Alex Hale’s Mock Draft 3.0: QBs Running Wild

Well…anything interesting happen since our last Mock?  Free Agency has been a whirlwind of activity and the biggest move wasn’t even a signing.  In an almost Nostradamus-like moment for myself, we had San Francisco trading up originally in Mock 3.0, and out of nowhere, it happened.  San Francisco now holds the #3 pick and now the stage is set for the Top 3 picks to be all QBs.  This makes doing this mock much more challenging.  

I will say this was one of the toughest mocks I’ve ever had to write as I originally tried to be as realistic as possible, but after the trade, it made the process more confusing.  So we tried a mix of realistic picks with a couple of trades that make sense.  It’s not going to be too crazy, but just enough to satisfy this writer’s craze to go off the wall with a Mock.

So after our last crazy mock a month ago, let’s kinda come back down to earth with this mock.  Here’s Mock Draft 3.0.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, ClemsonThis pick isn’t changing, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to tell me to change it.  He’s the most polished prospect, he offers as much upside and talent as any QB in this draft.  While I’ll never call a QB a “sure thing”, I will say Lawrence is the best QB I’ve seen in terms of polish and pure talent.  The Jags get their QB.
  2. New York Jets – QB Zach Wilson, BYU- It’s becoming clear that the Jets are ready to move on from Sam Darnold, so in this case, the Jets get the #2 QB in the draft.  After his Pro Day silencing any doubters, Zach Wilson is the #2 QB and it’s possible he’s the #1 QB because he’s got better arm talent than Trevor Lawrence.  The Jets take him, they finally have their QB, now build a team around him.
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami) – QB Justin Fields, Ohio StateThe 49ers have done what they had to do to get their answer at QB.  Oddly enough before this trade, Mock 3.0 had an SF trade mocked to begin with.  I guess I’m psychic now.  The 49ers’ choice is probably one of two options.  Justin Fields of Ohio State or Mac Jones of Alabama, as I believe Trey Lance is too raw for a team looking for an immediate answer.  Out of the two, to pay this price, they can’t walk away with Mac Jones here.  Fields’ arm talent and athletic ability make him a dream fit in the Shanahan offense.  This will expand the playbook to open up more ways they can use all the weapons on that offense.  With this team, Fields has no excuses to not win Rookie of the Year.
  4. Atlanta Falcons – TE Kyle Pitts, FloridaThe Falcons pick here comes down to one of two options, Trey Lance as the QB of the future or Florida TE Kyle Pitts to pair with an amazing receiving core.  The question Atlanta must answer is how much longer is Matt Ryan going to be their QB?  If they force the next 5 years of Matt Ryan behind center, you take Pitts.  Matt Ryan really hasn’t declined, so the Falcons get him another mismatch weapon in Pitts whose athletic profile matches Calvin Johnson.  Imagine a trio of Ridley, Julio, and Pitts for Matt Ryan to throw to.  That’s just a nightmare to think about and too good for Atlanta to pass on.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Penei Sewell, OregonThe Bengals’ biggest need is still the O-Line and protecting their Franchise QB in Joe Burrow.  The Bengals luck out from the early run on QBs and get their guy.  The debate between Sewell and Rashawn Slater is compelling, but the answer is Sewell, you don’t pass on this guy.
  6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia) – WR Devonta Smith, AlabamaThe Dolphins after trading down from 12 and back up to 12 get their guy.  It’s clear from the trade-up they wanted to be in a position to take Smith and jump the Lions who might take a WR.  Smith’s route running ability to go with his speed makes him the perfect guy to pair with his former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa.  For the Dolphins, they’ve masterfully found a way to capitalize their draft position, acquire more draft capital and yet position themselves to get the guy they wanted all along.
  7. New England Patriots (from Detroit) – TRADE: New England acquires the #7 overall pick from Detroit in exchange for #15 overall pick, a 2021 3rd Round pick, and a 2022 2nd Round pick- QB Trey Lance, North Dakota StateDetroit trades down to New England, who desperately needs a QB of the future and possibly gets the QB with the highest ceiling.  Trey Lance has a great arm, but his athleticism makes him more intriguing.  The problem with him is his mechanics, he tends to let the ball sail and will need time to develop, and with Cam Newton there it gives them the ability to not rush him and let Josh McDaniels build an offense around him.
