College Football Staff Midseason Mock Drafts: Lee

We are back! Maxwell delivered an excellent mock for all of you lovely people yesterday and I’m about to do the same.

I loved a lot of the picks we made as a group on last week’s podcasts but this in my chance to put across my ideas and just throw some possibilities around at this very early stage.

Here goes…

#1. Bengals – Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

Take the best player in the draft. Yes the Bengals aren’t good, hence why they’re nailed on for a top 3 pick but this QB class is good, and so is the next one, so if the Bengals aren’t good again next year they’ll have another high pick anyway.

Take a player who is going to be a top 5 player at his position, one of the most important positions in football, in the next two to three years. Young is a guaranteed star, that’s why you pick him first overall.

#2. Dolphins – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Wait… What? Tank for… Burrow? That’s not what what the people want!

No it isn’t but Joe Burrow is the hottest name in college football right now and he’s playing out of his mind. I don’t care what anyone says, LSU are the best team in college football and unlike what we thought before the season, it’s the Tigers’ offense that’s the driving force behind their great season.

Will Jeux Burrow be QB1 come April? I think there’s more of a chance than people think.

#3. Redskins – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

We know Trent Williams is done in D.C. and may even be dealt prior to the trade deadline in a few days time, so the Redskins will be in the market for a new blindside protector for Dwayne Haskins.

Andrew Thomas is by far the best tackle in this draft class and will be a ready made replacement for Williams.

#4. Falcons – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Can you imagine? Julio Jones on one side, Calvin Ridley in the slot and Jerry Jeudy on the opposite side?! Oh and Austin Hooper too for good measure.

First off, as much as he isn’t slowing down, Julio is getting up there in age and won’t be around forever. Having Jerry Jeudy alongside him and then take the mantle of WR1 when he’s retired means Atlanta’s offense has a go-to receiver for years to come which will be great for the next QB.

I also feel that Atlanta will go for an offense HC once they (surely) give Dan Quinn the bullet and a bright offense mind would love all those weapons to play with.

#5. Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Sam Darnold needs some protection. I feel like Tristan Wirfs can provide some of the exorcism that he needs and he’s also very good in the run game which has the dual effect of opening up more lanes for Le’Veon Bell which relieves some pressure off Darnold.

Wirfs certainly needs work and isn’t a ready made player like Thomas is but he’s maybe got the highest ceiling of all the tackles in this class.

#6. Jaguars – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Replace Jalen Ramsey. That should be the modus operandi for the Jags with one of their two first round picks in April.

Jeffrey Okudah is the best corner in the class in my eyes imat this moment in time. He has the smooth athletic ability and the coverage skills to be a CB1 at the next level.

Another top quality defensive back out of Ohio State.

#7. Browns – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

Baker Mayfield has been a real big disappointment this season and the Browns haven’t been as explosive as many had hoped. The reason for this, or at least one of the reasons is that he’s had a bunch of turnstiles masquerading as an offensive line.

I feel like drafting Lucas Niang would go some way to solving that. The TCU star didn’t allow a sack last season and only gave up 7 pressures, this year he’s been strong is pass protection again.

#8. Dolphins – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

A new QB needs some weapons and CeeDee Lamb is about as good of an offensive weapon available in this draft class.

Just put the ball in his hands and let him make plays.

I’m also a big fan of getting a young QB a young wide receiver and letting them grow up together to form a long term double act.

#9. Giants – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine and Sam Beal. All corners that have been drafted by the Giants in the past few years. Do you think any of them will be stars?

I liked Love and I think he’ll make a decent career being a slot guy. Baker is an undersized but incredibly feisty outside corner who is ideally suited to being a CB2 on a team. To follow those guys up, Ballentine and Beal are project guys that you hope develop into good third and fourth corners, which is what you need in today’s NFL.

Jenoris Jenkins is over the hill so despite all this recent investment the Giants need to get a star corner…Enter Kristian Fulton. A tall and rangy corner with excellent cover skills. He’d add height to a shorter cornerback group and instantly be “the man”.

#10. Chargers – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

If Philip Rivers stays around and resigns in LA, he’ll need protection next year because simply put, this year hasn’t nearly been good enough in that area.

