The Sporting Tribune presents final mock draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL Draft is here and The Sporting Tribune's Brandon Deutsch gives his final mock draft before everything is made official today.

The NFL Draft day is here and though teams at the top have been quiet.

Despite speculation they may move back,the Patriots will move back and the Vikings will move up into the top five. Minnesota has been adamant about moving up and selecting their new franchise quarterback whether it’s J.J. McCarthy or Drake Maye.

Besides the first overall pick, no one really knows who will be picked at No. 2 just hours before the draft begins. The mystery of what happens after the Bears pick Williams should excite people.

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams

Vitals: 6-1/215, QB, Southern California

Lowdown: It has been known for months that the Bears would keep their No. 1 overall pick and select the ultra-talented Caleb Williams from USC. Williams did hold the ball too long in college and he won’t have as much time to improvise and find big plays in the NFL, but his athleticism and football IQ are off the charts, not to mention he has one of the better arms in this draft.

Just the other day Williams hopped on Ryan Clark’s “The Pivot Podcast” and said he was the most dead center QB in the draft and can throw in the pocket just as much as he can outside the pocket. He added that his highlight reel just so happens to be of plays made outside the pocket, but that he will do anything to help his team win in the NFL. The most talented and highly touted prospect of any Lincoln Riley-QB, Williams should alter the Bears franchise and debunk the notion that no quarterback can succeed in Chicago.

After acquiring Keenan Allen (best acquisition of the offseason considering the price), signing D’Andre Swift, and possibly adding Rome Odunze at pick #9 (though they’ve been linked to edge rushers more recently) Williams will enter the league with one of the better supporting casts we’ve ever seen for a No. 1 overall selection. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Williams throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns his rookie year, help the Bears win 10 games and make the playoffs — even in a tough division that includes Green Bay and Detroit.

NFL comp: Patrick Mahomes (lite)

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels

Vitals: 6-4/200, QB, LSU

Lowdown: The Commanders make their big move in the NFL Draft staying put to select Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, an ultra quick athlete with elite downfield passing abilities. The Commanders still need to trade for a high-end wide receiver or draft one in round 2 or 3 for Daniels to succeed right away (Terry McLaurin alone is not enough), but Daniels is a good starting point for the Commanders rebuild.

Daniels has two flaws in his game that could prevent him being a success: He takes too many sacks when being pressured outside of the pocket (48.7%) which is an indicator of being a possible “bust” based on history; he also has tiny legs and will need to add 15 pounds in the weight room to take on the big hits when he scrambles.

NFL comp: RGII/Lamar Jackson

3. Minnesota Vikings (via NE): Drake Maye

Vitals: 6-4/230 QB, North Carolina

Lowdown: The Vikings trade the 11th, 23rd, and 2025 1st-rounder to get their guy in Drake Maye, who has the highest upside (with Williams) in this draft. He can throw the ball like Justin Herbert and use his legs to extend plays like Josh Allen.

He had the best QBR on 20-plus-yard throws in college football over the last few years and could be a superstar sooner than later. Sometimes he has trouble reading certain schemes on defense and can get happy feet but from a pure talent perspective, the kid has the goods.

His size, athleticism and intangibles show he will be successful in the NFL.

NFL comp: Justin Herbert

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr.

Vitals: 6-4/205, WR, Ohio State

Lowdown: Marvin Harrison Jr. to the Cardinals seems inevitable at this point. They aren’t moving on from Kyler Murray and have an obvious need at WR, Harrison Jr. is a 6-4 blazing quick menace in the open field that runs routes with the best of them. He will be compared to his father a lot throughout his career, and he should become an All-Pro just like his dad in due time.

NFL comp: Randy Moss

5. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Nabers

Vitals: 6-0/201, WR, Louisiana State

Lowdown: The Chargers desperately need to get Justin Herbert a new elite WR1 after trading Keenan Allen and releasing Mike Williams in the offseason. Malik Nabers is seen as one of the best WR prospects in the last few drafts and would be a perfect fit for the Chargers.

They could possibly go with Joe Alt here, but they understand the importance of going into next season with another weapon on offense. Nabers’ yards-after-catch ability is off the charts. He’s one of the best athletes in this class and moves a lot like prime Antonio Brown.

NFL comp: Antonio Brown

6. New York Giants: J.J. McCarthy

Vitals: 6-3/202, QB, Michigan

Lowdown: The Giants haven’t made it a secret that they want a different quarterback under center next season and J.J. McCarthy is gaining a lot of buzz to the Giants despite them just paying Daniel Jones a huge contract a few years ago. McCarthy is at best a game manager that can use his legs to extend some plays.

He has a late second-/early third-round grade, but scouts are enamored with his poise and championship pedigree.