  8. Carolina Panthers – WR JaMarr Chase, LSUThe Panthers now having acquired Sam Darnold from the Jets, Carolina can now focus on other needs in the draft. One of those is acquiring a true Top WR. Robby Anderson had a solid year and DJ Moore broke out, but they still lack a true #1. JaMarr Chase with his ties to Joe Brady will be a perfect fit. Chase silenced all doubters on his speed running a 4.38 and has regained his top spot on the WR rankings on a lot of boards. He’s going to be a difference-maker at the next level and for Sam Darnold, he will need playmakers and an effective offense to revive his NFL career. Chase, Moore, Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey to go with Darnold give him no excuses going forward.
  9. Denver Broncos – CB Patrick Surtain II, AlabamaIdeally the Broncos would love to get Caleb Farley, but Surtain is a great consolation prize.  The Broncos should be targeting a Top CB early in this draft and Surtain should be the selection at this point.  With his resume being a lockdown corner in the SEC, the Broncos shouldn’t overthink this one.
  10. Dallas Cowboys – CB Jaycee Horn, South CarolinaThe Cowboys have pressing needs, EDGE and CB at this point.  Kwity Paye, Jayson Oweh, and Jaelen Phillips make sense but all would be reaches.  CB is the bigger pressing need and the Cowboys fill it with Jaycee Horn.  His athletic display throughout the process to go with the tape of him showcasing his lockdown corner potential, which is exactly what the Cowboys need.  With Caleb Farley’s injury concerns, he’s now passed Farley as CB2.  With EDGE depth in this draft, the Cowboys can address it later and get a lockdown CB now.
  11. New York Giants – WR Jaylen Waddle, AlabamaThe Giants have added Kenny Golladay, but they shouldn’t stop there.  With Golladay’s injury history, they can’t bank on him to be the guy for 16 games.  Waddle gives them a deep threat opposite to create problems for defenses.  The key this year is to get playmakers for Daniel Jones and adding Waddle and Golladay gives him all the weapons he needs.  There are no more excuses for the former sixth overall pick.  He has the weapons, now go win.
  12. Philadelphia (from Miami via San Francisco) – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia TechThe Eagles traded down to 12, pretty much punting on the WRs in this draft.  This means other needs will be addressed.  Micah Parsons would be interesting, but the idea of pairing Darius Slay with Caleb Farley is tempting.  Farley on tape is clearly the top CB in this draft, he’s long, athletic, and a ballhawk.  He can cover receivers on his own island and take the pressure off the secondary.  The concerns are in the injury category with multiple injuries, including knee injuries.  It’s going to take a bold front office to pull the trigger.  By Howie Roseman’s track record, he is that guy.
  13. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Rashawn Slater, NorthwesternOne of the easier picks in this mock.  The Chargers still need to build up an O-Line.  They started that by signing Corey Lindsay from the Packers to be their Center for Justin Herbert.  Now they get their LT in Slater.  The Chargers look to be a serious contender in the AFC West now.
  14. Minnesota Vikings – EDGE Kwity Paye, MichiganThe Vikings will be in a very weird spot at this pick.  Logic would say to build up the O-Line and reach on Christian Darrishaw, but I think they should strongly consider Paye here.  With Danielle Hunter asking for a long-term extension and the Vikings at the moment balking at the idea and considering the idea of trading him, the Vikings need to rebuild their pass rush.  Paye is right now the top pass rusher on the board.  He’s a physical freak who wreaks havoc in the backfield.  Also out of all the pass rushers, he’s the most consistent of the group, growing every year at Michigan.  Even if he’s paired with Hunter for a year, they’ll form a formidable duo.
  15. Detroit Lions (from New England) – LB Micah Parsons, Penn StateThe Lions trade down twice and somehow walk away with a Top 10 talent.  This has nothing to do with Parsons not being worth a Top 10 pick.  The position of LB is now in more flux among defenses now.  Some teams don’t use them as they used to and versatility is now the name of the game.  With teams not needing LBs, this could push Parsons down.  The Lions here get a playmaking LB who specializes and creating pressure and getting in the backfield.  He’s the kind of player the Lions can build a defense around.  To walk away with more draft capital and a premium talent like Parsons, the Lions look like early draft winners.
  16. Arizona Cardinals – CB Greg Newsome, NorthwesternFor the Cardinals, they desperately need a Cornerback after losing Patrick Peterson.  The top 3 CBs are off the board so the Cardinals will have to decide to slightly reach a CB here.  Greg Newsome is falling around the 20s and rightfully so.  He had a strong Pro Day and on tape, you could argue he deserves as much praise as the other CBs in this draft.  The problem is even more so than Farley, Newsome can’t stay healthy.  But he’s as sticky of a defender as your going to find with the limited tape on him.  His size and athletic ability make him a projectable outside corner with the ability to be a shutdown corner.
