Nason’s Mock Draft 2.0: Post National Championship (2-Round Mock)

With 28 of the 32 teams officially out and locked into their draft slot and the college football season wrapped up, it’s time for the 1st really big mock draft where I actually do some work of the season! Below I have a full 2 round mock, 1st round analysis, my top 5 players per position, and my teams most likely to be making trades.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

This is one of those years where there really is no debate on who the number 1 pick should and will be. Joe Burrow has the size (6’4, 216), arm, mobility, accuracy, Heisman, and he’s the hometown kid for the Bengals, since he played football at local Athens High School in Ohio and attended Ohio State before transferring to LSU. The Bengals need a quarterback and Joe Burrow is the best in this class. There is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t take him.

2. Washington Redskins: DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Washington had a lot of things go wrong this year, but some major things went right for them. First off, after struggling in limited action, Dwayne Haskins showed signs at the end of the season of being their quarterback of the future. 2nd, they hired Ron Rivera to be their new head coach and fired President Bruce Allen. Third, they saw promising play from some other young players including Derrius Guice, Terry McClaurin, and Montez Sweat, and finally, they landed the number 2 pick in this draft, and thus the right to draft the best player, Chase Young. Adding Young to pair with Sweat on the edges gives Washington a young, potentially all pro pass rush for the near future. Skill players are needed, but more talent is crucial, so taking the best player available is the call.

3. Detroit Lions: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

With teams like the Dolphins and Chargers needing a QB and Tua Tagovailoa available, I have no doubt in my mind that Detroit will trade down from this spot so a team can get the talented Alabama signal caller, especially since the Giants have a reputation for not trading down. If Detroit does stay at 3, Okudah is an easy pick in my opinion. Okudah is the best cornerback prospect since Jalen Ramsey and would give Detroit a dominant defensive backfield combo with him and Darius Slay.

4. New York Giants: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

I have been mocking Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy here for a while for 2 reasons, one being I think he is the best receiver in this draft, and two being I think Daniel Jones needs an additional weapon to throw to. But Dave Gettleman is still the General Manager in New York, and he likes big, strong linemen, so I will give the Giants Wills, who is a monstrous pass protector who can go opposite Nate Solder (or take over for him) and give the Giants a young building block on the offensive line to grow with Jones.

5. Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Miami needs a quarterback, and Tua, although I think he is seriously overhyped, is still possibly the most talented in this class. The biggest concern is injury history, and Tua has dealt with a lot, from the ankle issue that hindered him in the LSU game to the dislocated hip that ended his season. The good news for Miami is that it sounds like Ryan Fitzmagic wants to come back and can keep Tua on the bench long enough for him to be 100% before taking over. In all likelihood, Miami will need to jump up to 3 to snag him.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

The Chargers are in desperate need of a quarterback, as Phillip Rivers is too turnover prone and is probably out as the starter in general. If they jump up to get Tua, I wouldn’t be surprised, but for the sake of the mock, we have to assume they stay at 6, and with Joe Burrow and Tua off the board, they need to decide if the next best quarterback, Justin Herbert, is worth the pick at 6. In my opinion, for a team that can win now, he is not, so they will address the offensive tackle spot, which is their biggest need, and they can address the QB position in free agency. Thomas has franchise tackle potential and is a great run blocker. He can fill in at left tackle from day 1.

7. Carolina Panthers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Carolina hired Baylor coach Matt Rhule to a 7-year deal, implying that they are going to give him time to do what he does: build programs. With Cam Newton likely on his way out via trade, the rebuild in Carolina will need a new signal caller. Herbert, who has the arm, size, and character that scouts dream about, makes sense here. Herbert isn’t always pretty, but in the right system he could develop into a very talented quarterback and having Christian McCaffrey behind you will always help with development.

