Welcome all! Draft week is upon us, which to me is better than Christmas morning. Every team gets their new presents for the upcoming year and while injecting new found hope into each fan base. Free agency gets a lot of recognition, as it should, but this is the most important week of the year outside of the season.
No use in getting you to read all of this since you just want to get to the picks, I get it. That’s why I gave you the gift of three rounds since we are officially three days away from my favorite day of the year.
16. iOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
49. WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
The offense is already built to score, but why not do even more to bolster it? In Vera-Tucker they get the often named top interior lineman, who has the chance to be the best offensive lineman in the entire class. They need to do more to protect Kyler Murray and getting Brian Winters off the field is a decent start. Coming back and adding Rondale Moore in the second gives the Arizona offense that speedy playmaker they had hoped Andy Isabella would become.
4. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
35. HB Javonte Williams, UNC
68. EDGE Jordan Smith, UAB
When it comes down to it, this selection should be a quarterback or a tight end. Whether it’s the Falcons or not, the top quarterback available could easily be the pick, but they go with the elite talent in Kyle Pitts instead. Adding Pitts, and not to mention Javonte Williams, to an offense that already has Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst gives Matt Ryan all he needs to help get this team back on track. The defense is still in a bit of shambles but they get Smith who has some upside as a pass rusher.
27. S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
31. EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
94. WR Nico Collins, Michigan
104. iOL David Moore, Grambling State
Eric Decosta shook up the NFL trading Orlando Brown to the Kansas City Chiefs this past week. In doing so they now have two picks in each of the first and third rounds. In these rounds they split up defense and offense. Defensively, they get two guys that will fits rotations, Moehrig with Chuck Clark and Deshon Elliot and Oweh with Jaylon Ferguson, Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser. Offensively they grab Nico Collins who can be another big body for Lamar Jackson potentially getting time ahead of Sammy Watkins and/or Miles Boykin and David Moore who just looked like a Baltimore Raven out in Mobile, Alabama.
30. CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
61. iDL Dayvion Nixon, Iowa
93. EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami
Etienne was almost the pick there at 30 but the running game should come along the more focus the passing game gets after a stellar 2020. With that being put to the side for now, they go defense, defense, defense. Stokes fills a role on the outside opposite Tre White, while Nixon and Roche but add more help to the front. They must know that they will not get past the Chiefs and maybe even the Browns without putting more pressure on their offensive lines and quarterbacks. Roche did not have the greatest 2020 after shining to me at Temple, but the he still shines from time to time and Sean McDermmott is a good enough coach to where he could get those shining moments to become a little more consistent.
8. OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
39. CB Asante Samuel, Florida State
73. OL Jaylen Mayfield, Michigan
After trading for Sam Darnold, they do not seem to be completely out of the running for a quarterback at the eighth pick, but they pass on Mac Jones to go with the best offensive tackle remaining. The offense has weapons all over the place, but the front could still use some work, even after retaining Taylor Moton. With this draft, Carolina can enter the season with Slater as the starting left tackle and Mayfield competing for one of the guard positions. Samuel in the second gives them a guy that can immediately impact the game from the nickel but also has the potential to be the starting outside corner, if given an opportunity.
20. OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
52. CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky
83. QB Davis Mills, Stanford
Despite making the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, this seems like the last chance for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. Even with that being as evident as it is, it seems as if Andy Dalton will be at the helm to give them this last chance. They were not able to make the move up for a quarterback so now they ride with Dalton and Davis Mills, who they nab in round three. Drafting Darrisaw for protection and then Kelvin Joseph to replace Kyle Fuller may not be enough to save their jobs, but they both show good upside to make a difference right away.
5. OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
38. WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
69. iOL Trey Smith, Tennessee
Can anybody be happier than Joe Burrow if this is their draft? The offensive line was abysmal in 2020, which ultimately led to the injury Burrow suffered late in the season. To fix that, they go and get arguably the top tackle in the draft and team him up with an absolute mauler in Trey Smith, who was previously getting round one attention not that long ago. Not only that, but they get his LSU connection on the outside giving him targets all over the offense. They have to do what it takes to build around their franchise quarterback correctly, whether these picks hit or not will be another question.
26. EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
59. LB Jabril Cox, LSU
89. WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
91. iDL Milton Williams, LA Tech
Sure, the Browns signed Jadeveon Clowney, but it’s entirely possible he could be on his fifth team in as many years, after the 2021 season. Kwity Paye gives them a relatively cheap option opposite Myles Garrett for the foreseeable future. In addition, they add more up front with Milton Williams who has a very athletic profile on the interior line, ultimately replacing Sheldon Richardson. The Browns are right on the cusp of being one of the top couple teams in the conference and what they need to do to take over the top spot is to obviously get the ball out of Mahomes’ hands, which is what they try to do here.
10. CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama
44. iDL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
75. S Richie Grant, UCF
99. OL Jackson Carman, Clemson
Surtain becomes the first defensive player off the board here at 10. The Alabama cornerback is not the top player at his position, in my mind, but he is in the eyes of many and considering the lack of talent the Cowboys have on the backend, this makes a ton of sense. After him, they go grab some more help for the defense in Onwuzurike and Grant, with the latter being a very solid value pick this late after having a stellar Senior Bowl week.
15. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (via New England) 9 for 15, 46 & ‘22 2nd
34. HB Travis Etienne, Clemson (via New York Jets) 40 & 71 for 34 & 107
46. iDL Alim McNeill, NC State (via New England)
All three picks for Denver are results of trades, two from moving back with New England and the other to move up. The trade back was a good move for them to add two additional second round picks for new General Manager, George Paton this year and in 2022, while also getting a player that could possibly be in play for them at nine. Owusu-Koramoah is a highly athletic linebacker who has the potential of playing safety at times, as well. Getting that type of player to match up with their divisional rivals will be a must at some point. The trade up gets them the running back that they want in Etienne, not letting Atlanta or the Jets get the chance. With Melvin Gordon and Royce Freeman as the top two on the depth chart, getting this kind of player at the position is a nice complement.
7. QB Trey Lance, NDSU
41. WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
72. S Jamar Johnson, Indiana
101. CB Benjamin St. Juste, Minnesota
Detroit’s plan coming into the draft is an absolute mystery. They traded Matthew Stafford and got Jared Goff in return to be their quarterback. We have been told that they really liked Goff but many people, including myself, are second guessing that. Therefore, they take Trey Lance who will not have to be rushed into the starting lineup and can ride the bench in year one. It would not hurt him to sit this year out considering they allowed both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to walk last month, leaving them with Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams as the top two targets on the outside. Bringing in a player like Toney brings something new to the table and something to work with down the road.
Green Bay Packers
29. CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
62. iOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
92. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
Every year we mock a wide receiver to the Packers and every year, they refuse to take one at all, let alone early. So looking at that history, they go with the sliding Caleb Farley instead. He has his fair share of injury questions that will hopefully be answered early on his career, but it will remain to be seen. If Farley stays healthy, the potential between him and Alexander as the top cornerbacks is sky high. They also add Wyatt Davis to the interior line which can hopefully keep Elgton Jenkins at one position, replacing Corey Linsley at center. And with their last pick, they go with the brother of Equanimeous St. Brown, Amon-Ra. The younger brother fits more of the slot mold so he shouldn’t prevent the elder sibling from getting a roster spot in 2021.
67. iOL Josh Myers, Ohio State
The Texans are the worst run organization in maybe all of sports. Now with the whole Deshaun Watson legal situation, they’re in an even worse spot now. So in the meantime, add a body to the front that could help whoever is under center. Myers was viewed as a potential first round pick a few months ago so if he can play to that level, Houston gets some much needed luck.
21. EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
54. OT Dillon Radunz, NDSU
Chris Ballard has done a great job building this roster, but if there is any criticism, it is the lack of talent they have gotten from drafting edge rushers. Between Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu and Tyquan Lewis they have spent three second round picks on the position for a whopping 15 sacks in a combined 83 games. Between injuries and just not great play at the position, the three picks have looked like mediocre picks, at best. Ojulari brings them a guy that is more of a sure thing coming out compared to the others who were seen more as projections. As for Radunz, he gets the assignment of replacing Anthony Castanzo after a successful 10 seasons and 144 starts.
