Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft

As the Combine closes in, let’s take a look at how things could work out for each team. Of course, the Combine changes the outlook of every mock draft, so this could look very outdated very soon. Or I’ll look like a genius. I doubt it, but we’ll see. This mock doesn’t include any trades, as it’s way too early to predict anything like that. Draft day trades are so crazy nowadays, I won’t even be able to predict them in April. Anyway, enjoy the article.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

The Cards could and I think should certainly trade down here, but for our purposes, let’s say that they select Quinnen Williams. In a class full of D-Linemen, Williams is arguably is the most talented. Also, Arizona needs a run stuffer more than an edge rusher, and Williams fits the bill.

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio St.

The SF front office will be jumping for joy if Bosa falls to number two because he is easily the most talented rusher in this class. The explosive younger brother of the Chargers lead defensive end, Joey Bosa, will dominate the NFL for years to come.

 

  1. New York Jets – Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

Allen put up 17 sacks last year at a monster 6’5” tall and 230 lbs. The Jets have other needs, but they definitely need a dominant edge man.

 

  1. Oakland Raiders – Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Like the Cards, I think Oakland will trade down and acquire even more picks, but Gary is a solid pick. Gary was the number 1 recruit of his class out of high school. He didn’t put up the numbers other D-Linemen did last year, but he has so much talent and versatility it’s hard to pass on him.

 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

The worst secondary in the NFL needs an upgrade, especially when the likes of Michael Thomas and Julio Jones loom in the NFC South. Greedy would instantly boost the weak secondary in Tampa.

 

  1. New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St.

Eli Manning’s time will soon be up in NY, so why not bring in the strong-armed Haskins now? Imagine a young trio of Haskins, Saquon Barkley, and OBJ. Now that’s an entertaining affair.

 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

The Jags may trade up for Dwayne Haskins here, but I think they’d be fine with Murray. He reminds me of Baker Mayfield, with the Heisman prestige out of Oklahoma. They both are undersized with big arms as well. However, Kyler has a better head on his shoulders and he’s faster, too. The combine will be a big factor in wear Murray lands, so watch him closely on Saturday.

 

  1. Detroit Lions – Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

Ferrell is kind of underrated for an ACC Defensive Player of the Year and the winner of the Ted Kendricks Award, given to the top defensive end in the nation. The Lions need contributors on the edge, especially with Ezekiel Ansah in free agency.

 

  1. Buffalo Bills – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The Bills need receivers, but I don’t think they would pass up the chance to draft the top O-Linemen in the draft. Protecting Josh Allen is a priority, too, after all.

  1. Denver Broncos – Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award last year, given to the best defensive back in the nation. This was well-deserved, as the hard-hitting Baker racked up 9 deflected passes in a dominant season. He would complement Chris Harris well, revamping Denver’s depleted secondary.

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Devin White, ILB, LSU

Devin White is an athletic freak who has an unmatched sense for meeting running backs at or behind the line. He accumulated 123 tackles and 12 tackles for loss last year on his way to winning the Dick Butkus award (for the top linebacker in CFB). The Bengals are weak at the linebacker position, especially with Vontaze Burfict slowing down.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers – Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

Jachai Polite racked up 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss last year for the Gators. He also led the NCAA with 6 forced fumbles. He would revitalize a Packers front that could lose Clay Matthews soon.

 

  1. Miami Dolphins – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

This strong-armed passer could go even higher in this draft, if he puts up strong numbers at the Draft Combine. Ryan Tannehill isn’t terrible, but if Lock falls to this position on Draft Day, Miami needs to seize the opportunity.

 

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Oliver, who was considered a top 2 pick in the preseason, had a relatively quiet season. However, he did put up 14.5 tackles for loss in just 8 games. He could end up being a steal for Atlanta.

 

  1. Washington Redskins – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Jones is somewhat unproven, but he has a ton of potential. Washington needs a quarterback for this season bad, after Alex Smith’s gruesome leg injury last year. I don’t think the Redskins want to roll out with Colt McCoy this year, so if they don’t find a better option through a trade or free agency, they have to use this pick on a quarterback.

