Oh ye Gods, it had to happen. A First Round mockery. Run for your lives.
Here are my rules for mocking the First Round:
Normally, I would pick only to the best available to the highest needs for MY Tampa Bay Bucs team. The rest can all draft Punters for all I care. Except that A) There's not 31 Punters really available for this draft and B) Some of these teams have multiple picks this round, meaning they won't double up like that.
So this means, yeah, I gotta be serious about mocking to their needs.
One of the craziest things about this year is the number of teams who have already traded out of the First Round. I think it's like eight teams are going to sleep through Thursday night – unless they have a trade package to sneak back in – and it means eight teams are going to be able to indulge in BPA moves rather than need moves. Meaning some teams – especially Houston – can draft however they like and throw the entire board into chaos.
Listing is by City and Team, then by what the team's Needs are, then the player picked. Any rationale I give will be monstrous and blasphemous.
Barring any further trades – which history tells us, at least ONE trade will take place during Draft Night itself – this is what the board should look like IMHO:
Needs: A smarter owner who should have learned by now the GM is for sh-t.
Drafting first overall again is a bad sign for a franchise, that they're so deep into Rebuild mode that they might never get out of it. A new head coach after the disaster of the Urban Meyer debacle might help drag the Jaguars out of that pit, but it depends a lot on which positions of need they address. With serious issues with both Offensive and Defensive lines, either an OT or DE/DT would work, and the scouting is all pointing at one guy to be top overall to fit one of those gaps.
PICK: Aidan Hutchinson, DE/OLB, Michigan
Needs: Mercy from the Gods of Football.
When was the last time the Lions where actually a winning team, over .500 for a season? I honestly cannot recall. That is how long they've been wandering in the wilderness. This is a team with a lot of gaps at a lot of positions, but it's a team that played hard for their new coach when they didn't have to, and there is a small core of talent to build upon. The glamour pick would likely be for Quarterback, especially as Jared Goff is viewed skeptically as a franchise guy (Rams traded him away and won a Super Bowl without him), but the Lions have such serious needs elsewhere that they can delay making that choice and try to build the team another way.
PICK: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/OLB, Oregon
Needs: Seriously, every scout report I read says "Everything."
The Texans are a disaster of a franchise from the ownership on down, mismanaged and jinxed in ways that would make a jaded Bucs fan like myself cringe in horror. Thing is, the "everything" gag is a bit of an exaggeration, Houston does have some decent talent to work with, especially the surprising development of QB Mills in his rookie year. Giving him more help with a stronger OL would help a lot. Having extra picks in the First Round will help fill the other top needs as well.
PICK: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi St.
4) New York Jets
Needs: To build an owner-funded stadium in Manhattan like they're supposed to and escape New Jersey so that the good vibes come back
What can be said about a franchise that has known more failure than success in the past 25-30 years? At some point, they'll find a GM who's smart enough to realize how to build a team relies on fixing your offensive and defensive fronts and getting your marquee players to rise after the foundation's done. So of course the Jets are gonna draft someone other than a lineman here.
PICK: Derek Stingly Jr, CB, LSU
5) New York Giants
Needs: To change their names to New Jersey Giants and embrace the beauty that is Newark. Ha, I kid, still they need to suffer a bit more
Giants are still rebuilding from the decline and fall of the Eli Manning era, in dire need to give their offense the chances to score more with a QB in Daniel Jones whose fate is still in flux. Fixing that unstable O-Line should provide immediate returns.
PICK: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Needs: I hate them. Let them die...
The Panthers traded for a QB in Sam Darnold who showed three weeks of the play that made him a First Round pick for the Jets and then fell apart with the play that made the Jets trade him. They then tried re-signing their aging superstar Cam Newton back in hopes of an emotional boost, and he was only good for one game there. Carolina's got a lot of needs across the board - OL in particular - but they're not going to avoid the allure of drafting a new franchise QB. Question is, this year the QB talent is questionable itself: There is no sure-fire guaranteed number one guy to carry your banner for the next 15 years. This pick could go either way, but I'll go with a hometown hero who's shown a similar playing style to Cam.
PICK: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
7) New York Giants (from Chicago)
Needs: To draft somebody who won't drive the Five Points Vids Guy (follow him on YouTube) over the cliffs of insanity
Hey didn't they draft already? This is how crazy this year's draft will be, some teams with multiple picks are going to get them bunched together like this, meaning they can indulge with a marquee (yet high-risk) guy with the first pick and then make the more sensible pick later. Having worked on their OL priority, the Giants can now take care of the defensive front need, and get an edge rusher type to get that lagging defense up to speed.
PICK: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
Needs: For everyone to take amnesia pills and forget what happened in that Super Bowl game against Brady's Patriots
Falcons are yet again in rebuild mode, having not finished last year's attempt and yet trading away their QB Matt Ryan to the Colts meaning a fresh start all over again. While they have a veteran QB in Mariota, there is a temptation for Atlanta to draft a rookie to be their franchise guy... yet is there one they can trust in this year's draft? Most scouts would argue they need help with their defense, so getting a great talent here might help. I get the feeling they need secondary more than front-line help, though...
