by Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)
February 1st, 2021
You can probably tell from the title that this mock won’t be too realistic considering I’m only taking offensive players, but I felt as though it could be a nice opportunity to break down the offensive situations of every team and how they might be looking at the draft through that attacking lens. A good number of teams might not even look at offense in the first two rounds, but we can still talk a bit about what they ought to target if they decide to.
There’s probably a lot of more technical thinking in this piece than there normally would be in a mock draft so if that’s not your style, there will be more regular, player-based mocks in the future for you, but this should hopefully help everyone take a different look at their favorite teams from a more strategic stance. Enjoy and send me your thoughts!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback
This is still a no brainer. The last quarterback to give Jacksonville serious hope was Blake Bortles and he ended up being the limiting factor when the team made the AFC Championship. Trevor Lawrence will never be this team’s limiting factor. If they build the team correctly he may not be the most important factor, but considering that quarterback is the most influential position in American sports, Lawrence is an easy choice. He’s easily the best player in this draft and Jacksonville needs him badly. Even if he doesn’t work out somehow, this will still be the right pick.
2. New York Jets
Zach Wilson, Quarterback
I don’t know what we’re waiting for at this point. I hear reports that the Jets don’t want to move on from Sam Darnold yet and I can’t really figure that out. I suppose you can hang on for another season and if he pans out you can pick up the option and if he doesn’t you can decline, but you have the second pick right now with a nice crop of quarterbacks to be taken. You missed out on Trevor Lawrence because your incompetence turned into a different type of incompetence late in the season, but Zach Wilson isn’t a bad pick in this situation.
That being said, there’s a lot going on with the Jets. I think the line is sure enough that they don’t need to go after Sewell; Becton is good enough on the left. As adamant as I am about Darnold, I’m not in the room and I don’t know the situation, so maybe there really is some sort of reason to hold on and not go quarterback here. The only other pick that is justifiable and fulfills the needs of the Jets at number two is at wide receiver. A great wide receiver can elevate a quarterback the way a great quarterback can do the same for their pass catchers. The difference is that quarterbacks can elevate everyone and have proven to win championships. The same can’t be said for an individual pass catcher.
This pick is still up in the air. The Jets have options here and as long as they keep to a plan, they shouldn’t be able to screw it up. If they want a quarterback, they can get one. If they want a wide receiver, no one will argue with Devonta Smith. If they want to trade back and pick up a couple more picks while staying in the top ten, that’s fine too. But I don’t know what the Jets are thinking right now and I doubt anyone else does either.
3. Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver
If I’m Brian Flores, my goal is to improve the offense and give Tua an environment where he can blossom. The offensive line can bear to be improved but considering the starting tackles are 2020 picks, both of them good options, there isn’t a way to take an offensive lineman that checks both boxes of “making sense” and “not reaching.” Instead, you can take a skill position player to give the young quarterback some much needed weapons. And who better than Devonta Smith, the Heisman winner, two time National Champion, and former teammate of Tagovailoa, to fulfill that role? Smith is the best option in another deep crop of wide receivers and Miami won’t be able to find a fit better than this one.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Justin Fields, Quarterback
Ever since the Falcons got up by 25 points on the Patriots in the Super Bowl, everything has gone downhill. Every aspect of their football has regressed and Matt Ryan is part of that. He’s still a good option but he’s not the future of this franchise. A change is needed. Now, the change doesn’t have to come immediately and I actually think that works out perfectly for Atlanta in this scenario. Justin Fields isn’t ready to start for an NFL team right now and getting reps behind Matt Ryan in his home state of Georgia is probably the best thing that can happen for him. He can refine his already good passing abilities, learn a complex NFL offense, and grow with a team that commits to their good offensive weapons. Planning for the future is the best option here and I think the Falcons will be committed to taking a quarterback with this pick.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle
It’s kind of odd that no matter what I keep seeing Penei Sewell fall at least this far. I guess it makes sense considering the impact that a great pass catcher or quarterback can make on a team, but a great tackle can provide just as much value in a lot of cases. Penei Sewell is the second best football player in this draft and the Bengals are in need of another sure thing tackle considering how often Joe Burrow was nearly killed last season, so grabbing Sewell to bookend the line with Jonah Williams is a great scenario. Williams still has a couple of years on his rookie deal and you immediately shore up the line for cheap with Sewell. They could also go with a wide receiver for this pick since the need is also there, but protecting your franchise quarterback takes precedent, especially when the wide receiver class is this deep.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver
I think Philadelphia fans have been asking for a serious first round wide receiver for years and this year they can finally get it. The need is absolutely overwhelming and the ability to take Ja’Marr Chase, the player seen as the best receiver in the draft for most of the season, is an opportunity the organization cannot pass up. Alshon Jeffery is clearly not a reliable player anymore, DeSean Jackson is 34, Marquee Goodwin can’t be a number one receiver, and neither can any of the younger guys the Eagles drafted recently. But Jaylen Waddle can. He has everything required to thrive in this league and has proven capable of being the top guy in a functional and nearly professional offense. There’s more than enough talent here to instantly elevate the efficiency of the offense and that’s what the Eagles are in dire need of.
7. Detroit Lions
Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver
The news dropped yesterday that the Lions had successfully traded Jaylen Waddle for Jared Goff and some picks. While Goff probably won’t be the long time starter in Detroit, he’s going to be the option right now. I initially had the Lions going with a quarterback before the trade was pulled off, but now that they have an answer at the position they have to get better at wide receiver. Jaylen Waddle will immediately become the top receiver on the team and a target that Jared Goff will enjoy throwing too and will feel used to. The fact that Waddle can double up as a return man will only make the regime in Detroit happier. Waddle will be shadowed by teams with good corners and negated a lot unless they get him more help, but he proved at Alabama that he’s more than capable of getting open on his own.
8. Carolina Panthers
Trey Lance, Quarterback
The greatest player in Carolina Panther history is Cam Newton, so getting a player that is a lot like him in a lot of ways to get the franchise back on track is the best way to go. There’s an argument to take a tackle with this pick, but without the right quarterback the tackle won’t matter. Lance is good enough to escape the pocket while the offensive line is workshopped, but the important thing is that Lance will be there. He’ll be a great partner to take some of the load off of Christian McCaffery, who was injured for much of last season, and considering how good the NFC South is, the expectations won’t be there right away. There’s more than enough time for the player to develop in an offense that has a lot of potential moving forward. The issues in Carolina are expansive but getting Lance to play quarterback will be the best first step that the team can take.
