NFL Mock Draft: Burroughs Edition 2.0 A Change At Pick #1?
On the heels of arguably the greatest weekend in NFL history, what is a better bridge between the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs and Conference Championship Sunday than an NFL Mock Draft? With the early part of the NFL Draft order set in place, we can know start to tinker with any projections we may have had in earlier mock drafts. With that being said, who do the Jacksonville Jaguars take at number one? Do they trade the pick for a team that is in desperate need of a QB? From my mock draft 1.0, we do see a change at the top in regards to the first player taken off the board. Without further ado.
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars- Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE, Oregon)
The Jacksonville Jaguars have two options here: trade down with a team who has the draft capital to make a move up to one and take a QB or take the sensational talent from Oregon. Thibodeaux pairs up incredibly well with Josh Allen to create a fierce pass rush that could run wild in the AFC South. At 6’5 258 pounds, he uses his frame incredibly well to get around blocks on the edge or his strength to bullrush tackles and create pressure on the opposing Quarterback. He is the only option at one if they keep the pick. Too high for an OT like Neal. The Jaguars have taken an edge rusher in two of the last three first rounds, let’s make it three out of the last four. This NFL Mock Draft starts out with a change from my mock prior.
#2 Detroit Lions- Aiden Hutchinson (EDGE, Michigan)
Hutchinson is a prime example of a player who simply got better each year he was on campus at Michigan. Hutchinson clearly made the right decision electing to forgo the NFL Draft last year and stay for his senior year where he truly made a name for himself, finishing as the Heisman Trophy finalist. You could make the argument that he established himself as the best defensive player in the country last season and that is what helps him skyrocket up draft boards. Plus, who doesn’t love staying in-state playing for the hometown team as a pro?
#3 Houston Texans- Ikem Ekwonu (OT, NC State)
Have the Houston Texans found their guy in Davis Mills? It wasn’t too long ago that people here at Vendetta wrote off Mills as a wasted pick, and now some are considering him a starter in Houston next season. I think there isn’t someone worthy of being the third pick at Quarterback, and since we do not to trades in my mocks let’s protect Mills with the best OT in the NFL Draft. Ekwonu has shown during his time at NC State he can not only play both Tackle and Guard but excel in those positions. It pays to play both positions, just look at last year at Rashawn Slater.
#4 New York Jets- Kyle Hamilton (S, Notre Dame)
I think that Zach Wilson COULD be a guy in the NFL. He flashed his potential every now and again in his rookie year last year. You would think that the priority would be to protect him at all costs but let’s be honest: that’s not how the Jets operate, ask Sam Darnold. With the pending departure of Marcus Maye this off-season, they can easily replace him with someone who could be even better than Maye was during his tenure with the team. Hamilton has the size you want for Safety (6’4 220lbs) and the tenaciousness you desire to be an anchor for a defense.
#5 New York Giants- Evan Neal (OT, Alabama)
Two OTs in the top five of this mock. The Giants need a LOT of help this off-season, let’s start with protecting whoever is going to be playing Quarterback for them next season. Grabbing Neal here at 5 will sure up the left side of the offensive line and give them a cornerstone for the next decade. Neal has insane athleticism to go along with great hand placement, but he looks like a baby deer out there sometimes with how unbalanced he can be at times. The potential is there to where he will find himself going top 5 come April.
#6 Carolina Panthers- Charles Cross (OT, Mississippi State)
It is an OT frenzy to start this NFL Mock Draft. The consensus should be that Carolina has to be looking for a Quarterback, but after watching the tape and getting feedback from my first mock, there isn’t a guy worthy of being number 6. Instead, Carolina takes an OT with insane upside who is athletic to fit into an offensive scheme that could use him well. Cross protects the blindside for Sam Darnold or whoever the Panthers bring in via free agency or another off-season trade.
