We're back after a fun week in Indy for the NFL Combine. Lots of things happening including I'm hearing some rumblings Lamar Jackson could be on the move.
For real this time though. I'm hearing that Baltimore is so analytical they don't want to pony up top dollar for a Quarterback so they may be looking to push the reset button and get a haul for Lamar. In this mock, I'm proceeding under the scenario Lamar Jackson gets traded to Atlanta for two 1st rounders and two 3rd rounders. Now let's get started!
*Also, just a heads up, I know previous mock drafts have crashed on mobile a bunch, so I'll be embedding fewer videos to hopefully make that happen less.
For reference, here is Mock Draft 1.0
1) *TRADE: Houston Texans (via Chicago Bears) - QB Bryce Young (Alabama)
Trade Details: Chicago trades the #1 overall pick to Houston for the #2 overall pick and the Texans 2nd round pick (#33 overall). In this scenario, this trade is done a bit before the Draft.
The Bears move down and get back the pick after the one they dealt to the Steelers for Chase Claypool. As for the Texans, I'm hearing that Houston was telling their coaching candidates that they would be drafting a QB with their first pick. Young is accurate and mobile. But his lack of a huge arm and size (listed as 5’10 1/8” 204 lbs.) is lacking for a top pick in my mind. And while I realize Kyler Murray was sub-6 feet and a top pick, he was a world class athlete and also thicker. He did puff up for the Combine getting to 200 lbs., but the fact that he'll be having 300 lbs. guys hit you/fall on you is an occupational hazard so I'm interested to see if a team disregards that. As of right now I have him as the likely #1 guy, but that may change.
2) *TRADE: Baltimore Ravens (via Chicago Bears via Houston Texans) - QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)
Trade Details: Chicago sends the #2 overall pick to Baltimore for the #8 overall pick, the #22 overall pick, their 3rd rounder (#86 overall) and their 2024 2nd rounder.
The Ravens?! Yes, the Ravens. There is buzz that while Baltimore loves Lamar, they're so big into analytics that they don't want to pay an exorbitant price for their Quarterback. So they make the deal with Atlanta (details below under the #8 pick) and then come all the way up to #2 to get their guy and reset the clock on their team with a QB under a rookie deal. Richardson made himself a lot of money this weekend with insane measurables featuring a 4.44 40-yard dash and a 40.5" inch vertical leap. He also had a good throwing session and is now a legitimate threat to the #1 pick. His ceiling is the highest in the draft and putting his size in perspective is insane.
3) Arizona Cardinals - EDGE Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama)
Will Anderson Jr. was viewed as the #1 pick coming into the season and still could end up there. He's a tad undersized at 6'4" 241 lbs., but he's got that twitchy athleticism and strength that teams crave. Who knows what the hell will be the Cardinals long term plan. But they clearly need better pass rush, so Anderson makes sense here.
4) Indianapolis Colts - QB C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)
Colts GM Chris Ballard is a bet on traits guy and there are two QBs available here at #4 with better traits than Stroud, but Stroud is the closest thing to a finished product and they need to win now. He is a fantastic talent with a huge arm and big time pocket poise.
5) Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos) - EDGE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
Tyree Wilson is a riser right now with his 6'6" frame clocking in at 271 lbs. with long 33 5/8" inch arms. Seattle needs more guys to get after the QB and Wilson put up 27.5 sacks the past two seasons for the Red Raiders.
6) Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams) - DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)
Carter's image definitely took a hit in the past week with the charges coming out but in reality I can't see him falling past #6. He is one of the top players in the Draft and would immediately upgrade the interior of Detroit's line to help get after Justin Fields, Kirk Cousins, and whoever is playing QB for the Packers.
7) Las Vegas Raiders - CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)
Who knows what's going on here. Does Josh McDaniels love Will Levis? Are they going after Jimmy G? What is the plan in Las Vegas?! They have a lot of holes and I'm not going to try and force a QB here. They do have a need at Corner and Oregon's Christian Gonzalez may have solidified his standing as the top CB after he blazed a 4.38 40-yard dash at 6'1" 197 lbs. with 32" inch arms. A former Receiver, he has great ball skills and is almost like a create a player for what the modern day Cornerback looks like.
