Heading into this season everyone expected many twists and turns and it goes without saying this season has done more than just that. Countless surprises, disappointments, and injuries have turned projections onto their heads. With this rollercoaster of a season rolling straight into the playoffs and many teams already looking forward to this offseason we should do the same. This order based off of the current placements for the NFL draft and I will not be including trades.
- New York Jets- Justin Fields QB, Ohio State
Now before I get murdered by everyone for not having the expected pick here, this is my QB1. I simply believe in Justin Fields more than Lawrence at the given moment. The traits that are an issue for Fields historically are fixable while that cannot be said the same for Lawrence, both are great prospects but Fields has more trust in his arm which allows for me to put my trust in him as should the Jets front office.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
Lawrence even after just calling his issues non-fixable still has a high ceiling. He is a great prospect that still is a can’t miss and the Jaguars cannot afford to skip on this. Gardner Minshew is not the guy of the future, and on a fairly decent roster that is more than likely going in a different direction coach wise this offseason could have a very quick turnaround.
- Cincinnati Bengals- Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
This is great value, a tackle of this talent and skill level usually would not be here any other year, and after the catastrophic injury of Joe Burrow, this pick is even more clear. Protecting Burrow with one of the best young tackle duos in the league is a priority. Sewell is the best offensive tackle in a long time and continues the streak of blue-collar prospects going.
- Dallas Cowboys- Kwity Paye EDGE, Michigan
The popular opinion is to have Gregory Rousseau as the no.1 edge in this class but with Rousseau opting out Kwity Paye came in played in a few games and did what Rousseau should have done to cement his status as the best pass rusher in this class. Paye showed massive strides in his reaction pass rush and technique in general, he is a freak athlete combining size, speed, and power into his game. He forms a great pass rush duo with Demarcus Lawrence. While corner may be the bigger need, a great pass rush can mask a weaker secondary and I simply cannot condone taking a corner in the top 5 at this point.
- Los Angeles Chargers- Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU
Kennan Allen and Mike Williams are great and while Micah Parsons is on the board I don’t like the fit and with Mike Williams being a constant injury concern and also needing a new contract after next season there is much up in the air with him. Not to mention the value of another blue-collar prospect who had one of the most dominant seasons from a receiver in college football history is too much to pass on. The chargers provide the young Justin Herbert with another reliable weapon to move into the future.
- Carolina Panthers- Zach Wilson QB, BYU
Wilson simply has all the talent in the world, had he gone to a top school he would be in the conversation with Lawrence and Fields. Wilson in this spot will be able to sit and learn the game speed in the NFL. Whether he gets the start his rookie year or to begin his sophomore year he will be able to sit and step in right away and be effective. Another thing to note is the way Teddy Bridgewater’s contract is set up so after next year he can be cut or traded with little to no salary cap effect left lingering behind him.
- Atlanta Falcons- Gregory Rousseau EDGE, Miami
Rousseau is a raw athletic freak, we have seen players like this constantly go to Atlanta and never pay off. However, Dan Quinn’s rain of terror in Atlanta has finally come to an end, and with a young and growing secondary that when healthy has been at least competent gives the front office some reassurance in this pick.
- Miami Dolphins- Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
Genuine 4.3 speed that is complimented with better route running and ball skills than others that came before him. He is simply a better player than both Henry Ruggs and John Ross who he will more than likely be frequently compared to. Jaylen Waddle compares very comparably to Odell Beckham in both play style and build, if he can regain that electric connection with Tua that they had at Alabama this is a duo to be terrified of moving forward.
- Philadelphia Eagles- Micah Parsons OLB, Penn State
Parsons is the idea linebacker with the versatility to play almost anywhere. Adding to the worst linebacking core in the NFL is important. And with a salary cap situation that is among the worst in the NFL, the eagles aren’t set up to succeed anytime soon.
