With sports in a lull, the NFL Draft holds the eye of not online the NFL world, but the entire sports world. While the draft isn’t for another three weeks, we at Full Press Coverage have decided to bring you a taste of what the first round could look like with a site-wide mock draft. The first 16 picks will be graded by Tyler Kading, with the exception of picks one and seven, which will be graded by Terry Biggs.
1. Cincinnati Bengals (@bearcub712): Joe Burrow, QB, CIN
Cue the Staples button. That was easy.
The quarterback class this year is very weak compared to that of years past, but Burrow may be the best individual player at that position to come out in a long time. Quite frankly, the only massive knock on Burrow is his inexperience and sudden rise to the top of the college football world. He reminds me a lot of a better version of Tony Romo, one who, you know, doesn’t let playoff games slip through his fingers (literally). For a team in desperate need of a QB change, this is it.
2. Washington Redskins (@brandon_ray79): Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
The Redskins have a bunch of holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball, but how could they pass up the best edge rusher in the draft? With Ron Rivera at the head of the organization, he has the chance to solidify his pass rush for the future. Young is a bull off the edge and shows no mercy. Unless the Redskins get a king’s ransom offer, Young should expect to be the future face of the organization.
The only reason this isn’t an A is because I believe in Montez Sweat. That secondary is just abysmal, so I do think Jeffrey Okudah makes sense here. Young’s the best non-QB in the draft, though, so it’s really hard to complain about this pick.
3. Detroit Lions (@brandon_ray79): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Matthew Stafford is 32 years old and was having a great season last year until injury hit.
The Lions need to make a splash for the future and that is what Tua is. Despite the injuries he has suffered, he brings more pros than cons to his game. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for his big hip injury last year, he would be in the conversation to go number one overall. A year of learning behind Stafford is how he can adjust to the game and transform from college to the pros.
4. New York Giants (@brandon_ray79): Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Giants took a huge risk last year when they selected Daniel Jones at number six
overall. Although he still has growing pains, Jones showed to be the potential future of the Giants. He has a strong running game in Saquon Barkley and reliable receivers. All that is left is protection upfront. Wills is arguably the best offensive lineman in this draft and he would keep defenders off of Jones for sure.
5. Miami Dolphins (@northdakayla74): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Was drafting Becton at No. 5 too soon? No.
In the eyes of the Miami Dolphins, he was the best available fit for the team. While eyes are also on a potential franchise quarterback to fit a glaring problem, forcing a pick for one that we didn’t feel was our guy would have been a waste of a top-five pick. Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa are in a tier of their own, no one else’s skill set deems a top-five selection.
Miami has a struggling offensive line as a whole, but clearly struggles to protect the QB at both the right and left tackle. Julie’n Davenport was acquired via a trade with the Houston Texans in 2019 and went straight to injured reserve. The Dolphins also lost former first-round left tackle Laremy Tunsil in that trade. With Davenport not activated from IR until late November, Miami had been rotating new signees and practice squad players for the entire season.
Jesse Davis started on the opposite side in all but one game. Despite playing in 15 games, it was clear that the incohesive bond of the offensive line hindered Davis’ production and execution. He was not viewed as the strong side on the line, because he too provided little to no QB safety. But on an inexperienced team, he at least had more football IQ than most; the execution just wasn’t present.
Becton fixes this problem.
For starters, the dude is six-feet, seven-inches and 364 pounds. Despite his enormous frame, he is also extremely athletic. He’s light on his feet and possesses a combination of quick movement and force. While he may not have A+ technique on every play (I mean really, who does), any minor miscues can be made up with his force and mass. Additionally, despite his size, he positions himself strategically to make inside, outside and lateral blocks. This won’t only help protect whoever’s under center, but can aid in helping to produce a running game. This is also due in-part to his seven-foot wingspan. His long arms not only help his overall positioning, but if and when he gets out of position, it will allow for a successful recovery.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (@nofreaknclue): Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Going into the draft, consensus says that the Chargers need a QB, LT and LB. With Tua already taken, the Chargers should be able to get their preference of the 2nd tier quarterbacks in the 2nd round or trade back into the first. Worst case scenario, they can ride an effective, if unspectacular, Tyrod Taylor to a competitive season.
The Chargers drafted the raw but high-upside left tackle Trey Pipkins in the 3rd round last year and he showed enough potential to give him a shot this year, especially after the Chargers invested in Right Guard Trai Turner and Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga this offseason. As for Linebacker, the prospect of pairing Phenom-of-All-Trades Isaiah Simmons with this team was mouth-watering. However, the prospect of making a good pass defense elite was too enticing to pass up.
