Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2024 NFL MOCK DRAFT with Trades & Player comparisons - 4/10/24

 We are in the home stretch now. With a little over 2 weeks until day one of the draft rumor's are rampant , but very little truth can be found with so much conflicting information . This draft has a higher quality of players than 2023 as a whole , but a few of the players that I had already watched & liked did go back to school so its not as great as it could have been. Thankfully it is a smaller list of players coming out prematurely these days ,  because the transfer portal and NIL money have thankfully cut down on the number of people who entered the draft too early.  Basically between the extra Covid year and the transfer portal there are a LOT of older prospects in this draft.  That means we get a better evaluation , but you also have to weigh the tape of a 5th or even 6th year senior versus the potential 3rd year players and compensate accordingly. Also , most of the talent that should end up in the top 5 , and even probably the top 10 is on the offensive side of the ball. I would be surprised if more than one defender comes off the board in the top 10 , and I also wouldn't be surprised if the top 10 is all offense. I have watched all of these players actually play many times  , but that is not the same as breaking down the film on them  I usually end up with at least 3 games scouted on somewhere between 450 to 500 players before draft week , and I'm getting closer by the day. The college transfer portal & NIL money has drastically changed the face of college football. These days unless you are guaranteed to be a top 100 pick you might want to take the NIL money , stay in school , and try to improve your draft stock. Not to mention actually graduating college. The last of the Pro Days & team visits are soon , and those 2 things are important pieces to the puzzle for a dew players. Plus the combine medical re-checks can have some very important information if it leaks out. Yet draft boards are being set all across the league as I type this. This is NOT a rankings list of my top players, but instead just one of the ways this draft could go. In addition to it looking like a better draft overall than 2023 there are some positions that have stuck out so far. WR and the O-Line are the best positions in the draft. It wouldn't shock me if half of the entire first round is made up of WR's and O-Lineman. As a bonus , Quarterback , and CB look potentially deep in the first 2 days too. Also while there isn't a off the ball LB I would take in the 1rst round ,  there are a lot of them I would draft between the 2nd & 5th rounds. Plus unlike last years predominantly undersized WR class there is a lot of bigger wideouts available in the 2024 draft. I still expect a QB to go #1  , and while I'm sure the Bears want to take Caleb Williams , there is still the chance that he's trying to force his way to his home town of Washington. With Fields traded , and the Bears to take a new QB on a rookie contract , they can be contender very soon.  I believe it likely that QB's are the top 3 picks with as many , 4 going in the top 5 , and possibly even 6 being selected in the first round. So a lot of trades will probably happen, and I have also added the first selection for the 2 teams who don't have a first round pick this year. While I waited until the beginning of free agency was over for full team writeups this year I still need to write my prospect profiles. That's done for about 80 players now, and that includes all the players in this mock draft. I plan on adding a fully written up 2nd round next week. Without further ado here it is. Its full on draft season now. So I have added trades & player comparisons. The player comparisons are based on what I believe the player can be if he reaches his ceiling. So don't be surprised if I have a lower ranked player with a higher comp than a guy who is higher in the rankings , because it just means the I think the lower ranked player is less likely to reach his ceiling. Although I will change player comps if a better on occurs to me later. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently & respectfully or I just won't post your comment. 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.BEARS - (car) - CALEB WILLIAMS - QB - USC - 6"1" , 214


The Bears are in the catbird seat again this year. To have back to back number one overall picks usually means your team was terrible the previous season , but the Bears gained a lot of draft capitol , including the # 1 overall pick this year by trading out of the top spot in 2023 with Carolina.  Plus they got a #1 WR in DJ Moore. Since the Panthers were terrible last year , and ended up the clear worst team in the league , the #1 pick they traded to the Bears is even more valuable this year in a deeper QB class. Could the Bears trade out of the top 5 again and get even more picks and players? Yes, but it would be completely stupid to do so, and Bears GM Ryan Pace isn't stupid. While last years team made clear & steady progress Justin Fields got hurt again , and his 4th quarter struggles are well known now. He did take some steps forward as a passer, but I expect he will keep getting hurt when he runs a lot , and he isn't yet a good enough passer to be a good starter without that steady diet of explosive runs. Also , I just think that Caleb Williams , Drake Maye , and Jayden Daniels are all clearly better passers than he is. I would even rather have MCcarthy & Penix as well. The first 4 are all mobile , and can give you some scrambling & running ability , but only Daniels is the electric running threat that Fields is. To me it originally came down to Williams or Maye because of their bigger builds. Both are less likely to get hurt. Plus scrambling so they can find a open receiver is what both of them prefer , but Daniels did take a huge step forward in 2023. The Bears already had plenty of cap space before the huge cap increase for all teams this year, and then they cut veterans Eddie Jackson & Cody Whitehair after they were coming off down seasons. The trade and contract extension for edge rusher Montez Sweat worked out well for them , but they could have used some of that money for a fellow edge rusher to join with Sweat. The Bears don't have any key free agents since they tagged & resigned Jaylon Johnson , but with the young building blocks they already have in place , the cap room , and draft capitol ( #1 , #9, and # 75 picks) they could move into the playoffs very easily in 2024. In fact until the Vikings lost Cousins I expected the NFC North to be one of the best overall division's in football in 2024. So the Vikings need to make a move now before they fall behind. Current big needs for the Bears are in the interior of both the O-Line & D-Line, edge rusher, CB , safety , and maybe a extra WR. If the bears do take a QB at #1 they might get one of the 3 top tier WR's at # 9 to pair with Moore & Kennan Allen, or take the best O-Lineman available. I think its too early to move on from either of their young OTs , but they could take the best OT and move RT Darnell Wright inside to RG where his rookie year struggles with speed rushers could be alleviated. I'm not sure any of the edge rushers , or CB's in this class are worth the # 9 pick , although they did re-sign top CB Jaylon Johnson. Although since they traded their 2nd rounder for Sweat a trade back to gain a 2nd rounder in a deep draft might make some sense. They did sign veteran ball hawking safety Kevin Byard , but he has lost a step. Signing dual threat RB D'andre Swift was a surprise signing to me because they already have 2 good young RB'S in Khalil Herbert & Roschon Johnson. Pass catching TE Gerald Everett was brought in as well.  They are taking one of the QB's , and all rumor's say they are locked in on Caleb , but that could just be a negotiating tactic to generate a higher trade value. They traded Fields , but at this point apparently a 6th that can become a 4th based on playing time is the best they could get. Whoever the QB is in 2024 I expect them to look back fondly on the day that the Bears stole future HOFer Keenan Allen from the Chargers for a 4th round pick. GRAND THEFT WR ! Anyway I expect they will go with Williams, even though his recent delusions of grandeur have made me want to move him down to the #3 QB in this draft. I can't do it though. Even with me giving Maye the slight edge over him because of these new character questions , the tape Williams put out in 2022 trumps anything either of them did in college. Plus both of them are clearly ahead of Daniels on my board based on the film , but I am dropping Williams to my #2 QB. All this arrogant stuff Williams has been pulling has made me distrust him , but his upside is phenomenal , and as long as he can reign in his ego his floor is higher than that of Maye or Daniels.  Williams has become the first player to ever refuse medical testing at the combine , which makes me wonder what he is hiding. Rumors of his posse of yes men around him , and arrogant attitude don't help either. Then there is the crazy rumor that his father is saying he is so good he should get a percentage of the NFL team that drafts him? That is straight nuts , and I wouldn't have done that for Tom Brady when he was playing , and I wouldn't even do it for the unicorn Patrick Mahomes now. Maybe its a smoke screen because he is from DC , and is trying to force his way to the Commanders , ala John Elway & Eli Manning. Even if it is I don't like selfish snow flakes who think they are bigger than the game , or outside the rules. Jeff George & Jay Schroeder were very talented QB's , but also selfish jerks that their teammates disliked. They divided locker rooms , and the stuff that Williams is reportedly pulling is even worse. Anyway, Williams is very talented , and his 2021 & 2022 tape was excellent. This year he took steps backward , and his number of stupid throws really increased. He is a great improvisor & playmaker , but he needs to learn to get rid of the ball on time & in the pocket, because he isn't going to have anywhere near 4 seconds to throw in the NFL. You usually have to get the ball out in about 2.5 seconds in the Pros. Sometimes those time consuming plays are designed , other times he scrambles unnecessarily trying to push for a bigger play, and sometimes he moves outside because his lack of height causes him to move around so he can see his targets. While Caleb is great at improvisation , and off platform throws , he should run more often when scrambling. Although he isn't quite as a athletic a runner as Maye or Mccarthy , and no where near the runner Daniels is. I love his mechanics too. Caleb's ability to make great accurate big armed throws is rare , but too often he forces things down the field when he should just check down or run. Especially this season as compared to 2022. His awareness & ability to see the field is also rare , but he is NOT in Patrick Mahomes league in those categories  , as I have heard others claim. Plus Mahomes is a team first guy who has a real leaders attitude. Which the self aggrandizing , out of touch with reality , myopic , my brand first Williams does not. Basically he acts like the football version of Lebron James without being the completely unique player that James is.  I am convinced the Bears are going to take him unless he forces them to pass on him , but its really hard for me too see this arrogant kid walking into a NFL locker room full of grown men , and that kind of attitude working out. Plus joining a team with two #1 WR's already on the roster , and additionally Kmet , Everett & Swift is a QB's wet dream! Also, if for some reason the Bears  should end up with one of the top 3 WR's in this draft at pick #9 the dude should donate half his salary to charity in thanks. Its just that somehow I get the feeling he believes everything good that happens to him is his just due. 



Now With Daniel Snyder gone the new owner took a year to assess last seasons team , and found it wanting. New OC Eric Bieniemy got too pass happy , and Sam Howell's solid start to the season imploded. Once the tide turned Washington traded away both starting edge rushers , and it was really all down hill from there culminating in 9 straight losses to end the season. HC Ron Rivera got fired , and they are rebuilding now. On the bright side they have the #2 overall pick, an extra 2nd & 3rd rounders , and tons of cap room. I expected new head coach Dan Campbell to bring some players from Dallas with him , and he got 2 on day one. Edge rusher Dorrance Armstrong has been good in a part time role with 16 sacks over the last 2 seasons , and its reasonable to believe he can live up to his 3 year 45 million dollar deal by producing double digit sacks playing starter level snaps. Armstrong needs to set a better edge against the run though. I think new center Tyler Biadasz is overrated , and not worth his 10 million a year because he lacks quickness & athleticism , but he is a tough battler who tries hard. Then rotational veteran DE Dante Fowler left the cowboys to join Quinn with a 3rd team. New guard Nick Allegretti played OK for the Chiefs when Joe Thuney got hurt , and that includes 2 playoff games & The Superbowl so I like them taking a chance on him at a reasonable price. Austin Ekeler got hurt , and looked slower behind a bad O-Line last season , after 2 elite seasons in a row. He's 29 now , and didn't cost a lot , so maybe in a lesser role as a pass catching & change of pace back he could shine again in Washington. Veteran TE Zach Ertz gives them a more reliable pass catching TE than Logan Tomas. Marcus Mariota was paid enough to be the primary backup. They are taking a QB at #2 though. Expect a attacking defense that forces more turnovers in 2024.  I believe 2023 1rst round route jumping CB Emmanuel Forbes could do a lot better in this new scheme if he adds a little more muscle. Plus its not a coincidence that Trevon Diggs & Daron Bland each led the league in picks , and defensive TD's during Quinn's reign as Dallas DC. DB's are Quinn's specialty , but he asks a lot of them now. If Caleb Williams does get his way , and ends up with Washington he will see a familiar face in new OC Kilff Kingsbury who coached him at USC last season. For Now I am expecting they take Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels at #2. Reliable , but just OK blindside protector Charles Leno , good CB Kendall Fuller , and solid slot WR Curtis Samuel were all let go. The Commanders had the cap room to bring back all 3 if they wanted to. Washington traded away Sam Howell for very little so they HAVE to draft a QB here , because signing former 1rst round bust Marcus Mariota doesn't expire any hope. In a draft with so many QB'S with a lot of starts , Daniels is one of the most experienced with 5 years as a starter. The first 3 were at Arizona ST,  and the last 2 were with LSU. Daniels is a lean dynamic runner at QB, but he really improved as a passer in 2023. Jayden also had the best O-Line , and definitely had the best WR duo of all the consensus top 3 Quarterbacks. He needs to add at least 20 pounds of muscle , but he absolutely earned the Heisman Trophy last year , and I have never seen so many big plays from a college QB in one season.  It still bothers me that he didn't even get weighed & measured at the combine , but his Pro Day on March 27th was fully attended. He weighed in at 209 and was almost 6"4" , but how much of that 209 is water weight? With his height he should be able to easily carry 225 pounds of muscle in time, but it might take a whole year or 2 to add it the right way , because he has a narrow build. He tends to run more early if his 1rst or 2nd read isn't open compared to the other top 5 QB's in this draft, but he is also the most explosive & elusive running QB in college since Lamar Jackson was at Louisville. Although watching him run is even more scary because he is so upright while doing it , and took a ton of big hits showing that he is tough as nails. Usually high level running QB's are great at improvisation & off schedule throws , but Daniels falls far behind both Williams & Maye in this category ,  although he looks good on designed rollouts. Despite looking so thin on tape & taking so many more hard shots than any other QB in the draft , and again he kept getting up ,  its just hard to see that lasting in the NFL. He's almost as reckless as Josh Allen running the ball , and nowhere near his size. Plus huge QB's like Cam Newton & Andrew Luck had their careers shortened by taking so many NFL hits. 2023 was the first season where he got to be in the same system 2 years in a row, and its logical to believe his big jump in production was partially due to that consistency. He also has the weakest arm of the top 6 QB's in the draft , and he has to wind up and lengthen his delivery for some throws. Daniels has good accuracy and touch from the pocket , and the ball usually comes out quickly on pre-snap schemed plays. Also good timing throwing guys open if its his first read, but not quite enough oomph on his passes for consistent deep in or out routes. Also progression speed is just OK leading to some sacks on those longer plays. I think he is definitely smart enough to speed up his reads with time in the same NFL offense , and his leadership skills & other intangibles look great too.  He is the 9th overall player on my board because I doubt he can start right away unless he goes to a similar offensive scheme, but I believe he's going top 5 one way or another. Lamar Jackson is the closest comp I could come up with , although there really isn't one that fits just right , and Daniels is a little farther along as a passer than Jackson was coming out of college.  I added the weaker part not only because of Jayden's skinny build , as Jackson is so buff even his face looks rocked up , but Daniels also lacks Jackson's arm strength. With Kliff Kingsbury the new OC in Washington Daniels is a good fit , but I would still take Drake Maye instead.



Bill Belichick is gone, and while he is still a defensive genius his offenses in the post Brady era left something to be desired. In my opinion the fact that he didn't get a head coaching job this off season says less about him , and more about todays majority of pussified snow flake players who can't handle hard coaching & the accountability any real man should be able to deal with. Also the Apple+ documentary that seemed to just focus on anything negative with regards to Belichick , and paint a false narrative that many great former players disagree with , didn't help. With Brady gone there was no one to set the example of team first attitude & responsibility.  Also there were no more players staying for less money like Brady, and no more veteran players chasing a ring late in their careers willing to suck it up for less dollars. In fact after Brady was gone Belichick ended up having to overpay for lesser players , and the roster was significantly diminished , especially on offense. I think new HC Jerod Mayo has a chance to bridge the gap between old school Belichick , and new school kids enough to field a much more competitive roster. The fact that he was known for his brains more than his athletic ability for the majority of his career makes me think he will be successful in the long term. Plus with the # 3 overall pick they have chance to either take a good QB , or trade back and acquire picks to build up a roster that lacks many building block players. They could trade back in the top 12 with the Giants or Vikings looking to come up for a QB , and get the picks needed to help rebuild the roster , and still get a great OT or maybe a WR with that pick. They signed veteran stopgap QB Jacoby Brisset , and could go for a QB next year if they aren't happy with the results. Or maybe take a QB they like who falls to the 2nd round , or Spencer Rattler in the 3rd. Former QB Mac Jones is now the backup for the Jaguars at the cost of a 6th round pick , but young Bailey Zappe is still around. In this case it's Drake Maye available , and I believe he would fit Alex Van Pelts offense better than Daniels anyway. Their main free agents were guard Michael Onwenu , OT Trent Brown , TE Hunter Henry , WR Kendrick Bourne. All of them but Brown re-signed with the Pats. Young talented safety Kyle Duggar initially had the transition tag placed on him , but the new Pats front office was smart enough to eventually get him signed for the long term. Athletic LB Sione Takitaki was brought in as well ,  but for the low price they paid they may just see him as more of a core special teamer than as as a starting LB. Situational pass rusher Josh Uche was also brought back. Former Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor lost his starting job last season , and maybe the Pats still see him as a starter , but I think he would fit better as a swing tackle. The recently re-signed Bourne was the Pats most reliable WR last season , but he profiles as a #3. They also signed KJ Osborn away from the Vikings , but he is also a #3 WR , and that was one of the problems in New England last season. This team needs a QB , a true #1 WR , and at least one starting OT on offense. I think they might trade back , gather picks , and rebuild the entire roster before taking a QB this high. This time lets just say they stand pat and take Maye , because I could never pass on him. Maye is a 2 year starter and team captain that has the size & tools every team wants. He has a big arm that can make every throw you could ask for, and a quick renough release. Drake also has good speed as both a scrambler & runner , and I like his decisiveness and his decisions on when he chooses to run. Great deep ball thrower too. His O-Line was subpar to the point that Williams & especially Daniels clearly had a lot more time to throw. Plus until Tez Walker was cleared to play in week 6 Maye lacked a receiver that should be selected until the 3rd day of the draft , but Walker also tailed off later in the season. So some of his risky gunslinger throws can be understood , and his highlight reel special throws are spectacular. However, there are still too many times he takes risks throwing the ball up for grabs , or try's to force it in, when he should just throw it away. His processing speed is above average when he has time to throw , and he goes deeper in his read progressions than most Air Raid QB's do. His decision making is good without pressure, but he needs to improve against the blitz.  Also has good timing to throw receivers open , or hit them in stride while running. Lets not forget that he's willing to work the middle of the field , and you see him manipulating safeties with his eyes & pump fakes at times. I think its his much bigger frame , and results with a poor supporting cast that should have him drafted ahead of Williams and/or Daniels.  There are also some drops and poor adjustments by his receivers on tape where you just feel for him. However , maybe if he had the time to regularly get comfortable in the pocket that consistency would improve. Being a QB is like being a pitcher because you have to be able to repeat your delivery , but its much harder to do with people trying to knock the crap out of you. So when Maye's on the move his mechanics can get messed up , mostly with his stride , and he will make some bad throws.  In most years he would be a slam dunk QB one , and that includes last season , although I still believe Bryce Young will be a good NFL starter in the long run. Not to mention that CJ Stroud had the greatest rookie year of any QB in history. In your normal Pro style pocket QB offense it might take him awhile to be more effective , because he comes from an Air Raid system in college , but if you want all the RPO's & moving pockets a lot of teams prefer today he might be closer to starting right out of the gate. Maye has a high upside and a solid floor , and I believe he will be a good long term NFL starter if he gets the right coaching.  Not to mention going to a team with decent blocking & weapons. I would be comfortable taking him at the top of the draft , and think he should go at least #2 overall , but with all the rumors floating around right now its hard to tell. 



