With half of the season spent and already a few teams buried from playoff contention, mock draft season is in full swing for most of the league. Don’t worry, it’s not sad, it’s fine.
Here at The Draft Network, you can read a new mock draft every Monday and see my review of each mock afterward, with second and third round updates coming later in the week. If you want to do your own mock draft for your favorite team, open our Mock Draft Machine and take control of the reins yourself!
I sat down with Kyle Crabbs’ Mock Draft 3.1 and highlighted the five best fits from the second round that he released earlier this week.
Miami Dolphins: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins (Pick No. 38)
Man, maybe Crabbs is just good at this whole “drafting for the Dolphins” thing. Can’t imagine why.
The Dolphins need an improvement at stack linebacker beside Jerome Baker, a solid weakside linebacker who fills several roles in the Brian Flores defense but doesn’t have the stopping power preferred for an off-ball SAM. That’s an important role for this Patriots defense, and it’s currently filled by the combined efforts of Elandon Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill.
Collins’ unique combination of athleticism and size works for the Patriots’ defensive system—don’t forget, Dont’a Hightower is one of the most important Patriots defensive pieces, playing off-ball linebacker at 260 pounds. That makes Collins a legitimate threat as a rusher from the EDGE and through the A-gap as a sledgehammer at velocity, while improving the Dolphins’ run defense in the box. You love to see it.
New England Patriots: Georgia iDL Jordan Davis (Pick 47)
I once gave a nod to the Patriots’ selection of Tyler Shelvin in this column, lauding Shelvin’s fit as a two-gapping nose tackle who can win on early downs in a role that the Patriots prioritize. The LSU behemoth is still a great player for New England, but Jordan Davis is a better prospect outright, both in Year 1 contributions and in Year 3 projections.
Davis has also proven that he can dominate in the running game from a variety of alignments and techniques, but with his length and quickness at his size, does have the profile of a successful pocket pusher on passing downs who can quickly move the quarterback off his spot, helping edge rushers generate easier paths to sacks. He makes sense as a Round 2 fit for a lot of teams, but no team more than the Patriots.
Seattle Seahawks: Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele
I can’t remember if I’ve seen this one before or not, but I love it so much that I feel like I have. Seattle has always valued, perhaps more than any team in the league, absolutely gigantic offensive linemen who may need more time in the league than ideal for their pick caliber. Looking at you, Germain Ifedi!
Now, they haven’t invested a Round 1 pick in an offensive lineman since Ifedi in 2016, and none in Round 2 since 2017 (Ethan Pocic). Offensive line picks haven’t gone well for them recently, but Faalele represents a worthy investment because of his high ceiling. Faalele is truly an elite offensive tackle athlete even by Seattle standards, but with Brandon Shell and Duane Brown both still under contract through 2021, he won’t need to start in Year 1. That’ll help his developmental track as he continues to round out technically.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Florida WR Kadarius Toney (Pick 59)
Tampa Bay’s offense is at a pretty good spot at wide receiver, with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans presenting one of the most dangerous duos in the league when both are healthy. Unfortunately, both have endured injuries this year, while still settling in with their new starting quarterback in Tom Brady. Scotty Miller has been a viable field-stretcher and rookie wide receiver Tyler Johnson is a nice depth piece.
So no, they don’t need Toney. But imagine the matchups you could get for Toney working in motion and on shallow targets. He’s a great fit as an underneath target, in that he’s one of the best YAC players in the class, and he adds to the anemic running game by maximizing backfield touches with constraint plays and jet sweeps. Money in the bank.
New Orleans Saints: Alabama QB Mac Jones (Pick No. 63)
Here’s why this fit is great: the vertical ball. Jones is far from a perfect quarterback prospect, but the end of Round 2 is already a pretty good value for his ability—and the peak of his ability is deep, vertical shots to Alabama’s athletes.
Now, the Saints offense hasn’t thrown a true vertical route in the last three years because of Drew Brees’ arm strength (this is an exaggeration, please don’t send me clips), so their wide receiver room isn’t exactly built for a sudden shift to a deep passing game. With that said, Sean Payton has an Air Raid background and understands the importance of explosive passing gains, which is reflected in his interest in Jameis Winston as a one-year flier behind Brees.
We’ll get a look at the sort of offense Payton can concoct for Winston this next week as Brees is out with a rib injury, and if Winston looks good, perhaps the Saints won’t need this pick at all. But if not, Jones presents an interesting camp battle quarterback for his NFL-ready frame, arm, and penchant for the deep ball.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022