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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2024 9:13 pm    Post subject: Mock Draft/NFL Draft discussion

OK folks, it was requested that I put my mocks in a separate thread, and I'm going to do that, especially because it takes up so much of the space in the regular NFL thread. Here's my latest mock, the Post-Combine edition now that we know a little bit more than we did a month ago. The next big mock will come after free agency, when teams fill needs and draft needs may change. So without further ado...

1. Bears
Caleb Williams, QB, USC

It's starting to look like the Bears are going to do the smart thing, take Williams, and trade Fields.

2. Commanders
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Washington has given indications that it has no intentions of trading down, and will take a QB here. Sure, maybe they try to convince the Bears to move down one spot, but I don't think that's looking likely. So we're down to Daniels or Maye here. This is a hunch that new OC Kliff Kingsbury will prefer the mobility and passing of Daniels, who may remind him of a taller Kyler Murray.

3. Patriots
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Here's our first true inflection point. We are virtually certain that the first 2 picks will be QB's. Could the Patriots go with Harrison Jr. instead? I suppose it's possible, but new regimes often mean new QB's. Maye has the size and skillset that often goes #1 in the draft. I just don't think they can afford to pass on an upside QB like Maye here. You have to have a possible franchise QB in the AFC or you are just spinning your wheels on a road to nowhere.

4. Cardinals
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

This is the easiest pick to mock, if the QB's go 1-2-3. The word is that, while many teams absolute love Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze, the Cards are absolutely enamored with Harrison. And for good reason.

5. Vikings
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
TRADE! The Chargers trade #5 to Minnesota for #11 and #42.


If the Chargers are OK with passing on Nabers/Odunze (who won't be there at 11), perhaps they would welcome a trade down for the extra 2nd Round pick here, and it's an early 2nd at that. At #11, premium OL will still be there, and possibly Brock Bowers as well. As for Minnesota, I believe that Kirk Cousins will NOT be re-signed, and that the team is ready to move on and go after a rookie in this draft. Given that the Chargers wouldn't want to trade down with the Broncos or Raiders here (within the division), and given that the Vikings could logically worry that the Broncos or Raiders could try to also trade up for McCarthy after this pick, this is their time to strike. Perhaps Minnesota could try to sign a bridge QB like Joe Flacco or Sam Darnold to start in 2024, at least initially.

6. Giants
Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

With the top 4 QB's all gone, this would seem to be a spot where the G-Men would consider Nabers, Odunze, or Bowers. (With Darren Waller apparently considering retirement, Bowers should get real consideration here.) Still, I'll slot them the electrifying Nabers.

7. Bears
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
TRADE! Tennessee trades #7 and a 5th rounder to Chicago for #9 and #75.


If the Titans don't want Odunze for themselves and are eyeing a certain OL, they can likely still get that player at #9 because the Falcons, at #8, are unlikely to take this player. So Tennessee smartly takes the deal and moves way up from the 5th Round to #75 overall in the 3rd Round. Meanwhile, this is worth it for Chicago to give Caleb Williams a big-time weapon here right out of the gate, to go along with D.J. Moore already in tow. Odunze could be a cross between Davante Adams and Larry Fitzgerald, and his fantastic 40 time at the Combine has solidified his top-10 status.

8. Falcons
Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

First off, I will just say that it is my current belief that Kirk Cousins ends up signing in Atlanta. I don't think that Minnesota wants to guarantee him more than one year, and I think that Atlanta, desperate for a winner again, will. The scheme fit should be seamless, since new OC Zac Robinson, who comes from the Rams, will be running a similar offense as former Rams OC and current Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell. So now to the pick: Turner could be the first edge player chosen due to his combination of youth, athletic traits, production, and pedigree from Alabama.

9. Titans
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

After the small drop down to #9, the Titans still get their player of choice here. The hope would be that Alt and last year's 1st rounder, Peter Skoronski, can form an awesome left side of the OL for years to come.

10. Jets
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

I almost wanted to put Amarius Mims here, but to me, the Jets have to go with more of a sure thing upfront. Fuaga is a plug-and-play RT. I'll also note that Daniel Jeremiah loves Fuaga, and he and Jets GM Joe Douglas are tight.

11. Chargers
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Bowers could be a legit consideration at #5 for the Bolts, although I think both Nabers and Odunze have higher value. Still, if they can come away with Bowers in the 1st Round and then have picks #37 and #42 in the 2nd, this is a good way to start the Harbaugh era. At least one of those 2nd rounders would almost certainly be spent on the OL.

12. Broncos
Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Denver's lost out on the top 4 QB's, and this is too early to take Penix or Nix. If they stick and pick here, a defensive player is most likely, given how the board has fallen. I'll opt for Arnold in this spot, who can form a great CB tandem with Pat Surtain.

13. Raiders
Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Shoring up the OL is a huge need for the Raiders, so Fashanu makes sense here, as could Amarius Mims if the Raiders wanted to shoot for the incredible upside that Mims has. DT Byron Murphy also makes a lot of sense here.

