The Draft Academy: Mock Draft 6.0
This week I was expecting to watch Zach Wilson's pro day and close the book on him as the 2nd pick overall with the Jets. I am confident in saying the draft starts at the 3rd pick but after this week there was a lot of movement in the top half of the draft. To start the 49ers made a blockbuster trade with the Dolphins to acquire the third overall pick for the 12th overall pick, a 2022 1st rounder, a 2023 1st rounder, and a 3rd rounder in 2022. After that the Dolphins turned around and traded for the 6th pick from the Eagles for the 12th and 123rd pick of this year and a 2022 1st round pick, the Dolphins also received the 156th pick of this year. This all started with the 49ers having their eyes set on a quarterback and the Dolphins being set on one of the top receiving targets in this class.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
2. New York Jets Zach Wilson QB, BYU
3. San Francisco 49ers Mac Jones QB, Alabama
Like I said above the draft doesn't start until the 3rd pick with Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson almost being guaranteed to go 1st and 2nd overall. This pick might surprise a lot of people but Mac Jones would be a perfect fit for this offense. With the weapons the 49ers have, Jones, has the accuracy, timing, and decision-making to thrive under Kyle Shanahan. It was reported that both the head coach and GM of the 49ers plan to attend Alabama's next pro day and although it might just be a smokescreen, I believe this is the kid they want.
4. Atlanta Falcons Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
With head coach Arthur Smith coming from the Titans to take over the Falcons I think we're going to see the Falcons want to run the ball more. Sewell is a mauler in the run game and will immediately dominate the NFL. He has the elite combination of size, strength, and athleticism to fit any scheme while also having the technique to protect Matt Ryan for the rest of his career.
5. Cincinnati Bengals Ja'Marr Chase WR, LSU
With Sewell off the board, the Bengals decide to give Joe Burrow his favorite target. Just thinking of pairing these two together at the NFL level gives me goosebumps. They were able to dominate the SEC and will look to do the same in the NFL. With how deep this offensive line class is the Bengals will be able to find talent later in the draft to help protect Burrow which needs to be a priority for this franchise.
6. Miami Dolphins Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
The Dolphins hit the jackpot by trading away left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Texans. They are set with draft capital for the foreseeable future. They added receiver Will Fuller to a one-year deal so by drafted Kyle Pitts they bring in a monster of a weapon who will help the development of Tua. They also have added even more capital to swing a trade for Deshaun Watson before the draft so keep an eye out for that.
7. Detroit Lions Micah Parsons LB, Penn State
This isn't necessarily the biggest need for the Lions but Parsons is one of the most talented defenders in this draft and I think head coach Dan Campbell wants to build around this defense first. Parsons will immediately be the most athletic defender on this team and brings the ability to play all 3 downs. His added value for me comes as a pass rusher and he can easily shift to the edge of the defense on 3rd down or obvious passing situations.
8. Carolina Panthers Justin Fields QB, Ohio State
The Panthers have been actively looking to upgrade their quarterback all offseason and finally find some answers in the draft. Fields is an extremely talented quarterback with elite athletic ability and could thrive under Joe Brady.
9. Denver Broncos Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
The Broncos are still waiting on Drew Lock to have a full season with the weapons that were drafted for him. With Sutton, Fant, Jeudy, and Hamler as receiving threats and Melvin Gordon coming out of the backfield the Broncos skills positions are all very good and by adding Rashawn Slater they are adding a versatile lineman who can play at every single line position but should start at one of the tackle positions.
10. Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama
The Cowboys struggles on defense last season and their secondary was a big reason they couldn't stop anybody. With the return of a healthy Dak, the Cowboys upgrade their secondary by bringing in Surtain to line up opposite former teammate Trevon Diggs. They also added Keanu Neal in free agency to improve the safety position. Both Diggs and Surtain can get in the face of opposing wideouts and press them at the line of scrimmage. I have Surtain as the best man coverage corner in this draft.
11. New York Giants Kwity Paye EDGE, Michigan
The Giants solidified their wideout position by adding Kenny Golladay to a massive contract. They now need Daniel Jones to step up in what could be his last shot as a franchise quarterback. The Giant's biggest need is edge rusher and although this class doesn't possess the pure number one edge rusher, Kwity Paye is a dominant force on the edge. He is an athletic freak who possesses plenty of power in his frame.
12. Philadelphia Eagles Devonta Smith WR, Alabama
The Eagles traded back with the idea that they weren't going to be able to draft Ja'Marr Chase or Zach Wilson and added a lot of capital for next year's draft. Smith is the most polished route runner in this class and will immediately become the favorite target for Jalen Hurts.
13. Los Angeles Chargers Alija Vera Tucker OT, USC
The Chargers don't have to look far for a lineman to protect franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. Tucker has started at both guard and tackler for the Trojans and will easily become an asset in both the run and pass game for the Chargers. He can fit in both a zone and power scheme and I see him fitting in as a guard in a zone scheme if you want him to be at his best.
14. Minnesota Vikings Jalen Mayfield OT, Michigan
The Vikings have one of the best running backs in the league and arguably the best receiver duo as well. They need to improve upfront on both sides of the ball and Jalen Mayfield is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He doesn't have the most experience coming out of Michigan but he is a baller and will help get the ball to all of their skill players.
15. New England Patriots Trey Lance, QB NDSU
The Patriots were uncharacteristically the highest spenders in free agency this season and they also brought Cam Newton back on a one-year, incentive-based deal. I could see them having to trade up for a quarterback but in this scenario, they were able to stay put and get their guy. Lance is the biggest project in this draft but his pure arm talent and athletic ability are rare. If he can develop the accuracy by sitting behind Cam Newton he can easily become a franchise quarterback and arguably has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft.
