Blizzard’s Mock Draft 3.0

(Ken Ruinard/USA Today Sports)

This mock is my guess at what will happen over the first two rounds of the NFL draft. I also included bonus picks at the end for teams who don’t have a pick in the first two rounds, so fans of every team get to see at least one pick for their team. My personal rankings are not factored into this mock draft. I reviewed each team’s needs and what they might be targeting in the draft to try to make accurate picks, but if you think I missed what your favorite team’s needs are let me know! 

Round 1

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

No analysis is really needed here. This pick is set in stone and will finally be made official on draft day. 

  1. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

Not much analysis is needed for this pick either. There is a chance that the Jets go with a different quarterback, but they’re certainly going to be taking a quarterback here and all signs point toward them preferring Zach Wilson. 

  1. San Francisco 49ers: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

The 49ers are definitely taking a quarterback here and Justin Fields is the right choice. Some think that they’ll take Mac Jones at this spot but they instead go with a quarterback who can uplift the team around him and reap the benefits of playing in Shanahan’s scheme. 

*Atlanta Falcons trade 1.4 to the Denver Broncos for 1.9, 2.40, and 2022 2nd

  1. Denver Broncos: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

The Broncos trade up to get their franchise quarterback. Drew Lock hasn’t been good enough and it’s time the Broncos make a real investment into the position. Vic Fangio will have the defense performing well, the offensive line is solid, and the receiving group is young and promising. Figuring out the quarterback spot should be the next step. 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

The debate between Chase or Sewell rages on, but the Bengals go with Chase here. Sewell would be a great choice, but the Bengals instead focus on having more receiving options for Joe Burrow and gamble on Riley Reiff being a good enough addition at right tackle for now. They can still try to address the offensive line with later picks. 

  1. Miami Dolphins: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

The Dolphins traded down (and then up) to this spot presumably to take one of the top pass catchers in this class and get one here in Kyle Pitts. They will sprint to the podium if Pitts is still on the board at this pick. He’s a rare athlete that can create mismatches all across the field and will 

*Detroit Lions trade 1.7 to the Los Angeles Chargers for 1.13 and 2.47*

  1. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

The Chargers move up to get Sewell who falls out of the top 5, which probably shouldn’t happen, but seems to be more and more likely every day. The Chargers have made good additions to their offensive line but still need a left tackle. They could wait to take one at 13, but getting their top guy is worth the cost

  1. Carolina Panthers: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

The Panthers whiffed on their trade attempts for a top QB, but at least they have Sam Darnold now! They’ll give Darnold a chance to prove himself outside of the shadow of Adam Gase and start building around him here by taking a franchise left tackle. Rashawn Slater sat out this past season but was incredible the previous season (see his performance vs Chase Young) and should be able to step in and be an immediate boost to this offense.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

The Falcons restructured Matt Ryan’s contract and as a result will pass on taking a QB in favor of trying to win with what they have now. They gain extra picks to build out their depth and build the roster in Arthur Smith’s vision. They take Jaylen Waddle to complete the trio of dangerous Alabama wide receivers. Waddle will fit right into the slot with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley manning the outside. 

  1. Dallas Cowboys: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

Jaycee Horn is explosive and the Cowboys love explosive athletes. The Cowboys also have a pretty glaring need at cornerback, so this pick makes sense for a team that should be expecting to compete this season. A defensive tackle would also make sense for the Cowboys, but there isn’t one worth taking over Horn and filling such an immediate need.

  1. New York Giants: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

The Giants need pass rushers and will likely want them to be able to rush standing up or with their hand in the dirt. Insert Jaelan Phillips. There are legitimate concerns over Phillips’ health considering he has retired once already, but he has remained healthy as of recent and has rediscovered his passion for the game. He was the top recruit in his class for a reason and will be a steal for the Giants if he stays healthy and motivated. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

The Eagles trade down and still get one of the players they would’ve been happy to take with their original pick. This is a pretty easy decision to make with Jaycee Horn off the board. The Eagles need help at wide receiver in a bad way and DeVonta Smith gives them a familiar target for Jalen Hurts. Smith, Jalen Reagor, and Dallas Goedert give the Eagles one of the best groups of young receiving options in the league.

  1. Detroit Lions: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

There’s a good chance Parsons goes earlier than this if the off-field concerns check out, but a multitude of off-field issues ultimately drop him down a few spots. Head Coach Dan Cambpell mentioned wanting a “foundational piece” from this draft and pointed to the middle linebacker position as a spot where you want one of those pieces. Parsons is a freak athlete and has all of the tangible traits of a great linebacker. The biggest question is whether or not the intangible traits can meet the standard. 