  17. Las Vegas Raiders – EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State- After his Pro Day, can you think of a more perfect Raider?  Oweh ran a mind-blowing 4.38 40 yard dash and now has everyone’s attention.  Ignore the fact he had zero sacks, he was a constant problem in the backfield that made the offense take notice of him.  Add to that he didn’t have Micah Parsons to take some of the pressure off, a lot of his “lack of production” makes sense, but yet he was always in the backfield.  He just seems like a Davis family pick.  Speed, speed, and more speed at the EDGE, they’ll take him and bet he turns into an unstoppable force.
  18. Miami Dolphins – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre DameThis is a wild card pick.  The Dolphins have in this mock, 3 second-round picks, enough picks to make the moves they need to make to fill their void in the Interior Line.  If there’s one thing Brian Flores has picked up from Bill Belichick and his defense is the best quality is versatility.  Owusu-Koramoah is one of those S/LB hybrids that NE defenses love that Flores runs.  He’s got a great motor and just makes players.  They can address the other stuff later, this pick is a steal here.
  19. Washington Football Team – WR Rashod Bateman, MinnesotaWashington is rolling with Fitzmagic, and I’m all here for it.  Now, let’s get him all the weapons he can work with.  Terry McLaurin is now reunited with fellow Buckeye Curtis Samuel, but Samuel is best used as a versatile mismatch WR, not a #2.  Rashod Bateman is that guy who can fit in the #2 role.  He’s more physical than McLaurin and Samuel and will provide a different type of WR to play off them.  Add Antonio Gibson to back their strong running game, Fitzmagic could be running wild in Washington very quickly in 2021.
  20. Chicago Bears – QB Mac Jones, AlabamaThe Bears get a major lucky break and have Mac Jones fall all the way down to #20.  At this point, Andy Dalton is your QB…ANDY DALTON.  I don’t care if Mac Jones is just an average to above-average QB, this is a steal of a pick who fits what they need position-wise.  You don’t blink, if the Bears don’t take Jones here, the entire Bears Front Office should be fired immediately.
  21. Indianapolis Colts – OT Christian Darrishaw, Virginia TechThe Colts are one of the few teams in this draft after FA with a glaring need in the draft.  The Colts still haven’t filled the void left by Anthony Costanzo at LT and need to fill that if Carson Wentz has any chance to succeed.  I’ve seen Darrishaw justified to go as high as 13 to the Chargers.  He checks off all the boxes you want in your LT, he has the size, enough power, mobility, and length to hold down the left side.  If he falls to 21, the Colts don’t really need to waste much time making this selection.
  22. Tennessee Titans – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre DameOkay…let’s try this again.  So Isaiah Wilson was a complete bust.  Fortunately for the Titans, they can easily fix that mistake in a deep O-Line class.  Liam Eichenberg has been the anchor of Notre Dame’s O-Line so already you can forget about character issues.  A lot of people compare him to fellow Fighting Irish alum, Mike McGlinchey of the 49ers.  All the technical skills are there, but lacking in athletic ability and could be a bit more powerful.  But for the Titans, they need a RT, where he’d fit best at.  He can slide in there while a returning Taylor Lewan reclaims his left side.  They can address filling Corey Davis’ role later.
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle)- RB Najee Harris, AlabamaAfter selecting Penei Sewell, the Jets now have a solidified O-Line for Sam Darnold, now get him a back he can hand the ball off to.  Travis Etienne had a dynamic Pro Day, potentially having him pass Najee Harris, but Harris was so strong down the stretch, he just looks like a Derrick Henry type.  He can easily thrive in a zone-blocking scheme and will offer to receive ability out of the backfield.  Zach Wilson needs that 20 carrybacks to run this offense efficiently, between Harris and Etienne, Harris is the pick.
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Travis Etienne, ClemsonThe Steelers have lost a lot defensively and very well could look at CB/EDGE or even O-Line.  Azeez Ojulari deserves mention as a perfect fit as a Steelers 3-4 EDGE opposite TJ Watt.  The problem is, Ben Roethlisberger is on his last legs and although they brought back Juju Smith-Schuster, he alone won’t fix their offense.  The Steelers need a better running attack to take away from the passing game.  Etienne has been a do-it-all back with explosiveness.  For the Steelers, he’s another Le’Veon Bell and if used as a tandem with James Connor could create problems for defenses.
