Jordan Thomas’s 1st RD Mock Draft 1.0
What’s up everybody? Welcome back to THE Truth Serum Football. The NFL Draft is upon us and of course with that comes endless mocking, and endless mocking of said mock. This year's class isn’t as Quarterback heavy as usual and there may be some surprises up top. The Jacksonville Jaguars are officially on the clock, but with Trevor Lawrence locked in as the QB of the future, it’s anyone’s guess where the Jags go with their pick. So let’s hop into this mock and see where TSF thinks Jacksonville may go.
- Jacksonville Jaguars - Aiden Hutchinson - EDGE - Michigan
Hutchinson is an explosive talent with a very high motor. The Jags could go a number of different ways here but Hutchinson seems like the safest pick. My main concern is he can be frenetic and lose his way. His game reminds me a lot of Joey Bosa’s.
- Detroit Lions - Malik Willis - QB - Liberty
I know there are a lot of people who believe the Lions will address the defensive side of the ball but I don't believe, and I don't think that Dan Campbell believes, that Jared Goff is the long term answer in Detroit. Willis is the consensus top QB in this class and for good reason. Willis' legs are his best asset but he also has great arm strength and can hit the deep ball. I also think the Lions believe they will have an improved record this upcoming season and shouldn't expect to be at the number two spot next season.
- Houston Texans - Evan Neal - OT - Bama
Evan Neal had a very productive career at Alabama, only allowing 9 QB hits in 40 starts. The Texans will want to look at BPA, which he is, and will also want to bolster their offensive line to give Davis Mills a chance to show that he is the long term answer at QB. They could have some interest in Ekwonu, but I believe Neal is the slam dunk here.
- New York Jets - Kayvon Thibodeaux - EDGE - Oregon
If Thibodeaux falls to the Jets they will likely be licking their lips. Thibodeaux is arguably the top overall talent in this draft and reminds me a lot of Khalil Mack. There are questions about his effort and his motor but this is the same guy who came back from an injury last season to contribute to Oregon when he could have easily shut it down for the season. This should be an easy pick for the Jets
- New York Giants - Ikem Ekwonu - OT - NC State
Ah another year, another mock, another Offensive Lineman for the GMen in the first round. I believe this will be the last hurrah of Daniel Jones, and Ekwonu can slide in on day 1 and start at Right Tackle opposite of Andrew Thomas. If the Tackle experiment doesn't work, Ekwonu could also easily transition to guard. That versatility will be too much for the Giants to walk past.
- Carolina Panthers - Kenny Pickett - QB - Pitt
Most have the Panthers scooping up Malik WIllis here as the number one QB off the board. If the Lions jump out in front I believe that Kenny Pickett becomes the selection. There is a lot to like about K-Pick. He is probably the safest QB in this class, although his ceiling may not reach as high as a few of his contemporaries. He reminds me of a young Tony Romo with his way to escape and make plays on the move. His arm is impressive, he can move, he should be a starter in year one in the NFL.
- New York Giants - Ahmad Gardner - CB - Cin
Prototypical corner who was absolutely lights out in college. Gardner has great athleticism and quick feet. He has the size and length to continue his dominance on the next level. He does his best work in man coverage and should be an ideal fit in the Giants defense. I don't want to get ahead of myself but Sauce has a little bit of Jalen Ramsey in him.
- Atlanta Falcons - Garrett Wilson - WR - OSU
The Falcons would ideally be looking to draft Matt Ryan's replacement here. Unfortunately this team has many holes and will likely be picking atop the 2023 draft which is loaded with Quarterback talent. Instead the Falcons begin to rebuild their decimated receiving group and select Garrett Wilson. Wilson is considered by many to be the best receiver prospect in the draft. He's not my number one, but it's hard not to see a little OBJ in him. He is an impressive route runner and incredibly fast. He is a little smaller, but has the skills to overcome any size deficiencies.
- Seattle Seahawks - Matt Corral - QB - Ole Miss
I don't think the Seahawks view Drew Lock as the long term answer for this team. Corral has a phenomenal deep ball, can fit the ball into tight spaces, and is more than a capable runner. With that being said he also isn't the most consistent on the short to intermediate routes and he's a smaller guy. But then again so was the previous Seattle QB.
