As the season winds down to a close, some teams are already planning for the future our resident journalist Kadeem checks out how the plans are shaping up!
Despite free agency and the combine yet to arrive, front offices are already looking at areas of the team that need upgrading to best give the franchise an opportunity of playing meaningful snaps in January.
With that being said, this mock is looking at positions only and not players, that will come after the draft.
Below is what I’m hearing in war rooms and while there are no guarantees the draft plays out like this, it’s a very good guestimate at what it could look like.
1.Jets: With a QB in place, JB could go a number of ways here. A monster trade back could be in play, allowing the Jets to stock up on picks. However, should they stay, a wide receiver could be the move to give Darnold a better chance of passing to his own team.
2. Bears: Their record doesn’t reflect the strength of this roster. Starters everywhere except RT, this is where most believe this team should go but improving their secondary and bringing in a corner are the rumblings in Chicago.
3. Patriots: Speedy linebackers are a must in the NFL and New England will want to replace the aging Dontae Hightower as soon as possible. A ROLB would be ideal to partner Christian Kirksey and Marquis Flowers.
4. Giants (from Colts): After the failed experiment with Kyle Lauletta and then Tom Brady, Giants make it three QBs in three years as Brent and the Giants take another swing at replacing Eli Manning.
5. Rams: Marcus Peters could do with a playmate on the other side of the field. However, with the glaring need for OL across the league, and with a better corner class than last year, Wayne could be tempted to bolster the trenches and give better protection to Jared Goff.
6. Dolphins: With Kenyan Drake and Xavien Howard leaving in free agency, Prime has two needs in the draft. Both have somewhat deep classes so it really is a matter of what the Dolphins choose to tackle first. If the Bears go CB, Dolphins could be forced to add one themselves or risk not picking one up at all.
7. Saints (from Giants): It’s been fun with Drew Brees but his time in New Orleans is over. Josh Allen has been a failed experiment so with the first of four picks, JR drafts his replacement and plugs the team’s biggest need.
8. Chiefs: In a rare top 10 pick, Chris and the Chiefs have a great opportunity to draft a blue chip player. This could be the run of the speedy linebackers after Rhys takes one. However, safety is also an option as Chris looks for ways to stop the Broncos and Chargers.
9. Raiders: Averaging 13 points a game, Derek Carr could use some help. Wide receiver is a must with the team’s first pick.
10: Chargers (from Titans): Not expecting to pick this high too often, Scottish Champ takes advantage and drafts an offensive lineman to strengthen the unit. This pick could be quarterback if the Chargers like someone, enabling them to flip Kirk Cousins for more picks.
11. Saints (from Vikings): The Vikings resurgence has made this pick worse than the Saints originally imagined. With that being said, it’s still a great chance to add someone on the OL or one of the many impressive corners.
12. Falcons: Like SC, Moose will not be expecting to pick this high again and may use this opportunity to draft Matt Ryan’s replacement while the veteran is still in the building. If that is the move, Ryan immediately becomes a trade target for many QB needy teams and could leave straight away, giving Moose another pick in the first round.
13. Raiders (from Seahawks): After addressing the offensive side of the ball, Raiders double down and add an offensive lineman to give Carr the time he needs to find his new shiny toy.
14. Saints: Everyone is sick of this team picking in the first round but with another pick after this, best player available is still the way to go. If JR doesn’t go OL at 11, he will here.
15: Lions: Glover Quin is nearing the end of his career so this could be where we see the first safety. However, while he’s still making plays Mr X could hold off and add a three-down linebacker.
16: Saints (from Bills): Fucking hell, stop giving JR 1st rounders!!!! Saints hoover up another OL or CB and it will be all your fault for handing him first rounders.
17: Ravens: Whether the pick is a replacement for Suggs or not, Baltimore choose to select a linebacker and are lucky that not many have been picked so far yet. Should have a wide selection to choose from.
18: Texans: After losing Deshaun Watson for over half the season, expect Jaden to look to add a starter to the offensive line and keep Watson upright. If there’s a lack of quality guards, an upgrade at corner is expected, especially if three are off the board.
19. Bengals: After an impressive second half of the season due to a regime change, HC Andrew will add to his secondary with a corner. Speed is everything to the Bengals so if there is a lightening wideout, it could prove to be too tempting to pass up.
20. Steelers: Getting stronger in the trenches is the aim here after failing to do so in free agency. Before they go off the board, Steelers may choose to take the few remaining stud offensive lineman if JR hasn’t taken them all for himself.
21. Bucs (from Jags): With two picks in a row, it doesn’t matter what order Paul takes his players. So as long as it stays, like this, Bucs go linebacker first as it’s a bigger need and the second pick could be used as trade bait.
22. Bucs: After rejecting numerous trade offers, Paul uses his second pick to take a corner as there aren’t many left and better to be safe than sorry.
23. Panthers: One of the hardest teams to throw against, the plan in Carolina is to bring in a safety and make this the new no fly zone. If there isn’t one here, the Panthers play it safe and add another edge rusher to force teams to pass quickly into waiting Panther DBs. Either way, CB will do something to make you turn the ball over back to him.
24. Eagles: Offence is the only thing on Craig’s mind here and with a few receivers off the board, Eagles decide to bring in a brand new running back to dominate on the ground and take some of the pressure off Carson Wentz.
25. Washington: Bringing in a safety could be in play here, as Washington look to bolster their secondary. However, if Rory is still unable to trick someone into taking Josh Norman, the young head coach could look to move Norman to safety and draft his replacement at corner, killing two birds with one stone.
26. Broncos: The passing of the guard continues at wide receiver as Denver drafts one and looks to move further away from Thomas and Sanders. A middle linebacker is also an option to as Marshall is getting any younger.
27. Chargers: With their second pick in the first round, SC decides to take a linebacker to improve the front seven and give the Chargers more options when stopping the Broncos, Raiders and Chiefs twice a season.
28. Cardinals: Pat Pete and David Johnson are on the trade block but Epone chooses to not replace them here and instead gives Josh Rosen another skill player to use in a wide receiver, perhaps the second-coming of Larry Fitzgerald?
29. Cowboys: Head Coach Ben will need to hit this pick out of the park given what happened last year. While trading back may be an option, do not be surprised if the Cowboys stay put and add some help on the defensive line if their top safety is off the board.
30. Packers: After not being able to retain the Super Bowl, Phil decides to give Aaron Rodgers another weapon in a bid to get back to the promise land and hoist the Lombardi trophy. With no tight ends being selected yet, Green Bay have the pick of the bunch as they look to give AR-12 a red zone target and someone to take the pressure off the receivers.
31. Falcons (from Browns): With not much first round talent available, Moose goes best player available which happens to be a defensive tackle given how many are left on the board.
32. Vikings (from 49ers): The final pick of the first round, Vikings round it off by nabbing a wide receiver. However, adding to the secondary is also an option here if there’s still a corner on the board worthy of going in the first round.
And thats a wrap. Let’s see how this pans out in a couple of weeks time.