SIMON CARROLL: SEVEN ROUND MEGA MOCK
By Simon Carroll
Forget doing mock drafts every week since October. Much like my mounting number of bills I’ve consolidated all my mocks into one big, super draft. Seven rounds, including predicted trades in the first round and some pre-established quarterback movements. Namely:
- The Steelers sign Jameis Winston to be the backup/heir to Ben Roethlisberger
- The Redskins sign Cam Newton to re-unite him with Ron Rivera and offer a serious alternative to Dwayne Haskins (sorry Kyle Allen – you just ain’t it).
- The Patriots use a third round pick (#98 overall) to send to Cincinnati for Andy Dalton
- The Jaguars use a sixth round pick (#189 overall) to send to Miami for Josh Rosen
Still with me? Good. It’s important to frame the context of the draft in this way, because whether we like it or not quarterbacks are that important. All teams will want to leave draft weekend with a plan at the position.
I’ve split the mock up into three pages to resemble the three days of the draft, and added a fourth page with a team by team list of picks. Let’s get drafting!
Click the links below to navigate to the rest of the mock draft:
1. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals could have telegraphed this pick in six months ago when it was evident they were the worst team in the NFL. Andy Dalton has had a better career than he ever gets credit for, but it’s time for a fresh start. Burrow has had a meteoric rise to the top of the draft board, and coupled with Tua’s unfortunate and ill-timed injury has become the consensus #1 QB in this class. Zac Taylor gets his guy.
2. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Nobody should be over-thinking this pick either. I may be in the minority and not have Chase Young at the top of my big board, but rare edge talent like this can change the fortunes of a franchise. And golly do the Redskins need that. Adding Young to Ryan Kerrigan and last year’s first round pick Montez Sweat gives Washington one of the best pass-rushing units in the entire league.
3. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
TRADE! The Chargers send #6, #37, #112 and a 2021 3rd round pick to The Lions for #3
Anybody who thinks this is unrealistic only need to look at the style of quarterback Anthony Lynn prefers to operate with. During his time at the Chargers the team has brought in Cardale Jones, Geno Smith, Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick. All four are mobile QB’s, whilst pocket passer Philip Rivers has gone. Tua has done as much as he can to prove his fitness in the pre-draft process. With the Chargers declining to take a look at free agent Cam Newton they jump above Miami to make sure they get their guy.
4. NEW YORK GIANTS
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Dave Gettleman loves to build the trenches on defense with early draft picks, less so on offense. But anyone who watched the Giants last year knows they need to fortify that o-line, get Saquon running the ball again and give Daniel Jones as much opportunity to succeed as possible. Wills is the most talented tackle in this class and is a day one, plug and play starter. An instant upgrade on Cam Fleming on the right, and the future on the blind side once Solder is moved on.
5. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Perhaps this scenario is why the Dolphins allowed rumours of their love for Justin Herbert to spread pre-draft. Unwilling to fork out draft capital to trade up for an injury-prone Tua, they were happy to be jumped and take Herbert at 6. If he’s not ready day one they always have Fitzmagic to lean on until their rookie acclimates.
6. DETROIT LIONS
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
*Received from The Chargers as part of the trade for #3 (Tua Tagovailoa)
The trade of Darius Slay to Philly has left the door wide open for this pick, and in a perfect world The Lions are able to trade back a few spots, pick up some extra draft capital and still land the elite corner. Jeff Okudah is the #1 player on my big board and the best cornerback I have ever scouted. A home run hit for Detroit.
7. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
A new regimes in Carolina makes predicting what the Panthers will do quite difficult. What we do know is that they need a replacement for the retired Luke Kuechly, and that new head coach Matt Rhule knows how to build a defense. He’ll be delighted to get the ultra-versatile Simmons, a player the likes of which the NFL has rarely come across. In a division with some big hitting quarterbacks they’ll be able to find mismatches all over the field with him.
8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
TRADE! The Buccaneers send #14, #45 and #117 to The Cardinals for #8
Sitting at fourteen, the Buccaneers get aggressive. They’re on the lookout for an elite lineman to help protect their new quarterback Tom Brady. With a number of teams above them likely to target the same position they execute a trade with Arizona to move up six spots and grab their guy. Wirfs is a beast and wowed onlookers at the combine with his athleticism. An instant upgrade at RT over Joe Haeg.
9. DENVER BRONCOS
Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
TRADE! The Broncos send #15, #46 and #118 to The Jaguars for #9
With the Jets, Raiders and 49ers ahead of them and all in the market for a receiver, the Broncos do what they need to in order to get their guy. Ruggs may not be held in the same esteem as Jeudy or Lamb but his lightning speed will be coveted by John Elway. Opposite Courtland Sutton The Broncos give young quarterback Drew Lock a pair of weapons to target.
10. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Browns’ have a pair of elite tackles to choose from. Mekhi Becton may provide more upside, but Andrew Thomas is NFL ready, which in this era of uncertainty is a valued commodity. He’s adept in run blocking and pass protection – helping both Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb galvanise this offense.
11. NEW YORK JETS
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Tackle is very much an option here, but with all the money they invested in the o-line in free agency I think Joe Douglas wants to go in a different direction. The Jets were thin on the ground in offensive weapons before Robby Anderson left for Carolina, and Breshad Perriman coming in doesn’t change that. CeeDee Lamb catches EVERYTHING thrown his way, and should help Sam Darnold take the next step in year three.
12. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Ending up with what’s left of the elite receivers may sound unfortunate, but Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden will be rubbing their hands if this is how the board plays out on April 23rd. Jerry Jeudy has been an elite NFL prospect since he was in short pants. There’s no better route runner in this draft class, and after what seems like ages trying to find their Amari Cooper replacement The Raiders get their WR1.
13. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Trading away DeForest Buckner to the Colts netted the 49ers this pick, and with Emmanuel Sanders leaving in free agency they might have had their eye on a receiver at this juncture. The top three are all off the board so John Lynch pivots and addresses another position of concern. CJ Henderson is a long, instinctive corner who can help banish the memories of Akhello Wetherspoon and line up opposite Richard Sherman.
14. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
*Received from The Buccaneers as part of the trade for #8 (Tristan Wirfs)
The Cardinal’s offensive vision under Kliff Kingsbury is almost there. They could have been in the market for a tackle but the pleasant (and long awaited) progress of DJ Humphries will allow them to focus on defense instead. Derrick Brown could well have been the pick at #8 – instead they collect more draft capital and still get the Auburn wrecking ball. Brown will be a thorn in the side of NFC West offensive lines for years.
15. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
*Received from The Broncos as part of the trade for #9 (Henry Ruggs)
The Jags might have two first round picks to their name, but with a plethora of holes in their roster they will be keen to add more firepower to their draft arsenal. Moving back to fifteen still allows them to grab Kinlaw, a frenetic defensive lineman who will be on the field for all three downs. Not quite as polished as Brown he may even have more upside, and mitigates the loss of Marcel Dareus on that d-line.
16. ATLANTA FALCONS
K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Atlanta may have had their eye on one of the two interior defensive line guys, maybe even CJ Henderson at corner, but they stand pat safe in the knowledge that at least one elite prospect at a position of need will fall to them at sixteen. The acquisition of Dante Fowler in a division with Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Teddy Bridgewater, just simply isn’t enough. They need more pass rush, and Chaisson will provide the athelticism they lose from Vic Beasley’s departure and bring a boat load more consistency to boot.
17. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
TRADE! The Vikings send #22 and #58 to The Cowboys for #17
Rick Spielman heads into this draft with two first round picks following the Diggs trade to Buffalo. They also have three very acute needs and will hope to fill two of them on day one. With an elite prospect slipping to seventeen, they send a second over to Dallas to jump the Dolphins and grab Becton. The dropoff in tackle talent after the big-bodied Becton is stark. He possesses incredible athleticism for his size, and whilst not the finished article has a ton of upside. He could develop into a ten year starter on the blind side.
18. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Austin Jackson, OT, USC
First Tua, now Becton – Chris Grier is forced once again to pivot as teams trade up past him for potential Dolphins selections. They settle for Jackson, an intriguing tackle that showcases all the traits you look for in a blindside protector. There were games where he got beasted and he’s still got plenty of development to go through, but he has the speed and fluidity that is difficult to teach.
19. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The draft is panning out quite well for The Raiders, who earlier saw Jeudy fall to them and now another highly touted prospect lands in their lap at a position of need. Kristian Fulton is a born winner. He brings a championship attitude to the team that Mike Mayock covets. Able to mirror the receiver’s route with good instincts and timing, he’ll line up opposite 2019 pick Trayvon Mullen in a new look Raiders secondary.
20. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The focus on defense continues for Jacksonville, who first addressed the trenches with Kinlaw and now bolster the secondary with a cornerback. Gladney brings all the competitiveness and none of the drama that this team lost when they traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Feisty and sticky throughout the route, Gladney is a constant thorn in a receiver’s side. He’ll be hated by opponents but loved by Jaguars fans.
21. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Just what the doctor ordered here for Philly. Still an excellent team with a deep roster, The Eagles need to kick-start this passing game if they are to get back to The Super Bowl. Vilified early in the season, people gave Carson Wentz the benefit of the doubt when it became apparent he needed more weapons to throw to. Justin Jefferson is everything that Nelson Agholor wished he could be – a guy capable of playing inside and out with a competitive streak and unbelievable catch radius. He’ll be a true chain mover for The Eagles.
