Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

After failing to secure substantial upgrades at key offensive positions, New England can expect to pick early in the 2024 draft. Buffalo largely keeps their first place roster intact, Miami still boasts Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill on offense and adds Jalen Ramsey in the secondary, and the Jets bring in Aaron Rodgers and draft two starters in the first two rounds with Will McDonald IV and Joe Tippmann.

The Patriots major offseason moves include signing offensive tackle Riley Reiff, wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, and tight end Mike Gesicki. Reiff is listed at the starting right tackle on espn.com’s depth chart. Heavily penalized and inconsistent Trent Brown looks to be the starting left tackle for the 2023 season. Gesicki had his moments with Miami, but is unlikely to be a key contributor with an undersized QB like Mac Jones who may struggle to see the middle of the field.

While Bill Belichick deserves some credit for adding value players throughout his draft haul, at no point did he add even a late round offensive tackle to compete with Trent Brown. Even right tackle is still a question as Reiff hasn’t been a high level blocker in some time. Players like Dalton Wagner and Richard Gouraige, starting SEC left tackles went undrafted and signed with rival AFC teams while New England finished off their draft with two defensive backs after making two of their FIRST three picks defensive backs.

Veteran wide receiver Kendrick Bourne commented about the pass protection for Mac Jones in early December after a frustrating loss to a vulnerable Bills team that now runs the division ever since Tom Brady left New England.

“We’ve got to get the ball downfield. Mac needs more time. He’s obviously running around. It’s hard to get the ball downfield when you can’t really have time to throw,” Bourne said. “No knock to the line, it’s just what we need to work on. The receivers can’t do nothing if the ball can’t get downfield, if we can’t throw it past five yards, it’s going to be a long game.”

In what may be Bill Belichick’s final season with the team, the Patriots formula of “Run the ball, play defense” may not be enough to compete in what is shaping up to be the toughest AFC East in NFL history.

Patriots projected depth chart via ESPN – https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/depth/_/name/ne/new-england-patriots

List of New England draft picks – https://www.nfl.com/draft/tracker/teams/new-england-patriots/2023

Patriots undrafted free agent signings (as of May 1st, 2023) – https://www.patspulpit.com/2023/4/29/23704883/nfl-draft-2023-undrafted-free-agents-tracker-patriots-signings-news-rumors-analysis

Christian Gonzales photo attribution – Tennessee Titans (4:36), CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Song of the post is Moondust by Jaymes Young

I have Chicago trading down twice, once with Houston and again with Carolina. Chicago can draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba an old friend to their quarterback if they are serious about giving Justin Fields a chance at being a starting quarterback. The future first round picks netted in their trade down moves can be used to move up in the draft if Fields doesn’t work out and they want Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in 2024.

Houston moves up and acquires Nick Caserio’s latest 5-star quarterback (the only in this draft class) in Bryce Young.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has been hyping Anthony Richardson and I believe he will go early in the draft. Carolina looks like they could be a real football team with a good quarterback, and Richardson might actually play better in the NFL than in Florida with okay pass protection.

Arizona taking Jalen Carter at three is pretty standard stuff, unless they get a trade down offer they like. I believe the Colts will like Levis because Colts head coach Shane Steichen should be able to unlock a more raw prospect like Levis. Stroud had a terrific game against Georgia, but may struggle on a team without strong receiver play, like Indianapolis.

Seattle goes with the big End in Tyree Wilson, they drafted two first rounders out of Texas Tech in the past 7-8 years in Jordyn Brooks and LJ Collier. Jon Schneider is a genius but clearly has his own big board and doesn’t care about perceived value when making draft selections. Seattle has favored the bigger defensive ends so they may genuinely value Tyree Wilson more than draft darling Will Anderson.

Detroit gets a dream pick with Will Anderson, they can take CJ Stroud here if Brad Holmes is high on Stroud.

Obviously the Raiders moved on from Derek Carr and will be watching tape on all the major quarterbacks in this draft class. Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler went on record saying: “it doesn’t mean we’re going to have an immediate answer this year. ” about finding a new quarterback. I believe they would draft one of the “big 4” quarterbacks if one is available at seven. Stroud would have good weapons in Las Vegas with Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow and could reasonably be expected to succeed if Vegas can improve the pass protection in 2023.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has been challenging to figure out as a drafting general manager. His first two seasons, he’s taken two tall, fast receiving weapons in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. The Falcons badly need pass rush and more competition at quarterback, but they have not made those positions a priority in the past, so I wouldn’t expect them to now. Quentin Johnston is an okay enough value selection at eight and fits Fontenot’s pattern of large fast men in the receiving group.

Philadelphia likes to target the trenches early in the draft but are very close to a superbowl and bringing in a top corner to possibly replace James Bradberry could a major priority. Gonzalez has the size to maybe cover Travis Kelce or another similar move tight end.

Tennessee needs a left tackle after cutting Taylor Lewan and can have their pick. Johnson feels the safest and attended the same school as head coach Mike Vrabel (Ohio State). Ran Carthon is a new general manager and may shake things up, but this selection is the easiest, most logical pick for them in this mock draft.

Houston drafts Jordan Addison to add a real receiving threat for Bryce Young. They have so many needs, this pick could be almost any position and it wouldn’t be wrong for them.

The Jets add a versatile lineman in Peter Skoronski. Offensive tackle continues to be a problem for the Jets.

The Patriots will inevitably trade down and draft some linebacker/safety from Northwestern Tech-State that no one has heard of because that’s just what they do. In Fantasy mock draft world, the Patriots draft a future left tackle in Broderick Jones after really struggling at both tackle positions last year. They badly need wide receivers and safety help. And corner help. And a new center.

The Packers get to draft another defensive back in the first round as Adrian Amos is not under contract and Branch is widely regarded as the draft’s premier safety/nickel.

I went a little kooky here, but Washington may choose to let Daron Payne walk and sign Bryan Bresee to replace him. Payne had a great contract year, but an experienced GM like Martin Mayhew knows you can’t pay everyone.

The Steelers typically value front seven players early in the draft. There are no blue chip left tackles available, unless you’re high on Jaelyn Duncan. They have impact defenders Cam Sutton and Terrell Edmunds on expiring contracts. Skinner is a huge safety who could step in right away and cover the growing trend of “big slots” and eventually move into a starting safety role. When the Steelers drafted Terrell Edmunds he was considered a reach, but Tomlin and the Steelers brass seem to value the bigger defensive backs enough to draft them high.

Detroit needs competition all over that defense and would love Joey Porter Jr.

Tampa Bay has cap problems and needs a quarterback. If they don’t trade up I believe they dive back into adding to the secondary. They likely cannot resign starter Jamel Dean, as they are paying $35 million to Tom Brady, among other financial obligations. Witherspoon is a technician and Buccaneers GM Jason Licht has invested early and often in the Tampa secondary.

The Seahawks don’t typically draft corners early and may not like the selection of defensive tackles at this point in the draft. John Michael Schmitz is a terrific center and could start for Seattle for a decade plus. This would be on the less zany picks of Jon Schneider’s first round picks. Their interior offensive line is a wreck and do not have 2022 starting center Austin Blythe under contract for 2023.

