By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
NFL fans, by now you’ve probably read 2,457 mock drafts. So what’s one more? While it’s a virtual lock that Trevor Lawrence will go No. 1, the rest of this year’s draft promises to have lots of intrigue and surprises. Here’s how I see Round 1 playing out. And remember, ESPN Honolulu’s draft coverage begins tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. And after the first round is done, stay tuned for a special “Sports Animals” show!
ROUND 1 FORECAST:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: TREVOR LAWRENCE, QB. Oh, Gardner Minshew, we hardly knew ye.
2. New York Jets: ZACH WILSON, QB. The Jets’ quest for a franchise QB finally pays off. Maybe.
3. San Francisco 49ers: MAC JONES, QB. Part of me still thinks, “Why trade up so high to get Mac Jones?”
4. Atlanta Falcons: KYLE PITTS, TE. If the Falcons really intend to trade Julio Jones, they’re gonna need another weapon.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: PENEI SEWELL, OT. He’s got one job: Keep Joe Burrow intact.
6. Miami Dolphins: JA’MARR CHASE, WR. A weapon for Tua.
7. New England Patriots (via Trade): TREY LANCE, QB. The Pats pull off a shrewd move to land their QB of the future…or present.
8. Carolina Panthers: RASHAWN SLATER, OT. Carolina shores up their trenches with this can’t-miss prospect.
9. Denver Broncos: JUSTIN FIELDS. The Drew Lock experiment is over.
10. Dallas Cowboys: PATRICK SURTAIN II, CB. The first defensive player comes off the board, and the ‘Boys land the best corner in the draft.
11. New York Giants. MICAH PARSONS, LB. Has character questions, but his talent is undeniable.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: JAYLEN WADDLE, WR. Jalen Hurts may or may not be the answer at QB, but the Eagles need to give him every chance to succeed.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: CHRISTIAN DARRISAW, OT. Just like the Bengals, the Chargers bring in a big body to protect their franchise signal caller.
14. Minnesota Vikings: KWITY PAYE, EDGE. The Vikings fill a need by selecting the draft’s best edge rusher.
15. Detroit Lions (via Trade): DEVONTA SMITH, WR. After trading back, the Lions are still able to pick up a receiver with big-play potential.
16. Arizona Cardinals: JAYCEE HORN. The Cards have several needs on defense, and adding perhaps the best cover CB in the draft would be good start.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH, LB. The Raiders pick up a versatile playmaker to bolster their maligned defense.
18. Miami Dolphins: NAJEE HARRIS, RB. Tua’s former Crimson Tide teammate can do it all and would be an immediate upgrade at the RB position.
19. Washington Football Team: ZAVEN COLLINS, LB. At 6’6, 260 lbs., Collins is a heavy hitter with lots of athleticism.
20. Chicago Bears: ALIJAH VERA-TUCKER, G. Big body can play inside or outside.
21. Indianapolis Colts: JAELEN PHILLIPS, EDGE. The Colts add some oomph to their pass rush.
22. Tennessee Titans: TREVON MOEHRIG. The Titans land the draft’s best safety.
23. New York Jets: AZEEZ OJULARI, DE. Here’s a pivotal piece for new Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: TRAVIS ETIENNE, RB. With James Conner now in Arizona, the Steelers bring in Le’Veon Bell 2.0.
25. Las Vegas Raiders: TEVEN JENKINS, OT. The Raiders send a bevy of picks to Jacksonville for a chance to grab the surly Jenkins and fill their hole at right tackle.
26. Cleveland Browns: GREGORY ROUSSEAU, EDGE. Although he has a small sample size – Rousseau had one outstanding season with the Miami Hurricanes – it could be enough for the resurgent Browns to take a chance on this feast-or-famine prospect.
27. Baltimore Ravens: KADARIUS TONEY, WR. The Ravens find a capable replacement for John Brown, who they released earlier this year.
28. New Orleans Saints: CALEB FARLEY, CB. Yes, he has injury issues, but the Saints need a corner.
29. Green Bay Packers: GREG NEWSOME II, CB. The Pack solidifies their defense with this rising prospect.
30. Buffalo Bills: ASANTE SAMUEL, CB. The run on cornerbacks continues.
31. Baltimore Ravens: SAM COSMI, OT. Although most scouts give Cosmi a second-round grade, he fills a need and can be counted on to help Lamar Jackson.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CHRISTIAN BARMORE, DT. The Super Bowl champs add some depth to their defensive line. Barmore’s stock is said to be dropping, but he’s worth taking a shot here.
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