He stepped up in big moments for the Wolverines last season. But he did play alongside the best offensive line, defense and running-back room in the country, so that can be take with a grain of salt.

Either way, if the Giants go with McCarthy, they still need to get him weapons on the offensive end for him to succeed. Otherwise, like Jones, they’ll be putting their franchise QB in a position to fail.

NFL comp: Faster Jimmy Garoppolo

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt

Vitals: 6-7/322, OT, Notre Dame

Lowdown: The Titans had the worst offensive line last season. Although they’ve been spending tons of money on playmakers in the offseason, they won’t select a playmaker despite how tantalizing it may be.

Alt is one of the best tackle prospects over the last few years and it would be shocking if they pass up an opportunity to protect their young quarterback Will Levis.

NFL comp: Joe Thomas

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner

Vitals: 6-2/235, Edge, Alabama

Lowdown: Dallas Turner has a lot of upside and plays a lot like his former teammate in Tuscaloosa, Will Anderson Jr. He has a 6-foot-9 wingspan at 6-2 and his first step is excellent. The Falcons could trade back here, but at this point they stay put and take an edge-rusher.

Turner is young and talented and that will appeal to the Falcons, who are going for a playoff spot next season and want to continue to contend with a very young roster.

NFL comp: Will Anderson Jr.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze

Vitals: 6-3/205, WR, Washington

Lowdown: Rome Odunze is going to be an all-pro receiver in the NFL. He also is neck and neck with Malik Nabers for the best overall playmaker in the draft (also ahead of Harrison Jr.) and he would be a better fit for the Cardinals picking at No. 4.

Odunze is 6-3 but he plays a lot like a taller Ja’Marr Chase with an ability to catch anything and create separation.

His route-running probably isn’t as crisp as Chase right now, but Odunze makes 50-50 balls look like 90-10 balls. He caught 21 out of 29 contested catches (72%) last year, by far the best mark in the nation, and had only a 3.4% drop rate, also the best rate in the nation.

The Bears understand that Keenan Allen has been hurt a lot and will make sure Caleb Williams has everything he needs to succeed.

NFL comp: Ja’Marr Chase

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers

Vitals: 6-3/225, TE, Georgia

Lowdown: The Jets have been balling this offseason, acquiring Haason Reddick, Mike Williams and Tyron Smith. They have an obvious need at tight end and the best TE prospect since Kyle Pitts falls to them at #10 because of the QB and WR needy teams ahead of them.

Aaron Rodgers is 39 years old and the Jets should be looking to add as many playmakers as possible to win a Super Bowl over the next two years and Brock Bowers is the next generation’s George Kittle or Travis Kelce. He has all time great potential and there hasn’t been a tight end prospect this polished with the yards-after-catch ability Bowers has.

NFL comp: George Kittle

11. New England Patriots (via MIN): Olu Fashanu

Vitals: 6-6 328, OT, Penn State

Lowdown: Their first of two picks in the first-round following trading down, the Patriots go with an elite tackle prospect to bolster their O-line. It’s s secret that the Pats need a QB, but they have glaring holes on their offensive line and at wide receiver. Expect them to prioritize at least one of the other two positions first if they trade back.

Olu Fashanu has a prototypical build for a tackle and is an excellent run blocker. He will be a staple on the Patriots offensive line for years to come.

NFL comp: Tyron Smith

12. Denver Broncos: Bo Nix

Vitals: 6-3/220, QB, Oregon

Lowdown: Bo Nix is one of the big sleepers. Nothing he does will jump off the board but he showed extreme poise and an ability to read different defensive schemes over the last two seasons at Oregon. Sure, he is older and you’ve probably heard the jokes about him being in college forever.

He can play football at a very high level and is a perfect fit in Sean Payton’s offense. He spreads the field well and can use his legs to extend plays. Nix is headed to the Broncos if McCarthy goes in the top 6.

NFL comp: Brock Purdy

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Michael Penix Jr.

Vitals: 6-3/215, QB, Washington

Lowdown: The home-run selection of the draft, the Raiders take their quarterback of the future at No. 13, a draft selection that will surprise a lot of people. People may disregard Michael Penix Jr. because of his age and injury history, but the kid has poise few quarterbacks in the NFL possess — and his accuracy is unmatched.

Moxie is a good word to describe him. All but his first game in Washington, he stepped up and made plays when it mattered and showed leadership skills very few quarterbacks in this draft possess.

If he was right-handed, he’d be the third quarterback off the board, and though it’s been reported that Penix Jr. is going in the top 20 most likely, don’t be shocked if he goes top 12. Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell won’t cut it in the AFC West but Penix Jr. will as he has “star” written all over him.

