9th 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 27th.  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 9th Annual Twitter NFL Mock Draft!

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

Each one took part as GMs of several teams in the draft and conducted the mock draft live over several 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 – Carolina Panthers (from Chicago Bears)

Pick: Bryce Young – QB (Alabama)

Staff: Jordan Alexander

The Panthers moved up to #1 to have their choice at the top QB. A franchise that has been searching for a franchise QB since Cam Newton – they bring in Frank Reich as Head Coach and immediately put him in position to get his QB which is something he didn’t have in Indianapolis. Speculation immediately began that the Panthers were selecting CJ Stroud #1 as we saw his odds for #1 go from +250 to -400 just days after the trade. However, I believe Bryce Young’s tape sets him slightly apart from CJ Stroud.

Bryce Young Passing Stats
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Year School G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rate
*2020 Alabama 7 13 22 59.1 156 1 0 133.7
*2021 Alabama 15 366 547 66.9 4872 47 7 167.5
*2022 Alabama 12 245 380 64.5 3328 32 5 163.2
Career Alabama 624 949 65.8 8356 80 12 165.0

2 – Houston Texans

Pick: C.J. Stroud – QB (Ohio State)

Staff: Adam Aniba

The Texans pull the trigger and draft CJ Stroud to be their franchise QB with Davis Mills better suited to be the backup. The Buckeye QB has the ability to make plays with his feet, but also displays impressive arm strength.

CJ Stroud Passing Stats
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Year School G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rate
*2020 Ohio State 1 0 0 0 0 0
*2021 Ohio State 12 317 441 71.9 4435 44 6 186.6
*2022 Ohio State 13 258 389 66.3 3688 41 6 177.7
Career Ohio State 575 830 69.3 8123 85 12 182.4

3 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Will Anderson – Edge (Alabama)

Staff: Jordan Alexander

The Arizona Cardinals are a dumpster fire. Their franchise QB is coming off his worst season and will likely miss a ton of time. They’re in a fortunate position where they can draft the best player on the board because they have needs everywhere. Coming into the 2022 college season- Will Anderson JR was seen as a CANT Miss prospect and people were speculating whether he’d be the first player taken. The tape in this season didn’t do him any Justice and his production took a dip. 17 sacks in 2021 to only 10 in 22, 101 tackles in 21 to 51 in 22. The cardinals though were bottom 10 in adjusted sack rate and were 22nd DVOA vs the pass. They lose JJ Watt to retirement and Zach Allen to free agency and absolutely neee to sure up their defensive line so taking the best pass rusher is a no brainer.

4 – Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Anthony Richardson – QB (Florida)

Staff: Adam Aniba

This is a bit high for FL QB Anthony Richardson, but in a QB needy league Indianapolis takes this risk. They’ll bank on the Gator developing quickly and hope he’ll pan out as their franchise quarterback of the future.

Anthony Richardson Passing Stats
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Year School G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rate
*2020 Florida 3 1 2 50.0 27 1 1 228.4
*2021 Florida 7 38 64 59.4 529 6 5 144.1
*2022 Florida 12 176 327 53.8 2549 17 9 131.0
Career Florida 215 393 54.7 3105 24 15 133.6
Anthony Richardson Rushing Stats
Rush Rush Rush Rush
Year School G Att Yds Avg TD
*2020 Florida 3 7 61 8.7 0
*2021 Florida 7 51 401 7.9 3
*2022 Florida 12 103 654 6.3 9
Career Florida 161 1116 6.9 12

5 – Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)

Pick: Tyree Wilson – Edge (Texas Tech)

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

6 – Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)

Pick: Christian Gonzalez – CB (Oregon)

Staff: Scott King

With two first round picks the lions have a lot of options. They could trade out of 6 if there’s a QB there and address more needs. They shored up the backend of the defense in free agency but the work isn’t done. They grab Gonzalez at 6 to give them more CB help. The Lions expect the CB to help in the run and Gonzalez has the size they want over Witherspoon.

7 – Las Vegas Raiders

Pick: Devon Witherspoon – CB (Illinois)

Staff: Kaiden King

Devon Witherspoon is the perfect fit for the Raiders defense. I don’t see many holes on the Raiders offense with Jimmy G, Josh Jacobs, and Davante Adams. With Maxx Crosby on the D line, corner seems to be their only issue.

