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Over the last few weeks, we got several staff members together for a four-round NFL mock draft. Each staffer was the general manager of one to three teams and was instructed to be realistic in their approach to each team's draft. Trading was allowed.
Let's get right to it.
1. Carolina Panthers - QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Jeff Haseley: After years of trying to find a franchise quarterback, Carolina and head coach Frank Reich get their man in C.J. Stroud. He is an accurate, capable passer with impressive ball placement skills who has shown the ability to rise to the occasion when needed. He brings a career completion percentage hovering near 70% with an 85:12 touchdown to interception ratio. Carolina is thrilled to have him be a cornerstone of their organization.
2. Houston Texans - QB Bryce Young, Alabama
Craig Lakins: New head coach Demeco Ryans gets the quarterback he coveted all along in Bryce Young. The Panthers trading up to the first pick was the best-case scenario for the Texans. They get their franchise quarterback and didn't have to give up additional assets to get the one they wanted. Size concerns are the only concerns for Young, as he does everything else at a very high level.
3. Las Vegas Raiders - QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
Trade: The Cardinals get Pick 1.07 and a 2024 first-rounder. The Raiders get Pick 1.03.
Gary Davenport: This is a bold move by Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler - and one that comes at a steep cost. But if Richardson turns out to be half the player some believe he can be, it will be hailed as a franchise-defining move. Richardson is an athletic marvel with a sky-high ceiling, and with Jimmy Garoppolo on the team, the Raiders can afford to let Richardson learn from the vet for a year.
4. Indianapolis Colts - QB Will Levis, Kentucky
Jay Stein: Drafting the fourth quarterback with the fourth overall pick has to be the worst-case scenario for the Colts, but they have painted themselves into a corner. We know they don't want to be on the veteran carousel anymore, and owner Jim Irsay signaled they would be targeting a quarterback early in the draft. At 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, Levis is an athletic, toolsy thrower that fits the type of player general manager Chris Ballard looks for and will fit nicely in Shane Steichen's offense.
5. Seattle Seahawks - DE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
Jeff Bell: The Seahawks have not ranked in the top 10 in total defense since 2016. Outside of Jamal Adams, the team has lacked a headlining defensive presence since Bobby Wagner left following 2021. Anderson can change that. The type of versatile pass rusher in the role held by Bruce Irvin and Frank Clark in the past, Anderson immediately becomes a cornerstone presence.
6. Detroit Lions - CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
Jordan McNamara: The Lions struggled mightily in pass coverage last season. This pick matches best player on the board with a team in need of help at cornerback. Gonzalez is a versatile cornerback with big-time athletic tools.
7. Arizona Cardinals - DE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
Trade: The Cardinals get Pick 1.07 and a 2024 first-rounder. The Raiders get Pick 1.03
Gary Davenport: It’s hardly a state secret that the Cardinals need help at every level of the defense, and the most pressing of those needs is a pass rush that managed the ninth-fewest sacks in the NFL last year. Wilson has the size and length to play various roles defensively. While there were some other tempting options available, the 6-foot-6, 271-pounder gets the nod here.
8. Atlanta Falcons - RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
Clayton Gray: The Falcons have shown a desire to upgrade the offense with highly rated offensive skill players. Robinson is probably as highly rated as it gets. He joins Drake London and Kyle Pitts to form a fantastic trio.
9. Chicago Bears - DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
Nick Whalen: The first move new general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus made in their tenure was to sign Larry Ogunjobi to a lucrative contract to play the 3-technique defensive tackle. He failed his physical, but it gives insight into the importance of the position on this team. Carter is the best player in the draft, and Poles continually talks about investing in the best values. This is a dream scenario where need meets value for Chicago.
10. Philadelphia Eagles - WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Sam Wagman: The Eagles have shown in both their draft moves and free agency moves in recent years that they care about assembling a terrific offense around franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts, so they pull the trigger here to attack the one weak spot they have in the aerial attack: the slot/WR3 role. Jaxon Smith-Njigba can play in both the slot and outside and could make this Eagles' offense borderline unstoppable.
11. Tennessee Titans - OL Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
Tripp Brebner: I'll take arguably the draft's best lineman to help rebuild the league's worst pass-blocking unit.
12. Houston Texans - WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
Craig Lakins: What better gift to give your new franchise quarterback than a new WR1? Johnston gives Bryce Young an athletic freak to get the ball to and watch him work. The wide receiver room in Houston is ripe with opportunity. Nico Collins has shown well in flashes and the Texans brought in veteran Robert Woods as a stopgap, but Johnston gives them a playmaker that can turn a short hitch into a touchdown at any time.
13. New York Jets - OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
Clayton Gray: Arguably the top lineman in the draft, Johnson is an easy pick here. Pencil him in as the starting right tackle. If, by some chance, Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown are healthy all season, Johnson could easily kick inside and make the Jets line a strength.