22. DALLAS COWBOYS
Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
*Received from The Vikings as part of the trade for #17 (Mekhi Becton)
Looking to strike a long-term deal with Dak Prescott aside, this offense is still an elite unit after tying up a lot of contracts the last 12 months. But the loss of Travis Frederick to retirement is a bitter blow. The veteran center was battling Guillain-Barre Syndrome for some time, and leaves a big gap in an otherwise stellar offensive line. Well, consider that gap filled. Ruiz rose to the top of the interior o-line rankings with a stellar 2019 season at Michigan. Dallas were able to trade back, acquire more picks, and still get their guy.
23. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
TRADE! The Packers send #30, #62 and #192 to The Patriots for #23
The biggest predicted trade in this mock draft sees Brian Gutekunst get aggressive and go get his weapon of choice, perhaps foiling rivals Minnesota in the process. Sure, there are other needs for the Packers, but finding a high-calibre pass catcher opposite DeVante Adams has been a priority for this team for some time. Mims’ tape demonstrates the size and strength, and his combine performance showcased some impressive athleticism. He’s the perfect WR2.
24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
What do you give the roster that already has everything? Seriously, no team has as much depth as New Orleans, and adding receiver Emmaunel Sanders in free agency allows them to look elsewhere in the first round. How about home-state kid Patrick Queen, who had an incredible year at LSU? He was the undisputed leader of the Tigers’ National Championship winning defense. He brings incredible range to the mike linebacker spot, something that Kiko Alonso might be lacking this long into a bruising career.
25. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
Remember me mentioning three very particular needs? Well, no doubt fans will want a replacement for Stefon Diggs, but in a receiver-deep draft The Vikings use their second pick of day one to address cornerback. AJ Terrell is often derided for getting bested by Jamar Chase in the National Championship game, but that doesn’t make him a bad corner. He’s ultra-smart, aggressive and most importantly for Mike Zimmer, he can tackle. Xavier Rhodes was cut, Trae Waynes lost in free agency. Terrell starts from day one.
26. MIAMI DOLPHINS
AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
The Dolphins flip over to the defense with their third pick of the first round. AJ Epenesa will be seen as some as a ‘tweener – too big to rush the passer, not big enough to play inside. But in Brian Flores’ hybrid scheme Epensa’s versatility and ability to push the pocket will be invaluable. He can play defensive end in an odd or even front, and complements free agency addition Kyle Van Noy nicely.
27. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
It doesn’t look like Jadaveon Clowney is heading back to the Emerald City, making edge rusher a priority for John Schneider. Last year’s first rounder LJ Collier looks like a bust, but their hopes will be much higher with the selection of Gross-Matos. The Penn State pass rusher is an absolute animal off the edge with elite length and speed for the position. He needs to get a bit bigger to be a three-down player but offers immediate situational value on passing downs for the Seahawks.
28. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Year in, year out, the Ravens sit there and allow talent to fall into their lap. This year it just so happens to be a position of need. Baltimore never really found a replacement for CJ Mosley, who left town for The Jets twelve months ago. Kenneth Murray will be a day one starter who will remind Ravens fans of one of their greatest ever draft picks in Ray Lewis.
29. TENNESSEE TITANS
Josh Jones, OT, Houston
After a promising season that saw them come close to a Super Bowl appearance, the Titans have a small number of holes to fill. They could very well address defensive line with the losses of Cameron Wake and Jurrell Casey, but it’s Jack Conklin’s defection from the o-line that will cause them the most consternation. Josh Jones’ fall to 29 is a blessing, and slotting him in at tackle should allow Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill keep this offense ticking.
30. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
*The Patriots received this pick from The Packers as part of the trade for #22 (Denzel Mims)
TRADE! The Colts send #34 and #75 to The Patriots for #30
In a move that will surprise absolutely nobody, the Patriots trade back once more. This time they allow Indianapolis to move into the first round and grab the quarterback of their future. The Colts may have signed Philip Rivers in free agency, but all that does is show a lack of faith in Jacoby Brissett. In a year’s time Rivers will be gone, and Chris Ballard knows he needs to be ready. Moving up to get the live-armed, live-legged Love means they can sit the raw gunslinger behind the model veteran and let him develop.
31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The 49ers missed out on the elite receiving talent earlier in the first round, but this draft is loaded with pass catchers and they dip in to that market here. Shanahan loves gadget guys, but this roster already has it’s fair share. What it truly needs is a big, outside receiver that fight corners and can go up for the jump balls. Higgins is definitely that guy and will be a valuable chain mover for Jimmy Garoppolo.
32. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Whilst it’s tempting to just keep adding weapons to this explosive offense, the Chiefs have too many departures on the other side of the ball to ignore. The latest one sees Kendall Fuller leave in free agency. Despite Bashaud Breeland returning, corner is still a major priority. Jaylon Johnson combines sufficient athleticism with elite length, football smarts and ball skills that defensive co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo will covet.
Click the links below to navigate to the rest of the mock draft: