Greetings, Raider Nation! Raiderdamus the Great and Powerful has returned to you today, with much uncertainty on the horizon. The Draft is right around the corner, and nobody knows who is going where, and what the fortunes of all these teams might be. Which teams will grab new quarterbacks? Which ones will improve their pass rush, or secondary?
Well I’m here to tell you. While the Great Raiderdamus will not be predicting trades in this mock, I can tell you what teams should draft which players if they were all as smart as I am. Which they are not. So they will probably do something foolish.
“The New York Jets select... fullback”
And away we go.
1. Arizona Cardinals- Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Whenever a team hires a new coaching regime, the first thing they do is go get a new quarterback. That’s one of the reasons people keep thinking Jon Gruden will move on from Derek Carr. But the Cards actually will move on from Josh Rosen, who is nothing special. Murray is special, and can help the Cardinals compete in a very tough division.
2. San Francisco 49ers- Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
The 49ers met with Quinnen Williams at an IHOP this week. They’ve shown plenty of interest in him. Don’t buy it. They already have two fine DTs in DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, but Solomon Thomas hasn’t amounted to much. Bosa will be the edge rushing counterpart to Dee Ford.
3. New York Jets- Quinnen Williams, DT. Alabama
The Jets actually might have something going on here, landing Leveon Bell and CJ Mosley in free agency. They could use a solid DT to pair with Leonard Williams, and Quinnen here might be the best overall prospect in the draft. They can address their WR issues later on.
4. Oakland Raiders- Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Jackpot. If there’s one player in this draft who resembles former Raider edge rusher Khalil Mack, it’s Josh Allen, who wrecked games single-handedly for Kentucky just like Mack did for Buffalo. Oakland’s biggest need is edge rusher and they land potentially the best one in the draft right here.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Devin White, LB, LSU
The Bucs just lost Kwon Alexander to the 49ers, and even if they hadn’t, this pick makes sense. White is a hyper-athletic, fluid linebacker, and a supreme playmaker. He’s exactly what a young team like Tampa Bay needs. He has boom or bust potential, so he’ll either be awful or he’ll turn into Derrick Brooks.
6. New York Giants- Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St.
A week or so ago, reports came out that the Giants didn’t like Haskins and hadn’t done much work on him. Anyone with a brain knew that was garbage, and newer reports have come out saying how much the Giants love Haskins. The Giants and Dave Gettleman are total idiots, but they won’t mess this up.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Jags’ defense isn’t a big problem, but their offense is. With Nick Foles under center, the Jags can actually run a normal offense, but they’ll need to protect Foles like the Eagles did. Taylor is the best OT available.
8. Detroit Lions- Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Detroit is sure to lose pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah to free agency, and they don’t have much on the edge behind him. Gary makes sense as a local kid with tremendous physical talents. Matt Patricia may be able to turn him into something.
9. Buffalo Bills- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
The Bills have a really underrated defense, but they could use more interior pressure after the retirement of Kyle Williams. Oliver here is as obvious a pick as it gets.
10. Denver Broncos- Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
John Elway doesn’t consider Joe Flacco a stop-gap quarterback, showing that John Elway thinks we are all stupid. He absolutely has to take his QB of the future here, or when Flacco goes down with a ruptured tailbone in Week 4, the Broncos’ season will be over. Lock has a big arm and was impressive at the Senior Bowl. He’s a great fit for Denver, sadly enough.
11. Cincinnati Bengals- DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Go look at Cincinnati’s depth chart. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Do you see a lot of holes there? I don’t. They have talent everywhere. Maybe with some decent coaching, they’ll make some noise. In any case, the Bengals always favor athletic specimens, and Metcalf is as specimen-y as it gets. He can bookend with AJ Green at receiver and be a fine combo, even with Metcalf’s limited route tree.
12. Green Bay Packers- Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Miss. St.
Sweat has fallen far enough. Even with his heart condition, he’s too big and too good to stil be on the board. The Packers have put some money into their pass rush this year, but they could stand to add more against the three other very good quarterbacks in their division. If the Packers don’t want Sweat, someone will trade up for him.
13. Miami Dolphins- Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Dolphins have been mocked to take a quarterback forever, but they are clearly tanking for the 2020 class with their eye on Tua Tagovailoa. Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake are out of town now, so the Dolphins need something at edge rusher.
14. Atlanta Falcons- Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The Falcons tagged Grady Jarrett, and the prospect of pairing him with Wilkins is incredibly enticing. Atlanta already has a tremendous roster, but must stay healthy.