I feel that the Chargers need to make a few picks along the line next spring and the most sensible thing to do would be to invest a first round pick, something they haven’t done since DJ Fluker was drafted in 2013.

It’s time.

Prince Tega (an actual Prince, by the way), is a giant of a man with excellent athleticism for his size and can drop anchor and not move. He also possesses the power in the run game that would appeal to the Chargers staff.

I’d start him on the right side then allow him to take over from another tackle of Nigerian descent, Russell Okung, in a couple of years.

#11. Titans – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Marcus Mariota isn’t it, and nor is Ryan Tannehill so it’s time to start over in Nashville.

Justin Herbert has the accuracy, pocket movement and high level decision making to be an excellent pocket passer at the next level.

He also possesses great physical gifts to get him and his team out of a jam and pick up a first down.

He’s basically everything they wished Marcus Mariota was.

#12. Buccaneers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Jameis Winston ain’t it, so it’s time to start over in Tampa.

Tua is a star and has been ever since he burst on to the college football scene.He’s got superb accuracy, he doesn’t often turn the ball over and has excellent arm strength to make all the throws in the book.

He’s basically everything they wished Jameis Winston was.

Mariota and Winston will always be linked; two can’t miss picks who have both missed; two can’t miss pick who will be looking for work at the same time. They’ll both get a second chance to prove themselves again but they’ll both be on a short leads.


#13. Broncos – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Safety is criminally underrated in the draft. Last year, we didn’t know where we stood with the safety group we had before us and nobody had Darnell Savage as their top safety, yet he was drafted first.

The fall to 13 represents somewhat of a slip for someone as talented as Delpit, who will certainly be higher on my final big board come the spring.

A homing missile when coming downhill to make a tackle and has the range to break up passes down the field – a complete safety and a complete bargain for Denver.

#14. Cardinals – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin

It was really strange that whilst pimping out their offense with a new QB and a bunch of weapons in the last draft, the Cardinals neglected their offensive line.

Lightning can’t strike twice on that front or they’ll once again to hamstrung by the amount of duress Kyler Murray will face.

There’s not top level tackle worth taking at 14 in my eyes so they opt to boost the interior with the best interior lineman in the class in Tyler Biadasz.

Great in pass pro and possessing the athleticism to be a weapon in the run game, he’ll be a very good 10 year starter on the NFL and a great anchor to build the rest of the line around.

#15. Cowboys – Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

Boise State have fed the Cowboys a few times down the years, most recently with Leighton Vander Esch.It’s time to use that supply line again and draft the second best edge defender in the class. Weaver is a pure pass rusher who can compliment DeMarcus Lawrence very nicely and even rush next to him from the same side.

I feel adding another productive pass rusher will take the already strong Dallas defense to another level.

#16. Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The NFL is always on the lookout for versatile defenders who can fill multiple roles. Isaiah Simmons is a safety turned linebacker with the kind of body type that you’d usually find in a wide receiver.

I believe Simmons has the potential to be one of the better mismatch neutralisers in the NFL in years to come.

#17. Lions – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Matty P would love another versatile defensive chess piece to deploy all over the defensive backfield and after the Quandre Diggs trade to Seattle, the Lions have an opening.

McKinney is an explosive athlete who can play close to the line of scrimmage or can play deep but most importantly, he can affect the game from any spot.

#18. Colts – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame

As I was saying on the podcast last week, I feel the Colts need some star power off the edge. Their group is fine, just like the rest of their D… I feel like their defense is very much predicated on being more than the sum of its parts.

Okwara and his genuine game breaking speed off the edge, could really add some star power.

#19. Raiders – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Physical, aggressive and a damn good football player. Sounds like a Jon Gruden player who fits the “just win baby” ethos of the Raiders.

Wallace should dovetail very nicely with Tyrell Williams’ ability to take the top off the defense and if Derek Carr (or whoever is the Raiders QB in 2020) can just get the ball into his hands and see what he can create after the catch.

#20. Panthers – AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin are old so how does the speed of Brian Burns and the raw power of Epenesa… Sounds good, right?

