Hey all! Welcome to the first installment of The 33rd GM!
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Let me tell you a bit about The 33rd GM. With a focus on opinionated, fearless content, I’ll be giving you a weekly deep dive into what each team should be doing from a front-office standpoint, as well as analyzing the moves that they do make throughout the year.
This week, we’re going to dive into a “What each team should do” mock draft. Please bear with me as we go through each pick. I promise there’s logic to each pick, but whether or not you agree with my pick – I want to hear and talk about it with you! If you aren’t already a Discord VIP Access level Patreon, please consider upgrading here. The perk to that level of clearance is that you’ll get to join our Patreon Discord and you’ll get to tell me exactly what you think of this article!
Anyway, back to the mock draft. At the end of the day, we all know there’s a good chance that our team will make a pick that makes no sense to us as fans, or will take a player that no one saw coming. That’s the fun of the NFL off-season, right?
One thing you will not find in any of my mock drafts is… TRADES. Why? Because there’s absolutely no way to predict (with any accuracy) trades that can or will happen in the draft. So, my mock drafts will always be based on the facts; the things we know about the draft, and its selections.
Without further ado, here’s version 1.0!
Round 1, Pick 1: Jacksonville Jaguars select QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Too easy, right? At the end of the day, this has been the pick for years now. Lawrence’s field poise and ability to make things happen, seemingly on his own, makes him the perfect prospect in a lot of areas.
Though most see him as a prospect similar to Andrew Luck, the reality is that given the talent around him – it’s hard to justify that kind of comparison.
Regardless, Lawrence is the best and most established quarterback in this draft and should absolutely go number one.
Round 1, Pick 2: New York Jets select QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Without a move for Houston’s Deshaun Watson, Wilson is absolutely the choice here for the Jets. What they do with QB Sam Darnold is yet to be seen, but the signs continue to point to the love New York has for Wilson.
Now, anyone who compares Wilson to Patrick Mahomes needs to chill out.
Mahomes could possibly be the most talented player the NFL has ever seen, and not even at the QB position.
Wilson’s ability to make things happen in tough situations is very highly regarded around the league and his potential is quite high as well. However, his mistake-prone nature could come back to frustrate a lot of Jets fans down the road.
Round 1, Pick 3: San Francisco 49ers select QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
The 49ers moved up from pick #12 to get here. Most believe that the 49ers have been intrigued by Alabama QB Mac Jones, but the reality is that the team would have been likely to land Jones with their original selection.
From my point of view, if the 49ers select Jones at number three, I would question whether GM John Lynch will still be with the team by the time Jones finishes his rookie contract with the team…
Look, Jones has some great highlights but, much like Lawrence, Jones has played with a fantastic talent pool at Alabama. The only difference here is that Jones doesn’t have the career that Lawrence has had. Enter Justin Fields.
Fields’ career at Ohio State, combined with his overall skill set, positions him as the perfect creative weapon for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Fields could very well be the number two QB on most team’s draft boards and rightfully so.
Round 1, Pick 4: Atlanta Falcons select TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
With Fields off the board, the Falcons could still go QB with Trey Lance or Mac Jones on the board, or even WR with Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle. However, the team still has an above-average QB in Matt Ryan on the roster and a top-15 talent in Julio Jones at WR, so the team decides to go with the best overall talent in the draft.
Pitts is an athletic freak, who really should give the Falcons a big boost on offense. And, with an aging offense, a fresh weapon could certainly do them well.
Round 1, Pick 5: Cincinnati Bengals select OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
The Bengals took their franchise QB last year in Joe Burrow and, after a pretty good rookie campaign, it’s time for the team to continue their overall investment in him.
How do you invest in a quarterback that’s already a member of the team? You build around him.
Sewell is a once-in-a-decade type of prospect at left tackle and should be the pick here. Rumors float around that the team may be interested in reuniting Burrow with his LSU comrade in Chase, but that connection does nothing if the QB can’t get the ball off.
Round 1, Pick 6: Miami Dolphins select WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
With the Bengals going OT at 5, the Dolphins need to get a weapon here. Admittedly, they could look to add to the defense as well, but in the end, Chase is the best option here.
