Two years ago we created the Greatest NFL Mock Draft of all time. 16-of-32 correct picks. 27-of-32 correct first round players. Let’s top that this year.
There are a handful of picks I bounced back on forth on until the final moments. I’ll note them. Overall, this is going to be an incredible three-day event. And not to pat ourselves on the back, but we’ve published incredible content to match it. Shoutout to Hayden and Producer Weaves.
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In all honesty, when the Panthers made the move up to No. 1 I believed it was for C.J. Stroud. I also believe the organization liked both quarterbacks and kept an open mind. Bryce Young simply won out, and for good reason. His creativity is outstanding, in a league where improvisation and ad-lib is a pre-requisite in order to achieve Elite status.
I never bought the Will Levis hype here. Maybe that will look foolish. But I doubt it.
Bryce was the Texans’ target, and in order to convince the Bears to make the move, the Panthers were forced to include DJ Moore. The kind of player the Texans could not offer. Demeco Ryans obviously has deep connections to Alabama, as does Nick Caserio from his Patriot days. Anderson is the first building block for that defense. (Yes, I know the position coach attended Texas Tech).
Calm me crazy, but I actually buy the reporting that the team likes Johnson this much. The offensive line situation will be (even more) dire after this season, with DJ Humphries on the wrong side of 30 and no other players even locked into the starting lineup.
Now, if Will Anderson is still on the board, I could see the Philadelphia Eagles (just an example) getting aggressive to move up for the top ranked defensive player on their board. Plus, there’s plenty of smoke around the Steeler’s moving into the top 10 for an offensive lineman. I think the cardinals would take a lesser deal, even if they ‘lose’ in a major way on the trade value charts.
My brain kept flip flopping between CJ Stroud and Richardson. Back and forth, back and forth. I’ll roll with AR, who is more inexperienced than raw. Watch the video to see what I mean.
Over the last 24 hours I have been told by some that Jalen Carter is 100% the pick, and by others he will unequivocally not be selected by Seattle. And I trust both sides! In fact, for weeks this was where I placed Tyree Wilson. Desk = punched if that’s what happens.
It’s the chalk, but for good reason. I’ve been hypothesizing that the Lions are in the perfect spot to get their quarterback, with Jared Goff holding little guaranteed money on his contract beyond this season. I even went as far to connect John Dorsey, now a Lion, playing a part in a QB selection, since it happened during his final year in Kansas City.
Another flip-flop. This time between Peter Skoronski and Gonzalez. I believe the raiders like their offensive line more than the public, and Gonzalez’s strengths certainly match the vision for the defense.
The Falcons end the fall. Again, Tyree is commonly connected to the No. 2 pick. 49% of my brain wants to plant a flag that he will be the Seahawks’ pick at No. 5. The reason for a slight drop? Late word that some teams have concerns about his foot injury that failed to heal in time to participate in the draft process. As for the Falcons, they have no one built like Tyree on their defense.
A natural home for Jalen Carter or Tyree Wilson. But there’s been a consistent buzz around Wright’s name with Chicago for a couple of weeks, and his ability to play the left or right size fits their “get the best five linemen out there” mindset.
Nolan Smith was often compared to Haason Reddick during the draft process, so is this too much of the same? Absolutely not. You can never have too many athletic freak pass rushers.
About two hours ago I found this Dianna Russini report stating the Titans “have their eyes on a QB, and they'll do everything they can to go get him." Russini has very close connections to Mike Vrabel. We know Ryan Tannehill is not long for the organization. We know the future does not roll through Will Levis. Enter Stroud, a quarterback that no team would have more background on thanks to their Buckeye connections.
I too love Dameon Pierce. But I could easily see the Texans sitting at their post-draft press conference saying “We got the best defensive player and best offensive player in this draft.” And as for quarterback, Houston might not be done…
The move from 15 to 13 was subtle, but noteworthy as the Packers have identical needs to the Patriots. This could be an offensive lineman if Darnell Wright is available. It could be a pass rusher. Or it could be JSN, who Bill Belichick himself has done extensive homework on.
The Patriots do not require massive arm length to play tackle. Look at their previous selection of Isaiah Wynn. And if the Patriots prefer Skoronski at Guard, he makes the same exact transition as Joe Thuney.
Too many draft insiders with deep connections to the Jets have put Broderick jones at this spot for me not to pay attention.
Torrence might be more of a trade back player for Washington, but I have heard they are fans. Torrence did start at LG as a freshman at Florida, and then at RG for the last three seasons, so he fits the Commanders’ reshuffling. Darnell Wright and Deonte Banks were two other considerations.
Outstanding local writers like Alex Kozora have pointed out the Steelers first round picks equal prospects whose pro days they’ve attended. Maryland wa snot one this year. HOWEVER, that was due to the Terps’ hosting it during the NFL Owners’ Meetings. Banks did travel to Pittsburgh later, and Mike Tomlin’s son was also in his recruiting class.
A dream pick for the Lions. Van Ness is all force, and could go off the board much earlier. He might even be a top 5 player for some teams.
Over the last few weeks on the show, I have consistently insisted that Harrison would be a first-round pick. The Bucs do not have a left tackle on their roster.
Shocker! The Seahawks can view this extra first-round pick like an extra selection. And while Hooker is older (and hurt), the team certainly just had plenty of success with an older QB who blossomed in an explosive passing game who also was critiqued coming out of college for his offense.
Exit with a pass catcher. Zay could be selected as early as no. 11 overall, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he has drawn Steve Smith-lite comparisons inside the walls of Chargers HQ.
Corner is a massive need, and like Anton Harrison, I have been consistent in my belief for weeks that Forbes will be a first round pick.
JPJ might not fit every system, but his physical nature is ideal for Brian Flores’ scheme.
Anton Harrison would be the ideal pick. O’Cyrus Torrence would have been in consideration. Brian Branch is definitely in play and might be the preferred selection. But every winning mock draft needs one bold call.
Alabama connections and a secondary in need of playmakers. While branch will not play on the outside for Wink Martindale, he can do a number of different things at multiple levels to make a difference.
Yes, ahead of Michael Mayer. Maybe I am off base, but the Cowboys must get more explosive on offense, and Kincaid’s current feel for zone coverage and fluidity after the catch gives him the edge.
I was torn between Mazi and Iowa LB Jack Campbell. Back and forth, back and forth. I finally landed on the interior defensive lineman thanks to his size, athletic profile and the fact that the Bills don’t have a single player at the position under contract after this season.
Rejoice, Joe Goodberry. A ‘do everything at a solid level’ tight end who can absolutely be placed in-line or detached from the formation.
McDonald might not be the common build the Saints go after at the position. Spidery. But he does offer disruption, and that’s desperately needed.
The Texans make it a triple podium at the end of Day 1, switching picks with the Eagles to get their quarterback many predicted would be the pick at No. 2 overall. If Levis is off the board, this could certainly be for Hendon Hooker.
Frank Clark is still a free agent. A pass rushing edge trio of Karlaftis, Omenihu and Murphy, with a couple taking some interior snaps as well, is a great group for the Chiefs.