9. Denver Broncos
Rashawn Slater, Offensive Lineman
Denver will almost certainly look to the defensive side of the ball with their first round pick, but the offense isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders either. Drew Lock is fine at quarterback for the time being and Melvin Gordon was good at running back. The lure of grabbing Jaylen Waddle to pair with Jerry Jeudy and the other receivers is tempting, but turning that offensive line into a fort with Rashawn Slater is the best idea to me. Garrett Bolles and Ja’Wuan James have the tackle positions locked down, Graham Glasgow is at one guard, and Lloyd Cushenberry is at center, so grabbing Slater for the other guard spot would make this line great. If anyone went down Slater could fill in seamlessly considering his versatility so there really isn’t a risk here. You get a wonderful blocker and instant depth at every position along the line for cheap. Again, Denver doesn’t need help on offense at the moment, but you can’t go wrong with Slater.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle
Dallas has owned one of the best offensive lines in the NFL for it seems like forever, but it’s something that’s worked out for them, so why stop? The Cowboys suffered a few unexpected losses along the line over the last couple of seasons so stocking up with Darrisaw, the second best tackle in this draft, will make them immediately better and a power up front, especially important considering the money invested in Zeke Elliot. With Dak Prescott being a free agent it will be up to Jerry Jones to find an answer at quarterback either later in the draft or through free agency because there won’t be a quarterback worth the pick at this point in the draft. Darrisaw could slot in on the right side opposite of Tyron Smith and make an immediate impact by restoring the quality of that right tackle position.
11. New York Giants
Kyle Pitts, Tight End
So far Daniel Jones hasn’t been abysmal. His completion percentage shows a bit of consistency, he’s not a bad runner, and he has some sort of playmaking gene that fades in and out of his performances. There’s something in there and with two years left on his deal before the option comes, he’s sticking around for now. Additionally, the offensive line wasn’t a complete travesty, though it could have been better. The biggest need on this offense is at pass catcher, the question is just which one. The options aren’t bad as they stand, with Evan Engram at tight end and Golden Tate and Sterling Shepherd at wide receiver, but Engram’s deal expires after this coming season. Kyle Pitts has the tools to become one of those tight ends that teams dream of, the ones that can turn a good team into a great team. Think of the Super Bowl teams of late: Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, George Kittle, tight ends are vital to offenses in the modern game and Pitts can become a great one like those players. He’s worth the first round pick and getting him at 11 is not a reach.
12. San Francisco 49ers
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Lineman
Interior offensive linemen are a very underrated part of football teams, but their impact cannot be understated. The relationship between a quarterback and center is vital and a great guard, take Zack Martin for instance, can make the difference between a good and great offensive line. Alijah-Vera Tucker is one of those players who will be able to make a real impact right away for a good team. Whether he’s playing guard or tackle, Vera-Tucker should be able to step into the 49er offensive line and start well in a very competitive division. Mike McGlinchy is good enough to hold down the right side for a long time so if Kyle Shanahan wants to throw him at left tackle or opposite Laken Tomlinson on the interior, Vera-Tucker will thrive and be of legitimate use. San Francisco could also use this pick on a wide receiver like Jaylen Waddle, but Brandon Aiyuk can hold down the fort for now. Vera-Tucker is too good of an option to pass up for a team that’s in serious need of protection.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Landon Dickerson, Center
I think that if the Chargers decide to attack the offensive side of the ball with their first pick, they too must go with an offensive lineman. They could go with a tackle and be justified in doing so, but I like the idea of their going with Landon Dickerson at center. The Alabama product is one of the best offensive linemen in the country and has a real opportunity to become a truly great NFL player. He has a great rapport among his teammates and coaches and allowing him to get a connection with Justin Herbert could create a very strong bond between the two. He’s a great blocker and provides the best value at the position for this specific pick. Herbert looks like he could become a really nice quarterback and getting him protection is a must.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Wyatt Davis, Guard
I know this is a pretty long run of linemen, especially interior ones, and that could seem odd with Jaylen Waddle still on the board, but the combination of his ankle injury and general needs make these picks justifiable. Minnesota doesn’t have great depth at wide receiver, but they also have Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, both great options. At guard, they’re helpless. There’s a huge absence of talent or depth at the position and shoring it up is a must for the Vikings. Wyatt Davis blocked at Ohio State who ran advanced schemes and played at a high level in both the pass and the run. The Vikings have an offense that will run a nice mixture of the two and Davis will not only fill in, but fill in effectively.
15. New England Patriots
Kyle Trask, Quarterback
If you didn’t notice this season, the New England Patriots are suddenly without the best quarterback of all time and are suffering because of it. Taking a flyer on Cam Newton was the right move even if it didn’t work out, so getting back in the quarterback business will be the way to go. Kyle Trask won’t solve all of the issues in New England right away, but getting him into the system and acclimated to the NFL with an offense that needs rehab will be good for the player. Trask is the type of player who will fit right into “The Patriot Way” and even though the skill positions need a ton of help, the Pats can address that later in the draft. Trask is a guy who has the potential to win a lot of games and probably won’t require a massive learning curve considering the offense he ran at Florida. I believe he’ll turn into a very good investment for the franchise.
16. Arizona Cardinals
Najee Harris, Running Back
Arizona has a lot of needs but there isn’t one that’s greater than their need to protect Kyler Murray. There’s two ways to do that. The first is to fortify the offensive line and the second is to grab a running back who can establish the run in a way that’s going to force defenses to stay honest. Either way you need to upgrade the line, but taking Harris here will jumpstart the run and give you a Derrick Henry-esque back that can dominate without a perfect line in front of him. Yes, the offensive line needs help, but there’s going to be some nice free agent options available for much less than signing a great running back will cost. Get both for a lower price and keep spending wisely because this trio of Murray, Harris, and Hopkins could be the best in the NFL.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Trey Smith, Guard
I have to go with another interior lineman for the Raiders. Their offensive line played very well this year and mostly everyone will return, but the Richie Incognito contract will run out next year and at 37 years old right now, he probably can’t be very good for much longer. Looking at the rest of the roster, there isn’t a need to upgrade at tight end or quarterback after the seasons Darren Waller and Derek Carr had. Running back is clearly safe and wide receiver, while it could use an upgrade in depth, isn’t a priority. I wouldn’t mind picking up a tackle here for the Raiders and it could be justified if they want to take one, but I think guard provides the best cover and value for them. Regardless of position, they ought to be upgrading the offensive line because it’s very good in its current state and taking advantage of Josh Jacobs should be a priority. Smith is a mean blocker and will fit into this offensive line room seamlessly.
