7th Annual Football Garbage Time Twitter NFL Mock Draft! – Round 1

By the Football Garbage Time Staff

Howdy, y’all!

We all know that the NFL Draft is right around the corner, beginning on April 29th.  And we all know that the choices that teams make that night will be a significant part in whether they end up with the Lombardi Trophy and the 32nd pick in a future draft, or if they end up with the first overall pick looking to rebuild.

Seeing as how important these decisions are, we here at Football Garbage Time again got together and decided to conduct a mock draft.  In fact, this will be our 7th Annual Twitter NFL Mock Draft!

This year, nine different writers & podcasters from four different sites participated, including:

Each one took part as GMs of several teams in the draft, and conducted the mock draft live over two weeks on Twitter (feel free to check out the back and forth on Twitter by searching for #FGTMock).  A few trends became clear and we certainly had more than a few surprises.

Missed it?  Don’t want to check Twitter?  Well, you’re in luck, because we have Round 1 of that mock draft below along with the reasoning for each pick by each writer.

1 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Trevor Lawrence – QB

Staff: Kris Hopper

I think this is the most obvious pick in the draft. The Jaguars are in need of a QB to center their rebuild around, and Lawrence is consensus the most talented QB in this draft. He has size, athleticism, accuracy and a big arm and if this pick goes any other direction Twitter might break.

2 – New York Jets

Pick: Zach Wilson – QB

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

Since parting ways with Sam Darnold, it was only a matter of which quarterback they would take at the second overall pick.  Would it be Justin Fields or Zach Wilson?

Well, Wilson is breaking the internet with scouts focusing on his strong arm, ability to quickly read the field and his football instincts, allowing creativity when necessary, even altering his arm angle to get passes off or complete passes into tight windows.  Remind you of you anyone?  Sure, it’s incredibly premature to make such grandiose comparisons, but Patrick Mahomes does come to mind. And Wilson backed it up with stats having the second highest passer efficiency rating (196.4), second highest pass completion percentage (73.5) and third most passing TDs (33) in the NCAA in 2020.

Zach Wilson BYU Passing Stats
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Year School Class G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2018 Brigham Young FR 9 120 182 65.9 1578 8.7 9.2 12 3 157.2
*2019 Brigham Young SO 9 199 319 62.4 2382 7.5 6.9 11 9 130.8
*2020 Brigham Young JR 12 247 336 73.5 3692 11.0 12.6 33 3 196.4
Career Brigham Young 566 837 67.6 7652 9.1 9.7 56 15 162.9

Fields is no slouch either.  Clearly he’s bigger, stronger and certainly has the ability to break tackles when he has to scramble or keep plays alive.  Plus he put most critics of his accuracy to rest after a spectacular show against Clemson in the FBS College Football Playoffs.

All that being said, the Jets need excitement.  Justin Fields may be the safer pick in many ways, but Zach Wilson brings excitement and show to a team that’s already tried playing it safe with Sam Darnold.  That didn’t work, and since the Jets worked their way into the 2nd pick, and thus miss out on Trevor Lawrence, I go for giving the franchise Wilson.  The ceiling is Patrick Mahomes, and the floor is Johnny Manziel, but that’s a chance I think the Jets should take.

3 – San Francisco 49ers

Pick: Justin Fields – QB

Staff: Dan Thury

4 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Trey Lance – QB

Staff: FXP Jr.

The Falcons prepare to move on from Ryan by grabbing Trey Lance at QB. They will be very tempted to make this pick if they don’t drop down.

5 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Kyle Pitts– TE

Staff: Adam Aniba

At #5 Pitts made too much sense for 2nd year QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Even though his former LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase was on the board, passing on a generational talent was just too hard too pass up. The Florida TE has the ability to line up all over the field and will be a dangerous weapon in the Bengals offense.

6 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: Ja’Marr Chase – WR

Staff: Wole Akinso

7 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Penei Sewell – OL

Staff: Scott King

The Lions grab the player I think they need in Sewell but they’ll probably end up with a WR or TE.  They should take someone to shore up their offensive line or front 7 at this spot.

8 – Carolina Panthers

Pick: Patrick Surtain – CB

Pick: Kris Hopper

With Lawrence, Fields, Wilson and Lance gone you could argue this pick should be McCorkle ‘Mac’ Jones, however I don’t see that being a big upgrade over Sam Darnold, and we aren’t doing trades in this draft, so the Panthers address the defense and pair a shutdown corner with last years stand out rookie Jeremy Chinn. Surtain has all of the tools to be a top DB for years to come, and provides an immediate defensive boost in the pass heavy NFC South.

