Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2022 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3/30/22

This off season has been bonkers, nuts, or even bananas as my niece likes to say. The past week even more so.  Brady unretired. Aaron Rodgers came back to Green Bay, I apparently incorrectly assumed , with the idea that Devante Adams would be resigned. Nope , he was traded , and it appears Rodgers even knew it was coming. Rodgers also got a record new contract out of it.  Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos. It was announced last week that the Falcons had restructured Matt Ryan's contract pushing more money into future caps, giving him the single largest single season cap charge in NFL history, which meant he wouldn't be traded. It also, meant they weren't going to draft a new QB this year, and at least that part was true. Nope, they changed their minds , and Ryan himself agreed to delay a 7.5 million roster bonus to facilitate a trade & help them land Deshaun Watson. Now Ryan is traded too. Plus Watson got 5 years and a FULLY GUARANTEED  230 million, even though his sexual misconduct lawsuits are still hanging over his head , and he will likely be suspended because of them.  Lets not forget that Washington over payed for Carson Wentz, but desperation often causes a high price. The Jones family's off season of monumental insanity continued in Dallas when they weren't smart enough to get anything for La'el Collins, and they just straight cut him . He then signed a deal for more money ( 2 years and 22 million)  than the cowboys ( 10 million a year ) were contracted to pay him. So Cincy joins their AFC north counterparts the Browns in bluffing & punking the cowboys. Basically Dallas only got a total of a 5th rounder & a swap of 6th rounders for 2 premium players in Collins & Amari Cooper. The Chargers are ALL IN by signing corner JC Jackson to a big deal & trading for Khalil Mack and his big contract.  The Bills are ALL IN too, as they just gave 33 year old Von Miller a huge deal. I can't believe I am saying this, but the draft seems like a afterthought right now. the Dolphins are getting in on the act too. After signing LT Terron Armstead to a big deal, they traded a bunch of picks for Tyreek Hill, and gave him a record contract. Combine Hill with Adams , and the top 2 WR's in the league were traded in the same week, and that means that the top 2 QB'S in the league lost their #1 WR. So much happened in the last week that I kept having to change this mock, and it delayed me by a few days , but I am putting it in now regardless of what happens today. The whirlwind keeps raging along, but now back to business. The combine is done,  the Pro Days are in full swing , and free agency is still going. Team needs are shuffling by the day.  Meanwhile,  I'm just going to keep churning through game after game of tape. As of today I have done at least 3 games on 261 players , and at least one game on 314 , but I have next week off so a lot of tape will be watched then.  Not to mention I have done a lot more games on some players that were on my preseason watch list , but I still have over 100 guys to watch.  Even taking into account that I am grading for all schemes , I only have 23 first round grades at the moment , and I doubt any more will come along from the guys I haven't watched yet. Since most teams are very scheme specific & value different more than others I doubt most teams have even 15 first rounders on their board. This looks like a draft where a lot of teams in the bottom 3rd of the first round are going to be drafting a guy with a 2nd round grade.  Picks 31 to 67 may be very close in grade on my board if the draft were today, and 3rd round is even bigger. If I had a bottom third 1rst rounder, and if if no one with a first round grade fell into my lap, I might want to trade back & get more picks.  Also, 8 teams have already traded away this years first round pick. it's all just very unique, and quite frankly insane. This looks like a good draft on defense with every position on that side of the ball having some depth to it. It's very deep & talented in edge rushers.  In fact as many as 6 edge rushers could go in the 1rst round , and possibly 12 in the top 2 rounds , but it could have been 7 until David Ojabo tore his Achilles at his Pro day. Cornerback's , off the ball linebackers, and possibly even Safeties also have a chance to be a strength on defense. Plus, not only has the DT position been gotten better as I watched more of them,  this is the first time I can remember where there are 4 Nose Tackles that have a chance to go in the first 2 days of the draft. As a matter of fact the top of this draft is kind of the opposite of last years. In 2021 the first 9 players on my board were on offense, with the 10th guy being Micah Parsons, but 2 corners were drafted before him .We can all agree that I ( and pretty much everyone else because he was drafted 12th overall) was too low on Parsons. This year I expect 6 or 7 of the top 10 to be on defense, unless  a QB or 2 are over drafted, and they still might be. I now expect at least 3 OT's to go in the top 10, and 4 is more likely, but OT's are the only players  I would select in the top 10 on the offensive side of the ball. Same thing with edge rushers ,3 or 4 in the top 10, but defensive backs should fill out the rest of the top 10. So yes , On offense this drafts definite strength is O-lineman , but this classes WR's are very good too. The RB's have grown on me as well, but it's not a strength. The TE position has plenty of depth, but none of them look special, and we might might see 2 at most taken in the second round.  Neither position has a player with a 1rst round grade. However, while it is a deep draft there is only one ( safety Kyle Hamilton) sure thing blue chip type player flying off the screen to me , and he plays a position that people don't usually want to take at the top of the draft. In fact with the exception of CB , safety, edge rusher, and center the top player at every position last year had a higher grade on my board than in the 2022 class. Although CB depends on a healthy Derek Stingley , and he wasn't healthy enough to workout at the combine. Due to the financial losses from Covid I expected another off season with a lot of veteran QB movement , and 2 or more first round QB'S again, WHETHER THEY DESERVE IT OR NOT.  I was definitely right about the veteran QB's, but the draft is a wildcard. There could just be 2 QB'S drafted in the first round, or if insanity strikes there too we could be a max of 5. The losers of the Deshaun Watson derby might be looking to trade up. Or Carolina, Atlanta, or even Seattle might just stay put and just  take one in the top 10.  I highly doubt that any top 5 pick is traded to a QB needy team this year , because right now I wouldn't do it for any of college guys , and if it were up to me none would go in the top 10 either. In fact unless a guy falls to a QB needy team ,or one of them trades back, I don't expect top see a QB drafted in the top half of the first round. I've also added NFL player comparisons just in case you want a better idea of who your team might be getting, but I will change them if I decide on a better one. The higher a player is ranked the more likely I think he is to reach that comp. I will endeavor to show as many different scenarios as possible before the draft actually happens. This mock has QB's dropping like they should , and since so many first round picks have already been traded , there is only one small trade in this one. Without further ado here it is. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently & respectfully or I just won't post it. so here it is. Enjoy.

# Is for a player for with reported character or maturity concerns .

** Is for a player with reported injury concerns .

1.JAGUARS - EVAN NEAL -T/G-ALABAMA -  6"7" , 337


The Urban Meyer experiment failed as most of us expected , and now the Jags have the number one pick again, but at least they don't need a QB. On the bright side you would think it's hard to screw up the pick if your not reaching for a QB , and they have a young roster with some high end talent scattered around. Plus, the Jags started out with a little over 58 million in cap space before free agency. The problem is they aren't making the best moves that they could. There were rumors , that I tend to believe , that both Dallas DC Dan Quinn & Tampa OC Byron Leftwich turned down the Jaguars head coaching job. The reason is that they didn't want to work with current holdover GM Trent Baalke. Yes every new head coach would like to pick his own GM (or vice versa) that they trust and are comfortable with , but both specifically made a point of it being Baalke they didn't want to work with. Why? When Baalke was the GM in San Francisco,  a team that went to the Super bowl under him & head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2012 & the NFC championship in 2013, and the story is that he repeatedly undercut Harbaugh during the 2014 season. Reportedly it got to the point that their power struggle made the ownership choose between them, after they went 8-8. They chose Baalke, and it appears to have been the wrong choice. As soon as Harbaugh left Baalke chose a yes man in D-Line coach Jim Tomsula as the new head coach, even though Tomsula had never even been a coordinator at the NFL level. I was surprised until I realized he wanted a guy who would not fight his rulership of the team.  Tomsula's team immediately went 5-11 and he was fired. Then Baalke brought in Chip Kelly who had just imploded as the Eagles head coach , and was in no position to argue with him either. That team went 2-14 and they both got fired. Baalke initially ended up with the Jags job as interim GM after Dave Caldwell was fired. I don't know how he talked Shad Khan into giving him the full time job, and giving him this power, but it appears to have backfired because he is overpaying about half his free agent signings. I doubt it's Doug Pederson's call too.  It's hard to know what a new coaching staff will prioritize in the draft & free agency, especially when I doubt that they are making the final calls. They didn't have any free agents that I saw as key, but DJ Chark & Andrew Norwell would have been my priorities if I was going to want someone back. Chark is now gone to the Lions and they waaaay overpaid a slot WR in Christian Kirk. Even coming off his best season , and Kirk is only effective in the slot, Kirk is a #2 WR at best. This isn't a dominant slot guy like Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp , or a healthy Michael Thomas.  Where do you play Leviska Shenault now, because the slot is his best place too. Then they took Oaklands # 3 WR Zay Jones and payed him like a #2. I wouldn't have even have signed undersized LB Foyesade Oluokun unless it was as a backup, and Baalke paid him like he was a Pro Bowl LB!  Tackle numbers don't mean much if you make them 3 or 4 yards later than they should been made Trent , and he's bad in coverage even though he's only the size of some safeties.  Are you scouting by reading the stats on the back of his football card?  Paying injury & dropsy prone TE Evan Engram a guaranteed 9 million shocked me too , but maybe a one year deal is what needs to perform well again. The Brandon Scherff contract is a risk, because of his age & injury history, but at least you were paying premium money for a premium player in that case. The other deal they made that I think might workout is NT Folorunso Fatukasi. He isn't coming off his best season, but he is a big space eater in the middle that can clog up the gut against the run, and he's only 27 so it's reasonable to expect him to return to form. I see the whole O-Line & the interior D-Line being priorities, but CB ,Linebacker & safety are still solid needs. Also, a real potential # 1 WR could be added. Basically the roster needs a big upgrade. In a ideal world for the Jags a QB will rise on draft boards across the country  , and the Jags will be able to trade this selection for a haul of picks , but I can't see that happening this year. The edge is not a place they have a weakness right now. In fact the edge is a  place where they have a lot of high level young talent, as they took both Josh Allen and K'lavon Chaisson in the first round in 2109 & 2020.  A OT like Neal or Ekwonu would fill a much bigger need, but right now I don't see any of the O-Lineman in this draft being worth this pick either. Maybe they do it anyway, but no O-Lineman has gone number overall since Eric Fisher in 2013, and that was the worst draft class in a long time. Like 2013 this draft does have a chance to have 3 of the first 4 picks be OT's as well, and I would be surprised if any of the top 2 OT's fell out of the top 5. If I was stuck at #1 I would take Thibodeauux or Hutchinson right now , because they are the 2 clear highest rated players on most boards who play a very valuable position. You can never have enough pass rushers, and the chance to rotate all 3 would keep them fresh. Plus Chaisson hasn't lived up to his talent so far, and veteran Dawuane Smoot out played & out snapped Chaisson for much of 2021. The only clear blue chipper on my board is Kyle Hamilton, but I don't see anyone taking a safety number one overall. So to me that means the top overall player on my board at the top of the draft in Aidan Hutchinson, who also misses out on blue chip status for me, but in this draft he could go at the top. I'm going to go with the O-lineman in this case because protecting Trevor Lawrence should be their top priority. Right now Ekwonu is the best run blocker  , and Cross is the best pass blocker among the top 3 OT's in this draft. Plus both are coming off good combine workouts.  but I think Evan Neal has the highest floor among the 3. Plus,  I am sure he can consistently play outside on a island as a rookie in the NFL, unlike Ekwonu , and that he can move NFL players against their will in the run game unlike Cross.  Evan Neal is just a massive human being with a nasty play disposition who has surprisingly agile feet and high level athleticism for a huge dude. He is a 3 year starter at 3 different positions ( LG , RT , and LT this year) at the Premier Program in all of college football . Like most really big guys he does have some balance issues, especially in the run game. Partially that's just physics, because a whole lot of weight going in one direction creates momentum that's hard to pull back. The other part is he leans too far forward on guys too much, and he can get shucked , or fall off blocks. He can still maul in the run game though, but I was surprised that he was a even better pass protector , where his balance is better.  Anyone that wide with that kind of length is just hard to get around, but other than the occasional mistake giving up the inside I see him as good future NFL outside protector on either side. I also think that if he is left at one position  (on one side of the ball)  his football IQ will jump up some points , because you do some confusion and delayed movement on some stunts & twists. There aren't many edge guys that can get past him , but I really wish he had fully worked out at the combine because he looks like a very athletic giant on film. The jags current LT Cam Robinson, who is just average in my book, was surprisingly given the franchise tag again. I guess they can move him to RT or even better move him inside to guard. 



The Lions don't have any key free agents , and they also had plenty of cap space , but recent high ticket free agent additions Trey Flowers & Michael Brockers aren't living up their paychecks but only Flowers was let go.  I like The DJ Chark signing, and he may ball out on this one year prove it deal , because he would have gotten a lot more $ if he was healthy last season. Safety Tracy Walker looked bad to me last season after he started out his career really well, but maybe they know something I don't , or at least plan to play him deep this year. Walker is still young enough to return to form, and his job would be easier if he was put in a better position to succeed. I don't like the resigning of Charles Harris much, because I don't trust guys who only can only stay healthy & play well when they are about to get paid. Although since he did play well for them last season, and its only a 2 year deal maybe they will get his best efforts again. On offense the obvious need is at QB , but I highly doubt that they use the #2 overall pick for any of those guys . Jared Goff is a competent enough stopgap QB who can fill in while they build the rest of the roster up. The O-Line is a strength already except for maybe replacing a guard if one they love falls to them later, and that bodes well for any young QB who does end up here.  In fact ,other than the aforementioned QB , a outside #1 WR is the only clear need on offense, and Chark might end up as that guy. The defense is a different story. 2020 #4 overall pick Jeff Okudah has been hurt for most of his first 2 seasons , and while they have drafted some young talent there isn't a player on their entire defense that has to be schemed against right now. A young high end talent at edge rusher would be welcomed, although I think they join the Jags in futilely hoping that someone who wants a QB will trade up and add to their hall of draft picks. The Lions already have a extra first rounder due to the Stafford/Goff trade , but they currently lack a 4th and 5th rounder. Because Aidan Hutchinson was born, raised , and played both high school & college ball in Michigan I think the Lions would prefer him if given the choice. In this case the choice is theirs and they take it. Hutchinson has size , strength, athleticism , motor , football IQ,  and plays well against the run & pass , Throw in explosiveness , frame to get even bigger, 3-4/4-3 versatility , and he can even even drop in coverage now and then.  I give Hutchinson the slight edge over Thibodeaux after watching tons of tape on both. He has more production , is more consistent, and surprisingly looks more bendy. Plus  I believe he will do better than Thibodeaux when he kicks inside, is much better at controlling the man across from him , counters better , and his frame is a little more filled out. His official measurements at the combine were great except for a little less arm length than I expected. However, his workout was excellent , and that 1.62 ten yard split was tied for 2nd place among all the edge rushers invited. The edgy hard nosed culture that Dan Campbell is trying to develop will be well represented by Hutchinson. 



