This is the first installment of my dual mock series in which I’ll be doing a 4 Round Mock for each team in the AFC and NFC West. With 8 user controlled teams, the burden of realism is placed on the Draft Network Mock Draft Simulator’s AI, controlling the other 24 general managers. Therefore there won’t be draft-to-draft big board consistency and there’s also a good chance you’ll be seeing the same players making a recurring appearance across drafts. With that as precursor, lets address the needs and potential fits of the AFC and NFC West.
San Fransisco 49rs
TRADES: SF – 1.25, 2.58 MIN – 1.13 / SF – 2.55, 3.92 BAL – 1.31
Round 1, Pick 25: Josh Jones OT Houston; I cheated a bit here with the trades, but I do believe San Fransisco could find themselves trading out of either the 13th and 31st pick if not both. Tackle is one of the more underrated needs of the 49rs with Joe Staley’s future up in limbo. Even if Staley does indeed return for 2020, a prospect like Jones would slot in as a valuable, versatile depth piece for this offensive line unit. Jones can slot in at either guard or tackle in the case of an injury, and could succeed Staley or McGlinchey at either tackle spot in the near future.
Round 2, Pick 55: Jaylon Johnson CB Utah; Now equipped with two second round picks, John Lynch can address a need in the secondary with Jaylon Johnson. Johnson is a tough, physical corner who can learn beneath Richard Sherman and find himself in a starting role next year should the 49rs pass up on resigning Ahkello Witherspoon and/or K’Waun Williams.
Round 2, Pick 58: Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State; While I have been vocal about the 49rs supposed need in WR being a bit overblown, Aiyuk still being on the board at 58 is too good to pass up. Aiyuk’s versatility would be a perfect fit in Shanahan’s system and would be another RAC machine alongside Deebo Samuel.
Round 3, Pick 92: Tyler Biadsz IOL Wisconsin; An interior offensive lineman the caliber of Biadsz would be too good value to pass up at the end of round 3. Biadsz started all three years he was in Madison and would challenge, and would probably beat Tom Compton day 1 to be San Fransisco’s starting Center. Worst case, he gives this team much needed interior depth and both he and Josh Jones would give this team a much needed infusion of youth across the offensive line.
Round 1, Pick 27: Yetur Gross Matos EDGE Penn State; Even if UFA Jadeveon Clowney were to return to Seattle for 2020, EDGE rusher is still a pressing need. 2019 1st round pick LJ Collier was a major disappointment in year one, and isn’t half the prospect Gross Matos is. Gross Matos not only has a high ceiling due to his athletic profile, but also has a refined NFL skill set that will translate day 1. I would be surprised if YGM is on the board at this point, but in this simulation the Seahawks are able to under draft a prospect for the first time in recent memory.
Round 2, Pick 59: Lucas Niang OT TCU; Seattle has exhibited hubris year in and year out with reference to their offensive line. That being said they find themselves in the super bowl conversation annually due to Russel Wilson’s ability to transcend abysmal offensive line play. Lucas Niang, if fully recovered from a hip injury last year, would be an upgrade over Cedric Ogbuehi at RT, and his aggressive style in the run game would be a great fit for Seattle’s offense.
Round 2, Pick 64: Bryce Hall CB Virginia; If Hall were to come out last year he most likely would have been a first round pick. He returned to Charlottesville for his senior campaign last fall before it was cut short by an ankle injury. Hall is a perfect fit for Seattle’s cover 3 scheme and fits the bill as a rangey, long zone corner with experience, character, and interception production.
Round 3, Pick 101: Michael Pittman Jr. WR USC; Like most of the receiver selections in these mocks, I will be SHOCKED if Pittman is on the board in round 3. That being said, Seattle could use a third receiver to compliment Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Pittman could fill that role to perfection. Pittman can play outside or in the slot, runs nuanced routes, attacks the ball with physicality at the catch point, and takes that same physical mindset when running with the ball in his hands after the catch. Adding a player of his caliber to this offense could arguably give Russel Wilson the best pass catching trio in the NFL.
