Will’s TMP Mock Draft
It’s every NFL fans favorite off-season time of the year. It’s where the contending front offices separate themselves from the pretending front offices. That’s right: It’s draft time fam. Take a trip with me through this mock draft and see for yourself why I should or shouldn’t be anywhere close to your team’s GM office. This could either go down as either nostradamus levels of accuracy or be as ugly as this year’s draft hats…
Before we get started, I didnt account for draft day trades so deal with it. I also have highlighted some day 2 names to watch at the bottom.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Travon Walker EDGE, UGA
Well here we are again Jacksonville, No. 1 overall spot in the draft. Last year the Jags picked Trevor Lawrence No 1. While it would make sense for them to draft one of the stud OLs from this year’s loaded class, this is Trent Balke we’re talking about. They’ll take the kid who had a great pro day and combine showing.
- Detroit Lions- Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE Michigan
Say what you will about ol’ DC but he seems to be the guy who can turn it around for this team. His players seem to like playing for him and he can get the most out of them. He seems to like high character guys with a high motor which is what they will get out of Hutchinson. It’s also a plus he played right down the road in Ann Arbor.
- Houston Texans- Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC ST
For the first time in years, the Texans have a first round pick (two, actually, but we will touch on that later) and if they truly believe Davis Mills can be the guy at QB (he showed flashes last year) then it is important to protect him. Ekwonu gets the edge here over Neal due to his versatility of being able to play guard or tackle.
- New York Jets- Evan Neal, OL, Alabama
The Jets, much like the Jags last year, took a QB with their first overall pick. They then surrounded said QB with protection to protect their investment. They have added to the OL through free agency and I think they also do it here in a combination of need as well as best player available. They fortify the OL while playing in a division against teams with solid defenses and DL’s. The more help you can get against guys like Von Miller and Emannuel Ogbah the better.
- New York Giants- Charles Cross, OL Miss St
There are two really deep positions in this class: OL and receiver. The Giants have pieces already at receiver with Shepard, Slayton, Golladay, and potentially Toney if he is not traded by ther draft. One important thing to note is Danny Dimes is a FA at the end of this year and the QB class for next year’s draft is abolstuely stacked. I see the Giants making moves in this draft to bring in a new QB next year if Jones can’t turn it around this year. First piece is shoring up the OL.
- Carolina Panthers- Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
The Panthers have been in QB purgatory since cutting ties with Cam a few years back. This is a team who was very active in the Watson sweepstakes. Whether its a trade for Baker or drafting Pickett, a QB change is coming in Carolina. This is one team who is in a weird space right now and will try to figure it out by giving Pickett a shot here at 6.
- New York Giants- Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge- Oregon
The Giants’ pass rush needs a shot in the arm. Drafting Thibodeaux—who at one time was the consensus number 1 pick—and pairing him with Leonard Williams can wreak havoc on QBs in the NFC East.
- Atlanta Falcons- Chris Olave, WR- Ohio State
The Falcons have gone through a lot of changes the last few years. Most notably, Matty Ice and Julio have left town in the last two seasons. Calvin Ridley has been suspended for a year, leaving Kyle Pitts as the only known commodity on the receiving end. Taking Olave and his all around skills with his sure hands and route running as well as take the top of speed should help Mariota or whoever the QB iof the future is move the ball downfield and take some attention off of the beastthat is Kyle Pitts.
- Seattle Seahawks- Malik Willis, QB- Liberty
Seattle, much like Carolina, is in a massive state of flux right now. They traded their franchise guy away and have serious questions surrounding the position. While a trade for Mayfield could happen and make sense, I see them going the cheaper route and taking the young promising QB to try and fill Russ’s shoes.
- New York Jets- Sauce Gardner, DB- Cincinnati
Gardner is the definition of a shutdown corner. He never gave up a TD while defending in college, and regardless of who you play, that is impressive. Saleh is a defensive-minded coach, and the Jets are now in a division with not only Stephon Diggs but also Tyreek Hill. Any amount of help you can get the better.
