By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)
The picture is now a bit clearer after teams have made some moves in Free Agency. But how does that shake up the draft board? Let’s have a look at the movers and shakers.
I have not done any trades for this one just so that you can see the effect Free Agency has had on the first round as it stands. I will do my final 3.0 mock draft with trades the week of the draft. Happy to be shouted at over on Twitter @Tim_MonkF10Y, but I’d be happier if you told me your opinions on your teams pick as a rebuttle rather than a shouting match!
#1 – Joe Burrow – QB
Let’s not get too crazy right out of the gate, Joe Burrow is a 1/100 shot currently with bookmakers to go 1st overall. AJ Green will be back this year giving another reason for Burrow to not pull a fast one and try to get away.
#2 – Chase Young – DE
Again, not getting too creative here at 2 and the Redskins get a monster who’ll make his presence felt as soon as he walks through the door as the edge rusher from Ohio State lands in the Nation’s capital. Ron Rivera must weigh up whether or not he wants a stud here or pick up depth and trade back. Considering the impact Bosa had on the 49ers last year, you have to think Rivera will try to follow suit.
#3 – Jeffrey Okudah – CB
Detroit hold firm here and take Okudah. This especially makes sense now that Darius Slay has packed his bags for Philadelphia. Okudah comes in a saves the Lions some Cap space, whilst potentially not having much of a drop off in terms of production. Similar to Washington, Patricia and co. must weigh up whether they want to take a phone call from another team and try and pick up extra picks and move back a couple of spots and still have the potential to get the same guy.
#4 – Tristan Wirfs – OL
The Giants don’t trade in the draft and they stick to type here. Plenty of holes for Big Blue and whilst Okudah would have been nice for them to have fall in their laps, they take an Offensive lineman in Wirfs who had a stellar combine and gets the hype you need to go in the top 5 of drafts.
#5 – Tua Tagaviola – QB
No trades in the top 5. Surprising? Possibly, but this draft’s dominoes fall perfectly for Miami with the Chargers not moving ahead to sniper Miami, Tua Tagaviola and the #TankforTua works out perfectly.
#6 – Justin Herbert – QB
The Chargers take their shot at QB in Oregon QB Justin Herbert. He’s raw, and a project and the Chargers certainly wont want to be starting him until the latter parts of the 2020 season at the earliest! There are scenarios where I see them trade out of this spot as they acquire their QB in free agency (maybe Cam Newton?) but we’ll leave that until we have a bit more clarity. For now, Herbert is their guy.
#7 – Isaiah Simmons – LB
Lots of holes appearing in the Panthers roster. James Bradberry has moved the New York and had Luke Kuechly retiring. They get to draft the replacement for the latter here and Simmons is a an absolute must here for the Panthers, who are clearly in rebuild mode could trade back if they find a suitor.
#8 – CeeDee Lamb – WR
Arizona’s HC Kliff Kingsbury loves 3 and 4 WR sets. Imagine Hopkins, Kirk, Fitz and Lamb on the field! Yeah, good luck defending that. Whilst defence is more of a need after signing Nuk in FA, I just want to put that Murray had a little Lamb.
#9 – Derrick Brown – DT
The Jaguars were one of the worst against the run in 2019. How to fix that? Stick in Derrick Brown. Javon Kinlaw was another option.
#10 – Mekhi Becton – OT
I will be stunned if the Browns look this gift horse in the mouth. Plenty of tackle options for the Browns in this prime spot, Becton is an absolute monster of a man. He’s a freak of nature who moves unbelievably well for a man that is 6 foot 7 and 350+ lbs. Whilst he wont be as effective as some of the other tackles from day 1, a few years down the line, he could be one of the best around. A key piece for Baker’s resurgence as he enters his 3rd year. Better yet, he only has to the take the I-71 north and it’ll lead him right there.
#11 – Jedrick Wills – OL
The most sensible option here for the Jets would be to take a offensive lineman to help protect Sam Darnold. As Jedrick Wills is still on the board and seemingly a great fit, the Jets take an offsenive lineman, to the dismay of Jets fans wanting a WR. Sam Darnold was pressured a lot last season and he needs to be able to feel comfortable with his line to eradicate poor decisions and ultimately interceptions. As the WR is ridiculously deep, look for the Jets to grab a WR in round 2 and/or maybe 3. Having Crowder, Perriman and Enunwa as your wideouts is not desireable.
#12 – Jerry Jeudy – WR
The Alabama WR heads to Sin City to be their star attraction. Jeudy is great at separation and garnering yards after the catch, something Derek Carr will love and it will give a helping hand to Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller after the Antonio Brown experiment failed catastrophically last year. Feel free to interchange this name with CeeDee Lamb as I undoubtedly will do as I get through more iterations of mock drafts.
#13 – Andrew Thomas – OT
*TRADE: SF trades DeForest Buckner for #13*
With the 49ers not having many middle round picks, you have to feel that they either trade back here or trade their #31 overall. That being said, you could also see a scenario where they trade up with the Jets to get the WR they want. However, Joe Staley is 35 years young and a replacement wil be needed. Andrew Thomas was a 3 year starter in Georgia and can slot in whenever the time comes.
#14 – Kristian Fulton – CB
Tampa Bay and Tom Brady wouldn’t have appreciated the pick previous, especially as Bruce Arians has apparently “spent a lot of time this year on the offensive line”, therefore have to switch to plan B. With Suh back for another year and JPP tied up to a new contract, look for the back end to be addressed here with the CB from LSU.
