JOPLIN, Mo. – With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday (4/23) the KSN/KODE Sports Team created their own mock draft. Thursday evening the sports team will be live for the entire draft on FourStates Homepage and Facebook. The picks were made for only the first round by Bailey Harbit (KSN Sports Director), Jake Stansell (KODE Sports Anchor), and Ethan Schmidt (KODE Sports Director). The rules were simple pick for the teams in their spots (however one of our drafters did not follow that rule).
#1 Cincinnati Bengals
Bailey: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
I mean, it has to be right? He’s the best QB in the draft, and he’s the kind of player that can immediately give the Bengals the jump start they need. I legitimately had to look up who the Bengals quarterback was last season. It was Andy Dalton. I thought they had cut him at some point last season. Even more reason to draft Burrow.
Jake: Joe Burrow, QB LSU
There’s a booth at Skyline Chili reserved and ready for Burrow’s arrival to Cincinnati. Not a doubt in my mind otherwise.
Ethan: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
For the third straight year a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback will be the number one pick in the NFL Draft. Burrow is a great fir for the Bengals and fits one of their draft needs, and will gain one of the biggest receiving threats (when healthy) A.J. Green.
#2 Washington Redskins
Bailey: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
To me, Chase Young is the best player in this draft, and he’d probably go number one overall if the Bengals weren’t desperate for a quarterback. He could make an immediate impact on the Redskins defense and could help them make some strides next season.
Jake: Chase Young, DE Ohio State
If the Bengals weren’t in the market for a quarterback Chase Young wouldn’t even be available. There have been rumors that the Redskins should trade, or draft Tua Tagovailoa here, which neither of the two make any sense. Sure, there’s still unknown surrounding Dwayne Haskins, and I don’t think he’s the longterm solution, but to not select a franchise changing player and a hometown hero no less in Chase Young would be a borderline criminal offense.
Ethan: Chase Young – DE – Ohio State
Washington needs a good pass rush and if we have learned anything from the past few drafts, Ohio State produces great pass rushers. Nick Bosa (2019 NFL ROY) & Joey Bosa (2016 NFL ROY). Plus with the defensive-minded Ron Rivera taking over, there is a great possibility that this is a guy Coach Rivera would want to build around.
#3 Detroit Lions
Bailey: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Lions have the worst passing defense it the league. They need help now. Okudah has been tabbed as the best cornerback in this draft, so they need to take Okudah with this pick.
Jake: Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State
Trade talk has really heated up about the Lions and what they might do with the third pick. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to trade down and grab a few more picks in Matt Patricia’s third year at the helm in Detroit. Patricia is in win now mode or it could be trouble. The Lions lost Darius Slay so plugging in someone like Okudah would be a great start for the Lions in the draft.
Ethan: Jeff Okudah – CB – Ohio State
The Lions draft offensive linemen usually. Three out of their last five first round picks have been O-Line’ however, Matt Patricia has defense on the brain (Lions sign Jamie Collins, Desmond Trufant, Reggie Ragland) and there may not be a better student of the game than Jeff Okudah of Ohio State. The Lions need to replace stand out corner, Darius Slay, and Okudah could just do that. (The Lions could possibly trade back if the price is right from Miami or LAC).
#4 New York Giants
Bailey: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
This was my first real toss-up. I almost went with Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs, because the Giants really need help at the tackle position. I think that Simmons will be too good to pass up on, however. The Giants need help with their pass rush too, and Simmons was the fastest linebacker at the combine. He’s versatile, having played multiple different positions, so he could be put in any situation you need him in immediately as a sort of jack of all trades type player.
Jake: Los Angeles Chargers [Trade with New York Giants]: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
And here.. we.. go.. [Heath Ledger in Dark Knight circa 2008]. I think this is where things start to get interesting. The Chargers are in desperate need not only for a new quarterback, but a name that could bring some buzz to LA. Tagovailoa fits that bill. They aren’t taking any chances with Miami maybe pulling trig for Tua over Justin Herbert. Chargers waste no time with this pick.
Ethan: Jedrick Wills – OT – Alabama
The Giants will go one of two ways here, either they will take the best available defensive player or the bolster the offensive line. Right now the best thing they have going for them is Saquon Barkley, so why not get a big man up front to provide some running lanes. Wills is also use to having talented running backs running behind him.
