The first two weeks of free agency was, in a word, frenzied. From Tom Brady's decision to unretire to Aaron Rodgers returning to Green Bay to Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson finding new homes, to Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill getting traded in the prime of their careers, it's all been nuts.
It has also offered some clarity on what needs remain for all 32 teams. It's also why we did something in this mock draft that we rarely do: have trades. That's right, things have been so frenetic in the the AFC West, where every team but the Chiefs is loading up, that we had Kansas City trade not one but their two 2022 first-round picks to move up and find a wide receiver.
And while there is no one person who will replace Hill's production, even in Andy Reid's offense, there is a dynamic playmaker who seems like a perfect fit.
So what did this hypothetical trade cost? A quick backstory: Before R.J. White became SportsLine's managing director, he was the NFL Draft editor, and in that role he tweaked, updated and improved the draft-value chart. His latest version has the Chiefs trading picks 29, 30 and 121 to the Jets for their 10th and 146th picks.
At No. 10, the Chiefs land our top wideout, Ohio State's Garrett Wilson, who isn't quite Tyreek Hill but he does remind us a lot of Odell Beckham Jr. And for their troubles, the Jets end up with a cornerback, offensive lineman and edge rusher, all in the first round.
It took us until the sixth paragraph to mention the quarterbacks, but we have three going in the first round and two of them off the board in the first eight selections. Keep reading to see which teams are all-in on a QB this week, as well as how all 32 picks unfold.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 265 lbs
For the longest time we've had the Jags targeting an offensive lineman here, but the team used the first week of free agency to beef up the O-line so we're back to where we were during the season: Aidan Hutchinson is the No. 1 pick, even though the team has used a first-rounder on an edge rusher in two of the last three drafts. Josh Allen has been as good as advertised while K'Lavon Chaisson is still looking to put it altogether in the NFL. Hutchinson is probably the safest pick in this entire class.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
Walker is something of a tweener, which is odd to say about someone who stands 6-foot-5, and weighs 275 pounds. But he can line up as a 3, 4 or 5-tech and that versatility, coupled with his non-stop motor and consistent playmaking ability, makes him an attractive option for any team looking to bolster its defensive line. Walker's stock has skyrocketed during the pre-draft process and he's just scratching the surface on how good could he can be. He has really good tape, but he also played on a Georgia defense that could end up with 4-5 first-round picks and his combine performance -- a 4.51 40, a vertical of 35.5 inches and a mind-boggling 3-cone of 6.89 seconds -- only reminded people of why he has a chance to be special.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
The Texans have five of the first 80 picks in the draft and with Deshaun Watson now in Cleveland, it certainly seems like Davis Mills is the QB of the future (for the time being, anyway). And if so, Houston will need to protect him. Ekwonu is our OT1 and had the Jags not addressed their OL needs in free agency, Ekwonu would remain our first-overall selection.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 200 lbs
The Jets may look to address defense here, especially with the Laken Tomlinson signing in free agency further shoring up their offensive line. Gardner is a long, physical corner who can run with any WR he goes up against. He didn't give up a single TD during his career and in '21 he was as close to shutdown as you're going to see, which will come in handy in the AFC East.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Evan Neal OL
Alabama • Soph • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Yes, the Giants signed guards Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano in free agency, but there is still a need to upgrade the unit. Tackle Andrew Thomas has improved each season but if Daniel Jones is going to have any chance at success, taking Evan Neal here might be the quickest path. He'll be a Day 1 starter and an offensive line that was a liability a season ago could suddenly become a strength.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • Soph • 6'1" / 219 lbs
The Panthers didn't find a big-name quarterback in free agency so they'll turn to the draft. No QB is worth taking sixth overall, but Carolina is out of options and if you're going to overdraft at a position, make it the most important one on the field. The fear is that you get Mitch Trubisky but the payout, of course, is that you find Josh Allen. Willis has the arm strength and athleticism to be special, he just needs to refine his game and play with more consistency. The Panthers desperately need to fix their offensive line but they need a franchise passer too.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
The Giants could take Kayvon Thibodeaux here to bolster the defensive line, but instead they target Hamilton, who adds dynamism to a thin safety position. Young players Julian Love and Xavier McKinney have flashed at times but there's little depth behind them. Hamilton has Ed Reed-type instincts in center field -- but in a 6-foot-4 body -- and he has the ability to line up anywhere.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Pittsburgh • Soph • 6'3" / 220 lbs
The Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Colts and signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year deal, but Mariota hasn't started an NFL game since October 2019. Pickett made the right decision to return to Pitt for the '21 season, and in the process, he worked himself into the first-round conversation. The question is where does he get selected because, depending on who you talk to, it could be anywhere from top-10 to the bottom of Round 1.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 9
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
QB is the easy choice here, but Willis and Pickett are already off the board. And even though our QB1, Matt Corral, is still available, it would be hard for the Seahawks to pass on an elite offensive lineman. This means that Drew Lock is the man in Seattle for the '22 season and if that's the case, it makes sense to protect him. Cross played in Mike Leach's Air Raid offense, which means he's not asked to do a lot of run blocking. And he'll tell you that's one of the things he wants to improve, even though he was very good in that area last season. Either way, Cross' athleticism shines through and that, coupled with his strength, makes him a top-10 draft-day target.
