The new reigning Super Bowl Champion, Kansas City Chiefs parade has now come & gone & with that, officially ends the 2019 NFL season. Now all eyes are on the NFL Combine & April’s NFL Draft. It’s a time for positive thoughts about your favorite NFL team, no matter what happened, last season. Everyone’s 0-0, everyone has cap-room, everyone has dream scenario trades in their head & everyone has the bit of hope that your favorite College player will fall down the draft board & be selected by your favorite team. It’s the best time of year for NFL fans…outside of opening weekend in early-September, of course.
With that being said, let’s get into my final Mock Draft & quick breakdown of each team’s selection…
1. Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Breakdown – Burrow is coming off the best season any player has ever had in College Football & capped it off with an outstanding performance in the National Championship Game with a win-over the defending champion, Clemson Tigers. He’s the best player in this draft, the Bengals don’t have a QB & it’s the most important position in all of professional Sports. It’s a no-brainer.
2. Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Breakdown – Purely based off of needs, why would the Redskins draft a Defensive End? They still have Ryan Kerrigan, along with youngsters, Jonathan Allen & Montez Sweat as their pass-rushing specialists…Chase Young is THAT good. He just happens to be in the same draft-class as the man who’s coming off the best season in College Football history in the aforementioned, Joe Burrow. These 2 are the clear-cut top 2 choices in April’s draft & are head & shoulders above the rest of the class in almost every category at their respective positions. Young is the most dominant pass-rushing prospect in years & the Redskins would be sadly mistaken to pass on this stud.
3. Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Breakdown – There’s not just one Ohio State defensive stud in this draft…after Chase Young, comes Jeff Okudah. The Lions have to make a decision on star-CB, Darius Slay, this off-season & even if they decide to bring him back, Okudah still makes a ton of sense. The Lions defense was dead last in giving up the most passing yards per game, last season & a secondary of Slay, Okudah & Justin Coleman has lockdown written all over it for the foreseeable future.
4. Giants – Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson
Breakdown – Let’s all be fair here…the Giants defense is borderline horrific & desperately needs an infusion of young playmakers…insert Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons. The only defensive player who showed up for Clemson in their National Championship Game defeat to projected # 1-pick Joe Burrow & the LSU Tigers, Simmons is a ball-hawk by every sense of the word. He’s quick to plug up an open hole in the run game & he’s even better at dropping back in coverage & disguising coverages to confuse opposing QB’s. Simmons is an absolute playmaker & a team that is in dire need of some on defense, it makes way too much sense to go anywhere else for the Giants.
5. Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Breakdown – The Dolphins first of 3-first round picks will go to their future franchise QB. They have a ton of holes to fill, in this draft but they have enough picks in the first, two rounds to help fill many of them. Going into the 2019 College Football season, Tua was the consensus top pick with the phrase “Tank for Tua” headlining a lot of fans hopes that their team would lose games in hope of securing the top selection in the draft to secure Tua’s services. But then came Joe Burrow & a season-ending hip injury after a nagging ankle injury that’s tarnished most of his 2019 campaign. Hopefully, it was just one of those seasons for Tua, he heals up properly & ends up being a pro-bowl caliber QB for years to come. He’s got all the tools & is a proven winner at a high-level.
6. Chargers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Breakdown – Derrick Brown is a menace in the middle of whatever defense he’ll be drafted to in late-April. He can pressure the QB up the middle & not allow them to step up in the pocket & he’s elite at stuffing the run. The Chargers ranked in the bottom half in stopping the run, this past season & after trotting out interior defensive linemen, Jerry Tillery, Justin Jones & Sylvester Williams for the better part of 2019, there’s a CLEAR need to upgrade at the position & none-better then Auburn’s Derrick Brown.
7. Panthers – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Breakdown – Wills has come on late in the College season to take the reigns of # 1 Offensive-Tackle in this draft class from Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. After a terrific season at Alabama,Wills could very well be the 1st Offensive Linemen drafted, come April & is a perfect fit along that Panthers Tackle-needy Offensive Line.
8. Cardinals – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Breakdown – The Cardinals need offensive playmakers for reigning Offensive Rookie of The Year, Kyler Murray…& none fit the bill better then his former teammate at Oklahoma in CeeDee Lamb. An elite-WR prospect by any metric or advance analytic you can think of, couple that with an already built-in chemistry from their time at Oklahoma, it’s a perfect fit in the Desert.
9. Jaguars – K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
Breakdown – The projected losses of Defensive Ends, Yannick Ngakoue & Calais Campbell creates a big problem along that Jaguars defensive line. LSU’s Chaisson had a remarkable end of 2019 that culminated with him being named defensive-MVP of the National Championship. The Jaguars have a big gap at the defensive end position & Chaisson is one of the best available. Great fit.
10. Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Breakdown – The Browns were the most disappointing team in the entire NFL, last season…& the development of Quarterback Baker Mayfield took a major hit. However, drafting a stud like Wirfs to help protect him will only help the matter. Browns seemingly have to go with offensive line, here.
11. Jets – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Breakdown – The Jets need to protect Quarterback, Sam Darnold & the standout offensive lineman of the Senior Bowl, Josh Jones is still available. Sometimes predictability is a good thing & this is a perfect example. Don’t overthink it, New York.
12. Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Breakdown – You can’t mention the Raiders & Wide Receivers without mentioning the Antonio Brown fiasco that plagued the entire Raiders off-season & pre-season, last year. Brown is now a free-agent with his future in the league in severe doubt with his pending legal troubles & the Raiders clearly need a playmaker for Quarterback, Derek Carr. Another example of predictable being a good thing.
13. Colts – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Breakdown – On paper the Colts might have the worst Cornerback group in the NFL. It’s even thinner then the paper it was written on. They need a Corner & they need one badly. Florida’s CJ Henderson had a terrific season & with LSU’s Kristian Fulton having a down year, he moves into the slot of being the 2nd best CB in this year’s draft.
14. Buccaneers – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Breakdown – The biggest standout on the field during the Senior Bowl, was South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. An absolute physical specimen who can play inside or out. The Bucs should bring back Shaq Barrett who tore the league up, last season, but they still need to get him some help in getting to the opposing QB. Tampa Bay also stopped the run better then any other team in the league, last season & Kinlaw can ensure that happens again in 2020.
15. Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Breakdown – Quarterback Drew Lock had a very good rookie season after he took the reigns over in Denver, last season. Outside of Receiver, Courtland Sutton who is coming off of a breakout season & emerging Tight End, Noah Fant, the Broncos are extremely thin on offensive skill position talent & selecting the fastest player in the draft who’s been under the tutelage of Nick Saban, it seems like a no-brainer for John Elway.
16. Falcons – A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Breakdown – The Falcons will more then likely have to part ways with current defensive ends Vic Beasley & Adrian Clayborn & the immediate future of Tak McKinley uncertain after next season, the Falcons seemingly have a perfect fit for Epenesa on their squad. After leading the nation in sacks over the last month in 2019, he would help the Falcons who were bottom 5 in total team sacks, last season,
17. Cowboys – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Breakdown – I don’t think anyone sees the Cowboys going anywhere outside of Safety, here. The only question is do they select Alabama’s Xavier McKinney or the reigning Thorpe Award winner as the Nation’s top defensive back in Grant Delpit…& we’ll go with the latter to take his talents to “Jerry World“ come Fall of 2020. Delpit had a injury plagued season but battled through it & earned Thorpe Award honors as the best defensive back in the country, this past season. It’s a foregone conclusion that the Cowboys are going with a Safety with the 17th selection & Delpit is the pick.
18. Dolphins – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Breakdown – We had the Dolphins select Alabama QB, Tua Tagovailoa earlier in the draft, now we draft the man that will protect him for what the Dolphins hope is the next decade-plus. Becton has been skyrocketing up draft boards & some even think he may be a top-10 selection & nobody would be surprised if that came to fruition when the draft rolls around, this April. Drafting Tua’s protector seems to be the perfect selection here should they ultimately draft Tua with their earlier 1st rounder.
19. Raiders, Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Breakdown – Fulton was the consensus best corner in the draft during the pre-season but has fell down virtually every single draft board & out of the 1st round in many. But the Raiders always try to get fancy…& if you’re going to go a bit outside of the box, you can do a lot worse then LSU’s Fulton. He has all the talent in the world, maybe even more then Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah…but he’s yet to put it together like the former. The Raiders badly need a playmaker in their secondary & Fulton fits the bill.
20. Jaguars – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Breakdown – Earlier we had the Jags locking down their pass rushing issue with LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson…now they fill the void that Jalen Ramsey left in the secondary with their yet another SEC defensive playmaker in Corner, Trevon Diggs. Diggs is long, fast & has a ton of raw-talent, He needs some time to develop & with that will surely come some growing pains but if Jacksonville sticks with him, he won’t disappoint.
21. Eagles, Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Breakdown – If you watched any Eagles game this past season, you’d surely be looking down at your phone & searching up the names of the players QB Carson Wentz was throwing too all year. It’s one of the biggest messes of any positional grouping in the entire league. Higgins would be a top-2 WR prospect in almost any other class…he just happens to be in one of the deepest classes in recent memory. He fits a MAJOR need in Philly.
22. Bills – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Breakdown – The Bills had a fantastic year & many expect them to once again contend, if not finally snag the throne in the AFC East from the vaunted New England Patriots, next season. If they’re going to do that, they need an upgrade in the running game. Frank Gore had a solid year but father time showed a few signs of finally catching up to the ageless wonder & while rookie, Devin Singletary showed signs of positivity, they need a potential game-changer…in comes D’Andre Swift from Georgia. He’s an absolute dynamic playmaker with real home-run ability to break free for 50+ yards at the drop of a hat while being a very solid pass catcher, enough so to solidify himself as a workhorse, 3-down back every Sunday for years to come.