14. Saints
Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

The Saints' pass rush has deteriorated, and as they keep kicking the can down the road in terms of the salary cap (veteran Cam Jordan, despite a severe drop in production, was just restructured and now his dead cap # for 2025 is way too high, for example), bargains are going to need to be unearthed. Mickey Loomis has taken a lot of big edge rushers in his tenure, and here's another.

15. Colts
Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

I think this could be a choice between Robinson and Quinyon Mitchell here. But with the way that Robinson is so twitched up and absolutely murdered the drills in Indy, Ballard may not be able to say no, given his history. Even though the sacks weren't there, perhaps Robinson can do for the Colts what another Penn Stater did for the Ravens, and that's Odafe Oweh. Oweh, like Robinson, may not have racked up the stats in college, but he tested through the roof, and had a PFF grade of over 80 in 2023 (his third season).

16. Chiefs
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
TRADE! Seattle trades #16 to Kansas City for #32, #64, and a 2025 2nd rounder.


I have an idea of why Seattle would do this, so stay tuned for that at #32. As for KC, Thomas has exceptional size and speed, and was actually a productive college receiver at LSU. He could be the deep threat in the offense that the Chiefs were hoping Valdes-Scantling could be. I also have a feeling that KC could be willing to trade franchise-tagged L'Jarius Sneed if a team offers a 2nd Round pick for him. That would recoup the lost pick at #64 in this trade.

17. Jaguars
Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

CB is now a pressing need for the Jags, even more so after the somewhat surprising release of Darious Williams. Mitchell makes a ton of sense.

18. Bengals
Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

I consider this to be Mims' floor. Duke Tobin is a RAS guy, and Mims is basically the Incredible Hulk as a tackle. Human beings simply should not be able to move as he does with that kind of size. If not for his inexperience (Mims has only started 8 college games), he would be a locked-in pick in the top 10. As it is, I still wouldn't rule it out.

19. Rams
Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

No, Latu didn't run the most scintillating 40 time in Indianapolis. But if his medicals check out (and I'll admit that's no sure thing), the Rams have shown that they value production over speed. Latu is the best pure pass rusher in this year's draft, and I think they would take him over any remaining OL or CB here.

20. Steelers
J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama

Arthur Smith is going to want to get back to the Steelers' run-heavy ways, and it would be easier to do that if the OL were better. Last year's 1st rounder, Broderick Jones, was an effort to improve in that area, and here they go back to the OL well. By the way, I believe that Pittsburgh's public confidence in Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph is nothing more than posturing, and I still think they make the most sense for Justin Fields.

21. Dolphins
Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

While Troy Fautanu (who has tackle/guard versatility) and Jackson Powers-Johnson (possibly the best center prospect) make a lot of sense for this team, Murphy might represent a BPA. And with Christian Wilkins hitting free agency, Murphy would also fill a big need.

22. Eagles
Troy Fautanu, OT/G, Washington

I'll stick to Howie Roseman's history here of NOT taking 1st Round corners; by now, some of you may know that the Eagles haven't drafted a CB in the 1st Round since Lito Sheppard. Fautanu's versatility could be highly-valued by Philly here. Though I believe he might be able to stick at tackle, Philly could start him as a guard, as Landon Dickerson can shift over to center in the wake of Jason Kelce's retirement. And if RT Lane Johnson retires before the end of Fautanu's rookie deal, perhaps then Fautanu can shift out there to replace Johnson. In other words, kind of like how Dickerson started at guard and may now replace Kelce.

23. Texans
Jher'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Newton would be a great addition for DeMeco Ryans' DL. He offers dynamic potential for the position, despite being undersized. You know, the same "criticism" that guys like Aaron Donald and Calijah Kancey got.

24. Cowboys
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Tyron Smith is very unlikely to be back in Big D, and even if they shift Tyler Smith to LT, another tackle is going to be needed.

25. Packers
Cooper DeJean, CB/S, Iowa

DeJean's playmaking ability would be a welcome add to the Packer secondary, and he fits the athletic profile under this regime.

26. Buccaneers
Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

This makes 8 picks in the top 26 on OL. The Bucs have clear needs at iOL, particularly at center, as Ryan Jensen is retiring. Powers-Johnson and Graham Barton are both in contention to be the first center off the board.

27. Cardinals
Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Among the many holes the current roster has is at corner, and the speedy Wiggins could be a strong addition to Jonathan Gannon's defense.

28. Bills
Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Buffalo will need to revamp its defense, particularly its secondary, in the wake of cutting Tre'Davious White and Jordan Poyer, not to mention the fact that Micah Hyde is also a free agent. I don't love the value of the remaining CB's here, though, and Mitchell tore up the Combine with his freakish size/speed combo. No one since D.K. Metcalf has ran as fast as Mitchell did while being as big as Metcalf is. Perhaps he'll be a more consistent deep threat than Gabe Davis was over the past couple of seasons.

