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Posted (edited)

Well, it's Draft Day, so I'm putting up my first round mock draft, finally.  Probably gonna miss a lot, but we'll see.  This is not using my own rankings, but what I think teams would be likely to do.

01. Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

02. Skins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio St

03. Dolphins (via Lions): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: No way they move up for a tackle.  It just can't be.

04. Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia: Giants could try to trade down, but I think they just take their choice of tackles here.

05. Lions (via Dolphins): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio St: Lions could also try to trade down again, but I think they're more likely to stay than NYG.  They already did it once.

06. Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: This one could go higher or lower, honestly.

07. Falcons (via Panthers): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida: The Falcons want to move up for a corner, supposedly, and the Panthers ought to want down.

08. Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa: This is a tough one between Brown, Simmons, and a Tackle.  I went with a tackle.

09. Bucs (via Jags): Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama: The Jags miss out on Henderson, and the Bucs move up for Brady insurance.

10. Browns: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: With needs at both linebacker and safety, this is an easy pick for the Browns with no drug negative top end OTs.

11. Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: Lamb falls into the Jets' laps.

12. Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: I thought about sliding him further down because of the rumored knee problems, but this is such a Mayock pick.

13. 49ers: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn: I know the 49ers like Ruggs, but I have to stop Brown's fall somewhere, and he'd be a fine replacement for Armistead.

14. Jags (via Bucs): K'Lavon Chiasson, Edge, LSU: I don't like Chaisson, but other people do, and with him likely over the remaining corners, he's the pick.

15. Broncos: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama: The Broncos need weapons for their QB, so they nab Ruggs, who could have gone to SF.

16. Panthers (via Falcons): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina: The Panthers have a lot of needs on defense, but they landed extra picks, so they nab Kinlaw here.

17. Cowboys: AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson: This is higher than I think he should go, but Terrell seems to be creeping upwards, and the Cowboys need a CB.

18. Dolphins: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville: Becton's fall ends here.  The Dolphins land the biggest upside tackle in this class.

19. Raiders: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU: The Raiders got their WR, so now they get the next big need with Gladney.

20. Jags: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU: The Jags just keep missing on CBs, but it's a deep class, so they take Queen instead.

21. Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: The Eagles really need a WR, so they happily take Jefferson here.

22. Vikings: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn St: The Vikings really need a CB, but they may not want to reach with another first rounder and YGM available.

23. Pats: Zach Baun, Edge/LB, Wisconsin: With needs at both Edge and LB, Baun just seems like a perfect fit for the Pats.  Although a QB may be in the works.

24. Saints: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma: The Saints have very few picks, so I don't expect them to get cute.  A LB is a big need for them.

25. Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: Patience is rewarded.  The Vikings get the CB they so desperately need.

26. Dolphins: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia: The Dolphins finish completely rebuilding their offense with Swift.

27. Seahawks: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: Trying to predict this pick is an exercise in futility, but whatcha gonna do?

28. Ravens: AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa: The Ravens take the BPA, and secure a future need.

29. 49ers (via Titans): Jalen Raegor, WR, TCU: The 49ers skipped at WR to take Brown, so now they move in front of the Packers for Raegor.

30. Packers: Isaiah Wright, OT, Georgia: The Packers wanted a WR, but the 49ers beat them to it, so they take Wright instead, who projects as a RT anyway.

31. Titans (via 49ers): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: There are a lot of possibilities here: Mims, Cleveland, Blacklock, but I expect CB to be higher on the Titans' priority list.

32. Lions (via Chiefs): Jordan Love, QB, Utah St: I had the Chiefs picking Ruiz, but then I remembered the trade I initially put earlier.  The Lions are rumored to be after a QB on Day 2, but with Love still there, and a fifth year option up for grabs, they use their extensive capital to move up for Love.

Edited by Daniel

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13 minutes ago, Daniel said:

30. Packers: Isaiah Wright, OT, Georgia: The Packers wanted a WR, but the 49ers beat them to it, so they take Wright instead, who projects as a RT anyway.

