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Christmas Eve Mock Draft - No Trades
Published at 12/24/2020 6:01:53 PM
Using Tankathon's Draft Order. Don't like your team's pick? Let's discuss. I want to know more about what your city says about your team.
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Trevor Lawrence has been slotted as a #1 overall pick basically since walking onto Clemson's campus in 2018. At 6'6", 220, Lawrence has the arm talent and mobility to not only succeed in the NFL but be consistently rated as a top-5 QB. The idea of this selection also makes the head coach and general manager openings much more appealing.
The Jets have a decision to make. Do they take Penei Sewell and build up the talent around Sam Darnold or do they start fresh and select a new QB? Here I think the Jets begin a new rebuild around the athleticism of Justin Fields.
Joe Burrow was viewed as Cincinnati's savior but he already suffered a career-threatening knee injury. The Bengals absolutely must protect him at all costs so I believe this choice at 3 comes down to two choices for Cincinnati: select Penei Sewell or trade down if Sewell is not available. In this scenario, they draft Sewell as slot him as the day one starter at left tackle and move Jonah Williams to right tackle. Sewell is rated as one of the best tackles to come out of the draft in the past 10 years and will open up the offense.
Matt Rhule has shown to be a very impressive coach, showing competitiveness with a lack of true talent on the roster. Trey Lance has the physical tools to be successful but needs time to grow into the position. Carolina can roll with Teddy Bridgewater until they feel Lance is ready to take over the reigns. Once he is the starter, look for a lot of option concepts with Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield.
Personally, I feel the Falcons need to start fresh but Matt Ryan's contract makes is nearly impossible for the next 2 years. Instead, they take the explosive pass rusher Jaelen Phillips. Phillips took advantage of Gregory Rousseau's absence this year and showed his athleticism can lead to production.
Like any young QB, Tua Tagovailoa will need to be surrounded by weapons to take full advantage of his ability. Ja'Marr Chase opted out this year but showed he can completely take over games at the college level. I do not expect that same situation in the NFL but I believe he will become the top target for Tua for a long time.
Philadelphia is an interesting pick here because they selected a WR in the first round last year but still need more help at the position and they have big money tied to Darius Slay but still need more help in the secondary. Doug Peterson likes to play in 12 personnel but Zach Ertz seems to be on his way out of Philadelphia leading to the selection of Kyle Pitts. Listed at 6'6", 246 lbs., Pitts can be a unique offensive threat who plays like an oversized WR that defenses will struggle to defend.
Dallas may be in the market for a QB depending on how things shake out with Dak Prescott but I see them taking Patrick Surtain to bully WRs at the line of scrimmage.
The Chargers seem to have struck gold with Justin Herbert and may look to add weapons around him (WR or help on the offensive line). But they also realize they need to face the Chiefs' offense twice a year and Caleb Farley is a freaky athlete for his size.
Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman will want to add some pass rush on defense and Kwity Paye has the tools to move around in different defensive fronts and wreak havoc on offenses.
Detroit will be heading into the draft with a new GM and head coach so it's very much a wait-and-see approach on what direction they go, especially with Matthew Stafford. Assuming they keep him because of his contract, they grab DeVonta Smith to add some youth and playmaking skills to the position because the offense cannot trot out Danny Amendola, Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu as realistic threats anymore. Smith brings enough juice to where they will not have to overpay Kenny Golladay depending on what price he is asking for in a new contract.
The 49ers were derailed by injuries this year but that also allowed them the opportunity to land a new franchise QB. Jimmy Garoppolo showed flashes but has struggled with injuries. Zach Wilson blew up this year and has the accuracy and movement ability to successfully run Kyle Shanahan's wide zone/bootleg offensive scheme.
This draft has already seen several QBs, WRs, CBs, and DEs come off the board, leaving Micah Parsons still in the green room. Vic Fangio will jump at the opportunity to add Parsons to the LB unit. And for those wondering, I see John Elway opting for a veteran QB to compete with Drew Lock over a rookie.
Like every rookie who opted out of the 2020 season, the NFL Combine will be huge for their stock. If Gregory Rousseau is still available, look for the Vikings to run to the podium. Rousseau (6'7", 255) will add some much-needed pass rush off the edge and fits the mold Mike Zimmer had used for so long in his career.
The Patriots stumbled in the first year of the post-Tom Brady era but the reasoning can be pointed back to the amount of key players who opted out this year. Cam Newton showed he is still a threat as a runner but nagging injuries from his past sapped his ability to be an effective passer. Bill Belichick tabs his old friend Nick Saban and gets the green light to draft Mac Jones. Jones can be trusted to manage a game if it calls for a heavy running attack and can take a game over with his arm when called upon. He has a beautiful deep ball and should win the battle against Jarrett Stidham and any other veteran QB to become a day 1 starter.
The Bears cannot buy into Mitch Trubisky's late season surge; they absolutely must find a long term option at QB. If they cannot trade up and were not able to find a solution in free agency then they will be in the market in the 2022 draft. Rashawn Slater seems to be a mixed bag where some evaluators love him and others are scared off by his measurements. Lucky for Chicago, they need help at tackle AND guard so Slater should find a home somewhere along the offensive line.