I just spent roughly 24 hours watching NFL combine coverage over the weekend, and it has me a little more jacked up for my mock draft than usual. So for Version 3.0, we're going to try something a bit different.
There was a lot of talk over the weekend about what the Arizona Cardinals will do with the No. 1 pick. Will they hold on to Josh Rosen and fill another need, or could they trade Rosen and pair Kyler Murray with Kliff Kingsbury as they look to revamp the offense? Maybe they keep Rosen and draft Murray anyway, who knows? The only thing any of us should realize is that the Cardinals gain absolutely nothing by letting the world know their plans. If they let it slip they want Murray, it will depress Rosen's trade value. If they say they're committed to Rosen, they eliminate the possibility of a QB-needy team offering them a king's ransom for the top pick.
For this version of my mock draft, however, we're going to draft in a universe where the Cardinals have traded Josh Rosen to Washington and received its first-round pick as part of the deal. So not only do the Cardinals take Murray with the No. 1 pick, but they get another first rounder as well.
And that's not the only trade in this week's mock. Let's get drafting.
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma: If Kliff is going to succeed, he wants a QB that fits his offense, and Murray was built for Kliff's system.
|Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State: The 49ers might be the biggest beneficiary of the trade, as the best pass-rushing prospect in a deep class falls into their laps with the second pick. |
|Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky: If the Cardinals don't make that trade, odds are Allen doesn't fall to the Jets at No. 3. But here he does, and the Jets are just fine with it. |
|Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan: Gary had a great combine, and it will only help his stock as he showed the athleticism to line up outside as an edge rusher as well. |
Mock trade with BuccaneersDwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State: The Dolphins jump up to No. 5 because they want Haskins and they're afraid the Giants will snag him. Miami gets the QB to start its rebuild.
|Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama: Giants fans lose their minds as Haskins is snatched from them at the last minute, but most of them will be wearing Quinnen Williams jerseys within the next three years.|
|Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama: I'm assuming the Jaguars sign Nick Foles, as that's the way the rumor winds have been swirling lately. The signing allows the Jags to address another need: the offensive line.|
|Devin White, LB, LSU: Detroit took Jarrad Davis two years ago, but they interviewed White at the combine, and he would be an excellent fit for what Matt Patricia would ultimately like to do with his defense. Of course, there aren't many defenses White wouldn't be a great fit for.|
|D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss: What do you do when you invested in a franchise QB who can throw the ball a mile, but struggles with underneath stuff? Why, you get him a WR who can run a mile, even if he's not the most polished route runner or agile athlete out there. Plus, Metcalf can always learn to be a more well-rounded player with time.|
|T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa: I have had a crush on Hockenson for months, and nothing changed during the combine. Denver needs more weapons in the passing game, and Hockenson also doubles as a great blocker in the run game.|
|Devin Bush, LB, Michigan: The Bengals need help at linebacker, and Bush will be a starter from the jump.|
|Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State: Sweat isn't perfect, but his 4.41 in the 40 turned a lot of heads. What impressed me most, however, was his performance in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. He showed more athleticism than I expected there.|
Mock trade with MiamiGreedy Williams, CB, LSU: I had Tampa taking Greedy Williams at No. 5 in my first two mocks, and now they still get him here after trading down eight spots. And, honestly, I think this is the better spot for him.
|Ed Oliver, DL, Houston: Teams will be mixed on Oliver because of his size, and because he's not a great pass-rusher. Still, at this point of the first round, Atlanta will have no problem snatching up the Aaron Donald-esque ceiling.|
Mock trade with WashingtonClelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson: With their second pick of the first round the Cardinals add some help to their pass rush.
|Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State: There are questions about Burns' size and how he'll hold up in the NFL, but there's a lot of talent and athleticism here. The Panthers roll the dice on his potential.|
|Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss: You've handed the franchise to Baker Mayfield. Now you have to make sure you protect him.|
|Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma: The Vikings desperately need to improve their talent on the line. Maybe Ford sticks at tackle, or perhaps he needs to kick inside to guard. Either way, the Vikings can use him.|
|Noah Fant, TE, Iowa: The Titans need to give Marcus Mariota some weapons before the time comes to make a final decision on him. Fant won't offer much as a blocker, but he has the kind of athleticism and size to create mismatches.|
|Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia: Some people believe Baker is the best corner in this draft class, and he could go sooner. In this mock draft, however, the Steelers are happy to snap him up at No. 20.|
|Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama: You have to assume Earl Thomas' days in Seattle are over, so the Seahawks draft his replacement.|
|A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss: Baltimore needs help at receiver and gets some with the second Ole Miss receiver to go in the first round.|
|Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State: The Texans could go a few different directions here, but I can't help but believe they'll look to protect Deshaun Watson.|
From ChicagoN'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State: The Raiders still need to find a replacement for Amari Cooper, and Harry is the most enticing receiver left on the board.
|Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech: Ferguson wasn't invited to the combine, but based on his tape and potential, the Eagles will be happy to add him to their defense here.|
|Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State: Honestly, the Colts are one of the more difficult teams to peg, especially in this spot. This could truly be a Best Player Available situation, and I think that's Simmons right now.|
From DallasJosh Jacobs, RB, Alabama: The trend shows that you don't want to take running backs in the first round, but when it's with your third pick of the round, why not? Jacobs could prove to be the best back in this class, and now the Raiders address needs at WR and RB to go along with picking Rashan Gary at No. 4.
|Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson: Wilkins has been one of my favorite players to watch at the college level the last few years, and he'll bring plenty of talent and versatility to a Chargers defensive line that could use some interior help.|
|Byron Murphy, CB, Washington: Murphy is not big, and he's not a great tackler in the run game, and his overall performance at the combine wasn't exceptional. But his tape is. He knows how to play the position, and he makes up for any physical shortcomings with his mental acuity. Washington defensive backs are just well-coached.|
Mock trade with Green BayDrew Lock, QB, Missouri: Hey! The Giants couldn't get a QB in the top 10, but when Drew Lock falls this far, they take advantage by trading into the end of the first round to get him.
|Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson: I would bet Ndamukong Suh leaves in free agency this spring, and Lawrence will be a suitable replacement alongside Aaron Donald.|
|Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma: The Patriots are the Patriots and could do anything. Given how this first round shakes out, I think Brown would make a lot of sense for them here, as he can stretch the field vertically, even if he's undersized. That didn't stop Brandin Cooks from a 1,000-yard season with the Pats in 2017.|