This is going to be the way too early top-10 mock draft. To make selections for each team, I’m using team needs along with my top-10 draft board:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
This will be the first time in the history of the franchise the Jaguars will select with the number one pick. Urban Meyer knows to win the NFL you need to have a franchise quarterback.
Lawrence is a pro-ready passer. He displays incredible accuracy from short screen passes to deep fly passes. With accuracy, Lawrence has a quick release of the football and the ability to hit tight windows. Lawrence has shown great timing and anticipation with his throws, which would translate well in really any type of offense whether west coast or downfield attack.
2. New York Jets
QB, Ohio State
Robert Saleh gets his first head coaching opportunities in the Big Apple. To try and turn the franchise around, Saleh will need to secure a possible franchise quarterback.
Fields has shown the ability to make full reads, and his athleticism allows him to rest plays by evading pressure. Fields has the foundation you are looking for in a young quarterback; accuracy, arm strength, and mobility.
With drafting Fields, the Jets will be moving on from Sam Darnold, and I can see a team like the Indianapolis Colts or San Francisco 49ers making a play for him.
3. Miami Dolphins
Brian Flores was able to improve the Dolphins into a playoff-caliber team in just two years. There are rumors that the Dolphins may be interested in trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. If they are unable to pull off the trade, they drafted Tua Tagavaloa in the first-round last year; whichever player ends up as the starting quarterback, the Dolphins need to find playmakers to improve their offense.
Smith is a polished route-runner and has an understanding of how to create separation without having blazing speed. As seen in the National Championship game against Ohio State Smith is a game-changer. Smith also adds value as a dangerous punt returner.
4. Atlanta Falcons
LB, Penn State
Like the Jaguars and Jets, the Falcons have hired and new head coach in Arthur Smith. This will be Smith’s first attempt at being a head coach and running the draft. Unlike the other two teams, the Falcons are an old roster with an established quarterback in Matt Ryan. The Falcons have no issue scoring, but their defense needs to be rebuilt.
Parsons opted out of the 2020 season but has shown enough the previous two seasons that he belongs as the top linebacker in this draft. Parsons is an explosive athlete with great burst and speed. He is also very versatile; he’s able to blitz from anywhere, play well in pass coverage, and play downhill in the run game.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Zac Taylor is coming back for his third season as head coach of the Bengals and hopefully, Joe Burrow will be ready at the start of next season. This maybe Taylors last chance to show that he can improve the Bengals to compete in the tough AFC North. With Burrow, he started to show a glimpse of why he was the first overall pick last year until that gruesome leg injury.
They need to protect Burrow and rebuild their offensive line.
Like Parsons, Sewell opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL draft. Sewell shows exceptional balance and center of gravity. He has good leverage in run blocking and fast hands in pass blocking allowing him to neutralize defenders.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
As of today, we still don’t know who the coach will be in Philly, but we do know they need to upgrade and get younger. With one of the oldest rosters in the NFL with a lot of big contracts, the Eagles will have to build through the draft. Even though we are unsure who will be starting quarterback next season, they need weapons.
Chase also opted out of the 2020 season but showed in 2019 that he can be a difference-maker, which helped LSU to the National Championship.
Chase has the best hands and has a fluid ability to catch the ball. He has great body control and is in control of his motions in midair. Chase will complement last year’s rookie Jalen Reagor to help whoever ends up being the starter.
7. Detroit Lions
All signs point to the Lions naming Dan Campbell their next head coach. The Lions have a mixed roster of older and younger players, but it all goes back to quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford has a hard contract to try to move away from, so the Lions will have to try and get him weapons.
Waddle, unfortunately, suffered an injury during the 2021 season, which sidelined him for most of the year. Before that, Waddle showed amazing speed and improved rout running. Every time Waddle touched the ball, he was a homerun threat, giving that ability and Stafford’s wiliness to throw downfield, it’s a great fit for everyone.
8. Carolina Panthers
Patrick Surtain II
Matt Rhule will be heading into his second season as Panthers head coach. The Panthers came out the gates hot but fizzled as the season went on. Luckily the Panther will get Christian McCaffery back healthy next season which should help improve the offense. Now, it’s time to get a shutdown corner in a division with Mike Evans/Chris Godwin, Julio Jones/Calvin Ridley, and Michael Thomas.
Surtain the ideal size to play in either man or zone schemes. He’s long, tall, and rangy. Surtain has shown quick hands to pressure receivers off the line and the ability to high point the ball in coverage.
9. Denver Broncos
The Broncos did some reshuffling in their front office this offseason Moving John Elway away from the general manager role and bringing in George Patton. I believe many people will want the Broncos to draft a quarterback, but I believe Drew Lock showed he deserves another chance with a healthy roster. Lock showed glimpses of why he was a second-round pick two years ago. They need to sure up their offensive line to protect Lock and improve their run game.
Slater is an intriguing prospect as many believe he is better suited as an interior lineman. I see a team drafting him for tackle, and if needed, can be moved inside. He has quick feet and great strength from using his hips. Slater was in a run-heavy offense at Northwestern.
10. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys need to decide on quarterback Dak Prescott this offseason coming off a season-ending injury. Jerry Jones’ name will be written all over this pick as there are other needs to improve this team.
Pitts is an athletic freak at the tight end position. His combination of height, speed, and athleticism make him one of the most interesting players in the draft. Pitts shows smooth route running ability with solid hands in the passing game, adding another weapon in the offense with the most likely return of Prescott could make it prolific.