#15 – Henry Ruggs – WR
Difficult to pinpoint exactly what Denver want to do here. It must be refreshing that the QB talk (for now) has dissipated and in this mock, they give current QB Drew lock and his main guy Courtland Sutton a huge helping hand. Lock could do with someone opposite Sutton and both could prosper. There are a few holes for Denver to fill including O-Line and CB/LB but hey, WR are more sexy to mock aren’t they!?
#16 – K’Lavon Chaisson – EDGE
The Falcons let Vic Beasley go in Free Agencty. His replacement? Enter the man with a name perfect for an edge rusher almost so perfect, it’s a shame Chase Young is in this draft class. The LSU pass rusher is an explosive guy off the edge and should slip in quite nicely here in Atlanta.
#17 – CJ Henderson – CB
Safety is a position Jason Garrett avoided like the plague. But judging by some of the deals they have made throughout the offseason, it’s likely that the’ll seek a replacement for Jones with this pick, rather than go safety. They get a bit of a steal with the 2nd best CB in the class with play making ability, something Dallas needs in its defensive ranks.
#18 – Xavier McKinney – S
This is the Minkah Fitzpatrick pick that the Steelers sent over. Teams love to draft players of the same position so that they can directly see who will win the trade. Dolphins need a lot of help on defence and this is one of the final pieces after an expensive Free Agency shopping trip.
#19 – Trevon Diggs – CB
Marcus Mariota seems to be the guy that will do battle with Derek Carr this offseason, therefore we need to look elsewhere for the Raiders. Here we go for Trevon Diggs, CB out of Alabama. Jon Gruden loves picking from the big teams and his first 3 picks in 2019 either came from Clemson or Alabama. I expect him to follow suit here with Jeudy going earlier in the round.
#20 – Jordan Love- QB
The Jags are in disarray and have pretty much tried to have a firesale. After shipping out Nick Foles, The Jags bring in Love to compete with Minshew. With the Jags clearly not in win now mode, Love can sit for a year behind Minshew as they try and sort themselves out from the big mess they find themselves in. Doug Marrone is somehow still on a leash and he can extend that by being able to play the Rookie QB card at anytime. Whilst they are happy with Minshew for the moment, the Jags know he wont be the answer.
#21 – Justin Jefferson – WR
Philadelphia showed their hand in Free Agency that they will probably take a WR with this pick after signing Darius Slay in Free Agency. With Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs off the board (to their dismay) off the board, they pick up Jefferson.
#22 – Javon Kinlaw – DT
*TRADE: MIN sends Stefon Diggs for #22*
The Vikings need to reload on defence. They start here by getting one of the best, if not the best interior defensive line pass rusher in the class. Can also see Minnesota go WR here, but considering the arrial of Tajae Sharpe and the tendencies to run the ball, they’ll pick a WR up in the later rounds.
#23 – Grant Delpit – S
Grant Delpit falls all the way to 23 here into the arms of a welcoming Bill Belichick. Whilst WR probably makes more sense here, Tom Brady is no longer slinging the rock. Is it possible they’ll be #TankingForTrevor?
#24 – Jeff Gladney – CB
WR is probably off the board here considering the signing of Emmanuel Sanders in Free Agency. Corner is in need of a bolster so Jeff Gladney goes to the saints here and could be a long term starter.
#25 – Kenneth Murray – LB
Murray drops to #25 in this mock the athletic LB from Oklahoma is a sideline to sideline guy and would add a lot of speed to this defence that is in refurb mode.
#26 – Cesar Ruiz – OL
The Dolphins have taken their QB, now they take the guy snapping the ball to him. Ruiz can also play at Guard which would be great versatility for the Dolphins.
#27 – Terrell Lewis – EDGE
The Seahawks may trade back here to someone who wants to come up and get their guy or a QB. That being said, Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney headed to Free Agency this offseason and neither are back yet. This Alabama edge rusher is explosive and should help fill the gaping hole.
#28 – Patrick Queen – LB
The offence is pretty much there for the immediate future with no glaring holes. So they decide to bolster the defensive side to stop instances like the Derrick Henry train running through them like they did in the postseason. A quick-footed, speedy linebacker who can play all 3 downs is the call here.
#29 – Ross Blacklock – DL
The Titans have 1 or 2 holes to fill in the trenches on both sides of the ball with Conklin and Casey leaving Nashville. However, Blacklock is a good pickup for a Titans team as he’ll require a lot of effort to nullify from opposing O-lines due to his explosiveness and how disruptive he could be.
#30 – Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR
Aaron Rodgers’ window is not going to open for much longer. The Packers focused their efforts on the defence last offseason so this time, they give Aaron Rodgers a bit more help to try and win a 2nd ring. Do it all WR Shenault Jr will be a fun toy to play with and can stick around with Adams years after Rodgers retires. with the departure of a few pieces at LB, a replacement is possible here too.
#31 – Damon Arnette – CB
Richard Sherman getting toasted by Sammy Watkins will send alarm bells ringing and he is now 31 years old. They also need help opposite him with Witherspoon not pulling up trees, Verrett still always on the treatment table. Moseley filled in capably but the back end of the defence needs a bit of youth injected in to it. Arnette, the corner out of Ohio State is a decnet cover corner.
#32 – Noah Igbinoghene – CB
Whilst RB is a popular pick here, there is also a need at CB. With a fair amount of secondary players gone in the first round, the Chiefs make sure they don’t have scraps to pick from when their turn comes back around.