Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for, yet another perfect mock draft. Forget the last one — you never saw it.
Let’s start this one by getting weird.
C.J. Stroud is the favorite to be taken by the Panthers, and if not him, the consensus is that it’ll be Bryce Young.
But all those other mock drafts are wrong and this one is perfect because the Panthers are trading up to secure Anthony Richardson. Stroud and Young are stellar prospects, but nobody offers the absolutely freakish upside of Richardson. Granted, his numbers weren’t great last season, but this isn’t a pick based on what he’s done. This is a pick made because of what he could do with the right development.
Carolina can confidently roll with Andy Dalton this season while Richardson develops into, maybe, their next Cam Newton.
Richardson's odds to be drafted No. 1 overall: +900 (A risky bet!)
I personally prefer Bryce Young as a prospect, but it’s hard to deny the buzz building around Stroud in recent weeks. His five-touchdown performance against Georgia was as good of a tape as you could ask for heading into a draft.
Stroud's odds to go No. 1 overall: -300 (Close to a lock... unless the Panthers shake things up — like we've suggested they do!)
Like my mock draft 1.0, which was perfect in its own way, the Raiders trade up for Bryce Young—the best quarterback in this draft. Bryce will be in a perfect situation learning behind Jimmy G and ideally bulking up a bit before taking over the franchise’s quarterback position for the long haul.
More or less everybody has the Colts taking a quarterback (including myself, twice) but I have a thought: Maybe they won’t. Maybe it seems dumb, but hear me out. If they really knew who their preferred guy was and were committed, they could have made a better offer than the Panthers for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Colts can get by on a year (or more!) of Gardiner Minshew if it means pairing Kwity Paye with Will Anderson for the next decade. They would form the most talented pass-rushing duo the franchise has had since their glory years with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. If the young duo is even half as productive, that’s not such a bad draft result.
Travon Walker’s speed off the edge resulted in him rocketing up draft boards, and I think the same could happen here for Nolan Smith — who ran a 4.39 40-yard dash (Walker ran a 4.51). The Seahawks signed Dre’mont Jones from the Broncos and could pair Smith with him immediately.
Wilson is a productive, physical presence who should be a perfect fit opposite Aiden Hutchinson. He was a big part of a defensive turnaround at Texas Tech and it’s easy to see head coach Dan Campbell loving his motor.
The Cardinals have several holes to fill but with Byron Murphy signing with the Vikings, cornerback might be the most pressing. What an opportunity to trade back and fill a huge hole with their most talented cornerback prospect since Patrick Peterson.
Jalen Carter has had a no-good, very bad pre-draft process, but his fall ends here. New surroundings might be for the best in this case, but Atlanta will be very happy drafting a potential perennial All-Pro at No. 9.
I’ve been on this pairing for months, and if it doesn’t happen, I will proudly have my official mock draft license revoked.
Skoronski has the second-best odds to be the first OL drafted: +200 (Risky, but possible!)
Even at No. 10, which seems way too high for a running back, Bijan could be the steal of this draft. If selected here, he immediately becomes an upper-echelon fantasy football player and one of the most dangerous players in the NFC.
Based on their roster makeup, I don’t see how the Titans don’t draft a tackle, which means they for sure won’t. But for the sake of this mock draft, they will.
The Texans have many, many holes to fill, and this is one of them. Murphy's draft stock is reportedly falling according to “experts,” but I think that’s smoke and mirrors. Trevor Lawrence will be in the division forever, so you have to be able to get after the quarterback.
Mekhi Becton still has promise (and is a literal mountain of a human) but he’s been injured. The Jets look poised for a breakout season if a certain quarterback is traded there, and there’s no such thing as too many quality o-linemen.
I’d love for the Pats to take a wide receiver here, but that just doesn’t feel like Bill. More logically, they’ll probably try to trade down because they always do. If they don’t, Bresee has been rising on draft boards as a result of being an athletic freak. He dealt with some injuries at Clemson but if he hadn’t, he’d likely be a top-five pick.
I think this happens in part because it’s a good fit, but also to spite Aaron Rodgers.
Witherspoon was an absolute beast at Illinois last year and would slot perfectly in this secondary.
I had Porter going a pick earlier, but wouldn’t it be much more fun if he got drafted by his dad’s team? I agree, thus it’s happening.
The Lions had the worst defense in football in 2022 and could look to plug holes there… but wow would Mayer really thrive in this offense. With Amon-Ra St. Brown working as a possession receiver and Jameson Williams going over the top, Mayer would be a huge threat to absolutely own linebackers in the seam—just like he was at Notre Dame.
Full disclosure, I forgot about this guy.
FYI: The Buccaneers have the third-best odds to draft QB Will Levis (only behind the Colts and the Raiders) at +600.
He ran a less-than-stellar 40-time but he’s still the most talented safety in this draft, and the Seahawks could use a good one to pair with their talented young cornerbacks.
All Addison did in college — regardless of the school or the offense — was produce. He’ll give Justin Herbert a reliable set of hands and should be an ideal Keenan Allen replacement when the time comes.
Any questions about Johnson’s ability were addressed in the College Football Playoff when he absolutely humiliated an otherwise stout Michigan defense. With Lamar moving on (wherever that is) the Ravens have to rebuild their passing offense under new OC Todd Monken. This is a good start.
This is basically a 1 for 1 replacement for the loss of Dalvin Tomlinson.
I’ve had Dalton going to the Jags in every mock draft because it’s going to happen. Get over it. It’s happening.
The Giants invested in their future by re-signing Daniel Jones and tagging Saquon. Torrance gives them a long-term answer at guard as New York attempts to become a perennial playoff team.
I had the Cowboys going wide receiver previously, but picking up Brandin Cooks from the Texans no longer makes that a glaring need.
Going with the best player available here. Van Ness didn’t even start at Iowa but he’s an athletic freak with super high upside.
Protect Joe Burrow at all costs literally nothing else matters.
Had McDonald in my top 10 in my first two mock drafts (which, still, were perfect) but given he’s somewhat limited athletically relative to other options, I could see McDonald falling. Nabbing the Big 12’s all-time sack leader this late will feel like a big dub for Nola in this spot.
The Eagles don’t have many holes, but another big body in the interior to rotate with Jordan Davis and Fletcher Cox would bolster their line for years to come.
Zay Flowers isn’t Tyreek Hill—nobody is. But he’s the closest you’re going to find to him in this draft. If he does end up in KC, keep him on your fantasy radars—he’ll put up numbers immediately.