Zach's Fantasy Mock Draft

2021 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan

Photo: Getty Images North America

Disclaimer this isn't a mock draft, I'm not Nostradamus and cannot predict the future, and I do not have any inside sources on where prospects will go. Every year around this time the so called "experts" come out with mock drafts. Most mock drafts are blown up within the first five picks making them almost laughable. So I've decided to do a fantasy mock draft as if I was the GM of the drafting team. Some picks may surprise you, but this is what I believes is best for those teams when they are on the clock. With the first pick of the 2022 NFL draft the Jaguars select...…...

1) Jacksonville Jaguars


Evan Neal, OT from Alabama

Yes I know they just Franchise Tagged LT Cam Robinson and it appears that negotiations for a long term deal is headed in the right direction, that shouldn't stop them from adding another OT from Alabama. Evan Neal has played both tackle positions in college and is an immediate day one starter. Although you spent a 2nd round pick on Jawaan Taylor in 2019, he has yet to prove he can be your RT of the future allowing a league-high 58 pressures last season. This pick could either solidify your tackle positions for the next 5-10 years or provide insurance if things break down with Cam. Jacksonville added heavily to the skill position in free agency, so solidifying the line and allowing time for your young franchise QB to dissect a defense should be a no-brainer

2) Detroit Lions


Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE from Michigan

Dan Campbell is trying to change the culture in Detroit, high energy, high motor, and biting off kneecaps. If there was a defensive player that fits that mold it's Aidan. He has a high motor, great character, and is a true leader on and off the field. The Lions right now are a team that needs to add as much talent as possible and needs to change into a winning culture. Having Aidan drop into their laps would kill two birds with one stone and have a corner stone athlete with leadership qualities that could be the perfect player to build around.

3) Houston Texans


Kyle Hamilton, S from Notre Dame

With Lovie Smith a defensive minded coach at the helm, what pick would be better than having a defensive leader you can build around for years to come. We have all heard it, Kyle Hamilton is a unicorn, he is more than a safety, he is a leader, football IQ out of this world, there aren't enough positive words to explain Hamilton. Pairing Hamilton with Lovie is a match made in heaven. Adding a unicorn to one of the most putrid defensive teams last year will go along way for this rebuild.

4) New York Jets


Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, DB from Cincinnati

Could you imagine Sauce in a "New York" market? The media and fanbase would fall in love immediately. Not only does this kid have the drip and swag for NY, he has that hard work ethic and talent to make him an instant fan favorite. Think Richard Sherman or Jalen Ramsey type of swag and talent. Sauce would make this Jets team take a tremendous leap on the defensive side of the ball. Robert Saleh has coached some great DB's and adding a talent like Sauce would greatly improve this Jets secondary that felt like, at times, they had practice squad players playing the position

5) New York Giants


Travon Walker, Edge from Georgia

One thing is clear, the Giants need to address the trenches on both sides of the ball. New DC Don Martindale is known for his exotic, and creative blitz packages. Last year the Giants sack leader was rookie Azeez Ojulari, adding Walker who has a high ceiling with tremendous but raw talent would instantly add to Don's aggressive attack the QB mindset. Walker would help take pressure off Leonard Williams and give them a game changer in obvious passing downs.

6) Carolina Panthers


Ikem Ekwonu, OT from NC State

I know everyone is thinking a QB, but with only one pick in the first three rounds and investing picks in Sam Darnold, I don't foresee them taking a QB. They have fired their OC, Matt Rhule is on the hot seat and is in a win now mode. Drafting a young QB would not extend Rhule's stay he needs to get an impact player. Taking Ikem gives them a day one starter with toughness and physicality that could made a day one impact on the whole offensive line. They have the skill position players and if they can give Sam Darnold enough time to shake the ghost it may just save Sam and Matt's job while providing hope for the future.

7) New York Giants (from Chicago Bears)


Charles Cross, OT from Mississippi St

As previously stated this is an off-season where they must address the trenches. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have said all the right things when it comes to Daniel Jones. Actions speak louder than words, making this pick would provide the actions to back up their words on Jones. Jones has never really gotten a true shot to showcase his talents whether it's been injuries, a terrible offensive line, or the boring play calling of former OC Jason Garrett who never truly catered to DJ's skill set. Having Andrew Thomas who has come on as of late paired with Cross could finally give you the type of anchors the offensive line has been missing for over five years.

