Final NFL Mock Draft Predictions
With the NFL draft beginning this week, here are my final predictions for round one.
Round 1 — Pick 1 (Cincinnati)
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU): The Bengals are going to take Burrow, not much else to say here.
Round 1 — Pick 2 (Washington)
Chase Young (Edge, Ohio State): Edge rusher isn’t the most glaring need for Washington, but Young is considered a talent too good to pass on.
Round 1 — Pick 3 (Detroit)
Jeff Okudah (CB, Ohio State): Detroit has options with this pick. They could trade out, they could select Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown, or they could take Darius Slay’s replacement in Okudah, which is what I believe will happen.
Round 1 — Pick 4 (NY Giants)
Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa): Some expect the Giants to take Isaiah Simmons with this pick, but after signing two linebackers in free agency New York decides to take an explosive tackle to help protect QB Daniel Jones.
Round 1 — Pick 5 (Miami)
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon): Injury concern leads the Dolphins to take the “safer” quarterback prospect in Herbert.
Round 1 — Pick 6 (LA Chargers)
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama): With Tyrod Taylor on the roster, Los Angeles is able to allow their QB of the future to sit until he’s fully healthy.
Round 1 — Pick 7 (Carolina)
Isaiah Simmons (LB, Clemson): Luke Kuechly’s retirement has left a void on the Carolina defense. The Panthers select a versatile defender to help give that unit new life.
Round 1 — Pick 8 (Arizona)
Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn): Offense line could be the pick here, but instead the Cardinals select Brown to help improve a bottom-ten rush defense.
Round 1 — Pick 9 (Jacksonville)
Javon Kinlaw (DT, South Carolina): Jacksonville could go in a multitude of directions with this pick, but they decide to select Kinlaw to help improve a porous rush defense.
Round 1 — Pick 10 (Cleveland)
Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville): After signing right tackle Jack Conklin in free agency, the Browns decide to keep improving their o-line by selecting Becton to play left tackle.
Round 1 — Pick 11 (NY Jets)
Jedrick Wills (OT, Alabama): Receiver could be the selection here, but in such a deep class, the Jets decide to take a tackle to help protect QB Sam Darnold.
Round 1 — Pick 12 (Las Vegas)
Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama): The Raiders have a glaring need for a number one receiver, and Jeudy is the best one in this class.
Round 1 — Pick 13 (San Francisco)
Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama): After losing Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, the 49ers select the fastest receiver in the draft.
Round 1 — Pick 14 (Tampa Bay)
Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia): Step one for the Buccaneers was to sign Tom Brady. Step two is to protect him. Thomas is pro-ready, and would help improve Tampa Bay’s offensive line.
Round 1 — Pick 15 (Denver)
CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma): It seems inevitable that the Broncos are going to select a wide receiver in the first round. Lamb would give Denver instant production.
Round 1 — Pick 16 (Atlanta)
K’Lavon Chaisson (Edge, LSU): The Falcons finished last season with the second fewest sacks in the NFL. Chaisson is a high ceiling player who can help improve Atlanta’s defensive line.
Round 1 — Pick 17 (Dallas)
CJ Henderson (CB, Florida): Dallas has a need at cornerback after losing Byron Jones in free agency. Henderson could step in and be a day one starter for the Cowboys.
Round 1 — Pick 18 (Miami via Pittsburgh)
Xavier McKinney (S, Alabama): The Dolphins have a need at safety after releasing Reshad Jones. McKinney has great range, and could help fill the void at the position.
Round 1 — Pick 19 (Las Vegas via Chicago)
A.J. Terrell (CB, Clemson): After going receiver with their first pick, the Raiders look to sure up the back end of their defense with their second selection.
Round 1 — Pick 20 (Jacksonville via LA Rams)
Josh Jones (OT, Houston): After going defense with their first pick, Jacksonville looks to improve a below average offensive line with their second selection by selecting Jones.
Round 1 — Pick 21 (Philadelphia)
Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU): The Eagles had two glaring needs last season, receiver and cornerback. After trading for Darius Slay, Philadelphia decides to select Jefferson, who is coming off a massive season last year.
Round 1 — Pick 22 (Minnesota via Buffalo)
Kristian Fulton (CB, LSU): After saying goodbye to their top three corners from last season, the Vikings have a glaring need. Fulton was part of a dominant LSU secondary, and would help Minnesota instantly.
Round 1 — Pick 23 (New England)
A.J. Epenesa (Edge, Iowa): As much as I want to give the Patriots a QB with this pick, I just don’t see it happening. Instead, New England opts for a powerful pass rusher.
Round 1 — Pick 24 (New Orleans)
Jordan Love (QB, Utah State): The Saints don’t have many glaring needs, and quarterback Drew Brees isn’t going to play forever. New Orleans opts to take Love, who has great upside.
Round 1 — Pick 25 (Minnesota)
Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson): After trading away receiver Stefon Diggs, the Vikings decide to take Higgins, who would be a great complement to Adam Thielen.
Round 1 — Pick 26 (Miami via Houston)
D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia): While the Dolphins signed Jordan Howard in free agency, he’s not the answer long term. Miami opts to take an explosive back for the future.
Round 1 — Pick 27 (Seattle)
Yetur Gross-Matos (Edge, Penn State): With Jadeveon Clowney still unsigned, the Seahwaks decide to select a dynamic pass rusher to fill the void.
Round 1 — Pick 28 (Baltimore)
Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma): The Ravens don’t have many holes, but linebacker is one of them. Murray has the speed and talent to help improve Baltimore’s defense.
Round 1 — Pick 29 (Tennessee)
Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama): The Titans look to improve a bottom-ten pass defense with the selection of physical corner Diggs.
Round 1 — Pick 30 (Green Bay)
Brandon Aiyuk (WR, Arizona State): The Packers need to find a number two receiver for Aaron Rodgers. Aiyuk is explosive and would instantly improve Green Bay’s passing attack.
Round 1 — Pick 31 (San Francisco)
Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah): After selecting a receiver at 13, the 49ers elect to find a number two corner. Johnson has the skills to perform at the next level.
Round 1 — Pick 32 (Kansas City)
Patrick Queen (LB, LSU): This selection is most likely going to be on defense. What position is the real question. I believe the Chiefs will select Queen, who has great speed, and is a secure tackler.