The cards had one of the least talented rosters for the 2023 season , but new coach Jonathan Gannon got them playing hard , and they squeezed out 4 wins despite Kyler Murray only playing 7 games. They have a lot of cap space , two 1rst - the #4 & 27 overall picks , two 2nd's , three 3rd's , and 9 total picks left after trades. They have a lot of needs , but WR , EDGE rusher , DT , CB , and interior O-Line lead the way.  Although if injured LT DJ Humphries doesn't resign they could even take a OT this high, but they did take a OT at #6 overall last season. WR Marquise Brown was their big free agent , and they had the money to keep him if the wanted to , but Brown is already gone to Chiefs. So far in my opinion they have just overpaid middling free agents in DT Justin Jones and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting. So they better draft well. Unless a shocker happens the top 3 QB'S in the draft will be gone , but if someone is willing to pay a lot to come up to #4 like the Giants , Vikings , Denver , or Vegas they could move back some. I would stay at #4 and take WR Marvin Harrison JR unless the deal was ridiculous, but the top 3 WR's in this draft are elite prospects. Plus NFL teams could have them ranked in different orders. Maybe the Cards like Nabers or Odunze more , and if they move back to just #6 with the Giants they could still get their #1 ranked WR. I'm willing to bet that the Chargers are going to move out of #5 if even a decent package of picks comes their way , but the Cards are ahead of them if they choose to move back. I would use pick #27 on the highest rated player still available at their other big needs. Building through the draft is smart , but there were some big relatively young free agents I am sure their fans wish they had signed. GM Monti Ossenfort has already said that the Cards are open to trading down ,but how far? I wouldn't trade out of the top 8 , assuming that 4 QB'S go in that range. That way you get either one of the big 3 WR's , or OT Joe Alt. This time I say they stay at #4and take the best player available. Marvin JR. is a rare prospect. He runs routes like his HOFame father , but is about 4 inches taller than pops , and has a much larger frame. To see a guy this tall move like a much smaller man is incredible. All the subtle nuances , short area quickness , smoothness , and shiftiness you could want. His ability to get off the line of scrimmage , separate , and secure the catch makes him a once every few years prospect. To be not only #1 WR in a draft that also features Nabers and Odunze is very impressive , but he is also the highest rated player on my overall board , and would have been a top 5 pick if he were available for the 2023 draft. Dominated when they covered him one on one , and while he is still good against zone because of his brains and route running ability , any QB who sees him singled up should just throw it up to him. You could play him at the X , Y , or in the slot and expect him to get open quickly. He's not a burner , but has good enough top speed. Gives good effort as a blocker too , but I wish he would show more of that physicality as runner after the catch. Has a lot of different releases off the line of scrimmage , and uses his hands well, but I would like him to be a little better hand fighter at the catch point. JR. is a natural hands catcher , but he did have a few occasional focus drops this season. There is no such things as a perfect prospect , but Harrison has the highest floor of any WR since Megatron was in the draft. Harrison did go through the medical testing at the combine , but didn't workout there or at the Ohio ST. Pro Day. While I don't like that he didn't workout , if there is any guy who can just stand on his tape alone Harrison JR. is that guy.  

***TRADE*** The MINNESOTA VIKINGS TRADE their 1rst (#11) and the 1rst (#23) they got from the TEXANS to the CHARGERS for their 1rst (#3) and 4th (#105) rounders ***TRADE***

5.VIKINGS-(lac) - JJ MCCARTHY - QB - MICHIGAN - 6"4" , 219


Kirk Cousins got paid AGAIN , but it wasn't by the Vikings. They reportedly wanted him on a cheaper 2 year deal with less guaranteed cash , and were expected to draft a QB pretty high even if he resigned. Cousins went to a team that potentially has receiving weapons on par with the Vikings, a good O-Line, and a much better RB & running game. I do think the Vikes pivoted well though signing injury prone , but still very talented former #3 overall pick bust Sam Darnold to a one year 10 million dollar deal that makes a ton a sense. He still might finally figure it out , and he just came from Frisco with Kyle Shanahan , and Vikings head coach Kevin O'connell is from the Shanahan/Mcvay coaching tree. So Darnold should be able to slide right into the offense , and his contract doesn't hinder them if they want to draft a QB in the first. Now that they acquired a 2nd first rounder from the Texans I am pretty confident they are going trade up for one.  The Texans basically swapped Pro Bowl edge rushers in free agency with the Vikings as Danielle Hunter is coming to Houston & Jonathan Greenard is heading to Minnesota. Hunter is the longer , twitchier , more explosive & consistent  , and has the higher upside as a pass rusher of the 2. Yet he does not set a good consistent edge in the run game , and he's the greedy type who is always looking to squeeze more money out of you , even when he already has a good contract. Greenard finally fully busted out in 2023 , and he sets a better edge , but I think he got too much money for a guy with his career production. Minnesota also brought in another later breakout edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel from the Dolphins on a 2 year 20 million dollar deal. LB Blake Cashman came from the Texans as well , but he is risky to me , because he was regularly hurt for the first 3 years of his career. He is a big athletic LB who was finally healthy in 2023 , and them proceeded to have a pretty kick ass season. 3 years 26 million is a huge bargain if he is healthy again , but his track record of injuries is worrisome. Although he did play his high school & college ball in Minnesota so that bodes well. They also got another talented injury prone player when they signed RB Aaron Jones away from the Packers , and he is a big play dual threat upgrade over Mattison , and its only for one year and 7 million. So , for the most part I like what they are doing with the money they would have given Cousins. QB , Interior O-Line , CB , and  interior D-Line are what they need most now. There is a crazy rumor about them trading Superstar WR Justin Jefferson , but I can't see that being a remote possibility unless Jefferson actually wants out , or its a trade for a QB. Even then trading a player like Jefferson is gut wrenching for a fan base. Some may say they traded away Diggs , but Diggs wanted out , and he isn't quite as good or young as Jefferson when that went down. Plus Diggs is surly & temperamental . Jefferson just seems joyous on the field , in the locker room , and in the community. So I think they should get a extension done at some point , and getting him a new young QB might help get him to sign for the long term. I want to make it clear that I wouldn't make this trade for Mccarthy , and even taking him at #11 without a trade up is a big risk in my book , but the NFL seems to love him. Maybe if I had a personal interview I would agree , because everyone raves about his intangibles , leadership , and personality. Although I do love that he isn't on social media. Mccarthy is a 2 year starter on a college playoff team in a west coast offense, and that carries weight. While he has been better under pressure this season for the most part , watching him throw 3 picks against a small school like Bowling Green in week 3 is another reason why I just don't see him as a first rounder. Not that he sees much pressure with his steady O-line & run first offense rarely leaving him in obvious passing situations. Play action certainly helps to get WR's open , and that goes double when you run the ball as well as Michigan does. Mccarthy's has a big arm , but lacks consistent touch. He is a good athlete & runner, and has the frame to carry a solid pounds to hold up in the NFL. Accuracy is inconsistent , but he does make some special throws , and rarely makes stupid ones. His ability to throw on the run , and his deep ball standout most. Also , I am not convinced that Mccarthy can currently read the whole field, because he doesn't throw well to his left. Although many young QB's only read the half the field early in their careers while learning more in a NFL offense. Plus he isn't afraid to throw over the middle , and he is athletic enough to make key plays both while scrambling & when he takes off running himself. Played more in structure this season compared to last , but he can improvise a big play at times.  So west coast offense teams should be interested in him. Plus while I see the potential overall they just didn't trust him to make key plays with his arm for most of the season , because when they finally played a good defense in Penn ST. JJ was 7 of 8 for 60 yards as a passer. It's telling when they don't trust you to pass against a good defense , and even more telling that they only attempted a pass once in the entire second half in a big game. However , Mccarthy did redeem himself some against a Bama defense that is full of future NFL talent in the playoff game. In that game he got a chance to shine , and he produced by spreading the ball around without turning it over. In the actual National Championship he was efficient , and made a few key plays , but it was mostly back to game manager status.  Now I want to see him in a offense that lets him make more plays , and while he had a good O-LINE in both years as the starter at Michigan he might go to a team like the Raiders or Denver, whose O-Lines lack consistency. At the combine he showed off his big arm , weighed at 219 pounds , and ran a 6.82 three cone time that you would expect from a wide receiver.  So yes Mccarthy is very toolsy , athletic , and he isn't afraid to chuck it into middle of the defense. Also , if his first read isn't open his read progressions currently go significantly slower from there. However , he has very little tape showing him passing well against a defense remotely resembling one that he will see in the NFL. I had to watch 10 of his games this season , compared to Jayden Daniels to get a read on him , because he passes so little. He weighed in at 219 at the combine , but he looks a lot smaller on film so you have to wonder how much of that is water weight to mitigate teams fears about him playing early. Combining his tools , traits, intangibles , Pro style offense experience , and reports of great interviews could see him land in the top 5 of this draft. With Atlanta signing Cousins Minnesota would be ideal for him in my opinion, but there is no way I would take him that high. If he is successful in the long term I expect it will take him at least 2 or 3 years before he could be even close to being a reliable NFL starter who is anything more than a game manager. 

6.GIANTS - MALIK NABERS - WR - LSU - 6 feet , 200


Considering the fact that Daniel Jones keeps getting hurt , is hurt again , has only had one decent season , and they can get out of his contract after 2024 the Giants should be in the QB market. They could trade up into the top 3 for one , maybe reach for a Mccarthy , Penix or Nix at #6 , or sign a veteran . They didn't have the weapons , O-Line , or cap space to entice Kirk Cousins. I would have gone after Russell Wilson if I ran the Giants , but even if they did he went to the Steelers. Trading up to #3 with the Patriots would make the most sense for both teams , but I have them just moving up one pick here with the Chargers. They could move up to #4 to make sure they get the 4th QB off the board , but I'm going to give the Cardinals enough credit to say they are smart enough not to trade away from a sure thing like Marvin Harrison JR. Anyway their big off season move was trading a second for lanky edge rusher Brian Burns , and signing him to a 5 year 150 million dollar deal with 76 million guaranteed. They also signed RB Devin Singletary after losing Saquon Barkley to the division rival Eagles. Anyway , this team is also devoid of any proven offensive play makers , because Darren Waller got hurt again. Waller may even retire.  So if they stay at #6 a WR would also make a ton of sense. A offensive tackle makes sense , because highly touted by all of us , Evan Neal has been bad at RT. So if they drafted a OT they could kick him inside to guard. If the stay put they should take the best WR available. I really think they need a bigger guy , because the giants already have a gaggle of smaller receivers , but I have Nabers clearly ranked higher. Nabers was my # 2 WR coming into the season after a breakout 2022 , and he was much better in 2023. His snaps are split almost evenly between inside & outside alignment's so you could line him up anywhere to stress the defense. Explodes out of his breaks creating instant separation , and speeds through cuts like a good Pro running back. Shifty feet , blazing speed , and even a jump cut makes him very dangerous in the open field. He gets open because of explosiveness & agility, because he isn't as polished of a route runner as Harrison or Odunze right now. Malik's ability to take short passes and run for the first down is rare. Not to mention his ability to separate down the field , and he's threat to take it to the house on any play. Nabers could use some work on hand fighting & releases too , but I like the way he goes after the ball at the catch point , even though he doesn't have natural hands yet. It bothers me that he didn't even get weighed & measured at the combine , but his Pro Day on March 27th was fully attended , and he ran in the mid 4.3's. Compared to Harrison & Odunze Nabers is just a little raw right now , but his speed and run after the catch ability give him a higher upside down the road , and he would be the easy #1 WR is most drafts. I am sure some teams have him as their #1 guy , but for me he is my #2 WR , and more importantly the #2 overall player in the draft. 

7.TENNESSEE - JOE ALT - OT - NOTRE DAME - 6"8" , 321


Of all the coaching firings Mike Vrabel was a shocker to me. That roster sucked before the season , the Titans had a lot of injuries , and they had a really bad O-Line too. Vrabel didn't deserve that , but coaches are often scapegoats , although I was just as shocked that another team didn't snap him up right away. The team got old & injured , and they should have let a young 48 year old winner like Vrabel rebuild , and I think some of the teams who hired new unproven head coaches over Vrabel will regret it. New QB Will Levis showed some promise behind that bad O-Line , and with a average receiving core. They do have a lot of cap space though. With 2023 third round RB Tajae Spears , and incoming Tony Pollard at RB its now pretty obvious that the new Titans will be a zone heavy speedy slashing running game. Which is the opposite of thumping you with departed future HOFer Derrick Henry.  So its kind of weird that they let a young athletic zone suited center Aaron Brewer go to the Dolphins on a low cost 3 year 21 million dollar deal, and brought in the big beefy Lloyd Cushenberry on a 4 year 50 million dollar deal. Don't get me wrong Cushenberry is a better well rounded player , and Brewers anchor in pass pro was subpar , but they could have kept Brewer and moved Cushenberry to guard. The only O-Lineman on their roster I believed in going forward was rookie guard Peter Skoronski , and I still think they should give him a shot at OT. Although to be fair Daniel Brunskill did show some promise. Hiring young head coach Brian Callahan isn't a bad call , but the reason I like it most is that his dad Bill Callahan comes to coach with him. In my opinion poppa Callahan has been the best O-Line coach in football for over a decade , and every guy he coaches who listens will get better. They let a better LB in Azeez Al-Shaair go to the rival Texans ,and signed a worse player in former 1rst round bust Kenneth Murray away from the Chargers , but I guess he was at least cheaper. CB Chidobe Awuzie is a slight upgrade at CB over Sean Murphy-Bunting , who signed with Arizona , but he is also about 4 million more per season. The trade for L'Jarius Sneed is a good one , because it only cost them a 3rd. He's too grabby , but he's also a dog who won't back down from anyone. I wouldn't have made him one of the highest paid CB's in the league , but desperate times call for desperate measures. Finally a signing I really like came across the net when they signed WR Calvin Ridley. With D-Hop & Ridley they are now dangerous, and it will really cut down on D-Hop double teams. Plus D-Hop is in his 30's. If Treylon Burks can stay healthy , and Chig Okonkwo can stretch the seam like he did in 2022 Will Levis has a legit chance to succeed. They brought in veteran backup QB Mason Rudolph too. Now just keep building that O-Line , and let Callahan SR. work his magic. CB and interior D-Line are big needs on defense as well. With Alt gone they may just take their 2nd highest rated OT.  2 of the 3 stud WR's are still available here , but another WR seems like overkill , although they might be able to trade back with a team that wants one. Young Callahan's former club the Bengal's might be willing to make that trade , but I am not sure if the Titans want to move back that far. TE Brock Bowers is worth the pick , but I just think QB Will Levis needs to be protected first & foremost if they stay at this slot. In this case the clear cut #1 OT in the draft falls to them and they have to snap him up. Alt is another legacy player in this draft , because his dad John Alt was a former long term OT for the Chiefs , who even made a few Pro Bowls. Alt started out at TE as a true freshman , and then started the last 7 games at Left tackle. He never looked back after that because he started every game on the blindside for the rest of his career , and kept getting bigger & better. He's a technician who works to keep maintaining his blocks. I have been watching him closely  since he Mollywopped Myles Murphy in 2021. Alt is a absolute goer in the run game because he works to get a good position , maintains contact , and keeps driving his feet to the whistle. Good combo blocker , and I love how assignment sound he is stalk blocking at the 2nd level. His one weakness as a run blockier is just that sometimes guys get under him off the snap because he is so tall, but he generally does readjust & re-anchor before driving his feet soon after.  He doesn't quite have the ceiling of a few of these other 1rst round OT's , even though he does have a good ceiling, but he does have the clear highest floor of all of them. Plus there is no doubt that he can stay outside at OTA , and he never had a bad game all season. Alt plays very under control for the most part , and has a high level of awareness for stunts , twists , and passing off defenders. With his consistent pass sets , balance , and feet he looks like a true franchise left tackle to me. He's really tall at almost 6"9" , and before this season he had a lot more trouble anchoring against the bull rush , but this year he played a little lower with a wider base . By keeping his hands more inside more often to really improve in that area , and getting more consistent extension & lock out with his arms Alt has made himself a legit franchise LT for me. He does have the occasional problem of getting over extended and off balance on contact , so he could be more vulnerable to push/pulls in the NFL , but he rarely ends up on the ground. Alt has high level hand use both in placement & timing. Every year when you are watching guys in the summer you make a list of things they should improve on , and I am disappointed a lot , but Alt improved in every area. He may get out of the top 5 because of all the QB's being drafted there , but he is my clear cut OT one , and the #3 overall player on my board.  