9 – Denver Broncos

Pick: Micah Parsons – LB

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

It’s tough.  The Broncos finally got a decent look at Drew Lock, and it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.  Sure, there were flashes, but there was plenty to be concerned with, including his league leading 15 interceptions.  However, new general manager George Paton’s offseason moves seem to indicate that the Broncos are going to stick it out with Lock rather than take a quarterback at the 9th pick. That being said, in our mock draft, the top 4 quarterbacks came off the board as the first 4 picks, so at that point, there’s no reason for the Broncos to spend the 9th pick on a QB that they could get in the second round.

So that leaves the other problem spot for the Broncos, the defense, particularly at inside linebacker. Micah Parsons has uncommon speed for both coverage and rushing the passer on third downs. At his Pro Day, Parsons had a fast 4.29 second 409-yard dash, benched 225 pounds 19 times and had a 34-inch vertical jump and 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump. He also turned in a 4.4-second shuttle. He’s the best linebacker in the draft and will be an instant day one upgrade for the Broncos.

10 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Jaycee Horn – CB

Staff: Joanne Kong

The Cowboys’ top priority this offseason was keeping quarterback Dak Prescott – check that box, especially since they would have been hard pressed to draft a top QB with the tenth pick. But, there are plenty of positions to address to upgrade the roster in 2021.

There were so many ugly moments for the defense in 2020, which as a Giants fan, I was actually pretty happy about. And losing Chidobe Awuzie to the Cincinnati Bengals doesn’t help. They’ll need to find another outside corner to pair with 2nd year man, Trevon Diggs. While Jourdan Lewis will return and can potentially fit into the outside corner role, Lewis will most likely return to defend the slot.  Lewis was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round in 2017, and has never had a real opportunity to showcase his talent, but the safer route would be to secure a top cornerback in the draft.

Jaycee Horn of South Carolina Gamecocks is the son of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn.  Known for his size, frame and physical play, Horn stepped in as a true freshman assigned to the slot before settling in as an outside corner for the last two years of his college career.  Horn is credited for nine pass breakups in 2019 and six pass breakups (in just seven games) in 2020, as well as two interceptions. At 6-feet-1-inch, Horn should be a nice complement to fill out the secondary at cornerback.

11 – New York Giants

Pick: DeVonta Smith – WR

Staff: Joanne Kong

The New York Giants are looking to fill a lot of the holes created after letting go of Kevin Zeitler (offensive line), Dalvin Tomlinson (defensive line) and Golden Tate (wide receiver), to name a few. These three positions needed improvement before, but now are critical if the Giants are to have a chance in the NFC East.

Although the drama of Odell Beckham Jr.wasn’t missed, his dynamic play on the field definitely was. The Giants need a big play maker with the 11th pick, not the best available. In a perfect world, Ja’Marr Chase would be available and be that player for the Giants. Most likely, Chase will be off the board, as he was in our Football Garbage Time Twitter Mock Draft. That’s okay. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith finished his senior year with 117 receptions, 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. Although Smith is thought to be on the smaller side for the position, he shows a quickness, speed, and change-of-direction fluidity, enabling him to create separation from defenders rarely seen. Hopefully, Smith’s ability to match up against defenses running short, mid and deep routes give Daniel Jones a dynamic weapon and a chance to become the franchise quarterback the Giants organization thought he could be. And in case you were wondering, it hasn’t happened yet. Regardless, if Smith can bring to the NFL what he’s displayed in the SEC, he will be a great player to build on for the team’s future.

12 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Greg Newsome II – CB

Staff: Kris Hopper

Signaling their intent to be happy with Jalen Hurts by trading back to 12 the options here are defense (in general) or WR. With both Chase and Smith gone, and it still being a bit early for Bateman or Elijah Moore in a deep class, the eagles turned to address a secondary that was one of the worst in football. Newsome is an NFL ready prospect with good size and athleticism that should provide a nice building block on an aging and underwhelming defense.

13 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL

Staff: Wole Akinso

14 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Mac Jones – QB

Staff: Dan Thury

15 – New England Patriots

Pick: Jaylen Waddle – WR

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

16 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Caleb Farley – CB

Staff: Dan Thury

17 – Las Vegas Raiders

Pick: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB

Staff: Joanne Kong

Despite their 8-8 record, the Las Vegas Raiders had some bright spots in 2020. Running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller both emerged as premiere offensive talents, earning Pro Bowl nods. The Raiders beat two powerhouse teams, the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs, who were then the reigning Champions.

But the season wasn’t a Cinderella story. In their last seven games of the season, they went 2-5 and missed the postseason. It wasn’t so much the offense, although they were riddled with injuries. Derek Carr completed 67.3% of his passes for 4,103 yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Instead, it was the defense that cost the Raiders multiple losses in the second half of the season.

