Draft order is based on 1. record. 2. point differential.
1. New York Jets (0-3)
Pick: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon – 6’5, 258 lbs
2021 Stats: 2 tackles, 1 sack
The Jets need help everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Kayvon Thibodeaux is the top prospect in this draft, even as he misses time with injury. Quarterbacks and pass rushers are usually the top bets to go first overall, and New York has needed a top pass rusher since John Abraham approximately 75 years ago. I wonder if Thobideaux will eventually shut it down and prepare for the draft. I do not think that decision will effect his draft stock at all; he will be top three.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama – 6’7, 360 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Fans do not really like to see their teams draft offensive linemen this high, but they are so important for young quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence has struggled mightily but I still think he will be an amazing quarterback sooner than later. The Jaguars have a bad offensive line, and that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Evan Neal is the most talented tackle in years. He size/agility combination is very hard to comprehend.
3. Detroit Lions (0-3)
Pick: FS Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame – 6’4, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 24 tackles, 3 INT
Jared Goff is not the long-term answer in Detroit, but I think the front office rides with him for a year or two while they build up the rest of the roster. Kyle Hamilton is the best prospect available here. Safeties never go in the top five, but we said the same thing about tight ends until one was good enough. Hamilton is absolutely that good. A tackling machine, a strong run stopper with great hands in the passing game, there is very little he cannot do. An All-Pro waiting to happen.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) (from IND)
Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU – 6’1, 195 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles
Derek Stingley Jr. has not had an interception since his freshman season, but do not let that deter you. Teams smartly do not throw his way. Stingley Jr. has prototypical CB1 size and skills. You would like to see him clean up his mistakes a bit, but the whole LSU team has been a mess these past two seasons. Draft him in the top five with confidence. There is a lot of season left, but the Eagles could theoretically have three top fifteen picks.
5. New York Giants (0-3)
Pick: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
2021 Stats: N/A
I would love to see the Giants upgrade from Daniel Jones, but this is a front office that is perfectly fine with being perfectly average. They are not even that, of course, but they will not be that forward thinking. Giants fans will hate another offensive lineman, but the line is still very weak, and Kenyon Green is the most talented interior lineman since Quenton Nelson. New York could have two top ten picks, which would make this easier to swallow for fans.
6. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 63-88, 818 yards, 10 TD, 0 INT
No change here. The Falcons have put off a rebuild for a few years now and the team has finally bottomed out. Atlanta needs to reset by trading Matt Ryan for a first round pick or two. I still like Spencer Rattler, but Malik Willis has been the most impressive draft eligible quarterback so far. Of course, the level of competition helps him look good, but the Atlanta native has a great blend of passing skills and scrambling ability. He could be a fan favorite for a long time.
7. New York Giants (0-3) (from CHI)
Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan – 6’6, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 15 tackles, 4.5 sacks
The Giants have a decent enough defensive front seven, but lack pure pass rushers. Aidan Hutchinson has come back from a season ending injury better than ever. A beast who is too good for college blocking, he could play all over New York’s 3-4 front.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) (from MIA)
Pick: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 66-96, 997 yards, 9 TD, 0 INT
The Eagles have three first round picks in this draft, so if they do not believe Jalen Hurts is the answer (I have my doubts) they should pounce at his replacement right away. Matt Corral is still a project, but you cannot deny he has been perhaps the most impressive quarterback in college football. I like him better than Zach Wilson as a prospect and could definitely see him enter the first overall pick conversation, if he has not already.
9. Washington Football Team (1-2)
Pick: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma – 6’1, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 100-135, 1017 yards, 8 TD, 3 INT
Washington has to draft a quarterback. I know they feel burned by Dwayne Haskins Jr., but that position is really holding back what could be a very strong team. According to draft experts, the sky is falling all on top of Spencer Rattler. I do not think things are quite that dire. He still is a redshirt sophomore and has a lot to learn, but I love the competitiveness and fire. There is plenty of time for Rattler to right the ship and move back into the top five. He could also, of course, stay at Oklahoma one more year to iron out the wrinkles.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Pick: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State – 6’5, 315 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
A quarterback would not be the worst selection here, but teams simply do not draft first round quarterbacks to sit behind long time veterans anymore. They want the guy to play right away. So I think Pittsburgh will go a different way as long as Ben Roethlisberger wants to play. Why not try to improve an offensive line that has become somewhat of a liability? Nicholas Petit-Frere is not a popular name in mocks right now, but I think that will change. He’s a former top recruit who has allowed exactly zero sacks during his three year career. Cannot get much better than that.
