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Ride or Dynasty Mock Draft 1.0: No Trades/Pre-Free Agency Edition

Don Detwiler explores the upcoming NFL Draft by conducting a mock draft and discussing the upcoming rookie class.

By Don Detwiler

Hello Riders, and welcome to mock draft 1.0, the no trades/pre-free agency edition. Followers of the Ride or Dynasty podcast know me as Big Daddy Don Detwiler or sometimes the Social Media Sasquatch because I choose happiness over the social media universe’s madness. However, one of the few times of the year I break my silence is to talk about my favorite aspect of football: the draft.  

Before we dive into the whimsical farce that is a mock draft, I suppose I should try to establish a modicum of credibility. The NFL has been a lifelong obsession for me, as I’m sure it has been for most of you riders out there. I started playing organized football in 9th grade after the darn weight restrictions were removed. I learned the game as an offensive and defensive lineman and played (mostly practiced) a little DIII football for Juniata College. Football was great, even if I wasn’t. The college experience was amazing because I learned the mechanics of the game. My coaches took the time to explain the nuance of formations, dynamics of route concepts, and the schematics for creating and defeating offense. As Eagle fans will appreciate, that gives me more practical football experience than Howie Roseman, heyooooo.  

Hope springs eternal, my friends, and there is no greater single exercise of hope greater than the draft. The draft is the lifeblood of the NFL, and with every new generation of players, there will be some that will eventually be headed to Canton and some that can’t make it out of camp. My job here is simple. Just crack out the old crystal ball and predict where some of the best will land. 

