Mock Draft: Look to the trenches at beginning of selections
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Our head is still spinning from all the draft movement over the past five weeks. There might very well be more trades involving first-round picks before everyone settles in near Caesars Palace and the Bellagio fountains for what promises to be a wild event.
Maybe as wild as the restructuring of the draft order already.
Not as much of a slam dunk as Trevor Lawrence last year at the top. Close enough, though.
AIDAN HUTCHINSON, EDGE, MICHIGAN
Some believe the Lions will go quarterback here. Maybe in 2021 that would make sense. Not this time.
TRAVON WALKER, EDGE, GEORGIA
The Texans elevated Lovie Smith to head coach and Lovie loves defensive studs. For the first time in 30 years, the top three are from that side of the ball.
AHMAD “SAUCE” GARDNER, CB, CINCINNATI
4. New York Jets
This draft is loaded with receivers, so the Jets wait until No. 10 for one. Instead, they also go defense.
KYLE HAMILTON, S, NOTRE DAME
5. New York Giants
New general manager Joe Schoen knows one thing about this roster: the need for blockers. He gets maybe the best in …
IKEM EKWONU, T, NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Teams desperate for quarterbacks overreach. We’re not saying Kenny Pickett isn’t deserving of being the first QB taken, but at sixth overall?
KENNY PICKETT, QB, PITTSBURGH
7. New York Giants (from Chicago)
The Giants could go for yet another O-lineman here, but there’s a stud pass rusher available, even though his consistency and ability to stay healthy are questionable.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX, EDGE, OREGON
If the Falcons don’t go wideout here, then Atlanta isn’t in Georgia.
GARRETT WILSON, WR, OHIO STATE
9. Seattle (from Denver)
Part of the payment for Russell Wilson. Will it be his eventual replacement? Had Pickett been on the board, certainly. Might be another reach …
MALIK WILLIS, QB, LIBERTY
10. New York Jets (from Seattle)
And now for that receiver, just a decision on going to Ohio State or USC.
DRAKE LONDON, WR, USC
The Jets’ pick makes this one much easier for the Commanders, who go Buckeyes.
CHRIS OLAVE, WR, OHIO STATE
The Vikings weren’t focusing on the line in front of Kirk Cousins. Then this stud blocker was available.
EVAN NEAL, T, ALABAMA
13. Houston (from Cleveland)
Part of the Deshaun Watson deal. Houston addressed the D-line and now goes to the other side.
CHARLES CROSS, T, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Baltimore’s secondary was a sieve last season, very unlike the Ravens. Here’s some help.
DEREK STINGLEY JR., CB, LSU
15. Philadelphia (from Miami)
Edge rusher or massive DT? The Eagles could go either way.
JERMAINE JOHNSON, EDGE, FLORIDA STATE
16. New Orleans (from Indianapolis through Philadelphia)
Another team some folks believe will go quarterback here. We think the Saints are satisfied with Jameis Winston for a while. Not so satisfied with their receiving group or offensive line.
TRAVIS PENNING, T, NORTHERN IOWA
17. Los Angeles Chargers
This is not a huge need, but with him still around, the Chargers can’t pass on playmaking …
DEVIN LLOYD, LB, UTAH
18. Philadelphia (from New Orleans)
Philly used about 10 seconds to get the other DL it considered at No. 15.
JORDAN DAVIS, DT, GEORGIA
19. New Orleans (from Philadelphia)
We still don’t see the Saints going quarterback. They will decide between a star receiver coming off an ACL tear and a slightly less terrific wideout who is healthy.
TREYLON BURKS, WR, ARKANSAS
OK, we’ll go the quarterback route here. Steelers can only hope they get another Big Ben career out of …
MATT CORRAL, QB, MISSISSIPPI
21. New England
Even though the Patriots needs pass catchers, they have been burned by going high in the draft for them. So …
TRENT MCDUFFIE, CB, WASHINGTON
22. Green Bay (from Las Vegas)
Part of the Davante Adams deal. And just in time to take a receiver who could fit in quickly.
JAHAN DOTSON, WR, PENN STATE
The Cardinals also want a wideout, and they will have to wait a spell for this guy — who might be the best receiver in this draft when healthy.
JAMESON WILLIAMS, WR, ALABAMA
Remember how staunch the Dallas offensive lines were for years? No longer, so the Cowboys address that area.
KENYON GREEN, G, TEXAS A&M
An early Super Bowl favorite with the wise guys in Vegas, Buffalo looks for a starting cornerback to go with Tre’Davious White once he is healthy.
ANDREW BOOTH JR., CB, CLEMSON
The need for playmakers in the passing game remains in Music City. So the Titans sing out the name of …
GEORGE PICKENS, WR, GEORGIA
27. Tampa Bay
Well, it won’t likely be a QB with Tom Brady ending his short retirement without missing a game.
DEVONTE WYATT, DT, GEORGIA
28. Green Bay
Having taken a wideout earlier, the Packers can concentrate on the defense. They could go secondary here, too.
NAKOBE DEAN, LB, GEORGIA
29. Kansas City (from San Francisco through Miami)
Part of the payment for Tyreek Hill. But the Chiefs snap the string of Georgia Bulldogs with this selection.
TRAVIS JONES, DT, UCONN
30. Kansas City
And again for Kansas City’s D.
DAXTON HILL, S, MICHIGAN
So close to their first Super Bowl title, the Bengals can go for the best player available. He’s a pass rusher who can stop the run.
GEORGE KARLAFTIS, EDGE, PURDUE
32. Detroit (from Los Angeles Rams)
The Lions can’t wait for anyone. They could take a quarterback here, but Detroit goes again in two spots.
CHRISTIAN WATSON, WR, NORTH DAKOTA STATE
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