Alex Hale’s Mock 2.0: Let’s Get Crazy

Well…things have changed in the last month.  The Texans released JJ Watt and yet refuse to even entertain trade talks for Deshaun Watson, which has thrown the entire top of the draft into a frenzy.  Before teams like the Jets and Dolphins could’ve easily moved on from their top picks to get a Franchise QB.  Now, it’s clear the Jets have removed themselves from the conversation and the Dolphins aren’t a serious contender for Watson at this moment.  This allows for more teams that didn’t have a chance before to make offers to the Texans that maybe wouldn’t be as seriously considered to be considered.  Add to that the bombshell of Russell Wilson potentially on the block.

This leaves the possibility of a crazy first round full of blockbuster trades and while we await the start of Free Agency, that leaves the question…how crazy could the first round look?  So I felt the perfect opportunity arose for a crazy Mock Draft that while on the outside looks like it’ll never happen, the craziness of this Mock Draft is plausible.  Like I always say I’ll never be 100% correct in my mock, so why not have fun with it?  So let’s jump into Mock 2.0.

Mock Draft 2.0

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Trevor Lawrence Clemson– I’m not gonna explain this pick much.  Trevor Lawrence can do it all, refer to my Big Board where I rank Lawrence #1 overall on my board.  This is the pick, it isn’t changing.
  2. New York Jets- QB Zach Wilson BYU– After further consideration, I don’t believe the Jets will be the team that gets Deshaun Watson.  With that said, I do believe the Jets will still be looking at replacing Sam Darnold.  That means it’ll come down to Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.  In terms of the system Mike McDaniel will run, I firmly believe Zach Wilson is the pick here.  Zach Wilson may have only had one really good year, but he was always accurate at BYU.  In their system that will rely heavily on a strong running game and an accurate QB, Wilson fits the bill, plus he’s got a better arm than most believe and his ball placement is probably the best in the class.  Some scouts have him ranked higher than Trevor Lawrence and I truly believe Wilson could end up being better.
  3. Carolina Panthers (from Miami)- TRADE: Carolina acquires #3 overall pick from Miami in exchange for #8 overall, a 2021 3rd Round pick, a 2022 1st Round pick, and 2022 4th Round pick)QB Justin Fields Ohio State- Carolina is making it very clear, they need to get their QB whether it be via trade for a veteran or drafting one.  With only Sam Darnold and Matt Ryan as the only QBs worth trading, for now, the Panthers might have to focus on the draft.  For the Panthers, Justin Fields is a perfect fit.  His has a dynamic arm and explosive athleticism, although he needs to make better decisions throwing the ball.  The key is working with Joe Brady and having a potential RPO system of Fields/McCaffrey which will give defenses nightmares.  The only thing better could be Deshaun Watson at QB.
  4. Atlanta Falcons- OT Penei Sewell Oregon– Refer to Mock 1.0 to explain this pick.  Unless the Falcons decide to trade Matt Ryan and embrace a rebuild, I expect them to try to contend in some way.  Sewell is the best OT in the draft who will be able to handle pass rushers in the NFC South easily.  His size, agility, strength, and footwork make him a near-perfect LT prospect.  Those don’t come around often, it’s as rare as a can’t miss QB.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals- TE Kyle Pitts Florida– With Sewell off the board it’s down to Rashawn Slater or Kyle Pitts.  Slater is all over the place on scouts’ boards so it’s hard for me to believe the Bengals would panic and draft him so they’ll target the matchup nightmare in Pitts.  The logic is simple, they have a talented RB in Joe Mixon.  Their WRs are talented in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and AJ Green.  Add in Pitts?  Teams may only send 4 pass rushers because of all the weapons Joe Burrow would have.  You can find other OT in the 2nd Round of this draft.
  6. Philadelphia Eagles- WR JaMarr Chase LSU– Well…it’s Jalen Hurts show now.  It’s up to the Eagles to get him weapons now.  The question becomes do they go with Devonta Smith or JaMarr Chase?  As stated on my previous appearance on The Dawgland Podcast, I think the Eagles will lean towards Chase.  They need a physical receiver over the pure speed/route running receiver.  Chase is just as good of a route runner, but he’s more physical than Devonta Smith.  The fact he averaged over 20 yards per catch while not being a blazer when it comes to speed speaks to his pure ability as a receiver that makes him arguably the top WR in the draft.
  7. Washington Football Team (from Detroit)- TRADE: Washington acquires #7 overall pick from Detroit in exchange for #19 overall, a 2021 3rd Round pick, a 2022 1st Round and 3rd Round pick– QB Trey Lance North Dakota State– Like I said with Carolina, the QB market in terms of veteran trades have diminished and it’s looking like Washington has to get either one of them or move up to get a QB.  Trey Lance would be a great fit scheme-wise, but without Alex Smith, they might be forced to start him too quickly.  Lance is very raw, with only one game this year we don’t know if his 2019 was just a fluke or if his flaws in overthrowing receivers have been fixed.  He needs time, but the pure talent and athleticism are there.
