Unimaginative Mock 1.0 (1 Round, Write-Ups, Trades)

Debacled Published on 4/5/2024

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Hey all, welcome to my mock. I've been doing this for a few years now, but I don't think I published mine last year. However, with the updates to Walter Football, I'm giving it another shot, since this is about the only draft sharing site that lets you do a write-up. Obviously, we've got no idea what's gonna happen and this is a speculative draft, but I've tried to be as realistic as possible. Thanks for checking it out!

1. Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

No sense in spending much time dissecting this one. The Bears need a QB, and Williams is the best in the draft.

Other Scenarios: None

2. Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

It seems like a given that Washington is going to take a QB with the second overall selection, and the question is Daniels or Drake Maye? Ultimately, I think Washington is going to go with the reigning Heisman winner with the 2nd overall pick. I might have been willing to entertain something more interesting–like trading down or Marvin Harrison–before Washington traded Sam Howell.

Other Scenarios: QB Drake Maye

3. Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The Patriots are the first team that, to me, seems like it could be a bit of a wildcard. If Daniels does go 2nd overall, and new Head Coach Jerod Mayo is not enamored with Maye, it wouldn't shock me if the Patriots try to move this pick to a team like Minnesota. However, I think the most likely scenario is that the Patriots draft Drake Maye, who is competing with Jayden Daniels for the 2nd QB off the board. The odds of New England trading down or drafting a non-QB likely evaporated with the trade of Mac Jones to Jacksonville, though.

Other Scenarios: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Trade back

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

I think Arizona is going to hold onto this selection and do what everyone expects: add a generational WR prospect. Harrison is a phenomenal prospect, and would instantly be a reliable and electric target for Kyler Murray. Quietly, the Cardinals have been extremely gifted at WR over the last two decades–Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Bolden, DeAndre Hopkins–and Marvin Harrison could be the best of the bunch.

Other Scenarios: Trade down, OT Joe Alt

5. Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Chargers are going to be highly motivated to try and move out of this spot, and I think the Vikings are going to be highly motivated to get into it. When Minnesota started accumulating picks to (presumably) move up in the draft, this is immediately the spot I highlighted. Whether or not I think JJ McCarthy is worthy of a top-5 pick, it seems more and more likely one gets spent on him. In this scenario, I am giving the Chargers both of the Vikings first round picks.

6. Giants: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

If the Giants want a QB, they probably cannot stand-pat. How confident do they feel that Maye, Daniels, or McCarthy is going to be better than Daniel Jones, though? Jones has really never gotten to throw to a high-end target in his career, despite the Giants' best efforts. Adding Odunze gives Jones one more shot, finally with a real player to throw it to. I don't think New York is quite ready to invest more high picks in OTs with Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal still young, but Joe Alt is also an option here.

Other Scenarios: WR Malik Nabers, OT Joe Alt

7. Titans: Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

It feels like forever since the Titans had a premier pass-rusher. Tennessee has cycled through other team's cast-offs in recent years, with Bud Dupree, Vic Beasley, and Jadeveon Clowney being just a few of the times who passed through in the last handful of seasons. Dallas Turner is a freaky prospect, and could finally help the Titans stabilize their pass-rush.

Other Scenarios: TE Brock Bowers, OT Joe Alt

8. Falcons: Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA

My above blurb for the Titans can basically be rewritten for the Falcons. Atlanta has been looking for a reliable pass-rusher for a long time–no I'm not counting that one Vic Beasley season–and Latu could be it. There are some concerns about his health, after he medically retired from football briefly due to a neck issue, but he seems to have a clean bill and could be a great pass-rusher in the pros.

Other Scenarios: EDGE Jared Verse, CB Terrion Arnold

9. Bills: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

To be totally honest, I don't think the Bills will move up–at least not this high–to add a WR. It's more likely the Bills keep accumulating picks and take as many swings at the ball as they can. However, in the wake of trading Stefon Diggs, this is an interesting scenario, where the Bills move some of the capital they got from that deal in order to secure a replacement LSU star at WR. From the Bears end, I don't know if they feel the need to make two top ten picks, depending on what they are being offered.

10. Jets: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

This is kind of a dream scenario for the Jets. The run on QBs, WRs, and EDGE players in the first nine picks causes an excellent OT prospect to fall to them at 10. Alt is an instant starter, and with an increasingly delicate Aaron Rodgers at QB, protecting him should be the highest priority for New York.