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) – S Trevon Moehrig, TCUThe Jaguars now have their QB of the future, now they need to build their defense back up.  Their main problems lay in the secondary.  While the Jags signed Rayshawn Jenkins, they still could use another safety.  Trevon Moehrig is without a doubt the top safety in the draft and will provide a great coverage option for the Jags and someone they can plug and play from his first day.  He has the size and athletic ability you look for in the position and he just knows how to make plays.  This would be a great selection to building a winner for Trevor Lawrence to just captain the ship for.
  26. Cleveland Browns – EDGE Joe Tryon, WashingtonZaven Collins is sitting on the board and it is really tempting to take him here.  But it’s clear with all of his talents, the Browns value other positions.  With Greg Newsome off the board, the Browns can now focus on finding a young EDGE to pair with Myles Garrett.  Enter Tryon, who checks all the boxes the Browns are looking for.  He’s athletic, has the size, has the power, he’s a dynamic pass rusher, but also can defend the run.  He did opt out of the 2020 season and it’s caused people to question where he falls in this draft.  But the truth is, the talent is of a 1st Round player.  It won’t be universally praised by the “experts”, but in the long run, Andrew Berry could look very smart.
  27. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Azeez Ojulari, GeorgiaThe Ravens lost both Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in Free Agency and lack a dynamic pass rusher.  Ojulari might be undersized for a D-Lineman, he fits the Ravens 3-4 scheme perfectly.  His explosiveness and track record of being a constant presence in the backfield will make him an impact defender from Day One.  For the Ravens, you couldn’t ask for a better situation to play out.
  28. New Orleans Saints – LB Zaven Collins, TulsaThe Saints have an aging LB core and are staring at the talented Zaven Collins here at 28.  In a lot of ways, Collins could be off the board as soon as 15 to potentially New England.  If he falls here, it’s a perfect fit for them.
  29. Green Bay Packers – WR Kadarius Toney, FloridaThis is a dream scenario for Packers fans.  Kadarius Toney’s playmaking ability and versatility next to Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.  The possibilities are endless for how they can utilize them both while having Aaron Jones lead their rushing attack.  The Packers already have a great offense, but to add Toney may put them over the top when they need it to push Rodgers to potentially one more Super Bowl run.
  30. Buffalo Bills – EDGE Jaelen Phillips, Miami (FL)For the Bills, most of the pieces are in place for a Super Bowl run.  One of the big things missing is a consistent pass rush.  Yes, they have Ed Oliver and Jerry Hughes, but Hughes is aging and there’s nobody for the future.  Phillips had an outstanding Pro Day, solidifying his stock as a 1st Round talent.  He was dynamic in 2020 at Miami wreaking havoc in the backfield of ACC opponents, but he has one glaring problem.  He’s had a serious concussion history that will be risky for teams.  For the Bills, the time to win the Super Bowl is now, if Phillips can produce for a couple of years as they change for a Championship, that’s all that matters.
  31. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Jalen Mayfield, MichiganThe Chiefs have blown up their O-Line and made this pick one of the most obvious ones out there.  They added Joe Thuney and Kyle Long for the interior, now the Chiefs add Mayfield for the outside.  Mayfield is proven playing against some of the best pass rushers in the Big 10 the past few years.  He has the size and athletic ability to stick on the left side, although he might be suited best on the right side.  If there’s anything Michigan does well, it’s producing O-Lineman.  To grab Mayfield along with their FA signings, the Chiefs won’t lose a step with this line.
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Nick Bolton, MissouriThe Bucs roster really doesn’t have a glaring need on paper.  They’ve filled the hole at DT by bringing back Ndamukong Suh so while they could go with Christian Barmore, they could look at other positions preparing for the future.  Lavonte David is still a reliable veteran at LB, but he was only signed to a two-year extension.  Nick Bolton like David is a high-energy linebacker who can do it all and has the explosiveness to make plays all over the field.  For the Bucs, logic says to take Barmore to replace Suh after 2021, but to have a 3 man LB rotation of Devin White, Lavonte David, and Nick Bolton would make them even scarier going into 2021.

