Ed. Note: This mock draft was completed on April 18 and 25, so any trades that have happened in the interim will not be included.
Happy Draft Day! In what has become a tradition around here, we have a mock draft for you to enjoy before the big show starts. Due to time constraints of the participants, we are only doing a two-round mock, but it was still fun! You can check out the last couple years’ mock drafts below:
- If there is a trade between two teams that are being run by the same person, it must be approved by a simple majority of the whole group.
- Due to not being able to get everyone together at the exact same time, we are requiring that folks wait at least five minutes before making their selection to give people ample time to discuss trades and such.
- Picks are being drafted as if we have total control over the team; we are not making predictions.
These assignments were determined through a serpentine draft. I put all of our names in a randomizer to determine the order of selection.
Logan Sandor/Andrew Rodrigues (Logan was not available for our second draft day, so Andrew stepped in) - New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts
Similar to last year, we opened up to having pre-draft trades. There were some pre-draft trade discussions, but no agreements were made.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Logan) | Edge Aidan Hutchinson | Michigan
Jags need an edge rusher, and while there is some debate about who the best edge rusher in the class is I believe the best one on the table is Aidan. He has the most versatility and is well above Travon Walker and Kayvon Thibodeaux in intangibles. I think Aidan Hutchinson is the clear choice at number 1. The other argument would be about the Jags taking an O-line player since they have yet to hit on a dominant edge rusher (they have taken an edge rusher in the first round in 2 of the past 3 drafts), but from an outsider perspective I don’t think the Jags front office is willing to take a “boring” O-line player with the first pick in the draft. Aidan Hutchinson it is.
2. Detroit Lions (Robert) | Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux | Oregon
Thibodeaux has the physical profile, the college production (exceptional 16% individual pressure rate over his college career), and the winning instincts to be a foundational player for the next great Lions team.
3. Houston Texans (Ben) | OT Evan Neal | Alabama
Sure, the Texans need a quarterback, but there is not a quarterback worth taking this high, and they also need a whole lot more. In taking Neal, they start constructing an offensive line for the future. He’s big, he’s strong, and the Texans could really use him.
4. New York Jets (Nishant) | CB Ahmad Gardner | Cincinnati
With the two premier edge rushers off the board already, the Jets decide to deal with the secondary with their top pick. They took a hard look at Kyle Hamilton here, but in the end they couldn’t pass up the man known as Sauce, who had an utterly dominant season for Cincinnati and has the combination of polish and athleticism to be a lockdown corner immediately.
5. New York Giants (Logan) | OT Charles Cross | Mississippi State
Giants need serious improvement on the O-line to allow for their offense to flourish. Cross has the talent at run blocking and pass blocking along with the size and strength to be a starter on the first day of the season, easy choice.
6. Carolina Panthers (Kieffer) | OT Ikem Ekwonu | North Carolina State
The Panthers need a QB, and Matt Rhule wants one that can save his job. But none of these QBs will do that as rookies, and certainly not behind the Panthers’ disaster of an offensive line. The team added in Free agency, but still has major needs at Center, Guard, and Left Tackle. Ekwonu can play either guard or tackle, providing flexible stability to the line and setting up the next QB for success
7. New York Giants (Logan) | Edge Travon Walker | Georgia
Giants need help on both lines. Travon is a fantastic option if he even falls this far in the draft. Travon has shown his talent on the field. Some question his intangible athleticism in terms of endurance to play all the downs, but you can’t question his motor and drive on the field. Kid doesn’t quit on a play and can play multiple positions on defense.
8. Atlanta Falcons (Ben) | S Kyle Hamilton | Notre Dame
The Falcons end up taking a player that they (read I) were not expecting to still see on the board at this point. They need a lot of help all over the place, but Hamilton is just too good to pass up here.
9. Seattle Seahawks (Logan) | CB Derek Stingley, Jr.
Seattle considered taking a QB or trading back, but couldn’t justify it/find the right trade. 9 is going to be the strangest pick of the first round value wise in my opinion. As far as my actual pick, I think Stingley’s talented and fills a need for the Seahawks. Some people question his drive but the strong Pro day he delivered puts Stingley over the edge to get picked here.
