We're almost there kids. Just a few days away from the NFL Draft. Finally, something sports-related is happening. It's been the longest month of my life without sports and it made me realize that I need to appreciate sports more than I already do. I need to watch that Dolphins vs. Bengals week four game. I need to watch that mid-November matchup between the Wizards and Bulls. I need to watch that shitty August, dog days of summer, 1:10 first pitch between the Royals and Tigers. I'll never take sports for granted again.
I'm done ranting, here's my final mock before Thursday's NFL Draft. Hope y'all enjoy it. Note: I don't have any trades in this mock. If you think a certain player falls too far, it's because I believe the team that selects that player will move up to get him (You'll see with Justin Herbert).
Mock Draft 3.0.
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow QB LSU
Joe Burrow has been the clear number one pick since December. He gets a chance to revitalize a Bengals franchise that has been stuck in mediocrity for the past decade.
2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young Edge Ohio State
Chase Young is the best player in the draft. Getting him at #2 is a huge win for the Washington Redskins. He joins a very underrated front seven in Washington, with multiple first-round picks, including last year's first-rounder Montez Sweat, Johnathan Allen, and Ryan Kerrigan.
3. Detroit Lions- Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
The Detroit Lions will most likely be trading back here, but if they were to stay in this spot, Ohio State's Jeff Okudah is the obvious selection. He's the best man coverage corner in the draft and fits well alongside the newly acquired Desmond Trufant.
4. New York Giants- Jedrick Wills Jr. OT Alabama
My favorite tackle in the draft. He allowed just one sack against power five schools since he became the full-time starter at tackle for the Crimson Tide. Helps rebuild a bottom ten offensive line in the league and helps Barkley and Daniel Jones continuing improvement.
5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
I had Justin Herbert here my first two mocks, but I think that Miami ends up taking Tua here. Despite injury concerns, he’s the clear second-best quarterback prospect and has one of the higher ceilings of the group. Miami gets their signal caller of the future and a pretty good one at that.
6. Los Angeles Chargers- Isaiah Simmons LB/S/Everything Clemson
Oh boy, if the Chargers can get Isaiah Simmons, everybody run. They have experience with taking a guy (Derwin James) who was supposed to go way higher but slipped right into their arms. Simmons can do literally anything, so I'm sure that Los Angeles will find a spot for him on their already stacked defense.
7. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Brown IDL Auburn
The rebuilding Panthers have a lot of options here and I think trading down is a possibility, but if they don’t Derrick Brown has to be the pick. Carolina’s defense got significantly worse this offseason, so adding Brown is a good start to rebuilding the defense.
8. Arizona Cardinals- Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
Wills is their top choice, but they have a good backup plan in Tristan Wirfs. In Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, you need guys who are able to move and there’s none better in this draft than Wirfs.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars- C.J. Henderson CB Florida
C.J. Henderson's stock has been on the rise since the end of the season. Some are even saying that he's a better cover guy than Jeff Okudah. Jacksonville is extremely thin at corner and Henderson gives them a nice building block on a young, rebuilding defense.
10. Cleveland Browns- Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
Andrew Thomas is the most NFL ready tackle in the draft. He's been a starter at left tackle since his freshman year and has had to deal with the toughest of defenses in college football's best conference. Great in pass pro and gives Baker Mayfield a solid blindside protector.
11. New York Jets- Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
It's a toss-up whether the Jets go with receiver or offensive tackle. It has come out in recent days that the Jets LOVE Henry Ruggs and I don't blame them. He's the fastest man in the draft, but he's not just a speed guy, he's a great receiver to boot. Ruggs would give Sam Darnold a very unique weapon that will make a major impact as soon as he steps on the field.
12. Las Vegas Raiders- CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has said in recent days that you can find a #1 WR in round three and beyond. However, he won't pass up on the chance to draft CeeDee Lamb here. Lamb was impressive in his three years at Oklahoma, but saved his best for last with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. He gives the Raiders a guy who can do damage after the catch, as well as an enormous catch radius. Furthermore, he provides a nice complement to Tyrell Williams on the outside.
13. San Francisco 49ers- Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has said in recent days that you can find a #1 WR in round three and beyond. However, he won't pass up on the chance to draft CeeDee Lamb here. Lamb was impressive in his three years at Oklahoma but blossomed in his final year with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. He gives the Raiders a guy who can do damage after the catch, as well as an enormous catch radius. Furthermore, he provides a nice complement to Tyrell Williams on the outside.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Javon Kinlaw IDL South Carolina
This isn't really a need pick, but more of a best player available, high upside pick. Javon Kinlaw was awesome last year, especially in South Carolina's upset win against Georgia. He brings a pass-rushing element that would complement Vita Vea's run-stopping really well. There's injury concerns with Kinlaw, but I don't think the Bucs can pass on him in this spot.
15. Denver Broncos- Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
I could see Mekhi Becton falling a little bit, not because of physical measurements, but because he isn't as polished as the other three offensive tackles taken before him. However, he has the highest ceiling and is already the best run blocker out of the quartet. He replaces Garrett Bolles, who struggled at tackle and could use a shift to guard to be more effective.
16. Atlanta Falcons- K'Lavon Chaisson Edge LSU
The Atlanta Falcons are aggressively trying to move up, most likely for C.J. Henderson or Javon Kinlaw. However, with no team wanting to trade back, they settle for K'Lavon Chaisson at #16. Atlanta needs an edge and Chaisson is the second best behind Chase Young. He's a little raw, but he's very physically gifted and could be an effective pass rusher in the future.
17. Dallas Cowboys- Xavier McKinney S Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys would've loved if K'Lavon Chaisson was still on the board, but with him gone, they take the best safety in the draft in Xavier McKinney. McKinney would fit in nicely next to the newly signed Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and give the Cowboys a much better outlook in the secondary than they currently have.