The Texans had no free agents that they have to bring back. The previous regime in Houston had already traded away the Texans 2021 1rst & 2nd rounders before they took over. Then Deshaun Watson started selfishly whining his way out of town despite the fact that he had just gotten a new huge contract. I wouldn't have given in to his trade demands at the time either, but I sure bet they wish they had done it right after he opened his big mouth. They would have gotten a historically huge haul of draft picks that could have jump started the rebuilding process , but now they got less , because a bunch of women came forward to nail him for being a " alleged " sexual harasser. The more shocking thing is that they paid him his full big ass salary while making him inactive all year, while he tried to weasel his way out of town. Watson was finally traded ,along with a 6th round pick,  and they still got a pretty big haul from the Browns. Three 1rst rounders in 2002, 2023 , and 2024. Also a 4th rounder this year, a 2023 3rd , and another 4th in 2024. In my book the new front office got as much as they could under the circumstances. Previously the new regime had made 2 weird decisions last season before the Watson debacle came about. They signed a lot of low level replacement level free agents to above market value contracts , and they appear to be doing it again this off season. 2nd - they used their first 2021 draft pick ( 3rd rounder at pick # 67) on a QB with a limited college track record &, off the field & injury concerns. Usually a smart team wants to build up the talent along the roster, especially the O-Line before drafting a QB. However , this QB looks like a potential steal right now. It's still too early to make a definitive statement about him , but Davis Mills played very well for a rookie, and its compounded by the below average overall level of talent he had around him. Other than Mac Jones , who has a more limited long term ceiling, no other rookie QB played better than Mills. That's especially note worthy because there were 5 first round QB's in that draft. Not only were the 1rst , 2nd,  4th ,11th, and 15th overall picks QB's ,  but there were 2 other QB's taken right before him at # 64 & # 66. Their other 3rd rounder ( WR Nico Collins ) and 5th round TE Brevin Jordan made some plays as well. So Houston ended up with the #3 pick instead of the #1 like most of us expected. However, if Hutchinson falls here I suspect they will take him, because the only player on their defense who looks to have a guaranteed job for 2002 right now is DE Jonathan Greenard. Thibodeaux has been talking a lot about his brand, and that sounds like the selfish entitled talk that Watson was spewing when he demanded a trade. He measured & tested well at the combine , but refused to do the drills., and that's another warning sign, So I'm guessing they pass on him. Other than the young guys I just wrote about , the bright spots on offense are veterans in Pro Bowl OT Laremy Tunsil , WR Brandin Cooks, and maybe the somewhat surprisingly effective Rex Burkhead. I thought either Tunsil or Cooks could be traded for more draft picks, and Tunsil has a very large contract coming off a down year  , but Tunsil at least is safe after they restructured his deal. I'm sure Davis Mills breathed a sigh of relief. Veteran RT Marcus Cannon could have been traded as well, although he is still serviceable , but they just cut him. There free agent signings and resigning's just seem like more journeyman treading water moves to me, and none of them move the needle so it just looks like another full rebuilding season. Its hard to predict what this so far unpredictable new front office will do, but I guess it depends on how long expect they rebuild to take. With a rebuilding roster ,and unpredictable front office,  I would just go with a safe BPA ( Best Player Available)  approach, but I just have no idea what they will do. They are one of the many teams that would love to trade down , but I doubt anyone would be willing to pay top 5 prices for a trade up in this draft. So they take Travon Walker after he just had a amazingly outstanding NFL combine. Travon will likely be the first Georgia D-Lineman selected after 3 of them just had great workouts in Indy. Walker started out by measuring at 6"5" and 272 pounds with 35 and half inch arms. He then ran a 4.52 forty with a 10 yard split of 1.62. It kept going with a 6.89 three cone, 4.32 short shuttle, a 35.5 vertical , and capped it off with a 10"3" broad jump.  Walker has elite potential , and enough production & versatility to this point to bet on him long term. Walker's great burst off the snap , speed, intelligence , and ideal frame frame off the edge should have teams salivating. His speed to power is ridiculous, but he needs to add more pass rush moves to reach that full potential. Walker also spent plenty of time kicking inside, and even dropped into coverage some, but his best use is plowing forward off the edge. He's probably never going to be a guy who can bend the corner & run the arc outside, but that's not necessary for him to be a top flight edge guy, although he needs more than power to beat the better blockers in the NFL. He can stack blocks and set the edge in the run game, but he still needs work on shedding some of those blocks. He plays plenty of 5 technique too, but I think he would have to be in the 290's to hold up there every down in the NFL, and the fact that he weighed in at 272 makes it less likely now. At 272 he is probably going to be a 4-3 end who kicks inside on some passing downs, and that's where most teams will project him to play this point, but his power against  the run males him a ideal strongside end. With all 3 Georgia D-Lineman I expect to go in the first round the tape is just good, but the potential & great combine workout now make me believe that he will come off the board very early. Plus he played in a system with a lot of read & react ,and gap holding responsibilities. That slows your advance up the field so often that it's hard to make a lot of plays in the backfield. The hope is that if he is in a scheme that allows him to turn it loose he will make a lot more plays. I admit I don't have him this high. He is the 10th player on my board, but I do have 1rst round grade on him, and believe he could go top 5 in a draft like this one.

4.JETS IKEM EKWONU - T/G - NC STATE - 6"4" , 310


Once again the Jets started out a season with a lot of promise and new young talent, and once again they imploded, although injuries could definitely be a big part of the reason. So the hope for a big jump up in 2022 is a reality if they draft well , and use their 44 million in cap space wisely in the free agent market. You can do a lot of damage with the #4 and #10 overall picks, even in a draft like this one. Especially since the top 11 players on my board are the ones I would target above all , regardless of need. They did have a few useful possible free agents that they might want to bring back, including starting safeties Lamarcus Joyner & Marcus Maye. Maye is younger and has a higher upside going forward, but he's a Saint now. With one exception I actually like the judicious way that they are spending their cap money so far. Safety Jordan Whitehead was a lot cheaper than Maye, but is a comparable player. Bringing back Braxton Berrios made sense too, and the deal is fair.    Veteran RT Morgan Moses is now a raven , but they will have one or 2 shots at one the top 4 OT's in this draft with their 2 first rounders. I wish they had brought back Nose Tackle Folorunso Fatukasi , but the Jags paid him more than they were probably comfortable with.  I like TE CJ Uzomah as well, and the price was doable. I like TE Tyler Conklin too, but I didn't see the need to spend 45 million on 2 TE's when they could have signed one vet & drafted a similar player in the 3rd or 4th round for the 2nd TE saving about half of that.  The DJ reed signing gives them a young reliable corner ,  but I would have liked to see them sign him, AND get in on the JC Jackson bidding too. Guard Laken Tomlinson is a seasoned steady Pro with a high floor. I like him,  but they overpaid a 30 year old guard . I get that he is coming off a season where he went to the Pro Bowl.  His only one, and by the way he was a replacement for a guy who couldn't make it.  I also get that Laken is well known to their head coach, but it's just too much money for a player of his caliber.  The Jets still have close to 45 million in cap space so they might not be done, and it's possible they could get to above .500 this year if they keep making the right moves in free agency & the draft. Primary needs are now at least one corner , LB ,OT , and a edge rusher. Although another RB & WR  are lesser needs. If Hutchinson or Walker falls here I think that either will be the pick, but who ever it is I expect it will be on defense where they have a lot more needs. This is a deep edge class so they could easily take one with their next pick , or with one or both of their high 2nd rounders. Maybe they pass on Kayvon Thibodeaux , because he didn't finish his workout and reportedly didn't interview well either. Or maybe they take him because edge rushers are flying off the board quickly, and the top 4 of them are the only ones that I think might go in the top 10 in this draft. I'm going with the OT here , because after I finished the OT's in this draft it was clear to me that the top 2 are in a tier of their own, and because giving Zach Wilson the best chance to succeed should be the Jets top priority. For now I am just going to pick them the best O-Lineman or CB available. Since the OT is higher on my board I went with Ekwonu. I haven't seen a OT with this many highlight reel blocks since Jack Conklin back in 2016, and Icky's are even more brutal. A lot of guys show a mean streak, but it doesn't show up play in & out.  Icky always looks angry on film. He's a mauler in the run game, and it really surprised me with how well he held up in pass protection on the outside this season , despite bad technique & balance issues at times. The former guard kicked out to left tackle this year and flat out dominated with pancakes & de-cletes galore. Worse case scenario is that Icky is a high end guard, but like I said the tape is good enough outside. His arm length ( 34 inches) was also good enough once he officially got measured so he just needs better coaching to be a possible high end OT. In a draft that lacks blue chippers Ikem's high floor as a guard , and high ceiling at tackle or guard, could still see him being drafted in the top 5 , even if he ends up inside at the next level. If they just leave him at one position I expect his technique proficiency would grow quickly.  Especially in a draft that lacks consensus blue chip prospects. He reminds me of a great guard who I think would still be a Pro Bowl player if moved outside to tackle. Icky showed up at the combine at a buff 310 with very little body fat, and had a great workout. I am sure coaches & GM's will be dreaming of Ekwonu causing nightmares for defenders in the screen game. Right now I am betting that the Jags take a OT at #1, and it could very easily end up being Icky, but barring some medical or random off the field incident I can't see him falling past #5. If I were the Jets ( and they make this pick ) I would stick Ekwonu on the blind side ,and move Mekhi Becton to RT. I want my LT to be available. Becton missed 2 games in his first year , and all but the first one in 2021.  Plus, unlike Icky,  Becton had 12 starts at RT in college.  



ANOTHER new head coach for the Giants , but I admit to being a Brian Daboll fan. That makes Daboll the 5th head coach since they let Tom Coughlin go after the 2015 season. 5 coaches in 7 years is not a recipe for success & stability , and none of them got more than a 2 year shot at it. So I am sure Giants fans are praying that they finally found the right guy.  Any guy that can make Josh Allen more accurate might even have been able to help mold Daniel Jones into a good starter , but I just don't see Jones as the future here. Usually a new coach & GM will want their guy at the games most important position, and Jones is  a failed holdover from the old regime. I had them trading their two top 10 picks in this draft for a real élite QB in Russell Wilson earlier in previous mocks, but they didn't pull the trigger and Denver beat them to him. There was been talk of them bringing in former Bears 1rst round bust Mitch Trubisky to compete with Jones after he served as backup for Daboll in Buffalo , but he opted to sign with the Steelers. Who knows? With The crappy O-Line  and questionable play calling he had in Chicago maybe there is something more to see with Trubisky, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money taking that risk.  I don't see a single crucial free agent for this team, but RG Will Hernandez is still young & projectable enough to be brought back if the deal is good for the team. Other than Andrew Thomas at LT none of the O-lineman are safe, but they did sign veteran guard mark Glowinski away from the Colts.  Obviously QB is the biggest need if they don't trade for a veteran , but I can't see these former Bills guys using a top 10 pick on any of this drafts QB's, although they now have a high quality veteran backup in Tyrod Taylor. They lack the cap space to do much more right now. So OT, TE, WR, and even RB if they trade Barkley are all needs on offense. On Defense LB is the biggest need, but if they keep their top 10 picks safety Kyle Hamilton would be a big upgrade. In the top 10 BPA is often the best way to go, and they only have 2 good defensive players they are committed to in Leonard Williams & Adoree Jackson . Even recent big free agent acquisition CB James Bradberry's name has been floated as a potential trade candidate. So one of these CB's could be their guy, and new DC Wink Martindale is a cover one guy who likes to blitz a lot. That means press man corners like Sauce Gardner or Stingley.  Maybe they do keep the picks, start rebuilding the roster, and then look for a QB next year if Daboll can't fix Jones. Or if Jones cant stay healthy again. I would take a OT or edge rusher here. Since the gap between Thibodeaux and the next edge rusher is very large, and the 3rd & 4th OT's on my board have almost identical grades , I will give them Thibodeaux because one of those OT's will definitely be there at #7. Kayvon is a former number one overall high school recruit who hasn't always consistently lived up to his top billing. He looks like he has just a little less size ,  athleticism , flexibility , and football IQ than Hutchinson . On the bright side he can also play well against the run & pass, shows GREAT explosiveness off the snap , has the frame to get bigger, has 3/4 - /4-3 versatility, length , and can even even drop in coverage now and then. However,  he just isn't as consistent ,but he does flash dominance in spurts. His motor isn't quite as good  either,  and he's not as strong as Hutchinson . It's more flashes , and he has disappeared for stretches against some OT's I thought he should dominate. Kayvon  looked occasionally stiff in those games, and he has a tendency to get locked into the fight with a blocker, and his awareness of the ball carrier dims. There are rumors that he was playing hurt , and that would explain some things, but I expected  a wider array of pass rush moves by now . I still like him a lot , but I was expecting his game to get even better in 2021, not the same or a smidge worse.  So while Hutchinson has the slight edge over Thibodeaux after watching tons of tape on both, Thibodeaux is still a potential impact player. Basically other than looking a little longer & quicker off the ball, Hutchinson seems a little better in most other areas.  Kayvon measured & tested well at the combine , but refused to do the drills., and reportedly didn't interview well either. That's another warning sign that could see him fall out of the top 10.  However, he is so talented that I could see a team trading up into the back half of the top 10 to take him as well. Either way the former consensus likely #1 overall pick has steadily fallen a little at a time over the last 4 months. Kayvon could still go in the top 5 , and maybe as high as high as the top 3 if he finds a way to rebuild that stock. One thing is for certain, and no matter how much his agents & their lackeys in the media cry & spread false narratives wont change it. Thibodeaux's has slipped for a lot of teams , and only he can get himself back up the board. There was a time when most thought he would be the #1 ranked player in this draft, and he has the talent to live up to it. Lately with all the talk about his brand &  money he has turned a lot of teams off , but he needs to start showing that he loves football if he wants to be drafted highly.  

6.CAROLINA - CHARLES CROSS - OT - MISS. ST. - 6"5'' , 307


The first thing that needs to be said about the Panthers is that ANY QB would likely fail behind that O-line, as Taylor Mouton is the only one of them who should make a QB feel safe. So if they take a QB here their next 2 picks should be O-Lineman, and they should spend even money in free agency there too.  I was waiting to see if they pull a trade for Deshaun Watson, but they lost out there. So QB is till their top need, but a coach on the hot seat like Rhule can't take a  QB here, unless the owner agrees to give him time to develop him. They had 2 key free agents in edge rusher Haasan Reddick & CB Stephon Gilmore , but getting a better QB trumps all.  They started out free agency well by getting a solid starting guard in Austin Corbett.  FS Xavier Woods is another solid floor guy, but doesn't offer a big upside. They lost Reddick to the eagles, and were basically in a hiring freeze until they see if they can get Watson.  I'm sure many Panthers fans will want me to put Sam Howell here because he was born in N. Carolina , and played there in high school & College. Panthers fans need all the hope & excitement the franchise can muster after the 2021 season was a massive disappointment, and a hometown hero would give them a rallying point. I don't see them selecting Howell here because it's too high. They would have to trade back from here before taking him, trade up into the bottom of the 1rst after taking a OT here, or hope he falls to their 2nd round pick.  So this week I will have them taking a left tackle here and getting Howell in the 2nd. Cross or Penning is the decision , and after Penning ripped up the combine he could go actually this high, but I am sticking with my board here. Charles Cross a redshirt sophomore entering the NFL draft after just 2 years as a starter in college, but all 20 starts were at LT in the SEC. He's also a little light on tape, and you can see him be overpowered at times. He has the high end feet , awareness,  balance , punch , and hand placement to be a blindside protector.  However, you can also see his technique is still a work in progress at times , and he will need to adjust to NFL pass sets. I generally don't like OT's coming out of spread offenses, especially the Air Raid ones, because they are too used to retreating too much off the snap. In the case of Cross he doesn't always retreat enough, which is why speed can cause him some trouble. I like this guy though, especially if he goes to a team with a zone heavy run blocking scheme, because he makes his presence known at the 2nd level, and its hard to find man/gap blocks on his film. Despite his feet getting tangled up at times, and a little bit of trouble with speed rushers , I believe in his long term potential, although it may take him awhile to adjust to a NFL offense. He already added a lot of muscle since arriving on campus , but he needs to keep hitting the weights , and get with a good NFL O-Line coach. Cross did look a little bigger at the combine , and he weighed in at 307 while still having a good workout. Although I admit I didn't expect Icky to beat him out in the testing & drills. With a years reps in a NFL offense and a wider base alone he could be a high end Pro OT. Although Cross is my 3rd ranked OT in this draft ,  he is also currently the best pass blocking OT in the draft on tape. I expect him to go in the top 10 ,  and because different teams have different boards he is probably the top OT on some teams board.   

7.GIANTS-(bears) - TREVOR PENNING - OT - N. IOWA - 6"7" , 325


This is the top 10 pick that I believe has the best chance to be traded, because the Giants are willing to move down the board to get more draft capitol for next year. Why? Besides the widespread belief that next seasons draft is a better one, having 2 first rounders in a class with better QB's will help them get a new one if Daniel Jones doesn't take a big step up this season. There was a large gap between those top 3 tackles and Penning or any other OT on my board before the Senior Bowl & combine, but many had Penning in that tier earlier. To me he is a tick below the top 2 , and now in the 2nd tier with just him and Charles Cross. In fact those 2 are the last 2 OT's in this draft I would be comfortable plugging in from day one to start outside as a rookie right now , and I now expect all 4 of them to go in the top 10. I ended up with a 1rst round grade on him , and guys with this hunter-killer mentality are beloved of coaches everywhere. When you watch a small school player , and you hear that big media scouts expect him to be drafted high, he should be dominating his competition on film. Penning absolutely did. Even if I didn't know his name , number, or even the team that he was on I would have been able to pick him out from every other O-Lineman in the game. He looked like a a big brother playing against his little brothers friends. At the Senior Bowl I was really looking forward to seeing how he handled the better competition. I came away with 2 clear things .1-  He needs better coaching, especially with playing lower, because he can get pushed back quickly by a bull rush in pass pro. Penning gets the job done pretty well in the run game anyway. 2 - He's nasty with a bury them until the whistle mentality if he's winning , no matter what play it isI would bet on him being a good long term starter in the Pros, especially in a man/gap scheme. Penning has the size, strength, length, attitude, and athleticism that teams are looking for.  He lit up the combine too, so he may not even fall this far, and could go off the board as high as #6 overall. All Penning needs is to do is play consistently lower and he's a day starter outside. This is probably the last chance for Daniel Jones to show he deserves to be their long term QB, and Penning could be a big help in making that decision.

