A too early mock draft

I couldn’t resist getting in my own early mock draft. Sure, the order’s going to change over the next few days/weeks but it’s just good fun to start looking forward to draft season, especially if your teams regular season is already over!

Just to note, this particular draft isn’t what I think will actually happen, this is what I would do if I were a GM. Also note, I’m not a GM. Nor am I professional scout so take from this what you will! Draft order is taken from Tankthon and is correct as of time of writing.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

This is possibly the most locked in pick since Andrew Luck entered the draft. Lawrence is as good a prospect as there’s ever been and I can’t wait to see what he can do at the next level.

2. New York Jets: Penei Sewell, Tackle, Oregon

The first real debate starts here with whether the Jets will move on from Darnold and pick a QB or give him another chance with a new head coach and two good young tackles should they pair Sewell with last years first round pick, Mekhi Becton.

3. Miami Dolphins (from the Texans): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Could be the first trade position for another QB needy team so should the Dolphins stay here, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them trade down on draft night. If they stay here, I have them picking up one of the best receivers in the draft setting single season SEC receiving yards and touchdown receptions in 2019.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

If they stick with Matt Ryan at QB (and I think they should) then they need to spend a lot on their defence which needs serious attention through the off season. In Parsons they get a linebacker that could lead a defensive unit for years to come.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

They’ll be gutted if the Jets do stick with Darnold and miss out on Sewell as offensive line is a desperate need to keep Burrow upright. Slater is becoming a late riser in this years class but shows great physical traits and the potential to match up to NFL level pass rushers.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Could go in several directions as there’s a lot of needs on the Eagles team but WR is a desperate one. Smith is another Alabama receiver that shows elite skills and could make an immediate impact.

7. Detroit Lions: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Fields will go earlier if not with the Jets then by a team trading up for him but in this scenario he comes in and sits behind Stafford for a year before taking over in 2021.

8. New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The second Alabama wide reciever off the board and to a team that is receiver needy. Giants fans will enjoy watching his blazing speed stretch the field and create space for receptions to tight end Engram and Saquon Barkley out of the backfield.

9. Carolina Panthers: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The second half of the season hasn’t been as kind to Bridgewater as the first and the Panthers decide to build around a big arm quarterback that can make the most of field stretching receivers.

10. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

The Broncos get the best cornerback in the class, which is good when you’re going up against pass heavy offences led by Mahomes and Justin Herbert twice a year.

11. Dallas Cowboys: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

The offense is stacked. but the defence needs work. The Cowboys would be disappointed to see Surtain II go previously but are compensated with a raw pass rusher with a good upside.

12. LA Chargers: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan

With Melvin Ingram likely heading to free agency, the Chargers bring in a young exciting replacement to compliment Joey Bosa.

13. Minnesota Vikings: Joseph Ossai, Edge, Texas

A run on edge rushers but a dire need for the Vikings who’s defensive unit has been letting the team down in 2020.

14. New England Patriots: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The obvious need amongst many in New England. Lance has played just one game in 2020 due to COVID but showed great production in 2019. Some of his traits need work but he does have good potential to be a mobile passer reminiscent of Deshaun Watson.

15. San Francisco 49ers: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Gutted to see Lance go in the pick before, if Jimmy G isn’t the man for Lynch and Shanahan they could trade up to get their man. But corner is also a huge need with Richard Sherman likely to move on in 2021. Farley has similar size to Sherman as well as a similar physical nature in how he plays the game.

16. Las Vegas Raiders: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

A rangy linebacker who matches up well against tight ends in the pass game. The Raiders need help on defense at every level and Owusu-Koramoah can help both in coverage and getting to the quarterback.

17. Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Could go offensive line but there’s needs elsewhere. Could do with extra help rushing opposing quarterbacks but the right player isn’t there so they get help in the backfield where Patrick Peterson needs a successor.

18. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, Tackle, Texas

With Anthony Castonzo looking like retiring at the end of 2020 the Colts need a replacement more than anything else. Cosmi is a lean athletic blocker who can produce at each level.

19. Washington Football Team: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

With Haskins gone and Alex Smith nearing retirement, WFT bring in a long term replacement who’s performed at the highest of college levels. Jones’ deep ball potential will bring out the best of Terry McLaurin.

20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

It’s looking increasingly likely that the Bears will stick with Trubisky at quarterback so what more could he want then a receiver that can play both in the slot and outside. Should the Bears keep Robinson, it could be quite a pair.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (from the Rams): Christian Darrisaw, Tackle, Virgina Tech

They have their quarterback for the future, now they should do what the Bengals didn’t do in 2020 – protect him! Darrisaw is rising up draft boards because of his length and athleticism.

22. Cleveland Browns: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

Another potential star cornerback out of Ohio State, Wade probably didn’t live up to his potential in 2020 but would be a quality asset in a backfield that has struggled to maintain fitness.

23. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Dolphins defense is already good so the Dolphins continue to build on offense with a bruising running back to relieve pressure on Tua going forward.

24. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

‘But the Ravens have Mark Andrews at tight end’ I hear you say, and it’s true. But don’t think of Pitts as a tight end, think of him as a big wide receiver and what does a quarterback with accuracy issues need most – big wide receivers.

25. Tennessee Titans: Jaelen Phillips, Edge, Miami

If the Titans could get to the quarterback this year they would be a much more complete team. Phillips could give them that opportunity next year with great speed off the line of scrimmage though his injury history could cause some concern.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jalen Mayfield, Tackle, Michigan

Continue to protect the brilliant pensioner playing quarterback with another behemoth at the tackle position.

27. New York Jets (from the Seahawks): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

“Baby Gronk” comes off the board and gives another piece for Sam Darnold to target. His nickname is well earned and will be a mismatch for linebackers and safeties alike.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The running game in Pittsburgh continues to hold back the Steelers. Etienne gives the unit big play ability along with a legit pass option out of the backfield for Big Ben.

29. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Yes, five quarterbacks in the first round. Probably won’t happen if some of the needs get filled by a veteran but it could be a possibility. In Trask, the Saints get an accurate pocket passer who could be a like for like replacement of Brees. His mobility is a problem but trust in Sean Payton’s ability to scheme around that.

30. Buffalo Bills: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State

The Bills have few needs after a few offseasons building a good, young roster. The interior of the offensive line is one area where there’s been a lot of rotation. Davis could slot in straight away at right guard and be a pro-bowler for years to come.

31. Green Bay Packers: Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU

Aaron Rodgers finally gets more help at receiver and Devantae Adams gets a running mate. Marshall has good size and is fluid in his routes with precision and speed. The Packers could upgrade on the defence but this is more fun.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC

$500m invested in your quarterback so it’s a wise move to continue to protect the guy! Vera-Tucker is a plug and play guard that does an effective job in the pass and run game.

Main image credit: “NFL Draft from the floor” by ryan lejbak is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

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