Chicago Bears Offseason Guide: Three Moves For Ryan Poles To Make

Chicago Bears Off-Season
Image via Anthony Vazquez//Sun-Times

The Chicago Bears finally have new management. With the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus era ready to begin, no one knows how they will approach this team. Let’s take a look at three offseason moves the Chicago Bears could make.

1.) Bring In A Veteran Wide Receiver

Darnell Mooney should be a perfect partner for Justin Fields. Mooney’s deep threat ability is impressive and Justin Fields throws the best deep ball Chicago has seen since Jay Cutler. However, this offense needs more than one good weapon.

Allen Robinson is coming off of a brutal 2021 season. Some are pointing out that Matt Nagy iced him out of the offense because of a contract dispute. Others are just saying Robinson is washed up and this is the start of his decline. Either way, Allen Robinson will most likely not be back in 2022. Chicago needs new weapons on offense.

Bringing in a guy like Brandin Cooks could be the perfect solution. Cooks has had over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons. At 28 years old, he still has plenty of juice left in his game as well.

He’s a guy who Chicago would have to eat a lot of money for, but could provide a huge boost to this offense as well as help Justin Fields in his development. His 16 million dollar cap hit isn’t appealing, but Houston could look to trade him for nothing or even give up a draft pick to get him off of their books.

Chicago has 25 million dollars in salary cap space without making any cap saving moves heading into the 2022 off-season. If Ryan Poles wants to surround Justin Fields with talent in 2022, adding a proven veteran playmaker like Cooks would be a good under-the-radar move while gaining a late-round draft pick.

Another possibility is that Brandin Cooks becomes a cap-casualty in Houston and Chicago is able to sign him as a free agent at a much lower salary.

Projected Trade Compensation:

  • Chicago receives: Brandon Cooks, 2022 6th round (183rd overall) draft pick, 2022 6th round (206th overall) draft pick
  • Houston receives: 2022 6th round (185th overall) draft pick

2.) Trade Back From Pick #39

Ryan Poles inherited a less-than-ideal situation from former general manager Ryan Pace. With only five draft picks in 2022 and an aging roster. Chicago needs an injection of youth and talent.

The NFL draft is often times called a “crap shoot” because of how unpredictable it is. Players drafted in the top 50 picks sometimes ‘bust’, players drafted outside of the top 50 sometimes hit. It’s common sense, but taking as many “dart-throws” as possible could be a good way of adding talent without a first round draft pick.

To gain extra picks, Chicago is going to have to trade back from #39 overall. At the top of the second round is where we often see the most trades of the draft. With teams having a night to reassess and reconstruct draft boards, there’s a great chance teams will be calling for that pick.

If Chicago could trade back with a contender trying to win-now, they might be able to add a few extra draft picks in 2022 in the process.

A potential trade with the Los Angeles Chargers could make some sense. Brandon Staley and the Chargers are fighting to make the playoffs in a tough AFC conference.

Los Angeles has eleven draft picks in the upcoming draft. Trading away a few late round picks while jumping up ten spots in the draft could be beneficial for both sides. The Chicago Bears offseason would be a major success if they pulled off a trade of this caliber, while still drafting a difference maker.

*Note: Chicago traded up from 52nd overall to 39th overall last year and gave up their 3rd round pick (83rd overall) in the process as well, a trade of this size isn’t unrealistic.

Potential Trade:

  • Chicago receives: Los Angeles Chargers 2nd round draft pick (49th overall, 4th round (119th overall), 5th round (158th overall), 6th round (195th overall), 7th round (251st overall)
  • Los Angeles receives: Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick (39th overall)

3.) Prioritize Offense In The Draft

This is slightly more open ended for a Chicago Bears offseason move. Ryan Poles inherited Justin Fields. We assume that he likes Justin Fields and believes in him, but he did not make the choice to trade up for him and name him the next franchise quarterback.

Poles will have to find out as soon as possible if Justin Fields is the answer in Chicago. Similar to why the Bears need to bring in a veteran wide receiver, they also need to bring in young talent at offensive line and also at receiver.

Offensive Line Questions

Last season’s starting left tackle, right guard and right tackle Jason Peters, James Daniels and Germain Ifedi, respectively are all set to become a free agents. Teven Jenkins is still an unknown At left tackle. Poles has to operate as if he is the starter, but that shouldn’t hinder him from adding more talent along the offensive line.

Sam Mustifer was also below average as a starting center for Chicago last year and Poles could look to upgrade there as well.

Questions At Receiver

As mentioned above, Allen Robinson is most likely gone this offseason. Without many proven options on the roster to begin with, Chicago needs to continue to add playmakers, even if they do bring in a veteran like Brandin Cooks.

Drafting a wide receiver on day two of the draft would give Chicago a nice mix of veteran and youth talent.

A player like Chris Olave in the second round would be a perfect fit for Chicago. Although many draft analysts think me may be gone by then, Olave and Justin Fields’ chemistry from Ohio State would help both of their developments immensely.

Another option could be small-school standout, Christian Watson. Watson displayed surprising agility and route-running acumen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. At 6’4” he would also add a different body-style to the receiver room as well when paired with 5’11” Darnell Mooney.

