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USATSI

The NFL regular season is roughly a quarter over, and the draft order will become more clear with each passing week. The process of reaching that final week allows for new scenarios to play out. In today's thought exercise, we explore some teams moving on from veterans to conserve salary cap space while investing in young talent. 

The draft order below was determined using SportsLine's Super Bowl odds, but in reverse order. These are your team's betting odds of winning a Lombardi Trophy this season. Miami's selection at No. 20 overall was forfeited.

Without further ado, let's kick this off!

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
The teams picking at the top need to change, just so mock drafts do not get stale over the next six months. It feels as though the top of the draft is going to include three quarterbacks in some order. Stroud is the best of all worlds right now when considering talent, size and age.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Washington could be undergoing a change at more than quarterback if the season does not turn around. The good news is that Carson Wentz's contract does not carry any dead money beyond the current season, so the team can start over with a clean slate. Young would instill the type of leadership the Commanders have coveted.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Kentucky • Sr • 6'3" / 232 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen spent last season with Kentucky. He was on the same Los Angeles coaching staff with Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, so there is a free-flowing pipeline of information should the Pacific Northwest franchise be so inclined.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
I absolutely think Carolina would be in the quarterback market again if it was in a position to select one of the top options. The Panthers have zero financial obligation to Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield beyond the current season, and the presence of Matt Corral is not going to stop them from taking one of the perceived top talents at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 300 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
Could Chicago be in the market for a quarterback if the opportunity presents itself? A new regime has zero connection to Justin Fields, and his rookie contract would be entering Year 3. With the top three quarterbacks off the board, the Bears take best player available.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Clemson • Jr • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
2nd
Grady Jarrett is still playing at an elite level, but he can not be a part of the long-term plans at 29 years old. The short-term future with Myles Murphy, who has the flexibility to play inside out depending upon the situation, rookie edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie and Jarrett could be exciting. Atlanta would be another team in the quarterback market if it finds itself in that position.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • Jr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
3rd
I should be more creative and give Pittsburgh a linebacker here and there but, in consecutive years, the franchise has invested in a running back and a quarterback in Round 1. If they are not aggressive in upgrading the unit up front, the Steelers will look back on it with regret.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Penn State • Soph • 6'6" / 321 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
New York's offensive tackle issues have played out in an unfortunate manner this year with Mekhi Becton going down with an injury. The Jets may have struck gold with rookie right tackle Max Mitchell, but the situation on the left side remains unsettled. Veterans Duane Brown and George Fant are also on injured reserve, but that is not a suitable long-term plan. Fashanu gives them more of that stability.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
Jeff Okudah's availability has afforded him the chance to grow after being sidelined last season. He looks improved, but Detroit either has two foundational players on the outside or Ringo is just an insurance policy for the Ohio State product.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Clemson • Soph • 6'5" / 305 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Outside of Christian Barmore, New England's interior defensive line group is averaging about 30 years of age. Bill Belichick likes to be formidable at the point of attack, and teams are looking for quality interior defenders right now. The Patriots would have enviable young talent at that spot.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
1st
The jury is still out on Daniel Jones, but there may not be an upgrade available if the Giants are picking this far down the order. Skoronski has five-positional flexibility, but New York is set on the edge with Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal. Skoronski could stretch that enthusiasm to the interior group.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oregon • Soph • 6'2" / 201 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
Gonzalez has great length. They have veterans James Bradberry and Darius Slay on the boundary, but Bradberry is on a one-year deal. As the Saints find themselves in a position to potentially invest further into Jalen Hurts and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, difficult financial decisions have to be made. Gonzalez could provide an escape route.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Clemson • Jr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Some view Simpson as a hybrid talent, but I view him as a linebacker capable of providing the occasional pressure and dropping into coverage. He is a well-rounded player who often finds himself around the football, and Las Vegas needs to get better up the middle.
Round 1 - Pick 14
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
1st
Indianapolis has a lot of height at wide receiver, but it could use an off-speed pitch like Boutte, who is capable of making plays after the catch. He would bring another dimension to that room as the Colts continue trying to solve the quarterback position long-term.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
