Hello all. Going to try to do NFL Mock Drafts with commentary, like the good old days.
The draft order will be based on 1. records. 2. point differential, until week 8 or so when I will use the http://www.tankathon.com draft order.
- Green Bay Packers (0-1)
Pick: DE Kayvon Thiobdeaux, Oregon – 6’5, 250 lbs
2021 Stats: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF
Even if the Packers miraculously pick this high at the end of the year, there is zero chance this will be a quarterback. The front office chased off perhaps the best player in franchise history when they drafted Jordan Love. They at least have to give that guy a chance before drafting his replacement. So I will go with the best prospect in this class, Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux is a pass rushing terror who will fit just fine in any defensive scheme. Green Bay has a few good pass rushers, but no one on the level of Thibodeaux.
2. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
Pick: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma – 6’1, 205 lbs
2021 Stats: 50-65, 547 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT
The clock is ticking on the Matt Ryan era in Atlanta, and another terrible season should put an end to the long time marriage. It is well time for the Falcons to flat out rebuild, and they should be able to get a first round pick for Ryan, while drafting his replacement here. Spencer Rattler’s good and bad has been on full force through Oklahoma’s first two weeks, with a couple mind numbing interceptions, and an amazing display against a Week 2 cupcake. I still think Rattler is the class of this quarterback group, but do not sleep on Malik Willis of Liberty, who is an Atlanta native and could give the Falcons fans some Michael Vick vibes. There is a long way to go.
3. Tennessee Titans (0-1)
Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama – 6’7, 360 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
I think I can confidently say that the Titans will not be picking here, since they are the only team in the AFC North that is not terrible. So I will just talk about Evan Neal, the monstrous left tackle from Alabama. Neal might be pushed down the board a bit once quarterbacks separate themselves, similar to Penei Sewell, but he is a top five talent in this class. Huge, agile and experienced, Neal is everything teams look for out of a franchise left tackle.
4. New York Giants (0-1) (from CHI)
Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU – 6’1, 195 lbs
2021 Stats: 4 tackles
Giants fans are definitely rooting for Andy Dalton to remain Chicago’s starting quarterback, because they are well on their way to getting a top ten pick. Even though Derek Stingley Jr. has not been able to improve statistically on an amazing freshman season, he remains an upper echelon prospect. Stingley Jr. has the look of a top CB1 and would be a huge addition to an improving Giants defense.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Pick: FS Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame – 6’4, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 11 tackles, 2 INT
Kyle Pitts was an anomaly at a position not often taken in the top ten. We can say the same about Kyle Hamilton. A cornerback, safety, linebacker, he can do it all, and do it all very well. Already off to an amazing start with two interceptions, Hamilton would immediately be the best player on a Jaguars defense that has shown it has a very long way to go.
6. New York Jets (0-1)
Pick: QB Mailk Willis, Liberty – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 28-41, 371 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Daniel Jones stinks. Everyone knows it, and I am sure the Giants know it. With two picks in the top six, would they have the guts to pull the trigger on an upgrade? Probably not, but I would. Malik Willis is special. He has a nice arm, can really run the ball, and has the frame to hold up against NFL defenders. The prototypical new age NFL quarterback. I am excited to see how his season develops, as he could be a threat for the top overall pick.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) (from IND)
Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida – 6’2, 196 lbs
2021 Stats: 6 tackles, 1 INT
Derek Stingley Jr. gets all of the hype as far as cornerback prospects go, but Florida Gator Kaiir Elam is not behind him. The former top recruit has done nothing but display CB1 status throughout his career in Gainesville. The Eagles have a few decent cornerbacks, but have been searching for a true counterpart to match up across Darius Slay for a few seasons now.
8. Detroit Lions (0-1)
Pick: DE DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M – 6’4, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: 10 tackles, 1 sack
A quarterback would make sense here, but I think the Lions are going to roll with Jared Goff for another year or two while they rebuild the rest of the roster. DeMarvin Leal would be a fantastic fit for what Dan Campbell is trying to do. Leal is built like a tackle or 3-4 end, but is athletic enough to play in any scheme. He can get to the quarterback, stop the run, and has surprising athleticism, as evidenced by 43 yard interception return in 2020.
9. Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 6’0, 188 lbs
2021 Stats: 13 rec, 197 yards, 2 TD
Buffalo is another team that obviously will not be picking in the top ten, but imagine a WR trio of Stephon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Garrett Wilson. Gone are the days where you have to be a 6’3 wideout with a 4.4 50 yard dash to be picked in the top ten. Teams want guys who can get the ball and do things with it. Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave might be the best two receivers in this class. I give the slight edge to Wilson, thanks to his route running and speed, but both should be definite top fifteen guys.
