It’s in the books. Players studied, draft board constructed, live mock zoomed and here’s who we ended up selecting…
Round 1 – Pick 21 – Chris Olave – WR – Ohio State
Tensions were high. Wide Recievers were flying off the board. Before the draft we had discussed trading up for Olave if he dropped into the 20s. We get to pick 20 and the Steelers are selecting. We gamble that they are going to take a Quarterback and they do. At 21 we had identified the Patriots as someone that would be looking to trade down. A match made in heaven. We use pick 29 and the 4th and 6th round picks we gained from Miami in the Tyreek Hill trade to move up to take Olave.
A refined route runner with a nose for the end zone, he holds the Ohio State career record for touchdowns, he is an immediate starter opposite JuJu. You can’t replace Tyreek Hill, but this is about as close as you can get and about $20m a season cheaper.
Round 1 – Pick 30 – Dax Hill – Safety – Michigan
You can’t replace the Honey Badger either. But with Thornhill being in the last year of his contract and depth at Safety thin on the roster, we plump for Dax Hill from Michigan.
With the range to play single high and the short area quickness to play in the box he has the versatility the Spags covets from his DBs.
Round 2 – Pick 50 – Travis Jones – IDL – UConn
We talked about taking Jalen Pitre, but having already gone safety once we couldn’t justify it twice. Chris Jones could be in his last year, Derrick Nnadi is on a one year contract. IDL is a sneaky area of need. Jones is a stout run defender that can collapse the pocket when pass rushing. Watch out opposing QBs, the Jones are coming for you.
Round 2 – Pick 51 – Cameron Thomas – San Diego State
The Eagles offer us the chance to have back to back picks, if we’ll give them all 3 of our 7th round picks. That’s too good an opportunity to turn down. We double dip here and address our biggest need with Cameron Thomas. He can set the edge in the run game and has a relentless motor to rush the passer. An early down DE, he can slide inside on passing downs and add extra juice up the middle.
Round 3 – Pick 94 – Martin Emerson – CB – Mississippi State
There is good depth at corner this year and we use that to our advantage to take Martin Emerson at the back end of the 3rd round. A 30 game starter, he smothers receivers in press coverage and has good anticipation in zone coverage.
Round 3 – Pick 103 – Greg Dulcich – TE – UCLA
Excellent value here as Dulcich drops into our hands with our 3rd round comp pick. Thanks, Ryan Poles! A member of the Yahoo All Juice team, he may not be the world’s greatest blocker but he has “a smidge of Travis Kelce at the top of his routes” and a canny knack for getting open. Kelce isn’t getting any younger and if he could be kept fresh while his heir apparent is groomed then it’s a win win situation.
Round 4 – Pick 121 – Rasheed Walker – OT – Penn State
Confident Lucas Niang can last a season healthy? Feel that Andrew Wylie is the answer? No, neither did we. Walker is a solid offensive line prospect who offers length, athleticism, and fundamentals to develop into a starter at the next level. Worse case scenario he is good depth, best case he takes the starting RT job and forces others to up their game.
Round 4 – Pick 135 – Pierre Strong Jr – RB – South Dakota State
Another area of depth in this draft, there’s value to be had in the 4th round at RB. Strong has good speed, makes good decisions and is a home run threat with the ball in his hands. If you aren’t in love with Clyde Edwards-Helaire then maybe Strong is a viable alternative.
So that concluded our mock draft. No picks after 135, 8 picks made in total. If we could hit on 4 starters and 4 quality backups then our work here is done.
Over to you Brett…