NFL comp: Tua Tagovailoa

14. New Orleans Saints: JC Latham

Vitals: 6-6 342 OT, Alabama

Lowdown: JC Latham has been mocked as high as No. 5 to the Chargers and there is growing speculation that he may even be the first tackle off the board. However, Fashanu and Alt are ranked ahead of Latham, but all three should be very good NFL players. Latham plays the tackle position the right away, is excellent in pass-protection, and moves very well for a player as big as he is. Latham is arguably the most NFL-ready tackle and the Saints have a clear need on the O-Line.

NFL comp: Anthony Davis

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell

Vitals: 6-0/196, CB, Toledo

Lowdown: Whenever someone is projected to go in the top 15 that went to a smaller FBS school, they have to be that much better than anyone else. That is exactly what Quinyon Mitchell is, the next great cornerback in the NFL.

He’s not as tall as Sauce Gardner or Pat Surtain II, but he’s ultra quick (4.33 40-yard dash time at the combine) and has great coverage and ball skills. He should be able to thrive in any system and the Colts struck out on L’Jarius Sneed and have a big need at CB.

NFL comp: Jaire Alexander

16. Seattle Seahawks: Troy Fautanu

Vitals: 6-4 317, OL, Washington

The Seahawks‘ biggest need is either edge rusher or interior offensive line, and they’ve been linked to Troy Fautanu (the best interior offensive lineman in the draft). If Michael Penix Jr. falls to 16, they could jump on him here. But they get Geno Smith (or Sam Howell) better protection on the line with a guy that is projected to go top 10 in many mock drafts.

NFL comp: Wyatt Teller

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Thomas Jr.

Vitals: 6-3/205, WR, LSU

Lowdown: Brian Thomas Jr. gets overlooked because of his star teammates Nabers and Daniels, but Thomas Jr. is a star himself. He is a mismatch nightmare and has blazing speed at 6-3 (4.33 in the 40).

He could shine with Trevor Lawrence and they’ll end up going wide receiver after losing Calvin Ridley to the Titans and have Christian Kirk and Gabe Davis as their top options now.

NFL comp: Nico Collins

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Jer’Zahn Newton

Vitals: 6-2/295, DT, Illinois

Lowdown: Jer’Zahn Newton is an ultra quick defensive lineman who should excel right away. His first move is very quick and he has the prototypical build to play defensive tackle.

Some people will have Byron Murphy II going here, but the Bengals should go with Newton. A lot of evaluators compare him to Jalen Carter but he is more like Calijah Kancey (which is not a bad thing at all).

Kancey had a good rookie year and will only further improve on the Buccaneers. The Bengals need help on the DL and since they franchise-tagged Tee Higgins and have no trade completed at this point in time, they may not be taking a wide receiver here after all.

NFL comp: Calijah Kancey

19. Los Angeles Rams: Laiatu Latu

Vitals: 6-5/275, Edge, UCLA

Lowdown: Laiatu Latu is a gifted pass-rusher who would easily be a top 5 pick if he didn’t have an injury history or was 23 years old. He can be a Pro-Bowler in year one. His numbers at UCLA last year were off the charts (13 sacks, two interceptions) and the Rams could use another edge rusher to pair with Kobie Turner and Byron Young with the departure of Aaron Donald.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Terrion Arnold

Vitals: 6-0/196, CB, Alabama

Lowdown: A poor 40-yard dash time at the combine has made Terrion Arnold fall a little bit, but he has the highest in-game skill and IQ of any cornerback in the draft. His speed won’t jump out to you but he makes almost every correct read and his ball skills are excellent.

The Steelers also have a need at center and could draft Jackson Powers-Johnson here, but if Arnold falls to 20, expect them to pounce at the opportunity to pair him alongside Joey Porter Jr..

NFL comp: Devon Witherspoon

21. Miami Dolphins: Byron Murphy II

Vitals: 6-1/308, DT, Texas

Lowdown: With the departure of Christian Wilkins, the Dolphins will look to replace him with high-end talent from the draft and it’s looking like one of the two top DT’s will drop to them. In this mock it’s Byron Murphy II, but regardless of which defensive tackle it is, the Dolphins will get more depth to their pass rush which dealt with serious injuries last season.

There is a possibility they go with an offensive lineman here, but it would be unwise to disregard the lack of depth on their defensive line.

NFL comp: Alim McNeil

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Kool-Aid McKinstry

Vitals: 6-1/194, CB, Alabama

Lowdown:The Eagles have been linked to Kool-Aid McKinstry and though he will get surgery for a foot fracture, he was still able to run a sub 4.50 40-yard dash at Alabama’s pro day. McKinstry could be the best cornerback from the draft in time, and he becomes an immediate steal at pick No. 22 if he falls.

It’s no secret the Eagles need help in their secondary with James Bradberry struggling.