As one of the cleanest and most complete cornerbacks in years, Okudah locks down the sideline across from cornerbacks Casey Heyward and Chris Harris in Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 scheme. His counterparts are still great, but they are on the wrong side of 30 where corners can often fall off a cliff. Picking Okudah gives the Chargers an embarrassment of riches at cornerback with Desmond King moving into the Adrian Phillips role and relegating Mike Davis to a developing role player and ensures a strong secondary for years to come.
7. Carolina Panthers (@bearcub712): Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
8. Arizona Cardinals (@RyanAdverderada): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas wasn’t the best offensive lineman left. Tristan Wirfs was. However, that being said, Thomas is still very good and should be a star lineman for a very good Arizona Cardinals offense for a long time.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (@brandon_ray79): Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
The Jaguars are officially rebuilding their defense after a major collapse from 2017.
Brown is a great starting point along with Josh Allen. He might not be the biggest interior big man, but he is one physical player. With Marcell Dareus not coming back to stop the run, Brown now fills a hole in the middle of the defense. The Jags now have two young defensive linemen who can cause havoc.
10. Cleveland Browns (@jessetpierson): Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
Cleveland enters this draft with one clear objective: protect Baker Mayfield. Joe Thomas’ hall of fame shoes have proven difficult to fill, and a reliable left tackle would go a long way toward calming Mayfield’s mind and feet as he scans the field. Unfortunately, Mekhi Becton and Andrew Thomas are off the board. Jedrick Wills is considered a candidate to switch from right tackle at Alabama to left tackle in the pros, but he is also gone. Wirfs is an athletic monster whose uneven tape doesn’t always match his elite skills. However, he and free agent signee Jack Conklin are upgrades over 2019 starters Wyatt Teller and Chris Hubbard, respectively, so Mayfield is already safer than he was last season.
11. New York Jets (@MPallasFPC): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
12. Oakland Raiders (@teebiggs): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
I don’t like giving out this grade, but this pick deserves it. Jerry Jeudy is the best wide receiver to come out of college in almost a decade. The fact that he fell into the double digits should not have been possible. Kudos to Jon Gruden for lucking his way into a guy who has a fast track to a Canton bust.
13. San Francisco 49ers (@RyanAdverderada): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
If the 49ers can land either one of Lamb, Jerry Jeudy (my preference), or Henry Ruggs III, they should be happy. Wide Receiver has to be on the minds of head coach Kyle Shannahan and general manager John Lynch. Lamb is a great athlete and has drawn comparisons to Deandre Hopkins. He can make tough catches and is a big-play waiting to happen. A receiving group including Lamb, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, to go along with the ground attack, makes the 49ers heavy favorites to return to the Super Bowl.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@iglen31): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Having signed Tom Brady early in the offseason, the Buccaneers come into the draft with a need on the offensive line. Unfortunately for them, at pick 14, there is a very good chance the ‘big four’ lineman will be off the board. Instead of trading back, the Bucs will use this opportunity to address arguably their second biggest need with Xavier McKinney out of Alabama. McKinney is regarded as one of the best, if not THE best safety in the draft and the Bucs are in dire need of an impact player in the secondary. McKinney is a high I.Q. player with the versatility to play many roles within the secondary. For a team like the Bucs, they need their first-round pick to be an impact player from day one. McKinney is that guy.
15. Denver Broncos (@ebearcat9): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Courtland Sutton proved himself as a starting X receiver last year. While Drew Lock showed promise, he needs another weapon. The 4.2 speed of Henry Ruggs III would add a different layer to the Broncos offense. He is also one of the top receiver prospects in a good while, along with Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb.
16. Atlanta Falcons (@Nigel_ATL): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
In 2019, the Atlanta Falcons ranked 30th the in the NFL with 241 pressures. Not exactly ideal for a defense that is dependent on pressure in order for the scheme to be efficient. This ultimately is what led to their season being over before it had even begun.
The Falcons are in a position this year to take the best available defensive player at pick 16. On draft night, we can expect there to be a lot of movement by teams trading up to get “their guy”. In this case, if Javon Kinlaw is available, it has to be the sure fire pick for the Falcons.
It’s evident, with the departure of Desmond Trufant, that the Falcons will need some help at cornerback; however, in this situation, Kinlaw makes the most sense. Having a distruptive interior defensive lineman to pair up with pro-bowl defensive tackle Grady
Jarrett is a recipe for success. This is a selection that will improve the pass rush overnight.
Some consider Kinlaw to be the best interior defensive lineman in the draft, so it would be a huge win for the Falcons to land Javon Kinlaw at pick 16.