April here and the NFL Draft is rapidly approaching, so it’s time for another NFL mock draft. This is the third iteration of mocks from yours truly, and a lot has changed since Mock Draft 2.0. NFL free agency has reshuffled the deck on a lot of rosters, so let’s take a look at how things could unfold later this month.
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1. Jacksonville - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
While we can’t say he’s an absolute lock here, all signs point to Lawrence coming off the board as the first overall pick.
2. NY Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Signs continue to point to Wilson as the presumptive No. 2 pick in the draft. The Jets would still have to figure out what they’re doing with Sam Darnold, but it’s hard not to like the BYU product in this spot. Wilson wowed at his pro day, flashing the ability to make big boy throws look easy.
3. San Francisco - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota St.
The 49ers made their power move up the board and now sit in the three hole. Despite widespread speculation that Mac Jones is the pick, I’m just not buying it. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan go with a Josh Allen type in Lance. Better yet, Jimmy Garoppolo gives San Francisco a runway where they won’t have to rush Lance on the field.
4. Carolina (Trade) - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
With three signal-callers off the board, Carolina makes their way up to grab Fields. In Fields, the Panthers get a mobile quarterback with an impressive arm. He’d be a very intriguing fit in Joe Brady’s offense.
5. Cincinnati - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
This pick hasn’t changed in any of my mocks. While getting someone like Ja'Marr Chase or Kyle Pitts would be fun, the Bengals need to prioritize protecting Joe Burrow. Sewell opted out of the 2020 season, but he more than impressed in 2019 with no sacks allowed on the season. He also pitched a shutout with no hits or hurries in 9 of 13 starts.
6. Miami - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The Dolphins now hold pick No. 6 and grab the most complete wideout in this year’s class. Chase opted out of 2020, but what he did in 2019 was special. He was clearly the best wideout on an LSU squad that also featured Justin Jefferson.
7. Detroit - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
With essentially no one at receiver on the current depth chart, the Lions need to address the position. They do so in a big way with the reigning Heisman winner. Smith gives them a dynamic playmaker who will give Jared Goff a viable weapon at wideout.
8. Atlanta (Trade) - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Pitts put on a show at his pro day and is coming off one of the most impressive tight end seasons we’ve seen at the college level. He’s what would happen if Julio Jones played tight end, so it makes a ton of sense for the Falcons to pair him up with Jones and Calvin Ridley in Arthur Smith’s offense.
9. Denver - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Here we go. Five quarterbacks in the top 10. Jones doesn’t have the high ceiling of the top four quarterbacks in this year’s class, but he’s a proven winner who gives you accuracy in the short and intermediate areas of the field. His skill set bodes well with the existing talent in Denver.
10. Dallas - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
With things relatively solid on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys go with an Alabama corner for the second straight year. Surtain’s length and high football IQ give pairs well with Trevon Diggs.
11. NY Giants - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Like the Cowboys, the G-Men address their secondary with this pick and take the uber-athletic corner out of South Carolina. Horn showed elite testing numbers nearly across the board with impressive size (6-1, 205), a 41.5-inch vertical, 11-1 in the board and 4.40 in the 40-yard dash.
12. Philadelphia - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
With their divisional rivals scooping up the top two corners on the board, Philly addresses its other major need at wideout with an explosive moveable chess piece in Waddle. His presence along with Jalen Reagor would give Jalen Hurts plenty of speed to work with in his first full season as the starter.
13. LA Chargers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Like the Bengals at pick No. 5, the Chargers go offensive line to protect their young franchise quarterback. This might be a tad late on Slater for some, but there’s a path for him still being on the board at this point.
14. Minnesota - Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
The Vikings added Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency but still have a need along their defensive interior. While this isn’t a premium interior class, Barmore has impressed over the last two seasons in Alabama and is the clear top option in the class.
