This one comes with trades!
If you have followed Underdog-Eagles.com long enough, you’ll know we LOVE the draft. One of our first articles was an analysis of the positions taken in the first round of the draft, and at which pick. We have since taken that research and mixed it in with our first mock draft, and now we have an analyzed mock draft.
Or, at least, the first ten picks. And we are very confident in them.
With this Mock-10, as we call it, we are including trades that we are predicting based on the analysis we have spoken about. Since we cannot predict everything about each trade, we will simply show the swapped first-round picks, and assume there is more to each trade that extends beyond the first ten picks.
So, without further ado, here’s our first Mock-10.
Pick 1, Oakland Raiders (from Cardinals)- QB Drew Lock, Missouri
That’s right, we are starting with a trade, and starting with a reach. We here at Underdog believe very strongly in Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. Whether we believe in their ability to lead a team to a Super Bowl (no), or that they’ll continue making terrible decisions to this poor Oakland team (yes) is our own business, and you’ll never find out how we feel about their franchise. But we believe strongly that they’ll do something (regrettable) in the first ten picks, and that is selecting Drew Lock.
Drew Lock isn’t a bad QB, and he has shown some very intelligent plays during his time at Missouri that impressed us at Underdog. However, he is not the best QB in this bad QB class.
Jon Gruden loves Drew Lock. He has already talked to him a bunch at the Senior Bowl, and has flirted with the idea of trading up in the draft. This would almost have to be for a QB, seeing as the other players in the draft are excellent defensive linemen, many of which will be just as available at pick 1 as they are at pick 4.
Lock is not a player worthy of the first overall pick, but we think Gruden thinks otherwise. This also assumes that Derek Carr is traded or released soon, which we here at Underdog have been expecting.
Pick 2, New York Giants (from 49ers)- QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
If you look back at our analysis of each position at each pick of the first round of the draft, you’ll see that the second pick tends to be a QB. This means that we are predicting another trade up, this time by the Giants.
The thing with the Giants is that everyone expects them to draft Dwayne Haskins. If Kyler Murray aces the pre-draft process, which we at Underdog believe he can do with ease, then the Giants have to think about the possibility of having Murray, Saquon Barkley, and Odell Beckham Jr. on the field at the same time. What a crazy dynamic offense that could be! I hate the Giants, and even I want to see what these three could do together.
Murray would bring youth, mobility, and a breath of fresh air to the Giants’ QB position, which is in desperate need of all of those things. The Giants’ offensive line has improved in the last couple years, but it is still bad. Murray can buy the Giants time to improve their o-line, as he is a talented QB who can avoid the pass rush and bring the offense back into relevance.
Pick 3, New York Jets- EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
The Jets take the best player in the draft in Nick Bosa. This is the easiest pick that can be made at this point, as the Jets certainly have Bosa at the top of their draft board, and likely don’t expect to be able to pick him.
Bosa is a stud. Although he missed most of his senior season with a core muscle injury, his tape, size, and skills are unquestionably unmatched. There were talks that Ed Oliver could be the number 1 pick in the draft, and there are some hot-takes that Quinnen Williams should be number 1, but Bosa has been the consistently best prospect since last season started.
The Jets hit the jackpot here.
Pick 4, Arizona Cardinals (from Raiders)- DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
This is one of the many reasons why the Cardinals have to be considering trading that first overall pick (especially to the Raiders)- there are SO MANY good players at the top of this draft, that it doesn’t matter if they move back three spots to pick 4. Arguably the best– or, without a doubt, one of the top 3 best– players in the draft is still available here with Quinnen Williams.
The Cardinals need to fill a lot of positions with young talent, essentially all positions except for QB and RB. Williams is a best player available choice here, and a good one. He has great size and athleticism, and reminds me of Fletcher Cox in terms of his abilities.
Williams can blow through the line and wreck the running game, while also creating chaos against the pass. This trade with the Raiders will give the Cardinals a guy like Williams, and more picks to fill those multiple needs.
Here the Cardinals do the Browns’ “Moneyball” strategy right.
Pick 5, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Greedy Williams, LSU
I have had this pick locked in for weeks. The Bucs need help on defense, and I do not think they will replace Jameis Winston (though perhaps they should).
When the Bucs took Vernon Hargreaves in top ten picks of the draft a couple years ago, he came with very high expectations. Hargreaves didn’t pan out as hoped, but now the Bucs have a chance to strike cornerback gold. Greedy Williams is the best man coverage corner in the draft, and I can’t remember watching a better coverage corner prospect entering the draft in recent memory.
