For our final pre-draft episode of Cover 2 Broncos AJ and I worked through the hypothetical situation that George Paton elected to trade up for the first pick of the second round. To set the board for the Broncos’ pick we went back and forth in a dueling mock draft. AJ was the general manager for every team picking odds while I picked evens. In order to negotiate a trade we agreed that we would both need to give a deal the green light.
Without further adieu.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - ED/DL, Travon Walker, Georgia
Elevator pitch: Walker has the tools to be a better pass rusher in the league than he was in the SEC. He could also develop into the best run defender in the league.
Just watching some Travon Walker tape again.. from 2020 this time pic.twitter.com/xeBuMQGclj— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) April 23, 2022
2. Detroit Lions - ED, Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Elevator pitch: A Michigan man and foundational pass rusher who can step in as the face of the Lions defense.
really good hands and being aware of position on the field by aidan hutchinson, gives himself a chance to split the chip and get it on the sack (RB where ya going buddy) pic.twitter.com/eol44zGIzH— charles (top 10 podcaster/mock drafter) mcdonald (@FourVerts) April 21, 2022
3. Houston Texans - CB, Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati
Elevator pitch: Houston needs everything, but their secondary is a mess. Gardner’s a true number one corner with the size, athleticism, and play making to become a star for Lovie Smith.
Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is a first-round CB prospect because of his coverage skills. He can also do THIS: pic.twitter.com/vBtZZ2aOtP— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) October 16, 2021
4. New York Jets - ED, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
Elevator pitch: The Saleh defense is built front to back and Carl Lawson’s injury in 2021 derailed their pass rush. Thibodeaux has the juice off the edge to become a mismatch weapon.
5. New York Giants - OT, Evan Neal, Alabama
Elevator pitch: He may be the best player in this class. He’s a freakish athlete with the polish to push for a Pro Bowl berth in year one.
6. Carolina Panthers - OT, Charles Cross, Mississippi State
Elevator pitch: Cross should be an upgrade over Cam Erving very early in his career and gives whoever Matt Rhule starts at QB a legitimate pass protector on the blind side.
See a lot of quality reps like this from Charles Cross in pass protection against SEC competition. He neutralizes inside move, then recovers when caught leaning a bit by using his length to get his hands right back onto rusher as he tries to spin back outside. pic.twitter.com/cdXXutJKQn— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) April 18, 2022
7. New York Giants - CB, Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
Elevator pitch: The Wink Martindale defense is built back to front so they could use upgrades in the secondary. Stingley has the potential to develop into a top five corner and the highest upside of any corner in this class.
#7 Derek Stingley Jr. navigating traffic and beating the WR to the spot pic.twitter.com/VASVKwIZKH— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) April 18, 2022
8. Atlanta Falcons - OT, Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
Elevator pitch: If the Falcons aren’t sold on a QB they make a ton of sense as a trade down candidate because they have needs across the roster, but I couldn’t move in this mock. Icky gives Arthur Smith a dominant run blocker who can give the offense an identity while they try to sort out everything else.
9. Seattle Seahawks - QB, Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Elevator pitch: There’s been a lot of smoke connecting Ridder with the Seahawks and they probably won’t get him in the second. He can be a good distributor in a run first offense, which is what Pete Carroll aims to get back to.
"Desmond Ridder at pick 9 is actually great value if you think about it." pic.twitter.com/cPMHClJLuW— Parker (@ParkerLewes) April 23, 2022
10. New York Jets - WR, Drake London, USC
Elevator pitch: A big target to help out Zach Wilson in the here and now who offers true WR1 potential.
The buzz is building for Drake London to be the first WR off the board— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 25, 2022
There's a lot of 2014 Mike Evans to his game
Forced 24 missed tackles at that size... while also leading the country in contested catch wins
11. Washington Commanders - WR, Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
Elevator pitch: There’s some rumblings that Washington sees Carson Wentz as more than a mere bridge, and if he’s going to have any chance at success the Commies need to upgrade his receiving corps.
Garrett Wilson instinctively going to knock the CBs hands away, hitting nothing because the CB was cooked off the line, and then immediately raising his hand is a thing of beautypic.twitter.com/j5b74qQkez— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) November 20, 2021
T.12. New Orleans Saints - QB, Malik Willis, Liberty
Elevator pitch: The Saints move up to take a swing on a potential franchise quarterback. Willis is going to need time to adapt to the NFL, but New Orleans has Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill in place to save him from playing too soon.
When you say gamble on traits with Malik Willis, this is what they mean. pic.twitter.com/hDBhYC1XEO— The 4 Man Rush (@4ourmanrush) April 24, 2022
13. Houston Texans - ED, Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
Elevator pitch: Lovie Smith wants to rush four and play coverage, and Johnson has the requisite athleticism, competitive toughness, and hands to turn into a Pro Bowler.
A ridiculous play in space by Jermaine Johnson pic.twitter.com/A2jhB7BbsY— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 8, 2022
14. Baltimore Ravens - S, Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
Elevator pitch: The Ravens are another team that builds their defense back to front, and Hamilton gives them a top tier prospect who can do-it-all from the third level.