8.ATLANTA - KYLE HAMILTON - S/LB - N. DAME - 6"4"  , 220


This is the 2nd year in a row that the falcons have a top 10 pick. They passed on Justin Fields and Mac Jones last season. This might have been their last chance to get a young QB , and still get a decent pick for the aging & immobile Matt Ryan. I figured a team that thinks that they are a QB away from contention, with a defensive minded coach ( Like Ron Rivera of Washington or Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh) that would like a steady hand under center might have given up a 2nd for Ryan , even though he is past his prime.  Well they waited too long to make the decision, and I get that they thought that they had a good chance to get Deshaun Watson, but they lost that bet.  The Falcons had previously announced that they were restructuring Matt Ryan's contract again ,which means no trade , and the single largest single cap number ( 48.612 million) in NFL history. Then they changed their minds when they thought that Watson was a possibility. Ryan himself even agreed to push back a roster bonus to help them out, but after they lost Watson they traded Matty Ice to the Colts for a 3rd rounder , which might have been at his request after the whole Watson debacle. I would have kept Ryan for this year, and drafted Malik Willis, and then see what you could get for Ryan next year. However, that would mean punting this season , and even with the Calvin Ridley suspension I didn't see head coach Arthur Smith going for that . I was wrong , because any Veteran QB they bring in to start, and any rookie they draft won't be as good as Ryan is this year. They decided to sign the talented , but often injured Marcus Mariota. To me that means the over under on his games started is 8 , and that the Falcons will have a top 10 pick for the 3rd year in a row. Right now the Falcons have a astronomical 62+ million in dead money on their salary cap. Plus they are at the point in the draft that a team might even be looking to trade up for a QB, or any player for that matter, and if they get a good offer they should take it. That would surely speed up the rebuild, and the only reason not to do so is if they are in love with a QB that is there at #8, or a player that shouldn't be there falls to them. Isaiah Oliver , Cordarelle Patterson , and Hayden Hurst are the key free agents for Atlanta. So far they resigned Patterson, and lost Hurst to the Bengals. .On offense QB & WR are the clear biggest need, and they lost # 3 WR Russell gage to the Bucs. Although a another O-Lineman or a RB would help too. On defense pretty much every position could use a high draft pick. Even former stud DT Grady Jarrett is starting to show signs of slowing down, and Jarrett ,CB AJ Terrell , and incoming free agent CB Casey Hayward are the only guys who have a guaranteed starting job on that side of the ball. Since the player who has the highest overall grade on my entire board falls to them here at #  8 they grab him. Hamilton is a tall safety with sick hops,  long speed & burst who can cover tons of ground quickly, and he also has high a football IQ. He can play anywhere but interior D-Line. Deep safety, box safety, off the ball LB, edge rusher, blitzer from anywhere , inside & out corner, and the dude is even a good gunner on punt coverage. I think he is at his best in the box near the line of scrimmage where he could be used in a variety of roles.  The only place he struggles is with shifty little slot guys, but big power slots & TE's will have their hands full with him. I had expected a more spectacular combine workout, but the 40 was solid and everything else was still above average. He looks faster than 4.59 in pads on film , and his football IQ & instincts makes him out play that time.   He only played in 7 games this year  , but the tape was fantastic before then. Hamilton is the kind of player that makes everyone around him better, could be one of the leaders of the Falcons defense very quickly, and a cornerstone player for the franchise long term. 


9.SEAHAWKS-(broncos) -AHMAD GARDNER - CB - CINCINNATTI - 6"3" , 190


It turned out to be true that the Seahawks weren't going to move on from Pete Carroll & John Schneider,  because they don't want to pay their buyouts,  then Russell Wilson had a good reason to want out. I'm the last guy to put up with spoiled and/or greedy athletes trying to force their way out of a city when they don't get their way, but I actually agree with Wilson on this one. He has a ring, actually lived up to his new contract ( unlike many other recently highly paid QB'S) when he got it, and he has been one of the 5 best QB's in the game for awhile. Plus, he is the best player on that offense, and they should let him be the offensive focus instead of trying to run the ball when they can't do it well. Not to mention no QB has been hit as many times as Russ since he came into the league, and I'm sure he is tired of running for his life right after the ball is hiked. Wilson didn't look like his usual excellent self for the first few games when he rushed back too early from a finger surgery that cost him 4 games, but in the last 3 games of the season we saw him return to form.  It's time to get a younger QB who can take the beating Wilson probably can't anymore , and one who might still be willing to drink the Pete Carroll Koolaid. They reportedly turned down a big offer from Washington, but something tells me that it wasn't enough , or that Wilson and his no trade clause would have refused to go there.  So while I previously called the Wilson trade it was to the wrong team , and I also had the Broncos trading for a elite veteran QB, but again the wrong one. In this case they will be bringing back Drew Lock in the trade , although I don't believe anyone see's him as the long term answer, but at least he could be a veteran backup with some starting experience.  Plus Lock is definitely the least valuable asset coming back to the hawks in the deal. I believe that they will probably select a QB on day 2 or 3 of the draft instead of using the #9 overall pick on a. Remember that Wilson himself was a 3rd rounder. This was the total haul in picks and players in the trade. The Broncos traded their 1rst (#9)  , 1rst next year, their own 2nd rounder in this years draft (#40) and a 2nd rounder in next years draft , this years 5th rounder and TE Noah Fant , DT Shelby Harris, and QB Drew Lock , to the Seahawks for Russell Wilson and their 4th rounder this year. I think those pick can make it a quick rebuild if they hit on them , and it's definitely a rebuild because they released future HOFer Bobby Wagner on the same day. Wagner was coming off what was a down year for him.  He is still a top 10 LB in this league , but  a rebuilding team doesn't need a over 30 LB who might be on the decline with a 16.6 million cap hit. They took a 26 million dead cap hit on the Wilson trade , but are saving about 13 million by cutting Wagner. I'm betting Bobby gets a deal north of 10 million a year soon. The Seahawks only had 4 free agents that played important roles for them last year. Safety Quandre Diggs is probably the most worthy of a decent sized extension, and they rewarded him with one. CB Sidney Jones & DT Al Woods were brought back too, and I think they got him both at a bargain price. They also resigned TE Will Dissly , and he is a good player when heathy, but he has never shown himself to be worth 3 years and 24 million in his 4 year career. OT's Duane Brown & Brandon Shell are also up. The Hawks have tried for many years to get Russell Wilson better O-Lineman, through the draft , free agency, and even trades. However, the only one who has worked out to be above average in the last 5 years is Duane Brown, and he was a former Pro Bowler over 30 when they traded for him. Brown is 36 now, past his prime, and highly paid. Odds are Brown will want to be paid more than he is currently worth in free agency, and the Seahawks can get a younger & cheaper high end replacement for him here if they choose Trevor Penning.  Since Shell is also a free agent,  he's coming a off a decent season ,  is 6 years younger than Brown , and cheaper I might choose him over Brown.  I think a new LT should be a their priority.  While they have a interesting Penning has the nasty run game mentality that Pete Carroll will love.  However, he is  defensive coach at heart, and I think that's where he will want to go a defender he loves is available.  With Derek Stingley JR. still being hurt , and unable to workout at the combine I will give them the consensus top corner available, although Gardner would probably Carroll's choice anyway.  " Sauce" Gardner is a almost ridiculously physical corner, and like #8 overall CB Jaycee Horn last year, I really wonder about the number of flags he will get in the NFL. Even though they are much more lenient with contact down the field in Collège I felt he should have had a blatantly obvious minimum 5 PI's per game I watched . While watching Senior bowl coverage I heard one of the announcers say that Sauce was their number one corner, and I believe it, but I still think if Stingley's medicals check out he should go first. Since Stingley still wasn't healthy enough to even workout at the combine I am putting Sauce as the 1rst CB off the board now too. Gardner is tall , put together like a prototype dream #1 CB in Pete Carrol's cover 3. He's ideally suited if you want to run more press man, and he's also good in off coverage. Sauce is extremely grabby , even when he doesn't need to be, and is my 3rd ranked corner behind Stingley , and Mcduffie. However I do have a clear first round grade on him , and I expect him to be a top 10 pick. Gardner's technique needs a overhaul, and his feet & hips are nothing special to me. However, his physicality, head games, toughness, tenacity, football IQ, and ability to attack the football get him through a lot of tricky situations. Most important are his results, and this guy has NEVER allowed a TD to a opposing receiver in over 3 years!  It's not always pretty , but the dude shuts receivers down very well, even against Bama. It got to the point this year where they would barely throw at him. That's even more impressive, because even though Gardner was the unanimous AAC defensive player of the year , the other corner opposite him ( Coby Bryant ) won the Thorpe Award for best DB in all of college football. Sauce is also a high character guy on & off the field, and rebuilding teams really need young leadership.  I expect the same thing this year when he is the head coach, and Sauce is a perfect fit .He's basically a Richard Sherman clone with more speed. That's Pete's fantasy corner.  

10.JETS-(seattle)- JERMAINE JOHNSON - DE/OLB - FLA ST. - 6"5" , 254


So I will go with Johnson here. Georgia has so many good players on defense, that they run a pretty heavy rotation of players , especially off the edge. While that helps their longevity , it some cases it can also prevent them from getting enough playing time & experience to shine.  Jermaine transferred to Florida state this year , and he was a boss on the field for the Seminoles, despite his lack of experience. Really smart and stronger than I expected to set his the edge in the run game , and played low & strong there. Not only did he kill it at the Senior Bowl ,  I think he was the best player there in the first 2 real practices, and he looked like he had been developing his pass rush moves since the season ended. A nice big frame with long arms, but on tape he needs a wider array of pass rush moves that take advantage of his athleticism & violent hands. We are always predicting guys from a limited sample size to break out next season when they get more snaps , and are often disappointed, but Johnson exceeded any prediction out there this year. Once he gets coached up and gets the reps to keep improving his awareness I expect Pro Bowls in his future. Right now I have a low first round grade on , but in this draft he could legitimately go in the top 10. Robert Selah's defense depends on pressure by the front 4 to be good , as you saw when he was the DC in Frisco. Well there wasn't nearly enough pressure up front in 2021, and the defense was terrible. Adding Johnson to a ( hopefully heathy ) Carl Lawson could get the defense running the way Selah needs. 



As it is almost every year the Redskins ... er I mean commanders need a QB...Oops scratch that too  , because Washington just traded for a QB , but I will get to that in a little bit. They have had a few good ones in the last 40 years.  Joe Theisman , Kirk Cousins , a great rookie year from RG3 before he got hurt , and a past his prime Doug Williams had a great Superbowl . However, they have ONLY had a top notch long term franchise type QB twice. Since those 2 are Sammy Baugh , who died at the age of 94 in 2008 , and Sonny Jurgensen is 87 that tells you just how long its been since they have had QB locked down. If I were them I would have thrown my hat in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes after their Russell Wilson offer was rejected. However, I think their owner is more worried about finding a way to keep his franchise after his sexual harassment scandal ,and adding a QB accused of the same won't help there. They just gambled and lost on a first round QB a few years back, and sadly Dwayne Haskins seemed to be more interested in the nightlife than he was in the playbook. You never really know how a fresh out of college young man will react when you hand him millions of guaranteed dollars , which is why they are pursuing a veteran QB now. Since this is also a underwhelming QB class I get the trade, but not the price paid. 5 years ago Wentz was on his way to a MVP when he got hurt. Since then his play has been up & down, and until last year he was racked with injuries. Last year he was solid until the final 2 weeks of the season when they needed him to make a few plays to get them in the playoffs , and he didn't come through. Whatever narrative the COLTS are putting out there this season is irrelevant. Mark My words- This is owner driven. Billionaire owner Jim Irsay gets his blood up and likes to tweet out guarantees about winning that he has no possible way of fulfilling.  He is not a player or coach, and therefore what happens on the field won't be changed by him. He is not even one of the few knowledgeable about football owners, although they tend to overestimate their knowledge, and get in the way of far more competent people trying run the franchise.  Now he is embarrassed because he wrote a check with his mouth that the players & coaches certainly didn't endorse, and couldn't cash. Owners almost never blame themselves for their actions, and so Wentz got the brunt if it. If wanting a championship and being willing to throw money at one to win it got them then Washington Daniel Snyder & Dallas owner Jerry Jones would have a few in the last 20 years by now. It's the high price paid that surprises  me. The Colts front office was desperate to fulfill the owners wishes and dump Wentz's contract. Colts GM Chris Ballard got a great deal for someone they couldn't keep  , but I guess Washington was even more desperate than they were, and Ballard is apparently much smarter than the Washington front office too. A 3rd rounder or the swap of 2nds should have been more than enough. Instead he got two 3rd rounders, and one that can become a 2nd if Wentz plays enough in year two, AND they got to move up 5 spots in the 2nd round.  That's straight robbery of a desperate team, but getting the best deal is part of his job.  Washington actually have over 30 million in cap space, and only guard Brandon Scherff was a key free agent. Scherff is 30 now, and still a great player when healthy , but he has missed 8 , 5, 3, and 5 games over the last 4 seasons. He is also now a jaguar , and he got paid well too.  Solid safety Bobby McCain was brought back , and it was a fair deal for both sides. Bringing in veteran guard Andrew Norwell is a move I like. Even though Norwell is past his prime years , but he is still a solid starter , and since they got him for about 5 million a year it's a good deal. The last bit of solid news was them being able to keep 3rd down back JD Mckissic who excels as a receiver, after he initially was going to the Bills .  Washington needs multiple DB's & LB's on defense, and that's after drafting LB Jamin Davis & CB Benjamin St-Juste in the1rst & 3rd round last year , because he had a bad rookie season. So Nakobe Dean , Trent Mcduffie , or a WR make the most sense at this spot.I am going to give them a WR because it would help a lot of you couldn't double team Terry Mclaurin, and they have their choice of all the WR's here. So I am going to give them my top rated WR in the draftFirst off I want to say that I love this guys game, because he is balls out, but his lack of size made me think he could fall some. Then he ran a 4.38 at the combine.  I honestly expected the mid to high 4.4s , and I never thought he would beat out teammate Chris Olave ( 4.39), who looks faster on tape. He's a smooth route runner , and can make things happen with the ball in his hands in open space, and its surprising that such a average sized guy makes so many highlight reel catches.  Although there are some focus drops littered in there as well. He's tough too, and will even break some tackles. Plus he just gets open with sudden explosion out of his breaks. If not Wilson, a other WR like Drake London might fit too. 

12.VIKINGS ** - DEREK STINGLEY - CB - LSU - 6ft. , 190


The Vikings missed their window, and then instead of going full rebuild they tried a quick reload, and it just didn't work well enough for the coach and GM to keep their jobs. Its too bad because I thought Zimmer & Speilman did a good job under the circumstances , but unfortunately the owner thought differently. Its unknown if they are going to rebuild or not right now, but with Kirk Cousins giant cap number he once again had a NFL team over a barrel, and he got another 35 million out of them for next year. I think its time to start thinking about drafting his successor . 2021 third round QB Kellen Mond's rookie year made him look like a wasted pick so far, and I doubt they are counting on him taking over long term. Plus he was drafted by the old regime so he better strut his stuff for the new coach or they will definitely be searching for a new heir apparent QB.  They might even take a QB now if one they like falls here, but if they trade back and gather more picks for next season where the QB class is expected to better , than they are looking toward the future. The best time to get a new QB is in the beginning of a new era, with a new head coach & GM tied to no one. They have some possible key free agents in Anthony Barr, Patrick Peterson , and Sheldon Richardson. However ,  they are all gonna be 30 plus next season and none have been brought back yet.  They also signed veteran DT Harrison Phillips & LB Jordan Hicks , and lost serviceable safety Xavier Woods. In my opinion the edge was the biggest need on defense, but they signed Za'Darius Smith to fill that void. Plus this draft is so deep in edge rushers they can get a good one in the 2nd ,and maybe even 3rd rounds. So that makes CB a bigger need now. On offense right guard and center are weaknesses , but their is only one interior O-Lineman that might be available at #12 that is worth picking.  Going with even more youth could be the smart long term play.  I think it highly unlikely that the Vikings will sign up for center Garrett Bradbury's 5th year option. I was a fan of the former first rounder when he was drafted, but he hasn't lived up to his draft status.  His struggles with bigger nose tackles  have put him in the bottom 3rd in the league at center. So Tyler Linderbaum makes sense to me, especially since they lost C/G Mason Cole to the Steelers,  but I think they go with the corner.   Stingley had one of the great seasons of any college corner as a TRUE freshman , but since then he has been injured a lot and his play has suffered some. If you believe he can regain his freshman level of play he is easily worth a top 5 pick as shutdown corner. He looks to have the speed ,  length , feet, hips,  and smoothness to be that guy. Although I think he needs to get a little stronger , and be more physical to make it as a true shutdown corner in the NFL. His medicals will probably decide where he goes. Stingley could be a top 5 pick, or the 3rd-5th corner taken in the first round, because Lisfranc injuries can be worrisome in the long term.. Since he still isn't healthy enough to workout at the combine I had to move him down the board some. Stingley is still my number one corner right now , because I will wait to hear about his medicals & see if he works out before the draft before making that decision, but for now he falls some. If they resign future HOFer , a tough guy & fellow LSU alum , Patrick Peterson to mentor him it only makes even more sense. 