Mock Trade from New York Jets
Round 1 - Pick 10
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
The Chiefs shipped Tyreek Hill to Miami for a boatload of draft picks -- including this year's first-rounder -- so it makes sense to package a few of them to get K.C. in position to draft Garrett Wilson, who is one of the the most dynamic players in college football. His game isn't quite at the level of the Cheetah, but in many ways reminds us of Odell Beckham Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Drake London WR
USC • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
If Ron Rivera is intent on rolling with Carson Wentz -- and it appears that he is -- then the team might as well get him some weapons. At 6-foot-5, London was a high-point-catch machine before his '21 season ended prematurely with an ankle injury. He reminds us some of his former teammate at USC, Michael Pittman, and London has all the tools to be WR1.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Washington • Soph • 5'11" / 193 lbs
Even though McDuffie balled out on the outside for the Huskies this season, we get Tyrann Matthieu vibes when we watch him. He has the athleticism to line up anywhere -- and he told us at the combine that he can do just that at the next level. The Vikings spent some money in free agency to beef up the front seven but there are still some holes to fill in the secondary. McDuffie is one of the best cornerbacks in this class.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 13
Jermaine Johnson II EDGE
Florida State • Soph • 6'5" / 262 lbs
After transferring from Georgia, Johnson has a fantastic season at Florida State. And he told us at the combine that he felt like he had something to prove going from the SEC to the ACC. Well, he did that and then some, then he dominated the Senior Bowl, and followed that up with an electric workout in Indy. The Texans beefed up the O-line with their first first-rounder, and now add some edge rush help with their 13th pick, acquired in the Deshaun Watson deal.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Thibodeaux has game-changing talents and, frankly, it would be shocking to see him still on the board here. He'd fill a big need for the Ravens, who, after losing Matt Judon to the Patriots, weren't able to get after the QB last season like we're used to seeing. Thibodeaux would change that.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 15
Devin Lloyd LB
Utah • Soph • 6'3" / 235 lbs
Historically, the Eagles don't take linebackers in Round 1, but they also don't typically have three first-round picks. Plus, there's a huge need here and Lloyd is a special talent. We were impressed by him during the '21 season and nothing changed at the combine. He's the prototypical off-ball linebacker in today's NFL (pay no attention to his 4.7-something 40 times -- he plays immeasurably faster), and it's like he was built in a lab. This may seem high but, well, it's not.
From Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 16
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Stingley didn't work out at the combine as he recovers from a foot injury, and he only played three games in '21, but it's hard to forget just how dominant he was in '19 as a freshman, when he spent practices going up against Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall and Racey McMath. If he was eligible two years ago he would've been a top-5 pick. He remains a ball hawk, not to mention an asset in the return game, and he'll only last this long because hasn't played a lot of football in the last 12 months.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Jordan Davis DL
Georgia • Soph • 6'6" / 336 lbs
Davis dropped some weight, showed up at the combine and at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, ran the 40 in 4.78 seconds, had a 32-inch vertical, and a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches -- and oh, by the way, he was a one-man wrecking crew in the SEC. It's easy to say Davis is a two-down player, but his obvious strength and surprising speed make a legit three-down threat who just needs to refine his pass-rush arsenal beyond the bull rush. The biggest question is if he can keep his weight down, which directly correlates to his stamina, and his ability to stay on the field.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Central Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 303 lbs
Terron Armstead signed with the Dolphins and while QB Jameis Winston re-upped in New Orleans, protecting him now becomes job No. 1, especially coming off an ACL injury that ended his '21 campaign prematurely. We're higher on Raimann than some people but we love his upside; he's only been playing the tackle position two years after moving over from tight end, and he's still relatively new to football after growing up in Austria.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Williams tore his ACL in the national title game, but he's still one of the best players in this draft class and should be ready to contribute next October. And if not for the injury he's likely the first wideout off the board. The Eagles have a need at the position, even though they've taken a WR in the first round the last two years, and if they can be patient with Williams as he recovers Philly could end up with the best WR corps in the division.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Arkansas • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Burks is a contested and high-point catch machine. Don't be fooled by his 4.55 40 at the combine -- he regularly outran defensive backs to the end zone in the SEC and that won't change in the NFL. The scariest part of his game is that he's not even close to his ceiling yet, and what better way to get there than in Pittsburgh. He reminds us of some combination of Anquan Boldin, JuJu Smith-Schuster and A.J. Brown. The Steelers just lost Smith-Schuster and James Washington in free agency and they'll need to add some WRs in the draft. Burks isn't a bad place to start.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Andrew Booth had a strong '21 season for Clemson and he's only going to get better with experience. The Patriots lost J.C. Jackson to the Chargers and they'll need to upgrade their secondary this offseason, something they didn't do during the first week of free agency.
From Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 22
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 187 lbs
Davante Adams is gone to Las Vegas the Packers are using the pick they acquired in the deal to begin the process of replacing all that productivity. Olave is probably the best route runner in this class, but he alone won't be able to account for all of Adams' offense. Not-so-fun fact for Aaron Rodgers and/or Packers fans: This would be the first time since 2002 that Green Bay used a first-round pick on a wideout.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Kenyon Green OL
Texas A&M • Soph • 6'4" / 323 lbs
Green can play outside or inside and at Texas A&M he lined up against some of the best defensive linemen and edge rushers in the country. The Cardinals need to protect Kyler Murray, who seems again on good(-ish) terms with the organization.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Iowa • Soph • 6'2" / 305 lbs
Tyler Biadasz was good at times last season but there's certainly room for upgrading the interior OL. And if Tyler Linderbaum is still on the board, this is a layup for the front office. Linderbaum is one of the best offensive linemen, even at center, and he could certainly go much higher than this.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Zion Johnson OL
Boston College • Soph • 6'3" / 316 lbs
The Bills don't have a lot of needs so adding depth along the O-line isn't a bad place to start. Zion Johnson is another player who went to the Senior Bowl and proved he was worthy of first-round consideration. He played left tackle at Boston College and worked at guard and center in Mobile. He's a Day 1 starter at several positions.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • Soph • 5'11" / 231 lbs
The Titans have needs along the offensive line but if Dean is here he'd be hard to pass up. He was consistently dominant during the '21 season, and while he played on the best defense in the country, don't be fooled -- Dean didn't ride on the coattails of a dominant Georgia D-line, he was a huge reason for their success. There are questions about his size and how that translates to the NFL but his tape tells a different story.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 304 lbs
Wyatt is another player who changed some minds with his Senior Bowl week and he continued to convince folks of his first-round talents by putting on a show at the combine. Incredibly quick off the snap and powerful once he gets going, he can be unstoppable when he's on his game.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Northern Iowa • Soph • 6'7" / 325 lbs
Penning plays with an edge and the sole intent is to prove any remaining doubters wrong. He had a strong season and a dominant-at-times Senior Bowl week, and he could end up going in the top half of the first round when all is said and done.
Mock Trade from Kansas City Chiefs
Round 1 - Pick 29
Tyler Smith OL
Tulsa • Soph • 6'6" / 332 lbs
Some NFL teams like Smith's upside enough to consider him in Round 1. We have a second-round grade on him but, either way, he had an impressive season at Tulsa where he was a dominant run blocker who'll need to refine his pass sets, but he certainly has the athleticism to do it. The Jets are stocking up after their mock deal with Kansas City.
Mock Trade from Kansas City Chiefs
Round 1 - Pick 30
David Ojabo EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'4" / 255 lbs
Ojabo is a top-15 talent who tore his Achilles earlier this month during his pro day. He's only been playing football for five years and he was unstoppable at times last season for the Wolverines. The Jets get another defender to pair with Gardner via their mock trade with the Chiefs.
Round 1 - Pick 31
The Bengals stocked their offensive line in free agency and the team doesn't have a ton of needs heading into the draft. The secondary has some players entering the final year of their contracts and Cincy could look to add depth there. Hill is part of a Wolverines defense that could see three players go in Round 1 next spring. He's underrated nationally but watch him play and it becomes clear pretty quickly that he's in the running for one of the best defensive backs in this class. He's listed as a safety but he can line up anywhere.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 32
Matt Corral QB
Ole Miss • Soph • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Corral is our QB1 but we know he's not for everybody. That said, he fits the profile of what the QB position is evolving into -- he's athletic, has a strong arm, and is tough. In Detroit, he can ease into the role since veteran Jared Goff is expected to start the season under center.