This article is part of our NFL Draft series.
The draft is just hours from getting underway so we've got one last go at this before the Jags are officially on the clock. I've changed a handful of things since my first mock, and a few giant rumors have come across the ticker in the last couple of hours that could flip everything on its head. Will Aaron Rodgers be in Green Bay by the end of the weekend? Is New Orleans serious about moving into the Top 10? Some massive reshuffling could be in store in the coming days. Without further adieu, here's my last attempt at projecting how the first round will unfold Thursday.
1.1) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson
Lock of the century. Of the week.
1.2 New York Jets
The Pick: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU
Right or wrong, Wilson to the Jets looks like a lock as well.
1.3) San Francisco 49ers
The Pick: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State
I agonized over this one but in the end, I think the 49ers will make the right call and not take Mac Jones.
1.4) Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
Mario gave a great explanation on what the Pitts addition would do to the Atlanta system under Arthur Smith. The Julio Jones trade rumors persist but if Atlanta is sticking with Matt Ryan for 2021, adding Pitts would give the Falcons a loaded group of pass-catchers.
1.5) Cincinnati Bengals
The Pick: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon
Adding a "developmental" pick at 5 isn't the norm and that could be the case if Sewell joins a tackle group featuring Riley Reiff and Jonah Williams. But Reiff is on a cheap, two-year deal and Jonah Williams hasn't been able to stay healthy. Keeping Joe Burrow upright is vital for Cincinnati, and adding Sewell would be a step in the right direction to that end.
1.6) Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Ja'Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
Adding receiver talent around Tua Tagovailoa is crucial even with the Will Fuller addition for the coming season. Miami would have its pick of the litter at that position if the board falls this way and Chase would be the obvious choice. If Chase goes to Cincinnati, which is possible, look for Miami to go after Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama.
1.7) Detroit Lions
The Pick: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama
The Lions have one of the worst receiving corps in the league heading into the draft. Adding Waddle would fix that right away.
1.8) New Orleans Saints via trade
The Pick: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State
Carolina Receives: No. 28 in 2021, 1st round pick in 2022, 1st round pick in 2023, 2nd Round Pick in 2021, 2nd Round Pick in 2022.
New Orleans Receives: No.8 in 2021, 4th round pick in 2022
Alright, let's get weird.
Acknowledging that this could just be draft day silliness and that this would be a trade between division rivals, I think this could be the spot if New Orleans were to move up.
Fields would almost have to be the quarterback in question in Russini's tweet and in this scenario, he'd be on the board but not for much longer. Moving to 8 would be the only way to get him. Taysom Hill is on a massive contract but most of it is funny money. Jameis Winston is there, too, but on a one-year deal. I don't think the Saints believe their quarterback of the future is on their roster. It would take a haul, but adding Fields would give the Saints a roadmap forward. There would be the added bonus of having enough veteran QB talent on the roster to not rush Fields into the starting role before he's ready.
1.9) Denver Broncos
The Pick: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State
I don't think quarterback is out of the question even with the Teddy Bridgewater trade. However, if Jones is the only quarterback left after the dust settles, Denver will likely go with a defender. Parsons would be a good get, though I still wonder if the slide I projected in the first mock is still in play.
1.10) Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: Patrick Surtain II
Dallas would consider Parsons if he's available, but corner is the bigger need and Parsons is off the board in this scenario. Surtain to the Cowboys feels like a safe bet if he's still there.
1.11) Los Angeles Chargers via trade
The Pick: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
Giants Receive: 1.13 in 2021, 2nd round pick in 2021 (47)
Chargers Receive: 1.11 in 2021, 4th rounder in 2021 (116)
The Chargers will have the opportunity to get the second-best tackle in the class without having to mortgage too much draft capital. The Giants are also in the market for a lineman, which could make this tricky, but it could work in this scenario. Don't be surprised if the Chargers move up even farther if Sewell falls, as Mario projected in his mock.
1.12) Philadelphia Eagles
The Pick: Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina
Philadelphia has a lot of needs so they could go in several directions here. Horn would be a great value in this instance, though, and would give the Eagles a viable option opposite Darius Slay.
1.13) New York Giants via trade
The Pick: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)
New York's defense was a pleasant surprise last season but the pass rush could use some work. Phillips' upside could override concerns about his medicals. Phillips may have the highest upside of any edge rusher in this class.
