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.
11. Cleveland Browns
PICK: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Similar to other rookie quarterbacks, the Browns need to make sure they protect Baker Mayfield. While the Browns offensive line has been mostly solid, they are still fitting the pieces they have drafted and signed over the last few years. Risner has versatility on the interior and at tackle, and may be the key to having the Browns offensive line settle into permanent roles.
With outstanding play strength and power, Risner has physical tools and refinement in his run blocking. Though there are some inconsistencies with false steps in his pass sets, he has been sturdy in his mirroring and preventing defensive ends from collapsing the pocket.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Tampa Bay badly needs helps in their secondary, and in this scenario Greedy Williams has fallen into their lap. The current favorite to be CB1, this fit makes too much sense if he is available.
With excellent tools for the position, Williams has athleticism and the physical profile to be a #1 cornerback at the next level. His technique is sound, and offenses have avoided testing him in his final collegiate season.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
PICK: Tyler Biadasz, OL, Wisonsin
Cincinnati's offensive line has been a bit better this season, but the re-figuration of the unit is incomplete. Biadasz is a versatile piece that could fit multiple positions for the Bengals.
Biadasz has a ton of power to offer, and moves defensive lineman in the run game. With his strong build, he is able to consistently anchor in pass protection. He will be yet another in the long line of former Wisconsin offensive lineman in the NFL.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
PICK: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
The Eagles have questions at the future of the left tackle position, and Cajuste could provide an answer in the middle of the first round.
Built to be a mauler in the run game, Cajuste also has consistency in his pass sets. Occasionally, he can get beat around the edge, but this happens rarely and Cajuste dominates inside moves or stunts. In the run game, he is a bruiser who effortlessly clears lanes on double teams or combo blocks.
15. Miami Dolphins
PICK: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
I was tempted to mock West Virginia quarterback Will Grier here, but it is still unclear to me whether or not Miami will be looking to move on from Ryan Tannehill this offseason.
Raekwon Davis has been overshadowed by Quinnen Williams this season, but has been productive in his own right. His long frame and strength in his lower half allow him to hold his ground against the run and get after it as a pass rusher. With Miami needing to get younger along the defensive line, Davis could be a natural fit.
16. Indianapolis Colts
PICK: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Indianapolis has done an outstanding job fortifying their offensive line, but now they need to find playmakers for quarterback Andrew Luck.
While TY Hilton is an explosive piece, the Colts don't have pass catchers that can win above the rim outside of the tight end room. Harry can be that player outside of the numbers and down the field, while also offering a dynamic trait after the catch.
17. Carolina Panthers
PICK: Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College
One of the best true guards in the class, Lindstrom has few weaknesses and does everything at at least an above average level. Carolina needs to do a better job protecting Cam Newton for the long-term, as their front has held back their offense at times this season.
Lindstrom could provide security and consistency along the Carolina offensive line, with a nice combination of run and pass blocking. Putting him next to Ryan Kalil and Trai Turner would create a formidable interior.
18. Tennessee Titans
PICK: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Tennessee will be looking for a pass rusher to pair with Harold Landry, as the mainstays of the unit like Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan may not return next season.
Brian Burns has eaten up Power 5 competition in his career, with proper explosiveness and refinement in how he bends the edge. The duo of Burns and Landry would provide high upside at defensive end for Head Coach Mike Vrabel to work with in the future.
19. Denver Broncos
PICK: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Jeff Heuerman is a mediocre tight end who offers little in the pass game, so Denver will likely look to upgrade that spot this offseason.
Fant is a dynamic, athletic freak at the position. He provides rare natural pass-catching ability in his large frame, making him an enticing piece to pair with 2018 second-round wide receiver Courtland Sutton. Fant would provide a presence in the intermediate and up the seam for quarterback Case Keenum.
20. Minnesota Vikings
PICK: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
If there is a weakness on Minnesota's defense, it comes at the linebacker spot. While the Vikings need help on their interior offensive line, they have recently shown the preference to draft defensive players early on in the Draft.
Wilson brings the juice, and is the leader of Alabama's stout defense. His athleticism translates perfectly to the next level, as well as his run fits and raw intensity. He plays a well-rounded game as a linebacker who drops into coverage with relative ease.
21. Washington Redskins
PICK: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
There are questions along the Redskins offensive line, as Morgan Moses has been average this season and Brandon Scherff has found himself on Injured Reserve. David Edwards provides athleticism and potential for versatility.
An absolute savage in the run game, Edwards dominates opposing defensive lineman and clears lanes with ease. His long frame affords him power and control on blocks, and he is still developing as a lineman being a former tight end.
22. Seattle Seahawks
PICK: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Seattle has done an excellent job developing their offensive line this season, to the point where it may no longer be their most glaring need. Defensively, they can use more talent on the edge.