 

  1. Carolina Panthers – Brian Burns, Edge, Florida St.

Burns sacked the QB 10 times last year. He was the bright spot of a dismal season for FSU. The Panthers need edge rushers more than ever, especially after the retirement of Julius Peppers.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns – DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

There has been speculation that the Browns will take a defensive tackle here, but why would they pass up the chance to grab Metcalf? Imagine Baker throwing to Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, David Njoku, and then DK Metcalf. That’s a scary thought for any secondary.

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

The Vikings O-Line was depleted by injury last season and Kirk Cousins suffered, with 4 fumbles last year. Ford would bring versatility to this group and give Cousins the protection he needs.

 

  1. Tennessee Titans – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Dexter Lawrence, at 6’4”, 340 lbs, is surprisingly quick and strong. He even scored a rushing touchdown last year for the Tigers. Tennessee needs help on their D-Line, including on the edge. However, they’ll have trouble passing on the stalwart Lawrence.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Murphy is an athletic, hard-hitting corner who can lock up anyone. He recorded 13 deflected passes and 4 interceptions last year in his only full season at Washington. The Steelers need another corner to play on the opposite side of Joe Haden, and Murphy could prove to be a steal.

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Taylor’s quick feet and active hands helped him keep edge rushers like Josh Allen (who I have at number 3) this year at Florida. As Russell Wilson ages, the priority for the Seahawks should be to give him a clean pocket and talented receivers. Taylor will certainly give Russ time, as his scrambling ability may decline in the next few seasons.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.

We all know Lamar Jackson isn’t the best passer, so why not take a player who can catch almost any ball you throw him? Harry made some insane catches this year, so if Lamar ever misses a throw, there’s always a chance this receiver will snag it.

 

  1. Houston Texans – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington St.

Dillard was a sturdy presence for the Cougars this season. He can keep almost any defender in front of him and he uses his hands effectively, too. Deshaun Watson, who was sacked a league-leading 62 times, needs protection badly.

 

  1. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) – Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

A lot of people are heaping the blame for a dismal season on Derek Carr, but who did he have to throw to? Well now the Raiders can take Brown, who is the best deep threat in this draft. Brown is someone a defense can never overlook because any play could be a touchdown.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

In just 140 touches, Josh Jacobs recorded 887 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns. He had to play with Damien Harris last year, but Jacobs would be the feature back in Philly. Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Wendell Smallwood will linger, but Jacobs would prove himself to be the franchise runner for the Eagles.

 

  1. Indianapolis Colts – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

The Colts could really upgrade any position besides quarterback and their prolific offensive line, but Wilkins deserves the nod. The third Clemson defensive lineman drafted, Wilkins was a three-time All-American for the Tigers.

 

  1. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) – TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Yes, the Raiders receiving core is bad enough to justify drafting two receivers in the first round. With Jared Cook, likely to leave Oakland, Hockenson would be a good pick. His big play ability reminds me of Gronk in his prime.

 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Bush was the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year last season, and for good reason. He racked up 66 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. LA needs him, as their already mediocre linebacking core could lose a players to free agency.

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Eric Berry is a great player, but injuries have plagued him over the years. Enter Deionte Thompson, who had 78 tackles last year on his way to being a Consensus All-American.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) – Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Another hard-hitting defensive back, Adderley comes from the humble FCS. This may be a lofty projection, but in a weak class of safeties, the Packers need one badly. They dealt HaHa Clinton-Dix to the Redskins last season, so this pick is a must.

 

  1. Los Angeles Rams – O’Shane Ximines, Edge, Old Dominion

Another small school defender, Ximines racked up 32.5 sacks in his college career at Old Dominion. At this point, there won’t be too many top edge rushers available, so I think the Rams should take a risk here. They can afford it with their bright future.

 

  1. New England Patriots – AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Brown would be a great complement for Julian Edelman. While Edelman works the slot, Brown would pose as a deep threat for Tom Brady. Having Gronk, Edelman, and Brown would put New England’s receiving core back at the top.

As you can see, it should be a draft with a ton of defensive studs drafted early. Now we sit back, relax, and enjoy the next 4 days of scouting.

-Sam

 

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