29. Lions
Graham Barton, C/G, Duke

Though Detroit clearly needs help at corner, perhaps this is something that gets addressed in free agency or later in the draft. Barton is a player similar to Landon Dickerson in that he can be a great center (and was in college) but he also offers the versatility to start out at guard, if necessary. Detroit needs help at the guard spots, plus outstanding center Frank Ragnow was so banged up last season that there's some talk that he could be one of those players that retires sooner rather than later.

30. Ravens
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Corner is a long-term need area for the Ravens, and they could go back to the Alabama pipeline here if McKinstry is available.

31. 49ers
Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Anyone who saw the Super Bowl knows that the right side of the OL was a big issue, and the team needs long-term solutions at both tackle spots, since future Hall of Fame LT Trent Williams can't play forever. Morgan came back from a torn ACL in 2022 to play really well last season, and could start out at RT before possibly being a candidate to play LT if Williams retires before the end of Morgan's rookie deal.

32. Seahawks
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

After the trade down, this is what Seattle is up to! Geno Smith is an average NFL starter (and hey, good for him after how the first 10 years or so of his career went), but he'll be 34 in October and is not on a long-term deal. You may be aware that Seattle's new OC is Ryan Grubb...who held the same position for Penix's Washington Huskies. Penix could presumably sit for a year and then take the reins in 2025, unless Smith struggles enough this year to provide an opening. Of note is that Penix seems to have helped his stock a bit in Indy because he was cleared medically of any long-term knee or shoulder issues.


Just missed the cut: WR's Xavier Worthy, Ladd McConkey, and Troy Franklin; CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr.; and EDGE Darius Robinson.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2024 5:17 pm    Post subject: Q

Love it CS, fantastic job.

Your trade idea for the Chargers almost makes too much sense, lol. Hopefully this new regime is smarter than the last ten regimes and figure out that trading down when you have cap issues and a roster full of holes can be a quick way back to contention.

Assuming you draft right and coach them up right of course.

I loved the Chargers cutting Kendrick and I personally would let Mike Williams go also, he is always hurt and they can't afford him. I won't cry if Mack and Bosa end up elsewhere either, I think they need to completely reset this thing under Jim Harbaugh so he can reset the culture entirely.

If the Bears could end up with Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze per your mock, that would be a fantastic young combination to build with. Think Stroud/Collins in Houston if it breaks right.

I do wonder what the Patriots are going to do at 3 assuming both Williams and Daniels are off the board.

If Daniels is somehow still on the board, you take him and don't look back. I personally am not nearly as sold on Maye, in fact I like JJ McCarthy's upside as a NFL player better but admittedly I have not watched tons of Maye and not trying to hate on him. But to me, it is the top two QB's and then a significant drop to #3 in this draft.

Would Mayo and the Pats brain trust really not take a QB at 3? Hard to envision that, they probably just take Maye and hope for the best. But I wonder if McCarthy is going to turn out to be the better NFL leader.

Rams would be stoked to get Laiatu Latu as you project. Fearless guarantee: Latu outpeforms at least half the players picked ahead of him in the NFL.

I predicted Penix to Seattle also in my post the other day in the regular NFL thread, it seems to make a ton of logical sense if he is still on the board there. I think he could do very well if he can stay healthy, I love the way he can sling it and obviously Seattle has been able to watch him up close the last couple of seasons at UDub.

Really excited for the draft, it should be a very interesting watch as there is a lot on the line for several franchises. Keep it coming CS!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2024 5:49 pm    Post subject:

^
The Rams are in a good spot at #19. This draft is very deep at OL and WR, but it wouldn't really seem like the Rams have enormous needs there, especially after Dotson was re-signed. (Oddly, I've seen some reports that they were interested in Mike Evans and that they may even be interested in Calvin Ridley, but given the cap space they have and that they have much more pressing needs than WR, I'd be stunned if they went WR at #19.) We're going to see 4 QB's off the board before #19, we're going to see at least 3 WR's before #19 and quite possibly 4, and I would argue that there will be at least 4 OL going before #19. That's at least 11 players, and it may end up being 12-13. Let's split the difference and say 12 players from these positions. That means the Rams could get their 7th-highest rated player from the two spots that I would argue are their biggest needs: CB and edge rushers. So I'm going to focus on that for a second. Among the Edge group, Dallas Turner will be gone, and I think there's a great chance that Jared Verse will be gone too. But one or both of Latu or Chop Robinson may be there. As for CB, I doubt that Terrion Arnold will be there, but there's a possibility that Quinyon Mitchell could be available. If not, then there's a good chance that guys like Nate Wiggins, Cooper DeJean, and Kool-Aid McKinstry will be there. And if the Rams would consider DT, both Byron Murphy II and Jer'Zhan Newton could be there.

I, too, like the idea of the Chargers trading down. But if they trade back to #11, it does mean that they are passing on Nabers and Odunze for sure, and I consider both of these guys to be premium, premium WR's. And Bowers may not be there, another premium offensive skill player. if all 3 of these guys are gone and they are picking at #11, then they would almost certainly go with an OT. And hey, maybe that's the way to go so that they address one of their many needs while also picking up more draft capital to address other needs. But damn, Nabers and Odunze (and Bowers) could be such difference-makers offensively, and as good as Keenan Allen is, you can argue that he's not a dynamic player so much that he's a guy who soaks up targets. You can make the argument that giving Herbert a true #1 weapon is a big priority. It will be fascinating to see how they choose to attack the draft.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2024 6:27 pm    Post subject:

I wouldnt mind raiders trading their 1 for fields. AP has created a good culture which may help fields.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2024 11:42 pm    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
I wouldnt mind raiders trading their 1 for fields. AP has created a good culture which may help fields.