However, the Raiders have done a lot to improve the defense. Yannick Ngakoue and Quinton Jefferson will improve the defensive line. Bringing back Nicholas Morrow and Johnathan Hankins improve the middle of that defensive line adding depth at linebacker and defensive tackle. So you might think, it would be wise for the Raiders to work on the offensive line. In a division with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, John Gruden will more than likely want to continue shoring up the defense, putting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, as well as closing off running lanes, and focus on the offensive line in later rounds.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could be the final piece for the Raiders defense. Due to his size, the Notre Dame lineman is far from a traditional linebacker. Owusu-Koramoah has the ability to move all over the field, capable of coming down and defending the run in the box, moving sideline-to-sideline extremely well and being able to cover tight-ends and slot receivers when dropping into coverage.

Gruden should happily have a plan for Owusu-Koramoah if he’s drafted, because he can become something more than just a linebacker for them.

18 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: Jaelan Phillips – DE/EDGE

Staff: Wole Akinso

19 – Washington Football Team

Pick: Zaven Collins – LB

Staff: Adam Aniba

At #19 Washington addresses a huge need at MLB with Tulsa’s Zaven Collins. Contrary to what some draft evaluators have said, Collins isn’t just an OLB prospect and excels in coverage (4 ints ‘21 with 2 ret for TD’s). Collins has shown up in clutch moments, time after time and fits perfectly into Jack De Rio’s system. As a LB who can attack the line of scrimmage or drop into coverage, he’s arguably the most versatile LB in this class.

20 – Chicago Bears

Pick: Rashawn Slater – OL

Staff: Kris Hopper

The Bears O-Line caused them all sorts of problems last season and is a key spot which the Bears need to address. Slater is the guy to do that. By some, he is considered the 2nd best o-lineman in this class and is easily top 4 for most. He has size and athleticism to maul at tackle, but also the skillset to be moved inside if the bears see that as their best fit. The versatility and pedigree is a win here.

21 – Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Christian Darrisaw – OL

Staff: Scott King

Colts strengthen their offensive line and provide protection for the QB with Darrisaw.

22 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: Kwity Paye – DE

Staff: Adam Aniba

At #22 the Titans are shocked to see one of the drafts top pass rushers in Michigan’s Kwity Paye still on the board. The Wolverines pass rusher adds a new element to HC Mike Vrabel’s defense, who can line up in a 2-point or 3-point stance. With returning OLB/Edge rusher Harold Landry III and recently acquired Bud Dupre (former Steeler), Tennessee has to juice to get after Pat Mahomes and the rest of the elite QB’s they face in 2021.

23 – New York Jets

Pick: Teven Jenkins – OL

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

Clearly, after taking Zach Wilson, the Jets need to invest on keeping him healthy.  So upgrading the o-line makes a lot of sense.

Plus, the Jets were already reportedly interested in Teven Jenkins before his impressive Pro Day, where he recorded 36 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.01 in the 40-yard dash.  Jenkins would be an excellent day one fit with the NY Jets, as he has plenty of reps being a three-year starter at Oklahoma State and is clearly one of the best offensive tackles in the country.  In addition, he has great lateral mobility which makes him a great fit for the Jets zone-blocking scheme, and a terrific pass protector.  Add in the fact that he could play guard as well as tackle, and this pick essentially picks itself.

24 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Najee Harris – RB

Staff: Scott King

The Steelers quickly replace Conner with Harris and don’t miss a beat. Love this one for them.

25 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Trevon Moehrig-Woodard – S

Staff: Kris Hopper

With the QB situation addressed and some nice pieces at the skill positions already, the Jaguars turn to address a defense that looks nothing like the dominant force it was just a few short seasons ago. Moehrig is a player who can cover and come down into the box and tackle if he needs to, who has good speed and instincts. More importantly, he gives them a defensive piece to build around.

26 – Cleveland Browns

Pick: Gregory Rousseau – EDGE

Staff: Joanne Kong

The Browns have been busy making certain that the next time they get to the postseason, they stay in the postseason. The Browns signed safety John Johnson III, who is an instant upgrade and should be a nice complement to the young core of talent.  But the need in defense doesn’t stop there.

Signing Troy Hill fills the slot cornerback position, but they still need an outside cornerback to play opposite Denzel Ward. They have Greedy Williams, but a backup plan might be needed since Williams, a 2019 second round draft pick, is coming off a nerve injury.