#5 Miami Dolphins
Bailey: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
There has been so much talk about Tua and his ability to stay healthy in recent months, and whether the Dolphins should take a chance on drafting him. They’ve got 14 picks, I think they can afford to take the risk. I’ve seen some people say the Dolphins should take Justin Herbert here, but I think Tua is indicative of the type of hybrid QB that seems to be flourishing in the league now.
Jake: Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
This is the quarterback the Dolphins wanted all along. That’s not to say the Dolphins won’t do any trading of their own with their other two picks in the first round, but pick No. 5 is the right spot to land their next face of the franchise.
Ethan: Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
The Dolphins have a lot they can do in this draft. They have the most picks overall (14) and the most in the first round (3). They could trade up to get their franchise QB earlier (but since we aren’t doing trades in this mock draft) I have Miami taking Tua. There are concerns about injury, but a healthy Tua is a winner. He is a former national champion, Heisman runner-up in 2018, and even on a short season he finished All-SEC 2nd Team. (There is a possibility we see the Dolphins grab an offensive lineman here and wait to 18th to grab their QB, but then again the only thing for certain in this draft is nothing’s for certain).
#6 Los Angeles Chargers
Bailey: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
There are questions about his consistency, but like the Dolphins, the Chargers need a quarterback. They’ve got veteran support with Tyrod Taylor there, so if Justin needs time to improve, they can fall back on Taylor. I just don’t see the Dolphins not taking Tua, so if that’s the move they make, Herbert will be heading to Los Angeles.
Jake: New York Giants [Trade with Los Angeles Chargers]: Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
The Giants make the first trade of the draft allowing the Chargers to move up and grab Tua while receiving the Chargers first round pick, 2021 fifth round pick and a defensive piece. Andrew Thomas has garnered more and more attention as the draft draws near and rightfully so as Thomas is the best offensive lineman in this years draft.
Ethan: Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
The Chargers need a quarterback after parting ways with Phillip Rivers this year. Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick are the only QB’s on the Chargers roster currently. Herbert threw for 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns in his senior season which he capped off with a Rose Bowl victory.
#7 Carolina Panthers
Bailey: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
With Okudah and Simmons off my board, Brown is the next logical step for Carolina. He’s the best player at his position in the draft, and he fills a major need for Carolina. It’s a win win for everyone.
Jake: Derrick Brown, DL Auburn
Carolina made its moves at quarterback with Cam Newton gone and Teddy Bridgewater and XFL standout PJ Walker in. Then you look at the defensive side of the ball with your biggest asset Luke Kuechly retiring, and the need to find stability on the defensive line and secondary. Enter Derrick Brown to help ease that burden.
Ethan: Derrick Brown – DL – Auburn
The Panthers have had a very eventful offseason. They added Teddy Bridgewater, Robby Anderson, Russell Okung, and Tahir Whitehead, while giving Christian McCaffrey an extension; however, they also lost head coach Ron Rivera, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly (retirement), Greg Olsen, and a pair of big men up front (Dontari Poe & Gerald McCoy). Brown looks to be a guy who can fill the void on the d-line after a senior season with 55 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
#8 Arizona Cardinals
Bailey: Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
I think the best lineman in the draft falls into Arizona’s lap here with this pick. Kyler Murray took a lot of punishment last season, and Wirfs could be a plug and play type of guy from the get-go. If for some reason Wirfs is off the board, you could also look at Mekhi Becton here.
Jake: Tristan Wirfs, OL Iowa
The Cardinals have serious potential to be a solid team of the future with the young core they’re building alongside second year-quarterback Kyler Murray and second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Arizona already picked up a nice acquisition from Houston with DeAndre Hopkins. Where you go with this pick is providing Murray with some best of the best protection up front.