The rules I’ll be imposing on myself for mock draft 1.0 are simple. No trades; I’m basing decisions on current rosters and not including projected cap casualties. Finally, I’m giving an “Also Considered” alternative for you to consider. Let’s begin. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  • If you couldn’t see this one coming, you haven’t been paying attention at all. The most complete QB prospect since the Colts Lucked out… I’ll stop now. Lawrence has been on the radar since he exploded as a true freshmen and hasn’t looked back. He’s mobile, accurate in all zones, has excellent arm strength, cerebral, and has excellent leadership qualities. The only knock that anyone has been able to put forward is he hasn’t been asked to throw with anticipation regularly. That’s a skill he will be able to develop with NFL coaching. 
  • Also Considered: None. No, really, he’s it. 
  1. New York Jets – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  • Sam Darnold gets the playmaking weapon he’s never had with a dynamic WR that wins at every level. Chase can beat defenders at every level, has dynamic deep speed, he’s elusive in the open field, and has an excellent catch radius. Don’t forget, he was the best receiver on that loaded LSU team with Jefferson and Burrow. His 2019 season was a video game, 84 catches, 1780 yds, and 20tds against the best competition around. If Sam is staying, he needs weapons, and Chase is a game wrecker. 
  • Also Considered: Penei Sewell, and I didn’t take him here because Mekhi Becton has proven himself at LT.  
  1. Miami Dolphins via Houston – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  • Fun fact: Smith had more yards and TDs than Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs in 2019. He then goes on to absolutely dominate college football and win the Heisman trophy. He’s slight, OK, so were Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison, and they turned out OK. Smith is absolutely everything you could ask for in a WR prospect. His speed is elite, he has exceptional hands, and he’s a masterful route runner. Watch his footwork off the line of scrimmage; it’s a clinic. Oh, and you might say he and Tua are familiar. 
  • Also Considered: Penei Sewell, OK, the Fin’s o-line ranked 28th last year per PFF, and that’s bad, but consider this, the fins spent a 1st, 2nd, and 4th round pick on the line last year, and all three played significant roles last year. They also have nearly 23 million in cap space before they renegotiate a single contract (https://overthecap.com/salary-cap-space/), and it’s an excellent tackle draft, so you can wait on the tackle and take an electric playmaker.  
  1. Atlanta Falcons – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  • The Falcons sprint to the podium for this guy. Matt Ryan is getting close to calling it a career, and the Falcons turn a disaster of a season into their next big thing. Wilson is an excellent athlete who can turn a broken play into big yards. He has outstanding deep ball accuracy, and his ball security is elite. The knock is who exactly did he play? BYU’s schedule is not his fault, and he definitely kept up his end of the bargain and beat the teams he faced. Learning from a really good QB for a year is never a bad thing. 
  • Also Considered: Patrick Surtain II. Wow, that defense is bad, but with no elite pass rushers this year, fixing the secondary would be a priority.  
  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon 
  • The Bengals let Joe Burrow take a beating last year and paid the price. Fortunately, it seems that his rehab is progressing well. It is essential that the Bengals don’t allow that to happen again. Enter Sewell. The leader of an excellent tackle class, Sewell, is young (21 in October), 6’6″, and 326. Hyper athletic with an excellent wingspan and delivers an excellent punch to control pass rushers. He’s the best tackle prospect in years. 
  • Also Considered: Kyle Pitts. This offense would get fun with two excellent WRs and a matchup nightmare at TE. 
  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  • This mock didn’t roll the Eagle’s way as both top WR prospects are gone, but no matter because Pitts isn’t really a TE. You can line him up anywhere, and his size gives him an advantage over nearly every defender he faces. He has not shown the ability to run block, but that is not why you pay this guy. The Eagles need a red zone threat, and Pitts shines here. He is an excellent replacement for Zac Ertz and will fit really well with Dallas Goedert, who is a classic inline TE. 
  • Also Considered: Justin Fields. Oh, how Philly it would be to ruin the relationship with one starting QB by drafting his replacement (?) only to turn around and do the same thing again. Look right now, Philly needs everything, adding a rookie QB this early in what needs to be a full rebuild just doesn’t make sense.    
  1. Detroit Lions – Micah Parsons – LB, Penn State
  • The Lions are entering a rebuild, but that rebuild could be expedited by adding a defensive field general worthy of the NFC North’s heritage. Gone will be the days of looking longingly at Bears ILBs and wondering why we can’t have a guy like that. Parsons is a sideline to sideline tackling machine. He has coverage ability, pass-rush ability, and the speed to make it all pay. Linebacker U produces another great one here. 
  • Also Considered: Trey Lance, So they added Jared Goff, and while that might pan out, Lance provides a dose of excitement. He could learn and get used to the pro tempo while Goff holds it down on the field. Bonus Jaylen Waddle, speed, speed, and more speed. If Kenny Golladay isn’t retained, Waddle could take some of the sting out of the wound. 
