After months of anticipation and even uncertainty if it was going to go on as scheduled, the NFL Draft is just about here. And maybe more so than previous years, we as fans really have no clue what’s going to happen after the first pick or two.
This will be my first (and last) stab at trying to predict the picks of every team in the 1st round. It will also be the first time I’ve included any trades in my mock, which are all broken down after pick #32.
I tried my best to address each team’s selection to the best of my ability. Team need, BPA and speculated rumors/leaks from the media went into every pick. But all in all, this mock is what I think will happen, not necessarily what I’d want to happen.
Let me know what you think and hopefully you like the guys selected below by your respected teams!
1. CIN – LSU QB Joe Burrow
There’s no debate here. Burrow has already been a Bengal for a few months now. He replaces Dalton and steps into an offense that should get AJ Green back from “injury”.
2. WAS – OSU DE Chase Young
Just like Cincinnati at #1, the Redskins don’t have to overthink. Young is arguably the best player in the draft and takes that Washington defense to the next level.
3. LAC – Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
*TRADE UP W/ DET* The Chargers trade up and get their franchise Quarterback. Tua will step into an offense that already has it’s fair share of weapons and will be a short plane ride away from his hometown in Hawaii.
4. NYG – Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
Although I’m sure they’ll be tempted to take a guy like Isaiah Simmons here, it’s essential that they protect Daniel Jones. I hear Wirfs is their guy when it comes to offensive line help so he’s the pick here.
5. MIA – Oregon QB Justin Herbert
Los Angeles outbids them for Tua, so the Miami Dolphins turn to Herbert, who may be higher on their board anyways.
6. DET – Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah
*TRADE DOWN W/ LAC * The Lions trade down with the Chargers and still get their guy. After losing Slay to Philadelphia, Okudah makes for one heck of a replacement in that Detroit secondary.
7. CAR – Florida CB CJ Henderson
With a guy like Simmons on the board, Carolina shocks the world and takes Henderson, who’s stock has been rising since the combine. After losing Bradberry to NYG, it’s essential that they replace his production.
8. ARI – Alabama OT Jedrick Willis
Protecting Kyler Murray should be top priority for Arizona now. A league ready tackle in Willis will give them just that and this newly improved Cardinals offense may turn some heads next season.
9. JAC – Auburn DT Derrick Brown
With Ngakoue likely on his way out, the Jaguars defensive line will need some help. Brown is an elite talent and becomes a cornerstone of a currently crumbling Jacksonville defense.
10. ATL – Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
*TRADE UP W/ CLE* A surprise fall prompts Atlanta to move up and get the versatile Isaiah Simmons who could revamp that Falcons defense and franchise as a whole.
11. NYJ – Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
Although they could certainly go with a top WR here, I believe offensive line is the play considering the depth of receivers in this class. Thomas might be able to sure up that New York offensive line that has been abysmal.
12. LV – Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb
Since trading away Amari Cooper, the Raiders haven’t provided Carr with a legitimate WR1. Lamb gets to join an offense that surprisingly looks good now with Waller and Jacobs already there.
13. DEN – Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III
*TRADE UP W/ SF* Elway and the Broncos move up a few slots to get “their guy”. The speedy Ruggs paired with Courtland Sutton makes for a very nice duo at the receiver position.
14. TB – Louisville OT Mekhi Becton
It’s the Brady show down in Florida and protecting the 42yr old QB will be priority. Becton is the last of the “elite” tackles on the board and will now be Tom’s bodyguard.
15. SF – Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy
*TRADE DOWN W/ DEN* Trading down, the 49ers still get a top receiver in Jeudy. With Sanders gone, it’s key for them to add some talent there.
16. CLE – Alabama S Xavier McKinney
*TRADE DOWN W/ ATL* After missing out on the top tackles from trading back, Cleveland opts to address their defense with McKinney. They’ll take care of their offensive line later on *cough cough* Trent Williams.
17. DAL – LSU DE K’Lavon Chaisson
With a number of key contributors departing and uncertainty about Vander Esch’s future, Dallas must go defense in the 1st. Chaisson is viewed as one of the top pass rushers in this class.
18. MIA – LSU WR Justin Jefferson
The Dolphins don’t have many weapons on offense outside of Devante Parker and with a top 5 pick invested into Herbert, it’s essential that they provide him with help.
19. LV – South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw
The Raiders get great value here as Kinlaw sneaks outside of the top 15.
20. JAC – LSU S Grant Delpit
The 3rd LSU player selected in the last 4 picks, Delpit lands in Jacksonville. Paired with previously picked Derrick Brown, the Jaguars start their rebuild off right defensively.
21. GB – Utah St. QB Jordan Love
*TRADE UP W/ PHI* A potential heir to Aaron Rodgers, who turns 37 in December, the Packers move up to get Love. Although he’ll likely sit the bench for 1-3yrs, he’ll be groomed behind one of the best.
22. MIN – TCU WR Jalen Reagor
With Diggs now in Buffalo, the Vikings clearly need some help at receiver. Reagor is a similar player and offers true playmaking ability whenever the ball is in his hands.
23. NE – Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray
Although Quarterback is a concern, New England continues to add to that top tier defense with a rangy LB in Murray.
24. NO – LSU LB Patrick Queen
Two LBs in a row go off the board with the Saints keeping Queen home in the state of Louisiana.
25. MIN – Utah CB Jaylon Johnson
Maybe a surprise to some, Johnson has been one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process. Minnesota gets their potential replacement for Rhodes.
26. MIA – Michigan OL Cesar Ruiz
The Dolphins address their offense 3/3 picks in the 1st, taking a top interior guy in Ruiz who should make a big impact right away.
27. SEA – USC OT Austin Jackson
Protecting Russell Wilson in the pocket has always been a problem for Seattle. Jackson is one of the last tackles left with a 1st round grade and makes for a good fit.
28. BAL – Baylor WR Denzel Mims
With a smaller guy in Marquise Brown on the field a ton, Mims makes a lot of sense here. The more weapons for Lamar, the merrier!
29. TEN – LSU CB Kristian Fulton
Falling further than expected, the Titans get a corner in Fulton who possesses CB1 upside in the back of the first round.
30. PHI – Arizona St. WR Brandon Aiyuk
*TRADE DOWN W/ GB* After missing out on their top targets at the position, Philadelphia trades back and gets a big time play threat in Aiyuk instead of forcing the hand at #21.
31. SF – Clemson CB AJ Terrell
There aren’t many holes in this 49ers team. After getting Jeudy earlier, they decide to add to their secondary with Terrell.
32. KC – Georgia RB D’Andre Swift
Although their RB committee worked out just fine last season, Swift’s pass-catching ability out of the backfield gives the Chiefs something they’ve missed since Hunt’s departure.
DET – Picks #6 (Jeffrey Okudah) #37 #112
LAC – Pick #3 (Tua Tagovaiola)
CLE – Pick #16 (Xavier McKinney) #47
ATL – Pick #10 (Isaiah Simmons)
SF – Pick #15 (Jerry Jeudy) #95
DEN – Pick #13 (Henry Ruggs)
PHI – Pick #30 (Brandon Aiyuk) #94 #136
GB – Pick #21 (Jordan Love)
Featured Image: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.