It's time for another mock draft. This time around, at least the OL waited until a few weeks in to completely fall apart. With the way the season is seemingly going, we might have a few high picks to utilize. Here's to a team-wide refresh, and a possible QB competition between Hurts and Minshew.
Round 1, Pick 9: Andrew Booth Jr. (CB) (Clemson)
Height: 6 ft 0 in | Weight 200 lbs | Rank: #8
Andrew Booth Jr. is an elite competitor who plays an aggressive brand of football. He boasts an elite athletic profile, and had displayed elite attributes in both man and zone defense. He's sticky and tight in coverage, knows how to use his hips and length, and does a good job utilizing his footwork to maintain leverage on routes. He's also a solid tackler, with a division lowest missed tackle rate among defensive backs. While Derek Stingley Jr. is the clear cut best corner in the class, Booth Jr. is a top 15 pick in his own right and arguably has a better grip on the mental side of the game. He projects as a starting outside corner with all-pro potential in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Marlon Humphrey
Round 1, Pick 13: Tyler Lindbaum (C) (Iowa)
Height: 6 ft 3 in | Weight 290 lbs | Rank: #14
Tyler Lindbaum possesses the natural movement skills and functional athleticism to be a high-end starting center in a wide-zone style offense. The quickness in which he gets out of blocks is super impressive, and you can see his wrestling background shine through in his elite footwork and ability to win leverage points. He is also adept at the mental side of the game, as a 3-year starting center, showcasing the capability to read defensive alignments and make adjustments. While other center prospects like Alec Lindstrom possess the prototypical size that NFL teams look for, the tape on Lindbaum is undeniable. Lindbaum projects as a day one starting center in the NFL with pro-bowl potential.
NFL Comparison: Corey Linsley
Round 2, Pick 41: Brandon Joseph (S) (Northwestern)
Height: 6 ft 1 in | Weight 192 lbs | Rank: #35
There aren't a lot of holes in Brandon Joseph's game other than experience, having only played in 13 collegiate games, and starting 9 of them. That said, he played well beyond his experience level as a redshirt freshman in 2020, where he led his team in interceptions with 6, and recorded 52 tackles and 2 passes defended as well. Joseph has tremendous ball skills and good instincts on an elite defense that asks their secondary to do a lot. Joseph has played all across the secondary, dropping down into nickel coverage during the Big 10 Championship to blanket Ohio State's
Garrett Wilson, arguably the 2nd best WR in the country. Joseph projects as a starting strong safety in a zone match defense at the next level.
NFL Comparison: Marcus Maye
Round 2, Pick 44: Drake London (WR) (USC)
Height: 6 ft 5 in | Weight 210 lbs | Rank: #43
Drake London primarily lines up in the slot for the Trojans offense. He's an excellent natural athlete with body control and fluidity as a route runner. In the run game, he has shown the aptitude to be a solid blocker, having taken on both linebackers and defensive ends in lateral moves. He has reliable hands, and understands how to use his size as leverage against smaller corners. This is a necessary strait, as he lacks straight line speed, and quickness at the point of release. He projects as a starting receiver at any place in the formation in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Keenan Allen
Round 3, Pick 73: Nicholas Petit-Frere (OT) (Ohio State)
Height: 6 ft 5 in | Weight 315 lbs | Rank: #67
A former 5-star recruit, and high school wrestler, Nicholas Petit-Frere plays with dynamic movement and solid power. On any given rep, he's capable of washing defenders down the line, and pushing to climb in the gun game. As a pass protector, Petit-Frere has the needed length and reach to extend and create steep angles around the edge for opposing pass rushers. The caveat is that Petit-Frere is relatively inexperienced and raw as a starter and would be better off sitting behind a veteran for a season to learn the technical aspects of the game. Otherwise, he projects as a 2nd year starting right tackle in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Braden Smith
Round 4, Pick 111: Amari Gainer (LB) (Florida State)
Height: 6 ft 3 in | Weight 237 lbs | Rank: #99
Amari Gainer is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker, whom FSU utilizes in a variety of looks across their defensive formation. Gainer has taken snaps at 3-4 outside linebacker, box safety, nickel cover, and traditional off-ball linebacker. He has terrific closing speed and can carry running backs down the field. In run defense he does lack ideal strength and size for the position, and has not shown the consistent ability to exchange power and shed blockers in the run game. He projects as a starting MIKE linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.
NFL Comparison: Christian Kirksey
Round 5, Pick 151: Zonovan Knight (RB) (N.C. State)
Height: 5 ft 11 in | Weight 210 lbs | Rank: #142
Zonovan Knight is an explosive and physical runner with balance, patience, and committed decisiveness. He has a natural feel for navigated zone runs, anticipating creases, and pressing the line of scrimmage with intent to widen lanes. He keeps his feet moving through contact, and has the capability to grind out short yardage. Provides additional value as a kick returner and pass catcher out of the backfield. In 2020 he averaged 27 yards per kick return with 1 return for a touchdown. Knight is currently averaging 5.7 yards per carry, with 1910 yards and 17 TDs over 3 seasons in a split backfield with Rickie Person Jr. Still has room for improvement as a blocker on passing downs, as well as picking up blocks in space on screens. Projects as a rotational back in a zone rushing attack a part of a spread passing game.
NFL Comparison: Alex Collins
Round 5, Pick 152: Thomas Booker (DL) (Stanford)
Height: 6 ft 3 in | Weight 310 lbs | Rank: #148
Thomas Booker aligns all over the defensive front for the Cardinal's 3-4 defense. He has experience at 0, 3, 4i, and 5-tech in a pro-style scheme. Booker is a sufficient athlete, with good pop in his hips and hands when coming off the ball. in the run game, he is proficient in inside runs, but does not feature the lateral quickness to get to the outside. He plays with good pad level and has explosiveness downhill. He will need to be taught better mechanics to shed blocks and widen his arsenal of pass rush moves. Booker projects best as a 4-3 3-tech in a rotation.
NFL Comparison: Nathan Shepherd
Round 6, Pick 191: James Mitchell (TE) (Virginia Tech)
Height: 6 ft 3 in | Weight 255 lbs | Rank: #189
James Mitchell was a four-time all-state tight end, as well as a star basketball player with D1 offers in that sport. He is a smooth athlete with terrific hands and body control. His basketball background shines at the point of the catch, and in his ability to make bodily adjustments on the fly. On the other side, he has adequate size but doesn't wow with his measurables. He's a willing blocker but has not displayed any significant ability in that area. He's an F tight end and can find production if used correctly, but isn't a classic in-line player. Will need to diversify his NFL route tree.
NFL Comparison: Jordan Akins