10. New York Jets (Nishant) | WR Garrett Wilson | Ohio State
The Jets wanted a wideout with one of their first-round picks to give Zach Wilson some help, and they’re happy to see the top guy on their board fall into their lap. The Wilson-to-Wilson connection should be all kinds of fun with Zach’s big arm and Garrett’s ability to stretch the field.
11. TRADE!! Dallas Cowboys (Ben) | DT Jordan Davis | Georgia
The Washington Commanders trade the 11th pick to the Dallas Cowboys for picks 24, 56, and 129.
Jordan Davis is one of the most interesting players in the entire draft. He is big and strong, sitting at 6-6, 340, but he also runs a 4.78. You just can’t teach that. Some might see it as a reach, but the Cowboys tried to trade up into the Top 10 to get Davis.
12. Minnesota Vikings (Nishant) | LB Devin Lloyd | Utah
The perfect scenario for the Vikings would have been if one of the top three defensive backs—Gardner, Stingley, or Hamilton—were still on the board here. With all three off the board, they explore trading down but ultimately sit tight and take Lloyd, a capable player who fills a key need inside as they move to a 3-4 system on defense.
13. Houston Texans (Ben) | Edge Jermaine Johnson | Florida State
The Texans need a lot of help everywhere, and since they took an OL first, they’ll take a DL here.
14. Baltimore Ravens (Nishant) | Edge George Karlaftis | Purdue
The Ravens really need to bolster the pass rush and are sad to see Johnson get snatched away just before they could pick him. Karlaftis feels like a bit of a reach this early, but he has a high ceiling and is very clearly the best edge rusher left on the board at this point.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (Nishant) | WR Drake London | USC
Wideout isn’t the Eagles’ biggest need, but they can’t pass up London, whom they expected to come off the board several picks ago. Philly wants to give Jalen Hurts a chance to prove he can be their long-term QB, and giving him a big, physical receiver across from Devonta Smith would put plenty of tools in Hurts’ hands to let him truly prove himself.
16. New Orleans Saints (Robert) | WR Jameson Williams | Alabama
The Saints expect Williams to be fully recovered from his ACL injury and to provide game-breaking ability to pair with QB Jameis Winston. Winston is a dynamic thrower of the football, and Williams will allow the Saints to fully take advantage of his talents. Williams can get open deep as well as turn short in-breaking routes into explosive plays.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (Kieffer) | OT Trevor Penning | Northern Iowa
The Chargers need to protect the franchise, and suffered significant losses along the OL this year. Penning allows them to replace Bulaga at RT and continue to build around Justin Herbert
18. TRADE!!! Pittsburgh Steelers (Nishant) | QB Malik Willis | Liberty
The Philadelphia Eagles trade the 18th and 101st picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for picks 20 and 84.
The Steelers are increasingly surprised and excited as they watch the entire slate of QBs slide deeper into the first round. But then they notice the Saints sitting there at 19 and realize they’ll have to act fast if they want their pick of the litter. By offering the Eagles a Day 2 pick swap, they manage to jump up a couple spots and snag Willis, a fascinating high-risk, high-reward prospect. It means passing up on hometown hero Kenny Pickett, but it also means giving Mike Tomlin a more mobile QB who can sit behind Mitchell Trubisky for a year if needed.
19. New Orleans Saints (Robert) | QB Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati
The Saints are elated that their trade with the Philadelphia Eagles has allowed them to pair their QB-WR of the future. With Winston under contract through 2023, the Saints are perfectly positioned to develop Ridder and set themselves up for a decade plus of success.
20. TRADE!!! Philadelphia Eagles (Nishant) | CB Trent McDuffie | Washington
The Pittsburgh Steelers trade the 20th and 84th picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for picks 18 and 101.
There are a lot of guys on the board who could help the Eagles, but in the end they decide to fill their biggest remaining need by far. McDuffie is on the smaller side for a modern cornerback, but he’s proven himself to be terrific in both coverage and run support, and he’ll pair with Darius Slay to form a very solid corner tandem.
21. New England Patriots (Ben) | LB Nakobe Dean | Georgia
Dean is not the biggest linebacker, but he just seems like the type of player that Bill Belichick would love to have on his defense. He is explosive and made a ton of big plays in Athens and will fill in nicely in the Patriots’ defense.