  8. Miami Dolphins (from Carolina)- WR Devonta Smith Alabama– Once again, the Dolphins trade down and still get the guy they want.  Once again, barring trading for Deshaun Watson or even Russell Wilson, this pick will be used on a WR whether it be at #3 or in a trade down scenario.  What the Dolphins need is a true #1 WR, with Smith’s route running ability and playmaking ability, this is a perfect fit for them, especially with his experience with Tua at Alabama.
  9. Houston Texans (from Denver Broncos)- TRADE: Houston acquires the #9 overall pick, along with a 2021 3rd Round pick, a 2022 1st Round pick and a 2023 1st Round pick with QB Drew Lock in exchange for QB Deshaun WatsonCB Caleb Farley Virginia Tech– Could the Broncos be the ones to sway the Texans to move Watson?  It’s possible because they offer a young, talented QB on his rookie deal.  Unlike a lot of other options where there’s a QB, they have to take on a financial burden for a rebuilding team.  Farley would be a great piece in the meantime to rebuild the Texans’ defense.  He’s a lockdown corner that the Texans really need on defense.  Sure, they will need a pass rusher, but Gregory Rousseau isn’t worth the risk at #9 when the Texans can’t afford to get the pick wrong.
  10. Dallas Cowboys- CB Patrick Surtain II Alabama– Originally I had Dak for Watson at this slot.  But now Dak has signed his extension with the Cowboys so that idea is dead.  Now, what do the Cowboys do?  Rashawn Slater would be a great addition to the line, but in terms of talent on the board, the Cowboys should build up the defense.  Surtain would give the Cowboys a versatile defender who can be either a productive corner or a centerfield FS.  For the Cowboys, they have their QB and their Offense looks to be explosive if Dak plays as he did before his injury.  If the Defense can improve, the way the division looks, the Cowboys could cruise to an NFC East title and maybe make a run in the playoffs.
  11. New York Giants- WR Jaylen Waddle Alabama– I really believe the Giants should go with a pass rusher here to build a potentially dominant D-Line.  But here’s the thing, Daniel Jones can’t go on with Darius Slayton as a one-trick pony WR as a vertical threat.  They need a true #1 WR.  At this point, Waddle is the best option to give Daniel Jones a chance.  He’s not just a vertical threat, he can do it all.  He has the most potential of the Top 3 WRs as he played at multiple spots for Alabama as a WR.  To pair him with Darius Slayton and Evan Engram, there are no more excuses for Daniel Jones.
  12. San Francisco 49ers- QB Mac Jones Alabama– For the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo may have led them to the Super Bowl, but it’s becoming clear he’s not the guy for them going forward.  The 49ers have to get a young QB of the future and Mac Jones fits a lot of what Kyle Shanahan likes to do.  He processes the field quickly, he’s an accurate thrower and throws a better deep ball than Jimmy G does.  While he doesn’t have an elite passer ceiling, he’s going to be an effective game manager, which is all Shanahan needs.  It’s not a sexy pick, but it’s the pick the 49ers have to make while moving Jimmy G.
  13. Los Angeles Chargers- OT Rashawn Slater Northwestern– The Chargers could be the luckiest team in the draft if this happens.  In Mock 1.0, they acquire Christian Darrishaw in what was a reach for need.  Now they get the clear #2 OT prospect on the board.  In terms of talent and tape, Slater could be as good as Penei Sewell, but the difference is the pure physical stature of Sewell and the functional strength to stay at LT.  Slater has all the talent and has shown it against top collegiate pass rushers while at Northwestern, but he will need to bulk up and his length could hurt him as well.  But even with those concerns, he’s still that good and should be an anchor for the Chargers line to protect Justin Herbert.
  14. Minnesota Vikings- EDGE Kwity Paye Michigan– Depending on the QB situation in the draft, this pick remains the biggest wild card in the draft.  They could go QB, they could go O-Line, they could go Safety, but with Yannick Ngakoue a Free Agent and no real pass rusher, they need to grab one early.  The Big Board says Gregory Rousseau, but the Vikings can’t go with the high-risk pick.  Kwity Paye was probably the only bright spot at Michigan, constantly being a nuisance in the backfield.  He’s explosive at the point of attack who can beat you his power or with his speed.  He also brings versatility to play all over the defensive front that makes him even more intriguing.  For the Vikings, he’s the defender they need who is more polished but has a higher upside.
  15. New England Patriots- CB Jaycee Horn South Carolina– The Patriots would be best served moving up to get a Quarterback.  They can’t go into 2021 with Jarrett Stidham as the QB.  With that said, there are rumors running rampant that the Patriots may look to move their star CB Stephon Gilmore.  If that’s the case, maybe the Patriots should look to replace him with a fellow Gamecock.  Jaycee Horn is right there with Surtain and Farley as the Top CB on the board.  He’s got the size to handle bigger receivers, but he’s got the pure ability to handle multiple coverage sets.  He’s a bit rawer than Farley and Surtain, but he provides as much upside as them.
  16. Arizona Cardinals- WR Rashod Bateman Minnesota– So the Cardinals address their pass rush with JJ Watt and now Jaycee Horn is off the board.  That means the Cardinals probably look at option #3 and it’s not a bad backup plan.  Rashod Bateman is the most physically gifted of the Top 3 WRs, he stands at 6’2’’ but runs his routes like a smaller receiver.  He’s tough to tackle and loves to play physical.  After his 4.39 40 time, he’s proven there’s speed there on top of his game speed he shows on tape, and for the Cardinals give them 4 reliable and talented receivers for Kyler Murray.  With Christian Kirk due to be a FA soon and Larry Fitzgerald at the twilight of his career, this pick is one for now and the future.
