| PRO Kiper's First Mock Draft

bama alum

McShay had Evan Neal going to the Jags, which would have given Coach Saban his first NFL #1 draft pick. Kiper sees it differently though. Jamo has dropped, but if this holds true, then he goes to the Pats, and that will be a good thing!

When the Steelers were looking at missing the playoffs, they were #12 in McShay's mock draft, and he had them taking the Pitt QB. Now they're drafting later...Matt Corrall? Lord...

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

At this time last year, the Jags were starting a rebuild under a new coach and ... they're back at the same spot. Urban Meyer didn't even last a full season. I wrote last January that this wasn't going to be a quick fix, and they're not much closer to contending, hence back-to-back No. 1 picks. I do think they have their quarterback, even though Trevor Lawrence had a mostly abysmal rookie season.

So if the Jaguars get first dibs on any prospect in this draft, I'd go with Hutchinson; I have him ranked slightly ahead of Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Hutchinson, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, is a dominant and consistent pass-rusher who can put up double-digit sacks as a rookie. He's a safe No. 1 pick. They can play him on the other side of Josh Allen, who is a really nice player. Now, there could be some talk about the Jags taking a left tackle here, but I'm not buying that over the value of having a truly great edge rusher. Yes, left tackle might be more of a "need," but they should take the best prospect, not fill the biggest need.


2. Detroit Lions

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

The Lions finished with the same number of wins (three) as the Jaguars, but doesn't it feel as if they're in a much better position? Well, maybe not so fast. The defense allowed the second-most points in the league (27.5 per game), and the offense had major consistency issues, which led to coordinator Anthony Lynn's firing. This is a roster that could use talent upgrades at several positions.

That's why it's a no-brainer to take Thibodeaux or Hutchinson here, whoever is still on the board. Thibodeaux, who was a No. 1 overall high school recruit, has elite upside. His get-off at the snap is lightning-quick, and though he's still developing secondary pass-rush moves, he doesn't need them when he can blow by offensive tackles before they're out of their stance. Thibodeaux had half as many sacks (seven) as Hutchinson this season, but he had the second-best pressure rate in the country (17.8%). Charles Harris, who led Detroit with 7.5 sacks this season, is a free agent, which makes this even more of a problem position.


3. Houston Texans

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Houston just fired coach David Culley after one season, and studying the roster he had and the numbers they put up on both sides of the ball, it's a wonder this team won four games. Here are five stats that caught my eye:

  • 27th in total sacks (32)
  • 30th in offensive points per game (15.5)
  • 31st in yards per play allowed (5.9)
  • 32nd in first downs per game (15.6)
  • 32nd in rushing yards per game (83.9)
The bright spot, of course, was the improvement of rookie third-round pick Davis Mills, who played his way into potentially being the opening-day starting quarterback in 2022, but the Texans have holes all over their roster. I think they'd take Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux here if either fell out of the top two, but Neal could be a 15-year starter at tackle or guard; he played both at Alabama before settling in at left tackle. Houston has Laremy Tunsil at that spot, but a thumb injury forced him out of 12 games this season. General manager Nick Caserio & Co. could take Neal and figure out his best position later, not unlike what the Lions did with Penei Sewell in the 2021 draft.

ESPN Illustration


4. New York Jets

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Jets had big defensive issues in Robert Saleh's first season as coach, from the front seven to the secondary. They didn't get after quarterbacks, and they couldn't cover pass-catchers, which is a recipe for another top-five draft pick. Hamilton would fill a void at safety, especially if Marcus Maye leaves in free agency. Six-foot-4, 220-pound Hamilton has rare traits for his size, and he can play in the box or as a center fielder (he had eight career interceptions for the Fighting Irish). He was one of the most versatile defenders in college football for the past three seasons. Hamilton played in only seven games in 2021 because of a knee injury, but I'm told he'll be ready to work out at the NFL combine in March. The Jets also pick at No. 10, and they could get help on offense there.


5. New York Giants

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

There has been a lot of recent buzz around Ekwonu, whose stock is rising. He dominated at left tackle for the Wolfpack this season after playing some guard earlier in his career. Based on the 2021 tape, there's not much separating Ekwonu from Evan Neal, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ekwonu was the top tackle off the board in April. He has All-Pro potential as a run-blocker and as a pass-blocker.

