It’s that time of year! The Machine is vaccinated and ready to mock. Where have we been, you ask? You’ve already looked at several mock drafts. Kiper’s on his 4th??? As a refresher, we’ll start with our usual reminder:
We know…there’s nothing sexier than looking at mock drafts. However, like a good Catholic, you need to resist temptation and wait until marriage. In this case, marriage is free agency. The Draft is shaped by free agency…and also trades, as we’ve seen several trades already, with teams moving into the Top 10 (Niners), moving out of the Top 10 (Eagles), and moving out of and then back into the Top 10 (Miami). With that said, here’s our first mock…check back often, as we’ll start to ramp thing up as we get closer to the big day.
Also, this year we hooked up with the NFL Mock Draft Simulator (a great way to spend an afternoon). Check them out https://www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com/
Now, on to the show.
The Top 2, and probably 3, are locked in. Atlanta’s a tough one to read…if QBs go 1, 2, and, 3, they could get an offer they can’t refuse from a real QB needy team (I see you Denver). Or they could take a stud WR like Ja’Marr Chase and give it another go with Matt Ryan. Smart money would be to draft Fields (we have him ranked ahead of Mac Jones) and let him learn from Matt Ryan. Elsewhere, Carolina, who just acquired Sam Darnold (many “expert” pre-free agency mocks had them locked on drafting a QB – see embedded tweet above) give him something he never had in New York, a true left tackle in Rashawn Slater.
The Giants, thanks to free agency, can go in a number of directions. They need to build up their offensive line, and would love it if Rashawn Slater were available. If not, if Kyle Pitts is on the board, he should be the pick. He would help with blocking, and also give Daniel Jones another weapon. Philly trades down and still ends up with Jaylen Waddle. Miami should have their pick of edge rushers and 18, and we love the upside Kwity Paye offers.
Heading to the end of the first round, this draft has a ton of depth at receiver. We have 7 (8 if you include Pitts) in the first round, but that number could easily be 9 or 10. Maybe we’re partial to Elis from Ole Miss…but we love Elijah Moore. Seriously, check out some tape. He will provide instant fire power to the (perpetually inept) Jets offense. Also, the Jags will want to surround Trevor with instant playmakers, and Kadarius Toney will give them a nice 1-2 punch.