Well well well here we are again folks. It’s late April and just as we start to feel we may never see football again the NFL swoops in to shoot that sweet, sweet pigskin nectar directly into our veins. I’m talking hand size, I’m talking fingertip velocity on the throw release. Is this DT thicc enough in the hindquarters? How fast can this 340 pounder run 40 yards in a straight line in case we need to swap the DT and CB for a play? (More speed for the pass rush.)
We’ve heard the talk since bowl season, is Baker tall enough? Does Rosen care enough? We know Josh Allen can throw the ball eighty yards, but can he throw the ball eight-five yards? Is Sam Darnold an NFL QB or is he just Syndrome from The Incredibles back with a vengeance?
All these questions mean dink though, compared to one: Where will he get drafted? All these other questions are just precursors to this holy grail. You’ve seen the mocks, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 10.26, on and on and on but you haven’t seen this one. Here, in this mock, I can assure you that I know everything. I watched the Combine, I watched a SHIT TON of college football, like a stupid amount. I’m not sure my relationship will make it through next fall if I double down on my regimen which I certainly intend to do. But I digress. My point being I have a high-football IQ, I have the unparalleled grit to watch the game for hours on end while I stew in 3 day old sweatpants chock-full of beer-farts. And this is, after all, the Gritt Mitt, so we’re in the exact right spot for a mock like this. Let’s get to it.
- #1 Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold QB USC
It’s Darnold, it has to be Darnold. Guy has the most potential out of any of the QB’s and probably the best mechanics. The other QB’s all have questions surrounding their attitude or their ability to throw the football, Darnold has neither. He just needs maybe a skosh more time to develop and adjust to the speed of the NFL game. Which is why a team like the Browns, with Tyrod Taylor a capable QB under contract for a year makes sense. I don’t understand the “NFL ready” argument when it comes to drafting a player. If your team can’t develop a guy that has all the necessary talent then maybe you shouldn’t be a franchise! On second thought… disregard that last part Browns 😦
- #2 Buffalo Bills (*From NYG, gave up: Pick #12, Pick #22, Pick #53 2nd, Pick #65 3rd)- Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield. This one was tough. I like Baker, I think he’s got the stuff to succeed in the NFL. He’s accurate as helllll and he works harder than anyone by all accounts. He’s got some off the field concerns which translate to the field. Did you see that cop take him down? Can’t get away from Officer Donut how are you going to get away from Cameron Wake off the edge? But, overall, the accuracy, the GRIT, the chip on the shoulder mentality, coupled with Buffalo, a city less-prone to shenanigans than many others, I like Baker here. Plus he fits the system, Buffalo had a mobile QB in Tyrod and Baker can do much of the same, only with more accurate throws.
- #3 New York Jets- Josh Allen QB Wyoming
This was another tough one. I had “Josh” typed up for awhile just trying to figure out whether to Rosen or Allen after it. Ultimately I had to go with Allen. Have you seen this guy’s height and arm strength? Whoooochieeee Mama he could throw a football clear over those buildings? I guess. Not really any mountains in NYC but this guy can chuck it. There’s talk of Rosen’s stuck-up attitude leading to him sliding tomorrow night so I’ll just run with that, for a minute.
- #4 Cleveland Browns- Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
For most of the offseason I was yelling to the Browns from my couch to take Saquon either at one or at four I didn’t care just get him. He can be the offense, like Gurley, Elliot and Fournette, he’s going to be a premier player. Then the Browns went and got Jarvis Landry, and signed him for 5 years. Then they went and got Carlos Hyde for 3 years. Plus Josh Gordon is back. So, that’s Gordon, Landry, Hyde, plus RB Duke Johnson who was one of the best receiving backs in the NFL last year with Tyrod/Darnold running the show and a top 5 offensive line? Shit. I hate to say it but Barkley would be too many cooks in the kitchen. The defense, while decent, needs help. They just lost Joe Hayden to the rival Steelers and they drafted Jabrill Peppers last year who is a freak athlete, but no cover safety. Minkah can play either Safety or Corner and you plug him into that defense, all of a sudden, somehow, some way, (a billion first round picks the last three years) the Browns are starting to look more like a complete team.
- #5 Denver Broncos- Saquon Barkley RB Penn St.
Ooookayy 5 spots is far enough. If the Bills didn’t trade up he may have gone at two to the Giants but there are teams that are QB hungry and that leads to Barkley falling… to 5.. some falls are longer than others. No way Elway lets Saquon get by him. The Broncos just let their starting RB CJ Anderson walk in Free Agency while they signed their QB, Case Keenum in the same time period. They drafted OL in Garrett Bolles last year, they have good WR’s and they’ve won a Super Bowl with less than stellar QB play recently (Sorry PeyPey). Put Barkley in that offense to take a tremendous amount of pressure off of Case Keenum and stick with the hard-nose Broncos D we’ve come to know and I like this generational building block of player.