Round 4, Pick 133: Jake Hanson IOL Oregon; Hanson is a experienced center who started in Eugene as a redshirt freshman in 2016. While Hanson doesn’t have the upside of some of the other interior offensive lineman in this class. He’s a high floor, high character guy who can compete with BJ Finney for the starting center position, and will at the very least provide much needed depth for this offensive line.
Round 4, Pick 144: AJ Dillon RB Boston College; Rather than taking Jonathan Taylor at pick 27, Pete Carrol gets his physical, downhill runner in round 4. While Dillon surely is limited as a prospect and doesn’t offer the same upside as the “Big 6” in this class, He’s an absolute tank at 6’ 247 with 4.53 speed to boot. Adding Dillon to the Penny, Carson, Homer mix would give Seattle depth and versatility to a position they value highly.
Los Angles Rams
Round 2, Pick 52: Austin Jackson OT USC; It’s time for Les Snead to reap what he’s sowed. He’s spent the better part of two years sacrificing draft capital for proven talents coming off their rookie deals, and rewarding Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, (and soon to be Jalen Ramsey) with mega deals that Goff especially did not deserve. Losing the Super Bowl two years ago adds insult to injury as the roster is in shambles and its evident they missed their championship window. In order for this offense to thrive, Jared Goff needs to be protected. 38 year old Andrew Whitworth has played well despite being almost 40. Austin Jackson is a high upside prospect who is only twenty years old and can learn a lot from a borderline HOF’r in Whitworth. Jackson is far from ready from holding down the left side, but can stay local in Los Angeles and be apart of the Rams new youth movement.
Round 3, Pick 84: Jordyn Brooks LB Texas Tech; The loss of Corey Littleton leaves this linebacker corps depleted as ever. Jordyn Brooks won’t be able to replace Littleton as a coverage backer, but has a downhill run stuffing skill set that will be of starting value from day 1. Reminds me of a middle class Kenneth Murray.
Round 3, Pick 104: Kenny Willekes EDGE Michigan State; Edge rusher is another position of supreme need for the Rams, enter Kenny Willekes. Willekes is a former walk on who worked his way to being Michigan State’s best player and leader. His effort will be welcomed on any NFL team and he should start for the Rams on day 1 across from Leonard Floyd. While his ceiling sent as high as some of the other EDGE prospects, Willekes is a guy who will capitalize next to Aaron Donald just because of his no quit dawg mentality.
Round 4, Pick 126; Michael Onwenu IOL Michigan; The Rams were a catastrophe on the interior of their offensive line in 2019. Onwenu is a high floor guard who will at the very least can provide much needed depth at either guard spot. He excels in the run game and can help pave the way for whomever is the Rams starting back in 20’.
Round 1, Pick 8: Jedrick Wills OT Alabama; Protecting Kyler Murray has to be priority number one in Glendale. My OT1 falls to 8th overall in a dream scenario for the Cardinals. They just locked up DJ Humpries to play LT for the next 3 years, Wills can slot in at RT and be one of the leagues best. He’s the best pass protector in this class and has the functional athleticism to thrive in Kliff Kingsbury’s system.
Round 3, Pick 72: Curtis Weaver EDGE Boise State; Weaver is one of my sleepers in this draft class. While his athletic profile and body may be underwhelming, his hand usage and production are certainly anything but underwhelming. The Cardinals did a good job of bringing in Devon Kennard to rush opposite Chandler Jones, Weaver can fill a situational pass rushing role while getting stronger and being a great piece moving forward.
Round 4, Pick 114: Leki Fotu IDL Utah; Signing Jordan Phillips was a solid patch work move to help booster the interior defensive line. Still this unit needs work, Fotu is a high floor interior run stuffer, who will compliment the current group of edge rushers nicely. I would expect Fotu to start immediately in Arizona.
Round 4, Pick 131: Akeem Davis-Gaither LB App. State; Like the aforementioned Phillips signing, De’Vondre Campbell was also a good signing at linebacker for the Cardinals. Still the Cardinals could use a depth piece like Davis-Gaither. While Davis-Gaither is undersized, he is a instinctual, athletic move piece who could be used as a sub-package player blitzing or covering.