April 29th is rapidly approaching, which will usher in a new era of NFL rookies looking to become future stars of the league. As the draft approaches, more trades are being made which will help shape what we may see on the 29th. The Jets have dealt Sam Darnold to the Panthers, opening the door for a new possible franchise QB to be selected in this years draft. Let's see how this trade will impact the first round.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
-Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
It's been a lock since before the last NFL season even began that Lawrence would go #1 overall, it just came down to who won the race for him. The Jaguars get a generational talent at the QB position to build its future around.
2. New York Jets
-Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
In my last mock draft, I mentioned it seemed like the Jets were intent on taking Wilson with this pick, regardless of whether or not they were able to deal Darnold. And now that he's been dealt, you can lock Wilson in here to the Jets. While I'm not personally sold he's the 2nd best QB in this class, the Jets seem to think so.
3. San Francisco 49ers
-Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
There is a ton of reports about the Niners seriously considering Mac Jones here, and I'm genuinely concerned they may take him here. However I'm not sold just yet, as it really wouldn't have made sense for them give up so much draft capital for someone who was likely to fall to them anyway.
So I'm sticking with Fields here as he would be a great fit for this Niners offense and is arguably a top 2 QB in this draft.
4. Atlanta Falcons
-Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
This pick of the draft is where we could see a major domino effect that changes how the entire top 15 of this draft goes. It's rumored that the Falcons are open to trading back, and it's very likely that they will trade with a team looking to move up and get a QB.
Until they do so, I think the Falcons take Pitts if they stay put at #4. Pitts is the most physically gifted pass catcher in this draft, and having him playing in the "TE" spot inside Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, would give Matt Ryan arguably the best receiving core in the league.
The Falcons have bigger needs they must address like corner and linebacker, but there isn't one of those rated high enough to warrant a pick here at 4th overall. So them taking the biggest talent amongst the elite pass catchers makes sense.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
-Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
I have been very consistent in saying the Bengals NEED to take Sewell here. And that is still a possibility with the 5th pick, but I have a feeling that after signing Riley Reiff, the Bengals won't be able to resist reuniting Joe Burrow with his favorite target in college.
Chase is the best receiver in this draft and already has rapport with Burrow, so the Bengals could address their offensive line issues in the second round. If they're not set on Chase, they could be a potential trade back candidate.
6. Miami Dolphins
-DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Heisman winner comes off the board here and reunite him with his former college QB, Tua Tagovailoa. After signing Will Fuller, adding Smith alongside him and Parker would give Tua plenty of weapons to make him successful.
7. Detroit Lions
-Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The last of the top 4 pass catchers gets taken here by a Detroit team looking to replace Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. Waddle's speed and elusiveness will make him Jared Goff's go to receiver week in and week out.
8. Carolina Panthers
-Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
After trading for Sam Darnold, the Panthers won't be included in the QB rush at the top of this draft. So instead they'll pivot to drafting someone to protect their new potential franchise QB. Sewell was the best player at his position the last time he played in 2019, and the Panthers need an upgrade at the tackle spot.
9. Denver Broncos
-Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
I have a feeling that if Mac Jones goes to San Francisco at #3, we could see the Broncos trade up with the Falcons to get Justin Fields. But with Fields off the board in this mock, the Broncos stay put and take the next best QB available in Trey Lance.
Drew Locke hasn't proven he's the QB of the future in Denver, so they'll opt to go with Lance here who has a big arm and is a capable runner.
10. Dallas Cowboys
-Patrick Surtain II
It's no secret the Cowboys defense is it's biggest weakness, particularly the secondary, so the Cowboys grab the top cornerback off the board here to pair alongside Trevon Diggs and Jourdan Lewis
11. New York Giants
-Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State
Talent wise, Micah Parsons should be top 5 in this draft class, but due to the QB rush, we saw him drop to the #11 pick here in this mock draft. The Giants add more talent to an already impressive defensive unit.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
-Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Eagles trading back likely takes them out of the race for one of the top pass catchers in this years draft, and maybe even out of the Micah Parsons running. However I think they'll be satisfied with getting Jaycee Horn, who's arguably the best CB in this draft class.
13. Los Angelos Chargers
-Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Protecting Herbert will be the Chargers main goal this year, and Slater will certainly help them do so. The Chargers did address their O-line in free agency signing Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler, but they still could use an upgrade. Slater is versatile and can play Tackle or Guard for the Chargers.
14. Minnesota Vikings
-Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/OT, USC
Minnesota's offensive line struggled last year giving up 39 sacks, and lost Riley Reiff in free agency. And even after signing Mason Cole, the Vikings will still need to plug some of the holes they have up front, and Alijah Vera-Tucker will certainly help do so. He's another versatile lineman who can play inside or outside.