PICK: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
9) Seattle (from Denver)
Needs: To let go of their love for Russell Wilson, let it go... LET IT GOOOOOO...
Trading Russ to Denver for this First Rounder pretty much means the Seahawks are in rebuild mode. So they'll look for the next-best QB that fits their offensive scheme... and I have no idea who that is so I'll give them the high-risk guy from a small college instead.
PICK: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
10) New York Jets (from Seattle)
Needs: Safer padding on the butts to avoid future fumbles
Here's PICK NUMBER TWO for the Jets franchise, and having taken care of defensive help it usually makes sense to take care of offensive needs. Between a dinged-up Offensive Line and a Wide Receiver corps lacking in talent, the sensible pick would be the OL. But the temptation to get a splash player will be too much. WR hasn't gone yet, so getting the best available would be the clincher.
PICK: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Needs: To have their corrupt owner dragged off in handcuffs and the team placed in publicly-owned receivership
Is there a more hated franchise in the NFL? While a number of teams have corrupt owners, and bad owners, and just bad vibes, these No-Namers, oh I'm sorry these Commanders (Commies? Commodes? Take your pick) have all three, making them the villainous Heel in this wrestling match we call pro football. This is a team that has good players at key positions but still struggling to find a franchise playcaller to rally to. Drafting a QB - even in this low-value draft pool - looks like the only move the No-Namers can make.
PICK: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Needs: To blast Prince's cover version of "Immigrant Song" every chance they get.
The Vikings are all in on Kirk Cousins as their QB, in spite of him not being the 5-star savior they need, yet replacing him this year not a smart move anyway. Team has serious issues on defense, especially their secondary, but getting a pass-rusher to cover for the injury woes they've had there last season would be higher priority.
PICK: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
13) Houston (from Cleveland)
Needs: To reduce their home ticket prices to $5 a seat and pray the fans go for it.
Say hello to Houston's second pick of the round and another chance to fill the "everything" gap need on their roster. They took care of OL help to protect their QB, now they need to help fix their defense. Their secondary was kind of woeful last season, and while there's a lot of DT and DE talent still on the board this is a great year for drafting high on CB, so getting Best-Available there would be a smart move.
PICK: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Needs: To get a clean warrant for a wire on the Barksdale organization, but they won't get it because THIS IS BALTIMORE, GENTLEMEN, THE GODS WILL NOT SAVE YOU.
The Ravens were hit early and often by injury bugs all season, and even with all the free agency moves (losing help at key positions) this is a difficult team to figure out for draft needs. I know I am going to be very wrong on this pick, but I'm looking at their Defensive line and thinking "they need help here."
PICK: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
15) Philadelphia (from Miami)
Needs: To stop punching police horses after every Super Bowl win
I'm not entirely sure where the Eagles needs are, and they may want to build up more offensive talent around Jalen Hurts to give him another year to improve. But their weaknesses last season seemed to relate to their secondary, so getting best available help here is where I'm going. They WILL have more chances this round...
PICK: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
16) New Orleans (from Indianapolis through Philadelphia)
Needs: I ain't saying anything 'cause I don't want no hexes put on me, but I do wish they'd lose to the Bucs in the regular season this 2022
I've seen mock drafts that have the Saints drafting QB here due to the big question marks, but the team did re-sign Jameis Winston signaling they have SOME faith in him. And while he ended up out for the year with injury, he was playing better than he had when he was a Buc (fewer turnovers, above all). So drafting QB here is not likely. They DO have needs elsewhere on a cap-tight roster, especially finding a receiver Jameis can throw to
PICK: Drake London, WR, USC
17) Los Angeles Chargers
Needs: To have their corrupt owner placed in handcuffs, and new ownership to send the team back to San Diego where they belong
Chargers are a team in more need of a devoted fanbase than for players, yet you can't draft fans. So they'll likely try to protect their franchise guy Justin Herbert from getting sacked 20 times a game.
PICK: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina St.
18) Philadelphia (from New Orleans)
Needs: To beg Santa Claus for forgiveness
Here's Philly mad strong second chance to not screw up the First Round. Their backfield got help with the first pick, now's a good chance to help the defensive front with a game-smart inside linebacker.
PICK: Devin Lloyd, OLB, Utah
19) New Orleans (from Philadelphia)
Needs: WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT NOT WANTING TO GET HEXED?
The Saints still need a little more offensive help than they need defensive help, and one thing they need is to keep Jameis healthy and upright. He needs a solid OT to block his blind-side and give him enough time - 5 seconds at least - to get the ball downfield.
PICK: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Needs: To hire a General Manager who won't pander to Big Ben, even with their QB finally retired and gone for good.
The Steelers may have made the playoffs last year, but that was in spite of the weakened play of their QB and coping with the gaps at talent they have on defense. They need pass rush help, but snagging a franchise QB even in this weak draft pool will be too tempting. They would have loved it if Pickett were here, but they'll take a regional guy with upside anyway.
