The Super Bowl has come and gone, so now it’s time to look forward to the NFL Draft now that the final order is set. Here, I will predict the first 24 selections and let you at home vote for the Eagles selection at No. 25!
1. Arizona Cardinals – EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
I don’t think Nick Bosa is quite as good as his brother, Joey, was coming out in 2016 when he was the third overall pick, but I do think he’s the best overall player in this class. At 6-4 and over 260 pounds, Bosa uses his hands very well as a pass rusher and has a well-defined plan of attack when getting after the quarterback. Arizona would love a playmaker to add to that defense opposite Chandler Jones, and Bosa would instantly give them one of the best pass-rush pairs in the NFL.
2. San Francisco 49ers – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
As our friend Tony Pauline reported a few weeks ago on the Journey to the Draft podcast, the 49ers will be looking to trade out of this pick. Obviously, that is not an option in this scenario. With that in mind, their biggest need is some more firepower off the edge in their 4-3 scheme. I would not necessarily grade Josh Allen this high, but it seems to be the direction that it’s going. Allen was very productive this year in the SEC and provides the 49ers with an impressive athlete off the edge.
3. New York Jets – DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Three picks down and three players selected who can get after the quarterback. Williams burst onto the scene this year as a sophomore starter and figures to ride that wave as a one-year starter into the Top 5 selections. Williams isn’t overly powerful but has a lethal first step. With that, his upside is through the roof thanks to his ability to get after the quarterback. The Jets will have to wait until later in the draft to help surround their own franchise signal-caller with more talent.
4. Oakland Raiders – EDGE Rashan Gary, Michigan
There’s been a lot of debate about whether Gary is an edge rusher or an interior player. My take is that he will play a little bit of both, and with his tools, he can play either at a high level. A rare combination of size, power, and explosiveness, Gary has as high an upside as anyone in this class, and if you’re going to get anyone to try and replace Khalil Mack’s impact, Gary is the one with the natural ability to do it.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Left tackle Donovan Smith is a free agent this offseason, creating a gaping hole on that Tampa offensive line that really can’t afford any. This would obviously change if they ink Smith to a long-term extension, but I like the fit here. Taylor is a big-bodied blocker with impressive athleticism, natural power to move people up front, and the anchor strength to stop rushers cold. A local kid, Taylor played right tackle for the Gators but has tools of a potential left tackle. I think he’s the best offensive lineman in this class.
6. New York Giants – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Pat Shurmur needs a new young quarterback, and it just so happens that one of the top options in this class was coached by Ryan Day, who coached quarterbacks while Shurmur was the offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly here in Philadelphia. Daniel Jones may seem like a "safe" choice, but no one in the quarterback market will have a better source into Haskins than Shurmur, which could work for or against the one-year starter from the Buckeyes.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
There’s no getting around the fact that the Jaguars need help at quarterback. Jones is an in-structure passer who can execute a system as designed, which is what Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone are looking for in their run-first scheme. There’s debate as to whether Jones belongs in the Top 10 of the draft, but we know that quarterbacks get driven up the board because of the importance of the position. I’d expect more passers to go in the first round than people may have expected a couple of months ago.
8. Detroit Lions – LB Devin White, LSU
Jarrad Davis is a solid player in the middle for Detroit, but they can continue to add talent to the second level of that defense. Davis is a freaky athlete who can play sideline to sideline and is built for today’s league. He should fit very well next to Davis and give the Lions a phenomenal one-two punch at linebacker.
9. Buffalo Bills – OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
Buffalo needs to continue bulking up that offensive line, and while he’s not perfect, Jonah Williams is a rock-solid prospect. He’s got great character, which is important to general manager Brandon Beane, can play either tackle spot or project to guard, and has experience with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (who coached the Tide offense in 2017, when Williams was viewed as a Top 5 selection by most analysts). I like the fit here on both sides.
10. Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
Lock is the kind of quarterback who makes sense for John Elway, who will look to take another stab at the position this offseason in the form of either a veteran or draft pick. Lock is a big-armed passer who can be a bit erratic with his accuracy, but overall, he’s a great kid with high upside who should hear his name called in the first round of April’s draft.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – G Cody Ford, Oklahoma
There’s plenty of defensive talent on the board, but it’s tough for me to pencil in a player on that side of the ball without knowing what scheme they will be utilizing. We should get more clarity in that realm in the coming days. Ford is a mauler who played right tackle for the Sooners this fall but played guard before that, and I like him best inside at the next level. I don’t love the scheme fit, but this makes a lot of sense from a need standpoint.