***TRADE*** The BENGALS TRADE their 1rst (#18) and their 2nd (#49) in this draft and their 2024 3rd rounder to the FALCONS for their 1rst (#8) rounder ***TRADE***

8.BENGALS-(atl)- ROME ODUNZE - WR - WASHINGTON - 6"3" , 212


The big questions with the Bengals is will Joe Burrow actually be healthy to start a season for once , and then be healthy throughout. I would really like to see that. I think Burrow's health questions are the reason why Jake Browning hasn't been traded so far this offseason , because Browning looked good in the 7 games he was the primary QB for the Bengals. A 4-3 record as a QB in a tough division like the AFC North is a accomplishment. I thought Browning might get traded for a 2nd , but Burrow is still recovering , although he is expected to be healthy by May for OTA's. They kept Tee Higgins by throwing the franchise tag on him , but I honestly think they should trade him if they can get a 2024 first rounder for him , or if they trade up for one of the big 3 WR'S in this draft. He's a good player , but Chase is better , and they can't afford big contracts for both. The Bengal's brought back a familiar face in safety Von Bell after a year away in Carolina. Then they signed brainy former back up safety Geno Stone , who ended playing a lot last season , and led the AFC with 7 picks from the division rival Ravens. TE Tanner Hudson who became a weapon while Browning was at QB was re-singed. Mike Gesicki is another pass catching TE they brought in , but lets hope he never does the griddy again when he scores. TE Drew Sample , who can actually block some , was brought back too. RB Zach Moss was healthy for a lot of last year , and played well when he got a shot to start when Jonathan Taylor missed the start of the season. After trading Joe Mixon to the Texans Moss & 2023 rookie Chase Brown should be the primary ball carriers. DT Sheldon Rankins is a solid free agent signing , but he seems overpaid ( 2 years 26 million ) to me. Rankins can penetrate , but he is injury prone , and didn't hold his ground very well against the run last season. The signing of giant Trent Brown to play RT opposite Orlando Brown JR. gives Joe Burrow 2 enormous bookends to keep him safe, So I am having them trade up for a WR. Odunze if he was still has the size Chase lacks , and they should be losing Higgins this year or the next. I think Burrow & Chase might prefer fellow LSU alum Malik Nabers , and I certainly have a higher grade on him , but he's gone this time.  Odunze is a super productive team captain. He has a a big prototype #1 WR build , and the route running prowess to go along with it. Great adjustments and body control when the ball's in the air. Strong hands , and he's an ACE on contested catches too. He knows how to use his size to shield & out physical defenders , but I wish he would use that strength to get more yards after the catch. Also has good top end speed , but just average quickness early in routes. He generally gets off the line OK , but he could use his hands better to beat DB's away from him quicker.  Solid blocker , but usually just content to shield or sustain when a guy his size should be burying smaller DB's regularly. A WR with the , size ,skill , speed , and production of Odunze would usually stand alone at the top of the draft at his position. However  , even though he is a blue chip ( #7 overall )player on my board , he is my #3 WR in this draft ,  but he should definitely go in the top 10 of this draft anyway. It's just that Rome lacks the explosive burst & speed of Nabers. While Harrison is just a little more quick & polished in most areas. I expect he goes between picks 8-10 , although it could be in a trade up , and he will be a bargain for any team at that point. 



The dream come true of having one of the big 3 WR's fall to them with their 2nd first round pick didn't happen this time. They could reach for LSU's Brian Thomas , or a lesser reach for a defensive player. I am giving them a edge rusher. Turner is twitchy & explosive with the highest ceiling of the 3 ( also Latu & Verse)  edge rushers that I have a 1rst round grade on , but he still has a solid floor. I would love to see him cut loose off the edge in a more attacking defense , but he had both read & react and coverage responsibilities at Bama that held him back as a pass rusher. Dallas had a elite combine , and is so much younger (just turned 21) than Latu & Verse , so its reasonable to believe he is still getting better , but Latu is far more advanced than either of them as a pass rusher right now. He has gotten a lot bigger in college , and improved setting the edge this year , but he still needs to get stronger & play with more physicality. Has good length , and improved use of his hands in both placement & fighting with them this season , but still a needs more refinement there. He's still a bit raw in many areas, but he has the tools , and the motor to be a stud in the long term with more playing time.  Turner could easily be the first defensive player off the board .

10.JETS  - BROCK BOWERS- ** -TE -GEORGIA - 6"3" , 243


The Jets season was like a Shakespearian tragedy last year. First they get one of the only 2 QB's in the league I would have called elite ( Mahomes is obviously the other ) before last season. Rodgers got them to bring a lot of his buddies with him too, although I think every single one of them was overpaid , and none of them did much on the field. Then this team , that looked like a pre-season Superbowl contender , loses Rodgers to a torn Achilles on the first drive of the year. Zach Wilson failed to improve enough to win , despite the mentorship of his hero Rodgers , and was benched. First for journeyman Trevor Siemian , and then for the worst NFL QB I have ever seen in Rodgers buddy Tim Boyle. The locker room imploded , finger pointing ensued, and the whole season was a profound disappointment. Since Rodgers is now 40 , and coming off a torn Achilles , its fair to question if he can return to anything close to his once elite form.  On the bright side he is now talking about playing another 2-4 seasons , and he has that kind of inner fire /chip on the shoulder that Brady had. Another potential down side was that independent Presidential candidate RFK was reportedly considering Rodgers as a VP choice. If it were any other current NFL player I would call B.S. , but this is Aaron Rodgers. Highly intelligent , politically aware , and vocal about it. For Rodgers it actually makes some sense , but could he actually do both at the same time?  Something tells me Rodgers thinks he could , but luckily for the Jets RFK picked someone else.  Anyway , back to the Jets . If Rodgers is healthy and even 85% percent of what he was pre-Achilles they are a Superbowl contender. The main problems for this team are obvious. Fix the O-Line & get your QB more weapons , because this defense is ready to go. One of the bright spots of the 2023 Jets was the return to health & form of Linebacker CJ Mosely, and they gave him a 2 year extension. The Jets have had little cap space , and they have been purging the roster of some older past their prime players this off season. So far in free agency they have lost 2 good young players in edge rusher Bryce Huff & safety Jordan Whitehead , but Huff could really hurt. 2023 first rounder Will Mcdonald is going to need to step it up this season to help fill that void. Then they traded a 3rd for Hassan Reddick , and they are supposedly going to extend his contract. That's sad because they could have just extended the younger Bryce Huff , and saved that 3rd rounder. On defense they have signed one player I like as CB Isaiah Oliver should fit right into this defense since he came from the 49ers. Although a pair of interior D-Lineman in former 1rst round bust Javon Kinlaw who played for HC Robert Selah in frisco , and a backup NT Leki Fotu , are not exactly inspiring stuff. On offense they have already started to fix some of their O-Line problems. The Jets signed away one of the Ravens starting guards in big John Simpson. Then they traded with the  Ravens for their starting RT Morgan Moses , who is coming off a good season for a trifling swap of 4ths and a 6th. Veteran QB Tyron Taylor fits as well , because he can keep them in games if Rodgers goes down. The signing of big former Chargers wideout Mike Williams is risky , because he is so injury prone, but if he's healthy he could be a great #2 WR for the Jets. In the draft they don't have a 2nd because of the Rodgers trade , but they have 7 total picks . Including the #10 overall , a 3rd and two 4ths. They should use at least 3 of those picks ,  on offensive lineman & pass catchers to help Rodgers. At # 10 I doubt any of the top 3 WR's will be there so that leaves TE Brock Bowers , and a potential blindside protecting OT as the top choices. Rodgers buddy , and former great LT when both were with the Packers David Bakhtiari was cut by the Packer after 3 years of injuries. It would make sense if he signed with the Jets , and if he was actually healthy again while keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. It would also be a dagger in the ass of the Packers front office , and I think they would deserve it for the crappy way they treated him. However, since his health is a clear question mark they should absolutely draft a OT , and the rookie could play guard this year if Bakhtiari is healthy. Olu Fashanu , Taliese Fuaga , Troy Fautanu , and JC Latham could all fit that bill.  Although Fashanu is the only only who actually played the blindside last season , and ironically the only one of the 3 who I doubt has the strength to run block inside at guard. Fuaga is gone this time. They might even be able to trade back a little to gain some more much needed picks , and get one of those 3 guys. Or maybe even Bowers who would be a steal #10 , and a even bigger steal later.  Since they signed often injured , but still future HOFame OT Tyron Smith to play the blindside I am giving them one of the 2 who can play guard until Smith gets hurt. To be fair Smith is still a top 10 OT when healthy , even though he is well past his prime , but last years 13 regular season games played were his most since 2019.  Maybe they role the dice , and still bring in Bakhtiari on a incentive laden deal based on playing time in the hope that either he or Tyron would be healthy at left tackle each week. Its not the weirdest idea I have ever thought of. Its just that signing expensive older players like Tyron & Mike Williams to deals, and expecting them to play key roles to help , the 40 year old coming off a big injury Rodgers ,  seems super risky. Maybe they think they have done enough with the O-Line by adding 3 new veteran starters , and take the TE. Bowers has been the best receiving TE in college football since he was a true freshman , and even though there have been a lot of other good TE's & WR's at Georgia during his tenure , Bowers became the focus of the passing game.  He just kept steadily improving all 3 years,  and he absolutely should be a top 10 pick in any draft.  In 2023 he suffered a high ankle sprain in week 7 , and had to have surgery. Was supposed to be out 4 to 6 weeks , but he made it back in 3 weeks so he could play against Bama in the SEC Championship game. They move him all over the formation like a #1 WR , but he will also lineup inline , and in the back field. Great hands , a wide catch radius, and he will win most decently thrown contested catches. Bowers is a dominant physical runner after the catch with a nice stiff arm. Literally moves like a very large running back with the ball in his hands , and runs through would be tacklers like he caught them banging his girlfriend. However, he is so intent on running that he can be a little careless at times tucking the ball away securely before he goes up the field. I can't ever remember a TE being such a big weapon in the screen game in college before Bowers. He still needs polish on his route running , but he has legit quickness &  long speed , and he is one of the rare TE's that can actually run a good whip route. His high ankle sprain has prevented him from running in the pre-draft process , but he looks like a low 4.5 guy to me on tape. He's a solid enough in line run blocker because of his effort , but much better on the move , outside against smaller defenders ,  and down the field picking off 2nd & 3rd level players. Also plays the fullback lead blocker role well enough , and is a threat to run the ball himself as a RB. Below average height for a TE , but well built. Has enough weight to hold his own when he is inline against smaller quicker ends , but I would prefer him in combo blocks, and not a guy who can man up & move bigger defenders off the ball.  He isn't just a TE, but instead more of a match up nightmare that can be targeted like a #1 WR. 

11.CHARGERS-(min)- TALIESE FUAGA - OT - OREGON ST. - 6"6" , 324


The Chargers had the worst cap situation in the league being almost 21 million over when free agency started , and that's after cutting LB Erik Kendricks who had a good season in 2023. They gave a new deal to Khalil Mack who is coming off a 17 sack season , but is also 33 years and was in the last year of his deal. Other obvious possible cap casualties or trade candidates were WR Mike Williams & DE Joey Bosa , because even though both are good players when healthy , neither are healthy often enough to justify their current contracts. Williams was finally let go , which saves them 20 million , but they restructured and kept Bosa. Center Corey Linsley also falls into the category of once great player who is now injury prone , and has a hard to justify big salary , but he retired.  Former 1rst round LB Kenneth Murray has never lived up to his draft status , and I'm not sure if they even made a big effort to bring him back , but I could have seen him playing better in Harbaugh's defense. Anyway , Murray signed with the Titans. Former standout RB Austin Ekeler had a down injury plagued season , but with better blocking he could still be useful , although its sad that he didn't get much money from Washington after years of being underpaid. Bringing back safety Alohi Gilman at a reasonable price after his breakout season was a good idea. I like the Will Dissly signing as well. While Dissly isn't a big separator he can block & catch , and his main question has always been health. TE Hayden Hurst was also signed , and is a similar player on the field to Dissly.  Power RB Gus Edwards fits what Harbaugh wants to do , so I see why they signed him, but injury questions are also his Achilles heel, They brought run stuffing LB , and former charger LB Denzel Perryman after 3 years away , but he is a liability in coverage. They should have kept WR Keenan Allen , but nope.  I expect QB Justin Herbert to look back in horror on the day that the Bears stole future HOFer Keenan Allen from the Chargers for a 4th round pick. GRAND THEFT WR ! To ask the guy who was leading the league in receptions through week 14 to take a pay cut , especially when he was already underpaid compared to last seasons production, is ludicrous . If you watched the games later in the season , when the bolts were out of contention & they shut down everybody with even a hang nail, you know how bad this team looked without Keenan Allen. As of now last year #3 WR Josh Palmer is their number one guy , and raw 2023 first rounder Quentin Johnston is their #2. Since Johnston couldn't even crack the top 3 when everyone was healthy that should worry the Bolts , but at least he has a very high upside. On the bright side Harbaugh's commitment to the 2 TE power running game does make for a lot of open guys off of play action , but right now their receivers resemble the Patriots of last season , and that is miserable. There is no telling what Harbaugh will do now that he has the ability to get whatever type of players he wants, because he didn't have that control back in his 49ers days , but I expect the Harbaugh led Chargers to make a quick turnaround & be a contender soon. Just not this season , but the defense will be better. These first 2 years where Harbaugh will have such a strong familiarity with the college players entering the NFL should give him a leg up on other coaches who hold a lot of sway in draft rooms.  This roster needs a LOT of new players , and they need to be cheap so that means the draft. They have all of their own draft picks plus a extra 7th rounder. If they stay at #5 a OT, WR , or possibly TE Brock Bowers make the most sense. As much as I love Bowers , and Harbaugh runs a lot of 12 ( 2 TE sets) personnel I wouldn't take Bowers there. In fact if they can get a QB needy team in the top twelve to trade with them they could get the picks they need to fill out the roster , and still get a good Right Tackle or WR. Or maybe a team wants to trade up for one of the top 3 WR's. Either would be ideal. However , they may move back even farther. The Patriots are ahead of them , and they may move back as well , but if they don't the Chargers are in prime position to get a big haul from the Vikings. This time I had the pats staying put , and the Chargers moving pretty far back. However this also definitely takes them out of the running for Joe Alt & probably Brock Bowers too. So they should either take their highest ranking OT or a corner, I am giving them a right tackle to pair with Rashawn Slater. I love this guy. Fuaga is a people mover in the run game, and has the tools to stay outside , even though his length is just OK for a OT. Has some really fun nasty blocks on tape too. He's controlled with short choppy steps in pass pro , and his timing , hand placement , and punch make him a steady protector. Plays with good knee bend, and even though he doesn't always latch as a run blocker he is fighting through the whistle to maintain his blocks. He could struggle with some elite speed rushers in teh NFL , but most OT's do , but good luck trying to bull rush his stout anchor. Isn't as rocked up as the other 1rst round OT's with some belly hanging out , but with a year in a NFL weight program that could go away. Some teams have arm lenth thresholds for OT's that he won't meet , and will see him as a guard, but I don't. Maybe he can't flip over to left tackle, but as a right tackle he is the 2nd best OT in this draft for me , and a plug & play starter. He fits the power running game that Harbaughs entire offensive scheme is based on. 

***TRADE*** The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS TRADE their 1rst (#16) and the 3rd  (#81) they got from the SAINTS and their 6th (#192) to the BRONCOS for their 1rst (#12) rounder ***TRADE***



The Seahawks went a little backward last year , and with the amount of talent they had on defense alone it was surprising. So Pete Carroll was finally let go. Geno Smith wasn't quite as good in 2023 either , but with both starting OT'S out , and at the same time no less I get it. Plus I think he missed former QB coach Dave Canales who was the Bucs OC last season . I don't think its a coincidence that Canales presided over the turnaround years of 2 once highly touted , but previously disappointing QB's. NEW OC Ryan Grubb comes from Washington university , so it wouldn't shock me if they drafted Michael Penix. Seattle had plenty of cap space when free agency opened, but they restructured/extended WR Tyler Lockett anyway.  The best thing they did was re-sign Leonard Williams to a 3 year deal. They finally cut once great , but now almost always injured safety Jamal Adams , although those 2 first rounders they traded for him were a colossal waste. Free safety Quandre Diggs took a step back last season , and was let go too. Rarely targeted pass catching TE Noah Fant was re-singed to a contract averaging over 10 million a year , which makes little sense to me , but maybe at that price they will throw it to him more. Then again maybe they paid Fant so much because TE's Will Dissly & Colby Parkinson signed with someone else. They also traded for Washington's 2023 starting QB Sam Howell who started out hot , but then struggled. They got him cheap though , and I think its a smart move & upgrade over Drew Lock. I also love the singing of young Tyrell Dodson , who was especially great in coverage last season , and he is needed because both of last years starting LB's (Bobby Wagner & Jordyn Brooks ) signed elsewhere. They also brought in former fins LB Jerome baker. I was afraid they might overdraft a off the ball LB after losing Wagner & Brooks. There is no LB that should be taken in the 1rst round , but the hawks have reached ( like Jordyn Brooks ) in the 1rst round plenty of times in the 14 years John Schneider has been running the show , but hopefully that was Pete Carrols influence. They lost road grading guard Damien Lewis to Carolina & free agency as well making it a pretty big need. So I am giving them a guy who can play tackle if one of their starting OT's is hurt again , but start out at left guard. The trade up is to get ahead of both the Raiders & Saints who both need a OT badly. Fautanu has a violent all out play style that I love, and dude is built like a bull, but his technique needs some work.  Plays with good knee bend ,  uncoils with power , strikes , and just keeps driving his feet to bury a guy. However , he is too aggressive at times because he is all forward all the time , and doesn't always latch or sustain well. In the run game Troy needs to maintain balance ,  keeps his hands inside , and avoid getting too far over his feet. Otherwise he will get Olay-ed or shucked in the NFL. I love the way he pulls - quick , hard , and looking to hit someone hard on contact.  In pass pro the quicker he makes contact the better. Has a nice anchor , and his balance in his initial sets is fine, but he's a lunger. Its like he can't wait to hit someone , and so his strikes are out of control. He usually starts with his hands too low , then too often throws them high and/or wide, and often waits too long to throw them if he has to reset. Although I love his angry punch when it lands right , and he has a strong anchor.  He actually played LT the last 2 seasons. I absolutely think he has the length , feet , and  quickness to stay there if he can adjust his hand placement & timing. It's just that to me he may make some Pro Bowls at tackle, but I think he could be a regular ALL PRO at guard. That's his floor to me - a great guard , but if his hand technique gets polished up he could be a great OT in time. Since he played right up the road at Washington the Hawks should know him well. A guy this nasty , with such a high ceiling & floor , and with the athleticism he showed at the combine shouldn't get out of the top 15 of this draft. 