The Chargers have cap problems that will lead them to release Keenan Allen in my opinion. Allen has been used primarily in the slot in LA, where Utah TE Dalton Kincaid could line up based on his usage at Utah. Daniel Jeremiah says most teams have Kincaid as TE1 in the draft. The Chargers have had success with Utah players in the past.

Baltimore favors value, and value on defense in the draft. They have three 35+ year olds in the front seven in Calais Campbell, JPP, and Justin Houston. Drafting Myles Murphy in a strong locker room of defenders might be just what he needs to unlock his potential. Myles Murphy has been compared to Travon Walker (first pick overall of 2022 draft) from a physical height, weight, speed perspective.

Minnesota needs corner help as always. Starter Patrick Peterson may be on the move, and they are skinny outside of Peterson at corner. Smith is a fundamentally sound corner, he doesn’t have prototypical, Richard Sherman size at 6’0″, but held up against a rough SEC schedule.

Jacksonville looks uneasy at every offensive line position except left tackle. Jaguars GM Trent Baalke favors overly large defensive linemen from Power five programs but may like Mauch’s versatility if they retain Jawaan Taylor and need help inside or let Taylor walk and want a right tackle.

The Giants made the playoffs with Daniel Jones and scrapwork help at wide receiver. Zay Flowers is a legit wide receiver outside or in the slot. This is a marriage of needs versus value at pick 25. The Giants have a strong relationship with Boston College since former coach Tom Coughlin had coached at BC as well.

I believe Dallas will look very closely at Bijan Robinson here, but Dallas has long made offensive line a major priority in the draft. I believe Dallas will cut Tyron Smith, have Tyler Smith start at left tackle in 2023, and could value O’Cyrus Torrence to replace him at left guard.

Buffalo has had one of the NFL’s top defenses for two or three years, and their top safety play has been a big part of that. Jordan Poyer is not under contract and Micah Hyde is over 30 and played only two games last year due to injury. Sydney Brown is an excellent coverage safety and would start on the Buffalo defense.

Cincinnati doesn’t seem to need good offensive line play to win playoff games. I think Cody Mauch or O’Cyrus Torrence would make sense here if available. I picked Emmanuel Forbes for them so Bengals fans can talk about something other than Eli Apple next offseason. Forbes gave up three touchdowns to pair with six interceptions. PFF claims he was targeted only one time (one catch for six yards) by Bryce Young in their game against Alabama.

New Orleans typically favors offensive linemen and defense in the first round. Like Tampa Bay they have massive cap problems and are very thin at quarterback. Jameis Winston is their only contracted quarterback. Mazi Smith would make sense here, I have Lukas Van Ness just as a value selection. The Saints need help at corner and could go Deonte Banks or Kelee Ringo as well.

Philadelphia takes Luke Wypler in the annual “Will Jason Kelce retire” contest. PFF loves Wypler and correctly pointed out Centers don’t often declare his early. Some have speculated Philadelphia could take Bijan Robinson because of their perceived superbowl window.

The Chiefs may not keep Orlando Brown Jr. and have shown that offensive line is a priority for them. Harrison is experienced with pass heavy offenses coming from Oklahoma and may be Kansas City’s best bet at 30. They could also explore edge rusher and wide receiver here. If Travis Kelce retires, the Chiefs could target tight end as well.

If you don’t like my picks, it’s because I hate you and your favorite team.

Notable players not in this mock:
Bijan Robinson, Texas RB – Jeremiah and others claim Robinson is a top five player overall in this draft class. Where he goes is up in the air.

Josh Downs, UNC WR – Downs is a smaller slot receiver who may drop because he lacks the size and versatility of his peers

Kelee Ringo, UGA CB – Ringo looks like a surefire starter to me. His detractors claim he isn’t consistent enough to be a high pick.

Trenton Simpson. Clemson LB – Linebackers are becoming the fullback of the defense. Simpson doesn’t seem to have the coverage chops to be an exciting name in the draft circles.

Luke Musgrave, Oregon State TE – Musgrave looks like a late first round pick to me. I just couldn’t find a place for him in this mock draft.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame TE – Mayer might be a top 15 pick. Teams 13-16 could justifiably draft him there. A lot of teams that like tight ends already have one, and don’t run 12 formation enough to justify drafting another tight end this early.

Today’s song of the post is “Alchemy” by Above and Beyond

Jacksonville – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson is playing like the best player in the draft. He draws an extra blocker in the pass rush and is great against the run. The Jaguars have a ton of holes. They were bottom five in sacks in 2021. Everyone and their grandmother has Evan Neal as the pick here. I think Jacksonville leaves the best player on the board by doing that.

Detroit – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Teammates with 2020 Lions first round pick Penei Sewell, Thibodeaux has devastating pass rush moves. If he has effort issues in run defense, Dan Campbell and company can coach said issues “up.”

Houston – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Drafting Neal can protect Davis Mills and/or set up the roster to better support their quarterback of the future. Laremy Tunsil played five of a possible seventeen games last season and has a max of two seasons left on his contract. Lovie Smith will surely want Kyle Hamilton as well.

Jets – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton’s got absurd range and can move around the field, even as a pass rusher if needs be. He has free safety skills and strong safety size. Not a lot to think about with this pick.

Giants – Charles Cross, Miss. State OL – Cross allowed zero sacks and zero pressures against Alabama. He’s not the same run blocker as Ikem Ekwonu, but is above average in run blocking and pass pro. Brian Daboll will want an offense that can run and pass well.

Carolina – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – The Panthers badly need offensive line help and “Icky” is regarded by some as the top dog in the whole draft. Carolina will be under some pressure to draft a quarterback here. No quarterback will last long behind the current Panthers offensive line.

Giants (From Chicago) – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – I expect Gardner will be discussed as one of the best corners in recent memory after a few seasons. Even against Alabama’s vaunted receivers he allowed 14 whole yards. He’s a scheme fit for what Don Martindale’s defense.

Atlanta – Drake London, USC WR – Let’s just say (Falcons General Manager) Terry Fontenot has a thing for tall guys. There is a power vacuum in the NFC South with Tom Brady retiring, London could play a big part in Atlanta getting back into the playoffs. Ryan will begging for an offensive weapon with Pitts drawing double coverage now. The Falcons still badly need pass rush, but the quality here is a little riskier than at the top.

Denver – Derek Stingley Jr., LSU CB – Denver will surely be in the market for a veteran quarterback (Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson). New general managers rarely get two swings at the quarterback position. George Paton is a risk averse guy, something we saw last season when he drafted Patrick Surtain II over Justin Fields, I don’t believe he will want any of these quarterbacks for that reason. New Broncos DC Ejiro Evero comes from LA where they had Jalen Ramsey remove a top receiver from the offense’s game plan. Stingley (if healthy) can have that same impact for Denver.