- #6 Indianapolis Colts- Quentin Nelson G Notre Dame
6 may seem high for a guard but scouts LOVE this guy. He’s a top 5 player on every draft board and there are reports of scouts laughing while watching his tape because he is literally rolling over guys like they aren’t even there. Besides all of the X’s and O’s, when you’ve neglected your O-line for so long that your once in a generation QB is out there LACERATING KIDNEYS and tearing apart his shoulder so bad he can’t throw a ball for a year, you should probablyyyy do something about that. Taking the best O-lineman in the draft is a start, but throw maybe another 6 or 7 picks at the position group, Indy.
- #7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Denzel Ward CB Ohio State
The Bucs need secondary help bad. Their best corner Brent Grimes is give or take a couple years like 60. They’ve got a decent DL and okay LB’s but every single week fantasy owners (me) were licking their chops at the thought of their players getting a shot at that secondary. Denzel Ward is yet another top-tier DB to come out of Ohio State in the past few years joining Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore. With Ohio State losing their DBs coach (thank god amirite B1G fans?) the Bucs should take advantage of OSU’s possible last top-tier product.
- #8 Chicago Bears- Bradley Chubb EDGE North Carolina State
As a Lions fan I hate this pick as anyone with a brain I love this pick for Chicago. The Bears have been nailing the offseason it seems lately for the last two years they just need guys to keep their limbs in tact and they’ll be okay. The only team with more WR’s injured than the Bears last year was the Giants maybe. Maybe. Plus there was the whole Zach Miller ordeal where he almost lost his leg. LOST HIS LEG. This isn’t Vietnam we’re talking about this is a GAME and the dude almost LOST HIS LEG. Close call, hope he’s doing okay and I’m giving him some friendly advice to just chill out, eat some potato chips like the rest of us and keep that leg elevated. Anyway, Bears have nailed their defensive backfield choices in recent years and signed good LBs, they just need a dominant EDGE rusher and Chubb fits the role.
- #9 Arizona Cardinals [From San Fran Gave Up: Pick 15, Pick 79 (3rd) and Pick 134 (4th)]- Josh Rosen QB UCLA
Cards need a QB, really really bad. Sam Glassford will only hold up for so long until his knee swells up or his wrist explodes or whatever the next issue is. They need a young gun, and San Fran can afford to move back. Rosen makes sense here as the Cards would want to hop ahead of Miami to ensure the Phins don’t take their guy. And let’s be honest, Rosen the Chosen might fall, but probably not out of the top ten.
- #10 Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith LB Georgia
The Return of Chuckie to the silver and black can only mean one thing. A mean, mean, defense. Roquan Smith has all the makings of another former great Gruden Grinder, Derrick Brooks. Roquan is fast in space, physical, and rarely misses. He can fill part of a hole that’s been the Raiders entire defense for more or less the last decade.
- #11 Miami Dolphin- Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
Look look look, people are saying Lamar can’t play NFL QB I don’t get it. Kid can SLING it, watch his tape, he looks like Michael Vick throwing the ball, he looks like Michael Vick running the ball, as long as he looks away from ya know, dog fighting pits he should be okay! Miami has to be over the Tannehill era. I know I’m over it and there may not be a team I care less about than the Dolphins. Lamar can play, Head Coach Adam Gase can run an offense, let’s see what they can do down there together.
- #12 New York Giants (From Buffalo)- Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame:
We’ve seen so much Manning face the last two years from Eli after he got up from being BLASTED by defenses that it’s kind of lost its touch. Certainly after last year when they benched Eli and broke his streak for no real good reason and he was fighting back tears it just got downright sad. The Giants defense is actually pretty good even though they all hated McAdoo (rightfully so he was a bigtime nerd trying to be the cool guy) so much that they just decided to look like one of the worst in the league. They have run game issues too, which is why staying at 2 and taking Saquon makes sense, BUT, run game woes don’t get solved without an O-line. They signed LT Nate Solder, they just drafted RT Mike McGlinchey, things are lookin up.
- #13 Washington Redskins- Tremaine Edmunds LB Va Tech
The team from Washington D.C. (see how I avoided that?) need an LB. They drafted Jonathan Allen last year to help out their D line and they have Josh Norman in the secondary, but their LB corps needs help. Gruden is going to move forward with Alex Smith instead of Kirk Cousins (bold strategy cotton) and they may need receivers, but with any wideout in this class being a bit of a reach here, they should take an LB who could be a perennial pro-bowler.
- #14 Green Bay Packers- Josh Jackson CB Iowa
Yeah they need DB help and JJ is a good corner at this spot also Aaron Rodgers should spontaneously combust.
