1 – Detroit Lions select Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)
The Lions still have plenty of needs with a rebuilding roster, and could go with another Alabama player here in Will Anderson to pair with Aidan Hutchinson, but getting the long term answer at signal caller is a must. Young brings questions about his size, but he plays with guts and fits the type of leader Dan Campbell would love leading the offense.
2 – Houston Texans select C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State)
Much like Detroit, I thought of placing Will Anderson here for Houston, especially with having a second top 10 pick from Cleveland, but I like Stroud much more than Levis or any other available quarterbacks and that’s a primary need for Houston moving forward. I’ve been critical of Stroud and his ability to overthrow receivers at times, but he’s cleaned that up a bit in 2022 and provides mobility and arm strength from behind center.
3 – Carolina Panthers select Will Anderson (EDGE, Alabama)
The Panthers need a quarterback, badly, but I cannot stomach selecting Levis over Anderson. The decision to hold on to star pass rusher Brian Burns at this weeks deadline was a smart one, and adding another dynamic sack artist on the other side of the line could be a smart play in a division that looks to be wide open for the taking in the near future. If the Panthers want a toolsy project at quarterback, they can grab one early in round 2.
4 – Pittsburgh Steelers select Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia)
Pittsburgh could use more offensive line help here, and ideally would trade down if they select this high because I don’t believe the value is there for any on the board. However, with no trades in this initial version, I’m giving the Steelers an imposing presence on the outside of the defense in Ringo. This past weekend, they attempted (lose definition) to cover A.J. Brown and stood no chance all afternoon.
5 – Jacksonville Jaguars select Jalen Carter (IDL, Georgia)
Surprise! Another Georgia defensive player goes in the first round. Carter was arguably the best player on the Bulldogs National Championship team as an interior disruptor who can clog running lanes solo and also pressure the quarterback. The Jaguars could also look at a wide receiver here in an attempt to solidify the options around Trevor Lawrence.
6 – Las Vegas Raiders select Myles Murphy (EDGE, Clemson)
Much like Pittsburgh, I thought about going with an offensive tackle here, but I like the value of Murphy in this spot more than those available tackles. Chandler Jones is 32 and is in clear regression, and with Maxx Crosby under the contract for the foreseeable future, the Raiders grab another pass rusher opposite him to get after the star quarterbacks in the AFC West.
7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)
Who would have guessed the Buccaneers would be selecting this high in the Draft? Its been a year from hell for Tom Brady, and after retiring for a month this past offseason, he could conceivably hang it up for good if this season continues to be a disaster. Tampa needs to find the future signal caller (i.e. not Kyle Trask), and Levis has tons of talent that Byron Leftwich can help mold.
8 – Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) select Cam Smith (CB, South Carolina)
The Howie Roseman regime in Philadelphia has been very up and down, but he’s built a legit Super Bowl contender this year and has the added luxury of extra draft capital via the Saints. They could go Bijan Robinson here, but even for a running back of that immense talent its a bit high. James Bradberry is a free agent after inking a one-year deal after being cut by the Giants, and while he’s played well, the Eagles could save money by taking a young corner to pair opposite Darius Slay for the next few years.
9 – Houston Texans (via CLE) select Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State)
The Dolphins paired Tua Tagovailoa with Jaylen Waddle. The Bengals paired Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase. My long term theory of pairing your young quarterback with a familiar, talented receiver seems to be working out for both, so I’m giving the Texans Smith-Njigba to go along with C.J. Stroud here. Jordan Addison is available here as well, and would be an equally good option in the event JSN goes off the board before their pick.
10 – Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) select Isaiah Foskey (EDGE, Notre Dame)
Seattle has been one of the better stories in football this season with the emergence of Geno Smith at quarterback and a youthful core that’s playing up to potential. With the added draft selection from a Denver team that has already busted heavily, I’m giving them Isaiah Foskey from Notre Dame. I’m admittedly higher on him than most outlets, but he provides unique length and size for a team that could use a boost off the edge.
