The post-free agency mock draft predicts the first three rounds to give every fanbase at least one selection to hold them over with a little less than one month to go until the big event. I have also listed the draft hauls for each team (below the picks).
1. JAX: Aidan Hutchinson, OLB, Michigan
I believe it’s worth putting down a bet for Evan Neal at +1400 to be the first pick (that’s who I would undoubtedly take), but all signs seem to point to Hutchinson here. Jacksonville’s thinking would be that Hutchinson is a great complement to Josh Allen to create the NFL’s best young duo on the edge.
2. DET: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
Detroit might want to trade down here, but the theme for every team looking to acquire 2023 first-round picks will likely be that no one will want to give one up. Instead, Walker has the knee-cap-biting style that fits well playing for Dan Campbell in the Motor City.
3. HOU: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Although the Texans already have Laremy Tunsil on the blindside, Neal can easily slide in at right tackle after starting there for the Crimson Tide in 2020. Houston’s choice here—likely between an offensive lineman or pass rusher—could lead to a domino effect for the rest of the top ten.
4. NYJ: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Gardner was slotted here in my previous mock, and I feel strongly that he will be the pick because of his fit in Robert Saleh’s defense. The choice is probably between Gardner and an edge despite some still thinking an offensive lineman is in play.
5. NYG: Kayvon Thibodeaux, OLB, Oregon
Thibodeaux’s personality could lead to a bit of a slide, but would the Giants pass up an opportunity select the elusive star pass rusher they’ve been lacking? The duo of Thibodeaux and second-year edge Azeez Ojulari would suddenly make the position a strength.
6. CAR: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Carolina’s decision will almost certainly come down to whether they want to get a stud left tackle (Charles Cross would be the best fit to me) or settle on a long-term answer at quarterback after striking out multiple times over the past couple of years. Pickett was recruited by Matt Rhule when he coached at Temple, and team owner David Tepper is notably a Pitt graduate and big-time booster.
7. NYG (via CHI): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
This might be too much of an investment on the defensive line for New York with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, but could you imagine throwing Davis in between them? The Giants’ front in their base defense (3-4 scheme) would be reason to view them as an NFC East contender.
8. ATL: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
I keep mocking Dean in the top ten with the hopes that a team will be wise enough to take him, and Atlanta now has a hole alongside Deion Jones after Foyesade Oluokon signed with Jacksonville. The leader of Georgia’s championship defense can help quickly turn things around for the Falcons.
9. SEA (via DEN): Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Seattle wants to get back to bullying opponents, and I’d bet Ekwonu is ranked very high on their board. The NC State standout would be the clear Day 1 starter at left tackle and can help open holes for Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson.
10. NYJ (via SEA): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Jets wanting a top-tier wideout is the biggest open secret in football right now, but John Schneider might not even pick up the phone if Joe Douglas calls about DK Metcalf, and A.J. Brown is a total pipe dream. Wilson and Elijah Moore would be an exciting duo for Zach Wilson to grow with.
11. WAS: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
While a slower-than-expected 40 time (4.59 at the Scouting Combine and 4.70 at his Pro Day) really hurts Hamilton’s chances of going in the top ten, Washington would be a strong landing spot for him to patrol the backend of a defense that is already set up front.
12. MIN: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Even after re-signing Patrick Peterson, the Vikings have a need a cornerback, so Stingley Jr. would provide a significant boost to the group. I’m assuming the analytically driven front office will count on the peak performance of Stingley Jr. being something they can permanently unlock.
13. HOU (via CLE): Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
The character of Johnson could push him up draft boards, and he’d be a power edge to pair with Jonathan Greenard for a Houston defense/team that can go in any direction. Nick Caserio gets a prime opportunity to hit on two picks in the top 15 following the Deshaun Watson trade.
14. BAL: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Baltimore will hope Ronnie Stanley is healthy and returns to form in 2022, but Cross doubles as an insurance policy on the blindside in addition to having the ability to immediately start at right tackle. Either way, both tackle spots need to be secured considering the pass-rush talent in the division (and conference).
15. PHI (via MIA): Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Defensive tackle isn’t a significant need for the Eagles with Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave on the roster, but Howie Roseman always wants to bolster the trenches. Wyatt has a very impressive blend of athleticism and power on the interior.
16. PHI (via IND): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Staying in the SEC worked for the Eagles last year by taking DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson with their top two picks, and that could remain a focus into the future. Elam has great size (6’1 1/2″) in addition to elite speed (4.39 40-yard dash) to start opposite Darius Slay.
17. LAC: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Williams would create the perfect complementary trio at wide receiver, and Los Angeles could use more firepower in the loaded AFC West. The rare speed of Williams should get him drafted high despite coming off a torn ACL.
18. NO: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Left tackle is probably the biggest hole on the roster for New Orleans, so Penning is a clean replacement for Terron Armstead. Also, his nasty play style fits well with the aggressive defense of the Saints as they try to slug their way back into contention this year.
