As the college football regular season comes to a close, NFL Draft prospects are putting the finishing touches on their draft stocks. Most guys will be playing in bowl games or opting out, so this is the last time they’ll be seen in true game situations until possibly the Shrine Bowl or Senior Bowl.
The third iteration of the mock draft quite possibly might be the toughest. With team order and needs shifting all the time, the placement of players gets tricky. This time, we had some new players enter the first round, and a different order as a whole. The draft order was provided by Tankathon and was done prior to Cowboys-Colts and Bucs-Saints.
|1||Houston Texans||Bryce Young||QB||Alabama||Junior|
|2||Chicago Bears||Jalen Carter||DT||Georgia||Junior|
|3||Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)||Will Anderson||EDGE||Alabama||Junior|
|4||Detroit Lions (via LAR)||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State||Junior|
|5||Carolina Panthers||Will Levis||QB||Kentucky||Senior|
|6||Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)||Bryan Bresee||DT||Clemson||Junior|
|7||Jacksonville Jaguars||Quentin Johnston||WR||TCU||Junior|
|8||Arizona Cardinals||Peter Skoronski||OT||Northwestern||Junior|
|9||Las Vegas Raiders||Myles Murphy||EDGE||Clemson||Junior|
|10||Indianapolis Colts||Anthony Richardson||QB||Florida||Sophomore (RS)|
|11||Atlanta Falcons||Kelee Ringo||CB||Georgia||Sophomore (RS)|
|12||Green Bay Packers||Jordan Addison||WR||USC||Junior|
|13||Houston Texans (via CLE)||Tyree Wilson||EDGE||Texas Tech||Senior|
|14||Pittsburgh Steelers||Paris Johnson Jr.||OT||Ohio State||Junior|
|15||Detroit Lions||Joey Porter Jr.||CB||Penn State||Junior (RS)|
|16||New England Patriots||Kayshon Boutte||WR||LSU||Junior|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Josh Downs||WR||North Carolina||Junior|
|18||Washington Commanders||Trenton Simpson||LB||Clemson||Junior|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Christian Gonzalez||CB||Oregon||Sophomore (RS)|
|20||Seattle Seahawks||Clark Phillips III||CB||Utah||Sophomore (RS)|
|21||Tennessee Titans||Cam Smith||CB||South Carolina||Junior (RS)|
|22||New York Jets||O’Cyrus Torrence||OG||Florida||Junior|
|23||New York Giants||Rashee Rice||WR||SMU||Senior|
|25||Denver Broncos (via SF)||Broderick Jones||OT||Georgia||Sophomore (RS)|
|26||Baltimore Ravens||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Ohio State||Junior|
|27||Cincinnati Bengals||Michael Mayer||TE||Notre Dame||Junior|
|28||Dallas Cowboys||Bijan Robinson||RB||Texas||Junior|
|29||Kansas City Chiefs||Jared Verse||EDGE||Florida State||Sophomore (RS)|
|30||Minnesota Vikings||B.J. Ojulari||EDGE||LSU||Junior|
|31||Buffalo Bills||Zay Flowers||WR||Boston College||Senior|
|32||Philadelphia Eagles||Isaiah Foskey||EDGE||Notre Dame|
How far do the offensive linemen fall?
With the news that Penn State OT Olu Fashanu was returning to college for another year, teams needing offensive line help might have to re-adjust their boards. Fahsanu was young at 19 years old, but was thought to be some people’s OT1. The premium tackles could go off the board early, and force teams to go elsewhere.
Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski is first off the board to the Arizona Cardinals. He’s not the biggest or has the longest arms, but he’s an absolute technician with strong hands and the ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line, crucial for a team like the Cardinals who need help everywhere. Paris Johnson Jr. goes next to the Steelers, who need a franchise left tackle. Johnson is a terrific athlete and an easy mover, but needs help with technique. Georgia’s Broderick Jones is raw, but arguably the best athlete of the top three tackles. Denver could use his athleticism.
Bijan Robinson doesn’t go far
The Dallas Cowboys currently have an issue on their hands. Tony Pollard is going to be free agent this year and Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t have guaranteed money on his contract for the first year of his career. The Cowboys certainly won’t want to pay both, and Pollard could demand a high price tag in free agency.
What if they pay neither, and stay inside the state to draft Texas’ Bijan Robinson?
Robinson is a complete back, with the strength to run between the tackles and the speed to turn every play into a potential house call. What stands out the most about Robinson is his agility, however. He can stop and start on a dime, and create holes where most holes shouldn’t be. Getting a back like Robinson on a rookie deal could make sense for Dallas.
Jalen Carter is the first defender off the board
The debate between Jalen Carter and Will Anderson should be a fun one for this draft cycle. Both are massively impactful defensive linemen who change the game in different ways. However, the Bears decide to go with Carter instead of Anderson with the 2nd pick. Matt Eberflus’ defenses in Indianapolis didn’t really take off until trading for DeForest Buckner. Getting an impactful pass rusher on the interior is crucial to his defense.
Carter is a big player at 6’3 and 310 pounds, but my goodness is he quick. He’s got heavy hands and such sudden explosiveness that it catches interior defenders off guard. There are some injury issues, but the Bears would love an instant impact guy like him on the team.