Not only is Chase the clear #1 WR in this class, but he’s the perfect solution to the Dolphins’ weakness on offense. DeVante Parker is a stud, but let’s not get it twisted – he’s a slot guy and not a #1 option.
Round 1, Pick 7: Detroit Lions select WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Would the Lions like to get theirs hands on Chase? Probably.
Now, the Lions really can use anyone with a set of hands at this point. After losing Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, the Lions need WRs and lots of them.
Some could consider DeVonta Smith here, but Waddle’s speed could mimic that of Robert Woods, which bodes well for new QB Jared Goff.
Round 1, Pick 8: Carolina Panthers select QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
The Panthers aren’t sold on Teddy Bridgewater, thus the rumored interest in Deshaun Watson this off-season. However, without a move for Watson or another QB, the team is “stuck” with Bridgewater as the starter this season.
Now, that doesn’t mean they can’t look to the future. Lance could quite possibly have the highest potential of any QB in the draft. The Panthers’ luck into landing a perfect developmental option.
Round 1, Pick 9: Denver Broncos select LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Parsons may be the best defensive talent in the draft. His versatility to play anywhere within defense and on almost any front could be the best thing to happen for the Broncos in years.
The start of this draft was so heavy on offense, and the Broncos could follow suit, but it’s hard to ignore the talent that is Parsons.
Round 1, Pick 10: Dallas Cowboys select CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The best CB in the draft lands to the most CB needy team here.
The Cowboys never really replaced Byron Jones on the field, but Surtain could really be the answer to their prayers and be a big piece for a revamped defense in Dallas.
Round 1, Pick 11: New York Giants select EDGE Jaelen Phillips, Miami
The Giants still have plenty of holes and options here, but getting a strong guy to come off the edge on defense is something they haven’t had much of.
Phillips is a beast and has the potential to wreck havoc on an offense and New York shouldn’t pass that up.
Round 1, Pick 12: Philadelphia Eagles select WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
This is too easy. This pick is very self explanatory, but the Eagles need weapons.
The days of running out retired options like Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson are over and getting a true #1 in Smith would be perfect for a young QB like Hurts.
Round 1, Pick 13: Los Angeles Chargers select OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Much like the Bengals situation, the Chargers have a rising stud at QB in Herbert and would be crazy to not invest around him.
The Chargers are better off in regards to the weapons than the Bengals, so taking a versatile tackle is an easy call here.
Round 1, Pick 14: Minnesota Vikings select IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
The best interior offensive lineman goes off the board here. With a focus on protecting Kirk Cousins and blocking for Dalvin Cook, the Vikings needed to invest in the front line and they do here.
Round 1, Pick 15: New England Patriots select CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Patriots thinking Mac Jones here? Nope.
New England needs to fortify the rest of the roster around Cam Newton. Reaching on a QB that will need a lot of development doesn’t make sense at this stage.
Horn is a stud of a coverage guy and could be a perfect solution should the team look to move off Stephon Gilmore.
Round 1, Pick 16: Arizona Cardinals select CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
With the departure of franchise staple Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals could use some reinforcements at CB.
Farley isn’t a Peterson-level prospect, but he’s certainly versatile as a CB and can fit in perfectly for what Arizona needs.
Round 1, Pick 17: Las Vegas Raiders select OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The Raiders dumped seemingly the majority of their offensive line this off-season and they will certainly need some help keeping Derek Carr upright this season.
In the end, Darrisaw isn’t the prospect that Sewell is, but could come in and play either side of the line for the Raiders.
Round 1, Pick 18: Miami Dolphins select EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
The Dolphins have one of the more stacked rosters in the league. However, adding to what was a very strong pash rushing group this season could help them drastically.
Round 1, Pick 19: Washington Football Team selects OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Washington is building from the ground up and doing it very well. They’ve got a need for some more youth in the quarterback room, but I don’t believe that Ron Rivera is going to burn an opportunity to develop the rest of his roster in an effort to win the NFC East this season.