Fields doesn't have that kind of a market. Chicago would likely be thrilled if they can get a 2nd rounder for him. So rest easy, the Raiders won't have to part with #13 overall for him. Even though I have Seattle ending up with Penix, I could see the Raiders having serious interest in him. I don't think they would pick him at #13 (although we've certainly seen stranger things happen), but perhaps they would attempt to do what I have Seattle doing, which is to trade back and then pick Penix a litle later in the 1st. Or maybe they'll just hope that one or both of Penix or Nix is still there when they pick in the 2nd Round. Personally, I have Penix as a much better prospect than Nix. Nix has arm strength limitations and you're basically hoping for him to be the best possible version of what Mac Jones was supposed to be. In other words, not enough in the loaded AFC. Penix truly has a golden arm, and if he hits, he fits the profile of a franchise QB.

Oh, and as it relates to Fields possibly being traded to the Raiders (let's just say for their 2nd rounder and maybe future 4th or something), keep in mind that the new Raiders OC is Luke Getsy, who was Chicago's OC last year. It was a bit of a rough pairing, frankly, and although both men said the right things publicly, what Fields does well is just not the type of scheme that Getsy wants to run.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 12:35 am    Post subject:

With Mike Williams needing to be cut for cap reasons and Keenan Allen getting up there in age, plus their need for a true speed threat and another overall threat at WR, I like the Chargers drafting Nabers at No. 5. He'd be under a rookie contract for a few years, and they could use their next couple of picks on offensive linemen.

I don't like the idea of using the No. 5 or No. 11 pick on an offensive lineman, generally speaking. Especially when you have only one viable threat offensively who will definitely be around next season and is about to turn 32 (Allen).
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 12:55 am    Post subject:

slavavov wrote:
With Mike Williams needing to be cut for cap reasons and Keenan Allen getting up there in age, plus their need for a true speed threat and another overall threat at WR, I like the Chargers drafting Nabers at No. 5. He'd be under a rookie contract for a few years, and they could use their next couple of picks on offensive linemen.

I don't like the idea of using the No. 5 or No. 11 pick on an offensive lineman, generally speaking. Especially when you have only one viable threat offensively who will definitely be around next season and is about to turn 32 (Allen).


I don't think that's an unreasonable stance. I agree with you that I think Nabers (or Odunze) would represent better value than an OL at #5. But I wouldn't hate the idea of a trade back. You're very likely to end up with a great difference-making OL at #11 (or sooner if they don't trade back that far), and you'd get more draft picks to address the many holes on the roster. Telesco never traded back in the 1st Round, and maybe this regime is aware of the roster limitations (thanks, Telesco!) and thinks that no one player is worth more than what they may be able to do with an extra premium pick or two.

I get it, though: I happen to think that both WR's are truly special. Hell, even Bowers has sky-high potential, but I would take either WR before him.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 1:43 am    Post subject:

As a Chargers fan, the idea of trading down is appealing because there are a lot of holes to fill on the roster. Moving down to 11 and still nabbing Bowers would be best case scenario for the Bolts.

I think they are hoping to receive trade offers for Mike Williams and Khalil Mack, but I think they end up cutting Mike because they won’t get anything for him.

Think the dead cap with Bosa makes them keep him for one more season, and I see Keenan as an extension candidate. Crazy in hindsight how badly Telesco constructed this roster.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 2:31 am    Post subject:

Moses wrote:
As a Chargers fan, the idea of trading down is appealing because there are a lot of holes to fill on the roster. Moving down to 11 and still nabbing Bowers would be best case scenario for the Bolts.

I think they are hoping to receive trade offers for Mike Williams and Khalil Mack, but I think they end up cutting Mike because they won’t get anything for him.

Think the dead cap with Bosa makes them keep him for one more season, and I see Keenan as an extension candidate. Crazy in hindsight how badly Telesco constructed this roster.


If there isn't enough of a trade market for both Bosa and Mack, it will be interesting to see which one the new regime would prefer to keep. (I assume they won't move on from both, although I suppose you never know.) They get more cap savings from moving on from Mack, but he's been the more productive/available player of the two lately, even though he's older. Maybe they'd trade or cut Mack and then try to extend or restructure Bosa's deal? No easy answers there.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 3:40 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
Moses wrote:
As a Chargers fan, the idea of trading down is appealing because there are a lot of holes to fill on the roster. Moving down to 11 and still nabbing Bowers would be best case scenario for the Bolts.

I think they are hoping to receive trade offers for Mike Williams and Khalil Mack, but I think they end up cutting Mike because they won’t get anything for him.