22. Green Bay Packers (Robert) | WR Chris Olave | Ohio State
With the departure of Devante Adams, the Packers reinforce their WR corps with the guy they had at the top of their board. Aaron Rodgers is thrilled with the selection and promises not to talk about retirement on the Pat McAfee show for at least a month
23. TRADE!!! Chicago Bears (Nishant) | OL Kenyon Green | Texas A&M
The Arizona Cardinals trade the 23rd pick to the Chicago Bears for picks 39, 71, and a 6-pack of Cheerwine.
The Bears really just need help everywhere, so they might as well focus on building an offense around Justin Fields for now. Considering he got hit approximately a frillion times last year, that starts with protecting him, and their front office decides it’s worth spending a Day 2 pick (and some delicious regional soda) to move up and get a good prospect. Green is a bruising, battle-tested guard who will bolster the interior of the offensive line and can kick outside if needed.
24. TRADE!!! Washington Commanders (Robert) | WR Treylon Burks | Arkansas
The Dallas Cowboys trade the 24th, 56th, and 129th picks to the Washington Commanders for pick 11.
With no concern whatsoever for distracting the fanbase from its ongoing litigious struggles, the Football Team believes that their trade down netted them an elite WR to make life easier for (definitely not temporary) QB Carson Wentz while adding two more selections that will provide quality depth later in the draft.
25. Buffalo Bills (Logan) | RB Breece Hall | Iowa State
Long has it been a goal of the Bills to find the perfect running back. Now they have found someone with the speed, the strength, and most importantly the hands out of the backfield to fill the hole they need back there. Sure there may be smarter decisions but I think most Bills fans will agree that sometimes you have to go with your heart.
26. Tennessee Titans (Kieffer) | WR Jahan Dotson | Penn State
WR has become a need due the injury struggles of Julio Jones and AJ Brown contract dispute. With the OL board picked fairly clean and the WR board thinning fast, the Titans fill a need while they still can.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Robert) | OL Zion Johnson | Boston College
Tom Brady is elated to add a replacement for their retiring All-Pro Guard Ali Marpet, and the Bucs get great value with the draft’s top guard prospect still available near the end of the first round.
28. Green Bay Packers (Robert) | S Dax Hill | Michigan
The Green Bay Packers shift their focus back to the other side of the ball and grab Dax Hill. After adding outside dynamism at 22, the Packers shore up their back end for one more run at the title with a versatile safety who is a perfect fit for today’s NFL.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (Ben) | WR Christian Watson | North Dakota State
With Tyreek Hill gone, the Chiefs lost their best playmaker at wide receiver. While they added Juju Smith-Schuster, the addition of Watson gives Patrick Mahomes a large deep threat. While he may still be a bit raw, he brings a ton of potential and could become an elite target for Mahomes.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (Ben) | DE David Ojabo | Michigan
Like Watson, David Ojabo is also a bit on the raw side, but playing opposite Aidan Hutchinson, Ojabo more than held his own. He has tremendous upside and won’t be rushed to the field at all, especially given his Achilles tear from his pro day.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (Kieffer) | C Tyler Linderbaum
The Bengals signed Ted Karras to play Center, but he can also play guard. Linderbaum is the best OL available and gives Joe Burrow a long term solution at the center position. With this pick, the Bengals OL is now a position of strength. The defense let the team down in the super bowl, but in the first round it’s all about supporting the franchise.
32. Detroit Lions (Robert) | DT Devonte Wyatt | Georgia
Pairing Wyatt and Thibodeax transforms the Lions’ front overnight, and Dan Campbell should finally get the kneecaps he wants. Look out for this young Lions core once they add a real QB in the 2023 Draft.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars (Logan) | WR Alec Pierce | Cincinnati
This might be a reach but I think Alec is a receiving talent who works hard and has developed as an outside receiver in his time at Cincy. I expect him to make a great target with sure hands and speed off the line.
34. Detroit Lions (Robert) | CB Andrew Booth, Jr. | Clemson
The Lions continue the defensive build and hedge against the possibility of Jef Okudah not bouncing back well from his lost 2021 season. This is a defense being transformed overnight, and the excitement in the Motor City is palpable.
35. New York Jets (Nishant) | S Lewis Cine | Georgia
The Jets continue to stack up talent in the secondary. Cine is more at home as a box defender than the roaming ballhawk they’d ideally want, but they need better tacklers in the back seven, and he got plenty of experience playing center field for UGA.