8. Arizona Cardinals: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

This is one of the most popular picks you’ll see in any mock draft out there. Pairing the explosive Lamb with his former college quarterback Kyler Murray makes all the sense in the world, especially since Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald is likely to retire, and even if he stays on one more year, they will need a weapon for the future. Offensive line is a major need here, but this combo of Lamb and Murray will be too enticing for Arizona to pass up.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Jerry Jeudy is my number 1 receiver in this draft class, and one of the best prospects I’ve seen at the position in a while. The only reason he is the 2nd pass catcher off the board is the Kyler/CeeDee reunion in Arizona. Jeudy will give the Jags a dangerous playmaker opposite DJ Chark and will help whoever is throwing the ball in Jacksonville, whether it be Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles. Wideout isnt the top need in Jacksonville, but when a talent like Jeudy drops to 9, you don’t let him get out of the top 10.

10. Cleveland Browns: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Offensive line is a big need for the Browns, and at 10 Tristan Wirfs is a very strong possibility, and would be a great pick, but when you play in the AFC North and have to face Lamar Jackson twice a season, you need guys who can help you stop him. Isaiah Simmons is a swiss army knife at linebacker, having moved there from safety at Clemson, and can chase Jackson down from anywhere on the field. The Butkus Award winner has lined up at basically every position for the Tigers aside for defensive tackle and would be a Rockstar in Cleveland. Also, Joe Schoebert is a free agent and coming off a great season, soalways good to make sure you have a replacement in case he leaves.

11. New York Jets: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

This is an easy pick. This Jets desperately need to improve their offensive line to protect Sam Darnold and open up holes for Le’Veon Bell, and Wirfs is a day 1 starter, whether that is at right tackle or a guard (will depend on his measurements).

12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

When Ruggs runs in the low 4.2’s at the combine, this pick will look like an absolute steal. Unlike former speedy 1st round WR’s such as John Ross, Ruggs has been durable and seriously improved as a pass catcher this year at Alabama. This kid reminds me of Tyreek Hill and will give the Raiders the deep threat Antonio Brown was supposed to be for them.

13. Indianapolis Colts: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

TY Hilton is really the only pass catching weapon in Indianapolis, and he has been injury prone, so the Colts should address this and get a tall, talent receiver opposite him in Higgins. Quarterback is a major need for the Colts, but with Jacoby Brissett being a stable option for now and all the top talents off the board, the smart pick is Higgins.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

This may go down as the steal of the draft if this happens, as Brown is a top 5 talent in this class, but he falls in my mock due to positional value. Tampa has needs at quarterback and running back, but with no players worth the 14th pick here, they should focus on adding the best defensive talent they have.

15. Denver Broncos: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Offensive tackle and wide receiver are big needs for Denver, who will have a young Drew Lock taking over as the full-timequarterback next season, but based on the value of the pick here, Kinlaw is the best value for John Elway. The Broncos have most of their interior defensive line hitting free agency, and other needs to fill in the backfield, so Kinlaw can come in and make an immediate impact as a rookie and allow Denver to spend money on corners in free agency.

16. Atlanta Falcons: DE AJ Epenesa, Iowa

Dan Quinn is a defensive guy, and the defense in Atlanta needs an upgrade. Epenesa is a big guy who dominated for 2 years at Iowa and can play inside or outside in a 4-3 defense, so he gives the Falcons some versatility. He will be a huge boost for the Falcons pass rush.

17. Dallas Cowboys: S Grant Delpit, LSU

The Cowboys have about 26 free agents about to hit the market, including QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper, and CB Byron Jones. With those 3 being a top priority for Dallas, it’s hard to sign the other 23, who include 3 of their safeties, Jeff Heath, Kavon Frazier, and Darian Thompson. Grant provides aimmediate upgrade on a fresh contract, great coverage and the ability to play in the box. His play dropped off a bit from 2018 to 2019, and that is wonderful news for Dallas as he falls to them.