Think the dead cap with Bosa makes them keep him for one more season, and I see Keenan as an extension candidate. Crazy in hindsight how badly Telesco constructed this roster.


If there isn't enough of a trade market for both Bosa and Mack, it will be interesting to see which one the new regime would prefer to keep. (I assume they won't move on from both, although I suppose you never know.) They get more cap savings from moving on from Mack, but he's been the more productive/available player of the two lately, even though he's older. Maybe they'd trade or cut Mack and then try to extend or restructure Bosa's deal? No easy answers there.


I think like you said Mack has been more productive, and as such will probably have more of a trade market. They could potentially explore what an extension for Mack might look like, and then gamble on keeping both for another year and seeing how Bosa does. I don’t see much of a trade market for Joey at this point tbh, and with the injuries I would not consider extending him personally.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2024 11:51 pm    Post subject:

The Keenan Allen trade is going to leave a big shake-up for me in my Top 11 picks, I can tell you that. I don't think the Chargers can move back from #5 anymore, for one thing. This will have a ripple effect on the mock. I'll try to see if more big moves happen on the weekend, and I'll probably do another mock no later than Monday.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2024 11:12 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
^
The Rams are in a good spot at #19. This draft is very deep at OL and WR, but it wouldn't really seem like the Rams have enormous needs there, especially after Dotson was re-signed. (Oddly, I've seen some reports that they were interested in Mike Evans and that they may even be interested in Calvin Ridley, but given the cap space they have and that they have much more pressing needs than WR, I'd be stunned if they went WR at #19.) .


That talk kinda scared me. It seems this would only make sense if they knew or suspected that Cupp will not return to (or near to) his once great self.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2024 2:56 pm    Post subject:

ribeye wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
^
The Rams are in a good spot at #19. This draft is very deep at OL and WR, but it wouldn't really seem like the Rams have enormous needs there, especially after Dotson was re-signed. (Oddly, I've seen some reports that they were interested in Mike Evans and that they may even be interested in Calvin Ridley, but given the cap space they have and that they have much more pressing needs than WR, I'd be stunned if they went WR at #19.) .


That talk kinda scared me. It seems this would only make sense if they knew or suspected that Cupp will not return to (or near to) his once great self.


Yeah that could be true. Also, it would seem that a DT like Murphy or Newton could now be in play for the Rams at 19 after Donald's retirement.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2024 3:59 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
The Keenan Allen trade is going to leave a big shake-up for me in my Top 11 picks, I can tell you that. I don't think the Chargers can move back from #5 anymore, for one thing. This will have a ripple effect on the mock. I'll try to see if more big moves happen on the weekend, and I'll probably do another mock no later than Monday.


Agreed, especially with last years pick looking like a bust as well.

If you really believe in one of the top two WR's, then maybe you take one of them at 5.

I still like the idea of trading down though, Stu do not give up on this!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2024 7:33 pm    Post subject:

LakerLanny wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
The Keenan Allen trade is going to leave a big shake-up for me in my Top 11 picks, I can tell you that. I don't think the Chargers can move back from #5 anymore, for one thing. This will have a ripple effect on the mock. I'll try to see if more big moves happen on the weekend, and I'll probably do another mock no later than Monday.


Agreed, especially with last years pick looking like a bust as well.

If you really believe in one of the top two WR's, then maybe you take one of them at 5.

I still like the idea of trading down though, Stu do not give up on this!


Daniel Jeremiah went on a podcast earlier today and he basically said that he believes that the Vikings must have a trade in place to get into the top 4. He said that it's the only for-sure way to get one of the top 4 QB's. He speculates that it's with Arizona at 4, and that perhaps Minnesota procuring #23 overall was at the request of Arizona. This would mean, of course, that Arizona would be passing on not just Harrison, but almost certainly on both Nabers and Odunze also. Jeremiah also said that between Washington and New England, he believes that Washington would be more willing to listen about trading down. Personally, I don't believe Washington is going to trade down. Just don't see that at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2024 4:02 pm    Post subject:

OK folks, while some recognizable names are still out there, the big doings of free agency have already occurred, and now we have a bit better of an understanding of what the remaining team needs are. As such, here's another mock, Version 3.0:

1. Bears
Caleb Williams, QB, USC


For anyone thinking the Bears would keep Fields, that has been put to rest. And interest in Fields leaguewide was obviously very tepid. Williams will have DJ Moore and Keenan Allen to throw to as a rookie, and who knows what they do with pick #9 overall. Williams will be put in a good position to succeed right away.

2. Commanders
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU


I've still heard nothing to make me think that Daniels won't be the pick, as opposed to Drake Maye. When I did my last mock, Maye was the favorite, but now Daniels has moved to -170 or thereabouts.

3. Patriots
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina


To me, signing Jacoby Brissett tipped the Pats' hands in favor of drafting a rookie QB. Albert Breer has reported that both Washington and New England plan to stick in their spots and take QB's. So while some will speculate that Minnesota could try to move into this spot, this isn't the team that I think they will make a deal with.