- New York Jets - Drake London - WR - USC
The Jets have the opportunity in this draft to add arguably the best player on both sides of the ball. Drake London is a stud and should plug right into an NFL offense. He is a true alpha. Watching his tape all I could think of was Mike Evans. Not only is he a big body who will clean up on the 50/50 balls, but he is a sight to behold once the ball is in his hands. He is coming off of an ankle injury, but he's had plenty of time to recuperate and should be ready to go to start the season.
- Washington Commanders - Kyle Hamilton - S - ND
Hamilton is another prospect who is all over the place projections wise. Several have him going either 2 to the Lions or 3 to the Texans. He is arguably the most talented prospect in the draft but not without risks. Hamilton was noticeably slow in both his combine and pro day performances, but that's not what you see when you watch his film. If Hamilton is available here I strongly believe the Commanders go BPA.
- Minnesota Vikings - Travon Walker - EDGE - UGA
The Vikings have numerous holes on the defensive side of the ball. While Stingley will be tempting I believe the Travon Walker "slide" ends here. Some people have Travon going as high as #1 overall to the Jags and if you look at his athletic traits and measurables it's clear as day why. With that being said it didn't pop in college and although he came on strong down the stretch last season, there isn't the same on field production as some of the other Edge rushers in this draft. He may be best suited playing the interior in the NFL.
- Houston Texans - Derek Stingley Jr. - CB - LSU
The Texans already grabbed an offensive cornerstone with Neal, now they address the other side of the ball with Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley was an instant star, capturing First Team All American honors as a True Freshman for National Champion LSU. He has elite speed and ball skills and has as high of a ceiling as anyone in this draft. The main concern with Stingley is he has only suited up for ten games over the last two seasons and has flashed the way he did as a freshman. Everything is there for him to be successful.
- Baltimore Ravens - Trent McDuffie - CB - Wash
The Ravens have a few needs on the defensive side of the ball. They could very well look for a pass rusher here but I believe "Do it All" McDuffie will be their pick. McDuffie is a high IQ player who should be able to find a starting spot on this defense with his overall versatility. He can man the slot, hang on the outside, and stuff the run. He is a little undersized, but makes up for it with his elite intangibles. He was born to play for this organization.
- Philadelphia Eagles - Jameson Williams - WR - Bama
Death, Taxes, First Round Receivers for the Eagles. Jameson Williams is the perfect compliment to this Eagles receiving core. Having him on the outside with the ability to bust them TDs out on any given play will give them the perfect balance with Smith and Watkins. The ACL shouldn't be too much of a concern.
- New Orleans Saints - Chris Olave - WR - OSU
The Saints will focus the first of two first round picks on the WR position. Olave would be the perfect understudy to Micheal Thomas, who he has a previous relationship with via Ohio State. Olave flashes exceptional ball skills and top end speed. He will be a weapon Winston should be able to rely on early.
- Los Angeles Chargers - Jordan Davis - DT - UGA
After acquiring JC Jackson and Khalil Mack, the Chargers are clearly all in on the defensive side of the ball. Jordan Davis plugs their one glaring hole and is a match made in heaven at pick 17.
- Philadelphia Eagles - Jermaine Johnson II - EDGE - FSU
The Eagles will likely address the defensive side of the ball with their second pick. They could be looking for secondary help here, however, Johnson may present too much upside for the Eagles to pass up. Johnson's tape was some of my favorite I watched, and while he is still developing, he shows flashes of being a complete game wrecker.
- New Orleans Saints - Charles Cross - OT - Miss State
The Saints will be looking to bolster their line with their second pick and Charles Cross is a long, lean, powerful blocker who projects as a starting LT.
- Pittsburgh Steelers - Desmond Ridder - QB - Cin
The Steelers have interviewed every worthy Quarterback and while I think Mitchell Trubisky still has some upside, the Steelers would be wise to have a backup plan in place. Ridder was able to take Cincinnati all the way to the CFB playoff last season and shows excellent poise in the pocket and leadership abilities. He has good mechanics and great mobility.
- New England Patriots - Devin Lloyd - LB - Utah
Lloyd is a long, athletic lineback who has proven to be a good tackler with really good instincts. He has great range and should be able to thrive in Belichick’s defense. He's also a high character, leader type that tends to do well in New England.