15. New England Patriots
-Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
I'm still not sold Mac will go to the Niners, and if he doesn't he will certainly fall to the Pats here at #12. The Pats aren't committed to Cam Newton long term, and could use next season to groom Mac Jones into their future QB.
16. Arizona Cardinals
-Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
With Patrick Peterson gone, and Arizona's free agent CB signings only being tied up for one year, they still need to address their outside CB position. Farley is one of the top corners in the draft, but some concerns about his back surgery in March see him fall into Arizona's lap at #16. Arizona has other corners who can bridge the gap if Farley needs more time to recover than anticipated.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
-Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Raiders could go a lot of ways with this pick but after losing much of its offensive line this season, they'll need to address that in round 1. Darrisaw is a smooth but powerful blocker at the tackle spot and would be a day 1 starter for the Raiders.
18. Miami Dolphins
-Jaelean Phillips, DE, Miami
After addressing the offensive side of the ball, Miami will look to upgrade its pass rush by adding Phillips who had 8 sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss last season.
19. Washington Football Team
-Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Washington is out of the range for any of the top QB's and they likely will go with Fitzpatrick as the starter for this year, so they'll turn their focus to the offensive line and take Jenkins here.
20. Chicago Bears
-Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Another Florida pass catcher comes off the board here since the Bears are out of range for any of the top QB's in the draft. I don't have another OT rated this high, so I think the Bears can wait until round two to address that position, and get an explosive receiver in Toney here.
21. Indianapolis Colts
-Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
The Colts lost Denico Autry in free agency, and Justin Houston still has yet to re-sign, so the Colts should definitely be looking to upgrade their pass rush here. Their defense is a big part of this teams identity, so a high upside pass rusher like Paye would be an ideal choice here.
22. Tennessee Titans
-Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
The Titans do need to address the o line and receiver, but to me their biggest priority needs to be CB. After losing both Adoree Jackson and Desmond King II, they'll need an upgrade at CB immediately. Newsome is a shut down corner and would fit nicely beside Janorice Jenkins.
23. New York Jets
-Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
The Jets addressed their offensive needs in Free Agency and got their QB with the #2 pick, so now they desperately need to upgrade that pass rush. Adding another edge rusher to go along with Quinnen Williams would certainly elevate this Jets defense.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
-Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Steelers offensive line NEEDS help, but because this draft has some depth at the o line spot, I think they can afford to take the top running back in this years class. He's a powerful in-between the tackles runner that Pittsburgh needs since it looks like Connor won't be returning.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
-Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Jaguars could go in a couple different directions with this pick including receiver or offensive line, but because of the depth at those positions in this draft, I think they will go with Moehrig with their second first round pick.
26. Cleveland Browns
-Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
The Browns need to get another pass rusher opposite Myles Garrett to take this defense to the next level. Ojulari is versatile and can play DE or OLB, and use his quick first step to get to the QB.
27. Baltimore Ravens
-Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
If the Ravens want to win a super bowl, they need to get Lamar Jackson a receiver who can be an impact on the outside. Marshall is the perfect fit here at #27. At 6'4, he would finally give Lamar a big physical receiver who can make contested catches on the outside and inside the numbers, and he has the speed to burn you over top. If Marshall is still available here, the Ravens would be doing Lamar a disservice by not taking him.
28. New Orleans Saints
-Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
With Drew Brees retiring, it's going to be important for the Saints to make sure either Winston or Hill have the necessary weapons around them to be successful. Moore gives them a speedy slot receiver who can get get yards after the catch. He'd be a great fit along side Michael Thomas.
29. Green Bay Packers
-Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame
I thought a lot about going receiver here, but I this class has enough depth for the Packers to get a high quality receiver in the second round. So instead they address the defensive side of the ball by getting Owusu-Koramoah. He's explosive which helps him stay on the field in spread sets. I think he'd be a great fit here.
30. Buffalo Bills
-Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Bills only flaw offensively last season was their inability to run the ball. Singletary and Moss don't seem to be the answer, so I think the Bills turn to a more explosive back with Etienne. Etienne is also a great pass catcher as well, giving Josh Allen another weapon.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
-Liam Eichenburg, OT, Chiefs
After letting go both of their starting tackles, the Chiefs will NEED to address that position. We all saw Pat Mahomes running for his life in the super bowl. So even after signing Thuney and Kyle long to sure up their guards spots, they've gotta get a tackle who can protect from those edge rushers. Eichenburg does just that, with sound fundamentals and footwork.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
Tampa Bay brought back all of its starters, including Ndamukong Suh at DT. But with him aging, Barmore would be the perfect replacement for him to pair alongside Vita Vea long term.