The calendar has turned to November, both college football and the NFL have hit the halfway point on the season. You know what that means? It’s time to kick off Mock Draft season!
*Note: Draft Order is based off the standing after Week 8*
1 – Arizona Cardinals select Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State)
The Cardinals are in a weird spot here. With a solid quarterback class available, the new regime could certainly look to target one and attempt to move on from Kyler Murray. Unfortunately, Murray signed a long term contract that will likely be difficult to move off even for quarterback needy teams (see: Lamar Jackson last offseason). It might be best to keep Murray, a proven NFL quarterback who’s just 26 years old, and build the roster around him. Harrison is the best prospect in the NFL Draft, and while there hasn’t been a wide receiver taken number one overall since 1996 (Keyshawn Johnson), Harrison would be well worth the selection.
2 – Chicago Bears (via Carolina) select Caleb Williams (QB, USC)
I’m a Justin Fields truther, but the situation in Chicago has hit an impasse. Fields will be entering his final season under contract in 2024 (unless the Bears pick up the 5th year option) and it feels like both team and quarterback need a fresh break, because its just not working. Chicago might not want to clean the slate again so quick, but they absolutely should gut it and start fresh. Enter Caleb Williams, a prolific collegiate quarterback with supreme upside.
3 – Chicago Bears select Laiatu Latu (EDGE, UCLA)
Latu has been a terror for Pac 12 quarterbacks during his time at UCLA, with currently sitting with 19 sacks (at the time of writing) through his two seasons with the Bruins. The Bears are far and away the worst defense in the NFL in terms of sacks with just 10 through eight games.
4 – New York Giants select Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)
The Giants are in a tough spot here. They just handed out a big extension to quarterback Daniel Jones, but Drake Maye has a much higher ceiling. They’ve spent two first round picks at offensive tackle in previous drafts, but Evan Neal’s career highlight thus far has been getting worked repeatedly by pass rushers. This is a bit high for another receiver, but Nabers has been incredible this season as the lead receiver in a high flying Tigers offense, and his draft stock is through the roof and could be the go-to threat that Jones has missed thus far in his career.
5 – New England Patriots select Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina)
If he’s available, the Patriots should go ahead and run the pick in immediately. Mac Jones is a mid-tier starter at best and Maye has a much higher ceiling.
6 – Green Bay Packers select Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State)
Jordan Love might not be it, and the Packers could possible look to trade for a veteran or take a swing on a lower rated signal caller here, but I’m giving them the best offensive lineman in the class with Fashanu. He could have been a first rounder last year but opted to stay at school and earn his degree, and another year of reps on the offensive line in the Big Ten is a plus.
7 – Indianapolis Colts select Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame)
This would be an interesting spot for Brock Bowers, but with a top ten talent at this position of need on the board it’s hard to pass on Alt, a local product from over in South Bend. He’s a tremendous blocker in both the passing game and running game, and should help rebuild a Colts offensive line thats been plagued by injuries and aging.
8 – Las Vegas Raiders select Jer’Zhan Newton (IDL, Illinois)
The Raiders are in desperate need of…well, a lot. Newton is an are interior lineman with the ability to rush the passer and dominate the run game. Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson are a talented young combo at pass rusher, but the Raiders interior defense has long been an issue.
9 – Denver Broncos select Rome Odunze (WR, Washington)
Another wide receiver! With rumors of the Broncos looking to make a fresh start across the roster, and a receiver group that has seen trade rumors abound for Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, the Broncos could look to refresh this spot with Odunze, a well-rounded prospect with big play ability and the ability to beat almost any cornerback he comes up against.
10 – Los Angeles Rams select Chop Robinson (EDGE, Penn State)
The Rams roster is starting to reap what they sowed with all those draft picks they sent away in past seasons, and it’s time for McVay and company to begin rebuilding it and it starts with defense. Aaron Donald is still an elite player, but is inching ever closer to long rumored retirement. Robinson is a proven pass rusher for a top end Penn State defense and would fill a major need at edge rusher for the Rams.
11 – Washington Commanders select Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia)
Washington will have plenty of intrigue this offseason. It’s hard to imagine Ron Rivera returning if they don’t make the playoff, or maybe even if they do, considering the thought that new ownership might want their guy. They hired Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator this offseason, and after coaching on the Chiefs for several years he saw first hand what a dynamic tight end like Bowers could do in this offense. It’s a bit rich for the position, but Bowers is special and offers so much more than any other tight end prospect in recent memory.
12 – Arizona Cardinals (via Houston) select Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama)
After getting Marvin Harrison Jr. to start the draft, the Cardinals come back around to get their new number one cornerback. They are currently starting a plethora of average-to-bad players in the secondary (minus Budda Baker), so this clears a major need for Jonathan Gannon and his defense.
13 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Taliese Fuaga (OT, Oregon State)
The Beaver revival over the past few seasons has been orchestrated by strong offensive line play and a tough running game, and Fuaga is one of the hottest draft risers in the first half of the season. Tampa is in a weird spot, not quite rebuilding but still retooling from that Super Bowl roster and has seen a once dominate offensive line regress.
14 – Los Angeles Chargers select Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State)
The Chargers would be better off trading this pick for a head coach, but we aren’t doing that here. Khalil Mack is 32 and will be a free agent after next season. Verse wouldn’t fill an immediate need but he’s a freak athlete on the edge and the best available prospect. Bowers would be the ideal fit here should he have fallen.
15 – Tennessee Titans select Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson)
One of my biggest takeaways when watching the Clemson/Miami game a few weeks ago was just how good Wiggins is as a cover corner. He has good size at 6’2″ and athleticism that lets him compete with bigger pass catchers. As the Titans continue to retool the roster, Wiggins would be a nice piece opposite Roger McCreary.
