We’re all relatively certain that the Bears are going to
trade out of this pick, and Bryce Young will be the first player
off of the board. I’m not projecting trades, though, which
leaves Anderson as the top overall pick. We know that edge rushers
play a premium position in the NFL because of their ability to
completely change the game. Anderson is an extremely safe prospect
with elite upside, and he’ll immediately upgrade the Chicago
1.02 Houston Texans - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Everyone has question marks about Youngs’ size, but it
isn’t likely to matter for this pick. He was an elite option
throughout his career at Alabama, and he has all of the skills
to find success in the NFL. The Texans feature another new coaching
staff, although they’re locked in for a few years this time.
They’re going to want to get “their guy” at
the most important position on the field, and Young is the top
quarterback option in this class.
There are rumblings that the Cardinals could move on from Kyler Murray and use this pick to draw their new signal caller. That
feels highly unlikely, especially with a roster that has so many
holes. Instead, they can take the best player available. Carter
may be the best player in the entire draft, and he has the ability
to change the game on the defensive line. He is dealing with some
off-field issues, which is the biggest cause for concern at this
1.04 Indianapolis Colts - CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Colts have had a revolving door at quarterback for quite
some time, but they’ll have the chance to draft their future
here. They may reach on Will Levis, but I believe talent wins
out in this situation. Stroud found tremendous success at Ohio
State, and he’s flashed all of the makings of a solid NFL
quarterback. We know quarterbacks are over-drafted, so he doesn’t
necessarily have to be the best prospect available to be taken
The Seahawks locked up Geno Smith in the offseason, and they
have quite a bit of their offense figured out at this point. Instead,
they can shift their focus to their defense, which they will need
to fix if they want another shot at the playoffs. Wilson isn’t
as safe of a prospect as someone like Anderson, but he comes with
nearly as much upside. He has game-changing ability off of the
edge, and that’s one of the most coveted skills in the NFL.
1.06 Detroit Lions - Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
This is somewhat of an odd pick. The Lions could go in several
different directions, but I genuinely believe they feel comfortable
with Jared Goff as their quarterback at the moment. Instead, I
believe they’re going to draft a cornerback or edge rusher
here. There are several corners that could be the first off the
board with Myles Murphy being the only edge option to consider
here. Gonzalez has the potential to turn into a shadow CB1 in
the NFL, and that’s an elite option to pair across from
1.07 Las Vegas Raiders - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
I’m buying into the hype. Richardson has incredible athleticism
and unbelievable upside because of his arm strength. The Raiders
are in play for Aaron Rodgers, but if that doesn’t pan out,
they have a massive hole at quarterback. Richardson isn’t
a player that is likely to be ready for the NFL immediately, but
he has the potential to be the best quarterback in this draft
if he hits his ceiling making him difficult to pass on with this
1.08 Atlanta Falcons - Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
The Falcons have plenty of holes that they could look to fill
with this pick. They could find someone to put opposite Drake London by taking the top wide receiver on the board. They could
also add to their secondary here. They have been atrocious at
getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, though, and it’s
difficult to win NFL games if that’s the case. Murphy is
a high-level edge rusher that will immediately boost this defensive
line. This is a situation where a team's biggest need could also
be the best player available.
1.09 Carolina Panthers - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The Panthers have tried virtually everything to find their quarterback
of the future, but nothing has worked. They consistently use a
group of mediocre options expecting one to break through, and
it unsurprisingly hasn’t worked. They can use this pick
to take the final quarterback in this tier before there’s
a major drop-off. Levis comes with plenty of question marks after
a down season, but he does have undeniable arm strength. He has
the potential to become a high-end quarterback in the NFL, although
he also comes with quite a bit of risk. That’s something
Carolina’s dealt with plenty in the past and they won’t
shy away from it again.
1.10 Philadelphia Eagles - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
The Eagles are going to need help in their secondary. They struggled
quite a bit defensively in the Super Bowl, and they’re likely
to lose James Bradberry in the offseason. They’ll need to
replace him opposite Darius Slay, and Porter is a high-end talent
at the position. He has the ability to become a shadow option,
although he won’t have to do that early in his career. He
could turn into one of the NFL’s premier options on the
outside learning from Slay early in his NFL journey. Christian Gonzalez and Devon Witherspoon are two more options that are likely
to be considered here depending on who is left.