For the Giants -- who haven't yet replaced coach Joe Judge or general manager Dave Gettleman -- this would be top-five tackles in two of the past three drafts, but even though Andrew Thomas played better this season, the right tackle spot is far from settled. They just have to get better up front, and taking Ekwonu is a step toward that. Like the Jets, they have two top-10 picks, and they could go offense with the No. 7 selection.


6. Carolina Panthers

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

This is an easy call based on Carolina's biggest weakness: It has to get a better left tackle. The Panthers ranked last in the league in yards per play (4.6) and 28th in sacks allowed (52). They went into the season with journeyman Cameron Erving manning the spot and finished with rookie third-rounder Brady Christensen filling in. Taylor Moton is a really solid right tackle, but they can upgrade the left side with this pick.

Cross took a big leap in 2021, allowing just a single sack while playing in a pass-happy Mike Leach offense. He can be a big-time NFL left tackle. This isn't a reach pick. The Panthers need to hit here because they don't have second- or third-round picks due to trades for quarterback Sam Darnold and cornerback CJ Henderson. This is a massive draft for coach Matt Rhule, who fired his offensive coordinator and might have to make the playoffs in 2022 to keep his job.


7. New York Giants (via CHI)​

David Ojabo, OLB, Michigan

It's always tough to project for teams that haven't hired new general managers, so here's my thinking for this pick, which comes from the Bears in the Justin Fields trade up last year: The Giants have some solid options on defense, but it's fair to say they underperformed as a unit in 2021. The best way to get better as a whole? Pressure the quarterback, which helps every level of the defense. Rookie second-round pick Azeez Ojulari had a nice season, leading the team with eight sacks, but they don't have another top-tier edge rusher on the other side.

Ojabo can help the pass rush immediately. He had an incredibly impressive season, racking up 11 sacks and five forced fumbles while playing opposite my projected No. 1 pick, Aidan Hutchinson. He doesn't have Hutchinson's all-around game -- he has to get better against the run -- but as a pure pass-rusher, he has a very high ceiling. With these two top-seven selections, New York can get high-end starters on both sides of the ball.


Will the Eagles or Giants draft a QB in the first round?​

Mel Kiper Jr. explains why he doesn't predict that the Giants and Eagles will draft Daniel Jones' and Jalen Hurts' replacements in the first round of the NFL draft.


8. Atlanta Falcons

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

This was one of the toughest calls of the entire mock. I thought hard about a quarterback. My buddy Chris Mortensen, though, says the Falcons are committed to Matt Ryan for 2022, which means this might be too high to take a QB who's not going to play right away. This is not a class full of surefire starting QBs. If David Ojabo was still on the board, I probably would have gone with him because the Falcons finished last in the league in sacks (18) this season. But there's a little bit of a drop-off in the edge-rush tiers, and my next guy doesn't have a top-10 grade.

So how about a cornerback to play on the other side of rising star A.J. Terrell? Stingley looked like a potential No. 1 pick when he was dominating as a true freshman on LSU's national title team in 2019, but he was inconsistent in 2020 and then played just three games this season because of a foot injury. A team is going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith with Stingley because he hasn't played great for two seasons. The draft is all about upside, though, and he has the potential to be a superstar. I'm hoping he can work out at the combine to ease some concerns.


9. Denver Broncos

Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia

The Broncos need a quarterback, of course, but the feeling I get is that they're more likely to try to add a veteran in either the trade or free-agent market. They have a solid roster, and a veteran could help them win right away. This could change as we get closer to the draft -- and they hire a coach -- but I'm going to stay away from quarterback here for now.

Denver could be a great spot for the draft's best off-ball linebacker, Dean, who was the leader of the spectacular Georgia defense. He makes tackle after tackle and can run sideline to sideline to make plays, and he has three-down potential because of his ability to cover tight ends and running backs. He'll also help as a blitzer -- he had six sacks in 2021. The Broncos have the Rams' second- and third-round picks from the Von Miller trade, so general manager George Paton has a real chance to get this team back to the playoffs if he can nail a few early selections, as he did with Pat Surtain II and Javonte Williams last year.


