Even a global pandemic couldn't derail the NFL offseason, with the bulk of key free agency additions coming and going right on schedule last week. The new world order at QB saw the Buccaneers, Colts and Panthers address the top of their depth charts with some players you may have heard of (Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, some guy named Tom Brady), but there's still plenty left to do for every team if they want to win next year's Super Bowl, even (especially?) the defending champions.
In the mock draft below, you'll find six first-round trades I've predicted based on my draft pick value chart, which received a few tweaks recently to steepen the curve of value in the top 20. Those deals include a surprise team moving up to No. 3 for a quarterback, the 49ers celebrating the DeForest Buckner trade by moving way down the board, the Vikings getting aggressive with their enlarged pick cache and more.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 217 lbs
While Gardner Minshew flashed as a rookie, I don't think he's locked in as the long-term QB. Having sold off veterans for a lot of draft capital, I can see the Jaguars packaging their two first-round picks (or one plus Yannick Ngakoue?) and kicking in No. 165 to beat a Miami offer for Tagovailoa, who would be the No. 1 pick in many drafts if the medicals check out.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Clemson • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Yes, the Giants need tackle help even after adding Cameron Fleming, but they can address the position at the top of the second round. There's no other prospect available like Simmons, who can be a versatile playmaker for the defense.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Iowa • 6'5" / 320 lbs
With Tagovailoa off the board, the Dolphins could just take the next QB on their list here. But after all the free agency activity settled many QB situations, it makes more sense to grab an elite left tackle and then plan on taking either Justin Herbert or Jordan Love with their second pick, perhaps after a trade up.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Round 1 - Pick 7
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The Panthers found a potential franchise QB in Teddy Bridgewater, and I expect them to focus heavily on the defensive side in the draft. Here they get the best corner in the class as a worthy successor to James Bradberry.
Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • 6'4" / 219 lbs
How about this? Rather than trade No. 39 and likely more draft capital to move up from No. 5, the Dolphins package No. 18 and 39 to send to an Arizona team that traded away its second-rounder, and Miami picks up a QB with exciting traits to develop behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. And they pick up a much better franchise left tackle at No. 5 in the trade-off as well.
Mock Trade from Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 1 - Pick 9
Auburn • Soph • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Lions trade back with the Jaguars, pick up No. 20 and a mid-round pick plus this one, and get the top defensive tackle in this class, a player who could be a fit for them at No. 3 anyway. That's a big win for the Detroit front office.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 6'4" / 312 lbs
The Jets have bigger needs after signing George Fant to play left tackle, but with the depth at the WR and CB positions in this class, it makes more sense to lock down the right side of the O-line with Wills, who has plenty of experience at right tackle and could be a backup plan for the blindside as well.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 13
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • 6'1" / 193 lbs
The Ravens now have seven picks in the top 140, which gives them the ammo to make a bold move in the first round. Here, they ship No. 28, 55 and 106 to get all the way up to 13 and take arguably the top receiver in the draft, someone who fits as a perfect complement to Marquise Brown in the passing game.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • 6'7" / 364 lbs
The Bucs have landed the biggest fish on the QB market, and now it's important they strengthen the offensive line in order to keep Tom Brady on the field. There's a good chance they'll be able to take one of the top four tackles at this spot.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Oklahoma • 6'2" / 241 lbs
While many are pegging the Broncos to take a WR here, the depth in the class plus the presence of a No. 1 option already on their roster in Courtland Sutton means they can wait until Day 2 for the position. A linebacker like Murray won't be available at their next pick however, and he also fills a huge need.
Mock Trade from Atlanta Falcons
Round 1 - Pick 16
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
The Vikings have a ton of draft capital after trading Stefon Diggs, so here they package No. 22, 89 and 132 to move up for a difference-maker at defensive tackle to play next to the newly-signed Michael Pierce.
Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 18
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Florida • 6'1" / 204 lbs
The Raiders picked up Eli Apple already but they shouldn't stop there when it comes to addressing their needs at corner. Henderson would be an excellent value at 19 and should even garner consideration at No. 12.
Mock Trade from Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 1 - Pick 20
Round 1 - Pick 21
LSU • 6'0" / 232 lbs
Sure, the Eagles could take a receiver here, but they'll still get a good one at No. 53 with the depth in the class. Even though LB is never a top focus for the franchise, they should jump at the chance to land one of the top linebackers in the class to address their biggest remaining need on defense.
Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 22
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 195 lbs
The Falcons move back six spots, pick up No. 89 and 132 to help with their effort to rebuild the defense and still land a quality cornerback despite two others coming off the board at the position.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Zack Baun LB
Wisconsin • 6'3" / 225 lbs
The Dolphins added Kyle Van Noy in free agency, and here they get a similar type player who can get after the passer but also handle off-ball duties. The Dolphins defense could be very good, very quickly.
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 27
Mock Trade from Baltimore Ravens
Round 1 - Pick 28
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • 6'4" / 215 lbs
The 49ers moved all the way down from 13 to get two Day 2 picks from the Ravens, and rather than pick up someone from the top of the receiver market in the top 15 they get a quality player who won't wow you with his speed but does plenty else well enough to win.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Round 1 - Pick 30
Colorado • 6'1" / 227 lbs
The Packers need to give Aaron Rodgers some better weapons to complement Davante Adams, and Shenault has a much higher ceiling than he's shown in the pre-draft process while hampered by an injury.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 31
Alabama • 6'0" / 201 lbs
McKinney is too good a talent to slip out of the first round, and he'd be the perfect fit to help the Buccaneers' secondary. They package their next two picks (No. 45 and 76) to get back into the first round for the versatile defensive back, and that leaves the 49ers with No. 45, 55, 76 and 106 after their two trades down.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Auburn • 5'11" / 197 lbs
The Chiefs have a big need at cornerback, and even with several coming off the board in the back half of the first round, Igbinoghene represents a great find who can lock down one starting spot.