1st. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
25. iDL Christian Barmore, Alabama
33. WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
45. TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
65. OT Spencer Brown, N. Iowa
Trevor Lawrence, just like Zach Wilson, is going to a team with a lot of needs and a lot of draft capital to go after those needs. They go defense first with Barmore to try to get more help in the trenches but go offense from there on out. Elijah Moore is a dynamic playmaker who can play in the slot or the outside, although he may be a better fit inside. But they also grabbed a safety blanket for Lawrence in Freiermuth to go alongside Tyler Eifert at the tight end position. Lastly, they go to the other side of the trenches with Spencer Brown. This should help make their new franchise quarterback feel a little more at ease, joining a team coming off 15 straight losses.
Kansas City Chiefs
58. EDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
63. LB Pete Werner, Ohio State
Kansas City made some massive moves to their offensive line after losing the Super Bowl. Entering Thursday, four of the five positions will have new faces; (LT) Orlando Brown, (LG) Joe Thuney, (C) Austin Blythe and (RG) Kyle Long. With the new additions and the loss of their first round pick in the process, this likely eliminates them going offensive line on day two. So instead, they try to build the front seven with Basham and Werner. There are questions regarding both of them but they are players that can help immediately and do not necessarily require time to sit and learn.
Las Vegas Raiders
17. LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
48. OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
79. S Jevon Holland, Oregon
80. iOL Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
Since Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have come to town, they have not shied away from selections that would be regarded as “reaches”. Kolton Miller back (11th) in 2018 for Gruden, Clelin Ferrell (4th) in 2019 in Mayock’s first draft and Damon Arnette (19) in 2020. So continuing that trend, they go with what some may view as a good value pick but many others would view as a reach. Zaven Collins helps the linebacker core immediately who could also help serve as a pass rusher in certain situations. Later on the focus on the offensive line after trading away three-fifths of their starters. The two former Fighting Irish played with each other on the left side of the line, but could plug into the right side for Las Vegas right away.
Los Angeles Chargers
13. CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
47. EDGE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma
77. TE Hunter Long, Boston College
97. OT James Hudson, Cincinnati
There was a report that the Chargers may actually like Trey Pipkins at left tackle and if that’s true, there should be no hesitation for Jaycee Horn to be the selection. Brandon Staley needs that shutdown cornerback in his defense and Horn has the potential and mentality to bring that to town. Perkins can possibly fill the role that Melvin Ingram will be leaving behind, as long as he does not have off field concerns, which has come up in the past. In round three they focus on giving Herbert help, getting him a potential Mark Andrews type tight end for the youngster and a guy who they’d hope to be a potential building block for the offensive line, whether it be at tackle or inside at guard in Hudson.
Los Angeles Rams
57. iOL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
88. LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
103. EDGE Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
The Rams just do not care about their first round picks. They have traded away more first rounders in the last five years than the Jets have seen the playoffs in the last two decades. It physically hurt to type that sentence… Anyways, the Rams continue to trade their top pick but still put together a team contending for a playoff run every year. A lot of credit goes to the scouting department for hitting their picks after the first day. In this scenario they would get an instant fan favorite in the Division III star, Quinn Meinerz who would replace Blythe at center or could be kicked to a guard spot if wanted. Then on defense they get two guys that could have impactful snaps right away in Bolton and Weaver, however there is boom or bust to all three of those guys.
6. WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
18. HB Najee Harris, Alabama
36. EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas
50. OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
81. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
Devante Parker, Preston Williams, Will Fuller, Mike Gesicki are adding Ja’Marr Chase and Najee Harris to the fold. Tua Tagovailoa has to be a pretty happy kid in this instance. If the two new draft picks are anything close to what many expect them to be, this offense has a chance to be one of the better ones in the league. Leatherwood would get an opportunity to play on the right side, depending on where they would rather have Robert Hunt play. This gives them everything they need in place to know whether or not Tua is the guy within the next couple of years, with no excuses.
19. EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami (via Washington) 14 for 19, 74 & 163
74. iOL Kendrick Green, Illinois
78. WR D’Wayne Eskridge, W. Michigan
90. OT Brady Christensen, BYU
A little birdy is whispering that Jaelan Phillips will be Minnesota’s pick. While that could happen at 14, there is no doubt they would feel much better about it if they can move down a few spots first. Phillps has a complicated injury history but if they feel comfortable enough with it, he has every chance to be well worth a top 15 selection. Adding him to the other side of Danielle Hunter puts together one scary duo, if they can remain on the field. But they also add some key players to the offense with two linemen and a receiver. Eskridge can be that third option after Theilen and Jefferson, while Green and Christensen could be the starting left tackle and guard right away.
New England Patriots
9. QB Mac Jones, Alabama (via Denver) 15, 46 & ‘22 2nd for 9
96. WR Shi Smith, South Carolina
Mac Jones is still the odds on favorite to be selected with the third overall pick on Thursday night, however, he falls a little past that with the Patriots stopping the fall by trading up with Denver. The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton but after last year, they would be smart to have another option available to them. Jones is closer to the mold of the guy that won this franchise six rings rather than the athletes that are at the position now. He is a smart quarterback and one that should be able to handle the New England system right away. Knowing Bill has struggled with drafting in recent years, I feel certain that they would be okay walking away from two second round picks to get their potential quarterback of the future.
New Orleans Saints
24. WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (via Pittsburgh) 28, 98 and ‘22 4th for 24
60. CB Aaron Robinson, UCF
105. QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Drew Brees is no longer a New Orleans Saint. The future first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback leaves behind an offense pretty stacked but with two pretty big questions, who is the future at the quarterback position and who is the second receiver after Michael Thomas? They answer the latter by trading up to take Rashod Bateman in front of Jacksonville, Cleveland and Baltimore. As for quarterback, Jameis Winston seems to be the starter with Taysom Hill also still around, but Kellen Mond is an interesting player to keep an eye on. The former Aggie had some very fun highlights but also very cringy lowlights. If Payton can get a handle of it with Mond riding the bench for the first year or two, they could have something on their hands.
New York Giants
11. LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
42. iOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
76. WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina
Gettleman is in a good spot to trade down at 11 but he has never done it in the past so there is no reason to believe the boomer changes that this year. Instead they stand pat in all three rounds going linebacker, offensive line and receiver. Parsons has some notable issues off the field but there have been no reports of a potential fall, leading me to believe he is well in play for the Giants, especially because he can occasionally come off the edge too rather than only be pigeonholed into a pure linebacker. The other two picks can be instant starters for the G-men. Kevin Zeitler is no longer around to play right guard and Nick Gates is a fine but underwhelming name at center, allowing Dickerson to play either or. Brown could be the fourth receiver in this group, giving Jones more depth to work with in case of injuries, like they dealt with last year.
New York Jets
2. QB Zach Wilson, BYU
23. OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
40. LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky (via Denver) 34, 107 for 40 & 71
66. HB Michael Carter, North Carolina
71. CB Elijah Molden, Washington (via Denver)
86. WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn
Wilson was a forgone conclusion before the Darnold trade. Since the trade, everybody and their grandmothers know that the Baby Faced Mormon will be the new face of the Jets franchise, whether you like it or not. As for the other five selections, they hit five key parts. Jenkins gives them an immediate starter at guard and while also being the long term solution at right tackle. Jamin Davis should compete for starting snaps right away and seeing as the depth at the linebacker position is pretty scarce, he would get playing time regardless. With Michael Carter, we knew the running back room needed another body seeing as the players in house are all role players, at best. Five picks later they select their new slot corner in Elijah Molden, keeping the door open for a name like Steven Nelson or Richard Sherman to join the team after the draft to play on the outside. Last but not least, Schwartz gets taken at 86, giving the team what they are obviously looking for on the offense… speed. In the end, these five could realistically be five eventual starters and at worst, they are all pretty big contributors in 2021 in some capacity.
12. WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
37. EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
70. LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
84. CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
The 2017 season seems like it was at least a decade ago. Wentz and Pederson are both gone and the plan is to start over under Sirianni. The team should see an improvement in health, particularly on the offensive line and this is now the Jalen Hurts show, with them not taking a quarterback here. With that being the case, they nab him his old teammate in Jaylen Waddle, adding a weapon they so desperately needed. In rounds two and three, they hit all three levels of the defense. With an offensive minded coach and a young quarterback they may want to go offense at some point on day two but you cannot pass on three potential starters if they’re staring you in the face.
28. iOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma (via New Orleans) 24 for 28, 98 and ‘22 4th
55. CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
87. HB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
98. TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame (via New Orleans)
The Steelers went from 11-0 to 12-5 at the end of 2020. They obviously have some pieces to work with but what needs work more than anything is the running game. It was practically non existent last year and with the additions of Humphrey and Tremble, they bring in two excellent blockers and guys that fit the Steeler mold. Not to mention getting Sermon to be the new feature back to complement the smaller, speedier Anthony McFarland who was a rookie last year. They cannot rely on Ben to drop back as often as he did in 2020 to be successful in potentially his last season.
San Francisco 49ers
3. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
43. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
102. iOL Drew Dalman, Stanford
After trading up to three nobody knew where their heads were at in terms of what quarterback they wanted. While Mac Jones is still the favorite to be the pick, as mentioned above, it would just be too big of a shock to not see Fields be one of the first three quarterbacks selected. He may not grasp the Shanahan playbook as quickly as Mac Jones, but this is not just for 2021 when you make this pick. Fields has an exponentially higher upside than Jones as both a passer and obviously as a runner. There are also concerns in Fields’ game but nothing to not make him the pick here at three.
56. EDGE Payton Turner, Houston
Russell Wilson is still around for the time being so no need to go quarterback. Instead they go after Payton Turner who has some potential as a pass rusher early on in his career. The Aldon Smith signing went downhill pretty fast meaning there is room for another rusher that actually plays the position and not a blitzing safety.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
32. EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
64. iDL Jay Tufele, USC
95. QB Kyle Trask, Florida
What do you give a team that dominated the Super Bowl and has every key player from that run coming back? Beats me, but they go defense to keep up what they got building on Todd Bowles’ side of the ball. Tryon is a name that seems to be getting a lot more love from the NFL than Twitter at the moment so this is more of a guess than the rest of these guesses. He does fit the outside linebacker position that Bowles wants and considering that JPP could be gone after the year, this gives them immediate depth with a potential starter down the road opposite Shaq Barrett. In round three they stay in the home state and bring in a potential successor to Brady. Trask is used to sitting and learning, having done it for most of high school and college, so it only makes sense that he does it in the pros behind one of the best to ever do their job.
22. CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
53. OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
85. TE Brevin Jordan, Miami
100. WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Tennessee has a lot of work to do after losing Malcolm Butler, Adoree Jackson, Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith last month, while also officially giving up on their first round pick from last year, Isaiah Wilson. With their four picks, they just so happen to hit those exact four positions, while none of them being considered a reach. Newsome is a fluid talent at the cornerback position who plays the ball very well, hopefully helping their defensive third down stats. Cosmi can become the right tackle for a team that was wishing they found one last year. Then in round three they replaced two of their top targets that left for the AFC East. Brevin Jordan has often been compared to Jonnu Smith and Tylan Wallace, while not Corey Davis, does block extremely well and can be a deep threat right away on an offense that likes to run the ball and take shots more often than others.
Washington Football Team
14. WR Devonta Smith, Alabama (via Minnesota) 19, 74 & 163 for 14
51. LB Baron Browning, Ohio State
82. OT Stone Forsythe, Florida
The Football Team shocked some folks getting to the playoffs last year, albeit with a record under .500. Nevertheless, they were an impressive team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. What they’re lacking is some more fire power, which is why they felt the need to move on up for the Heisman winner, Devonta Smith. Adding him to the duo they already have in Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel could be one of the more entertaining wideout groups in the league, especially considering FitzMagic could be the one passing them the ball. Beyond Smith, they get an athletic specimen at the linebacker position that should gobble up ball carriers considering who will be up front to take care of the blockers, and a boulder of an offensive tackle in Stone Forsythe. The former Gator has risen up boards of late so this could be a good landing spot in Washington.