I have been following the draft since I was a teenager. I used to buy Mel Kiper’s book and patiently waited for his publication to come in the mail. I was amazed at how much information he knew about every single player available. Even with his vast knowledge of players, he still got many picks wrong in the top 10. For the most part, I think we can figure out who will go in the top 15 with a margin of error of 3. Trying to pick who exactly each team will pick and why in the top 15 is an exercise in futility because trades can happen at any time. I think it is easier to pick the position and a few possibilities and go from there.. This year seems like there is an air of desperation to get a QB because so many suck ass. Additionally, there are new coaches all over the place and there’s a few owners who are becoming more active in wanting a star QB to keep those fans coming to the game. The problem is, there’s not enough elite QB’s being developed. The game is shifting to more of a mobile QB and a running QB than the traditional stand in the pocket QB.
Here’s my attempt to dissect the the first 6 picks:
Carolina-they absolutely will take a QB but the million dollar question is; which one? They have a good OL, decent RB’s and a good defense. My gut says the owner wants Anthony RIchardson but his GM and coaches aren’t going to wait and develop him when they can win the division. CJ Stroud or Bryce Young can start on day 1 but only CJ Stroud fits the "size and strength" of the HC history.
Houston-they absolutely will take a QB as well and I have a hard time thinking they will pass on Bryce Young but there are a few factors in play here. Based on the injuries to three running QB’s in AZ, Chicago, Baltimore, durability and longevity has to be considered. Bryce Young is going to be a very good QB if he doesn’t get hit a ton. However, this is the NFL and you are going to get hit and hit hard. This is why Anthony Richardson and Will Levis are better long term options because they are built to take a few hits. I think they should take one of these guys but at the end of the day, they are taking the guy that will sell tickets and will run around making plays.
Arizona-In the catbird seat! The game theory that must be going on in their war room has to be getting intense. Will Anderson is a sure fire day 1 starter at a position of need, However, with so many QB needy teams out there, they should auction it off and gather those picks which are going to be huge in fixing the many holes that they have. They have to decide what players they want and IF they will be there at the trade down position.
Trade number 1: Detroit could offer their number 6 pick and two 2nd round picks and they slide down to 6 where they could have their choice of Tyree Wilson, Jaylen Carter, OL 1 CB RB 1 Since they really need defense, only Wilson and Carter are their realistic choices. If they think Carter can be a beast on the field and can surround him with some good guys to watch out for him off the field, then that’s a pretty nice offer right? Two 2nd rounders and Jalen Carter is a great start to a draft.
Trade number 2: Trade with Indy getting their number 4 pick and get a 2nd rounder and a 4th rounder and then draft Will Anderson. This might be the way they go because they can get their number 1 guy on their board and two extra picks. Definitely a great move to get your guy and extra picks.
Trade number 3: This one no one is talking about but I think could happen. Seattle needs a QB for the future and they have so much draft capital from that Denver heist that they can trade up to 3 for Anthony Richardson and probably give up pick 5 and their 2nd round pick, third round pick and 4th round pick. In this scenario, they still get Will Anderson and 3 extra picks. Anthony Richardson could sit for two years and still barely be 22 years old when he is ready. If Seattle wants Anthony, they have to move up to 3 because there are three other teams that might Jump up to 3 to get him. They can’t hope he falls to 5. Not in this QB needy market. Raiders, Titans. Commanders (if they are sold by the draft), Vikings could be stalking on a big move as well since Cousins is in his last year and that team is ready for an overhaul.
TRADE OUT OF 3-PLAYER ANTHONY RICHARDSON
Indianapolis: QB for sure but uncertain which guy they end up with. They are very conservative so it feels like they will sit tight and be happy with any of the four that ends up available. Giving up 2 or 3 picks to move up one spot just seems like too much for a conservative organization.
ANY QB AVAILABLE
Seattle-They really could go in many directions here. Trade up for a QB, see if a QB drops, Tyree Wilson, Jalen Carter both on the table. Heck, they could even go CB 1 or OL 1 here. Just like Detroit, they have a ton of draft capital. Everyone has been talking about Detroit’s massive draft capital in the topin top 60 but Seattle actually has slightly more and Houston has the most. I would not be shocked if Seattle traded up and grabbed Anthony RIchardson. I really don’t think Carolina or Houston have the guts to take Richardson with only 13 games under his belt. Seattle though is a running team with a QB they can win with and is locked up for 3 more years.
Trade up 30% chance, if Anthony Richardson is there are 5, the pick is RICHARDSON. I just don’t think he is going to be there.
Detroit-No, the Lions are not taking a QB here at 6 but they might be taking one at 18-Hendon Hooker in many mock drafts falls to the 2nd round but the Lions don’t have a high 2nd round pick so he will be long gone by then. If they trade up to 3 and grab Will Anderson, they will not have those 2 second round picks unless they offer up a second round pick this year and a second and 4th rounder next year. AZ might be okay with diverting some of their bounty to next year. No way Detroit trades their number 1 pick next year since they arehare hosting the draft.
I find it unlikely Detroit trades up to 3 for Will Anderson because they need to use those 2nd round picks to fill a few more holes. Detroit’s biggest decision will come if Jalen Carter falls to them at 6. If he falls, that is a gut wrenching call to make because Tyree Wilson is the only other DL guy worthy of 6. They could have their choice of OL 1, CB 1 LB 1 WR 1 DL 2 or DL 3. I have gone on record here before saying I would not draft Jalen Carter at 6 because this is such a big draft and a big year that I am fearful that if he does not get his shit together he could spoil what could be a Super Bowl run. I actually have three $100 bets that the Lions win the division, win the Super Bowl +2500 down from +3300 and for them to face Cincinnati at +7000. The fan in me says don’t draft him but I am not the GM. We can all play GM but that’s for fun.
In the real world, Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes and Sheila Ford Hamp are having these discussions. Dan Campbell is a leader of men and Aaron Glenn is as well. If in the next 3 weeks they havehaver concluded that his game tape speaks for itself and with the culture they have created, maybe Jalen Carter will buy in. If none of these things happened to him, he is gone at pick 3 and maybe Chicago doesn’t trade out of 1 and he’s the number 1 pick. He’s that good. With that said, I think the pick is going to be TYREE WILSON but if Jalen Carter falls, there’s at least a 50/50 chance they take him. Trading down is still my hope for them because if they can acquire more picks, they can gamble at 18 and take Hendon Hooker. In my opinion, he does not make it pastpass Minnesota at 23 and Washington at 16, Baltimore at 22 if Lamar is traded or sits out, Tampa at 19 all could select a QB. Hendon Hooker might have been in this top QB discussion had he not been hurt. Hendon Hooker should be a day 2 pick but I have a feeling he might sneak into the first round.
TYREE WILSON OR JALEN CARTER
Tanner McGee is the only other QB worthy of a day 2 pick.
My best guess at what the Lions might do: I strongly believe they get the best DL available which includes Jalen Carter if he falls. If DC and Aaron Glenn aren’t up for the challenge, then they pass on him. Best case scenario for the Lions is if a QB falls to them at 6 and one of the teams trades up to get him.
1st round pick #6 DL Tyree Wilson Texas Tech
1st round pick #18 QB Hendon Hooker Tennessee
2nd round pick #48 RB Jahmyr Gibbs Alabama
2nd round pick #55 TE Darnell Washington Georgia
3rd round pick #81 LB Daiyan Henley Washington State
4th round pick traded
5th round pick #152 WR A.T. Perry Wake Forest
6th round pick #183 G/OT Andrew Vorhees USC
6th round pick #194 DT Moro Ojomo Texas