8) Atlanta Falcons


Kenny Pickett, QB from Pittsburgh

There are a few ways this Falcons team can go. They just recently signed Marcus Mariota to a two year deal and at 28 he could still potentially be the answer for the future. I still like them to take Kenny here, he has a skill set that would fit perfectly in Arthur Smith's offense. Kenny Pickett is the most NFL ready of this QB group and although he may not be a week one starter or even a year one starter, the Falcons feel like a team that would rather retool than rebuild making Pickett the perfect compliment to that plan.

9) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)


Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE from Oregon

Let's be honest here, the whole "Let Russ Cook' did not fit Pete Carroll's MO. The Seahawks enjoyed their greatest success when they focused on the defensive side of the ball. Pete is still in the mindset that as long as he has a great defense and a run game he can still win big in the NFL. Pete Carroll is a west coast guy with the cool west coast mentality, insert Thibodeaux who has been born and raised on the west coast. If Pete is going to continue to coach in the NFL at his age he is going to want to do it his way and with players that fit his MO and that is Kayvon to a T.

10) New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)


Garrett Wilson, WR Ohio St

Ultimately i would like to see the Jets offer this pick to the Niners to get Deebo Samuel. For the sake of this exercise I will make picks as planned. With that being said the Jets need to get their young QB Zach Wilson a weapon. The rumor is that Joe Douglas is craving to make a splash and if he comes up empty in the Deebo, Scary Terry, or AJ Brown sweepstakes what better of a splash to make than a Wilson to Wilson connection? In all seriousness Garrett is a dynamic player and a playmaker with the ball in his hands. With a Kyle Shanahan disciple Mike LaFleur calling the offense, there will be plenty of options to get Wilson the ball in space.

11) Washington Commanders


Derek Stingley, DB from LSU

Corner is a major weakness for Washington. Ron Rivera loves himself a game changing defensive player. If Stingley can be that player that bursted on the scene a few years ago the Commanders would have a shut down corner their defense desperately needs. Stingley is a highly talented, high upside DB who has had many ups and downs through the last two seasons. With a pass rush lead by Young and co, that should ease the job for Stingley making him a great fit for a team that relies on defense to win games.

12) Minnesota Vikings


Jordan Davis, IDL from Georgia

This Vikings team has many holes on the defensive side of the ball. Adding Jordan Davis means adding a championship caliber player who has only gotten better every year with more experience. Davis is a tremendous run stopper and for a team that struggled to stop anything especially the run. This defense gave up an average of 4.7 yard per a carry which ranked 29th in the NFL. Not only is Davis a tremendous run stopper he had made strides as a pass rusher as well, although he doesn't have a full range of pass rushing moves, his bull rush combined with his strength and speed should be enough to push the pocket even at the next level.

13) Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)


Jermaine Johnson, EDGE from Florida St

The Texans will continue to not only add defensive talent but high IQ guys. Jermaine has bounced around from JUCO to Georgia to Florida State where he left his imprint every step of the way. Johnson is a solid defender in both run stoppage and rushing the passer. By adding another high IQ guy with talent, it shows the Texans under new GM will continue to build this team the right way.

14) Baltimore Ravens


Trevor Penning, OT from Northern Iowa

After trading away Orlando Brown has left a huge hole in their offensive line. Drafting Trevor would fill that hole, although he started at LT in college he has the ability to play RT at a high level. Penning's physicality and run blocking skills would fit perfectly with the way the Ravens run their offense. Penning also has the speed to get out in front and block in the second level.

15) Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)


Drake London, WR from USC

Here me out Eagles fans, I know you don't want to take another WR with a first round pick but the Eagles have continued to fail to add the right skilled position pieces. Whether it has been Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Jalen Hurts or Minshew mania they haven't added talent at the WR position, JJ and Reagor are clearly not the answer. Devonta Smith is looking like a star in the making, and Quez has shown elite speed to blow the top off of a defense, insert London who at 6'5 can be the perfect compliment to those two with his big body frame, elite athleticism, and his 50/50 jump ball ability. Another thing that makes him a great fit is his ability to be physical in the run game and is know for being a great down field blocker.

16) New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts through Philadelphia Eagles)


Zion Johnson, IOL from Boston College

The reason the Saints made this trade with the Eagles was to jump the Chargers, both teams are in need on the offensive line. Adding Zion gives them a guy who can play at any spot on the O-Line having played both Tackle and Guard in college. The Saints believe that if they just add a few pieces to this team they are ready to compete now.