The raiders really came together , and played both harder & better under new coach Antonio Pierce. I'm really glad owner Mark Davis saw the light this time , and gave the full time job to Pierce , because he screwed the pooch in this same scenario a couple of years ago when he hired Josh Mcdaniels over Rich Basaccia. Rookie 4th round QB Aidan O'connell even had a couple of good games , but not enough to secure the permanent job. They already signed journeyman gamer Gardner Minshew to compete , and I think they may draft a QB too, but only if one the like falls to them at the right time. Basically I am saying I doubt they trade up for one ,  and I previously thought they might for Jayden Daniels , partly because Pierce was on the coaching staff while Daniels was still at Arizona. The Raiders now have 2 young QB's with starting experience , and rebuilding the roster would make more sense in the first round with pick #13 by taking a building block player such as a CB or right tackle. They might even get the top corner on their board , or the 2nd or 3rd OT in their stack. The Raiders had a lot of cap space before making cuts , but after getting rid of Jimmy Garoppolo & Hunter Renfrow they already signed a good young DT in Christian Wilkins to a big 110 million dollar deal.  Then they re-signed promising young center Andre James to a solid deal after a breakout season. In addition to needing the CB & RT the Raiders also need a guard , a new starting RB to replace the departed Josh Jacobs,  and maybe another DT to round out their rotation. Last years draft was big on tools , but lacking production. First round toolsy ,but clueless about football edge rusher Tyree Wilson needs to get better. You would think that watching the relentless Maxx Crosby on a regular basis would inspire the kid to rapid improvement , but 2023 was a lost season for him. 2nd round TE Michael Mayer started making his mark whenever O'connell was brave enough to throw it to him, but I expected more from him as a blocker based off his college tape. 3rd round DT Byron Young joins him as a young guy who didn't do much in Vegas as a rookie, but he was hurt. 3rd round speedy WR Tre Tucker actually made some big plays , and his deep routes helped out pulling safeties,  and opened up the field for others more in the final third of the season. Blazing fast 4th round corner Jakorian Bennett actually played a lot early , but not very well.   So basically I think the Raiders have a chance at a wildcard spot if a few things go right , especially with the Broncos & Chargers going through rebuilds , but unless  Mahomes gets hurt the Chiefs seem a lock for the division  title. They also brought in underrated dual TE Harrison Bryant from the Browns so we might see more 2 TE sets this season. I am going with my top corner here. Mitchell is a small school guy who excels in off coverage , and I really wished he had transferred to a power 5 school before the 2023 season. Jumped a lot of routes in 2022 , and then QB's avoided him more in 2023 , but they threw at him enough to learn the error of their ways. Very physical hand use with good size &  great speed . Mitchell has a smooth pedal , and a quick burst to ball once he sees it. However ,  I think his route jumping ways could make him more vulnerable to double moves in the NFL. I love the way he comes up against the run , and also a rare good form tackler for this day & age. Had a great week at the Senior Bowl , sticking to his man , and showing good mirror ability which alleviated concerns about his level of competition.  Had some press snaps , and looked good , but I wanted to see him in a lot more press snaps. Also a ACE special teams gunner. Destroyed the combine , and now my #1 CB in a good corner draft. 



The Saints have a bad cap situation... again. Every year I think they are going to take all of their cap hits , and they never do , because they refuse to fully rebuild. So they have been cutting & restructuring a lot of veterans. They did re-sign 2 defensive leaders in LB Demario Davis & safety Tyrann Mathieu.  On the bright side they finally let overrated O-Lineman Andrus Peat go. He's always been subpar in the NFL to me, and it doesn't matter if you can play tackle or guard if you are bad at both positions. Guard James Hurst took a pay cut to stay , and he is slightly better than Peat anyway. Stud RT Ryan Ramczyk restructured his deal too , and it was a pay cut that gives him some guaranteed money he didn't have , but apparently his knee isn't responding a swell as hoped. Michael Thomas is gone, and they seem to be attempting to replacing him with Cedrick Wilson who did very little in Miami. Signing injury probe edge player Chase Young for 13 million guaranteed would make more sense to me if he was healthy, but he is having neck surgery, and could miss part of training camp. The Saints knew this , but still his history of stingers worries me. Young LB Willie Gay has the talent to be a solid starter , and its just a one year 5 million deal. Maybe playing next to Davis will inspire him to consistency. Safety Marcus Maye was let go as well. The saints have a lot of needs. OT , guard, D-Line both inside & out , and CB. Angry 2022 first round OT Trevor Penning hasn't lived up to his draft status yet, and I am not sure if he will ever has the feet & balance to be a left tackle. Ramczyk has been hampered with a knee injury the last few years that have caused him to miss 5 games last season alone. I think he could play the left side, but that knee combined with the struggles of Penning make OT the absolute most important need. If they are lucky they will get a LT that works out , keep Ramczyk at RT , and kick Penning into guard. Olu has the kind of feet , balance , quick hands , and movement skills in pass pro to sometimes make it look easy. His hands are the main problem , but his overall technique is just lacking , and I mean everywhere. Fashanu usually starts with his hands too low, has a tendency to give up too much depth before throwing his hands , throws them too wide , and he needs more strength & consistent shock from them. On those rare occasions he throws his hands tight inside & on time its pretty , but he tends to catch rushers around the hips instead of punching them , and then try's to slide his hands up after contact. His anchor still needs work , but it was improved this season. As a run blocker he clearly starts out high , and the lack of strength shows up there more because he is losing the leverage battle. Has the quickness & lateral agility for reach blocks, but tends to be too high on contact & again starts with his hands too low , and they are too wide too often. Although he does try to sustain , and he keeps his legs moving , but his hands are still outside most of the time. He even straight hugs dudes sometimes when he gets stood up off the snap. So if he can start with better knee bend , stay lower,  widen his base , keep his freaking hands inside , play meaner , and extend his arms he can be a franchise left tackle. That's a lot to improve on though. Its just that I had these same concerns before the season , and unlike Joe Alt who improved in every area I questioned , Fashanu only slightly improved in a few areas. Maybe I was naïve to think he would do the obvious , and he did win most of the time in pass protection, but Fashanu has went from being a probable top 10 pick to a boom or bust prospect in my eyes. If you just went off the tape instead of potential & athleticism he probably shouldn't go in the first round anymore. He got away with a lot in college because he's so quick, and he didn't give up any sacks in the 7 games I watched over the last 2 years. Olu rarely gives up the inside,  and he can ride speed rushers outside in college , but in the NFL it will be much harder. He will face more speed , a wider variety of moves , better hand fighting , a lot more strong bull rushes , and way better counters. So in the NFL he could struggle a lot early , and I expect him to be overpowered a lot unless his technique improves. As a former O-Lineman & O-Line coach his tape is maddening , but I know there are going to be a lot of NFL O-Line coaches who think they can fix him. Maybe they can , but this is basic stuff he sucks at , and he should be better at it by now. Its up to him. If he is coachable he will make it , but if not he will just end up another finesse OT who doesn't live up to his draft position.

15.COLTS - JC LATHAM - T/G- ALABAMA - 6"6" , 342


The Colts seemed to have learned from their mistakes from the Andrew Luck era, and didn't rush back 2023 first round tooled up QB Anthony Richardson from injury. He's a big dude, but so was Luck , and he retired way too young. They threw the franchise tag on possession WR Michael Pittman. They had plenty of cap room when free agency started , but I'm not sure they are using it as wisely as they could have. Gardner Minshew filled in capably for Richardson , but him leaving to Vegas is no big loss. Signing way past his prime QB Joe Flacco to be the primary backup kind of surprised me though. While Flacco had a mini career resurgence for The Browns last year, and I logically assumed he would stay in Cleveland , I wouldn't want him to be my primary backup at this stage of his career. Off the ball LB Zaire Franklin was given a generous 3 year contract averaging over 10 million a year for a guy I think to be on the decline , but maybe they know something I don't. Long term steady slot corner Kenny Moore deserved to be resigned, but he's 30 now , and 3 years 30 million seems a bit much. However, I do like the resigning of DT Grover Stewart , and bringing in former Dolphin DT Raekwon Davis. Combining those 2 with stud Deforest Buckner should give them a heck of a rotation on the interior of the defense , and the length of Buckner & Davis should really clog passing lanes. Brock Bowers would be the ideal pick , but he is already gone on this mock. So in addition to a stud pass catching TE , the colts big needs are CB, safety , and edge rusher. Guard & WR are lesser needs as well. Since Anthony Richardson is the potential new franchise player they may want to shore up the one weakness on the O-Line , and upgrade at right guard. Latham is a big strong long armed OT Prospect with some Jekyl & Hyde pass pro tape in 2022, but it really improved in 2023. Struggled with inside moves a lot more in 2022 , but improved  some this year with tighter pass sets , and improved with his left hand blocking the inside. Jumpy with a a LOT of false start penalties  , and can get grabby as well , but again improved there this season. Although he does do some obvious pulling of the jersey away from the body. Real functional power with his hand punch,  and can torque his body to toss aside defenders. Plays lower than most guys his size , has good posture , and has a strong anchor when his feet are set. Although he can occasionally get off balance when sliding laterally. Has a finishers mentality that I love, latching on & driving defenders off the ball, but also can get overaggressive ducking his head & lunging as both a run & pass blocker. Latham is hit & miss down the field , but when he lands he can send a linebacker sprawling. As far as dominant man handling blocks inline he is right up there with Fuaga in making defenders look bad. I expected him to struggle with speed more on the outside this season , but again he was improved , and even when initially beaten one hand punch from him can knock a guy off course. His awareness to stunts & twist still needs work too. Before this season I expected him to end up at guard like Leonard Davis did because he is such a massive bully in the run game, and he could still be a kickass guard , but I am more confident that he can be a NFL OT now.  I had heard they were going to flip him to the left side in the offseason , but they kept him at RT , and I believe that's where he belongs. Basically there is no logical reason to move a guy who is making such progress right where he's at. He was listed at 360 with Alabama , and while he has a lot more of a put together build than T'vondre Sweat , I was worried he might also come in too heavy for the combine. Instead he showed up at a slimmed down 342 , and looked in good shape. However , I really wished Latham had worked out in Indy. He ended up as OT #4 for me , and I gave him a first round grade , but some teams could have him as high as OT #2. JC has a high floor as a guard ,  and a high ceiling at both positions. He just has to keep his weight in check , and keep developing his technique & awareness.  


16.DENVER - BO NIX - QB - OREGON - 6"2" , 214


The Broncs had a Bad cap situation when free agency started because they stupidly ate Russell Wilson's contract. Sean Payton is a great coach , but he wants a robot point guard like Drew Brees was at the end of his career. Russel Wilson is more of a improvisor at his best , but Payton wants a Drew Bree's clone. However , benching , blaming , and bad mouthing Wilson made him impossible to trade. Wilson completed almost two thirds of his passes last season , and had a excellent 26/8 TD to interception stat line in 2023. Payton is making him the scapegoat for all his teams woes just like Jerry Jones did to Amari Cooper a couple of years ago. Well Cooper has had back to back seasons of at least 72 catches and at least 1160 yards receiving with subpar QB play. Payton's plan will probably work out in the long run , but they are eating a huge ( 85 million in dead money) contract , and getting back none of the massive amount of picks they used to acquire him. Their bad cap situation already cost them a good safety in Justin Simmons , and its not a coincidence that their defense really improved after Simmons got healthy. Then they traded injury prone former 1rst round WR Jerry Jeudy for 5th & 6th rounders which clears more cap space. The signing of potential #3 WR Josh Reynolds would make more sense if they weren't in salary cap hell rebuilding mode. To make it clear I believe the Broncos should trade back, gather more picks , and then maybe take a QB later if one falls to a spot where the value is better , but it takes 2 teams to make a trade. I just don't think Payton agrees. He could take the big armed & more down the field throwing Michael Penix who I prefer , or the king of short quick hitting passes in this draft in Nix. In a draft with so many experienced QB's Nix is the 3rd of the 5th year starters. I hated his Auburn tape where it looked like he couldn't read defenses , and was just chucking it up for grabs, but his 2022 tape at Oregon looked like he flipped a 180 in that regard. He didn't just repeat his performance in 2023 , but looked even better, and was significantly more  productive. So he could be a 1rst rounder for some teams.  Looked really accurate & competent this season , but its so many short quick hitting passes that I have him as a late 2nd rounder. He looks smart in this safer type of offense , and its obvious that he knows the Oregon scheme very well , but I am not sure if he fits many of them in the NFL.  Nix has a good arm , and he's athletic enough to play in any offense , but he just looks more like a west coast guy to me right now. After his first read every progression gets slower . He can even scramble to buy time & throw on the run some , but his normally solid mechanics falter under pressure. QB's tend to go a round early , but the only team I can see selecting him in top 2/3 of the first round is the Broncos. Sean Payton wants controlled safe game management. That's Nix to me. Although some defensive head coaches may have him ranked higher as well. If the Broncos take him at #12 I think its a overdraft , but if they trade back into the 20's , or even better get him in the 2nd round it would make more sense to me. They do trade back here , but not as far I would like. At least they still get a extra 3rd & 6th while still getting their QB. 

17.JAGUARS - LAIATU LATU - ** - OLB/DE - UCLA - 6"5" , 260


The Jags underperformed last year , and while injuries were part of it , their defense worries me more. New DC Ryan Neilsen puts a emphasis on forcing turnovers , and that should help. I especially like the way his Falcons defense caused so many fumbles. The Jags were lacking cap space when free agency started , but singed veteran center Mitch Morse almost immediately after he was cut by the Bills. He is not the player he once was , but he is a upgrade over the disappointment Luke Fortner has been over the last 2 years. Plus his contract isn't big enough to prevent them from drafting a center at some point , and I like a lot of centers in this draft. I expected WR Calvin Ridley to leave in free agency , because they couldn't afford him & they didn't use him right anyway. He is a skilled route running possession receiver who you occasionally throw deep to , but they just kept sending him deep to pull safeties far too much. I'll bet they didn't expect him to sign with the division rival Titans though. They replaced him with a young large bodied deep threat , and skilled blocker Gabe Davis from Buffalo , who might even work out in that role. At the very least Davis is cheaper. Their best move was throwing the franchise tag on edge rusher Josh Allen , but if they could sign him to a long term deal that would be ideal. I like the signing of veteran CB Ronald Darby because he came cheaply , and he replaces corner Darious Williams who they lost to the rams , but they won't miss the poor tackling habits of Williams. Which brings me to incoming safety Darnell Savage , who's tackling habits worry me too , but he's young enough to hopefully change that. Incoming speedy return man/WR Devin Duvernay is very similar to free agent Jamal Agnew who is still available. The jags best signing is veteran DT Arik Armstead. Jacksonville's big needs are most of the O-Line, corner , and edge rusher. I would go O-Line because protecting young franchise QB Trevor Lawrence being healthy is your only chance of winning a Superbowl. I am giving them a edge rusher though. A few years ago Latu's career almost ended with a neck injury , but then he transferred to UCLA , and was cleared to play. He is the most advanced pass rusher to come into the league in years. He has back to back years of high level production as a pass rusher , and he's bendier & more athletic than I believe many give him credit for. He makes a fair amount of plays as a run defender too , but sometimes his angles & urgency to get up the field cause him to be out of position setting the edge , but he can stack & shed well enough when he stays home. Has karate kid hands, is craftier than a fox , a full toolbox of moves , and transitions between them like a 10 year vet. If his medicals ( neck) are clean he could be the first edge rusher taken , but his age ( turns 24 this season ) , and neck make that less likely. His best tape is as a 3-4 OLB , and while he is competent enough in coverage in college  , I think he would be better served in a defense where he can just concentrate wreaking havoc in the backfield. By their second contracts Dallas Turner should be the better player , but in the first 5 years I will take Latu's production over any D-Lineman in the draft. He's my bet for for defensive rookie of the year , my highest rated defensive player in this draft , and the #8 overall player. Playing across from Josh Allen will only make both of them better , and GOD help the poor QB's in their way. 

18.ATLANTA-(cin) - JARED VERSE - DE/OLB - FLORIDA ST. - 6"4" , 254


After Desmond Ridder was benched for the 2nd time it became clear that the Falcons will have a new QB next year , and thank GOD for that. The falcons FINALLY have a good QB , but it cost them some hefty cash , but would you expect anything else from Kurt Cousins? 100 million guarantee on a 4 year deal worth 180 million total. Cousins is coming off his best season statistically before a Achilles injury cut his campaign short. He will be 36 and coming off a big injury , but he is a pocket passer so there is a reasonable amount of hope that he will return to form. Cousins comes to a team with potentially as good receiving ( London , Pitts, and Bijan)  weapons , or at least they could fulfill that promise with a good QB like Cousins. A good O-Line, and a much better RB's & running game should help too. In addition they signed deep threat Darnell Mooney away from the Bears , and while I think they over paid ( 3 years 39 million , and 26 million guaranteed) based on his past production , it's possible that he even surpasses his deal with Cousins under center. Explosive , but injury prone slot guy Rondale Moore was brought in as well in a swap for QB Desmond Ridder. So I doubt they take a WR at # 8 , even though the 2 best players on the board are WR's. Instead I have them trading out this time. They need D-Line help , both inside & out , and corner help too.  I just don't see any prospect at that position worth #8 overall. So they can trade back to a WR hungry team , or make a slight reach for a edge rusher or corner. Since new head coach Raheem Morris is a defensive guy , and they seem worse off on the edge than at CB , I would go there if I had them staying at pick 8. Instead I will have the salary cap strapped Falcons trading back with the Bengals. Verse spent his first 3 years in college at little old Albany before transferring to FSU before the 2022 season. He broke out that year and I expected him to enter that draft , but he Surprised me by going back to school because I thought he would have been a 1rst rounder in 2023. He might have even gone in the top 10. My guess is he wanted to get bigger , maybe win a National Championship , and improve his draft status. One out of 3 ain't bad I guess. He added the weight we all wanted , but at first it seemed to slow him , and rob him of some of his burst. Jared is explosive with some twitch, but isn't very bendy. As the season went along he adjusted to it and seemed like a bigger stronger version of 2023 self. His speed to power translates with knockback shock in hands on contact , and he can set the edge or shove blockers in the QB's lap. He sets a strong initial edge in the run game by playing low and fighting , but bigger bully OT's have too much weight for him , and will wear him down later in games. Verse ended up my #3 edge rusher , but he has a good upside & floor. Has a decent array of pass rush moves, but he could add more to take advantage of those heavy hands. Out off all of his best traits I love the motor & bull rush most of all. I have a low first round grade on him , but part of that is because he will be 24 as a rookie , and he may be close to his full potential. I doubt he will end up a star , but if you need a good above average starter that will play his heart out for you look no further. 