Kyle Hamilton. Instincts and athleticism on full display pic.twitter.com/i4WzUzrCoh— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) April 19, 2022
15. Philadelphia Eagles - DL, Jordan Davis, Georgia
Elevator pitch: A monstrous 6’6 340 lb. war daddy who tested out of the gym. He’ll carve out a significant role in the rotation early and gives hope for the post-Fletcher Cox era.
I don’t think, as a draft community, it has been stated enough how blmuch of an alien Jordan Davis is (DT 99) pic.twitter.com/RNtFXDoEiL— Draft Guy Jared (@DraftGuyJared) April 24, 2022
T.16. Minnesota Vikings - DL, Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
Elevator pitch: After Dalvin Tomlinson, the Vikings DL room is pretty barren and the Vikes run defense ranks among the worst in the league by Football Outsiders DVOA since 2020. Wyatt fits what Ed Donatell wants to do on defense with his play strength, burst, and hands.
#UGA DT Devonte Wyatt (6-3, 315) really flashes on tape. He’s a true up-the-field penetrator as a 3-tech. Disruptive, discipline vs. the run, and contains upside as a pass rusher. Saved his best for last against Alabama in the title game.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) January 21, 2022
Excited to see him at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/BwoPB0xny3
17. Los Angeles Chargers - WR, Jameson Williams, Alabama
Elevator pitch: The Bolts have needs along the offensive line, but elect to take a swing at a true homerun threat. Williams has gamebreaking speed and Justin Herbert gives him a QB who can capitalize.
just a whole different top gear with Jameson Williams pic.twitter.com/E09NGYUysp— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) April 18, 2022
18. Philadelphia Eagles - CB, Trent McDuffie, Washington
Elevator pitch: Outside of Darius Slay the Eagles cornerback room is pretty light on boundary players. McDuffie should settle in early as the CB2 and helps the whole room because it’d push Avonte Maddox to the slot.
Trent McDuffie is a technician with great feel and instincts in man coverage… he’s also a dude who leaves it all on the field. Comes all the way across the field to turn what could have been a house call into a nine-yard gain. pic.twitter.com/dcQlLCyhR4— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 19, 2022
19. New Orleans - WR, Chris Olave, Ohio State
Elevator pitch: Sometimes it’s pretty simple. The Saints badly need receivers and Olave is the best on the board. He should be a perfect compliment to Michael Thomas.
Our boy Chris Olave giving Surtain the business.— JetPack Galileo (@JetPackGalileo) April 19, 2022
Sensational performance from Olave during the 2020 playoff. pic.twitter.com/twhF5Tur6D
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - OT, Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Elevator pitch: The Steelers could overdraft a passer, but they have needs up and down the roster. The line is a mess and Penning has the potential to become a long term answer at left tackle, and he’s raw enough that they still have a chance to flail their way to a 2023 QB.
Career pressure rate allowed on 3rd-and-4-plus at offensive tackle, per @PFF:— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 24, 2022
Bernhard Raimann — 3.3% (150 snaps)
Evan Neal — 4.3% (212)
Ikem Ekwonu — 4.5% (290)
Tyler Smith — 6.4% (251)
Charles Cross — 6.5% (214)
Trevor Penning — 7.8% (309)
21. New England Patriots - CB, Andrew Booth, Clemson
Elevator pitch: The Pats need corners in a bad way and Booth fits the Belichick mold for a corner. He’s good at reading the QB and is physical at the catch point.
Andrew Booth Jr is an incredible playmaker in zone coverage.— The GOAT House (@GoatHouseNFL) April 23, 2022
Clemson is in Cover 4, Booth has deep quarters. QB correctly reads Cover 4 (WR doesn’t) and wants to expose the flat. Booth reads the QBs eyes and leaves his zone to make the play. pic.twitter.com/DUekFaBQgB
22. Green Bay Packers - ED, George Karlaftis, Purdue
Elevator pitch: The way Green Bay maximized Za’Darius Smith offers a blueprint for Karlaftis, who is an exciting power rusher.
A lot discussion about other top EDGEs, but feels like George Karlaftis has become under-rated.— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) April 25, 2022
Second best Pass Rush Win Rate per @PFF_College (min 300 snaps) only to Hutchinson.
Multiple teams in 20s likely to be thrilled if he slipped to them. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/pvUrSZqgN2
23. Arizona Cardinals - ED, Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
Elevator pitch: A replacement for Chandler Jones who provides juice off the edge. Ebiketie is a relentless pass rusher with the hands to become a mismatch early in his career.
24. Dallas Cowboys - iOL, Zion Johnson, Boston College
Elevator pitch: The Cowboys are stuck with Zeke Elliott despite clear signs that he’s slowing down and the best way to revive their run game is by investing in the offensive line.
OL Zion Johnson has the physical measurables to impress teams like the Cowboys. Arguably his greatest strength is his mind. “He is definitely the one person I would use as an example of how to learn and how to be the best in anything, not just football.” https://t.co/eRJiMIxeQI— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 25, 2022
25. Buffalo Bills - RB, Breece Hall, Iowa State
Elevator pitch: Losing Brian Daboll to New York means it won’t be as easy to hide a shaky run game going forward. Hall has the vision, contact balance, and third down skillset to become Josh Allen’s best friend.