1.11 Tennessee Titans - Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
The Titans are in the process of blowing up their roster, although
it doesn’t look like they’re ready to move on from
Ryan Tannehill. Johnson is a player that is ready to start from
day one, and the Titans are going to need that. He can be their
long-term option at left tackle for whoever is under center. Overall,
there are plenty of holes throughout this roster, but tackle may
be the biggest need.
1.12 Houston Texans - Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as a defensive-minded head coach.
Oddly enough, they grabbed their quarterback of the future with
their first pick. They can continue bolstering their offense with
one of the best linemen in the draft. Skoronski may not have the
arm length to play tackle in the NFL, but there have been crazier
developments in history. Houston is a great option for Skoronski
since they need help at tackle along with the interior offensive
line. If he doesn’t work at tackle, he can shift inside
1.13 New York Jets - Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Jets could potentially include this draft pick in a trade
for Aaron Rodgers. Until then, they’re going to be making
this pick in this mock draft. They desperately need help along
the offensive line, specifically tackle. Jones is a massive option
that could potentially play left or right tackle early in his
career. His ceiling is a dominant left-handed tackle, but he’s
going to need plenty of work to get there. He’s a high-upside
option in this draft.
1.14 New England Patriots - Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
I considered Darnell Wright here for New England, but I opted
against that. They could potentially use an offensive tackle,
but they do need help on the interior defensive line. Kancey doesn’t
have great size for the position, but he’s extremely quick
with elite explosion. It isn’t appropriate to compare anyone
to Aaron Donald, but he could be in that type of mold. He’s
undersized but can win in the passing game and disrupt the run
game with his speed.
1.15 Green Bay Packers - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Packers could still use help in their receiver room. They
still need to make a decision on Aaron Rodgers, but they’ll
need help on the outside regardless of who their quarterback is.
Smith-Njigba has dropped a bit because of injuries throughout
his season, but Green Bay shouldn’t overthink this one.
The wide receiver outplayed Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson at
Ohio State, and both of those players found success in the NFL
as a rookie. Smith-Njigba comes with more than enough upside to
warrant this pick.
1.16 Washington Commanders - Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
If Witherspoon had a slightly more filled-out frame, he would
likely be the first projected cornerback off the board. There’s
a very real possibility that he could make his way to the top
of the draft board for his position as he boasts elite talent.
He could potentially fill it out, though, and the Commanders need
help in their secondary.
1.17 Pittsburgh Steelers - Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa
The Steelers have several more holes to fill than edge, but it
may be difficult to pass on Van Ness at this pick. He didn’t
start any games for Iowa, but that isn’t because of a lack
of talent. He has the potential to move inside at times and that
versatility is something the Steelers need. Van Ness is going
to be drastically better in the NFL than he was in college, and
this is a situation where Pittsburgh could opt to take the best
1.18 Detroit Lions - Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
The Lions don’t have a massive need at edge compared to
other positions. That said, they could potentially use another
pass rusher. Aidan Hutchinson looks like the future of their defense,
and he’s going to make life easier for everyone else around
him. Smith blew up the NFL Combine with his speed, and he’ll
add elite pass rush upside opposite of Hutchinson. This could
be a duo that could potentially change games on the defensive
side for Detroit.
1.19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brian Branch, CB, Alabama
The Buccaneers are a rebuilding team, and they have several holes
that they need to fill. One of the biggest holes is at cornerback,
and Branch is as interesting of an option as anyone left at this
point in the draft. He’s an NFL-ready player that will immediately
start. He’s a solid coverage corner, but can also find success
as a pass rusher or run stopper. He’s a versatile option,
and that type of player can help Tampa Bay immediately.
The Seahawks re-signed Geno Smith in the offseason, and they
drafted a defensive playmaker earlier in this draft. They need
help in the interior of their offensive line, and Torrence comes
with tremendous upside for the position. He’s a massive
player that will immediately help create holes in the run game.
Torrence isn’t a sexy pick, but he’ll help keep Smith
upright in the pocket while giving Kenneth Walker massive holes
to run through.
