This week’s mock draft features some shakeups in the top 10, new offensive tackles for nearly a quarter of the league, and a couple of new first-round names.
Here’s how this week’s mock draft unfolds:
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
In the seven days since last week’s mock draft, Burrow did not quit football to join the circus. He’ll remain the pick for the Bengals unless that happens.
2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
The reason for Young going second is similar to Burrow. But wouldn’t it be sort of fun to speculate Washington moving down to a team desperate for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? With the Dolphins and Chargers picking back-to-back inside the top 10, Washington could try to drum up trade interest. Still, passing on Young is hard to fathom.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Lions couldn’t go wrong picking Okudah, Auburn’s Derrick Brown, or Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons. Okudah is a lockdown cornerback who could accelerate Darius Slay’s departure from Detroit.
4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Go down the checklist for New York: The Giants have a young franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones. This is a very good draft for offensive tackles. The Giants have a bad offensive line. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman adores “hog mollies.” Sometimes you don’t have to complicate things in a mock draft.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
While he was at the Senior Bowl last week, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier stressed the importance of intangibles in a quarterback. If any quarterback in this draft defines that undefinable trait it is Tagovailoa. The best thing for the Alabama quarterback, and the Dolphins, is that he can sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for a season and get healthy.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
While rumors about Philip Rivers continue to persist, the Chargers should take Herbert even if the veteran returns to LA. With the right development, Herbert has all the makings of a franchise quarterback.
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Vernon Butler has been a disappointment, and the Panthers should let him walk in free agency. Gerald McCoy is a free agent as well. That could leave Carolina in the tough spot of needing yet another new running partner for Kawann Short inside. Brown could conceivably go as high as the third pick, so there’s some value at No. 7.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Somebody please block for Kyler Murray. He is one of this country’s national treasures. Imagine him making a jump in his development like Lamar Jackson did this season. Murray has the natural talent to do it, but he needs a lot of help around him.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
One of these days the Jaguars will get their offensive line fully fixed, right? Wirfs is an athletic blocker with bad intentions on the field. In any other year when the draft is lighter at the position, he could be a top-five pick.
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
After nearly a month, the Cleveland Browns finally have a new general manager: Andrew Berry. Now the question becomes whether or not he’ll hold at No. 10 or trade back. Regardless, the Browns need to come out of the first round with an offensive tackle. Becton is a hot name who could help bolster Cleveland’s rushing attack.
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The fit of Lamb in New York’s offense is a good one, especially if the Jets let Robby Anderson walk in free agency. Lamb averaged an unreal 21.4 yards per catch last season, and he would be a nice deep-ball threat for Sam Darnold.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
This is a “run to the podium” pick for the Raiders. If the Giants pass on Simmons at No. 4, there’s an outside chance he could slip this far. Anyone is an upgrade over Vontaze Burfict at this point for the Raiders, and Simmons is as good as advertised.
13. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The most natural comparison for Jeudy is former Colts legend Marvin Harrison. Like Harrison, Jeudy isn’t a flashy, super speed receiver, nor is he a big-body jump-ball guy. He’s just smooth and smart with his routes and has exceptional hands.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Assuming the Buccaneers add a veteran quarterback (or keep Jameis Winston) this offseason, an upgrade is needed on the offensive line early in the draft. Even if four offensive tackles go ahead of them, the Buccaneers can still get a quality player in Jones, a fleet-footed tackle with violent hands.
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Broncos fans around the internet are in love with Ruggs, and this mock continues to give them what they want. It just makes sense sending Ruggs to Denver. Quarterback Drew Lock has an impressive arm, and he can push the ball deep to a speedy receiver like Ruggs.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Odds are the Falcons have traveled the short 200 miles on Interstate 20 from Atlanta to Columbia, South Carolina, and know everything about Kinlaw. After a strong Senior Bowl week, the Falcons would be fortunate to land Kinlaw at No. 16. While people have said for years the Falcons need to get pressure from the edge, Kinlaw can help do it up the middle.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Unless you count experimenting with Byron Jones at the position, the Cowboys haven’t taken a safety in the first three rounds of the draft since Roy Williams in 2002. At that point, Delpit was not even 4 years old. Delpit may not be a big hitter like Williams was, but he can help solve the Cowboys’ long-standing problems at safety.
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Putting a player like Epenesa on a defensive line with Christian Wilkins would give Miami a formidable group up front. The Iowa lineman may not be a classic speed rusher, but he would give head coach Brian Flores a versatile player there.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
If the Raiders want to keep up with a division rival like the Chiefs, they have to score more than the 19.6 points per game they did in 2019. That means getting much better at wide receiver, where Tyrell Williams was underwhelming as a free agent acquisition. Shenault has legitimate No. 1 receiver potential with his all-around skill set.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: (via Los Angeles Rams): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
After trading Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars are in need of a top-line cornerback. Although Henderson doesn’t have the best tackling skills, he’s a quality cornerback in every other area. But who needs to tackle when you shut down the receiver?
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
This pick has to be a wide receiver or cornerback, right? Higgins is an incredible jump-ball wide receiver and will give Carson Wentz the type of weapon at the position he just doesn’t have.
22. Buffalo Bills: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Bills general manager Brandon Beane has been open this offseason saying the Bills need to upgrade at wide receiver. While a bigger target like Higgins would probably be preferred, Jefferson has decent size and showed this season he knows how to create after the catch.
23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
If the Patriots don’t think Jarrett Stidham is their future at quarterback, they have to take a player like Love in this draft. His accuracy has been shaky at times, but his skill set is special. In the right situation, he can be a star.
24. New Orleans Saints: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
A wide receiver or edge rusher is intriguing with this pick, but it would be hard to pass on Diggs at No. 24. He has impressive size for a cornerback, and matches up well with bigger receivers.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
What the Vikings do in the draft will depend on what they do with offensive lineman Riley Reiff this offseason. If he’s left at tackle, this could end up being a cornerback. But if Reiff is moved inside, a tackle such as Jackson could fit for the Vikings.
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
Other than center, the Dolphins arguably need to upgrade every position on the offensive line. After Wilson there’s a big dropoff at tackle prospects, so his value might be hard to ignore at No. 26.
27. Seattle Seahawks: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
The Seahawks would be happy to see a versatile edge rusher like Chaisson at the back of the first round. In fact, if he’s available, you have to wonder if he’ll stop Seattle from inevitably trading back.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
One of Baltimore’s top priorities this offseason will be making sure the pass rush gets improved. The trouble in Charm City is that Matt Judon should cash in big time in free agency. Murray is the kind of outside linebacker the Ravens can turn into a star with his ability to get in the backfield.
29. Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
Lewis has garnered comparisons to Danielle Hunter of the Vikings, and the Titans would love to get a player like him in the first round. Lewis is comfortable standing up on the outside, but he can also play with his hand down.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Aiyuk may have dropped out of the Senior Bowl, but he could still sneak into the first round if he has a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine next month. Aiyuk is a monster after the catch, and will box out defensive backs in traffic.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Although Richard Sherman has revived his career with the 49ers, San Francisco’s talent at cornerback beyond him is lackluster. Fulton is an aggressive corner who will come up and play the run and can stick with physical receivers on the outside.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
If teams are looking for a Devin Bush-type of linebacker in this draft, Queen is the closest to it. He’s not the biggest linebacker, but his range is impressive and he’ll close on the ball in a hurry.