4. Vikings
JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

TRADE! Arizona trades #4 and a '25 3rd rounder for #11, #23, and a '25 5th rounder.

The entire draft community is aware that Minnesota is now armed with the draft capital to make a big move up the board; that's why they procured #23 overall in a trade with Houston, to go along with their already-owned pick at #11. Daniel Jeremiah's belief that it was to get into the top 4 because it's the only way you can guarantee landing one of these top-4 QB's is a theory that I happen to agree with. I don't think you make a trade like this if there's a chance that you don't end up getting your guy, and if your wink-wink deal is with the Chargers at 5 or Giants at 6, you can't possibly know that Arizona couldn't trade back at 4. Hence, it's my belief that Arizona must be willing to pass on Harrison and the other top WR's, in favor of now having THREE picks here in the 1st: #11, #23, and #27.

5. Chargers
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State


I know that some will still think that the Chargers could trade out of this spot or that they could even pick Joe Alt, but come on, folks. Keenan Allen is gone, Mike Williams is gone, and as it stands right now, Josh Palmer is the #1 WR. This would be a gift if the QB's go 1-2-3-4, and I just don't know how the Chargers could pass on Harrison Jr. here.

6. Giants
Malik Nabers, WR, LSU


The G-Men haven't had an electrifying, potentially game-breaking WR since the salad days of Odell Beckham Jr. They go back to the LSU well for their next one here.

7. Titans
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame


The OL was a dumpster fire last year, with only rookie LG Peter Skoronski providing a glimmer of hope. But after signing center Lloyd Cushenberry, the Titans have an opportunity to turn a minus into a plus with the drafting of LT Alt here.

8. Falcons
Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama


It seems unlikely to me that Atlanta would pick Odunze here, not after giving $26MM guaranteed to Darnell Mooney. So instead, how about getting new coach Raheem Morris a big-time edge prospect to work with? This has been a perpetual need for this team for years.

9. Bears
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington


The Bears, all of a sudden, have very few holes. This could be a time for Ryan Poles to land another blue-chip prospect, so why not flood the field with pass-catching talent for Williams? And Keenan Allen is in the final year of his contract. Even if Allen were extended, what's wrong with having a potent 3-WR set?

10. Jets
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia


Myself and the rest of the draft Twitter were slotting an OT to the Jets all mock season, but now things have changed. RT Morgan Moses was traded for, and LT Tyron Smith was signed. Sure, both of those guys are over 30, and Smith, in particular, has struggled with injuries. But I deeply believe that when you're as all-in as the Jets are with Aaron Rodgers, this is a year-to-year proposition, and as such, I don't think they would pick an OT here when that player wouldn't even be scheduled to start and would just be insurance. I think they will try to maximize what they have every year. As such, following the signing of Mike Williams, how about adding the highest-rated skill player remaining, in Bowers?

11. Cardinals
Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

TRADE! (See #4 for details.)

After the move down, Arizona goes for defense with the tone-setting Verse, who is a big edge rusher who has a high motor.

12. Packers
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

TRADE! Denver trades #12 to Green Bay for #25 and #41.

I see Denver as a trade down candidate and Green Bay as a trade up candidate, hence this result. Denver could be looking at Nix or Penix, but this feels very early for either one. Denver doesn't have a 2nd Round pick, as things stand right now; after this trade, they would have one. Meanwhile, Green Bay has two 2nd's and two 3rd's, and the only potential offensive weakness could be OL. Coming up for Fuaga, probably the cleanest RT prospect in the draft, could allow them to shift Zach Tom back over to LT, where he's shined in place of the oft-injured David Bakhtiari recently.

13. Raiders
Troy Fautanu, OT/G, Washington


The Raiders have a big hole along the right side of their OL, and Fautanu could fill either the RT or RG slot.

14. Saints
Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State


Trevor Penning has not worked out at LT at all, so it's time to move on. Derek Carr is a mediocre starting QB, but to give him his best chance to succeed, he needs better protection upfront. The Saints must address this.

15. Colts
Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo


A true #1 CB is a big need for Indy, and as luck would have it for them, none have been taken yet. Chris Ballard is a traits-based drafter with early picks, so I have to believe that Mitchell would get the nod over Terrion Arnold if both were on the board.

16. Seahawks
Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas


Though iOL is a consideration for sure, Murphy would be a big-time piece for Mike Macdonald's new defense in Seattle.

17. Jaguars
JC Latham, OT, Alabama


OK folks, so I have an idea for the Jaguars. Tee Higgins could be on the trade block, so what if the Jags traded #48 overall to Cincy for him? Yes, the Jags failed to sign Calvin Ridley, but Higgins is far younger and perhaps that would be a better investment. Meanwhile, they have middling LT Cam Robinson due a $21MM cap hit this year, but if they cut him, he only would count about $4MM in dead money. In other words, perhaps they could consider cutting him and drafting his replacement here.

18. Bengals
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU


With Trent Brown signed to play RT, the OL need has been taken care of. With Tee Higgins unhappy about the Bengals' refusal to give him an extension, perhaps they would be best-served by trading Higgins and possibly picking up a 2nd Round pick. In the meantime, Higgins must be replaced, so how about going back to the LSU offensive pipeline with Thomas Jr.?