#7 New York Giants- Derek Stingley Jr. (CB, LSU)
The New York Giants hit two home runs with picks 5 and 7 here, landing two starters for the foreseeable future. Derek Stingley Jr. is undoubtedly the best corner in this draft class, and the option to pair him up with James Bradberry will create a dynamic one-two punch for the Giants secondary. I potentially was thinking of taking another offensive lineman, which probably would have made Giants fans mad because it’s two picks that aren’t sexy. But if you really think Daniel Jones is the answer at QB, why not invest and go all in.
#8 Atlanta Falcons- David Ojabo (EDGE, Michigan)
I pounded the table last year for the Falcons to take the future replacement for Matt Ryan, they passed and took the unicorn, Kyle Pitts. This year, they aren’t in a position to draft the next in line. So the Falcons address the defense, specifically the pass rush that finished last in the league in sacks with a mere 18. Ojabo comes in and is instantly pushed into the starting lineup where he is sure to help that 18 number rise and be a little more competitive when it comes to rushing the Quarterback.
#9 Denver Broncos- Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss)
*I want to go on record as stating I am predicting Aaron Rodgers will start for the Denver Broncos next year. But since I am trying to do a mock that doesn’t have trades and that assumes wild things don’t happen like this, here we are.*
Coming into the 2021-2022 NFL season, the Denver Broncos, on paper, looked like a sleeper team that could maybe make a run at a wild card bid. What did this team in last season was injuries at their Quarterback play. Teddy Bridgewater was brought in because John Elway clearly doesn’t have faith in Drew Lock. Neither guy showed they are the right guy in Denver. Matt Corral comes in and will instantly compete for the day one starter position as the most talented guy they have on the roster. A great fit in this NFL Mock Draft.
#10 New York Jets- Garrett Wilson (WR, Ohio State)
Like I mentioned above, it is not like the Jets to take linemen in the first round to protect a young QB, so let’s get him some receiving help on the outside. This Jets offense has some nice pieces in Michael Carter and Elijah Moore, but bringing in the top receiver in the draft class will surely help the development of Wilson. Wilson has all the tools you could ask for from a receiver, and with how incredible some rookie wide receivers have played over the last few years, maybe Garrett Wilson could be next in line.
#11 Washington Football Team- George Karlaftis (EDGE, Purdue)
I went back and forth on this pick. Looking at the board, I think this could be a trade-down situation for the Football Team, but with no trades, I was left with either an offensive weapon or a replacement pick for the future. Matt Ioannidis will be a free agent next season, who will likely command a fair amount of money in the open market. Karlaftis might not be the athletic freak as someone like Chase Young who he would play with, but he is technically sound and with a year of learning under his belt could step in and make a difference.
#12 Minnesota Vikings- Ahmad Gardner (CB, Cincinnati)
This secondary unit for the Minnesota Vikings is in desperate need of an infusion of youth, insert Ahmad Gardner. Gardner really showed out all season long and made a name for himself. He has really nice size and length for the position and is a more than willing tackler, which is uncommon for DBs. A day one starter and who has a chance to really shine in a division that could be weak at QB come 2022.
#13 Cleveland Browns- Jameson Williams (WR, Alabama)
Listen, I know at first glance this pick is odd seeing that Jameson Williams tore his ACL in the College Football National Championship. I don’t care. He is too good to let slide-down draft boards so someone can get immense value later on. This Browns team is good enough to maintain without him, and when he does come back next season he will make an immediate impact. Plus Cleveland can always bring in a veteran at WR in free agency to offset the clear need they have at WR.
#14 Baltimore Ravens- Tyler Linderbaum (OC, Iowa)
The Baltimore Ravens have some choices here, but I think the answer here is clearly to invest in the offensive line. Who better to invest in the line with than the best center prospect to come along in lord only knows how long. This would be the highest a Center has been drafted since 1993 and with good reason. Linderbaum has a mean streak that will fit in perfectly with this run-first offense they have in Baltimore. A dream come true for Lamar Jackson is some protection. If only we had Ravens fans here at Vendetta…
#15 Philadelphia Eagles- Andrew Booth Jr. (CB, Clemson)
If Philadelphia doesn’t trade one of these next two picks, Howie Roseman would prove to be more of a cancer than he already is. Anyway, This Eagles team needs some help all over but we address the secondary first. Outside of an aging Darius Slay, there isn’t a lot to love about these defensive backs. Andrew Booth Jr. is strong in press-man coverage, aggressive in the run game, and has above average to good ball skills. A nice compliment to Slay and can learn from him.