36. New York Giants (Logan) | CB Roger McCreary | Auburn
McCreary has shown talent at reading routes and scoring interceptions in the SEC. if he can continue to learn McCreary may have a bright future ahead of him.
37. Houston Texans (Ben) | QB Kenny Pickett | Pittsburgh
Right now, the Texans have Kyle Allen and Davis Mills at quarterback. With Pickett falling to them in the second, this is an easy decision and gives them the best of the rest of the quarterbacks in a value pick.
38. New York Jets (Nishant) | DE Arnold Ebiketie | Penn State
Like half the league, the Jets need more help getting after the quarterback. Ebiketie, who transferred to Penn State after three seasons at Temple, is a physically gifted pass rusher who can start as a third-down rush specialist and eventually develop into an every-down player.
39. TRADE!!! Arizona Cardinals (Logan) | TE Trey McBride | Colorado State
The Arizona Cardinals trade the 39th and 71st picks and a 6-pack of Cheerwine to the Chicago Bears for pick 23.
Another potential reach, but the Cardinals aren’t going to want to miss out on the best TE in the draft. Trey had 90 receptions in his 2021 season which placed him with the 9th ranked receptions in the country. A talented receiver and blocker to help the cardinals replace their depleted Tight-End core.
40. Seattle Seahawks (Logan) | QB Matt Corral | Ole Miss
The Seahawks need a QB of the future. Corral has shown similarities to the previous QB Russel Wilson with his ability to make plays from nothing, scramble, and make long throws. I wouldn’t expect to see him play this year but keep an eye out for him to play somewhere in the future.
41. Seattle Seahawks (Logan) | DE Kingsley Enagbare | South Carolina
The Seahawks are looking to recreate the Legion of Boom by adding a versatile player who can play as both a edge rusher and linebacker. Enagbare is fast and can catch offenses off guard in the backfield with his strength.
42. Indianapolis Colts (Logan) | OT Bernhard Raimann | Central Michigan
Let’s do something Atlanta never did and give Matty Ice some help by blocking for him. Raimann is a value pick at this spot and can help solidify the O-line for Indy.
43. Atlanta Falcons (Ben) | CB Kaiir Elam | Florida
The Falcons double dip in the secondary after seeing Elam—who is ranked much higher on some boards—fall to them in the second round made this an easy pick. Elam is a big corner, but could use some development, but could eventually serve as a solid option opposite AJ Terrell.
44. Cleveland Browns (Ben) | WR George Pickens | Georgia
The Browns are no stranger to players with problems that are also high potential players. That brings us to George Pickens. Pickens is incredibly physically gifted, but had some issues staying out of trouble in college. He gives new QB Deshaun Watson an immediate impact receiver.
45. Baltimore Ravens (Nishant) | OT Daniel Faalele | Minnesota
The Ravens could always use more help up front to protect Lamar Jackson, and they decide to make a big splash by taking the literal biggest player in the draft. At 6-foot-9 and 384 pounds, Faalele is a bruising road grader in the run game who has the potential to be an all-around good tackle.
46. Minnesota Vikings (Nishant) | S Jalen Pitre | Baylor
Minnesota would’ve loved for Elam to slide a couple spots to them, so instead they pick up a versatile and experienced safety who can play any of a few different spots on the back end.
47. Washington Commanders (Robert) | LB Quay Walker | Georgia
Washington gets a dynamic off-ball linebacker who has Darius Leonard like coverage abilities. He was a nearly every down player for one of the greatest CFB defenses of all time.
48. Chicago Bears (Nishant) | WR John Metchie III | Alabama
Metchie led the Crimson Tide in receptions despite sharing the roster with Jameson Williams, and he was in the first-round conversation before he tore his ACL in the SEC title game. He appears to be on track to resume football activities in time for training camp this summer, and even if it takes him a few months to regain his original explosiveness, he’ll be a great long-term piece for this offense.
49. New Orleans Saints (Robert) | DT Travis Jones | Connecticut
Jones can immediately start for the Saints based on his power and explosiveness. He has the potential to develop into a three down player who commands double teams and allows the Saints to drop an extra box player into coverage.