16 – New Orleans Saints select Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama)
I still think by the time the Draft kicks off, Turner will be a top 10 selection. The Saints desperately need pass rush help on a roster that has continuously felt the pressure of cap hell and secure a good one in Turner.
17 – New York Jets select Graham Barton (OT, Duke)
The Jets have one of the better rosters in the NFL, except for one group: the offensive line. Barton is the best on the board and the Jets won’t have to reach on the pick.
18 – Cincinnati Bengals select Leonard Taylor (IDL, Miami)
D.J. Reader is set to become a free agent this offseason and with several pending big extensions on the horizon, the Bengals could opt to look elsewhere to replace the star defensive tackle. This draft should have several potential first round options, including Taylor. He isn’t as big as Reader, but he can rush the passer and stack up interior offensive lineman and plays with a high motor.
19 – Atlanta Falcons select Bo Nix (QB, Oregon)
Let’s put it this way: If Desmond Ridder was coming out in this class, he definitely wouldn’t be a top five prospect at the position and maybe not top ten. There are several options all kind of muddled up behind Williams and Maye, but Nix and his experience would fit well into this offense. He’s not a perfect prospect, but we’ve seen his continued growth and has shined in his two seasons at Oregon.
20 – Minnesota Vikings select Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Washington)
Kirk Cousins just went out for the season with an achilles injury and was set to become a free agent this offseason. Kevin O’Connell is far from the hot seat this early in his tenure so he should feel comfortable picking out his newest quarterback. Penix has put up big numbers at Washington and possess a likable toolbox for the position. Like Nix, he isn’t without flaws, but worth the bet midway through the first round.
21 – Pittsburgh Steelers select Kamren Kinchens (S, Miami)
The Steelers drafted Joey Porter Jr in the second round last year and still have Minkah Fitzpatrick on the roster, but the rest of the secondary is a liability. I remarked about watching Kinchens and how he feels like an ideal Ravens draft pick, but I’m keeping him out of their hands with the arch rival. Kinchens is a highly intelligent player on the backend and has top notch instincts. He may not go top 20 because of positional value, but he’s a top 20 player in this class.
22 – Houston Texans (via Cleveland) select Keon Coleman (WR, Florida State)
It’s yet another talented group at the wide receiver position in this class, and the Texans find a big play threat in Coleman from Florida State. The Sparty transfer caught buzz during last offseasons Jayden Reed tape, and the move to the Seminoles has unlocked all of his talent and made him a surefire first rounder in this class.
23 – San Francisco 49ers select J.C. Latham (OT, Alabama)
Trent Williams is still an ass kicker at left tackle for the 49ers but he’s 35, and even if he continues to play at this level until his contract is up the 49ers could use help at RT. They’ll also be in the market for a cornerback but with Latham still available, it feels like too good a fit to pass up.
24 – Buffalo Bills select Emeka Egbuka (WR, Ohio State)
Death, taxes, Brian Hartline pumping receivers into the NFL. Gabe Davis is a pending free agent this offseason, and Khalil Shakir has come on nicely as a slot receiver. If they choose not to bring Davis back, Egbuka would be a nice option to fill that WR2 role opposite Stefon Diggs.
25 – Seattle Seahawks select Kris Jenkins (IDL, Michigan)
Michigan has done a great job of producing defensive lineman during the Jim Harbaugh tenure, and it won’t end this season. Jenkins is, like most of them, a freakish athlete and could easily be the first interior defender off the board. The Seahawks have had a running need for interior defenders and this would be a day one impact filler.
26 – Dallas Cowboys select Cooper DeJean (CB, Iowa)
The Cowboys don’t really have a lot of needs across the roster, but Trevon Diggs will be coming off a torn ACL in 2024 and looking to beef up the defensive back room wouldn’t hurt. DeJean is a great athlete with a propensity to return interceptions for touchdowns, which has been a staple of the Cowboys defense under Dan Quinn.
27 – Jacksonville Jaguars select Tyler Nubin (S, Minnesota)
The biggest hole on the Jaguars roster is the secondary, so any help would be great for them here. Nubin is your casual under-the-radar Minnesota draft prospect who has been an impact player on the Gopher defense.
28 – Baltimore Ravens select Bralen Trice (EDGE, Washington)
The Ravens LOVE a good defensive prospect and thats exactly what Trice is. He’s been a super productive pass rusher during his career and with him being the best player on the board, the Ravens will submit the pick quickly.
29 – Detroit Lions select Kalen King (CB, Penn State)
You just have to throw out the tape against Ohio State because nobody is going to be all that successful against Marvin Harrison Jr, but King is still a very talented cornerback in this class. I mocked Joey Porter Jr here a few times last season and will continue that trend with the other Nittany Lions cornerback.
30 – Miami Dolphins select Amarius Mims (OT, Georgia)
The Dolphins offensive line has been substantially better this season, but Terron Armstead has battled his usual injuries and the rest of the line has been hit badly by injuries in recent weeks. Right tackle Austin Jackson is a pending free agent and the Fins might not be able to work out a long term deal. Either way, Mims is talented and they’ll find a place to play him.
31 – Kansas City Chiefs select Adonai Mitchell (WR, Texas)
This is really a ‘pick your poison’ selection between Mitchell and his teammate Xavier Worthy, but I gave Mitchell the slight edge. The Chiefs receivers have been serviceable, but I can’t help but feel like Mahomes would like to find a true number 2 to Kelce in the passing game.
32 – Philadelphia Eagles select Kamari Lassiter (CB, Georgia)
He’s the best available Georgia prospect, sure, but both starting cornerbacks for the Eagles are on the bad side of 30 and the Eagles don’t possess many needs. Investing in future needs is a sign of a well run franchise and thats what the Eagles do here.