Ethan: Andrew Thomas – OL – Georgia
The Cardinals got their QB last year in Kyler Murray. They added one of the best receivers in the game in the offseason, DeAndre Hopkins. Finally, they have one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game Larry Fitzgerald, so why not bring in a lineman to give Murray a chance to get the ball in the hands of one of his playmakers. Thomas is coming from a Georgia team that has seen great success on offense in the run game and pass game. Thomas would be a great addition to Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
#9 Jacksonville Jaguars
Bailey: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Jaguars no longer have Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, they need a cornerback now. Henderson would be a great pick for them here. Again, this is another spot where I think someone like Mekhi Becton could go here too, but Henderson fills a glaring need for the Jaguars, and he’ll be on the board.
Jake: CJ Henderson, CB Florida
What was once a feared defense now finds itself in the stages of rebuilding. Sure, you could also see a move for a wide receiver here to bestow Gardner Minshew with some options out wide. As we all know, this wide receiver draft class is all kinds of deep and talented. The play here is finding a Jalen Ramsey-esque corner like Henderson and reloading the defense.
Ethan: Isaiah Simmons – LB – Clemson
Jacksonville still may make some moves with the rumor that Leonard Fournette will be traded, or who they will bring in as a QB. At this point the best available pick would be Isaiah Simmons. Simmons could be picked earlier, but I would not be surprised by the Jaguars taking the best available defensive guy with this pick and if Simmons falls this low…it would be an absolute steal after a senior season that saw him record 104 total tackles, 8 sacks.
#10 Cleveland Browns
Bailey: Jederick Wills, OL, Alabama
Cleveland is in a good spot to take one of the top OTs in this class, and he can provide immediate protection for Baker Mayfield. Say it with me now, I think that Mekhi Becton would work here as well.
Jake: Mekhi Becton, OL Louisville
It still boggles my mind how the Browns failed to make the playoffs last season with the roster they had on the field. Find another way to give Baker Mayfield time in the pocket to sling it out to Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry or maybe even newly acquired tight end Austin Hooper. Becton is a beast with a 6-foot-7, 369-pound build and can do just that.
Ethan: Tristan Wirfs – OT – Iowa
I think we all thought this was a let down of a season for the Cleveland Browns. The talent is there, but it did not come together this season. This pick needs to be a “need” pick for certain. Offensive Line is a place that could be bolstered. Wirfs comes from a long-line of talented linemen from Iowa where he started from his freshman season, and could more than likely start week one for the Browns.
#11 New York Jets
Bailey: Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville
He’s a player that could fill several other teams needs, but a flagged combine drug test has him falling down my board a bit and being drafted by the Jets with the 11th pick. I think the Jets need to take a lineman with this pick, there’s a lot more wide receiver options than tackle options, so they need to pull the trigger here.
Jake: Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
And the dominoes begin to fall in this deep wide receiver class. The Jets could use some offensive line help for Sam Darnold as well, but what real weapons does he have outside of LeVeon Bell? Jamison Crowder? Quincy Enunwa? Bring in Jerry Jeudy, who is the complete package of speed, route running abilities and unreal hands. Not to mention him in the Big Apple? Cha-ching.
Ethan: Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama
(Here come the receivers) The Jets have a few areas that need improvement, but with a young gun-slinger like Sam Darnold at QB, it is time to get him some more talent to throw to. Jeudy can stretch the field which he showed numerous times at Alabama. Jeudy had 77 catches for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns last season (26 for his career). CeeDee Lamb may be a viable option here as well.
#12 Las Vegas Raiders
Bailey: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
This was another tough choice for me, you could easily throw Ceedee Lamb into this spot, but to me, Jeudy is just a bit more complete than Lamb.
Jake: CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
Lamb is another high regarded receiver and Raiders GM Mike Mayock evidently loves him. We all know it didn’t work out with Antonio Brown. The Raiders also added Nelson Agholor from the Eagles. Pair him with Lamb and Josh Jacobs at running back and you are starting to see a nice little tangent on offense there. Lamb, welcome to theeee Raaaaidahs (*Chris Berman voice*).
Ethan: CeeDee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma
Speaking of CeeDee Lamb, the Oklahoma receiver should be the first or second receiver taken in this draft. Las Vegas (it will be weird saying that this season) has done a lot to try and bolster their defense with Cory Littleton and Damarious Randall joining the mix, but Coach Gruden will want to have a playmaker for Derek Carr (or Marcus Mariota) to throw to since they traded Amari Cooper last season. CeeDee Lamb has had a few talented QB’s throwing to him, so he should be an immediate impact for the Raiders.
