has been a nice story, but Tee Higgins would be the number one option the moment he is drafted. Bonus feature, if the Dolphins don’t select Tua, then they’re for sure in play for Higgins’ current teammate Trevor Lawrence.
22. Henry Ruggs III – Buffalo Bills – Wide Receiver – Alabama
The defense is pretty well set up, but the offense could use some playmakers. Free agency saw John Brown and Cole Beasley arrive last spring. But adding a homegrown talent for Josh Allen to grow with is essential. Zay Jones didn’t work out, maybe Ruggs can be that guy.
23. Julian Okwara – Minnesota Vikings – Linebacker – Notre Dame
The Vikings were lucky to get Anthony Barr back last offseason. But the shelf life of an NFL linebacker is not very long. The talented Irish backer would slot in well with Mike Zimmer’s defense.
24. Javon Kinlaw – Seattle Seahawks – Defensive Tackle – South Carolina
Adding some receiver talent is certainly a possibility, but Seattle loves to add talent to their front 7. The Game Cock defensive tackle would contribute to Pete Carroll’s tackle rotation immediately.
25. Paulson Adebo – Dallas Cowboys – Cornerback – Stanford
With Amari Cooper continually showing his worth, and Dak Prescott’s big contract seemingly a forgone conclusion (or at least his impending franchise tag), it feels more and more like Byron Jones will be a casualty to the all mighty salary cap. Adding a cost controlled option at cornerback seems like a smart idea here.
26. Yetur Gross-Matos – Kansas City Chiefs – Defensive End – Penn State
If you’re the Chiefs you are looking to add the best defensive players you can, regardless of position. The Nittany Lion would be a step up a year after seeing Justin Houston and Dee Ford leave.
27. Marvin Wilson – Baltimore Ravens – Defensive Tackle – FSU
The interior of the Ravens’ defensive line is their greatest area of opportunity for improvement. A chance to add a solid space eating defensive tackle would go a long way towards improving their run defense.
28. Kristian Fulton – Indianapolis Colts – Cornerback – LSU
When in doubt, take a SEC defender. This mock draft will have 17 SEC players selected. Rock Ya-Sin has shown some flashes as a rookie, but current starters Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore aren’t exactly household names. Fulton could be a starter in Indy for the next decade.
29. Zach Baun – Green Bay Packers – Linebacker – Wisconsin
Packer fans, as always, will clamor for the Packers to add some weapons for Aaron Rodgers, but the smart play is to continue to add to the improving defense. Adding Baun, along with last year’s first rounder Rashan Gary and the two free agent prizes (Za’Darius and Preston Smith) could make the defense the strength of this team.
30. Jacob Eason – New Orleans Saints – Quarterback – Washington
The former Georgia Bulldog transferred to Washington when Jake Fromm took the job. A couple of years later he could edge out Fromm to be the fourth quarterback selected in the draft. I expect Teddy Bridgewater to capitalize on his impressive run as Drew Brees’ fill in, leaving the Saints in need of an heir to the throne.
31. Alex Leatherwood – San Francisco 49ers – Offensive Tackle – Alabama
The 49ers have managed, very well, to have continued success in spite of losing both of their starting tackles. Joe Staley is approaching the end of the line. If they can get one more year out of him, and let Leatherwood have a year of apprenticeship as a swing tackle, then they could pair Leatherwood and McGlinchey together for the next 10-12 years.
32. Albert Okwuegbunam – New England Patriots – Tight End – Missouri
I think Ryan Izzo will have a fine NFL career, as a third tight end. The last time the Patriots used a first on a tight end, it was Benjamin Watson, an SEC tight end. Sixteen years later Belichick could select a tight end here to replace Watson.
- Written by Jason Sullivan
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