  17. Seattle Seahawks (from Oakland)- TRADE: Seattle acquires #17 overall along with Oakland’s 2022, 2023, and 2024 1st Round picks and QB Derek Carr in exchange for QB Russell Wilson– LB Micah Parsons Penn State- Yes…this Mock has gone totally off the rails.  BUT HEAR ME OUT.  It’s clear that Russell Wilson is done in Seattle and wants to move on.  It’s going to take one team to get extremely aggressive to make this happen.  It has to be Mark Davis and Jon Gruden, right?  The Raiders give up 4 1s and Derek Carr to make this happen and it’s the only logical deal to make.  So now with Derek Carr, the Seahawks have a capable QB and will look to improve the Defense.  Micah Parsons can go anywhere from #4 to here with Oakland.  His pure instincts and high motor to go with his athletic talents make an impact talent.  Pairing him with a Bobby Wagner allows the Seahawks to play off their strengths together to create a dynamic force.  Sure, the Seahawks need to address the O-Line in this scenario for Derek Carr, but this trade would signal a slight rebuild, so no need to rush.
  18. Miami Dolphins- LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Notre Dame– After getting their #1 WR for Tua, the Dolphins continue their resurgence by selecting the uber-talented Owusu-Koramoah.  The Dolphins need another LB, but the intriguing part of Owusu-Koramoah is his versatility.  He’s considered undersized for the position at around 6’2’’ 220.  Yet he plays with the physicality you need in a LB but moves like a Safety.  For a coach like Brian Flores, versatility is always a plus coming from the Belichick tree.  All that matters in Flores’ Defense are the ability to make plays and being able to play multiple positions.  He can cover, he can blitz, and can lead a defense like he did at Notre Dame.  It’s a perfect fit.
  19. Detroit Lions (from Washington)- EDGE Gregory Rousseau Miami (FL)– After trading down from #7, the Lions still get a Top 15 player on my board.  Granted it’s the biggest risk, but with the draft capital they’ve acquired, the pick is worth it.  The Lions are set to lose Romeo Okwara to Free Agency and now have no pass rushers.  If the Lions are going to go anywhere, they need an effective pass rush.  Rousseau may have had one year playing at Miami, but he made the most of it with 15 sacks.  He has the size, length, and enough athletic ability to be a nuisance in the backfield of teams.  For the Lions, hopefully, he’s the start of building a great D-Line.
  20. New York Jets (from Chicago)- TRADE: New York acquires #20 overall pick from Chicago in exchange for QB Sam Darnold– RB Najee Harris Alabama– Once again the Jets move on from Darnold and get a 1st Round pick.  With the price tag of Matthew Stafford and even Carson Wentz, Darnold is worth it for a playoff team to risk their 1st Round pick to get.  For the Jets, this allows them to have another 1st Round pick to fill their RB void.  Najee Harris is going to be a bell-cow runner for the right team.  He put Alabama on his back and bulldozed over the competition.  He’s showed he can do it all running the ball and is clearly the #1 RB on the board.  For the Jets, you pair Najee with Zach Wilson immediately.
  21. Indianapolis Colts- OT Christian Darrishaw Virginia Tech– After acquiring Carson Wentz to be their QB going forward, their draft selection is now obvious.  The void left by Anthony Costanzo will be major and the Colts will address this with their first selection.  Darrishaw I had at 13 to the Chargers in Mock 1.0 and he leads that Tier 2 of OT in this draft.  He’s ready to start right away as an LT and provide good pass protection off the bat.  While he could add more strength to handle himself in the running game, he’ll be fine next to Quentin Nelson.  This pick solidifies the next decade at LT for Indianapolis.
  22. Tennessee Titans- LB Zaven Collins Tulsa– The Titans have Corey Davis and Jaylon Brown as Free Agents, with Bateman off the board, they will instead focus on filling the void of Jaylon Brown, who has been a big part of their Defense.  Collins was a standout performer at Tulsa, winning the Nagurski Trophy as the Nation’s best defensive player.  His skills make him a versatile defender who has not just the size to hold up at the position, but the athletic ability to cover receivers and be an effective blitzer.  He’s just a versatile defender that for Mike Vrabel, he will fall in love with him.
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle)- OT/G Jalen Mayfield Michigan– The Jets hit it out of the park with their selection of Mekhi Becton last year.  Now after acquiring Zach Wilson and Najee Harris, the Jets continue to build up their O-Line.  Jalen Mayfield was a standout LT at Michigan, who projects to be a versatile Lineman in the NFL who can play RT or slide inside.  Athletically, I’d keep him as a Tackle, and has the strength to handle it.  He’s still a tad sloppy in the technique department and will need to be coached up.  But with Becton handling the left side, the pressure is off Mayfield.  For the Jets, they can lock up a strong O-Line for Zach Wilson before he ever takes a snap.