18. Miami Dolphins
Creed Humphrey, Center
Miami will be the first team to pick twice in this 2021 NFL Draft and this is where the strategy will get interesting. There’s a couple schools of thought here. The first is that you can keep upgrading skill positions. The line was decent this year but the skill positions could still use work. Myles Gaskin still isn’t the answer at running back and grabbing another wide receiver here could make this group one of the most intimidating in the sport. One the other hand the Dolphins could keep focusing on the offensive line. The tackles are probably okay for now with Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson, so we have to look at the interior. Guard is thin but Ted Karras’s contract at center is up and guard is kind of deep this season, so getting a center to build a rapport with Tua and develop with the young line will be the right choice. Humphrey could have been the top center in the draft last season and did well to go back to Oklahoma and keep improving. There’s a ton of upside in this player and Miami will be happy to pick him up.
19. Washington Football Team
Mac Jones, Quarterback
This Washington team was not a bad product this year. They’re the only team to keep it really competitive with Tampa Bay in the playoffs and with a few smart moves they could be heavy favorites in the NFC East. The issue is that the offense needs a ton of help and picking where to start with the improvements isn’t an easy task. You could start at the top and look for a good quarterback, but this iteration has most of the first round values taken. You can still get a good receiver, but do you want that if you don’t have the passer? Maybe an offensive lineman to help keep the backfield clean? I have Washington going for Mac Jones here and even though I don’t love the upside of the player Washington needs to figure out their future in that position. Jones was a Heisman finalist and a National Champion this season. I’m not sure how he’ll fare without the superior quality of Alabama around him, but getting the last quarterback with real first round value in the draft ought to serve a team with issues in that department well.
20. Chicago Bears
Jalen Mayfield, Offensive Tackle
The Bears’ offense was just a mess this season. Their defense has enough talent to keep them afloat so it’s almost a guarantee that they address the offense with their first pick. I don’t see them addressing the quarterback position with Nick Foles still under contract and most of the top choices already gone and despite a huge need at wide receiver (especially if Allen Robinson isn’t re-signed), they have some flexibility there from drafts past. The most likely, or most reasonable, avenue the Bears could pursue is along the line. There’s constant physical and mental issues with that unit that simply cannot continue. One tackle, one guard, and center are all in good hands for the time being, so grabbing the best value between the tackles and guards will be the priority. For me that player is Jalen Mayfield out of Michigan. He works especially well because the Bears can play him in his natural position, right tackle, while Charles Leno still anchors the left side. Mayfield could end up being a quality player for Chicago for years to come and is capable of starting as a rookie, something the Bears are in need of.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Jackson Carman, Offensive Tackle
So the Colts are working through a lot of issues on the offensive side of the ball. Philip Rivers just retired and Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton are both unrestricted free agents, so the quarterback and skill positions are in high demand. There’s a good chance that the Colts decide to invest in the free agent market at quarterback for at least this year since last year’s choice, Jacob Eason, probably isn’t ready to take over. There’s a very solid argument to take a wide receiver with this pick as well, but the need for a tackle is just ridiculous right now. At wide receiver you at least have Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell, but at tackle the Colts are currently employing no draft picks or free agent signings, just players on future or reserve contracts. The best value is probably to take a receiver but the need for a tackle is too immense to pass up. Jackson Carman is the next best tackle off the board and he’s worth the investment. The Clemson left tackle is clearly one of the best protectors in the draft and plays well in both facets of the offense, plus he’ll be a good, young blocker on a cheap deal. Address the wide receiver room later.
22. Tennessee Titans
Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver
Tennessee really only has one glaring need on the offense and that’s clearly at wide receiver. They’re not a pass heavy team, but upgrading from the current status of “A.J. Brown and nobody else” is imperative for a team who has an opportunity to dominate the AFC South. Picking up another good pass catcher is a must to make the most of your expensive quarterback and the value is absolutely there for the franchise to grab one without worry. Grabbing Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman will give the Titans that second big target out wide and force defenses into leaving one of the two protected with a corner who is underequipped. Bateman is probably better than the 22nd player in this draft so the pick is perfectly fine there.
23. New York Jets (via SEA)
Sage Surratt, Wide Receiver
And here we are in New York again. I have the Jets taking Zach Wilson with their first pick and even though that’s not set in stone, it’s where we are right now. If they take Wilson, their next offensive pick has to be an upgrade at wide receiver. I actually think the offensive line is fine in its current state considering how the rest of the roster looks so getting another good pass catcher to line up with Jamieson Crowder and Denzel Mims ought to be a priority. I would suggest Rondale Moore or Elijah Moore for the team if Crowder and Braxton Berrios didn’t already fulfill those roles, so getting a bigger body to control the outside with Mims is probably the way to go. To me that player is Sage Surratt out of Wake Forest. He won’t be the big name that everyone loves so the New York media might harp on the Jets for the pick, but he’s going to get open, he’ll make the catch, and he’ll make plays afterwards. Zach Wilson could make great use of such a skilled player.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle
The Steelers are another team in a really interesting situation in terms of their offense. I would think that the only position they’re not willing to draft right now is quarterback since they have Roethlisberger, Rudolph, and Haskins on the roster, but with contracts coming to a close this year, everywhere else is up for improvement. I would imagine that the Steelers will resign either James Connor or JuJu Smith-Schuster so either running back or wide receiver will be okay. There will also need to be some investment on the offensive line where there’s probably a spot open at both guard and tackle as well as the starting center job. So this pick is really a “best value” choice and I think that falls out to the offensive line for a couple of reasons. First, there’s a lot of spots there that require investment, and second because the organization has done great picking second round wide receivers. I don’t really love any of the offensive line picks, but because this is all theoretical I’ll live with it and send Alex Leatherwood to Pittsburgh. As much help is needed at guard and tackle, Leatherwood gives the best value for the pick and has the most upside. Getting the tackles in order will keep the quarterback upright and that’s imperative for this team.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
Rondale Moore, Wide Receiver
The Jaguars come in with their second pick of the first round after snagging Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. They can really go in any direction with this pick outside of another quarterback, so we have to figure out the biggest need for the team. I think guard and center are probably safe for the moment and wide receiver still has some young targets, so the priority might actually be running back. Either way I would probably be looking at taking a skill position to give Trevor Lawrence some help or a tackle to give him protection which means they’re already looking forward to their pick at the start of the second round and guessing who might still be available come that pick. There’s still a lot of good tackles left on the board so getting your pick of a wide receiver or running back is probably the right choice. Though the allure of taking Travis Etienne is high, the Jags should stick with James Robinson after his productive season and go with a wide receiver. There’s already some bigger targets on the team in Chark and Shenault (and if Chris Conley re-signs he’ll be in that group) so I’m putting Purdue’s Rondale Moore on Jacksonville. He’s one of the craftiest players in the draft, his versatility is off the charts, and his getting separation on easy throws for Lawrence will be tremendously valuable in getting the quarterback into a rhythm. He’ll be a great tool for the offense.