- New York Giants- Patrick Surtain II CB, Alabama
Surtain is a great player with good ball skills. He is limited in the fact that he is a traditional Alabama corner who is great in press-man coverage but lining up off the line giving space he struggles. The Giant’s secondary has been better than people originally thought but that is much attributed to James Bradberry holding down one side of the field the other has been a revolving door. Adding Surtain adds a fundamental cornerstone for this defense for what is likely the next decade if it all plays out.
- Detroit Lions- DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
Even if Kenny Golladay is franchise tagged and Marvin Jones is extended the Lions need youth and skill at WR. Outside of those top two, the next best receiver on this team under contract for next year is Quintez Cephus who has had moments but Smith is on a record-breaking pace this season who can plug in and play as a top target from day 1.
- San Francisco 49ers- Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
Farley has every trait and athletic tool in the book but he just hasn’t put it all together. He had a great year last year but opted out and hurt him more than anyone else in this class. He has all the potential but such a low floor and a level of insecurity make him fall.
- Denver Bronco- Samuel Cosmi OT, Texas
Cosmi is a great player who falls because of the ability of those who went above him. He is a constant rock at tackle with versatility and raw ability that makes him great value and an asset for a struggling Broncos offensive line. I am well aware of the Ja’Waun James contract but he just can’t stay healthy.
- Minnesota Vikings- Alijah Vera-Tucker OG, USC
Vera-Tucker has been the best guard in all of college football this season and at this point for me is a lock to go into the first round. The Vikings have had a massive hole at guard for a few years now, with the emergence of Garrett Bradbury at center, fill another hole on the interior of that line to set up some good zone blocking for Dalvin Cook and protect your glorified game manager in Kirk Cousins.
- New England Patriots- Trey Lance QB, NDSU
Lance will have a learning curve at the next level, however in a spot where QB is needed more than anything else. Lance has the highest upside possibly out of anybody in this class. If he can find a way to adjust to game speed quickly he would be my favorite for rookie of the year in this situation.
- Chicago Bears- Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw can plug in and play either guard or tackle. For a team with bad QB play, the simple decision would be another QB but in my opinion, a struggling injured offensive line has hurt more than the QB play. Interestingly enough Trubisky has shown a surprising amount of growth this year, which could allow the Bears to give him a one-year deal as either a bridge QB or give him another chance to be that franchise QB he was drafted to be.
- Oakland Raiders- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
The Raiders have improved their linebacking core but their coverage is still subpar. Koramoah has been one of the best coverage linebackers in this class and fits in perfectly as a 4-3 outside linebacker for this defense.
- Baltimore Ravens- Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league and to pair with that an electric QB who can change the game in just one play, but his weapons who lineup on the outside just aren’t that. Hollywood Brown is a good deep threat, and with gadget players like Devin Duvernay and James Proche this team is looking for a prototypical X receiver and Bateman is just that. With a solid build standing at 6’3 Bateman simply provides another reliable big-bodied target for Lamar Jackson to rely on.
- Washington Football Team- Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
Haskins deserves another chance. Giving him more weapons on a better team is the right move. The value the team has a chance to get for Haskins is nowhere near the value invested. Pitts is a glorified wide receiver, that is a matchup nightmare and can be a volatile weapon for whoever ends up with him. Between McLaurin and now Pitts with Kelvin Harmon on the way back from injury I really like the weapons on this team moving forward.
- Arizona Cardinals- JayCee Horn CB, South Carolina
Horn has great ball skills and understands the idea of leverage at the position. Arizona needs more boundary play more than any other team in the league. Patrick Peterson isn’t the same player as he was and needs to move back to safety similar to Charles Woodson. Dre Kirkpatrick has actually cost this team multiple games from his emotions boiling over. Horn would plugin and be thrown to fire, he would instantly be the no.1 boundary corner with Byron Murphy in the slot. This would be a big step in the right direction for a rebuilding secondary.
