Man oh man is this the wildest draft I've ever seen. It's not the BEST draft -- a theme that's been beaten into our skulls repeatedly over the last few weeks -- but it's going to be an insane first round for anyone who follows remotely closely to draft talk.
We've had roughly eight different people favored to go first overall since the start of the college football season. There's no Trevor Lawrence here, both in terms of the first overall pick and the quarterback class.
I fully anticipate the top-rated mock out there to finish with a low score, because once you get past No. 10 here you can essentially throw prospects in a hat and start pulling out names.
Add in the fact we have almost 10 teams with multiple first-round picks, and it becomes really tough to predict what will happen. But I'm supposed to do that, so here we go.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
The market shifted wildly Monday with Walker now the favorite. I'm actually sort of mad at myself for not moving Hutch out of here earlier. Hutch's arms don't meet Trent Baalke's requirements in terms of length, and he played for Jim Harbaugh in college. No chance Baalke gives Harbs that shine at first overall. There is still a small chance this could still be an OL (Ickey most likely), but I'll ride with Walker.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
The easy move is to put Hutch here, and he may very well be the No. 2 overall pick. But Thibs has massive upside and Brad Holmes was laser locked in on him through this process. The Lions also have intel via his former teammate Penei Sewell. Too much is made of the Michigan stuff and Dan Campbell making the selection of "one of his guys" here.
Round 1 - Pick 3
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
I've been thinking OL here for the Texans for a while now, or maybe even the best available EDGE player. But this is a "bad" draft class and there aren't many elite players. One guy who might flip that narrative is Sting, who would have been a stone-cold lock at No. 1 this year if the only thing people saw was his 2019 tape. Skills are repeatable, so why wouldn't the Texans reach for the stars with one of their first-round picks?
Round 1 - Pick 4
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 265 lbs
Shocking drop here for Hutchinson given how the draft process has played out, but it's not really that unrealistic to think he falls here, or even further. He has the production, but lacks the traits NFL teams want from top draft picks, and it's possible he's more of a floor than ceiling guy. The Jets would likely be pretty thrilled to add a "safe" edge rusher they never thought they'd see in this spot.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
The Giants are in a weird spot because they have Andrew Thomas, but he wasn't drafted by this regime and Ickey is the best player on the board at this point.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 189 lbs
The Jets stole Hutch at four and now can move up to grab Williams. New York has been in on every trade block WR, and we saw GM Joe Douglas move up to get his guy in Alijah Vera-Tucker last year. Williams can do what the Jets wanted Tyreek to do and help out Zach Wilson by providing a deep threat. The Jets aren't a 2022 playoff team, so no need for Williams to be ready ASAP, although I tend to think he will be back way earlier from his ACL injury than anyone expected. If the Jets NEED to make this move, 38 gets it done immediately. If not they can throw 69 and some other stuff at Carolina. (Scott Fitterer loves to trade down.) Seattle was a consideration here for sure.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 200 lbs
James Bradberry is almost a guarantee to be gone from the roster by the start of the season, and "Sauce" gives them a second stud player in the top 10 of this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jordan Davis DL
Georgia • Soph • 6'6" / 336 lbs
The Falcons traded Matt Ryan and correctly acknowledged they are rebooting. At No. 8, you could take a safe play or just draft the biggest physical freak the NFL has ever seen. Reminder -- Davis weighs 340 pounds and ran a sub-five 40. If someone yells "two-down player" at you just ignore it. Davis is Thanos.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 9
Jermaine Johnson II EDGE
Florida State • Soph • 6'5" / 262 lbs
Predicting a Seahawks draft pick is like predicting what kind of mood your significant other will be in when you wake up. There's a lot of variance. Johnson was getting top-five heat this week and is just random enough to be the Seahawks' first-round pick. Definitely thought about Evan Neal here.
