I decided to switch it up and do a whole mock draft for the NFL. I’m sure everyone will be in total agreement with every pick, so I’m very excited to read the feedback. The draft order is current as of 11/16/20. If you missed my Falcons only 5 round mock draft, you can find it here.
Pick 1: New York Jets: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Let’s not dwell on the obvious. While I don’t think Sam Darnold is *that* bad, whoever is coaching the Jets next year couldn’t possibly pass on a generational collegiate talent like Lawrence. Adam Gase essentially undid years of rebuilding, but Lawrence is about as good of a reset button as you could ask for. His size, arm talent, athleticism, touch, vision, and leadership make him the clear QB1.
Pick 2: Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
If Lawrence is QB1, Fields is no shabby consolation prize. Fields would be the clear 1st pick in many other drafts, and I’m sure Jaguars fans will be very excited to have him at two. Like Adam Gase, Doug Marrone’s days are numbered. Gardner Minshew isn’t terrible, but whoever the next coach is will want to handpick their QB to start their era. Regardless of how fun Minshew Mania was and the countless needs on Jacksonville’s defense, you can’t pass up a franchise QB here. Fields is pinpoint accurate and can make plays with his feet easily. He has a ridiculous 87% completion percentage with 11 touchdowns to 0 INTs and the same amount of touchdowns as incompletions. He’s very polished for the college game, and his deep ball looks improved so far in 2020, but he’s only started one full season. With roughly one year under his belt and the future of 2020 being cloudy, developing him for the NFL level will be key.
Pick 3: Dallas Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Dallas has shown they have multiple needs in 2020, even with Dak Prescott. Mike McCarthy’s tenure has been a disaster, but Mike Nolan has been even worse. Dallas’ defense has been getting gashed almost weekly, but Surtain II will go a long way in remedying these woes. Trevon Diggs has had a few good games, and getting Chido Awuzie back this week will help. However, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown have been awful, and I think Surtain II is too good to pass up at a premier position. Penei Sewell is an interesting choice if Tyron Smith’s injury woes continue. He’s 29 and has been one of the best LTs in football for a decade, but he’s missed at least three games in every season since 2013 and has been out since Week 2 for Dallas. Anyways, back to Surtain II. He has elite bloodlines — his father played 11 seasons in the NFL. His football IQ is off the charts, and his size, ball skills, and technique are elite. His tackling needs some work, but he’s the clear CB1 in this draft; Dallas shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to reunite him with Diggs.
Pick 4: Washington Football Team: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
The Dwayne Haskins experiment was over before it even started. I still have faith in Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team, though. Their defense is chock full of playmakers at all three levels, and Terry McLaurin is the most underrated WR in football. Bolstering the O-Line in the later rounds and snagging a running back could have them on the upswing quickly. Now, to Lance. He had a legendary 2019, posting 28 TDs and 0 INTs. He has only gotten to play one game in 2020, but the recency bias of Zach Wilson & Kyle Trask’s excellence shouldn’t persuade NFL Teams. Lance is 6’4, insanely mobile, and deadly accurate. He’s going to be a project for sure, but he’s loaded with potential and gives Washington some hope.
Pick 5: Los Angeles Chargers: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Chargers fans rejoice — you have your QB of the future. Left Tackle is certainly in play here, but the Bolts have done a good job of keeping Justin Herbert upright so far — only allowing two sacks per game. Sam Tevi, Trey Pipkins, and Bryan Bulaga have all graded out pretty poorly, so Penei Sewell is very much in play here. However, this is a very trendy mock draft pick because the pairing just makes a lot of sense. The Chargers already traded Desmond King. As if CB already wasn’t a need, Chris Harris Jr and Casey Hayward are free agents after 2021 and are both on the wrong side of 30. Farley is insanely athletic for a 6’2 corner. The next two picks should be appealing for San Diego as well, but I just like this fit way too much.
