With a quarter of the season spent and already a few teams buried from playoff contention, mock draft season is in full swing for at least a couple of fan bases—I’m looking at you, metro New York.
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 2.1 and highlighted the five best fits from the second round that he released earlier this week.
Miami Dolphins: Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater (No. 39 overall)
I’ve seen people call Rashawn Slater this class’ Robert Hunt, and I think that’s a fair comparison—in fact, resident Miami Dolphins’ fan Kyle Crabbs has that comparison in his scouting notes on Slater. Both were college tackles that will get a shot at the same position in the NFL, though they may get pushed into guard for length concerns. Both are displacers in the running game who win the pass protection reps on which they get their paws locked. Both are nasty as all get-out.
Well, the Dolphins drafted Hunt last year and got him his first start at right tackle with success. With potential holes at both guard and tackle next year, Slater not only fits a need, but he fits a growing culture of nastiness on Miami’s rebuilding offensive line. Snug fit.
Cincinnati Bengals: Tennessee OL Trey Smith (NO. 40 OVERALL)
Let’s stay on the offensive line, let’s stay versatile, and let’s stay nasty. While the Dolphins’ offensive line is beginning to feature some young talent and develop an identity, Joe Burrow’s line in Cincinnati still has bare cupboards. Sure, 2019’s first-round pick Jonah Williams looks solid after returning from injury, but the entire remainder of the line demands improvement with right tackle (Bobby Hart) and right guard (Fred Johnson/Billy Price) standing out as the two worst spots.
Enter Trey Smith, who like Slater above, has career starts at tackle and figures to fill that spot at first in the NFL. Smith won’t suffer from length limitations, but his best film in college has come at guard, where he’s an absolute road grader in the running game. Smith will immediately infuse Cincinnati’s offensive trenches with some much-needed attitude as it looks to climb out of the league’s basement in pass protection.
New England Patriots: Ohio State WR Chris Olave (NO. 51 OVERALL)
I’m saying this now: If Chris Olave goes to the Patriots in the second round, I will be furious on draft night. I’m miffed just thinking about it now. They’ve missed on wide receivers in the draft for so long, they almost deserve it—but they’ve been so good drafting everywhere else that I reserve no pity for them.
Olave is a Patriots-esque receiver in that he is polished, smooth, and measured. His footwork is tremendous. He also has the long speed to take the top off of defenses, which means he can fill a slot and field-stretching role as needed for the Patriots aerial attack that is still trying to find an identity with new quarterback Cam Newton. I think he could quickly become the feature target, even over Julian Edelman, if the rest of the room remains unchanged.
Los Angeles Rams: UNC LB Chazz Surratt (NO. 56 OVERALL)
The Rams have loved to grab long and bursty box players over the last few years and then just kind of throw them all together in camp and see who comes out; really, really great fit here. That was the formula that got them a starting MIKE in Cory Littleton, who they’ve since lost to free agency, and while Micah Kiser is playing admirably in his stead as a Day 3 player, he lacks coverage chops and athleticism.
Enter Chazz Surratt, who has a similar lanky build to that which Littleton did at UConn, and as an ex-quarterback, has the instincts in pass defense to relate to routes behind him and protect the middle of the field. Surratt will likely also push for signal-calling duties as he becomes the captain of the defense, which he has shown with the Tar Heels he can do with aplomb.
Seattle Seahawks: Duke EDGE Victor Dimukeje (NO. 54 OVERALL)
Victor Dimukeje has enjoyed a highly productive start to the season with 5.5 sacks through five games putting his career single-season mark (8.5) well within reach. Dimukeje is a young senior (21 years old in November) who has added mass every single season, improved technically every single season, and looks primed for an immediate impact in the NFL.
That’s what Seattle needs in an EDGE. There are plenty of maybes on the roster—L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Alton Robinson—but Dimukeje has been a healthy four-year starter for the Blue Devils and still seems to be peaking. Assuming his quality of play holds out throughout the 2020 season, his toolbox has really opened up this year, and teams will struggle to ignore his NFL refinement in a class currently rife with project players on the edge.