10. New York Jets (via SEA)​

Drake London, WR, USC

Quarterback Zach Wilson had a rough rookie season, as the Jets finished near the bottom in most offensive statistics. So if I'm giving them defensive help with the No. 4 pick, let's give Wilson a target here, because his best pass-catchers in 2021 are all better out of the slot. Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios are good players, but they're never going to be down-the-field aerial threats.

London -- who is 6-foot-5 and also played on the USC basketball team -- has a chance to be a special outside receiver. He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games this season. His record-breaking year ended in late October because of a fractured right ankle, but he is expected to be ready for the 2022 season. He can be Wilson's top target, giving the Jets a huge red zone threat. The Jets, by the way, also have an extra second-round pick from the Sam Darnold trade, and they could address the offensive line on Day 2 of the draft.


11. Washington Football Team

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Time for the first quarterback off the board. You might be surprised that it's Willis, but you really shouldn't be. He was in the QB1 mix all fall before he faded a little bit in the last stretch of the regular season. The more tape I watch of his past two seasons and the more I talk to evaluators in the league, the more I like him. Put simply, Willis is the most talented quarterback in this class. He didn't always get to show that at Liberty, which didn't have much NFL talent around him. (He was sacked an astounding 51 times in 2021.) This is a dual-threat signal-caller -- he rushed for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns over the past two seasons -- with a powerful arm. I'm really excited to see him compete against the other top QBs in the Senior Bowl in a couple weeks.

Like Denver, Washington could be in the veteran QB market, but I like the fit with Willis. Washington can't go into the season with Taylor Heinicke as the starter.


12. Minnesota Vikings

Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Since 2013, the Vikings have drafted four cornerbacks in Round 1 ... and not a single one of them is still on the roster. Coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman are out, and the new regime will inherit a good, not great, roster with a couple of significant voids, particularly at corner. Veteran Patrick Peterson was signed to a one-year deal last offseason, so he's a free agent, and I'm not sold that Cameron Dantzler is a quality starter.

They should jump at the chance to take Gardner, a lockdown corner who presented problems for opposing offensive coordinators in 2021. He was targeted just 31 times as the nearest defender in coverage, and he allowed only eight catches for 60 yards. With Kirk Cousins not locked in long term, I thought about a quarterback here, but Gardner is too good to pass up for a team in glaring need.


13. Cleveland Browns

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

This was a pretty easy pick for me, because the Browns should take the best receiver left on the board. If they really are committed to Baker Mayfield for 2022 (and beyond), they should get their quarterback some help, because this is now two straight seasons in which they've trotted out a subpar receiving corps for the second half of the season.

Wilson, who caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021, can play outside or in the slot. He's a great route runner who can also run away from defensive backs after the catch. And the Buckeyes star doesn't have to go too far if Cleveland takes him.


14. Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Injuries decimated the Baltimore roster in 2021, but center Bradley Bozeman had a solid season. The problem? He's now a free agent and could get more money on the open market. The Ravens could turn to the draft for his replacement, and if Linderbaum is on the board at No. 14, they would upgrade. Linderbaum is pro-ready right now -- he already has great technique and is already a great run and pass-blocker. This one makes a ton of sense.

Barring significant injuries again, Baltimore is well-positioned for another playoff run in 2022. It needs to keep Lamar Jackson clean in the pocket, and Linderbaum will certainly help there.


15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA)​

Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah

This is the first of three Eagles picks in the next five, this one coming from the Dolphins in last March's order-busting trade. And I know that some folks are going to connect Philly with a quarterback, but I'm not buying that; Jalen Hurts earned the 2022 job by his play down the stretch, even if he didn't have a great playoff game. This team needs more talent on defense, so that's where I'm going with the first two of these picks.

I had to dive deep back into my research to find the last time the Eagles took a linebacker in Round 1, going all the way back to Jerry Robinson in 1979. I was 18 years old at the time of that draft. This is both a need and value pick, as Lloyd is coming off a tremendous season. I've compared him to Tampa Bay's Devin White -- he's an off-ball linebacker with speed, versatility, range and run-and-hit ability. He had eight sacks and four picks last season. This would be a major boost to the Philly D.


16. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND)​

Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State

The Eagles finished the regular season with wins in six of their final eight games powered by their running game, but again, this defense showed several holes. One of those was the pass rush -- they finished 31st in the league in sacks with just 29, 11 of those coming from the tackle duo of Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox. I see edge rusher as a priority, even if 2017 first-rounder Derek Barnett, a free agent this offseason, returns to the team. He has never quite put together a consistent season, and he had just two sacks in 2021. So let's use the pick from the Carson Wentz trade on a rising pass-rusher.

Ebiketie, a transfer from Temple, is coming off a stellar season for the Nittany Lions. He had 9.5 sacks, 19 total tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He has long arms and is explosive at the snap, and he's strong enough to set the edge in the run game. I'm a big fan.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Chargers again struggled against the run in 2021, an issue that has plagued them for years. Just go back to their 2018 divisional-round playoff game against the Patriots, when they were dominated up front. They allowed 4.8 yards per carry this season, which ranked 28th in the NFL. With Linval Joseph hitting free agency, there is a massive hole in the middle of their defensive line.

Who better to fill that than the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Davis? He'd make the entire defense better because he eats up blocks and allows linebackers to roam free. He also can play on three downs; he's not just a plugger. He showed on his sack in the national title game that he has some pass-rush ability, which is scary for a man of his size. Davis won't be a fit for every team, but the teams that run a 3-4 defense will eye him in this range.


18. New Orleans Saints

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

The Saints won four of five games to end the season and almost snuck into the playoffs, but their offense was subpar after Jameis Winston tore his ACL in late October. If Winston goes elsewhere in free agency, Sean Payton is going to want a new quarterback to coach up. Taysom Hill, who turns 32 before the start of the 2022 season, hasn't shown enough to be considered their QB of the present nor future.

That's why I see Pickett, who's coming off an efficient 42-touchdown, seven-interception season, as the perfect fit for New Orleans. He took a huge leap in 2021, showing off pinpoint accuracy to every area of the field. He started 49 games in college, so he can play right away for a team that wants to compete for the playoffs. The biggest question I've heard from people in the NFL is one that you might laugh at: hand size. Pickett has small hands -- we'll find out their exact size at the Senior Bowl soon -- and that matters to the teams doing the drafting. If he can play his home games in a dome in New Orleans, that's a plus.


19. Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Let's finish out the Eagles' picks with another wide receiver, which would make back-to-back-to-back drafts that Philly went wideout in Round 1. This is still an issue, though. DeVonta Smith had a good rookie season and looks to be the clear No. 1, but 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor underwhelmed and might never be more than a decent third option. Going back to the 2019 draft, the Eagles took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in Round 2, but he has just 16 catches over three seasons. Jalen Hurts has to get some more help.

Olave was a touchdown machine at Ohio State -- he had 35 in four seasons -- and he's one of the best deep threats in this class. At 6-foot-1, he can play inside or outside. He's a player who looks better and better when you watch all of his snaps in a game, because even if he didn't catch 10 passes, he was always open.


20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Like the Saints, the Steelers could immediately contend if they can figure out their quarterback position this offseason. Ben Roethlisberger appears likely to retire. I don't see backups Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins as NFL starters. They do have a strong core on both sides of the ball, though. If they acquire a veteran signal-caller via free agency or in a trade, this could be a spot to target a linemen to help a below-average O-line, but let's assume for now that they go into the draft without adding one.


Will Matt Corral be a top 20 draft pick?​

Field Yates and Mel Kiper Jr. discuss Ole Miss' Matt Corral and his potential of being a quarterback in the NFL.
Corral fits the mentality of what Mike Tomlin wants from his team. He's tough. He took a beating in multiple games in 2021, even running 30 times for 195 yards in a win over Tennessee. Oh, and he's a stellar passer, too, with touch, accuracy and arm strength. At 6-foot, he's not the biggest quarterback, but he threw 20 touchdown passes and just five picks this season. Corral sprained his ankle in the Rebels' bowl game but should be fine to work out at the combine. Because he hasn't yet graduated from school, he's the only one of the top QBs who won't be at the Senior Bowl, but he'll get his chance to show his skill set in front of scouts later.