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers- OT Liam Eichenberg Notre Dame– The Steelers have officially removed the possibility of getting a QB with the endorsement of Ben Roethlisberger for 2021.  This means now the focus turns to improve their pathetic O-Line.  Alejandro Villaneuva is going to be a Free Agent and the Steelers have no LT now.  Liam Eichenberg has been the fixture of the left side for the Irish for the past 3 years and was considered a Top 10 pick if he came out last year.  There are concerns if he has the agility to stay at the left side and might move to the right, but he’s the most polished of the group.  For the Steelers, they intend to compete for this season with no room to make risky picks.
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)- S Trevon Moehrig TCU– The Jaguars after drafting their Franchise QB now focus on the Defensive side with their second pick.  The Jags quit on Ronnie Harrison sending him to Cleveland, where he made an impact.  In this NFL, the importance of Free Safeties is real.  Trevon Moehrig is an intriguing prospect because of his versatility to play FS or SS.  Moehrig’s strength comes from his ball skills and being able to track down the ball and reading routes.  He’s more of a natural centerfield FS.  For the Jags, solidifying that role will help build their secondary during this rebuild.
  26. New York Jets (from Cleveland)- New York acquires the #26 overall pick from Cleveland in exchange for their 2nd and 3rd Round picks (#34 and #66 overall)– WR Kadarius Toney Florida– Yes…this means the Jets have acquired 4 1st Round picks.  The Browns after Trevon Moehrig being taken at #25 have no real options at #26 and elect to move back.  The Jets after acquiring their QB of the future in Zach Wilson, a stud RB in Najee Harris, and a talented swing lineman in Jalen Mayfield, now take the explosive Kadarius Toney.  Toney was a to it all player at Florida who just makes big plays.  Is he a true #1 WR?  It’s debatable, but he makes plays that’s all that matters.  The Jets could look to get defensive help, but they have next to no offensive talent.  This isn’t a one-year turnaround, but if done right, the Jets can be competitive in 2022.
  27. Baltimore Ravens- OG Wyatt Davis Ohio State– For the Ravens, they’re in quite a predicament with this pick.  Orlando Brown Jr. wants a new contract and since the Ravens won’t pay him, he wants out.  The top OTs aren’t available so it’s either take the best player or a WR.  It’s the Ravens, they’ll take the best player in Wyatt Davis.  Despite injuring his left knee in the National Title game, he’s arguably the best Guard in the Draft.  He’s most likely an RG, but it doesn’t matter because he was a dominating force on OSU’s O-Line.  Rarely does anyone get the better of Davis, he’s a plug-and-play guy that the Ravens would love to scoop up.
  28. New Orleans Saints- CB Greg Newsome II Northwestern– I fully expect the Saints to move Marshon Lattimore as they cut salary and will replace him with their first pick.  The question is with Jaycee Horn off the board, who do they take?  There’s a lot of 1st Round buzz for Newsome, who stood out at the Senior Bowl for having great technique and being a sticky defender who receivers had problems against.  What the problem is he dealt with a ton of injuries throughout his time at Northwestern to go with questionable long speed.  But sometimes that doesn’t matter, the skills are all there and he’s got the size to handle bigger receivers.  It’s kind of a risky pic, but his ball skills and talent say he’s a starting CB in the NFL.
  29. Green Bay Packers- WR Terrance Marshall Jr. LSU– The Packers would probably love to get a Kadarius Toney or Rashod Bateman, it’s questionable if either will make it to this pick.  The question now is Rondale Moore or Terrance Marshall.  Moore is the speedster with questionable hands and injury history.  On the other hand, there’s the high upside, physically gifted Terrance Marshall.  While he wasn’t always the featured receiver at LSU, he always made big plays average over 15 yards a catch for his career.  He’s a competitive receiver who has the size and playmaking ability to play in the NFL.  What makes him more valuable is his versatility as a receiver to line up outside and in the slot.  For a team looking for a true #2 opposite Davante Adams, Marshall’s talent and versatility for Aaron Rodgers make him a perfect match.
  30. Buffalo Bills- RB Travis Etienne Clemson– Yes…the Bills need Defense.  But, they cannot run it back relying on Devin Singletary.  The Bills by getting Etienne acquire a true #1 RB that can take the pressure off of Josh Allen.  I think this pick deserves more consideration than what everyone is giving it because it’s a really good fit.
  31. Kansas City Chiefs- DT Christian Barmore Alabama– If there’s one thing Alabama produces it’s an effective interior lineman.  Whether they’re superstars or not, you can rely on their lineman and Barmore is the next in line.  Barmore is explosive off the line whose quickness is going to allow him to disrupt backfields.  He has a great motor and solid functional strength, but his weakness is he needs to develop more counter moves against lineman.  He’s going to be a slight project, but to pair him next to Chris Jones will give Defenses headaches.
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DT Jay Tufele USC– Last year the Bucs got Vita Vea who played a major role in transforming the Bucs Defense into a Super Bowl Champion.  Now the Bucs pair him with Tufele, who is probably the best run defending DT in the Draft.  He’s a big dude who is just powerful.  He can just overpower you and get into the backfield, but what makes him intriguing is he’s actually got the quickness to show some pass-rushing ability.  While he’s not going to be Aaron Donald, pairing him with Vita Vea next season might make the Bucs the toughest team to run on in the NFL.