11 – Arizona Cardinals select Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)
Arizona has plenty of needs, but Kyler Murray could use a boost in the backfield with him after years of churning out average play at the position. Running back isn’t a sexy position to draft this high, but Robinson is a legit top five prospect who checks all the boxes you’d want from a premier rusher in todays NFL.
12 – Chicago Bears select Broderick Jones (OT. Georgia)
The Bears sent a second round pick to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline for Chase Claypool, making this pick a little easier. Chicago needs to fortify the offensive line in front of Justin Fields and they get their pick of the litter with no lineman off the board. Jones provides a very athletic big body bully in the trenches with plenty of upside to work with going forward.
13 – Green Bay Packers select Peter Skoronski (OT, Northwestern)
I thought of giving the Packers Jordan Addison here, but lets be real: they’d never do anything like that. So instead I’m giving them Skoronski, a mauler of a tackle who fits the mold of what the Packers want to run offensively with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
14 – Detroit Lions (via LAR) select Joey Porter Jr. (CB, Penn State)
Jeff Okudah has finally turned his play around for the Lions, but they’ve struggled mightily in the secondary this year. Porter is a rising star in the Draft ranks and would make for a much needed addition for a defense that plays Justin Jefferson and Aaron Rodgers twice a season.
15 – Indianapolis Colts select Jaelyn Duncan (OT, Maryland)
The Colts need to find the new franchise quarterback after continuing to play roulette with aging or retread option for the past few years. Unfortunately, I don’t feel good about the options on the board here and the Colts typically sturdy offensive line has been pretty bad, so insert Jaelyn Duncan, an impressive big man who’s stock has risen since the preseason.
16 – Cincinnati Bengals select Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame)
The Bengals have a few needs they could address here, but after a run on offensive tackles before them, I’m giving Joe Burrow a solid weapon in Michael Mayer. Mayer is an all-around threat from the tight end position, with the added ability of being able to block which should help the continued struggles they’ve seen in keeping Joe Burrow upright.
17 – New England Patriots select Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
The Patriots have to figure out whether Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe is the guy going forward, but they’ll also have to add weapons for whiter quarterback they choose. Jacobi Meyers will be a free agent, and while DeVante Parker is a solid option, they still need a true number one threat. Addison is an elite route specialist with solid speed that should greatly assist in a weak Patriots passing attack.
18 – Washington Commanders select Trenton Simpson (LB, Clemson)
Another team that could use a franchise quarterback, instead I’m giving them a unique defensive talent that fell down the board due to positional value. Simpson is a smaller version of former Tiger Isaiah Simmons, in that he is a versatile defensive chess piece that can be lined up in multiple spots.
19 – Atlanta Falcons select Bryan Bresee (IDL, Clemson)
Another Clemson defender who’s slipped down the board, Bresee falls into the the laps of a Falcons team that needs all the defensive talent it can get. The former number one high school prospect provides a versatile yet physical interior game that should help the Falcons generate more of a pass rush.
20 – Denver Broncos (via SF) select Tyree Wilson (EDGE, Texas Tech)
After trading for Russell Wilson in the offseason, the Broncos turned around crapped the bed early on and in turn traded off star pass rusher Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins. With that acquired pick, I’m giving them Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech. A massive human off the edge, Wilsons star is on the rise and gives an already impressive Denver defense with a cheaper replacement for Chubb.
21 – Los Angeles Chargers select Gervon Dexter Sr. (IDL, Florida)
The Chargers acquired Khalil Mack in the offseason to pair with Joey Bosa, and while an elite tandem on the edge when healthy, the Chargers could use some help clogging the middle of the field. Dexter rings a 300+ pound body that can eat interior blocks and free up pass rush lanes for their elite duo.
22 – Seattle Seahawks select Noah Sewell (LB, Oregon)
With their second pick in round one, the Seahawks take Noah Sewell to add a physical presence to the middle of the defense after Bobby Wagner departed this past offseason. I’m as much a fan of Noah as I was his brother Penei, and think he’d be a great fit for a young Seahawks defensive unit.