21. New England Patriots

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Patriots had a solid 2021 draft, with quarterback Mac Jones and defensive tackle Christian Barmore turning into early starters and Day 3 pick Rhamondre Stevenson showing value in a running back rotation. What stuck out to me as I watched the Patriots, though, was their lack of playmakers in the passing game. Their top two receivers were former undrafted free agents (Jacobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne), and their tight ends didn't beat defenders after the catch (when they got open). N'Keal Henry hasn't developed like they had hoped. If they can get a deep threat for Jones here, they should be thrilled.

Williams, an Ohio State transfer with blazing speed, had a fantastic season for the Crimson Tide, catching 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns. He would likely be in the top-10 range if he didn't tear his ACL in the national title game, which means he might not be ready for training camp. Still, I don't think he's going to fall too far, because he's a true No. 1 wideout when he's healthy. This is good value for New England.


22. Las Vegas Raiders

Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

This is another tough pick to figure out, with general manager Mike Mayock out and the Raiders now searching for someone to run their football operations. The Las Vegas roster has some issues, particularly along the right side of its offensive line and in the secondary, so I went with the top cornerback left on my board. Fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs was a nice find in last year's draft, but this defense could use Booth, a 6-foot press-coverage corner who allowed only one completion of more than 20 yards in 2021. He was extremely consistent over the past two seasons, locking down receivers. The Raiders ranked 27th in QBR allowed (51.4) this season; taking Booth would address a weakness.


23. Arizona Cardinals

George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

After a 10-2 start, the Cardinals lost five of their final six games and crashed out in the playoffs, a disappointing finish for a team that once looked like a Super Bowl contender. And I think you can point to J.J. Watt's shoulder injury in late October as a big reason the defense took a step back down the stretch. Watt is still signed for another season, but his injury history means that Arizona needs to think about a replacement. That's Karlaftis, a powerful 275-pound end who might be better in a 3-4 defense. He had only 4.5 sacks in 2021, but his pressure numbers were elite, even if he didn't always get home to the quarterback. He's really good against the run, too.


24 Dallas Cowboys

Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Dallas had a disappointing playoff exit, but it still has a lot of young talent, led by do-it-all rookie linebacker Micah Parsons. The organization, however, has looming decisions on several free agents, including Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Connor Williams, Leighton Vander Esch and Jayron Kearse. That means we're going to know in March who the Cowboys have prioritized as guys to bring back and which positions will actually be needs by the time the draft rolls around in late April. Every team covets edge rushers, though.

Walker, whom McShay recently called "one of the most underrated prospects in the class," stands out every time I watch the loaded Georgia defense. He can blow up tackles at the point of attack, and he has the physical traits to chase down ball carriers in the run game. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, he has some scheme versatility at the next level.

Picks 25-32 will be set after each round of the playoffs. The order of these picks is now based on projections from ESPN's Football Power Index.


25. Cincinnati Bengals

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

There's no way the Bengals would take back their choice of wideout Ja'Marr Chase over offensive tackle Penei Sewell in last year's draft, but you saw this season why so many of us thought they would take Sewell. Joe Burrow was sacked 55 times -- third most in the league -- and the offense averaged 4.0 yards per rush, which ranked 26th. It ranked 30th in ESPN's pass block win rate metric. This is a below-average offensive line. Luckily for the Bengals, this is a deep tackle class at the top.

What to know for the NFL playoffs​


Full bracket, schedule and format »
First look at the divisional round »
Wild-card weekend overreactions »
See more playoff content »

The 6-foot-7 Penning towered over defenders at the FCS level, and he was rarely challenged. He makes things look easy. Yes, it's a big leap to the NFL, but I think he has the traits to be an early starter. If Cincinnati wants to keep 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams on the left side, Penning could easily slot in at right tackle, where free-agent-to-be Riley Reiff played for most of 2021.


26. Miami Dolphins (via SF)​

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Miami has used significant assets to build its offense around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but not every move has worked out, particularly along the offensive line. They've used three top-50 picks on the O-line in the past two drafts, and none of the three -- Austin Jackson, Liam Eichenberg and Robert Hunt -- is a surefire above-average starter. With Trevor Penning off the board in the previous pick, though, I don't have another lineman with a Round 1 grade. So let's address another spot to help Tagovailoa with this pick, which comes from the 49ers' trade up in last year's draft.