Doesn't fit the Packers' mold for OL, and I don't think he'd fit in LaFleur's scheme anyways.

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2 minutes ago, CWood21 said:

Doesn't fit the Packers' mold for OL, and I don't think he'd fit in LaFleur's scheme anyways.

I threw around Mims and Cleveland before I settled there.  You think they're more likely?

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2 minutes ago, Daniel said:

I threw around Mims and Cleveland before I settled there.  You think they're more likely?

Yes.  I think Josh Jones and Ross Blacklock are the two most likely choices.  Don't think Jones will be there.  Think OL or DL is the way they're going to go, but CB is a darkhorse possibility.

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OK, Round 1 grades.  I usually get annoyed looking at grades, since they usually average out to like a B+, which is way too high and makes it hard to tell who really likes what.  I'm gunning for about a C average, but with this class, it'll probably be higher.

01. Bengals: Burrow: B+

Not much to say, and an obvious pick, but A's are reserved for steals: teams pulling off something they shouldn't have been able to.  This is the right pick though.

02. Skins: Chase Young: B+

Just like above, it's the right pick, but not a steal.

03. Lions: Jeff Okudah: C

It's hard for me to believe that the Lions couldn't convince the Dolphins to give up something, lest the Chargers take their QB, so they could have gotten better value, I think.

04. Giants: Andrew Thomas: B-

The best OT, but not stellar.  I had all four tackles graded similarly, so they maybe could have tried to play the Dolphins and Chargers against each other and moved down, like the Lions.

05. Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa: A

If he was healthy, this wouldn't be an option.  I'm still surprised that, with all that capital, they stayed put.  It was a risk, but it paid off.

06. Chargers: Justin Herbert: C-

I don't like Herbert.  The Chargers obviously do, but they could have skipped the Dolphins if they were so inclined and gotten Tua.  They risked not having the one they want available, and I don't love the value.

07. Panthers: Derrick Brown: B+

This is a pretty solid pick for what people value Brown as, but the Panthers have so many needs, I felt they could have traded down and been able to address more needs.  I guess they really believe in Bridgewater.

08. Cards: Isaiah Simmons: B+

Simmons was my best overall player, but he's a linebacker, so he's not that valuable.  They could have maybe addressed a bigger need by taking the second tackle off the board, which is probably a better pick IMO.

09. Jags: CJ Henderson: A-

I love Henderson, and this is about right.  It's also exactly what the Jags needed, and yet another local guy for them, so this is a home run IMO.

10. Browns: Jedrick Wills: B-

Good pick, but I do think Becton would be better.  Wills, people liked, so I don't hate it, I'm just not in love with it.

11. Jets: Mekhi Becton: B

The Jets have a good OL coach, so they should get top production from Becton, who is dripping upside.  This is the right range for him.

12. Raiders: Henry Ruggs: C

I know a lot of people like Ruggs a lot, but I also think he's not the prospect that either Lamb or Jeudy are.  It's probably their guy, but with all three on the board, could have been better.

13. Bucs: Tristan Wirfs: B+

With only one top level tackle left, the Bucs moved up to make sure he was theirs.  Wirfs is a better fit on the right side, but mostly, the Bucs need to protect Brady if they're gonna challenge in his narrow window.

14. 49ers: Javon Kinlaw: A-

This makes a later pick a little worse for them, but they moved down and still landed one of the best players in this draft at a position of need.  I had Kinlaw over Brown.

15. Broncos: Jerry Jeudy: A

The Broncos absolutely stole the best player at a position of big need, and they didn't have to make any moves to do it.  One of the best picks of the draft.

16. Falcons: AJ Terrell: D+

I had Terrell mocked one spot lower, so it's not shocking to see him go this high, but it also doesn't make it a good idea.  With Lamb there, they could have traded down, or just taken a better corner.

