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Zak Drapeau Mock Draft 3.0

This Mock Draft is post-Combine and Free Agency and will include trades.


Free Agency has seemed crazier this season than any before and with an intrigue of the NFL Draft at an all time high these Mock Drafts have been sweeping the social media stratosphere. Everyone is curious as to how their team will be improving this offseason and after tracking coaching changes, staff tendencies, overall team needs coupled with Free Agency signings and cap room, I have narrowed my Mock to 1 round that I am very confident in.


I made these selections based on the NFL's reported "feel" of each draft pick along with my own personal rankings (my big board rank of each player drafted will be under their Bio.)


This year's class is one of the best offensive draft class I've seen in my 7 years of covering the Draft. The Quarterback class isn't as deep as other years but with the positions' demand in the pros will probably have 4 or 5 taken in the first round. Other strong units this year are headlined by the BEST Wide Receiver class in decades, a very strong Offensive Tackle group and surprisingly deep Cornerbacks and Safeties, whereas there may not be many taken in the first round, around 30-40 will be drafted through 7 rounds. The weaknesses in this class are off-ball linebackers and Running Backs. There are several members in those groups worth taking highly but as a whole are slim compared to other years in the same field.


Feel free to give me any feedback at @DrapeauZak on Twitter. I love hearing all opinions and may even give you a shout-out during FansOnlySportz Live Draft Reaction during the big day. Thank you for all the support and I hope you enjoy!



1. Caleb Williams

QB USC 6'1" 214

Chicago Bears (via Panthers)

Big Board Rank: 2


Even though this pick has been almost guaranteed for a month now, we can be more assured of it thanks to the Justin Fields trade talk that have been circling as of late.

The Bears made a risky move to trade back and forgo drafting Bryce Young last year but it is paying off big time in drafting Caleb Williams. Williams was the Heisman Trophy winner last year and has thrown 72 Touchdowns and only 10 Interceptions as a two-year starter for the Trojans. While his arm talent is one of the best in the last decade, his ability to improvise within the pocket and turn up field if needed is truly his gift with over 800 rushing yards and 16 Touchdowns on the ground in the same time.


Player Comp: Aaron Rodgers


2. Jayden Daniels

QB LSU 6'4" 210

Washington Commanders

Big Board Rank: 10


From last year's Heisman Trophy winner to this year's, Jayden Daniels to the Washington Commanders seems like a great fit. The new coaching staff in Washington is headlined by Kliff Kingsbury who has gotten the most out of mobile Quarterbacks since his tenure with Johnny Manziel and the Aggies.

Daniels has always had mobility but improved his arm strength and accuracy tremendously this year at LSU. Many credit his outstanding supporting cast around him but Daniels made plays regardless of the field around him or defensive pressure and you can't teach that.


Player Comp: Robert Griffin III


3. Marvin Harrison Jr.

WR Ohio Sate 6'3" 209

New England Patriots

Big Board Rank: 1


At Pick #3 is where "the draft starts" as coined by so many draft experts and fans alike. With Williams and Daniels very likely going 1 and 2, the Patriots pick is more unpredictable. With every expert claiming they need a QB at 3, Drake Maye has been a popular pick here but recent reports have contradicted the Pats interest in Maye.

If the Pats indeed pass on him, (perhaps targeting Brissett or Flacco in FA) Marvin Harrison Jr. is absolutely the pick. The best player in CFB this season regardless of position, Harrison Jr. is almost the perfect Wide receiver prospect, a position the Patriots need desperately. He will instantly be New England's #1 target and make life easier for whoever the Pats have at QB for the next 5 years.


Player Comp: Randy Moss


4. Malik Nabers

WR LSU 6'0" 200

Arizona Cardinals

Big Board Rank: 4


The Cardinals are beyond upset Marv didn't make it to them but are sticking with their guns and taking an elite receiver, this time in Malik Nabers. Nabers was the #1 target for Jayden Daniels this year and blends a great deep threat/jump ball receiver with one of the best after-the-catch abilities in this draft.

