Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has looked like a No. 1 pick ever since he led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman.
With four weeks to go until the NFL draft — which takes place April 29-May 1 in Cleveland — Lawrence is everyone’s bet to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the top pick in what could start a run on quarterbacks. BYU’s Zach Wilson is the likely second pick by the New York Jets, and Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields all could be selected in the top half of Round 1 or even among the top-10 picks.
The draft lacks a dominant edge rusher like we’ve seen in recent years. Chase Young (Washington Football Team) and Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers) went No. 2 the last two years. But this draft has an excellent crop of wide receivers, led by LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, and a freaky tight end in Florida’s Kyle Pitts. It’s also a quality draft for offensive tackles, even if many of them project on the right side.
Here’s our NFL mock draft 1.0.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jaguars own the No. 1 pick for the first time in franchise history, and Lawrence has been the presumptive top selection since before the end of the 2019 college season.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Wilson is the Joe Burrow of this class — a quarterback who has emerged from relative obscurity to catapult up draft boards.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Five weeks out, the 49ers pulled off a blockbuster deal to get in position to take the third quarterback off the board. The buzz since the trade has been that Jones could be the man, with the Niners moving this high to ensure a QB-needy team will not leapfrog them.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Never before have quarterbacks gone 1-2-3-4 at the top of the draft. In fact, QBs have gone 1-2-3 only twice before. The Falcons are in a transition period with a new GM and new coach and don’t know when they will be picking this high again. Lance can spend a season learning behind Matt Ryan, who turns 36 in May.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Bengals are in a premium spot to get the first non-quarterback. They can provide Joe Burrow with a high-profile skill-position player or give him some protection — he was sacked 32 times in 10 starts as a rookie. Florida TE Kyle Pitts and LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase are tempting, but it’s a deep draft at receiver.
6. Miami Dolphins: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Dolphins could have remained at No. 12 and gotten an excellent wide receiver. The Dolphins could not have stayed there with the hope of the dynamic Pitts making it to them.
7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The Lions allowed Kenny Golladay to exit via free agency and are barren at wide receiver. Chase is the best of a strong group and would be a slam dunk at No. 7 after he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day Wednesday.
8. Carolina Panthers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Panthers definitely are in play for a quarterback, but the 49ers shook up the draft board, and it remains to be seen if the Panthers can or will make a play for embattled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Getting the fifth choice among QBs isn’t ideal, but Teddy Bridgewater isn’t selling a lot of hope.
9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Broncos are in the quarterback mix, but there simply aren’t enough to go around, and a couple of teams are going to be left out. Vic Fangio certainly could maximize the versatile Parsons’ talent.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Cowboys need to shore up the offensive line, and Rashawn Slater might fit well here. But the Cowboys also need a cornerback and can get the top one in the class.
11. New York Giants: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
The Giants filled needs at wide receiver and cornerback in free agency and made a deal to keep Leonard Williams. They can elevate the defense with the first edge rusher to come off the board.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Eagles could have stayed at No. 6 and drafted Pitts as the replacement for Zach Ertz. They still can get a dynamic playmaker or potentially fill a pressing need at cornerback.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
The Chargers either can add a left tackle to protect quarterback Justin Herbert, or new coach Brandon Staley can get a lockdown cornerback in Jaycee Horn. Helping Herbert with Slater is the way to go.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Vikings have been trying everything to rebuild the offensive line for a couple of years and get a big man who can play tackle.
15. New England Patriots: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Cam Newton really struggled last season, and one primary reason was because the Patriots couldn’t threaten opponents on the outside. Smith can be a difference maker.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Cardinals need a cornerback to replace Patrick Peterson and are in position to grab Horn or consider an edge rusher.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Raiders have to make big gains defensively, and a linebacker with all sorts of range would fit nicely in the middle of the unit.
18. Miami Dolphins: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
The Dolphins need to replace Kyle Van Noy, and Paye can really bend off the edge.
19. Washington Football Team: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Vera-Tucker’s arms measured 32 1/2 inches at his pro day, which has prompted questions as to whether he can play tackle. Some teams might give him a shot there, and he’s a safe pick as a very good guard.
20. Chicago Bears: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Bears need to fortify an offense that was 22nd in scoring last season and 29th in 2019. There is also a gaping hole in the secondary after another former Virginia Tech cornerback, Kyle Fuller, was a cap casualty. Farley’s stock has taken a hit because of a back issue, but if medical info checks out, he’s a worthy first-round pick. He once was the potential top corner off the board.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
The Colts will be looking for help on the offensive line and cornerback but also need to beef up the pass rush.
22. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
The Titans ranked 30th in sacks last season with only 19, and Mike Vrabel needs more help even after swapping out Jadeveon Clowney for Bud Dupree in free agency.
23. New York Jets: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Robert Saleh has a total rebuild on his hands, and after getting Zach Wilson at No. 2, there are a number of ways the Jets can go. The defense needs a presence off the edge and help in coverage. Campbell has a nice combination of size and speed.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Alabama’s Najee Harris just looks like a Steelers running back, doesn’t he? But the Steelers aren’t going to get better running the ball until they improve the offensive line.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
The best thing Urban Meyer can do to help Trevor Lawrence is to add some big guys up front to keep him clean in the pocket. Jenkins can step in right away at right tackle.
26. Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Collins is a throwback and can move like a lot of the smaller linebackers in today’s game.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
An edge rusher would make a lot of sense here, but the Ravens needs to add some playmakers to help quarterback Lamar Jackson.
28. New Orleans Saints: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Sean Payton can pick a dynamic wide receiver such as Kadarius Toney, the undersized but electric Florida product, or fill a need in the secondary with the speedy Newsome.
29. Green Bay Packers: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Figure the Packers will draft a wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers this year in another strong draft for the position — but not in Round 1. Davis can strengthen the middle of the defense right away.
30. Buffalo Bills: Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State
The Bills need more production off the edge, and while Oweh is a bit of a projection after a 2020 season in which he had zero sacks, he has traits that cannot be overlooked.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
A left tackle for the Irish, Eichenberg probably will move to the right side in the NFL. The Chiefs struggled to protect Patrick Mahomes with an injured line in the Super Bowl and need reinforcements.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Bucs could look for help on the defensive line or add a multidimensional threat for Tom Brady. Etienne is terrific at catching passes out of the backfield and would help shore up the running game.