The combine is in the rear-view mirror, pro days are even closer than they appear and big changes afoot in my mock 2.0.
This will be the last mock before I start spicing things up with some trades, so the selections continue aligning closer to where I project prospects' overall value than which teams I envision attempting to move up and down to maximize their own value.
For reference, 1.0 can be found here and includes six prospects who were left out of my latest mock.
1. Arizona Cardinals — Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
Would I do this? No. But how soon we apparently forget it was the Cardinals making the head-coach hire few other NFL observers could believe only two months ago. And although drafting back to back Round 1 quarterbacks is almost unheard of, Murray is the special exception — a player Cardinals GM Steve Keim probably didn’t even have on his radar when he made the Josh Rosen pick — at a time when some teams are willing to zig as others zag.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa
This is obviously a best-case scenario for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. I’m not totally convinced Quinnen Williams isn’t the best player in the draft, but I think the gap between the two is probably minute enough for the Niners to attack their greatest need here with a safe, rock-solid selection after drafting first-round defensive linemen three years in a row.
3. New York Jets — Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen
Again, I might prefer Williams, especially in a division with Tom Brady where the best chance to get home is from the interior, but how long have the Jets been in search of a destroyer off the edge? Allen can do much more than merely attack the quarterback, and Gregg Williams will love this menacing chess piece and new defensive cornerstone.
4. Oakland Raiders — Alabama DT Quinnen Williams
Perhaps Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are bound and determined to replace Derek Carr, but I'm not convinced and they have enough flexibility to go in myriad directions from here. First things first, they secure Williams, who has some Warren Sapp-like disruption potential and should instantly elevate youngsters Maurice Hurst, Arden Key and the edge player they almost assuredly land later in Round 1.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Houston DT Ed Oliver
Is he a three-technique? Rush 'backer? We'll leave that to the creative Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles to figure out. The guess here, though, is its the former and that Gerald McCoy is pretty much the ideal vet to help ensure Oliver's rare gifts aren't wasted.
6. New York Giants — Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
Well, well, well. After all the hand-wringing regarding Dave Gettleman's bizarre decision making, the QB1 falls into his lap here. But a reminder: there are no trades in this mock draft, and I don't expect Haskins to be available in this spot.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars — Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
As we mentioned in 1.0 on Feb. 25, Nick Foles is virtually already on board as Blake Bortles' replacement, so protecting his edges are imperative. With Cam Robinson and Andrew Norwell returning from injuries on the left and Brandon Linder locked in at the pivot, the addition of a plug-and-play road-grading right tackle in Taylor could turn a weakness quickly into a strength.
8. Detroit Lions — Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat
Sweat's eye-popping combine makes this draft slot absolutely reasonable, and our belief that the Lions will land a sturdy strong-side edge in free agency to pair with the blazing-fast rookie could make this a coup and transformative offseason in the front seven in Detroit.
9. Buffalo Bills — Washington State OT Andre Dillard
The quiet improvements of Zay Jones and underrated rookie contributions of Robert Foster steered us from D.K. Metcalf in Round 1 to Dillard, a potential Pro Bowl left tackle with the kind of unique athleticism of the quarterback he'll be charged to protect. Brandon Beane will have better chances to upgrade Josh Allen's pass-catching corps than protection later in the draft.
10. Denver Broncos — LSU LB Devin White
If Joe Flacco was John Elway's pick, White will be Vic Fangio's. He might be even better than Roquan Smith, the No. 8 overall pick a year ago who was tremendous in the middle of Fangio's Bears 'D' by the end of his rookie season. White can solve the coverage issues that have stymied Denver's ILBs for too long.
11. Cincinnati Bengals — Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf
A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd both enter contract years and the Bengals apparently have already given up on the No. 9 overall pick only two years ago, John Ross. Metcalf brings the same home run potential as Ross without the size and durability concerns.