  1. Carolina Panthers – Justin Fields, QB, OSU
  • Friends don’t let friends draft OSU QBs, but Fields just might be the exception. Fields is a gamer. Anyone who saw the beating he took against Clemson and still balled out knows it. He throws a sweet deep ball, is a plus athlete able to create on the run, and his ball security is solid. He is not a great reader of defenses and is not great at going through progressions, but need meets availability here. The Panthers are a QB away from really having a really solid offense, and Bridgewater is a strong veteran presence on a good contract to partner with a rookie while they develop. 
  • Also Considered: Jaylen Waddle. If Curtis Samuel leaves, it’s a 1000yd hole for the offense. Waddle could jump in and instantly plug the leak.  
  1. Denver Broncos – Caleb Farley, CB, VT
  • The Broncos couldn’t cover anyone last year, full stop. Enter Farley, a corner who excelled at taking the ball away with VT. Farley can play either man or zone concepts. At 6’2″ and 207, he has elite size and athleticism for the position and should go a long way toward repairing a secondary that could lose both starting corners. 
  • Also Considered: Mac Jones, Is Drew Lock the answer? Hard to say, and Elway and company might not give Lock another season to find out.  
  1. Dallas Cowboys – Partick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
  • Ah yes, the Dallas secondary, where wide receivers roam free. Dallas finished 29 worst last year per ProFootballFocus, and that’s only because they couldn’t stop the run either. The lone bright spot was Trevon Diggs, so why not get his former college teammate to try and salvage the secondary. These two young QBs could develop into a strong tandem for years to come. Also Considered: Gregory Rousseau DE Miami, Dallas couldn’t rush the passer either last year, and Rousseau is the best available, though a bit of a reach here.  
  1. New York Giants – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  • The last time the Giants had a dynamic WR, OBJ was torching secondaries. Adding Waddle, who has the speed for days, to a group already containing Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton makes the NY receiving core more balanced and much more dynamic. Waddle can stretch the field or work out of the slot and provide Daniel Jones the weapon he needs to expand the offense. 
  • Also Considered: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern. Slater can play every position on the line effectively, which is extremely rare and something the Giants could definitely use. 
  1. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota 
  • Lance is the most difficult evaluation in the first-round pool for me. He is physically gifted, runs effectively without taking knockout hits due to his elusiveness, has a strong arm, and doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s also a winner guiding ND state to a national championship in 2019. The problem is that it was at the FBS level, so does all that translate to the NFL? If anyone can use a mobile strong-armed QB, it’s the 49ers. How fun would that offense be with Lance, Samuels, and Aiyuk running all over creation? 
  • Also Considered: Christian Darrisaw, OT, VT. Trent Williams is likely headed to free agency, leaving a monster gap to fill.   
  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, VT 
  • Protecting Justin Herbert has to be priority one for the Chargers. Hitting on Herbert last year means the clock is ticking while he is inexpensive and getting a starting left tackle at this point in the draft is a huge bonus. Darrisaw is athletic enough to win against speed rushers and has a mean streak coaches love from linemen. He can effectively get to the second level and run block, delivering an effective punch and controlling linebackers. 
  • Also Considered: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern. Herbert took 32 sacks last year; getting them hit is the fastest way to ruin a young QB. Slater can play anywhere on the line.   
  1. Minnesota Vikings – Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern 
  • All three of the Vikings’ interior offensive linemen finished outside of the top 32 in blocking efficiency for their position groups last season. That’s not good enough for a team that wants to dominate the line of scrimmage and run the ball. Rashawn Slater is an excellent athlete with the feet and strength to play all five positions on the line. To me, his best position is guard though he has tackle athleticism; he’s a steal here. 
  • Also Considered: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC likely moves inside as a pro, Tucker can be a mauler, and upgrading the line should be that important to Minnesota. 
  1. New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  • Let’s start with Jones is only here at 15 because there are no trades in this mock. I expect him to go higher due to position scarcity. The question with Jones is and will continue to be: is he a product of the talent around him at Alabama? My answer is no, he’s for real. He reads defenses quickly, moves through his progressions rapidly, can through into tight windows with accuracy and anticipation. When you watch Alamaba film, yes, receivers were open, but the ball is almost always there when they exit the break and not once they are actually open. He has pro tools, and NE would be lucky to get him at 15. 
  • Also Considered: Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU. Opinions vary on Marshall, who is an outside receiver that excels at high pointing the ball. The Pats need weapons regardless of the QB. 