- Green Bay Packers - Treylon Burks - WR - Ark
The Packers will FINALLY help Aaron Rodgers in the first as the departure of Adams leaves a hole in their WR room. The Packers love big alpha type WRs and Burks fits the profile perfectly. He is a big bodied target with excellent speed. He will need to work on bringing in contested catches at the next level.
- Arizona Cardinals - George Karlaftis - EDGE - Purdue
The Cardinals could go a number of different directions here but I think schematically Karlaftis is the perfect fit for Vance Joseph's defense. Karlaftis never seems to stop on his film. He has a huge motor and is very physical.
- Dallas Cowboys - Trevor Penning - OT - UNI
Dallas is likely praying to grab a WR here but I think the likely targets will be off the board. This decision will come down to BPA and will likely go to the offensive line. This could be Linderbaum at Center or Zion Johnson at Guard but I think they'll look to lock in Trevor Penning who should be a day one starter on the right side for Dallas. Penning has a nasty mean streak and could be a difference maker for dem boyz.
- Buffalo Bills - Andrew Booth Jr. - CB - Clemson
The Bills were one big defensive play away from putting away the Chiefs in the most exciting playoff game of the season. With Tre White slated to start the season on IR the Bills will look to add an outside corner. Andrew Booth Jr. from Clemson fits the bill as a ballhawk with good length.
- Tennessee Titans - Zion Johnson - G - BC
The Titans have massive holes on the O Line and Zion Johnson was a dominant force last season for BC. Johnson has some versatility as well and could ultimately be tried outside or even kicked inside to play some Center. His sweet spot is as a guard and I think that's where he is likely to start his NFL career.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Nakobe Dean - LB - UGA
The Bucs will be looking to add the best player available and it's hard to find a better value than Dean at this stage in the draft. While he may lack in size, Dean was an absolute force for National Championship winning Georgia and should plug right in with Tampa's D.
- Green Bay Packers - Boye Mafe - EDGE - Min
If the Packers miss out on WR with their first pick Jahan Dotson could be a target here. In this draft they've already locked down Jameson Williams so we're going with Boye Mafe, arguably the highest ceiling Edge rusher in the draft. Mafe is a prospect who will need some extra coaching on his intangibles, but he is an absolutely explosive athlete with enormous upside.
- Kansas City Chiefs - Devonte Wyatt - DT - UGA
The Chiefs have the luxury of back to back picks in this round and have two picks in each of the first four rounds. I think they will focus these early picks on the defensive side of the ball. Devonte Wyatt is arguably the BPA, and they don't have a need for Linderbaum with Creed Humphrey locked in. Wyatt is an all out athlete and has an excellent mix of speed and power He has a twitchiness about him that allows him to shake blocks. The ability to learn behind Chris Jones for a year is the icing on the cake.
- Kansas City Chiefs - David Ojabo - EDGE - UGA
Continuing their future pacing moves I believe the Chiefs hold off on the WR pick here and roll the dice on David Ojabo. If not for a torn achilles Ojabo likely would have been gone in the top 10 picks. He may miss some time going into the season, but Andy Reid is here for a long time, not just a good time and this is the type of move that will pay dividends down the road.
- Cincinnati Bengals Tyler Linderbaum - C - Iowa
In a perfect world Linderbaum would be long gone. Unfortunately for him the Center market just isn't a top priority for most teams. Lucky for him, Super Bowl runners up Cincinnati could certainly use his services. The Bengals had a glaring weakness with their line play and still made it to the big game last season. After adding La'el Collins in the offseason, Lindebraum should be the pick and slide in as the day one starter. If you haven't watched his tape, do it. He is an absolute monster.
- Detroit Lions - Lewis Cine - S - UGA
We went crazy and selected Malik Willis with pick number 2 for the Lions. They still have a glaring need in their secondary and Lewis Cine is an absolute thumper. He will be exactly the kind of guy Dan Campbell can mold from day one and while he will need some development, should slot in early and often in that secondary.
As with any mock draft or article I’m sure there will be several different opinions out there. Nobody will get all 32 of these right, and that’s the most wonderful part of draft night. So as this group of young men get ready to hear their names get called on draft night, and I get ready to crack a few cold ones at the Truth Serum Draft Mixer, let’s remember to enjoy the ride, and most of all to have fun. Rip me to shreds in the comments, or sing my praises, either way, give me ALL that engagement - and most importantly, as always, Stay True.