15. Washington Indigenous Persons- Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
The Persons paid Alex Smith eleventy billion dollars to run around and throw to nobody and break his ankle. They should do what sensible teams do and get a QB on a rookie deal. They have plenty of needs on offense, but this is the most important.
16. Carolina Panthers- Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida St.
Carolina has a ton of needs all over the field, and the whole team basically collapsed last year after relying on Cam Newton’s heroics until his brain got splattered all over the field. But pass rusher is a good place to start, and Burns is a physically impressive one with a good mind for the game.
17. New York Giants- Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Giants play in a division with three very good offensive lines. They don’t have a lot of pass rushing, but nobody is good value here. They also don’t have much at defensive tackle, and Lawrence is value here. He’s fallen down draft boards after missing the National Championship game after failing a drug test, probably for some weird Chinese weiner pills or something.
18. Minnesota Vikings- Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Dillard is, without question, my favorite offensive player in this draft. He’s everything you look for at offensive tackle- size, speed, footwork, mean streak. The total package. The Vikings have a terrible line and if they don’t want to get Kirk Cousins killed, they won’t pass on Dillard here.
19. Tennessee Titans- AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Titans are a funny team, they like to play Big Ten football and pound you into the dirt with their running game and defense. However, in the NFL that only works if you’re not facing 9-man boxes on every first down. AJ Brown is a bona fide #1 WR who is getting lost in the shuffle after what his teammate, DK Metcalf, did at the Combine. Brown is better.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Pittsburgh is a team in disarray after losing its top two offensive players, but true to form they will be stubborn and get a linebacker because they’re the Steelers. Bush is a perfect fit for them. Ben Roethlisberger will be ecstatic to have acquired Bush.
21. Seattle Seahawks- Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
I’ll be honest here, the likelihood that Seattle makes this pick and doesn’t trade down is practically zero. They have very few draft picks and plenty of holes to fill. But someone will trade up, and Fant is a likely target as the first of the three star tight ends off the board.
22. Baltimore Ravens- N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Ravens have lost a ton over this free agency period and done very little outside of signing Mark Ingram. They have NOTHING at wide receiver. Harry is a big target with sure hands who will be Lamar Jackson’s new best friend.
23. Houston Texans- Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Houston just spent a bunch of money on its offensive line, but their skill position players are severely lacking. Brown could be a dangerous threat opposite DeAndre Hopkins.
24. Oakland Raiders- TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
I did not by any stretch of the imagination rig this mock for the Raiders, because what would be the point? There are just too many talented players here and somebody is going to fall through the cracks. For Oakland, that’s Hockenson, and he instantly solves the problem created by the loss of Jared Cook.
25. Philadelphia Eagles- Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Jay Ajayi is a free agent coming off knee surgery and the Eagles are paper-thin at running back behind him. Jacobs makes total sense here, and can share the backfield with Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement.
26. Indianapolis Colts- Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
The Colts are already a playoff team with few holes. When Peyton Manning was at his best he had two top WR targets. Why not give Andrew Luck the same, taking Butler to go with TY Hilton?
27. Oakland Raiders- Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
It seems odd for the first cornerback to go off the board here, but that’s what I’ve got. Murphy was very likely the best defensive player in the Pac-12 last year and should give Oakland an amazing pair of bookend corners.
28. Los Angeles Chargers- Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Another corner goes here, as the Chargers bring in Williams to replace the departed Jason Verrett. Los Angeles doesn’t have a ton of needs and the WRs aren’t good value here. Williams is.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida
The Chiefs are in full destructo-mode after switching to a 4-3 defense, losing their two best pass rushers. Polite will fit in just fine as their new Dee Ford, playing DE/OLB in the ketchup and mustard.
30. Green Bay Packers- Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
The Packers have Devante Adams but not much else as weapons for A. A. Ron Rodgers. They do have Jimmy Graham at tight end, but his best days are way behind him. They take Smith here to give some hope for the future at the tight end spot.
31. Los Angeles Rams- Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
LA went to the Super Bowl and lost, and their offensive line is kind of a mess. Defensively and at the skill spots they are fine, but Ford will give them some versatility on the left side of the line and possibly replace Andrew Whitworth down the line.
32. New England Patriots- Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St.
Risner can play all over the line, and the Patriots just lost a big cog in their machine with Trent Brown leaving for Oakland. Isaiah Wynn could slide into the LT spot, but that just makes another hole. Risner can play all over the line and just seems like a Patriot to me.
So there’s the first round, as I see it. There will be a ton of good players left for the second round, as I don’t have DeAndre Baker or Zach Allen or Jaylon Ferguson going in the first round of this mock. The Raiders absolutely made out like bandits, as I suspect they will do in real life as well.