26. Cleveland Browns
Deonte Brown, Guard
It’s really weird how astronomical the rise of the Browns has been. In terms of personnel and depth I believe they’re the most complete offense in the NFL. I would actually be surprised if they spend more than one pick on offense in this entire draft. Wide receiver is plenty deep and the running back room is possibly the best in the league. Baker Mayfield is clearly sufficient at quarterback for now and the offensive line is stacked with quality signings and draft picks. If there’s an upgrade or value depth pick available at this point it’s probably at guard where I would pick Deonte Brown out of Alabama. Brown could maybe slot into a starting spot this season if he performed well in camp but would be fantastic depth at worst. Another option here would just be getting depth at wide receiver but Brown makes more sense at this pick.
27. Baltimore Ravens
Seth Williams, Wide Receiver
As much as the Ravens could do with improvement on the offensive line, they have to try taking advantage of Lamar’s rookie deal and grab a top shelf wide receiver. The offensive line has been invested in with draft picks from the past couple of years and Lamar Jackson has to get some targets to throw to at some point. The lack of options he currently has will simply not suffice. Getting a big reliable target into the mixture that can get open while Jackson scrambles is imperative and I think Seth Williams is a great option to throw in to make plays. His route running is really, really good because he finds soft spots in zones and can create separation, something that Jackson needs to complete throws. Williams is also a big target with a nice catch radius which can only help as Jackson continues to develop as a passer.
28. New Orleans Saints
Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver
Considering how well the Saints have invested in their offensive line as Drew Brees aged there isn’t much of a need to draft up front. The real question is surrounding Brees and the quarterback scenario. Will he retire? If he does, can Jameis Winston replace him? Or is Sean Peyton serious about Taysom Hill? I think Brees will see his current contract out, but even if he doesn’t Winston or Hill will probably step into the starting role. New Orleans also doesn’t need a running back with Alvin Kamara locked up for a long time. So we’re looking at upgrading the wide receiver position. Mike Thomas is great but Emmanuel Sanders is getting old and his contract is up after this season. Getting Elijah Moore to replace him after that is a smart investment and one that will pay off this season. The player has matured greatly since his Egg Bowl incident and his production and athleticism are off the charts. Keep him in a good system with an accurate passer and he’ll pay himself off very quickly.
29. Green Bay Packers
Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver
Stop. Shorting. Aaron. Rodgers. The Packers have told Aaron Rodgers to create messianic plays with underachievers for far too long. Davante Adams is a very good player but you have to give Rodgers enough weapons. Finally getting him the help he needs is clearly imperative to keep him young. He still has the magic as we saw this season, but another good receiver is absolutely required. Don’t go after the line. Don’t get another replacement. Don’t even go defense. Get. A. Wide. Receiver. Get Tylan Wallace, one of the best athletes in the class and a player who will catch everything Rodgers puts near him and make plays afterwards to boot. Enough fooling around, get a first round pass catcher.
30. Buffalo Bills
Ben Cleveland, Guard
The Bills had one of the most startlingly efficient offenses in the NFL last season and that’s because they built the right way. They have a good quarterback on a rookie contract, a strong offensive line, good running backs for cheap, and star wide receivers. This offseason the offensive line will lose a couple players so getting that unit back in the shape it was last season to protect Josh Allen and keep the run game effective is a smart choice. Dion Dawkins anchors the left tackle spot and Mitch Morse has center on lock, but the rest of the line is up for grabs. Getting a guard to fill one of those spots and making a signing for the other might be the best plan of attack. There’s an argument to grab a tight end here but Dawson Knox and Lee Dixon will probably suffice for now. Get a guard and keep Josh Allen safe. Ben Cleveland is not a first round value, but this isn’t how the first round will actually play out, so no worries here. Regardless, he’s a player who can start right now and be efficient, especially if he’s flanked by Dawkins and Morse.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Terrace Marshall Jr., Wide Receiver
Well we don’t know if this will actually be Tampa Bay’s pick just yet, but flipping spots with the Chiefs in the event of a win probably won’t be too much of an issue in terms of planning the draft. So here are the options for the team. They can go with a wide receiver if they don’t plan on bringing back Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, potentially expensive propositions for an already expensive team. They can get a stud running back, though I don’t see that happening considering Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn are still on rookie deals. They could get a tackle, though Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith seem like the future in those positions, or they could get a guard to line up opposite of Ali Marpet. My mindset is keeping your best player, Tom Brady, efficient and healthy which means either getting a guard or wide receiver and I’m much more comfortable with grabbing a pass catcher if Godwin and Brown aren’t back. Evans is still a great option but Brady needs and deserves more help than just him. The question now is what kind of receiver they want to snag. I feel like I need to go with Terrace Marshall Jr. The player was fantastic for LSU again this season and even though he doesn’t create great separation, Brady is still accurate enough to throw him open and Marshall’s athleticism will help create off the ball. Brady stays young and the weapons stay big and cheap.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Trey Hill, Center
What does the best offense maybe ever need to get better? It’s kind of unfair that this team has a chance to get better in the draft, but they do, and they can get better. The biggest question for me on this offense is almost undoubtedly at guard or center. The tackle positions are filled and there’s enough depth to sustain an injury and wide receiver still has Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill, more than enough to keep Patrick Mahomes engaged. If Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff returns that will fill one guard position, but the interior line still has to be improved with Austin Reiter becoming a free agent this offseason. Trey Hill out of Georgia is more than capable of stepping into this offense and blocking very well. I can’t see him being any sort of deterrent for the unit and his ability to process the game and pass block could make him a staple for the next four years.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars
Samuel Cosmi, Offensive Tackle
The Jaguars are back on the clock for the third time already and they’re looking to keep getting better in any way possible. Last pick I talked about their need to pick between protection and skill players and saw them select a receiver to pair with Trevor Lawrence. Now it’s time to pick up a player who can fill in along the line this year and that player is Samuel Cosmi. The tackle is a huge man that can play on either the right or left and can play in whatever type of scheme you want him to. He does have some developing to work through but I believe he’s more than capable of becoming a great tackle for a long time and developing him with a new quarterback could help expedite that process.