23. Patriots, Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Breakdown – I expect the Patriots to potentially trade this selection for an offensive playmaker to ease Tom Brady’s nerves as they hope to bring back the greatest player in NFL history…but if they’re going to keep the pick, mine as well draft an absolute stud-playmaker for Brady. Justin Jefferson burst onto the College Football scene last season & if it wasn’t for his teammate Jamar Chase, he would’ve been recognized as the best Receiver in the nation. The Pats have a glaring need on offense & Jefferson would be a terrific fit.
24. Saints – Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma
Breakdown – The Saints could easily go with Quarterback Drew Brees’ successor here, but instead we’ll assume he comes back for one last season & they’ll sure up the middle of their defense with someone who could be their “Quarterback” of the defense in Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray. Murray’s not the best coverage guy in the World but he’s an absolute workhorse, flys all over the field & rarely misses tackles. He’s a perfect fit on that aggressive Saints defense.
25. Vikings – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Breakdown – The Vikings found themselves yet again being outclassed by a team in the NFL Playoffs. They allowed to Niners to have their most complete offensive performance of the post-season & got shredded. If you need a playmaker on defense, look no further then McKinney. Pairing him alongside perennial Pro-Bowler, Harrison Smith will immediately give Minnesota one of the most formidable Safety combos in the league.
26. Dolphins – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
Breakdown – The Dolphins have already selected their Franchise QB & Franchise OT…now they need a weapon on Defense…step in Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos. He’s a terrific run stopper & can set the edge against any dual-threat QB around…while being a bit green when it comes to pure pass-rushing ability, he’s terrific in enough areas to warrant the pick.
27. Seahawks – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Breakdown – The Seahawks have had trouble keeping Quarterback Russell Wilson safe over the past few seasons & Andrew Thomas was at the top of every draft board before the season began…but his struggle against the SEC’s elite pass-rushers has sent him down most of those very draft boards. However, in games such as Georgia’s against Notre Dame, you see flashes of absolute brilliance from Thomas that makes him an absolute steal this late in the 1st round. He just needs to work on his consistency & Seattle has themselves a franchise altering LT for QB, Russell Wilson for years to come.
28. Ravens – Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU
Breakdown – The Ravens have a terrific, well-rounded roster with one glaring hole…& that’s right down the middle of that defense ever since C.J. Mosley’s departure for the New York Jets, last off-season. LSU’s Patrick Queen has blazing speed that allows him to roam the middle of the field, clog up running holes & is one of the best tacklers in this draft. He’s also above average in coverage. Great addition for the Ravens, here.
29. Titans – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Breakdown – Ryan Tannehill went on a magical run with the Titans this past season all the way to the AFC Championship Game…& just came up short…the reason? Yup, you guessed it…Ryan Tannehill. While making very few mistakes & being a pretty good game-manager throughout the regular season & post-season, when the Titans had to put up points against the high-flying Chiefs offense in the Playoffs, Tannehill was absolutely incapable of doing so. Herbert’s showing at the Senior Bowl showcased his ability to run an NFL-style offense with relative-ease. Herbert’s the pick.
30. Packers – Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, Colorado
Breakdown – If not for the Eagles dumpster-fire of Receivers, the Packers would have the worst group in Football, but luckily for them, they have Aaron Rodgers to mask some of those deficiencies & a bonafide # 1 option in DaVante Adams helps the cause…but after that? It’s bleak. Very, very bleak. Shenault stands at 6’2 & over 200 pounds with very long arms…who does that remind you of? The 6’1, 210 pound DaVante Adams, of course. What could possibly be better then one DaVante Adams, you ask? 2 DaVante Adams!
31. 49ers – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Breakdown – The Niners have a solid roster, obviously. They just came up short & blew a 10-point lead in the Super Bowl. One of those reasons, were the big plays over the top…which is where a Safety is needed. Jimmie Ward is an impending free-agent & even if they decide to bring him back, a Safety is a need on an otherwise very strong roster for the Niners.
32. Chiefs – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Breakdown – The reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs capped off a terrific season with a comeback victory to capture their 1st Lombardi in 50 years. However, no roster is ever perfect & the Chiefs have had a need for a Cornerback for a few years, now. Especially with impending free agency looming for their best Corner in Kendall Fuller. One of the best tackling defensive backs in a stacked class, is Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene. He’s flown up draft boards recently & for good reason. He was matched up against the opposing team’s top Receiver throughout last season & was one of the best players on the # 1 defense in the country in 2019. He’s a perfect fit if the Chiefs want a chance at repeating as Super Bowl Champs.
Thanks for reading, share your thoughts & find me on Twitter, @tvttedwhiteboy!