23 – New York Jets select Paris Johnson (OT, Ohio State)
The Jets surprising start to the 2022 season has been impressive, though the team still has a few spots they need to fix. Mekhi Becton will miss the season and his tenure has been fairly disappointing, and while Alijah Vera-Tucker has been a stud, the Jets could use another stout offensive lineman. With Johnson still on the board, it was a slam dunk selection for the Jets as they continue to evaluate Zach Wilson.
24 – Baltimore Ravens select Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)
Baltimore has continued to try and find a stable group of stars at the receiver position, and while Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay have stepped up, the Ravens could still use talent here. Johnston is a freak athlete who could very easily end up going top ten when the Draft comes around, as he provides a huge catch radius with basketball arms and solid speed in a 6’4″ frame. Turn on a Horned Frogs game and you’ll see him dominate cornerbacks.
25 – Kansas City Chiefs select Derick Hall (EDGE, Auburn)
Chris Jones has long been one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL, and George Karlaftis has been solid as a first rounder, but I’m giving the Chiefs another edge rusher with a similar skill set in Hall. A thick frame that helps stop the run as well as power by offensive tackles on passing plays, Hall provides another much needed defensive piece for Kansas City.
26 – Dallas Cowboys select Henry To’o To’o (LB, Alabama)
The Cowboys don’t have a ton of needs across the roster, and most notably could use some help on the offensive line. However, there aren’t many options here for them. Instead, we’re going with Alabama linebacker Henry To’o To’o. Leighton Vander Esch is scheduled to hit free agency as well as a few other linebackers on the roster, and with Micah Parsons shifting primarily to a pass rush role, the Cowboys could use a steady leader in the middle of the defense.
27 – New York Giants select Kayshon Boutte (WR, LSU)
The Giants have been a pleasant surprise this season under new head coach Brian Daboll. Quarterback Daniel Jones has looked better this year, but he’s scheduled to hit free agency and this could be a spot for Anthony Richardson or Cameron Ward. I’m working under the assumption they bring Jones back in 2023, and opted to give him a solid receiver in Kayshon Boutte. Boutte hasn’t put up stellar numbers at LSU this year with a shifted offensive style in the Brian Kelly regime, but the talent is still there to be a go to option.
28 – Tennessee Titans select Darnell Washington (TE, Georgia)
This is a fun one. The Titans already have Derrick Henry, a player so much bigger than anyone else at his position, and now they have another such player at tight end. Whether the Titans continue with Ryan Tannehill or shift to Malik Willis, they need to add receiving options after dealing away A.J. Brown last offseason. Washington is a tight end that’s the size of an offensive tackle, presenting a challenge to any defense when it comes to defending. Titans could be elite at the goal line with the options of Henry on the ground and Washington in the air.
29 – Minnesota Vikings select Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon)
Another surprising team has been the Vikings. Kirk Cousins looks the best he ever has in his career, and the offense has looked really good under Kevin O’Connell. The defense could still use some help, though, especially in the secondary. Gonzalez is an elite athlete on the perimeter who still has some development needed when it comes to his ball skills, but under the right tutelage I think Gonzalez could become a premier corner in the league.
30 – Buffalo Bills select Jordan Battle (S, Alabama)
What do you get a team that seemingly has everything? Well, the Bills have Jordan Poyer and Jaquan Johnson coming up in free agency, and the Bills could look to save cap space by looking at the draft to replace them. Battle gives the ability to play between the two safety positions and is, in my opinion, the best safety in this draft class.
31 – Philadelphia Eagles select Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Alabama)
The Eagles are back up here, and this time I’m giving them do-it-all back Jahymr Gibbs. Both Boston Scott and Miles Sanders are scheduled to be free agents, and Gibbs gives Philadelphia a great pass catcher out of the backfield with the ability to get 15-20 carries as well.