Arizona needs receiver help desperately to give Kyler Murray a chance to earn his $250 million contract. It's possible once Harrison Jr. is off the board the Cardinals decide to trade this pick to a QB-needy team, but I believe they'll value Nabers as too good to pass up and "Nab" him here.


Player comp: Odell Beckham Jr.


5. Drake Maye

QB North Carolina 6'4" 223

Minnesota Vikings (via Chargers)

Big Board Rank: 5


TRADE ALERT

Minnesota receives Picks 5 and 69

Chargers receive Picks 11, 42 and a 2025 1st Round Pick


The Vikings trade up to take the air apparent to Kirk Cousins, Drake Maye. A big pocket passer, Maye has the most experience throwing a pro-style offense inside the pocket than anyone in this draft. With a bit of a drop off from his Sophomore season, Maye still had great efficiency throwing within the numbers and in any depth down the field.

Very similar to Kirk Cousins, Maye still has decent athletic ability that is underrated in his game. Going to a team like the Vikings with established Wide Receivers, Offensive Linemen and a good coaching staff may be the perfect suiting for a young QB like Maye.


Player comp: Ben Roethisberger



6. Joe Alt

OT Notre Dame 6'9" 321

New York Giants

Big Board Rank: 3


With all three Quarterback prospects off the board this was an easy pick. Joe Alt has risen up draft boards consistently and significantly since December and checks off every box for an NFL Left Tackle. With the Giants letting up 85 sacks last season, (20 more than any other team) this pick needs to be O-Line. They can move Evan Neal inside to guard and Andrew Thomas to Right Tackle and now you have one of the most overpowering groups in the NFC.

While the Giants could go after a QB to replace Daniel Jones or perhaps Rome Odunze or Brock Bowers to give Jones an option to throw to, they absolutely should take Alt and sure up the trenches. Once your line is set, the rest of the team will come shortly.


Player Comp: Jonathan Ogden


7. J.J. McCarthy

QB Michigan 6'2" 219

Denver Broncos

Big Board Rank: 30


TRADE ALERT

Broncos receive Pick 7

Titans receive Picks 12, 76 and a 2025 2nd Round Pick


The Broncos have been in dire need of a QB since releasing Russell Wilson and trade up to get the National Champion J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy showed his athleticism, intelligence and poise at Michigan. His arm talent is very good as well even though he didn't have to use it much at Michigan.

McCarthy has been a riser ever since the National Championship and is somewhat of a question mark at this point of the scouting season. A lot of rumors have been tying Sean Payton to McCarthy over the past weeks along with several other teams and it will probably be necessary to trade up to this point to get him.


Player Comp: Deshaun Watson


8. Rome Odunze

WR Washington 6'3" 212

Atlanta Falcons

Big Board Rank: 8


Originally made before the Cousins signing while expecting the news, Odunze would fit right into this offense beautifully. Odunze is a 6'3" beast on the outside who also ran the 2nd best 20-yard shuttle of any receiver at the combine. He blends fluid route running with great hands and body control.

This is the last of the top receivers of this draft and it goes to an already skill position-stacked team with a shiny new Quarterback. The size of the Falcons will cause matchup nightmares for everyone they face.


Player Comp: Keenan Allen


9. Dallas Turner

Edge Alabama 6'3" 247

Chicago Bears

Big Board Rank: 6


The first defensive player taken in this mock draft is Dallas Turner at 9 and it's by the team who drafted the first offensive player as well. Turner is the next freaky edge rusher from Alabama and can use finesse or power moves at will.

With Will Anderson gone, Turner got to show what he can do as the primary edge rusher and while he didn't live up to the Top-5 prospect that was built for him, he still led the SEC in sacks. Turner will immediately contribute to a Bears defense who already had 50 sacks last season.