Adding two or three new pass-catchers to this offense should be a priority for Ryan Poles as he tries to distinguish if Justin Fields is a star quarterback or not.

Chicago Bears Offseason Conclusion

“There’s a heigh ceiling. It’s just putting him [Justin Fields] in a position to succeed and seeing how high that ceiling really is.”

— Ryan Poles

The Chicago Bears offseason is going to be filled with moves. The defense is aging and the offense is under-developed. However, finding out if Justin Fields can be a great quarterback will be the priority. Building an offense to cater to his strengths will be offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s number one priority. Getting Luke Getsy all of the players he needs sounds like it will be Ryan Poles’ number one priority.


Be sure to follow us: @bears_atb and @ryanmcaloon on Twitter! Until next time, peace!

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 Offseason Goals

What do Joe Burrow and the Bengals do in the offseason to get back to the Super Bowl and win?
Photo Credit: NFL.com

Super Bowl Disappointment … Again

Prior to this past NFL season, most experts picked the Cincinnati Bengals to finish at the bottom of the AFC North. The young Bengals set out to prove the experts wrong and rode a wave of momentum created by an explosive offense and a stout defense straight to Super Bowl LVI. Unfortunately, for the third time in franchise history, the Bengals watched as a team from California celebrated winning the big game.

The young Bengals put up quite a fight and led late in the game; however, the pressure from the Rams defense proved too much. Aaron Donald sacked Joe Burrow on 4th and 1 to put an end to the game. The final sack hurts more because pictures show that Ja’marr Chase cooked Jalen Ramsey and was running wide open at the 20-yard line.

After the game, Burrow stated that the team will learn from its mistakes and will be back. I believe the Bengals can make it back; but, what offseason moves will help the team take the next step to Super Bowl Champions?

Bengals Offseason Goal #1: Protect Joe Burrow

The offensive line is a major, major problem. Opponents sacked Burrow 70 times this past season (including the postseason). He lost the 2020-2021 season to a demolished knee. Constant pressure left Burrow running for his life on countless occasions during the past two seasons.

To keep Joe Burrow alive and to take the next step, the Cincinnati Bengals need to address the offensive line. In 2021, the Bengals drafted Jackson Carman from Clemson and signed free agent Riley Reiff (who was sidelined with injuries, forcing Isaiah Prince into action). Carman, a tackle in college, played guard, but couldn’t perform consistently enough and ended up splitting time with Hakeem Adeniji at right guard.

Did I mention the offensive line was a major, major problem? In the regular season, Burrow played in all but the final game against Cleveland, amassing 51 sacks. While it is difficult to be accurate when your butt is on the turf, he threw for 4,611 yards and 34 TDs. Some of those sacks are on Burrow — he does tend to hold the ball a bit in order to try and make something happen. Imagine what he could do behind a serviceable offensive line.

Let’s not forget Joe Mixon, he is a stud (but not in the game at the end Zac?) who has run behind a lower-third graded run-blocking line. Solidifying the run game will make this offense that much more dangerous.

How do we fix the line? I’m glad you asked.

Bengals Offseason Goals: Free Agency

According to Spotrac, the Bengals have an estimated $55 million in cap space to spend in the upcoming offseason. Cincinnati dished out money to bolster the defense in the past two years (see D.J. Reader, Mike Hilton, Vonn Bell, Chidobe Awuzie, and Trey Hendrickson) — it is time to do the same on the offensive line.

Who should the Bengals target to help the line? Right guard was a mess, the position can be solidified by one of Brandon Scherff, Connor Williams, or Laken Thompson. If their potential price scares you, Andrew Norwell or Alex Cappa may provide cheaper options.

One of the aforementioned players could help shore up the middle, but what about the tackle spot? Terron Armstead would certainly look good blocking for Burrow (and Mixon). Move Jonah Williams to right tackle and slot Armstead at left tackle. Solid bookends. Riley Reiff remains a viable option here. Unfortunately, his season-ending injury may give the front office reason to be cautious.

The Bengals have plenty of money to spend and now have a team that can lure top free agents. Use that cache to improve the offensive line.

Bengals Offseason Goal: The Draft

If you prefer using the draft to improve the offensive line, there are plenty of options. Sitting in the 31st spot, a player the caliber of Trevor Penning or Bernhard Raimann could slip to the Bengals. Both of these young men are solid performers that could play early in their careers. A darkhorse candidate here is Zion Johnson, a versatile player who played snaps at both tackle and guard at Boston College.

The Bengals should also target an interior pass rusher, a tight end, and a young corner in the draft.

The Ultimate Goal: Build a Winner

The Cincinnati Bengals were so close to winning the Super Bowl, but all hope is not lost. The front office built a solid team through the draft and recent free agency. Now, the Bengals just need to follow the blueprint for another offseason. Another good run through free agency and the draft could insure that the AFC North will run through Cincinnati for years to come.

New England Patriots and RAS

How does a franchise with a model of consistency stack up to the RAS?

