1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Not much needs to be said for this. It’s the draft’s worst kept secret. The Bengals will make Joe Burrow the first overall pick tonight.
2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Though there have been rumors of Washington willing to move this pick, it’s hard to believe they’d go ahead and trade out of grabbing the consensus top player in the draft. Chase Young is an elite player at a premium position and should be the second pick.
3. [TRADE] Miami Dolphins (via DET): Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I’m not confident in this at all, but I’m sticking with it. With the Giants looking to move their pick and the Jaguars and Chargers lurking as potential options for a QB, the Dolphins make the move to come up and get their choice between Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa.
There’s no denying Miami wants a tackle and covets Andrew Thomas, but they simply won’t be able to swing getting pick 3 without giving up pick 5. The Dolphins passed on a QB in last year’s class and they passed on one the year before as well. It’s time for them to make a pick and get it right at the game’s most important position. I know Miami likes Herbert and I’m sure some like Tua as well, but Herbert is just the safer pick.
4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Giants are leaking that they’ve done a lot of work on Oregon’s Justin Herbert in hopes of finding a trade partner for this pick. After selecting Daniel Jones in last year’s draft, no one is going to buy that. Ultimately, the Giants will hold onto this pick and grab a tackle to protect Jones.
Jedrick Wills is my top-ranked tackle and a prospect the Giants are definitely considering with this selection, but the buzz suggests Wirfs is the player Big Blue covets. Wirfs is an athletic offensive tackle, who may end up as a guard at the next level, but he’ll begin his NFL career at right tackle.
5. [TRADE] Detroit Lions (via MIA): Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There are some reports coming in that the Lions’ coaching staff prefers Auburn’s Derrick Brown, while Detroit’s front office likes Okudah. I can see this going either way but I’m sticking with Okudah. He’s been the prospect that the Lions have liked for most of the process and I think it’s too late for them to reverse course and not pick him.
Additionally, I’m no expert on the hierarchy in Detroit, but I’d like to assume the front office ultimately gets the final word on who’s name is on the card. If they prefer Okudah, then I think they’ll find a way to make him their first round pick, even if the staff isn’t thrilled about it.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I really like this pick. I think Tua will ultimately be QB for the Chargers and they can stay put and get my second-best prospect at the position with this selection.
The Chargers have a better offensive line than the Dolphins and have more weapons on offense than the Dolphins. Additionally, they have Tyrod Taylor as a perfect stopgap QB to mentor whoever they select. Taylor has proven to be a serviceable QB who can start the season for the Chargers and help bring Tua along.
There would be no rush for him to get on the field early and with Tagovailoa’s injury history, redshirting part of his rookie season would probably be the best option for him.
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
I’m following my board on this one. I think Derrick Brown could very easily be the pick here. I also think trading back is a realistic option, but I’m sticking with my second-ranked player. Simmons is going to lineup at linebacker and safety in Carolina. He’s simply the best player on the board and if the Panthers keep the pick it would be hard to opt out of selecting Simmons.
8. Arizona Cardinals Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
This pick is also being made available for trade. There’s rumors that the Falcons would like to come up here for South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, but giving how the board has fallen, he may not be in danger of being off the board as early as Atlanta expected.
The Cardinals need a tackle to protect Kyler Murray, but I don’t think they accounted for Derrick Brown to be on the board. A dominant force on the defensive line, Brown is the best DT in this class and would help the Cardinals create some pressure on the interior of their defensive line.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
For almost the entire draft process, I’ve had this pick being South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. However, C.J. Henderson has risen up the boards and has become a player that won’t make it out of the top-10 in my opinion.
Jacksonville has A LOT of needs and can go in a multitude of directions with this selection, but I’ll take my chances on them rolling with Henderson and targeting defensive line later in the draft.
10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Yes, this is another spot for a trade-down as the Eagles and Broncos would both be interested in coming up for a receiver. The Browns would be able to acquire assets and take Ezra Cleveland, a player they like, later in the draft.
However, there are three of the top four tackles to choose from here and the Browns have a shot to get a premium left tackle to line up opposite FA signing Jack Conklin and to protect Baker Mayfield. I think Thomas is simply the best fit here with Wills being more a right tackle and Becton being more of a risk.
11. New York Jets: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Jets are involved in an intriguing situation that I’m inclined to believe is real. New York could trade back to 21, allowing the Eagles to come up and get CeeDee Lamb. In addition, there’s been talk the Jets could also be getting Philadelphia’s first round pick last year, Andre Dillard.
Given Douglas’ relationship with the Eagles organization, I’m not doubting this could happen but with two tackles still on the board, including my top ranked OT in Jedrick Wills, I can’t envision the Jets moving out of this pick. Wills will fortify the right side for the Jets and continue to add to the OL overhaul the Jets began this offseason.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
CeeDee Lamb is my WR1. There has been talk that Lamb is a guy that Raiders GM Mike Mayock, likes, but I believe it’s Jerry Jeudy who the Las Vegas Raiders covet. Jeudy has elite speed, is the best route runner in this class, and has position flexibility to work outside or in the slot. He’s a true number one receiver and one that Jon Gruden and company will be thrilled to take.
13. San Francisco 49ers: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Niners are looking to trade back. They have picks 13,31 and then nothing until the fifth round. I believe 31 is the spot where they’ll look to move back as they need a number one receiver and hit the jackpot with Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. A physical receiver, Lamb is a YAC monster and should prove to be a reliable target for Jimmy Garoppolo.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Buccaneers need some help on the offensive line and they get that here in Mekhi Becton. Becton reminds me a bit of Trent Brown, a player who has had success blocking for Tom Brady. Becton slots in at right tackle and gives Brady more time to throw the ball to his dynamic receiving core in Tampa Bay.