12. Green Bay Packers — Florida State EDGE Brian Burns
One of the bigger winners of the combine, Burns wasn't even in our mock 1.0, but his impressive climb comes courtesy of one of the better showings in Indy by an edge rusher in recent years. With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry unlikely to return, the Packers pair upstart Kyler Fackrell with another long and athletic edge bender who can flat out fly.
13. Miami Dolphins — Missouri QB Drew Lock
Lock is the most experienced of the first-round QB prospects, giving him a legit chance to compete for a Week 1 starting gig with a likely free-agent signee. His tools are outstanding; the hope has to be that Chad O'Shea and Jim Caldwell can clean up his mechanics and improve his consistency. It wouldn't surprise us if they prefer Daniel Jones, but we're squarely in Lock's camp.
14. Atlanta Falcons — Oklahoma OT Cody Ford
They're old at guard and barely average at right tackle, so whether Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn project Ford inside or outside, they're getting a Day 1 starter with the athleticism and toughness they greatly value. Atlanta's O-line fell off considerably last season, and asking Matt Ryan to overcome it two years in a row is a bit much.
15. Washington — Alabama OT Jonah Williams
We're not sure how he fell this far, but Washington lands yet another former Alabama standout and potential anchor up front alongside Brandon Scherff and Trent Williams. Jonah can eventually replace Trent or Morgan Moses. Meantime, he'll thrive inside opposite Scherff from the moment he arrives.
16. Carolina Panthers — Michigan EDGE Rashan Gary
This middle part of Round 1 was an OL run in our first mock. But it's all about overall value in the second go-around, where Gary somehow falls despite his electric workout in Indy. The Panthers won't apologize with Julius Peppers in retirement and Mario Addison approaching his age-32 contract season. Can Ron Rivera consistently reach Gary, one of the draft's top talents but also bigger riddles?
17. Cleveland Browns — LSU CB Greedy Williams
Yes, the tackling issue is real and led to Williams being available this late. But the prospect of pairing him with another blazing boundary cover guy in Denzel Ward is simply too tough to resist here. The Browns complete the first-round quartet of starting defensive backs and continue bolstering what's become one of the NFL's more talented rosters.
18. Minnesota Vikings — Michigan LB Devin Bush
The replacement for Anthony Barr, Bush is Mike Zimmer's kind of player— physical and instinctive — giving Minnesota a much-needed coverage 'backer to contend with the likes of Tarik Cohen, Aaron Jones and Kerryon Johnson in the North.
19. Tennessee Titans — Clemson EDGE Clelin Ferrell
Ferrell and Harold Landry form a really nice pair of bookends with complementary styles: the Clemson product can set a firm edge and move up and down the line, while Landy mostly pins his ears back and instantly gets off the line of scrimmage.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers — Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
Kevin Colbert's second straight Round 1 surprise in the secondary, Oruwariye, another combine all star, brings ball skills and athleticism to a secondary that needs an injection of both. He'll have to improve his physicality, but there's a lot to like about this fit, especially with the two first-round inside 'backers off the board.
21. Seattle Seahawks — Louisiana Tech EDGE Jaylon Ferguson
A big-time sack artist with the length and explosiveness Pete Carroll covets, Ferguson can plug in opposite franchise DE Frank Clark and eventually replace him, if needed. The Seahawks won't be scared off by Ferguson's checkered background with the chance to solve their greatest need.
22. Baltimore Ravens — Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry
He just strikes us as a great fit for Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's evolving offense, which lacks a go-up-and-get-it specialist who can win in all areas of the field and even help in one of the league's more creative ground games.
23. Houston Texans — Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson
With no clear-cut CB or OT choices, TE-loving Bill O'Brien tabs the draft's most complete player at his position in Hockenson. He might not scare defenses down the seams like teammate Noah Fant, but he'll do more in the run game and in pass pro and absolutely helps ensure the red zone isn't a sore spot for the Texans again any time soon.
24. Oakland Raiders — Iowa TE Noah Fant (from Bears)
Perhaps Gruden preferred Hock, but in Fant he gets an ideal replacement for Jared Cook, the 31-year-old free agent and biggest beneficiary in Gruden's offense last season. The Raiders offense, perhaps more than anything, needs more speed. Fant is the fastest tight end in the draft, with natural receiving skills and advanced fundamentals coming from Kirk Ferentz's program.