Pick 6: Miami Dolphins (from Houston): OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
I was tempted to go with Ja’Marr Chase here, but this draft is so deep with WR talent. Both picks would be fantastic for Miami, but Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt have bottom 10 grades from PFF for their position. Using this pick from the Texans, they get a Laremy Tunsil replacement. It’s absurd Sewell could fall this far; he’s the best Left Tackle prospect in a long time. He’s got countless awards to his name and is likely to be the highest rated (PFF) lineman to enter the draft in history. Don’t be surprised if someone trades up for him. He’s so talented and so strong, yet there’s still projectability with him. He just turned 20 years old, and the sky’s the limit. Brian Flores should be jumping for joy if he falls this far. Miami still has their own pick to add WR talent and Houston’s 2nd round pick as well.
Pick 7: Cincinnati Bengals: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Nobody’s talking about Christian Darrisaw, but he’s one of two tackles in CFB with a 90+ run AND pass blocking grade. He and Sewell are actually tied for the highest PFF grade for an offensive lineman — both at 95.8. He can tend to get off balance, but he has the potential to protect Joe Burrow’s blindside for a decade-plus. Not only is he exceptionally talented, but he also gives a lot more flexibility with Jonah Williams at guard or right tackle. The future is bright in the Queen City if they can keep Joe Burrow’s jersey clean.
Pick 8: New York Giants: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
I’m not off Daniel Jones quite yet, and I actually think the Giants will make the playoffs. Yes, he has turnover problems, but the Giants have a terribly weak roster and basically missed Saquon Barkley for all of 2020. New York hasn’t drafted a linebacker in R1 since 1984. Micah Parsons is a nice combo-breaker. He is a jack-of-all-trades rangy WILL, and he’s perfect for the modern NFL. He was an EDGE out of high school, so he’s certainly got some projectability as a pass rusher. Blake Martinez and Carter Coughlin have been good, but Martinez is a thumper, and Coughlin is mostly a coverage guy. Parsons is the best of both worlds. He’s one of the safest picks in this draft, and New York desperately needs a stabilizer on defense that’s on the rise.
Pick 9: Carolina Panthers: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
I am going to do my civic duty and respect Teddy Bridgewater. I think he’s been great for Carolina, and his play will allow Matt Rhule to snag a luxury prospect here. Kyle Pitts is an absolute monster, and he’s given every defense he’s faced massive headaches. In 4 1/2 games, he has 8 TDs and has seemed unguardable at times. Ian Thomas isn’t that bad, but he’s better off as a TE2. Combined with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey — Carolina keeps building on a nice stable of weapons by adding Pitts.
Pick 10: Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Here’s my breakdown on Rousseau in my 5 Round Falcons Mock Draft 1.0:
“If the Falcons lost, I was going to have a tough time choosing between Trey Lance & Zach Wilson. However, with the Jets, Jags, Giants (maybe interested in QBs), Football Team, & Panthers currently picking before Atlanta — I think the top tier quarterbacks will be gone. Anything can happen between now and Week 17, but Rousseau is not a bad consolation prize. He led the ACC in sacks with 15.5 & 19.5 TFL in 2019. I can’t blame him for sitting 2020 out; he is a monster and will be highly coveted in April. Rousseau is as gifted athletically and size-wise as any prospect in this draft, and he has that “bend” that NFL teams covet. He’s still developing technically, but if he puts it all together, he’s going to be a nightmare in a division with excellent QB & WR play. I also quite like Carlos Basham, Joseph Ossai, Kwity Paye, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah here as a contingency.”
Pick 11: Denver Broncos: OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Strangely enough, Garett Bolles was one of the worst 1st round tackles in recent memory, and with his 5th-year option getting declined, he’s a free agent after 2020. He has been the highest-graded tackle this season, and now Denver may not be able to afford to keep him. Liam Eichenberg comes from a blueblood OL program in Notre Dame, and he’s been fantastic in 2020. The senior is a polished prospect, and he’s a big reason Notre Dame is knocking on the door of the CFP again. He’s not the fleetest of foot, but he’s a mountain of a man and very strong. If Denver can keep Bolles, they would likely pivot to defense or maybe a quarterback. However, with Justin Simmons needing a new contract and limited space as is, Denver could lose a left tackle who finally broke out.