1.21 Los Angeles Chargers - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Wright is an extremely specific draft pick here. I have him listed
as OT in the header, but he’s actually a right tackle. He
likely isn’t going to shift to left tackle at any point
in his career, but he’s shown the ability to hold his own
against some of the top players in this draft. The Chargers need
help at right tackle, and Wright can potentially start from day
1.22 Baltimore Ravens - Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The Ravens franchise feels like it’s on fire at the moment.
It looks like Lamar Jackson isn’t going anywhere, and the
Ravens essentially talked down on their wide receivers. They did
say that they weren’t going to stop trying to find a WR1,
and Johnston is the type of player that comes with that upside.
He has everything you look for in a top receiver, and he can take
some of the pressure off Mark Andrews and the other pass catchers.
White is a potential difference-maker on the defensive side of
the ball. He’s a massive edge rusher with plenty of speed
and power. He has a good motor, and he’s flashed the ability
to be above-average in coverage. Granted, edge isn’t the
biggest need for the Vikings, but it’s a position that is
valued in the NFL.
1.24 Jacksonville Jaguars - Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
Mauch is one of the more interesting offensive linemen in this
draft. He’s flashed at the FCS level, and he would be one
of the first linemen taken if he displayed that against the SEC.
There are questions about him not having the length for the NFL.
Luckily, the Jaguars need help at tackle and the interior of their
offensive line. Mauch is a player that is going to have to adapt
because it’s such a massive step up in competition. He could
be a steal at this pick if he pans out.
1.25 New York Giants - Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
The Giants gave Daniel Jones a major contract, and he needs weapons.
They could opt for a wide receiver here, but Mayer makes a bit
more sense. He can help Jones in the passing game as a safe option
that can create for himself. He can also help in the run game
for both Jones and Saquon Barkley. Mayer is an extremely solid
tight end prospect, and we’ve seen the way players like
Travis Kelce and George Kittle can change the game.
1.26 Dallas Cowboys - Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
The Cowboys love drafting linebackers, and they take another
one here. They could use the help, and Sanders or Trenton Simpson
are players that can be considered. Sanders will add versatility
to this defense, as he can play in the middle or come off the
edge. He needs to get a bit better in space, but he’ll add
more versatility to a defense that comes with plenty of upside
because of Micah Parsons.
1.27 Buffalo Bills - Jordan Addison, WR, USC
There’s a very real chance that Addison is the best receiver
in this draft. It’s all about who you prefer as a team.
The Bills gave Gabriel Davis a chance last season, and he struggled
with injuries. It isn’t out of the question that they could
add Addison as their second option behind Stefon Diggs. I’m
a bit worried that Addison isn’t exactly the type of player
that will take the top off of a defense, and he may need a bit
more volume to find consistent success. Regardless, it’s
easy to be excited about someone with his talent in this Buffalo
Kincaid is flying up the draft boards because of his receiving
potential. He flashed as a route runner with tremendous hands
during his time at Utah. He isn’t the best blocker, but
he can make a few blocks in the right position. The Bengals could
use help at tight end, and he’d add another high-end receiving
option for Joe Burrow.
1.29 New Orleans Saints - Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
The Saints still have a need at wide receiver, although there
are rumors that they’re trying to work out a deal with Michael
Thomas. Regardless, they’re relying heavily on Chris Olave,
who’s proven he can play in the NFL. Hyatt boasts elite
speed, and he’s a sure-handed player. If he added a bit
of weight to his frame, he could be the first receiver taken off
of the board. He’d make an outstanding pair with Olave for
new quarterback Derek Carr.
1.30 Philadelphia Eagles - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
There isn’t that much to say about Robinson. He’s
one of the very few running backs that have the chance to completely
change the game. He could immediately step in as a top-five running
back in the NFL from day one. The Eagles have an extremely exciting
offense, but they’re lacking a bit at running back. This
could be more of a hopeful pick in terms of excitement, but the
Eagles do need a running back, and Robinson is an elite option.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - Tuli Tuipulotu, Edge, USC
The Chiefs could use a bit of help on the edge with Frank Clark
hitting free agency, and Tuipulotu makes an interesting option
here. He’s a player that comes with both power and speed.
He flashed at USC, and he comes with plenty of upside for a team
like Kansas City. He can help in both the pass and run game, and
he’s playing a prime position in the league.