Following on from the 4-part Mock Draft 1.0 I decided to revisit my thoughts with a little over a week to go to the, now virtual, draft.
Once again I used the ProFootball Network Mock Simulator https://www.profootballnetwork.com/mockdraft/Trades which is particularly useful when it comes to working out whether your trade ideas have a remote chance of happening for real.
For this version I also tried to play out a notably different set of circumstances from the first mock to see how early trade impact on the selections later on in round one.
We start with the Miami Dolphins making a major move up from 5th to 1st (via Detroit at 3) which completely shakes up the top 10 picks. This is based on a scenario where Joe Burrow does not want to end up in Cincinnati and the Bengals have to make the best of the situation. They still come out with their next franchise QB and an additional first round pick, so not all is lost.
1. Miami Dolphins – Joe Burrow QB, LSU
(previous picks in the brackets – for the Dolphins this was Tua)
It is pretty much nailed on, for me at least, that the Dolphins are going to take a quarterback with their first pick. The consensus has been that, with Ryan Fitzpatrick a very capable starter for 2020, they can pick someone who sits for a year (hence the link to Tua). However, they are also the team with the draft capital (including additional 2021 picks) to go all the way to the first pick to take Burrow. The deal went down as follows.
The Bengals are only content if they fall to #3 so the Dolphins have to deal with the Lions first and then Cincinnati.
MIA #5 & #39 for DET #3
MIA #3, #18, #56 #154, #173 (plus a 2021 1st and 2nd round pick)
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
(1.0 – Tristan Wirfs)
In the last draft it was Washington dealing with Miami but for this second mock the Redskins are content to sit second and take potentially the best prospect in this year’s draft.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
(1.0 – Joe Burrow)
So the Bengals miss out on Burrow but they are able to secure Justin Herbert. In this scenario I think Herbert is a good fit in Cincinnati. He could learn from (and push) Andy Dalton and this may be viewed as a safer pick than Tua or Love (potentially lower ceiling but higher floor). A controversial pick but could be making the best of things if played out this way.
4. New York Giants TRADE
In this scenario the Chargers watch as the first 2 QBs are off the board inside three picks. This may stir them into action and it would not necessarily take much to deal with the Giants and move up 2 spots, just to be sure. Tua slots in nicely behind Tyrod Taylor (to start the season at least) and is a great draw for the now LA-based Chargers franchise.
LA Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama LAC #6 & #37 for NYG #4
(1.0 Justin Herbert)
5. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
(1.0 – Chase Young)
First time around Chase Young fell into the Lions lap at #3 but here we see them drop to #5, Young is gone but they are still able to select a player who is consistently mocked to them, making up for the loss of Darius Slay – plus watch out for them then trading back into round 1 later….
6. NY Giants – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
(1.0 – Isaiah Simmons)
Dave Gettlemen seems to have a straight choice and whichever way he goes (top tackle or Simmons is the consensus) he probably upsets half the Giants fan base. This time I have gone with what feels more like a Gettlemen pick, and the need at RT is apparent.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
(1.0 – Jeffrey Okudah)
Carolina still pick up a new key defensive piece and Simmons feels like a Panthers (and Matt Rhule) type player, fast and aggressive. It’s a nice fit.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, T/G, Iowa
(1.0 – Mekhi Becton)
Staying on the O-line for the Cardinals with a slight switch to Wirfs, solely because of this versatility and the ability to kick-inside to guard if necessary.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
(1.0 – Derrick Brown)
No change for the Jaguars – staying with Brown, a great way to start rebuilding this defense with a Calais Campbell type replacement.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
(1.0 – Andrew Thomas)
Another O-line pick but as Becton is still available this time around the Browns take him over Andrew Thomas. Size over technique take here.
11. New York Jets – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
(1.0 – CeeDee Lamb)
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
(1.0 – Jerry Jeudy)
13. 49ers – Javon Kinlaw, DT, S. Carolina
(1.0 – Javon Kinlaw)
With picks 11 through 13 I see no reason for any changes. I see Lamb and Jeudy as the first two receivers off the board (with Henry Ruggs II close behind), and Kinlaw is a great replacement for DeForest Buckner using the pick they got from the Colts in the trade.
14. Tampa Bay Buccanneers – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
(1.0 – Jedrick Wills)
This completes the re-ordering of the four top offensive tackles and the Bucs get probably the best technician of the four to help protect Tom Brady.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
(1.0 – CJ Henderson)
Mulled this one over after the first mock draft and it just did not excite me for Denver. I’ve swapped their picks this time around (WR first then CB) and look what they get – now this is exciting!
16. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
(1.0 – K’Lavon Chaisson)
Same again here for the Falcons. defense will be the focus and Chaisson is a great start in improving that side of the roster.