8 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Myles Murphy – Edge (Clemson)

Staff: Kaiden King

Myles Murphy is a perfect fit for the Falcons. I was first looking at Tyree Wilson but with him gone Murphy is my best bet. The Falcons have been struggling on the d-line with having statistically the worst defense in the NFL.

9 – Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers)

Pick: Peter Skoronski – OT (Northwestern)

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

The Bears may trade back further, but already got a haul for their number one overall pick, so staying at 9 may make sense.  And if so, now that they have DJ Moore, protecting Justin Fields is job one, and Peter Skoronski may be the best guy to grab.  Skoronski played left tackle at an extremely high level at Northwestern and should be able to do so in the NFL.

Some have criticized his 32¼-inch arms, which they believe may push him towards playing guard in the NFL rather than tackle, but his explosiveness, elite hand placement, and precise footwork should address that, just like Rashawn Slater, who was also from Northwestern and has 33-inch arms, has been solid with the Chargers at tackle.  Skoronski had the highest pass-blocking grade in all of college football by PFF (93.0) and won the Remington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year award, something Slater didn’t even do.  He should be an instant upgrade in Chicago.

10 – Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints)

Pick: Bijan Robinson – RB (Texas)

Staff: George Templeton

Unfortunately for everyone else in the NFC East, the Eagles are in position to draft whoever they want because of the quality of there roster. So they get the 1 thing there offense is missing, a home-run hitting running back. Robinson will give them that extra dimension to make there offense even more lethal and unstoppable. And Robinson will be the difference between losing the Super Bowl last year and winning it this year.

11 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: Paris Johnson Jr. – OT (Ohio State)

Staff: Joanne Kong

The Titans offensive side has seen better days from lackluster receiving options to the front line. Left tackle Taylor Lewan was released. Star guard Nate Davis is with the Chicago Bears and offensive tackle Dennis Daley is now with the Arizona Cardinal. With limited cap space the Titans will need to fix their gaping holes in free agency, or the draft.

Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State, is a top offensive line prospect and could be a rookie plug in player to protect Tannehill’s blindside.

12 – Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)

Pick: Quentin Johnston – WR (TCU)

Staff: Adam Aniba

The Texans grab the top WR in the class to pair with their new QB. TCU’s Quentin Johnston is a big play waiting to happen and is a good start in the Houston offensive overall hall.

13 – New York Jets

Pick: Jalen Carter – DT (Georgia)

Staff: Jordan Alexander

14 – New England Patriots

Pick: Zay Flowers – WR (Boston College)

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

15 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: Lukas Van Ness – DT (Iowa)

Staff: Scott King

Assuming Rodgers actually leaves, the Packers will address defense on the first round. They have pieces on offense to help their new QB, but that have to stop people and it starts upfront with Lukas Van Ness from Iowa.

16 – Washington Commanders


Pick: Brian Branch – CB/S (Alabama)

Staff: Adam Aniba

The Commanders select Alabama DB Brian Branch to fill their opening at slot corner. Branch is viewed as a safety by some, but has the ability to pay multiple spots on the field.

17 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Joey Porter Jr. – CB (Penn State)

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

As much as offensive tackle is a need, cornerback might be a bigger need for the Steelers. With Cameron Sutton leaving for Detroit, the Steelers signed Patrick Peterson, but have essentially nothing else in their secondary.  With a strong cornerback class, it makes sense for the Steelers to target a cornerback in the middle of the first round, which makes Joey Porter Jr. a likely draft pick.

Porter has potential to be an elite man coverage corner with good size and athleticism and demonstrating excellent physical press coverage in college.  In 2022, Porter set a Penn State record for single-game pass breakups (6) and also had the second-most in the FBS for the season (11).  On top of all that, he’s the son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, so coming to play for Pittsburgh may make for an instant fanbase.

18 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Dalton Kincaid – TE (Utah)

Staff: Scott King

At 18 I think the Lions go TE and replace Hock. The top 3 TE all have their unique skills. I grab Kincaid for them here but would be happy with any of them.

19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Jordan Addison – WR (USC)

Staff: Scott King

The Bucs are moving on from TB12 and need to start the Baker Mayfied era. They have weapons but the WR room could use some depth. The Bucs grab Jordan Addison and bring youth with the aging WR corp.