14. New England Patriots - OT Broderick Jones, Georgia
Matt Bitonti: The defense needs cornerbacks, and many mocks have Joey Porter Jr Jr. going in this spot. However, the Patriots need stability at both tackle spots. Trent Brown is getting up there, and their current right tackle depth chart is Riley Reiff and Conor McDermott. Jones tested well at the combine and will be an eventual starter at left tackle.
15. Green Bay Packers - DE Myles Murphy, Clemson
Kyle Bellefeuil: Kingsley Enagbare on Day 3 was a nice find in last year’s draft, but Green Bay struggled to get consistent pressure after Rashan Gary (ACL) went down. There’s also no guarantee Gary will be ready when Week 1 arrives. Myles Murphy would be a welcomed addition to the Packer defense with his exciting combination of size, athleticism, and versatility. You can never have enough talented pass rushers and Green Bay gets a good one here.
16. Washington Commanders - TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
Jason Wood: A rare situation where need and the best player available line up. Kincaid overtook Mayer as the top tight end as new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy covets a pass catcher at the position after his years of building an offense around Travis Kelce.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Joey Porter Jr Jr., Penn State
Sigmund Bloom: There's a strong temptation to go offensive tackle here, but the dropoff after the top three is steep. Porter has all kinds of connections to the Steelers, starting with his dad. The younger Porter is long and strong, and he will get the friction on top outside receivers in press coverage. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan skipped his pro day, which might be a sign the Steelers will go a different direction at 17. Stay tuned.
18. Detroit Lions - EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
Jordan McNamara: Detroit keeps doubling down on defense and takes edge rusher, Nolan Smith.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
Joey Wright: Expectations are the Buccaneers' secondary to look very different. Witherspoon is the best cornerback available where the Buccaneers need to build.
20. Seattle Seahawks - S Brian Branch, Alabama
Jeff Bell: Branch can immediately contribute as a big nickel and grow into a versatile complement to Jamal Adams long term. The Seahawks are building interesting young pieces through each level of their defense, and Branch can play as a positionless matchup wildcard.
21. Los Angeles Chargers - TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
Zareh Kantzabedian: The Chargers finally rip off the very old band-aid at tight end by drafting Michael Mayer. In addition to being a versatile receiver, Mayer brings accomplished run-blocking chops. Mayer takes great angles on double team blocks when sealing the edge and all too easily washes linebackers in the second level. A nightmare for defensive backs in the intermediate areas beyond the line of scrimmage, Mayer has the upside to stabilize this offense out of the gate.
22. Baltimore Ravens - CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
Jeff Bell: The Ravens visited the University of Georgia to tab Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator, and they went right back to grab Ringo. Kelee Ringo is a plus athlete with the blue-chip pedigree and size Baltimore has favored in prospects. He can step in immediately opposite Marlon Humphrey, a player who now Georgia coach Kirby Smart was instrumental in recruiting to Alabama.
23. Minnesota Vikings - WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
Christian Williams: The Vikings recently lost Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn is slated to be their No. 2 wide receiver. Zay Flowers offers a three-level skill set and works especially well in after-the-catch situations. He would be a near-perfect fit in the Kevin O'Connell offense.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars - EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
Devin Knotts: With the Jaguars losing Arden Key and potentially Dawuane Smoot, they have a need for another pass rusher. Van Ness is an intriguing prospect as he boosted his stock tremendously during the combine. He is a pure upside pick, as he never started a game at Iowa, but Van Ness has tremendous upside that, paired alongside Travon Walker, makes for a formidable pass rush for years to come.
25. New York Giants - WR Jordan Addison, USC
Jason Wood: The Giants had Addison atop their wide receiver board and thought about trading up to get him. But sometimes luck is better than intent, and their top option falls to them at 25.
26. Dallas Cowboys - DT Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
Kevin Coleman: The Cowboys need to add depth to their defensive line and would be ecstatic if Kancey fell to them at 26. Kancey is an explosive interior pass rusher that fills a need for Dallas. Kancey had 14.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss in two seasons as a starter.
27. Buffalo Bills - LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas
Aaron Rudnicki: Bills fill their biggest hole following the loss of Tremaine Edmunds in free agency with a Day 1 starter. Trading down is also a consideration here, but they likely need to target an inside linebacker early. Sanders offers a high floor with considerable upside.
28. Cincinnati Bengals - OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee
Dan Hindery: Right tackle has long been a problem spot for the Bengals. Adding Wright finishes the complete offensive line rebuild that started last offseason and frees Cincinnati to trade Jonah Williams.
29. New Orleans Saints - DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Tripp Brebner: Bresee at 29 is an absolute windfall that a team spending $30M to man its interior with two career backups would be ecstatic to draft.
30. Philadelphia Eagles - G O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida
Sam Wagman: Torrence is a solid fit for an Eagles team that lost guard Isaac Seumalo in free agency. Howie Roseman's tried and true draft strategy has always been to build from the trenches, and he helps to restock a position of importance here.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
Jason Wood: The Chiefs need to continue adding weapons for their $400 million man and happily snag Hyatt, who provides another vertical threat to a team increasingly built on speed.
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