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Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock Draft (Final)

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Thursday, April 29th

Less than 24 hours until the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, projecting how the first round will play out is as difficult of an exercise as ever.

Not only will this be the first QB-QB-QB start to a draft since 1999, but it's possible we will see five quarterbacks off the board in the first 10 picks.

While the 49ers have already traded up to No. 3, there's a reasonable chance that teams trade up to draft QB4 and QB5 as well.

Identical to my 2021 NFL Mock Draft 9.0, I have the Broncos and Patriots trading up a few spots for a quarterback. While the Broncos trade up to No. 6 (like Mock 9.0), the Patriots trade up only to No. 13 in this iteration.

It's certainly possible that the Patriots will need to trade up higher than the 13th pick in the real draft.

In both scenarios, however, I believe the prospect I have projected to the Dolphins at No. 9 and the Chargers at No. 15 are prospects they would likely select if they didn't move back a few spots.

With that said, here's my final 2021 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

No prospect is a "sure thing," but mocking Lawrence to the Jags is about as easy as it gets. The wire-to-wire top pick checks all of the boxes with elite arm talent, mobility and leadership. Not only will the Urban Meyer era begin with the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck, but the team has a treasure trove of draft capital -- five top-65 picks and nine picks in the first five rounds (top 170) -- to give the overall roster a major boost.

2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Talented enough to be the No. 1 pick in most years, the BYU quarterback's meteoric rise this draft cycle has been similar to Joe Burrow's in last year's draft. While the franchise didn't put a strong supporting cast around Sam Darnold, they are loaded with draft picks over the next two years to put Wilson in a better position (than Darnold had) to flourish. In the 2021/2022 drafts combined, the Jets have 10 picks in the first three rounds -- four first-rounders, three second-rounders and three third-rounders.

3. San Francisco 49ers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The position (quarterback) is a certainty, but the actual quarterback prospect is less of a certainty. A strong case could be made for the upside of Justin Fields or Trey Lance, but Jones remains the most likely pick due to his accuracy and ability to process quickly.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Wednesday, April 28th

Less than 48 hours from the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, I've taken an early look ahead to how things could shake out this time next year in Las Vegas.

With no NFL Scouting Combine or private workouts in 2021, it has been another unusual draft process, but the actual draft (on-site in Cleveland) should more closely resemble past drafts.

In the week following the 2021 NFL Draft, I will post an update to this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. For now, here are some players that could hear the name called on Day 1 in 2022.

Aside from some adjustments made to account for playoff teams, the draft order is based on the inverse order of Super Bowl odds from Bovada.lv.

1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Offseason trade demands and ongoing legal issues make Deshaun Watson's future with the Houston Texans anything but certain. If Houston is picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft, the organization could use this opportunity to draft a quarterback.

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux will top my initial 2022 big board, but Howard is my QB1 a little more than a year out and a potential top-five pick. Like Watson, Howell has the ability to elevate the play of those around him and he's been one of the best deep passers in college football since his freshman season.

2. Cincinnati Bengals: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

One of the top recruits in the nation in 2019, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype so far. While he has a total of 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons, he's been virtually unblockable in two Pac-12 Championship Games with 18 QB pressures, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in those two games combined.

Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter has compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to Von Miller, one of DeRuyter's former players, as he said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].

The Bengals (17) ranked last in the NFL in sacks last season. Even though they signed Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal, Carl Lawson (team-high 5.5 sacks) departed via free agency.

3. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it's possible that they could look to reset at quarterback.

If there's a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022's QB1, it's most likely Rattler. Based on props from Bovada, Rattler (11/2) is the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy over Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei (6/1), who's not eligible until the 2023 NFL Draft.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 6.0

BY BRENDAN DONAHUE (@donnycasino)
Updated: Thursday, April 22nd

We are in the final countdown -- just a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft!

I have been tracking betting lines and will note any big line movement or if I see some value in a particular player or prop. If you want to see what I think a team needs or more description of a particular player, you can find those aspects addressed in the previous iterations.

Note: Previous iterations of this mock draft can be viewed here:

NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Still listed at -10,000, still the biggest lock on the board.

2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Line has moved from -500 to -2,000 last week, to -5,000 this week. Just as the odds imply, it's the second biggest lock of the draft.

3. San Francisco 49ers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

As they say, this is where the draft really begins. It certainly has been an interesting couple of weeks -- not only in the media debating who this pick is going to be but also in the betting markets, which has seen Jones a -305 favorite as of my last mock, to Fields as high as a -150 favorite, now back to Jones as a -150 favorite at the time of this writing.

There is a clear divide between scouts and reporters as to who they think this pick should/will be. As a mock drafter, I am trying my best to predict who it will be vs. should be so I am going to still go with Jones here.

Continue reading Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Top 10 Picks

Updated: Saturday, February 27th

We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.

While we have posted a 2021 NFL Mock Draft and 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we've decided to take a way-too-early look at how the top of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out.

For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.

The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.

Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.

2. Cleveland Browns: Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.

3. New York Jets: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.

Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Arizona Cardinals from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Cardinals:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/1)

16. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

With Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Johnathan Joseph no longer on the roster, the Cardinals have signed Malcolm Butler and (cut and then) re-signed Robert Alford to one-year deals. In other words, cornerback remains one of the team's bigger needs heading into the draft.

Especially given the Stephon Gilmore rumors that have circulated in Foxboro, it wouldn't surprise me if Horn went off the board a pick earlier than this. (And interestingly enough, the 49ers trade up to No. 3 allows the Cards to get their man as he likely would have been their non-QB pick if they stayed at No. 12.)

The son of former Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee excels in press-man coverage due to his size, physical playing style and competitive demeanor. He helped his case with a strong performance at South Carolina's Pro Day -- 4.39 forty, 41.5" vertical and 11'1" broad jump.

ESPN - McShay (4/1)

18. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Patrick Peterson is off to Minnesota, both starting outside corners -- Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford -- signed one-year deals and Byron Murphy Jr. is mainly a nickelback. Farley had a back procedure at the end of March, and though it isn't expected to impact his training camp availability, it's a concern. Still, he is the best cover corner in the class and fits what the Cardinals are looking for on the outside.

Baltimore Sun - Doon (3/31)

16. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Cardinals will be happy to take whichever cornerback ends up falling to No. 16 after losing Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick from what was a mediocre secondary in 2020. Farley has some injury concerns after another back surgery but was one of the nation's top corners in 2019.

Keep reading our Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup

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