- #15 San Francisco 49ers- Marcus Davenport EDGE UTSA
Johnny Lynch could draft anyone here and I wouldn’t care because he’s Johnny Lynch and he’s gritty and I love him. But the 9ers need a pass rusher since they lost Aldon Smith (problematic) and the other Smith retired. They drafted DeForest Buckner a couple years back but he’s only been okay and he’s more balanced than a pure pass rusher. Solomon Thomas can plug the middle for them but Davenport can just get them that little extra umph in the pass rush they need.
- #16 Baltimore Ravens- Billy Price C Ohio State
The Ravens have a great defense as always so all these reports of them needing DBs and LBs I ain’t buyin. They do, however, need loads of offensive help. Signing Crabtree and Willie Snead drastically improves their WR Corps but they need OL and RB help. It was difficult not to have them take RB here but when you have an #ELITE QB and Super Bowl MVP like Joe big head Flacco you have to protect him. Billy Price is also an un-bustable name for a center.
- #17 Los Angeles Chargers- Connor Williams OT Texas
Still seems fucked up typing LA Chargers instead of San Diego, don’t like it, won’t have it but they need tackle help. Look the Chargers are a piece or two or maybe just a damn competent coach away from being contenders. They have to premier pass rushers in Bosa and Ingram and they drafted well on the interior OL last year. Casey Heyward played like a top 5 CB this year and although they may need Safety help it’s not pressing and anyone would be a reach here. Connor Williams can upgrade their tackle spot so that when old-man Rivers throws a bone shuddering late game INT they can finally just blame it on him instead of “but he had no time!!!”
- #18 Seattle Seahawks- Isaiah Wynn G Georgia
Seattle has needed OL help since they won Super Bowl 48 and have yet neglected to help out the position group at all. Russell Wilson leads the league in rushing yardage among QBs because he has to rush. It’s like the Colts o-line but Wilson is so slick no one can get a real clean hit on him which is why he never misses time. Either that or it’s his recovery water or his relationship with God (captial G you know he’s watching) or Ashante has some healing powers. Which BY THE WAY how does that loser nerd jerry-curl guy end up with her? Maybe I should pray more 😦 (Or just have millions and a Super Bowl ring)
- #19 Dallas Cowboys- Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
I’m truthfully kind of glad I have Ridley going here so that I can go from hating him at Bama to hating him in Dallas. The defense is coming around down there and they can find pieces later in the draft but they just lost Dez Bryant sooooo good luck having Dak’s #1 target his RB and then, like, Butler, or whatever that guy’s name is that drops every third pass. Ridley, Elliot, and Dak is a a nice young trio to work with.
- #20 Detroit Lions- Vita Vea DT Washington University
When the Lions lost Haloti Ngata he left two large holes, one at DT, and one at the Pacific Islander roster spot. Vita Vea who’s actual name is a godforsaken nightmare, fills both. The big, thicc, run gobbler from Uof Washington would be a fantastic compliment to third year man Ashawn Robinson and would make the run game stout while still adding an element to the interior pass rush. The pencil-wielding Matty Patty would love to have this guy to add to the mix of Ansah, Robinson, Sylvester Williams, and the gritty Anthony Zettel.
- #21 Cincinnati Bengals- James Daniels OL Iowa
The Bengals let almost their entire OL walk in free agency last year and it worked out fine for them as they just missed the playoffs and wound up with the 21st pic. Just kidding! They actually sucked really bad and let Andy Dalton get sacked like every other play and wound up with the 12th pick which they traded to the Bills for OT Cordy Glenn. Which shows their desire to build the OL again and Daniels fits the bill as either a G or a C which the cats desperately need. However given the Bengals odd draft tendencies (see: John Ross who played like 5 games this year at 10 overall) they’ll probably just draft another LB or TE right in my face and make me feel like an asshole.
- #22 New York Giants (From Buffalo Bills)- Will Hernandez G UTEP
Ahhh memba the Manning face that we saw so much it just got old? Yeah it’s still old and even tho they signed Solder and drafted McGlinchey they STILL need OL help. Enter: Will Hernandez. Big powerful guy (from a small school=GRIT) into the interior OL and the Giants don’t look so bad all of a sudden. With a plethora of talented RB’s that should be available in later rounds and that aforementioned talented D the Giants are about to undo the mess McAdoo stuck them in.
- #23 New England Patriots-Harold Landry EDGE Boston College
Oh the Pats let a couple key-pieces leave in free agency and then have the exact replacement they need fall into their lap in the draft? Whoda thunk it. Harold Landry, and area kid who wouldn’t even have to move his apartment would fit perfectly into the Belichick system and hey, they still have one more first rounder. That is no bueno for everyone else.