Player Comp: Josh Sweat


10. Tailese Fuaga

OT Oregon State 6'6" 324

New York Jets

Big Board Rank: 18


The Jets need help badly on the O Line and bringing in a tackle like Fuaga who can play either side is a brilliant first step in protecting Aaron Rodgers. Fuaga is a mauler who has shown he can handle top-rate pass rushers and also get to the second level in the run game.

With Alijah Vera-Tucker moving to RT this season, Fuaga will likely start on the left and create flexibility as both players could easily move to either side or to guard if needed.


Player Comp:


11. Jared Verse

Edge Florida State 6'4" 254

Los Angeles Chargers (via Vikings)

Big Board Rank: 13


The Chargers moved back from their Top-5 pick while gaining several picks over the next two years and still land Jared Verse at 13. With Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack rumored to be cap casualties via trade, Verse is the perfect replacement for either one. Verse is the best power rusher in this class with great hands and elite rush defense for an edge rusher.

With Jim Harbaugh taking over in Los Angeles, the first major concern is getting under the salary cap which the Chargers are currently $25.9 million over (most in the league.) With cap casualties rumored to leave such as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Khalil Mack and others, this pick will be the best way to rebuild with an elite and cheap player.


Player Comp: Ryan Kerrigan


12. Brock Bowers

TE Georgia 6'3" 243

Tennessee Titans (via Broncos)

Big Board Rank: 7


Brock Bowers may be the best Tight End we've ever seen coming out of the draft from a CFB standpoint. The only knock on him is being about 10 pounds undersized which isn't a big deal because he plays the tight end position like no one in the last 30 years.

Part of the Georgia teams that have won two National Championships where Bowers scored in both, he will blend in with this Titans offense and become Will Levis' safety net while simultaneously becoming one of the leagues best Tight Ends in a couple of years.


Player Comp: Shannon Sharpe


13. Quinyon Mitchell

CB Toledo 6'0" 195

Las Vegas Raiders

Big Board Rank: 9


The first cornerback taken is Quinyon Mitchell, who after a stellar 2024 season was the biggest standout from the Combine and Senior Bowl alike. Mitchell will be a Day 1 starting outside corner and CB1 for the Raiders. At the Senior Bowl, Mitchell was only beaten once on a route by Roman Wilson here Mitchell tripped over his own feet and at the combine would run the second fastest 40-yard dash.

Mitchell may not be as talented as previous years' CB1s but his talent in man and zone coverage coupled with his speed will make him a strong and fluid corner in the exact mold of what the Raiders are looking for.


Player Comp: L'Jarius Snead


14. Brian Thomas Jr.

WR LSU 6'3" 209

New Orleans Saints

Big Board Rank: 17


Brian Thomas Jr. is another player who's stock rose during the combine, running a 4.33 at 6'3". The third player of the awesome trio at LSU this year, Thomas Jr. was the deep threat. Leading the nation in receiving touchdowns with 17, Thomas Jr. was both the leading deep threat on LSU but was also Jayden Daniels go to in the red zone and that versatility is very rare to see nowadays.

With Michael Thomas leaving this season, the Saints only have Chris Olave as a threat outside and his game is closer to the line of scrimmage making him the perfect partner for Thomas Jr.'s game.


Player Comp: Martavis Bryant


15. Terrion Arnold

CB Alabama 6'0" 189

Indianapolis Colts

Big Board Rank: 12


Terrion Arnold was barely on anyone's radar before the season as far as first round picks go, fast forward 8 months and Arnold is in contention for CB1. Arnold is a tremendous athlete who exploded this year with 5 interceptions and locking down almost every receiver he faced.

The Colts need CB help. With Kenny Moore expected to hit the open market, the Colts CB room is headlined by two rookies from last year who are good but not elite. Mixing Terrion into that room would make the Colts DB room one of the youngest and highest potential in the league and add some much needed turnovers to this Colts defense.