#13 San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis)
Bailey: Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
With Jeudy off the board, the next best receiver option for the 49ers would have to be Lamb. He’s considered by many to be the top receiver in the draft, and he’ll fit right in with San Francisco. He could be an explosive talent for them right out the gate.
Jake: Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
You know, I sat here and thought about the Broncos trading up to grab a higher wide receiver of their choice. I think it can still happen, but no chance it happens with the 49ers. The 49ers are already a team that can contend right away again for a Super Bowl. The one piece they’re missing to increase those odds? You guessed it. A crafty, speedy wide receiver. Deebo Samuel was fantastic last season in his rookie year. Add in another young stud like Ruggs at Jimmy G’s disposal. Dangerous with a capital ‘D’.
Ethan: Henry Ruggs III – WR – Alabama
The 49ers have a talented defense, but there are a few holes on offense. One of those just happens to be receiver. The 49ers have George Kittle who is a top three tight end, but they need a sure handed receiver. Ruggs offers that for Jimmy G. Ruggs was not as productive number wise as Jeudy, but still had over 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns over the last two season. San Fran could use production especially with the loss of Emmanuel Sanders.
#14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bailey: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Bucs are all in on Tom Brady, so they need to pick up someone who will be able to keep him safe, and unless they were to trade up to pick up someone like Tristan Wirfs, Jederick Wills, or Mekhi Becton (which they very well could do) they’d probably look to take the next best offensive lineman off the board.
Jake: Jedrick Willis Jr., OL Alabama
I’m also of the mindset that if the Bucs want to make the most of Tom Brady’s time is to get him the best offensive weapons possible. You can never have too many offensive weapons, but you look at Tampa Bay’s depth chart and it could really use a dual threat sort of running back. Don’t be shocked if that’s the case here, but in the same breath you have to do the classic beef up the O-line and give Brady the best security in front of him as possible. Willis Jr. is the monster offensive lineman the doctor ordered to help get Brady to where he wants to go.
Ethan: Mekhi Becton – OL – Louisville
The Bucs went out and grabbed future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady, during the offseason and now they need to protect him. Mekhi Becton is one of four offensive tackles that should be top 15 picks. Becton has received criticism lately about his passion for playing football, and a failed drug test; however, he has great size and can be a force if motivated (which should not be a problem with a new veteran like Brady in the locker room). (This could be a landing spot for a top RB as well i.e. D’Andre Swift).
#15 Denver Broncos
Bailey: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Broncos used the offseason to shore up their defense, so their main focus in the draft should be giving Drew Lock some weapons to throw to down field (which I, as a Mizzou alum, would love to see). He’s the type of player known to make explosive plays, which is exactly what I think Denver would like to have happen.
Jake: Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
I kept looking up and down the pecking order and wondered who would trade with Denver so that it could move up? A move wouldn’t shock me because you’re thinking Denver is going for a wideout with its first pick and the best one at that. Denver was average at best on third down conversions and end zone touchdown completions last season. He may be no Jerry Jeudy, but Jefferson would provide instant value for the Broncos as he is a magnet to the first-down marker. He’s efficient and that’s what Denver needs for Drew Lock.
Ethan: Justin Jefferson – WR – LSU
Jefferson has big play potential and can provide the Broncos with someone that can get open on routes. Denver’s receiving core is young which gives Jefferson to make an impact early. There are a few other spots that Denver could look at also a chance they trade up to take one of the top receivers in this draft, but Jefferson is coming off a season where he caught 18 touchdown passes and had over 1500 yards receiving.
#16 Atlanta Falcons
Bailey: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
First off, if you haven’t heard Javon Kinlaw’s story, you really need to. It’s the stuff perfect for a Disney movie. That mental toughness will only help him as a pro. Plus he’d make a great fit on Atlanta’s young defensive line.
Jake: Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson
Simmons will drop right into the hands of the Falcons who will be licking their chops to replace Vic Beasley. Defense took a hit with losing Beasley, so bring in the next best cornerback in the draft and that belongs to Simmons out of Clemson.