19.RAMS - BYRON MURPHY - DT - TEXAS - 6"1" , 297


Last year was supposed to be the season where the Rams took all their cap hits from their previous ALL-IN years , and be bad. Not only did they get a Superbowl victory from those years , but Sean Mcvay & company found a way to be competitive with the least talented defense I can remember in 2023 anyway. This off season the Rams have a first round pick for the first time since Jared Goff was drafted #1 overall in 2016. They also have their 2nd , two 3rds , and 11 picks total. Last season with Cooper Kupp either injured , or playing hurt , he didn't look like his old dominant self for much of last season. Luckily 5th round draft steal Puka Nicua broke his streak of being injured like he was in college, and had maybe the greatest rookie season of any WR in history , but he still needs to clean up the drops. Then journeyman WR Demarcus Robinson broke out late in the year with 4 TD's in the last 5 regular season games to look like a capable # 3 WR. They re-signed Robinson before free agency even started , and 5 million was cheap for what he did last season. The Rams already did the smartest thing they could do before free agency started by resigning stud guard Kevin Dotson , who was coming off a career year , and he thrived in the rams scheme. So now the Rams finally have real salary cap space ( 52 million ), and have paid the price for their previous ALL IN ways. So they also have real draft pick capitol. Basically if Stafford is healthy they could make another run at a Super Bowl in 2024.  This roster looks good on offense except for maybe the O-Line , but it was improved last year already with the additions of Dotson , and 2nd rounder Steve Avila. On defense they need some help in most places , but a LOT of help is needed in the secondary. Their 2023 defense played a lot of 2 deep zone trying to prevent the big pass , and hope offenses make their own mistakes , but former DC Raheem Morris is now the head coach of the Falcons. New DC Chris Shula has never been in charge at the Pro level so its a mystery what he might do other than it should be a base 3-4 scheme. So basically as long as Stafford & Mcvay are sticking around for a few years this team is still in a championship window. 3 time defensive player of the year & future HOFer Aaron Donald retired , and he was still one of the best players in the league. So props to him for going out on top , but he will be missed. Not only by the Rams ,  but by all of us who just love football.  Although signing Jimmy Garopolo to be Stafford's backup is a perfect fit , because he has already taken a team to the Superbowl in this offense , and he can keep them competitive for a few games if Stafford is out for a stretch. Yet Jimmy G will be suspended for the first 2 games for violating the PED rules.  On offense left tackle is the biggest need , but on defense they could just take the best player available. The potential free agents they might have wanted to bring back are CB Ahkello Witherspoon , or one of their centers in Brian Allen & Coleman Shelton. Allen got hurt and hasn't lived up tis contract so he was cut for cap space. Shelton played well in the running game , but was a liability as a pass blocker , but he signed with the Bears. They probably will just move 2023 second rounder Steve Avila to center full time. If the right OT falls to #19 they might go there , but they need someone who can capably take some of Aaron Donald's snaps. So I believe either Byron Murphy or Jer'zahn Newton is the pick now. I have Newton higher on my board,  but his injury has prevented him from working out and showing off his skills , so I am going with Murphy here. Murphy is a short , stocky , rocked up,  explosive DT who is very strong for his size. I was late to the party on him,  but he realty stuck out when I was watching T'vondre Sweat film. He looks so tiny next to Sweat I thought he was even more undersized than he is. So I made a note to watch him later because I was expecting a guy more like former Eagle Mike Patterson. While Patterson was a good player I have always thought he was over drafted at the bottom of the first round, and was more of a steady role player instead of the potential franchise DT Murphy could end up being. Murphy's height gives him natural leverage, but some times he plays so low it looked he had one knee on the ground. He has just average length for the inside, but he held up pretty well against double teams in college, although I think it won't go as well for him in the NFL in that regard. Plus even though he can stack a guy early against the run he doesn't always shed quickly , and a lack of a consistent counter can cause him to stall out if he doesn't win early. Yet he can stand up a O-Lineman off the snap , and hold his ground one on one against most interior players. He even played a lot of nose tackle at Texas, but I wouldn't throw him in there in the NFL unless it was a passing down , or a shaded nose gap shoot.  Great motor too , and he can move and chase all along the line of scrimmage.  Both Murphy & T'vondre Sweat benefitted so much playing next to each other , because they each got to see a less double teams than they should have, and also less focus from offensive game plans with 2 studs inside. Ideally Murphy will primarily be a 3 technique in The NFL. Byron has a twitchy get off , quick violent hands and nifty feet to penetrate &  beat blockers right off the snap , and you rarely see a O-Lineman get a clean grip on him early. He is a penetrator, and he is at his best & counters better when coming forward, but he could play some 3-4 end too.  Murphy is a high floor productive 3 year player who earned more playing time every year, and he got better every season. However there was a heavy deep rotation at Texas , so he will be playing a lot more snaps in the NFL , so he could be worn down quicker. I ended up giving him a solid 1rst round grade. He is my #2 interior D-Lineman , and the #17 overall player on my board. 



The Steelers remain in contention year after year , even when they don't have a good roster for one reason - MIKE TOMLIN. He is clearly not only one of the best coaches in the league now , but I believe one of the greatest coaches EVER.  To keep at 500 or above for 17 seasons , even with subpar QB play is legendary. Bill Belichick had 7 losing seasons , Andy Reid 3 , Tom Landry 8, and Don Shula 2.  So whenever I hear whispers of the Steelers thinking about moving on from Tomlin it just reminds me of something I read in a book about 30 years ago , and this truism stands true throughout time. " The wizards first rule is people are stupid' . People often believe things because they are afraid they are true, want it to be true ,  or are looking to place blame on someone else. Or they actually lack intelligence , and believe they should go along with whatever other people the dummy's think are really intelligent are saying.  Now that doesn't make Tomlin perfect , and I am sure he would tell you the same thing. Do I wish he was a little more offensively adventurous at times? Yes I do. New OC Arthur Smith won't help with that much either , but it should improve their efficiency at running the ball. However, its easier to take more chances when you have a good QB. Well now they have Russell Wilson , who can make big plays , and doesn't turn the ball over much.  Sounds like a recipe for a Superbowl contender under a defensive head coach like Tomlin. Plus they are getting Russ on the cheap thanks to the Broncos mistake, although Russell did get a little full of himself in the one year he played under Paul Hackett , so he isn't blameless. It's just Sean Payton putting all the blame on Wilson after a season of having average at best average offensive weapons ,  while everyone learns a different offense , in the 2nd season in a row without a first round draft pick , on a team with salary cap problems , in a season where the team had a lot of injuries is ludicrous. Butt hurt veteran backups Mason Rudolph & Mitch Trubisky signed elsewhere , but that's no big loss. 2022 first rounder Pickett throwing a hissy fit once Wilson signed was a surprise. Pickett hadn't played well enough to even beat out long time backup QB Rudolph  , and they were media reports he refused to dress as a backup for their week 17 game. Also he had a workout scheduled with Steelers receivers that he blew off when they signed Wilson. Don't get me wrong I would have gotten rid of him too, but they got almost nothing for him. Then again the day after trading Pickett they traded for Justin Fields , and they got him for almost nothing too. So in my opinion the Steelers have not only gotten a huge up grade at starting QB , but even a small upgrade at backup QB too , and you could use Fields to do some Taysom Hill type  stuff if you wished to. I don't like trading away #1 WR in 27 year old Deonte Johnson , who can flat out separate. I was surprised when I saw how little they got for him too. When all it cost you for him is a CB ( Donte Jackson ) that Carolina were going to cut , and a swap of late round picks you lost the deal. This is one of the few areas that I don't like about Tomlin. He is actually right to not want players who don't want to be there , but saying so in the media lowers their trade value , because other teams know you need to get rid of the player now.  Jackson is fast enough to run with anyone though , and he is a upgrade over what they had at one of there CB spots last season. So maybe I am being to hard on the Steelers here. Plus the Steelers excel at drafting WR's outside the first round. I still think Pittsburgh needs to draft another corner.  I like the signing of new safety Deshon Elliott , but they need stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to be healthy as well. Bringing in new LB Patrick Queen from rival Baltimore is a upgrade , but it does bare mentioning that Queen was a bust until the Ravens brought in Roquan Smith to play next to him , and the Ravens didn't pick up Queen's 5th year option.  All purpose ace return man Cordarelle Patterson could be even more valuable with the new kick off rules. In addition to WR the Steelers also need a center , a RT , and another interior D-Lineman. The interior O-Line is most important though.  Jackson is only a one year starter at center for Oregon, but it was a year with great tape. He's a big powerful brawling dude who's head is always on a swivel in pass pro, you see him pointing out the MIKE backer pre-snap. He has good awareness always looking to help out when uncovered , and he keeps an eye out for blitzers. I can't remember the last time I saw a college center who is this good in pass protection. Jackson has s wide based anchor like a pillar of iron , and his punch looks nasty.  In the run game he has initial knockback power in his hands, but is usually too high off the snap , and he doesn't always latch on after that first pop. Despite that he can give you some push off the ball, but he is especially adept at turning his man out of the hole. He doesn't look that quick, and I was surprised by how well such a big guy played on the move. He was even effective on a lot of his reach blocks.  He sustains better laterally than straight up , but that may just be because he has average arm length for a center. Even though he has a few starts at guard in his past its this years center tape where he broke out in a huge way , and I would leave him at the pivot. On combo blocks he usually ends up being the guy coming off to the 2nd level because his initial pop jolts the guy over , and he has some great decletes down the field, but his timing & quickness getting to the right spot are still a work in progress. Hands aren't always inside , and that's partly because he strikes guys on initial contact instead of regularly fitting & latching. He's not a dirty player by any means but he bullies defenders by displacing them from a gap and keeps  getting after them through the echo of the whistle. Powers-Jonson was also the best O-Lineman at the Senior Bowl. He didn't run at the combine because of a hamstring injury, but did some drills and looked good. Jackson is a mean tone setter that would make any O-line better , and everyone should want him on their team. He is also my clear #1 center, and this is a good center class. Plus he's a solid first rounder, and the #18 overall player on my board. JPJ is a perfect fit for Pittsburgh , and I will always have them drafting him in any mock where he is still available. 

21.MIAMI - AMARIUS MIMS ** -  OT - GEORGIA - 6"8" , 340


The Fins are one of the teams that were ALL-IN last season, but even after the big salary cap increase per team they were still close to 25 million over the cap when free agency opened. So they cut former ALL PRO CB Xavien Howard , and former pro Bowl edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah , although both were coming off down seasons. Although that creates a lot of dead cap space , and that bill will come due eventually. Tua is playing on his 5th year option right now, and giving him a extension would create some space , but he has only been healthy for one year. Key free agents were stud center Connor Williams , but he is coming off a torn ACL in December , and breakout edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel who already signed with the Vikings. They signed athletic smaller center Aaron Brewer , but his anchor in pass pro is a worry. Often injured LT Terron Armstead was considering retirement , but he is coming back on a restructured deal. They lost stud DT Christin Wilkins to a big money deal with the Raiders. Then they overpaid LB Jordyn Brooks. The 9 million they gave Shaq Barrett is risky because of his injury history. The one signing I do like is CB Kendall Fuller.  So right now their main needs are OT , DT , guard, edge rusher, and off the ball LB . They did sign a pass catching TE in Jonnu Smith to go with Durham Smythe , who is more of a blocker. They had to re-sign Raheem Mostert after the huge season he just had  , and they got him cheap because last season was the first time Mostert was healthy enough to get over 225 touches. So TE is a lesser need unless something ridiculous like Brock Bowers falling to them happens. This team has a lot of needs , cap problems , and doesn't have 3rd or 4th round pick. So I think they should trade back if they can , but if the right O-Lineman is available they might not. I just think it will be much harder for Miami to be a Supebowl contender in 2024. The potential left tackles here Amarius Mims ,or Tyler Guyton. I am giving them Mims because his tape is better , and he has at least practiced at left tackle. This humongous Right tackle only had 2 starts on his resume entering the 2023 season , but they were both playoff games ,and he played well as the Dawgs won another National Championship in 2022. He especially kicked ass against Ohio ST. Amarius hurt his ankle in week 4 this season , had surgery , and missed 6 weeks. Came back and looked good for a few games , but hurt his ankle again in the SEC Championship Game this year. He is the most put together 340 man I have ever seen. I  remember going to Oxnard 8 or 9 years ago with my little brother ( he's a Dallas fan ) to watch Cowboys training camp. The most shocking sight was seeing Tyron Smith in a cut off tee , because he looked ripped. Smith actually looked more like a 6"5" 315 pound TE instead of a O-Lineman. Mims has a similar look , although he is more lean & isn't as strong as Smith was in his prime , but he still has good power. However ,  a guy who looks like a 6"8" 340 pound TE is more like somebody you would expect to see wrestling The Rock on TV. Also has 36 + inch arms , and ran the forty in 5.07 at that size. Ridiculous!  The talent is undeniable , and the tape has some impressive reps , but he has so few starts that I'm not comfortable giving him a first round grade , and I wish he had gone back to school to show that he can stay healthy. Right now he is better as a pass blocker, because he utilizes his length better there. He actually plays lower in pass pro than most tall OT's , and uses his hands well enough to keep rushers at bay , but he lacks a consistent fluid kick step & hard punch . Yet he is so long & wide that it's hard to get around him , and with improved consistency & technique he could be awesome.  I wish Mims had more than flashes of aggression. Unlike a lot of other Mauler type O-Lineman in this draft he seems content to get a push , or wall off instead of burying his man all the time , but he is still clearly winning the overwhelming majority of his snaps. He moves much quicker coming forward , and does generally win the initial leverage battle , but I kept expecting tons of pancakes. Although he does pull well to the outside. So while he is a solid enough run blocker , he doesn't look confident or committed to doing damage down the field. A guy with the size & athleticism of Mims should be a Hunter/Killer at the second level. Mims is a mammoth physical specimen with some good tape , but only 8 total starts , and all of them were at right tackle. If he had been healthy all year I think he would have been the 2nd OT off the board , and probably would have gone in the top 10. I still wish Mims had went back to school , got more experience , and played the blindside for a year. Right now he just needs playing time to polish & increase his awareness , and college would be a better place to learn than the NFL. I doubt he gets out of the top 20 because of his tools & traits , and the desperate need for better O-Lineman in the NFL. If he isn't injury prone long term I expect him to a good long term player , but on the job training in the NFL can be painful at first , and that's both for Mims & the guys he's protecting if he doesn't take to the left side early. 



In my opinion The Eagles had the deepest most talented roster in the league last season , but a lot of their older players declined some , got hurt , or both. Combine that with Jalen Hurts taking a small step back with former OC Shane Steichen now coaching the Colts, Hurts having a officially unreported nagging knee injury , and some weird internal problems ended with the eagles imploding late in the season.  Now they have lost future HOFamers Jason Kelce & Fletcher Cox to retirement , but were able to bring back mainstay edge rusher Brandon Graham for a 15th season. Then they used their newly acquired cap space to get a huge upgrade by signing Saquon Barkley. At center they already drafted 2 centers in Landon Dickerson & Cam Jurgens , and they ended up as the starting guards last season , but Jurgens actually has a similar athletic profile to Kelce's. Dickerson just got a big contract extension too. Don't forget the extension for ace kicker Jake Elliott, which locks him up for 4 years , and gives them more cap room this season. The Birds also signed breakout edge rusher Bryce Huff away from the Jets. Then just to top it off they brought back junkyard dog king of crap talking safety/ slot corner Chauncey Gardner-Johnson , after a injury wrecked season in Detroit. They also signed former 1rst rounder Devante Parker doesn't separate much , but he can win contested catches , and at this stage of his career he might be able to challenge for the 3rd WR at best. Athletic LB Devin White comes in from Tampa Bay , but in all areas except blitzing the former #5 overall pick has been a bust so far.  I really like getting young former Steelers starter Kenny Pickett for almost nothing to backup Jalen Hurts , but why would he want out of Pittsburgh to come to Philly? Hurst is younger than him , is firmly entranced as the starter , and has a big long term contract. Wilson is 36 , and on a one year deal for the veteran minimum. Just seems stupid & petulant to demand a trade after Wilson signed. Kids these days. Then Howie traded Hassan Reddick to the Jets for a 3rd rounder, and they are supposedly going to extend his contract. That's sad for the Jets because they could have just extended the younger Bryce Huff , and saved that 3rd rounder , but they don't have the eagles GM. So basically GM Howie Roseman is killing it again. Dude just rolls with the punches , then takes lemons and makes lemonade year after year. The secondary is where they still need the most immediate help right now, and I mean both corner & safety. Getting a heir apparent to another future HOFer in RT Lane Johnson could be addressed as well. Another lesser immediate need, but still potentially important need is a 3rd WR , because if Brown or Smith get hurt the healthy one will be seeing constant double teams. The Eagles have a extra 2nd rounder as well , and there is no GM more skillfully aggressive at trading on draft day than Howey. So if a good player falls don't be surprised if Roseman goes and gets him , as he did last year with Jalen Carter. After last years late season collapse I think its good that the Eagles are getting younger. They should be the one of the favorites in the NFC in my book. Koolaid is one of the rare DB's to start at as a true freshman for Nick Saban , and history has taught us that those guys generally have good NFL careers. Plus he improved all 3 years at Bama. He is so smart & polished in press coverage , but the foot injury discovered at the combine won't alleviate questions about his long speed , although he did run in the mid to late 4.4's at his Pro Day. Has good size and plus length to press & disrupt receivers. He is smooth and in phase, and he has a good short area burst to the ball , but he too often gets grabby when the receiver is coming out of the break.  Koolaid doesn't make quite as many plays on the ball for a guy who is often so close to the ball at the catch point. Most of time he looks confident & aggressive enough in coverage  , but there are others where he just seems too chill. This laid back attitude shows up way more in run support where he seems to be a pile inspector at times , but is more aggressive coming up on screens , and tackling receivers. Also a good punt returner. He is my 4th CB , has a low first round grade , and is the 22nd player on my overall board.  

