Mock drafts have emerged as the lifeblood of the draft season craze. Various scenarios can, in a heartbeat, not only make one feel uplifted but also discouraged. With that said, I hope this particular piece evokes the former and leaves you with an optimistic view of what’s to come.
Note: I understand most fans, including myself, covet the “Big Four,” but we need to prepare for the likelihood that they won’t be available. In this particular outline, I have the Jets trading down. While I recognize it might not be the desired option by some, it yields the Jets some extra picks and the ability to address other needs.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB), LSU
Sixty passing touchdowns, a national title, and a Heisman trophy? Not bad Cincinnati. Not bad.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young (Edge), Ohio State
Ryan Kerrigan is on the other side of 30, and in a contract year, it’s time to get Young at the position. Don’t overthink it, Washington. Chase is the best prospect in the draft.
3. Miami Dolphins (from Lions): Tua Tagovailoa (QB), Alabama
Trade Alert! The Lions trade the 3rd overall pick to Miami for picks 5 and 26.
Dolphins make the first big splash in the NFL Draft and reel in another big fish: Tua (yes, I know Dolphins are mammals, it just seemed to work here).
4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs (OT), Iowa
The perfect combination of bulldozer and ballerina, Wirfs gracefully demolished the combine, breaking multiple records in the process. Dave Gettleman could opt for Isaiah Simmons, but protecting his young QB should take priority over everything.
5. Detroit Lions (from Miami): Jeffrey Okudah (CB), Ohio State
Welcome to Okudah Island: a lonely, bare, and desolate place. Wide receivers might as well pull out a lawn chair, get some sun, and paint a face on a volleyball (Wilson anyone?).
Lions hit a home run here. The front office contemplated taking Okudah at 3, but couldn’t resist adding much-needed draft capital. Regardless, the gamble paid off, and Detroit still got their guy.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert (QB), Oregon
The Rivers have run dry Just-in time to draft the new franchise QB. Hopefully, he’ll give the fans a reason to show up to the stadium.
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons (S/LB), Clemson
There’s no better way to start your Rhule in the NFL than with the most versatile prospect in the draft. Simmons is a living breathing swiss army knife, tailor-made for today’s NFL.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills (OT), Alabama
Cardinals were the envy of the league this offseason when they somehow pried DeAndre Hopkins out of Houston for what seemed equivalent to a bag of birdseed.
The acquisition allows them to focus on the ramparts, and with the 8th pick, grab my number one ranked offensive lineman. Wills is an absolute beast in the trenches, and with left tackle D.J. Humphries re-signed, the Cardinals can play him at his natural position (RT).
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas (OT), Georgia
Trade Alert!!! The Jaguars trade number nine overall to Tampa Bay for picks 14, 76, and 139.
Unfortunately, for Jets fans, I think this is a very realistic option for the Buccs. Brady offers nothing in the form of mobility, and the right side of the OL is the weak link in an otherwise strong chain. Arians wastes no time and willingly gives up a third and fourth rounder to fortify the line.
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton (OT), Louisville
After a 5.11 forty-yard dash, a 364 pound Becton could have put his feet up on a table, smoked a cigarette, and shotgunned a beer in front of the entire combine and still ended up in the top 10.
Although the Browns signed Jack Conklin, Greg Robison took buying in bulk to a whole new level and, as a result, there is another spot to fill on the OL.
11. Philadelphia Eagles: CeeDee Lamb (WR), Oklahoma
Trade Alert!!! The Jets trade picks 11 and 191 to the Eagles for picks 21, 53 (round 2), and 103 (round 3).
Eagles swoop in for the kill with Lamb on the menu (sorry, I mean on the board).
Eagles are in desperate need of a top-flight wide receiver, as are the Jets. Yet with multiple holes, the Jets aren’t in the position to make luxury selections, and with the “Big Four” gone, Joe D. takes the opportunity to make a deal with his former boss, ultimately adding several picks to his draft day arsenal.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy (WR), Alabama
Jeudy is poetry in motion and the model of consistency. Raiders get perhaps the best wideout in the draft, and a player, all of Las Vegas, can rally around.
13. San Francisco (From Colts): Henry Ruggs (WR), Alabama
Speed, speed, and more speed: The Road Runner himself would have a hard time chasing down Ruggs. This pick makes too much sense with Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans. The 49ers now have a young electric combo at wide receiver: Ruggs and Samuel.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown (IDL), Auburn
Jags traded out of the nine spot with the Buccaneers, followed the treasure map, and ended up with the draft day loot. Brown is a top 5 talent; this could be the steal of the draft. He’ll be instrumental in shoring up an interior defensive line, which gave up 5.31 yards per carry in 2019 (according to football outsiders).
