NFL Mock Draft 1.1
Everyone takes their turn in predicting who will land where at the NFL Draft - to be held in April.
This draft looks the most unpredictable in many years.
Of course, every NFL Draft throws up major surprises, but the pointy end does not seem to have any Joe Burrows, Ja'Marr Chases, Penei Sewells or Nick Bosas - famous last words, perhaps...
Only time will tell either way.
Here is my top 10 (without forecasting any trades, of which there will almost certainly be a couple).
1/ JACKSONVILLE - AIDAN HUTCHISON (Edge, Michigan)
Do not discount Georgia rush end Travon Walker or Oregon standout Kayvon Thibodeaux making a run at the top spot late in the piece, but for now, Hutchison commands the attention of the Jags atop this class.
I'm not sure he's a difference-maker in a Chase Young mould, but he's a powerful and tenacious pass rusher with a great motor and will to win.
Jacksonville patched up the offensive line, thus protecting Trevor Lawrence, so they're now free to address the defensive side of the ball and Hutchison fits the bill in Florida.
2/ DETROIT - KAYVON THIBODEAUX (Edge, Oregon)
At one point in time, this man was the consensus No. 1 before a real slip down the pecking order. His stock has risen recently - so much so there's an outside chance the Jags could look at him at 1.
Thibodeaux is a true pass rushing end with great physique and physical gifts built for playing the position. His combine was impressive, punching a 4.58 40-yard dash.
The 6-foot-4 Oregon Duck is what all franchises look for in a rush end.
3/ HOUSTON - TRAVON WALKER (Edge, Georgia)
Walker was a dominating force on the Bulldogs National Championship-winning line.
Flexible and versatile, Walker can fit into many roles on the defensive line. He's an extremely good athlete for the position, 6-foot-5, 272lbs with a powerful 4.51 40-yard dash.
The Georgia native will land nicely at any of Jacksonville, Detroit or Houston - which is where I have him lobbing.
4/ NEW YORK JETS - ICKEY EKWONU (Offensive Line, N.C. State)
Ekwonu is not as tall as some of the NFL's forces of nature at OL but he's incredibly impactful and a phenomenal athlete.
He's a powerhouse in the weight room and blocks with violence on the turf.
His aggression can occasionally go too far but he's a leader on the field and a position of real need for Gang Green as the team tries to establish Zach Wilson as the team's quarterback of the next decade.
5/ NEW YORK GIANTS - Evan Neal (Offensive Line, Alabama)
The G-Men have two picks inside 7 and need to make them count.
Boy o boy do they need to make them count!
Andrew Thomas was the Giants 2020 top pick, taken fourth overall, but his play has not been that of a franchise tackle, hence why I have Neal landing in New York.
Neal was a force for the Tide.
He's a starter from the get-go. Something New York needs badly. Neal is a monster at 334lbs. His upside is a query but at worst, Neal should improve the Giants the moment he arrives at the facility.
6/ CAROLINA - SAUCE GARDNER (Cornerback, Cincinnati)
Stephen Gilmore departs, perhaps defensively biased coach Matt Rhule looks for a replacement in UC star Gardner.
Sauce is a gigantic CB, standing 6-foot-3 but still speedy enough to run a 4.41 dash.
He's a beast in close coverage and loves to be physical at the snap. Holding penalties did plague him at times but he's built to handle big time No. 1 wide receivers.
7/ NEW YORK GIANTS - CHARLES CROSS (Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State)
Cross will comes as a surprise to some but he's been moving up big boards for a few weeks. None more so than New York, who are keen to completely fit out their O line to find out once and for all whether Danny Dimes is their guy.
Cross possesses great size for the position but his athleticism comes with a query. He will rely upon his frame and technical prowess to become everything the G Men hope he can be.
8/ ATLANTA - JERMAINE JOHNSON (Edge, Florida State)
The Falcons need to rebuild their roster from top to bottom.
It's a shell of the squad that went to a Super Bowl a few years back. The last piece to move was Matt Ryan, whose now in Indianapolis.
The team will be best served building from the inside out, meaning edge rusher Jermaine Johnson must be high on their list of needs.
Johnson - a senior - comes with outstanding activity and a motor that is almost unmatched in this class.
6-foot-5 with great speed for an edge defender (4.58 40-yard), Johnson can become a cornerstone for a Falcons roster looking for key pillars to build around.
9/ SEATTLE - JORDAN DAVIS (Defensive Tackle, Georgia)
Speaking of teams in rebuild mode, the Seahawks fit that category as well as any.
Russell Wilson departs, meaning Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider need to find a new identity for this squad.
Davis was a part of the feared Bulldog defensive front. He's a powerhouse in run defence and lit up the scouting combine with some freaky performances.
Davis is taller and heavier than J.J. Watt but tested quicker over 10-yards and 40-yards and we all know what Justin James is capable of from an athletic perspective.
The 'Hawks will be hoping Davis can be of a similar stature to the 3-time DPOTY.
10/ NEW YORK JETS - GARRETT WILSON (Wide Receiver, Ohio State)
Gang Green gets to run it back inside the top 10 and you've got to figure, after addressing the offensive front, they'll give Wilson another weapon to work with.
Wilson is a speedster with decent size who ran a 4.38 at the combine. His ball skills and ability to separate deep is what makes him such an enticing talent, however his route-running and ability to deal with press coverage lacks at this early stage.
Elijah Moore and Corey Davis are a talented duo, but adding Wilson would really give this Jets receiving core some pop.
Next best / most intriguing;
DEREK STINGLEY JR (Cornerback, LSU)
Stingley Jr hails from my LSU Tigers. He was a standout as a freshman and played a major role in the Tigers National Championship run. Two injury-plagued seasons saw his play dip and his stock dipped accordingly but the talent is enormous and teams always take a chance on talent. He could well be a Top 10 pick.
DANIEL FAALELE (Offensive Tackle, Minnesota)
The man is a giant. A monster! 6-foot-8, almost 400lbs. Some scouts wonder how big is too big, but the Minnesota tackle is a big big storyline... pardon the pun!
CALVIN AUSTIN III (Wide Receiver, Memphis)
Faalele is big, Austin is not so big. He's listed by Memphis at 5-foot-9 but he measured at 5-foot-7 and just 170lbs. He's tiny - but productive.
A couple of 1k yard seasons plus some great performances at senior bowl week make him an interesting prospect from rounds two and three onward.
These guys are always the most interesting because of the nature of the position.
The trouble this year is most think the class is average, without anyone standing out as a real difference-maker for a franchise looking for a play-caller - that's problematic but names like Willis, Pickett, Ridder and Corral will be must-see TV wherever they land.
Garrett Wilson as the first WR to be taken ($1.80)
Matt Corral (Ole Miss, QB) to be taken outside pick 32 ($1.77)
Over 10.5 SEC players drafted in Round 1 ($1.75)