Polite is a productive pass rusher with a high-ceiling, as he is just scratching the surface of his potential in his junior season for Florida. He could very well be off the board much earlier than this, so he'd be excellent value for Seattle in this scenario.
23. Baltimore Ravens
PICK: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
The Ravens wide receiver room has a sort of "Island of Misfit Toys" feeling attached to it, and they could use some youth at the position. While Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown offer versatility, Ridley would slide in perfectly on the outside.
With excellent route running and size, Ridley might end up the superior prospect than his older brother Calvin. All of the signs point to Ridley being a more productive NFL player than he was in college, as Georgia has defaulted to its running game for the majority of the season. He could become the favorite target for Quarterback of the future Lamar Jackson.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
PICK: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Pittsburgh had a meltdown on Sunday Night Football and are teetering on losing their season. Their major weakness all season has been the play of their suspect secondary, and Hall fits the mold of what Pittsburgh targets in their early round draft picks.
With raw tools to work with, Hall has upped his game this season for the Cavaliers. His athleticism is unquestioned, and he is a likely candidate to tear up the NFL Combine. Pittsburgh seemingly values plus athletes that they can develop, and Hall may be next in line.
25. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys)
PICK: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Finally getting to the second Raiders pick from the Cowboys, Coach Gruden could use these picks to officially solidify his young defense. With Quinnen Williams in the fold in this scenario, how about another SEC defensive lineman to match with him?
Montez Sweat is a dog, as he relentlessly plays both the run and the pass. While he may not be the most dominating athlete, he plays with solid technique and a high motor. He would be a welcome addition to the Raiders pass rush.
26. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears)
PICK: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Keeping with the Raiders picks coming, Coach Gruden will likely look to strengthen his secondary early on. With Gareon Conley out of the proverbial doghouse and playing better football as of late, Oakland could add Byron Murphy to create an exciting young cornerback duo.
Murphy has excellent ball skills and natural hips, and has the feel and makeup of a mid first round selection. He provides value at this spot, as well as a fit into the Raiders depth chart.
27. Los Angeles Chargers
PICK: Jeffery Simmons, IDL, Mississippi State
This could be a spot where Los Angeles targets a cornerback, as they've had problems staying healthy at that spot. However, Simmons is likely the best player available and the Chargers interior defensive line is uninspiring.
Simmons is powerful, with the ability to move back offensive lineman and collapse the pocket. He is an active rusher, with good bend and flexibility for his size. With Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa already in the fold, adding an interior presence like Simmons would make their defensive line virtually un-blockable.
28. Houston Texans
PICK: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Houston is quietly one of the most complete teams in the NFL, but if they could use help in any spot, its at cornerback. Deandre Baker has had an excellent senior season, but there are questions about his long speed that may result in him slipping to the later portion of Day 1.
Baker's competitiveness, physicality and playmaking ability would be a welcome addition to a Texans secondary that may prove to be their downfall this season.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
PICK: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
Kansas City has essentially everything it needs on the offensive side all the way from coaching to personnel, but have been exposed in the back-end of the defense this season.
Taylor Rapp is a natural fit for the Chiefs as they look to add pieces next to and behind Eric Berry. Rapp has improved his short-area quickness in his career, covering space with more fluidity and bringing some pop behind his tackling.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints)
PICK: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
This feels too late for Josh Allen, as his production suggests something closer to the middle of the first round. This could be "sprint to the podium" situation for the Packers front office.
With Deionte Thompson already in the fold earlier in the round, Green Bay could look to strengthen their pass rush. Allen does a beautiful job of converting speed to power, closing the space of the pocket down as he works multiple moves.
31. New England Patriots
PICK: Devin White, LB, LSU
New England needs to get more athletic at their linebacker spots, and Devin White has it in spades. While he can have spells of getting overpowered by bigger offensive lineman, White can bring the hammer in space.
New England needs to continue adding youth and talent to their defense, as their offensive weapons have suddenly become loaded and the offensive line still pretty strong. Their Super Bowl window will depend on defensive performances in big games.
32. Los Angeles Rams
PICK: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
Winovich goes before Rashan Gary in this scenario, as I have questions about Gary's natural position fit at the next level.
For the Rams, Dante Fowler Jr. may have played too well and earned himself a big payday in free agency, so they will likely look to add pass rushers in the Draft. Winovich is a refined rusher with a high motor, who could beat offensive tackles in the 1 on 1 situations he would find himself in playing next to Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
If you would like to send good vibes to the author of this Mock Draft, you can on twitter @BradKelly17. If you are upset by it, be sure send your hate mail and jokes about the Steelers to @LedyardNFLDraft.