18. Miami Dolphins (Via Pittsburgh Steelers): DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

I have seen people mock running backs and offensive linemen here, but with no players worth the value of the 18th pick here at either position, drafting the best talent at a premium position is the best move for Miami. Chaisson is a talented pass rusher who should give Brian Flores’s defense an immediate upgrade.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (Via Chicago Bears): CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

If the draft shakes out like this, the Raiders should be very happy with a 1st round haul of Ruggs and Fulton, 2 of the best players at major positions of need for Jon Gruden and Mike Maylock. Fulton is a physical player who I think can be an absolute stud in the NFL. He was outshined a bit by freshmen Derek Stingley Jr this season, but make no mistake, this kid can play.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via Los Angeles Rams): CB CJ Henderson, Florida

After trading away Jalen Ramsey, they Jags will use their second 1st rounder on his replacement. Already familiar with Florida, Henderson is fantastic in man coverage, and has great size for the position. If he fills out his body and gets a bit stronger, he can develop into a top defensive back.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado

This is simple, the Eagles literally had no receivers at the end of the season, they need more. Shenault brings size and speed to an offense that desperately needs it.

22. Buffalo Bills: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

Buffalo did well this year considering their top receivers stand under 5’11. Jefferson is 6’3 and will give Josh Allen a bigger option and should accelerate his development. Plus, did you see Jefferson against Oklahoma? He is simply uncoverable.

23. New England Patriots: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame

I hadn’t watched any of Kmet’s highlights until this past week because he had previously said he was returning to school, but he has decided to declare and I declare that he must become a Patriot. He has great size (6’5, 250), catches with his hands rather than his body, blocks, and can run. I’d even dare to say he reminds me of a certain Monster Energy chugging super model dating football spiking former Patriot. Yes, this is the new Gronk.

24. New Orleans Saints: WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State

I will admit I did not come up with this pick on my own. I heard it on another podcast, and the reasoning stuck with me. First off, behind Michael Thomas the Saints did not have a consistent number 2 receiver, so they need to address that. Second, Hamler is a small, fast wideout who can make things happen with the ball, just like former Saint Brandin Cooks. Cooks worked great in New Orleans offense, and Hamler could slide right into that role.

25. Minnesota Vikings: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Minnesota’s corners struggled this year, especially with Xavier Rhodes looking like he simply can’t keep up with wideouts anymore. The Vikings need depth and speed, and Diggs, the Alabama speedster, can solve that for them.

26. Miami Dolphins (Via Houston Texans)OL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

A running back or reaching for a tackle here is tempting, but when you’re a young team who will be bringing in a young quarterback, a talented center is a must have. Biadasz is the best interior player in this draft class and will give the Dolphins something to build their offensive line around.

27. Seattle SeahawksDE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

Seattle plays in a division with Jimmy G, Jared Goff, and Kyler Murray, so adding to their pass rush must be a priority, especially to help their defensive backfield. Gross-Matos is a high upside pass rusher who has the raw talent to develop into a double-digit sack artist in the NFL.

28. Baltimore RavensDE Terrell Lewis, Alabama

Baltimore will likely lose Matthew Judon to free agency after his great season and will need to reload on the front seven. Lewis has ideal size and strength to become a solid pass rusher in the NFL, although there are injury concerns.

29. Tennessee TitansDE Curtis Weaver, Boise State

Tennessee could use another pass rusher opposite Harold Landry, and while I think this may be a bit high for Weaver, who was highly productive in college but may not test off the charts, the lack of pass rushers in this class pushes him up the board.

30. Green Bay PackersLB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons badly, but with the depth at receiver in this class, the Packers can make an upgrade at linebacker first here. Murray is an extremely athletic, sideline to sideline backer who will add range to their defense.

31. Kansas City ChiefsCB Jeff Gladney, TCU

The KC defensive backfield was an issue for them last year, and it was subpar again this season, so it needs an upgrade. Gladney brings good size and athleticism to the position and tackles very well. If his ball skills improve, he can make a huge impact for the Chiefs.