Ethan: K’Lavon Chaisson – LB – LSU
Another national champion off the board to the Falcons. Atlanta went out and made a splash by bringing home former Georgia Bulldog, Todd Gurley. The offense still boasts Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and now with Gurley in the mix the offense is set. That’s why the addition of Chaisson would be beneficial to the Falcons. Chaisson recorded 60 total tackles and 6.5 sacks during the Tigers championship run.
#17 Dallas Cowboys
Bailey: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The Cowboys could really use a cornerback, but you can’t really go wrong with taking the next best guy off the board, and the good thing is, Chaisson also fills their need for a pass rusher. So it’s a win win. They’ll have to take a CB with their next pick though.
Jake: Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
It seems like this picks is inevitable. McKinney is a special player that can slide into multiple roles on defense. The Cowboys defense could certainly use his versatility.
Ethan: CJ Henderson – CB – Florida
The Cowboys have Zeke, Amari, and Dak. They could get an offensive lineman here especially with Travis Frederick retiring and Tyron Smith nearing the end of his own career. The Cowboys though could still bolster another area of need which is secondary. CJ Henderson is projected as one of the top corners in this years draft. There is a possibility that we could also see Xavier McKinney or Kristian Fulton go here as well.
#18 Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh)
Bailey: Antoine Winfield Jr., S/CB, Minnesota
While the Dolphins have an issue with the offensive line, and this pick could be a bit of a reach, I think they go with a safety here. He’s a bit undersized, but he’s got that hybrid appeal which means he could fit in more situations. I wouldn’t be surprised though if the Dolphins take an OL on this pick though.
Jake: Javon Kinlaw, DL South Carolina
Not a hot take. Miami might be on the come up here folks. There’s been a lot of smoke about Miami trading picks, but honestly why not keep your picks? Construct a team to second-year head coach Brian Flores’ liking. In case you missed it, Miami’s defense was no bueno giving up an average of 30.9 points per game. Plug and instantly start a player like Javon Kinlaw and you’ll see that average go down a bit.
Ethan: Joshua Jones – OT – Houston
The Dolphins are back on the clock at 18. There isn’t a need to trade picks out especially with the most total, but an offensive lineman here makes sense especially after grabbing a QB at #5. Joshua Jones has jumped the boards through the offseason and the offensive tackle spot has a lot of upside in this draft. Jones could bolster the offense after the Dolphins tried to focus on defense during free agency.
#19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago)
Bailey: Kristan Fullerton, CB, LSU
Another tough one for me because I could see the Raiders taking a WR here. He’s one of the best CBs in the draft and fills another major need for Las Vegas. Side note, it’s still super weird for me to write Las Vegas and not Oakland.
Jake: Jordan Love, QB Utah State
Jordan Love lands in sights of the Raiders and Jon Gruden is ecstatic. The Raiders believe there is untapped potential with Marcus Mariota on a two-year deal, and maybe there is. We know Gruden is a big fan of his from his college years at Oregon, but what if there isn’t? There’s no doubt Carr is on his way out. Bring in Love who can help further spark the quarterback competition. And who knows? Maybe he becomes the next face of the franchise? Low risk, high reward situation here.
Ethan: Patrick Queen – LB – LSU
This could possibly be a steal if Queen does drop to 19 for the Raiders. He offers great inside ability at the linebacker position. We know Jon Gruden likes to have a smart middle linebacker and has had success with a field general in that position in the past. Queen and Kenneth Murray are two of the top linebackers in this draft, but after a great finish to his LSU career Queen could be the guy for the Raiders.
#20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)
Bailey: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
If you’re going to stick with Garner Minshew, you’re going to need to give him someone to throw to. He’s easily a top 5 receiver in a draft class loaded with talent, and he was Joe Burrow’s top target, so you know he’s reliable.
Jake: K’Lavon Chaisson LSU EDGE
The Jags mean business with rebuilding another strong defense. Even though he missed the 2018 season with a torn ACL, there’s much upside to Chaisson in which the Jacksonville could desperately use an athletic edge rusher. Did you see the video of Chaisson already working out in a Jags shirt floating around on social media? Uh oh.