The New England Patriots RAS score is in the good hands of Bill Belichick’s dog Nike.
(Credit: The Boston Globe)

The New England Patriots bring us back to the realm of RAS, or Relative Athletic Score. This team remains an interesting one from the front office perspective. Bill Belichick has been the head coach/GM of the Patriots since he was hired in 2000. He had split some of the duties with Scott Pioli before he left, but Belichick was still the head guy with final say. With all that being said, there is no reason to go back to 2000. Draft strategies change, so we’ll look back to 2016.

You can find previous parts here: https://atbnetwork.com/author/bmaafi1125/

Quarterbacks:

Generally quarterbacks and RAS scores are kind of unimportant outside of maybe a team here or there. Most teams want a guy who can at least move around the pocket a little and could get a few yards if a play breaks down.

With that, let’s take a look at the Patriots. Since 2016 they have drafted four quarterbacks: Jacoby Brissett, Danny Etling, Jarrett Stidham, and Mac Jones. Etling was the most athletic with a 8.31 RAS score and Brissett was the lowest with a 4.53. All four average out to a 6.38, which ironically enough rates average overall.

In fact, it’s a pretty common average; most teams are around there or slightly higher. All four have been at least 6’2 and 217+ pounds. Essentially, New England likes solid sized QBs, which is also pretty normal among NFL teams.

Running backs:

The running backs for the Patriots are kind of interesting. Belichick has drafted only three since 2016: Sony Michel, Damien Harris, and Rhamondre Stevenson. Michel had the highest RAS score of the three at 8.96, but Harris and Stevenson both rated under 6.5.

At this position, it would seem overall athleticism is not that important to Belichick. All have similar size (between 5’10”-5’11” and 214-230), yet they don’t have any testing numbers that stand out. For example, Michel was the fastest of the three in the 40-yard-dash, clocking in at 4.54. So it would reason pure speed is not that important to them, especially since they all demonstrate average agility.

Tight Ends:

Since 2016 Bill Belichick has drafted only three tight ends: Ryan Izzo, Dalton Keene, and Devin Asiasi. All three are 6’3″-6’4″ and weigh between 253-257. Just going off this, and given the former Gronk factor, the Patriots like larger tight ends. As for RAS scores, this position once again rates average overall at 6.66.

Keene is a freak athlete with a 9.34 RAS score, but Izzo and Asiasi are both in the below/average range. It does look like they want tight ends with decent speed as Asiasi and Keene both run in the low 4.7’s. They all test at least average in explosion factor. All three are average to excellent in their 10-yard splits, so this might be something to watch.

Wide Receivers:

They Patriots have drafted five receivers since 2016: Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien in 2016, Braxton Berrios in 2018, N’Keal Harry in 2020, and Tre Nixon in 2021. The average RAS score of them is a solid 7.58. Even better, three of the five are above an 8.0. Four of them measure between 6’0″-6’3″ and weigh 187+, with two of them currently over 200 pounds.

Outside of Berrios, they seem to prefer bigger receivers. They appear to factor in vertical jump as four of the five registered a 36″ vertical or higher. 40-yard-dash speed does seem to be something they key in as well. Harry was the slowest at 4.53, while the others were under 4.5, including three in the 4.45 range. Four of the five also scored at least average in agility testing.

Offensive Line:

One position the Patriots have made sure not to avoid is definitely offensive line. They have drafted 11 offensive linemen since 2016. Seven of them were interior offensive linemen, specifically guards. There was a solid average RAS score of 7.15. The guards even averaged a 7.51.

tackles:

The tackles averaged a 6.66, but that was mostly brought down by Justin Herron’s 3.99. The other two tackles were Antonio Garcia (7.29) and Conor McDermott (8.7). As to their size, the tackles varied from 6’4″-6’8″, but their weights did not show a lot of variety; they ranged from 302-312.

Arm length seemed to vary from 33 1/3″ – 34 3/4″. Explosion grades were at least average, while 40 and 10-yard splits were all average to a little slow. Agility testing does not seem to be something that they value at tackle; while two had poor agility testing, McDermott tested well.

guards:

The guards heights vary from 6’3″-6’5″, but weight wise there was a lot more variety. The lightest was Dustin Woodward at 295 and the heaviest was Michael Onwenu at 344. Another area that had a big range was arm length, which was between 31 1/4″-34 1/3″.

All of the guards tested at least average in explosion testing, specifically the broad jump. Speed does not seem to be a priority; the 40 speeds range from 4.95-5.34. As to agility testing, it seems that they prefer at least average agility. Only one drafted guard tested poorly in this area: Ted Karras.

Defensive line:

From 2016 to 2021, New England has drafted only three defensive linemen: Vincent Valentine, Byron Cowart, and Christian Barmore. The three of their RAS scores average out to a 6.6. They all do have similar height (6’3″ or 6’4″), while weight varies a bit from Cowart’s 298 to Valentine’s 329. It does look like they value arm length in their DL; the shortest is 33 1/8″ and longest is 34 3/4″.

There’s no explosion testing from Barmore, but Cowart and Valentine tested well, especially on the broad jump. Straight line speed does not seem to a priority here. Barmore ran fast, but his 10-yard split was just average. Meanwhile, Cowart and Valentine did not run well. All three had average to poor agility testing, so that might not be a priority either.