#16 Philadelphia Eagles- Nakobe Dean (LB, Georgia)
Let’s just continue the youth movement on defense. Dean might be slightly undersized for the position at six feet, but he uses his quickness and elite speed to fly from sideline to sideline and has incredible tackling ability. He is the prototypical NFL Linebacker in this league, the Eagles are lucky a guy line Dean fell into their laps at pick 16 of this NFL Mock Draft.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers- Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia)
The key to victory against the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2021-2022 NFL season? Run the ball. This Chargers team finished with the third-worst run defense in the league. Jordan Davis is the guy to help fix that. Davis was a monster for Georgia all year long and really flew up draft boards late in the year. He has insane size (6’6 340 lbs), is as strong as an ox, and has a great first step which should be pivotal to his success in the NFL. Davis will be a matchup nightmare for opposing offensive lines.
#18 New Orleans Saints- Chris Olave (WR, Ohio State)
Nothing is going right for Saints fans in the last year or so. First Drew Brees retires, now Sean Payton steps down. This team is in salary cap hell and doesn’t have a clear-cut plan at QB. So, go out and get some weapons for whoever is up next. Chris Olave is a fantastic route runner with good ball skills and should fit in nicely in this Saints offense opposite Michael Thomas, pending he is still around next season. If not, Olave is now your new number one in New Orleans.
#19 Philadelphia Eagles- Drake London (WR, USC)
The Eagles front office are pounding the air that Olave was right there and now off the board, but they still end up with a WR who has seen his draft stock rise immensely as of late in Drake London. London had poor QB play this year but made the most of a bad situation while on the field. At 6’5, he is perfect opposite Devonta Smith who they picked a year ago. With the speed from Smith and the size of London, this could form a powerful 1-2 punch in Philadelphia.
#20 Pittsburgh Steelers- Travon Walker (EDGE, Georgia)
The Pittsburgh Steelers had some major issues this season: protecting the quarterback and stopping the run. Having the worst run defense in the NFL takes priority to fix, seeing that this team also led the league in sacks with 55. The defense has the potential to be elite again, and Travon Walker will help them get back to that status. Walker has great strength, can play inside, has really solid technique against the run, and has violent hands to rip through opposing guards. There is offensive line depth in this class, don’t worry Steelers fans.
#21 New England Patriots- Treylon Burks (WR, Arkansas)
Mac Jones shined in this offense last year, showing why Billy B is still the best coach in the league. But there was a fatal error that doomed this team: Wide Receiver. Their last shot at a first-round receiver didn’t pan out too well, Treylon Burks will be much different. at 6’3 225 lbs, he has the great NFL size and underrated athleticism for a guy with his build. Not to mention teams will love his 5XL hands so catching the ball shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Burks.
#22 Las Vegas Raiders- Kenyon Green (OG, Texas A&M)
Can we finally accept the fact that the Las Vegas Raiders might actually be good? They showed resilience this season with four game-winning drives and an all-around team effort once Jon Gruden was fired and interim HC Rich Bisaccia was appointed. One thing they must fix is the offensive line, though. Kenyon Green has explosive athleticism which should fit this west coast offense nicely. Address the defense in the later rounds but Green is too good of a scheme fit to pass up.
#23 Arizona Cardinals- Kaiir Elam (CB, Florida)
Kaiir Elam will bring elite speed and great length to any defense, but to this Cardinals defense which has a great need for that in their secondary, it seems like a great fit. Elam was a true shutdown Corner for most of his time at Florida and the intangibles and mental awareness he possesses should translate nicely into the NFL.