15. New England - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Bill Belichick’s squad certainly has their work cut out for them on the offensive side of the ball, but they also need defensive help. Parsons gives them a much-needed boost at linebacker and should help shore up the New England run defense.
16. Arizona - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley is no longer in the conversation as the top corner in this year’s class following a back procedure he had last month. However, he’s still very talented and has elite size and athleticism. The Cardinals begin the post-Patrick Peterson era with a key addition at the position at a slightly discounted price.
17. Las Vegas - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
It’s no secret that the Raiders brass are not satisfied with what they have on the defensive side of the ball. Owusu-Koramoah is a tad undersized, but he has the chops to be a three-down option in the NFL.
18. Miami - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
The Dolphins already grabbed an elite talent at wideout and now will protect their offensive interior with one of the most talented offensive linemen in the class. Vera-Tucker played tackle at the college level but is viewed more as an interior option at the next level.
19. Washington - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Ron Rivera and company were active in free agency and now address their offensive line. Darrisaw is one of the top run-blocking offensive linemen in this year’s class.
20. Chicago - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
While Allen Robinson did sign his franchise tag, the Bears still have a long-term need at wide receiver. Bateman isn’t quite at the level of the top three receivers in this year’s class, but he isn’t that far off. Bateman excels as a route runner and has NFL size.
21. Indianapolis - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Edge falls in this mock, and the Colts get their choice of the bunch at this pick. Paye is slightly undersized, but he’s off the charts athletically. He does have some developing to do, but his improvements in 2020 are encouraging.
22. Tennessee - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Titans follow Indy’s lead and grab an edge. Rousseau has a limited resume at the college level but he has the physical traits you look for in an NFL-caliber edge rusher.
23. NY Jets - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Robert Saleh’s squad has a lot of needs, so picking a running back may seem a bit too luxurious here. But there’s no denying the appeal of this pick. Etienne has an ideal skill set for the new-look Jets run game under Mike LaFleur.
24. Pittsburgh - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Art Rooney II was embarrassed by the Steelers finishing last in the league in rushing yards and said running back will be a priority. In Harris, they get a three-down back who in a lot of ways could be their Le'Veon Bell 2.0.
25. Jacksonville - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma St.
Urban Meyer and company protect their top pick with some help along the offensive line in Jenkins. While he only played part of the season, Jenkins impressed in pass blocking.
26. Cleveland - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Phillips comes with a lengthy injury history and is far from the safest pick. That being said, he’s also arguably the most talented edge player in this year’s class. He could prove to be a tremendous value in this spot.
27. Baltimore - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Ravens get younger on the edge with this pick in Ojulari. The Georgia product isn’t the biggest edge in this class, but his speed bodes well at the next level.
28. New Orleans - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Saints address a big need at linebacker and have Collins fall into their lap. Collins had an explosive rise in 2020 and was one of the nation’s top defensive players. His impressive size makes him an intriguing prospect who can pose a lot of problems for NFL offenses.
29. Green Bay - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
I’m going to keep mocking wideouts to the Packers to hopefully will it into existence. Green Bay has a glaring need at wide receiver and Moore would give them an explosive playmaker. Of course, they probably won’t draft a wideout here.
30. Buffalo - Jason Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
There’s really good value at edge late in the first round, and the Bills get in on the action. Oweh gives them major speed and versatility along the edge.
31. Kansas City - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
If there’s a weak spot in Kansas City, it’s their wide receivers beyond Tyreek Hill. Drafting Moore would help fill in that gap and would give Patrick Mahomes yet another dynamic playmaker with game-breaking ability.
32. Tampa Bay - Javonte Williams, RB North Carolina
It’s tough to find a glaring need for the Bucs, but they could use an upgrade in their backfield. While three running backs in the first round may not seem likely, Williams is a first-round talent. The gap between him and Etienne/Harris is not as wide as some might think. He’d give Tampa a three-down back with physicality and a skill set reminiscent of Aaron Jones.