34. New York Jets
Travis Etienne, Running Back
The Jets had the same type of picks as the Jags in the first round, going quarterback to wide receiver to upgrade their options at both positions. However, the Jets have done a good job building the offensive line and I don’t see a way for any rookies to break into the line right now so getting one at this point might be a bit premature. Connor McGovern is at center, Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten at guard, and Mekhi Becton and George Fant at tackle. Maybe someone could break in but investing in one right now when you have more picks later that you can use on upside isn’t the right move. So that leaves the pick going to a tight end or running back. There’s a few million invested in Ryan Griffin at tight end but there’s very little meat on the bone at running back. If Travis Etienne is still available here you have to pull the trigger. He might be the best running back in ACC history and can do great behind this line you’ve built. The player is good enough to elevate your offense and keep teams honest by establishing the run for a team who hasn’t established anything for years other than a losing reputation.
35. Atlanta Falcons
Javonte Williams, Running Back
After grabbing Matt Ryan’s eventual replacement with their first pick, Atlanta needs to look farther down the offense to figure out what they’re really in need of. Starting in the middle, Alex Mack’s contract with the team is up and 2nd year player Matt Hennessy is the next man up. If the Falcons are comfortable with Hennessy, and I think they might be, they’re clear there. James Carpenter and Chris Lindstrom return at guard and Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary both return at tackle, so the offensive line is probably good to go, believe it or not. Wide receiver is sufficiently stocked for the time being and Hayden Hurst is probably okay at tight end, so it’s time to replace Todd Gurley. Javonte Williams was incredibly productive this season at North Carolina and will be able to shoulder the full three-down workload in a pass-heavy offense. He’s a good blocker and has nice pass protection chops so he ought to be a good fit for this team.
36. Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
Michael Carter, Running Back
The Fins are the third team to dip their toes into the draft waters for the third time so far and if you recall they went with a wide receiver and center for their first picks. So the conversation here is the same as it was with the other teams to pick multiple times so far, figure out where you need help and address it. Quarterback? Good. Running back? Myles Gaskin isn’t the future, but he isn’t bad, so keep moving. Receiver? Still needs help, but it’s on the backburner after getting Smith. Tackle? Solid. Guard? Solid. Center? Addressed. Tight end? Gesicki and Shaheen are fine for the moment. Of all those positions I see running back being the biggest issue. I don’t mean to make a trend of it, it’s just where we find ourselves. I actually have Michael Carter, Javonte Williams partner at UNC, being the next best runner off the board. He isn’t a bigger guy and flourishes when he can get a bit of space which is something this line should be able to give them as they progress. He’s a hard worker in pass protection which is an added bonus, but his production should be better than what Miami has right now.
37. Philadelphia Eagles
Pat Freiermuth, Tight End
The Eagles’ offense is really weird. It seems like they have three types of players, superstars, duds, and prospects. It’s tough to sift through them and figure out what’s really necessary so we almost need to go to a “best available player” scenario here. I think going somewhere along the line, be it a lineman or tight end, is the way to go. You could probably go with a guard or tackle even though the main starters are returning or you could try to replace Zach Ertz who is a likely candidate to leave in free agency. I prefer to grab Pat Freiermuth out of Penn State to replace Ertz. He won’t be as efficient as Ertz, not yet, but he gives Jalen Hurts another big passing target while the team sifts through offensive linemen and figures out who has a real future with the team and who doesn’t. The fact that Freiermuth is somewhat local will make him a more likeable pick for the fans. It’s a complicated scenario with that offense.
38. Cincinnati Bengals
Nico Collins, Wide Receiver
The Bengals snagged Penei Sewell with their first pick of the draft which probably makes them a lot more comfortable with their line. Protecting an injured Joe Burrow will be a priority so more linemen could be a good avenue, but getting him target men is another, possibly smarter, path to pursue. It might not be the most popular pick with the fans because of the Michigan connection, but picking up Nico Collins as a replacement for A.J. Green who is probably done with the team would be a huge win for the team. Collins has very good size and physical attributes and getting him in with Burrow could be massively profitable. He has potential to be a 1,000 yard guy as a rookie and if Burrow comes back strong I would bet on that happening in this world.
39. Carolina Panthers
Liam Eichenberg, Offensive Tackle
The next step on the offensive side of the ball for Carolina is to turn around from smiling at Trey Lance and saying, “Oh my god, we have no offensive line to protect him.” That is a scary realization after taking a shiny new toy early in the draft so getting someone in to protect him is the next step no matter what. Tackle and guard are the biggest positions of need and at this point in the draft Liam Eichenberg is the best available player from those positions. He’s good enough to immediately step into the left side of the line and has a nasty run block, so Run CMC won’t feel left out either. Blocking for the backfield stars on this team is a must and Eichenburg will immediately do that.
40. Denver Broncos
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver
The Broncos took one of the most versatile players in the draft in Rashawn Slater with their first pick to improve the offensive line so assuming Ja’Wuan James is good to go, this line is more than ready to head into next season. There’s a lot of money tied up in the running backs and tight ends so there probably won’t be too much interest in those departments unless there’s no interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon after this season, but I wouldn’t think that’s the case. That leaves the pick to be a wide receiver, quarterback, or depth. Amon-Ra St. Brown isn’t the best wide receiver in this class and he won’t take over as the top target-receiver, but he will be a great number two behind Jerry Jeudy and provide another good target so that the organization can decide once and for all if Drew Lock is their quarterback. St. Brown is a very good receiver, though far from a perfect one, but one that will do well to help the team and organization more forward.