23.CHARGERS-(minn,clev)-  BRIAN  THOMAS JR. - WR - LSU - 6"3" , 210


Thomas had one of the great breakout seasons in all of college football this year , and he led everybody with 17 TD catches, despite not being the #1 WR on his team. He has the tools to be a #1 WR , and his deep ball acumen to the end zone would help any QB. Still needs some help as a route runner , as he's spends most of his time running down the field pulling safeties even when he not getting the ball , but that opens up the field for everyone else.  He spends most of his time outside, has the size of a prototypical X receiver , and the majority of his shorter passes are when he's in the slot. I kept expecting him to be used on slants , and was disappointed by the lack. Thomas is a tier below the elite trio of WR's at the top of the draft in most areas , but he trumps them all as a blocker , although he is in that 2nd tier by himself on my board. His long arms help him to beat press , but he still needs a wider variety of releases off the line. Brian has the wide catch radius you want , but his hands are just OK at this point , and he had a lot more drops per target than I was expecting. He's a long strider with great top end speed once he gets there, and he has some burst , but I expected a player with his size & speed to be more of a YAC guy. If I wasn't taking a WR in the top 10 , but really wanted a guy with similar potential to Harrison or Odunze I would take Thomas JR. He's not as polished as either of them , but he has a similar tool box , except he is definitely faster. Its just that WR's with this size , speed , and production are rare so he could go right after the top 10. To me he is my #4 WR  with a solid first round grade , and the #19 overall player in this draft. He could easily replace Mike Williams on the outside, and has a higher upside than him anyway. 



The Cowboys didn't play up to their talent in the post season again , and of course Jerry Jones still claims they are ALL IN. That's a bald faced lie, because if that were true they would have signed some free agents on day one , or at least day 2 of free agency. If you have ever played in a salary cap fantasy football league then you know what a stars & scrubs roster is.  Dallas isn't quite that far gone , but they do have a lot of expensive star players on big contracts , and now "Jerrah"  might actually be crazy enough to make all 3 of Dak , Lamb , and Parsons the highest paid players in the league at their positions over the next year or 2. Neither Dak or Parsons have the production to justify those deals , although Parsons has the upside to be close. In real football that stars & scrubs philosophy can only work if you make good draft picks with cheap salaries every off season, and this year not one of the Cowboys eight 2023 draft picks played even a slightly significant role for the team. Undrafted free agent TJ Bass probably did the most for them while filling in for injured starters for the majority of 4 games , but none of their picks in the first 3 rounds played much or well.  1rst round Nose Tackle Mazi Smith was terrible. Smith still hasn't learned to get off the ball on time , couldn't even clog up the lanes to stop the run as the 2 down player they drafted him to be at minimum , and inexplicably lost about 20-25 pounds allowing him to get pushed around regularly. 2nd round TE Luke Schoonmaker wasn't the blocker they hoped for either , and he also dropped a lot of the few passes thrown his way. At least 3rd round LB Demarvion Overshown has a good reason for not contributing. He had a great camp then tore his ACL, and missed the whole season. 4th round DE/DT Viliami Fehoko couldn't crack the game day roster. Then he hurt his knee before going on IR , then was designated to return , but never did play. That's a shit show of a draft. Now maybe some of their 2023 rookies take a step forward in 2024 ,  and become actual contributors this season. Logically at least 2 or 3 should , but so far their 2023 draft is legendarily bad. The last time I saw a draft this bad was also Dallas. It was in 2009 when they kept trading back ,and passing on good players. None of that 2009 class became starters , and only Edge Victor Butler & backup TE John Phillips ever saw any decent rotational snaps with the first team. Also , if Dallas was ALL In they would have kept Tyron Smith who just had his best season in about 5 years, but at this point I wouldn't give him a contract that wasn't based on playing time anyway. It looks like the Jets , who actually signed him to a incentive laden deal , didn't either. So maybe Tyrons just tired of Jones , or losing in the playoffs. Now they have restructured Zack Martin's contract to free up salary cap space , even though he held them up for a pay raise in camp last year , when he is clearly on the decline. Martin is a HOFamer , and still a good player , but he wasn't even the best guard on the team last season because Tyler Smith was better. If Dak tries to become one the highest paid QB's after his repeated playoff failures , including 2 picks in the embarrassing ass kicking that Green Bay gave then IN DALLAS he's a jackass. Jordan Love clearly outplayed him in that game. To me Dak has proven that he is not the team first guy he claims to be. Kirk Cousins was having a better season than Dak when he got hurt , has had a a very similar career path , and if Dak gets paid more than him Jerry Jones has lost it. Neither QB has done much in the post season , but Dak has had better teams than Cousins in their respective playoff games. In 3 of the 5 regular season losses Dallas had in 2023  Prescott was clearly out played by the opposing QB , including journeyman Joshua Dobbs in a game where my little brother  ( Cowboys fan) lost his voice from screaming at the TV. I write this lengthy detailed cowboys preview for him every year.  Since I watch all of their games with him , and we have even went to watch their spring training for a couple of days in Oxnard , I am very aware of their team. Stats don't mean squat if you can't do it when it counts most Dak. He and Tony Romo both just failed too often in the biggest games. Meanwhile Danny White is a forgotten man who doesn't have their regular season stats , but at least he got them to the NFC Championship - 3 STRAIGHT TIMES! However , without re-doing Dak's deal they won't be able to sign almost anyone, unless they want to restructure a bunch of other deals , and Dak holding out for top dollar proves he doesn't put winning first. Even if Dak re-signs in a few weeks ALL IN would be laughable because the overwhelming majority of the good free agents would be gone. They have to nail this draft , and have 2 or 3 guys from last year step into big productive roles , to be anything remotely resembling a Superbowl contender in 2024. I think it more likely that Dallas have missed their window , but Jerry Jones is too old to admit it , and re-load/re-build. My brother would rather re-load/re-build than give into Dak's silly demands , and look for a new QB next season, or even hope that Trey Lance has finally figured it out. Dak is reportedly asking for 60 million a year. Ridiculous! Only QB's like Brady & Mahomes deserve that kind of cash , because they can drag a roster with holes in it to a Lombari Trophy. Dak has definitely has had the leagues most talented roster twice , and couldn't even get to the NFC Championship. Of course neither Brady or Mahomes tries to squeeze every last dollar from their teams  , because they are real team first leaders , and winning is more important to them than cash. Guys like Cousins and Dak might somehow win it all someday , but if they do it will be a lot harder because their priorities are skewed. Just Like " JERRAH". It is more important to Jones that he wins his way , and that he gets the credit , than winning is.  Dallas has already lost RB Tony Pollard to the Titans, and center Tyler Biadasz & rotational edge rusher Dorrance Armstrong to the Commanders. Pollard doesn't fit the power running style McCarthy wants anyway, and Biadasz's inability to either get a consistent push , or get up the field made that worse.  What did Dallas do in retaliation to these FA losses when free agency opened? They resigned their young cheap long snapper. Since I haven't seen any reason that they can count on Mazi Smith , despite his physical gifts , they need a real veteran NT to occupy blockers. Not old out of shape Jonathan Hankins either , because just being better than Mazi was last year means very little if you have eyes , and he signed with Seattle anyway. DJ reader was still out there early, and if his quad is healthy he is a massive upgrade , but the Lions were smart enough to snatch him up. Teair Tart might have been had cheaply too, but since his football character questions have been widely reported , who knows? He signed with Miami anyway. Future HOFame LB Bobby Wagner is still really good , and could have filled their QB of the defense linebacker need , but he also went to Washington. Former rotational DT Neville Gallimore signed with the Dolphins as well.  At least on day 3 of free agency they finally brought in savvy veteran LB Eric Kendricks , who is coming off a good season for the Chargers , but he may lack the size they need in the middle. Long term king sized LB Leighton Vander Esch got injured again last season , and was finally let go as well. Thank God he is retiring anyway , because I can't believe he played this long with repeated neck injuries. There is still a few older serviceable OT's , and interior O-Lineman available in free agency , but until they get some cap space its irrelevant. Maybe former Cowboy guard Connor Williams could come back later, and play center this time like he did for Miami, but his injury is the question there. That's all their big needs, and even if they draft one of each they need to cover their asses with some vets. In the draft they need a center for sure , and there are 3 of them possibly worth pick 24 in Jackson Powers-Johnson , Graham Barton, and Zack Frazier. I doubt JPJ makes it to them though , but he would be ideal for Mccarthy's offense. The only OT's possibly worth pick # 24 who might fall to them are 2 physical specimens that are unproven for a 1rst rounder, but both have the mean streak I love. 1. Amarius Mims - Unproven due to injury ( 8 total starts at Georgia and all at RT ) . Truly massive filled out frame with GODZILLA strength , and a ridiculous upside. Some dominant tape at times. I don't know if he can play on the left side , but he has at  least practiced there. If he was healthy all year I actually believe he would be OT #2 , and go in the top 10 of this draft. 2. Tyler Guyton - Super athletic & talented with a big upside , but unproven due to inexperience & bad technique. Guyton's tape isn't as good as Mims, especially in the run game , but you could see him starting to figure out how to use his tools better at The Senior Bowl. Only 14 starts , and all at RT. Guyton is less experienced on offense because he didn't play O-line in high school , and his technique is still raw & inconsistent. Although he definitely has the feet , twitch , and length to flip to the left side. If neither player is there , or they don't want one of these 2 guys they should just take the best interior O-Lineman available , and kick Tyler Smith back out to LT. Too be fair the OT class is great at the top, but it isn't that safe after the top 4 to me , at least in players I think can start outside in year one. Of those 6 that I think will stick at tackle , only 3 played the left side last season, and some teams like half of them at guard. Personally I think 7 or 8 OT's might go in the first round anyway , and as many as 11 eleven total offensive lineman could be off the board on day one, but I think there are just 8 worth a top 32 pick. Basically unless they ink a contract with a sure fire good veteran starter before the draft this team better take one of the 8 I think might be worth the 24th pick or Jerry Jones will look senile. They need a RB too , and there are still a lot talented veteran RB's that can be had relatively cheaply. I would sign one & draft one now , but one of them needs to be a thumper who breaks tackles. Maybe even Zeke Elliott if he can be supportive of their young rookie RB taken in this draft. They did re-sign Rico Dowdle who was solid as their number 2 RB last season, but he has always had injury problems in the NFL , and I doubt Dallas sees him as more than a backup.  This teams needs size & power on the interior of both lines , and a RB that can wear down defenses. Unless they bring back Stephon Gilmore they will need another CB too. They did re-sign veteran CB Jourdan Lewis , but its not like he was in high demand , and he only ended up the #3 corner last season because Diggs got hurt.  In addition I'm glad they finally let the ghost of Michel Gallup move on as well , because no one was going to trade for his contract after how he looked last season , although he woke up some in their playoff game. So WR is also a lesser need , but at least Jalen Tolbert made strides last season , and young Jalen Brooks also earned some playing time. In addition speedy return man Kavontae Turpin earned some more snaps with the offense as well. Guyton or Barton are the logical picks in this situation , but I am giving them the high upside athletic OT , because right tackle Terrence Steele looked bad last year too. Although Steele was coming off injury and maybe he will return to form after more time being healthy. Guyton is a raw toolsy athletic OT , but you can tell that he is just getting by on raw talent , and flashes of aggression right now instead of technique. He is a former TE/H-Back who started out at TCU , but he transferred to Oklahoma to play tackle the last 2 years. He only has 14 starts , and all but one of them was at RT , but that was the QB's blindside for the Sooners because of lefty QB Dillon Gabriel. First off he is almost always too high off the snap , even in the run game , and you see him having to adjust & re-anchor before he can get a push. That's a common problem for taller OT's ( He's 6"8" ) , but he can work on his knee bend. Joe Alt & JC Latham really improved in this area between 2022 & 2023. Of course if the Sooner OT's weren't always in a 2 point stance , even when the interior guys are in a 3 point stance , maybe Guyton could get a lower start to win the leverage battle more. If he plays that high against a Cam Jordan bull rush he will be in the QB'S lap real quick , and Jordan is just one of many great bull rushers in the NFL. Tyler's hands are all over the place , and his arms are usually too wide , but he has a mean punch when it lands. It's almost like he's doing fly's , but instead of his hands meeting high in the middle over his chest to finish the rep they just clap the outside of the defenders shoulder pads. Tyler blatantly holds a LOT , and I kept expecting more flags. Not just grabbing outside , but literally grabbing behind the shoulder & latching on. Even grabbing a guys arm and pulling him down occasionally. That's ironic because one of my complaints about him is that he does a lot of pushing & shoving like a 1rst grade kid who doesn't know how to fight yet  , and doesn't latch on inside. Plus he gets caught leaning too far forward , and is vulnerable to push/pulls getting shucked like a ear of corn. In addition he is often wearing white gloves and grabbing behind the shoulder pads of a guy wearing a solid darker colored uniform , but the referees fail to see it.  So I gotta ask " Where are all the flags ref? ". Basically in pass pro he needs to learn how to keep his hands inside , latch on & extend, or just keep punching to sustain blocks.  He does have a surprisingly solid anchor against college guys on contact most of the time, and that's even when moving laterally. Guyton definitely has the feet & quickness to survive outside , but lacks consistent pass sets right now. He does a good job protecting the inside , but can be a tick too slow on stunts , twists , and blitzes outside. So awareness is also a problem .  I expected a guy this athletic to be an ace down the field in the run game , but he looks confused & almost tentative about who he's supposed to be hitting too often , and just doesn't even touch a defender at the 2nd level way more than he should. Even when he does block a guy on the second level he usually just gives him a shove , and that's it. On the bright side he looked improved in all areas at the Senior Bowl. He was probably working with a personal coach in the nearly 3 months time between the Sooners last game and his week in Mobile. He has the right tools , traits , athleticism , and his temperament looked more consistently hot in Mobile. I believe he just need to play more & be coachable to be a good NFL starter. I'm just not sure that will work out well if he is starting as a rookie. 



I can't believe I'm saying this , but during the last third of the season , and especially during the playoff game against Dallas,  Jordan Love looked like a young Aaron Rodgers. Although Frisco's defense brought him back down to earth some. Up until the latter part of the season he had been a erratic inconsistent young QB in my eyes , and I was wondering if the packers might draft a QB in the 1rst round this season. Instead he was making perfect bucket throws off platform right over the outstretched hands of the Dallas turnover causing attacking defense. Making the right reads , and even when Dallas had a good defensive call in against the Packs offensive call he was just beating them time after time. The final score of that game was 48-32 , but trust me it wasn't that close. They beat the crap out of a very talented team , and made league TD pass leader & MVP runner up Dak Prescott look straight bad. Also , just on the outside chance that you didn't know the Packers are the youngest team in the league , and that should scare the rest of the NFL. 2024 will be the last season that Love has a cheap contract , and while the Packers are only were about 11 million under the cap if they were willing to go ALL IN during free agency , and drafted well they could be the best team in the NFC. Personally I doubt they will do so , but you never know. Once great LT David Bakhtiari was released because his knee hasn't responded well since he hurt it.  He has had multiple surgeries on it over the last 3 years, has only played in 13 games over that time , and had a 40 million cap hit they can cut in half by dumping him. On the bright side former 7th rounder Rasheed Walker actually played OK on the blindside last year , but I still think they might take a OT in the first round. On the downside it would suck for the Packs front office ( not to mention be ironically hilarious ) if Bakhtiari signed with the Jets , and was actually healthy again while keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. Longtime explosive RB Aaron Jones was let go as well. The Packers needed safety help at both spots, off the ball LB help , interior O-Line help ,  and for one of their young WR's to become the definitive #1 guy. In addition to Bakhtiari/Jones cuts they already cut a good LB in Dvondre Campbell , but it does create about 10.5 million in cap space. It's ironic that Campbell was cut because they had him playing hurt , and covering WR's while injured against the 49ers in the divisional playoff loss , but their blaming him for not getting it done in that messed up scenario is silly? Plus a possible left tackle & maybe a corner to replace the , traded before their late season run kicked in , Rasul Douglas as well. After cutting those once key players they have the cash to fill some of those holes in free agency. Combine that with a good draft this year, some players already on the roster taking a step forward , and good health makes it doable. I had read that they wanted to bring back injury prone free agent safety Darnell Savage  , but I wouldn't have payed a lot for a guy who plays so inconsistently & passively as a tackler instead of like a SAVAGE to be my last line of defense. Although I would bring the other safety Rudy Ford back if he isn't too expensive , because he is solid in the box. Slot corner & returner Keisean Nixon , was brought back as well. They used some of their cap savings to sign a much better safety in Xavier Mckinney. Plus they replaced Aaron Jones with the younger less injury prone Josh Jacobs with basically a one year deal that has 3 options on it if Jacobs plays well , but I could still see them drafting another RB to pair with him. Arnold is a 2 year starter rom the Alabama DB factory that has put so many well coached guys into the NFL. Prior to the 2023 season teammate Koolaid Mckinstry looked like the much better prospect to me , but this year Arnold had a little better campaign, even though he isn't quite as technically polished. He's a physical press corner that can play inside or out , but I prefer him outside , and the sooner he gets his hands on the WR the better. I think he's a little better in zone than he is at man , because he has the occasional really bad rep in off man where he gets turned around. He's feisty at the catch point , gets his hands on the ball plenty , and he mans up in run support. Can get caught peeking , and slow some , but he has the burst to get to the ball as soon as he sees it. I was surprised he ran just a solid 4.5 flat forty at the combine because he looks significantly faster on tape.  Down the field Arnold doesn't always get his head around, or time his jumps & swipes at the ball , and he can panic & get grabby. While he still needs some technical work , and work on his football IQ I love his gritty competitive demeanor & all out playing style. I ended up making him my #2 CB, but its by a thin margin, and he ended up with a solid first round grade as the #15 on my board.