17) Los Angeles Chargers


Devonte Wyatt, IDL from Georgia

The Chargers have a problem stopping the run, and although he isn't the best run stopper in the class he has shown the ability to be a problem in the run game. A four year starter who has gotten better every year also benefited from play on one of the best college football teams that does not take away from his ability. He has high IQ for the game often putting himself in the center of action and has shown the ability to get in the backfield and make tackles behind the line.

18) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints)


Daxton Hill, S from Michigan

The Eagles front office has NEVER valued the LB position and I'm not quite sure that will change this year either. Daxton Hill is a intriguing guy who could be drafted between mid-first all the way to early second round. He can play all over the field, corner, safety, inside the box, in the slot. He is a physical guy who isn't afraid to come up and tackle. He could fill the Malcom Jenkins do it all role that the Eagles love so much.

19) New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia Eagles)


Jameson Williams, WR from Alabama

Once again this Saints team believes they are closer than they are to competing. This is an organization that believes their defense is good enough to win now and by adding a few pieces on offense they will be able to continue their winning ways. They believe more in their offensive philosophy then their QB, which is why adding J-Mo is the perfect fit. He is a smooth route runner who is dynamic with the ball in his hands and can really open up the field for the likes of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers


Malik Willis, QB from Liberty

I'll be honest, I love this kid's upside and having him fall to this team, and this organization is a perfect fit for him to succeed. Having Mitchell Trubisky there doesn't force the need of starting a rookie QB week one. Malik needs a team the will build around him and help him grow, that is the Steelers MO. Having Willis reach his full potential means many more years of Mike Tomlin and this Steelers organization being near the top. With a stud RB and the ability to draft and grow WR's this is Malik's perfect situation.

21) New England Patriots


Trent McDuffie, DB from Washington

We all know Bill's famous motto "Do Your Job" that is Trent McDuffie a solid DB who is rarely getting beat. Trent also love to be physical in the run game, not afraid of coming up to tackle a runner. He has very good technique and is versatile, two aspects that scream the Patriot way. Trent could ultimately end up an Eagle but with the way the board fell, the Patriots would be ecstatic to have him.

22) Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas Raiders)


Chris Olave, WR from Ohio St.

The Packers signed back Aaron Rodgers to a four year deal to keep their Super Bowl window open, then traded away their best receiver. So taking a WR here is a no-brainer no matter the Packers history of lack of first round weapons. By bringing back Aaron you are in win now mode and it would be disappointing in the organization to not take the pressure off themselves by adding Olave. Some of Aaron's favorite targets have been route gods.... Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and Adams, so enter Chris Olave who is an excellent, crisp, and smooth route runner. Chris is a guy that can create separation early and often, if he can find chemistry with Rodgers you can expect the next great pairing.

23) Arizona Cardinals


Andrew Booth Jr., DB from Clemson

The Cardinals need to find a way from faltering at the end of seasons. Adding Booth who is a good blend of size, strength, and technique should help. Andrew has the makings of a potential number one corner. Excellent ball skills to match his IQ and technique. While he may not be the most physical or corners, he is a ultra-competitive DB who would fit perfect in the Cardinals organization.

24) Dallas Cowboys


George Karlaftis, EDGE from Purdue

Michigan EDGE David Ojabo is also a thought here. The Cowboys are no longer in that young and upcoming team category. They paid their WR, RB, and QB, that adds pressure to win now. So adding Ojabo who may be the better player just isn't in the cards for a team that needs a day one impact from their pass rusher. Making George the obvious choice here, he had an excellent Freshman year and he continued to build off of that. Karlaftis is a naturally gifted athlete with a high motor, he rarely takes a play off which is something this Cowboys team could use.

25) Buffalo Bills


Kenneth Walker III, RB from Michigan St.

I know you don't take a RB in the first round, that is true if you are a team with multiple holes and would waste away a young RB and his career span on a rebuild. Taking Walker here gives the Bills a true number one RB while being able to have a fifth year option. Let's be honest most RB's last 4-5 years in their prime, not to be cruel but that would be having Walker in his prime without having to pay him big money. Walker is a violent runner who also can be explosive as well. He wasn't asked to be involved as a pass catcher out of the backfield, which is big trait for the Bills offense, but like Najee last year just because he wasn't asked to doesn't mean he can't. I see Walker as a very capable pass catcher out the backfield, and he has the physical traits and tools to be an effective pass blocker as well. If Walker puts the want into pass blocking you have an elite talent who can be a three down back with very capable backs behind him that can rotate in relief.