15. Denver Broncos: CJ Henderson (CB), Florida
The top wide receivers are off the board, and Chris Harris left for the “City of Angels.” Cornerback is a no-brainer at this point.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw (IDL), South Carolina
I don’t think the acquisition of Dante Fowler should prevent the Falcons from adding another edge rusher, but Kinlaw is too good to pass up. Grady Jarrett and Kinlaw have the potential to be one of the most feared interior duos in the NFL. I fully expect them to thwart the run and feast on QBs regularly. Opposing teams better hope their linemen remain up to the task.
Daniel Jeremiah has Kinlaw ranked 8th overall; Atlanta selected a high ceiling player here.
17. Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson (Edge), LSU
Corner is a significant need, but with Chaisson available and Robert Quinn (and his 11.5 sacks) playing elsewhere, the thought of a two-headed monster (Lawrence and Chaisson) coming off the edge is too enticing.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pitt): Austin Jackson (OT), USC
Have you seen that OL? If the Phins expect to keep Tua healthy, they’ll need to invest up front.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): Kenneth Murray (LB), Oklahoma
Murray is a Mike Mayock guy: high character, athletic, and versatile (3-4 and 4-3). He has all the makings of a three-down prototypical linebacker, very much in the same mold as Luke Kuechly.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Kristian Fulton (CB), LSU
It’s a passing league, right? No Ramsey and no Bouye means it’s time for an upgrade.
21. New York Jets (from Eagles): Josh Jones (OT), Houston
After Tristan Wirfs, no tackle in the draft matches what the Jets are trying to field along the OL more so than Josh Jones. One of the most athletic linemen in the draft, Jones (at 319 pounds), might look like a rhino, but he moves like a gazelle. He’s an excellent fit for the zone system NY runs. Jones has a high ceiling and the skill set to be a dominant tackle in the league. Don’t sleep on this prospect.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo): A.J. Terrell (CB), Clemson
Trae Wayne is a Bengal, and Xavier Rhodes is shopping for a job. Simple, Terrell fills a massive hole.
23. New England Patriots: Xavier McKinney (S), Alabama
Patriots understand value when it presents itself; McKinney is the best at his position and the perfect weapon for Belichick to deploy.
24. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson (WR), LSU
Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the outside and Justin Jefferson in the slot? Watch out NFC South! Brees’ window to the Super Bowl remains wide open.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Denzel Mims (WR), Baylor
Kirk Cousins gets his prototypical “X” receiver. Can you Digg it?
26. Detroit Lions (from Miami in this mock): Jordan Love (QB), Utah State
The Lions get the coveted 5th-year option by selecting Jordan in round one, and that’s a smart play for a QB who’ll most likely spend a year or two on the bench.
Although there have been some rumblings about moving on from Stafford, it would be wise from a developmental and financial standpoint to keep him around for at least one more year.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Cesar Ruiz (IOL), Michigan
In 2019, the Seahawks OL found themselves in the bottom half of the league once again (ranked 27th by PFF), and the time has come for Seattle to protect their number one asset: Russell Wilson.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen (ILB), LSU
A Queen on paper, but a King on the field: Patrick is an athletic sideline-to-sideline linebacker with great instincts and solid coverage skills. He was made to quarterback this Ravens defense.
29. Tennessee Titans: Yetur Gross-Matos (Edge), Penn State
Vic Beasley signed a one year deal, but that shouldn’t stop the Titans from targeting another pass rusher. Harold Landry and Gross-Matos possess the potential to be a lethal combo off the edge.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk (WR), Arizona State
Aiyuk is electric with the ball in his hands; the slightest move has defenders biting on a hook with no bait.
Packers aren’t known for taking wide receivers this early, but Aaron Rodgers needs weapons, and his GM answers the call.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Grant Delpit (S), LSU
Delpit has top ten talent and getting him at this point is one of the steals of the draft.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Jeff Gladney (CB), TCU
Chiefs could use a significant improvement in the secondary, and Gladney is a solid fit.
