Draft order based on 1. Record. 2. Point differential.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
Pick: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon – 6’5, 258 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles, 1 sack
I know everybody is blaming Urban Meyer in Jacksonville. True, he has not been great, but the Jaguars lost 15 straight games in 2020 for a reason. This team is not talented enough. Even with Trevor Lawrence, it is going to take a few years to turn this thing around. Adding Kayvon Thibodeaux will definitely help. Quarterbacks and pass rushing defensive ends are usually the positions to go first overall. I do not think Thibodeaux is quite as good as Myles Garrett, but he has All Pro written all over him, and would be an immediate difference maker for the Jaguars.
2. Detroit Lions (0-4)
Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 76-107, 1105 yards, 11 TD, 0 INT
I think the Lions would prefer to ride Jared Goff for a year or two and build the rest of the roster up, but Malik Willis might be too tempting to pass up, especially with Kayvon Thibodeaux off the board. Sure, the competition that Liberty faces leaves much to be desired, but Willis has executed his dual threat game to near perfection. Willis was a former top 400 recruit who originally signed with Auburn, so it is not like he has come out of nowhere. There is risk, obviously, but the reward could be huge.
3. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Pick: FS Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame – 6’4, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 27 tackles, 3 INT
The Falcons made Kyle Pitts the highest drafted tight end this century in 2021, and they could do the same with the safety position here. Kyle Hamilton is an extremely rare talent, an extreme playmaker and tackler. Put him at safety, put him at linebacker. he is a difference maker and will immediately be the engine that makes the Falcons defense run.
4. Houston Texans (1-3)
Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU – 6’1, 195 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles
Yes, the stats have not been great, and LSU remains pretty terrible defensively, but Derek Stingley Jr. is still the best cornerback prospect in quite a while. He exudes talent, and I think NFL coaching will get the best out of him. It is debatable if Houston actually has “NFL coaching” but they should just go the best prospect available for the next few drafts.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) (from MIA)
Pick: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 87-125, 1210 yards, 10 TD, 0 INT
As it stands now, the Eagles amazingly have three, yes three, of the top nine picks in this draft. Trying to upgrade from Jalen Hurts, who is likely a long term backup, simply makes too much sense. Matt Corral is still raw, but could develop into a good dual threat type. He held his own against Alabama, and has not thrown a pick this season.
6. New York Jets (1-3)
Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama – 6’7, 360 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
New York Jets fans are already booing the thought of taking an offensive lineman in the first round for three straight years. Evan Neal is easily the top prospect available, however, and fills a huge (literally and figuratively) need. A tackle duo of Mekhi Becton and Neal would be the envy of the NFL and go a huge way towards ensuring Zach Wilson stays upright and productive.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
Pick: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M – 6’4, 325 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Ben Roethlisberger is toast and a messy divorce might be incoming. I do not think Pittsburgh is going to draft a quarterback here unless someone just blows them away. If Big Ben hangs it up, a veteran will probably be brought in. The offensive line is probably the weakest spot on the team, and Kenyon Green, a starter and stud since day one, is my top rated interior lineman since Quenton Nelson. Green could easily slide outside and start at tackle if need be.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) (from IND)
Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan – 6’6, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 14 tackles, 4.5 sacks
This pick goes from Indianapolis to Philadelphia if Carson Wentz takes 75% of the quarterback snaps for the Colts. If the season gets away from them, they will probably shut down Wentz so they can keep their pick, but as of right now, it is going to the Eagles. Aidan Hutchinson has been nearly impossible to block, and recently embarrassed Jaxson Kirkland, and is definitely in the top ten mix. Philadelphia has struggled to generate a pass rush, and Hutchinson would be a perfect fit.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida – 6’2, 196 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles, 1 INT
There are some in the draft community who prefer Kaiir Elam to Derek Stingley Jr. Elam has had a very productive season shutting down one half of the field, and has elite size for the position. Cornerback has been a bit of a revolving door in Philadelphia, and Elam could really help out.
10. New York Giants (1-3)
Pick: DE DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M – 6’4, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: 22 tackles, 4.5 sacks
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. If they go another direction, DeMarvin Leal is a great fit and prospect. A steal here, he’s huge and agile. Imagine a front three of Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence and Leal. That is something to build around.
11. New England Patriots (1-3)
Pick: WR Drake London, USC – 6’5, 210 lbs
2021 Stats: 48 rec, 670 yards, 4 TD
Drake London will not run a 4.3 40, but oh man, is he impressive. London is a matchup nightmare who is the best receiver in college football. Basically another Mike Williams, he has a huge catch radius and would be the perfect wideout for a young quarterback like Mac Jones to lean on.
12. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 24 tackles
The Vikings have had to rely on castoffs like Patrick Peterson and Trae Waynes in recent years, and the secondary remains a complete mess. Clemson’s elite defense has been keeping the team afloat, and Andrew Booth Jr. might be the best player on the team. He has elite cover skills and tackles like a safety. I have him neck and neck with Kaiir Elam as far as cornerback prospects go.
13. New York Giants (1-3) (from CHI)
Pick: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State – 6’5, 315 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
In true Giants fashion, they go offensive and defensive lines with their two first round picks. New York’s offensive line remains a huge problem, and if they want to build around Saquon Barkley, they need to continue to invest in the position. I am a big Nicholas Petit-Frere fan. He was a top prospect who has held his own as a starter for the Buckeyes from day one.