Breece Hall’s footwork is INSANE pic.twitter.com/HEaM4yVPTD— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 18, 2022
26. Tennessee Titans - iOL, Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
Elevator pitch: A move to get the Titans back to their identity. Green’s a physical run blocker who will bury people, which should help Derrick Henry reestablish himself as the best back in football.
Kenyon Green is ready to start tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/9KZ5cZH6hP— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) February 21, 2022
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - ED/DL, Logan Hall, Houston
Elevator pitch: The Bucs front is getting long in the tooth outside of Devin White and Hall gives them a versatile 280 lb. lineman who has the length and athleticism to make an impact against the run and pass in time.
I’m liking Logan Hall more and more every day. So quick from the interior. His versatility is a massive plus as well. pic.twitter.com/yRPYNa2QV4— Blake Jewell (@BlakeJewellNFL) April 21, 2022
28. Green Bay Packers - LB, Devin Lloyd, Utah
Elevator pitch: Cheeseheads will lose their mind because this isn’t a receiver, but Lloyd is a true three-down linebacker who can rush the passer, play the run, and drop in space.
Fascinating Devin Lloyd play. Realizing there is no safety, Lloyd leaves his position, and carries 2 vertical making the defense right.— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) April 19, 2022
Shows super high IQ and understanding not only of his job, but the entire scheme. pic.twitter.com/puAUIBsonN
29. Kansas City Chiefs - LB, Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Elevator pitch: The Chiefs defense is short on difference makers. Dean adds an element of athleticism to the second level of their defense that’s currently missing unless Willie Gay puts it all together.
Draft Thoughts: Every year there’s a prospect that you have to “trust the tape” with. #UGA LB Nakobe Dean is that guy this year for me.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) April 25, 2022
Undersized, but an infectious leader, all-out effort, and physical. So many hidden plays on his tape such as this #LB1pic.twitter.com/D8obwAZD56
30. Kansas City Chiefs - OT, Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
Elevator pitch: Orlando Brown Jr. is on a franchise tag and the right tackle situation remains unsettled. Raimann is an advanced technician and smooth mover who needs to get stronger. He gives Reid a viable alternative to Brown if negotiations fall apart, and failing that he could be the answer on the right side.
31. Cincinnati Bengals - CB, Kyler Gordon, Washington
Elevator pitch: Eli Apple shouldn’t be logging starter’s minutes and Gordon gives the Bengals a way forward. He’s an inside/outside corner who has the traits, instincts, and mirror/match skills to become a standout.
Washington CB Kyler Gordon - a good football player pic.twitter.com/qJhVPTWhjK— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) April 20, 2022
32. Detroit Lions - S, Daxton Hill, Michigan
Elevator pitch: The Lions’ defense is pretty weak on the back end. Hill should be able compete for time at safety or slot early. He’s an explosive athlete with the instincts and leadership traits to become a face of the franchise.
Dax Hill is going to make an NFL DC very happy - I'd call him a coverage weapon— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 6, 2022
Explosive acceleration, fluid, huge wingspan to disrupt the catch point, excellent eyes when reading QBs+routes
Can handle bigger slot targets but has true free safety traits as well pic.twitter.com/yGFYTdywbE
T.33. Who should George Paton draft, Broncos Country?
AJ: I’m probably taking David Ojabo, maybe Tyler Linderbaum. I could talk myself into Kaiir Elam. He’s worth the trade up cost because he can become a premium pass rusher.
Joe: I’m looking at Ojabo and would consider him at 32 because of the fifth year option. Broncos Country would get mad about a trade up to secure him, but I like the upside. Before his injury I liked him almost as much as Thibodeaux.
Who should the Broncos draft in this scenario?
This poll is closed
QB - Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh
QB - Sam Howell - North Carolina
QB - Matt Corral - Ole Miss
RB - Kenneth Walker - Michigan State
WR - Treylon Burks - Arkansas
WR - Jahan Dotson - Penn State
WR - Skyy Moore - Western Michigan
WR - Christian Watson - North Dakota State
TE - Trey McBride - Colorado State
OT - Daniel Faalele - Minnesota
OT - Abraham Lucas - Washington State
OT - Tyler Smith - Tulsa
OC - Tyler Linderbaum - Iowa
OC - Cam Jurgens - Nebraska
iOL - Dylan Parham - Memphis
iOL - Cole Strange - Chattanooga
DL - Travis Jones - UConn
DL - Perrion Winfrey - Oklahoma
DL - DeMarvin Leal - Texas A&M
DL - Phidarian Mathis - Alabama
ED - Boye Mafe - Minnesota
ED - David Ojabo - Michigan
ED - Nik Bonitto - Oklahoma
ED - Drake Jackson - USC
LB - Quay Walker - Georgia
LB - Chad Muma - Wyoming
LB - Leo Chenal - Wisconsin
CB - Kaiir Elam - Florida
S - Lewis Cine - Georgia
S - Jaquan Brisker - Penn State
Other (please comment)