NO TRADES! SIMON CARROLL THREE ROUND MOCK DRAFT
By Simon Carroll
Mock drafts aren’t usually my thing. Well, not until draft day at least. But after all the excitement of the three-way trade ten days ago I simply couldn’t resist…
I decided not to have trades in this one – well no MORE trades anyway; I’ll save that for the big day. Until then, here’s my take on how the first three rounds of the 86th annual selection meeting could shake out…
1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
If I was Trev, I wouldn’t bother attending the draft either. It’ll take less than the allotted ten minutes to tell us what we already know, and the most lauded QB since Andrew Luck will be retracing his steps back to the south east.
2. NEW YORK JETS
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Not quite as set in stone as the first pick, this marriage appears more of a sure thing as each day passes. Joe Douglas & Robert Saleh were at BYU’s Pro Day to witness first hand Wilson’s performance, and whilst these showcases are heavily staged the ‘Mormon Manziel’ did not disappoint. Sam Darnold might want to start updating his CV…
3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Moments after the blockbuster three-way trade went down, rumours of Shanahan and Lynch zeroing in on Mac Jones began circulating. Whilst I won’t completely rule that out – nobody should question Kyle’s offensive acumen and if he thinks Mac is the man then they should absolutely take him – I still think Fields is the better quarterback, certainly long term. With Jimmy G likely to be around in 2021, the idea might initially be for Fields to ‘redshirt’. That will go out of the window by week 6.
4. ATLANTA FALCONS
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
No trades in this mock draft forced my hand with the Falcons here, although finding a partner to exchange with might be rather difficult anyway following the 49ers’ move up to 3. This pick doesn’t particularly help them right now, but it does give Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot a potential franchise QB in their back pocket once Matty Ice is done. I think the notion Lance is raw and needs time to develop is a little oversubscribed, but I can’t think of many quarterbacks in the NFL better to learn from than Ryan.
5. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Rumours of reacquainting Joe Burrow with his former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase offer an interesting wrinkle in the season of smoke and mirrors, but the Bengals will not want a repeat of their star QB going down with a lengthy injury any time soon. The news of Sewell’s short arms won’t scare them off either – Jonah Williams had a similar lack of length when selected in the first round by Cincy two years ago. This is a major upgrade to a historically flimsy o-line.
6. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Chris Grier – take a bow son. Organising a three-way trade is no mean feat, and the end result is the Dolphins select the player they were willing to take at 3 but now also have an extra 3rd and (future) 1st round picks in their back pocket. You can’t argue with the pick either – Waddle is reunited with Tua, giving him an elite target to aim for. His frightening pace will strike fear into the secondaries of the AFC East.
7. DETROIT LIONS
Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
I like this fit. The new regime in Detroit has toughness and dedication as two non-negotiables when it comes to talent acquisition. Chase brings that to the table and a boatload of playmaking ability at a position of desperate need for The Lions. Physically intimidating at the catch point despite clocking in a shade under six feet tall, I can see Dan Campbell falling in love with his competitiveness.
8. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Panthers may be the team who miss out in the QB sweepstakes, but Kyle Pitts is no consolation prize. David Tepper wants an elite quarterback as the cornerstone of his franchise, and despite Rhule coaching Mac Jones at the Senior Bowl I’m not sure he’s the big name that Carolina craves. Step forward Pitts, who is as talented as any prospect in this class and will add a redzone threat to an offense that seemingly has everything but a quarterback.
9. DENVER BRONCOS
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
I respect Benjamin Albright and the consistently accurate information he seemingly extorts out of the Broncos franchise. He insists George Paton & John Elway are looking for a veteran QB to compete with Drew Lock (maybe Darnold?), but if Mac Jones is still on the board at 9 then I imagine they’ll find it difficult to pass up on him. The Alabama gunslinger will walk into an excellent situation at Mile High Stadium, giving him every chance to succeed.
10. DALLAS COWBOYS
Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
The news of Caleb Farley’s back surgery and four month recovery period is unfortunate for him, but if Dallas were the first team to take a corner then I think they would go Patrick Surtain anyway. A highly polished prospect who has shown proficiency in every role asked of him, Surtain can be that outside corner you can put on an island and neutralise an opponent’s most dangerous weapon.
11. NEW YORK GIANTS
Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
I think this might be a little early to take the leash off the edge rushers, but being defensive-minded and having the pick of the lot will make it a proposition too difficult for Dave Gettleman to refuse. And he’ll fall in love with the traits and upside that Paye possesses, who is scheme agnostic and should provide three-down production for the Giants.
12. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Eagles desperately need a receiver, but I find it difficult to see them passing up on Parsons at this juncture. After parting ways with Pederson and Wentz, and holding three first rounders next year, Philly are taking a mulligan in 2021. Parsons is a top five talent and this franchise needs all the difference makers it can get – on both sides of the football.
13. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The Chargers’ biggest need, as it has been ever since man made a funny shaped ball and started running around with it, is at offensive line. They will be delighted Slater has fallen into their laps, and will have every intention of starting him at left tackle. This dude is a beast, picking up cars on social media and chest pressing 500lbs for fun. If his lack of length causes issues on the outside, The Bolts can slide him to guard where he’ll be a ten-year stud. A no-risk, high reward pick.