- Washington Commanders- Drake London, WR- USC
Drake London has made a strong case to be the WR1 in this class. The kid is an athletic freak coming in at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. He’s a big, physical receiver similar to a Mike Evans who can big boy defenders and be a huge target for Wentz while taking focus off of Scary Terry McLaurin.
- Minnesota Vikings- Kyle Hamilton, S,- Notre Dame
There are multiple positions of need in that Minnesota secondary, Hamilton is a plug and play guy that can fill any of them. This is also a case of best player available falling to them.
- Houston Texans- Derek Stingley, DB- LSU
This is the kind of ball-hawking DB new head coach Lovie Smith would love. Stingley would likely be a top 5 pick if not for injury concerns that plagued his last 2 collegiate seasons.
- Baltimore Ravens- Tyler Linderbaum, C- Iowa
Injuries decimated this team last season—particularly on the OL. Getting a young stud in Linderbaum helps alleviate the pressure on Lamar and gives this OL some much needed depth. Linderbaum can come in and be a replacement for Bozeman who took his talents to NC.
- Philadelphia Eagles- Jermaine Johnson, Edge- Florida State
The Eagles want to develop a better pass rush this coming season. Pair Johnson with Reddick coming off the edges and it could make life interesting for opposing NFC East QBs..
- New Orleans Saints- Jameson Williams, WR- Alabama
The Saints have had quite an interesting change in the last two years. Not only have they lost future HOF QB Drew Brees, they also said goodbye to former (and future Dallas) HC Sean Peyton. Now Dennis Allen is the man in charge and one of the first things he needs to do is find a pass catcher for whoever his QB will be (probably Jameis). Jameson Williams is a receiver with elite speed who can take the top off of defenses and will give this offense a receiver it hasn’t had since Michael Thomas was healthy.
- Los Angeles Chargers- Jordan Davis, DL- Georgia
The Chargers have given Justin Herbert an ideal situation his first two years in the league. He’s got a great receiving core, they have built up the OL and they have now turned their focus to the defense. They already brought in both J.C. Jackson through free agency and Khalil Mack through a trade. Bringing in Jordan Davis to clog up the middle of the line for Bosa and Mack to get favorable match-ups on the ends could position this team to an AFC West title.
- Philadelphia Eagles- Trent McDuffie, DB- Washington
I feel like the last few years the Eagles have tried bolstering their secondary through free agency. This year I see Howie Roseman trying a different approach and selecting a guy who has been shooting up draft boards lately.
- New Orleans Saints- Trevor Penning, OT- Northern Iowa
Trevor Penning is a physical freak. Not only have the Saints lost Drew Brees and Sean Peyton they lost Terron Armstead who when healthy is one of the best LT’s in the game. (Armstead is now on the 2023 Super Bowl champ Miami Dolphins roster*) Penning should serve as a suitable replacement.
*ED. NOTE: This statement is the opinion of a deliriously hopeful Dolphins fan and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Message Pitch.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Kenyon Green, OL- Texas A&M
Like them or not it is hard to argue how well run the Steelers are run. The two big positions of need are wideout and OL. While they could go WR here, I think the bigger area of concern for the Steelers is OL. They were not good most of the time last season. Bringing in a guy like Green who played multiple spots along the line in college should pay dividends. I fully expect them to get a steal on a WR in the middle rounds possibly as early as day 2.
- New England Patriots- Garrett Wilson, WR- Ohio State
I think Bill Belichick the GM is extremely overrated. The man is good at finding later round steals but has missed badly on first round picks especially the last few years. While Belichick could always surprise us and go with a defensive pick here, I think he takes a WR. Wilson just happens to be there ready to go. ( I am also hoping if they do take WR it’s not Burks, I see that guy being a future superstar and can’t handle seeing the Patriots have nice things).
- Green Bay Packers- Treylon Burks, WR- Arkansas
This has to be the year the Pack finally take an offensive skill player round 1 right? This team traded the best WR in the game out west and lost MVS to the Chiefs but somehow got Aaron Rodgers back. I think one of the clauses to Rodgers re-signing was addressing WR. Burks is a big, physical, gamebreaker who would thrive with Rodgers throwing the ball to him. If not and they go defense, go ahead and pick up Aaron Jones in fantasy before his 100 reception season happens.