18. Miami Dolphins- Josh Jones OT Houston
The Miami Dolphins got their franchise signal caller. Now, they need to protect him and Josh Jones is the best tackle on the board. While the competition level he played at Houston wasn't great, he more than proved he can hold his own at the senior bowl. The Dolphins did sign Ereck Flowers and others in the offseason, but the line was so bad last year, that it needs to be further addressed in the draft. Love the pick.
19. Las Vegas Raiders- Kristian Fulton CB LSU
Kristian Fulton played himself into the first round of the draft with his great play this year. He almost capped his year off in style with a pick in the National Title game, but it was called back due to a penalty. The Raiders had a weak secondary last year, so bringing Futlon into the mix makes a lot of sense.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jordan Love QB Utah State
I love Gardner Minshew. He's a national treasure, but I don't buy him as a starting quarterback in the NFL. While he'll likely start the season as the quarterback, I think he'll eventually give the reigns over to Utah State's Jordan Love. Love, in my opinion, has the highest upside of any quarterback in the class. He struggled in his final college season, but that was because he lost almost everyone on his offense and also had an entirely new coaching staff. I love this pick.
21. Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Jefferson WR LSU
A dream scenario for the Philadelphia Eagles. Their top WR target falls right into their lap at 21. Justin Jefferson may have had the best season for a receiver in the history of college football. Despite that, he wasn't supposed to be a first-rounder. However, a dominant combine performance quickly shot up his draft stock. Philly needs all the help they can get at WR and Jefferson is the perfect guy for them.
22. Minnesota Vikings- Denzel Mims WR Baylor
After dealing Stefon Diggs away to Buffalo, they acquired an extra first-round pick. Why not go out and find his replacement in Baylor's Denzel Mims. Mims was an offseason darling, a guy who showed out in the Senior Bowl and also dominated the scouting combine. Those two performances shot him in the first round discussion. A great pick for Minnesota.
23. New England Patriots- Justin Herbert QB Oregon
There's a growing sense that Miami could end up taking Justin Herbert at 5. However, I think that's just noise and they'll ultimately select Tua. If that's the case, I believe Herbert will fall pretty far to a point where New England will trade up to the middle portion of the round to select him. In Herbert, the Patriots are getting a player with great physical tools, underrated athleticism and very good arm talent. He'll need to clean up a few things, but I think Herbert can be a solid starter in the NFL.
24. New Orleans Saints- Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
The Saints need to get more athletic in the middle. Look no further than Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray, a sideline to sideline type player who's also very good in coverage. The Saints fill up one of the few holes they have on their roster by selecting Murray.
25. Minnesota Vikings- Jeff Gladney CB TCU
One of my favorite prospects in the draft. Jeff Gladney is severely underrated because of the aura around Big-12 defenses. He played almost all of 2019 with a torn meniscus and was still able to play at. high level, especially against other draft hopeful wide receivers. He had surgery to repair that torn meniscus after the combine, which could scare some teams away. However, with Minnesota's needs at corner, Gladney makes a lot of sense here.
26. Miami Dolphins- Grant Delpit S LSU
Could end up being the steal of the draft. Grant Delpit was a top ten pick before the season, but an injured ankle and his decision to play through it affected his play. Delpit's vision and ball skills are exceptionally strong and is what made scouts love him last year. Tackling is a slight issue, but if he develops that (which I expect that he will), he's going to be a very good safety for a long time.
27. Seattle Seahawks- A.J. Epenesa Edge Iowa
It's been an absolute free fall down the draft boards for A.J. Epenesa. He was a preseason top ten pick, but didn't produce as much as he did the prior year. Still, he put up pretty good tape, especially in the Holiday Bowl against USC OT Austin Jackson, who is likely to be a late day one, early day two pick. Epenesa isn't a speed guy, but has the size and power to be a versatile piece on a relatively weak Seahawks front.
28. Baltimore Ravens- Patrick Queen LB LSU
Without a real weakness, the Baltimore Ravens go best player available and take Patrick Queen from LSU. Queen, like Kenneth Murray, is a great athlete that can cover. While his tape showed flashes of awesome play, there was also a lot of inconsistencies. Baltimore is a great place for him to go because he doesn't need to step in and start right away. Additionally, he gets the opportunity to learn from veterans like Earl Thomas and Calais Campbell.
29. Tennesee Titans- Ross Blacklock IDL TCU
The Tennessee Titans traded away franchise cornerstone Jurell Casey in the offseason and now have a hole on the defensive line. That hole gets filled by Ross Blacklock, who was one of the main reasons that TCU's defense was so highly regarded in the Big 12. He's very athletic for an inside guy and has a very high motor, which should intrigue Mike Vrabel.
30. Green Bay Packers- Jalen Reagor WR TCU
The third TCU Horned Frog off the board in round one as the Green Bay Packers take WR Jalen Reagor. Reagor's only 5'11, but he's quick, shifty and provides a unique playmaker, something Aaron Rodgers really hasn't had in his career up to this point. Also can do damage on kickoff and punt returns.
31. San Francisco 49ers- A.J. Terell CB Clemson
The 49ers address another need in the back end of round one by taking Clemson's A.J. Terell. Terell had a rough go at it in the championship game, but besides that, he had a very good year as Clemson's number one corner. That enough warrants him being in the discussion of the first round.
32. Kansas City Chiefs- Cesar Ruiz IOL Michigan
You're really knit-picking if you're looking for a weakness on the Super Bowl champs. However, one that sticks out is the interior offensive line. They address that by grabbing Michigan's Cesar Ruiz. He's very mobile for his size and even if he doesn't start right away, he could become a very valuable backup on a championship caliber team.