Jets (From Seattle) – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – The Jets have bigger needs, but Lloyd is a prototype linebacker who reminds me of Micah Parsons. Lloyd doesn’t have quite the size and may not be as great a pass rusher as Parsons, but his coverage skills and run defense should more than justify this pick. The Jets will be looking to add reinforcements at offensive line with Mekhi Becton looking more like a question mark and the interior struggling as well.

Pittsburgh (Trade with Washington) – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Pittsburgh can move up with probably only giving up one additional first round pick and get their guy. Mike Tomlin has liked Willis a lot. Unless Washington needs to get their quarterback here, they can move back nine spots and get an extra pick in 2023.

Minnesota – Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR – Adam Thielen is getting older and the Vikings could use help in the receiver department. Kevin O’Connell had plenty of star wide receivers in LA for the quarterback to throw to. New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will value passing production and the skill Burks brings. Adofo-Mensah comes from the Browns analytics friendly front office and should value wide receivers highly.

Cleveland – Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR – The Browns definitely need help at wide receiver after departing with Odell Beckham. About 40 percent of Wilson’s yards were YAC yards, respectable for a receiver with as much attention on him as Wilson.

Baltimore – Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa OL – Baltimore is one of the steadiest teams in the NFL. They run the ball more than anybody. While Ravens GM Eric DeCosta isn’t known for drafting small school players early, it would make sense to make an exception for Trevor Penning. Penning excels in run blocking and allowed a mere two pressures against Iowa State.

Philadelphia (From Miami) – Zion Johnson, Boston College OL – Zion Johnson is a man’s man. He played well at the senior bowl and is a great run blocker. He took snaps at center which shows versatility that would appeal to the Eagles situation without Brandon Brooks and possibly without Jason Kelce.

Philadelphia (From Indianapolis) – George Karlaftis, Purdue DE – Karlaftis is still somewhat new to Football and has some tackling issues to work out. This man is a behemoth and could possibly even move inside if needed. Karlaftis had seven hurries against Iowa, he should push Derek Barnett to maybe start day one.

Chargers – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB – I would have the chargers take a receiver or even a tight end, but they reload at defensive back early and often. McDuffie is a great value pick here. There will be run-stuffing defensive tackles throughout the draft for LA.

Saints – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral tightened up the turnovers in 2021 and showed off his quick release. Plus the Saints don’t mind having a short quarterback. Mickey Loomis could look to draft center Tyler Linderbaum if he’s not thrilled with any of the quarterbacks in this class.

Philadelphia – Martin Emerson, Miss. State CB – Veteran SEC corner with terrific size. While Emerson looked flawed against Alabama, he’s got a higher ceiling than many of his peers and gave up three touchdowns on the season.

Washington (Trade with Pittsburgh) – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – Jameson Williams is a great asset for Scott Turner’s offense. He bullied corners all season long, if his medical checks out he’d fit well in this offense.

New England – Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Booth is a strong corner and New England relies on excellent coverage for their defense to operate. Booth was excellent in man coverage in 2021.

Las Vegas – Devonte Wyatt, UGA DT – Wyatt is a strong all around defensive tackle. He’ll improve the Raiders interior pass rush and shoddy run defense.

Arizona – Jermaine Johnson, FSU DE – Chandler Jones looks like he is out the door in Arizona. Johnson is a great player with double digit sacks at Florida State in ’21. He played well at the Senior Bowl.

Dallas – Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma DT – Winfrey came to life in the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys defense doesn’t have a strong interior presence. Winfrey gives them a real inside pass rush option.

Buffalo – David Ojabo, Michigan DE – Buffalo has Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison on free agency. Ojabo would be a huge asset to their DL rotation, if not a starter.

Tennessee – Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina OLB – Tennessee runs a 3-4 so Enagbare would a be a fit. Enagbare had a great senior bowl performance and would give Tennessee the option to move on from either Bud Dupree or Harold Landry.

Tampa Bay – Jalen Pitre, Baylor DB – Tampa has some big decisions to make at QB and wide receiver. They were thin at corner last season. Unless they trade this selection for a big name QB, Pitre would make an aggressive slot corner where they have struggled in 2021.

Green Bay – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – The Packers like to draft corners early. If Rodgers has a voice in this years’ draft, they could maybe take Trey McBride, as resigning Robert Tonyan will be tough if they want to keep Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Miami (From San Francisco) – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – Mike McDaniel’s offense starts on the ground. Linderbaum is not a sexy pick, but he is great in pass protection and run blocks well.

Kansas City – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – Andy Reid is a line of scrimmage guy, and the Chiefs gave up the second most yards per carry last season. There’s a lot of respect for Davis and most media types don’t think Jordan Davis lasts this long in the draft. Davis may never get double digit sacks but his pass rush skills can only go up. Davis is an elite run defender.

Cincinnati – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL – Green is extremely versatile and great as a run blocker. He can start at right tackle if Reiff gets injured again in 2022. Mike Brown has shown a preference for big school prospects, I believe he will want Green or Darian Kinnard over Bernhard Raimann or Max Mitchell. Cincinnati may trade down here if another team wants to get in front of Detroit for a quarterback.

Detroit (From Rams) – Travis Jones, Uconn DT – Jones is an excellent run defender with plus pass rush skills. Detroit looks like they are prioritizing line of scrimmage talent early, Jones would be an excellent value here. Jones has earned praise for his overall fitness and looks to be an upgrade over the current group for Detroit at defensive tackle.

Song of the post is “I’m Just A Monster Underneath, My Darling” – Krewella

49ers mock draft 2022

Posted: February 10, 2022 in Football, New entries, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

First round: None 😦

Second round (61st): Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati DE – Sanders posted 8(!) hurries against the vaunted Alabama offensive line in the cotton bowl. He showed leadership as a vocal supporter of other defensive linemen in the senior bowl and has appropriate size for the position.

Third round (93rd): Alontae Taylor, Tennessee CB – An SEC Veteran, Taylor allowed one touchdown on fifty-two targets this season. Strong performances against Alabama and Pittsburgh this season. Zero recorded penalties for the 2021 season.

Third round (compensatory): Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame IOL – Patterson is a longtime starter for Notre Dame at center. Lynch has shown a preference for Notre Dame offensive line with the Mike McGlinchey and Aaron Banks picks early in previous drafts. Laken Tomlinson is up on his contract and Alex Mack is in his late 30s.

Fourth round (132nd): Kolby Harvell-Peel, Ok. State S – Harvell-Peel has been a top safety since his freshman year. He can push for the strong safety job if Jaquiski Tartt isn’t resigned and would be a valuable depth safety if he is. Harvell-Peel has been a cornerstone player for one of College Football’s top defenses for three years.

Fifth round (171st): Keytaon Thompson, UVA WR – Thompson has experience taking handoffs (39 carries in 2021) and has a giant 6’4″ frame that should make him easy to target. Pro Football Focus suggests he’s even a good run blocker, making him extremely valuable in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Sixth round (185th): Chase Garbers, Cal QB – The depth chart behind Trey Lance is pretty skinny. Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are both gone. Garbers has displayed good athleticism and a reasonably strong arm at Cal. He started four years and gradually improved during his time there.