8) *TRADE: Chicago Bears (via Baltimore Ravens via Atlanta Falcons) - EDGE Myles Murphy (Clemson)
This really worked out for the Bears. They trade down from the #1 pick, then do it again from the #2 pick to get a haul of future picks and still get an impact Defensive Player to help heat up the Quarterback. Murphy, who at 6'5" 268 lbs. can help them in that category. He plays with a great motor. He had 18.5 sacks and 36.0 TFLs in three years at Clemson. Check out this bend!
9) Carolina Panthers - QB Will Levis (Kentucky)
This works out great for Carolina. They wait patiently and a QB falls into their lap. Levis is a polarizing prospect. I spoke to a lot of personnel people last week from a bunch of different teams and I got a varied answers. Some think he's the next Justin Herbert, some think the next Jake Locker. That is a wide range of outcomes, but I'm a Levis fan personally. He's got all the tools to succeed so this is a homerun pick in my mind for the Panthers.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints) - CB Devon Witherspoon (Illinois)
James Bradberry had the critical penalty but could prove to be too costly for the Birds to keep next year. Darius Slay is also getting older so I can see Howie Roseman looking to find a cheaper alternative in Witherspoon. DW is an aggressive, physical Cornerback who will fit right in to the Philly defense.
11) Tennessee Titans - OT Paris Johnson (Ohio State)
The Titans have a lot of needs as their Championship window seems to be firmly closed at this point. I'm not sure Ryan Tannehill or Josh Dobbs or Malik Willis is the answer at this point, but why not give them the most protection possible and find out?
12) *TRADE: Pittsburgh Steelers (via Houston Texans via Cleveland Browns) - CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
Trade Details: Houston sends the #12 pick and their second 3rd Rounder (#73 overall) to Pittsburgh for the #17 pick and the Steelers' second 2nd rounder (#49 overall)
This is a great story. Steelers legend Joey Porter's son is on the board and the black and yellow trade up to go get a guy who could help their secondary a ton. The bloodlines run deep and Porter is a physical, hit you on the mouth CB that would fit in great in the city his dad made the name famous.
13) New York Jets - LB Trenton Simpson (Clemson)
Do the Jets bail on Zach Wilson and take a QB here? The Jets defense is outstanding, but getting a younger future replacement to C.J. Mosley will do them good down the road. Simpson blazed a 4.43 40-yard dash at 6'3" 235 lbs. and can help shore up an already good Jets defense.
14) New England Patriots - EDGE Lukas Van Ness (Iowa)
Matt Judon is spectacular, but they need more pressure off the edge and Lukas Van Ness fits the bill. He's a bit of a projection, but the kid has got dynamite in his hands and schooled some of the Big 10's top pass protector's.
15) Green Bay Packers - OT Peter Skoronski (Northwestern)
The Packers continue to get younger across the OL and Skoronoski just sounds like a Packer pick. At 32 1/4" inch arms, he may have to kick inside to Guard where he should dominate.
16) Washington Commanders - OT Darnell Wright (Tennessee)
The Commanders don't know who will be throwing the ball next year. But whether it's Sam Howell or someone else, they'll need to protect them and Wright has some intriguing tools to pass on at #16.
17) *TRADE: Houston Texans (via Pittsburgh Steelers) - TE Dalton Kincaid (Utah)
The Texans recoup what they gave up to go get Bryce Young and then some. Tight Ends are a young QB's best friend and Kincaid headlines a legendary TE class. He's not the greatest blocker, but he's a fluid route runner with atheticism to burn. He should be a superstar at the position within a few years.
18) Detroit Lions - RB Bijan Robinson
Jamaal Williams is a free agent and D'Andre Swift can't stay healthy. The Lions go with Robinson here and nab two of the top players in the draft with Robinson and Jalen Carter. Robinson ran for 3,410 yards in his college career and should be an elite NFL Runningback right away.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Bryan Bresee (Clemson)
The Bucs have a lot of holes to fill as Tom Brady ain't walking through that door, but they've called Kyle Trask the best QB in the division and they've got more positions of need than just QB. At DT, they have Vita Vea, but he could use a runningmate. Bryan Bresee has overcome a lot in his life and is an absolute nightmare to block on the interior. If the Bucs can get back to their elite level run D, wins will follow.
20) Seattle Seahawks - LB Drew Sanders (Arkansas)
This is somewhat of a surprise pick from a team that has been known for making surprise picks. Sanders is an interesting player who can play both Inside Linebacker or EDGE rusher. After transferring from Alabama, he put up 103 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks, 3 FFs, 5 PBUs in 2022 for the Razorbacks.