Other Scenarios: TE Brock Bowers, CB Terrion Arnold

11. Chargers: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Dreams of Joe Alt are evaporated with the Jets selection one pick ahead of LAC, but Brock Bowers is a nice conselation. There is a lot of noise about the Chargers being a run heavy team under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman, but Mark Andrews put up monster numbers in Roman's offense. With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in new uniforms, the Chargers need to inject some skill position talent, and Bowers is definitely that. He can be the top option for Justin Herbert.

12. Broncos: Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

Denver could do a lot of different things. Move up for a QB. Move down for a QB. Corner, WR, OL… Endless options. Ultimately, while Denver has a couple decent pieces, getting a high-quality pass rusher makes a lot of sense for a Broncos team that hasn't had a player manage double digit sacks since Bradley Chubb and Von Miller both did it in 2018.

Other Scenarios: Denver trades up or back, OT Olu Fashanu

13. Raiders: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Vegas, like their fellow AFC Westerners above, could do a lotta different things, because there are SO many holes on the roster. Terrion Arnold, depending on who you ask, is the top DB in the draft. You can never have enough starting caliber CBs, and since I'm pretty sure Vegas has NO starting caliber CBs, this is a good fit.

Other Scenarios: OT Olu Fashanu, CB Quinyon Mitchell

14. Saints: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Olu Fashanu, once seen as a top five prospect, seems to be sliding a little bit. Like many teams in the early-middle part of this draft, the Saints could do a lot of different things. In this case, they decide to strengthen the line. Ryan Ramczyk is expected to miss all of next season, and Trevor Penning seems to be a whiff at Tackle. Drafting Fashanu could potentially allow them to try the latter at Guard and built up the trenches in anticipation of adding a QB in the next year or two.

Other Scenarios: CB Quinyon Mitchell, EDGE Chop Robinson

15. Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Mitchell is a popular mock to the Colts, with good reason. Indy needs CB help and is known to love hyper-athletic propects. Mitchell is a hyper-athletic CB prospect. It makes a ton of sense for the Colts to pounce if he makes it to them, though Mitchell could wind up going WAY earlier.

Other Scenarios: EDGE Chop Robinson, CB Nate Wiggins

16. Seahawks: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

It goes against every instinct I have not to mock an Offensive Lineman to the Seahawks, but quietly… Seattle finally has some quality players up-front! Instead, I think they could look to strengthen the other side of the trenches and add the draft's top IDL.

Other Scenarios: CB Nate Wiggins, EDGE Chop Robinson

17. Jaguars: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

I'm a little more bullish on this classes' WRs after the top three, but it *sounds* like Brian Thomas is likely to be a first round pick. Calvin Ridley left in free agency, and Gabe Davis probably doesn't move the needle. With Trevor Lawrence underwhelming through his first few seasons, Jacksonville decides to make sure he has a plethora of weapons to try and succeed with as a decisions about a second contract loom.

Other Scenarios: iOL Graham Barton, CB Nate Wiggins

18. Bengals: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

After losing Chidobe Awuzie in free agency, the Bengals have a hole at Corner that needs to be filled if they are going to return to contention. Wiggins is one of the top CBs in the year's draft, and while he seems to have fallen out of the conversation for "top CB," the Clemson star remains an easy first round prospect.

Other Scenarios: OT Taliese Fuaga, OT Tyler Guyton

19. Rams: Chop Robinson, OLB/DE, Penn State

The Rams are in a really good place offensively, but defensively they have some holes to fill. Breakout rookie Kobie Turner helps soften the blow of Aaron Donald's retirement, and John Johnson is a solid player on the backend, but this unit generally lacks impact players right now. Chop Robinson is an extremely athletic pass-rusher who has been compared to former Penn State stud Micah Parsons.

Other Scenarios: DT Johnny Newton, CB Kool-Aid McKinstrey

20. Steelers: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Draft media has made it sound increasingly unlikely that Jackson Powers-Johnson escapes the first round, and Pittsburgh seems like one of the most likely landing spots for the Ducks Center. The Steelers have been suffering from sub-par O-Line play for a seasons now–they certainly didn't do Kenny Pickett any favors–and solidifying that unit is key to getting mileage out of Russ Wilson and/or Justin Fields.

Other Scenarios: WR Adonai Mitchell, OT Amarius Mims, OT JC Latham

21. Dolphins: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Aside from one of the best names in the draft, Kool-Aid McKinstrey is also a damn good prospect. Though he might be a notch below Quinyon Mitchell and Terrion Arnold as a prospect, he's got high-end starter potential. After moving on from Xavien Howard, Miami could use a capable player across from All-Pro Jalen Ramsey.