1.14) Minnesota Vikings
The Pick: Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech
Minnesota's offensive line remains a work in progress, so targeting the best tackle left on the board checks out. Rashod Hill can't be the only option at left tackle following Riley Reiff's departure.
1.15) New England Patriots
The Pick: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Despite the splashes New England made in free agency, the Patriots aren't set at receiver in the long-term by any means. Missing on N'Keal Harry can't scare you off taking a receiver early in the future. That only compounds the mistake, especially if the Pats' brass views Smith as a fit.
1.16) Arizona Cardinals
The Pick: Greg Newsome II, Cornerback, Northwestern
Corner remains the most glaring need on Arizona's depth chart. Alijah Vera-Tucker would definitely be in consideration if he's available, but Newsome helps shore up the pass defense in a division with a pair of very dangerous quarterbacks.
1.17) Las Vegas Raiders
The Pick: Christian Barmore, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
Barmore is the best interior defensive lineman in the draft and, as luck would have it, that's what the Raiders need!
1.18) Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Line, USC
Tailing Mario on this one, Vera-Tucker would add another viable option up front. Bonus points for playing alongside Austin Jackson at USC.
1.19) Washington Football Team
The Pick: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker, Notre Dame
Again, this is one of my favorite fits. Adding JOK's athleticism to an already-strong front seven would make this Washington defense one of the best in the NFL if it isn't already.
1.20) Chicago Bears
The Pick: Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama
This would be extremely on-brand.
1.21) Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: Teven Jenkins
Jenkins next to Quenton Nelson. Sign me up.
1.22) Tennessee Titans
The Pick: Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia
Caleb Farley's medicals could make him slide out of the first round entirely. With that in mind, some other corners will ascend big boards and Tennessee is a sweet spot. Stokes has rare speed and good enough coverage skills to warrant this selection.
1.23) New York Jets
The Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Robert Saleh gets his edge rusher as he takes over in New York.
1.24) Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Lineman, Alabama
There's a dropoff at tackle behind Teven Jenkins, but the Steelers should still seriously consider offensive line with their first pick. Leatherwood could be an instant plug-and-play at tackle for Pittsburgh.
1.25) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Kadarius Toney, Wide Receiver, Florida
Urban Meyer gets his Percy Harvin prototype to pair with his franchise quarterback.
1.26) Cleveland Browns
The Pick: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Jadeveon Clowney is on a one-year deal and Takkarist McKinley can't be considered anything more than a reclamation project already. Adding another toolsy edge player would make sense, and Cleveland has enough depth to where it wouldn't need to count on Oweh for heavy snaps if he is as raw as many are saying. In time, Oweh could be a terror if it all clicks.
1.27) Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Ravens have two picks to play with in the first. If they stick with that and end up making both selections, edge will be a spot they address. The pass rush was poor last year and Matthew Judon is gone. They need an instant impact player and Ojulari offers that.
1.28) Carolina Panthers
The Pick: Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU
If Carolina moves back this far, it's entirely possible they wheel and deal back up for an earlier pick. However, smoke started coming out of my computer after pushing the Saints trade through the trade machine and it couldn't take any more chaos. So addressing safety with the best one in the class to plug in alongside Jeremy Chinn would be a nice outcome for Carolina.
1.29) Green Bay Packers
The Pick: Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver, Minnesota
Well, this came across minutes before I got to this pick.
I have no idea how this is going to unfold but we will know soon enough. If the Packers stay at 29 and still have Aaron Rodgers, it might make him happy to have another wide receiver. Green Bay's receiver depth behind Davante Adams is underrated as both Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have proven to be more than serviceable. Still, adding firepower to that group in the form of Bateman would make sense, especially if Green Bay isn't impressed with the options available at corner or linebacker.
1.30) Buffalo Bills
The Pick: Najee Harris, Running Back, Alabama
The Bills are in a good spot in terms of roster construction to where a luxury pick like running back in the first round could be in play. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss are good RB2's to have on the roster, but there isn't a clear alpha in this backfield. Harris would fix that.
1.31) Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Mississippi
Receiver is still a need in Baltimore and Moore would give Lamar Jackson another legit option at his disposal.
1.32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
I still think Tampa could be shopping this pick, but if it doesn't, look for the Bucs to add depth along the edge. Tryon is one of several possibilities there, and I like Mario's call of Ossai out of Texas as well. Either way, Tampa can view this as a luxury pick.