21) Miami Dolphins - FORFEITED
Remember this? Oof!
22) Los Angeles Chargers - WR Jalin Hyatt (Los Angeles Chargers)
The Chargers have a QB with a certified rocket for an arm yet were 23rd in yards per pass attempt and 26th in yards per completion. Mike Williams is a good deep threat for 50/50 balls, but he lacks the top end speed to truly take the top off a defense. Enter Jalin Hyatt who blazed a 4.40 40-yard dash at the Combine and I could see the Chargers getting back closer to the top of the league in those categories.
23) *TRADE: Chicago Bears (via Baltimore Ravens) - WR Quinton Johnston (TCU)
The Bears get a second 1st Rounder this year in their slew of trades and get a big bodied weapon for Justin Fields on the outside. Their weapons go from Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet going into 2022 to Quinton Johnston, Chase Claypool, Mooney, and Kmet, which is a lot more formidable. At 6'3" 208 lbs. with a 40 1/2" inch vertical, Johnston can give Fields a big catch radius.
24) Minnesota Vikings - CB Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State)
Patrick Peterson ain't getting any younger and Forbes is a dynamic player on the outside and torn up Indy with a 4.35 40-yard dash. The concern is his weight, which clocked in at 166 lbs. which is over 100 lbs. less than former Mississippi State personality Brandon Walker. Unlike BWalk who is a plug and play guy for Barstool, Forbes may be a bit of a project, but his upside is tremendous.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Calijah Kancey (Pitt)
Kancey is an interesting one as he's similar sized (6'1" 281 lbs.) to Aaron Donald coming out and obviously from the same school. But 14.5 TFLs and 7.5 sacks from the interior in one season is hard to ignore.
26) New York Giants - WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)
Daniel Jones, who I assume will be back with Big Blue needs some more weapons to grow with. Enter JSN who had an injury plagued 2022 but burned up 2021 with 95 catches for 1,606 yards and 9 TDs. He's still yet to run a 40 and that could move him up or down on the board greatly as there are questions about his speed, but his size (6'1" 196 lbs.) was good.
27) Dallas Cowboys - CB DJ Turner (Michigan)
Turner was a guy I had heard could be on the 1st round map and his performance in Indy solidified those thoughts with a 4.26 40-yard dash. Putting him opposite Trevon Diggs would give the Cowboys a dynamite pairing in their secondary.
28) Buffalo Bils - EDGE Keion White (Georgia Tech)
Once Von Miller went out, Buffalo's defense became a lot more vulnerable. They drafted Gregory Rosseau and Boogie Basham but they could still use more help and Keion White who is a freak athlete on the outside. A jumbo sized EDGE at 6'5" 285 lbs., he could bolster their rotation to get after the Quarterback.
29) Cincinnati Bengals - OT Broderick Jones (Georgia)
Speaking of guys going down, the Bengals were playing with scraps like Jersey Jerry after a 1pm slate he put it all on a Diontae Johnson TD. Their Offensive Line was just decimated and Jones gives another healthy, talented body who could challenge Jonah Williams for the starting LT gig Day 1.
30) New Orleans Saints (via Denver Broncos) - TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)
The Saints seemingly have no plan. They brought back Dennis Allen and may try to make a run with this older roster of players past their primes. Washington is a massive Tight End at 6'7" 285 lbs. and he can not only help set an edge in the run game, but he's got the size and hands to make big catches in the passing game.
31) Philadelphia Eagles - EDGE/LB Nolan Smith (Georgia)
The Super Bowl runner up gets a big lift to their defense with Devon Witherspoon at #10 and now Nolan Smith at #31. At 6'2" 238 lbs., this EDGE rusher from Georgia blazed a 4.39 40-yard dash. The knock is that he doesn't have a true position as he's not a dynamic pass rusher. But what he is is a freakshow athlete and a good Defensive Coordinator will find a way to utilize his natural athletic gifts.
32) Kansas City Chiefs - WR Jordan Addison (USC)
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl, but their receiving corps struggled overall. Outside of Travis Kelce, they don't have nearly enough weapons. Add in Addison and now we're cooking with gas. He doesn't have ideal size at 5'11" 173 lbs. and didn't blaze a crazy 40 (4.49), but he does have a natural feel for route running and how to get open.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the next version 3.0 in a couple of weeks.