Other Scenarios: OT Taliese Fuaga, CB Cooper DeJean

22. Eagles: Taliese Fuaga, G/OT, Oregon State

It is a coup for the Eagles of Taliesa Fuage falls to them. The hulking Oregon State lineman is an exciting developmental prospect with sky-high upside. Some teams think he may shift inside–I like the idea of the Eagles getting him snaps at Guard or as a super-sub lineman while preparing for life after Lane Johnson.

Other Scenarios: OT JC Latham, EDGE Austin Booker

23. Chargers: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Part of the reason the Chargers are willing to take Brock Bowers with their first pick is because of the depth of this Tackle class. While they miss out on Olu Fashanu and Taliese Fuaga, they've got their pick from the next four top OT prospects. In this case, I think they take the towering Sooner–but they've got options for bolstering the line.

24. Cowboys: Troy Fautanu, G/OT, Washington

Likewise, Dallas benefits from the depth of this Tackle class, standing pat and still getting a really good prospect. After cutting ties with long time superstar Tyron Smith, Dallas likely looks to find their next franchise LT.

Other Scenarios: OT JC Latham, OT Amarius Mims

25. Packers: Cooper DeJean, S/CB, Iowa

25. Packers: Cooper DeJean, S/CB, Iowa

DeJean to Green Bay is a really popular mock. The Hawkeye DB has some position versatility, and can probably take snaps at both boundary Corner and Safety. Eric Stokes may never reach the upside he flashed as a rookie, so adding someone who can compete for a starting job would be great for the Packers.

Other Scenarios: iOL Graham Barton, OT Amarius Mims

26. Buccaneers: Graham Barton, G/OT, Duke

The Buccaneers have seen a lot of turnover on the Offensive Line in the last few years, and they should try and get some fresh blood into the room. Barton played Tackle at Duke, and it the kind of prospect who should get a shot at Tackle before sliding inside. That being said: he is a prospect with a high floor should a team move him inside, and could go way earlier than this.

Other Scenarios: CB Ennis Rakestraw, DL Braden Fiske

27. Cardinals: Austin Booker, DE, Kansas

Towards the end of the first round, it's fun to throw in a few wildcards–players who *could* sneak into the first round, but are not solidly considered top prospects. Booker is a weird prospect who really has just one year of college ball after playing around 20 snaps prior to last year. However, he was such a force and showed unexpected polish, so a team could take a gamble on him later in the first, because the upside is huge. He is a super boom-or-bust prospect.

Other Scenarios: DL Johnny Newton, DL Braden Fiske, OT JC Latham, OT Amarius Mims

28. Bears: Prospect not selected

Newton hopes to continue Illinois' recent success in the draft. Though undersized, Newton was regularly disruptive for the Fighting Illini. Chicago needs some bodies on the defensive line, so keeping Newton in-state makes a lot of sense in this trade down scenario.

29. Lions: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

Slot Corner/Nickelback has become a premier, starting position in the modern NFL, and I think we are going to see a trend of dedicated slot players going higher in the draft. Sainristil is still learning Corner, but he might be the best Slot CB in the draft. Like Chicago and Newton one pick before, Detroit decides to keep a prospect in state.

Other Scenarios: DT Braden Fiske, CB Ennis Rakestraw

30. Ravens: J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama

This is probably at the lower end of outcomes for JC Latham, who seems like he could go anywhere from the high teens until the end of the first round. The Ravens could use an injection of talent and youth on the Offensive Line, given a recent exodus of starters and Ronnie Stanley's injury history.

Other Scenarios: OT Amarius Mims, WR Xavier Worthy

31. 49ers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

I have the same feeling towards Amarius Mims as I do towards Latham. Really wide range of positions he could go, but unlikely to escape the first round. The late first round often feels like a bit of a dead zone, and one of the safest choices a team can make at the point is to add Offensive Line depth.

Other Scenarios: OT Jordan Morgan, WR Xavier Legette

32. Chiefs: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell is one of the most athletic WR prospects ever. Even before Rashee Rice got himself into trouble, Kansas City needed to add a body to the room. Now, they may be looking for a number one.

Other Scenarios: DL Braden Fiske, WR Xavier Worthy, WR Xavier Legette