33. Cincinnati Bengals: Ezra Cleveland, (OT) Boise State
34. Indianapolis Colts (from WSH): Ross Blacklock (IDL), TCU
35. Detroit Lions: A.J. Epenesa (Edge), Iowa
36. New York Giants: Zach Baun (Edge)
37. Chargers: Jonathan Taylor (RB), Wisconsin
38. Carolina Panthers: Trevon Diggs (CB), Alabama
39. Miami Dolphins: De’Andre Swift (RB), Georgia
40. Houston Texans (from ARI): Jalen Reagor (WR), TCU
41. Cleveland Browns: Antoine Winfield Jr. (S), Minnesota
42. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyle Dugger (S), Lenoir-Rhyne
43. Chicago Bears (From LV): Noah Igbinoghene (CB), Auburn
44. Indianapolis Colts: Laviska Shenault (WR), Colorado
45. Tamp Bay Buccaneers: J.K. Dobbins (RB,) Ohio State
46. Denver Broncos: K.J. Hamler (WR), Penn State
47. Atlanta Falcons: Damon Arnette (CB), Ohio State
48. New York Jets: Lloyd Cushenberry (IOL), LSU
Although re-signing Alex Lewis and bringing in free agent Greg Van Roten were nice additions; this OL is far from a finished product. Cushenberry is interchangeable along the IOL and boasts the skills to challenge for a starting job immediately or takeover if a player gets injured.
After starting 11 different linemen with nine different combinations, the Jets would be wise to continue to add building blocks. Lewis, in particular, is a liability in the run game, and durability has been an issue throughout his career.
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jordan Elliot (IDL), Missouri
50. Chicago Bears: Jonah Jackson (IOL), Ohio State
51. Dallas Cowboys: Justin Madubuike (IDL), Texas A&M
52. Los Angeles Rams: Prince Tega Wanogho (OT), Auburn
53. New York Jets (from Eagles in this mock): Jaylon Johnson (CB), Utah
Even though Blessuan Austin showed some flashes last season and I’m pleased with the addition of Pierre Desir, this secondary still requires a major upgrade.
Johnson is scheme versatile, but he’s at his best in press man coverage. Ranked 29th on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, there is a lot to like about this prospect.
The Draft Network’s Jonah Tuls describes Johnson as a player with elite reactionary quickness, good patience, quick eyes, and athleticism to match up with anybody. Gregg Williams is going to love this guy!
54. Buffalo Bills: Curtis Weaver (Edge), Boise State
55. Baltimore Ravens (from NE): Julian Okwara (Edge), Notre Dame
56. Miami Dolphins (From NO): Isaiah Wilson (OT), Georgia
57: Houston Texans: Tee Higgins (WR), Clemson
58. Minnesota Vikings: Marlon Davidson (IDL), Auburn
59. Seattle Seahawks: Terrell Lewis (Edge), Alabama
60. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Hennessey (C), Temple
61. Tennessee Titans: Lucas Niang (OT), TCU
62. Green Bay Packers: Cole Kmet (TE), Notre Dame
63. Kansas City Chiefs (from SF): Neville Gallimore (IDL), Oklahoma
64. Seattle Seahawks (from KC): Cameron Dantzler (CB), Mississippi State
65. Cincinnati Bengals: Robert Hunt (IOL), Louisiana-Lafayette
66. Washington Redskins: Michael Pittman Jr. (WR), USC
67. Detroit Lions: Malik Harrison (LB), Ohio State
68. New York Jets (from NYG): Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR), Michigan
Had Donovan opted to attend another university, there is a good chance he’d be mentioned with some of the more prominent names in the draft. Weak play at QB hampered his production and set the stage for an underwhelming career.
Regardless, Donovan is a big-bodied receiver with speed (4.48 forty yard dash), great hands, and athleticism coveted at the position. He reminds me a lot JuJu Smith-Schuster (Darnold’s former teammate) and is best suited to play a similar role, as a “Big Slot” receiver, in the NFL. Darnold and Smith-Schuster displayed undeniable chemistry while at USC, and I expect the same from Donovan and Sam.
69. Carolina Panthers: Raekwon Davis (IDL), Alabama
70. Miami Dolphins: Ashtyn Davis (S), California
71. Los Angeles Chargers: Matt Peart (OT), UConn
72. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Greenard (Edge), Florida
73. Jacksonville Jaguars: Chase Claypool (WR), Notre Dame
74. Cleveland Browns: Jordyn Brooks (LB), Texas Tech
75. Indianapolis Colts: Jacob Eason (QB), Washington
76. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tampa in this mock): Damien Lewis (IOL), LSU
77. Denver Broncos: Ben Bartch (OT), St. Johns
78. Atlanta Falcons: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB), LSU
79. New York Jets: Joshua Uche (Edge), Michigan
Jordan Jenkins is back in town, but edge remains a big concern. Uche could fit nicely as an OLB in Williams’ 3-4 “attacking” defense. He’s extremely versatile with the ability to drop into coverage or rush from the edge. Converting speed to power is perhaps his best weapon, and he’s incredibly athletic with an almost surreal bend.
