With half of the season spent and the playoff picture beginning to winnow out the field, mock draft season is in full swing for several sad fan bases turning their eyes toward the future.
Here at The Draft Network, you can read a new mock draft every Monday and see my review of each mock afterward, with second and third round updates coming later in the week. If you want to do your own mock draft for your favorite team, open our Mock Draft Machine and take control of the reins yourself!
I sat down with Jordan Reid’s Mock Draft 3.0 and walked through some of the most significant picks.
Best Value: Kansas City Chiefs select Dylan Moses
Reid said that Moses had a slow start to the season, and was right to say so. It did take Moses a few games to get his sea legs under him. Coming off of a year-long absence for an ACL injury, it’s an understandable issue, and I don’t think his scouting profile should suffer for it. Moses is clearly back to game speed and playing first-round caliber football through the month of October for Alabama, showing the intelligence, tackling prowess, and athleticism that has had him in the first-round conversation for multiple seasons.
So if he falls for a health red flag, that’s fine. But if he plays through November and into December as the player he’s largely been for his career, I’d imagine any team in the 20s would be happy to make that pick. For the Chiefs, who drafted one potential future starter at linebacker in Willie Gay last year, snagging Moses as a Year 1 WILL is a miracle opportunity.
Biggest Surprise: New York Giants select Zach Wilson
There are levels to this one. The first is that the Giants move on from Daniel Jones. In that it’s something they clearly should do, it would not be a surprise to see a team as poorly managed as the Giants go in the opposite direction. Throw in the quarterback stability the Giants enjoyed under Eli Manning, and you could argue this organization is not prepared to run quickly through the QB carousel of perennial bottom-five teams.
The next surprise is, of course, Wilson as a top-five prospect and QB3 above Trey Lance, who many considered as the only candidate for QB3 in the preseason behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. The Wilson hype is at its apex after a solid performance against Boise State on national television Friday night, but I don’t think Wilson has been submitted to the snap-to-snap scrutiny necessary to project him this high. While he certainly still may end up at this pick caliber, he still needs to get through a pre-draft process that will put his height into question, as well as a rigorous film review that, in my opinion, will reveal some rough edges that make his eval a little trickier.
Wilson has definitely put himself in this conversation though, and Jordan is smart to put him this high in the mock draft: it lets us see what it would look like if he did indeed end up going this high.
Best Idea I’ve Never Had: Miami Dolphins select DeVonta Smith
This is a really fun idea here for a Dolphins team that is often mocked their top wide receiver in the top 10 (i.e., Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle). For however strong that Houston selection ends up, the Dolphins will have their pick of the litter at the wide receiver position, but could elect to go for a defensive player like Micah Parsons, who is a quality fit for their defense.
If they go that route, then wide receiver at a later pick gives them fewer options, but Smith should still be in range and is an appropriate selection. The Dolphins just traded away their primary slot separator in Isaiah Ford, who was a fine player but not much of a franchise cornerstone—and in Chan Gailey’s timing-based passing game, are in need of a detailed route-runner who can win in the quick game as a high-volume possession receiver, keeping DeVante Parker and Preston Williams as downfield vertical threats. Smith fits that bill.
Head Scratcher: Green Bay Packers select Derion Kendrick
There are plenty of reasons to get jazzed about Kendrick, an ex-WR who has shown further signs of improvement at cornerback this year following his first full season of starting in 2019. The NFL has not made it a secret that they are excited about Kendrick’s potential, and appropriately so.
But for Green Bay, this is a tough one. Green Bay just endured a failed experiment with cornerback Kevin King, likely to walk in free agency after a banged-up, up-and-down tenure with the Packers. King was a project player with a great H/W/S profile, just like Kendrick is now, but the Packers are a competing team with a solid secondary outside of CB2. Do they have time for Kendrick to develop? Or are they just trading out a cheaper target opposite Jaire Alexander with this selection?
If they don’t like any of the potential cornerback starters at this spot, that’s fine—but with Shaun Wade not yet selected, the Packers can’t afford to make yet another forward-thinking selection that leaves them high and dry in the short term.
Best of the Rest: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
No word from Purdue yet on what exactly is going on with Rondale Moore, who opted out, then back into the 2020 college football season but has yet to take a snap. If Moore is banged up, that would create a concerning health profile that could see him fall out of the first round in a crowded wide receiver class—but until we know exactly what’s going on, Moore’s athletic ability and playmaking prowess makes him a legit Round 1 candidate even in this top-heavy group. He’s a player to watch closely going forward, as a lot of draft stock is at stake with his health.
- May 17, 2022
- May 17, 2022