Mock Trade from New York Jets
Round 1 - Pick 10
Evan Neal OL
Alabama • Soph • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Dream scenario for Carolina? There are some medical concerns with Neal, but he has dominated at a position the Panthers sorely need. Just trade down, get more picks and draft the lineman. If this trade happens and the Seahawks take Neal, I'm not 100% sure what the Panthers do, but the Carolina front office would sign in blood for this right now.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Kyle Hamilton was definitely a consideration here, but the Commanders have to do whatever they can to make the Carson Wentz experiment succeed.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Drake London WR
USC • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
Everyone points to defense for the Vikings, but Adam Thielen isn't guaranteed after this year, so let's give Justin Jefferson a partner in crime moving forward.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 13
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
This is probably too late for Cross, whose over/under has dropped to 6.5 with a ton of juice to the under. But with the way things fell, he just happens to drop more than expected. Locking in three OL in the top 10 is just tough given the whole board available here.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Washington • Soph • 5'11" / 193 lbs
Jordan Davis was going to be my pick here (the Haloti Ngata comps), but with the big man from Georgia gone, the Ravens shore up their secondary instead.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 15
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 187 lbs
The Eagles feel like a prime candidate to dip back into the WR pool, despite their first-round investments the last few years.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 16
Northern Iowa • Soph • 6'7" / 325 lbs
The idea of the Saints trading in front of the Chargers just to draft an OL seems crazy, but it doesn't mean they won't draft an OL here.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Zion Johnson OL
Boston College • Soph • 6'3" / 316 lbs
There's absolutely nothing wrong with doubling and tripling down on protection for Justin Herbert if you're the Chargers.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 18
Iowa • Soph • 6'2" / 305 lbs
Linderbaum's highly rated but falling because ... people don't want a center? He gets Jason Kelce comps, so why not grab him to replace ... Jason Kelce?
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 19
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
Maybe I end up looking stupid for having Hamilton drop this far, but this first round is going to be wide open.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • Soph • 6'1" / 219 lbs
The Steelers have made it very obvious they would be willing to take a QB here, and with Willis falling to them at 20, the upside of what Kevin Colbert could leave the franchise in his final draft is simply too tantalizing to ignore.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Kenyon Green OL
Texas A&M • Soph • 6'4" / 323 lbs
The Pats need to revamp the offensive line, especially when you've got a young QB like Mac Jones you need to protect. Obviously a trade down is a consideration here.
From Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 22
Arkansas • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
It would be incredible if the Packers DIDN'T draft a wide receiver in the first round Thursday night. People would go nuts for like 24 straight hours. I'm sort of rooting for it.
Round 1 - Pick 23
George Karlaftis EDGE
Purdue • Soph • 6'4" / 263 lbs
Pretty obvious spot of need for the Cardinals with Chandler Jones leaving in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Central Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 303 lbs
Checks the "official visit" box for the Cowboys, who secretly need to reload on their offensive line thanks to attrition over the last few years from what was once the league's best unit.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Kyler Gordon CB
Washington • Soph • 6'0" / 200 lbs
I know everyone loves mocking a RB to the Bills, but I think they'll learn a lesson on that from their conference rivals in the Chiefs, who appear to have burned a first rounder on Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It's a luxury pick, and Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott don't strike me as anything other than lunchpail guys.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 207 lbs
I'll bite on the Mike Vrabel/Luke Fickel connection here and give the Titans a replacement for Ryan Tannehill, who doesn't seem thrilled about something. I would guess it's contract related and/or involves Tennessee looking for a new QB.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Jahan Dotson WR
Penn State • Soph • 5'11" / 182 lbs
Maybe they go defense here, but let's not forget Chris Godwin's coming off a torn ACL and Tom Brady is finally done -- ONE WOULD HOPE -- pounding the table for Antonio Brown.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • Soph • 5'11" / 231 lbs
The Packers could totally go two wideouts here, but I'd expect they would like to add a defensive piece in the first round as well.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 194 lbs
The Chiefs have a "need" at wideout thanks to the Tyreek Hill trade, but they have a lot of needs on the other side of the ball, too.
Round 1 - Pick 30
North Dakota State • Soph • 6'5" / 208 lbs
Not exactly a perfect replacement for Hill, but a cheap option who will have time to develop in Andy Reid's offense.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Kaiir Elam CB
Florida • Soph • 6'1" / 191 lbs
After using free agency to shore up their offensive line, the Bengals can use the draft to get some depth at cornerback.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 32
David Ojabo EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'4" / 255 lbs
The offseason injury is a concern, but the Lions aren't a "next year" team so they can be patient with a potential star on a discount. Additionally, the first-round selection allows them to utilize the fifth-year option if Ojabo ends up developing into a star.