Edge:

Since 2016 the Patriots have drafted six edge defenders: Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise (2017), Chase Winovich (2019), Anfernee Jennings and Josh Uche (2020), and Ronnie Perkins (2021). There are only RAS scores for four, and they collectively average out to an athletic 7.9. There does not seem to be any threshold on height with Uche at 6’1″ and Wise at 6’5″.

A similar feature comes from weight – Uche was the lightest at 245 and Wise being the heaviest at 278. Outside of Wise, they appear to trend more on the light side; the rest are between 245 and 256. Arm length does seem somewhat important to them; the shortest arms tested were 32 7/8″ with Wise the longest at 35 5/8″.

They do seem to have a threshold as far as explosion testing, as all of them tested at least average or above. Straight line speed does seem to have some importance to them. Outside of Wise, everyone ran a 4.7 or faster with two running 4.6. They also seem to like guys with good or better agility.

Linebackers:

The Patriots have drafted five linebackers since 2016. Despite this, only three of them have RAS scores. The average RAS score of those three is a pretty solid 7.04. Height wise, they seem to like shorter linebackers, with all between 5’11” and 6’1″. There is some range in weight (two guys at 234 and the the other 248).

Arm length does not seem to be particularly important to them, ranging from 31 1/2″ to 32 1/4″. There does seem to be something to them liking their linebackers with decent speed as they all ran sub-4.75 in the 40-yard-dash. Their agility testing is average, though explosive testing isn’t of importance since they range from bad to very good.

Defensive backs:

The one position the Patriots have loaded up on is defensive back. Since 2016, they’ve drafted eight in this area, with three coming from the safety position. Although this is a trend with most NFL teams, it also seems to be a position where testing scores are more dependent.

The RAS scores on all but one came back with a good average of 8.37. Duke Dawson and Cyrus Jones do bring the average score down a bit; both tested about average (6.62 and 6.45, respectively). If one averaged out strictly the cornerbacks, this score actually drops to a 7.87. Two of the three safeties scored over 9.5, with only Joshuah Bledsoe failing to provide a score.

When it comes to height, three out of the four corners are 5’9″ or 5’10”, so they may have a preference for shorter corners. Of course the fifth is Joejuan Williams, who is 6’4″. With the safeties there is some variety from 5’11” to 6’2″. Weight wise, all eight players ranged from 197 to 217. This position, however, is where explosion testing mattered immensely.

While Cyrus Jones tested poorly, the rest all tested above average to elite. They also seem to like their defensive backs fast, and yes there are teams that do not prioritize it. Outside of Kyle Dugger, all run a 4.49 or faster, while the 10-yard splits are all varied.

In regards to agility drills, the Patriots want their defensive backs to have at least good agility. Of all these players, Duke Dawson was the only one with poor agility scores. Also, the 3-cone drill might be a little more important than short shuttle.

Mock Packers Off-Season 1.0

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the 2021 NFL Season just started, it is never too early to talk about the offseason. Here is a mock Packers off-season for your reading pleasure.

Most of us know that teams do this stuff all through out the season. They work many different scenarios to prepare themselves for the offseason and also to work out their plan A, B, C, etc… Now obviously these change throughout the season due to injuries, trades, resigning’s, etc… So I will periodically update this through out the season and the coming off season to give you guys an idea of what the Packers are probably planning. Its too soon to go through the probably 50 plans they have right now so I will just go over what I think are the top two.

The cap numbers I will present in this article are not exact. They are ball park/rounding up or down. This is just to give an idea what the plan could be. I did use cap numbers from overthecap.com. You could also look up Ken Ingallas on twitter at twitter.com/keningalls

Heading into the 2022 season the Packers are projected to be about 40 million over the cap. So to get under here are the moves I feel the Packers will do.

Trades:

Trade Aaron Rodgers post 6/1. This will give them a cap relief of about 27 million.

Cuts:

Preston Smith pre June 1 which saves 7.25 million. Billy Turner post June 1 which nets them another 3.14 million. Kevin King post June 1 as well, which saves them another 750k. Marcedes Lewis which saves 2.08 million. Dean Lowry which takes off another 2.1 million and Randall Cobb which saves about 2.8 million.

Extentions:

I feel the Packers will extend Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, and Za’Darius Smith to the maximum salary cap savings for 2022, than take a big hit on ’23 and ’24 when the cap is expected to go up a lot. The most they can save on Z is 12.2, Jaire would be 10.64, and Amos would be 6 million.

Free Agents:

I feel in this scenario they let Issac Yiadom, Tyler Lancaster, MVS, Lucas Patrick, Oren Burks, De’Vondre Campbell(he is technically under contract), Dennis Kelly, Robert Tonyan, Will Redmond.