Pick 12: Minnesota Vikings: G Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
Outside of Garrett Bradbury, interior OL has been a big issue for Minnesota all season. Even though Dalvin Cook has been running like a madman, their OL has been getting whipped regularly. It got so bad recently they cut former third-round pick Pat Elflein. Quarterback is an interesting choice here, but Minnesota decided to hand Kirk Cousins a 2-year extension back in March worth $33 million AAV. Hey, not my franchise. Wyatt Davis is a mean & tenacious blocker, and he’s probably the best guard prospect in the draft since Quenton Nelson. Dalvin Cook would give this pick a thumbs up.
Pick 13: San Francisco 49ers: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
Eric Stokes has officially overtaken Tyson Campbell as CB1 on UGA’s roster. Stokes has 3 INTs in 2020, including 2 returned for TDs, and his ball skills can’t be ignored. Even with Richard Sherman entering the twilight of his career and being an impending free agent, cornerback was already a need for the 49ers. Six (!!!) other corners, including Jason Verrett (who has been fantastic), are slated for Free Agency. An injury-filled year allows Kyle Shanahan to grab a top-tier prospect to add to a fantastic defense. Wide Receiver is certainly in play, but I think cornerback gets the edge with a deep WR class.
Pick 14: Detroit Lions: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Detroit gets an absolute steal here. We’ve seen WR prospects slide over the past few years, and with Chase not playing in 2020, it’s possible. Miami is a potential landing spot, and the Bengals should be eager to reunite Chase with Joe Burrow. However, with Kenny Golladay and Detroit squabbling over money and Marvin Jones Jr. all but gone — Chase’s slide has to stop here. He had one of the most memorable freshman seasons in recent memory, and with another very deep WR class, he may last a while. Sitting out in 2020 probably won’t hurt him, but he’s an absolute steal at this point and will make Matthew Stafford (and likely Detroit’s new coach) very happy.
Pick 15: New England Patriots: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
And here we go. Zach Wilson has been making his best Johnny Manziel impression all season for BYU, and he has made himself a lot of money while leading the Cougars to a top 10 ranking. Wilson has the size, athleticism, arm talent, and poise that NFL teams will covet. Cam Newton is not the answer in New England; he’s thrown for 3 TDs and 7 INTs through Week 10. Wilson is Belichick’s final piece of the puzzle. Over the past few years, New England has not drafted as well as in previous years. Surrounding Wilson with quality picks this draft is imperative to keeping the Patriots afloat.
Pick 16: Chicago Bears: QB Kyle Trask, Florida
Kyle Trask could very well outplay this draft position, but for now, I think this is a good fit for him. The new Heisman favorite has been out of his mind carving up every team in his way in 2020. Trask is tied for 1st in TDs with 28, 3rd in QBR at 93.9, and has only tossed 3 INTs. He’s been surrounded with elite talent at Florida, and it will be up to Matt Nagy to actually develop him, unlike Mitch Trubisky.
Pick 17: Cleveland Browns: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Outside of Mack Wilson, who is having a rough 2020, Cleveland’s linebacker situation isn’t great. Joe Schobert was never properly replaced, and Owusu-Koramoah is an athletic freak that will draw lots of attention in the first round. Mack Wilson & Owusu-Koramoah at sub linebacker on passing downs would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. While Sione Takitaki, BJ Goodson, and Malcolm Smith have been good — an upgrade should still be welcome.
Pick 18: Tennessee Titans: EDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
Tennessee has notoriously gotten no pressure on the quarterback in 2020. Vic Beasley (lol) and Jadeveon Clowney have been massive failures. Jurrell Casey was sent to Denver for a 7th round pick. Boogie Basham should quell all Titans fans’ woes. Basham put on a ton of weight this offseason, and at 6’5 and 275 lbs, the sky’s the limit for him. His athleticism won’t blow you away, but he’s balanced against the run and notched 14.5 sacks last year. He would be a steal for the Titans here as a power rusher.
