Hello reader, and welcome to Mock Draft Monday.
I’m going to be honest, it’s hard to believe that we’ve already witnessed Conference Championship weekend in college football and Week 13 of the NFL season. The NFL Draft order is really starting to take shape, especially near the top. From pick 21 on is how I currently envision the playoffs playing out.
Here is the 3/4 pole of the season Mock Draft:
1. San Francisco 49ers
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
With another loss on Sunday, the 49ers inched closer to securing the top overall pick in the NFL Draft. This would position them beautifully moving forward, as they could land franchise cornerstone edge rusher such as Nick Bosa.
Bosa is the best pass rusher in the class, already out for the season and preparing for the NFL Draft. His well-rounded game against the run and pass, as well as elite athleticism, makes him as close to a slam-dunk prospect as there is. His presence would give San Francisco a loaded defensive line with the ability to take over football games.
2. Oakland Raiders
PICK: Quinnen Williams, IDL, Alabama
Oakland has three selections in the first round, but it’s looking more like their next two will come much later on. This makes it even more imperative that they hit on their initial selection, which is trending towards the top 3.
Quinnen Williams is my top overall player in the class, as he has dominated all of the competition he’s faced this season. Offensive lineman are unable to take Williams on 1-on-1, and he would pair with Maurice Hurst to create an incredible young duo on the Raiders interior defensive line.
3. New York Jets
PICK: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Jets believe they have their quarterback of the future in rookie Sam Darnold, and now they have to surround him with protection and playmakers. Similar to Indianapolis realizing their offensive line was a weakness and there was a need to protect Andrew Luck, New York needs to get younger and more talented up front.
Jonah Williams is the likeliest franchise left tackle in the class, and has played refined football throughout his career at Alabama. His mobility allows him to get to depth on his pass sets, while also climb to the next level in the run game. Williams could be Darnold’s blindside protector for the next 10 seasons.
4. Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston
Arizona needs to make sure they protect rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, as well as surround him with offensive skill talent. But with the best offensive lineman off the board and the wide receiver class deep with talent, this is an opportunity for Arizona to get stronger along the defensive line.
Ed Oliver has started his preparations for the NFL Draft, and despite being just a bit undersized for defensive tackle, he has the versatility to be moved around depending on game situation. Oliver creates consistent disruption along the interior defensive line, and could create havoc playing next to all-pro Chandler Jones.
5. Detroit Lions
PICK: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
With Metcalf’s declaration, it should be safe to assume that his neck injury will be healed and he will be 100% healthy by the NFL Combine. Metcalf is my favorite to be WR1, as his size, youth and athleticism combination should translate beautifully to the next level.
With Golden Tate traded to Philadelphia and Marvin Jones Jr. ending the season on Injured Reserve, the Lions suddenly may have a glaring need at wide receiver. The thought of Kenny Golladay and D.K. Metcalf playing with each for years to come is too enticing to pass up for Detroit.
6. Atlanta Falcons
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
It’s still weird to see Atlanta this high in the draft order, as their healthy roster suggests the talent of a playoff team. Though there aren’t many holes on their team, they could add some depth in their pass rush and versatility in the front 7. Enter: Clelin Ferrell.
Ferrell has been productive for consecutive seasons at Clemson, and he has outstanding traits against the run. With play strength and enough bend, Ferrell is a promising prospect to fit alongside Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley in the Falcons pass rush.
7. New York Giants
PICK: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Eli Manning is no longer a viable starting quarterback in the National Football League, and the Giants are doing themselves a disservice if they don’t target his successor. I am operating on the premise that Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert will be returning to school, as that option is seemingly increasingly likely.
Dwayne Haskins is the current candidate for QB1 if Herbert returns, and the Giants are the only team to this point with a glaring need at the position. Haskins has been cooking recently, with a nice ability to process reads and make throws from the pocket.
8. Buffalo Bills
PICK: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
I like Kelvin Harmon as a prospect, but this feels like a bit of a reach at pick 8. Nonetheless, the Bills need a wide receiver that can expand his catch radius and win above the rim. Harmon fits that mold.
If Harmon is able to test well at the NFL Combine, his first round stock will be solidified. He is able to separate well for his size, as well as showing body control and ball skills to finish with consistency. He’s still a candidate for WR1, and the Bills have a need there as their defense is already one of the best in the league.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
PICK: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Drew Lock finished the season on a bit of a tear, re-solidifying his stock as a potential first round prospect. The top of the quarterback class seems wide open after Haskins, and Lock’s natural arm talent could vault him into QB2 status.
I find it hard to believe that Jacksonville will go into next season with Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler as their starting quarterback. They will be a candidate to move up in the first round to secure their choice of potential franchise quarterback. If they sit back at their selection, Lock could very well be in play.
10. Green Bay Packers
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
With HaHa Clinton-Dix traded and the Packers safety depth chart thin, they will likely look at the position in the first round. Deionte Thompson would be a steal at this point.
One of the rangiest safety prospects in recent memory, Thompson flies around the back-end with natural instincts. His abilities suggest a top-10 overall player, as he has few weaknesses. This pairing will be one of the most common during Draft season as the Packers continue dropping football games and moving up the draft order.