Updated April 27th
1. Carolina Panthers (from Chicago)
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Now that Young has canceled his other visits, and there are several reports by somewhat reliable sources that the Panthers have settled on Young, it is demanded that this is the pick. Bryce Young is an exceptional QB prospect in every category except for his very slight frame. Let’s be clear, this is an owner’s pick. There needs to be more of a realistic concern about very mobile QB’s and slight QB’s. Take a minute and check out the starting QB’s for the last week of last year’s NFL season. Notice who was out injured.
2. Houston Texans
Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
There is no other way to put it than this is a legitimate puzzle between four prospects. They really don’t need to be so secretive if it is a QB other than Young, so leading up to the draft, am going to lean toward something that makes a lot of sense – the Texans will build their defense and other players on offense before they address their QB situation. This falls inline with how it was done in SanFran, and that is where their coaches hail from. Wilson is simply a better fit for their 4-3.
3. Tennessee Titans (projected trade from Arizona Cardinals)
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Titans rolled the dice on an “athletic” (read: can’t play QB) prospect last year in Malik Willis. The team has all but given up on him and their GM got fired. This trade makes the most sense. Stroud has a high floor, and seems like he could run an offense well that depends on the run.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The Colts land a reliable, prototypical NFL QB prospect. This might be the best-case scenario for them. There is a lot of talk about the Colts loving Levis, so a fun scenario would be if Stroud and Levis are both on the clock here.
5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Seattle has their QB, but upon further review, it is really just a one-year deal. The Seahawks have a very old coach, and you can’t imagine that he has any interest in a project QB. The Seahawks don’t shy away from character concerns and need to get that defensive line going. Toss up here between Carter and Wilson.
6. Detroit Lions (from LAR)
Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama
The Lions signed three really, really good players for their secondary, a fact that seems to be missed on major mock drafts the last few days. The Seahawks here save them from making a decision on Carter. Instead, the Lions go with a bookend for Hutch, which now gives them a stable of edge rushers. DT and probably corner are bigger needs, but this high in the draft you can’t pass up an elite edge.
7. Las Vegas Raiders
Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Jimmy G coming to the Raiders does not keep them from going after a QB in the draft, but that would probably come later. They would want a very smart, accurate, and polished passer, and not a freak athlete at QB if they do take one. The Raiders need a corner, and they get the best overall one in the draft in Gonzalez.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The Falcons’ head coach was from the Titans who used a beast at running back to destroy opponents that were all built to defend the pass. This makes too much sense.
9. Chicago Bears (from Carolina)
Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
The Bears move down to 9 with their trade, but that is perfectly fine with them as they can grab an elite player at their biggest need. They have to get that offensive line improved, and did receive an excellent receiver in the trade, so that becomes a little less of an emergency.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)
Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Eagles in some ways are a wild team to watch on the first night of the draft, but in other ways are pretty predictable. Can’t imagine they stick here, but if they do, an offensive tackle that can also be moved to guard makes a lot of sense.
11. Arizona Cardinals (projected trade with Tennessee Titans)
Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
The Cardinals actually have quite a lot of needs and are locked into a long-term deal with their QB.
12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland)
Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State
This is probably the most wide-open pick in this draft. The Texans need help everywhere, so they will look at the board and grab their top player.
13. Green Bay Packers (from New York Jets)
Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Kincaid is probably the best overall pass catcher in this draft and is perfect for a young QB in the Green Bay system.
14. New England Patriots
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Patriots need to get this offense going and finally have a real OC running the show. They made one nice addition in the offseason, and can really give Mac a chance with Smith-Njigba.
15. New York Jets (from Green Bay Packers)
Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Jets really need to get an offensive tackle. This should simply be the best OT on the board.
16. Washington Commanders
Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
We had the Commanders taking Richardson, but with an ownership change underway that won’t be done before the draft, they are saved from making that decision. They can give Sam Howell some time to try to show what he has, and can just add some talent around him. This is a difficult pick, as probably everyone in the front office and on the coaching staff will be gone soon.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
The Steelers are in a transition stage and have to build around their young, talented QB. They have a top RB, but can’t open up holes for him, and that is due to a lack of talent on the interior. Torrence probably has the best tape of any offensive lineman in this draft.
18. Detroit Lions
Calijah Kancey, DT, Pitt
The Lions could take a look at corner here if they really love some DT’s that could be there in the second round. Kancey is a specialty player, and his run defense might be an issue, but he is an elite one-gapper.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lukas Van Ness, Iowa, DE
The Bucs have lots of needs, and those are only going to grow next year as payment comes due for their all-in to win the Superbowl and bring everyone back the next year.
20. Seattle Seahawks
Nolan Smith, OLB/DE, Georgia
The Seahawks continue to build up their defensive line with Carter’s teammate.
21. Los Angeles Chargers
Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
The Chargers made a disastrous hire at OC a while back and finally corrected it. That might be the under-the-radar coordinator move of the off-season. Now they need to finish updating their defense, as the league caught up to Staley’s scheme.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Got this in after they signed Lamar. The Ravens now have some excellent tools for Lamar.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
The Vikings might take a look at Hooker here, but there are some legit concerns there. His tape is excellent, but when he got injured, his replacement played even better. He is also a lot older than other QB prospects and is coming off a major injury.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State
The Jags are starting to look like they have everything clicking. They could use an edge rusher, and McDonald is an athletic freak.
25. New York Giants
Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The Giants could use some more offensive tools for their newly signed QB.
26. Dallas Cowboys
Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
Dak is a typical “bully” QB. He beats up on lesser teams, inflating his stats, but when another bully shows up, as a strong defense, he withers away. Now that they are installing an outdated offense, expect a s*** show on offense this year, and they will have to have an incredible defense to win games.
27. Buffalo Bills
Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Bills will have to take a long look at running back here, but that will depend on who is still on the board. The next best thing is to improve their offensive line.
28. Cincinnati Bengals
Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
The Bengals lost some guys in their secondary and that is going to hurt. This is a great slot to get one of the second-tier corners in the draft that should help immediately.
29. San Francisco (from New Orleans)
Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
The 49ers absolutely love defensive lineman. Here they add a young piece to their elite D-line.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The Chiefs get a unique WR prospect that just needs to stop body-catching the ball.
31. Philadelphia Eagles
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Texas
The Eagles are loaded and have extra early draft picks. Enjoy.
~Miami Dolphins Pick Forfeited~