Pick 19: Philadelphia Eagles: WR Terrance Marshall Jr, LSU
At 6’3, Marshall has ideal size, strength, and speed at the WR position. One of Joe Burrow’s favorite targets during LSU’s Championship run, Marshall should be a hot commodity at WR. Travis Fulgham has been a cool story, but Philly still needs another WR to pair with Jalen Reagor, who has had a tough start to his career. Standing at 5’11, Reagor can focus on winning inside routes while Marshall is the true #1 and gives the Philly pass attack some juice.
Pick 20: New York Jets (from Seattle): C/G Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Why draft Trevor Lawrence if you aren’t going to keep him upright? Humphrey has been a stalwart for Oklahoma, and regardless if he plays guard or center, he’s an upgrade on the Jets OL. Pat Freiermuth or Sam Cosmi are interesting choices here, but I think Humphrey is too good of a player to pass up for a team with a dismal OL. Even though they have claimed Pat Elflein from the Vikings and Greg Van Roten has been good, Connor McGovern is replaceable. Humphrey would be a nice building block next to Mekhi Becton. With New York also holding the 1st pick of the 2nd & 3rd rounds, they can start surrounding Lawrence with weapons. Protecting him should be priority #1.
Pick 21: Arizona Cardinals: OT/OG Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
Sam Cosmi of Texas may draw consideration here, but Leatherwood could be more appealing to Arizona. He is insanely athletic for his 6’6 frame, and with Arizona’s heavy RPO scheme, that matters. He’s also quick enough on his feet to play guard (he has at Alabama multiple times). His technique needs some polish, and his aggressiveness needs to be reigned in to avoid ineligible receiver downfield penalties in an RPO. This isn’t a sexy pick, but the Cardinals are on the cusp of being a serious threat. Leatherwood opening lanes and keeping Kyler Murray upright is important. DJ Humphries has left tackle locked down, but Kelvin Beachum, JR Sweezy, Justin Pugh, and others are replaceable. Leatherwood’s versatility can fill a lot of those holes.
Pick 22: Miami Dolphins: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
If the Dolphins manage to snag the two guys I’ve mocked to them, the rest of the NFL better watch out. Waddle’s 2020 season is over after he broke his ankle, but he’s still an elite prospect in this class. He has what I like to call “see ya later” speed, and his route running was improved in 2020. DeVante Parker has finally broken out of his shell, but reuniting Waddle with Tua Tagovailoa with Sewell protecting him would turn Brian Flores’ squad into a serious playoff threat going forward — and they may already be.
Pick 23: Indianapolis Colts: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Indy’s defense has been awesome in 2020, but Justin Houston is 31 and on an expiring deal. Sadly, the Colts are missing out on all of the top quarterbacks. They could fall in love with Mac Jones, but it may be too early for him. Wide receiver is also an option, but I think Indy should focus on taking good players at premium positions, something they’ve done well under Chris Ballard. Paye is an explosive athlete, but he can struggle when engaged with blockers. He also could be a weird fit in a 4-3, but I think with talented pieces like Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner around him — he’ll get to the quarterback often. No EDGE on the Colts has a pass rush grade above 69, so Paye makes a lot of sense here.
Pick 24: Baltimore Ravens: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Baltimore has their burner in Hollywood Brown, and Bateman should fit in nicely with him. He’s not the most physical WR, but he possesses loads of talent in terms of route running and breakaway speed — similar to Calvin Ridley. While Baltimore may covet a bigger possession WR, Bateman is too good to pass up on here, in my opinion. Surrounding Lamar Jackson with more weapons in the passing game is imperative. I trust Baltimore to draft good defensive players in the later rounds and scoop up UDFAs — get help at WR while you have elite prospects on the board. Brown’s had a tough 2020, and getting him a complimentary threat on the other side should open things up.
Pick 25: Jacksonville Jaguars (from LA Rams): OT Brady Christensen, BYU
Cam Robinson has been average at best, and even with Jawaan Taylor in the fold, a tackle makes a lot of sense here. Neither guy has been very good in 2020. Remember when I said Darrisaw was 1 of 2 to post a run & pass block grade above 90? Well, Christensen is the other. He’s protected Wilson’s blind side at BYU, and now he is tasked with keeping the mobile Justin Fields upright. Grabbing another RB and defensive pieces later in this draft to pair with Fields, Chark, Westbrook, and an improved O-Line will have Jacksonville headed in the right direction. It’s a shame LA doesn’t own their own pick here; Cosmi or Christensen would be a big help after Andrew Whitworth went down for the season.