Could the team go with Mac Jones here? Sure, anything is possible. But, again, there’s no sense in burning a pick on a quarterback who 1. Doesn’t fit the system and 2. Won’t be ready to play for several years.
Round 1, Pick 20: Chicago Bears select QB Mac Jones, Alabama
The Bears have to get a future established in the QB room. Unlike Washington, Chicago isn’t in play to win their division, with the Packers still rolling. However, they could take this opportunity to give Jones a season or two behind a veteran like Andy Dalton and hope to remain in the playoff discussion while doing so.
Round 1, Pick 21: Indianapolis Colts select WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
The Colts are in the lead for the division so far after acquiring QB Carson Wentz from Philly. It should be a big focus for the team to surround Wentz with the receivers that he didn’t have with the Eagles.
Bateman is a Justin Jefferson type WR that could be a very good combination with TY Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr.
Round 1, Pick 22: Tennessee Titans select CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
The Titans’ defense was atrocious in 2020. There’s literally no better word for it.
Newsome gives the team an excellent prospect who can work in any type of defensive front and won’t be a weakness. It’s a great start for the Titans in the draft.
Round 1, Pick 23: New York Jets select EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
The Jets have had a very good off-season, and they could add some talent for newly drafted QB Zach Wilson. However, the defense is not solidified and added depth/competition should be a big focus as well.
2021 may be rough for the Jets one way or the other, but much like the 49ers – building up the defense and relying little on the QB could be a perfect solution for New York.
Round 1, Pick 24: Pittsburgh Steelers select CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
The Steelers released CB Steven Nelson recently. Additionally, the offense could use some assistance here, mostly in the RB department, but I believe this could be a bit early in the draft to get into that discussion.
Stokes could be a perfect fit for the Steelers this season, which is important if the Steelers really believe they’re going to be competitive in 2021.
Round 1, Pick 25: Jacksonville Jaguars select OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
The Jags invested in the QB they hope will be leading the charge for more than a decade. How do you further invest in that investment?
An OT who will likely start on the right side and eventually switch to the left would be a great start.
Round 1, Pick 26: Cleveland Browns select IDL Christian Barmore, Alabama
The Browns are lowkey one of the best rosters in the league, albeit with a weakness at QB.
The best thing Cleveland can do in the draft is add depth and versatility to their strengths. Adding Barmore to work alongside Myles Garrett would be the perfect solution for the Browns to really push the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC North.
Round 1, Pick 27: Baltimore Ravens select S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The Ravens need to continue their defensive dominance in order to fend off the Browns this season.
Moehrig needs to go to a team where the secondary pieces around him are strong enough to give him room to roam the field and Baltimore is the perfect fit.
Round 1, Pick 28: New Orleans Saints select WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
With Jameis Winston in tow to start at QB this season, the Saints need to continue their development around him to give him the best chance to succeed.
Marshall is a stud and could be one of the better steals of this draft.
Round 1, Pick 29: Green Bay Packers select OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
The Packers, like the Seahawks and several other teams with franchise QBs, need to invest in protecting their guy. Eichenberg is a very versatile player and can play up to four different spots on the offensive line.
Green Bay would do well to get a guy like Eichenberg in tow.
Round 1, Pick 30: Buffalo Bills select EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
The Bills are loaded at almost every spot on the roster and had a very good off-season so far. Adding an EDGE really gives the team some flexibility on defense and helps make a very strong team even stronger.
Round 1, Pick 31: Kansas City Chiefs select WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Toney falls a bit in this mock due to Bateman and Marshall Jr. jumping him. This isn’t to say that Toney is less than either of these players. He is a beast and a perfect replacement for Sammy Watkins and could be a stud in an Andy Reid-heavy passing offense.
Most would like an offensive lineman or linebacker here, but the value just isn’t there. Most of the best OL available are interior guys and that’s not a need at this point.
Round 1, Pick 32: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
The Buccaneers do well by continuing to find ways to protect Tom Brady. Dickerson may be the best center prospect in the draft and can be a perfect versatile option anywhere along with the interior of the OL.
This concludes the first edition mock draft of The 33rd GM. Agree or disagree with my picks? Make sure to direct message me on Twitter @KeatonHenryNFL!