13.TEXANS-(browns)- TYLER LINDERBAUM - C - IOWA - 6"2" , 296


Even though the Texans resigned veteran center Justin Britt  that was before they acquired this pick, and Britt's contract is nothing to worry about. Linderbaum is the best center prospect I have seen since Nick Mangold if you are a primarily zone blocking team. He is a different type of center than Mangold though, as he is more in the Jason Kelce / Corey Linsley mode. Tyler is a very athletic guy who can make blocks on the move that few centers can, even in the NFL. He could stand to add another 5 pounds of muscle to improve his anchor, but his technique, hand placement, feet , and athleticism are all top notch for the position.  As a matter of fact , I will say if you run a zone heavy scheme Linderbaum is a once a decade center in my book. He moves like a defensive end instead of a O-Lineman, and only Kelce can do that in the NFL today. When he latches on to a guy its usually over, and his understanding of leverage is top notch. Tyler is a smart athletic technician who can make reach blocks, pull, move his man around, combo block , and destroy at the 2nd level. He is the ideal center for a stretch zone scheme. He's not the biggest guy so you can't expect him to move a 3-4 nose tackle off the ball by himself, but there aren't 5 centers in todays NFL who can do that. His size doesn't bother me , but the 31 and and 1/8 inch arms will bother many teams , and he could fall some after that measurement & his failure to workout at the combine. In pass pro he's got a great punch, can make all the calls, and has great awareness , but he can get walked back by some bigger DT's. On top of all that he has a characteristic that usually predicts great NFL players, and it very simple . He got noticeably better every season. A very good 2019, followed by a great 2020, and even better 2021 makes Tyler a slam dunk for the Texans here.



The Ravens 2021 season was derailed by injuries, especially to their key players, but their vaunted corners were hit the hardest. Marcus Peters missed the whole season, Jimmy Smith missed 7 games, and Marlon Humphtrey missed 5. Plus Pro Bowl LT Ronnie Stanley missed 16 games, and Lamar Jackson missed 5 down the stretch. Their cap situation is OK, but they have some tough decisions to make on key older vets like Calais Campbell , Jimmy Smith , Brandon Williams, and Justin Houston. 3 out of the 4 played well, and if they want to compete for a ring in 2022 at least 2 or 3 need to be brought back. Or they could save their money , start a youth movement , and put some cash aside for a Jackson contract extension. Plus center Bradley Bozeman is also a FA, and coming off his best season as a pro. On offense their biggest needs are on the O-Line, as they could use both a guard and tackle. On defense it could be anywhere.  Considering that Jimmy Smith is almost 34 and is a free agent I think corner will be a priority. Since the Ravens are one of the most well run teams in the game I thought they could be the first team to trade for Cowboys OT La'el Collins ( The chargers , Saints , Steelers if they stay at #20 , Raiders , Bills, Dolphins, and Bengal's should all be getting in line for him )  , and Baltimore had the cap space  ( over 16 million) to absorb his bargain 10 million contract. Then they signed veteran OT Morgan Moses to play RT now, and signed young stud safety Marcus Williams away from the Saints so that is probably out. So they either take a plugging nose guard like Jordan Davis , or a edge rusher like Karlaftis. Since Za'darius Smith left them at the alter I am going to go with the defensive end. I really like George Karlaftis , and think he could fill yyhe void for the Ravens. Karlaftis is a great bull rusher off the edge with a lot of violent shock in his hands when he makes initial contact, but I think he could be even better as a fulltime 3 technique because he lacks the burst & bend to run the arc outside regularly. At the very least he could be a run down edge who kicks inside in passing situations. They could kick him inside at times to give Cox or Hargrave a blow this season , and really get in the opposing QB's face. He also needs to work on his stack & shed with blockers, but he still makes play the occasional splash play against the run. There were rumors that he has short arms for his height, which another reason I believe he profiles better inside, and they were confirmed at the combine. He worked out well on the drills he did in Indy, but it was disappointing to me that he didn't finish them all. He gets enough pressure to be dangerous, is disruptive in the back field, and I have a first round grade on him. Nobody with a first round grade should fall very far in this draft. His high octane motor , ability to counter quickly , and versatility are his best selling points. Anytime a offense has to game plan against you , and that happened a lot this year, you make everyone around you better. Karlaftis would be a asset for any team. 

15.EAGLES-(miami) DEVIN LLOYD - LB - UTAH - 6"3' , 237


The Eagles is brass is publicly saying that they are sticking with Jalen Hurts at QB, and you could definitely make the case that he did enough this year to hold onto the the job. They did make the playoffs , and there were a lot of drops from his receivers last season. You can also make the case that he still lacks accuracy and quick reads as a passer. This is the first of 3 eagles 1rst rounders in the next 5 picks, and a QB they like may fall to them , but I believe they accumulated all these picks to trade up for a QB.  They might also have the ammo to go after a Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, and both are definite upgrades over Hurts. Plus , Hurts is having ankle surgery this off season. If one of those picks had ended up in the top 10 I think their chances of getting either QB in a trade would be much better, but with the division rival giants having 2 in the top 10 ( 5th and 7th overall) , I doubt they are first in line in a trade for either. If they don't trade for , or a take a QB high this year ,  they may trade one of the this years first rounders to a team that will give them a 2023 1rst rounder in case they want to go after a QB upgrade next season. Derek Barnett is still young enough , that I thought they might be able to talk themselves into believing that he might finally reach his potential , and they did resign him to a 2 year deal. Their current free agent crown jewel is edge rusher Hassan Reddick, and I love the signing. There has been talk about perennial Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce retiring for a couple of years now, and he WAS a free agent , but the Eagles made him the highest paid center in the league so he's back again. That means Kelce clone Tyler Linderbaum is probably a no for any of their three 1rst rounders now. Future HOFer Fletcher Cox is still a very good pass rusher, and a legend for the Eagles franchise. I was shocked when they just outright cut him in a salary cap relief move, but at least they brought him back on a one year deal. I'm giving them a LB because God knows they need at least one. I know that some will say that this guy can be Micah Parsons, but I don't see it , but I guess he could be lesser version. Both are large LB's for todays game, versatile, and physical. Lloyd is a good athlete  , pass rusher, and blitzer. Parsons is a great athlete  pass rusher , and blitzer. Lloyd occasionally has trouble getting ball carriers to the ground, but people generally go backwards when Parsons makes contact. The place where Lloyd has the edge is his instincts in coverage , especially against TE's. Both are still developing there football IQ's at LB , but I would say Lloyd is much farther along there, because he sees it faster than Parson most times. Lloyd still needs to learn to take better angles to the ball carrier ,but when he is unblocked he gets there quickly and finishes the guy.  He stacks & sheds pretty well ,despite being too high too often, but he also runs around a lot of blocks. He also needs to either play less reps or pump his gas tank up some. You see him dragging a little at the end of the 2nd & 4th quarters at times. His tape can be inconsistent  , because occasionally he looks great in space , and other times he's a bit herky jerky like he's of 2 minds of what to do. In a normal draft I would expect him to go in the bottom 3rd of the first round, but he could slip into the top 10 in this one. He was very productive this year, and his high upside & high floor make him the odds on favorite to be the 1rst off the ball LB off the board. I like Nakobe Dean slightly more. However, since Dean skipped the combine workout testing & still didn't do the athletic testing at his Pro day, I am now even more sure that Lloyd is going first.

16.EAGLES-(colts)** - DRAKE LONDON - WR - USC - 6"4" , 219


I don't think it's a coincidence that Jalen Hurts does only has average accuracy. While London lined up inside and out , I think he did his best work in the slot and in the end zone. So I like him primarily as a power slot, which is a good thing because the NFL was dominated by a power slot this year in Cooper Kupp. Like Kupp , London is a good route runner & blocker. Drake also has the hands, toughness, and body control to make the difficult contested catches that few excel at. I am not saying he is Kupp, because he doesn't have his quickness & is leaner , but London has a ridiculously wide catch radius that few can match. Before the ankle injury that ended Drakes season in the 8th game he already had 88 catches , 1084 yards , and 7 TD's. That's ridiculous production for 8 games, and he didn't even finish the 8th game ! The former USC Basketball player attacks the ball like he's getting a rebound, and his play went through the roof in 2021 after he gave up basketball. Its fair to speculate that his best football still might be ahead of him.  He gets just enough separation at the top of his route that he probably needs the kind of QB that is willing to throw into tight windows. London wasn't healed enough to run at the combine, and that could work to his advantage , because speed was his biggest question mark. So I still think he goes somewhere in the 1rst round , and that he would be the ideal fit for this QB.



The Chargers had over 57 million in cap room , and they have been making moves like they are going ALL IN. I think they should upgrade at RT in free agency.  This team is ready to compete now, and I don't think they want to risk Justin Herberts health on a guy that might take awhile to settle in as a starter outside.  They resigned WR Mike Williams even though Williams just hasn't become the #1 NFL WR we all hoped for when he was drafted in the first round 5 years ago, but he is a good #2 WR , and is coming off his best season as a Pro. Their actual # 1 WR ( Keenan  Allen) is heading into his age 30 season as well, and while he has been pretty healthy for 5 years running , father time is STILL undefeated. They drafted Josh Palmer in the 3rd in 2021 , and he showed a lot of promise when he was used. Trading for edge rusher Khalil Mack to pair with Joey Bosa gives them the best tandem of edge rushers in the league if both are healthy, although they did let promising young edge Uchenna Nwosu leave to Seattle . Then they shelled out over 80 million for the best free agent CB on the market in JC Jackson. DT's Austin Jhonson & Sebastian Joseph-Day were brought in too, and they are solid enough rotational pieces, but neither is the kind of guy that I would expect to anchor the middle of their porous run defense. In a draft like this one I would want to make sure I get a guy with a definite first round grade, and replacing journeyman RG Oday Aboushi with a young plug N play guard would be a good idea, so Zion Johnson & Kenyon Green are possibilities.. If I were them I would take NT Jordan Davis to shore up their run defense if he fell here. With all 3 Georgia D-Lineman I expect to go in the first round the tape is just good, but the potential & great combine workout now make me believe that he will come off the board very early. Plus he played in a system with a lot of read & react ,and gap holding responsibilities. That slows your advance up the field so often that it's hard to make a lot of plays in the backfield. The hope is that if he is in a scheme that allows him to turn it loose he will make a lot more plays.Davis is a legit humongous human being who is far quicker than anyone that big has a right to be, and he's not fat either , but I thought his gas tank would be better if he dropped 15-20 pounds to improve it. It looks like he lost it before the combine. He has a anchor like a pillar of stone, and is the proverbial immoveable object in the middle of the defense. He is the king of 2 gapping Nose tackles, and in a draft that might shockingly have 4 nose tackles drafted in the top 100 , he's the one with the highest upside. Even when he plays too high he just , adjust  , re-anchors, sits down and holds his ground. Many will see him as only a 2 down run stuffer, and watching the tape does give that impression ,  but I don't blame him for it. Georgia has the biggest rotation on defense of any big program , and they have so much talent on that side of the ball that they can afford to sub him out with other blue chippers on a regular basis. I honestly would have taken him out of I had Jalen Carter  & Devonte Wyatt available to rush the passer instead. So no, he is not a great pass rusher right now, but he didn't really get the chance to show it much either , and he has a lot more range down the line than I expected . I never saw a game where he even played half the snaps , and he was almost always subbed out on obvious passing situations.  With his size , strength , and heavy hands , all you need him to do is just keep collapsing the pocket. Davis could be that rare 3 down nose tackle in the NFL, and with so many smaller zone centers in the NFL he is a mismatch that requires a double team. With all 3 Georgia D-Lineman I expect to go in the first round the tape is just good, but the potential & great combine workout now make me believe that he will come off the board very early. Plus he played in a system with a lot of read & react ,and gap holding responsibilities. That slows your advance up the field so often that it's hard to make a lot of plays in the backfield. The hope is that if he is in a scheme that allows him to turn it loose he will make a lot more plays. Plus he had the most amazing combine workout I have ever seen. He showed up in great shape  at Indy, and looked a little slimmer than he did on film this year. How a 6"6" 340 pound man ran a 4.78 forty & a 1.68 ten yard split is beyond me, Those are Superhero numbers for that size! They confirm that he has the ability to get up the field if given the chance. He could go even higher, but for now I will leave him here because there just isn't tape showing it. 


NFL PLAYER COMP - a righty MICHAEL VICK - retired

Two teams have been going all in for the last 4 years. The Rams and the Saints. The Rams pulled it off , and since they got the ring it was worth it. The Saints didn't , and now that bill has come due.  The Saints had 2 key free agents in OT Terron Armstead & Safety Marcus Williams, and that's without even addressing the QB situation. Both of those guys signed elsewhere.  Jameis Winston was resigned as well, but it's the kind of deal they can't get out of after one year. So Tayson Hill won't get a chance to be the every down guy, but he hasn't shown the consistency  as a passer, or the ability to stay healthy just yet.  If they had changed the offense to fit Hill's running ability even more I figure he would just get hurt more often, and the word out of New orleans is that Hill will be primarily a TE in 2021. So if they fall in love with a QB here that could be the pick. Armstead missed 11 games last year so I get them not matching what he got from Miami. There is no way one of the top 2 OT's ( Neal, Ekwonu) falls to them ,  and now Charles Cross & Trevor Penning will be gone too. When healthy ( missed 11 games last year alone ) Andrus Peat has been pretty bad for 4 years in a row., and is no longer worth his hefty salary. The Saints could have saved over 7 million by cutting him, and then starting to  take their long overdue cap hits to reset their entire salary cap , but they chose to restructure his deal and put more dollars onto future caps.  AGAIN.. Resigning Williams makes more sense because of his youth, but there had to be a lot of sacrifices made to field a competitive team in 2022, even if they have a great defense again. Well Williams signed with the ravens, but that shouldn't shock anybody because the the ravens front office people are just generally smarter than other teams decision makers.  On the bright side they got a cheaper , but still potentially decent replacement in Marcus Maye. Although Maye was having his worst year on the field before he tore his Achilles last year, and Williams was a much better player last season. Before 2021 Maye was one of the better safeties in the league , but he is almost 3 years older than Williams , and coming of the kind of injury that often hampers performance in the long term. In that case they might as well take a QB if they can't trade down. Malik has by far the most upside , and you could win some games with a stripped down offense modified to his ridiculous athletic talents. It worked for Carolina before with Newton, and it worked with Josh Allen in Buffalo. However,  Willis doesn't have the size to survive the pounding they did , and I think the best thing his new team can do for him is sit him behind a experienced veteran for a year of tutoring. The way same Mahomes sat behind Alex Smith and Carson Palmer sat behind John Kitna. He could run the Taysom Hill version pretty well too.  Plus, Frisco just did it with Garoppolo & Trey Lance. This guy has the strongest arm, the plus speed & running ability of a NFL starting RB, but he's just raw. His inconsistency is glaring enough that he will make a throw few NFL QBs can pull off , and then make a terrible decision & throw on the same drive. He is incredibly dynamic with his legs too. Whether it's a play where he's supposed to move the pocket, a RPO , a scramble , or a designed run , he is a threat to take it to the house on every play. He played at a small school,  his mechanics needs to be overhauled,  and he needs a year long class in reading defenses. Too bad Drew Brees and Sean Payton aren't around to help school him in it. Maybe you give him a Trey Lance package this year if their veteran QB's are healthy ,and just let him absorb the finer aspects of being a PRO QB. If I had a veteran QB with only a year or 2 left on his deal, and wanted to take a chance on his successor in this draft Willis would be my guy, because he as by far the highest ceiling of any QB in the draft. He reminds me of a QB who took the Falcons to the Superbowl, but he doesn't have that Falcons Vick upside. Nope. Willis has a higher upside than the young knucklehead version of Vick before he went to jail . I mean the upside of the Vick who grew up after spending time in the clink. The Vick who finally learned how to read defenses from Andy Reid in Philly , who did win the Offensives Player Of The Year Award, and who just missed the MVP award. If I could have a shot at that QB under the right circumstances , like the ones I just wrote about , in a 22 or 23 year old body I would jump at it. He was his usual up & down inconsistent self in the Senior Bowl practices, but he did make progress and got more consistent by the day. With Willis showing that  progress, interviewing well in Mobile & at the combine , he could easily be the #1 QB on on a lot more boards.  In the Senior Bowl game he still did most of his damage with his wheels  but a lot of unpolished QB's have come in with a modified offense and had early success in the NFL in the last 15 years. Matt Ryan , Joe Flacco, Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , RG3 , Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Josh Allen , and Lamar Jackson all started out with a modified offense. All had some success early too. Usually they only had to read half the field early on, and the coach catered the offense to what they already did well. Maybe in a few years Willis can read the whole field, and you can run your whole offense, but in the mean time you could still win games with this guy. 



