By Ed Farrar (@Farrardise)
Time to embrace the chaos kids. Most mock drafts are all about speculating what teams will actually do, but not this one. This is all about what I would do. Working off of my personal board, and discounting any external factors and opinions, I’ll be making every single pick the way I would do it if I was on the hot seat. It may therefore be ‘unrealistic’. However it will be unequivocally correct. So without further ado. Let’s get stuck in.
QB, Clemson – Trevor Lawrence
This doesn’t need too much explaining. Trevor Lawrence is the most complete Quarterback prospect we’ve seen in a long time, and will be a true franchise changer for the Jaguars.
QB, BYU – Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson is my QB3 but he should still be the pick here for the New York Jets. His arm talent is ridiculous, far superior to what Lance and Fields possess, and I think he’d be an ideal fit for the new Mike La Fleur offence they’ll be running in New York. He reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers, and I’m sure Mike will be keen to find a toy like the one his brother gets to play with in Green Bay.
QB, North Dakota State – Trey Lance
All the league buzz appears to suggest that Alabama’s Mac Jones will be the pick. However this mock is all about me, so I’m taking the insanely talented Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. He’s got a huge arm, dissects the field at lightning speed, and is a game changing running threat. Stick him in that Shanahan offence and watch the championship rings flow.
4. Raiders (Falcons)
QB, Ohio State – Justin Fields
Atlanta send 4 and 2022 6th to Las Vegas for 17, 80, 2022 1st and 2022 4th
The Raiders are in purgatory. They have a middling roster with a Quarterback just good enough to keep them competitive, but a long way away from being true competitors. Thankfully John Gruden is on a ten year contract, so he can afford to put together a blockbuster trade for Justin Fields. Trade away Carr now, start Marcus Mariota Year 1, and build around a rookie Quarterback with insane potential moving forward.
WR, LSU – Ja’Marr Chase
I don’t really think there is an incorrect choice here for my Cincinnati Bengals. Both Penei Sewell and Ja’Marr Chase are elite prospects, who would definitely be building blocks for the franchise moving forward. Given the depth of this offensive line class, and Chase’s personal connection with Burrow, the LSU receiver has the slight edge.
6. Dolphins (Eagles)
TE, Florida – Kyle Pitts
The Dolphins traded back up to 6 so they could secure an elite offensive talent, and Kyle Pitts is just that. Miami needs to keep investing in offensive weapons for Tua as the draft goes on, but grabbing a genuinely generational talent here is a great start.
OT, Oregon – Penei Sewell
I for one believe that Penei Sewell would be very willing to do some ankle biting if necessary, so this appears to be a slam dunk pick for the Lions. Aside from being a great culture fit for Motor City Dan Campbell, Sewell is the kind of elite talent that will be a guaranteed cornerstone of your franchise for years to come. Slam dunk pick.
8. Broncos (Panthers)
QB, Alabama – Mac Jones
Carolina send 8 to Denver for 9, 114 and 253
With four Quarterbacks off the board already, and Denver genuinely desperate for one, the Broncos have to ensure they get Mac Jones by trading up a spot. Drew Lock is not good enough, and the Broncos can’t afford to waste the offensive weapons they have on rookie contracts by kicking that can down the road. Jones isn’t a special playmaker, but he can execute an offence, and all he needs to do to be an upgrade over Drew Lock is throw accurately to a wide open Jerry Jeudy. The Broncos have the kind of talent to allow Jones to excel, so this is a great pick.
9. Panthers (Broncos)
CB, Alabama – Patrick Surtain
The Panthers slide back to add a little draft capital and still get the player they would have wanted anyway. They have a need at offensive tackle, but given the depth of that class I decided to get the cleanest corner prospect in the draft with Patrick Surtain.
OT, Virginia Tech – Christian Darrisaw
I imagine real life Jerry Jones’ draft board is just Kyle Pitts and a list of corners. However I’m not drafting for need, I’m drafting for value, and getting my OT2 in this draft as a succession plan for Tyron Smith is great value.
WR, Alabama – DeVonta Smith
Hi. I’m Ed, and I’m a Daniel Jones apologist. I genuinely believe Jones is the future in New York. They just need to surround him with some talent. Bringing in Kenny Golladay was a good start, but that doesn’t stop me from taking DeVonta Smith here. Forget the weight, he’s a special playmaker.
12. Eagles (SF/MIA)
OT, Northwestern – Rashawn Slater
Lol sorry Chargers fans but the Eagles are going best player available here. They may have bountiful other needs, but Philadelphia are a long way from competing so don’t need to force a need here. Slater is the best player left on my board and is therefore my pick. Investing in the trenches is never a bad thing.
WR, Alabama – Jaylen Waddle
Right. I’ll admit this isn’t the ideal scenario for the Chargers given they would have had their hearts set on an offensive tackle, but it’s going to be ok #BoltUp fam. This is a deep offensive line class, so no need to panic just yet. In the meantime let’s take yet another weapon for Justin Herbert to throw to. If they can build up some chemistry this combo might be one of the most deadly in the league.
IDL, Alabama – Christian Barmore
The Vikings would have been dreaming of Rashawn Slater here one imagines, but there’s no need to reach for an offensive lineman. Christian Barmore can be an instant upgrade for the Vikings pass rush, and a very disruptive presence on the interior for years to come.
LB, Notre Dame – Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah
The Patriots couldn’t get into the Quarterback market, so instead they get a hard-hitting and versatile defensive piece that will be a perfect fit for the organisation.
CB, Virginia Tech – Caleb Farley
This feels about the right time to take Farley off the board in my opinion. Barring the injury concerns he’s a top tier talent in this draft class, and possesses the upside to be a true shutdown corner for the Cardinals moving forward.