Song of the post – “Black Summer” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Round 1: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Clemson struggled on offense, and was held together by elite defensive play. Booth Jr. allowed two touchdowns in coverage during the whole season. Booth’s strong man coverage chops will make him attractive to the Patriots scheme.

TigerNet.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Round 2: Neil Farrell Jr., LSU DT – The Patriots have been bullied on run defense. Belichick has shown a preference for big bois (Farrell is 6’4″, 325 lbs), and Farrell is a plus pass rusher and shut down Alabama’s rushing offense this year.

“LSUvsGASouth 729” by tammy anthony baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Round 3: Dontario Drummond, Ole Miss WR – Drummond can push through tackles and will fit well in New England’s quick pass scheme. Played well against Alabama. Drummond has speed and a stout build, compares to Sammy Watkins at Clemson.

Round 4: Cade Mays, Tennessee OL – A better run blocker than pass blocker, Mays will likely move to guard in the pros. Should thrive in the Patriots gap run-blocking scheme. Mays plays angry but has technical flaws, the Patriots have elevated later round offensive lineman (Joe Thuney, Michael Onwenu, Shaq Mason) into high level starters and should continue to do so. Mays was a five star athlete in high school, which the Patriots will like.

Round 6: Britain Covey, Utah WR – Britain Covey was made to be a Patriot. Covey is a return specialist who can get open in quick pass plays on offense.

Round 7: Cade York, LSU Kicker – York had a clutch 57 yarder into the fog against Florida in 2020. York should give the Patriots more field goal range which plays well into Bill Belichick’s conservative approach.

Offseason thoughts –

  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is a waste in the Patriots offense. He’s at his best when he gets to run down field and separate for a bomb. The Patriots should try to move him for a draft pick or someone who’s a better fit, like Curtis Samuel.
  • For 20 years, Tom Brady kept the Patriots offense relevant even in years when they had guys like Reche Caldwell or Brandon LaFell. Coach Belichick could spend top draft picks and cap dollars on defensive players knowing Brady would put the offense on his back. While Mac Jones has stood out amongst his rookie quarterback peers, the 2020 free agency spending frenzy signaled a shift in how Belichick viewed he needed to build the roster. This draft may show the Patriots spending early picks on wide receivers, a departure from the Patriot Way.
  • One of the Patriots number one goals will be taking back the AFC East. Not only do they have to contend with a superior Bills roster, but they have been pushed around by a middling Miami team. There’s also the New York “49ers” who may not stay bad for long. For Bill Belichick that’s going to look like: 1. Strong pass defense, 2. Convert on third downs, 3. Don’t turn over the football. See you next year.

Song of the post is “New Life” by ak9

2022 NFL Mock Draft

Posted: January 2, 2022 in Football, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

COULD A DEPRESSED PERSON DO THIS?

(Draft order courtesy of Tankathon.com)

Jaguars – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Can’t mess this up

Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson would have to switch positions. Detroit cant face their fans if they pass on Hutchinson/Thibodeaux. A hometown player and a blue chip player. 1 digit IQ coach Dan Campbell will like Hutch’s run defense chops.

Texans – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Bill O’Brien would still have his job if he could’ve drafted Evan Neal in the first round.

Jets – Derek Stingley, LSU CB – Derek Stingleys don’t grow on trees. Major get for New York.

Giants – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton is the next Derwin James/prototype safety player.

Panthers – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral has shown he can protect the football and still has a crazy high ceiling. There’s only one way out for Carolina.

Jets (From Seahawks) – Darian Kinnard, Kentucky OT – Kinnard will help the Jets establish a strong run presence. He can move to guard if they are crowded at tackle.

Giants (From Bears) – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – Ekwonu is a powerful run blocker.

Washington – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Willis has some flaws, but he has the arm to operate Scott Turner’s offense. Pickett looks more like a game manager plus, Willis is one of the more accurate deep ball passers.

Falcons – Charles Cross, Miss. State OT – Arthur Smith will want a stalwart offensive line in Atlanta like he had in Tennessee. Cross can replace McGary as a great pass protector and run blocker.

Broncos – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – McCreary played well against Alabama.

Vikings – Yorgos Karlaftis, Purdue DE – The Greek import is physically dominant and should help the team transition from Everson Griffin. Karlaftis is a pass rush specialist. Background as a greek mens national water polo player before moving to the states.

Browns – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – The Browns have a huge need at wide receiver. It’s probably not fair to judge Baker’s bad year while he’s playing with an injured shoulder. Jameson Williams dominated in what “should have” been Metchie’s year at Alabama. Even run heavy teams need a deep threat.

Eagles (From Miami) – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – The Eagles are the type of team to draft Davis and unlock his pass rushing potential.

Saints – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – The Saints typically draft defense here. Linderbaum is a great overall player and can solidify at guard for them.

Ravens – Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson CB – Like many teams, the Ravens need cornerback help. Booth is battle tested at Clemson and will be valuable against likes of Kansas City, Cincinnati, the Chargers etc.

Steelers – Sam Howell, UNC QB – Howell scrambles like young Ben Roethlisberger and has some nice deep ball throws under his belt.

Raiders – Zion Johnson, BC OG – Johnson is a competitive run blocker and pass blocker. It doesn’t hurt that Mayock graduated from Boston College.

Eagles – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – Gardner has terrific height and played well against Alabama.

Chargers – Travis Jones, UConn DT – Jones will solidify the Bolts trash run defense and provide real pass rush presence in the middle.

Eagles (From Colts) – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL

Dolphins (From 49ers) – DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M DL

Patriots – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – Lloyd versatility will have him all over the field in Belichick’s defense.

Cardinals – David Ojabo, Michigan DE/OLB – Ojabo is a great value pick here and will likely supplant Chandler Jones if selected.

Bills – Kaiir Elam, Florida CB – Always need more corners

Bengals – Nakobe Dean, Georgia LB

Cowboys – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB

Buccaneers – Martin Emerson, Miss State CB

Chiefs – Coby Bryant, Cincinnati CB

Lions (From Rams) – Chris Olave, Ohio State WR

Titans – Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma OLB

Packers – Devonte Wyatt, Georgia DT

Who Fell?

Kenny Pickett, Drake London, Trevor Penning, and more

Song of the post is “Fight Dirty” by Salvatore Ganacci

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

New York Jets – Justin Fields – I am the only on on the planet who believes the Jets will draft Justin Fields. Zach Wilson has already called three former Jets QBs suggesting Joe Douglas will draft him at 2 overall. I can’t make sense in my head that the Jets will want an injury prone, small school QB behind that offensive line. Justin Fields is a leader. He’s a big play QB. I acknowledge the likelihood of this selection is very low, but I can’t base my mock draft selections strictly off of reports. Certainly the Jets would have no reason to smokescreen their pick, but they have no reason to tell everyone either. This is the only pick that makes any sense at all to me.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson, BYU QB – Wilson is an efficient passer, and the 49ers have the blocking scheme to protect and let him do his work. Supposedly John Lynch and Co. like Trey Lance here. I personally feel all of these top five QBs can be great if given enough time in one system to become good.