19. SEA (mock trade w/ PHI): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
This is a projected trade for the Eagles to acquire DK Metcalf from the Seahawks as Philadelphia tries to fix their past mistakes—and Howie Roseman has the ammo to not get outbid. With Seattle sticking with Drew Lock (or maybe acquiring Baker Mayfield), I have them passing on a quarterback to take a local cornerback in McDuffie.
20. PIT: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
It sounds like the Steelers will stay put and let the chips fall where they may, which could result in Willis dropping into their laps if he’s a quarterback that Kevin Colbert would want to go out selecting. The dynamic, strong-armed passer can develop behind Mitchell Trubisky for at least a season.
21. NE: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
There are a few wideouts projected to go in Round 1 that are still available, and even though his stock has seemed to dip during the pre-draft process, Burks is a fit for New England to make things easier on Mac Jones. The run-heavy offense would be more creative by designing pass plays to get the ball to Burks.
22. GB (via LV): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Olave to Green Bay is a popular connection, and Matt LaFleur wanting a deep threat makes it all the more likely. Aaron Rodgers uncorking some play-action shots to Olave is easy to picture.
23. ARI: George Karlaftis, OLB, Purdue
An interior offensive lineman remains possible for the Cardinals, but Karlaftis can step in to replace Chandler Jones on the edge. Last season, a lack of pass rush down the stretch was partly to blame for Arizona collapsing down the stretch and disappointing in the playoffs.
24. DAL: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Jerry Jones recently said he’d like to draft a lineman in the first round, so Linderbaum—if he were to fall this far—would seem to have a good chance to be selected. I’d be fine with giving Tyler Biadasz another year on the job, but Dallas won’t pass on Linderbaum if he’s the best value on the board.
25. KC (mock trade w/ BUF): Drake London, WR, USC
Rivals trading during the draft (including division rivals) has become more common in recent years, so the Chiefs might hop up a few spots to ensure themselves of their target at wide receiver. London compares to Mike Evans and could be available late in the first round due to a slower pre-draft process coming off a broken ankle (he’s having an individual Pro Day next week).
26. TEN: Kenyon Green, G, Mississippi State
Tennessee needs to fill a starting spot at left guard following the release of Rodger Saffold, and Green would be a home-run value at this point in the draft. It would be fun to see the holes he can open in the running game alongside Taylor Lewan.
27. TB: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Tampa Bay is in a very similar position to Tennessee with the last hole on their offensive line being at left guard, so Johnson is an ideal fit to start in Year 1 for the Tom Brady-led offense. I also have them taking a running back on Day 2 to pair with Leonard Fournette.
28. GB: Boye Mafe, OLB, Minnesota
Outside linebacker is a sudden need for Green Bay with Za’Darius Smith now in Minnesota—as an injury to Rashan Gary and/or Preston Smith would be a huge blow to their defense. Mafe is excellent depth to keep the pass rush churning for a unit that is already set in the secondary.
29. KC (from MIA via SF): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Chiefs are surely happy with 2021 second-rounder Nick Bolton at linebacker, but Lloyd can play alongside him to improve a run defense that allowed the second-most yards per carry in the league last season (4.8). Kansas City can remain a force in the AFC if they hit on their collection of picks from the Tyreek Hill trade.
30. BUF (mock trade w/ KC): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
I could see Brandon Beane having some sort of analytical thresholds that McCreary doesn’t fit because of his below-average length, but McCreary can flat out cover and brings toughness to the position. The outside duo of Tre’Davious White and McCreary with a star safety duo would be extremely stingy.
31. CIN: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Offensive line is no longer a must-have priority for Cincinnati with the La’el Collins signing as a second wave move, so the team can go in a variety of directions in the draft. Booth Jr. would push Eli Apple for playing time and provides perimeter depth.
32. DET (via LAR): Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
The Lions have also done a solid job improving the roster this offseason, and Muma paired with former first-rounder Jarrad Davis (in his return to Detroit) would give them a promising tandem at linebacker. Don’t be surprised if the franchise competes for a playoff spot with a promising draft haul in the top-heavy NFC.