*Minnesota Vikings trade 1.14 and 4.119 to the Indianapolis Colts for 1.21 and 2.54*

  1. Indianapolis Colts: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

With the retirement of Anthony Castonzo, the Colts have a glaring hole at left tackle. General Manager Chris Ballard could wait to see how the board falls or even try to fill the position with a 2nd round pick but, ultimately, protecting Carson Wentz should be top priority. Samuel Cosmi was a top prospect coming into the season, played well, and then tested extremely well at his pro day. I think there’s a good chance the NFL will be high on him.

  1. New England Patriots: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama

The Patriots are one of the teams that could trade up for a quarterback but they stick with their pick here and try to build a winner around Cam Newton. They don’t have many holes in their roster after going on a spending spree in free agency, but they could still use some help up the middle of their defense. Christian Barmore is the best defensive tackle in a weak class, but does present some good potential if he stays healthy.

  1. Arizona Cardinals: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

The Cardinals have a glaring need at cornerback after losing Patrick Peterson and should make it a priority to find a starter there in the draft. Patrick Surtain II is the top cornerback in the class for many but falls to the middle of the 1st round because of an offense-heavy top part of the draft. 

  1. Las Vegas Raiders: EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State

There is a very good chance the Raiders go with an offensive tackle with this pick, but the allure of Jayson Oweh’s freakish athleticism is too strong to pass up. There is room in Gus Bradley’s defense for Oweh to play on the edge with players like Yannick Ngakoue, Clelin Ferrell, and Maxx Crosby also getting significant playing time. 

  1. Miami Dolphins: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

Brian Flores runs a great defense that is difficult to prepare for by often disguising blitzes with amorphous fronts and having an emphasis on having great coverage on the back end. With the secondary already well put together, they grab a great addition to their front 7 in Zaven Collins. Collins can operate well as an off-ball linebacker in coverage, line up on the edge, or blitz from any angle in those amorphous fronts. 

  1. Washington Football Team: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

The Washington Football Team wishes they could trade up for one of the top quarterbacks in this class, but they’re too far away to make it happen. They could also add some talent to the offensive side of the ball, but a glaring need at linebacker is addressed here instead. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah played a role in college that was stuck between linebacker and safety and didn’t show much ability to play in the box but, with Washington’s strong defensive line, he’ll be kept clean from blockers and will be free to use his speed and explosiveness to make plays.

  1. Chicago Bears: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

The Bears have a very strong defense and a very weak offense, which is not a great sign for an offensive-minded head coach. A quarterback is what they really need, but they need an immediate impact and can’t afford to take a risk on Mac Jones. Instead they take Christian Darrisaw who is one of the biggest risers of this season and will fit right in at right tackle for the Bears. 

  1. Minnesota Vikings: OT Brady Christensen, BYU

The Vikings love to trade down and stockpile picks. With their biggest need (offensive tackle) coinciding with a strong class at the position, they’re comfortable trading down to pass on a top tackle prospect in Samuel Cosmi to take Brady Christensen. Christensen is a great prospect in his own right and was one of the biggest reasons why Zach Wilson had all day to throw. He steps right in as the left tackle for the Vikings.  

*Tennessee Titans trade 1.22 to the New Orleans Saints for 1.28 and 3.98*

  1. New Orleans Saints: CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

The Saints have a few needs that need to be addressed, but the biggest one is at cornerback. They trade one of their extra day 2 picks to get their guy in Greg Newsome II. Newsome is a very solid player who has more athletic ability than many initially realized, which is very similar to the player he is most often compared to in Jaire Alexander. 

  1. New York Jets: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Robert Saleh got his franchise quarterback with the 2nd overall pick and now he can start to build up his defense. They got Carl Lawson in free agency to help with the pass rush and now start to build the secondary with Caleb Farley. Farley is a long, fast, and explosive athlete who falls to this point over injury concerns. However, he won’t need to contribute right away for the Jets and is a good long-term investment in this defense. 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

While other teams can’t afford to take the risk on Mac Jones, Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers regime have proven themselves enough to still have job security if this pick goes wrong. Jones wasn’t much of an NFL prospect then exploded in his only season starting in college. He will sit behind Ben Roethlisberger and acclimate to the NFL level before getting the chance to prove whether he’s the real deal or if he was just being uplifted by his surroundings at Alabama. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Adding offensive pieces around Trevor Lawrence would be a good idea but the Jaguars can afford to go after value with many picks in the first two days of the draft. Trevon Moehrig is the best safety in this class and would go higher if teams valued the position more. Moehrig has the potential to be a foundational piece in the Jaguars defense and pairs nicely with free agent addition Rayshawn Jenkins.

