Sorry it has been a couple of weeks. I am back on the grind. Draft order based on 1. record. 2. point differential
1. Detroit Lions (0-7)
Pick: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon – 6’5, 258 lbs
2021 Stats: 22 tackles, 4 sacks
Detroit may be 0-7, but they have played extremely hard for Dan Campbell this year. Some heartbreaking losses thrown in means they are the only winless team in the NFL. Quarterbacks and defensive ends are usually the top picks in every NFL Draft, meaning Kayvon Thibodeaux is the consensus number one right now. He is extremely athletic, a great pass rusher, and really showed his stuff while terrorizing UCLA in a win. He can play in any scheme and would be a great building block for Detroit.
2. Houston Texans (1-6)
Pick: DE DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M – 6’4, 290 lbs
2021 Stats35 tackles, 5.5 sacks
Kayvon Thibodeaux is the top defensive lineman in this class, but DeMarvin Leal is not far behind. He has the strength of a defensive tackle and the quickness of an end. He would be a huge asset in any defensive scheme, and would instantly be the best player on a putrid Houston Texans defense.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5) (from MIA)
Pick: FS Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame – 6’4, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 34 tackles, 3 INT
Safeties are not often taken in the top five, but Kyle Hamilton is a special case. He is a linebacker and cornerback packaged in a safeties body. He is the complete package. The Eagles have three first round picks and can afford the slight luxury that goes with taking a safety this high.
4. New York Jets (1-5)
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, 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 the already injured Zach Wilson stays upright and productive.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan – 6’6, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 27 tackles, 5 sacks
The Jaguars need it all, and should go best player available. Aidan Hutchinson started 2021 out on a terror. His production has slowed down a bit, mostly because opposing offenses are scheming to stop him. He is a man amongst boys as a 23 year old redshirt senior, and could step right in and help what is a very anemic Jacksonville pass rush.
6. Washington Football Team (2-5)
Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU – 6’1, 195 lbs
2021 Stats: 8 tackles
No team has allowed more points this year than the Washington Football Team. A great defensive line has not been able to make up for a terrible secondary. Derek Stingley Jr. has not been able to build upon a legendary freshman season, but he still remains the most talented cornerback in this draft. He may be out for the season with a foot injury, but still has plenty of time to rebuild his stock during the combine. I would be very surprised if he fell out of the top ten.
7. New York Giants (2-5)
Pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State – 6’5, 310 lbs
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. If they go another direction, offensive line is the obvious need. Charles Cross is a former high recruit who has taken off this season. He could realistically push Evan Neal to be the first offensive lineman off the board.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5)
Pick: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 140-207, 1913 yards, 15 TD, 1 INT
Though the Eagles play calling leaves a ton to be desired, I seriously doubt that Jalen Hurts is a long term starting quarterback in this league. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, this is not the best quarterback class, though there are quite a few intriguing players. Right now, I would rank Matt Corral at the top of the list. He is a good athlete who can be a poor man’s dual threat type, and does not make many mistakes. A project to be sure, but he could be a solid, long term starting quarterback in the NFL.
9. New York Jets (1-5) (from SEA)
Pick: WR Drake London, USC – 6’5, 210 lbs
2021 Stats: 79 rec, 1003 yards, 5 TD
Once upon a time, Geno Smith was helping the Jets lose games. Now, he is helping the Jets get a higher draft pick via losing in Seattle. New York desperately needs skill position talent, and no receiver has been as devastating as Drake London. To be honest, it has not even been close. London gobbles up receptions like he is at a buffet, and has the size and hands to out-muscle most defenders. He may not be the most athletic, but he is Mike Williams-like and would be a dream for a young quarterback.
10. New York Giants (2-5) (from CHI)
Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson – 6’0, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 28 tackles
Clemson has been terrible this year, but it has not been the defense’s fault. Andrew Booth Jr. is an elite cornerback prospect, who could also play some safety, thanks to his physical style and ability to tackle the ball carrier. The secondary is clearly the weak link on the Giants defense.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
Pick: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State – 6’5, 315 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
Kansas City’s offensive line rebuild has not gone well, to put it kindly. In actuality, it is a complete mess, and has greatly effected Patrick Mahomes, who is going through the worst stretch of his career. I am a huge Nicholas Petit-Frere fan. He has not given up a single sack during his Ohio State career and would be a great right tackle to pair with struggling Orlando Brown.
