Mock Draft Monday: Consensus No. 1, Jalen Carter in the Top 5, Raiders Landing a QB at No. 7, More
The next few Mondays at BN NFL are going to be all about mock drafts. I’ll find some mocks, and I’ll pick them apart, for better or worse, and we’ll discuss it here. Simple enough, right?
Let’s get right into it!
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman has C.J. Stroud going No. 1
“He’s so accurate and so calm. I wasn’t sure about the (Buckeyes) previous guy’s ability to read coverage. But I know C.J. can. He has such a good ability to process, and his anticipation is so good. He runs better than you think. He’s the complete package.”
That’s a quote from an unnamed NFL coach that Feldman shared in his latest mock draft at The Athletic. As a Bears fan, I don’t much care for that assessment. But Panthers fans should be over the moon about it.
Feldman points to new head coach Frank Reich’s history of playing with taller quarterbacks as an indicator that the Panthers will be hot on Stroud later this month. Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Carson Wentz are some of them.
Stroud checks in at 6-foot-3, while Bryce Young’s vertical deficiencies have been well-documented and commented upon throughout this process.
Here’s one more interesting coach quote from Feldman’s mock: “He’s the most accurate quarterback I’ve ever played against. It’s like he couldn’t have handed the ball to his receivers any better, and they’re 30, [or] 40 yards downfield. He’s got high-level NFL accuracy and NFL vision. I think he understands the game so well and gets it out in under three seconds. He has [a] very high football IQ.”
Exciting stuff for Panthers fans.
He’s not alone on that thought
Feldman is one of many who have Stroud heading to Carolina in the most recent mock drafts that I’ve come across. The Draft Network‘s Damian Parson, 4for4‘s Scott Smith, and ESPN’s Jordan Reid all have Stroud going to the Panthers at No. 1 as well.
I also have Stroud going to the Panthers at No. 1 in our BN NFL Mock Draft:
Is Jalen Carter sticking in the top five?
Despite Jalen Carter’s legal troubles and lackluster pro day last month, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman still has the Georgia defensive tackle in the top five. Feldman has the Seahawks taking Carter at No. 5 in his latest mock draft.
Here’s what one coach said to Feldman regarding Carter:
“Holy s—! (He) jumps off the tape … he is so big but so quick-twitch. He has an uncanny ability to redirect, and (he has) really good balance.”
ESPN’s Jordan Reid also has the Seahawks taking Jalen Carter at No. 5, for what it’s worth.
The Bears took an offensive lineman
No, it’s not Paris Johnson Jr. Instead, Feldman has the Bears taking Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski.
“The Bears need help up front and have a home-grown stud who should be good at tackle and could fill a need at center or guard. He’s that talented and versatile. He was more impressive athletically at the combine than many anticipated, vertical jumping 34.5 inches and broad jumping 9-7 (both second-best among O-linemen). The one thing he may be missing is ideal length for a tackle, with 32 1/2-inch arms, but he should be a standout interior lineman.”
So, Feldman does admit that Skoronski may be better suited as a guard than a tackle, which is why I wouldn’t count on it. I don’t think the Bears are taking a player who will have to move inside at No. 9. But that’s just me.
Can the Raiders land a QB without trading up?
The Raiders may have given Jimmy Garoppolo a three-year deal worth up to $72.5 million, but that doesn’t mean that they’re out on the QB market in the draft.
The belief is that the big four (Stroud, Young, Levis, and Richardson) could very well be gone by the time the Raiders are on the clock at No. 7. Which would require the Raiders to trade up with a team like the Cardinals, Lions, or Seahawks if they want in on the action. However, ESPN’s Jordan Reid has a scenario that would land the Raiders one of those QBs without trading anything to do so.
Reid has Stroud and Young going to the Panthers and Texans, while Anthony Richardson heads to Indianapolis. Reid has Will Anderson Jr. (Arizona), Jalen Carter (Seattle), and Tyree Wilson (Detroit) being taken in the top six, leaving Will Levis on the board at No. 7 for Vegas. If they want him, of course.