The Browns linebacker corps could also use some upgrades to defend against the likes of tight ends Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. They’ve signed Anthony Walker to a one-year $3.5M contract to join 2019 third-round pick Sione Takitaki, 2019 fifth-round pick Mack Wilson and 2020 third-round pick Jacob Phillips on the depth chart. So the need at linebacker isn’t imminent.

As for edge rushers, the Browns has signed Takkarist McKinley, who’s had 4.5 sacks over the last two seasons. They’ve also signed Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year contract for $10M.

However, in my opinion, that doesn’t decrease the need to draft a young defensive end.

A fractured right ankle during the first game in 2018 took Gregory Rousseau out for his freshman season. In 2019 Rousseau was ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, named 2019 Second Team All-American (FWAA) after recording 54 tackles and 15.5 sacks. Unfortunately, 2019 was the only year of stats since Rousseau sat out the 2020 season due to COVID – which might be why Rousseau is slipping on draft boards. That just makes him undervalued. Rousseau is known for his large tackle radius, using his length to his advantage. There is a lot of upside with Rousseau, development will be critical with an individual who has the tools, but is a very raw talent. But Rousseau definitely has talent, which can’t be learned. This might be a match made in heaven for the Browns with Rousseau sitting behind Clowney, or even serving as rotational depth during the season.

27 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Rashod Bateman – WR

Staff: Dan Thury

28 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Rondale Moore – WR

Staff: Adam Aniba

At #28 the Saints get their star WR of the future. Although he won’t have Brees, Purdue receiver Rondale Moore adds a dynamic element that the Saints don’t currently have at the position. Sean Payton utilizes his RB’s in the passing game, but adding Moore could take pressure of Kamara as a receiver. The Saints have gone with bandaids at the WR position for years and they get their guy in Moore. Durability concerns are there for Moore, but his showcase game vs OSU displayed just how dangerous he can be when facing elite talent.

29 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: Elijah Moore – WR

Staff: Dan Thury

30 – Buffalo Bills

Pick: Travis Etienne – RB

Staff: Joanne Kong

The Bills haven’t gone outside the organization to sign any major talent. That’s a testament to the roster Brandon Beane has built in Buffalo. Although the Bills might be looking at future prospects in the draft, there are some needs the Bills can use immediately this season to build on and/or develop.

One major problem with the Bills last season was the ground game. It’s uncertain whether it was a problem with the running back production, or the offensive line’s ability to create lanes. But one thing’s for certain, it was the ground game that sunk the Bills the AFC Conference Championship game against the Chiefs.

Currently, the Bills have an overabundance of depth in running back, and yet very little production. It’s as if the Bills don’t know what to do with the running back position since they have Josh Allen filling the gaps. Devin Singletary is currently the Bills number one back, yet ranked only 25th in total regular season rushing yards last year. In the 2020 season, the Bills had 16 rushing touchdowns, but Allen was responsible for 8 of them. Could it be time to clean house at the running back position?

With the 30th pick overall, Travis Etienne might be a surprising draft selection, but I really like the upside.

With a well-rounded game, Etienne has patience and the ability to effectively use blocks to develop and find holes. His athleticism and versatility gives him an edge in both the run  and pass game. As a receiver, Etienne was known to show focus and concentration as a receiver, with solid ability to track the passes. Although Etienne is not the Derek Henry type back, he does have versatility that worked in Clemson and can work in the NFL. There is a lot that Etienne can still learn, such as diagnosing pressure schemes and executing blocks in the pass protection, but he has time for that. His innate talent at the position, though, can’t be taught.

31 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Jayson Oweh – EDGE

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

Tom Brady had all day in the pocket to dissect and pick apart the Chiefs defense in blowing them out in the Super Bowl 31-9. Clearly, a pass rush needs to be developed because, contrary to popular belief, Patrick Mahomes can’t do everything himself.

Jayson Oweh is that guy.  Sure, he had five and half sacks in 2019, but had none in 2020, but sacks aren’t everything. He had 38 tackles (20 solo), was incredibly solid against the run, is 6′ 5″, nearly 260 lbs., has incredibly long reach and a ridiculously fast 4.36 second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, as well as benching 225 pounds 21 times, having a 39.5-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot, 2-inch broad jump and a 4.21-second shuttle time.  The upside is high and that’s exactly what the Chiefs need.

UPDATE (April 23, 2021)

  • The Chiefs traded their first round pick to the Baltimore Ravens.  So who would Dan Thury select at Pick 31 for the Ravens in our Mock Draft?

32 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Levi Onwuzurike – DT

Staff: Scott King

The Bucs add to their riches by grabbing Levi Onwuzurike for their defensive line.

Check back soon for Round 2 of our Mock Draft!

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