With only a few weeks of the regular season remaining and the playoff picture coming into view, it’s already mock draft season for almost half of the league.
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 Drae Harris’ Mock Draft 4.0 and walked through some of the most significant picks.
Best Value: Chicago Bears select Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
That sound you heard on Sunday night? It was the collective population of Chicago celebrating at the idea that Trey Lance would make it to them in the middle of Round 1.
Of course, Chicago may already have their quarterback of the future on the roster. Young passer Mitchell Trubisky has looked strong over the last few weeks, and with more coaching and further development—nah, I’m just playing. Despite the fact that they have generated some offense with Trubisky at the helm over the last few weeks, and just got the crushing win over Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, the Bears will not be investing in Trubisky any further.
Anyway, for every game the Bears have lost this season, they’ve gotten further into fringe quarterback range. San Francisco is the team to watch. The 5-8 49ers are one game better than the 6-7 Bears at this stage, but have an easier remaining schedule. If Chicago can get close to San Francisco in the draft order, then a trade up for a quarterback—or a quarterback floating outside of the top 10 altogether—becomes possible.
Biggest Surprise: Baltimore Ravens select Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
I’ve talked at length about enjoying this particular team pairing—I just didn’t expect to see it in Round 1. I can’t remember the last time I saw a first-round mock draft with a safety in the first round, as the injuries of Andre Cisco and Hamsah Nasirildeen have pulled the buzziest names of the national eye.
But I continue to be impressed with Moehrig’s quiet dominance as the high safety for Gary Patterson’s TCU defense. He’s never in the wrong spot, a reliable tackler, and competitive at the catch point with the desirable range for a starting free safety. If I had to pick one safety right now who will end up a first-round pick, it’s a tough conversation between Nasirildeen and Moehrig—but I think I’d take Moehrig.
And if there’s a team that would value him this high, it would be Baltimore. It was a pleasant surprise to see it.
Best Idea I’ve Never Had: Miami Dolphins select Wyatt Davis, iOL, Ohio State
I have had this idea before, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen it. Miami’s priorities shift around on a weekly basis it seems, as their offense continues to develop an identity under Tua Tagovailoa as they deal with injuries at both running back and wide receiver. A critical offseason awaits general manager Chris Grier and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey as they try to determine what their philosophy on offense should be, and how to best execute that plan to get the offense up to the caliber of the defense.
So you often see wide receivers—and there was one selected at the top of Harris’ draft—but you don’t often see guards. With that said, Davis is a fit. He’s a mauler in the running game, as last season’s draft picks like Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley are—but he has a higher ceiling in pass protection, and has some sick mobility in the second level.
The tricky thing here is Davis played guard for Ohio State, and between him and Kindley, you don’t really have any center versatility. Davis only really makes sense if you want to return Ted Karras at the pivot for another season—but if you’re comfortable with that, he’s a winning pick.
Head Scratcher: Atlanta Falcons select Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
In the same way that we haven’t seen a safety in the first round in many of the recent mock drafts, we haven’t seen Gregory Rousseau as a top-10 pick or EDGE1 in quite some time. That’s where Harris has him here.
Rousseau is suffering from the same skepticism that many other opt-outs are: they just haven’t played in a while, so it’s easy to rank risers over them and forget the potential that got them excited in the first place. For players like Ja’Marr Chase and Micah Parsons—awesome, pro-ready players with high-end athletic traits—this is a dangerous trap. For Rousseau, who has always been a high-ceiling player with some deceptive production in his last season, this skepticism is justified.
It’s hard to rank Rousseau over a player like Michigan EDGE Kwity Paye, who’s also a freak athlete but has really put together a better rush plan in his senior season. Even for players like Azeez Ojulari, the Georgia EDGE, you see more immediately translatable plays on his film than you ever saw for Rousseau. While Rousseau’s age and unique build still give him the highest ceiling in the class, it’s tough to bill him as a top-10 pick.
Best of the Rest: Javonte Williams, RB, UNC
C’mon. The moment this video went out, he became a top-10 pick.