26.TAMPA BAY - GRAHAM BARTON - OL - DUKE - 6"5" , 313


The Bucs had a resurgence last season ,and it was mostly due to the emergence of Baker Mayfield. However QB guru Dave Canales is now gone to Carolina to be the head coach. However, Mayfield's emergence actually started in 2022 with the Rams under new OC Liam Cohen, so there is hope he will maintain the level of play he had in 2023. Speaking of Baker he got a new 3 year deal at a bargain price if he plays as well as he did last season. Franchise icon and future HOFer Mike Evans was resigned too. Another ALL-TIME Buc LB Lavonte Davis was also resigned for his 13th season. Tampa has very little cap space after resigning Mayfield , Evans , and David so they weren't expected to be very active in free agency , and they haven't been. DT Greg Gaines was also re-signed on a one year deal. They started out well by bringing safety Jordan Whitehead back. Often injured edge rusher Shaq Barrett was let go, and CB Carlton Davis was traded to the Lions for a 3rd. Tampa needs interior O-Line very badly. Their center , and maybe even one of their guards should be replaced this season. Edge rusher & corner are also big needs , but I'm going with a interior O-Lineman. Barton is a 3 year starter at LT who plays a intense angry brand of footfall, but he is too often out of control as a OT , and ends up on the ground a lot. The only time a O-lineman should end up on the ground (unless he gets rolled up from behind )  is if he just pancaked a guy , although Barton does have a above average amount of pancakes. He gets after guys in the run game exploding off the ball with decent leverage as a run blocker ,   but his hands occasionally get off target , he grabs a little too far outside , and he even seems to be angrily stumbling around at times. Dan Campbell would love him because sometimes it looks like he would be biting knee caps if he wasn't wearing a helmet. Love his grip strength , and when he locks on he can balance sink & anchor in pass pro against edge players, but he will need to get stronger & lower to play inside. He keeps driving his legs through the whistle as a run blocker , but he can take it too far at times. Graham starts out well on combo blocks , but he can get high coming off the switch , and take some poor angles down the field. He's a lot like a poor mans Troy Fautanu - All forward All the time in the run game. Except Barton is a little less controlled, not quite as strong or athletic , and he lacks the length to stay outside at OT. Although as a guard or center with less area to cover I think his aggressive brand of football could be harnessed to be a plus starter. Has just barely good enough feet & athleticism in pass pro for a tackle , and he does have a tendency to lunge forward off balance at times , but I think he will be good inside as a pass blocker with a little more time in the weight room . I love guys with a finishers mentality , and Barton has it in spades. I ended up giving Barton a low first round grade with a projected move inside, and I think he will be a long term above average starter in the NFL in that role , but his ability to play all 5 positions in a pinch could see him going even higher.  

27.ARIZONA-(hou)- NATE WIGGINS ** -  CB - CLEMSON - 6"1' , 173


The cards really need a potential #1 corner. Wiggins has blazing speed , but its not just straight line track star stuff , because he has legit makeup speed on the field. He has solid length , but is very lean , and he isn't the bravest guy in run support or as a tackler. So he won't be for everyone, but he can still be a star as man coverage guy , and have a good career even if he doesn't buff & toughen up.  Deion Sanders did it for most of his career, and while I personally think of Deion as a selfish pussy who made "business decisions" when tackling , even I will admit he was a elite man coverage guy. Hopefully Wiggins hits the weight , and goes more the way of the vastly superior in my opinion , Rod Woodson. Right now he gets after the ball in the air, but he will get manhandled & lose at the catch point against bigger & more physical receivers. Although he does have the frame to easily add another 10-15 pounds of muscle. Nate has a smooth pedal , quick feet for transitions , and the balance to mirror his man well. He looks to have the football IQ for man or zone when the balls in front of him, but lacks the timing & recognition to get his head around when the balls coming in. Wiggins has the kind of upside to be a real #1 corner if he commits in the weight room , and become more aggressive on the field. I gave him my last low first round grade at #25 overall. 



The Bills may have missed their window , but they are still trying to get that ring , although there will be some key players from the last few seasons  missing this year. On the bright side the offense did improve after Joe Brady took over as OC , and they started running the ball more. It's just that they have huge cap problems, and started releasing & restructuring long term players. Jordan Poyer has been a mainstay of their defense for 7 years , and he and Micah Hyde previously teamed to give the Bills 2 safeties that can play high or low to disguise coverages. While both are on the decline I was still sad to see the pair broken up. Tre'davious White I understand , because he has missed more games than he has played over the past 3 years , and 12 in the last season alone. He was once a great player though. All 3 have been to the Pro Bowl before. They resigned Taylor Rapp at safety , but he has never had the coverage chops of Hyde or Poyer.  Mitch Morse was just a average center at this point , and this is a good center class in the draft , so this cut to save money makes sense to me. They also got Von Miller to take a pay cut , but he can earn it all back with incentives if he plays well & stays healthy. Making Taron Johnson the leagues highest paid slot corner coming off a career year was also necessary. Then you have the mercurial Stefon Diggs who seemed unhappy last year because his numbers were considerably down in the 2nd half of the season. Diggs has a big salary , but they ran the ball a lot more late in the season , and winning should trump his numbers. Its just I'm not sure Diggs agrees . Plus Diggs did have a lot of drops in 2023. LB Tyrel Dodson shined after the Matt Milano injury , especially in coverage , and I think they should have resigned him. He went Seattle though. Josh Allen's contract had to be restructured if they can actually be ALL-IN his season. The Bills need WR help even if Diggs is on the team next season, because Gabe Davis was free agent. Since Davis never showed any consistency I doubted they would bring him back even if they can afford him , but he signed with the jags. Although they will definitely miss his blocking , physicality , and occasional explosive big plays. Leonard Floyd is also a departing free agent , and while he was a disappointment , he played a lot of snaps off the edge, Its a lesser need though. They signed Mitch Trubisky to be the backup QB , and don't have any other key free agents. The Bills wisely resigned long term LT Dion Dawkins. Backup G David Edwards , and Rotational D-lineman AJ Epenesa & NT Daquan Jones were brought back as well. They signed former Chargers backup center Will Clapp, who started 11 games in 2023 because of injuries to Corey Linsley , but he has proven to be more of a solid backup at this point. Center and WR are still their biggest needs in my opinion , and I don't know why they signed Curtis Samuel to a 3 year 30 million dollar deal , because they already have Khalil Shakur who does the exact same thing.  Big blocking 30 year old WR Mack Hollins was also brought in , and he can at least do some of the stuff Gabe Davis did, but his top receiving numbers then they traded away Stefon Diggs!  Plus the Bills are eating more than 30 million in dead money this season , are giving up a 6th this year , and a 5th next year. All they got back was a  2nd in 2025. Talk about teams going in different directions. The Bills seem to be going through a mini re-build , and The Texans are going for it all. Although it is a great WR class. So its possible that they take 2 over the entirety of the draft with their 11 total picks , but 7 of those picks are from the 5th round or later. Their are 3 centers in this draft with a chance to go in the first round, but only Graham Barton or Zach Frazier have a good chance to make it to pick 28 , but if Jackson Powers Johnson is there for some reason they should run to the podium. I just think they have to do WR now. AD transferred away from Georgia , and into Texas before last season, and it makes sense because the Longhorns throw the ball a lot more to their WR'S.  Mitchell has the potential to be a prototypical number one X WR , but the effort & results aren't consistently there on tape , although he did have a massive11 TD's on just 55 catches. You see the ability to sink & separate well for a taller guy , but again its not consistent. He's got long legs so he doesn't look like he's running as fast as he is , but that 4.34 forty at the combine shows up on tape sometimes. I don't know if he is just lazy or has a bad gas tank , but to me he doesn't look like he trying as hard as he can all the time.  He has the size , body control & hops to corral off target throws. which he does use to win sometimes ,  but he doesn't seem to have that intense my ball mentality that you see on badass contested catch guys. He should be a better more consistent blocker too , but again it doesn't seem to be a priority for him. You see him beating press off the line off scrimmage more with shiftiness & technique , but doesn't often play with the strength his size suggest , although he doesn't drop easy passes. Maybe he just plays hard when he wants to , or & down based on what he sees as tougher competition. Caught 2 bombs against Bama in 2023 , but also only had 3 catches in the game, and I believe he would be targeted more if he was balls out on every play. Lack of effort & grit is just selfishness in my book so lets just hope he just needs better cardio. On tape he currently reminds me lot of former big finesse NFL WR Sidney Rice , but if he can be so much more if he buffs up and commits . If Mitchell ratchets up his motor & intensity he could be a Andre Johnson type in time. So I split the difference with my final comp because I trust my eyes, and my eyes say he is a underachiever. That means he may never be consistent , but he will have some big games , and probably even some big seasons if he thinks he will get paid for it. I hope I'm wrong and he fulfills his potential by replacing Stefon Diggs as Josh Allen's new number one guy.  

29.DETROIT - COOPER DEJEAN - ** - CB/S - IOWA - 6 ft. , 203


The Lions have made a remarkable turnaround under HC Dan Campbell & GM Brad Holmes , and both were rewarded with contract extensions through 2027 after making the NFC Championship game . Smart move on Campbell , although some of Holmes draft choices do worry me , or at least the order they have come in. If you place 2nd rounder Brian Branch in the spot of RB Jamar Gibbs at #18 in last years draft . Then put Gibbs at pick #18 in place of Jack Campbell , and Campbell in the place of Branch at pick #45 I would get it better. Although I guess it might not matter because they ended up with all 3 anyway. Not to mention the dominant receiving display TE Sam Laporta put on as a rookie at the top of the 2nd round at pick #34. This year they no longer have extra draft picks from the Stafford/Goff trade , and in fact only have 7 total with no 4th and a extra 6th. So they need to make their picks count more than the last 3 years.  They do have a good amount of salary space , but they might to save a lot of it because a potential extension for QB Jared Goff that needs to happen soon if they are going to resign him , but his struggles in out door stadiums might make negotiating tricky.  Personally ,  Goff's struggles with weather are why I have Frisco & Philly above the Lions in 2024. A definite extension for WR Amon Ra St. Brown should be in the works if they are smart.  So lets break down their free agency activity. Graham Glasgow filled in capably at both & center guard last year in his 2nd stint with the Lions , especially in the run game , and they resigned him to a 3 year deal. Whether he is a starter again or a veteran swingman might not be determined until we see how the draft shakes out. They also traded a 3rd rounder with the Bucs for CB Carlton Davis. Adding Nose Tackle DJ Reader to play next to big Alim McNeill, who can also play the nose gives them a lot of beef in the middle of their D-LINE. So the 49ers better get some better O-Lineman if they want to be able run on Detroit in the 2025 playoffs , because right now they only have one good blocker in Trent Williams , and then a bunch average replaceable  guys. We all know Williams is special , but he will also be 36 this season , and never forget that father time is undefeated. Then to top it of they matched the offer sheet the niners signed with blocking TE Brock Wright. So you know they have their sites set on beating Frisco if they meet in the post season again. Maybe I won't have the Lions behind the Eagles or niners anymore by the time season starts. The loss of guard Jonah Jackson in free agency , and the continued injuries of stud center Frank Ragnow , are why I could see the Lions taking a interior O-Lineman in the first round if there is one available who is worthy of this pick. Although signing veteran FA  Kevin Zeitler helps fill that void. He is still a solid player , but not a ALL PRO anymore , and at his age (34) this signing shouldn't prevent Detroit from taking a O-Lineman with this pick. I am going to give them a corner instead because Cameron Sutton was one their starters , and he was cut after a warrant was issued for his arrest , but don't be surprised if they reach for a O-Lineman or edge rusher. Dejean is a big smart physical corner who can be the QB of a teams secondary.  He played a lot of slot in 2022 , but played outside CB this season. His results were still good , but I like his slot/safety 2022 tape more. Cooper is a big , smart , fast , physical corner with a smooth pedal. No matter where you play him he can get his hands on the ball, and take it to the housel like the punt returner he is.  Also a ACE gunner on special teams. He is mostly a zone guy right now, but I think he will be fine in press with a little time, because of his natural aggression & football IQ.  Love the way he brings it as a tackler, and that's why some people see him as a safety. The other reason some probably see him as a safety is he's a bit stiff right now.  If Cooper was a full time safety he would be my #1 guy there , but as a corner he is my #3. Dejean has a broke leg , and couldn't run at the combine or I think he might have gone higher.  Coopers potential versatility to be moved all over are what could make him even more valuable. I actually think he is a steal at this draft slot. Dejean has the gritty attitude that Dan Campbell will love. 

30.RAVENS - ZACH FRAZIER - ** - C - W. VIRGINIA - 6"3" , 313


The Ravens lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. They started free agency with a bad cap situation being 7 million over when it started. The resigned key free agent DT Justin Madubuike coming off a career year , and brought back veteran #3 WR Nelson Agholor too. Their big new addition is a future HOFer who is the best power RB in the league over the last decade in Derrick Henry , and I can't think of a better fit than Henry. Plus even though he has lost a step he is still a bruiser who led the NFL in carries in 2023 , and has done so in 4 of the last 5 seasons. The Jets signed away one of their starting guards in big John Simpson. Then the Ravens traded their starting RT Morgan Moses , who is coming off a good season ,  for a trifling swap of 4ths and a 6th to join Simpson on the Jets. On the bright side they still have Patrick Mekari to fill that spot , and could compete with gigantic ( 6"8" , 380) 2023 fourth rounder Daniel Faalele. In addition they reworked the contract of talented , but often injured LT Ronnie Stanley to get cap relief , but he still gets a lot of money if he is actually healthy all season. 34 year old once great ,  but still solid guard Kevin Zeitler is a FA also. So I expect the Ravens to get the best tackle or guard available in the 1rst round. Brainy back up safety Geno Stone , who ended playing a lot last season & led the AFC with 7 picks , then signed with the division rival Bengals. Young quality LB Patrick Queen signed with the even bigger divisional rival Steelers. Starting CB Ronald Darby,  and deep threat WR/ return man Devin Duvernay both signed with the Jaguars. Still they keep losing players who played a lot of quality snaps last season. Now the Ravens had a deep roster in 2023 , except for RB , and a lot of that depth is gone. So basically Baltimore has to draft well , but they generally are one of the best drafting teams in the league over the last 30 years. They have 9 draft picks with a extra 4th & 7th rounder , and I am confident that Eric Decosta & Ozzie Newsome will have this team in Superbowl contention again in 2024. So in addition to a guard & OT  a CB , WR , off the ball LB , edge rusher , and quality depth everywhere are all needed. Another bright spot is other veterans know the Ravens are contenders , and might come there on a discount chasing a ring. You don't generally see a team who went to the AFC Championship the previous season rebuilding their O-Line, but the Ravens appear to be doing so. The Chiefs did it  few years back by trading for one OT , drafting a center , and signing a guard to a big free agent contract. The Ravens don't have the cap room to do it in free agency. Right now the Ravens have the enormous ( 6"6" , 370 ) Ben Cleveland at one guard spot , and maybe if he got under 350 he might work out long term , because a natural knee bender he is NOT. Then you have a couple of 2023 late round picks. 7th rounder Andrew Vorhees who basically redshirted , and is returning from injury. Also 6th rounder Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu who didn't play a snap last year either. So drafting a guy who might be able to play guard makes a ton of sense. I don't have one left with a first round grade here , but I do have a 2nd round center who can maybe play guard.  Don't be surprised if they trade up ahead of Dallas , because the Cowboys are the first of 4 straight teams that really need O-line help. At least Frazier fills a need , and he has the nasty physical temperament that fits this team. Frazier is a tough guy former wrestling champ who understand leverage , and he has played center at a high level in the BIG 12 for a long time He is a 4 starter overall  , with 9 starts as a freshman at guard, but the last 3 years at center show where he belongs in the long term. I thought he might have lost his chance to go in the 1rst round when he broke his leg late in the season , because he wasn't healthy enough to play at the Senior Bowl , but he was already well enough to do some of the drills at the combine. A good showing in Mobile could have really helped Frazier move up into the 1rst round because the Big 12 isn't exactly a hot bed of interior D-Lineman , but you can see how well he played against Murphy & Sweat for most of the 2022 Texas game. Went out like a man though as he gutted it out trying to crawl off the field so he wouldn't have to slow down the offense. Like most good shorter ( although 32 and  quarter inches is really average for a center )  armed O-Lineman Frazier wins by playing low & keeping his hands inside off the snap, although you see most of his losses when his hands get outside , and it happens more than it should. That lack of length becomes a problem when he doesn't latch on early in the run game , because he loses his leverage, and it hampers his ability to sustain blocks later in the play. Not to mention that smart longer armed D-Lineman can get into his chest & shed his blocks. Zach is strong & well balanced, and has a maulers mentality looking to drive defenders into the ground in both the run & passing games. He succeeds more turning guys and getting some push rather than driving D-Lineman far down the field.  Knows how to explode his hips on contact with shock coming  out threw his hands into initial contact with the defender , and he can twist & torque defenders off balance. Also smart & aware with his head on swivel picking up stunts,  twists , and blitzes. Unless some guy long arms him Frazier has a good anchor in pass protection as well , and he's always looking to help out when uncovered. He gets grabby when beaten in both the running & passing games , especially when it happens early. He has the good floor of a solid starting NFL center, but he lacks the high ceiling of the other 2 centers I think could go in the first round. I love how this guy plays , ended up giving him a solid 2nd round grade and he is the 42nd player on my board. 