33. IND (mock trade w/ JAX): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
34. DET: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
35. NYJ: Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State
36. NYG: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
37. HOU: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
38: NYJ (via CAR): Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
39. CHI: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
40. SEA (via DEN): David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
41. SEA: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
42. JAX (mock trade w/ IND via WAS): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
43. ATL: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
44. CLE: Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut
45. BAL: Logan Hall, DT, Houston
46. MIN: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
47. WAS (via IND): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
48. CHI (via LAC): Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
49. NO: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
50. KC (via MIA): Drake Jackson, DE, USC
51. PHI: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
52. PIT: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
53. GB (via LV): Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
54. NE: Nik Bonnito, OLB, Oklahoma
55. ARI: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky
56. DAL: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
57. BUF: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
58. ATL (via TEN): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
59. GB: Leo Chanel, LB, Wisconsin
60. TB: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
61. SF: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
62. KC: Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
63. CIN: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
64. DEN (via LAR): Myjai Sanders, OLB, Cincinnati
65. JAX: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
66. DET: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
67. NYG: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
68. HOU: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
69. NYJ: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
70. JAX (via CAR): Damone Clark, LB, LSU
71. CHI: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
72. SEA: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
73. IND (via WAS): Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
74. ATL: Kingsley Enagbare, OLB, South Carolina
75. DEN: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
76. BAL: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
77. MIN: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
78. CLE: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
79. LAC: Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
80. HOU (via NO): Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
81. NYG (via MIA): Dylan Parham, G, Memphis
82. ATL (via IND): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
83. PHI: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
84. PIT: Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
85. NE: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
86. LV: Neil Farrell Jr., DT, LSU
87. ARI: Darian Kinnard, G, Kentucky
88. DAL: Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
89. BUF: Kevin Austin Jr., WR, Notre Dame
90. TEN: Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
91. TB: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
92. GB: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
93. SF: Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
94. KC: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
95. CIN: Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
96. DEN (via LAR): Jamaree Salyer, G, Georgia
97. DET: Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
98. NO: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
99. CLE: Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky
100. BAL: Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
101. NO: Cole Strange, G, UT-Chattanooga
102. MIA (via SF): Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
103. KC: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
104. LAR: Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati
105. SF: Luke Goedeke, G, Central Michigan
Draft Selections By Team
1.01: OLB Aidan Hutchinson
2.42: S Lewis Cine
3.65: WR Justyn Ross
3.70: LB Damone Clark
1.02: DE Travon Walker
1.32: LB Chad Muma
2.34: S Daxton Hill
3.66: QB Carson Strong
3.97: WR Calvin Austin III
1.03: OT Evan Neal
1.13: DE Jermaine Johnson II
2.37: RB Breece Hall
3.68: CB Tariq Woolen
3.80: LB Troy Andersen
1.04: CB Ahmad Gardner
1.10: WR Garrett Wilson
2.35: DE Arnold Ebiketie
2.38: LB Quay Walker
3.69: RB Dameon Pierce
1.05: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux
1.07: DT Jordan Davis
2.36: CB Kyler Gordon
3.67: WR Jalen Tolbert
3.81: G Dylan Parham
1.06: QB Kenny Pickett
1.08: LB Nakobe Dean
2.43: QB Desmond Ridder
2.58: WR Skyy Moore
3.74: OLB Kingsley Enagbare
3.82: WR Alec Pierce
1.09: OT Ikem Ekwonu
1.19: CB Trent McDuffie
2.40: DE David Ojabo
2.41: DT DeMarvin Leal
3.72: LB Brandon Smith
1.11: S Kyle Hamilton
2.47: QB Matt Corral
1.12: CB Derek Stingley Jr.
2.46: QB Sam Howell
3.77: CB Marcus Jones
1.14: OT Charles Cross
2.45: DT Logan Hall
3.76: S Jalen Pitre
3.100: WR Khalil Shakir
1.15: DT Devonte Wyatt
1.16: CB Kaiir Elam
TRADE: WR DK Metcalf
2.51: LB Christian Harris
3.83: S Bryan Cook
1.17: WR Jameson Williams
3.79: DT Phidarian Mathis
1.18: OT Trevor Penning
2.49: WR Jahan Dotson
3.98: TE Isaiah Likely
3.101: G Cole Strange
1.20: QB Malik Willis
2.52: WR Christian Watson
3.84: S Smoke Monday
1.21: WR Treylon Burks
2.54: OLB Nik Bonnito
3.85: LB Brian Asamoah
1.22: WR Chris Olave
1.28: OLB Boye Mafe
2.53: OT Daniel Faalele
2.59: LB Leo Chanel
3.92: OT Abraham Lucas
1.23: OLB George Karlaftis
2.55: C Luke Fortner
3.87: G Darian Kinnard
1.24: C Tyler Linderbaum
2.56: OT Tyler Smith
3.88: DE Sam Williams
1.25: WR Drake London
1.29: LB Devin Lloyd
2.50: DE Drake Jackson
2.62: CB Martin Emerson
3.94: S Kerby Joseph
1.26: G Kenyon Green
3.90: TE Greg Dulcich
1.27: G Zion Johnson
2.60: DT Perrion Winfrey
3.91: RB Isaiah Spiller
1.30: CB Roger McCreary
2.57: RB Kenneth Walker III
3.89: WR Kevin Austin Jr.
1.31: CB Andrew Booth Jr.
2.63: C Cam Jurgens
3.95: DE Cameron Thomas
2.33: OT Bernhard Raimann
3.73: CB Coby Bryant
2.39: WR George Pickens
2.48: LB Channing Tindall
3.71: CB Cam Taylor-Britt
2.44: DT Travis Jones
3.78: WR John Metchie III
3.99: DE Josh Paschal
2.61: S Jaquan Brisker
3.93: CB Jalyn Armour-Davis
3.105: G Luke Goedeke
2.64: OLB Myjai Sanders
3.75: TE Trey McBride
3.96: G Jamaree Salyer
3.86: DT Neil Farrell Jr.
3.102: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
3.104: LB Darrian Beavers