Player Comp: Trevon Diggs


16. Troy Fautanu

OT Washington 6'4" 317

Seattle Seahawks

Big Board Rank: 19


Troy Fautanu has been an elite Tackle for the Huskies for the last two season but was looked at as a guard in the next level. During the combine, Fautanu measured with 34 1/2" arms showing that he can clearly play on the outside meaning his versatility is cant-miss.

Seattle needs offensive line help very badly and while the interior may be a more pressing need, Fautanu can slot into their Right Tackle slot and move Lucas inside or vice versa. Fautanu has one of the lowest bust-potentials in this year's draft and isn't a flashy pick but may be one of the best in a few years' time.


Player Comp: Ali Marpet


17. Nate Wiggins

CB Clemson 6'1" 173

Jacksonville Jaguars

Big Board Rank: 15


After an outrageous hall in Free Agency the Jaguars aren't looking to draft a starter right away but may be getting one here anyway. Nate Wiggins was the fastest corner at the combine and was a lockdown corner who showed great fluidity and movement along with great length for the position.

Wiggins would move into a CB3 role in Jacksonville but with their contract situation would be the CB1 soon or at least a starter in two years. This is more of a safer pick for the Jags and will likely be a pick that doesn't spawn the next 'Jalen Ramsey' but a good starter that remains with the team for a while.


Player Comp: Donte Jackson


18. J.C. Latham

OT Alabama 6'6" 342

Cincinnati Bengals

Big Board Rank: 21


The Bengals are another team who made a lot of moves in Free Agency but they did not do anything to combat losing Jonah Williams. This pick is a solid one for the Bengals but one thing to realize is them passing on Olu Fashanu who is somewhat falling in the draft. The Bengals have found success with the enormous Orlando Brown at Left Tackle so why not take another monster in Latham, who is also more pro ready right now than Fashanu.

Latham is a starting Right Tackle already who has expressed interest in the left side as well. Either way, Latham is a mauler and will clear numerous holes for whoever the Bengals bring in to replace Joe Mixon.


Player Comp: Trent Brown


19. Olu Fashanu

OT Penn State 6'6" 312

Los Angeles Rams

Big Board Rank: 14


Just like that Fashanu's fall is finished landing at 19 to the Rams, who take this pick as a steal. Fashanu is looked at as a project OT but with maybe the best upside of anyone at the position, with the floor of a productive guard at the least. The Rams have not had an elite O Linemen in years and their best currently, Rob Havenstein will be 32 next year.

Fashanu can play all 5 spots on the line but should be their LT sooner than later and help Matthew Stafford stay upright as he too gets older.


Player Comp: Kolton Miller


20. Jackson Powers-Johnson

IOL Oregon 6'3" 328

Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Board Rank: 23


What a Steelers pick. Powers-Johnson was the biggest standout from the Senior Bowl this year and at 328 pounds will be the largest center in the NFL as soon as he is drafted. JPJ is shockingly agile for a man his size and will fill a hole in this Steelers offense they desperately need.

Not only did he beat every person he went against at the Senior Bowl, but also put up the second most Bench Press reps at the combine coupled with an agility score that matched linemen in the 280-pound range. This is a freaky athletic o linemen that will be a captain of the unit in no time.


Player Comp: Ryan Jenson


21. Laiatu Latu

Edge UCLA 6'5" 259

Miami Dolphins

Big Board Rank: 11


NFL teams are not valuing Laiatu Latu even close to where he should be and the Dolphins will be laughing at all of them if this pick comes true. Latu is the best college pass rusher we've seen since Joey Bosa statistically and may have even better traits than him at the time. His finesse moves are unmatched; his power moves are dangerous; and he has incredible hand placement. His only knock is that he is a below-average athlete in a position where above-average athletes are the norm.

I have Latu graded just below Dallas Turner as my Edge2 but I firmly believe in a decade's time he'll be the best of the bunch.


Player Comp: Josh Allen


22. Cooper DeJean

DB Iowa 6'0" 203

Philadelphia Eagles

Big Board Rank: 16


Yet another faller in the draft, Cooper DeJean has been ranked as highly as the #8 prospect by PFF in the entire class and falls to 22 to the Eagles who are piecing together quite the offseason. DeJean is a tricky prospect to project in the NFL, a physical and intelligent corner with seemingly enough athleticism to be an NFL corner, but I see him as more of a Safety.

I see him as a productive slot corner at the NFL level but a generational Safety and someone who will always be able to play both in a jam.


Player Comp: C.J. Gardner-Johnson


23. Bryon Murphy II

DT Texas 6'0" 297

Houston Texans (via Cleveland)

Big Board Rank: 20


The Texans have been one of the most active teams in Free Agency this season and have done a great job adding significant pieces on defense. Adding Danielle Hunter is a great piece for their D Line, adding Byron Murphy would then take the Texans pass rush to another level.

Murphy is a prototypical 'freaky' defensive tackle who is a bit undersized but makes up for it in explosiveness and hand placement. Murphy proved at the combine that there is no other interion D Lineman with his production this season coupled with his athleticism. Not to mention the Texans are on the rise and have the ability (behind Demeco Ryans) to develop Murphy the right way and turn him into a Top-10 DT in a few years.


Player Comp: Quinnen Williams


24. Amarius Mims

OT Georgia 6'8" 340

Dallas Cowboys

Big Board Rank: 24


This pick is a perfect fit whether the Cowboys whether or not they resign Tyron Smith (which seems more likely day after day.) Mims is as large of a Tackle as you will see coming out of the draft along with the longest arms in the class. His only downside is a lack of experience only starting at Left Tackle in Georgia for one season.

The Cowboys have proven their ability to build and grow offensive linemen over the last 15 years and if Mims could be the next in that long line of talented players, this O Line could keep right on with their pedigree even after an impending retirement or departure from Tyron Smith.


Player Comp: Jordan Mailata


25. Adonai Mitchell

WR Texas 6'2" 205

Kansas City Chiefs (via Packers)

Big Board Rank: 26


TRADE ALERT

Chiefs Receive Picks 25 and 125

Packers Receive Picks 32 and 64


The Chiefs make their move for a Wide Receiver trading their second round pick along with moving up 7 slots to take the uber-talented Adonai Mitchell out of Texas. Mitchell was originally my WR7 (40th overall) but after a spectacular combine has improved to my WR5 and a player worthy of the Chiefs trading up for.

Mitchell is a lengthy and tall receiver who surprised with the 3rd best 40-time in the class. He is an athletic project of a receiver who would be going to the best possible scenario with Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs. Mitchell would possibly be the best receiver on the roster at the moment he is drafted and would compliment Rashee Rice's slot role commendably as a mid-range to deep threat himself.


Player Comp: Amari Cooper


26. Kool-Aid McKinstry

CB Alabama 5'11" 199

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Big Board Rank: 25


Alright this is MY pick for the best value in the back half of this first round. McKinstry is a proven CB1 at Alabama who did not have as productive a Junior year as a Sophomore season. This season McKinstry was targeted far lower than the year before because of the stigma around him but he still performed at a very high level and would bring some much needed CB1 feel to the Buccs.

After the Buccaneers traded Calton Davis to the Lions, they only have Winfield Jr. and Jamel Dean in their secondary and McKinstry would come in and instantly fall in with Todd Bowles defense. McKinstry would be the better of their two corners in zone and could rely on that until he builds his instincts as a man cover which should only take a season or less.


Player Comp: Tyson Campbell


27. Jer'Zhan Newton

DT Illinois 6'2" 304

Arizona Cardinals (via Texans)

Big Board Rank: 22


Back-to-back VALUE picks happen late in this draft, here with the Cardinals taking Jer'Zhan Newton who is debatably the best DT in this draft. The Cardinals have no answers on their D Line even after a few signings this offseason and Jer'Zhan Newton could come in and single-handedly transform that group.