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
The Broncos were interested in coming up for Jerry Jeudy, but the Browns and Jets lucked into elite tackle prospects and Denver sat and hoped a receiver would fall.
Luckily for them, Henry Ruggs is still on the board and would be a huge upgrade opposite Cortland Sutton on the outside. Drew Lock gets another weapon and the Broncos don’t exactly get the Alabama receiver they wanted, but they still grab an elite wideout.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
I mentioned earlier that the Falcons were looking to move up for Javon Kinlaw. Well they don’t have to give up a thing as he falls into their lap at 16. Kinlaw is one of the top interior pass rushers in the draft and would be a huge boost to the Falcons defensive line, lining up next to Grady Jarrett.
17. Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU
The Cowboys may entertain a trade here and target a player like Cesar Ruiz later in the first round. They may also opt to take a cornerback with this selection. However, with Okudah and Henderson off the board, I think the Cowboys will target an edge rusher here and go with LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson. He’s a player that Dallas reportedly covets and would help bolster the Cowboys’ pass rush.
18. Miami Dolphins (from PIT): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Yes, the Dolphins need offensive lineman very badly, but with the top four tackles off the board, Miami can wait until pick 26 to grab a guy like Ezra Cleveland, Isaiah Wilson or Austin Jackson.
Xavier McKinney provides the versatility that the Dolphins were looking for with Minkah Fitzpatrick. McKinney can align in multiple positions on Miami’s defense and he’s the top safety in the class. They’ll get their lineman, but for now I’ll stick with the value that McKinney provides at this slot.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from CHI): A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The Raiders addressed the receiver position with their first pick. Now it’s time to grab a corner to pair with Trayvon Mullen. Terrell has been getting some first-round buzz for a week now and I’m beginning to sense he’d be a strong option for the Raiders at 19. Trevon Diggs and Jeff Gladney will also be in the running here, but I’ll stick with my perceived favorite for Vegas in Terrell.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Jaguars miss out on Kinlaw and Chaisson. They already addressed corner, so it’s either OT or WR with this pick. I like Josh Jones for Jacksonville.
Jones is a great athlete, strong at the point of attack and does a great job of getting into the second level as a blocker. He’s raw and needs to refine hand placement, but he can be a long term starter on either side of the offensive line.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
This is an easy pick for the Eagles. They were unable to get in on CeeDee Lamb and Xavier McKinney is off the board. Perhaps they entertain Patrick Queen with this pick, but Philly needs a receiver in the worst way. Jefferson should be effective operating out of the slot in the next level. A really good athlete and reliable receiver, he’ll make an instant impact as a rookie.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from BUF): Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Vikings lost three corners in free agency and are in need of some help in the secondary. TCU’s Jeff Gladney is my second-ranked corner. I had him mocked to Minnesota at 25 last week, but with Jefferson and three other corners off the board, I think the Vikings prioritize a corner at 22.
23. New England Patriots: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
I’m sticking with this pick. New England could take a chance on Jordan Love, but I expect them to find a veteran QB for the 2020 season. The Patriots aren’t looking to take a project, they’re looking to compete. Epenesa fills a void on the defensive line and helps the Patriots get better now.
24. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
I have Queen slipping to 24 as it looks like the Raiders and Eagles will prioritize other positions. He and Demario Davis will be a nice duo in New Orleans. This is great value for the Saints at this point in the draft.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
Yetur Gross-Matos is the last elite pass rusher available and rather than reaching on a receiver, Minnesota goes for the Everson Griffen replacement on the edge. Gross-Matos’ best football is ahead of him and the Vikings get younger and more athletic at a premium position.
26. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Dolphins finally go ahead and grab a tackle. Isaiah Wilson and Ezra Cleveland will also be in contention for this pick, but I think Jackson is better than both. A strong tackle with a great frame, Jackson can start on either side for the Dolphins and give them some help where they desperately need it.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
It would be very much like the Seahawks to move out of the pick or take someone I have a third-round grade on, but I’ll go with something that makes sense.
The Seahawks need to continue to address their offensive line and Isaiah Wilson at right tackle is an immediate starter and instant upgrade over free agent signing, Brandon Shell. I expect Seattle to shock me for the third year in a row with this pick, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be wrong here.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
The Ravens will also be considering Cesar Ruiz here, but Kenneth Murray is the last inside linebacker on the board before a huge drop-off at the position. The Ravens lost C.J. Mosley in free agency a year ago and could use some help at this position. He’s a high volume guy in terms of effort and production, traits that will carry over nicely at the next level.
29. Tennessee Titans: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Right tackle, defensive tackle and corner are all needs for the Titans, but Zack Baun can play in coverage or be an edge rusher for the Titans. I think his versatility is what makes him intriguing here and I think he’s worthy of a first round pick.
30. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
I’m sticking with my pick on this one. Reagor provides value in the slot and in the return game. He’d be an electric edition to the Packers offense.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
I expect the 49ers to do everything they can to move out of this pick. The only trade I can think of that makes sense, because I have no intel, is a team like the Colts climbing into the first round to take Jordan Love. But, because this could go a lot of different ways, I’m going to keep my Trevon Diggs pick as he fills a need at corner for San Francisco.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Cesar Ruiz, OG/C, Michigan
I think running back and corner make a lot of sense for Kansas City, but Ruiz fills a need along the interior offensive line. He’s apparently the leader of the pack in a center class with not a lot to choose from, and he can also play guard in needed. Ruiz will help fortify the interior offensive line for the Super Bowl champions as they look to make another deep playoff run in 2020.