19. Rams
Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama


While a replacement DT for Aaron Donald would be logical (Newton?) and while a possible edge rusher like Latu also makes sense, the value of Arnold here is just too good, imo.

20. Steelers
Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia


Two years in a row for stud Georgia OT's for Pittsburgh. Mims is an athletic freak for a man that big. With health, he has a chance to be special.

21. Dolphins
Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA


Even though Miami brought in Shaq Barrett, both Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb suffered season-ending injuries, and both were near the end of the season. Latu is the best pure pass rusher in this class, but his medicals could cause him to drop.

22. Eagles
Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson


Could the Lito Sheppard curse finally be broken? Philly fans know this, but this team hasn't picked a CB in Round 1 since Sheppard.

23. Cardinals
Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

TRADE! (See #4 for details.)

With its second 1st Round pick, here Arizona hits on the X receiver need with Mitchell, with his impressive size/speed combo.

24. Cowboys
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma


Tyron Smith has departed, so there's a clear need at one tackle spot. (I'm not sure if the club plans to move Tyler Smith over to LT, but even if they do, a RT is needed.)

25. Broncos
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

TRADE! (See #12 for details.)

I had Michael Penix going to the Broncos before, but in thinking about it, I feel like Sean Payton values processing and accuracy above all else, and that's what Nix does well. I don't think he has as much upside as Penix does, but I'm not the one drafting for Denver. At least Denver acquired a 2nd Round pick (that it didn't have before) in this deal.

26. Buccaneers
Graham Barton, C, Duke


Ryan Jensen retired, so Tampa Bay needs to replace their longtime center. Barton has OL versatility, which is great, but he should slot right in at the pivot. One note here is that I've had Jackson Powers-Johnson ahead of Barton in my previous mocks, but there's some chatter that draftniks might be higher on him than the NFL community is.

27. Cardinals
Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois


Like Calijah Kancey last year, Newton is a potentially dynamic interior disruptor who is a little undersized. Kancey was great as a rookie, and I personally think this would be a steal. This would mean that Arizona's 1st Round haul, after the trade with Minnesota, would be Verse, Mitchell, and Newton.

28. Bills
Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State


I'm going to pivot away from a WR pick for the Bills after signing both Mack Hollins and Curtis Samuel in free agency. I've been considering CB's in this spot, but upon further review, Buffalo insiders think they are fine at the spot after re-signing Taron Johnson and after the emergence of Christian Benford last year (82.2 PFF grade). As such, how about the freakishly-athletic Robinson instead? Von Miller has largely been a flop on his big contract (he got hurt, to be fair), and even though the team re-signed AJ Epenesa, more is needed at edge rusher.

29. Lions
Cooper DeJean, CB/S, Iowa


DeJean is recovering from a broken leg suffered in practice last year, but he would give DC Aaron Glenn another versatile DB to work with, a la Brian Branch from last year's draft. Back to the Iowa pipeline for Brad Holmes!

30. Raiders
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

TRADE! Baltimore trades #30 and #130 to Las Vegas for #44 and #77.

Six QB's go in the 1st Round! After Denver picked (reached for?) Nix at 25, here the Raiders make a 14-pick move up the board to get their potential QB of the future. On his latest mock, Daniel Jeremiah opined that Penix is a great fit for how the Raiders want to play, which is to run the ball a lot and take play-action shots down the field. Penix is a rocket-armed QB who can make that happen, and he'll likely sit for a year and learn the ropes as Gardner Minshew gets the starts for the Raiders. At least, perhaps, until they are out of playoff contention.

As for the Ravens, this deal still puts them in position for a good player at #44, while coming back into Day 2 at #77. And they already have another 4th Round pick at #113 anyway.

31. 49ers
Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona


Frankly, every non-Trent Williams starter on the OL could stand to be upgraded. Morgan could possibly start out at RT and then take over for Trent Williams at LT sometime before his rookie deal ends.

32. Chiefs
Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas


Worthy's speed would have to be extremely difficult to pass on for KC here, even after Marquise Brown was signed to a 1-year deal. Skyy Moore has been a complete bust, MVS is out the door, and Kadarius Toney is the opposite of reliable. Worthy could be groomed to play a big role by next season, if he pans out. And hey, if he's better than expected, perhaps he makes a big impact as a rookie in the same way that Rashee Rice did.


Just missed the cut:

Jackson Powers-Johnson
Ladd McConkey
Troy Franklin
Kool-Aid McKinstry
Darius Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2024 6:42 pm    Post subject:

There is talk in NO that despite signing Chase Young the Saints will still go with an edge rusher, especially since Young will miss some time.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:32 pm    Post subject:

Nice Draft 2.0 Stu, here is another one I thought was interesting:

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/nfl-mock-draft-landing-spots-103724511.html
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:43 pm    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
There is talk in NO that despite signing Chase Young the Saints will still go with an edge rusher, especially since Young will miss some time.