32. San Francisco 49ersS Xavier McKinney, Alabama

San Francisco has so few picks in this draft that it is laughable, so they are highly unlikely to select here, and will likely trade back to acquire more mid round picks. If they do stay, McKinney fills an immediate need at safety. Arguably, he was better than Grant Delpit this season, so that’s not a bad get for the end of the 1st round.

2nd Round

33. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Austin Jackson, USC
34. Indianapolis Colts (Via Washington Redskins): QB Jordan Love, Utah State
35. Detroit Lions: OT Josh Jones, Houston
36. New York Giants: DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
37. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Jacob Eason, Washington
38. Carolina Panthers: CB AJ Terrell, Clemson
39. Miami Dolphins: RB JK Dobbins, Ohio State
40. Arizona Cardinals: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
41. Cleveland Browns: OT Trey Adams, Washington
42. Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
43. Chicago Bears (Via Las Vegas Raiders): QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
44. Indianapolis Colts: DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama
45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
46. Denver Broncos: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
47. Atlanta Falcons: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
48. New York Jets: WR Gabriel Davis, UCF
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: TE Bryce Hopkins, Purdue
50. Chicago Bears: TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
51. Dallas Cowboys: CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
52. Los Angeles Rams: OL Nick Harris, Washington
53. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
54. Buffalo Bills: DE Zach Baun, Wisconsin
55. Atlanta Falcons (Via New England Patriots): DL Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
56. Miami Dolphins (Via New Orleans Saints): OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
57. Houston Texans: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
58. Minnesota Vikings: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
59. Seattle Seahawks: S Ashtyn Davis, California
60. Baltimore Ravens: WR Michael Pittman Jr, USC
61. Tennessee Titans: OL John Simpson, Clemson
62. Green Bay Packers: WR Donavan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
63. Kansas City Chiefs: OL Shane Lemieux, Oregon
64. Seattle Seahawks (Via San Francisco 49ers): OL Solomon Kindley, Georgia

Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
1. Joe Burrow, LSU
2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
3. Justin Herbert, Oregon
4. Jacob Eason, Washington
5. Jake Fromm, Georgia

Running Backs
1. JK Dobbins, Ohio State
2. De’Andre Swift, Georgia
3. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
4. Travis Etienne, Clemson
5. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Wide Receivers
1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
3. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
4. Tee Higgins, Clemson
5. LaViska Shenault Jr, Colorado

Tight Ends
1. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
2. Hunter Bryant, Washington
3. Bryce Hopkins, Purdue
4. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt
5. Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic

Offensive Tackles
1. Jedrick Wills, Alabama
2. Andrew Thomas, Georgia
3. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
4. Austin Jackson, USC
5. Josh Jones, Houston

Interior Offensive Linemen
1. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
2. John Simpson, Clemson
3. Nick Harris, Washington
4. Shane Lemieux, Oregon
5. Solomon Kindley, Georgia

Edge Rushers
1. Chase Young, Ohio State
2. AJ Epenesa, Iowa
3. K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
4. Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
5. Curtis Weaver, Boise State

Defensive Linemen
1. Derrick Brown, Auburn
2. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
3. Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
4. Raekwon Davis, Alabama
5. Justin Madabuike, Texas A&M

Linebackers
1. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
2. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
3. Malik Harrison, Ohio State
4. Monty Rice, Georgia
5. Troy Dye, Oregon

Cornerbacks
1. Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
2. Kristian Fulton, LSU
3. CJ Henderson, Florida
4. Jeff Gladney, TCU
5. Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Safeties
1. Grant Delpit, LSU
2. Xavier McKinney, Alabama
3. Ashtyn Davis, California
4. Julian Blackmon, Utah
5. Antoine Winfield Jr, Minnesota

Photo: (John Bazemore – AP Photo)

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