Williams is the best coverage corner, but Underdog has knocked his ratings for his seeming lack of physicality. Whether you value a corner’s physicality as much as we at Underdog do or not, Greedy’s coverage abilities are unquestionable. The Bucs upgrade their secondary, big time.
Pick 6, San Francisco 49ers (from Giants)- DT Ed Oliver, Houston
Remember what we said about the Cardinals moving back in the draft and still landing one of the best players in the draft? The 49ers do just the same.
San Francisco is looking to upgrade their defensive line again, for what seems like the tenth draft in a row (it’s actually just their 3rd time in the last 4 drafts, but still). Ed Oliver gets a lot of Aaron Donald comparisons because of his smaller frame but crazy athleticism, and while we at Underdog are hesitant to compare a draft prospect to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row, Oliver is a big deal.
It is expected that Oliver will put on a show at the NFL Combine. This show will pull Oliver back up the draft boards, as he may have slipped from a weaker Junior year and some minor character concerns.
The 49ers are looking for the difference-maker that will unlock their pass rush, and Ed Oliver could be an Aaron Donald to do that, or a Robert Nkemdiche bust who won’t. There doesn’t seem to be much of an in-between.
Pick 7, Jacksonville Jaguars- WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
This pick hinges on our expectation that Nick Foles will sign with the Jaguars.
Assuming the Jags snap up a big name QB in free agency (Foles), there aren’t many needs across their roster. They’ve invested heavily in their defense over the past few seasons, and it has paid off at times, and cost them at others. When it paid off, the Jags had a great running game that could beat down an opposing team on both sides of the ball. When it doesn’t pay off, and the team needs to rely on their passing game, Blake Bortles just can’t get the job done.
The Jaguars’ franchise is itching to get back into the playoffs and being the dominant team they were in 2017. They can with better QB play, so when they add a good win-now QB (Foles), they will think to equip him with the best weapons they can. Assuming Leonard Fournette will also still be with the team, it will only make sense to add wide receivers, and N’Keal Harry is seen as the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft.
Pick 8, Detroit Lions- DL Rashan Gary, Michigan
Rashan Gary can do it all across the d-line. He can move inside and create internal pressure, and he can rush the outside. We know this because he did both in his college days. Gary is the perfect defensive lineman to be used in stunt plays, and a creative defense-minded coach has to be foaming at the mouth with his versatility.
Who’s the coach of the Lions again? Oh yeah, Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator of the Patriots. Patricia earned a reputation of being a cunning leader of the defense, and when you look at the Patriots defenses over the past few seasons, they have always done a good job with limited talent.
The Lions don’t have much talent on defense either, but they add it here with Gary. Matt Patricia and Rashan Gary are a match made in heaven.
Pick 9, Buffalo Bills- OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
This one is pretty straightforward. The Bills need a tackle, and Jonah Williams is the best tackle in the draft. His competition, Greg Little, has a lot of question marks, but Williams has the skills (and lack of question marks) to step in and lock down the position for years to come.
A longtime starter for the most dominant team in the NCAA (Clemson fans rage at that remark), Williams has earned the title of best offensive lineman in the draft. This one is easy for the Bills.
Pick 10, Denver Broncos- QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
This pick became so much more complicated after the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco. For a fourth round pick, the Broncos have another band-aid QB. I don’t know if John Elway is smart enough to see the issue with this. They need to find a long-term solution at QB, and Joe “Not Elite” Flacco is not the answer.
Then again, Dwayne Haskins isn’t really the answer either. In a weak QB class, Haskins is Underdog’s 3rd best QB, which is better than Drew Lock (picked first overall in this Mock-10), but still not worthy of the tenth pick. In our opinion, Jarrett Stidham is the second best QB in the draft, but he wouldn’t be a good choice here either!
I hope that Elway has a plan, and that plan is to start Flacco until he inevitably plays terribly, and start Haskins, who has been given the chance to learn and adjust to the NFL. In an ideal scenario, this takes a year or two, as we at Underdog don’t see Haskins being ready for the NFL for a while. He has tremendous tools, but he needs some tinkering that could turn him into a good NFL QB.
Can Elway come to make this happen? Probably not.
Trading for Flacco made a bad situation worse and more complex for the Broncos, and that situation will bleed into the draft.
Now that I have finished ranting about the Broncos, let me know what you think about this “Mock-10.” Do you want to see more Mock-10s? Do you think the Raiders will trade up and further stir up the Gruden-Oakland era?