41. Detroit Lions
Daniel Faalele, Offensive Tackle
The newly-arranged Detroit offense took a wide receiver to kick off this draft and they could honestly bear to pick another one to follow up. Their group of pass catchers is really thin and grabbing a second would probably make two starters. The other argument is to grab another offensive tackle to raise the quality opposite Taylor Decker and I actually favor that option a bit. Matt Stafford is gone so the “ignore the run and throw” mindset isn’t going to work nearly as well anymore so getting some balance between the attacks and working on running the ball is probably a good idea. I like taking a wide receiver here, but I’d rather see them take a lineman and make it a bit more stable and for that I would prescribe Daniel Faalele out of Minnesota. The player is raw but his ridiculous size, 6-9 and 400 pounds, will make him a menace regardless. He’s used to playing on the right side and despite the size, he moves very well. He’ll pass and run block extremely well and make the line, and maybe run game, formidable.
42. New York Giants
Dazz Newsome, Wide Receiver
In this iteration of the draft the Giants opened their account with tight end Kyle Pitts, a player who almost doubles as a wide receiver. I believe that situation fulfills their pass catching requirements sufficiently for the time being considering Engram, Slayton, Shepherd, and Tate are there, so we can take a closer look at the line. The issue is that the offensive line is really good in terms of personnel as well, all of the starting spots being accounted for, so there isn’t a huge reason for the Giants to pursue an offensive lineman. Daniel Jones is anchored at the moment and Saquon Barkley owns running back, so I guess we’re back to taking pass catchers. The Giants probably won’t pursue too many offensive players, but getting a bit more depth at receiver in case one of the established guys goes down, a reasonable expectation, is worth the pick. Dazz Newsome will be able to take a good number of snaps and sort of blend into the scenery for the most part. There’s huge upside for the player and will be a reliable option if there is an injury.
43. San Francisco 49ers
Teven Jenkins, Offensive Tackle
So the 49ers are going to miss some key players from the offensive line with Trent Williams and Daniel Brunskill possibly gone, so fixing that is imperative. Alijah Vera-Tucker was the first step in replacing them and this pick could be the second, but we need to check the rest of the roster for needs. Wide receiver is probably okay but would do well with a shot of new blood. The running back room is in the same situation. Tight end is clear, as in center, but it wouldn’t even be too wild to see the Niners go after a quarterback here. The need in other places is probably too great, but it’s not out of the question. If there are plans to bring back Trent Williams then they don’t need to draft a tackle, but if there are not Teven Jenkins would be the correct pick here. Jenkins is arguably a first round value depending on the scout and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go there in the actual draft. He would be a great player and allow Vera-Tucker to move to his natural position at guard.
44. Dallas Cowboys
Shane Buechele, Quarterback
I had the Cowboys opening this mock with Christian Darrisaw to reestablish the storied Cowboy offensive line so I’m pretty happy with their offensive line. They certainly don’t need a running back or wide receiver, so the answer here is getting better at quarterback. Shane Buechele is a Texas boy from Arlington so playing for the Cowboys only seems right for the kid. He was a star at SMU and made some absolutely wonderful throws, running a very high-functioning offense that scored a lot of points. He’d have the best offensive line he’s ever had and the best receivers he’s ever had, so I think he would thrive in the scenario. Jerry probably doesn’t want to give into the Dak pressure so Buechele is a win on two fronts.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN)
Brevin Jordan, Tight End
Jacksonville coming back in for number four! Of course taking four offensive players with these picks won’t be expected, but rules are rules so I can’t do much about that. I don’t mind the thought of taking another tackle in this position to try and throw opposite of Cosmi or stash for the future, but I also like the idea of adding another pass catcher at receiver or tight end. The Jaguars already have Tyler Eifert but he wasn’t particularly effective this season and his option for 2021, the last season of his contract, could be declined, so grabbing Brevin Jordan to get into rhythm with Lawrence would be the best case scenario. Jordan is a lot like Kyle Pitts in his body and usage and would be a fantastic target to draw some focus from the receivers. The goal of Jacksonville is to give Trevor Lawrence everything he needs to win and Jordan would be a great tool.
46. New England Patriots
Kadarius Toney, Wide Receiver
The Patriots getting sniped on Brevin Jordan probably won’t make them happy considering how much they need a pass catcher, but there’s plenty of wide receivers and tight ends of quality left to be taken regardless. Before we dive in head first though, let’s prod around the roster. Joe Thuney is a UFA so unless he’s resigned, there’s a vacancy at left tackle. Isaiah Wynn or Marcus Cannon could get a chance there, but that’s not guaranteed. In addition, center David Andrews is a UFA which will leave a huge opening there. The team is probably content with their running backs, but an improvement wouldn’t hurt. So is the need for a pass catcher paramount now that Jordan is off the board? Another thing to keep in mind is that the Patriots don’t have a 3rd round pick this season so they won’t have a chance to come back around in 30 or so picks. Is the priority enabling or protecting Kyle Trask? I think the opportunity to link up Trask with his teammate from Florida in Kadarius Toney should be the priority. Toney gives Trask a familiar option and one that would improve the receiving corps, especially vital considering Julian Edelman’s contract is up after the season. There’s not a perfect formula to this pick but Toney wouldn’t be a bad option.
47. Los Angeles Chargers
Dillon Radunz, Offensive Tackle
The Chargers opened their account with Landon Dickerson and as much as I would like to take a tight end with this pick, the Chargers need to keep loading up on offensive linemen. There’s a ton of really important starters who are on expired deals and getting every one of them back is unlikely, so grabbing another tackle to replace Sam Tevi is my best option. I don’t have the player in this spot but it’s likely that he goes higher than my appraisal of him so I put Dillon Radunz out of North Dakota State in this spot. Tackle is really deep and Radunz is still a good option and can fill out the lacking line. Keeping Justin Herbert upright is going to be a big task but adding Radunz makes it a lot more manageable for an offense that has a lot of potential.
48. Las Vegas Raiders
Amari Rodgers, Wide Receiver
I opened the draft with Las Vegas solidifying their offensive line with Trey Smith at guard. There’s a lot of talent and money and money already invested in that unit and there wouldn’t be any more starting jobs, so I think we can move on from the line. As I said earlier, they probably don’t need help at running back, tight end, or quarterback, so grabbing another pass catcher to get some help for Derek Carr is the best move. I know the Gruden style of receiver is just someone who can run extremely fast so I went with Amari Rodgers. He has a chance to be the top target for this team considering how small most of the receiving room is and the variety of routes and positions he operated at Clemson and would be a great change of pace from both Henry Ruggs III and Darren Waller.
