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The Champ
What Teams SHOULD Do by The Champ - 3.29
Published at 3/4/2021 8:14:56 PM

I have to make major changes to this exercise in the wake of the trades by Miami, San Francisco, and Philly, so let's get to it. Again, this is an exercise where I mock not what I think teams WILL do, but what I think they SHOULD do. Two rounds.

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Yes, this is what the Jaguars should do, as Lawrence is thought to be the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck.


2. Jets: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State

I have Fields as the clear second-best QB, so that's who the Jets should take. Not Wilson.


3. 49ers: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU

It's the 49ers that are here, and regardless of whether or not I would have moved those picks to get to this spot, what's done is done. Now that they have their pick, this would be an obvious choice between either Zach Wilson or Trey Lance. I'll opt for the rocket-armed Wilson.


4. Patriots: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State

TRADE!
Now that the first 3 picks are virtually guaranteed to be QB's, it puts Atlanta in a unique position. Of course, they could take a QB themselves, but, as I mentioned, doing so would mean you lose the benefits of paying your QB on a rookie contract cheaply, because of the enormous dead cap hit that Matt Ryan would leave behind in 2022. With Lance the last of the top 4 QB's on the board, and with many teams believing he has the second-most upside of any of them, Atlanta should look for a trade down that makes the most sense. Carolina would probably make an offer from #8, but they are a division rival, and does Atlanta really want to hand a division rival a potential franchise QB that it has to face twice a year? Denver is probably looking for a more NFL-ready passer, and I think they could have their sights set on Mac Jones. New England, at 15, has the clear need for a franchise QB and, perhaps, the desperation, as evidenced by their huge spending spree in free agency. Given the price that San Francisco paid to move up to 3, if Atlanta can get two 1st rounders from the Pats, it's a deal worth making for them.

As for New England, they take a swing and hope that Lance can be a difference-maker by next year at the latest.


5. Bengals: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

The odds of the Bengals landing Sewell went up considerably with San Francisco moving up to 3, as it now means that they only need to avoid a team at 4 taking Sewell, and if Atlanta trades out of the pick, it's almost certainly a team that's coming up for a QB.


6. Dolphins: Ja'Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU

I would take Chase here over Pitts or the other Alabama WR's. It would be quite masterful of Chris Grier to get Chase at 6 and to have maneuvered the way he did to pick up all the extra draft capital in the process.


7. Broncos: Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama

TRADE!
Detroit trading down is logical, as they should get more picks for their rebuild. Denver is picking two spots later, and knows that Carolina, picking 8th, could opt for Jones. Jones would be a big upgrade on the erratic Drew Lock and could get Denver into the playoffs. Moving up to this pick would ensure Jones, and Detroit would be guaranteed at least one of the Alabama WR's still on the board. So Denver parts with its 2nd Round pick to make sure they get their guy.


8. Panthers: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida

This is really tough. There's a huge need at LB, where Luke Kuechly has yet to be replaced. There are 2 premium talents at WR, both from Alabama, and there's a premium TE/WR hybrid monster in Pitts. I'm going to opt for Pitts.


9. Lions: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

I'm starting to think that Waddle is going to be drafted ahead of Smith, but I'd prefer Smith if I were picking.


10. Cowboys: Patrick Surtain, Cornerback, Alabama

Caleb Farley's two back surgeries in a span of 18 months would cause me to opt for Surtain instead.


11. Giants: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Guard, Northwestern

Daniel Jones has had his moments, but didn't take a step forward in 2020, to say the least. Part of the reason for that is a terrible O-line, despite using their 1st rounder last year on LT Andrew Thomas, who was the first of the "Big Four" O-lineman drafted and who clearly performed the worst of the four. Slater could play tackle or guard, and, need I remind you, Nate Solder isn't good. Heck, Thomas may not be, either.


12. Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Philly still has one of the 'Bama WR's on the board, so this would be a pretty solid value, particularly considering that they obtained Miami's 2022 1st in the move down.


13. Chargers: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State

Slater isn't there, so the next-best option as a LT would be Christian Darrisaw. However, there are still two premium defenders available: Parsons and Farley. Both would fill needs. I'm going to opt for Parsons, as he doesn't come with 2 back surgeries recently. The Chargers can still look at tackles in the 2nd Round.


14. Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

Let's strengthen the O-line, which will give Kirk Cousins his best chance to succeed and the same for Dalvin Cook.


15. Falcons: Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech

OK, so after moving down to 15, Atlanta still has two very talented corners on the board, and one of them probably has the most talent of any corner. Do we opt for the relative safety of Jaycee Horn, or the upside of Farley? I'm going with Farley.


16. Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina

Obviously, there's no Watson-for-Murray trade projected by me any longer; there's just no way that any team can make a move for Watson right now, not until they are certain that no criminal charges are coming. With Horn still available, he makes sense as a replacement for Patrick Peterson.


Picks 1-16



 








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