They resign Davante Adams, Allen Lazard(who is a restricted free agent) and any other lower tier free agents and or restricted free agents like Bojorquez, Nijman, Malik Taylor, Dafney, Black, etc…

Before those signings they would have about 26 million in cap space, which seems like a decent amount; but its not. You need space for your draft class, undrafted free agents, your practice squad, and any restricted free agents as well. You also want to leave yourself a few million of space in season in case you need to sign a free agent due to injuries or move a few guys up from the PS to the active roster. Davante and Lazard would take up most of the space. There would probably be a few million let to sign one or two lower tier free agents like a Dennis Kelly or De’Vondre Campbell level player. They would not have the space to sign Tonyan or MVS unless they did more restructuring.

Draft:

With that being the roster entering the draft this would be how I would think Gutekunst would approach the draft.

29. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami-Fl

Right tackle of the future. His style of player. Young, athletic with tons of upside. Could move to left tackle down the line.

61. Deslin Alexandre, DT, Pittsburgh

Clark needs more help. Slaton helps against the run. They need more help getting after the QB.

93. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens is MVS’ replacement. He’s not not as purely physically talented, but he has higher upside. Way better hands. He needs a lot of work on his release package. Perfect guy to learn from in Adams. If he develops he’s a #1 receiver.

129.Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Replacement for Tonyan. Similar skill set. Great hands. OK blocker. Good route runner. Decent athlete.

161. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Athletic freak to replace Campbell as the weakside backer. He could be the dime backer by year two.

196. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Perfect fit for the star spot. He can play inside, outside, safety, defend the run, can even blitz a little. Has good size too. Like a poor mans Charles Woodson.

224. Zamir White, RB, Georgia

Freakish explosion. Could return kicks and is just a value pick.

Second option:

Everything is the same as above but Davante walks and they resign both Lazard and MVS.

28. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Lazard and MVS are both great #2/#3 receivers but neither is a true #1. This mock draft didn’t fall the way the last one did. Receivers went a lot earlier.

60.Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

Similar to Nelson. Athletic freak with tons of upside. Last year was his first as a starter.

92. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Same as above

130. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

another athletic freak with upside. Packers will need a 3rd pass rusher.

135. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

Packers finally get their 3rd safety. High RAS guy. Lots of upside, still a bit inconsistent.

170. LaRon Stokes, IDL, Oklahoma

Similar to Alexandre. a DL to help with the pass rush.

206. Jammie Robinson, CB, Florida State

South Carolina transfer that has upside.

219. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Blocking TE with some receiving upside to replace Marcedes.

248. Zacch Pickens, IDL, South Carolina

Another DL with upside

Pre-Season 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Some of the members of the Around The Block scouting department have put together a way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Each member was given 3-4 NFL teams to be the General Manager and final decision maker for. The draft order was taken from Tankathon. This is an early look at who might be taken and what positions teams may target next April. Happy Mock Draft Friday everyone!

1.) Houston Texans

Spencer Rattler, Quarterback, Oklahoma

“As of right now, it is safest to operate under the assumption that Deshaun Watson will not play for the Houston Texans by the time the 2022 NFL Draft roll around. Therefore, even in a relatively weak quarterback draft class, the Texans need a new face of the franchise. Spencer Rattler is among the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football, on the ground and through the air, and has a good chance to lead the Sooners to a national title this year. He is an excellent cornerstone on which to rebuild this franchise.” – Mitchell

2.) Detroit Lions

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge Rusher, Oregon

“The Detroit Lions are in the beginning of a new rebuild under Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell. Instead of forcing a quarterback here they opt to take Kayvon Thibodeaux, maybe the best prospect in this class. Thibodeaux’s blend of get off speed and strength helps him dominate as a pass rusher and a run defender. Dan Campbell seemingly wants to play smash-mouth football and Kayvon Thibodeaux helps in that department.” – Ryan

3.) Cincinnati Bengals

Derek Stingley jr., Cornerback, LSU

“Derek Stingley Jr. is a potential lockdown corner in the NFL. The Bengals just lost William Jackson III and have a massive need at corner. While they have other needs as well, Stingley is the best player available.” – Daniel

4.) New York Jets

Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

“Going into the ‘21-‘22 CFB season, Kyle Hamilton may be the single best player in the entire draft class. While examining the fit with the New York Jets defense under Robert Saleh, Hamilton would be a near perfect fit. This fit would likely be an expansion of a role similar to that of safety Jimmie Ward; a multiple safety within the 49ers defense between ‘17-20 while Saleh was the defensive coordinator.

Hamilton at 6’4” and 218 lbs has tremendous ability to play downhill in the run game while matching elite receivers for opposing offenses without compromising size. The selection of Hamilton gives GM Joe Douglas a two way go in the Safety room, allowing for Marcus Maye to be resigned and play alongside Hamilton or have Hamilton serve as a replacement for Maye.

Derrick Stingley Jr. would have also been a great pick here for the Jets but with him off the board the decision was easy; Kyle Hamilton would be a home run pick for the New York Jets.” – Marcus

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars

Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

“The Jaguars came go into the 2022 offseason with contracts to re-sign, and with the Jaguars contract situation being as wishy-washy as it is with Cam Robinson, it’s safe to assume the organization may look to go in a different direction.