Ethan: Javon Kinlaw – DL – So. Carolina
Possibly another major steal if Kinlaw were to fall this low. We know that the Jaguars like to strengthen their defense. In the past few seasons they have traded a lot of their former top picks away and it is almost a rebuild on defense, but with a team like the Titans in their division that will run the ball with Derrick Henry, having a big body on the front line is beneficial. Kinlaw also recorded 35 total tackles with six sacks in 2019.
#21 Philadelphia Eagles
Bailey: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Eagles could use some help at cornerback, but I think they need to go with a receiver here. Higgins is the next best receiver. He’s a big dude and is versatile enough to give you options on where to play him.
Jake: Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
The talk of the town in Philly has revolved around the Eagles and how the interest continues to grow between Denzel Mims. No doubt the Eagles draft a receiver for Carson Wentz here, and Mims has been rising up draft boards. Standing 6-foot-3, 207 pounds Mims can be both a threat down the length of the field but his blocking abilities are top notch as well. He would bring much excitement to Philly.
Ethan: Tee Higgins – WR – Clemson
The Eagles have two major areas to focus on wide receiver and secondary. Zach Ertz is the go to guy in Philly, but after a season where the Eagles struggled to get the ball down the field. Tee Higgins offers a mismatch with his size. He also is coming from a Clemson program that likes to throw the ball around. Higgins would give Carson Wentz another big target if Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both stay healthy.
#22 Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo)
Bailey: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Johnson is an overall solid player, with a lot of good physical traits that make him a great late round pick. The Vikings couldn’t go wrong with him, and he’d fit in with their defense rather quickly.
Jake: Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State
With the loss of Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen being the new number one, the Vikings are in the business of taking a receiver here. Take advantage of the top talent early. Brandon Aiyuk is someone who can receive the ball and make something happen.
Ethan: Xavier McKinney – S – Alabama
The Vikings lost Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, and Andrew Sendejo in free agency. Now they will look to bring in some young talent at this spot. Xavier McKinney is a great addition to the a defense that is stacked at most positions. McKinney also recorded 95 tackles and caught three picks in 2019. Minnesota will have another pick at 25 which should be a wide receiver.
#23 New England Patriots
Bailey: Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin
I’m gonna be honest, I have no idea what New England is going to do with the pick. Some people are saying they’ll go with a QB, but they picked up Brian Hoyer and seem cool with Jarrett Stidham, so I don’t think they’d pull the trigger on a QB. Baun was a breakout guy for the Badgers last year, and Bill Belichick seems to like those kinds of players. So I think they take him here.
Jake: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
Life without Tom Brady. Time flies. Honestly, the biggest need for the Patriots is a tight end and really better offensive firepower. But the tight end draft class is not ideal this year. The Patriots could always draft a quarterback in the later rounds, so I don’t think that’s the move here. After losing players like Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts to free agency, New England could use an off-the-line linebacker who demonstrates good sideline-to-sideline speed and can play all four downs. Murray is one of the top linebackers in the draft and can fill in that gap.
Ethan: AJ Epenesa – DE – Iowa
People are expecting a quarterback with this pick after the Brady era ended in New England this year, but I just don’t know if the Patriots would grab Jordan Love, especially if they could get a top QB next season (*cough* Trevor Lawrence *cough*). I feel Bill Belichick will ride with what he has this season. AJ Epenesa had a great career at Iowa with 11.5 sacks in 2019 and 10.5 in 2018. The Patriots did lose several key defensive players to free agency.
#24 New Orleans Saints
Bailey: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The Saints don’t have a lot of glaring holes, but they could use some help at the cornerback position. I wouldn’t put Terrell much higher than a late first round selection, but he’s a local guy and that always gets fan bases fired up. So you can’t go wrong with that.
Jake: A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson
The Saints can take advantage of a solid cornerback class as well and stack their secondary. With Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins patrolling opposite sides of the field, you plug in Terrell, and good luck.
Ethan: Zack Baun – OLB – Wisconsin
The Saints picked up Emmanuel Sanders, Malcolm Jenkins, and DJ Swearinger in free agency. New Orleans could focus on defense here with a LB or beef up the d-line. Zack Baun had 76 total tackles, but also recorded 12.5 sacks. Another name to keep in mind here is Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.
