In a normal year, NFL front offices would have completed February meetings and would be on their way home from the NFL Scouting Combine and gearing up for the Pro Day circuit. Instead, teams hosted their February meetings virtually, and the NFL combines are being held on a more regional basis.
At this point in the cycle, a team’s board should be starting to take shape and there shouldn’t be much drastic movement at all from now until draft day. That being said, this hasn’t been a normal year and with so much unknown out there about players in terms of unverified height, weight, speed, and the lack of information regarding the character of the prospect, I expect that the boards will be more fluid than ever before.
Much is the same on the media side of things. While most of the tape work has been done, we are still gathering information that normally we would have easy access to through the NFL Scouting Combine or the Pro Day circuit. Our mocks and our big boards may change quite a bit from now until the week of the draft, but that is the same as an NFL front office.
As you may know, here at The Draft Network, we put out a new mock draft every week and this week Trevor Sikkema was on deck. I break down my thoughts on Trevor’s Mock Draft 4.0, including some of the best and worst picks.
As always, you can run your own mock by using our Mock Draft Machine!
Best Value: Baltimore Ravens select Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 27
When I first read Trevor’s mock there were a number of things that stuck out to me, but perhaps none bigger than seeing Vera-Tucker fall all the way to pick No. 27. Vera-Tucker has seen his stock steadily rise over the course of the season and into the draft evaluation process. Having successfully made the switch to left tackle after playing guard in 2019, Vera-Tucker proved that he is versatile enough to excel at multiple roles at the next level. While his best position is most likely at guard, his versatility should allow him to hear his name much earlier than No. 27 come draft day.
For the Ravens, this would be a home-run pick. This team needs major help in the trenches and failed to properly fill the hole that Marshal Yanda left upon retiring last offseason. In order for this offense to get back on track and back to running the football at will, they need players up front who can create running lanes and clear the path for talented runners like J.K. Dobbins. Vera-Tucker fits that bill, and his addition would also go a long way in allowing Lamar Jackson more time to throw as well.
Biggest Surprise: Philadelphia Eagles select Penei Sewell at No. 6
Let me be clear: While this is a very surprising pick, I don’t think it’s a bad pick at all. The Eagles are truly a wild card in the top 10 and could go in a variety of different directions. Has this team embraced a full rebuild now that they traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts? Or do they believe that they can reload this roster quickly and get back to competing in the NFC East that was the worst division in football last season? The answer to that question will likely decide who they take at No. 6. As it stands, the biggest needs on this team are receiver, corner, linebacker, and quarterback if you don’t believe Jalen Hurts is the guy, so picking a left tackle here is a bit surprising.
That being said, Sewell is a heck of a player and would instantly improve this offensive line. Former first-round pick Andre Dillard is a complete unknown at this point and can’t be trusted at left tackle next season. Jordan Mailata played admirable last year filling in due to injuries, but his down-to-down consistency leaves a lot to be desired. Sewell could step in on day one and be their left tackle of the future and allow coach Nick Sirianni to learn what he has in Hurts.
Best Idea I’ve Never Had: Atlanta Falcons select Kyle Pitts at No. 4
Other than the Eagles, the Falcons are the biggest wild card in the top 10. They are picking fourth overall, and while they could take a quarterback of the future at that spot, they could also elect to pass on one and focus on improving the team around Matt Ryan. The issue there is that this team’s biggest needs are on the defensive side of the football, and there aren’t a ton of options at the top of the draft that fill those needs. So, it really comes down to a quarterback, trade down, or best player available. If they decide to go with the best player available route, then this pick is a home run.
When it’s all said and done, Pitts is going to finish as a top-three non-quarterback for me. He is truly a game-changing difference-maker at the tight end position who can do anything you want a tight end to do. He has rare body control, hands, and athleticism for the position, and has the versatility to win in a variety of ways. I truly cannot imagine how to defend an offense that consists of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Pitts.
Head Scratcher: New York Jets Trade Up To Select Najee Harris at No. 16
The folks on Twitter were after my man Trevor for this one, and while I don’t agree with a lot of what they were saying, I do believe this one was a bit out of left field. Look, there is no doubt this team needs a running back. I actually had them drafting one in the first round at pick No. 23 in my latest mock draft. However, I had them selecting Clemson’s Travis Etienne, who I believe is the better player.
If the Jets do take a running back and it does end up being Harris, I wouldn’t be mad at the pick. Harris is a phenomenal player and one that would give the Jets a very strong running game. I just believe that they won’t need to trade up for Harris, or any other back for that matter. I think they can sit at No. 23 and draft the best running back available without having to give up draft capital.
Best of The Rest: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Teams in the top of the second round who didn’t address the offensive tackle spot will be very pleased with some of the players Trevor had falling out of the first round. Cosmi is a player who I believe could go top 20 in this draft and is surefire starting left tackle at the next level. Cosmi’s name has been a bit quiet as of late, and I’m not sure as to why. He has excellent length, movement skills, active hands, and plays with an outstanding temperament. Whoever lands Cosmi in the second round of Trevor’s mock will be thrilled.