Atlanta – Trey Lance, NDSU QB – Arthur Smith, new Falcons coach, made his name most recently by turning Ryan Tannehill from a bust into a high level starting QB. Trey Lance is a high tools, smart guy who just needs experience. The Falcons would drool over what he can do. They can sit him as long as they want, Ryan’s under contract for three more seasons. I believe Terry Fontenot would jump at the opportunity to draft Lance with everything he’s shown he can do, even with his limited passing experience.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon OT – Burrow already lost some rookie season games to injury, and he was actually connecting well with the receivers they have on the roster. I’m sure he’ll want Ja’Marr Chase, Mike Brown is an old school guy who may believe the games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage and I believe he will see this draft as an opportunity to get some slam dunk offensive tackles and still get quality receivers later in the draft.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, UF TE – Chris Grier does a great job of not overthinking his selections and drafting for value. This has served them well so far. Pitts has been lauded as the gem of the draft.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR – The Lions have a need at wide receiver with Kenny Golladay gone, Chase is the best wide receiver in the draft.

Carolina – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – I could see Rashawn slater being the pick here. Facing Tampa Bay twice a year makes me think OC Joe Brady will want firepower to keep up. Waddle helped Tua Tagovailoa and likely Mac Jones become first round picks.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – I feel Mac gets unfairly criticized for his team and looks. He throws the ball well. He’ll have a great setup in Denver, the Broncos could be a legit playoff team if they have an above average quarterback next year.

Dallas – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – Teammates with current Cowboy Trevon Diggs, Surtain is seen by many as the top corner in the draft as Farley’s had some injury(back) issues and now even has COVID. Should fit Dan Quinn’s defense well with physical play at Alabama.

New York Giants – Devonta Smith, Alabama WR – Smith is the first Heisman trophy winner to not play QB since seemingly forever. Signing Kenny Golladay suggests Gettleman is now willing to invest in receivers, and Smith would give Daniel Jones every chance to take the next step, 166 lbs be damned.

Philadelphia – RaShawn Slater, Northwestern OT – Former first rounder Andre Dillard has not been healthy and keeping Jalen Hurts upright will be important if they want to see what they have in him. They could also go corner here, with Jaycee Horn or Asante Samuel Jr. The Eagles have invested in LOS positions in the past highly.

LA Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, VA. TECH OT – Darrisaw is a balanced, physical blocker who should run block and has done well in pass protection as well. The Chargers have a gaping need at offensive line generally and Darrisaw played well in 2020.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, SC CB – Horn’s one of the top man corners in the draft, Mike Zimmer openly complained about lack of defensive talent on the roster after getting plowed by Alvin Kamara for 6 rushing touchdowns against the Saints who they normally bully. Horn took Seth Williams completely out of the game against Auburn, he should do well in Minnesota.

New England – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome helped Justin Fields look bad in the 2020 OSU/Northwestern game. Newsome still cracks six feet, and Belichick tends to like his defensive backs tall. I could maybe see Trevon Moehrig or Jamar Johnson here.

Arizona – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Vera Tucker comes from an offensive scheme very similar to what Kingsbury is running in Arizona. While he started at left tackle in 2020, many expect Tucker to start at guard. Arizona’s weakness is Kyler Murray’s health. I expect offensive line to be a priority for Arizona, and Vera Tucker could reasonably start at guard or tackle on this line.

Las Vegas – Teven Jenkins, OKST. OL – Jenkins is a great run blocker which will be important to the Raiders. I could see the Raiders liking Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah or one other wide receivers. Gruden and Mayock have had great OL play and I see them making that a priority, Jenkins would be a good value here.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons is a do it all super athlete linebacker, if teams are comfortable with his off field issues. Flores and Grier would draft him if he is still here, Parsons would immediately be one of the best players on the field.

Washington – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – Washington’s identity is on defense, and Moehrig is a plus size defensive back who many regard as the top safety in the draft. Washington’s struggled at safety.

Chicago – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OL – Notre Dame has been an offensive line factory, and Eichenberg played well in 2020.

Indianapolis – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – The Colts are solid all around, they need an offensive tackle to replace Anthony Castonzo. Cosmi has great size and has shown the pass protection and run blocking skills to be up to the task for Indianapolis. The Colts have been elite at offensive line, I would be shocked if this wasn’t a priority for them.

Tennessee – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame LB – JOK had an all pro performance against Clemson in 2020. He lacks ideal size, but he flies around the ball like Troy Polamalu. JOK may be asked to move to safety because of his small size.

New York Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – Mayfield has experience at right tackle and should play well there in the NFL. The Jets know they need to be good on the offensive line, they have holes everywhere except for left tackle.

Pittsburgh – Najee Harris, Alabama RB – Harris is a prototype, all round great runner, pass protector, receiving back. Daniel Jeremiah compared him to Matt Forte. The Steelers need a QB and a left tackle, but they may not see the value in those picks here.

Jacksonville – Jaelan Phillips, Miami DE – Phillips is the top edge rusher and played great in 2020. He has NFL size and pressured the passer more often than stud Gregory Rousseau.

Cleveland – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can be versatile and can work with the offense that works best for Baker Mayfield. Moore is crazy fast and even stronger. Think of Moore like a roided up Deebo Samuel.

Baltimore – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – Baltimore needs help at wide receiver. Even if Marquise Brown isn’t the answer for them, they don’t have a lot of help even outside of Brown. Bateman is a burner.

New Orleans – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel is an elite zone corner in the draft. Even at CB3, Samuel would be a big time defender for New Orleans especially against Tampa Bay. at 5’10”, Samuel isn’t even that small.

Green Bay – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – Stokes has great size and played well at Georgia.

Buffalo – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State OG – If Buffalo wants to run the ball better, they should improve their o-line play. Davis has been a major part of OSU’s dominant rushing offense.

Baltimore – Zaven Collins, Tulsa LB – Collins is a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer or play inside. Collins has a gigantic frame and can move around the defense depending on what Baltimore needs.

Tampa Bay – Elijah Molden, Washington DB – Molden is a smaller corner but he has elite coverage skills. Tampa’s done a great job collecting depth in the secondary, and that depth has helped them to be successful against teams like the Chiefs and the Falcons. Molden is likely a CB3 because of his size, but has top coverage chops and will be more valuable late in the season as injuries begin to pile up.

I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third strings QBs.I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third string QBs.

It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.

I find it interesting that although I would label Alex Smith’s a career a success mostly on number of starts, a quarterback with his performance early on would not likely be given a chance for as long as he was. Dwayne Haskins was cut less than two seasons into his NFL career. Josh Rosen was traded after only one season. NFL franchises are more like day traders and less like ‘buy and hold’ investors in that way it feels to me, at least with quarterbacks. This may explain the aggressive nature in which players fight for fully guaranteed money and other benefits in their contract.