That direction is Neal, a 6’7, 380 pound offensive tackle from Alabama. Noted for his physicality and athleticism, Neal has been named the number one offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL Draft by Pro Football Focus.” – Derrick

6.) Philadelphia Eagles

Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty

“If the Eagles are drafting in this spot, it’s safe to say that hurts did not play well. The Eagles take an athletic specimen in Willis, who has some accuracy problems. Hopefully, during the 2022 season, he can iron those out. Willis’ big arm working with Devonta Smith would be electric to watch on Sundays.” – Luke

7.) Atlanta Falcons

Carson Strong, Quarterback, Nevada

“With a new head coach in Arthur Smith, and new general manager in Terry Fontenot, it’s not hard to imagine that the two may look for Matt Ryan’s successor in 2022.

Coming out Nevada, the Falcons opt for Nevada Wolfpack quarterback Carson Strong. The 2020 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Quarterback Class of 2020 member threw for 27 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions in his 2020 campaign. On a 70% completion percentage, Strong showed off great care with the football. He is exactly what the Falcons need to carry them into the future.” – Derrick

8.) Las Vegas Raiders

Kenyon Green, Offensive Lineman, Texas A&M

“The Las Vegas Raiders did some retooling along the offensive line this offseason. While their coaching staff seems to have faith in the players currently on the roster, the results this year could shake that faith. Kenyon Green is among the best talents in this entire draft class regardless of positional value. He will play left tackle for the Aggies this year after two seasons at guard, but should be a good to great player at either spot. With Mike Mayokck (and possibly Jon Gruden) on the hots eat, shoring up the trenches is a major necessity for the Raiders.” – Mitchell

9.) New York Giants

Drake Jackson, Edge Rusher, USC

“The Giants, on paper, seem like a solid unit at every position, especially after investing so heavily on their defense the last two years. However, the EDGE position is still lacking a premiere player at this point. A guy like Drake Jackson could be a solution to that issue. Jackson is long, possesses adequate strength, and the motor that head coach Joe Judge would love. Jackson’s athleticism helps him fit the blended style the Giants’ pass rushers play with, essentially providing them an immediate starter that can bookend 2020 second rounder Azeez Ojulari.” – Felix

10.) Carolina Panthers

Sam Howell, Quarterback, North Carolina

“Carolina and Matt Rhule opted to pass on a Quarterback in the 2020 draft and chose to trade for Sam Darnold instead. If Carolina is picking in the top 10 again next year the Darnold experiment probably didn’t go as planned and they’ll be looking for a younger, cheaper option with more potential for the future. Howell will have a lot to prove at UNC this season with his top four weapons all getting drafted last April, if he succeeds this season Howell could propel himself into the top 3 next April.” – Ryan

11.) New York Giants (via Chi)

Christian Harris, Linebacker, Alabama

“Similar to the pick of Jackson, the Giants have added many players, but outside of starting inside linebacker Blake Martinez, there is a sore lack of depth/talent. Christian Harris has the potential to be an immediate starter inside. With a solid frame, good athleticism and short area quickness, he would be a tremendous fit within defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme. Going defense may irritate some fans, but bolstering the depth of the team’s strength makes sense long-term, especially with the high talent of Jackson and Harris.” – Felix

12.) Arizona Cardinals

Kaiir Elam, Cornerback, Florida

“Arizona let Patrick Peterson walk in free agency after 10 great seasons with the organization. Arizona has spent plenty of draft capital on defense in recent years but they must replace Peterson’s wide-receiver-erasing presence to truly be a championship-caliber defense under Vance Joseph. Kaiir Elam has NFL bloodlines through his father, Abraham and Uncle Matt Elam. Kaiir has the size (6’2” 195lbs.) and speed to potentially fill the role as a lockdown cornerback.” – Ryan

13.) Washington Football Team

Phil Jurkovic, Quarterback, Boston College

“The QB I think will have the biggest rise on draft boards goes to Washington. Whether Phil Jurkovec is sitting behind Fitzpatrick for a year or battling it out with Taylor Heinicke, he is a great fit in Washington. His big frame and strong arm give off Rothlisburger vibes coming out of Boston College.” – Luke

14.) Minnesota Vikings

Chris Olave, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

“Minnesota has two more seasons of Kirk Cousins before they have to decide if Kellen Mond is the quarterback of the future. The best chance the Vikings have at maximizing Kirk Cousins and helping Kellen Mond become their franchise quarterback is by surrounding them with talent at the skill positions. Olave joins rookie sensation Justin Jefferson and former all-pro Adam Thielen to form a great trio of receivers. Each being able to play any position that is asked of them. Olave brings smooth route running and blazing speed to the Minnesota offense running an unofficial 4.38 last off-season, a perfect compliment to Jefferson and Thielen.” – Ryan

15.) Pittsburgh Steelers

Andrew Booth jr., Cornerback, Clemson

“The Pittsburgh Steelers let two of their starting corners walk in free agency this offseason, leaving the future of the cornerback position very much in question. Joe Haden is on the wrong side of the 30 and Pittsburgh needs someone to groom behind him and eventually become the #1 CB. Booth hasn’t played that much for the Tigers, but he’s been excellent in a small sample size. If he can continue along that trajectory in 2021, he could be a great fit for the Steel Curtain, both in the short and long run.” – Mitchell