11. Houston Texans (1-2)
Pick: DE DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M – 6’4, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: 18 tackles, 2.5 sacks
Once the dust settles, and Houston ends up in the top five where they belong, I think they will pass on a quarterback and build some of the roster first. DeMarvin Leal is a huge steal here, and is only available because of team needs. He is a great, all around defensive lineman who can line up at end or tackle.
12. New York Jets (0-3) (from SEA)
Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 6’0, 188 lbs
2021 Stats: 23 rec, 391 yards, 3 TD
This is a good spot for the Jets to draft some actual legitimate skill help for Zach Wilson. Here they have their pick of all receivers available. Though Garrett Wilson does not have elite size, I love his speed, route running ability and strong hands. He is the best wideout in this class to me.
13. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 16 tackles
The Chiefs need more offensive line help, but no one available here will be able to help right away. Cornerback is also a pretty big need. Clemson has been a mess this season, but you cannot blame the defense, which has only given up 41 points through four games, and that includes a double overtime loss. Andrew Booth Jr. does not have Derek Stingley Jr. like stats, but teams just do not throw his way. He has legit CB1 ability.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
Pick: DE George Karlfatis, Purdue – 6’4, 275 lbs
2021 Stats: 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks
George Karlaftis is a bull; plain and simple. He has dealt with constant double teams but is still putting up solid numbers. Scouts will love his drive and determination. The Eagles three first round picks and could move on from long time starters Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett this off season.
15. New England Patriots (1-2)
Pick: WR Drake London, USC – 6’5, 210 lbs
2021 Stats: 39 rec, 540 yards, 3 TD
Mac Jones has shown flashes this season, but needs a lot of help on the outside. Drake London has been a beast for USC. His 6’5 frame and hands has proven impossible for college defensive backs to contain. London is more athletic than a lot of wideouts his size, and could be a Mike Evans-like matchup nightmare at the next level.
16. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Pick: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati – 6’3, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 4 tackles, 1 INT
The Vikings have had to rely on castoffs like Patrick Peterson and Trae Waynes in recent years. Ahmad Gardner does not have the stats, but he has completely shut down one half of the field for the best Non-Power Five team in the country. He has great size and cover skills, and could be a good CB1 in time.
17. Baltimore Ravens (1-2)
Pick: OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington – 6’7, 310 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Jaxson Kirkland has worked very hard to tone his body, tighten up his game and work himself into a legitimate first round prospect. Ronnie Stanley is a mainstay at left tackle, but the rest of the line really needs some help. Kirkland could be Pro Bowl quality right tackle.
18. Miami Dolphins (1-2) (from SF)
Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State – 6’1, 189 lbs
2021 Stats: 18 rec, 255 yards, 3 TD
Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki are good, but Miami needs more help at the skill positions if they expect to keep up offensively. Chris Olave is simply productive. He’s smart, a great route runner and a solid technician. Back to back receivers in the first round is rare, but here it is necessary.
19. Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Pick: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 6’3, 225 lbs
2021 Stats: 19 rec, 373 yards, 2 TD
All the talk has been about Aaron Rodgers, but Devante Adams is an upcoming free agent that will probably move on as well. Perhaps the Packers will draft Jordan Love some actual pass catching talent. Treylon Burks started the season off slow, but that has been a distant memory, thanks to a pair of amazing performances. Guys his size should not be able to blow past defenders like he does. Drops are an issue, but he has DK Metcalf-like potential.
20. Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Pick: OG Ikem Ekwonu, NC State – 6’4, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Titans will, of course, win the worst division in football, but that does not mean the offensive line does not need help. Ikem Ekwonu is a definite first round prospect. He is a mauler at guard ,and has the athletic ability to kick out to right tackle if that is where the Titans want to develop him.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)
Pick: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa – 6’3, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
No surprise coming from Iowa, but Tyler LInderbaum is a stud. He is the most ready-to-play center to come along in quite a while. The Chargers need to continue to rebuild a weak offensive lineman, and if they draft Linderbaum they can just toss him in the starting lineup and forget about the center position for the next decade.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida – 6’2, 196 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles, 1 INT
It seemed like the Bengals were using first round picks on cornerbacks every year, but all of those guys have moved on. The position remains an area of need. Kaiir Elam was exposed a bit by Alabama the other week (who doesn’t Alabama expose?) but has a great frame and the ability to be a shutdown cornerback. He has plenty of time to clean up his technique ahead of the draft. I would not knock him out of the first round quite yet.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
Pick: CB Roger McCreary, Auburn – 6’0, 190 lbs
2021 Stats: 16 tackles, 2 INT
The Buccaneers have a ton of upcoming free agents on both sides of the ball, so they should just draft the best available talent here, with an eye on an average secondary. Roger McCreary has not gotten the hype as some other defensive backs, but he has had a tremendous start to the 2021 season. He is quick and a very solid cover man. There is a lot to like here.
24. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Pick: DE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State – 6’5, 262 lbs
2021 Stats: 31 tackles, 5.5 sacks
The Florida State Seminoles are off to another miserable start, but Georgia transfer Jermaine Johnson II has been one of the best pass rushers in college football. Pass rushing is always in demand, and if Johnson can continue getting after the quarterback, he should be a first round pick. Dallas went nearly all defense in the 2021 draft and should do the same in 2022, even though that side of the ball has improved.
25. Cleveland Browns (2-1)
Pick: MLB Devin Lloyd, Utah – 6’3, 235 lbs
2021 Stats: 46 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INT
The Browns a very veteran laden defense, but could use a difference maker at linebacker. Few players in college football fit that bill better than Devin Lloyd. He can cover, tackle and get after the quarterback. So versatile, just put him on the field and watch him make plays.
26. New Orleans Saints (2-1)
Pick: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State – 5’11, 184 lbs
2021 Stats: 27 rec, 362 yards, 4 TD
Without Michael Thomas, the Saints may have the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL. Jahan Dotson had a quality first three years at Penn State, but has really stepped up his game as a senior. Dotson can really get down the field.
27. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Pick: OLB Adam Anderson, Georgia – 6’5, 230 lbs
2021 Stats: 2 tackles, 3 sacks
Adam Anderson is a bit one-dimensional right now as a pure pass rusher, but the Bills are deep enough that he can give them just that and not have to worry about too much. The Bills have spent a lot of draft capital to improve their pass rush and Anderson would give that defense a different dimension on passing downs.
28. Detroit Lions (0-3) (from LAR)
Pick: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina – 6’1, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 77-121, 1173 yards, 11 TD, 4 INT
I know I said that the Lions would probably ride with Jared Goff for another year or so, but if an opportunity to draft a talented but falling quarterback presents itself, they should pounce. I still like Sam Howell as a prospect, but he has struggled badly at times, and, fair or not, scouts could still have the sour taste of former Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky in their mouths.
29. Las Vegas Raiders (3-0)
Pick: OT Sean Rhyan, UCLA – 6’5, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The surprising Raiders are still in the process of revamping their offensive line. Sean Rhyan is a bulldozer up front and could kick in to guard and become a Pro-Bowler.
30. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
Pick: OLB Drake Jackson, USC – 6’4, 250 lbs
2021 Stats: 13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
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. Drake Jackson is a talented pass rusher, but his stock might slip a bit since the Trojans are utilizing him as a classic, drop-back linebacker. The added versatility should make him a solid, all around 3-4 outside linebacker.
31. Carolina Panthers (3-0)
Pick: OT Rasheed Walker, Penn State – 6’6, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Rasheed Walker has top ten talent, but is very raw and a work in progress. He is definitely a solid value pick here for a Panthers team that needs help on the offensive line.
32. Denver Broncos (3-0)
Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia – 6’6, 340 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Jordan Davis is a mountain of a man, but he is so much more than just a boulder-like run stopper. He has rare pass rushing ability for a guy that big, and could actually play end in addition to tackle in Denver’s 3’4 scheme.