31.S.F. 49ers - JER'ZHAN NEWTON - DT - ILLINOIS - 6"2" , 304


The niners have a Bad cap situation being almost 8 million over right before free agency started. Plus longtime stalwart DT Arik Armstead refused to take a pay cut and was let go , but they cleared enough space to make some moves. They signed a pair of talented edge rushers who have never quite lived up their draft status in Leonard Floyd & Yetur Gross-Matos. They also lost decent CB Isaiah Oliver & talented but injury prone pass rushing DT Javon Kinlaw to the Jets. Then they brought in a couple of rotational DT's in Maliek Collins & Jordan Elliott. After missing out on LB Eric Kendricks the niners signed LB DeVondre Campbell , and I like the signing because their defense depends on athletic LB's who can cover kind of deep over the middle , and Dre Greenlaw might miss the whole season after tearing his Achilles in the Superbowl. What this team REALLY needs more than anything is better O-Lineman , especially interior blockers. Their highest rated player at guard , center , DT , or CB should be the pick. The niners have surpassed the Ravens as the king of the compensatory picks  So they have 10 draft picks to move around , and get what they need to help them battle for NFC supremacy. Jerzahn Newton has fast hands , and so many ways to beat blockers. The only reason he is available here is a injury that prevented him from working out at the combine. Since all indications are that he will be fully healthy by training camp I see this a huge steal. Newton was my #1 DT coming into the season, and even though stopping him was the main focus of offensive game plans he still had a great season, and ended up my #1 guy again. Newton even won the Big 10 defensive player of the year award while playing a ton of snaps. He underwent surgery for a Jones fracture on a toe after the season , and wasn't yet ready for a full workout at the combine. I may be in the minority with so much love being thrown at Byron Murphy being the consensus #1 three technique , but I like Newton more , although I have a 1rst round grade on both guys . He has so many different ways of beating blocks , and there were so many times blockers got away with holding him in college , that its hard for me to see a way where he isn't a regular Pro Bowl guy. He moves all over up & down the line of scrimmage , chases hard, shows up nifty feet , and has a great motor. When he fires out low he can penetrate quickly , but there are too many times he stands up to hand fight right off the snap , and even though he usually is able to slap aside a O-Lineman it keeps him from moving forward. Plus when he loses early it allows the blocker to get underneath him , and start pushing him back against the run them making him shed too late. He looks a bit undersized on tape , and even though he measured in at 6"2" 304 at the combine I would guess that he played at around 290 during the season. He is a A+ hand fighter with a definite thought out plan as a pass rusher , multiple plus pass rush moves , and the best counters of any interior defender in the draft. That skill hand fighting helps alleviate his lack of arm length. I would like to see him bull rush more , and strike defenders early instead of looking to repeatedly defeat them with craftiness. In a defense that allowed him to just come forward more I think he would be even more disruptive in the backfield than he already is, and that's saying something. He can hold his ground early one on one when he is low, and even split some double teams , but in a read react scheme he would be wasted. Johnny is my #1 three tech , #2 five technique , #1 of all interior defensive players, and # 4 overall defensive player in the draft at #14 on my final board. He was just so productive the last 2 seasons that it really bothers me that some people seem to be sleeping on him. Yet I still think he will go after Murphy , and he could fall to the bottom of the first round because of his inability to workout in the pre-draft process. For the record I think he would have kicked ass at the combine. 

32.CHIEFS - TROY FRANKLIN - WR - OREGON - 6"2" , 176


The Chiefs are once again the champs. Congrats to them and ALL their fans! For Mahomes to lead this team to a Lombardi trophy with those substandard WR's & OT's speaks to his elite unicorn greatness. He even did it in the Superbowl without a great guard in Joe Thuney. Truly one of a kind , and the only guy I can imagine surpassing Tom Brady one day. In fact as I write this in my opinion Tom Brady , Joe Montana, and Mahomes are the only logical names to even be in the conversation for greatest QB of all time. The difference is that the other 2 are retired , and Mahomes is still at the top of his game ,has 3 rings , and is under 30!  Andy Reid needs to acknowledged for his supreme coaching job as well , and if he coaches another 5-10 years he may go down as the G.O.A.T. Lets not forget DC Steve Spagnola who is one of the greatest defensive minds ever , and I would put him in the same breath as Bill Belichick as far as defensive coaching goes. Chris Jones and his ability to make QB'S uncomfortable from a wide variety of spots also needs his due as well , and I'm sure Chiefs fans feel a huge weight being lifted off their shoulders at the news of his new contract extension. The batted passes & pressures he had in the Superbowl were crucial to winning the game. Last but not least the awesomeness of Travis Kelce. I have never seen a TE face so many double & triple teams , and still make his mark as a receiver. A 250 TE that can run a great whip route? In-freakin-sane! His blocking is underrated too. As for dating Taylor Swift. Nice pull brother. The scariest part is that this team was missing so many things , and yet they still won it all. Compared to other players at their positions Mahomes & Kelce are underpaid , and if either were to make a big deal out of it the Chiefs would have to give them what they want , but neither has. Kind of Bradyish if you ask me , especially for Mahomes who is so far above any other current QB that its laughable. If they do become the first team to win 3 in a row they could go down as one of the great NFL dynasty's in history. With Chris Jones in the fold again only CB L'jarius Sneed is a key free agent, and they put the franchise tag on him. While Sneed is the grabbiest DB currently in the league he is effective because refs won't call a penalty all the time. They traded him for a 3rd & swap of 7ths to the Titans, and now KC actually has some cap space. On the bright side Sneed wasn't even the #1 CB on the Chiefs with Trent Mcduffie there. Young LB Willie Gay is the only free agent on this team that another team might want to make a push to sign , but with Nick Bolton & Leo Chenal & even Dru Tranquil KC just doesn't need him. OT , WR , CB are their biggest needs right now , and I expect all  those spots to be addressed in the draft at some point. Safety could be a sneaky lesser need.  WR should even be addressed in free agency AND the draft , as they signed speedster Marquise Brown , and he has the talent to be a #1 WR with Mahomes throwing the ball.  I expect their 1rst round pick to be a WR , OT , or CB. With the exception of OT there is more chance to get a player who can start this year in the 2nd or 3rd round so I expect if the right OT falls that would be the choice. Maybe they could trade up for a OT , or even a WR, if they want a particular guy.  Franklin is a highly productive deep threat who can run down the field routes that pull safeties even when he's not getting the ball. He's long & lean ,  and while he doesn't run a full route tree yet he eats up the DB's cushion really fast , and has the homerun speed to separate from the defender when the balls in the air. Plus he runs his current routes well , and can make the guy covering him look lost at times. Good hands & timing to extend and snatch the ball with some acrobatic catches, but he occasionally drops the easy ones. He is competitive on contested catches , but doesn't win enough of them.  Surprisingly competitive as a blocker for a lean/light guy as well , so it makes sense that he could be  good at it if he added 10-15 more pounds of muscle. Still needs to get stronger because you see him get pushed around by some physical corners at times , and that will get worse in the NFL, but he has some crafty releases off the line of scrimmage. He's a big play waiting to happen ,and as long as he adds 10-15 more pounds of muscle he can be a good Z who takes some slot snaps now & then in the BFL. Maybe he isn't a #1 WR , but paired with a big armed QB who can hit the deep ball he could be the kind of player who keeps Defensive Coordinators up all night , even if he only gets 5 or 6 targets a game. On the Chiefs with Mahomes throwing him the ball Franklin could be a excellent compliment to Kelce & Rice. 




First off I like the hire of new head coach Dave Canales because in the last 2 years he has helped turnaround the careers of previously highly drafted busts turned journeyman QB's Geno Smith & Baker Mayfield. Surely he can get Bryce Young back on track after only one disappointing rookie season. The Panthers aren't winning anything this season , and anything more than doubling last seasons 2 wins to 4 would be impressive with the roster they are likely to field. So trading edge rusher Brian Burns for 2nd & 5th round draft picks doesn't bother me too much , because they probably won't be in playoff contention for 2 or more years , but you would think they should have gotten at least a 1rst rounder for him. He's a twitchy talented 25 year old edge rusher who has been productive every season , and you can't get a single first rounder for him? Anyway my main focus would be protecting Bryce Young , and giving him the weapons he needs to succeed. As that would be the opposite of last season where he had just had one good receiver in a past his prime Adam Thielen & one good O-Lineman in Taylor Moton. Although there is still plenty of hope for the the young & talented WR Jonathan Mingo , and OT Icky Ekwonu. They started out doing half of that by providing Bryce two 27 year old beefy guards in Robert Hunt & Damien Lewis that are known for moving the line of scrimmage in the run game & anchoring in the pocket in pass protection. Now they need a much better center , and some more pass catchers to give Young a chance to fulfill his promise. So they made a trade for a potential #1 WR in 27 year old Deonte Johnson , and he can flat out separate. It made me laugh when I saw how little they paid for him too , because when all it cost you for him is a CB ( Donte Jackson ) that you were going to cut , and a swap of late round picks you are winning . Signing big DT A'shawn Robinson gives them 2 nose tackles so I thought they might be trading Derrick Brown too , but they wisely re-signed him to a extension. Or maybe they just want to play more base 3-4 looks , and one would be at the 5 technique. The Panthers also brought in high IQ off the ball LB Josey Jewell to QB the middle of the defense. So far they are using their cap space pretty wisely. It sucks that the 2024 #1 pick they traded to the Bears last year to get Bryce Young ended up being #1 overall , but with pick #33 at the top of the 2nd their is a decent chance either Graham Barton or Zack Frazier could fill their center void. If not it should definitely be another WR ,but with their new 2nd (#39) they have a great chance of getting a good WR , and I doubt Barton or Frazier will be there then. Since they traded CB Donte Jackson f& Burns corner and edge rusher are also large needs. Bringing in Jadeveon Clowney on the edge could help take some of the sting out of losing Burns in the short term. The cash strapped Panthers also resigned veteran CB Troy Hill , and he did start 3 games for them in 2023 so who knows. With no interior guy available I would go WR. Pearsall can play inside or out , although I think many just see him as a slot guy , but it looked about a 60/40 split to me on the games I watched. Ricky is a 5th year player , and a 3 year starter who has steadily improved over those last 3 seasons. He was the most impressive wideout at the Senior Bowl, had the greatest catch of all in college this season , and also looked great at the combine. While he's not super shifty he is a smart route runner who regularly gets open on a variety of routes , especially against zone. He has a decent amount of releases off the line , but you do see press corners delaying him more than they should  , and at 190 pounds he could still struggle there some against press.  Great hands , and he waits until the balls coming to avoid tipping off the DB if the balls on target , but his QB wasn't very accurate. Won a good amount of contested catches , and not afraid to go over the middle to secure the catch , but I would love to see him with a accurate on time QB. I didn't see him as a burner so I was impressed with 4.41 forty at the combine , but he is quick enough in the short area. His week in Mobile really jumped up his draft stock , but its hard to get a good read on him , because of his QB's in college , and unfamiliarity with the All Star dame QB's. I think he is a ascending player who van at least be a solid # 2 WR , but the potential to be a #1 receiver in the right scheme & with the right QB. Maybe he can be that dependable guy that Bryce Young can grow with.

42.HOUSTON-(minn)- KINGSLEY SUAMATAIA - G/T - BYU - 6"5' , 326


The Texans are not only coming off a great turnaround in DeMeco Ryan's first season as head coach , but the young talent on this team makes it look like they can be a contender for a long time. Most of us , and that definitely includes me , were too low on CJ Stroud as he looked like a veteran 10 year franchise QB as a rookie. In fact I think it was the greatest rookie QB season in NFL history. Throw in offensive building blocks in great LT Laremy Tunsil , young WR Nico Collins , a just re-signed TE Dalton Schulz , and Tank Dell if he can stay healthy. On defense young building blocks like edge Will Anderson , CB Derek Stingley JR. , safety Jalen Pitre , and maybe even LB Christian Harris make the future look bright. NT Foley Fatukasi was brought in from the jags right before free agency started to help clog up the middle some , but he did play for DC Matt Burke with the Jets earlier in his career , although he is a run down player only. They signed good young LB Azeez Al-Shaair LB away from the Titans too. Versatile veteran D-Lineman Denico Autry is a solid rotational guy that they also took from the Titans. The Texans basically swapped Pro Bowl edge rushers in free agency with the Vikings as Danielle Hunter is coming to Houston & Jonathan Greenard is heading to Minnesota. Hunter is the longer , twitchier , more explosive & consistent  , and has the higher upside as a pass rusher of the 2. Yet he does not set a good consistent edge in the run game , and he's the greedy type who is always looking to squeeze more money out of you , even when he already has a good contract. Greenard finally busted out in 2023 , and he sets a better edge , but he got too much money for a guy with his career production. The Texans also traded for RB Joe Mixon , and it only cost them a 7th , but I was surprised they signed to him a new kind of pricey ( 3 years , 27 million with 13 million guaranteed) contract at this stage of his career. Former injury prone #4 overall pick CB Jeffrey Okudah was brought in on a cheap prove it deal too. If Okudah & Stingley can be healthy , and live up to the prospects they were coming out of college together that would be something to see. They trade away their first rounder to the Vikings for a 2nd (# 42) and a 6th (#188) this year and a 2nd in 2025. Then WOW! They traded for Stefon Diggs only giving up a 6th this year , and a second & 5th in 2025. Talk about teams going in different directions. The Bills seem to be going through a mini re-build , and The Texans are going for it all. I am lower on Kingsley than pretty much everyone else because he seems like a future guard with bad technique to me, but people with real NFL contacts keep throwing him in the top 50 if drafts so I will put him here.  Kingsley has started for 2 years at OT for BYU. On the right side in 2022 , and on the blind side in 2023. He is very athletic coming forward, and has a thick strong build without much bad weight , but his feet look heavy moving back & laterally. He's so raw , especially as a pass blocker , and I really think he should have returned to school instead of coming out as a red shirt sophomore. First he usually retreats too deeply before making contact allowing defenders into his chest before fighting back. He gets away with it a lot against lighter players , but he will get put on his ass in the NFL giving those guys a runway. Although on those occasions when he actually throws his hands on time he does show a good anchor which is surprising because he is usually too high. He even looks like he's playing patty cake with his hands instead of striking a guy sometimes, but he can shove some guy off him and back when he actually does punch , especially when he does it early. You really love it when he flashes the power , because even if he catches a guy in pass pro he can latch & toss him on his highlights. Also gets high on the strike zone , and had a lot of hands too the face.  Lacks awareness for stunts,  twists , and blitzes too. He has survived by being wide & hard to get around, but a lower level of competition helped too. He doesn't hold nearly as much as a lot of these guys I have seen in first round mocks , but he did have some lowlight reel grabs when beat. He looks a lot more aggressive as a run blocker, and he comes off the ball quicker , but again too high off the ball. Also again his hand placement sucks. A lot of times he barrels into a defender with a double forearm shiver like a O-Lineman in the 50's when they weren't supposed to use their hands , and sometimes looks like he is Sumo wrestling before he re-anchors and pushes. Most of his best blocks were down the field , but even then he is too high , but a lot more effective. Basically he's a power player at his best , but he rarely uses the tools to unleash his power properly. He has to learn to consistently play low with leverage , getting his hips into it , and better hand placement. The results should get much worse in the Pros unless he improves his technique basically everywhere. I see him as a developmental guard prospect with a high upside in the 4th round. Maybe if he was kicked inside ,and actually in a 3 point stance he could get a lower start & at least that part of his technique would improve. If I was his O-Line coach I would literally rebuild his entire technique from the ground up. Maybe if he is coachable he could develop into a right tackle on a power running team down the line, but I wouldn't care throw him into a NFL game outside unless the technique light miraculously comes on , and even then he would have a TE right next to him. 



The Deshaun Watson signing has been a crap fest. Pre off the field perv allegations I would have called him a top 5 QB in the NFL , but he has played like a bottom ten guy in Cleveland. Whether its the time off or inner turmoil I don't know. Either way they played better with broken down Joe Flacco last year. HC Kevin Stefanski did a masterful job last season despite tons of injuries , and he should not be blamed if Watson sucks again. The Browns have a bad cap situation. Almost 13 million over when free agency started so you can't expect a lot of big deals. They did wisely re-sign edge Zadarius Smith. They signed interception waiting to happen Jameis Winston to be the new backup when Flacco went to the Colts. Then they traded for often banged up former 1rst rounder Jerry Jeudy which only cost them a 5th & 6th. I thought it was a great deal until they signed him to a 3 year 58 million dollar deal with 41 million guaranteed.  Jeudy has never even had a 1,000 yard season , and if you guaranteed me that he would reach his current career high 2022 ( 67 catches, 972 yards, and 6 TD's ) stats every year he still isn't worth that deal.  Rotational DT's Shelby Harris & Maurice Hurst also inked new deals as well, and both were needed , but I still think they need more youth on the D-Line. The question is along the edge or interior. I would just take the best player available at OT , because both starters were hurt last season, although massive 4th rounder Dawand Jones actually played alright filling in for Conklin at RT. Off the ball LB , and RB are needs as well. I like the D'onta Foreman signing , because even though I think Nick Chubb is the best RB in the game , he is also coming off his 2nd major knee injury.  I am going with the potentially best D-Lineman available here. Jenkins is really strong & athletic for his size. He can definitely stop the run one on one, and play the 3 or 5 technique well there. He even does alright against some double teams in college , but even when he stacks right he doesn't shed quick enough. He has some shock in his hands , and knows how to get them inside for control , but lacks consistent knock back power. Jenkins was also in a heavy rotation at Michigan,  but often on the sideline on passing downs, and I need to see more reps & improvement as a pass rusher. His huge father had a much bigger pass rush array & plan, with a good arm over , but JR's looks rudimentary. Flashes the occasional nice spin move. He has a good motor , and can shoot some gaps , but he doesn't use his hands & length as well as a getting after the QB. I believe he has the talent to be a good NFL player in a defense that allows him to come forward and attack more, but he didn't make the improvements I was hoping for this season. Maybe a NFL coach in the right scheme can unlock that potential , but I have a late 2nd on him after all the tape was done. 


  1. Love the comparisons and analysis - best mock site on the internet - well done, keep it going, been following this for a few years.

  2. Thanks. I really appreciate that