14. Washington Football Team (2-2)
Pick: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma – 6’1, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 122-160, 1260 yards, 10 TD, 4 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.
15. New York Jets (0-3) (from SEA)
Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 6’0, 188 lbs
2021 Stats: 26 rec, 462 yards, 4 TD
This is a good spot for the Jets to draft some actual legitimate skill help for Zach Wilson. Here they have a chance to draft a legitimate WR1. Though Garrett Wilson does not have elite size, I love his speed, route running ability and strong hands. Even though I have Drake London picked first, Wilson is the best wideout in this class to me.
16. Miami Dolphins (1-3) (from SF)
Pick: HB Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 68 rushes, 445 yards, 2 TD
If you think the running back position is not important, look no further than Miami. The Dolphins tried to piece together a backfield by shopping at the Dollar Tree and it has been a disaster. Miami needs to get serious about roster construction, and go after more skill position talent. Spiller is big, strong and a home run threat. He is the best running back in this class, bar none.
17. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State – 6’1, 189 lbs
2021 Stats: 23 rec, 374 yards, 5 TD
The Chiefs are so desperate for someone other than Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to step up that they brought in Josh Gordon. Chris Olave would be a very nice third option for Patrick Mahomes. He is a great route runner and has the speed to get it deep.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)
Pick: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa – 6’3, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The surprising Raiders are still in the process of revamping their offensive line. Tyler Linderbaum is the definition of a plug-and-play interior lineman. Iowa knows how to develop offensive lineman, and whoever drafts Linderbaum can plug him in at center and forget about the position for the next decade.
19. Tennessee Titans (2-2)
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.
20. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Pick: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina – 6’1, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 95-153, 1494 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT
Sam Howell is not where scouts want him to be, but has rebounded nicely from a very bad opening day performance against Virginia Tech. He will need continued development, and a place like New Orleans would be a great landing spot for him. The Saints could lean on Jameis WInston or Taysom Hill for a year or two while they work on Howell.
21. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
Pick: OLB Adam Anderson, Georgia – 6’5, 230 lbs
2021 Stats: 17 tackles, 4 sacks
A week one blowout at the hands of the Saints seems like month sago. Green Bay will once again pick in the 20’s, and a guy like Adam Anderson would be a great selection. He is a great pass rusher, and has the ability to move inside and become a very solid middle linebacker in Green Bay’s 3’4 defense.
22. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Pick: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati – 6’3, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 6 tackles, 2 INT
Marlon Humphrey is an All Pro talent, but the rest of the Baltimore secondary has been just okay. Cincinnati is a legitimate to ten team, and Ahmad Gardner is the best player on the roster. He has hardly been tested, and when he has, he usually comes up with the interception.
23. Detroit Lions (1-3) (from LAR)
Pick: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue – 6’4, 275 lbs
2021 Stats: 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks
The Lions lack toughness, especially on defense, and the beast known as George Karlaftis could help change that. The stats may not jump out at you, but he has faced constant double teams and is a load to handle for offensive lineman.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Pick: MLB Christian Harris, Alabama – 6’2, 232 lbs
2021 Stats: 27 tackles, 1 sack
The Bengals have been the surprise of the season so far, but there are still holes everywhere. Linebacker has been a weak spot for years. Christian Harris is not a Roquan Smith-type prospect, but I think you could take him here, immediately insert him as your starting linebacker, and not worry about it. He is ultra productive.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Pick: CB Roger McCreary, Auburn – 6’0, 190 lbs
2021 Stats: 20 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.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
Pick: OT Sean Rhyan, UCLA – 6’5, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Chargers know the importance of protecting franchise quarterback Justin Herbert d will continue to invest in the position. Sean Rhyan is a former top recruit who has really put it all together as a junior. He is extremely strong and could become a Pro Bowl tackle or All Pro at guard.
27. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Pick: DE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State – 6’5, 262 lbs
2021 Stats: 38 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.
28. Cleveland Browns (3-1)
Pick: MLB Devin Lloyd, Utah – 6’3, 235 lbs
2021 Stats: 46 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INT
The Browns have 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.
29. Carolina Panthers (3-1)
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.
30. Denver Broncos (3-1)
Pick: OLB Drake Jackson, USC – 6’4, 250 lbs
2021 Stats: 17 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT
Drake Jackson is extremely productive, but the lack of a defensive position could hurt him some. USC has developed him as more of a stand up linebacker, but he is at his best when he can use his speed to get after the quarterback. He would make a nice eventual replacement for Von Miller or Bradley Chubb in Denver.
31. Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia – 6’6, 340 lbs
2021 Stats: 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks
The Bills have spent a lot of draft capital to improve their defensive line, and Jordan Davis could be the icing on the cake. Davis is more than just a run plugging nose tackle. He has rare pass rushing ability for a guy his size. He would be a steal here.
30. Arizona Cardinals (4-0)
Pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa – 6’7, 340 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Northern Iowa is one of the best teams in the FCS, and Trevor Penning might be the best prospect the school has ever developed. Some scouts have him neck and neck with Evan Neal. I am not ready to put him there, of course, but he will get some serious first round looks. The Cardinals could upgrade right tackle, and it never hurts to protect your MVP candidate Kyler Murray any way you can.