PICK: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
21) New England
Needs: To banish the Hooded One to the Outer Realms before it's too late for the rest of us
Making it to the playoffs hid the reality that the Patriots were a team in rebuild mode, and they still have a few gaps especially on defense that could make them crater in 2022 if not addressed. Getting help at the defensive front is most likely, although getting a decent CB in this round is still a possibility.
PICK: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
22) Green Bay (from Las Vegas)
Needs: To draft a Quarterback, just to see the angry look on Aaron Rodgers ugly face.
Up until the Davante Adams trade, this was looking like a draft for defensive front help. Now lacking talent at WR, the most likely move here is to get the best available receiver.
PICK: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio St.
Needs: LESS WORK, MORE PLAY
Arguably the most reckless team in terms of on-field play, the Cardinals have to get serious about getting help in the trenches - either Offensive or Defensive Line - to improve their chances. I'm not sure what their OT situation is, so going to best available DL help with a solid DT to anchor that line. Sorry, Bucs fans, but that means Wyatt's off the board here.
PICK: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Needs: To have a wiser, smarter, less corrupt Texan billionaire buy out the team before the Jones family makes things worse, oh and getting rid of a head coach who's useless in postseason play
This is one of those teams I'm not ever rooting for, so letting them suffer could go either way for me. Cowboys had a dominant regular season only to get blown out in the first round of playoffs, hinting at coaching woes instead of on-field gaps. Still, this is a team that's aging out at key positions especially at OL, so that's the likeliest pick here.
PICK: Bernhard Reimann, OT, Central Michigan
Needs: More collapsible tables. ALL THE TABLES
A Bills team that is just bursting with talent, led by an undeniable franchise QB in Josh Allen (after all the quibbles of if he was worth it, yes it turns out he is), and yet still failing in postseason because of one or two missing pieces of talent to get over that hurdle to reach a Super Bowl. They could draft for a little more defensive help, but getting more weapons to Allen is the most likely move here.
PICK: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St.
Needs: To fix their jersey number font, I swear it's almost as bad as... wait, we WILL NOT SPEAK OF THOSE JERSEYS EVER AGAIN.
A Titans team that is just bursting with talent, led by a kinda franchise QB in Ryan Tannehill (after all the quibbles of if he was worth it, yes Miami you shouldn't have given up on him), and yet still failing in postseason because of one glaring missing piece of talent at receiver.
PICK: Skyy Moore, WR, Central Michigan
27) Tampa Bay
Needs: To re-sign GRONK and Suh before it's too late
Bucs had arguably one of their best seasons ever reaching 13 wins - granted, we're in a 17-game season now so that extra one might not have happened in 2002 - and yet they struggled to dominate in every game, suffered injury woes at key positions especially on defense, and had a distracting flame-out of a key offensive talent in Antonio Brown quitting on the team just when we needed him most (honestly, AB? You hopped off the field with a supposed ankle injury). After a crazy offseason of retirements, unretirement by Tom Freaking Brady, and getting much-needed veteran help in the secondary, the Bucs may not have major needs but they do have gaps at DL and OL that need filling. Getting a Defensive End/Tackle to line up next to DT Vea is likely, but the retirement of G Marpet leaves a talent gap on OL that needs filling.
PICK: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
28) Green Bay
Needs: Again with these guys? How needy can you GET???
The Pack took care of offensive needs, especially at WR, but they've been needing help with their defensive front for some time. Drafting best available Outside Linebacker could go a long way... HAHAHAHAHA, I KID, I GOT THEM DRAFTING OL HELP INSTEAD.
Pick: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
29) Kansas City (from San Francisco through Miami)
Needs: Another arrogant receiver that Antoine Winfield Jr can flash the peace sign at
They lost Tyreek Hill. They need to replace Tyreek Hill.
PICK: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
30) Kansas City
Needs: They lost Tyreek Hill. They need to replace Tyreek Hill. ...Wait, wait a second...
Okay, they took care of the Tyreek Hill problem. Now they need to help their defense just a little.
PICK: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Needs: To stop playing West Coast NFC teams in Super Bowls every time they make it that far, sheesh
Arguably a great team that finally reached their potential after a serious rebuild from the inconsistent Marvin Lewis era, they've got a lot of decent pieces in place except for an Offensive Line that gave up too many sacks, risking that franchise guy Joe Burrow. I'm not sure if the remaining OTs on the board are worth a pick, but getting a solid interior line guy will help with blocking and also improve their run attack
PICK: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
32) Detroit (from Los Angeles Rams)
Needs: To avenge themselves on all who betrayed and mocked them. Which, well after 25 years of despair, is probably everybody
The Lions took care of their defensive front at the top of the First Round, so getting offensive help makes sense. However, in a pass-happy league, they do need help with that porous defensive backfield. Not many decent CBs left but there's still a high-value Safety on the board.
PICK: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
- No Tight Ends or Running Backs drafted in the First. Talent this year at both are okay at top but not that highly scouted, so expect more of them getting drafted in the Second Round.
- Not enough QBs taken. There's at least two or three more the scouts think COULD go in the First, like Matt Corral or Carson Strong, but they're still not impressive enough compared to get teams to overlook needs at all of the late-round picks.
POST COMMENTS BELOW, YOU FIENDS.