I think they will spend an early pick on one, yes. But I'd be a little surprised if it's in the 1st, given how terrible their OL was last season, and given how bad Penning has been. But if they make a late signing in free agency or something, perhaps I will change my stance. But they can't leave Carr as a sitting duck back there, he can't escape that. Certainly not at this stage of his career.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:53 pm    Post subject:

LakerLanny wrote:
Nice Draft 2.0 Stu, here is another one I thought was interesting:

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/nfl-mock-draft-landing-spots-103724511.html


Pretty logical, and he does have a lot of the same player-team fits that I do. I would say that he's too low on Verse and Mims, though.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:01 am    Post subject:

I have a feeling that one way or another the Chargers will end up with Joe Alt.

Feels like a Harbaugh type draft pick to get a cornerstone offensive lineman to build his program around.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2024 5:38 pm    Post subject:

LakerLanny wrote:
I have a feeling that one way or another the Chargers will end up with Joe Alt.

Feels like a Harbaugh type draft pick to get a cornerstone offensive lineman to build his program around.

How would they get a real threat at WR then? It's also not like they have someone like Frank Gore at RB.

I think Harbaugh should tweak that philosophy a bit. After all, he has Justin Herbert at QB. Herbert is an old-fashioned gunslinger, and not an RPO-type QB like Kaep was.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:29 pm    Post subject:

slavavov wrote:
LakerLanny wrote:
I have a feeling that one way or another the Chargers will end up with Joe Alt.

Feels like a Harbaugh type draft pick to get a cornerstone offensive lineman to build his program around.

How would they get a real threat at WR then? It's also not like they have someone like Frank Gore at RB.

I think Harbaugh should tweak that philosophy a bit. After all, he has Justin Herbert at QB. Herbert is an old-fashioned gunslinger, and not an RPO-type QB like Kaep was.


I don't see them getting Alt, but I do think their first pick could be an OL if they trade down. If they stay at 5, Harrison Jr. or Nabers simply have more value, they are higher-rated players imo. But if they trade down for more picks, say to #11, then that puts them in the range where the 2nd or 3rd-best OL will be there. If they go the trade down route, then perhaps they will end up with either a late 1st Round pick or another pick high in the 2nd Round, and as deep as WR is this year, they can get someone nice with one of those picks. But it won't be Harrison Jr. or Nabers.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:28 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
LakerLanny wrote:
Nice Draft 2.0 Stu, here is another one I thought was interesting:

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/nfl-mock-draft-landing-spots-103724511.html


Pretty logical, and he does have a lot of the same player-team fits that I do. I would say that he's too low on Verse and Mims, though.



I like Mims but that lack of tape might hold him back, especially in a draft class deep in quality OT draftees. Though I might sound like a homer, I'm very intrigued by Kiran Amegadjie. He has an incredible mix of wingspan, strength, athleticism and balance. But his competition was at the Ivy League level, which frankly is like watching high school players with more mature bodies. I missed him at The Game as he was already out for the season with a quad injury that required surgery. If it wasn't for the injury, he could have been an early Day 2 prospect. I think he'll go somewhere between late round 2 to mid-round 3. I'm hoping that he'll drop into New England's lap early round 3, but Washington might nab him prior.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:39 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
Halflife wrote:
I wouldnt mind raiders trading their 1 for fields. AP has created a good culture which may help fields.


Fields doesn't have that kind of a market. Chicago would likely be thrilled if they can get a 2nd rounder for him. So rest easy, the Raiders won't have to part with #13 overall for him. Even though I have Seattle ending up with Penix, I could see the Raiders having serious interest in him. I don't think they would pick him at #13 (although we've certainly seen stranger things happen), but perhaps they would attempt to do what I have Seattle doing, which is to trade back and then pick Penix a litle later in the 1st. Or maybe they'll just hope that one or both of Penix or Nix is still there when they pick in the 2nd Round. Personally, I have Penix as a much better prospect than Nix. Nix has arm strength limitations and you're basically hoping for him to be the best possible version of what Mac Jones was supposed to be. In other words, not enough in the loaded AFC. Penix truly has a golden arm, and if he hits, he fits the profile of a franchise QB.

Oh, and as it relates to Fields possibly being traded to the Raiders (let's just say for their 2nd rounder and maybe future 4th or something), keep in mind that the new Raiders OC is Luke Getsy, who was Chicago's OC last year. It was a bit of a rough pairing, frankly, and although both men said the right things publicly, what Fields does well is just not the type of scheme that Getsy wants to run.



I was never that high on Fields, he wasn't a fast processor in college and that flaw got magnified in the pros due to the speed and complexity of defenses. Fields flashed, but at year 3 you don't want flash, you want production. He's now entering year 4 of his rookie contract. If he produces in year 4, do you as a team really want to bet big on year 5, which is a $25 million option? If he works out again, you're stuck paying the market rate to keep him. The most compelling attribute of a rookie QB contract is that you can build around the QB with pricey free agents. The lack of production and lack of a rookie contract is what impaired Fields' market value.
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