25. Philadelphia Eagles — Penn State RB Miles Sanders
While most focus on the other potential first-round back with limited miles on the odometer in Bama's Josh Jacobs, Howie Roseman's attention is grabbed by the stud in his own backyard. Perhaps no back impressed more than Sanders at the combine, where Jacobs didn't work out because of a groin injury. PFW draft expert Greg Gabriel knows running backs and says Sanders is superior to Jacobs. No argument here.
26. Indianapolis Colts — Georgia CB Deandre Baker
We really like the fit of Baker in Matt Eberflus' zone scheme, where his speed limitations are mitigated and his awesome instincts and bulldog attitude are accentuated. It says here the Colts will make big splashes on 'D' before the draft to acquire Dee Ford and a big-time starting strong safety, leaving corner as perhaps the top area of focus.
27. Oakland Raiders — Ohio State WR Parris Campbell (from Cowboys)
Remember what we said about the Raiders' need for speed? Enter Campbell, whose 4.31 40 tied Andy Isabella for the fastest at the combine. Just don't mistake Campbell — or Isabella, for that matter — as a one-trick pony. He wins as much with route running as pure speed, and Gruden raved in Indy about Urban Meyer's work in preparing his guys for the NFL.
28. Los Angeles Chargers — Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
Why Wilkins over teammate Christian Wilkins? He's a mountain of a man who just might test even better athletically, and the Chargers' biggest issue defensively last year was stuffing the run. We also think Lawrence will surprise as a pass rusher, especially flanked by attention-commanding Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
29. Kansas City Chiefs — Delaware DB Nasir Adderley
We went back and forth between Adderley and Johnathan Abram before settling on the more versatile defensive back ideally suited to cover tight ends, backs and even slot receivers. After all, the Chiefs had few answers for Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman in January, and there are no shortage of these types of difference makers in their own division.
30. Green Bay Packers — Alabama TE Irv Smith (from Saints)
He doesn't have ideal TE size, but the Packers are huge on the perimeter with promising youngsters Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown supporting Davante Adams and have a screaming need for more help over the middle. That's where Smith will win consistently, and in addition to big-time athleticism and receiving upside, he blocks too.
31. Los Angeles Rams — North Carolina State C Garrett Bradbury
After letting John Sullivan walk, Bradbury can slide seamlessly and immediately into Sean McVay's zone system, where the smarts, agility and athleticism of the Rimington Award winner should shine.
32. New England Patriots — Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown
After all the comings and goings at the WR position, Bill Belichick tabs Brown as the Patriots' first first-round wideout since Terry Glenn in 1996. The draft's most explosive playmaker, Brown is vastly undersized and coming off LisFranc surgery. But he brings the rare game-breaking skills and versatility to compel Belichick despite all his recent draft picks who have been slowed by injuries.
Teams without first-round picks
Dallas Cowboys (No. 58 overall) — Georgia EDGE D'Andre Walker
With the uncertainty of Demarcus Lawrence's contract situation, suspensions of David Irving and Randy Gregory and Taco Charlton entering a make-or-break Year 3, Walker provides some insurance. His hair-on-fire style and explosion syncs well with Rod Marinelli's scheme.
New Orleans Saints (No. 62 overall) — Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger
They like Dan Arnold, but not enough to pass here on Sternberger, who has the receiving prowess, athleticism and flexibility to wear a lot of hats in Sean Payton's offense. The Saints don't shy away from raw prospects with a high ceiling. That's Sternberger.
Chicago Bears (No. 87 overall) — LSU TE Foster Moreau
They have greater needs, but Moreau's sneaky athleticism, plus blocking ability and pristine intangibles will all appeal to Ryan Pace, who has spent a ton to fix the TE position without the desired results. Moreau can quickly push unproven Adam Shaheen and fit really well as the "Y" complement to "move" stud Trey Burton.