Mock draft 3.0 time!
1. This is your team’s actual current draft position. Not how awful I think they’ll be. Week 9 is almost over, time to start facing some inconvenient truths.
2. This mock is a combination of things I think will happen and things I think should happen. I’ve tried to identify the egregious examples of where the latter does not take place.
3. Enjoy this mock by tearing it to shreds in the places that deserve it, and @-ing me @LedyardNFLDraft.
1. New York Giants
PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Nick Bosa is the best player in the draft. Justin Herbert isn’t. It doesn’t matter. You’re nothing without a quarterback, and Herbert has the arm strength, fearlessness, athleticism and natural accuracy to be a stud at the game’s most important position. He needs development, but that’s what an offensive-minded head coach is hired to do.
2. Oakland Raiders
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
If the consolation prize for trading away Khalil Mack is sucking enough to land Bosa, the Raiders may not be completely hopeless just yet. This might be the most no-brainer mock draft pick in the history of mock draft picks. Bosa will be a star anywhere he lands in the NFL, and few spots need him worse than Oakland.
3. San Francisco 49ers
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Explain to me how Robert Saleh’s defense reaches its’ peak without a game-changing free safety, because I’m not seeing it. Thompson has unbelievable range and ball skills for the position, two things San Francisco desperately needs on the back end. In a deep edge defender class, they’ll find help later in the draft.
4. Buffalo Bills
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams doesn’t come without some flaws, but the Bills desperately need another talented corner on the outside across from Tre White. Adding his former college teammate could complete a Bills secondary that will need to be a huge strength while the team’s offense finds a way to climb out of the cellar.
5. Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The second-best player in the draft will instantly upgrade Arizona’s defensive front, both with his prowess defending the run at the point of attack and his burst and violent hands as a pass rusher. Williams is a complete monster who will be an early impact type of player in the NFL thanks to his smart and technique.
6. Cleveland Browns
PICK: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Oliver at no. 6?? I think it is more likely than many are imagining right now. This is a dream come true for Cleveland, as they get to pair Oliver with Larry Ogunjobi on the inside with Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah and Genard Avery on the outside. All of a sudden, the Browns might have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
7. New York Jets
PICK: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
I don’t agree with Allen going this high, but I’m confident he’s going to be a coveted player in the upcoming class. Allen can cover, set the edge and rush the passer, taking huge strides in his game and physical development over the past year. With his arrow pointing up and athletic testing sure to be on his side, Allen could blow up the pre-draft process and fill a huge need in New York.
8. Denver Broncos
PICK: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
What the Broncos really need is a quarterback, but in this class, that wouldn’t be a good idea at no. 8. With Garrett Bolles struggling, the Broncos could try to move him to right tackle or simply play Williams there instead. Either way, Denver needs a second tackle and Williams is easily the best and most pro-ready option in the class.
9. Indianapolis Colts
PICK: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
The Colts have played better than I could ever have expected them too, but holes on the defensive line are real and concerning. Indy just doesn’t have great talent up front, and adding an athletic and physical phenom like Simmons could give them a behind the line of scrimmage difference-maker up front.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
PICK: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
I tried to justify giving them a quarterback from what’s left of this class. Couldn’t do it. They’ve gotta find one elsewhere. In the meantime, Fant fills one of their few other needs, providing the Jaguars with a mismatch threat at tight end that can line up all over the field and win vertically against linebackers and even defensive backs.
11. Detroit Lions
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
How much will Matt Patricia be able to ignore his team’s truly dreadful lack of pass rush? Like it or not, Patricia has to be able to impact the opposing quarterback off the edge more often, or the Lions won’t be going anywhere next year either. Ferrell is a terrific run defender with an accomplished array of rush moves, but his lack of athleticism could hurt his value on draft day.