BearsHQ's NFL First-Round Mock Draft 3.0
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

BearsHQ's NFL First-Round Mock Draft 3.0

by - Correspondent -

With the NFL Draft just days away, ChicagoBearsHQ’s final mock draft before the Bears are on the clock on Thursday, April 25 (7 p.m./ABC) will include mock trades.

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers) - Caleb Williams, Quarterback (USC)

At this point, it seems all but certain Chicago will draft Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft and set the tone for the franchise's future. He will be coming in with two dynamic weapons at receiver, DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, putting the Bears in playoff contention immediately.

2. Washington Commanders - Jayden Daniels, Quarterback (LSU)

The Commanders recently hosted a slew of quarterbacks in a group meeting, surprising many, including reportedly in Daniels’ camp. Despite this odd meeting, it is strongly projected that Washington will select Daniels with the No. 2 overall pick.

3. Minnesota Vikings (from New England Patriots in a mock trade) - Drake Maye, Quarterback (North Carolina)

New England has a lot of needs, so they greatly value draft capital. Minnesota gives them an offer they cannot refuse so the Vikings can acquire their quarterback of the future in, Drake Maye. While 2023 was not the best season for him, he showed what he is capable of in 2022.

4. Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr, Wide Receiver (Ohio State)

Arizona is without its No. 1 receiver. While there are talks about them moving around like they did last season, Harrison Jr. is a generational talent, and if they move out of No. 4, they most likely will not land him. So, Arizona stays at No. 4 and drafts the wide receiver of their future.

There have been rumors about Arizona trading down to acquire more draft capital. However, Harrison is too good to pass up and they have 10 other picks in this draft already; acquiring quality talent at this pick is more important than getting more picks.

5. Los Angeles Chargers - Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver (Washington)

With Harrison Jr off the board and the Chargers desperately in need of a starting wide receiver after losing both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chargers draft Odunze to go with their first-rounder from last season, receiver Quentin Johnston, to establish a new dynamic duo.

6. Las Vegas Raiders (from New York Giants in a mock trade) - J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback (Michigan)

The trend is that teams will be making moves to the top 10 for McCarthy. While some are projecting the top five, McCarthy falls just one short and goes at No. 6 overall. New York gets a lot of picks in this deal to help them with their rebuild, while Las Vegas gets their quarterback of the future.

7. Tennessee Titans - Joe Alt, Offensive Lineman (Notre Dame)

With all of the wide receiver and quarterback action, the Titans wait and have Alt fall right into their lap at No. 7 overall. This will bolster their offensive line and help them build a strong offense.

8. New England Patriots (from Minnesota Vikings, via Atlanta Falcons in two mock trades) - Bo Nix, Quarterback (Oregon)

The No. 8 overall pick changes hands a few times. However, it finally lands in the hands of the Patriots who use it to acquire their quarterback. Nix is an elite quarterback in his own right and will prove to be key in the future of the franchise for the Patriots.

9. New York Giants (from Las Vegas Raiders, via Chicago Bears in two mock trades) - Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver (LSU)

While it may seem a shock that Chicago would trade out of the No. 9 pick with an elite wide receiver on the board, they are also in search of draft capital. Las Vegas uses this as a stepping stone to get McCarthy. So, the Giants land an elite receiver to build the franchise around while they have to deal with quarterback Daniel Jones for one more season.

10. New York Jets - Olumuyima Fashanu, Offensive Lineman (Penn State)

With all of the trades above them, one of the best left tackles in the draft fell to the Jets. With their dynamic duo at receiver, they need to prioritize the left tackle position in this draft to protect Aaron Rodgers’ blind side and do just that at No. 10.

11. Atlanta Falcons (from Minnesota Vikings in mock trade) - Dallas Turner, Edge (Alabama)

Atlanta was looking to go defense the entire time with their first-rounder and took advantage of the quarterback frenzy to acquire more draft capital and get the best defensive player on the board. They also fill a crucial need for an edge rusher.

12. Denver Broncos - Michael Penix Jr, Quarterback (Washington)

Despite trading for Zach Wilson, the Broncos realize he is not the answer to their quarterback question. However, he proved last season he makes a decent backup option and could help mentor a rookie quarterback. So, Denver uses their first-rounder on a quarterback to build around for the foreseeable future.

13. Chicago Bears (from Las Vegas Raiders in mock trade) - Jared Verse, Edge (Florida State)

Chicago needs an edge to go alongside Montez Sweat and make their defense elite. Further, with their offense set with Williams at quarterback, Allen and Moore as the top receiver, Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett at tight end and D’Andre Swift at running back, the Bears do not need to address their offense with their second pick of the draft. Instead, they improve their defense and try to mold themselves into a high-powered team.

14. New Orleans Saints - JC Lathan, Offensive Tackle (Alabama)

The Saints' greatest priority is replacing Trevor Penning at left tackle. With Lathan, they accomplish just that and greatly improve their team. While they have many other needs, this provides a step in the right direction.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Terrion Arnold, Cornerback (Alabama)

Arnold now seems like the No. 1 cornerback in the draft, whereas before, it was a bit in question. Indianapolis needs a cornerback more than any other position, and luckily, with a lack of interest in elite cornerbacks, they get their pick at who fits their defense the best and pick Arnold.

