By: Jon Balant
You can view Jon’s mock draft from 4/26 here.
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1) There will be NO trades involving the top 10 picks in the 1st round. Teams like the 49ers, Jets, and Titans would probably love to move back and capitalize on the depth in rounds 2 and 3. The problem is that Round 1 lacks the elite QB prospects and top end talent that would entice teams to move up. Teams looking to move back would have to take 60 cents on the dollar in order to move back, and likely won’t be able to find the Day 2 or future 1st rounder they’re looking for. With blue chip prospects dropping like flies due to injury and character concerns, it’s becoming more and more of a depth draft class. There will be plenty of shuffling and small trades, with teams moving a few picks up here and there. The only potential trade into the top 10 I see is a small deal involving the Browns moving up from 12 to secure a QB in the top 10.
2) 3 Quarterbacks will go in the top 15 and 4 QBs overall in the 1st round. Despite the lack of elite QB prospects, it’s still the most important position in football, and there are teams in need of signal callers. I currently have Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, and Pat Mahomes all going in the top 15.
3) Joe Mixon will be drafted in the 1st round, while Gareon Conley won’t go before Day 3. Wait a minute – there’s video of Mixon knocking out a girl in 1 punch, and only allegations of rape for Conley, what sense does that make? Well Mixon has served his “time” and doesn’t face any further legal trouble, while Conley’s case is fresh and the outcome is unknown from a legal perspective. It’s way too risky to spend a Day 1 or 2 pick on Conley in light of this. It’s arguable who poses more concern from a character standpoint, but at least with Mixon you know he’ll be on the field day 1 barring injury. I currently have Joe Mixon going 29th overall to the Green Bay Packers. Conley could very well go undrafted (and probably end up on the Cowboys like La’el Collins did 2 years ago).
4) The Eagle fans on the parkway will boo Roger Goodell, as well as the Eagles 1st round selection. Probably not a big surprise – Eagles fans love to boo. But a lot of the fans are dead set on the Eagles taking an offensive playmaker. However, I expect the Eagles to take a pass rusher, and I have them selecting Charles Harris with their 14th overall selection.
5) Richard Sherman and Malcolm Butler will both NOT be traded during the draft. This draft is deep at corner, and Sherman’s age and both of their price tags will deter teams from moving assets for these players. Usually teams who aren’t ready to compete will try to move high priced players to a contender for draft assets, but the Seahawks and Pats are perennial contenders and will find it difficult to find a desirable haul for their respective trade chips.
6) John Ross and Reuben Foster will slip outside of the top 20. Medical concerns are causing both of their stocks to plummet. I currently have them both landing to NFC east rivals in the 20s in my latest mock. If both were healthy they could easily be top 10 selections.
7) Half of the first round selections will consist of prospects from only 6 different schools. 16 of the 32 first round picks will come from Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, or Stanford.