Ideal Browns Day 2

34. EDGE Jayson Oweh Penn State

59. LB Jabrill Cox LSU

66. CB Ifantu Melifonwu  Syracuse

89. WR Elijah Moore Ole Miss

91. S Hamsah Nasirildeen Florida State

For the Browns this would solve almost all their problems on Day 2.  Jayson Oweh is all projectable, raw talent, but man does he ever disrupt the backfield, if developed properly he’s going to be a nightmare teaming up with Myles Garrett and Defenses won’t be able to gameplay for them.  Jabrill Cox is growing on me simply because he fits exactly what the Browns need at the LB position.  He’s athletic and has the size to cover big TEs, while he needs to work on his running defense, the Browns first and foremost need a LB who can cover to take the pressure off of the Safeties.  The rest can be taught up and Jabrill Cox has proven throughout his career he’s very coachable.  Ifantu Melifonwu is a big corner at 6’2’’ 215lbs., but he’s not a man corner, but that’s fine for the Browns where Joe Woods ran more Zone Coverage, where Melifonwu thrives.  Once again the theme is he’s athletic which the Browns had none of at the CB position outside of Denzel Ward.  A core of Melinfonwu, Ward and hopefully Greedy Williams gives the Browns a ton of talent to work with.  Elijah Moore may be small, but this kid is explosive.  He’s a great route runner with the ability to break a big play at any time.  The Browns lack speed in their WR core and with Rashard Higgins set to leave in Free Agency, a void will have to be filled.  Hamsah Nasirildeen is a big safety at 6’3’’ 220lbs., but he’s a versatile safety who can provide in the running game.  He needs work as a pass defender, but the upside and athletic ability make him a perfect fit for the Browns needs in the late 3rd Round.

This Mock is without question total insanity.  But at the same time you can buy some of this happening.  The weeks to come with Free Agency and trades are going to shake up a lot of the teams needs and will make these picks much more clear in the days ahead.  But the one thing that is becoming clear this offseason is this, expect the unexpected.  It ain’t just a crazy world because of COVID, no this NFL Offseason is shaping up to be crazy.

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