49. Arizona Cardinals
Royce Newman, Offensive Lineman
The Cardinals opened by upgrading at running back with the best rusher in college football last year, Najee Harris. There could be use for a wide receiver or tight end at this pick and I wouldn’t mind if they went for that, but the biggest concern with this team is keeping Kyler Murray healthy. He’s the most important player on the team and maybe the most fragile. Royce Newman out of Ole Miss played both guard and tackle in college and thanks to the two very different regimes he played under, he can run just about anything in the playbook. So inside, outside, fast, slow, run, pass, he can do whatever is required of him. He could be a big piece of the offense if he lands in Arizona.
50. Miami Dolphins
D’Wayne Eskridge, Wide Receiver
The Dolphins are ringing in with their fourth pick of the draft after picking up a receiver, center, and running back with their first three picks, solidifying the middle of the line and running corps. This leaves the team to go with essentially the best available option on the board. They’ll avoid taking a runner, passer, or center, but because of the versatility of Robert Hunt they’re free to take a guard or tackle. However, taking an offensive lineman here would likely only give them depth while a wide receiver could have a real effect this coming season. I’m giving Miami another great pass catching option in D’Wayne Eskridge out of Western Michigan. The player is ridiculously talented both physically and technically and will provide plenty of separation for Tua to find him anywhere on the field. He’s one of the most fun players in the draft and will fit right into South Florida.
51. Washington Football Team
Kylin Hill, Running Back
I have Washington taking a quarterback in the first round and probably will no matter the circumstances of the mock. They need one badly and this draft will provide. Their next step isn’t as clear cut though. Let’s go position by position. Terry McLaurin is a good player and I like the prospects of Antonio Gandy-Golden, but there has to be a bit more cover at wide receiver. Tight end could use a face lift but unless you’re getting a top guy from this draft, live with Thad Moss. Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love are interesting runners but getting an upgrade wouldn’t be difficult. Morgan Moses has one tackle spot anchored and Saahdiq Charles will compete with Cornelius Lucas for the other one. Brandon Scherff is a free agent but I would imagine the organization does everything they can to retain the first team All-Pro guard. The other guard spot is owned by Wes Schweitzer. Chase Roullier is back at center and Kevin Ismael is behind him so there isn’t a reason to draft there. So the line is pretty locked down meaning we’re focusing on running back and wide receiver and I prefer that they add a pass catcher. But right now we should talk value for a minute. My next wide receiver off the board is 6-6 Warren Jackson, a vacuum of a receiver but my 17th ranked receiver. On the other hand we have Kylin Hill, the 5th ranked runner on my board. I’m having the organization pick Hill because he’s a very good runner with great pass catching skills, but also because the value is much better at this point. The wide receiver market will be very hot this year so getting value instead of jumping into the frenzy will be important. Hill is the right choice and better value at this pick.
52. Chicago Bears
David Moore, Guard
So what could the Bears possibly be thinking about doing with this pick? One option is to take a flyer on a quarterback, someone who could maybe be the quarterback of the future, but more likely just a stashed player who never sees real time. I don’t think that’s a good investment. If they can’t re-sign Allen Robinson there’s going to be a huge need for a wide receiver, one that can’t go unnoticed. There’s also a potential need for a guard. This could be another big value decision. I’m skipping Warren Jackson again, not because he’s a bad player, but because David Moore out of Grambling could turn out to be a great player and a necessary one at much better value. The guard would finally make the line whole in a way that would make the runners and passers in the backfield a lot happier. It’s not a sexy draft for the Bears, but it’s a vital one.
53. Tennessee Titans
Jeremy Ruckert, Tight End
The Titans started this draft by improving their wide receiver corps, but Rashod Bateman won’t fix all of their problems, so drafting another pass catcher isn’t out of the question. The thing is, I can’t really see them going anywhere else on the offense. I suppose the interior line could be thin in a couple of seasons, but the Titans aren’t trying to be good in a couple of seasons. They need to be good now. That means they’re going after another pass catcher right now, be it a tight end or wide receiver. Jeremy Ruckert was the go-to wide receiver at Ohio State and it’s easy to see why. He’s a huge player with great hands and blocks very well to boot. Tennessee can give him most, if not all, of the tight end reps and will be better for it. He’s pro ready.
54. Indianapolis Colts
Warren Jackson, Wide Receiver
Again we come to the Colts who are an interesting study on the offensive side of the ball. I don’t dislike the idea of grabbing a quarterback but I believe they Colts prefer to get someone more experienced if they’re not getting a top guy from this class. Since Jack Doyle has tight end locked down I believe the Colts can either go with another tackle or a wide receiver. There’s a ridiculous amount of production to be replaced if neither Hilton or Zach Pascal are re-signed and I believe the Colts have to take a receiver with their pick because of it. Warren Jackson is a great pass catcher and though he may not be explosive, you can throw it in his zip code and be confident he’ll catch the ball.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers
Michal Menet, Center
The Steelers locked up their offensive line in the first round with Alex Leatherwood but that doesn’t mean the line is good to go. Chuks Okorafor has one tackle position and David DeCastro has the other, but Alejandro Villanueva and Maurkice Pouncey are both possibly on their way out. As I noted earlier, James Connor and JuJu Smith-Schuster are both free agents, so the team could go after a receiver or runner as well. The best value at this point on my board is center Michal Menet. Maurkice Pouncey is planning on retiring after spending his entire career in Pittsburgh so the Steelers’ best bet is to grab Menet. He can lead a line and is moderately local considering he’s out of Penn State. He won’t be able to replace Pouncey right now but in the future he could fill the role.
56. Seattle Seahawks
Josh Myers, Ohio State
Seattle traded their first pick this season to the Jets in the Jamal Adams deal so this will be their first pick of the draft. The Seahawks’ offense was dynamic to start the season but fell off a cliff towards the end, leading to an early playoff out. The best possible investments for the Seahawks will probably be along the line or out at tight end. I think wide receiver could use help but probably won’t be the biggest priority with Lockett and Metcalf still on rookie deals. There’s a job up for grab at tight end and with Mike Iupati and Ethan Pocic both on expiring deals, there’s jobs open there too. As much as I like Kenny Yeboah out of Ole Miss at tight end I think I have to go with another center, Josh Myers, out of Ohio State. I love the idea of adding another pass catcher for Seattle but there’s some good options to be had later on and keeping Russell Wilson upright is flatly more important. Myers can start this year and blocked for a quarterback with a similar playstyle to Russ, so this assignment shouldn’t be too difficult.
