Jones Falls, Miami Wins, and The Vikings Trade: A Full Round 1 Mock
It’s draft week, good reader. As a result, I’ve enlisted Mimir – the mastermind behind TVG‘s Moron’s Guide to Football – to swing by for a round 1 mock, one that not only focuses on our Vikings but the entire league. He is taking on the odd numbers (he is, after all, a little odd) and I’m the even numbers. The one exception is when we traded. His Washington Football Team traded up to 14th and our Vikings dropped down to 19th. Enjoy the mock!
A Full Round 1 Mock: The Vikings Land an O-Lineman
1, Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
Don’t overthink this one. Lawrence has been the consensus #1 pick for a couple of years now and his play on the field certainly warrants it. There are no sure-things in life (or football), but even if this pick doesn’t work out, nobody can blame the Jags for making it. Can’t wait for his inevitable Head & Shoulders commercials.
2, Jets: Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
Do I think this is what they should do? No. Do the Jets care what I think? Also no. Look, there’s no debating that Wilson has a ton of ability. It won’t be shocking if he succeeds, but I just think Fields looks like the better prospect.
3, 49ers: Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)
If the 9ers infatuation with Mac Jones turns out to be anything more than a smoke-screen I’ll eat my hat. Thankfully I’m not wearing a hat at the moment so this is a pretty meaningless promise, but the 49ers have built an incredible roster and I can’t see them passing up a prospect like Fields for Jones. Plus, the haul they gave up to trade up to 3 doesn’t make any sense if Mac Jones is their guy. Fields is a great prospect, and the criticism of him is pretty suspect.
4, Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
Arguably the best player in the draft, Pitts falls to #4 because of the NFL’s infatuation with quarterbacks. The Pitts-Hurst-Ridley-Jones combo makes Atlanta’s offense an absolute nightmare to matchup against. I still don’t think they’ll win a lot of games, but at least their offense will be exciting to watch.
5, Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU)
Zac Taylor is not a very good head coach. The Bengals roster hasn’t been top tier, but along with his 6-25-1 record, his uninspiring play-calling, and inability to close out games has him on the hot seat. For that reason, I think the Bengals do whatever they can to keep their signal-caller of the future, Joe Burrow, happy and that includes adding his former college teammate with their first pick. In addition to adding former-Viking Riley Reiff, I think they address the OL concerns in both the second and third round (Sam Cosmi and Kendrick Green are my guesses).
6, Dolphins: Penei Sewell, OT (Oregon)
The rationale here is the Dolphins intentionally moved to #6 because they knew they could still snag an elite talent. If Kyle Pitts fell, it likely would have been him. In this scenario, Sewell gets past the Bengals, making it an easy choice. In five years time, we might look back and see that Miami got the best player in the draft.
7, Lions: Devonta Smith, WR (Alabama)
The top receiver currently on the Lions roster is *checks notes* Geronimo Allison. Allison would be a perennial selection for the NFL’s All-Name Team, but his stats as a receiver are unfortunately less impressive. He’s never amassed more than 303 yards in a season, and his career total yards are less than recently-departed wideout Kenny Golladay’s yardage total from 2019. With Jared Goff as their QB (for now, anyway), the Lions badly need to add skill players.
8, Panthers: Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)
That Luke Kuechly guy was pretty good at playing football. Replacing him is a reasonably difficult task. I’m not trying to say that Parsons will be as impactful as Kuechly (few are), I’m merely pointing out that Carolina has a history of elite play from that linebacker spot and that Parsons is likely going top-ten.
9, Broncos: Trey Lance, QB (N. Dakota State)
The smart money says that if a QB falls to them the Denver Broncos go with Mac Jones. He’s the prototypical Elway QB. But with all of the misses over the last several seasons (remember Brock Lobster?) and Elway’s recent demotion, I think they make the more sensible choice and go with Trey Lance and have a good ol’ fashioned QB competition in camp.
10, Cowboys: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE (Miami)
A supremely talented player with lots of question marks? This would be a very Jerry Jones move. If things work out, Jones may be walking away with the best defensive player in the draft, someone who can really complement DeMarcus Lawrence.
11, Giants: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE (Georgia)
Dan Duggan of The Athletic makes a compelling case for the Giants passing on Rashawn Slater here and instead addressing their dismal pass rush (32 of 32 in 2020). They likely try to trade back, but if nobody bites don’t be surprised if they go EDGE. I think they like Ojulari more than Phillips, so the Cowboys going EDGE shouldn’t mess with their plan.
12, Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, WR (Alabama)
13, Chargers: Rashawn Slater, T (Northwestern)
We’ve talked a lot about the Vikings’ OL struggles this past season on TVG, but the Chargers were even worse. Like, a lot worse. They’ve made three signings to address their dismal line in FA (Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, Oday Aboushi), but I still think they go tackle here. After Justin Herbert’s unexpectedly brilliant rookie season I think they smartly go all-in on protecting their QB of the future.
14, TRADE Football Team: Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
With the Mac Jones hype appearing to be just that, hype, and him tumbling down the board I think the Football Team can’t rush to the phone fast enough to leapfrog the Pats. Fitzmagic is a stop gap, and despite Taylor Heinicke’s promise, I don’t think they’re at all sold on him as the QB of the future. This is a solid situation for Jones, who can sit behind Fitzpatrick for the season and try to iron out some of the issues with his game.
15, Patriots: Teven Jenkins, OT (Oklahoma State)
This is a bit of an off-the-board pick, but after getting leapfrogged for Jones, I think the Pats go with the best run-blocking OT left and draft Teven Jenkins. With Cam under center again this year, they try to shore up the line, get the run game going, and lean on the defense. This pick also puts them in position to build a stout OL for whichever QB they end up signing or drafting to be the future of the franchise (Hint: it won’t be Jarrett Stidham).