50. Kansas City Chiefs (Ben) | CB Kyler Gordon | Washington
With Chavarius Ward headed to San Francisco, the Chiefs take Gordon, who has been rising up the boards lately. He could use a little more polish, but is dynamic with an explosive burst and is not afraid to hit a ballcarrier.
51. Philadelphia Eagles (Nishant) | LB Brian Asamoah | Oklahoma
Needing help at inside linebacker, the Eagles go for the guy with maybe the best range in the class. Asamoah has terrific speed and vision for the position, and those plus his production in 2021 are enough to overcome any concerns about his limited size.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers (Nishant) | Edge Boye Mafe | Minnesota
Pittsburgh scoops up a guy they would have considered in the first round had they not been focused on landing a QB. Mafe is still a bit raw but has massive upside as a pass rusher.
53. Green Bay Packers (Robert) | Edge Logan Hall | Houston
The Packers need additional productivity from their defensive front, and Hall projects to be a guy who can do it all. He can play the run and the pass, lining up as a traditional strong-side DE on early downs with the potential to move inside to bring extra pass rushing on the field on passing downs.
54. New England Patriots (Ben) | CB Tariq Woolen | UTSA
While it might be a bit of a stretch, I was sold on the measurables here. New England needs a new corner after seeing Stephon Gilmore leave, and here they pick up Woolen. Standing at 6-4, he ran a 4.26 40-yard dash. He is still fairly new to being a corner, so he probably won’t be ready right away, but he’s got the potential to be great.
55. Arizona Cardinals (Andrew) | Edge Sam Williams | Ole Miss
The Cardinals need pass rushers and he is the highest left on the board.
56. TRADE!!! Washington Commanders (Robert) | S Jaquan Brisker | Penn State
The Dallas Cowboys trade the 24th, 56th, and 129th picks to the Washington Commanders for pick 11.
Washington is able to pair a team need with the best defensive player left on their board; Brisker is a do it all safety who fits right into the modern NFL. He can play run and pass, in the box and deep. He will be a starter year 2, if not by the end of camp this fall.
57. Buffalo Bills (Andrew) | OT Abraham Lucas | Washington State
You can never have too many offensive linemen. Lets get an extra one for the new RB and Josh Allen to work with.
58. Atlanta Falcons (Ben) | QB Sam Howell | North Carolina
With Matt Ryan in Indianapolis, the Falcons are hunting for a new franchise QB. It might not be Howell, but taking a QB here gives them another option and does not keep them from spending an early pick on a QB next year, when the class is much better. With Mariota on the roster, the Falcons can take their time getting Howell experience.
59. Green Bay Packers (Robert) | WR Skyy Moore | Western Michigan
After the departures of Adams and Valdez-Scantling this offseason, the Packers invest heavily in their receiver corps. Moore dominated in 2021 and has all of the tools and position knowledge to be a key cog in the Packers offense from day one.
60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Robert) | LB Christian Harris
Harris is ready to play, but the Bucs have the flexibility to let him learn from Lavonte David for a year before taking over full-time in 2023
61. San Francisco 49ers (Kieffer) | OT Tyler Smith | Tulsa
The Niners need to support Trey Lance as he takes over the starting QB spot. Tyler Smith is a versatile OL who can play Tackle or Guard based on need. San Francisco has an immediate need at Guard, and that may be best for Smith’s development. If he’s needed at Tackle, he provides that flexibility. Smith is also a great run blocker who will help Shanahan’s bruising run game tremendously.
62. Kansas City Chiefs (Ben) | OT Nicholas Petit-Frere | Ohio State
The Chiefs just missed on the player they wanted, so they pick up the next best guy in Petit-Frere. He’s a high-floor guy who should be able to be a decent presence at right tackle.
63. Cincinnati Bengals (Kieffer) | Edge Nik Bonitto | Oklahoma
The Bengals are now set around Joe Burrow, and need to bolster the defense. Bonitto provides additional pass rush depth and is a good value pick at this spot.
64. Denver Broncos (Kieffer) | DT Marvin Leal | Texas A&M
The Broncos are poised to make a leap now that they have Russell Wilson. The Bronco offense is stacked after years of significant investment on that side of the ball, so with this pick I’m going with defense. Leal provides positional flexibility as a 5 Technique in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front and will be a significant boon to that unit.
What would you do differently?