A link to how I would’ve drafted if I was every single team (with no trades) is here. Note that this was made prior to the draft so the Josh Rosen trade hadn’t happened yet, which shook up team needs. This mock used my big board 2.0, not the big board I’ve ended up with after scouting the players who were drafted that I missed, which can be found here. I drafted based on my big board, as well as team needs, which I gathered from my own understanding of the talent at each position on each roster, as well as draftnetwork.com’s player needs tool in the mock draft builder on their site.
- Tytus Howard would have been drafted by the Texans at 23, which is what happened in real life.
- Damien Harris of Alabama would’ve been drafted at 24th by the Raiders, not his Alabama running back teammate Josh Jacobs. I would’ve taken Jacobs in the fifth round – he can undoubtedly run at holes with speed and lay the boom, as well as get into the backfield and make catches, but he has little change of direction to make guys miss, so I think he’s a limited power runner.
- Quinnen Williams, who many tagged as the best player in the draft, would’ve gone late in the first round to the Seahawks at 29.
- TJ Hockenson would be a mid-second round pick going to the Packers at 44.
- Daniel Jones would’ve been the second QB off the board, just like in real life – only, he would’ve gone 50th to the Vikings (assuming that I’d swiftly trade Kirk Cousins and his ludicrous contract). That is extremely late for the second QB to be drafted, but I honestly feel that every other team has more urgent needs at different positions – apart from the Jets, who would take Taylor Cornelius at 3, as I doubt Sam Darnold’s ability. Otherwise QB needy teams, such as the Buccaneers (sorry Jameis), Broncos, Ravens (Lamar Jackson is best as a receiver!), can fill other positions and take lesser known guys later on who still have starter ability in Tanner Mangum and Jordan Ta’amu. Note that I leave out the Dolphins on the QB-needy list, as I think undrafted Luke Falk is on par with early picks from last year’s draft in Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen with his pocket presence and arm.
- Kyler Murray goes 58th to the Cowboys. Dak’s rookie year was crazy, but he is too turnover prone to be my starting QB. Kyler is my QB2 alongside Jones. I picked Jones for the Vikings over Murray because he’s more of a pocket passer and can more reliably get the ball to weapons such as Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, whereas Murray can be more of a playmaker with his legs for a more depleted Cowboys receiving group (outside of Amari Cooper).
- Nick Bosa goes 72nd to the Bengals, Christian Wilkins goes 73rd to the Patriots, Ed Oliver goes 89th to the Colts, Josh Allen goes 90th to the Cowboys to play safety, and Clenin Ferrell goes 100th to the Panthers. This makes them third round picks. You can read why I don’t love those players on my big board. They were pegged as dominant defensive linemen going into the draft, but more talent was out there – Wilkins and Ferrell’s Clemson teammate Dexter Lawrence is an elite presence at nose tackle, while under the radar guys like Cole Holcomb and Darryl Johnson on the edge or Michael Dogbe, Terry Beckner Jr and Greg Gaines provide more value on the interior. All of those latter guys were picked on day three.
- Devin Bush would go 101st to the Patriots in my mock. He’s a great defender in space but I think he’ll be overpowered in a “phone booth”, or when guards target him on run plays. That’s why, like Josh Allen, I have him as a strong safety.
- Dwayne Haskins, Devin White, Garret Bradbury, and Jonah Williams all have fourth round grades.
- Brian Burns would go 141st in the fifth round, when he went 16th to the Panthers in real life. He relies on speed only, and can be pushed off the ball on run plays, but cannot change direction enough to play off the ball or at safety, so he’s stuck being a mediocre outside edge rusher.
- The Patriots may have thought that they got their guy in receiver N’Keal Harry at the end of the first round, but I have him going 143rd to the Giants in the fifth round. He can win contested balls but I doubt his athleticism and route running to create separation. They also took edge defender Chase Winovich in the second, but I had a seventh round/undraftable grade on him.
- DK Metcalf would go to the Seahawks..in the fifth round.
- Chris Lindstrom, picked 14th by the Falcons, would be taken 168th by the Saints. Lindstrom has some mobility and bulk to run block in space and pass protect, but I think he plays with poor leverage and balance.
- Max Scharping, taken in the sixth round, was drafted by the Texans in the second round in real life.
- Drew Lock, drafted by the Broncos in the second round, would go in the late sixth.
- The Rams won the draft in terms of picking talent at their later spots, but they took Taylor Rapp in the late first round, when I would’ve taken him in the sixth.
- Notable undrafted players include: Jawaan Taylor (taken 35th by the Jaguars in real life); Jerry Tillery (taken 28th by the Chargers); and EJ Collier (taken 29th by the Seahawks).
- Looking back on the mock, I probably would’ve taken stud defensive end Darryl Johnson with the Seahawks pick at 21 or the Ravens pick at 22, as both teams lost talent at that position during free agency. That would’ve altered the board somewhat, as although I though Bryce Love was in the top 16 players in the draft, he’d likely fall to the Raiders at 24 based on team needs, which would subsequently make Damien Harris fall, and so on.
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