Ideal Browns 7-Round Draft

59. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu Syracuse

90. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown USC

92. LB Jamin Davis Kentucky

111. DT Marvin Wilson Florida State

133. S Tariq Thompson San Diego State

170. RB Chuba Hubbard Oklahoma State

212. OT Walker Little Stanford

259. CB Marco Wilson Florida

Ifeatu Melifonwu may not make it to this pick, but fits the Browns profile of athletic freak of nature and yet still produces on the field to back it up.  He’s long, plays Zone coverage well, and will fit into Joe Woods’ scheme very well, and puts Troy Hill in the slot, where he’s best at.  Amon-Ra St. Brown isn’t exactly the burner Browns fans are clamoring for, but he’s a WR who will eventually crack the starting lineup and become a WR that Baker Mayfield can rely on.  He’s got great ball skills and route-running ability and is faster than he looks, he’s going to be a steal for whoever grabs him.  Jamin Davis is all projection and high upside.  He’s explosive and long, which is what the Browns need at the LB position, but he’s only started 11 games in his career.  There isn’t a lot to go on.  He could go in the 1st Round, he could fall here, there’s no idea where he’s going on how he’s going to pan out.  Marvin Wilson was once projected as a Top 15 pick, but fell off in 2020 and faced more scrutiny.  Wilson has good athletic ability, but isn’t explosive and needs work as a run defender, the upside is there and to have him sit and learn with Sheldon Richardson would be a great fit for him.  Tariq Thompson is a fascinating prospect who has the ability to either play the safety position or in the slot.  That fits exactly what the Browns and Joe Woods will want in their Safeties and make him a perfect fit.  Chuba Hubbard has been a productive Running Back at Oklahoma State and his explosiveness as a runner should translate in the NFL.  For the Browns, if they don’t plan on extending Nick Chubb, they will need a replacement for the future, Hubbard could be that.  Walker Little is a flier pick if he can stay healthy.  He was a Top 10 pick before he tore his knee and hasn’t been the same.  He’s a late-round flier, but if he returns to form, the Browns could have a young OT core of Jedrick Wills and Walker Little.  Marco Wilson is the brother of Jets CB Quincy Wilson but doesn’t have the same talent as Quincy.  He’s extremely raw, but what stands out is he’s already a solid run defender.  For the Browns, it’s worth the late-round flier.

With the draft now just over 3 weeks away, teams needs have finally taken shape and now teams now who they should be targeting at the Draft.  With the events of the 49ers moving up, it’s clear there will be an early run on QBs in this draft and I wouldn’t be surprised if more moves are made leading up to the draft to make sure teams can get their QBs.  Now that the Pro Days are over, the boards are pretty much set and now we’re in the home stretch.  The NFL Draft is just around the corner folks…get ready for the ride.

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