- Miami Dolphins- Wyatt Davis OG, Ohio State
Protect Tua, that’s it. But, in all seriousness the left side of this line needs work, and Davis steps in as a day one starter. Before this season Davis was projected as a top 10 pick by many but his slow start to this season has hurt him. He still is a great player but his stock would be better had he stayed with his initial decision to opt-out.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Joseph Ossai LB/EDGE, Texas
Ossai is a prototypical Will linebacker in a 3-4 system and plugs in right next to Shaq Barrett. While very raw with limited production his best football is in front of him. A great run stuffer who takes very good pursuit angles just gives this already stout defense another layer of intrigue.
- Indianapolis Colts- Kyle Trask QB, Florida
The Colts have the best defense in the NFL, it is built for the future and they play the best coverage in the NFL. In that same breathe they have one of the worst built offenses in the NFL. A great offensive line, that has been inconsistent this year but is blocking for a bad group of skill position players. The fact is the most dynamic player on this team is Nyhiem Hines who is a backup running back. Philip Rivers is done after this year and Trask can stretch the field. He opens up this offense and allows Paris Campbell and Michael Pittman to flourish more than Rivers has done this year.
- Cleveland Browns- Nick Bolton LB, Missouri
Nick Bolton reminds me so much of Devin Bush it isn’t even funny. He is my draft crush of this year and it isn’t even close. A great run-stopper who is even better in coverage. The Browns need coverage at the linebacker badly. The pairing of Bolton and Mack Wilson with the prospect of adding Karl Joseph as a full-time linebacker adds range and athleticism everywhere.
- New York Jets- Azeez Ojulari EDGE, Georgia
Ojulari has grown more than any other prospect of this year. He has shown to be a potential premiere pass rusher out of that 3-4 edge spot. A great finesse rusher that has developed his edge bend. Something so rare but he has learned how to bend under that pressure point and find a way into the pocket by selectively picking his attacking points. The Jets need everything at this point so they got the best player available.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
Slater is a right tackle, which can come off as a bit of a cluster jam considering Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson are there as of right now. However, Robinson is on his way out in free agency moving Taylor to his more natural left tackle spot and play Slater at right tackle. Not only do you save money but you get more athletic on the edge for Trevor Lawrence.
- Jayson Oweh EDGE, Penn State
Oweh has potential, and that is the reason for this pick alone. He has room to build on his frame which will help add power to his game but his upside is there. He has a ton of bounce and athleticism but the production just isn’t there yet. Pairing Oweh with Harold Landry is a youthful duo that can dominate some fairly decent offensive lines in that division.
- Buffalo Bills- Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
The rich get richer, truth be told Etienne should not be available here but the value of running backs has diminished so badly that it ruins Etienne’s stock. Forget about Singletary and Zack Moss, this is a feature back that will add another shocking layer to this already great Bills offense.
- Green Bay Packers- Terrace Marshall WR, LSU
Marshall fits their mold of a receiver, he is a lengthy receiver with some sneaky athleticism who has room to grow. The difference between a guy like Allen Lazard and Marshall is that Marshall has proven production. Adding another layer to and weapon for Aaron Rodgers but building for Jordan Love in the future.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Derion Kendrick CB, Clemson
New to the position Kendrick has shown a high level of great instincts. Coming into college he was a receiver and that has translated into amazing ball skills, however, his best skill is breaking on routes, playing receiver has helped him understand leverage, and receiver ques to understand routes and what they are running. Kendrick while new to the position has immense upside
- New Orleans Saints- Shaun Wade CB, Ohio State
While Wade has looked awful this season on the boundary, his ability in the slot is too good to pass on. Having Marshon Lattimore on the outside the Saints can afford this investment into Wade as they have a true number one.
- Kansas City Chiefs- Chris Olave WR, Ohio State
The Chiefs are getting more on the outside. while Mahomes doesn’t necessarily need another receiver it would help. Against good defenses this year Mahomes has shown to basically x-out everyone not named Kelce or Hill. Olave is a smooth technician who understands leverage and adds another component to this deadly offense. This also allows the Chiefs to move on from Sammy Watkins which would open up a ton of cap space for this team.