  1. Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
  • With Patrick Peterson likely on the way out, the defense needs a new corner to fill the void. Horn has NFL bloodlines and is a plug-and-play starter for the cards. He has good size at 6’1″ and will get turnovers with 2 ints in 7 games last year. 
  • Also Considered: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida. This feels a little like a luxury pick, but an electric underneath playmaker fits well with the down-field acumen of Hopkins and Kirk. 
  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
  • If the autumn wind is the Raiders’ defense, it blows alright, finishing in the bottom 10 of nearly all categories last season. They need playmakers, and the Dline is a good place to start. Gregory Rousseau had 15.5 sacks in 2019 and can win with effective power moves and speed rush techniques. Getting after the QB is a good way to help a weaker secondary. 
  • Also Considered: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU. A ball hawk in the deep ⅓ would also help this defense.  
  1. Miami Dolphins – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC 
  •  Remember when I said the Fins could wait on OL help? Vera-Tucker is a decorated tackle who will most likely move inside as a pro. His athleticism and strong base and hand technique would pencil him in as a day 1 starter. 
  • Also Considered: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson. Etienne can do it all. His speed is dynamic, and he catches the ball extremely well, allowing position flexibility and another playmaker for a growing offense. 
  1. Washington Football Team – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida 
  • Wow, does this team need a QB, but free agency or a trade is going to have to provide that answer. Playmakers on the offense for the WFT include McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. They need firepower to take some of the pressure off of that dynamic defense, and Toney is the guy. Excellent speed and elusiveness matched with solid hands and route running made him a game-breaker at Florida. Adding Toney to McLaurin and Gibbs would give the WFT one of the fastest WR corps in the league. 
  • Also Considered: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota. Adding an outside receiver with red-zone skills for the jump ball is something the WFT doesn’t have. Bateman excels in the outside and possession type routes and would bring a different dynamic to what they have in-house. 
  1. Chicago Bears – Terrace Marshall, R, LSU 
  • If Allen Robinson leaves (tagged players can still be traded), the entire offense changes for the Bears and their mediocre QB room. Darnell Mooney has shown he can play, but he needs a sidecar. Marshall is more than a sidecar. Similar to Robinson in size and stature, Marshall was the 3rd member of that great LSU group with Burrow. This season he emerged from under the shadow of Jefferson and Chase to show he could be a lead dog. The best case as an outside receiver, Marshall excels at going up and getting the ball, though he also has the speed to take a slant pass to the house. 
  • Also Considered: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan, it’s time to replenish the talent at tackle here as both starters are getting long in the tooth, and one or both could end up moving on. 
  1. Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan 
  • Paye has the size and strength to be a difference-maker on an already strong Colts defensive line. The Colts defense is at its best when they can get pressure from the front four and then play cover behind it. Paye is the classic 4-3 defensive end coming in at 270, which helps him anchor against the run. 
  • Also Considered: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan. The retirement of Anthony Costanzo creates a need at OT. If the Colts don’t pony up for a veteran, darn it, I promised I’d stop before. A young tackle would make sense. 
  1. Tennessee Titans – Jaelan Philips, DE, Miami 
  • A pair of tweezers generated more pressure than the Titans’ pass rush last year, and with Jadeveon Clowney set to leave, the unit is a desperate need. Jaelan Philips is a complete 4-3 style end with the suddenness and bend to provide outside push and collapse the pocket. Has 8 sacks in 2020 would be a welcome addition. 
  • Also Considered: Joe Tryon, DE, Washington. A 2020 opt-out, Tryon has excellent speed and was disruptive enough to account for 8 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2019. 
  1. New York Jets via Seattle – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame 
  • C.J.Mosley returns from his opt-out hiatus, which is good, but he is also the best linebacker on the roster by a huge margin. Owusu-Koramoah has speed to burn, flows sideline to sideline without getting caught in traffic, and is a weapon in coverage. He is able to play in any scheme and is a true three-down linebacker. Even if Mosley returns to form and stays healthy, Owusu-Koramoah can play off the ball on the outside and not miss a beat. In fairness, he will likely be gone by this point. 
  • Also Considered: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama. Building a defense from the lines out is always a sound strategy. Barmore is an effective run stopper and developing pass rusher. He’s the kind of player who can grow with the roster.  