16. Arizona Cardinals Najee Harris RB, Alabama
The Cardinals lost Kenyan Drake in an odd free agency signing where he joined the Las Vegas Raiders who seem to be rebuilding their entire offensive line. The Cardinals not only replace Drake, but I think they improve the running back position by drafting Harris. He is a beast who can thrive in any scheme and is consistently a threat out of the backfield. This offense would be scary for any defense week in and week out if Harris was added to this backfield.
17. Las Vegas Raiders Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
The Raider's biggest need is not cornerback but if a talent like this is on the board at 17 they need to take him. Farley is having surgery on his back which could lead to him falling this far in the draft. He is a freak athlete with perfect size and length and could easily become the best defensive player in this draft.
18. Miami Dolphins Jaylen Waddle WR, Dolphins
If the Dolphins come out of this draft with Kyle Pitts and Jaylen Waddle, Tua Tagovailoa has no excuses for if he doesn't perform well this season. Waddle has the dynamic ability to become a Tyreek Hill type weapon. This offense would immediately have an insane stable of offensive threats all over the field and defenses would have a very difficult time trying to defend them.
19. Washington Football Team Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
The Washington Football Team is a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl threat in my opinion. They have the defense and added more weapons on offense in Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries to help current quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz is only a bridge quarterback for whoever takes over next. By adding Darrisaw they are adding talent and youth to a tackle position that needs it. After quarterback, this is the biggest need of the Football Team.
20. Chicago Bears Greg Newsome CB, Northwestern
The Bears went hard after Seattle Seahawk's quarterback Russell Wilson and came up empty and with Andy Dalton. This is another team that has a lot of talent all over the field but doesn't have the quarterback to compete. They had to release stud cornerback Kyle Fuller due to a bad cap situation so they replace him with Greg Newsome out of Northwestern. He is a great athlete who has the size and length to succeed in the NFL. He is the prototypical 1st round corner.
21. Indianapolis Colts Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma State
The Colts lost Anthony Castanzo to retirement and will need to replace him as soon as possible to protect Carson Wentz and create running lanes for Jonathan Taylor. Jenkins is a beast of a run blocker and looks to maul whoever lines up in front of him. He's started games at both tackle positions as well as left guard so he has solid versatility to play all over if he needs to.
22. Tennessee Titans Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
The Titans lost two of their top three weapons in free agency this season in Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith. Bateman is the most underrated receiver in this class and could easily take over the role of Corey Davis.
23. New York Jets Gregory Rousseau EDGE, Miami
The Jets added Carl Lawson in free agency to help on the edge but they still need more in my opinion. Rousseau is one of the rawest prospects in this class but with his size, length, and athletic ability he can create havoc. If he can develop he can easily become the best defender in this class.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers Liam Eichenberg OT, Notre Dame
The Steelers are losing Alejandro Villanueva and will need to replace him. They are in a similar position to the Colts. Liam Eichenberg is next in line to come out of Notre Dame and be an impact lineman. He is elite size and very good power to create running lanes for his backs. He isn't the most nimble of blockers and isn't the best space player but he can fit in the Steelers system because once he gets onto defenders it very hard to get past him.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars Trevon Moehrig S, TCU
The Jags have made some solid offseason moves in free agency and should look to continue to improve the secondary. Moehrig is a ball-hawking free safety who is best in a single high alignment but has the versatility to play man coverage against slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs.
26. Cleveland Browns Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
The Cleveland Browns are on the edge of making a run at the Super Bowl. They have their quarterback, their offensive identity, a stud pass rusher, a talented, young secondary, and are missing a few pieces on defense. One of those pieces is at linebacker. Zaven Collins is a do it all backer who is elite in pass coverage. He also brings in an added pass rush/blitz ability where he knows how to get to the quarterback.
27. Baltimore Ravens Wyatt Davis OL, Ohio State
The Ravens are a run-first offense and their offensive line could be in trouble with Orlando Brown wanting out the Ravens will need to look to improve there. Wyatt Davis is one of the better guards in this draft and although he may not be able to replace Brown, he will improve the interior of that offensive line that has not been the same since losing Marshal Yanda to retirement.
28. New Orleans Saints Dyami Brown WR, UNC
The Saints have lost some offensive weapons in free agency and need to add to their stable of wide receivers to take some pressure off of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Dyami Brown could be a perfect fit in this offense as a 2nd receiving option behind Thomas. Brown is a dynamic player who can not only stretch the field but also be a consistent weapon to all three levels of the field.
29. Green Bay Packers Terrace Marshall Jr. WR, LSU
The Green Bay Packers have lacked a WR2 for a while now and Davante Adams is arguably the best receiver in the league right now but doesn't have much help. Terrace Marshall could become that 2nd receiver to help give the Packers a more balanced passing attack.
30. Buffalo Bills Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
The Bills running backs haven't been very consistent the past few years and could use some help. Travis Etienne is my highest-rated back in this class and is a big play waiting to happen. By lining him up next to Josh Allen he could take 12-15 touches a game and give that offense the added dimension of a run game that they need.
31. Kansas City Chiefs Dillon Radunz OT, NDSU
The Chiefs are currently overhauling their offensive line, after releasing both starting tackles and signing guard Joe Thuney they will need to turn to the draft to bring in players to protect Patrick Mahomes. Dillon Radunz is coming out of the same offense as Trey Lance and plays with good athleticism, power, and the ability to have a nasty streak when run blocking.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian Barmore IDL, Alabama
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off of a Super Bowl win as well as bringing back the majority of their free agents. They lost Vita Vea to an injury last season and didn't have great depth to replace him. By adding Barmore they are able to not only add depth but add an interior player that is excellent at getting penetration in both the run and pass game and is a good pass rusher as well.