- Arizona Cardinals- George Karlaftis, EDGE- Purdue
Both Hassan Reddick and Chandler Jones left the desert this offseason. Arizona needs a pass rush to pair with JJ Watt. Bringing in Karlaftis helps fix an immediate need.
- Dallas Cowboys- Zion Johnson, OL- Boston College
So this is the first pick I actually changed my rough draft to the final product. I originally had them going best player available and taking Daxton Hill a safety. After doing some research and seeing that they signed Malik Hooker it donned on me that this team lost 2 anchors on the OL in Williams and Collins. Johnson is a kid who can come in and compete right away.
- Buffalo Bills- Andrew Booth Jr., DB- Clemson
The Bills have great pieces on defense notably Tremaine Edmonds at LB and Tredavious White in the secondary. I believe this front office wants to add even more pieces especially after the way their season ended this year. Adding a guy like Andrew Booth Jr. should help slow down opposing offenses. I know he recently had surgery on a sports hernia but that shouldn’t cost him too much. The kid was a standout on a great Clemson defense.
- Tennessee Titans- Devin Lloyd, LB- Utah
Devin Lloyd is a smash mouth football player perfect for Mike Vrabels team. I know their have been rumblings about a possible QB selection here but with the albatross of Tannehill’s contract I see them replacing the departing Rashaan Evans with match made in Heaven for Mike Vrabel.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Bernard Raimann, OL- Central Michigan
Just when I thought we were finally free of the Brady stranglehold he unretires. Before he unretired, one of his linemen retired and another left in FA. I see them getting Raimann to fill that hole. Raimann is a massive force who should protect Brady in his neverending quest to ruin my football enjoyment. (I almost had them taking a C here because i thought for a brief second Jensen was the one who walked in FA).
- Green Bay Packers- Boye Mafe, Edge- Michigan
This team needs a replacement for Zaire Smith letting him walk in FA. Boye Mafe should be more than capable.
- Kansas City Chiefs- Jahan Dotson, WR- Penn State
In what seemingly came out of nowhere this team lost Tyreek Hill to the 2023 Superbowl Champs this offseason, (Can you tell I’m a Dolphins fan yet?). While it is more realistic they flip one of these picks and try to get a Jameson Williams or Chris Olave for now I have them staying put and get a new Tyreek HIll in terms of explosvieness and speed.
- Kansas City Chiefs- Lewis Cine, S- Georgia
Not only did this team lose Hill it is looking more likely they lose Tyran Matheiu as well. The Honey Badger had been a stalwart on this defense for years now. I think they use the second of their first round picks to replace his position and get Cine the ultra talented Safety out of Georgia.
- Cincinnati Bengals- Kair Elam, DB,- Florida
The Bengals were a few defensive stops away from hoisting the Lombardi trophy this season. A few stops here and there and their season ends completely different. They re-signed Eli Apple (save your jokes people) and Franchise Tagged Jessie Bates this offseason so they need one more glue guy for their secondary. Elam gets the nod here but I could also see either McCreary from Auburn or Brisker from PSU if they want to address safety.
- Detroit Lions- Desmond Ridder, QB,- Cincinnati
Ridder has been getting a lot of love this offseason. He was a 4-year starter at Cincy and lead this to some of the best records ins school history. This is a kid who has scrapped and clawed for respect and is the kind of guy it seems Dan Campbell is looking for. He has the size, experience and athleticism that has the scouts talking and has that it factor and inner desire to compete that Campbell loves.
Day 2 names to watch in no particular order:
Roger McCreary, DB- Auburn
Breece Hall, RB- Iowa State
Christian Harris, LB- Iowa State
Nakobe Dean, LB- Georgia
Tyler Smith, OL- Tulsa
Christian Watson, WR- NDSU
Matt Corral, QB- Ole Miss