The Seattle Seahawks agreed to trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, and it left many scrambling to decipher what it means for the former. Assuming the Seahawks receive the No. 9 overall selection as part of the trade, Seattle could go in a number of directions, one of which leads back to taking a chance on a rookie quarterback.
Without further ado, let's kick this thing off!
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Round 1 - Pick 1
Evan Neal OL
Alabama • Soph • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Jacksonville's top priority is protecting Trevor Lawrence so I could see the Jaguars going offensive line with the No. 1 overall selection even if they sign a Terron Armstead or Brandon Scherff in free agency. Neal is my top offensive tackle prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'7" / 268 lbs
The NFL is very difficult to predict and yet some fits end up being so obvious. Najee Harris was an obvious choice for Pittsburgh last season. Hutchinson feels like the obvious choice for Detroit.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
Houston would be wise to give Davis Mills a chance to earn that starting role and, to get any clarity on whether or not he can be that player for them long-term, they need to surround him with capable talent. The offense and the skill positions need to be upgraded. The defense is an issue as well but it is more important to build up the offense than the defense given the current state of the league.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
It sounds as though some teams are going to overthink Thibodeaux and his talent. New York can not be disappointed that the presumptive No. 1 overall selection for so long falls into its lap three spots later. Carl Lawson and Thibodeaux become a strength for that Jets defense.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
New York has two picks in the span of three. The thought process is that Carolina is more likely to take Cross than it would be to take the player I have given the Giants at No. 7 overall. New York continues to build out that offensive line in support of Daniel Jones.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Pittsburgh • Soph • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Owner David Tepper is a Pittsburgh grad. Head coach Matt Rhule earned a commitment from Pickett while he was at Temple. In most cases, I would not buy into those ties as a reason a team might pick a player but both men seem to be loyal to a fault and the team needs a quarterback.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
The thought is that Hamilton essentially replaces Jabrill Peppers, who is scheduled to hit free agency. The Notre Dame product is arguably the most talented player in the draft and the Giants land him at No. 7 overall.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Atlanta plucks the first wide receiver off the draft board. With Calvin Ridley suspended, Wilson would be a big addition to a wide receiver group that could be thin if the Falcons don't re-sign Russell Gage.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 9
Matt Corral QB
Ole Miss • Soph • 6'2" / 205 lbs
After shipping Russell Wilson to Denver, Seattle uses the acquired pick on a fresh start for the franchise. Ole Miss' Corral gets an opportunity to return home to the West Coast and play for an offense that wants to lean on the run game. As a result, it should make his transition to the NFL easier.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 10
Drake London WR
USC • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
I think back to all the plays that Dax Milne and Gunner Romney made for Zach Wilson at BYU. It is time for New York to give Wilson a player like London that can win those contested balls down the field. A former basketball player, London does a fantastic job of using his body to create separation.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • Soph • 6'1" / 219 lbs
The theory of supply and demand is quite simple: when the demand for a talent exceeds the supply, prices are driven up. As a result of fewer quarterbacks being available via trade, that is going to lead more teams, including Washington, to use an early draft selection on the position.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 200 lbs
I think Minnesota is likely faced with a decision to take either a cornerback or an edge rusher. As a general belief, I think the edge rusher is more important but the talent available at cornerback in this spot is better than edge rusher.
Mock Trade from Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 13
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Baltimore is a team that has been linked to cornerbacks in this draft class and Cleveland likely knows it has a few players it would not mind taking so it is willing to move back a few spots for Philadelphia to move up and take the falling Stingley. The Eagles are able to retain their other two first-round choices while also getting a blue chip talent when healthy.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
Baltimore is not going to be too distraught about losing Stingley when it reevaluates its options and find that Walker is available. The Ravens have a front office known for making smart decisions in the draft and not overthinking an obvious talent. Walker feels like another player that Baltimore is able to turn into an All-Pro talent.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 15
Arkansas • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Cleveland was able to slide back a few picks, gain some additional draft capital and still get arguably the best wide receiver available in the class. When considering size and speed, there is no other receiver prospect in this class that will be able to stack up to Burks.
From Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 16
George Karlaftis EDGE
Purdue • Soph • 6'4" / 263 lbs
The fortune continues for Philadelphia as it lands a top 10-caliber talent in my eyes. Karlaftis is a physically mature pass rusher and should soak in all that the veterans on that roster have to share with him.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 304 lbs
Stopping the run is obviously a priority for Los Angeles but, what if the Chargers were able to do that without sacrificing pass-rush potential? Wyatt is a quick-twitch interior defensive lineman that is going to push the pocket and make a lot of plays in the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Sam Howell QB
North Carolina • Soph • 6'1" / 220 lbs
A run on quarterbacks continues with Howell being the latest selected by the Saints. It's going to be weird for New Orleans to open the 2022 season with head coach Dennis Allen and starting quarterback Howell.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Devin Lloyd LB
Utah • Soph • 6'3" / 235 lbs
Philadelphia caps its first round haul with the addition of Lloyd. The Eagles address all three levels with Karlaftis, Stingley Jr. and Lloyd. All three are potential impact players for the coming season but also important pieces to the NFC East franchise's defensive future.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Northern Iowa • Soph • 6'7" / 325 lbs
Pittsburgh adds a physical offensive lineman to block for Najee Harris and presumably a veteran quarterback signed or acquired via trade in this scenario. Penning needs to harness his aggression a little better at times but the Steelers have always had a physical style of play.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Round 1 - Pick 22
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 180 lbs
Hunter Renfrow elevated his game when Las Vegas needed him most last season but the team would do well to take some of the pressure off of him. Williams is a player with speed who can take the top off defenses and allow Renfrow to work unencumbered underneath.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 1 - Pick 24
Zion Johnson OL
Boston College • Soph • 6'3" / 316 lbs
Dallas needs to start considering the future of its offensive line and the selection of Johnson goes a long way toward stability. Johnson offers guard-center versatility at the next level and has even shown capable of playing tackle in a pinch.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Jordan Davis DL
Georgia • Soph • 6'6" / 336 lbs
Buffalo heavily addressed its edge rusher group last offseason so it complements those additions with the selection of Davis, who is a run-stuffer from the national champions who freed up his teammates to make a lot of plays for the Bulldogs last season.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • Soph • 5'11" / 231 lbs
If Tennessee is able to retain Harold Landry and Bud Dupree, it is really cooking in that front seven with the addition of Dean. Dean is spark plug willing to do the defense's dirty work sideline to sideline.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Kenyon Green OL
Texas A&M • Soph • 6'4" / 323 lbs
Ali Marpet suddenly announced that he was retiring. Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa are both slated to hit free agency. If they lose even two of those players, it is a lot for the NFC South franchise to overcome in one offseason. Tampa Bay quickly went from a team with few needs to a team that might have a handful.
Round 1 - Pick 28
David Ojabo EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Green Bay may move on from Preston and/or Za'Darius Smith this offseason to meet the salary cap threshold. If changes are made, then it makes some sense to consider bringing in another pass rusher even with the emergence of Rashan Gary.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Round 1 - Pick 30
Boye Mafe DL
Minnesota • Soph • 6'4" / 261 lbs
The run on edge rushers continues with Mafe, who is explosive around the corner. Kansas City has a sunk cost in Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram is near the end of his career. Mafe allows the Chiefs to take some of the pressure off of Chris Jones.
Round 1 - Pick 31
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 32
Kyler Gordon CB
Washington • Soph • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Gordon is expected to blow up in Indianapolis at the NFL combine. I would anticipate him being a regular in first-round projections moving forward. Jeff Okudah has not exactly panned out. While there is still hope, the addition of Gordon takes some of the pressure off him. Detroit added Gordon's teammate, Levi Onwuzurike, in last year's draft.