16.) Denver Broncos

Adam Anderson, Edge Rusher, Georgia

“The Broncos have an aging edge rusher in Von Miller and Adam Anderson can help fill that role. Anderson needs to put on more muscle, but is already an extremely effective pass rusher with a quick first step.” – Daniel

17.) Los Angeles Chargers

Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

“Mike Williams is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2022 and Los Angeles must continue to surround their budding star quarterback Justin Herbert with weapons. Even if Williams is re-signed, Garrett Wilson would still be a perfect compliment to Williams with his ability to beat coverage defensive backs on all levels of the field. Keenan Allen would move seamlessly into the slot and create maybe the best wide receiver trio in the NFL in a couple of years.” – Ryan

18.) New England Patriots

Zach Harrison, Edge Rusher, Ohio State

“The Patriots are always a wild card team in terms of their draft selections, so selecting a player that, at least, made sense was the best option here. Harrison is a high potential, high-motor player that has flashed the ability to play in space, with a hand in the dirt, and to wreak havoc in the backfield. With that kind of versatility, head coach Bill Belichick would appreciate this pick.” – Felix

19.) New Orleans Saints

Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Arkansas

“Micky Loomis did it again. He got the Saints under the cap while retaining key pieces such as QB Jaimes Winston and DS Marcus Williams. However, in that effort to get under the cap in the same offseason the Saints lost Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees and DE Trey Hendrickson.

At the conclusion of the ‘21-‘22 NFL season, the Saints are projected to be well past striking distance of a young top tier QB but I don’t think that matter to much because Jamies Winston is going to ball out.

Adding WR Treylon Burks of Arkansas to the Saints brings size (6’3” 230lbs) to an offense that needs a number two WR to complement Michael Thomas. Burks is a receiver that can be utilized across an offensive formation both outside and in the slot while threatening vertically.

Ultimately, going with Burks was best player available and a pick could be justified at about any position group other than offensive line for the Saints. Burks would be a force in the same offense at Kamara, Thomas. Trautman and others.” – Marcus

20.) Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami)

Demarvin Leal, Defensive Lineman, Texas A&M

“Demarvin Leal goes to Philly to learn from Fletcher Cox. Cox is getting up there and Philly might be looking to move on soon. Leal comes right in, learns from one of the best and his athleticism does the rest. Leal could be a cornerstone for the future of the Eagles.” – Luke

21.) Dallas Cowboys

George Karlaftis, Edge Rusher, Purdue

“The Cowboys have a massive need at edge rusher opposite Demarcus Lawrence. Lawrence’s best season came when he had Robert Quinn on the other side of him. George Karlaftis has a lot of upside and can be highly effective, especially as a second edge rusher. He did not play much in 2020 due to injury, COVID, and the shortened season, so this is a projection based off of his freshman season in 2019. He has a chance to go much higher if he can live up to expectations in 2021.” – Daniel

22.) New York Jets (via Sea)

Ikem Ekwonu, Offensive Lineman, N.C. State

“When looking at the draft eligible OL in ‘21-22 CFB season, Ekwonu stands out from the rest of the group due to his size (6’4” 320lbs) and particular ability to be a devastating run blocker. While examining the fit with the New York Jets offense, understanding that GM Joe Douglas prioritizes adding to the OL makes this pick all the more clear.

Building a strong OL unit around Zach Wilson will allow for him to light up the offense just as he did at BYU. Ekwonu would also help open up rushing lanes in the outside zone scheme with his ability to finish blocks and dominate defenders on the second level. Adding Ekwonu to an OL group with Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker on the “cheap” for three years would be unfair and something that any football fan would want to see.

Adding a pass rusher such such as Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders and Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson would likely give pause to selecting Ikem Ekwonu. However, ultimately Joe Douglas is likely to choose to protect his franchise quarterback before anything else.” – Marcus

23.) Tennessee Titans

Brandon Joseph, Safety, Northwestern

“Brandon Joseph is a versatile, do-it-all safety for Northwestern. He was an extremely productive as a redshirt freshman last year. He can play next to Byard as the Titans look to rebuild their secondary along with 2021 1st round pick Caleb Farley at corner.” – Daniel

24.) Philadelphia Eagles (via Indy)

DeMarvion Overshown, Linebacker, Texas

“Overshown is the steal of the first round. Super talented athlete you can build a defense around. I want to see his play recognition improve this season but that comes with time and reps. If the Eagles manage to get Leal and Overshown their defense completely changes course for the future.” – Luke

25.) Cleveland Browns

John Metchie III, Wide Receiver, Alabama

“What do they have in the Alabama Crimson Tide water?!? John Metchie III is a tantalizing WR prospect that is next up from Alabama following a line of accomplished young WRs in the NFL.

When looking at the roster in Cleveland, there exist very few roster holes that need to be addressed looking at current construction. However at the end of next season, GM Andrew Berry will need to be fiscally mindful as it will be time to consider pending free agents such as OL Wyatt Teller and DS Ronnie Harrison and upcoming contracts for the Browns franchise cornerstones of Denzel Ward and Baker Mayfield. With the play speed and route running of Metchie III, the integration with the Cleveland offense would be near seamless. Methcie III fits the draft profile of athleticism, character and age of a round one pick.