57. Los Angeles Rams
Derek Kerstetter, Center
The Rams are also sliding into their first pick of the draft here and their situation is pretty interesting considering the upgrade they just got at quarterback. However, while the offense as a while is fun to analyse, their draft needs aren’t so titillating. Quarterback is solved and wide receiver has a ton of money sunk into it and I feel as though they’re good enough there. Tyler Higbee is locked in at tight end, Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson own running back, and Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstien are making a lot of money at tackle. That leaves a choice between guard and center to be made. Again, I don’t mean to get caught in a trend, the situation and board are just calling for another center and that’s what we get. Derek Kerstetter played for a very high-powered offense at Texas and should relish the opportunity at jumping right into an experienced line with a chance to play important games. He has the body and skill to be a good player and I think this situation would turn him into a very valuable asset.
58. Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Williams, Wide Receiver
The Ravens took their first pick in this draft to the outside where they got Seth Williams to give Lamar Jackson some sort of help downfield. The next step is to either keep getting help for your MVP caliber quarterback or to get him a bit of protection. Matt Skura is a free agent and if you can’t get him back, there needs to be a replacement. I don’t think finding a center on the market for a good price will be an issue for the Ravens so getting more receiver help is probably the best avenue. My receiver to be taken actually plays perfectly for Jackson and the Ravens because he’s very fast, can create space vertically, and does extremely well when the quarterback is scrambling. Marlon Williams out of UCF also ran a lot of stack and wide receiver screens, both of which would work well with Marquise Brown and Seth Williams.
59. Cleveland Browns
Spencer Brown, Offensive Tackle
We’re back around to Cleveland with this pick. If you remember I said that Cleveland won’t be spending many picks on offense in this draft and that their unit is one of the best in the league in terms of personnel, so I doubt this pick will actually be offensive either. But again, rules. I added some guard depth because of expiring contracts in the near future for their first pick and the second one can go to just about anything they want. I would probably narrow the scopes down to a receiver (not tight end) or additional tackle depth. Since the value at receiver isn’t great at this point I had the team take Spencer Brown out of Northern Iowa. The player isn’t D1, but he showed massive upside and the ability to be a great tackle in the NFL. He’s a mountain of a man that isn’t quite ready to start meaning that this situation would suit him very well. The best case scenario is that he’s ready to replace Chris Hubbard as the next man up when that contract expires.
60. New Orleans Saints
Walker Little, Offensive Tackle
The Saints took a wide receiver with their initial pick to keep whoever is at quarterback full of options, but now it’s time to look at the offensive line. Both Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armistead have deals that expire after next season so getting another guy to have in case neither comes back seems like a smart move. To me the best player to fill that role is Walker Little out of Stanford. The player was initially far higher on draft boards before opting out of the season, something that caused a big drop due to a lack in film. Little is another player that probably isn’t ready to go right now but a year of reps behind those two great tackles and against some wonderful pass rushers opposite him should at least have him ready to defend the right side of the line.
61. Buffalo Bills
Kenny Yeboah, Tight End
There’s two lines of thought for this pick in my humble opinion. The first is that the Bills can keep fortifying the line after grabbing a guard with their first pick, ideally grabbing a good tackle to provide depth, or they can go after a tight end considering none of theirs are top tier options, plus their deals will all be up in the next couple of years. Looking at the big board it’s a pretty easy choice for me. The smarter option and better value is to grab Kenny Yeboah out of Ole Miss. The tight end is a fantastic pass catcher who is essentially a more versatile wide receiver. He’s awesome after the catch and would help the offense diversify itself. He’s not a great blocker but you have other big bodies to do that anyways. Keep helping Josh Allen.
62. Green Bay Packers
Jaelon Darden, Wide Receiver
When the 2021 NFL season comes to a close, the roster as it’s currently constructed will not have a single wide receiver under contract. Are there sure to be changes before then? Yes. Does there need to be some depth at tackle and is Corey Linsley a free agent at center? Yes to both. But reread the first sentence. That’s what’s important right now. The Packers must keep building at wide receiver because they need to keep Aaron Rodgers young. It isn’t a need, it’s a must. I have them taking Jaelon Darden out of Texas Tech to complement their other receivers with some ridiculous movement. Darden was easily the best pass catcher in Conference USA this season and made some ridiculous plays to show off that he’s not a product of the competition. His intelligence will blend well with that of Rodgers and his ability to play slot or outside will make him a versatile tool.
63. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jamie Newman, Quarterback
Tampa snagged a receiver to replace Chris Godwin with their first pick so now the organization will probably look elsewhere to fortify their ranks. Except, there really isn’t anything else to fortify that much. The line is pretty much all locked up for a while outside of Ryan Jensen at center, tight end is flush, running back is pretty young and talented, so does that mean… quarterback? Let’s preface this by saying Tom Brady has conquered time itself. But there has to be a drop off soon, right? In a year and a half he’ll be closer to 70 than he is to 20. Plus, he’s the only quarterback on the roster after this season officially ends and his contract ends after next season. So do you get a quarterback? Do you try to get better at running back? Center? I have the team investing in the future. Even if Brady plans on re-signing and playing longer, Jamie Newman could be a cheap backup with a ton of upside. He didn’t play in college this season but we saw him demolish the ACC at Wake Forest and playing behind Brady has at least netted the Patriots returns in trades. Grab the young starlet and stash him.
64. Kansas City Chiefs
Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Wide Receiver
Finally, here we are. I know, I’m probably as exhausted as you are, but congratulations for making it this far, and thank you. Despite making the Super Bowl twice in a row and grabbing a great center in the first round, the Chiefs can still pick from a lot of viable places for this draft. Of course quarterback isn’t one of them, and neither is tight end or running back probably, but the reality is that the rest of the unit can use help. Both starting tackles have deals ending after next season, as does a starting guard. There’s a chance they retain some of those guys which would make life easier, but there’s still likely to be a departure or two and there still needs to be some depth at receiver. This is a “get the best player on the board” type of pick and the value comes at wide receiver in Ihmir Smith-Marsette out of Iowa. He’s not going to overtake Hardman or Hill but does make good separation and does excellent work on shorter routes, especially outs. He provides useful depth now and should contribute if picked.
Other Draft Material
Draft Big Board
Mock Draft 1.0
Mock Draft 2.0
Mock Draft 3.1: All Defense
Mock Draft 4.0
Mock Draft 5.0
Running Back Rankings
Wide Receiver Rankings
Tight End Rankings
Offensive Tackle Rankings
Defensive Tackle Rankings
Outside Linebacker Rankings
Inside Linebacker Rankings