- #24 Carolina Panthers- Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
The Panthers are another team who has been solid as of late but just can’t quite hit the top gear since they lost Super Bowl 50. It was tempting to have them take an LB here with Thomas Davis’ grave already being dug and Luke Keuchly one hard noogie away from a final concussion, but they need CB help even worse. They almost signed Breshaun Breeland but the guy failed his physical, which by the way comeeee onnnnn. But Jaire is a stud and will help fill the void left since they inexplicably let Josh Norman walk.
- #25 Tennessee Titans- Sam Hubbard EDGE Ohio State
The Titans are another kind of wonky team. After having the 5th overall pic in the draft last year they went to the divisional round of the playoffs and got their heads stomped in by the Pats. Their offense, which should be good, was kinda bad. Their defense which should be fine, was actually pretty fine. They have good secondary players including Kevin Byard, all-pro safety, and they have a top 5 O-line plus the soon-to=be stud WR Corey Davis out of a little place called Western Michigan University- ever heard of it? But their biggest need is Edge. At 25, Hubbard is a comfortable pic.
- #26 Atlanta Falcons- Mo Hearst DT Michigan
Big Mo who rarely dries up (always sweating) is a good fit for the Falcons. After walking-heart-disease DT Dontari Poe left town via free agency, it fits that the Falcons would fill that gap with another heart-issued DT. I kid, I kid, Mo has been cleared but I do think because of that pesky diagnosis he slips a little, which is why he’s available at 27.
- #27 New Orleans Saints- Leighton VanderEsch LB Boise St.
My sneaky favorite pic in this mock right here. I was a little wary about the first name Leighton, I’ll be honest. Could have new-age parents who use the term Free-range parenting when it’s actually just called being a fucking normal adult parent, but with the name VanderEsch AND he’s a white kid from BOISE ST. Come. On. this kid is grit. And the Saints need a fiery LB like they needed a Steve Gleason punt block on 9/25/2006. Not since the days of Jonathan Vilma and Scott Fujita has Nawleans had a LB worth mentioning.
- #28 Pittsburgh Steelers Rashaan Evans LB Alabama
The Steelers were not the same after Ryan Shazier went down. They lost a ton of speed and run-stopping ability in the middle of that defense and it was no-more apparent than in that Jags game when the normally anemic Jags’ offense carved them up to the tune of 40 some odd points. Big Ben has been a year away from retirement for two years now and all he needs is one comfy walking boot to stay sidelined for good. Pitt better get a D to help him out.
- #29 Jacksonville Jaguars- Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota State
The Jags have prettyyyy much everything they need. They could maybe use a QB sure I guess but who needs a GOAT when you’ve got the BOAT. Like sure, maybe Blake is a dingy and almost anyone else is something that’s 30 feet or bigger but if you’re the Jags and you just made it to the AFC Championship and gave Brady and Dark Lord of the Sith Bill Belichick a run for their money maybe you don’t mess with that formula too much. They did, however, just let Mercedes Lewis go and Goedert could be a much needed upgrade at TE.
- #30 Minnesota Vikings- Frank Raganow OL Arkansas
Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater have played like a combined 6 snaps in the last 3 years. Wanna know why? Cuz the Vikes OL is stinky poopoo. Case apparently drank his milk as a child and was able to withstand most of the season behind these guys but they can’t bank on that again with the new fully guaranteed contract they just gave the *cough* Spartan*cough* Kirk Cousins. They have to have him on the field. Interior OL makes sense for the purple people up north.
- #31 New England Patriots- Mike Hughes CB Central Florida
New England back on the clock and while I wanted to give them OL here anyone available is probably a bit of a reach. Same with QB. Everyone wants the Pats to take a Brady replacement so surely the Pats will do the opposite and go double defense in the first round. Former Super Bowl hero and foot locker employee Malcolm Butler just left town (Football related not Foot Locker) so New England will look for a guy to play opposite Stephon Gillmore.
- #32 Philadelphia Eagles- Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M
Everything coming up Philly. Super Bowls, national championships, murder rate, all that stuff. But seriously, what does Philly need besides better policing strategies. They brought back almost every starter, hardly anybody walked and they brought in solid veteran pieces. I struggled with this pick because really, it doesn’t matter in my mind. Carson Wentz is going to be back, (and his ACL hopes a little more careful) and they are going to be right back in the thick of it. The WR’s could use a little work. So I figured they’ve got Alshon, they’ve got a deep guy in Torrey Smith, why not give em a guy people are saying is the next Golden Tate? Christian Kirk I hope you like Cheese steaks.
Well that’s it. All 32 picks and all the reasons why. Maybe I’ll get one right maybe I’ll get two. No matter what happens that was a lot of writing I just did and no one can say I didn’t leave it all on the computer screen today. Really poured my heart and soul into this blog and gave it my all. A truly gritty performance, as the Gritt Mitt deserves.