The Patriots and Steelers drafting in the top 15? What is this?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a post-Week 3 mock draft based on the current draft order in the NFL. You may not like it, but these are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed (bonus points for A) reading the intro, B) getting that movie reference).
This mock draft is a combination of things I would do and some wild picks to shake things up and gets fans out of their seats on a Monday morning. Let's have some fun.
No. 1 - Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The Cardinals have a ton of needs, but taking the best player in the draft at a position of need and of upmost importance is the obvious move. Bosa will be the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, and could combine with Chandler Jones to obliterate opposing offensive lines.
No. 2 - Houston Texans
PICK: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Not a complicated pick. The Texans need offensive line help as bad as any team in football, and Jonah Williams is the most pro-ready prospect in the class. He'll plug in immediately at left tackle to protect Deshaun Watson's blindside.
No. 3 - Oakland Raiders
PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Sorry, Raiders fans. I think John Gruden is determined to blow the whole thing up, and I don't think Carr is good enough to keep him from taking a quarterback early. Herbert has exceptional physical ability and his ball placement and accuracy have improved wonderfully this season. He's a bit raw still, but the Raiders' view should be all about the long term at this point.
No. 4 - Pittsburgh Steelers
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Steelers have a ton of defensive weaknesses, and a linebacker or pass rusher could easily be the pick here. If they're picking this high however, they should have a shot at one of the few cornerbacks in the class with game-changing ability in Williams. With Artie Burns struggling, Joe Haden aging and no heir apparent on the roster, cornerback will be one of the top priorities this offseason.
No. 5 - Indianapolis Colts
PICK: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston
The Colts defensive line has played very well this season, but the pass rush and explosive plays up front are still lacking. Adding Oliver solves that issue immediately, as his rare athletic gifts and absurd power for a smaller defensive lineman would be something Indianapolis simply hasn't seen in a long time on the interior.
No. 6 - Seattle Seahawks
PICK: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
Consider Davis a mulligan for whatever happened in the Malik McDowell situation, as the two players share some of the same measurables, but the Bama product is much more technical and consistent already. Just a redshirt sophomore, there's a chance Davis goes back, but he has had the look of a top 15 pick since the moment he set foot on the field at Alabama.
No. 7 - San Francisco 49ers
PICK: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Eventually, Kyle Shanahan is going to accept the fact that he needs a Julio Jones for his offense to reach its' peak, and while Metcalf isn't that much of a freak, he's close. Boasting an unreal catch radius, incredible high-point ability and a size/speed combination that is rarely seen, Metcalf's monster season could result in an early declaration for the draft as a redshirt sophomore.
No. 8 - Buffalo Bills
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The Bills need pass rushers in the worst way, but they also need to start building a stronger group around Josh Allen. It's going to be fascinating to see what they do with this important draft pick, as multiple moves could make sense. Ferrell is pro-ready and would instantly be the team's best pass rusher, as well as fitting Sean McDermott's mold of a big-bodied defensive end in the trenches.
No. 9 - Detroit Lions
PICK: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
It feels so obvious that the Lions are going to do the smart thing and take a defensive lineman, but I'm just not convinced Matt Patricia values pass rush based on the personnel decisions everywhere he's been. I do think he'll want to give Matt Stafford a weapon at tight end after watching how effective the position has been for New England, and Fant is a freaky athlete with crazy ability as a flex option.
Detroit fans would lose their minds over this pick, and I would agree with them.
No. 10 - New York Jets
PICK: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
An explosive edge rusher with elite bend and underrated counter moves, Burns would be the perfect next piece to the Jets defensive front. They need pass rush off the edge so badly, and Burns' added weight and improving technique should make him one of the biggest risers in the class.
No. 11 - Dallas Cowboys
PICK: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Get triggered, Cowboys fans. I think Dak Prescott is ok, but if y'all think Jerry Jones is gonna sit around and hope "ok" improves without bringing in some competition, think again. There isn't much point to drafting a quarterback to be your eventual starter unless it happens in Round 1, and Haskins has already shown high-end ability this season.
We need a larger sample size to fully evaluate him however, and it is far from a guarantee that he declares for the draft as a redshirt sophomore.
No. 12 - Los Angeles Chargers
PICK: Jeffery Simmons, IDL, Mississippi State
Imagine the Chargers with an interior pass rush to complement Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Simmons is the most well-rounded defensive lineman in the class, showing stout run defense and the ability to consistently create pressure as a rusher. With Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane aging, this would be the perfect pick for Los Angeles in Round 1.
No. 13 - New England Patriots
PICK: Devin White, LB, LSU
It has become painfully obvious that the Patriots' linebackers are cooked and that athleticism is sorely lacking on the second level. Will they recognize that times have changed and that movement skills are important in linebackers on all three downs? White is still developing, but his size and explosiveness are what you want in a linebacker prospect.
No. 14 - New York Giants
PICK: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
The NFL may kick Risner inside to guard, and I doubt he gets drafted this high despite his stellar tape. He's still a better right tackle option than anyone the Giants have there currently, showing the technique and mental processing to play early on in the NFL.
No. 15 - Atlanta Falcons
PICK: Quinnen Williams, IDL, Alabama
If there's one area the Falcons can stand to improve, it's their defensive front. Deadrin Senat is a great run stuffer and Grady Jarrett is elite, but adding Williams could give them a three-down piece that would make life brutally hard on opposing offensive lines.