26) Tennessee Titans


Treylon Burks, WR from Arkansas

I'll be honest here Burks is my favorite WR out of the group, that doesn't mean he will be the most successful. Treylon Burks fits the mold of the Titans culture, tough, and physical. Adding Burks gives you a big body receiver who knows how to box out their defender. They would also get a guy who has strength to break arm tackles and enjoys the physicality of the game. The best part is Burks can be your everything, your slot, outside, or line-up in the backfield guy. Having Burks and Brown on the field with Henry in the backfield would literally create multiple mismatches. This three-headed physical monster of Burks, Brown, and Henry gives Tannehill every opportunity to raise his game to a Super Bowl caliber level.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Kenyon Green, IOL from Texas A&M

The Buccaneers are clearly in win-now mode with Brady coming back after a brief retirement. I truly believe Brady's retirement was the ultimate power play move. Tom coming back has put him in position to continue to have his voice heard when it comes to personal. The most important thing to any QB is their health, especially at Tom's age, so getting him Kenyon would be a Brady call. They would get a guy who is versatile and can play multiple positions on the offensive line. We saw Tom struggle last year when the injury bug hit the O-Line so adding reinforcements for potentially Tom's last year is a smart move.

28) Green Bay Packers


Devin Lloyd, LB from Utah

I honestly thought about double dipping at the WR position, because if I'm the Packers I would make sure my investment into Rodgers reaches it's full potential. Rodgers often gets the benefit of "excuses" of the Packers not adding the right talent around him, if I was GM i would have dispelled that excuse by double dipping in the first round. At the same time this is a deep WR class and after losing some talent on the other side of the ball adding Devin Lloyd would be best. Lloyd is slated to be gone before this pick because he is that talented. Taking Devin to pair with Rashan Gary would form one of the best young LB core in the NFL.

29) Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers through Miami Dolphins)


Kaiir Elam, DB from Florida

Last year the Chiefs struggled on the defensive side of the ball especially early in the season where they got off to a mediorce start that had many question the downfall of the Chiefs dynasty. The Chiefs understand it's not just about outscoring everyone, but being able to make stops on defense. Insert Kaiir Elam a day one starter at Florida who some consider DBU speaks volumes for the kind of talent Kaiir is. Elam needs to be more consistent when it comes to his tackling ability, but more than makes up for that with his ball skills. He has a knack for being around the ball and beating receivers to the ball.

30) Kansas City Chiefs


Jahan Dotson, WR from Penn State

The Chiefs looked big picture when it came to trading away Tyrek Hill. They were willing to pay him until they looked around at the WR market ballooning up this season. They couldn't realistically pay Hill and continue to field a team with a championship aspirations. Paying Mahomes and Hill would hamper not only the depth of this team, but hurt the ability to add to defensive side of the ball. When it comes to a star WR with a star QB, I'm willing to take my chances that my star QB can elevate the talent of any WR I bring in. Enter Jahan Dotson and this is not a knock on Mecole Hardman who I think will really thrive this season, but adding Dotson brings more big play ability. If you can field a team with Hardman, Dotson, and Valdes-Scantling, you are basically saying you are going to outrun every defensive backfield. Also adding a third leg of speed to this line-up also opens things up tremendously for an aging Travis Kelce. You may never be able to fully replace Hill but having three guys with absolute burner ability give them better odds.

31) Cincinnati Bengals


Tyler Linderbaum, IOL from Iowa

The Bengals have had a glaring weakness over the past two season, the offensive line. The Bengals have gone into this off-season taking every opportunity to strengthen the O-Line. Adding Linderbaum not only gives you a day one starter, but a glue guy that would complete the overhaul we have seen this off-season. We have all seen what Joey B has done with one of the worst lines in the NFL, now lets see what he can do with one that has potential to be a top 10 line. Linderbaum has the leadership and talent to anchor a line for years to come, making him the perfect pick.

32) Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)


Nakobe Dean, LB from Georgia

In my Fantasy Mock Draft, the Lions come away with the best value that not only gives them two great leaders, but corner stone players for years to come. If Dean falls to the end of the first, this pick is a must. Pairing Dean and Hutchinson would be the perfect way to jump start a rebuild and add two culture changers. I know many are thinking QB here, but they have Goff who is on a manageable contract and two first rounders next season to address the QB position if needed. The Lions must foresee if Goff isn't the answer they should either be in position or have the ammo to be in position to draft either CJ Stroud or Bryce Young in a very strong QB class next season.

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