Mcduffie is the most polished corner in this draft. He is only about average size for the position , but he is versatile enough to play well in man or zone. If you watch the 2021 tape no other corner sticks with and mirrors his man as well as Mcduffie. Washington has put a lot of good corners into the NFL over the last few years , and he has the highest floor of them all. Great feet , attacks the ball , fluid hips , ball skills, and a straight man against the run. I think he would be best in a primarily cover 2 scheme, but in addition to being scheme diverse & fierce, Trent can play the slot or outside. On top of that he can return some kicks & punts. Teams avoided throwing at him , and I would like to see what he does more against big WR's , but he is my number 2 overall corner.


NFL PLAYER COMP -  a righty MARK BRUNELL - retired

Goodbye Big Ben! Even though you were a shell of your former awesome self at the end, you are a HOFer , and you were once a stud. I thank you for the memories, and hope you enjoy your long earned rest in retirement. The Steelers still have a potential playoff team with just some basic competent QB play, because they made it this year, and that's all Ben had left at the end. Plus that young O-Line should be better in the 2nd season together, but that's if they can keep them together.  On the bright side the Steelers are now out of salary cap hell, and actually are about 30 million under the cap before free agency starts. Center JC Hassenauer & RG Trai Turner are both free agents. They are both relatively young, and solid starter at this point in their careers , although Turner used to be a lot better. I doubt either is brought back after they brought in James Daniels from the bears &  Mason Cole from the Vikings. Both  can play center or guard, as can current center Kendrick Green. I'm pretty sure Daniels will be a guard in Pittsburgh, but I'm not sure which of the other 2 starts at center. The only other free agent that I would try to bring back is Joe Haden, but he is near the end, so it would need to be a team friendly deal.  CB Levi Wallace was signed away from Buffalo, and he's a lot younger than Haden, so Joe may be done there. As was RT Chukwuma Okorafor , but they paid him a lot for what he's done. He's young so maybe his best football is still ahead of him. Another young player in DT Montravius Adams was aloi resigned, and so all signs point to the Steelers prioritizing getting younger now that Roethlisberger is gone. On that note CB Akhello Witherspoon is coming back too. We all know that Pittsburgh wants a QB, but it's debatable that they will draft one in the first round. Or maybe if they do draft one in the 1rst ,do they trade up, or even trade down. Do they give Mason Rudolph a shot?  He was almost decent back in his rookie year, but he could only pull off a tie against Detroit in his one start this season, and that's not a ringing endorsement.  There was been talk of the Giants bringing in former Bears1rts round bust Mitch Trubisky to compete with Jones after he served as backup for Daboll in Buffalo , but he opted to sign with the Steelers. Plus they threw a tender  on Dwayne Haskins. That's 3 QB's, and that's all teams usually max out with on the 53 man roster. Who knows? With The crappy O-Line  and questionable play calling he had in Chicago maybe there is something more to see with Trubisky, but I wouldn't have spent this much money( 2 years and 14.25 million )  taking that risk. They are now protected if they can't get a QB they like , and locking down 3 QB's would be a brilliant smoke screen if they did draft a QB in the 1rst round.  I think they would love Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett to fall to pick #20, but they may have to trade up to get him, and I'm not sure a team with this many needs wants to pay that price. This time I say Pickett fall sin their laps. Many teams would happily trade for a veteran backup with staring experience like Rudolph  if they get Pickett. Kenny is the #1 QB on my board  if I was a head coach like Tomlin trying to win now. Kenny is the most ready to play from day one. QB's are regularly over drafted, and Picketts ranking is NOT in the top 10 either. In fact none of these QB's have first round grades on my board. This years Senior Bowl featured Howell , Pickett , Willis and in total 5 of my top 6 draft eligible QB's.  I figured at least one of those guys, and maybe even 2 or 3 should  have risen up out of that group, but nobody really separated themselves.  Pickett is a 5th year Senior that was only still playing in college because of the extra year players were granted once Covid hit. It was a great decision, because based on last years tape he looked like a 5th or 6th rounder to me heading into the season. This guy isn't Joe Burrow, who was a late transfer student who barely had time to learn the LSU old school offense in 2018, and then took off with a full year & off season under Joe Brady's new more modern system in 2019. The 2021 season was Pickett's 4th year as the starter at Pittsburgh, and its hard to know for sure why the light suddenly came on, but 4 year starters from power 5 conferences are extremely rare. You would think it was a heaven can wait type body switch if your watching the film of the 2 seasons back to back. So I went back to 2018 and it was just like a less developed version of 2019 film to me. Maybe with a full off season and a regular season that WASN'T derailed by Covid he would have this type of season in 2020, but there is no way of knowing that for sure. Part of me wonders if he was just so much older and mature than the younger guys he was playing against , and that gave him a big edge. Like a high school Senior playing only against freshmen & sophomores on the JV team. The pass protection was much better this year for one thing , and I believe we saw a lot more NFL throws on his tape because of it, but his awareness in the pocket seemed improved too. The 2021 tape is first round though, but its really hard to base a grade off one year of tape unless the tape is spectacular like Burrows was.  Kenny has all the tools , but a plus arm to succeed, although the arm is solid. However, since the HOF fame is full of average arm QB's , and the first 2 on my ALL Time ( Brady & Montana)  QB's list don't have big arms, it's still eminently doable.  Also, I see Pickett having the quickest reads & accuracy for the NFL game of all these QB's. His newly featured mobility definitely helps a lot in todays game, especially since he showed the ability to make clean throws on the move. He's a solid 6"3", but rumors about small hands persisted, and it did seem to show up in the bad weather on the first day of Senior Bowl practice. Then again everybody at the Senior Bowl except Malik Willis & Sam Howell had trouble throwing the ball through the weather on that day.  Right now Pickett is my 2nd QB in the draft , slightly behind Willis , but he has the highest floor of the draft eligible QB's in my book. In last years draft he would have been my 7th QB . Kenny would have ranked just a tad below Mac Jones , but since Jones played really well as a rookie it's actually cause for hope. His hands measured at 8 and half at the combine, and no NFL QB that has ever measured below 9 inches has had a great NFL career. However, a lot of old NFL thinking has changed in the last decade. Mobile QB's are now the norm, instead of outliers.  Spread QB's get drafted in the first round and have success, instead of under center pocket passers being the only known way. Shorter QB's are getting a fair shot, and many of them are making it, with Russell Wilson being one of the elite QB's in the game. Last but not least no QB with crappy accuracy and happy feet had ever made it before Josh Allen found his groove. So , yes it is less likely than a big handed QB, but the game is changing and its a lot more possible than it used to be. Joe Burrow , Ryan Tannehill, and Tony Romo all barely had 9 inch hands and all have been successful. In fact , Burrow already looks like a great QB after only 2 seasons.

21.# -PATRIOTS - DEVONTE WYATT - DT - GEORGIA - 6"3" , 304


The Pats went on spending spree in 2021 in the 2nd season of the post Brady era, but it didn't work, because they had a first round playoff exit. This off season they have gone back to their frugal ways, but they don't have Brady around to recruit veterans on the cheap. They have already lost a key free agent in CB JC Jackson ,and their has been very little good news so far this off season. Then they traded a really good guard in Shaq Mason to the Bucs for a measly 5th round pick. Losing interior O-Line swingman Ted Karras doesn't help either. Positive FA news include bringing back complimentary players in 3rd down back James White and backup CB Terrance Mitchell. First off when you have a 26 year old Pro Bowl #1 CB ( JC Jackson) coming off a career year, you should try to re-sign him   or at the very least create the cap space to throw the franchise tag on him. At least they brought back ALL Time patriot and future HOFer Devin McCourty.Big OT Trent Brown has also always played well in a Patriots uniform, and they already let him leave once as a free agent , but they brought him back again this year.  Then you have Jakobi Myers. Myers is only 25 , and is coming off a season where he led your team in catches. Thankfully they placed the 2nd round restricted free agent tag on him so they should be around for 2022. The Patriots almost never take who the consensus sees them selecting, but here's my choice for them. Since Wyatt is my number one inside pass rusher of all the guys who actually expect to play inside every down, I am taking him here if I'm the Pats. He plays a lot of 5 technique too, and has some gap responsibilities that effect his pass rush, but he has a explosive first step off the snap. The Pats love versatility & Belichick has a knack for mixing up odd & even fronts, but when a team finally turns Wyatt loose he's usually in the backfield disrupting the offense. Run or pass he plays low and strong. Wyatt also has rare feet & agility for a 300+ pounder, and covers a lot of ground around the line of scrimmage. With all 3 Georgia D-Lineman I expect to go in the first round the tape is just good, but the potential & great combine workout now make me believe that he will come off the board very early. Plus he played in a system with a lot of read & react ,and gap holding responsibilities. That slows your advance up the field so often that it's hard to make a lot of plays in the backfield. The hope is that if he is in a scheme that allows him to turn it loose he will make a lot more plays. If you run a 4-3 defense I see him as a good three technique with the strength & leverage to also takes some snaps at the nose when needed. He's a different kind of freak of nature than his teammate Jordan Davis , and his explosiveness & versatility could even see him drafted ahead of Davis. Both lit up the combine, but as opposed to Davis, you could already clearly see on tape the explosiveness that Wyatt showed in Indy. In fact Wyatt's outstanding 4.77 forty & 1.66 ten yard split at 304 pounds might outweigh any character concerns that some teams have with him.

22.PACKERS-(raiders)-CHRIS OLAVE - WR - OHIO ST. - 6ft. ,  187


The Packers still have a bad cap situation . Even after restructuring Kenny Clark & Aaron Jones, cutting Zadarius Smit & giving Preston Smith a extension. .They are still  over as I type this, and they are going to need a lot more space to allow them to bring back anymore of their free agents back. Trading Aaron Rodgers and letting Davante Adams leave in free agency would have solved a lot of that problem, but they somehow convinced Rogers to stay. I'm guessing the breakup with his Colorado living movie star girlfriend might have had something to with it too. I would have bet Brian Gutekunst's left nut that bringing back Adams was a condition for the back to back MVP staying with the pack, and they found the cash to stick the franchise tag on him , but then they traded Adams to the Raiders. So sorry Brian , I guess I was wrong. Other free agents of note are De'vondre Campbell Robert Tonyan , Rasil Douglas,, Kevin King , and Allen Lazard. Campbell & Douglas are coming off career years after previous journeymen careers , and both deserved thr new extensions they got. I actually think that the Packers have screwed over Rodgers by not getting him better receivers to pair with Davante Adams, and drafting Jordan Love in the first round on a team that might have been a WR away from a Superbowl. They did it all in a great WR draft too. In fact they didn't draft any WR's AT ALL in the 2020 draft, but I'm sure  that getting a backup QB in the 1rst & a third string RB in the 2nd really pissed him off. On the bright side it has inspired Rodgers to back to back regular season MVP awards , but still no Superbowl.  I have them Pack taking the best WR player available with the 28th pick to Keep Aaron from doubting his decision to stay home. Rodgers got a huge new contract that I lowered his cap hit some , and the soon to be new deal for Adams should make the first year cap hit for him relatively low for a player of his caliber.  Veteran WR , and Rodgers favorite , Randall Cobb also took a pay cut to stay. LB, OT , safety, DT , TE, or my choice in WR. are all needs.  Olave is a very crafty route runner,  has the speed to be a deep threat, and has a knack for finding holes in zone coverage. Great hands too, but not a contested catch guy. He can play the Z or the slot. Like Garrett Wilson he is lean with average height. Olave also has a variety of releases off the line of scrimmage, but big press corners can give him some trouble, and he's not much of threat to break tackles or help as a blocker. He also has a history of being a great special teams player, which combined with his ability to play inside or outside has him in my top 32.  Basically every time he is running he looks effortless and smooth but he's still running very fast. He has a high floor , and should be off the board in the first 40 picks. Although his 4.39 forty at the combine gives him a better chance to come off the board in the first round.



Chandler Jones is coming off his worst full season ever in my opinion, but he still gets to the QB & knocks the ball loose enough to get paid like the stud he used to be by somebody. After Jones missed 11 games in 2020 , and now after his play took a downturn in 2021 I think he might chase the money elsewhere. The Cards don't have a lot cap space  , and they might be working on new deal for Kyler Murray this off season , although after all the whiny lil punk crap he has pulled lately they might want to rethink that.  They were wise to resign Ertz & Conner considering how well both played for them last season. Plus getting backup QB Colt McCoy to return considering how well he played last season when Murray was hurt could be crucial to their playoff hopes. Special teams ace Dennis Gardeck resigning helps as well.  I expect this pick to be a D-Lineman , WR ,  or a corner. A interior guy fits because no interior D-Lineman , except JJ Watt played well this year for Zona.  Plus Watt will be 33 this season, is on the downside of his career, and is coming off  another injury affected season, where he only played in 7 games during the regular season.  I was going to give them Devonte Wyatt , but if Murray doesn't get his way he may even take his ball and go home to play with his Barbie's. Since Kyler Murray's play really suffered without D-Hop last season, and he made a good connection with ( i.e. - bigger receiver) Zach Ertz  after he was traded to the cards, how about a giant slot receiver.  AND since Murray is now a whiny entitled lil punk they will have to give him what he wants or he might cry. Burks is a  big , physical , strong , tough , WR with great running ability after the catch. Treylon even has some experience as a wildcat QB, or you can just hand it to him and watch him go.  Burks reportedly played as high as 240 last year , and even after he leaned out he was 225 at the combine. he didn't run the way I expected . I didn't see anyone catching him from behind last year, but maybe he was sick or something. Burks can be handed the ball, and expected to punk DB'S on contested catches, and blocking down the field. It's a recipe for wearing down a defense , and a lot of big plays , especially in the 2nd half. As of right now Burks best role is as a power slot WR, but he has the size & demeanor of a prototypical X with more reps & NFL coaching. Burks especially needs help as a route runner. His hands are inconsistent too ,  because he can go up and make a great catch, and then drop some easy ones. Basically all his issues are fixable if he listens to his coaches , and everything you hear makes you think he is very coachable