Washington Football Team Tight End Logan Thomas ranks in the top half on this list for passes thrown in college, suggesting Washington should probably move him to Quarterback as it is unlikely he’s very bad compared to other NFL backups with that experience. Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson seems to be a similar story. His completion percentage at Buffalo was less than ideal, but I felt he showed enough that he warrants at minimum a practice squad spot or a 3rd string spot on a proper NFL team assuming he gets reasonable coaching and receiver talent. Being tall and fast may have given them a roster spot when shorter quarterbacks may have been free agents looking for work, of course it could have also pigeonholed them from being granted a long enough leash to fulfill their potential, a leash often longer for early draft picks or free agent trades like Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo. I have no answers their, only questions.

College Career pass attempts for notable NFL QBs:

Kyler Murray – 519

Mitchell Trubisky – 572

Alex Smith – 587

Dwayne Haskins – 590

Carson Wentz – 612

Cam Newton – 628* (336 from JUCO)

Tom Brady – 638

Ryan Fitzpatrick – 641

Josh Allen – 649

Aaron Rodgers – 665

Tua Tagovailoa – 684

Julian Edelman – 706

Ryan Tannehill – 774

Jacoby Brissett – 839

Sam Darnold – 846

Jameis Winston – 851

Tyrod Taylor – 865

Blake Bortles – 891

Joe Flacco – 942

Joe Burrow – 945

Tyree Jackson – 955

Matthew Stafford – 987

Jalen Hurts – 1047

Lamar Jackson – 1086

Kirk Cousins – 1128

Teddy Bridgewater – 1142

Gardner Minshew – 1168

Dak Prescott – 1169

Robert Griffin III – 1192

DeShaun Watson – 1207

Logan Thomas – 1248

Daniel Jones – 1275

Justin Herbert – 1293

Ben Roethlisberger – 1304

Andy Dalton – 1317

Matt Ryan – 1347

Patrick Mahomes – 1349

Russell Wilson – 1489

Baker Mayfield – 1497

Drew Lock – 1553

Jared Goff – 1568

Derek Carr – 1630

Jimmy Garoppolo – 1668

Case Keenum – 2229

Former QBs

Jamarcus Russell – 797

Andrew Luck – 1064

Philip Rivers – 1087

Eli Manning – 1363

Peyton Manning – 1381

Drew Brees – 1678

WISHFUL THINKING MOCK

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

NY Jets – Justin Fields. Fields was QB2 for a year plus until the hype machine started backing Zach Wilson’s performances against North Alabama and other like powerhouses. Zach struggled with injury and doesn’t react well to pressure. Fields is at least a gamer and his worst performance came against a sneaky NFL talent ridden Northwestern defense. His bonkers performance against Clemson is the best single game performance from a College QB since the Cam Newton Era. Wilson would be speared and eaten alive by a barely functioning organization like the Jets, Fields brings the leadership, competitiveness and his “Hero Ball” play would be a STRENGTH not a weakness in this east coast hellhole.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson – Forget all of those negative things I just typed about Wilson, that was smokescreen nonsense. In all seriousness Wilson CAN be great, but he clearly requires more support than the Jets could give him. The 49ers can give him an easier job to do. He had top notch pass protection at BYU in 2020, and he’ll have that in San Francisco. He would be out with injury by week four in New York.

Atlanta (For Now) – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern – The pick here is ‘supposed’ to be Kyle Pitts. Fontenot is used to New Orleans, an overall class organization. New Orleans has had a strong group up front for several years. Slater’s a technician, he’s CRAZY strong, and he could play any position up front. He’s the best pass protector in the draft, and the Falcons are still a pass first offense.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon – Pitts would make sense here, as would Jamarr Chase. Mike Brown is an old school decision maker, and Cincinnati in its’ heyday was strong on the line of scrimmage. This is the OL draft, and I expect NFL teams to get them while they’re hot. Also the Bengals are unsteady overall on the OL. Sewell would maybe be asked to start at Guard, where he would be maybe the best guard in Football immediately.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, Florida – This would be a wet dream for Miami. They would be happy with Jamarr Chase or Devonta Smith.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU – The Lions just need to draft for value. They might swing on a quarterback, I would expect Brad Holmes to see what Goff looks like in Detroit and just building a team before immediately drafting a QB.

Carolina – DeVonta Smith, Alabama WR – I’m not so sold on Darnold that the Panthers WOULDN’T draft a QB here. I think Lance needs a mentor (not Darnold) and Mac Jones is strongly a personal preference draft pick. Stacking up at wide receiver would be a strong ‘pro-analytics’ move that the Panthers are supposedly more bought in on with a new owner.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – The rumors are that the NFL scouting community is higher on Mac Jones than the media types are. I understand that Mac is white, but he’s not a tall, cannon-armed QB like Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch. In order to NOT sabotage Trey Lance’s career, Denver would need to sign a veteran/mentor QB like Alex Smith or Teddy Bridgewater AND need the patience to sit Lance for bare minimum one season. The Broncos roster is honestly respectable outside of QB.

Dallas – Caleb Farley, LSU CB – Dallas’ defense clearly needs any help they can get. Top secondary play is key when you’re passing as much as Dallas will be.

NY Giants – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Tucker would likely be asked to move inside. I think Jaylen Waddle or Patrick Surtain II would make a lot of sense here. Tucker is a versatile lineman who Gettleman would like.

Philadelphia – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – The Eagles are telling themselves they just need a couple of wide receivers to be competitive, and it is a need for them. Waddle might be WR1 in next years’ draft.

LA Chargers – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – The Chargers have long maintained a presence in the secondary. I would expect the best remaining offensive tackle here or the top corner available. Surtain is big game tested and Staley was used to Jalen Ramsey being available with the Rams.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina CB – Mike Zimmer wants a strong defense, Horn might be the best technician at corner.

New England – Trey Lance, Trey doesn’t fall past here, if he falls to here. Lance’s footwork and throwing mechanics are clean and an old school guy like Bill Belichick will appreciate that. Bill can start Cam as long as he wants until he feels Trey is ready.

Arizona – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can lineup in a variety of roles. He lacks ideal height but he was usually the best player on the field while at Purdue and is as strong as an ox.

Las Vegas – Christian Darrisaw, Va Tech OL – Gruden clearly wants to make a statement up front. Darrisaw has some smaller technical flaws, but that’s what coaches get paid to do.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons can do whatever Flores would ask him to do at a high level.

Washington – Teven Jenkins, OK STATE OL – Jenkins plays with incredible strength and toughness and plays well especially as a run blocker. Ron Rivera has shown a preference for a power run game in the past.

Chicago – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – The Bears need corner help. Stokes allowed 53% completion percentage over his career in the SEC.

Indianapolis – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – Another Notre Dame bruiser, The Colts need a new left tackle. The Colts has success with Notre Dame lineman Quenton Nelson.

Tennessee – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can play at three technique or as an End. The Titans defense was laughably bad in 2020. Paye is the latest Michigan front seven stud.

