Its mock draft season Rush Nation. In my first edition this year I make some logical, some mad and some typical Stocks picks. So lets mock baby.
No questions asked here. The Bengals go and get their man of the future. Barring the Dolphins trading all their first picks to guarantee Tua, Burrow heads to Ohio.
In my crazy mind, I think the skins decide they move on from Haskins and draft Tua. However, in the non-mental real world, the Redskins draft the best player in the Draft. Young is a generational as an Edge Rusher and will give the skins one of the best D lines in the league with all their 1st round talents across it.
In my mind, there is no doubt the Lions trade back with someone who wants Tua. The Lions and Giants don’t need a Quarterback but there is nothing stopping someone else jumping into the third spot. In this scenario, however, no trades are allowed. Detroit needs help at Cornerback and if Darius Slay is traded, Okudha is as good if not better than Slay. They should draft him regardless of where they trade back.
The Giants have a lot of needs but making sure that their boy Daniel Jones stays upright, is what I think they should focus on here. The offensive tackle class is very good and grabbing, in my opinion, the best out there in this draft is key for the G men here. Whether they play him at right tackle or guard he is plug and play ready and will instantly upgrade their offensive line.
Whilst I fully expect the Fins to trade up to get Tua (or so I’m told by our Dolphins guy Lee). No trades are allowed so they grab him here at five. The tank for Tua will be complete and the Fins will have their franchise Quarterback of the future. They had personnel at every Alabama game which clearly shows they have eyes for only one man.
My isn’t this a conundrum? With the Chargers not having the firepower of the Dolphins to trade up for Tua, they now have two options. They take Justin Herbert as the future or roll with Tyrod Taylor or another veteran and sure up the leaky Offensive Line. Personally, I think the Bolts go with a veteran whether it be Tyrod, Brady or maybe Dalton. Step in Jederick Wills. Alabama monster. Sure up the line ready for Fields or Lawrence next year.
Losing the best linebacker in the league in Luke Keuchly to sudden retirement was a bitter pill to swallow. Simmons had an absolute screamer of a draft and his versatility was clearly on show. Simmons can play either Linebacker or Safety so will be Key to the Panthers rebuild under the new Head Coach Matt Rhule.
Simply put the Cardinals cannot run Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offence the way they want, with the O-Line they have. Queue combine darling, Becton. He showed he can be prolific on the line and will upgrade the line to enable the Cardinals to air it out even more. Kyler should improve this year and keeping him upright will be a big part of this. I considered Juedy here but Kirk looks good enough to be the one going forward and the Receiver class is deep enough to pick up talent later on.
The Jags Defense needs a complete overhaul. Saxonville is no longer. Taking Josh Allen last year was a great move in the rebuild. Pairing him with this year’s best D Lineman in Brown will give them the basis for a nasty Defense for years to come. Brown is my highest rated Defensive Tackle and its best player available for them here. They would have loved Isaiah Simmons here but Brown will do nicely in the rebuild of Duval.
This is it. The last of the top four Offensive Linemen in the draft. Thomas is the fourth of the lot and has some room for improvement. But he is good enough to start right off the bat and the Browns need, need, need to improve their Offensive Line. STAT! Whilst they would have loved one of the other three the Browns have a Tackle in Thomas that can be steady from the get-go. Keeping Baker Mayfield safe is paramount.
Missed by one. The Jets need an overhaul of the O-Line but with the alphas all gone, they address the next position of need, Edge Rush with Epenesa. Having the pick of the Edge Rushers meant the Jets could really go after their guy and I think the best fit is Epenesa. Gross-Matos or K’Lavon Chaisson would also be good fits but I see Epenesa’s top athleticism being the main draw for the Jets.
Now for those who keep a keen eye on my articles will have seen that Jeudy isn’t my top dog. He is, however, a better fit for the Raiders in my opinion. Whilst Lamb is a monster it’s Jeudy’s superior route running that makes him the perfect fit for Carr and Gruden. Carr likes a short pass and Jeudy can get open in the intermediate areas of the field to allow Carr to be effective. That is if Carr is even the Quarterback there in the new black hole!
The Niners traded back into the first round by giving Deforest Buckner to the Colts for their first round pick. Witht San Fran needing picks in the upcoming rounds they grab a stud Cornerback in Fulton. He is tenacious and will fit right in with the Niners young D. They could have gone receiver but with the class so deep they took a corner to solidify their already great secondary.
With the Bucs nowhere near getting the Offensive Tackle they so desperately need, they address the next position needed. Taylor showed out at the Combine and the Bucs have been hapless at the Running Back position for a while now. JT will be a big-time player for them and everyone remembers David Johnson under Arians, right? Adding another big-time player to this explosive offence will make the Bucs an even scarier prospect to face on offence.
Kapow! With the Broncos addressing the Defensive side of the ball in Free Agency it makes sense to add another weapon for Drew Lock. Adding my number one Wide Receiver in the class, to an already stacked offence, could be lights out in the battle for the AFC West. Like many teams in this draft Offensive Line is a need but passing up Lamb was a bridge too far for Elway and Co. Lamb, Sutton, Fant and the backfield is a superstar lineup. IMO!
The Falcons have been decimated on Defence for the last few years. With star defender Keanu Neal always apparently injured, the Falcons have struggled to have consistency on Defence. Penn State star Gross-Matos offers the Falcons the Edge Rusher they have been wanting for a while now. Now if they can only stay fit!
