With the NFL draft finally arriving, I will be doing my final mock draft of the year. Despite doing two already, there have been tons of draft stock shifts in the final weeks heading into Thursday night.
- Washington Commanders: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
Williams would be the consensus number one wideout off the board if not for his leg injury late in the 2021 season. Despite this, Washington can use a weapon like Williams in their offense that now has Carson Wentz at the helm.
- Minnesota Vikings: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
McDuffie was the best defender in the Pac-12 outside of aforementioned Kayvon Thibodeaux, and will be a day one starter on Minnesota’s defense. Patrick Peterson will be a perfect mentor, as both have made a living in zone coverages.
- Houston Texans: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
The last of the top three linemen to be taken, Charles Cross provides the Texans with a top-tier right tackle since Laremy Tunsil is already on the blind side. As the team looks to develop quarterback Davis Mills, keeping him protected will go a long way.
- Baltimore Ravens: Edge Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
The Ravens were so close to finding their solution at edge rusher, seemingly coming to terms with Za’Darius Smith. The deal eventually fell through, as Smith signed with Minnesota after the fact.
Johnson is a younger and cheaper alternative to Smith, and had a similar skillset on the outside. So overall, Baltimore could still make out fine here.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Edge George Karlaftis, Purdue
Another elite pass rusher in a deep class, George Karlaftis pops off tape due to his superhuman motor and impressive production in the Big 10. He will be a perfect addition as Brandon Graham enters the twilight of his career.
- New Orleans Saints: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
While I think there are a couple better prospects at the receiver position available, Chris Olave is the best fit to compliment Michael Thomas. Olave can run any route in the tree and has big play potential every time he is on the field.
- Los Angeles Chargers: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
No team has a larger need for interior defensive linemen, and there is no better than Jordan Davis. He will be an elite run defender from day one, and a fun player to have in the locker room.
- Philadelphia Eagles: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
The best inside linebacker of the draft, Nakobe Dean is a proven leader and should go within the top 20 despite his injury concerns. The Eagles have not gotten the linebacker position right since the departure of Jordan Hicks, but that all changes here.
- New Orleans Saints: OT Trevor Penning, UNI
After losing Terron Armstead in free agency, New Orleans is desperate to find an answer in the draft. Penning is the next best one available, so this fit makes sense. Penning’s small school background should not frighten teams, as Penning has stood out in draft showcases all offseason against top talent.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Mitchell Trubisky is good enough to keep the Steelers competitive, but not to be their franchise guy. Pickett already has a built-in Pittsburgh fanbase, and had the most impressive 2021 season out of all the available quarterbacks.