17. Cowboys: CeeDee Lamb: A-

Not a big need, but great value, and it did prevent the Eagles from moving up to snag him.

18. Dolphins: Austin Jackson: C+

I get it.  Jackson was the next best tackle, but not by much.  It's a logical pick, but meh on value.  I'd grade it for value more harshly if the Dolphins didn't have so much capital.

19. Raiders: Damon Arnette: D

I like Arnette.  As a second rounder.  This is a reach, and a pretty big one.

20. Jags: K'Lavon Chaisson: B-

I mocked Chaisson to the Jags, and earlier than this, so it's not awful (even though I think he's Kevin Dodd).  But it does make it look like they're ready to jettison Ngakoue, so I don't love it either.

21. Eagles: Jalen Raegor: B

A good pick for the Eagles.  They maybe should have tried to move up a few spots to secure Lamb, but they've liked Raegor.  I was a little surprised to see him go with Jefferson still there though.

22. Vikings: Justin Jefferson: B+

I like Jefferson, and the Vikings needed a replacement for Diggs.  

23. Chargers: Kenneth Murray: C

This is a pretty meh pick.  They gave up their second and third to get here, and Murray isn't going to do much for their new QB.

24. Saints: Cesar Ruiz: D

I like Ruiz, but the Saints have so few picks, taking a center when the best player you drafted last year was a center is a dumb move.  It's not even great value.

25. 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk: D-

First of all, reach.  Second of all, they traded up for the reach.  Third, this could have been Jeudy/Lamb and Blacklock, or one of the many other great DTs still on the board if they'd swapped up their positions.  Terrible use of capital.

26. Packers: Jordan Love: F

They traded up for a QB who won't be ready to start for at least a couple seasons, when their team has a Super Bowl winning QB now, and just went 13-3 and was one game away from the Super Bowl.  They could have given Rodgers help, or drafted a great defensive player, and gave up pick 136 to do it.

27. Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks: D

We kind of expect this from the Seahawks, and they're usually right in the end, but come on.  Trade down if you're gonna not even take the best LB on the board.

28. Ravens: Patrick Queen: B+

Ravens stood pat and got a better LB than Seattle just took.  It's a fit, and it helps a defense that's playing catchup to a dynamic offense by putting a guy who can play all over the field there.

29. Titans: Isaiah Wilson: C-

I get the pick.  He was the best remaining fit at RT, and I mocked him only one spot lower.  But there were great players at multiple positions of need, and they did report there was at least some interest in trading, but they took him anyway. I trust Robinson, but without foresight, it looks pretty meh.

30. Dolphins: Noah Igbinoghene: D-

Another reach, at a position of no need.  The only thing that makes it better is that they traded down first.

31. Vikings: Jeff Gladney: A+

I don't see how Gladney stayed on the board this long with inferior CBs going ahead of him.  It's a big need for the Vikings, and they even recouped value by trading down first.  I really don't see how they could have done better.

32. Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire: C-

It's a defensible pick, and obviously they liked him, but I would have maybe moved down.  There was literally every RB available still, and they could have made some better value.  They really ought to already be making moves to accumulate future value for when Mahomes is off that rookie deal.

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7 minutes ago, Daniel said:

A's are reserved for steals

The whole concept of reaches and steals is subjective.  Chase Young was a top 2 player in the draft, and he was picked 2nd overall.  There's no reason that this pick should be an A.

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1 minute ago, CWood21 said:

The whole concept of reaches and steals is subjective.  Chase Young was a top 2 player in the draft, and he was picked 2nd overall.  There's no reason that this pick should be an A.

The whole concept of grades is subjective.  IMO, you don't just get an A for not screwing up when the move to make is obvious.  I gave them B+'s.  That's enough for *** laude.  They did well, but any idiot would have done the same thing.

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1 hour ago, Daniel said:

The whole concept of grades is subjective.  IMO, you don't just get an A for not screwing up when the move to make is obvious.  I gave them B+'s.  That's enough for *** laude.  They did well, but any idiot would have done the same thing.

