New England Patriots (via mock trade with NYG)
Even after the Niners’ move up the board, it doesn’t appear Jimmy Garoppolo is in the cards this season for the Patriots. And while they brought back Cam Newton, the veteran is only signed for a year at $3.5 million guaranteed. The Pats haven’t spent a first-round pick on a QB since 1993 (Drew Bledsoe), but now is the time. Fields is accurate downfield and can develop into a top-tier starter for a team searching for stability at the position in the post-Tom Brady era.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA/SF)
Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State
Let’s start with the bad news: As we thought might be the case, the Eagles miss out on the top four pass-catchers in the class after their trade out of No. 6 overall. That’s a problem. The WR room has Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham as the top three options, not leaving QB Jalen Hurts in the best position to find success in an evaluation period. But here’s the good news: The Eagles hold 11 picks this year (the most in the NFL) in a draft with a deep receiver class, the 2022 first-rounder received in the trade will certainly prove valuable, and Philly can still land a guy like Parsons here. He can do a little bit of everything in the middle of this defense.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Because he opted out in 2020, scouts are watching Sewell’s game tape from 2019 — when he was blocking for Justin Herbert at Oregon. Let’s reunite them. It’s a bit of a shock to see my third-ranked prospect fall this far, but nine of the top 12 picks were QBs or offensive playmakers, causing a mini-slide. The Chargers aren’t complaining. Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler were solid signings in free agency, but this offensive line still needs work. And Sewell is the best lineman in the class.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Rashawn Slater, OT/G, Northwestern
Slater is super versatile and could play any of the five positions along the Vikings’ line. That’s a good thing, because it has a lot of holes — Minnesota gave up 39 sacks in 2020, lost Riley Reiff and added only Mason Cole to the mix in the offseason. After rebooting the secondary, the Vikings now have to be focusing on protecting Kirk Cousins and opening lanes for Dalvin Cook.
15. New York Giants (via mock trade with NE)
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants look at USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, but they just took three linemen in the first five rounds last year, including Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall. And while the defense was stellar last season, getting defensive coordinator Patrick Graham a versatile, rangy, fast, instinctive linebacker like Owusu-Koramoah will help keep it that way.
Trade: Dolphins make yet another first-round move
With this deal, every NFC West team will have made a first-round trade, and the Dolphins will have made four moves in all involving 2021 first-round picks. But when you have four picks in the first two rounds, you can afford to hop around a bit if there’s a player you’re enamored with. The Dolphins move from No. 18 to No. 16, and the Cardinals walk away with more draft capital. I’d say it could return a third-rounder (No. 81) or perhaps something like a fifth-rounder (No. 156) and a 2022 fourth-rounder for Arizona.
16. Miami Dolphins (via mock trade with ARI)
With DeVonta Smith off to help Tua Tagovailoa, we can now look to protection. Vera-Tucker has played tackle, but he’s a better fit at guard in the NFL. Miami took 34 sacks last season, and Tagovailoa was blitzed at the fourth-highest rate in the league (35.3% of his dropbacks).
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Raiders were one of seven teams to allow north of 260 passing yards per game last season. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, that’s a significant issue. Moehrig is the class’s top safety and has terrific ball skills, which might help improve the Raiders’ total of 10 interceptions in 2020. Las Vegas could also look at Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech) or Alijah Vera-Tucker if he is still available after dismantling its offensive line over the past month.
18. Arizona Cardinals (via mock trade with MIA)
Patrick Peterson is off to Minnesota, both starting outside corners — Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford — signed one-year deals and Byron Murphy Jr. is mainly a nickelback. Farley had a back procedure at the end of March, and though it isn’t expected to impact his training camp availability, it’s a concern. Still, he is the best cover corner in the class and fits what the Cardinals are looking for on the outside.
19. Washington Football Team
The signing of Curtis Samuel means Washington likely won’t take Florida receiver Kadarius Toney, who has a similar skill set, and there really isn’t another receiver in this range. Other big-need areas don’t have any value here either, including quarterback, linebacker and tight end. I think it’s slightly early for Darrisaw — a smooth and powerful zone blocker — but he is certainly one of the top tackles, and Washington would be able to beat the OT rush that likely begins toward the end of Round 1.
20. Chicago Bears
Chicago is likely out of reach to trade up for a top-five QB, at least without completely leveraging the organization’s future. So it might as well give Andy Dalton — and his eventual replacement — another playmaker to work with, even after placing the franchise tag on Allen Robinson II. Toney is a different kind of receiver: He isn’t polished, but he’s versatile and explosive. Get the ball to him and he’ll make things happen. The Bears could use that skill set on offense.