80. Las Vegas Raiders: Jeremy Chinn (S), Southern Illinois
81. Las Vegas Raiders (from CHI): Troy Pride Jr. (CB), Notre Dame
82. Dallas Cowboys: Bryce Hall (CB), Virginia
83. Denver Broncos (from PIT): Bryan Edwards (WR), South Carolina
84. Los Angeles Rams: Willie Gay Jr. (LB), Mississippi State
85. Detroit Lions (from PHI): Van Jefferson (WR), Florida
86. Buffalo Bills: Zach Moss (RB), Utah
87. New England Patriots: Tyler Biadasz (IOL), Wisconsin
88. New Orleans Saints: Akeem Davis-Gaither (LB), Appalachian State
89. Minnesota Vikings: Darnay Holmes, (CB) UCLA
90. Houston Texans: Khalid Kareem (Edge), Notre Dame
91. Las Vegas Raiders (from SEA): Logan Sternberg (IOL), Kentucky
92. Baltimore Ravens: Cam Akers (RB), Florida State
93. Tennessee Titans: Amik Robertson (CB), Louisiana Tech
94. Green Bay Packers: Troy Dye, (LB) Oregon
95. Denver Broncos (from SF): Davon Hamilton (IDL), Ohio State
96. Kansas City Chiefs: Hakeem Adeniji (IOL), Kansas
97. Cleveland Browns: Bradlee Anae (Edge), Utah
98. New England Patriots: Adam Trautman (TE), Dayton
99. New York Giants: Hunter Bryant (TE), Washington
100. New England Patriots: Darrell Taylor (Edge), Tennessee
101. Seattle Seahawks: Saahdiq Charles (OT), LSU
102. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Hurts (QB), Oklahoma
103. New York Jets (from Eagles in this mock): Netane Muti (IOL), Fresno State
Again, this OL is a work in progress and an injury away from playing musical chairs with the lineup. Even with the recent additions in free agency the Jets should continue to invest in picks up front.
Muti fits the profile of an athletic lineman with the lateral mobility Douglas clearly values. Strong as an ox, Muti put up 44 reps on the bench to boot. He’s a respected team captain and one of my favorite day two prospects.
Muti has been getting mocked much sooner than this, but his injury history is a cause for concern, and I think his stock will fall because—for the time being—teams aren’t able to conduct a physical examination. There is risk in drafting Muti, but if he’s available in this spot, Douglas should jump at the chance.
Nick Harris, who I mocked to the Rams with the following pick, is another prospect I’d strongly consider here.
104. Los Angeles Rams: Nick Harris (IOL), Washington
105. Minnesota Vikings: Shane Lemieux (IOL), Oregon
106. Baltimore Ravens: Ben Bredeson (IOL), Michigan
New York Jets:
Round 4 (pick 120): Devin Duvernay (WR), Texas
Simply put, no saying helps explain Duvernay’s play style more so than Mark Twain’s, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Duvernay invites conflict and rarely goes down on the first blow; 23 missed tackles forced (tied for third in the nation) is a testament to his relentless approach. His run after catch ability is a sight to see as he becomes almost “running back-esque” whenever the ball touches his hands. Duvernay is more of a weapon than a wide receiver and would work well in a system (like the Jets) that creates opportunities after the catch. His blazing speed (4.39 forty yard dash) and near-perfect hands would be a welcomed addition.
Round 5 (pick 159): Anthony McFarland (RB), Maryland
If you’re familiar with my articles, you’ll recognize the name, Anthony McFarland. I haven’t been shy about my affinity for the dynamic ball carrier. Built for a zone-based system, McFarland offers the skill set to exploit stretch runs and dominate the edges. He’s an excellent complement to Bell and characteristic of what to expect from Jets running backs going forward.
Round 6 (pick 191) traded to the Eagles in this mock.
Round 6 (pick 211): John Reid (CB), Penn State
Reid has some limitations, and that’s expected from a sixth-round selection, but he’s the kind of high character player Douglas admires. Lance Zierlein described Reid as a passionate athlete with a high football IQ. Reid is ultra-competitive as a nickel corner and has the potential to find his way onto the field in specific packages. I’m rooting for this kid. From a personal standpoint, he’s everything you want as a teammate.
Round 1: Josh Jones (OT)
Round 2: Lloyd Cushenberry (IOL)
Round 2: Jaylon Johnson (CB)
Round 3: Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR)
Round 3: Joshua Uche (Edge)
Round 3: Netane Muti (IOL)
Round 4: Devin Duvernay (WR)
Round 5: Anthony McFarland (RB)
Round 6: John Reid (CB)