17. Dallas Cowboys – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
(1.0 – Xavier McKinney)
Another situation where I was not 100% comfortable with the pick last time. Stayed in the secondary but as CJ Henderson is available this time around I’ll take him over McKinney. Helps to make up for missing Byron Jones.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (pick gained from Miami) – AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
This is the additional pick the Bengals have picked up from the earlier trade and they use it to upgrade at another key position. First pick they got their QB so with this pick they get some help to get after everyone else’s.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
(1.0 Jordan Love)
Last time around the Raiders used their second pick to go for Jordan Love. This time they pass on Love and go after another Clemson CB to partner with Travyon Mullen. Vegas could be a no-fly zone….
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
(1.0 – Kenneth Murray)
21. Philadelphia Eagles Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
(1.0 – Justin Jefferson)
For the next two picks it is ‘as you were’ with the Jags and Eagles more than happy to have Murray and Jefferson fall into their respective laps.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
(1.0 – Henry Ruggs III)
In version 1.0 the Vikings hopped up 3 spots to take Henry Ruggs, this time he is long gone so the Vikings focus on the secondary and wait for their receiver (more later on that). I think Johnson is going to gatecrash round one above some of the other highly rated CBs (and I doubt they take another Diggs….)
23. New England Patriots – TRADE to Detroit Lions – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
We get to the Patriots and they have to deal. They don’t have much by way of early picks and the Detroit Lions (with ex-defensive coordinator Matt Patricia) have an offer which gives the Patriots an additional high 3rd rounder and the cost is only to slip into the top of round 2.
With the additional pick the Lions take a player with a really high ceiling but little experience (which is why I think the Patriots are happy to trade back).
24. New Orleans Saints – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
(1.0 Jeff Gladney)
No change for the Saints as they pick up a real physical cornerback which will be an upgrade on Eli Apple.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Denzel Mimms, WR, Baylor
(1.0 – Jaylon Johnson)
As mentioned earlier, in this scenario I’ve switched the positions the Vikings target and go for cornerback first (so they still get Johnson) and then they can get one over on NFC North divisional rivals Green Bay. The Packers will also be after a wide receiver and by taking Mimms the Vikings steal a potential target away.
26. Miami Dolphins – Austin Jackson OT, USC
(1.0 – D’Andrew Swift)
The Dolphins have secured Joe Burrow in this mock so the next step is to provide some additional protection in the form of Jackson. A running back could still have been a possibility but they could pick one up day 2.
27. Seattle Seahawks TRADE
In recent days it has been mentioned that in amongst all the possible unknowns of this year’s draft the one (near) certainty is that Seattle will trade down. It happens a lot. The Seahawks like to increase their number of picks and find gold on days 2 and 3. Here they trade with the Colts who jump up to take their QB of the future to sit behind Philip Rivers.
IND #34 & #75 for SEA #27
The Indianapolis Colts select – Jordan Love, QB, Utah
28. Baltimore Ravens – Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
(1.0 – Patrick Queen)
In the first mock Patrick Queen was available but he is long gone this time around. Zack Baun is a more than useful back up plan here to add to the Ravens pass rush.
29. Tennessee Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
(1.0 – Ezra Cleveland)
Same position but a change in name. Wilson is a name shooting up various boards and looking back this is a better fit (I think) for Wilson to plug in at RT, replacing Jack Conklin.
30. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
(1.0 – Denzel Mimms)
The Vikings have taken Denzel Mimms away this time around but I still focus on wide receiver for the Packers. Reagor is still a top quality receiver and would make a great target for Aaron Rodgers.
31. San Francisco 49ers TRADE
As with my first mock I expect the 49ers to trade down and I still feel the Broncos are prime candidates to be the trade partner.
DEN #46, #77 & #118 for SF #31
For the Broncos (similar to the Vikings) I’ve switched which position they address first. Henry Ruggs is already onboard so it is at cornerback they focus with the second pick, particularly as there could be a run on that position late in round 1. Denver take the next best CB.
Denver Broncos select Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
(1.0 – AJ Terrell)
Swings and roundabout for the Chiefs here. Their previous selection, AJ Terrell, is off the board but this means they can focus on shoring up that run defense, in which case Blacklock will do nicely.
Running through this mock and playing out those early trades in the top 6 picks has a ripple effect further down round one. There are only about half a dozen instances where teams choose the same player in both mocks, proving you better have, at least, a plan B for your first round pick. Also there are five new names late on (Blacklock, Fulton, Reagor, Wilson and Jackson) at the expense of Shenault JR, Cleveland, Ruiz, Swift and McKinney.
That’s me done for mock drafts for this year. Just going to sit back, watch and enjoy now! Hope your team gets your guy!