16, Cardinals: Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)
They’ve got elite talent along the defensive line. They added Isaiah Simmons last year and have Budda Baker at safety. In other words, there is talent over there. Adding Surtain brings them one step closer to having a complete defense. Let’s not forget that Pat-Pete leaves a hole in their defense.
17, Raiders: Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
While the ghost of Al Davis and probably Gruden’s gut are telling them to take the fastest receiver still on the board, I think they go defensive back. Their secondary was abysmal last year, only better than the woeful Detroit Lions group; Jaycee Horn provides an immediate upgrade.
18, Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB (Notre Dame)
Miami is looking pretty smart right about now. They landed the best offensive lineman in the draft at six and now add a versatile defender at 18. It’s often foolish to pick a winner on draft day, but it’d be hard to come away with any other conclusion if things work out like this. Miami would have won the opening round.
19, TRADE Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL (USC)
Here it is, folks, the offensive line help we all so desperately want in our purple lives. In exchange for Washington’s 1st, 2nd, and 2022 5th, Minnesota trades back. Vera-Tucker is a highly-regarded prospect who has experience along both the outside and interior. Many evaluators think he would fit best along the inside; it really shouldn’t matter too much to the Vikings. Is it preferable to get a stud LT? Of course, but we also need two starters at guard. A Cleveland & Vera-Tucker left side offers plenty to be optimistic about.
20, Bears: Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)
Personally, I don’t understand what Ryan Pace is doing over there. I’d be surprised if many people did. Kyle Fuller is no longer in town, so there is a need to re-add talent in the secondary.
21, Colts: Christian Darrisaw, OT (Virginia Tech)
With the future of the QB position locked up with Carson Wentz, an otherwise strong Colts roster sets about bolstering their OL. I think they’re thrilled if Darrisaw makes it to them all the way down at 21. I also think trading back is a strong possibility, but couldn’t find any takers in our mock draft.
22, Titans: Kwity Paye, Edge (Michigan)
You gotta think Tennessee would be thrilled here. Adding Paye at 22 fills a massive need and also offers them tremendous value; it’s a good draft night when you can marry need with the Best Player Available.
23, Jets: Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
This is another off-the-board pick, but one I sort of let Norm talk me into. And, somewhat shockingly since it was the Northern Norman doing the convincing, it actually makes a lot of sense. They’ve already got some decent players at receiver (headlined by the recently signed Corey Davis) and despite the Le’Veon Bell experiment not working out, I think they add a dynamic RB to help ease their new QB’s transition to the NFL.
24, Steelers: Najee Harris, RB (Alabama)
The Steelers started great and ended horribly. How much of the issue rested in their complete lack of balance on offense? Adding Harris goes a long way in helping solidify the weakest part of their offense.
25, Jaguars: Christian Barmore, DT (Alabama)
I really don’t know what to make of this Jacksonville roster. They’re obviously rebuilding, and with the best QB in the draft locked in with the first overall pick I think they go BPA with their second pick in the first round. With the 28th ranked pass rush from a year ago I think they take the dynamic, powerful Barmore out of Alabama. He’s a borderline top-10 prospect and I think the Urban Meyer regime leaps out of their seats to get their draft card in if he’s there at 25.
26, Browns: Caleb Farley, CB (Virginia Tech)
It’s strange to say, but the Browns have a relatively strong roster. If they falter this season, it’ll likely be because Baker takes a step back and/or the receivers struggle to stay healthy. Picking Farley ensures that our old friend Stefanski has another talented defensive back to help take stress off his offense.
27, Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnesota)
As happens to all contenders, there’s been a fairly significant talent drain on the Ravens roster over the past couple seasons. I think they take the best receiver still on the board to bolster their receiving corps and further aid in their transition to a more traditional NFL offense (they’ve already almost entirely stopped running the 13 personnel and pistol packages that took the league by storm a couple of seasons ago).
28, Saints: Elijah Moore, WR (Ole Miss)
Michael Thomas can only do so much. I understand that they also have Alvin Kamara (believe me, the six Christmas touchdowns firmly established him in my memory), but they need more help for the Winston/Hill duo.
29, Packers: Jayson Oweh, EDGE (Penn State)
In traditional Peckers fashion, I think they go BPA. Had there not been a run on receivers right before their pick, I think they might have finally added an offensive weapon in the first round (Editor’s Note: They added the ultimate offensive weapon – Jordan Love – in last year’s first round, but I assume Mimir means someone who actually gets on the field). No fear of that now, though, with 5 receivers already off the board and so they take dynamic edge rusher Jayson Oweh out of Penn State and Rodgers sulks somewhere in his mansion.
30, Bills: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE (Miami)
The Bills, by and large, are a fine football team. One area that needs improvement, though, is at pass rusher. Buffalo is thrilled to see the super talented Rousseau fall all the way until the end of the first.
31, Ravens: Alex Leatherwood, T (Alabama)
Knowing they likely wouldn’t be able to re-sign Pro Bowl OT Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency they shipped him (surprisingly!) to the Chiefs for a first round pick (among a lot of other pick swaps). With Leatherwood still available, I think they immediately look to fill Brown’s vacated position with an affordable contract and a high-upside player.
32, Buccaneers: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE (Wake Forest)
The Buccaneers find themselves in a nice spot. It isn’t just that they won the Super Bowl (though that is nice) it’s that they’ve largely been able to bring back their roster. Picking Basham offers them another intriguing defensive lineman who can work along the edge and maybe even kick into 3T.