I previously completed a perfect mock draft. You can read it here. This is just a slightly more perfect mock draft.
I still think Bryce Young is the most surefire quarterback prospect in this draft, but a lot of signs point to Stroud going first overall. For starters, Panther's new QB coach Josh McCown raved about Stroud in January:
CJ has had some ups and downs, but the talent is undeniable as was his 4 passing touchdowns against a Georgia defense that was essentially an NFL JV team. After several starts and stops over the past few years, Carolina finally has their quarterback of the future.
I previously had the Texans foregoing the quarterback position to tank for Caleb Williams. However, there’s just no way the franchise can possibly pass on Bryce Young if he drops past the first pick. He weighed in at over 200 pounds at the NFL Combine, which should be enough to put some fears at ease about his size. He’ll never be the biggest quarterback, but his size is comparable to Drew Brees and Kyler Murray—his upside is as well.
The Cardinals' front office might pull a hammy while sprinting to deliver this pick. Absolute no-brainer.
After a record-breaking-video-game-numbers combine, Richardson stock is way on the rise, with quite a few “experts” mocking him as high as #1 overall. I think he’s too risky of a pick to go that high, but I really love him being taken in this spot. New Colts coach Shane Steichen helped mold Jalen Hurts into an All-Pro quarterback. Richardson is essentially Hurts, except with like +5-10 in every attribute category. Given the Colts just signed Minshew (a Steichen favorite in Philly), Indy could draft Richardson in this spot without feeling pressure to play him early.
The Seahawks are facing a full rebuild along the defensive line and Tyree Wilson is a great start. One of the most athletic players in the country, he was a consistent force at Tech.
Carter has seen his stock sliding due to legal issues and reports that he was so overweight at his Pro Day he couldn’t finish some drillse. Not great!! But if the NFL has taught us anything, it’s that a few warts are worth overlooking for the right athlete. Dan Campbell is building a really strong culture in Detroit. If given the right coaching and surrounded by the right influences, Carter could become a perennial All-Pro next to 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year Aiden Hutchinson.
I had the Raiders moving up to No. 1 overall in my previously perfect mock draft. Now that that’s out of the cards, I think they stay put and pick Levis to learn under Jimmy G—who by all accounts, is a great teammate and a good dude. Good for him. We'll get him an offensive weapon here shortly — stay tuned.
This is the first pick I have overlapping from my 1.0 draft (which I should reiterate, was perfect). The Falcons are bad and will probably be bad for a minute. But their leading pass rusher had 4 sacks last year. They need to get after the quarterback full-stop. McDonald is the all-time sack leader in Big 12 history and should be athletic enough to stay productive at the next level.
Smith might have had the most impressive NFL Combine out of any player not named Anthony Richardson, running a 4.39 40-yard dash with a 41.5-inch vertical. That’s frankly terrifying, and he should promptly be hired to terrorize NFL quarterbacks.
Miles Sanders just signed with the Panthers, leaving the Eagles with a big hole at running back. They could address this in the later rounds, but combining Bijan with Jalen Hurts might just be too tempting for Philadelphia.
This would be a great result for Tennessee, getting a new franchise left tackle to slide right into the vacancy left by Taylor Lewan.
With this pick, the Texans would completely re-shape their offense and create a tantalizing fantasy connection for years to come. Smith-Njigba impressed at the Combine despite not running the 40 (he will at his Pro Day). He would immediately give the Texans a WR 1 and give Houston some sizzle it's been lacking for years on offense.
Gotta keep Aaron Rodgers upright. That’s it.
A great result for the Patriots, locking down arguably the best cornerback in the draft this deep in the first round. I was tempted to have the Patriots trade down here out of principle, but I don’t think they could if Gonzalez was still on the board.
While it would be funnier if the Packers traded to get multiple first-round picks and just took a bunch of receivers as a final petty sendoff to Aaron Rodgers, Mayer is the correct pick. The Irish have produced several great NFL tight ends over the years and he might just be the best.
The Commanders also find themselves in the midst of a full rebuild and Joey Porter Jr. would be a more than satisfactory building block in the secondary.
Witherspoon had 3 interceptions and 17 passes defended for the top-ranked Illinois defense last season. He didn’t get to test in all the drills at the combine, but he put enough on tape against quality Big Ten competition that it shouldn’t matter.
I had the Lions taking Murphy with the 6th pick in my first mock draft, and I think that take is technically still correct if they take him here. I was still right all along, remember that!
Van Ness didn’t even technically start at Iowa but that doesn’t matter when you’re 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, and run like this:
People are okay assuming you’ll figure out the football part.
Breese could theoretically go higher, but won’t because this mock draft is perfect and there are no changes needed. He tested really well at the Combine, but his athleticism has never been a question—he was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school. His health is a question mark however, with Breese missing significant time at Clemson with injuries.
Another repeat pick from my first mock draft, which, once again, was perfect (minus the slight imperfections I’m improving on).
Not all undersized, ultra-productive college defensive tackles out of Pitt turn out to be Aaron Donald. But some of them do! This seems like enough to take a chance on Kancey here, especially given the loss of Dalvin Tomlinson.
Dalton Kincaid would be a perfect fit for the Jaguars and give Trevor Lawrence another big target to look toward in the end zone. It feels like Jacksonville really figured things out at the end of last season and will be a perennial playoff team moving forward. Nobody is Travis Kelce, but Kinkaid is the most Kelce-like player in this draft.
I’m like 96% sure this pick is happening. Like it’s locked up. They’re drafting him. Get over it.
This would just be a disgusting pickup for the Boys at this spot, with Addison being arguably (ARGUABLY) the best receiver in the entire draft. He’d immediately slot in opposite Ceedee Lamb and Brandin Cooks and perfectly round out that Cowboys receiving corps that's been lacking since Amari Cooper went to Cleveland.
After losing Tremaine Edmunds to the Bears, Buffalo needs another athletic freak at linebacker. Enter: Trenton Simpson. He put on an absolute show at the Combine, running a 4.43 40-yard dash. It won’t be a full replacement for Edmunds, but this pickup would soften the blow somewhat.
With Jessie Bates III signing for big money in Atlanta—and the Bengals investing in their O-line with Orlando Brown—Branch is the logical fit here as a replacement.
I’ll level with you, kind of lost track of Broderick here. He’s a big guy, I’m not sure how it happened either. If he drops this far, new Saints quarterback Derek Carr will be extremely pleased.
After having some fun with the #10 pick, Philly further bolsters its secondary by adding Cam Smith.
I had this pick in my last mock draft, which was perfect LIKE I ALREADY SAID!