Rush Nation, I love a good ol’ mock draft. And I know you do, too. You know who else likes a draft? My good buddy, Ash. Throw Murf and Stocks into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a band of hardy souls making an early prediction for April’s shenanigans.
The draft order comes to you courtesy of Tankathon at the halfway stage of the season. My 0-8 New York Jets are first up, and Ash’s 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers pick at #32.
The SEC leads the way in this mock draft with 9 picks, 6 of those hailing from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Clemson has 3 first round draft picks, and Ohio State 4. Don’t worry though, some lesser known schools get a mention in this mock draft also. North Dakota State comes out of Day One with two first rounders. Zach Wilson of BYU finds his NFL home, also.
Podcasts more your thing? Check out last week’s mock draft episode here.
The Mock Draft
1) New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
2) New York Giants: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Big Blue has holes all over this defence, and the best player of the entire class (Penei Sewell) is still on the board. Why take a QB? Well, Daniel Jones just isn’t very good. He was a shock early pick in the 2019 draft, and has never really justified Dave Gettleman’s decision to take him so high. So, the Giants need to take a leaf out of the Cardinals’ book: keep rolling the dice at the most important position in sport until your draft pick hits.
Fields is on course to challenge Trevor Lawrence for both the Heisman Trophy and #1 overall selection. So far this year, he has completed 87.3% of his passes (at 10.8 YPA). Both figures are the best in his college career so far.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
4) Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
5) Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Dallas need a lot of pieces. They could try and enter the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes since they do not have a Quarterback under contract in 2020. They could look to rebuild either the offensive or defensive line. However, I’ve decided to give them a generational talent in an area of the field they have neglected for the last few years.
How many players start for Alabama as a true Freshman? The answer is not a whole lot. Surtain’s father, Patrick Surtain Sr, was also a Cornerback in the NFL. I would argue Jr. is better. This weekend saw him earn his 100th tackle in his college career. Surtain is one of the top 2 defensive players in this class and the Cowboys can finally work on a secondary that is putting up historically bad numbers for tackles and broken up passes.
6) Atlanta Falcons: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Well isn’t this a turn up for the books. Because, the new look Falcons need a new face of the franchise with Julio, Gurley and Ryan all gone due to cap hell. Etienne can be that guy. Much has been said about taking Running Backs early in the draft. However, Etienne is so talented the Falcons, that the front office couldn’t look past this shiny new toy. In all seriousness, Etienne has game breaking speed and acceleration. If he gets into the open field it’s “Goodnight Vienna”.
Travis is one of the best receiving Running Backs we have seen coming out of college for a long time. This is because he uses his speed to get to the outside and break off big plays when catching dump offs. Like Alvin Kamara, Etienne has fish-like slipperiness and makes himself thin at the point of tackle, so there is less to grab hold of. This means he often breaks free of tackles and gains more yards for his team. This is because he is very physical for his slightly smaller build and isn’t afraid to get in the way and protect his Quarterback. However, he needs some work in patience but that will come with maturity and coaching at the next level.
7) Washington Football Team: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
8) Los Angeles Chargers: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
9) New England Patriots: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
10) Minnesota Vikings: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
11) Cincinnati Bengals: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
12) Carolina Panthers: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
13) Detroit Lions: Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama
14) Denver Broncos: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
15) San Francisco 49ers: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
16) Miami Dolphins: De’Vonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins are a well run organisation. They know that their young QB needs talent surrounding him. Who better than his favourite target in Tuscaloosa in 2019? In Tua’s last season as ‘Bama QB, he connected with Smith 68 times for 1,256 yards and 14 TDs.
As this is the Dolphins’ second pick on Day One, they can afford to take a luxury player. Smith is tall, but slender. However, don’t let that fool you. Because, he can hold his own in contested catch situations. With 759 yards and 8 TDs already this year, he is on course to eclipse last year’s figures.
The turnaround in Miami continues. With Jaylen Waddle out for the foreseeable future, Smith seems the safer pick.
17) Las Vegas Raiders: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
18) Chicago Bears: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
For me the second-best receiver in the class. The Eagles need a guy who can be the Dawg. Thats because Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson are now past their prime and Bateman is exactly what Carson Wentz needs. At 6’1” and 210 Lbs, Bateman is the prototypical build for a number one Wide Receiver. Bateman shows superb skills when attacking the football at the top of his jump and uses his long limbs to leverage defenders into position so he can snaffle the ball in.
He has good speed into his breaks and can exploit defenders who give him too much space. Bateman is fluid through his routes and is most exciting to watch and dangerous to defend against when he has the ball in his hands. His RAC is phenomenal and if he is hit by his Quarterback on the move he can use his levers to stiff arm and shrug off tacklers and eat up more turf. Because Reagor provides the vertical threat and Batemon can exploit the contested catches and outside work in this new look Wideout room.
20) Cleveland Browns: Patrick Jones, Edge, Pittsburgh
21) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
22) Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
23) Arizona Cardinals: Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami
24) Baltimore Ravens: Carlos Bashan Jnr, Edge, Wake Forest
It doesn’t seem fair giving this Ravens defence another weapon. However, that being said, one area of improvement is at the Edge. That is where Carlos Basham comes in. He can be an instant starter and difference maker. The Wake Forest Edge is my #3 in this year’ class, and Ravens get him at a bargain price.
Basham never stops working, and has a ridiculous engine. Add to the fact he is an accomplished run blocker who possesses key edge rush skills, and NFL QBs better watch out!
25) Green Bay Packers: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
26) Tennessee Titans: Jalen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh
27) New Orleans: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
28) Buffalo Bills: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aiden Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
With Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson appearing to not make the roster in 2021, the Chiefs will need another weapon. Enter Chris Olave. One of the best sideline technicians in college football who manages to separate easily. He is also very very quick. Olave has the route running precision of a Sammy Watkins with the speed that isn’t quite Mecole Hardman, but still quick. He will be a perfect fit for the Chiefs and with Mahomes under centre, he could be an extremely valuable weapon to stretch the field and get those much needed chunk yardage.
It doesn’t seem fair that the Chiefs will get this kind of weapon, but this is how the draft fell.
31) New York Jets (via Seattle): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
A big decision here when it came to my Steelers. Big Ben is not getting any younger, and picking up a QB to sit behind him was very tempting. But I saw bigger needs at OT & Edge with both Villeneuva and Bud Dupree both likely to depart in free agency.
However, the run of defensive ends decided this for me, and protecting Big Ben becomes the priority right now.
Jackson Carman has been a beast protecting Trevor Lawrence and possesses impressive athleticism and flexibility for a guy of his size.
There you have it, Rush Nation. A midway mock draft to feast your eyes on. For more coverage of each pick, be sure to check out last week’s podcast episode.
@5yardcollege – Saturdays are for rushing, too!