Either Jerry Jones has gone senile, or there is more to the La'el Collins situation , because there is no way that they couldn't get serious draft capitol for a player that good otherwise. Collins was just straight released this week. No trade, and nothing but confusion among all intelligent beings in the universe. The Cowboys are once again at the mercy of the interfering hands & mouth of Jerrah! About five years ago Jerry won NFL executive of the year by letting Will McClay and other real football people make the decisions while he took credit for them. After he was let into the HOF for the great business & marketing ideas he has contributed the NFL coffers ( no I'm actually not being sarcastic about that , because he has made NFL teams more money than any other owner, but that is all he is good for ) Jones has once again myopically convinced himself that he is actually a good GM.  I'm not just talking about his misguided glory hound press conferences & radio show where he routinely undercuts his coaches either. His big mouth is running and undercutting the trade value of good players he now wants to trade. We get it Jerry. Your old , and you want a ring from a team that Jimmy Johnson didn't build so you can take the lions share of the credit , whether you deserve it or not. This near death urgency has once again led you to screw the pooch. You want to trade 2 of your better players in Cooper & Collins , but publicly bad mouthing them to cover your ass makes it harder to get fair value for them.  Even after cuts &  restructures Dallas was right at the cap limit before they even tried to resign any of their free agents.. They are my little brothers favorite team so I watch them with him , and this roster is too talented for a first round exit. Some of them should obviously be let go like the disappointing Keanu Neal & Leighton Vander Esch, but they brought Vander Esch back anyway. Connor Williams just has too many penalties, but if he ever gets over that he could be a very good starter. Or maybe not because he gets beat a lot when he doesn't hold , but he is a dolphin now. While I do commend Jerry for his loyalty, and willingness to pay his own guys first, I didn't think they should pay top dollar for Randy Gregory. It's a great story that he seems to have finally gotten his life on track , and more power to him , but he has been historically unreliable. If he was dependable it wouldn't have taken him 6 years to reach free agency, instead of 4. He could be a double digit sack guy next year, or he could miss the season due to his dependency issues , or injuries.  Plus not only is he penalty prone, he doesn't even realize that he lines up offsides on a regular basis. If the refs called it every time , and then he tried to pay attention to it he would probably still have had  at least 25 off sides this season, and he only played in 12 games. Dallas fans should be shouting hallelujah that they didn't throw the franchise tag on him , and while Gregory initially agreed to resign with Dallas , he changed his mind and joined the Broncos.  Dalton Schultz has developed into a plus starting TE in the last 2 years, and he deserves a  8-10 million contract that I doubted Dallas could afford , but they somehow found the cash to throw the franchise tag on him for almost 11 million .  Dallas finally did trade Amari Cooper, which is a GIANT mistake in my eyes, and now they need another smooth route runner to replace him. I thought even Jerry Jones wasn't that crazy, but with the Cowboys cap crunch Jones has chosen Cooper & La'el Collins as his scapegoats for last year. Jerry is still pissed that the unvaccinated Cooper missed 2 games when he got Covid. Plus they botched it . Instead of just talking trade with any interested teams they let it get out there that they would release him if they didn't have a deal by March 16th. That means trading Cooper gave them vey little return.  I thought after Jones got lippy they would still get at least a 3rd rounder for a player of his caliber , but all they got was a 5th and a swap of 6th rounders. HUGE ADVANTAGE BROWNS!  At least they brought back Michael Gallup  He isn't quite the caliber of Cooper, but he is a good #2 with low end #1 WR upside in the right circumstances. I wouldn't even have tried to resign Cedrick Wilson if I were them because CD Lamb is only a plus player in the slot, and that's the only place Wilson performs well. If Lamb is outside he is just a average starter , but with Wilson going to Miami at least that problem is solved.  Anyway WR is a definite need now , but maybe Simi Fehoko could step up some , and they did bring back 5th receiver Noah Brown who is primarily a blocker & special teamer for them.  When Demarcus Lawrence finally got healthy he looked like the same complete strongside end he has always been , and I think cutting him to resign Gregory would have been a huge mistake.  Lawrence's prime is probably past him after multiple surgeries, but he is still a better player than Gregory, and a leader in that locker room.  At least they resigned him , and cut his cap number down to 14 million for this season. They lost Gregory to Denver in what is being reported as a last second contract snafu, but all this he said/he said crap is undecipherable. I thought maybe keeping Lawrence at a discount might keep them from trading Collins, and I was right because they just dumped him for free. Jones reportedly wanted to trade Collins because he missed a drug test , got suspended, and fought it costing him more games. I get that, but he was so much better than Terrance Steele at RT last season , and he's also a top 10 OT in this league, and top 5 RT. Plus he's not even 29 yet, and has a affordable contract. So even if you got a 1rst rounder for Collins  , and La'el is worth more than that, the chances of finding a comparable player in the draft are very low. Nope, Jerry botched it BADLY, and they just cut him loose for free.  I'm still waiting to hear why Jones released Collins and why he couldn't get ANYTHING for him in a trade. Unless there is some unknown to the public medical or legal reason for Collin's release it makes no sense. Lets just say for the sake of argument that Steele steps up this year, is left to just play right tackle all year, and has better season than Collins. That still doesn't explain Jerry Jones getting nothing for him and having to outright release him.  If there isn't a good reason for Jones doing something like that then he should have the team forcibly taken from him by the league. By the way Collins had 4 instant suitors the moment he was cut, and signed with the Bengals for more money than he would have made in Dallas , and the Bengals play the cowboys this season. Dallas is supposed to be in a championship window , but their mismanagement this off season has made that laughable. It's not a full rebuild after dumping Collins, but a attempted reload. I just don't see them being a Superbowl contender in 2022 now ,and Philly should be the favorite to win the division. The only good thing Dallas fans could have clinged to is that after their recent moves they have extra salary cap room , but Jerry is wasting it anyway by signing career underachievers like Dante Fowler & James Washington. Resigning Jayron Kearse would be a priority if I were them, and they finally got that done, and surprisingly for less money than I expected. I thought Dallas would shell out 7 or 8 million a year for him because it would fit right in with all their other bad decisions this off season. However, they got this right. He made a lot of plays and gave their defense some much needed fierceness.  They had already brought back veteran safety Malik Hooker, and that deal wasn't a overpay either. So maybe they should imagine that all the players they want to sign are safeties. The Cowboys do have one semi solid in house option to replace Williams at left guard. Connor Mcgovern had some starts in 2021 when the Williams penalty train got too frustrating, but his best start was on the right side when Zack Martin missed week one, and he didn't play well enough to keep Williams from taking back the job.  So they could play Mcgovern at LG, or flip over the future HOFer in Martin to the left side, and move Mcgovern to the right. Zack will be great wherever they play him. Either guard spot ,and he could have made a Pro Bowl or 3 outside at tackle if he played there full time. He looked great when he kicked out to RT last season, but asking a HOF guard to switch sides could be tricky. Plus the package with the 300+ pound Mcgovern at FB is effective , and a blast to watch. Now back to the left guard spot. Too often Williams or Mcgovern were the weak link along the O-Line. Even center Tyler Biadiasz was outplaying them by the final 3rd of the season, and there should be no way Tyler Linderbaum falls this far , because this isn't a Cowboy fans fantasy draft.  If division rival Philly keeps all 3 of their first rounders, and Linderbaum fell to them , I figured they would have to take him with one of those picks.  However the Birds resigned ALL-Pro Jason Kelce so that's probably out now , so theoretically Linderbaum could drop in their laps. Since Dallas has gone the BPA route the last 2 years when a great player that shouldn't have been there fell to them the last 2 years you would expect them to take the center if he got to #24.  So I expect this pick to be the best player available, along the O-Line WR , safety , or LB. In this scenario the best player is LB Nakobe Dean, but since they have depleted the O-Line by dumping Collins I am giving them a guard.  Instead of the LG getting pushed backward & blowing up the run play before it can begin, or just outright whiffing on him . they need a guy who can push their man away from the line of scrimmage.  Or one who can avoid getting bull rushed into the QB , or again outright whiffing on their man, or even missing a stunt. I saw all these things happen too frequently by whoever was at left guard in Dallas in 2021. What they need is a guy who can anchor and control the dude across from him against his will. Dallas believes they are still in a championship window now, and they need a player that can give them good steady play as rookie at LG. Their once unmatched trio of ALL PRO Offensive Lineman has taken hits in the last 3 years. First Tavis Frederick , got sick , came back as a lesser but still solid version of himself, and then retired. Future HOFer Tyron Smith is still a top 5 OT in this league when healthy, but he is no longer the clear #1 guy, and is now injury prone. Even the other steady future HOFer in RG Zack Martin, is showing a few small signs of potential decline.  I think Zion Johnson is the guy to fill the LG void.  I started watching his 2021 tape after the new year, and I came away seriously impressed. Zion played 2 seasons at Davidson before transferring to BC in 2019 where he made 7 starts at LG.  His 2020 tape at LT  looked 3rd round to me, but enough good stuff was there to think he was a potential plus player if he moved back inside. They moved him back to guard for all but the Virginia Tech game in 2021 , and he looked great in that game, but guard is where he the NFL. I still figured that he would probably come off the board on day 2 ,because there aren't a lot of guards drafted in the first round in the NFL, but I have a first round grade on him. Inside Zion's technique and strong demeanor really shine, and he is guy that quickly gets after his man. Plus he consistently plays low , stays with his man , and plays to the whistle. He has a stout anchor in pass pro , good hand use & awareness , and he is always looking to help out and hit someone when uncovered. In the run game he will be at his best in a zone heavy scheme , but he is scheme diverse. He is good working double teams and getting after somebody at the second level. Johnson does well enough on reach blocks that I might want to try him at center in the long run, but that would take awhile to get down, as it was shown at the Senior Bowl. Although it would be a great thing for his teams versatility long term if he could just fill in at the pivot in a pinch, and he has already shown that he can play outside if needed in the short term. Zion is definitely smart enough to handle center , with great awareness, and he rarely deserves a penalty on tape. His only weakness is the occasional tendency to duck his head on contact , and its amazing that a guy who only started playing football late in high school is such a technician, but the head ducking is easily fixable with more reps & better coaching. Zion's good combine workout only confirms to me that he should go ahead of Kenyon Green if you want a guard to hit the ground running now, and he is now my # 1 guard. I might be giving Jones too much credit with this pick , because I now doubt his mental competence. Since he is now back to interfering with football decisions maybe they draft Shante Carver or Taco Charlton again.


25.BUFFALO - KENYON GREEN - G/T - TEXAS A&M - 6"4" , 323


The Bills are in danger of getting the next years team label if they don't get over the hump soon. Back to back AFC east titles are cool , but after losing in the conference Championship after the 2020 season , they lost in the divisional round this year. Their biggest weakness is the O-line. Other than LT Dion Dawkins they could all be upgraded.They brought back veteran center Mitch Morse on a team friendly deal, and while he does have a stable floor, his best years are behind him. They also brought in soon to be 34 year old guard Roger Saffold who has been a good player for a long time, but he is definitely past his prime , although he had his best years with current Bills O-Line coach Aaron Kromer when they were still in Tennessee together.  At least it's only a one year deal for just over 6 million. They have allowed slot WR Cole Beasley to leave, but brought back Tristan Mckenzie who played well when Beasley was out last season , on another team friendly deal. They lost a good run player in DT Harrison Philips to the Vikings, but brought in a pretty good decent DT combo in Tim Settle & Daquan Jones.  The bills also lost CB Levi Wallace to the Steelers. I love the OJ Howard deal. It's a cheap one year contract,  and if he stays healthy he is a very similar player to current #1 TE Dawson Knox. The really big news is the Von Miller signing, and while he is a definite future HOFer , I think the Bills giving him that much money is as much a sign of desperation as it is going ALL IN. Yes he was great last year , and crucial to the Rams getting the ring. However he's 33, and was showing signs of decline in 2019, before missing all of 2020 with a major injury. So giving Miller a 6 year 120 million dollar deal , with over 45 million guaranteed over the first 2 years kind of shocked me for a player at his advanced age. I applaud the Bills for going ALL-IN  , even if I don't agree with the age of some of the guys they are doing it with. I just don't think Von should have even gotten 40 million guaranteed at his age, and that maybe instead of going after Roger Saffold they could have spent some money on a younger guard like Alex Cappa or James Daniels. . If they win it all it will be worth it, but if they don't the ramifications of the Miller deal hampering their cap makes their margin for error over the next 4 or 5 years very small if they want to remain competitive. Basically they could end up like the Rams if they win it, but they could also end up like the Saints in a rebuilding mode. The bills need a O-lineman more than anything. Kenyon started games at every O-line position  but center last season. Its really nice to have a guy that can fill in on 4 out of 5 spots , which allows them a much better chance of getting their best five O-Lineman on the field in almost any situation. Green is a powerful blocker with the feet to possibly stick outside , but he is too grabby & lacks the stunt/twist awareness to be a OT in the NFL right now. Guard is where he fits best long term in my opinion too ,  that's where his best tape is , and LG is where he played most in 2021.  He can maul in the run game , and is scheme versatile. However,  he does fall off blocks more than he should , and is hit & miss at the 2nd level. In pass pro he has a good anchor and a nasty punch. but his hands have a tendency to be too wide. He is already one of the guys I have a first round grade on already , but he still really young, and his upside could mean greatness. I wouldn't have been surprised if he we went in the top 15 before the combine , but he looked out of shape there. I would still take him at this point , and the fact that he still might end up at tackle down the road could also fit into the Bills future needs.

26.TITANS - TYLER SMITH - G/T - TULSA - 6"5" , 324


The Titans had the #1 seed in the playoffs and got promptly got knocked out the first chance that they had, but at least it was against the eventual AFC Super Bowl participant Bengals. To top that off they are about 7 million over the cap before free agency even starts, and they really need to resign edge rusher Harold Landry and his 12 sacks. Center Ben Jones , RT Dan Quisenberry had a good year too,  and  kicker Randy Bullock is valuable as well. So they are probably going to have to restructure some of their big contracts to fit everyone in. WR, CB , and off the ball LB look like their biggest needs if they can bring back their key free agents. Julio Jones got hurt again after they gave up a 2nd rounder for him , and has the kind of contract they shouldn't cut., but they are saying they are going to do it anyway even though it means eating 11+ million in dead cap space. The Titans other moves are bringing back center Ben Jones, signing a potential swing tackle in Jamarco Jones, and letting long time 34 year old guard Rodger Saffold go to Buffalo. #1 WR AJ Brown is injury prone too. When both were hurt no one stepped up much, and they could use another big that fits their power running game. So I'm giving them a guy ho should be a guard for a few years, but has the potential to be a  OT once he is coached up. I know that most will expect Bernhard Raimann here , but I prefer Tyler Smith because he is just so strong & violent as a blocker. His technique  , especially in pass pro needs a complete overhaul, but he still gets the job done most of the time. His biggest problem is hand usage. He doesn't just get his hands outside & get grabby, he actually bear hugs at times. I'm talking SUMO wrestling , or Magnum TA belly to belly suplex attempts here. However, Tyler has the feet , quickness, and agility to play outside in the long term. If you watch his tape against Ohio ST. from far away he looks great , but up close you see a guy who could have gotten 10 holding calls. He's a mauling people mover in the run game who fires off the ball angry, and even if you had to play him at guard as a rookie while he gets coached up , I expect he would regularly be moving the line of scrimmage when they run the rock, even though he is too high too often. He's young, wide, strong, nasty, and has the length to stay outside for the long haul. Its a shame he wasn't old enough to play at the Senior Bowl, but when he played bigger schools he was still tossing dudes around , and I believe he would have done the same in mobile. He could have really used the higher level of coaching though , and I hope his agent has him working with a O-Line guru as I type this, because Tyler has a huge ceiling once he is coached up.  Aaron Kromer is a O-Line guru ,and he could definitely help Smith achieve his potential , if he takes to coaching. He's only 20 years old, and his combine workout put his high end tools & traits on display, but I think he could statr some games as a rookie if he played inside at guard.




Despite falling short in the AFC championship game the Chiefs WERE still the favorite to win the Superbowl next season. Not anymore.  Even before they traded Tyreek Hill the Bengals & Bills looked a little better to me, and the Chargers were creeping up on them. After trading Hill I think it's a coin flip if they win their division. Now to the good part. They reportedly tried to get a extension done with Tyreek, and he wanted more than they could pay. That being the case they got a lot of picks for him, and any WR is going to better playing with Mahomes, especially when the alternative is Tua. So Hill is gone and Byron Pringle left to the bears as well. Could the Chiefs take back-to-back WR's at 29 & 30. Yes, but unless it's guys they like I think it would be a waste. KC now has two 1rst, two  2nds, two 3rds, and three 4ths. They can take a WR here, and another one, or maybe even 2 later.  The Chiefs have brought in JuJu , and maybe he will return to power slot greatness with Mahomes , instead of the shell of Ben Roethlisberger. I'm not a big believer in Marquez Valdez-Scantling, because he was inconsistent with Aaron Rodgers , and Mahomes is in the same tier of elite awesomeness. KC invested big in the O-Line in 2021 and it payed off last season , but they need to resign Orlando Brown JR. to keep it going. They payed for him in draft picks, and he would have had many suitors if he had hit free agency. but they slapped the franchise tag on Brown.  Cutting , trading, or restructuring underperforming edge rusher Frank Clark would free up some more cash. Other key free agents are the honey badger , and possibly edge Melvin Ingram , but with them overpaying for Justin Reid in free agency maybe Mathieu won't be brought back.  It's a shame too because while Reid was pretty good his first 2 years he has been bad the last 2. They already lost CB Charvarius Ward to the niners. WR is a big need too, but I am all out of 1rst round receivers in this mock, but I am giving them a WR that would have definitely had a first round grade if he hadn't torn his ACL in the National Championship Game. The trade up is to jump both Green Bay & Tampa Bay because both might take a WR , even though the Pack already took one at #22. Williams was a Ohio St, WR that couldn't get on the field enough, and that just shows you how great the Buckeye WR corps are, and then he transferred to Alabama. In fact before this season he was most known for being a bad ass gunner on the punt team. I am not just talking about guaranteed 1rst rounder Garret Wilson or possible 1rst rounder Chris Olave either. Those 2 guys opted out the bowl game and Jaxon Smith Njigba &  Marvin Harrison JR, were so great it really didn't matter. TE Jeremy Ruckert looks like a good receiver whenever they threw him the ball, but it was rare because of their WR talent. Bama is the preeminent program in all of college football , and its a place where 5 star players often ride the bench for a year or 2 , and William's transferred there and became a starter. That in and of itself is a remarkable feat, as Alabama is another place that routinely puts NFL WR's in the first round. Williams had moved up to 3rd in my WR rankings before that sad injury in the National championship game, but if he had run as fast as he looks on tape ( high 4.2's to low 4.3's ) he might have been the first WR off the board. That means he theoretically could have went in the top 10. Williams racked up 79 catches , 1572 yards , and 15 TD's in the SEC in his first shot as a starter. That's awesome, and you rarely see somebody average 20 yards per catch anymore if you have that many catches. The problem is the timing of his ACL tear. January 10th means he may not be ready for the NFL regular seasons start, and he could easily miss half of his rookie season.  Since he is missing his chance to blow everyone away in workouts that hurts too. So I think that means only 3 types of teams will take him in the first. 1- Rebuilding teams who can wait till he is perfectly healthy. 2- Teams that are a probable lock for the playoffs (like the Chiefs , Tampa , or Packers ) , but need one more offensive weapon to get over the hump to possibly win it all so they just need him healthy for the stretch run. Although now with KC and Green bay trading their elite #1 WR I think it's even more likely that one of those 2 teams takes him in the first round 3 - A team that is enamored with speed at all cost, like the Raiders or Chiefs. Williams isn't just a fast guy who can take it to the house on any play either. He's quick & explosive off the line, but still needs some work out of his breaks., and its laughable if you are dumb enough to play off coverage against him.  Other than injury, and a lack of experience my biggest worries with him are drops & size. He is not a natural hands catcher, but he also isn't the second coming of Darrius Heyward-Bey.  Williams is tall enough, but looks pretty lean as well. Jameson also returned 2 kickoffs for TD's this year, and if his hands ever get better I would love to see him returning punts. He needs work on his blocking though. 

