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Reaching for quarterbacks in the draft is inevitable in today's NFL. It's the game's most important position, and one signal-caller can completely change the immediate and long-term outlook of a franchise. (See: Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow, who will face off in the AFC Championship on Sunday afternoon.)

Sometimes, though, it's makes more sense to use a replacement-level QB while upgrading the players around him. That's the focus of this week's mock draft, which led to four offensive linemen, three edge rushers, two defensive backs and just one quarterback going in the top 10. Of course, this could all change, especially with the Senior Bowl coming up next week, and the combine a month or so after that. For now, however, we have only one QB cracking the first 10 selections, with the others coming off the board at No. 18 and No. 31.

Keep reading to see how the entire first round unfolds.

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Michigan • 6'6" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Hutchinson is a great example of a player who got better each and every season, and instead of coming out early he stayed in school, balled out as a senior, and made himself into arguably the best player -- on either side of the ball -- in the country during the '21 college football season. The Jags have taken an edge rusher in the first round in two of the last three drafts, but we don't expect there to be teams clamoring to trade up to the top pick in this draft and Jacksonville may be stuck here.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Oregon • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
The Lions would probably love to trade down because for as good as Thibodeaux has been, he won't be the final piece to turning things around in Detroit. But since there are no trades in this mock draft, and there may end up being no team moving up this high for, say, a QB in the actual draft, the Oregon pass-rusher remains the choice here.
Round 1 - Pick 3
NC State • 6'4" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
1st
Davis Mills played some pretty good football down the stretch, and it sure seems like the team will move forward with him, at least for another season. (Of course, this all depends on the next coach but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.) And if that's the plan, it seems reasonable to protect him. Ekwonu, meanwhile, is one of our favorite players in this draft class. There's talk that he may have to move inside to guard but when you watch him play, he's perfectly suited to be a dominant tackle, which is exactly what Houston needs.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Jets have to protect Zach Wilson, and this should be the mantra to begin every draft meeting the team has. Neal is an athletic marvel who has excelled at several O-line positions during his Crimson Tide career.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Ideally, the Giants would beef up the O-line here but the two top targets are already off the board. Instead, they focus on the defense. The team has young safeties Xavier McKinney and Julian Love, but that doesn't mean there isn't room in the secondary for Kyle Hamilton, too. He's a 6-4, 220-pound version of Ed Reed -- a sideline-to-sideline ball hawk -- and that makes him a Day 1 impact player.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Mississippi State • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
4th
Quarterback makes all the sense in the world here, but it's important to remember these two words: Fit matters. Put Mac Jones on the the Jets and he probably looks a lot more like Zach Wilson than a legit Rookie of the Year candidate. So knowing that, the Panthers bolster the offensive line and perhaps find their next franchise QB via free agency or a trade. Cross is a high-upside athletic offensive tackle who had a strong season for Mississippi State.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa • 6'3" / 290 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
Linderbaum, who left Iowa's bowl game with a lower-body injury, is one of the best offensive linemen in the country. And although a center hasn't gone higher than No. 18 in the last dozen drafts, a) Linderbaum is that good, b) the Giants need to solidify the interior O-line.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Michigan • 6'5" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
QB will be a consideration here but Matt Ryan has two more years left on how deal and it feels like he'll be the starter for at least another season. So instead of taking a flier on a QB in a weak class, the Falcons address their defense where Ojabo won't have to sit for a year before taking the field. He can be a difference-maker from jump street.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Ole Miss • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
The team fired Vic Fangio after the season and in his final presser, he made it clear that upgrading the QB position was critical, especially in a division where the three other teams have top-flight passers. We'll see what happens either through free agency or via trade but if the Broncos use the draft to target a QB, Corral would be an option here -- he's our top passer, though there's no clear-cut No. 1 like in previous years.
Round 1 - Pick 10
LSU • 6'1" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Jets already addressed the offensive line so here they take arguably the best CB in this class. Stingley missed the final half of the season because of injury but that will have zero impact on his draft stock.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Arkansas • 6'3" / 225 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Like the Panthers above, WFT is in the market for a QB. But if they don't love anyone in this class enough to draft them this high, the team could (wisely, some might way) choose to address other needs. And while Washington signed Curtis Samuel last offseason, he played in just five games with six receptions. Terry McLaurin is going into the final year of his rookie deal -- and while there's no reason to think he won't be re-upped -- adding a playmaking talent like Burks should be a consideration. He has the size and speed to take over games, which will make life easier for whomever wins the QB job.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Georgia • 6'0" / 225 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Dean played in 2021 with the type of urgency and physicality that made him one of the best players in college football. And that's exactly what this Vikings defense, which was a disappointment in '21, needs. Anthony Barr may have played his last snap for Minnesota and there are worse fates than having a sideline-to-side tackling machine to succeed him.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Ohio State • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Browns have needs at wide receiver, for sure, but the talking points in the coming months will likely concern the QB position. We think Baker Mayfield is much better than he showed last season, in part because he wasn't healthy. Wilson is one of the the most dynamic players in college football and he'll give Mayfield another downfield option now that Odell Beckham Jr. is in L.A.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Clemson • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Ravens' secondary was decimated by injuries this season; Jimmy Smith is in the final year of his deal and Marcus Peters and Tavon Young are set to hit free agency after next season. Booth has all the athleticism and tools to be special, and he balled out for Clemson this season.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Georgia • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
3rd