NY Jets – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel’s been nothing short of a shutdown corner at Florida State. The Jets badly need O-line help, but that will not likely be a great value pick here.

Pittsburgh – Kellen Mond, Texas A&M QB – This is Ben’s last season, and Pittsburgh may not even want him for 2021. Mond is a rockstar, showed out at the Senior Bowl, Chris Simms who’s been right when others have been wrong really likes Kellen Mond. Mond has started a grip of games in the SEC and keeps the turnovers low. All a great fit for what the Rooneys like in a QB.

Jacksonville – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome doesn’t have all the ideal measurables of a typical round one corner, but he played a big role in shutting down Ohio State’s passing game. Something Urban surely took note of.

Cleveland – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame linebacker – The Browns don’t have a gaping hole at crucial starting positions like most other teams. JOK is a defensive playmaker and the Browns will find a way to put him on the field.

Baltimore – Terrace Marshall, LSU WR – The Ravens don’t typically draft receivers in the first round. If they want to win playoff games, they’ll need ace in the hole pass game weapons.

New Orleans – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – The Saints have done a great job here in recent seasons. One of the rare good safety prospects in the draft, they will likely look for receivers in the middle rounds.

Green Bay – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR- Green Bay can’t just not draft receivers. Bateman has average height, but that’s not slowed him down in the BIG 10.

Buffalo – Gregory Rousseau, Miami DE – Buffalo wants a better pass rush with their crazy high scoring offense now. Rousseau will come into a great room to learn and grow in.

Kansas City – Brady Christensen, BYU OT – Brady looked really good in 2020, and Reid has had a soft spot for BYU players in the past. Even against the big dogs like USC and UTAH in 2019 Christensen held his own.

Tampa Bay – Milton Williams, LA TECH DT – While not as BIG as Suh, Williams moves incredibly well and could eventually reload at DT when Tampa is ready.

Realistic Free Agent and Veteran Options:

The Crown JewelDak Prescott – Not really realistic unless Belichick retires and New England hires Kellen Moore to be their head coach. And they offer Dak Prescott a dozen Dunkin Donuts franchises in addition to the 40 million guaranteed he’ll want. Dak would not want to leave Jerry Jones’ wealthy and warm embrace for cold New England with no receivers barring a major contract dispute.

The Ex-PatsJacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo – I believe the starter for New England in 2021 will be one of these two quarterbacks. Belichick has already put his stamp of approval on both of them and wanted them around for when Tom Brady decided to move on. Both have shown they can handle starting quarterback duties in and out of New England and would operate Josh McDaniels’ offense better than just about anyone. Brissett is the safer option with Jimmy’s health issues, but both would be attractive options for the Patriots to get a trusted vet in at QB. Garoppolo is technically still under contract with the 49ers so they would have to trade for him if San Francisco doesn’t cut him and is open to a deal.

The Grizzled Vets/Mentors – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Philip Rivers, Josh McCown – Fitzpatrick looks FANTASTIC in that Dolphins offense with Chan Gailey. Miami may pay him to stick around another season to support Tua, he would be an excellent bridge quarterback to help tutor a young QB should the Patriots actually draft someone. Rivers doesn’t look like a spring chicken in Indianapolis, but the Colts are winning with him at Quarterback and may lure him back for another season while they draft their future passer. McCown has looked serviceable, but only came out of retirement for the Eagles. He may not be willing to play for another team, especially a bad team. Josh McDaniels would have to adjust the offense for any of these players, they’re not likely to learn the playbook in one offseason with a bunch of castoffs at wide receiver.

The Jilted Ex-loversTyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota – I actually really like all of these options. Taylor does the best job of protecting the football (something Belichick values) and may want another crack at a starting job after being stabbed out of a chance to start with the Chargers. Taylor brings some badly needed mobility to an offense that needs all the help it can get and has started several games. A late round pick who worked his way to the top of the depth chart at Buffalo, Taylor is the most “Belichick”ian of this group. Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo repeatedly pointed out how Andy Dalton on the same drive would make a stellar throw, and a horrendous throw on the very next play. Dalton actually earned a second contract and has been a key part of some great Bengals teams. He will be certainly motivated to compete for a starting spot where ever her goes next. Winston’s still got a great arm and can throw with the best of them, but tarnished his reputation in 2019 with 30 interceptions, which the Patriots will not like. Overall, Jameis hasn’t thrown tons of interceptions if you look at his career as a whole, and his ceiling is the highest of anyone they could realistically get. Jameis may not be the locker room presence that the Patriots are looking for in their next quarterback, but beggars can’t be choosers. Mariota is under contract with the Raiders for $10 million. The Raiders’ Gruden and Mayock would likely want a minimum of a third round pick to trade Mariota to a (much hated) AFC foe. Mariota looked great in the Raiders loss to the Chargers where Derek Carr got injured.

The (I say this with love) ScrapheapMike Glennon, Nick Mullens, Blake Bortles, Brett Hundley, etc. – Most of the rest of the group would likely compete for a backup spot in New England, if at all. Mike Glennon has put up better than expected stat lines with Jacksonville and may be attractive to Belichick and Caserio as a competitor for the starting job. Gardner Minshew is an interesting thought exercise, but the Patriots would likely have to give up a lot to get him. Assuming Jacksonville drafts Trevor Lawrence, Minshew would immediately be the league’s top backup quarterback in an offense he’s already familiar with and for dirt cheap.

Sam Darnold – I kind of forgot about Darnold. It is possible the Jets will hold on to Darnold in 2021, but even if they don’t draft a QB at #2, they probably won’t stick with him long term. Darnold was terrific as a prospect coming out of USC. If they can get Darnold for a third round pick, that may be worth it for New England. Dwayne Haskins is now available, but I don’t see how New England can support a young passer who looks like he needs to get back to fundamentals and go somewhere he can be a backup for a bit.

The Draft:

There are lots of great quarterbacks in this draft class. I’m only listing some of the names I feel the Patriots might like or who might be a fit for what Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick value in a QB. I’m excluding the big four (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance) as their traits are well documented already.

Mac Jones – I see this as the best fit for New England. Jones doesn’t have a ton of starts under his belt, but Belichick is known for being close to Nick Saban and Jones if nothing else is accurate and doesn’t turn the ball over.

Kyle Trask – This is a quarterback I think the Patriots would’ve loved back in 2001, Trask is accurate with several starts against NFL caliber defenses. Trask is not a mobile guy and had loads of talent around him at Florida. He will not have elite talent around him at New England and Belichick will likely prefer a mobile quarterback. Belichick will still value quarterbacks with starting experience, and may be on the Patriots draft radar in round 2 or later.

Sam Ehlinger – Ehlinger hasn’t had much “WOW” tape but has been a consistent, above average performer for Texas for four years of starts. Ehlinger rushed for 4 touchdowns and over 100 yards against Oklahoma, so he’s a capable runner. I personally don’t love his tape, but Gil Brandt has mentioned Ehlinger as among his top seniors for the 2021 class. Ehlinger has gotten it done with a variety of different receiving talent at Texas.