28.PACKERS - NAKOBE DEAN - LB - GEORGIA - 5"11" , 229


The first thing you notice about Dean is that he has a genius football IQ & great instincts. He is almost always the first guy moving in the right direction on tape. He has 2 other very talented LB's playing next to him this year that are going to be top 100 picks, and they look confused next to Dean, and when he gets to the ball carrier he is coming balls to the wall to bring the pain. Fast, quick, sideline to sideline play making machine against the run or pass. Fills like his hair is on fire, fearless, and a good tackler. Nakobe can cover in man or zone, and blitz at a high level. Dean is shifty enough to run around a block without creating a hole in the defense too. He's undersized , but plays bigger than he is. I honestly think he could be a good box safety too. He's a leader & tone setter who is one of my favorite players to watch in the whole draft.. The reason Dean is falling is that he hasn't worked out yet. Not at the combine , or at his pro day , but at least he did the LB drills at Georgia. Don't know why because he looks lightning fast & explosive on tape, and it can't all be because he sees it first. The other Georgia LB's worked out at the combine and did really well. maybe he knows he won't tests as well athletically as they did, but it will make teams doubt him despite the great tape , although he still looks faster than Walker & Tindall on film.  I don't think he should not fall this far , but if he did the Packers should skip the clock & snatch him up. Pairing Dean with Campbell could give them a great 2nd level of the defense.

29.CHIEFS-(miami,49ers)- TRAVIS JONES - DT - UCONN - 6"4" , 325


The Chiefs lost DT Jordan Reed in free agency and need a space eater inside next to ALL-PRO Chris Jones. In most drafts people would be talking a lot more about Travis Jones as the top Nose Tackleof his year, but Since Jordan Davis has shown such incredible tools & traits at his massive size , Jones is underrated in my opinion. When you have a bad defense like Uconn's Jones stands out clearly as a man among boys.  He is strong, and adept at using his huge long armed fame to control the middle of the Huskies defense. He controls his man & gap with his big mits at the nose or as a DT over a guard, despite not always playing as low as he should. Like Jordan Davis , Jones has surprising agility and movement skills for a NT. He also worked out very well at the combine, and his 3 cone drill time is legendary for a 325 pound man. Despite the testing numbers that show explosiveness , I didn't see much of it on tape, but I did see a lot of it at the Senior Bowl. Maybe his agent had him working with a D-Line guru during the the run up to Mobile , because he looked more explosive and played lower there, and it was against much better competition than he he saw regularly saw at UConn. Jones also plays a lot more snaps than Davis on tape, and you can at least see him pushing the pocket & getting some pressure as a pass rusher, despite being to high even more often there. If he continues to play low and just masters a few pass rush moves besides a bull rush he could be a wrecker up the the gut.

30.TAMPA BAY - DAXTON HILL - S/CB - MICHIGAN - 6 ft. , 191


The Goat has RETURNED. I admit I didn't see it happening so quickly , if ever, and thought he might play somewhere else if he did come back next season.  Replacing Brady is a impossibility, and trotting out Blaine Gabbert or 2021 second rounder Kyle Trask at QB would have only been a disappointment. This team is still good enough to compete for a championship if they can bring back their key free agents.  WR Chis Godwin, CB Carlton Davis, RB Leonard Fournette , center Ryan Jensen , and of course Gronk.  All those free agents are a lot when you are 3 million over the cap. Letting all the older guys go  rebuilding is now out. Plus they just lost one good young guard to early retirement in Ali Marpet, and another in Alex Cappa to the Bengals in free agency.  Just attempting to replace both should have cost them some good money & a high draft pick. Plus its very unlikely that the 2 guys they get will do as good of a job as Marpet & Kappa did last season. They have agreed to a deal with Jensen at center so at least their entire interior O-Line wasn't gone.  Plus they stole stud run blocking guard Shaq Mason from the Patriots in a trade that mystifyingly only cost them a 5th rounder. Thank God they got long term deals done with Davis and Godwin, but even after that I don't know where the cap space is going to come from, although restructuring the contract of Mike Evans did help a little.  The Bucs also lost a good young safety in Jordan Whitehead to the jets, and I think it was a bargain. They haven't even done a deal for Brady or Gronk yet so there is going to be a lot of restructures to current contacts, and voidable years in any new deals they sign. I doubt Suh will be brought back in any case, and they could slide Vita Vea over to the nose tackle spot, and a guy to play the 3 technique if one they like falls here.  The best player available here just happens to fill a position of need for Tampa. Dax Hill is so good at covering the slot that some will want that to be his full time role. but his talent as a deep free safety is just as valuable to me. Finding a safety that can do both, especially one with the speed & explosiveness of Hill, is a rarity. He can play either safety spot, and that would help the BUCS use Hill & Winfield to disguise coverages , but he doesn't have the sand in his pants to spend a lot of time in the box. He's not a pile inspector, and he will get in there sometimes, but he isn't great at taking on blocks or popping ball carriers either.  I would rather he play back when he's not having to man up on a guy, and then you can get a lot out of how well he see's & closes on the ball, because when he has to turn and run he can take awhile to catch up with the receiver. Wish Dax was more of a hitter when he gets there, but the NFL has joined the worlds attempts to pussify men , and the overall game have made that less allowed anyway. He will generally get the ball carrier down , and I would be comfortable with Hill as the last line of my defense. 

31.BENGALS - ANDREW BOOTH - CB - CLEMSON -  6ft. , 194


The Bengals have dominated this off season. I would like to formerly apologize to them for thinking they could have traded a 1rst rounder to Dallas for stud right tackle La'el Collins, because dumbo Dallas cut him , and they got him for free.  Plus Collins is reunited with former O-Line coach Frank Pollack , who coached him up until he got his first big contract in Dallas. Way to go Jerry! You should have to avoid eye contact ,and walk 3 feet behind Bengals owner Mike Brown whenever you are in a room with him. I never thought I would even think that could happen , but that's how much shame Jones should feel.  Cincy had a few starters entering free  agency, but only one that is crucial to their future, and that's safety Jessie Bates. He's only going to be 25 , and even though this wasn't his best season ; he was one of the best in the league in 2020. Its very possible that he is just hitting his stride  and is about to become a perennial ALL-PRO ,so he he should command top dollar. Paying top dollar is not a Bengals forte, so we have to wait and see what happens , but at least they threw the franchise tag on him.  Since the Bengals have close to 49 million in available cap space , and they just entered a championship window they should be able to bring back anybody they want. They let DT Larry Ogunjobi go,  but they can get a better player in free agency or the draft. More importantly they resigned DT BJ Hill. Now to the most important part.  TE CJ Uzomah left to the Jets in free agency, but at least the Bengals picked up a serviceable veteran TE in Hayden Hurst. Joe Burrow was the most sacked QB in the NFL this season, and a lot of it came between the center and the right side of the O-Line. The Bengals rebuilt their O-line this off season, with 3 positions upgraded. All of them are under 30 , and all are coming off good seasons on the field. LG Quinton Spain was a solid enough player ,but they signed a younger & better player in Alex Cappa away from Tampa Bay.  They also brought in solid veteran Ted Karras from the patriot's who can play center or guard, but I'm betting he will play the pivot and be a clear upgrade over Trey Hopkins at center , because went downhill last season after recovering from a ACL injury. Hopkins was released soon after. Plus Karras is a 2 time Superbowl champ and that kind of experience is invaluable on a young team like Cincy. A lot that is alleviated by bringing in the those 2 guys. Since average RT Rilely Reiff got hurt  , and Isaiah Prince filled in , it was a little worse. Plus Reiff is 33 and was only on a one year deal to begin with. Then they stole RT La'el Collins ,and now they are cruising. 2nd year player Jackson Carman should be better in year 2 at left guard. LT Jonah Williams was good in 2020, and could make a big jump in his 3rd year as a starter with so many good players with him.  Joe Burrow is probably delirious with joy, and with the Chiefs being swarmed by everyone in the AFC West getting so much better,  the Bengals should be the clear favorite for the #1 seed in the AFC. On defense the Bengals cut CB Trae Waynes & brought back CB Eli Apple even though he had another subpar season, but at least it is only a 1 year deal for 4million. I am giving them my highest rated corner. I think Booth would fit in well with this defense. He's got great feet , especially for a bigger corner, and plays well in both man & zone. Booth also has a nose for ball, the speed & explosiveness to get to it, and the hands to bring it down.  My biggest worries with him are that he's a one year starter who lacks route recognition , he needs to learn to more accurately jam the WR better at the line , and he's a wild tackler.  However, I do like his willingness in run support, but he's also a head ducker who dives and misses too many tackles.

32.DETROIT-(rams)-  KAIIR ELAM - CB - FLORIDA - 6"2' , 196


I'm guessing that that the big question with the Lions 2nd 1rst rounder is do they trade up , especially if they decide to take a QB. I'm going to say no for now. Kair Elam. He is another ultra physical CB like Sauce Gardner that is going to have to learn to avoid so much contact after 5 yards. He will fight you at the line and for the ball , but he's too grabby. I liked his 2020 tape a little better, and he definitely gave up less big plays then, but I still see him as early NFL starter. Elam is patient and his click & close is good when he's playing off zone, but his transition to turn & run there isn't consistent, and he comes in a little too hot at times and misses tackles because of it. The long speed is good once he opens it up too. In man I like him best when he is up at the line in the WR's face & pressing him. He plays inside some , but I definitely see  Kaiir being better when he's a outside corner. His run support was weaker this season too. It makes me wonder if he was more worried about his NFL future than this season, but that's why he is still here this late.


39.CHICAGO - JAHAN DOTSON - PENN ST. - 5"11' , 178


The Bears had a lot of key free agents, but at least they had over 25 million in cap space. G/C James Daniels, WR Allen Robinson , and DT , Akiem Hicks. Daniels is still young ( 25 this upcoming season) , and the O-Line is the biggest problem area for the team , so I thought he would be a priority to re-sign. Nope daniels has gone to Piitsburgh. Robinson is coming off the worst season of his career, but he was also banged up in 2021 , and I have no idea what he could get on the open market at age 29. Plus Darnell Mooney seems to have surpassed him in the pecking order last year. However, since Robinson is one of 4 free agent WR's , and the one with the highest upside they should at least see of they can bring him back on a one year prove it deal. Nope , Robinson got a 3 year deal with the world champion Rams. Hicks is the best player of the 3 when healthy, but between his injury history and age ( 33 this upcoming season ) I doubt he is a big priority. They cut DT Eddie Goldman, and since they are going to a 4-3 defense now bringing in free agent Larry Ogunjobi to play the 3 technique would be a upgrade as far as the pass rush goes but they vastly overpaid for him , and his run defense is straight bad. Wait, saved by the doctor! Ogunjobi flunked his physical so maybe they can spend that money on the O-Line. So O-Line , WR , LB , and safety are probably where they need to go with their first selection. The reason this choice is in the 2nd round this year is because they traded up last season to get their QB of the future in Justin Fields. Justin's rookie year had its ups and downs, but a banged up O-Line , WR core , and questionable play calling certainly didn't help. He did make progress as he went along, and I still believe that he has a bright future. At this point I would take the highest graded player available at a position of need. Dotson is a little undersized , but he has a wide catch radius for his height. He will go up and get it., and has good timing & hops to high point the ball, but he doesn't have the power to win many contested catches or break many tackles. He can play inside & out , but I think he would do more damage in the slot because he isn't at his best against press man coverage, and the 2 way go that the slot allows could help him do better there. He's a great route runner, who explodes out of his breaks, and he devours zone coverage. His long speed & quickness also come into play in the open field , and he's a good punt returner as well.

42.COLTS-(wash) - SAM HOWELL - QB - N. CAROLINA - 6"1" , 218


For awhile the Colts decision to trade for , and try to rebuild Carson Wentz , looked like it was working out. However, The last 2 games of the season may have changed their minds because he couldn't make the plays they needed in both losses, and they missed the playoffs. There has been noise that they want to move on from him, but it my be hard to find a trade partner. They ended up losing their 1rst rounder in this draft in the trade when playing time incentives were met, and they are on the hook for 15 million guaranteed. I previously thought maybe Washington would give up a late pick for him  , but instead GM Chris Ballard got much more. Indy did have almost 37 million in available cap space so they could theoretically cut him and eat the cash.  A few years back Wentz almost won a MVP, and I guess some teams hope he will return to that form. Whatever narrative the COLTS are putting out there this season is irrelevant.  Mark My words- This was owner driven. Billionaire owner Jim Irsay gets his blood up and likes to tweet out guarantees about winning that he has no possible way of fulfilling.  He is not a player or coach, and therefore what happens on the field won't be changed by him. He is not even one of the few knowledgeable about football owners, although they tend to overestimate their knowledge, and get in the way of far more competent people trying run the franchise.  Now he is embarrassed because he wrote a check with his mouth that the players & coaches certainly didn't endorse, and couldn't cash. Owners almost never blame themselves for their actions, and so Wentz got the brunt if it. If wanting a championship and being willing to throw money at one to win one got them then Washington Daniel Snyder & Dallas owner Jerry Jones would have a few in the last 20 years by now. It's the high price paid that surprises  me. The Colts front office was desperate to fulfill the owners wishes and dump Wentz's contract. Colts GM Chris Ballard got a great deal for someone they couldn't keep  , but I guess Washington was even more desperate than they were, and Ballard is apparently much smarter than the Washington front office too. A 3rd rounder or the swap of 2nds should have been more than enough. Instead he got two 3rd rounders, and one that can become a 2nd if Wentz plays enough in year two, AND they got to move up 5 spots in the 2nd round.  That's straight robbery of a desperate team, but getting the best deal is part of his job. Then he got Matt Ryan ,who even now was still a better QB than Wentz last season ,  for just one 3rd. Straight Ozzie Newsome like genius move Ballard!. So I guess at least Irsay did one smart thing , and that's hire Chris Ballard to be the GM , but now he has put him on the hot seat for no reason, and needs to get out of the way so Ballard can try to grant his wishes.  The colts big free agents decisions are along the O-Line. Do they bring back LT Eric Fisher, and hope he stays healthy and returns to KC form? He was just above average at best in his prime, and Matt Pryor looked about the same to me as the current Fisher when he was in for him .Pryor is free agent too , and I would rather pay the younger guy in this case if I had to pay one of them.  RG Mark Glowinski was a free agent as well. He's just solid , but he is also about to turn 30, and is now a New York Giant. The surprise retirement of Jack Doyle ( A additional 5 million in cap savings)  made it easier to shell out some money to bring back Mo Allie-Cox , and they did resign him. So a O-lineman might be good idea. I'm going with the QB here , because Ryan is going to be 37 this season. Sam Howell was that rare True freshman starting QB on a power 5 conference team, and he excelled right out of the gate.  After a even better 2020 , Howell was served a raw deal in 2021 . Most of his top skill players & O-Line graduated and he was stuck with a new & inexperienced supporting cast. Plus, Howell had to learn a new offense that was very different from the previous down the field passing system. His passing suffered some because of it, but he showed us a whole new element to his game by having a great year with his legs , which offsets some of the damage the new scheme &  players in the lineup cost him. With the NFL trending toward mobile QB's that can make things happen with their athleticism,  it actually makes him rise on my draft list, and Sam showed both decent power & speed as a runner. He has a strong arm & solid accuracy too, but neither of his college offenses easily translate to the NFL.  He will have to learn NFL read progressions from the bottom up, and resist the urge to run when his 1rst or 2nd packaged read isn't open. Howell is a little under 6 foot one, but built like a RB, although he lacks the get up & go of a RB. Sam's Senior Bowl & combine workouts had their ups & downs, but nothing major to make me alter my previous grade either way. Sam's best chances to move up boards are going to be combine interviews, at his Pro Day , and in private workouts he could easily rise up in a QB needy draft. Especially since so many teams in the top 10 need QB's, but I think he is more likely to go in the bottom 3rd of the first round if he goes there at all. He falls to the mid 2nd in this case, but at least it's a good football city with a head coach who is good with QB's. 