McKinney is hands down my number one Safety in this class and the Cowboys have a huge need here. Best in the class for a hole they have. Job done.
The Dolphins need an upgrade at Edge Rusher and Chaisson gives them that. I thought about plugging Ruggs in here and fully upgrading the Offence but best player available is the best option. Chaisson is hugely athletic and will be good for at least 10 sacks a season.
But he isn’t the best Cornerback on the board, I hear you cry. Mike Mayock absolutely loves a Clemson product and this could overshadow his draft pick. CJ Henderson is clearly the Corner to pick here at 19. But the Raiders are their own anomaly and who knows what happens in their war room. Side note: Terrell is a good athlete who will play alongside former Clemson teammate Trayvon Mullen. Go Tigers, I mean Raiders!
Las Vegas’s loss is Duval’s gain here. In no normal world should Henderson be available at 20? Mike Mayock passed on the Florida prospect and the Cornerback needy Jags jumped at the chance to land a monster. Henderson is elite and will replace one of the holes left by Ramsey and Bouye.
Carson Wentz needs some big-time help at Wide Receiver and what better than to add the best Slot Receiver in the draft. If the Eagles keep Alshon Jeffrey, then he can operate outside and Jefferson can move about the line. He is a chain mover and a deep threat. Perfect landing spot with Carson Wentz.
Is he a first-round talent? Yes. Has his injury history hurt his draft stock? Yes. Is there a tougher Wide Receiver in the draft? No. The Vikings play tough through the run game and Shenault is a perfect fit for the Vikings. Adam Theilen is now the alpha dog with Diggs out the window and Laviska can be the new Diggs for Cousins. He can run the ball, run any route asked of him and has exceptional hands. A perfect fit for the Vikings. He will even get involved on the ground taking reps from Dalvin Cook when he needs a rest. A little early? Possibly. Could it be a home run hit? Definitely.
Daniel Jeremiah had the Pats pick him at 23 and I’ve followed the same route. The Chargers could well grab him at six if the Dolphins do trade up or take Tua at 5. In this situation, they didn’t and big Bill Belichick decides that Herbert is ready to start in New England. After Tua and Burrow have joined their new team’s Herbert is the next prospect who is game ready. His Bowl game, Senior Bowl and Combine performances we’re all great and his draft stock rose because of it.
Arizona State Wide Receiver Aiyuk has good top speed along with good route running to offer the Saints another weapon on the outside. Can’t Guard Mike can’t be the only cow in the field in New Orleans. With Brees arm strength diminishing Aiyuk offers another escape for the ageing Quarterback.
The Offensive Line has been a concern for most of the Zimmer tenure. Adding a solid Offensive Tackle to bolster the trenches is a no brainer. The Vikings predicate their game through the run and this will also only help. They have needs on the defence but Jones got the nod. An impressive Senior Bowl and after allowing just one sack and three hurries in his final year meant the Vikings felt he was an instant upgrade.
Josh Jones was the target here for Miami but they fell just short. Whether they actually pick three times in the first round is yet to be seen. However, if they do, then O-Line is a need with Tunsil now out of town. Sure it up and keep Tua upright.
With Minnesota passing uptake chance to let the brothers play against each other in practice. The Hawks grabbed the explosive Cornerback out of Alabama. Former Wide Receiver turned Corner Diggs, has amazing ball tracking skills and phenomenal hands for a Corner. Diggs will slide perfectly into the Seahawks scheme and offers a new lease of life to the 12th man. However, the Seahawks love to trade out of the first so who knows!
Finally, my boy makes it onto the stage in Vegas. The Ravens are renowned for taking the best player available and Dobbins is said player. Swift could have been the pick but the fact they already have a receiving back in Justice Hill means Dobbins fits the mould better. Saying that Dobbins is an elite catcher out of the backfield also so maybe Hill is gone next year. Ingram, Edwards, Jackon and Hill all had over 133 carries last year and Dobbins could eat into a large portion of these.
Okwara has been hugely productive over his last two seasons playing at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish used him all over the Defensive Line but mostly at Edge Rush. The Chiefs cut up the Titans in the AFC Championship game and the Titans will need to improve the pressure on opposing Quarterbacks to get to the dance. Powerful and rangey Okwara is highly graded by PFF and will add explosiveness to the Tennessee D-Line.
Not just a burner, Ruggs has shown all facets of the game in his time at Alabama. Whilst he is fast he can also run most routes effectively and Rodgers needs some more outside help. Adams can’t be the only guy and Ruggs’s speed over the top will allow Adams to get free more on the underneath. That might possibly develop into the best WR duo in the League.
There is absolutely no chance the Niners pick here at 31. They are devoid of picks in the second, third and fourth rounds so need to sell this capital. If they do they could go Wide Receiver or Cornerback/Safety. Of those available I chose Wide Receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins is a superb outside guy and can stretch the field well. Except to see the Niners trade out faster than you can say “Sherman, follow that guy!”
If the Superbowl champions let Chris Jones walk, then Elliot is almost an exact replica of Jones in stature and play style. A versatile, athletic Lineman who causes havoc with an array of rush moves to disrupt the O-Line. Elliot has been prolific at TCU and had an exceptional last season, raising his draft stock.
That’s the end of my first round Mock Draft Rush Nation. Of course, this could all change with Free Agency madness just around the corner. Let me know what you think of my picks. Did I get any of your team’s needs nailed on?