No. 16 - Green Bay Packers
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix just isn't cutting it anymore in Green Bay, so replacing him with the new and improved version out of the prospect factory that is Alabama makes sense. Thompson's range and ball skills are better HHCD's, and he's a far more physical tackler than the Packers' up-and-down free safety.
No. 17 - Minnesota Vikings
PICK: Yodny Cajuste, OL, WVU
I'm going to be honest, I just don't love any of the interior offensive linemen in the class so far, and I can't see many of them being schematic fits for the Vikings anyway. Why not try a specimen in Cajuste, who currently plays tackle but could have a higher ceiling at guard in the NFL? We know the Vikings like projects with upside up front, and Cajuste certainly checks those two boxes.
No. 18 - Cleveland Browns
PICK: Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State
A monster jump ball receiver with better route-running skills than given credit for, Harmon's strong hands and box-out ability make him one of the top X-receiver options in the class. His testing will be critical, but Harmon sure looks like the type of receiver the Browns could be missing on the outside.
No. 19 - Denver Broncos
PICK: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
Edwards isn't flashy or rangy as a pass protector, but his movement skills are surprisingly functional for a converted tight end. His prowess in the run game bodes well for a fit in Denver, as the Broncos commitment to establishing a dominant rushing attack will need a future right tackle when Jared Veldheer hangs it up soon.
No. 20 - Carolina Panthers
PICK: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
This is probably a reach, but Lindstrom is pro-ready and power-oriented, both good fits for the Panthers offensive line. Given the issues Carolina has had fielding a capable OL in front of Cam Netwon, especially on the interior, a reach may be necessary to keep their quarterback upright and max out the abilities of their young running back.
No. 21 - Tennessee Titans
PICK: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan set to be aging free agents after the season, pass rush has become the primary need in Tennessee. Harold Landry looks like a second round steal, and adding another young talent to play opposite him could be huge for the Titans. Sweat is putting together another masterful campaign, showing a much-improved pass rush move repertoire.
No. 22 - Washington Redskins
PICK: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Redskins could use secondary help, but I want to see how some of their young guys progress as the season moves forward. Harry is a big-bodied receiver with high-point and post-catch abilities, but there is some concern about his speed, overall athleticism and route-running at this time.
No. 23 - Jacksonville Jaguars
PICK: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Jaguars roster is loaded right now, and since I don't think they care about addressing the quarterback position currently, I'll slide them another pass-catching talent to round out their receiving corps. Brown is having a good season from the slot at Ole Miss, but his athletic testing will loom large this spring at the Combine.
No. 24 - Oakland Raiders
PICK: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Right now this just feels like a Gruden pick, a high-upside pass rusher with very little polish or refinement to his game right now. I was hoping to see more growth from Gary this season, but it hasn't been noticeable yet. He plays hard and physical however, and has the size and frame to kick inside if Oakland opts to move him there.
No. 25 - Philadelphia Eagles
PICK: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
The Eagles have a tough decision coming up this offseason with oft-injured, free-agent-to-be linebacker Jordan Hicks. If he walks for a team willing to pay more, the Eagles will be looking for help at linebacker with limited depth and Nigel Bradham turning 30 next season. Wilson could be gone before this, but if not, his skill set in coverage will make people forget about Hicks quickly.
No. 26 - Baltimore Ravens
PICK: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
I highly doubt Biadasz declares as a redshirt sophomore, but in a weak interior offensive line class, he'd probably be one of the top guys. In a vacuum, this would still be a little high for him, but his ability to operate in outside zone and still be scheme versatile could be really appealing to Baltimore.
No. 27 - Cincinnati Bengals
PICK: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss
All the Bengals tight ends are free agents after the season, and even if a few return, I'm not sure it would keep them from going after a highly-ranked prospect to complete that potent offense. Knox is a terrific athlete with great size and hands at the position, and his development as a route runner has come along beautifully this season. Now, if we can just get him some targets in that offense...
No. 28 - Green Bay Packers
PICK: DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Do I think four Ole Miss pass catchers will all come off the board in the first round? History would indicate the percentage chance of that happening is slim, but the talent is there to make it at least conceivable. For Lodge, body-control, deep speed and a well-rounded game are his calling cards, but his hands are going to give some evaluators pause due to all the drops.
No. 29 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICK: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
The Bucs have made big strides early this season, but the secondary play is still a major concern. With Carlton Davis set to be the long-term starter on one side and M.J. Stewart in the slot, adding Oruwariye will give them a trio of big, physical young corners with some room to grow. Oruwariye is in his first season as a full-time starter and has shown tremendous ball skills, but his long speed will be the big question until the Combine.
No. 30 - Miami Dolphins
PICK: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Jake Bentley tanking the draft stock of both of South Carolina's receivers is an unfortunate development, and I'm not sure Samuel is the type of receiver the NFL values in Round 1. But they should, as his quickness, body control, post-catch ability and vertical prowess all indicate a receiver who can contribute right away, on the outside or from the slot.
No. 31 - Los Angeles Rams
PICK: D'Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
I don't necessarily agree with this pick based on Walker's tape to this point, but I think he's a clear fit in Wade Phillips' scheme, and will be an ascending prospect based on his physique and pedigree. Walker seems to be a tad more explosive this season, flashing a rush plan and hand usage that should continue to increase his production as the year moves on.
No. 32 - Kansas City Chiefs
PICK: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Murphy has enough size and athleticism to check the boxes, and his ball skills are among the best in the class. He could be another big riser throughout the draft process, but if he's still sitting here at no. 32 for the Kansas City Chiefs, it might be the most obvious pick in the first round.