It's surprising that a team with this much talent on it is 26 million under the cap , but wasting it by throwing the franchise tag on David Njoku makes no sense to me. Austin Hooper & Harrison Bryant are better all around players, and Njoku only claim over  them is superior athleticism. Who cares how athletic a guy is if he can't consistently use it?  Even a predominantly 2 TE team like the browns shouldn't pay much for this guy. His career highs were in 2018. The stats were not overwhelming - 56 catches, 630 yards  and 4 TD's. They could draft a better TE in the 3rd round of this draft, and maybe even the 4th, but God only knows why they won't. Even though they have now cut Austin Hooper's contract, which he admittedly hasn't lived up to ,  there is no point in overpaying for a first round bust who as shown no signs of living up to his potential. Plus it's a good free agent & draft class for TE's. I'm sure most Browns fans would say that WR is the most obvious glaring need , and while I agree it's still a need even after stealing away Amari Cooper, it's not their biggest one. They also brought in a good return man in Jakeem grant who can give them a few snaps at WR. The D-Line is also a big need to me , and bringing talented former 1rst round bust DT Taven Bryan isn't enough.  They were reportedly out of the Watson derby, and then pissed off Mayfield with the pursuit of him, and found a way back in. How did they get Deshaun Watson? 230 million guaranteed ! Yep, they got Deshaun Watson., and surprisingly gave a dude accused of 21 sexual offenses a 5 year guaranteed 230 million dollar contract. Straight insanity, because he will be suspended at some point, although the contract was written in a way for Watson to escape much in the way of a financial penalty for him.  If I was Watson this is the team I would want to be on because they have the best O-line across the board in the NFL, and a good running game that makes for wide open play action passes.  Speaking of that O-line, I don't know why they cut center JC Tretter. He is still a top 10 center in the NFL in my opinion, and teams should be lining up to sign him. The only reason i can think to cut him is that they are planning on taking a younger & cheaper replacement, and they need the cap space to fit in Watson's contract. Jadeveon Clowney and Takk Mckinley are free agents on the outside, and Malik Jackson & McDowell are also unsinged on the inside. That's almost 2,300 snaps to replace along your defensive front. They can still take a WR in the second round,  but the trade for Amari Cooper was a master stroke of Genius.  I would have given up a 2nd for him if necessary , but I thought they would only end up with a third. Instead GM Andrew Berry took Jerry Jones to the woodshed , and got Cooper for a 5th and a swap of 6th rounders! After this ,if Jerry had any self awareness, Jones shouldn't be able to make eye contact with Berry for years. Cooper is the opposite of OBJ. He doesn't talk when he doesn't need to, seek the limelight, or get into any trouble off the field. Plus, I highly doubt he would send his dad to wreck his QB on social media. Cooper just separates and gets open. That sounds exactly like Watson's new #1 WR. I'm gibing them a defensive tackle. I actually didn't like Winfrey's actual tape much, and thought he was a day 3 guy with upside if allowed to go to a scheme that used his tools right . Other than a quick first step off the ball ,and the ability to penetrate ,there just wasn't a lot there. Now his scheme didn't help him either because they do all this constant slanting , and he was also playing out of position as a nose tackle most of the time. His 5 technique tape was better , more like 3rd round , but when Winfrey played the 3 technique at the Senior Bowl he absolutely shined.   Really quick off the ball there , and great violent hand use in the one on ones. Then he dominated the team portion of practice so much that they had to start double teaming him, and was the MVP of the actual game.. As a 3 technique he should bee a consistent penetrator who spends a lot of time in the backfield. 



The niners are only about 2 million under the cap , and that's before they trade Jimmy G and his 24 million dollar salary, but his shoulder surgery has delayed their efforts to trade him.. Good riddance I say, and on with the Trey Lance era., but the longer it takes to rid themselves of his contract, the more they will miss out in free agency. LG Laken Tomlinson & Nose Guard DJ Jones were probably their main free agent priority to bring back.  They lost Laken to the Jets and Jones to the Broncos. Where they really need help is the secondary, Sign some, trade for some, and draft for some. They needed 2 corners before free agency started , one way or another , and a safety to replace Jaquiski Tartt. So many injuries' wrecked their secondary last year, and they shouldn't think that they can count on Jason Verret to be healthy. In free agency they lost slot CB K'Waun Williams to Denver, but brought in outside CB Charvarius Ward from the Chiefs, so I still think they need 2 more corners. The best CB likely to be available at pick #60 that fits their system is probably Thorpe award winner Coby Bryant. That's pretty good when you get the guy who won the award for best DB in all of college football in the late 2nd. Teams that didn't want to throw at Sauce Gardner were probably very disappointed with how well Bryant played, but the 4 year starter conquered the challenge. Coby is physical, has great ball skills, good length , and brings it as a tackler. He's a better football player than athlete, but that's fine in zone as long as you are smart and can tackle.  Bryant is and does. He fits their cover 3 , and especially excels in off zone. I have a late 2nd on him, but I expect a guy with his smarts, toughness, and leadership qualities to start for many years in the NFL. 

64.BRONCOS-(rams) - ARNOLD EBIKETIE - DE - PENN ST. - 6"2",250


The Broncos finally got a new stud QB , and they did it the Peyton Manning way.... By stealing him away from a ungrateful team.  The Broncs had to give up more than money for Wilson , but who cares. Wilson is one of the elite QB's in the NFL who is still at the top of his game , and they have the extra 2nd & 3rd from the Von Miller trade to help build this years roster. They have over 39 million in cap space , and Wilson just got a big upgrade along the O-Line. His new receiving core doesn't have anyone who has reached the heights of Lockett or Metcalf just yet , but I could easily see a healthy Sutton & Jeudy challenging them this year with a QB like Russ chucking the rock around.  Plus the broncs have the hawks clearly beat in WR depth with #3 Tim Patrick & #4 WR KJ Hamler in Denver beating out Swain & Eskridge in Seattle. Better Defense & RB too, and I like Albert O's potential at TE just as much as Noah Fant's. The Broncos had 2 valuable free agents in Josey Jewell & Melvin Gordon, but I doubt Gordon will be brought back because of Javonte Williams. Plus , if they want to go with a tandem backfield again they can get a good RB to spell Javonte in the 4th round of this draft. Jewell is a 27 year old LB that would be harder to resign if he hadn't missed all but 2 games with a chest injury last season, and they brought him back . Their main needs other than QB are along the defensive line , and I mean inside & outside.  So this is great draft for them because it is bursting with D-Lineman.  If new DC Ejiro Evero sticks with what worked for the Rams he will be playing a lot of quarters coverage ,hoping to get pressure with the front 4  ,and then playing a lot of cover 3 & blitzing in important passing situations. So It's theoretically good that they signed edge rusher Randy Gregory to replace Von Miller. Although Gregory will never be as good as Miller , even now when Miler is past his prime , if he can keep from getting suspended or hurt he should still improve their pass rush. They also brought in nose tackle DJ Jones which should help up the middle. Since CB's Kyle Fuller & Bryce Callahan are still unsigned so a CB should be needed as wel, but they did sign slot corner K'Waun Williams away from frisco. I still think they need another edge because of Gregory's historical lack of reliability, and Bradley Chubb wasn't good last year when healthy & he missed 9 games last season with a ankle injury. Ebikete is a crafty pass rusher with multiple moves , long arms, a good motor  ,and good hand usage. He's a late bloomer who transferred from Temple and came into his own in his one year at Penn ST.  However he needs to get stronger to hold up against the run at DE in the NFL, and learn how to use those those long arms to shed blocks better. Right now I see him as 3-4 OLB candidate or just a situational pass rusher early on. The biggest thing holding him back from taking his overall game to the next level is snap anticipation. With those hands & moves he could beat a lot more blockers a lot quicker if he got off the ball faster. So basically more squats , a quicker get off , and listening to his coaches could put him on the field every down later this season. 



The Raiders made the Playoffs in 2021 despite all sorts of off the field problems interfering with their season. They put up a good fight too, but lost to the eventual Superbowl participant Bengals. For some dumb reason they let the coach who led them through all those trials go, and hired Josh Mcdaniels. With a new coach & GM you are usually rebuilding , but that would be stupid in this case , so I am going to guess that they try to win again .  The Raiders only key free agents are past their prime , but CB Casey Hayward  & LB KJ Wright are still good players that might be brought back They have close to 20 million in cap space so its doable. So far they have made a deal to bring edge rusher Chandler Jones in free agency and trade edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts. Add 2 inexpensive deals on a soon to be 26 year old NT & CB in Bilal Nichols & Darius Phillips and I like what Vegas has done so far. Raiders owners have always loved speed , regardless of which owner was in charge. . Al Davis or Mark Davis, it doesn't matter. Either guy wants that deep threat. Last year when Henry Ruggs wasn't on the field pulling safeties into the deep 3rd with him the offense really suffered , although Darren Waller being gone didn't help either. They brought in Desean Jackson to try to fill that role, but he looked done most of the time that he was out there.  If there is even a smidgen of justice left in the world Ruggs is going to jail, and that means the Raiders need to reload on deep threats. Now they made a blockbuster move in trading for Davante Adams and they gave him a huge contract that matches his ability. A 1rst and 2nd rounder are a bargain for Adams if he is healthy, and reuniting him with college QB Derek Carr makes them both ecstatic. Even with this move I think they are at best the 3rd best team in the AFC West , but it is clearly the best division in the NFL now. In fact it wouldn't shock me if this division became the first to have all 4 teams make the playoffs. However, as great as Adams is he is not a speedster, and the I believe the Raiders still need one. Jones is raw as WR 6th year receiver , but there were flashes on his tape this year to make you believe he could develop into at least a #3 in time. He is rocked up & showed toughness & solid hands at the catch point, and that return man skill shows up in space after the catch. He is seen mostly as a slot guy right now, and currently has a limited route tree & skill as a route runner. On this team Hunter Renfrow has the slot locked down, but what Jones can already do very well is run really fast ( 4.31 forty) in a straight line , and that's what the Raiders need. A outside burner who can pull safeties deep with him, and you only have to throw that deep ball to him 2 or 3 times a game for defenses to have to consistently deal with it. If one of them hits you have the big play that all teams  crave, and now defenses are even more worried about it. Adams, Waller, and Renfrow would feast in that scenario.  Plus Jones is a great special teams player as both a returner & gunner. As receiver he is just a late 4th /early 5trh round developmental guy to me, but when you add the fact that he is a special teams ace I could see him coming of the board in the 3rd round. 

102.MIAMI-(rams)-(comp)- MALCOLM RODRIGUEZ - LB - OKLAHOMA ST. - 5"11" , 232


Miami traded away their first rounder last year, but still have the 49ers first. So basically they just dropped 14 spots in the round. The Fins have a new head coach, and who know how that's going to go. The fins once they lead the league in cap space with over 61 million, and that they needed to invest a lot of it in the O-line , but they did bring back their one free agent in Emmanuel Ogbah. Miami still needs include a , center , nose tackle , edge rusher,  a safety , and multiple LB's. For some dumb reason they gave a non separating pass catching TE the franchise tag for almost 11 million. That's stupid for multiple reasons. First , Gesicki isn't that good and doesn't block.  2nd - Gesicki doesn't separate enough , and their QB doesn't like throwing the ball in tight windows. Since the fins need to know if Tua is their guy long term they have to give him better blocking & more weapons.  They brought in slot receiver Cedrick Wilson & guard Connor Williams from Dallas. Neither is special , , but both are upgrades, with one at LG  and     the other a #3 WR. Bringing in LT Terron Armstead  is a big move , and if he is healthy he will be worth every penny. The shocker to me is the blockbuster deal they made to acquire speedster Tyreek Hill. Waddle has similar upside to Tyreek, but he isn't at Hills' level yet, if ever. Having 2 guys like this is a defensive coordinators nightmare, and it will keep safeties up too. The price was fine to me, although I think the contract was a bit much, but the biggest question to me is why? This is the kind of deal you make when you are ALL-IN , and just one move away from a Superbowl. On paper , even after these big moves ,the fins will be in a battle just to make the playoffs. Anyway, after trade Miami doesn't have a pick until the the compensatory part of round 3. I would take a RB, but with them adding Chase Edmonds & Raheem Mostert in free agency I doubt it. Since I believe they need multiple LB's I am giving them one here. Malcolm is 5th year Senior and 2 year team captain who took advantage of the extra year granted players due to Covid. The Explosive stocky LB with a good football IQ , and a nose for the ball will play on Sundays. The question is what round. If you watch the tape, and see how well he worked out you think maybe he's a 2nd rounder, but many teams won't see him as starter because of his size, and will want his hard charging style on special teams. The former safety is only 5"11',but I thought he might have long arms because he beats so many blocks, but they were barely over 30 inches long. He fills against the run like a bullet, but I was surprised that a guy who was a former safety was so stiff in coverage. The tape is still really good despite that , but he might want to work on his flexibility.  He wasn't just the starting QB on a state champion football team, but also ALL State on defense, and a state champion wrestler. That kind of pedigree combined with his good film makes me  want to bet him in the 3rd round. 

104.-(comp)-LA RAMS - SEAN RHYAN - G/T - UCLA - 6"5" , 321


Congrats to the champs and all their fans. The Rams kept going ALL IN , and it finally payed off. I admit that I thought the Rams were nuts when they traded a 2nd & 3rd pick for a past his prime , 32 year old, free agent to be Von Miller. Miller then promptly  got hurt, and I feared the worst, but when he got healthy it looked like he came out of a time machine. Not only was he great down the stretch run in the regular season, but he balled out in the post season too.  Von had 5 sacks and a forced fumble in the final 4 regular season games. Then another 4 sacks and a forced fumble in the post season. So even if they couldn't resign him, it was well worth it. Even though they had cap problems again they say that they are ALL IN again. The rams have done so well with the later draft picks that they have left,  after trading most of their higher picks for established veteran players,  that they have found a way to pay out a lot of big contracts and still be competitive. The best way to create cap space would be to give Stafford a new deal, and they did it.  40  year old LT Andrew Whitworth has retired after finally getting the ring , but he was still a great pass blocker. Free agents in center Brian Allen and guard Austin Corbett are both solid players who won't turn 27 until this season. Allen was resigned , but Corbett left for the Panthers. At least they resigned potential replacement LT Joseph Noteboom , who played pretty well when given a chance last year, but they payed him like he was already a proven OT . He's not, and that 3 year 40 million dollar deal with 25 million guaranteed will be a albatross around their necks if he doesn't work out.    OBJ might not cost a lot this year while rehabbing his ACL, but he played great for them as soon as he showed up.  He is a lesser worry now after signing WR Allen Robinson to a big deal, although it surprised me when they signed him & traded Robert Woods. CB  Darious Williams. Williams is a former undrafted free agent, is 29 , and had never gotten a big contract. So it made sense that he took the most money he could get and signed with the jaguars. Edge rusher Ogbonnia Oronkwo ws a free agent too, and while he wasn't a full time player he gave them some good pass rush when he got his chance, but he went to the Texans and it wasn't even much money. Rotational backup DT Sebastian Joseph-Day also left to the the cross town rival Chargers, but the biggest loss was edge rusher Von Miller. The rams tried to keep him, but the Bills made Von a ridiculous offer at his age. I don't blame Miller for taking it, and I don't blame the Rams for not matching it. I am going to give them a guard from right down the road to replace Corbett. Sean Rhyan is a 3 year starter at Left tackle at UCLA, and while I think he might be a serviceable right tackle for a power running team, I think guard is his best position in the NFL. Sean has decent feet , athleticism, hand placement, and a good hard punch to stay outside. As a matter of fact I would take him in the late 4th round if I wanted him as a tackle. However,  his lack of length, struggle with speed rushers, and inside counters make me think he would be better if he kicked inside. Run blocking is where he excels, and he plays low & mean with good leg drive off the ball , and he has the shirt area quickness for pulling. Plus , it is my belief he would have a lot less penalties if he wasn't worried about getting beat around the edge, and his width would be hard to get around in smaller gaps. I have a solid 3rd round grade on him if he is moved to guard, and think he could be a plus starter there in a few years