#25 Minnesota Vikings
Bailey: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Vikings can fill another one of their needs with Gross-Matos late in the first round. Don’t be surprised if they take a WR here though.
Jake: Josh Jones, OL Houston
It seems like the Vikings have a number of different issues they need to address, in addition to the coaching changes. They can address two of them in the first round. Get the wide receiver you want and then bring in an athletic and powerful offensive linemen to add in front of Kirk Cousins.
Ethan: Brandon Aiyuk – WR – Arizona State
Aiyuk’s draft stock went up after the 2019 season when he recorded 65 catches with 1,192 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Vikings need a receiver to replace Stefon Diggs. There is a possibility the Vikings could try to trade up to grab another top receiver and use this pick for a defensive player, but Aiyuk could be a steal in the latter part of the this draft.
#26 Miami Dolphins (from Houston)
Bailey: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
I really wanted to put Wisconsin’s Jonathon Taylor here, because I think he’s the best RB in this year’s draft, but he does have some issues with holding onto the ball that could make him a second round pick. I’ve read that my Steelers could possibly take him with one of their picks (and I would LOVE that). So I see the Dolphins taking Swift here, who’s an elite running back in his own right, and he’s got the added benefit of being a receiving back as well.
Jake: DeAndre Swift, RB Georgia
DeAndre Swift will be the first running back to go. And it just so happens the Dolphins are in need of one. Swift is a human joystick in the back field and for Miami to have the chance to grab a new quarterback, a new running back and take advantage of the receiver depth in the later rounds is a win.
Ethan: Yetur Gross Matos – DL – Penn State
If the Dolphins go offense with their first two picks of the first round, it will need to be time to focus on defense. The Dolphins went out and got Byron Jones, Shaq Lawson, and Kyle Van Noy during free agency. Yetur adds a presence on the defensive line. Over the past two season Gross-Matos recorded 17.5 sacks.
#27 Seattle Seahawks
Bailey: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
He’s the next best edge rusher off the board, and he fills a need for Seattle. Don’t be surprised if the take a center or guard here though.
Jake: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn St.
I’m stuck between Gross-Matos and Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa here. Point being, the Seahawks need to establish a deadly front four.. Oh, and also try to bring back Jadeveon Clowney. But even if that doesn’t happen grabbing a force like Gross-Matos or Epenesa is a good start.
Ethan: Ross Blacklock – DL – TCU
The Seahawks once bolstered the best defense in the NFL, but that has been several seasons. Seattle still has key pieces on their defense like Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright, but with Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah testing free agency, they needed some pressure up front. Blacklock would be more of a gap filler on the line instead of adding pressure, but it could fill holes for the defense.
#28 Baltimore Ravens
Bailey: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Ravens have a hole to fill at ILB, and Queen can help fill that hole. He’s an athletic player who should contribute quickly.
Jake: Patrick Queen, LB LSU
Baltimore needs to strengthen its defensive efforts after seeing the Ravens drop to the hands of the Titans in the playoffs and Derrick Henry leading the way. Queen is an incredible athlete who had a breakout season for the Tigers in their national championship run. He is the next best pick in the linebacker category, especially with four-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley lost to free agency last year and inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor being current free agents.
Ethan: Kenneth Murray – LB – Oklahoma
The Ravens go back to the Oklahoma well for this draft but on defense with Kenneth Murray. This could be another major steal for an already dangerous team. The Ravens could go offensive line in this spot as well, but Murray offers a lot of fire power on defense. Murray had less tackles in 2019 than his 155 in 2018, but recording 102 tackles this last season.
#29 Tennessee Titans
Bailey: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
He’s quick, he’s tough, and he’s reliable when thrown to deep. Those are the kinds of things that have made him a first round selection. I think the Titans get a nice player here.
Jake: Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
The play for the Titans should go and grab the next best cornerback, looking at the future of the position. Fulton gave up just 17 completions this past college football season. Look at the conference he played in too. He’s definitely a cornerback that will go in the first round and the Titans could capitalize if Fulton drops as low as 29.