16. Seattle Seahawks - Troy Fantanu, Offensive Lineman (Washington)

Seattle's greatest need is probably linebacker. However, with a weaker linebacker class, the Seahawks opt to wait until the second round to address this need and instead choose Fantanu with the intention of having him play at guard, especially given his experience on the interior.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars - Nate Wiggins, Cornerback (Clemson)

Jacksonville is another team with a lot of needs. However, they have a lot of offensive talent and thus decide to address the defensive side of the ball. They seem to have a knack for Clemson products and add another to their team with this pickup.

18. Cincinnati Bengals - Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle (Texas)

Cincinnati probably has a greater need for an offensive line. But since they do need a defensive tackle, they could not pass on Murphy II, who would fall to them at No. 18 overall and give their defense a huge boost, especially after releasing D.J. Reader.

19. Los Angeles Rams - Laiatu Latu, Edge (UCLA)

Latu steps in to fill the incredibly large hole in the defense left by Aaron Donald’s retirement. The All-American has a similar body type to Donald, although he could benefit from adding a little weight as long as it does not affect his speed.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver (Oregon)

Russell Wilson needs to throw to someone other than George Pickens, especially since Diontae Johnson is now a Carolina Panther. So, the Steelers picked up Franklin to step into that role. His numbers this past season were elite, with 1,383 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, making him a strong addition.

21. Carolina Panthers (from Miami Dolphins in mock trade) - Brock Bowers, Tight End (Georgia)

Not many teams need a tight end, but the Carolina Panthers are certainly one of them. They have been working to build the talent around Bryce Young, and Bowers is a crucial addition to that. Miami gains a second-round draft pick and another day-three pick to allow Carolina back in the first round.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback (Toledo)

There have been some concerns about Mitchell because he is coming from a small school. However, the Eagles decide to take their chances to get the cornerback who has led his conference in passes defended for the past two seasons.

23. New England Patriots (from Minnesota Vikings in mock trade, via Houston Texans via Cleveland Browns) - Brian Thomas Jr, Wide Receiver (LSU)

Part of that monstrous trade New England accepted to trade away the No. 3 overall pick and drop to No. 8 involved acquiring the No. 23 pick as well. So, they use this opportunity to acquire a No. 1 receiver to pair with Drake Maye. Thomas Jr had a breakout season last year with 17 touchdowns, adding a large presence to the Patriots that could help turn their franchise around quickly.

24. Dallas Cowboys - Taliese Fuaga, Offensive Lineman (Oregon State)

How did the best right tackle in the draft fall to Dallas? He is one of the best offensive line products in this draft, and if more teams were in the market for right tackles, he certainly would be gone by now. However, Dallas catches a break and gets a strong right tackle at No. 24 overall.

25. Green Bay Packers - Jordan Morgan, Offensive Tackle (Arizona)

One of the pressing issues for Green Bay is the blind side of quarterback Jordan Love since the Packers released long-time lineman David Bakhtiari. They address this issue by drafting Morgan.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback (Alabama)

After three cornerbacks went off the board, the Buccaneers still need a solid cornerback. This pick addresses their most pressing need, and while they also need a linebacker, this can wait until the later rounds.

27. Cleveland Browns (from Arizona Cardinals in mock trade, via Houston Texans) - Chop Robinson, Edge

The Arizona Cardinals addressed their biggest need with the No. 4 overall pick. Their other pressing needs can be addressed in later rounds. While they certainly do not need the draft capital, they do not have a need to keep this pick. Conversely, the Browns want to get into the first round. So, they go for the player who has recorded 17.5 tackles for loss in the past two seasons and was fifth in the Big Ten in forced fumbles last season.

28. Buffalo Bills - Adonai Mitchell, Wide Receiver (Texas)

With Khalil Shakir certainly slated as their No. 1 receiver, the Bills fix that problem with the speedster out of Texas, who is a proven end zone threat, especially after getting 11 touchdowns last season.

29. Detroit Lions - Darius Robinson, Edge (Missouri)

Despite their playoff run that took them to the conference championship, Detroit still has some large gaps to fill. The biggest is on defense, as they need another edge rusher to pair with Aidan Hutchinson. Robinson fills this gap and elevates the Lions’ defense.

30. Baltimore Ravens - Devontez Walker, Wide Receiver (North Carolina)

If Baltimore would have had a solid No. 2 receiver, maybe they could have gone farther in the playoffs. So, to ensure this problem does not plague them again, they draft Walker as a strong player who can step into the No. 2 role immediately.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Amarius Mims, Offensive Tackle (Georgia)

Teams that need right tackles get lucky in this draft. For San Francisco, they got a high quality player for their greatest need while sitting at the No. 31 overall pick. Building the line is essential for them to run their offense with running back Christian McCaffrey and protect quarterback Brock Purdy.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Xavier Worthy, Wide Receiver (Texas)

Even the Super Bowl champion needs some improvement. Wide receiver was a problem for them all season and with the possibility of their top receiver, Rashee Rice, missing time during the regular season becoming more likely, the Chiefs are in more urgent need of a wide receiver. Personally, I believe without the Rice situation, they would still draft Worthy. However, this makes their need for a receiver more urgent.

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