17. Falcons (Raiders)
Edge, Georgia – Azeez Ojulari
The Falcons getting out of fourth overall pick and still landing my Edge1 in this class is a huge success. Azeez Ojulari is a serious upgrade for Atlanta’s pass rush, and now they possess some serious draft capital to build around Matt Ryan moving forward. A pretty good haul all considered.
18. Bears (Dolphins)
WR, Minnesota – Rashod Bateman
Miami send 18 and 156 to Chicago for 20 and 83
I’m not usually one to trade up for non-QBs. However in this scenario I’m the GM of the Chicago Bears and I’m therefore incredible desperate for playmakers. I think Rashod Bateman has WR1 potential, and pairing him with Allen Robinson could give the Red Rocket enough firepower to save Ryan Pace’s job for another year. Andy Dalton MVP Season incoming.
19. Football Team
OT, Texas – Samuel Cosmi
The Bears needed to jump above Washington to take Rashod Bateman, as I’m sure the Football Team would have been interested in placing him across from Terry McLaurin in their offence. The Football Team won’t be too disappointed however because they get my OT4 to be their franchise left tackle of the future.
20. Dolphins (Bears)
WR, Purdue – Rondale Moore
I considered sticking at 18 and picking Cosmi, but I’m happy to invest in the offensive line come Round 2. Instead I go for another weapon for Tua in Purdue’s Rondale Moore. I realise he’s 5’7, but imagine the possibilities for a Dolphins offence containing Parker, Moore, Gesicki, Pitts and *Insert Seventh Round Running Back Here*. This gives Tua the best possible chance to succeed which has to be the priority for Miami.
Edge, Michigan – Kwity Paye
I was actively looking to trade out of this pick as the Colts, however the 31 other me’s were unwilling to trade up. I therefore took it upon myself to upgrade the underwhelming Colts pass rush by selecting Kwity Paye. Paye is an athletic freak with immense levels of drive, and is therefore a great addition to the Indy locker room.
WR, LSU – Terrace Marshall
The Titans have so many holes popping up on their roster, with replacing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in that offence having to rank high in their priorities. Terrace Marshall is an absolute stud who can be an excellent complement to AJ Brown, but also can operate as a big slot and provide Ryan Tannehill with a big target over the middle of the field.
23. Jets (Seahawks)
CB, Northwestern – Greg Newsome
The New York Jets cornerback room is one of the most bleak in the NFL, so investing their second first round pick in one is probably a good decision. I’m a huge fan of Newsome’s game, with his ability in zone coverage a massive benefit. This is an excellent value pick in my eyes.
CB, Florida State – Asante Samuel Jr
Steelers fans appear to think this is the perfect spot to take a running back. However, as we all know, there is no perfect spot to select a running back. I would get into an entire debate over causality and argue that fixing the offensive line would be more beneficial than investing in a premiere back moving forward, however I’m taking a corner so it seems a bit pointless. I love what Samuel brings to the table, and love investing in my defence.
25. Jaguars (Rams)
Safety, Texas Christian – Trevon Moehrig
The Jaguars have so many holes in their roster, so I think hitting the best value picks is the only way to go about this draft. Taking the best Safety in this class can be a huge benefit for this defence, and I think the best value for getting an offensive lineman comes in the second round anyway. It isn’t a sexy pick for Trevor Lawrence, but it’s a really good one.
LB, Tulsa – Zaven Collins
I was originally planning on taking an edge rusher for the Browns here, Jayson Oweh being the frontrunner, however I think the all-round package that is Zaven Collins makes the most sense for Cleveland. Collins is exceptional in coverage, can rush the passer and has both exceptional instincts and exceptional athleticism. I think this coaching staff can get the best out of him.
IOL, USC – Alijah Vera-Tucker
People seem to be very keen on getting a receiver for the Ravens in the first round, but I think the deterioration of their offensive line is the main issue that needs to be addressed on Thursday. I don’t think Vera-Tucker is a tackle in the NFL, but he’s a plug and play guard who can have a big impact for Baltimore.
CB, South Carolina – Jaycee Horn
I’m not as huge on Jaycee Horn as everybody else appears to be, but I’m comfortable in taking him in this kind of range. If the Saints stick him in man coverage, and let him do his thing, he can bring great value. With the uncertainty surrounding Marshon Lattimore’s future I think this is a sensible pick.
WR, Ole Miss – Elijah Moore
Elijah Moore appears to be a pretty popular selection for the Packers in a lot of the mock drafts I’m reading right now, and I also think it makes a huge amount of sense. Cornerback is also a massive need for the Packers, but I don’t see value in that right now, so we add a slot weapon for Aaron Rodgers to play with.
Edge, Penn State – Jayson Oweh
I imagine Jayson Oweh will go earlier than this come draft night, but in this scenario the Bills luck into a super athletic edge rusher that could become a really disruptive presence on that defensive line. Given positional scarcity I think this is the right pick for Buffalo here.
31. Ravens (Chiefs)
OT, Notre Dame – Liam Eichenberg
As I said, the Ravens need to focus on investing in this offensive line given the downhill trajectory it is on. So now they get their Orlando Brown replacement in Liam Eichenberg. The length issue seems to be putting people off the Notre Dame tackle as a first rounder, but I think he’s a perfect fit for this run heavy Ravens offence and can survive and thrive at tackle in the AFC North.
IOL, Oklahoma – Creed Humphrey
When making this pick I purely considered what the most likely factor to derail the Bucs championship run in 2021, and that led me to the offensive line. Pressuring Tom Brady through the interior is the favoured way of troubling the GOAT, and when Ali Marpet was missing in 2020 the offensive line was shaky. Bringing in Creed Humphrey, who can play any of the three interior positions, prevents that possibility.