Dotson is a speedster who had 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 scores in 2021. Jaylen Waddle caught 104 passes as a rookie, but the best way to help Tagovailoa is to get him another pass-catcher who can make plays after the catch. Dotson is explosive with the ball in his hands and has the versatility to line up all over the field.


27. Buffalo Bills

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Buffalo doesn't have many holes on its roster, but Tre'Davious White's season-ending knee injury in November put the focus on its cornerback depth. This late in the first round, teams are hoping for rookie starters, but they'll also take high-upside prospects who could grow into starters in time. McDuffie can cover wideouts outside or from in the slot, so the versatility is a plus. He was very good in man coverage for the Huskies. I also thought about a guard here, and the Bills' running backs were disappointing again in 2021, even though Devin Singletary had a couple of good games to end the season. This is a little too high for a back on my board, but we could see risers after the combine, so keep an eye out.


28. Detroit Lions (via LAR)​

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

I'm not sold on Jared Goff being Detroit's guy past 2022, so why not take a quarterback flier here with the pick it got from the trade with the Rams? By taking Howell in Round 1, the Lions would get his fifth-year option, which means they could hand over the reins in 2023. Yes, they have a lot of needs, but if they think they can get their future starting signal-caller, they should pounce.


Sam Howell pulls off a trick play for North Carolina TD​

Sam Howell fools South Carolina and passes 37 yards to Garrett Walston for a TD, the 2-point conversion attempt succeeds.
Howell is a tricky evaluation, and he could definitely drop to Round 2. He looked like a potential top-10 pick after his sophomore season in 2020. At the beginning of the 2021 season, though, he really struggled, and he put a lot of bad tape out there while throwing to a completely new set of pass-catchers. He settled back in and improved down the stretch, finishing with 24 touchdown passes and nine picks, plus 11 rushing scores. He throws a beautiful deep ball and has tremendous touch on passes.


29. Kansas City Chiefs

Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State

The Chiefs fixed their offensive line last offseason, but they still have issues on the other side of the ball. They ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per play allowed (5.9) and 31st in rushing yards allowed per carry (4.8) this season. They also had just 31 sacks, which ranked 29th. This is a defensive line that could use an infusion of young talent.

I like Thomas a lot because of his versatility -- he lined up at both tackle and end for the Aztecs and created havoc at both spots. He had 11.5 sacks and a whopping 27 total tackles for loss in 2021. He's powerful in the run game and has some bend as a pass-rusher. He'd be a menace for offensive tackles if he lined up next to Chris Jones.


30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

Like the Cowboys, the Bucs have several free agents hitting the open market this offseason, including center Ryan Jensen, wide receiver Chris Godwin, cornerback Carlton Davis and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. So while time will tell which players they bring back, this pick is about a like-for-like replacement for Ndamukong Suh, who turned 35 earlier this month and has been playing on one-year contracts.

The 290-pound Leal could play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme or 3-technique tackle in a 4-3. He has a powerful lower half and strong hands. He had 8.5 sacks for the Aggies in 2021, showing improvement on his ability to take down quarterbacks.


31. Tennessee Titans

Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

I really liked Caleb Farley in the 2021 class, but a torn ACL ended his season after just two games, and that was after a back injury dropped him to the Titans in Round 1. That injury history is a little scary, which is why the Titans could go with back-to-back first-round corners.

Like his college teammate Trent McDuffie, Gordon has some scheme versatility and the ability to play in the slot as well as outside. He improved a lot in 2021, picking off two passes and breaking up seven throws. He can also tackle, and I think he'll test well at the combine.


32. Green Bay Packers

Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Is Aaron Rodgers staying in Green Bay or not? That's the ominous cloud that will hang over the team's offseason. Either way, I don't see it letting superstar wideout Davante Adams leave in free agency, so let's move to the other top need on offense. Robert Tonyan snagged 11 touchdowns in 2020, but he tore his ACL in October and is a free agent in the offseason. The Packers could bring him back on a short-term deal, or they could find a long-term solution with McBride, the draft's best tight end. He caught 90 passes for 1,121 yards in 2021, and he's also a good blocker.
Top Bottom