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 the 3, 4 or 5-tech and that versatility, coupled with his nonstop motor and consistent playmaking ability, makes him an attractive option for several teams in this range looking to bolster their defensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Utah • 6'3" / 232 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Lloyd is a twitched up, sideline-to-sideline player who fits the mold of off-ball linebackers we've seen coming into the league over the last decade. The Eagles might not have a history of taking off-ball linebackers in the first round but that doesn't mean they shouldn't consider it here.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Purdue • 6'4" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
35th
POSITION RNK
5th
Karlaftis adds another dimension to the defensive line. Injuries and the pandemic saw him bounce back in '21 after playing limited snaps in '20 but Karlaftis (and he was nearly impossible to stop in '19 when he recorded 17 TFLs and had 7.5 sacks). In L.A., he'll line up opposite Joey Bosa a year after the team struggled to replace Melvin Ingram.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Pittsburgh • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
We love what Pickett's accomplished last season and New Orleans feels like a perfect fit for just about any young quarterback -- the Saints have a good O-line and defense -- and the offensive firepower to again be in the playoff mix in '22. The only "but" is a big one: the recent report that coach Sean Payton might take a year off.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Alabama • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
This likely won't be a popular pick because the Eagles have used first-rounders on wide receivers the last two years, but they'll only have four wideouts under contract after the season, and that includes J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. 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.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Georgia • 6'6" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
48th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Steelers have a lot of needs, starting with quarterback, but there's also no denying their run defense was downright invisible over the final half of the season. Davis is more than a two-down player and the one-man wrecking crew could go a long way in solving Pittsburgh's issues slowing up opponents' rushing attacks.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Cincinnati • 6'3" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
2nd
J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills have seen the majority of snaps at cornerback for the Patriots and Jackson is in the final year of his deal and he'll be rightfully looking to get paid in the offseason. If the Pats want to add depth in the secondary, targeting a CB here would make sense. Sauce Gardner is a long, press corner, who would have a chance to play immediately in Foxborough.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Houston • 6'6" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Last spring, some people were surprised Payton Turner made his way into Round 1. Don't be shocked if his Houston teammate, Hall, follows a similar path. He was unblockable at times this season and at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, he can line up just about anywhere.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Washington • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
71st
POSITION RNK
8th
Even though McDuffie balled out on the outside for the Huskies this season, we get Tyrann Mathieu vibes when we watch him. He has the athleticism to line up anywhere and in Arizona he'll join a secondary in transition as veterans hit free agency, while Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson look to lead the way for a young CB group.
Round 1 - Pick 24
USC • 6'5" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
4th
This feels like an indulgence, not that much different than the Cowboys taking CeeDee Lamb two drafts ago. But only Lamb and Amari Cooper return, while Michael Gallup (who suffered an ACL injury late in the year) and Cedrick Wilson could be headed for free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Michigan • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Hill is part of a Wolverines defense that could end up seeing 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.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Central Michigan • 6'7" / 305 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
1st
Raimann is originally from Austria and moved from tight end to left tackle after the 2019 season, but you wouldn't know it to watch him play. He might be the most athletic O-lineman in the entire class, he's just scratching the surface on his abilities, and the Titans' O-line has struggled to keep Ryan Tannehill upright for much of this season.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Colorado State • 6'3" / 249 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
6th
We finally got a chance to watch McBride's '21 tape and it blew us away. He will block you into the stands but at 6-4, 260 pounds, he consistently finds ways to get open downfield. He does remind us a little of Gronk but stiff-armin' Vance McDonald might be a better comp. Either way, the Bucs could be looking to restock the position this offseason -- Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard appear headed for free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Ohio State • 6'1" / 188 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Olave is one of the best route runners in this class and he would certainly be a welcome addition in Green Bay -- and it would give Aaron Rodgers something the Packers haven't had since 2002: a wideout taken in the first round. (This assumes, of course, that Rodgers returns to Green Bay after Saturday's playoff loss to the 49ers.)
Round 1 - Pick 29
Auburn • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
36th
POSITION RNK
7th
McCreary was the most consistent cornerback in college football this fall, and that's all you want from that position, so while he lacks the high-end athleticism of some of the other names often mentioned as first-round talents, he's rarely out of position and almost always making positive plays for his team.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Texas A&M • 6'4" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Green can play either tackle or guard and he has the ability to be a Day 1 starter. He may have to kick inside but wherever he ends up, he's the latest O-lineman drafted early by the Dolphins, which have tried to address the unit in recent drafts but not with the success they were hoping for.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Liberty • 6'1" / 225 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
44th
POSITION RNK
2nd
We have a second-round grade on Willis but -- and stop us if you've heard this already -- that doesn't mean teams looking for a quarterback won't take one 15 to 30 picks before perhaps they should. If the Lions do, in fact, target Willis here it has to be with the understanding that he'll be a backup in '22, while Jared Goff continues to hold down the job. Willis has all the tools you look for in an athletic, strong-armed QB but he's also extremely raw. It would be reckless to throw him into the lineup as a rookie.
Round 1 - Pick 32
San Diego State • 6'5" / 290 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
2nd
Thomas, who can play anywhere along the defensive line, set career bests in tackles for loss (20.5) and sacks (10.5) this season for the Aztecs, and he appears to just be scratching the surface on his abilities. He's as good against the run as he is getting after the quarterback.