10. Baltimore Ravens (0-1)
Pick: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M – 6’4, 325 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Ravens will be alright, of course, but the offensive line had it’s definite struggles against the Raiders, and that could be a big issue going forward. Kenyon Green is my top rated offensive guard since Quinton Nelson, and could easily play right tackle in the NFL. His pass protection and footwork are rare for an interior lineman, and he could be a plug and play Pro-Bowler almost right away.
11. New York Jets (0-1)
Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State – 6’1, 189 lbs
2021 Stats: 16 rec, 243 yards, 2 TD
I am a Dolphins fan, so it is not like I want to see the Jets get better, but their fan base deserves some good luck. So, New York, draft a skill player for Zach Wilson here. Chris Olave is a very experienced, smart receiver that will give the Jets their best receiver since….? Enough of the Devin Smith’s and Denzel Mims’. Get a WR1 in there.
12. Washington Football Team (0-1)
Pick: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina – 6’1, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 38-61, 560 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT
The Virginia Tech game was a definite wart on Sam Howell’s resume, but I still really like him as a quarterback prospect. He is strong, accurate and can really lead an offense. I think at the end of the day he will be right back in the top five or ten. The Football Team are a quarterback away from being a very strong team, but they sure do need that quarterback.
13. Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Pick: DE Zach Harrison, Ohio State – 6’6, 268 lbs
2021 Stats: 7 tackles, 1 sack
The Browns could not quite put away the Chiefs, but they did nothing but show me they are one of the elite teams in the AFC. Zach Harrison would be a great pickup for them. Harrison is a former top recruit who has been brought along slowly at Ohio State. He has an elite pass rushing frame and a developing game. Right now, Harrison is still a project, but it would not surprise me if he works his way into the top ten.
14. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
Pick: DE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina – 6’4, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 3 tackles, 2 sacks
The South Carolina Gamecocks are a bad team, but always seem to have a few first round prospects on the roster. The lastest is pass rushing extraordinaire Kingsley Enagbare. He has great strength and speed and should be ready to step in and provide some help opposite Danielle Hunter in Minnesota.
15. New England Patriots (0-1)
Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan – 6’6, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles, 3.5 sacks
It might not be long before Aidan Hutchinson cracks the top ten. He has been the most impressive pass rusher in college football. He has lost weight throughout the years and gained a ton of explosiveness, putting to bed thoughts that he might just max out as a 3-4 rotational lineman. The Patriots are always on the lookout for guys they can shuffle all over the line like Hutchinson, who would be a perfect fit.
16. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 4 tackles
I am not often a fan of teams reaching for need in the first round, but if Dallas drafted 6 or 7 defensive backs in this draft, I would not hold that against them. Andrew Booth Jr. has the talent of the other top cornerbacks in this class, but his production is not in the same category. Still, there is a lot to work with here and he could develop into a strong CB1.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
Pick: OG Ikem Ekwonu, NC State – 6’4, 320 lbs
2021 Stats; N/A
I know it is cliche to mock an offensive lineman to the Bengals, but they need to do everything in their power to keep franchise QB Joe Burrow upright. Ikem Ekwonu has flawlessly transitioned to tackle for the Wolfpack this year, further enhancing his value in the eyes of NFL scouts. He is every bit the prospect that mid teens picks Alijah Vera-Tucker and Rashawn Slater were last year.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
Pick: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati – 6’3, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 4 tackles, 1 INT
Tampa Bay has the deepest roster in the NFL and will absolutely not be picking this low, so I might as well just mock the best player available here. Ahmad Gardner is not a household name, but he might be the best player on the best Non-Power 5 team in the nation. He has worked on his strength and has the ability to erase one side of the field, as he does on a weekly basis for Cincinnati.
19. Carolina Panthers (1-0)
Pick: QB Carson Strong, Nevada – 6’4, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 66-82, 693 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT
I am not a believer in the Panthers or Sam Darnold. Both will be very bad by the end of he year. Even tough Carson Strong is pick 18, I think he is right up there with the other three quarterbacks in this mock. His last name describes his arm perfectly, and he should put up monster throwing numbers in the Mountain West. It will be fun to see these quarterbacks try to separate themselves as the year goes on.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) (from MIA)
Pick: MLB Christian Harris, Alabama – 6’2, 232 lbs
2021 Stats: 13 tackles, 1 sack
I cannot remember the last time Philadelphia drafted a linebacker in the first round, but with the top middle linebacker option, and latest in a long line of Alabama guys, and three first round picks, this would be a great addition. Like the Alabama middle linebackers before him, Christian Harris has become the leader of the most talented defense in college football and a serious first round talent. The Eagles defense could really use a guy like him.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)
Pick: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State – 6’5, 315 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Chargers wisely drafted an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2021 draft, and I think they should dip back into that well in 2022. Nicholas Petit-Frere is still a project, but I believe he is the most talented lineman on the Ohio State roster and a first round pick if he decides to declare in 2022.
22. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Pick: OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington – 6’7, 310 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Jaxson Kirkland has worked extremely hard on his body and his game, ,and has developed from a mid-round prospect into a legit first round guy. He might be a bit too slow footed to be a full time left tackle, but with Orlando Brown in Kansas City, he could make a solid right tackle or great guard.
23. Miami Dolphins (1-0) (from SF)
Pick: OLB Drake Jackson, USC – 6’4, 255 lbs
2021 Stats: 6 tackles, 1 INT
Drake Jackson has been passed by on the draft board by guys who are better pass rushers, but that is not his fault. USC has developed him as more of a true stand-up linebacker.He would be a good fit with a team like Miami that likes to employ different looks on defense.
24. New York Jets (0-1) (from SEA)
Pick: HB Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 25 rushes, 133 yards
Similar to the other skill positions, the Jets have used a ton of mid round picks on receivers, tight ends and running backs with next to nothing to show for it. It is time to invest heavily and give their new quarteback as much help as possible Isaiah Spiller is the ideal 2021 running back. He can run between the tackles, but, like the Colorado game, if he is stuffed as a runner, he can be a real asset as a pass catcher out of the back field. A true three down back.
25. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0)
Pick: OLB Owen Pappoe, Auburn – 6’1, 226 lbs
2021 Stats: 10 tackles
Maxx Crosby is a keeper, but the Raiders still have a ton of holes on defense. Speed is key, and Owen Pappoe is one of he quickest linebacker prospects in this class. I am a huge fan, and I think he will be an upper-level sideline to sideline guy in the NFL.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
Pick: OT Rasheed Walker, Penn State – 6’6, 325 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Steelers will always be a competitive team, but this roster has quite a few holes, especially along the once dominant offensive line. Penn State tackle Rasheed Walker has the size and talent to be very good, he simply needs coaching and experience.
27. Detroit Lions (0-1) (from LAR)
Pick: WR John Metchie III, Alabama – 6’0, 195 lbs
2021 Stats: 11 rec, 146 yards, 1 TD
John Metchie III is the latest in a very long line of elite Alabama wide receiver prospects. He is not quite the athletic freak of someone like Jaylen Waddle, but he is a supreme route runner and quite tough. He should instantly vault to the top of a pathetic Detroit Lions wide receiver depth chart.
28. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
Pick: OLB Will McDonald IV, Iowa State – 6’4, 245 lbs
2021 Stats: 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks
Chandler Jones had a week one for the ages, but the Cardinals are still on the lookout for other guys who can get to the quarterback. Will McDonald IV may be a bit one dimensional right now, but that one dimension is highly valuable in the NFL. McDonald can really get after the QB.
29. Denver Broncos (1-0)
Pick: OT Zion Nelson, Miami – 6’5, 316 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Garrett Bolles has gone from terrible to good for the Broncos, but the other offensive tackle spot could use an upgrade. Zion Nelson is one of a handful of very talented offensive linemen in this class who have the talent to be high level offensive tackles, they simply need experience.
30. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Pick: WR Drake London, USC – 6’5, 210 lbs
2021 Stats: 16 rec, 205 yards, 1 TD
Three first round receivers in three years may be a little redundant, but with three first round picks in this draft, it would be a nice luxury for the Eagles. Drake London is huge with a big catch radius, and would be a fantastic contrast to DeVonta Smith. This would set up Jalen Hurts quite well to succeed.
31. Houston Texans (1-0)
Pick: TE Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M – 6’5, 255 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 rec, 102 yards
For one week, at least, the Houston Texans are on the top of the NFL world. It will come crashing down, of course, because you need talent to win and will not play the Jaguars every week, so I will mock the best player available here. Jalen Wydermyer is not on the level of a Kyle Pitts or TJ Hockenson, but he is the best all around tight end in this class. A strong pass catcher and solid blocker, he should be a late first round pick and long time NFL starter.
32. New Orleans Saints (1-0)
Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia – 6’6, 340 lbs
2021 Stats: 6 tackles, 1 sack
It takes a special run plugging defensive tackle to make it into the first round, and Jordan Davis is just that. A “graceful monster”, he is more athletic than any 6’6, 340 player has any business being. The Saints love to use first round draft picks on their offensive and defensive lines, and Jordan could bring this defense to another level.