12. Miami Dolphins (1-6) (from SF)
Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – 6’0, 188 lbs
2021 Stats: 36 rec, 605 yards, 6 TD
During the 2021 draft Dolphins traded down, missed out on Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase, traded back up, drafted Jaylen Waddle and still need to add a ton of skill position talent. Garrett Wilson is not the flashiest, but he simply produces. A great route runner with solid hands, he would be a nice compliment to Waddle in Miami.
13. Carolina Panthers (3-4)
Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty – 6’1, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 121-183, 1679 yards, 17 TD, 6 INT
After a decent start to the season, Sam Darnold has become Sam Darnold again. He is just not a starting NFL quarterback. Malik Willis was rolling before a tough stretch where he threw 6 interceptions in two games, but I still really like him as a prospect. He is quite raw, but has tantalizing dual threat potential, and could be a lot of fun to watch if he can develop his game.
14. Denver Broncos (3-4)
Pick: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh – 6’3, 220 lbs
2021 Stats: 168-244, 2236 yards, 23 TD, 1 INT
In the least surprising development in the NFL, the Broncos have fallen off badly once they were forced to play actual NFL teams. This team has been looking for a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired, and the search continues. Kenny Pickett has put up otherworldly stats as a fifth year senior, and has worked his way into the first round. He could be a good fit for a team with playoff aspirations that does not want to wait around for a young quarterback to develop. Pickett might not ever be a Pro-Bowler, but he could have a Derek Carr like career as someone who can keep the ship moving.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5) (from IND)
Pick: DE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina – 6’4, 265 lbs
2021 Stats: 20 tackles, 4.5 sacks
The Eagles have struggled to get after the quarterback, and both Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett are upcoming free agents. The South Carolina Gamecocks are not a good football team, but they are usually good for a first round pick or two every year. The honor in 2022 goes to Kingsley Enagbare, who is one of the most fearsome pass rushers in college. If you can get after the quarterback with regularity, you are usually a first round pick.
16. New England Patriots (3-4)
Pick: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas – 6’3, 225 lbs
2021 Stats: 42 rec, 717 yards, 7 TD
Continue to put Mac Jones in a position to succeed, will you, New England? Adding a legitimate number one receiver would be a great start. Treylon Burks is built like a tight end but can really fly. This is another great receiver class, and Burks sits right at the top.
17. Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
Pick: OLB Adam Anderson, Georgia – 6’5, 230 lbs
2021 Stats: 25 tackles, 4.5 sacks
The Falcons are rolling, but there are still holes everywhere. Atlanta has struggled to generate a consistent pass rush for years, and they loo to fix that with Adam Anderson here. Anderson reminds me of Clemson-era Vic Beasley, and NFL scouts hope he can develop into a more complete linebacker. The ability to really get after the quarterback is his calling card, and should help him become a first round pick.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Pick: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M – 6’4, 325 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
I have not soured on Kenyon Green one bit. I routinely have him in my top ten but he slipped here, and the Steelers will gladly pounce. An absolute stud inside with enough athleticism to play tackle, he would be a starter for Pittsburgh on day one.
19. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)
Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida – 6’2, 196 lbs
2021 Stats: 12 tackles, 1 INT
The Vikings have had to rely on castoffs like Patrick Peterson and Trae Waynes in recent years, and the secondary remains a complete mess. Kaiir Elam is not quite in the class of a Derek Stingley or Andrew Booth, but he is a solid first round cornerback with all the traits you look for from a top guy.