14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
As a senior, Christian Darrisaw didn’t allow a QB hit in 293 snaps, despite facing the likes of Jaelan Phillips, Quincy Roche, Carlos Basham and Patrick Jones. That bodes well for the statuesque Captain Kirk. His size and speed make him born to be a left tackle, and he will excel in the Vikings’ zone blocking scheme.
15. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Trying to predict what Bill Belichick is going to do is hard enough at the best of times, let alone after a free agency spending spree the likes of which we have never seen in Boston. Missing out on a QB they’ll be a candidate to move back, but landing the pro-ready, Heisman-winning Smith would be remarkable value here. And The Patriots have never been scared to use undersized pass-catchers either – see Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman for details.
16. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
I can see Kingsbury pounding the table for Travis Etienne here, but if the Cardinals are smart they’ll know that replacing Patrick Peterson with Malcolm Butler was a short-term fix at best. Jaycee Horn is a feisty, smothering cornerback who plays ultra-physical and doesn’t give a receiver room to breathe.
17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
This makes just too much sense. After dismantling their o-line in free agency it becomes the Raiders biggest area of need. With Kolton Miller showing promise on the blind side they go with Jenkins, who has played right tackle all his career in Stillwater. He brings competitiveness and a rather nasty brand of football that Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden will love.
18. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Defenses are extremely fluid in today’s NFL, and that has seen the rise of the hybrid linebacker/safety role, to which Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah projects favourably. The speed and instincts he brings are best utilised where he can run downhill and attack the football. GM Chris Grier was responsible for bringing Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Dolphins who fulfilled a slightly different hybrid role, and he would love to give the defensive minded Brian Flores a similar versatile, high upside piece here.
19. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
I LOVE this pick. Washington lost Trent Williams this time last year, and Liam Eichenberg is custom made for the left tackle position. So smooth, composed and already polished as a run blocker, he stands to get better in pass pro despite not allowing a sack in the last two years. Just to clarify, he’s faced defenses from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Georgia in that timeframe. I’m not sure why other mock drafts have him falling to the second round.
20. CHICAGO BEARS
Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
It’s not been easy being a fan of the Chicago Bears, and news that Andy Dalton is going to lead your offense next year isn’t about to make things better. Yet here we are, and Dalton needs protecting. AVT is highly athletic, extremely powerful and has all the football intelligence you need. His short arms give some people cause for concern, but The Bears could plug him in at left tackle or at guard and immediately improve an offensive line which is beginning to take shape.
21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Much has been made of the fact that Jayson Oweh didn’t record a single sack at Penn State last year. Fair enough. You know who else didn’t record a single sack in their final year at college? Jason Pierre-Paul. And JPP is the perfect comp for Oweh; a ridiculous athlete who is yet to even come close to how good he can be, AND he still has all ten digits on his hands. The Colts would love to add this kind of speed and power off the edge.
22. TENNESSEE TITANS
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
I like the fit here. Rashod Bateman balled out in 2019, and whilst a disrupted 2020 wasn’t quite as jaw dropping he is without doubt a first round talent. His possession-style game would complement AJ Brown nicely and counter the loss of Corey Davis from the Titans offense. Bateman has the chance to eclipse the big three receivers of this class much in the same way that Justin Jefferson did last year.
23. NEW YORK JETS
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Giving Robert Saleh a physical, versatile edge rusher in his first draft seems like the smart thing to do, and Jaelan Phillips fits the mould. After an injury disrupted career at UCLA he headed to Miami and showed the skills that his promise suggested back in high school. He looked very quick at his pro day too. With an addition like this the Jets defense is a unit to watch in 2021.
24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
BOOM. The Steelers have shown in recent drafts they aren’t afraid to go against draft range perceptions and get a guy they want. Jalen Mayfield is a huge, powerful monster who rules as a run blocker but after just 15 starts for Michigan is still learning as a pass protector. He’s so quick though that will come, and Pittsburgh might start him inside at guard before moving him to the blindside. One of my favourite guys in this class – Mayfield has so much upside there is no ceiling to how good he can be.
25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
Two for two for the new regime in Jacksonville. You get your QB for the next 15 years, and then you give him a ton of weapons. Marshall projects to be the classic, possession-based WR2 at the next level, and maybe more with some development. Pairing him with the excellent DJ Chark and adding gadget/slot playmaker Laviska Shenault and the productive veteran Marvin Jones gives Trevor Lawrence every chance to succeed. Well – as much as any Jaguar quarterback could reasonably expect…
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
I’m gonna keep saying this until somebody listens; Zaven Collins is the next Brian Urlacher. Identical height & weight with crazy ball skills and the sideline to sideline speed – plus both linebackers went to unheralded, smaller FBS schools? The Browns would tear your hand off for that calibre of prospect. Collins was an absolute highlight reel at Tulsa, can moonlight as an edge rusher and walked away with the Bronco Nagurski award. Oh and he’s not even near his full potential yet.
27. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Ravens don’t necessarily draft based on need, but losing both Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon in the same offseason would suggest edge rusher would be a focus area. And if it’s speed they want, they’ve come to the right place. Ojulari has a definite whiff of bust about him, but if he becomes what he is capable of then he will absolutely terrify offensive linemen. He looks to be the perfect foil to the bigger, more physical Calais Campbell.
28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The fall of Caleb Farley stops with the Saints, whose front office and coaching staff have enough security to take a calculated risk and bring in the talented cornerback here. Farley has the ball skills that Sean Payton covets, and with the loss of Jackrabbit Jenkins it’s a move that makes sense. His injury history, particularly the recurring back issues, are worrying, but at this juncture the risk-reward swings back in favour of the franchise.
29. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
No doubt gonna get some harsh stares from Packers fans here – not because i’m finally giving them a receiver, but because it’s not Rondale Moore. They won’t be saying that when they’ve got the next Percy Harvin on their roster; Kadarius Toney brings so much athleticism and versatility to an offense both on the ground and through the air it makes it very difficult for defenses to scheme against him. He’s had some injuries but nothing serious, looked fresh in 2020 and has the stacked, compact frame that looks durable in the physical NFC North.
30. BUFFALO BILLS
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Having an edge rusher that just has a knack for getting into the backfield may have been the difference for the Bills in the AFC Championship Game, and picking at 30 should be a sweet spot to find a high-quality piece for that role. Step forward Gregory Rousseau, who had 15.5 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss for Miami in 2019 before putting his feet up for 12 months. AFC East quarterbacks have just been put on notice.
31. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
A nice value tackle with better days to come falls into the lap of The Chiefs, who have endured plenty of upheaval on the offensive line this offseason. Cosmi wasn’t highly recruited heading into college but has developed into an impressive pass protector for Texas. He’s likely a right tackle to begin with before eventually transferring over to the blind side, and the end of the first round is an ideal range for him.
32. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Yeah I know they brought back Lenny Fournette. Who haven’t they brought back?! No team is as stacked as The Bucs, who look to be even better in 2021. Much like The Chiefs this time last year, they get something of a luxury item and what they perceive to be the final piece in the jigsaw on offense. Najee is fast, physical, and has legs like tree trunks, and can be an effective pass catcher for Tom Brady out of the backfield. Bruce Arians will love this dude’s competitiveness.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
34. New York Jets: Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
35. Atlanta Falcons: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
36. Miami Dolphins: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
37. Philadelphia Eagles: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
38. Cincinnati Bengals: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
39. Carolina Panthers: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
40. Denver Broncos: Levi Onwuzurike, IDL, Washington
41. Detroit Lions: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
42. New York Giants: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
43. San Francisco 49ers: Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
44. Dallas Cowboys: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
46. New England Patriots: Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama
47. Los Angeles Chargers: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
48. Las Vegas Raiders: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
49. Arizona Cardinals: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
50. Miami Dolphins: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
51. Washington Football Team: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
52. Chicago Bears: Asante Samuel, CB, Florida State
53. Tennessee Titans: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
54. Indianapolis Colts: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
56. Seattle Seahawks: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Western Michigan
57. Los Angeles Rams: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
58. Baltimore Ravens: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
59. Cleveland Browns: Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest
60. New Orleans Saints: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
61. Buffalo Bills: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
62. Green Bay Packers: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
65. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
66. New York Jets: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
67. Houston Texans: Jay Tufele, IDL, USC
68. Atlanta Falcons: Camerone McGrone, LB, Michigan
69. Cincinnati Bengals: Daviyon Nixon, IDL, Iowa
70. Philadelphia Eagles: Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
71. Denver Broncos: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
72. Detroit Lions: Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia
73. Carolina Panthers: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
74. Washington Football Team: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
75. Dallas Cowboys: Osa Odhigizuwa, IDL/EDGE, UCLA
76. New York Giants: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
77. Los Angeles Chargers: Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU
78. Minnesota Vikings: Richie Grant, S, UCF
79. Las Vegas Raiders: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
80. Las Vegas Raiders: Aaron Banks, IOL, Notre Dame
81. Miami Dolphins: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
82. Washington Football Team: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
83. Chicago Bears: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
84. Philadelphia Eagles: D’Ante Smith, OT, Coastal Carolina
85. Tennessee Titans: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
86. New York Jets: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
88. Los Angeles Rams: Tay Gowan, CB, UCF
89. Cleveland Browns: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
90. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane
91. Cleveland Browns: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
92. Green Bay Packers: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
93. Buffalo Bills: Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
94. Kansas City Chiefs: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
96. New England Patriots: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
97. Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
98. New Orleans Saints: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
99. Dallas Cowboys: Josh Ball, OT, Marshall
100. Tennessee Titans: Garrett Wallow, LB, TCU
101. Detroit Lions: Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State
102. San Francisco 49ers: Quinn Meinerz, IOL, Wisconsin-Whitewater
103. Los Angeles Rams: Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt
104. Baltimore Ravens: Kendrick Green, OT/IOL, Illinois
105. New Orleans Saints: Monty Rice, LB, Georgia