Newton was the best DT in the nation last season but questions about his athleticism has caused his stock to fall just under Byron Murphy's. Newton still has the prototypical size for a 3 or 4-Tech D Lineman and the skill and ability to get it done on any spot in the trenches.


Player Comp: Grady Jarrett


28. Troy Franklin

WR Oregon 6'2" 176

Buffalo Bills

Big Board Rank: 34


The Bills nab an awesome replacement for Gabe Davis here in Troy Franklin who had 2,274 yards and 23 touchdowns in two seasons. Franklin is a burner who can use his height and length to his advantage when going for deep balls or making catches over his shoulder. While a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine is slower than we expected from him, his on-the-field speed is one of the best in the draft.

The Bills have needed extra receiving help all season and with Davis' departure and Stefon Diggs role on the team next season in mystery, Franklin would be a great start to rebuilding a core to help Josh Allen.


Player Comp: Nelson Agholar


29. Graham Barton

IOL Duke 6'5" 313

Detroit Lions

Big Board Rank: 28


Graham Barton is a swiss-army knife on the offensive line and a perfect mold for a guard in Dan Campbell's system. Barton was primarily a Tackle in Duke's offense but has appeared in all 5 positions over his 3 years as a starter. The Left Guard position is the only spot for Detroit that needs an upgrade and Barton would be perfect for it.

His Tackle experience has elevated his pass blocking and his hand placement makes him equally as good at run blocking. He has more of a finesse side to him and will be surrounded by a group of vicious maulers on this line. If Barton were to go to the Lions, he would be instantly put in the best case scenario for him and will probably turn into a multiple-time Pro Bowler.


Player Comp: Cody Whitehair


30. Tyler Guyton

OT Oklahoma 6'8" 322

Baltimore Ravens

Big Board Rank: 27


Tyler Guyton may have one of the highest upsides of any Tackle in this draft due to his raw athleticism. At 6'8" and 322 pounds Guyton is able to move more closely to a Center and has gotten consistently better at pass blocking in a way that will translate to the NFL.

With Ronnie Stanley as a mentor who Guyton projects eerily similar to, Guyton will have a great teacher to continue his progression. Guyton will need to work on his run blocking if he emerges as the Right Tackle.


Player Comp: Terron Armstead


31. Chop Robinson

Edge Penn State 6'3" 254

San Francisco 49ers

Big Board Rank: 29


The 49ers were one quarter away from finally winning it all this year and will be looking to reload and get back their before Brock Purdy's rookie contract is up. Adding edge rushers is always a great way to go in the first-round, with Nick Bosa locked up for years, the 49ers will look to get a running mate for Bosa in Robinson here who himself has a very similar mold to Bosa.

Robinson has great pass rushing ability but what truly separates himself is his ability to also stuff the run game. He's had 20 TFLs in his career at Penn State along with 11.5 sacks. Coming into a team where he will never be asked to be the superstar will let him focus on doing the dirty work and have the freedom to emerge at his own pace.


Player Comp: Montez Sweat


32. Tyler Nubin

SAF Minnesota 6'1" 199

Green Bay Packers (via Chiefs)

Big Board Rank: 31


With the final pick in the first round, the Packers trade back from 25 and still get the best pure safety in the draft Tyler Nubin. Signing Xavier McKinney in Free Agency was a great step in repairing their DB room and if they can take Nubin here too, the Packers may creep their way into a Top-5 secondary in the NFL.

With Savage Jr.'s departure, the Free Safety spot on this team is something Nubin can step into right away and be elite. With the Free Safety position being devalued in this draft the Packers will be taking what appears to be a safety net and one that will very likely pan out and cover the back half for the Packers for years to come.


Player Comp: Micah Hyde

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