#24 Dallas Cowboys- Devin Lloyd (LB, Utah)
I didn’t want to be the guy that comes on here and says the Cowboys need help at CB but all I am saying is if you think Diggs is the answer, you might be mistaken. At any rate, this defensive unit needs a little help, and with the departure of Jaylon Smith earlier in the year and Leighton Vander Esch hitting free agency this season, the Cowboys find a clear replacement with Lloyd. His IQ and athletic traits make him valuable to any team, plus this means the Cowboys can use Micah Parsons even more in the pass rush.
#25 Buffalo Bills- George Pickens (WR, Georgia)
I said it in my last mock and I will say it here: George Pickens is a first-round talent and teams will realize this soon enough. After Stefon Diggs, there isn’t a ton to like about this receiving core (yes, I know that Gabriel Davis just set a postseason record for touchdowns in a game). Pickens comes in and is the thunder to Diggs’ lightning. An incredible red zone threat with fantastic hands.
#26 Tennessee Titans- Sam Howell (QB, North Carolina)
My first real surprise in this NFL Mock Draft! After watching Ryan Tannehill this postseason, it is obvious to anyone with eyes (I have four) that he can’t be relied upon in big moments. There needs to be that big-play ability outside of Derrick Henry and Howell brings that. With a live arm and solid mobility, he brings a different dynamic to this Titans offense that can be one-dimensional around Henry. This doesn’t mean you move off Tannehill this year, let Howell sit for a year and give him the keys to the franchise in the future.
#27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DeMarvin Leal (DT, Texas A&M)
I was tempted to go either Quarterback or Wide Receiver here, but with the departure of Suh this off-season, this team could use some help up front to maintain their dominance in the run game. Leal has the size of a true DT but the explosiveness of a defensive end. His arm length will prove to be a problem in the run game which will only help his pro prospects in the future.
#28 Green Bay Packers- Jahan Dotson (WR, Penn State)
Let’s say that Aaron Rodgers does come back for another year. Let’s also say that Devante Adams also comes back. What has Rodgers been needed the past few off-seasons? More weapons on offense. Jahan Dotson is the prototypical slot receiver that Rodgers has been missing really since Jordy Nelson left. Dotson has crisp route running with room to improve, great body control, and a willingness to get up and fight for the ball.
#29 Cincinnati Bengals- Trevor Penning (OT, Northern Iowa)
Ok, so maybe a lot of us were wrong last year when we ridiculed the Bengals for not taking a lineman with their first-round pick. I don’t think they pass on the opportunity to take one this year. Joe Burrow was sacked 9 times in their division round game, and that simply won’t fly anymore. Trevor Penning is explosive out of his stance and is very strong to help with some of the pass rushers he will face in the AFC.
#30 Miami Dolphins- Zion Johnson (OG, Boston College)
My god, this offensive line in Miami is bad. With how the board was set up, the only clear option for the Dolphins was Zion Johnson. Johnson has two years of experience in the triple-option offense, so he is a near-elite in the run game. He fits well in a zone scheme and should provide a spark to this offensive line that has to protect Tua at all costs if they want to make a bid for a wild card next year.
#31 Detroit Lions- Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh)
Jared Goff is not a leader. He is not an NFL Quarterback. He should be holding a clipboard in the upcoming years and never see the field again. I think Kenny Pickett could come in and be the day one starter in Detroit. Pickett brings mobility and an average to above-average arm to an NFL team, and if they can provide him with some weapons in the later rounds I believe Pickett could do well in Detroit.
#32 Kansas City Chiefs- Daxton Hill (S, Michigan)
The safety situation in Kansas City is less than ideal. This team clearly doesn’t trust Juan Thornhill (with good reason) and Daniel Sorenson is…bad. Let’s just put it like that. Daxton Hill steps in and instantly is the starter opposite Tyrann Mathieu. Hill has blazing speed and insane athleticism which will suit this Chiefs defense nicely who do need some speed on the back end of their secondary.
This has been my NFL Mock Draft 2.0! Have any issues, guys you think should go higher? Let me know on Twitter!