Ethan: Trevon Diggs – CB – Alabama
The Titans could go offensive line here as well to help protect their man Ryan Tannehill and of course give Derrick Henry someone to run behind; however, Trevon Diggs could add another playmaker to the Titans secondary. Diggs caught three interceptions and recorded 37 tackles as well.
#30 Green Bay Packers
Bailey: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Packers should really draft a WR with this pick, but I love mess, so I want them to draft Aaron Rodgers replacement here. Outside of Rodgers, who has started showing his age, there’s nothing in the quarterback room. Taking Love here gives him time to develop under one of the greats.
Jake: Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
Green Bay needs to make the most of the final stage of Aaron Rodgers career and get the man some speedy receivers with reliable hands who can stretch the length of the field. Higgins would give the Packers a boost right from the start after he finished his Clemson career tied for the most receiving touchdowns in school history. He would make a fantastic red zone target for Rodgers.
Ethan: Michael Pittman Jr. – WR – USC
The last time the Packers picked an offensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft was 2011. Green Bay has tried to build their defense through the draft (until last season with free agency moves). Green Bay’s offense has been situated around Aaron Rodgers and now it is time to give him another big target. Davante Adams is still a top receiver in the league, but there is a drop off to the rest of the receiving core even with the addition of Devin Funchess. Michael Pittman Junior got better each season at USC and posted a 2019 season with over 1200 yards receiving and 11 TDs. (Don’t be surprised if Green Bay goes D-Line, O-Line, or LB here either, especially if a top prospect drops).
#31 San Francisco 49ers
Bailey: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Injuries hampered his season two years ago, but if he goes to a team like San Francisco, he’s got time to further develop and make up for some lost time.
Jake: Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn
If San Francisco tries to trade a pick, I think it would be 31. Again, no way the 49ers miss out on a chance to draft another dangerous wide receiver up front. Then again, Igbinoghene would be an absolute steal. The former receiver-turned-cornerback carries a lot of potential and to have him line up opposite of Richard Sherman would be quite the spectacle.
Ethan: Jaylon Johnson – CB – Utah
The 49ers won’t pick again until the 5th round after this pick, so I could see them possibly trading this pick back to a team that doesn’t have a first round pick (especially someone who may be interested in Jordan Love). If the 49ers stay, this would be another great opportunity for them to grab a talented defender. San Francisco could grab a guy like Jaylon Johnson from Utah. Johnson recorded 36 tackles in 2019 and caught 7 interception in his career for the Utes.
#32 Kansas City Chiefs
Bailey: Cesar Ruiz, G/C, Michigan
The Chiefs bring back nearly their roster from last year. Why mess with a good thing? That means they have the luxury of taking the next best player. If you really wanted to address a “need” then taking a guard isn’t the worst idea. Don’t be surprised if they take a running back here, possibly Swift if he’s still available.
Jake: Cesar Ruiz, OL Michigan
Could the Chiefs trade up for another OP wide receiver to add to their already insane, score-at-will offense? Perhaps. But what team would let the Chiefs do that? My next thought is that the Chiefs should aim for a talented and crafty running back with this pick. Say Miami takes DeAndre Swift, do you still go for running back? I say absolutely. Clyde Edwards-Helaire would be a sneaky good pick who can run North to South and haul in catches. OR.. you could draft the next great center, give Patrick Mahomes a wall up front and look for offensive weapons in the next round. Ruiz would be a tremendous upgrade and has the chance to be one of the best centers in the league.
Ethan: D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia
What do you get the offense that has virtually everything? How about a top running back? The Chiefs could grab an offensive lineman or even a safety/corner; however, if your offense can score at will then it is up to the other teams to stop you. Swift is coming from a great RB program (Todd Gurley ’14, Nick Chubb ’17, Sony Michel ’17) [not to mention legends like Herschel Walker ’82, Terrell Davis ’94]. Patrick Mahomes could have another dangerous weapon with Swift in the backfield. Swift is coming off his second consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season and 20 career rushing touchdowns as a Bulldog. Oh by the way, add 5 receiving touchdowns to his resume as well. (Keep the name Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU in your mind as well, he is coming off of a season where he had over 1,400 yards on the ground and nearly 500 yards receiving).
Be sure to join us this Thursday for the live draft coverage!