Adding a pass rusher such such as Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders and Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson was tempting. However, adding an explosive playmaker on offense is more impactful towards overall team success.” – Marcus

26.) Green Bay Packers

Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC

“It has been a running joke that Green Bay and Brian Gutekunst have refused to give Aaron Rodgers any weapons for the past few NFL Drafts. Green Bay has not spent a first, second or third round draft choice on a wide receiver since selecting Davante Adams 53rd overall in 2014. Gutenkunst and Matt LaFleur know that the 2021 NFL season will most likely be the last season they have Aaron Rodgers on their team and they need Jordan Love to work out badly so they don’t look too bad for running one of the best quarterbacks of all-time out of town. Davante Adams future is also in question because of contract disputes, even if Adams were on the team past 2021 Green Bay needs more weapons for their young quarterback. Drake London is a monster target at 6’5” and 210lbs. London will provide Love (or for the more optimistic Packers fans, Aaron Rodgers) a huge sideline target with Mike Evans-esque jump ball ability every where on the field, especially the red area.” – Ryan

27.) Miami Dolphins (via SF)

Tyler Linderbaum, Center, Iowa

“Miami is building a wall in front of Tua Tagovailoa, selecting five offensive linemen in the past two NFL drafts. However, none of those offensive linemen have played center for a full season in college or the NFL and Miami has a hole at the position currently with Matt Skura being on a one year deal. Tyler Linderbaum is the best player available at a position of need for a team that has shown commitment to spending resources on the trenches. This is a match made in heaven, even if it isn’t the sexist pick of the draft it might be one of the best. Linderbaum is one of the best linemen in the draft, offensive or defensive. Linderbaum is an ex-wrestler who understands how to use leverage, his mean streak attitude is exactly what you need if you want to be a perennial pro-bowl offensive lineman, and he’s well coached coming from Iowa, also known as Offensive-Line University.” – Ryan

28.) Baltimore Ravens

Aidan Hutchinson, Defensive Lineman, Michigan

“Baltimore’s Modus Operandi (M.O.) is to sit back and take whichever talented player falls to them, if it’s a position of need even better. Aidan Hutchinson could be viewed as the best player available here and also could fill an incoming hole on their defensive line. At 6’6” 270lbs. Hutchinson could fill in for Calais Campbell if Baltimore isn’t able to re-sign him, although Campbell is currently 35 years old so expecting more years out of him is a gamble. Hutchison could pair with Justin Madubuike and form a young and fearsome front seven with Odafe Oweh and Patrick Queen also being recent first round draft picks.” – Ryan

29.) Buffalo Bills

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

“Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati: “The Buffalo Bill have one the best rosters in the NFL, both on offense and defense. But the cornerback spot across from Tre’Davious White is a glaring weakness on an otherwise Super Bowl-caliber roster. If the Bills want to continue to contend with the Chiefs for supremacy in the AFC, improving their pass defense is crucial. Sauce Gardner is a big, long corner who would fit very well into the Bills’ zone-heavy defense. He’s a bit grabby, but working with Sean McDermott and learning from White should help him rectify that issues, giving Buffalo one of the best corner tandems in the conference.” – Mitchell

30.) Detroit Lions (via LAR)

Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, USC

“Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell stay patient with their second overall selection and it pays off. Kedon Slovis had one of the most impressive true freshman season we have ever seen, throwing with pinpoint accuracy and great decision making, looking like he would be easily in contention for a top 5 selection when he was draft eligible. Unfortunately Slovis had a rough sophomore season, throwing 7 interceptions in only 6 games and looking lost at times. However, it was later found out that he had been dealing with a shoulder injury the entire season which makes this 2021 season very important for him. Slovis must go back to looking like he did in his freshman season to have a chance at being selected in the first round next April.” – Ryan

31.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jalen Wydermyer, Tight End, Texas A&M

“The Buccaneers have a lot of superstars, but with Rob Gronkowski in-and-out of retirement, slowed production from OJ Howard on the last season of his contract, Tampa Bay is in the market for a young playmaker.

Wydermyer, the star tight end out of Texas A&M, is the next man up. At 6’5, 265 pounds, Wydermyer brings incredible length and route running abilities with him, as well as capabilities as a blocker. The 2020 Second Team All-SEC star caught 46 passes for 506 yards and six touchdowns in his 2020 sophomore campaign.” – Derrick

32.) Kansas City Chiefs

Myjai Sanders, Edge Rusher, Cincinnati

“Sanders has quick feet and decent fluidity in his hips to handle duties in space or to read/react to plays in the backfield. But most impressive is his first step quickness, able to knife through holes or around tackles both inside and out. While he’s rather thin in his lower half, he plays with his head on fire, and that’s something the Chiefs need desperately at the edge position. Outside of Frank Clark and newly added rookie Joshua Kaindoh, there isn’t much in the EDGE cupboard for Kansas City. Sanders this late is a no-brainer for them.” – Felix