  1. Cleveland Browns: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

The Browns are a team with very few needs which puts them into a position to go after talent at high-reward positions. They could fill weaker spots of their roster with their pick, but they can do that later. Instead, they add Rashod Bateman to be the #3 WR in an offense that heavily uses multiple TE sets. Bateman can line up inside or outside and gives them depth in case Odell Beckham suffers more injuries. 

  1. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

John Harbaugh loves himself some Michigan players and also loves powerful edge defenders. Kwity Paye checks all of the boxes in that regard. He’s one of the better run defending players at the position and has a ton of athletic upside to boot. He could be one of the better players from this if he develops his pass rush moves in the NFL.

  1. Tennessee Titans: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

With the departure of Corey Davis, the Titans have a big hole to fill at wide receiver. Thankfully, Terrace Marshall Jr. is still on the board after their small trade down. Marshall is a tall and long receiver that mostly operated out of the slot in college. The Titans will have no problem asking him to take on a larger role as both a slot and boundary threat in the NFL considering they’ve done it before with AJ Brown who was in a very similar situation coming out of college.

*Green Bay Packers trade 1.29 to the Jacksonville Jaguars for 2.33 and 4.130*

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

The Jaguars trade up to get the explosive runningback they wanted and give Trevor Lawrence a familiar face while doing so. Travis Etienne could’ve entered the draft last year but stayed to try to win a championship. While they weren’t able to get that done, he gets to reunite with his quarterback in Jacksonville. 

  1. Buffalo Bills: EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

The Bills have done a very good job with filling out their roster and at this point have many significant needs. However, there are some areas that they would certainly like to upgrade and the pass rush is one of those. Azeez Ojulari will fit into the defense nicely starting off in a rotation with Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison. He’s an explosive edge rusher who holds up well in the run game who would benefit learning from a veteran player like Hughes.

*Kansas City Chiefs trade 1.31 and 3.94 to the Baltimore Ravens for OT Orlando Brown*

  1. Baltimore Ravens: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

This is a huge trade that should happen now rather than later. The Ravens need to trade Orlando Brown because he’s adamant on being a left tackle, which isn’t an option for them. The Ravens trade Brown while they can and get his replacement in the process. Teven Jenkins could very easily be taken well before this pick but, with so many good offensive tackle prospects in this class, he falls to the end of the round. He immediately becomes the starting right tackle for the Ravens. 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas

The Buccaneers are running it back with the team that won it all last year. They get more pass rush depth with this pick and make a strength even stronger. They could go with a wide receiver to replace Antonio Brown, but they still have very good receiving options. Joseph Ossai is another highly explosive edge defender who plays well against the run. He has a longer frame, which could allow him to add some additional weight and play from multiple spots along the line of scrimmage. 

Round 2

  1. Green Bay Packers: LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
  2. New York Jets: RB Najee Harris, Alabama 
  3. Atlanta Falcons: IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
  4. Miami Dolphins: IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
  5. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
  6. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

*Carolina Panthers trade 2.39 to the Minnesota Vikings for 2.54 and 3.90*

  1. Minnesota Vikings: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
  2. Atlanta Falcons: S Richie Grant, UCF
  3. Detroit Lions: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
  4. New York Giants: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
  5. San Francisco 49ers: DT Alim McNeill, NC State
  6. Dallas Cowboys: DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
  8. New England Patriots: LB Baron Browning, Ohio State

*Detroit Lions trade 2.47 to the Baltimore Ravens for 2.58 and 3.94*

  1. Baltimore Ravens: S Andre Cisco, Syracuse
  2. Las Vegas Raiders: OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa

*Arizona Cardinals trade 2.49 to the Cleveland Browns for 2.59, 4.110, and 5.169*

  1. Cleveland Browns: LB Jabril Cox, LSU
  2. Miami Dolphins: IOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
  3. Washington Football Team: DB Jevon Holland, Oregon
  4. Chicago Bears: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina
  5. Tennessee Titans: CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
  6. Carolina Panthers: S Caden Sterns, Texas
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina

*Seattle Seahawks trade 2.56 to the New York Jets for 3.66 and 4.107*

  1. New York Jets: OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
  2. Los Angeles Rams: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
  3. Detroit Lions: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
  4. Arizona Cardinals: S Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
  5. New Orleans Saints: LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
  6. Buffalo Bills: DB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
  7. Green Bay Packers: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
  8. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Daviyon Nixon, Iowa

Bonus picks so Seahawks and Texans fans have a pick to see for their team:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky
  2. Seattle Seahawks: IOL Trey Smith, Tennessee
  3. Houston Texans: IOL Quinn Meinerz, UW-Whitewater

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