So...they only get an "average" grade unless they screw it up.  Seems illogical.  You can't have a system in which a team/person can't achieve a top grade.  There was no better selection, ergo they should get a top grade.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, CWood21 said:

So...they only get an "average" grade unless they screw it up.  Seems illogical.  You can't have a system in which a team/person can't achieve a top grade.  There was no better selection, ergo they should get a top grade.

B+ ain't average.

But you are free to make your own grades with your own system.

Edited by Daniel

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Posted (edited)

OK, so best and worst drafts.  The worst were actually pretty easy, but the best was hard.  This was such a deep, talented draft class that only a few teams didn't come away with what would normally be great drafts.  Even my HM worst team, if you put that draft in last year's class, doesn't look so bad.

Best:

1. Cowboys: I feel like I've been raving too much about them already, but they landed Lamb in the first and still went back and hit their major needs with great players.  Diggs could have been a first rounder, Gallimore was a steal, Reggie Robinson is one of my favorite value picks in the draft, and Biadasz I had as a second rounder.  They even took Anae without overdrafting him.  Every single pick was quality.

2. Jets: Becton is the biggest upside tackle in the class, and they managed to ****** him just in time.  After that, Mims was a steal that satisfied a big need, Zuniga will be a star if he can stay healthy, same with Bryce Hall, Perine should be a contributor down the road, and I liked Clark as a potential starting guard.  James Morgan should be a stellar backup in a year or two as well.  When you can hit your three biggest needs with your first three picks without reaching, that's a dang good draft.

3. Ravens: I had a lot of trouble figuring out 2 and 3 because they're so close.  Queen was a good pick in the first, but it only got better from there.  Dobbins is a great RB, Madubuike will be a year one stud, and Malik Harrison and James Proche will be quality depth.  Ben Bredesen was a steal: he and Madubuike were among the steals of the draft  I had him as my second rated guard in the entire draft.  He should start Day 1.

4. Vikings: I was more skeptical for the Vikings since they came in with a ton of capital, but they did well, even factoring that in.  Jefferson was a good pick, Gladney was an excellent pick, and they traded down to get him.  Ezra Cleveland was a fantastic value, and Dantzler was a fantastic value where he fell.  Only the Titans and Cowboys stole corners better.  Lynch, Dye, Willekes, and Stanley all give valuable depth pieces, with some upside in those defenders as well.  Fantastic values all around.

5. Panthers: They really only had four picks that I cared much for, but holy crap, were those some picks.  Derrick Brown I'm more lukewarm on than most, but getting him at 7 is a deal.  YGM in the second is ridiculous.  He perfectly complements Burns, and gives the Panthers one of the scariest D-lines in the league immediately.  Chinn is a great player per reports (I don't scout small school guys through tape, it's a wasted effort), and Pride will be a great locker room presence, special teamer, and depth CB with some developmental potential if he gets stronger.  I don't remember a team ever going all defense, so kudos.

HM: Giants: Thomas was the right pick at 4, and McKinney was about right too.  Matt Peart, Darnay Holmes, and Shane Lemieux were all value picks.  Weird draft, only taking OLs and DBs, but you can't fault them for knowing their needs and addressing them when they have the opportunity.  Doesn't hurt that OL and DB were crazy deep this year either.

HM 2: Bills: Epenesa, Zack Moss, Gabriel Davis, Jake Fromm, Isaiah Hodgins, and Tyler Bass.  The Bills took a ton of good players, which should help them as the presumed frontrunner for the AFCE.

Worst:

1. Packers: The Love pick has been discussed ad nauseum.  But they also reached with their next two picks: I had Deguara as a UDFA.  I liked the late pickups of Runyan and Hanson, athletic linemen that should be quality depth with some upside, but that's not enough to save this draft.