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  • The Steelers have major work to do on offense. Their late-season collapse had everything to do with an offense that couldn’t run and couldn’t pass long enough to get the ball down the field. With excellent tackle depth in this draft running through the third round, the Steelers can afford to take the most complete back in the draft. Steeler backs couldn’t score, Harris did 26 times last season, no back in the Burgh approached 750 yds, Harris had 1466 yds. You get the point, and at 6’2″ and 230lbs, he even feels like an old-school Steeler. 
  • Also Considered: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan. Mayfield reminds me of John Runyan with LT athleticism. He finishes blocks and punishes defenders. He is also going to be drafted as a 20-year-old, so here is more development to his game.  
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars via LA – Azeez Ojulari, DE/OLB, Georgia
  • With the franchise tag on Cam Robinson, the Jags can focus on the defense with their second-round pick. The Jags defense needs talent in a big way. Their pass rush has suffered since they traded Yannick Ngakoue, which further exposed a suspect secondary. Azeez, Ojulari from Georgia makes a ton of sense here. He has position flexibility as a big OLB or a rush 4-3 DE, and he brings it with an excellent first step and solid hand fighting technique. 
  • Also Considered: Levi Onwuruike, remember how I said they couldn’t rush the passer? Well, they couldn’t stop the run either. Onwuruike didn’t have a great week at the senior bowl, but two years of good tape don’t lie.  
  1. Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins, OLB, Tulsa
  • The Brown’s d-line is already a strength, but their pass rush is all Miles Garrett, and with Olivier Vernon coming off major surgery Garrett needs a sidecar. Collins can flat-out fly. The Tulsa product is also a complete LB and added 4 ints to his stats last year. 
  • Also Considered: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue. Moore is a big play waiting to happen. He has tremendous leaping ability and can play both inside and out despite his height. With OBJ in flux and Rishard Higgins a UFA, adding talent to the WR corps helps Baker reach that next level. 
  1. Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota 
  •  The Ravens aren’t going to see any development in Lamarr Jackson’s game if they don’t provide him some actual weapons. Hollywood Brown is a homerun hitter and excels at taking the top off defenses. Bateman has the hands and skills to take advantage of those vacated zones. He’s more than just a possession receiver; he’s also a red-zone weapon and an excellent blocker. 
  • Also Considered: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue. The need is significant here for the Ravens Moore brings dynamic speed and outstanding playmaking ability to an offense that desperately needs it.  
  1. New Orleans Saints – Levi Onwururike, DT, Washington 
  • At this point in the draft, Onwururike is a solid value. Defensive tackles who can rush the passer hold against the run are hard to get and would be an immediate add to their rotation, absorb blockers and allow the backers to run free. 
  • Also Considered: Nick Bolton, ILB, Missouri. Bolton can play either inside position, has solid cover ability, and is a thumper against the run.  
  1. Green Bay Packers – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue 
  • Could this be the year that the Packers finally get Aaron Rodgers receiver help? Davante Adams is the best the NFL has to offer; the supporting cast is not. A dynamic target like Moore to complement Adams would open the offense and expand the effectiveness of the running game by preventing the backers and safeties from crowding the line of scrimmage. 
  • Also Considered: Asante Samuel II, CB, Florida St. The Packers secondary can use some support, and Samuel can add depth and talent to a unit that could use both.  
  1. Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson 
  • Etienne is dynamic. He excels at catching the ball in space and turning it up. His speed is his biggest asset. Couple him with Zack Moss as the power back about the Bills’ RB group will be perfectly balanced. 
  • Also Considered: Nick Bolton, ILB, Missouri. The Bills are likely losing Matt Milano to free agency. Bolton adds cover ability and depth to a pretty strong defense.   
  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
  • Two things we learned about the Chiefs during the Superbowl are that their tackle depth needs help, and their defensive line got handled by the Bucs. Mayfield can start at either tackle for the runners-up and represent an upgrade. Starting at the right and working to the left side would probably be ideal. 
  • Also Considered: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama. Barmore would be a strong addition to the DT rotation. He brings developing pass rush moves and will be a nice complement to Chris Jones.  
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
  • Tampa’s lines are excellent, but the defensive line is aging. Adding Barmore to Vita Vea would be a matchup nightmare. With Suh nearing the end of a dominant career, Barmore would be a great rotational piece to start and can learn from two of the best. 
  • Also Considered: Jamin Davis, ILB, Kentucky. Lavonte Davis is the man, but this could be the end of his time on the bay. Jamin can fly and would allow Devin White to continue to fly around and dominate. 

We all know things will change when the cap is formally announced, compliance cuts create new needs, and free agency shuffles the deck again. I hope the riders out there enjoyed this, and please reach out to us at Ride or Dynasty with your thoughts and suggestions. See you all again for Mock Draft 2.0, the free agency edition.    

Don Detwiler – Social Media Sasquatch
Ride or Dynasty

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