The NFL Draft is this month! Are you ready? If not, it’s time to get in the game. One way is to check out ESPN’s Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, which is his first since the 49ers, Dolphins, and Eagles juggled some their picks around.
We’ll take a look at the skill positions and where McShay has them going in his first two round mock of the season.
1. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Zach Wilson, New York Jets
3. Mac Jones, San Francisco 49ers (via Dolphins)
7. Trey Lance, Carolina Panthers (via Lions)
11. Justin Fields, New England Patriots (via Giants)
51. Kellen Mond, Washington FT
52. Kyle Trask, Chicago Bears
Perception of the top quarterbacks after Trevor Lawrence shifted somewhat with their pro days, but Mac Jones going third overall, over Justin Fields and Trey Lance is outside the norm. Truly pinning these quarterbacks down to individual teams feels like a fool’s errand at the moment, but Jones at three feels like a stretch when he could have Fields or Lance.
We know the 49ers are going after a quarterback at No. 3, but the key team now are the Falcons, who have pick No. 4. McShay has them taking tight end Kyle Pitts, which would be solid, but will they go after a quarterback or possibly trade back for more rebuilding tools? Knowing their thought process would go a long way toward deciphering the QB puzzle.
Knowing the Patriots luck, Fields could fall and they would likely be keen to trade up, as McShay has in this mock. They will be in a chess match with the Panthers, and it will be very interesting to see how that turns out.
5. Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
6. Devonta Smith, Miami Dolphins (via Eagles)
8. Jaylen Waddle, Detroit Lions (via Panthers)
20. Kadarius Toney, Chicago Bears
27. Terrace Marshall Jr., Baltimore Ravens
28. Elijah Moore, New Orleans Saints
33. Tutu Atwell, Jacksonville Jaguars
37. Rashod Bateman, Philadelphia Eagles
49. Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
62. Tylan Wallace, Green Bay Packers
The top teams who want wide receivers will also be in the market for offensive linemen. The good news for them is that o-line is deep this year, which should push them toward a top receiver early. The Dolphins likely traded up with the Eagles for a specific reason. They likely want one of those top receivers and McShay has them landing DeVonta Smith just after the Bengals land Ja’Marr Chase as the first wide receiver off the board. These picks make perfect sense as both teams add pieces around their sophomore quarterbacks.
Wide receiver isn’t as deep as it was last season, so we probably aren’t going to have a strong grasp on who grabs who after Jaylen Waddle is off the board.
We saw one running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire go at the very end of the first round last draft, which was a little surprising. There isn’t much reason to grab a running back early in the draft anymore, but teams with need like the Jets and Steelers will still reach into the back end of the first round for them.
Etienne and Harris are automatically starters, especially if they are taken this early. The Dolphins will also be in the hunt for a starting back, so watch for them to make a move in the second round.
4. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
45. Pat Freiermuth, Jacksonville Jaguars
Pitts is a player that feels like a can’t miss offensive weapon in any offense. The Falcons are a wild card at No. 4 and could trade back or go for their future at quarterback, so Pitts’ landing spot is still very much up for debate. He could fall if teams trade up for quarterbacks and somebody could get really lucky. If he is there when the Bengals draft, they could be in for a very tough decision.