Pick 26: Las Vegas Raiders: DL Christian Barmore, Alabama
Another trendy pick; it’s no secret Vegas needs help on the defensive line. Clelin Ferrell is proving to be the reach everyone thought he would be. Maurice Hurst has been very good, but he’s had trouble staying on the field in 2020. There is next to nothing behind him. Christian Barmore is a mountain of a man at 6’5 and 310 lbs. Like most defensive lineman who Saban sends to the NFL, Barmore is very technically sound and a tenacious pass rusher for his size. Las Vegas has been better against the run, but Barmore plugs a big hole up the middle (literally).
Pick 27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
If you wanna know how important Jordan Davis is to UGA, go watch the Florida tape. Davis is a force in terms of stopping the run and is an effective pass rusher at the collegiate level. Pairing him with Vita Vea can turn a potent Tampa Bay defense up a notch. Ndamukong Suh has been bad, and he’s an impending free agent anyway. Mac Jones is another potential pick here, and safety could also be an interesting choice, but Davis could be a fantastic 3-4 D-Lineman under Todd Bowles.
Pick 28: Buffalo Bills: CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
Shaun Wade is an absolute steal at this point. He’s so talented, but he hasn’t shown much on the boundary. He may be limited to slot corner duties, but with Tre’Davious White in the fold, the Bills can afford to make a luxury pick. Levi Wallace is solid, but he’s a restricted free agent. Shaun Wade is an example of a player who is way better than his draft position, but like Patrick Queen in 2020, he’ll fall due to position.
Pick 29: Green Bay Packers: WR Seth Williams, Auburn
Seth Williams may not go this early, but I absolutely love this pick for the Packers. Davante Adams is elite, and his smooth routes are fun to watch. Seth Williams is that “go and get it” jump ball WR that Aaron Rodgers could spam near the red zone. Williams hasn’t gotten a lot of hype, but anyone who watches Auburn knows he’s an absolute problem at 6’4. He will box out any defender 1 on 1 and is a walking mismatch. With Davante Adams lined up across from him, you can’t double either of them without leaving one exposed. Green Bay finally takes a skill player to the delight of Aaron Rodgers.
Pick 30: Kansas City Chiefs: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
Andy Reid could lose Eric Bieniemy along with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson in free agency. Mecole Hardman will be a free agent soon as well. He shouldn’t be sad for long if Rondale Moore falls into his lap. Even though he sat out 2020, Moore was built for Reid’s offense. He caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 scores in his freshman season while adding 10.1 YPC and 2 scores on the ground. He’s also a threat in the return game. If Andy Reid doesn’t retire and gets his paws on this kid, it’s honestly just unfair.
Pick 31: New Orleans Saints: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The Saints are out of QB range unless they like Mac Jones, but he’s a skilled deep ball QB, and Michael Thomas runs mostly short routes. Sean Payton still has this infatuation with Taysom Hill as well. Dylan Moses makes sense here. There’s a need at linebacker with Demario Davis aging, but New Orleans has tied up so much money in the Kwon Alexander trade. Moehrig has been fantastic for TCU, and with it being about a 0% chance the Saints can afford to keep Marcus Williams, Moehrig is a good fit.
Pick 32: Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
Another late-round steal by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Campbell is a good player, and while he may get overshadowed by Eric Stokes, there’s a lot to like about him. He’s a bigger corner at 6’2 and possesses nice length. The interceptions aren’t there, but don’t mistake that for lack of ball skills. With Cam Sutton hitting free agency and Joe Haden on the wrong side of 30 with one year left on his contract — Campbell is an easy choice for the Steelers if he’s available. They could use help at linebacker with a Nick Bolton or Dylan Moses to pair with Devin Bush, but Sutton will be very expensive to retain. This could easily be a Lamar Jackson type situation with Mac Jones being the last pick of the 1st round.
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