20 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba – WR (Ohio State)

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

21 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Michael Mayer – TE (Notre Dame)

Staff: Wole Akinso

22 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Kelee Ringo – CB (Georgia)

Staff: Wole Akinso

23 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Calijah Kancey – DT (Pittsburgh)

Staff: Scott King

The Vikings continue to struggle in the lost season dispute all their weapons. The key to help secure a win is the defense. The Vikings grab a playmaker in the middle of their defensive line with Calijah Kancey from Pitt to help out.

24 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Cam Smith – CB (South Carolina)

Staff: George Templeton

I was really disappointed with how the board feel in the last several picks before Jacksonville went. I was rubbing my hands together to take Ringo or Mayer but they were off the board and the Jaguars secondary will need help if they are ever to get through Kansas City or Buffalo in the AFC so was happy to take Cam Smith out of South Carolina. Smith thrived against some tough QBs and WRs and I can see him slotting in as a starter from day 1.

25 – New York Giants

Pick: Deonte Banks – CB (Maryland)

Staff: Joanne Kong

With all the top wide receiver prospects off the boards, the Giants will need to fill a secondary need, which is their secondary. After losing Julian Love to free agency (landing with the Seattle Seahawks), the New York Giants could use an addition to their secondary to complement cornerback Adoree Jackson.

26 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Emmanuel Forbes – CB (Mississippi State)

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

The Cowboys had literally one healthy solid cornerback in Trevon Diggs last season after both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown suffered season-ending injuries.  They’d do well to get some help in the secondary and Emmanuel Forbes is the top outside cornerback in this year’s draft.

His aggressiveness on the field paid dividends last season when allowed only a 50% completion rate and finished with 6 interceptions.  In addition, Forbes is tied with Glenn Coleman for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns (6) in FBS history.  On top of all that, Forbes has speed for days and gained a lot of attention at the Combine after posting a 4.35 40-yard dash.  Pairing Forbes with Diggs would make the Cowboys secondary a force to be reckoned with.

27 – Buffalo Bills

Pick: Drew Sanders – LB (Arkansas)

Staff: Joanne Kong

The Buffalo Bills greatest need is probably the running back position, but with Bijan Robinson off the table, the Bills could use another piece to their defense after the loss of Tremaine Edmunds to the Chicago Bears. Sanders could be the rookie starter to block the run and tackle down the pass rush. Sanders has a kind of dynamics that could be an upside to any team.

28 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Darnell Wright – OT (Tennessee)

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

I discussed numerous times how Joe Burrow had to run for his life to stay upright most of the 2021 season.  2022 wasn’t much better but Burrow sped up his delivery to avoid defensive pressure.  The problem was that he couldn’t stay in the pocket long enough to allow deeper routes to develop, which becomes a huge problem when you need to make up yards quickly.  On top of that, Joe Burrow still got sacked 41 times, which was the 6th most in the NFL.  So clearly, although the Bengals managed to sign left tackle Orlando Brown, it would be wise to give Burrow more help along the offensive line.

In steps Darnell Wright.  Wright started 42 games at Tennessee, with 27 at right tackle, 13 at left tackle and two at right guard. He started 13 games at right tackle as a senior and was first-team all-SEC. With zero sacks allowed and just 8 total pressures, he was an important contributor to an offense that led all teams with points and yards.  Adding Wright makes a ton of sense for a Bengals team that needs to do better protecting their franchise quarterback.

29 – New Orleans Saints (from 49ers through Dolphins & Broncos)

Pick: Broderick Jones – OT (Georgia)

Staff: Joanne Kong

Jones is a back-to-back national champion and was a key piece in the dominant Georgia offense. As a pass protector, Jones has the athleticism, speed and length with the ability to lock down defenders. As a run blocker, he has the ability to keep up with the ball carriers and drive off the defenders. It’s a recipe for success, and someone the Saints need.

30 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Trenton Simpson – LB (Clemson)

Staff: George Templeton

Since I took what could be considered a luxury player with the Eagles first pick I had to address a need with their second first-rounder and if we are picking nits with an otherwise incredibly talented Philadelphia Eagles roster then it’s the need to get more talent into the linebacking corps. Step forward Trenton Simpson.

31 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Bryan Bresee – DL (Clemson)

Staff: Jordan Alexander

Check out Round 2 of our Twitter NFL Mock Draft on Football Garbage Time and follow #FGTMock on Twitter!