2. Pats: Close call here, but the Pats made more boneheaded moves than the next one so they win.  I like Uche, but the productiveness isn't there yet.  Not sure what they want to do with Jennings, and Dugger is OK, but small school guys always carry some risk.  Also, they spent a fifth on a kicker who wasn't even in the running for the top K spot, and he comes with serious issues that should make him undraftable and unemployable.  I hope he fails immediately, and there isn't a player in this draft I'm rooting against more.

3. Raiders: The Raiders came away with talent, but considering the draft capital they had, this was a failure.  Ruggs was a bit of a reach and not a good fit, Arnette was a huge reach, and the next two picks went to even more receivers.  Amik Robertson was a good grab late, but they didn't really do much to anything but WR and CB.

4. Chiefs: I like Clyde Edwards-Helaire.  I do.  And he's a fit as a pass catching RB.  But he was a bit of a reach.  Swift is all around better, and they could probably have traded down anyway.  Gay was a reach, and Niang was a good get.  But they came away with very little talent.  Not that they need much help.

5. Falcons: I projected Terrell only one spot lower, and I like him.  But this was a big reach.  Davidson and Hennessey are great players, so they recoup some value there, but like the Chiefs, they didn't add nearly enough talent, especially for their draft position.

HM. Seahawks: It was so close between the Seahawks and the Falcons, but we expected the Seahawks to have a WTF draft.  They always do.  Brooks is a good LB prospect and was underrated, but I still had him as a late second.  Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson are both good pass rushers who need to grow, but have fantastic potential.  Parkinson and Lewis were solid picks as well.  Not the best players, but they took quite a few quality ones, so that makes theirs better despite the reaches.

HM 2: Texans: Mostly because of their trades.  I like Blacklock a lot, same with Greenard.  Both were good, value picks that addressed needs.  Heck is underrated as well, and should help them develop a safety valve at tackle.

Best pick of the draft: Tennessee Titans: Kristian Fulton: Call me biased, but Fulton falling to the Titans was a godsend.  Corner is the biggest need they had, and managing to fill it, at the bottom of the second, with a player people expected to go in the mid-first is absurd.  If the rest of their draft had been up to par, they could have been in my best list, but the first and third picks were just too meh, and I didn't factor in the trade for Tannehill.

Worst picks of the draft: Packers-Love/Patriots-Rohrwasser: I think I said my piece in their worst spots rankings.  I couldn't decide which of these is worse: taking a um....questionable human being who is also a low ranked kicker...in the fifth, or the catastrophe that was the Jordan Love pick.  One at least has a defense if the player works out, and the other didn't trade up then squander a first, so it's a tie.

Edited by Daniel

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On 4/24/2020 at 9:54 AM, Daniel said:

 

27. Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks: D

We kind of expect this from the Seahawks, and they're usually right in the end, but come on.  Trade down if you're gonna not even take the best LB on the board.

28. Ravens: Patrick Queen: B+

Ravens stood pat and got a better LB than Seattle just took.  It's a fit, and it helps a defense that's playing catchup to a dynamic offense by putting a guy who can play all over the field there.

 

Kinda nitpicking here, but I thought this was interesting. For the trade down, Seattle tried but after Green Bays deal fell through, couldn't find any partners in the range they wanted. 

I know this stuff isn't exactly a perfect science, but  you had them as #3 & #4 LB respectively. In you description you were suspect on Queen, but liked Brooks. Since Brooks fits Seattles scheme much more than Queen, wouldn't it make sense for Seattle to take Brooks over Queen? Is 15 - 20 picks of perceived value the difference between a B+ and D?

Also you listed Seattle as having a poor draft. Yet, Seattle's first 4 picks were all Top 10 positional players in your rankings (4LB, 6EDGE, 6 IOL, 7TE). Guessing you place a lot of value on draft placement?

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1 minute ago, animaltested said:

Kinda nitpicking here, but I thought this was interesting. For the trade down, Seattle tried but after Green Bays deal fell through, couldn't find any partners in the range they wanted. 

