Happy Draft Day everyone! The Zupan brothers are back with another mock draft!
There’s no better time of year than the NFL Draft, which we are beyond excited for. While predicting a draft correctly is harder than achieving a perfect bracket in March Madness, Justin and I still love doing it and we hope you all appreciate our insight.
So let’s “see” where the talented stars of tomorrow will end up next season. Friendly reminder that we predict the order as it is and don’t account for the trades that are very likely to happen.
1. Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
A month ago, this pick was a no-brainer, but now it’s not as clear. Despite all the smokescreens and uncertainty, Kliff Kingsbury will ultimately get a dynamic signal-caller to build his version of the Air Raid offense in Arizona, while Josh Rosen will likely be shipped elsewhere to start anew.
2. San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
The most talented player in the draft falls into John Lynch’s lap. Bosa will be a phenomenal pass rusher in the league for years to come and will form a formidable tandem with the newly acquired Dee Ford.
3. New York Jets – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
Jets fans will be shocked if this happens, but Oliver is the real deal. There have been concerns about his size, but his freakish athleticism, high motor, versatility, and game tape make him a highly attractive option for Gregg Williams’ defense. Unless Gang Green trades down, they could be selecting the next Aaron Donald.
4. Oakland Raiders – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Oakland could go with Khalil Mack’s replacement here in Josh Allen, but Williams is too good of a prospect to pass up and we know how much Jon Gruden loves maulers on the defensive line. The Raiders have been an enigma in the weeks leading up to the draft, but Williams is uber-talented and seems like the safest choice here.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – ILB Devin White, LSU
Out of the first five picks, this was the easiest to predict. Tampa has reportedly been enamored with White, who would be an immediate replacement and upgrade over Kwon Alexander. The Bucs will finally get a leader for their defense that they haven’t had since the days of Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber.
6. New York Giants – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
Giants fans should jump for joy if this happens. Allen sliding a couple of picks won’t be too much of a concern, as he is still one of the most talented pass rushers in this draft class. He will be a cornerstone on Big Blue’s defense for years to come.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
There are 88 million reasons why Taylor will be the pick here. Despite their needs at tight end and wide receiver, the Jags need to focus on protecting Nick Foles first. Taylor is arguably the best tackle available and should be a reliable guy for Foles’ blindside.
8. Detroit Lions – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
The Lions have a reputation for swinging and missing on tight ends in the first round (Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron); however, they’ll hit a home run with Hockenson, who’s already being compared to Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. He’ll be a serious weapon for Matthew Stafford in the middle of the field.
9. Buffalo Bills – OG Jonah Williams, Alabama
Although he’s listed as a guard, Williams is incredibly versatile and could easily play tackle at the next level. No matter where he plays, he’ll be an excellent addition on the Bills’ line to block for Josh Allen, who certainly needs more protection (and to stay behind the line of scrimmage).
10. Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
Denver just traded for Joe Flacco, but he’s not the long-term solution at quarterback. John Elway will likely go with the raw, but talented Lock, who he’s been connected to all offseason, and follow the Kansas City model of letting him sit and learn behind Flacco for a year.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
After being speculated to the Giants for months, Haskins will stay in Ohio to become Andy Dalton’s successor. How soon it will happen is unclear, but there’s no denying that he has all the tools to become a franchise signal-caller and show the world that his 50 touchdown performance for the Buckeyes was no fluke.
12. Green Bay Packers – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
As we’ve seen in the past with the Patriots and more recently with the Eagles, there’s nothing wrong with having two athletic tight ends in your offense. Aaron Rodgers will get a new toy in Fant to pair with the aging, but effective Jimmy Graham. Fant has all the necessary intangibles to become a catalyst in Green Bay’s offense.
13. Miami Dolphins – DE Brian Burns, Florida State
With a new regime in place, the Dolphins could go a number of routes with this pick. Ultimately, Burns is a logical choice, as he fits the profile of the long, versatile pass rusher that Brian Flores likes. The local kid should be an effective replacement for the ageless wonder Cameron Wake.
14. Atlanta Falcons – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Atlanta will run to the podium for Wilkins, who is an excellent, versatile lineman with tremendous character, which Arthur Blank always welcomes in his locker room. After a phenomenal career at Clemson, Wilkins will bolster a line that already features Grady Jarrett and Takkarist McKinley
15. Washington Redskins – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
The Redskins have a need at quarterback but will likely punt on one this year and roll with Case Keenum. While there is some concern about his shuttle and cone drills at the Combine, there is no denying Metcalf’s freakish athleticism to go with his massive frame and ball skills.