12. Green Bay Packers – EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
The Packers need to add more teeth to that pass rush, and Burns can provide that for sure. An undersized edge rusher with impressive athleticism, Burns has position versatility, an explosive first step, and a motor to match.
13. Miami Dolphins – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
The Dolphins have one young stud at corner in Xavien Howard and they add to that secondary with Williams, who has the size and twitch teams look for at the position to be able to live on an island in man coverage. Williams has high upside and while he doesn’t always play to it, he has a lot of the same flaws that Howard did coming out of Baylor, so he may be able to coach him up to reach that upside in the NFL.
14. Atlanta Falcons – DL Ed Oliver, Houston
Atlanta loves disruptors with high motors, and Oliver certainly presents Dan Quinn with both. Not only is Grady Jarrett an upcoming free agent, but next to him they could really use more juice getting after the quarterback. Oliver presents that team with a dynamic option inside. Six months ago, this would be viewed as a giant steal.
15. Washington Redskins – EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
Sweat has impressive length and really looks the part off the edge. There may be some off-field concerns there, but that’s never scared Washington in the past. They get a solid pass rusher to replace upcoming free agent Preston Smith to play opposite Ryan Kerrigan.
16. Carolina Panthers – EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers just retired and, regardless, the Panthers have a need off the edge there in Charlotte. They picked Peppers from nearby UNC back in 2002, so they go back to the local well this year and pick Ferrell from the Tigers. Ferrell lined up at right defensive end and was consistently productive throughout his four-year career at Clemson.
17. Cleveland Browns – DT Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State
Simmons reportedly won’t be allowed to attend the NFL Scouting Combine due to an off-field incident, but Cleveland hasn’t been scared by talented players with baggage in the past. They’d love to beef up that defensive line, and Simmons is seen by some as a Top 10 talent in this draft despite the issues and inconsistent production.
18. Minnesota Vikings – T Andre Dillard, Washington State
Dillard had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl and is one of the best pure tackles in this draft. There are some technical things to work through with him coming from Wazzu, but Dillard should be able to start relatively quickly for the Vikings.
19. Tennessee Titans – EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy told us on the Journey to the Draft podcast last week that Ferguson was more athletic than last year’s Top 15 pick from the Group of Five schools Marcus Davenport, and Ferguson nearly matches him with his arrival in Tennessee. The Titans took undersized pass rusher Harold Landry in the second round a year ago, but Ferguson offers them more of a base defensive end to play opposite him with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan hitting the free agent market this spring.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
The Steelers need help in that secondary in a bad way, and while I haven’t studied Murphy yet, he’s regarded as one of the top cover corners in the draft. The need makes a ton of sense in this spot.
21. Seattle Seahawks – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
This is a run-first team, but the Seahawks could use more explosiveness in that passing game, and Metcalf offers Pete Carroll with a physical phenom on the perimeter. Carroll tends to trend towards physical freaks who have overcome adversity, and Metcalf nearly suffered a career-ending neck injury a few months ago but reportedly has been cleared to take part in this month’s Scouting Combine.
22. Baltimore Ravens – RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
The Ravens always picked up a former Alabama star or two every offseason under Ozzie Newsome, so what better way for new general manager Eric DeCosta to pay homage to his mentor than to take Jacobs here. Baltimore will be a run-first operation with Lamar Jackson under center, and Jacobs has the highest upside of any runner in the draft.
23. Houston Texans – T Greg Little, Mississippi
The Texans are desperate for offensive line help, and Little is, arguably, the best blocker left on the board at tackle. The Texans can plug and play Little on the left side to protect Deshaun Watson. I nearly went with Senior Bowl standout Tytus Howard here.
24. Oakland Raiders – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
Hockenson may be the best in a loaded tight end group, and the Raiders need to continue adding pass catchers around Derek Carr ... or whoever is under center for the Silver and Black this fall.
Fran Duffy is the producer of the Emmy-nominated Eagles Game Plan show which can be seen every gameday during the season on NBC10 in Philadelphia. He is also the host of two Eagles-related podcasts, Eagle Eye in the Sky, which examines the team from an X's and O's angle each and every week as well as the Journey to the Draft podcast, which covers college football and the NFL Draft all year round. Fran also authors the Eagle Eye in the Sky column, which runs four times a week during the football season to serve as a recap for the previous game and to preview the upcoming matchup. Prior to joining the Eagles in 2011, Duffy was the head video coordinator for the Temple University football team under former head coach Al Golden. In that role, he spent thousands of hours shooting, logging, and assisting with the breakdown of the All-22 film from the team’s games, practices, and opponents.