Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how Graham Searles sees the top picks shaping up in his mock draft:
1) Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson. The Jaguars cannot miss with Lawrence. He dominated from minute one as a freshman through to the end of his junior year and is seen as one of the most promising quarterbacks ever. He hits all three levels accurately, has a delicate touch and can keep a defense off balance with his running. Lawrence should be the face of Jacksonville’s franchise for a decade or more.
2) New York Jets
Pick: Zach Wilson, quarterback, BYU. Another dead cert is Wilson receiving New York’s crown of thorns. Incredible in his final season for BYU, he delivered the highest grade from a college passer ever recorded by Pro Football Focus, beating marks set by Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. His improvisational talent (much like his namesake in Seattle) makes him a great fit for Jets head coach Robert Saleh as there will be teething problems. Wilson will need more help in protection and weapons than his predecessor to flourish, but GM Joe Douglas appears to (maybe) have figured that problem out after a promising free agency.
3) San Francisco 49ers (from Houston, via Miami)
Pick: Mac Jones, quarterback, Alabama. GM John Lynch has put faith in head coach Kyle Shanahan to find the team’s next franchise quarterback after moving up to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo. They should go for Justin Fields but toasting Clemson with broken ribs in the college playoff semi-finals seems to have been overlooked because of (unfounded) questions about work ethic. Not the greatest of looks, but back to Jones. What he lacks in flashy big throws he makes up for with supreme decision-making and pinpoint accuracy. Sounds better than Jimmy G already.
4) Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Trey Lance, quarterback, North Dakota State. The Falcons start planning for the post-Matt Ryan era. Ryan turns 36 in May and with Matt Schaub finally gone, Lance can immediately step in as his backup. The Falcons can nab the best running QB in the class – and he has a huge, if sometimes inaccurate, arm.
5) Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Penei Sewell, offensive tackle, Oregon. Cincinnati may consider upgrading their gossamer-thin o-line so that Joe Burrow doesn’t need to run for his life every time he drops back. Sewell should give his QB some room to work. He allowed only 15 pressures on 706 blocking attempts in college and, helpfully for the Bengals’ mediocre running game, he is a master at breaking open lanes too.
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