Jamie Newman – Newman’s been described as a more raw, high ceiling prospect rather than a safe, high floor guy. This pick would make sense if the Patriots somehow ended up with Ryan Fitzpatrick or Philip Rivers, a quarterback nearing retirement who would be willing to mentor a rookie/youngster. Newman has made some great throws at Wake Forest and is an athlete with the ball in his hands. If the coaching staff feels they can “coach him up” to protect the football better, Newman could be a steal even in the first round.

Kellen Mond – Mond is a quarterback who would’ve met most of the ‘Bill Parcells QB rules‘. Like Ehlinger, Mond has a ton of starts under his belt. Mond has played against loads of SEC defensive talent and coaching, about as good an education as you can get for the NFL. His accuracy percentage slowly improved into the 60s at Texas A&M and he’s demonstrated he’s an above average runner with the ball in his hands. Mond is a hard worker and will likely be able to handle the challenges of being an NFL rookie on a bad team. Mond’s looked inaccurate at times and will likely need a strong supporting cast to look great (like Kirk Cousins or Andy Dalton). Mond’s lower career yards per attempt suggest he’s more comfortable checking the ball closer to the line of scrimmage than going for the big play. I don’t see this being an issue with Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense.

Brock Purdy – It’s not yet clear whether Purdy goes back to school in 2021 or declares for the draft. 2020 has been a rough year for him, but there’s been enough buzz around his name that he would likely get drafted in the mid to late rounds. Purdy had some real stinkers in 2020, but generally did a good job of distributing the ball at Iowa State. Like many college offenses, Purdy’s job was more focused on quickly finding the open receiver rather than throwing it deep to his star wideout. Purdy would definitely be a third round selection at the earliest, Belichick’s shown he’s willing to wait on drafting a quarterback even if he has a pressing need.

Brady White – White’s more one of “my guys” that I’ve felt has played at a high level at Memphis, though smarter dudes than me aren’t impressed with his tape. Memphis looks like they run a little more of a vertical offense, but White has no problem taking the checkdown if that’s what’s asked of him. White’s a true senior with a load of starts under his belt, though it’s mainly come against AAC defenses. I feel White would give the offense a little higher of a ceiling, as White has one of the stronger arms in the draft, White’s not a runner, with a career total of negative 23 rushing yards.

Today’s song is “Staring at the sea without you next to me” by San Holo

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

Jets – Zach Wilson, Brigham Young Quarterback – I would trade back here if I were the Jets. I’m not doing trades in this mock. Wilson is playing well at the right time, though I think he needs to gain weight.

Bengals – Penei Sewell, Oregon Offensive Tackle – Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith would make a ton of sense here as well.

Panthers – Trey Lance, North Dakota State Quarterback – Lance would thrive in Joe Brady’s offense, if anyone would.

Falcons – Christian Barmore, Alabama Defensive Tackle – I see Barmore as the best front seven player available here.

Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU Wide Receiver – Value pick for Dolphins, Chase is elite.

Eagles – RaShawn Slater, Northwestern Offensive Tackle – Not a value pick, but the Eagles can’t expect to compete with a group of injury prone offensive linemen. Slater’s played great this season.

Lions – DeVonta Smith, Alabama Wide Receiver – Default value pick until we know who is drafting next April.

Cowboys – Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech Cornerback – Jerry could move on an interior offensive lineman here, but Dallas has made that a priority already with Tyler Biadasz and Connor Williams. Farley’s ceiling is sky high.

Chargers – Micah Parsons, Penn State Inside Linebacker – Alignment of value pick and need for the Bolts. Chargers could take another offensive lineman here like Christian Darrisaw or Samuel Cosmi.

Giants – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama Cornerback – The Giants defense is for real, Surtain could free up more bodies to rush the passer in theory.

Broncos – Justin Fields, Ohio State Quarterback – I don’t know that Fields would be available here, but even John Elway wouldn’t mess up this pick.

Vikings – Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Defensive Tackle – The Vikings aren’t horrible in the secondary, but are horrible up front. Nixon’s been ID’d by Daniel Jeremiah as a pocket penetrator who should succeed in the NFL.

49ers – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina Cornerback – Horn’s got the size and the tape. If the 49ers don’t take a Quarterback, Horn makes the most sense for them.

Patriots – Mac Jones, Alabama Quarterback – Patriots coach Bill Belichick is no idiot and know he needs a passer. Jones is young, but rumor has it NFL talent evaluators like his tape.

Bears – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama Wide Receiver – The Bears are a bad team on offense.

Raiders – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can rush the passer, the Raiders still have no pass rush after shipping out Khalil Mack.

Ravens – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State OL – The Ravens wouldn’t use an elite receiver seeing Marquise Brown’s non-involvement in that offense. Davis can make them stronger for inside runs.

Football Team – Kyle Pitts, Florida Tight End – Pitts has plenty of opportunities to be the star on a middling offense.

Cardinals – Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State Cornerback – Samuel doesn’t need the name to get drafted, he’s dominated this season. Not the tallest corner, Samuel could eventually replace Patrick Peterson.

Dolphins – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame Linebacker – The Dolphins have four linebackers on their roster in total, but still need to be able to cover from that position. While not the biggest linebacker at 215 lbs, he’s always around the football. Played well against Clemson and the elusive Travis Etienne.

Jaguars – Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech Offensive Tackle – Cam Robinson isn’t the dude. Generally advisable to make the left tackle position all good when drafting a new quarterback.

Colts – Gregory Rousseau, Miami Defensive End – Rousseau could hypothetically take over for Justin Houston. Very high ceiling edge rusher. Colts need a quarterback but do not think Trask or any available quarterbacks would be draft-worthy here.

Browns – Trevon Moehrig, TCU Safety – Andrew Berry is a stats nerd, and Cleveland has to get creative to not reach majorly here. Moehrig is arguably the top safety in the draft.

Buccaneers – Levi Onwuzurike, Washington DL – Bucs took Vea from Washington and that worked out for them. Will still need to replace Suh.

Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – In need of a right tackle, Mayfield has experience starting at right tackle and won’t need to learn the position. Mayfield is a stellar blocker in his own right.

Titans – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome showed his stuff by making the Ohio State passing attack look like a bunch of useless goons.

Steelers – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – Another team that needs a quarterback, the Steelers have failed to establish the ground game and the blocking up front is a big reason for that. Cosmi’s shown top pass and run blocking this season.

Saints – Dylan Moses, Alabama Linebacker – Moses is a value selection here. The Saints will be looking at wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks here.

Bills – Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma Center – Bills interior offensive line hasn’t been great. A true center, he could move to guard and has tons of snaps pass protecting at Lincoln Riley’s pass heavy offense.

Packers – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – The Packers should still be making wide receiver a priority for Rodgers and Love’s sake.

Chiefs – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – The Chiefs are losing three starting offensive linemen and Notre Dame is sending another NFL caliber blocker to the next level.

Today’s song is an old one, You’ve got to go by Above and Beyond (Seven Lions remix)