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My little NFL 1st round mock draft (with rationales)

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FWIW which is probably not much, but:


1.01 JAX: DE Hutchinson. After re-signing Robinson and Thibodeaux falling, this pick is not a lock, but IMO getting pretty close.


1.02 DET: DE Walker. Tempted to put Hamilton here, but his slow 40 might nudge him out of this pick and perhaps then some. But either one gives the Lions' D a badly need shot in the arm. Although if I'm the Lions, I try to trade down.


1.03 HOU: S Hamilton. Safeties rarely go so high, so he could easily fall farther than this, but many consider him the best overall player in the draft and best safety to come along in some time. But as with the Lions, I'd try to trade down...failing that, this is a safe, solid move.


1.04 NYJ: DE Thibodeaux. A hunch that this guy doesn't slide much if at all, as some seem to now think. He has too much talent for the Jets to pass on. Their D was one of the if not the worst in the NFL last year, so they beef it up here.


1.05 NYG: OT Neal. The Giants have made some moves on OL, but it's not enough. They simply have to keep throwing players at that OL until it solidifies, and there's a good chance this guy falls to them. They're giving Danny Jones a make-or-break year, so they need to keep him upright so he doesn't "break."


1.06 CAR: QB Willis. I think this is a risky move at best, but I think it's likely the one they make. Willis has boom or bust written all over him, but teams will fall in love with his impressive athleticism and take a chance.


1.07 NYG: CB Gardner. Many have the Giants taking a DE, which is a need for sure, but so is the secondary. With Gardner, they should be getting a shut-down corner that instantly makes the DL better because opposing QBs will be looking longer for an open guy.


1.08 ATL: WR Wilson. As badly as the Falcons need defensive help - and help almost everywhere else - their WR group is THE worst in the league. They have to give Mariota someone to throw to besides Pitts. Really a trade down and still nabbing a top WR would be their best move IMO. If not a WR, this will probably be a DE.


1.09 SEA: QB Corral. "Corral for Carroll" is the team's motto this year. That's my guess anyway; it's him or Pickett. Carroll has made it clear he does not favor a rebuild and while the final call isn't his, as the best coach this team ever had, you better believe he has a lot of pull. That plus if they go into this season with Lock as their starter, the entire city may revolt. Pickett is a little safer of a pick, but Corral has a bit more upside.


1.10 NYJ: WR Olave. I could see the Jets doubling down on defense as both their rush D and pass D were terrible last year, but they're also very weak in the WR dept despite a promising showing from Moore. Wilson needs more weapons for this team to go anywhere.


1.11 WAS: CB Stingley. The Commanderskins breathe a sigh of relief that this guy is here, filling a huge hole on their D. He should come in right away and make a difference.


1.12 MIN: CB McDuffie. This is higher than many expect him to go, but the Vikes secondary looks like swiss cheese right now and they didn't really do anything about it in free agency. They curse the Skins for getting Stingley right in front of them, but McDuffie is a nice find in his own right.


1.13 HOU: WR London. I think the Texans really need to go WR here while elite talent is still on the board. Cooks is long in the tooth and Collins is hopeful, but the Texans need to give their young QB a true #1 WR. London gives them a huge target who many consider the best possession WR in the draft. He should become a welcome security blanket in the passing game.


1.14 BAL: DE Williams. I would not be surprised to see a WR here too, but if this guy is still available - and there's a real chance he won't be - the Ravens will snap him up. They have long been known for winning with defense and need more horses to make that happen.


1.15 PHI: DE Karlaftis. The Eagles' pass rush was anemic last year, so this is an easy pick. A dynamic LB like Lloyd would be preferable, but this might be a little high to go for that with this pick.


1.16 NO: OT Ekwanu. The Saints should sprint to the podium with this pick if he's still here. They lost their top guy in LOT Armstead and as much as something like WR would be nice, they should fill this hole and address that with their next pick. 


1.17 LAC: OT Cross. If I'm the Chargers, it's hard to pass on some really great WRs still available, but the frequently injured OT Bulaga is gone and after addressing defensive needs in free agency, this is their biggest hole on the team IMO. Cross steps right in to fill that hole.


1.18 PHI: WR Williams. This guy's ACL injury is the only reason he doesn't go higher. The fastest WR in the draft can do it all and the Eagles would love to see him alongside Smith for what could end up one of the best 1-2 WR combos in the league.


1.19 NO: WR Burks. If the Saints' first round goes like this, they should be thrilled. Burks is a big reliable target who would complement Thomas well and give Winston the help he needs.


1.20 PIT: QB Pickett. I doubt this will happen actually, but just had to mock it.   Although it's a nice homecoming story and lines well in terms of both need and value, odds are someone else will nab him first...or maybe he's there but the Steelers pass anyway? If I was a Steeler fan I'd be livid if they did that. Pickett does it all and is an outstanding talent...the only knocks on him are he's only done it for one year (fair enough) and doesn't have the athleticism/physical traits you'd hope for, like size, a rocket arm, etc.  I think such things are great to have but often overrated. If he's there, IMO they shouldn't hesitate. 


1.21 NE: OG Green. A WR is likely off the board with the signing of Parker and they have a gaping hole at OG...one that Green is an excellent fit for. The Pats lack a true star at the skill positions, but a dominating OL with at least capable skill players can go a long way.


1.22 GB: WR Dotson. Almost everyone thinks the Packers will and should draft WR. I don't disagree. Arguably the last of the top-tier WRs, Dotson would become Rodgers' best friend as he has it all (except size): speed, smarts, and hands of glue.


1.23 AZ: DT Davis. Many have the Cards going CB, but with the top talent off the board here, Davis is the easy pick, and a guy who could go higher. He'll go a long way in beefing up the defense.


1.24 DAL: C Linderbaum. What was once a strength of the team suddenly needs help to give Prescott time to do this thing. An easy pick for them IMO.


1.25 BUF: OG Johnson. The Bills enhance an area that still needs it. They might go CB or WR or even DT, but the best left there would be more of a reach, and the Bills can afford to sit back and go BPA.


1.26 TEN: OT Penning. The Titans wisely let go their weak link on the OL this year at ROT and need a replacement badly, especially after letting all-pro OG Saffold leave as well. They simply cannot ignore the OL with an aging Tannehill back there and needing to create holes for Henry. 


1.29 KC: DE Jackson. WR seems to be what a lot of people are thinking, and while Schuster and MVS aren't Hill, I think they feel they've done enough there to look at a bigger area of need: DE. Jackson is rough around the edges but has all the tools and upside to justify here.


1.30 KC: CB McCreary. KC doubles down on D. Although his measurables aren't as good as some likely to be considered in this part of the draft, McCreary rarely gets beat and his sound fundamentals will appeal to KC, who is very thin here as well.


1.31 CIN: CB Elam. Elam is kind of the opposite of McCreary: impressive measurables, but not as consistent, and projects as a more boom/bust pick, but the upside is worth a pick here as Cincy needs to fortify their secondary.


1.32 DET: S Brisker. Ridder might be tempting here to find their QB of the future, but I think the Lions ride Goff out and look for that guy next year. Brisker is an excellent match of value and need IMO. Equally strong against the run and pass with the size and speed to boot. Easy pick.

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  • jonjon changed the title to My little NFL 1st round mock draft (with rationales)

I hope the Vikings do not use yet another first round draft pick on a CB. We drafted a CB in the first round in 2015 (Trae Waynes), 2018 (Mike Hughes), and 2020 (Jeff Gladney). We also drafted a CB in the 2nd round in 2016. 


Anyway, it seems some like Stingley for the Vikes. 

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