NFL comp: Chevarius Ward

23. New England Patriots (Via MIN): Adonai Mitchell

Vitals: 6-3/196, WR, Texas

Lowdown: Adonai Mitchell has that rare blend of size (6-3) and speed (4.34 in the 40) that can make certain wide receivers very special in the NFL. With all of the top 6 QB’s off the board, the Patriots opt to get their WR1 of the future in Mitchell. They have Demario Douglas and Kendrick Bourne as their top options and may have the worst receivers room in the NFL, so Mitchell will immediately upgrade it.

NFL comp: Josh Reynolds

24. Dallas Cowboys: Taliese Fuaga

Vitals: 6-6/334, OL, Alabama

Lowdown: Following the loss of Tyron Smith, the Cowboys need to draft his replacement. Taliese Fuaga (who is a top 10 pick in a lot of eyes) falls to them at No. 24 and they get a future Pro Bowl player, who might be the best run blocker in the draft.

Fuaga was so dominant at Oregon State that it seemed like Beavers running back Damien Martinez always had holes waiting for him. Fuaga will develop into an excellent NFL player and will be a staple for years to come on the Cowboys offensive line.

NFL comp: Christian Darrisaw

25. Green Bay Packers: Cooper DeJean

Vitals: 6-1/207, CB, Iowa

Lowdown: There is a chance that Cooper DeJean goes far earlier because of his versatility, but he’s a perfect fit with the Packers, who need to upgrade their depth at nickel. DeJean can play anywhere in the secondary and is one of the best available athletes.

If he falls to the Packers, then this is an A+ pick.

NFL comp: Jamel Dean

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jared Verse

Vitals: 6-4 254 Edge, Florida State

Lowdown: Jared Verse is a mammoth of a man with explosiveness off the chart. He has an excellent cross-chop and arm-over move, but his inside moves need work. Still, like Dallas Turner, he has great bend and his athleticism allow for him to improvise even if his first move doesn’t work. He projects to be a a high-level pass-rusher right away and though the Buccaneers don’t necessarily NEED an edge, they take the best player available here who falls further than teams expect. need a replacement for Cam Jordan, who will likely retire soon.

NFL comp: Danielle Hunter

27. Arizona Cardinals: Nate Wiggins

Vitals: 6-2/173, CB, Clemson

Lowdown: Nate Wiggins is tiny, but he has all the tools to dominate at the next level. He’s blazing quick (4.28 40 time) and has arguably the best ball skills in the draft. His speed will keep him from getting beat by wide receivers but he will struggle to defend the DK Metcalf’s in the NFL because of his size.

Nonetheless, the Cardinals have an obvious need at CB and opt to go with Wiggins after getting Harrison at No 4.

NFL comp: Tariq Woolen

28. Buffalo Bills: Ladd McConkey

Vitals: 6-0/185, WR, Georgia

Lowdown: Ladd McConkey has been soaring up draft boards after dominating both the combine and the Georgia pro day. He unofficially had a 3.97 shuttle time which would have ranked No. 1 among wide receivers at the combine.

The Bills have an obvious need at wideout. They could opt to go Troy Franklin here but McConkey is so versatile and one of the best athletes in the draft. Bills get a steal here at No. 28.

NFL comp: Cooper Kupp

29. Detroit Lions: Chop Robinson

Vitals: 6-3/254, Edge rusher, Penn State

Lowdown: The Lions will see that most secondary players considered first-rounders are off the board and their next need is getting Aidan Hutchinson some help on the edge. Chop Robinson didn’t have excellent stats at Penn State, but he has a lot of upside and tested extremely well at the combine.

NFL comp: Josh Uche

30. Baltimore Ravens: Keon Coleman

Vitals: 6-3/213, WR, Florida State

Lowdown: The Ravens need an primary receiver, a guy that can be a vertical threat and spread their offense. Xavier Worthy doesn’t make any sense here because they already have a ton of speed with Zay Flowers at the wide receiver position. Keon Coleman can’t create much separation, but he does well with yards after catch and is a great athlete with upside if developed correctly.

NFL comp: Allen Robinson II

31. San Francisco 49ers: Amarius Mims

Vitals: 6-7/340, OL, Georgia

Lowdown: Amarius Mims is a very raw prospect, It might take him a few years to reach his potential as a high-end offensive lineman, but size can’t be taught and Mims is as big and strong as you’ll find in a lineman.

The 49ers have a need at right tackle. While Colton McKivitz was just signed to a new deal, they need a long-term answer and Mims could develop into an excellent pick.

NFL comp: Evan Neal

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy

Vitals: 5-11/165, WR, Texas

Lowdown: Famously known as the prospect that broke the combine’s 40-yard dash record, Xavier Worthy could go much higher depending on how much teams value speed. Worthy is very small, but he’s a great route runner and gets immediate separation because of his speed.

The Chiefs will need to upgrade at wide receiver in the draft and they will go with Worthy.

NFL comp: Jameson Williams

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