Epenesa would be the hand-in-the-dirt traditional defensive end and Burns a stand up rusher and they could be the best young duos of edge defenders in the game pretty quickly.

#21. Eagles – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

The Eagles tried to get their hands on Jalen Ramsey just before he went to the Rams. They also have a need for a true CB1 despite making a fair bit of investment in the position via the draft in recent times. Much like the Giants before, it’s time to get a number 1…

Paulson Adebo is having a slight down year but he’s still one of the better corner prospects available. Super athletic and good ball skills… who wouldn’t want that?

#22. Raiders – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Another area of need for the Raiders is corner, Jaylon Johnson is the best player on one of the best defenses in college football.

Tylan Wallace is a physical receiver and Johnson is an equally physical corner. Aggressive at the catch point, aggressive when in press at the line… Maybe a little too much at times but he is a Raider in that regard. He also has good ball skills to make splash plays and break up passes.

#23. Ravens – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

I would love to see Shenault meshed into the Ravens running game and their offense as a whole.

I also love the idea of adding Shenault to Miles Boykin and Hollywood Brown since they all bring a different skill set to the Ravens.

Shenault would really make the Ravens an extremely diverse offense and at times it would be unplayable.

#24. Vikings – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

The Vikings have a really nice defense and a pretty complete roster in general so this pick can afford to be a little bit of a luxury.

Minnesota has one of the best edge rushers in the league in Danielle Hunter, now they can add a fantastic interior rusher and run stuffer in Derrick Brown.

Brown gives the Vikes a ready made replacement for Linval Joseph too.

#25. Dolphins – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Leatherwood is a super athletic tackle prospect with the movement skills to match the speed rushers that litter the NFL.

He’s a little raw around the edges, I’ll admit that but he’ll be coming into the NFL well coached and since it’s a growing process in Miami, I guess that they won’t mind taking someone with a high ceiling.

#26. Bills – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

I’ll go back to the podcast and I just feel the Bills need to strengthen their defense even further by adding some youth into their pass rushing ranks. YGM is quick off the line and his motor runs red hot every single down. He’s also long and understands how to use his length without playing with his pads too high.

#27. Saints – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Can you imagine how fun Henry Ruggs would be in a Sean Payton offense with Michael Thomas to take a lot of the defense’s attention away?

Ruggs is a legitimate candidate to break the 40 yard dash record at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, I expect a time in the 4.2 range, at the least.

#28. Seahawks – Trey Adams, OT, Washington

The Seahawks drafted a lot of guys who went to college on the West Coast last year. I feel like they’ll do that again and keep Trey Adams in Seattle to give a boost to their offensive line.

Adams has had his injury problems but when healthy he could be amongst the best tackles in this class.

#29. Chiefs – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Bryce Hall is the best cover corner in this class for my money. Hall is explosive and he’s got great man coverage skills, I don’t even mind that he’s injured and out for the year, he makes Kansas City’s defensive back room better, much better. He’s instantly the best player in that room even if he doesn’t play right away in his rookie year.

#30. Packers – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Imagine if Aaron Rodgers had a star running back alongside him? If the Packers keep Taylor in Wisconsin, that’s exactly what they would have.Taylor can do it all and he’s been putting up huge numbers for the Badgers for a few years now.I know Aaron Jones is OK, he might even be good, but he’s not Jonathan Taylor… He would add another layer to the Green Bay offense and dare I say it, make him better.

#31. 49ers – Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The 49ers are potentially the biggest surprise of the NFL season so far and probably won’t be picking at 31 come April but even so, I feel like they could get Humphrey in the 20’s and nobody would bat an eyelid.Humphrey is the linchpin of one of the better units in college football at Oklahoma.

Humphrey is great at dropping his anchor and not budging – he comes from a wrestling background and his gives him a fantastic knowledge of leverage, and you can tell immediately.

#32. Patriots – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

Kinlaw is having a great year and the tape he has from his recent game against Georgia is really one game he can hang his hat on.Super explosive off the snap and can easily gain penetration and get himself to the QB.

New England could add him to their defensive line rotation and at first they can pick and choose when to unleash him.

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