20. Cleveland Browns (4-3)
Pick: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue – 6’4, 275 lbs
2021 Stats: 20 tackles, 2.5 sacks
Myles Garrett might be the best in the business at defensive end, but the Browns could use a long term answer opposite him. George Karlaftis has really come on in recent weeks and could be taken much higher than this. He is a monster, extremely strong and relentless when he gets after the quarterback.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
Pick: C Tyler LInderbaum, Iowa – 6’3, 290 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Chargers know the importance of protecting franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. Tyler Linderbaum is the most ready to play center in this draft. Theoretically Los Angeles can scoop him up and not have to worry about the center position for the next decade plus.
22. New Orleans Saints (4*2)
Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State – 6’1, 189 lbs
2021 Stats: 32 rec, 518 yards, 8 TD
Without Michael Thomas, the Saints probably have the worst wide receiver room in the NFL. Chris Olave would be a steal here. He is extremely experienced, and would make a great intermediate to deep threat for Jameis WInston or whoever else quarterbacks the Saints in 2022.
23. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia – 6’6, 340 lbs
2021 Stats: 18 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. Side note; the Georgia defense is absolutely loaded.
24. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Pick: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati – 6’3, 200 lbs
2021 Stats: 16 tackles, 2 INT
The Cowboys defense is much, much, MUCH improved, but there are still holes throughout the roster. Trevon Diggs was quite the find in the second round of the 2021 draft, and Ahmad Gardner would be a good fit opposite. He needs to shore up his tackling, but has strong playmaking ability and quite a bit of experience.
25. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
Pick: OG Ikem Ekwonu, NC State – 6’4, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The surprising Raiders are still in the process of revamping their offensive line, including moving their first round tackle to guard after only a few games. Ikem Ekwonu has had a very good season playing tackle for the Wolfpack after manning a guard spot, and that versatility should endear himself to Raiders coaches.
26. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Pick: OT Sean Rhyan, UCLA – 6’5, 320 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The offensive line has gone from bad to worse after Pro Bowler Ronnie Stanley was lost for the year. The group needs an overhaul anyway, and Sean Rhyan should step in at right tackle in 2022 and be an asset, thanks to his strong frame and run blocking ability.
27. Green Bay Packers (6-1)
Pick: MLB Devin Lloyd, Utah – 6’3, 235 lbs
2021 Stats: 69 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INT
The Packers have been picking up castoffs left and right, and perhaps they are finally serious about upgrading a middle linebacker position they historically forget about. Devin Lloyd might be the most productive defender in college. Sacks, tackles, interceptions, the Utes leader can do it all.
28. Detroit Lions (0-7) (from LAR)
Pick: QB Carson Strong, Nevada – 6’4, 215 lbs
2021 Stats: 216-307, 2466 yards, 20 TD, 4 INT
This would be a great spot for Detroit to gamble on a quarterback. I could see any guys I have mocked in this first round go in any order. Things are still so wide open. Carson Strong has done what he has needed to do as a Junior to remain on the minds of scouts. The guy is a gun-slinger. He has starter potential.
29. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa – 6’7, 329 lbs
2021 Stats: N/A
The Titans swung and whiffed on Isaiah Wilson a couple of years ago, but need to try again, as the offensive line still remains a relative weakness. Trevor Penning is an absolute man amongst boys at the D2 level, and could work his way into the first round if he can show the same against better competition during the pre-draft process.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Pick: CB Roger McCreary, Auburn – 6’0, 190 lbs
2021 Stats: 27 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.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Pick: TE Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M – 6’5, 255 lbs
2021 Stats: 25 rec, 353 yards, 4 TD
The Bengals have drafted skill position talent brilliantly, and why not top it off with the best tight end in this class? Jalen Wydermyer is not a pass catching freak like a Kyle Pitts, but he can run routes, snatch the ball and is a solid blocker, which would help Joe Burrow in a few ways.
32. Arizona Cardinals (7-0)
Pick: OLB Drake Jackson, USC – 6’4, 250 lbs
2021 Stats: 24 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT
Steal here for the winningest team so far this year. Drake Jackson has played more of a traditional linebacker role this year, but still has shown he can really get after the quarterback. Yet another chess piece for the Arizona linebacking group.