Fran Duffy hosted the annual Mock Draft Extravaganza episode of the Journey to the Draft podcast that was released on Monday. Duffy solicited the opinions of local and national writers to glean insight as to what the teams could be planning for Thursday night. Here's analysis of the first 11 picks before the Eagles go on the clock.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
2. New York Jets – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
The consensus is that these quarterbacks will be the first two players to go off the board and it's been that way for quite some time. The intrigue begins with the No. 3 pick, acquired by the San Francisco 49ers in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.
3. San Francisco 49ers – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
"The 49ers believe that they have a Super Bowl-contending roster and, like the Buffalo Bills in 2019, drafting the highest-upside quarterback who also has the mental aptitude to only get better with the offense built around him will give (49ers Head Coach) Kyle Shanahan his best quarterback since RGIII," said Eric Galko, recently hired as the director of football operations and player personnel for the East-West Shrine Bowl.
4. Atlanta Falcons – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
"The board kind of rolled out perfectly for them because Fields has a high enough floor that he'll be able to play sooner rather than later if Matt Ryan struggles and there are less questions, to me at least, about how he would perform if given the reins early," said Charles McDonald, For The Win's senior NFL writer.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU
"They have over 100 targets to replace with the departure of A.J. Green and could use some speed and downfield ability in the player who replaces a franchise great. I think they'll look at Ja'Marr Chase and see a seamless fit, not only with the offense, but with the quarterback Joe Burrow," said longtime Bengals beat reporter Joe Goodberry.
6. Miami Dolphins – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
"Too unique a prospect to pass up and will provide a great short-to-intermediate target for Tua Tagovailoa in the passing game," said Alain Poupart, a former Dolphins staffer who now writes for Sports Illustrated.
7. Detroit Lions – T Penei Sewell, Oregon
"It's the first pick for a new regime in Detroit and that means there is extra significance on getting this pick right. Offensive tackle is not the Lions' biggest need – it's not even in the top-five needs on the roster – but Sewell has the high-end potential to be a dominant bookend presence for years," said Jeff Risdon, managing editor of The Lions Wire.
8. Carolina Panthers – T Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
"Rashawn Slater might not have the ideal tackle size, but his athleticism, movement, and anchor are eye-popping," said Josh Norris, host of The Underdog Football Show.
9. Denver Broncos – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
"The inside linebacker position is the only weak spot on the Broncos' defense. They need someone with the athleticism to cover some the best tight ends in the league which reside in the AFC West – Travis Kelce, Darren Waller. Parsons fits that bill for (Head Coach) Vic Fangio," said Cecil Lammey of DenverFan.com.
10. Dallas Cowboys – CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama
"While I think both Surtain and Jaycee Horn are very capable Cover 3 corners, my guess is that they'll view Surtain as a cleaner prospect because of the tackling, more well-rounded, and a higher floor," said Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
11. New York Giants – WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
"They don't necessarily need a wide receiver at this point, but they like his talent. They've got close connections on the Alabama staff. It's hard to pass him up with Rashawn Slater off the board," said Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com.
To see how the rest of the first round shakes out, listen to the episode now.