After selecting C.J. Stroud early in the first round, Houston brings in his teammate to provide him with some immediate comfort and compatibility. The Texans would have a good trio with Nico Collins, Brandin Cooks and Smith-Njigba.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
At times, I think I have overthought Ricks much in the same way I did Derek Stingley Jr. for a period of time. He was productive at such a young age in college football's premier conference. With everything that played out in Baton Rouge, perhaps he deserves the benefit of the doubt for how this played out there. He is a talent who teams will have trouble ignoring.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'3" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Johnson would compliment Andre Cisco well in that secondary. Jacksonville clearly has some exciting pieces on defense with Josh Allen, Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd. There is something to be said for supporting Trevor Lawrence, but best player available leads the AFC South franchise back to defense.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Kansas State • Jr • 6'4" / 255 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
3rd
Chandler Jones is gone and J.J. Watt is in the final year of his contract. Arizona is going to need to upgrade its pass rush, and Anudike-Uzomah is the best option available.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oregon • Soph • 6'2" / 253 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Seattle has a lot of pieces in play with defensive rookies Boye Mafe, Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant. If the Seahawks can find some foundational talent on that side of the ball, with Sewell now in the mix, then it is a tip of the cap to general manager John Schneider.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
1st
Dallas has Dalton Schultz playing on a franchise tag, and his play may have the team doubting a long-term extension. Mayer gives the Cowboys what they want from the position in terms of blocking and receiving while being a more cost-effective option moving forward.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Georgia • Soph • 6'4" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
Cincinnati can not do too much to solidify its offensive line. The tackle play has been disappointing this season, so if the selection of Jones means moving on from La'El Collins or moving Jonah Williams inside, then so be it.
Round 1 - Pick 23
South Carolina • Jr • 6'0" / 188 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Minnesota has taken a lot of chances at cornerback, but it has not paid off thus far. The Vikings cannot be afraid to return to the well at such an important position. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah comes from Cleveland, where the Browns have two first-round picks (Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome), one second-round pick (Greedy Williams) and one third-round pick (Martin Emerson) at cornerback.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Maryland • Sr • 6'6" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
Los Angeles has used first-round selections on Rashawn Slater and Zion Johnson in back-to-back years, but the offensive line is a concern in the wake of Slater's injury. Duncan could pop over to the right side and really have that unit looking strong long-term. It gives the Chargers options in the event of injury.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Texas • Jr • 6'0" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
1st
Miami has invested in firepower over the past calendar year and a half, bringing in Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Robinson is a well-rounded talent who would provide the Dolphins with a feature back in that horizontal offensive scheme.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 232 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
Richardson does just enough to hang around for another week. The NFL is not known for allowing time to develop, particularly among first-round quarterback selections, so it may be in his best interest to return to Gainesville. Detroit could not pass up on the chance to add a traits-y signal-caller with the second of two first-round choices.
Round 1 - Pick 27
TCU • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
46th
POSITION RNK
6th
Baltimore adds some length to the fold in support of Lamar Jackson. Mark Andrews, J.K. Dobbins, Rashod Bateman and Johnston is a nice collection of skill talent for that Ravens offense.
Round 1 - Pick 28
North Carolina • Jr • 5'10" / 175 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Green Bay has brought in some size and reliability with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. The Packers toss a little spice in the pot with Downs, who is pay-per-view post-catch.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
5th
I have not seen enough from Foskey to justify his place in the first round just yet, but the NFL is buying all stock in size and speed. The Notre Dame edge rusher checks all of those boxes.
Round 1 - Pick 30
USC • Jr • 6'0" / 175 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
4th
The thought is building a wide receiver room of the future. In consecutive years, Kansas City would have chosen Skyy Moore and Addison, which creates salary cap space when moving on from Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and others.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Alabama • Jr • 5'11" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Philadelphia has built a fantastic team with not only talent, but depth. The selection of Gibbs is a bit of a luxury, but the teams that take a running back in the first round often fall into that position. The Georgia Tech transfer is a well-rounded back who excels catching passes out of the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 193 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
37th
POSITION RNK
7th
Buffalo adds a young, cost-effective, versatile defensive back as part of the long-term vision for a secondary that already includes rookie cornerbacks Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam. Branch is capable of wearing many hats, much like Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde have done for years.