16. Carolina Panthers – OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
The past two years alone have proven that the Panthers desperately need to be better at protecting Cam Newton. They already brought in Matt Paradis to play center and will get a talented four-year starter in Dillard, who should become an effective left tackle at the next level.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland) – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
The Giants acquired this pick in the controversial Odell Beckham Jr. trade and will use it to select Eli Manning’s heir apparent. New York will also follow the Kansas City model to groom Jones for action when Eli is gone. He has the tools to be successful at the next level, but will his game translate on the field when the time comes?
18. Minnesota Vikings – C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State
The offensive line is a big need for the Vikings in this draft after Kirk Cousins was destroyed last season. Pat Elflein hasn’t shown enough consistency thus far so Bradbury would be the pick here. The All-American has the tools to become the NFL’s next top center.
19. Tennessee Titans – DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
There are some concerns about Gary’s shoulder and his overall motor, but they shouldn’t be too worrisome with a defensive-minded players coach like Mike Vrabel. Gary’s talent as a pass rusher is unquestioned and he should become a difference maker on a defense that lost Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – ILB Devin Bush, Michigan
Pittsburgh will be thrilled to have Bush fall to them here. Although he is undersized, Bush will be an excellent NFL linebacker and should become the long-awaited replacement for Ryan Shazier in the Steelers’ defense.
21. Seattle Seahawks – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
Think Marcus Peters without the character concerns. Williams is an excellent cover guy with phenomenal ball skills; however, his tackling ability is extremely poor and virtually non-existent at times, which likely caused him to slide this far. While Pete Carroll loves hard hitters in his secondary, he’ll love Williams’ talent more.
22. Baltimore Ravens – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
After losing Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs in free agency, the Ravens will need to add a pass rusher. Montez Sweat is an attractive name, but Ferrell would be the safer pick here due to the former’s heart condition. Ferrell is another superb talent from Clemson’s national title team who will fit nicely in Baltimore’s defense.
23. Houston Texans – OG Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Cornerback is also a big need here, but the Texans need to keep Deshaun Watson and his knees safe. Cody Ford will bolster Houston’s line and be an effective pro. The Texans could always go corner in the next two rounds, as there will be plenty of prospects ripe for the picking there.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) – RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
The Raiders would be wise to get the top running back prospect in the draft before the Eagles get the chance to snatch him. Jacobs fits the versatile, hard runner profile that both Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock love. He’ll be another effective weapon for Derek Carr in the Raiders new-look offense.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
With aging veterans such as Malcolm Jenkins and Andrew Sendejo at the top of the depth chart, the Eagles have a clear need at safety. Gardner-Johnson is another athletic freak whose strong Combine should catapult him into the first round. He’ll inject some much-needed youth into the back of Philly’s secondary.
26. Indianapolis Colts – DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
The Colts have multiple holes on their defense and could also use another receiver for Andrew Luck. Ultimately, they’ll upgrade their defensive line with an athletic freak in Tillery, whose game and size has drawn comparisons to the All-Pro Chris Jones.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) – EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
Oakland gets Khalil Mack’s replacement in the form of Sweat, a top-ten talent who slid dramatically due to a heart condition discovered during the Combine. The Raiders already took a chance on a similar player last year with Maurice Hurst, which worked out well. Sweat is a talented, athletic specimen who’s too good to pass up.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State
If not for character concerns and a torn ACL suffered in February, Simmons would likely be going in the top-10. Instead, he goes late in the first round to the Chargers, who can afford to take a gamble given their talented roster. The dividends from a healthy Simmons could be huge.
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City) – S Nasir Adderley, Delaware
Seattle now needs to find a replacement for Frank Clark, but they also need to find a replacement for Earl Thomas. Adderley is a small school prospect, but there’s enough to like about his game and tape to believe that he will be a very good pro safety.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) – WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Green Bay rolls with offense again after selecting Noah Fant with their first pick. “Hollywood” Brown is being compared to DeSean Jackson as a speedster with tremendous big-play ability. He’ll fit nicely in Matt LaFleur’s offense and give Aaron Rodgers another playmaking weapon.
31. Los Angeles Rams – C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
The Rams could go the best player available route here, but with Roger Saffold and John Sullivan both gone, they desperately need to fortify the offensive line to protect Jared Goff. McCoy should be able to come in a start from day 1 as Goff’s new center.
32. New England Patriots – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
New England really needs to address the wide receiver and tight end positions, but with 12 total picks in this draft, they can afford to put them off until the next few rounds. Instead, they’ll go with the best player available in Lawrence, who has size, length, and power to play the interior line in either base scheme, which Bill Belichick loves.
If you’re planning on watching the first round of the draft tonight, WTP Sports has found a way to make it more entertaining for you and your friends. Check out this year’s version of the NFL Draft Drinking Game, created by Mike Cook and Sean Quarterman. Grab a thirty pack of your favorite beer, get together with your friends, and turn this evening into a fun one. See the tweet below for the rules.
As always, WTP Sports would like to remind everyone to please drink responsibly and to not drink and drive. Cheers!