I know this stuff isn't exactly a perfect science, but  you had them as #3 & #4 LB respectively. In you description you were suspect on Queen, but liked Brooks. Since Brooks fits Seattles scheme much more than Queen, wouldn't it make sense for Seattle to take Brooks over Queen? Is 15 - 20 picks of perceived value the difference between a B+ and D?

Also you listed Seattle as having a poor draft. Yet, Seattle's first 4 picks were all Top 10 positional players in your rankings (4LB, 6EDGE, 6 IOL, 7TE). Guessing you place a lot of value on draft placement?

One bold at a time: I did, but I also thought there was a big drop there from 3 to 4.

If Brooks is a better scheme fit, that's news to me.  I'm not super familiar with that for all the teams.  Knowing that probably would have made my grade a little less harsh, and it makes the pick make more sense.  Thank you for letting me in on that.

And yes, I do.  I try to grade as best I can without just using my own positional rankings, and those have changed a little bit, I just try to get them done early to avoid succumbing to group think.  Most of those situations with the Hawks' picks do involve some drop offs, and then who was available that was better.  Like with Taylor.  Not a huge reach, but there were better and higher ranked options available, both from my list and what the consensus seemed to be.  For Lewis and Robinson, it's the same.  I thought it was a fairly weak class at both IOL and TE, so getting a top 10 player in those isn't a huge get.

So a combination of not taking the best player available with any of those picks, either in my own rankings or the consensus, makes it hard to grade them outside of the bottom third or fourth.

And outside of the actual top 5, I don't think the drafts were particularly bad because it was such a great class.  I only threw in honorable mentions because after them, everything is such a narrow margin it's hard to say who did better or worse.

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On 4/24/2020 at 11:54 AM, Daniel said:

20. Jags: K'Lavon Chaisson: B-

I mocked Chaisson to the Jags, and earlier than this, so it's not awful (even though I think he's Kevin Dodd).  But it does make it look like they're ready to jettison Ngakoue, so I don't love it either.

Dodd was 24 coming out and didn't have the first step/bend that Chaisson has imo.

The guy is still just 20 years old. Same age/similar production to that of a 20 year old Josh Allen at Kentucky (not that I'm comparing them). I think, with the way he finished the season out, you could've saw a large jump ala Josh Allen in production next year.

We'll see. He has some areas he needs work in but at his age that's expected...the tools are there.

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3 minutes ago, .Buzz said:

Dodd was 24 coming out and didn't have the first step/bend that Chaisson has imo.

The guy is still just 20 years old. Same age/similar production to that of a 20 year old Josh Allen at Kentucky (not that I'm comparing them). I think, with the way he finished the season out, you could've saw a large jump ala Josh Allen in production next year.

We'll see. He has some areas he needs work in but at his age that's expected...the tools are there.

There's upside, and I do agree he is a slightly better prospect than Kevin Dodd was.  But they both were on NC teams and came on strong at the year's end, and Dodd was considered a steal when the Titans took him at 33.  There are quite a few similarities.

But a B-, in my mind, is a slightly above average pick, because it's a slightly above average grade.

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6 minutes ago, Daniel said:

There's upside, and I do agree he is a slightly better prospect than Kevin Dodd was.  But they both were on NC teams and came on strong at the year's end, and Dodd was considered a steal when the Titans took him at 33.  There are quite a few similarities.

But a B-, in my mind, is a slightly above average pick, because it's a slightly above average grade.

Again though, at Dodds age he was what he was. Chaisson was a 20 year old who came on hot against great competition as an extremely young player. His tools are all there to be an impact edge.

I get what you mean about the comparison but I'm not sure a 20 year old starting to figure it out midseason with the tools he has is best compared to an older guy who came on hot near the end of his college career without those same tools you look for in an edge that Chaisson possesses.

I'm not disagreeing with the grade, more so just the Dodd comparison.

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