Dave Birkett’s mock draft 4.0: Detroit Lions land one of top non-QB prospects at No. 7

Detroit Free Press

The NFL draft kicks off one week from today, and with the first couple picks all but locked into place, it’s time for my fourth mock draft of the spring.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Too many people are making a fuss out of nothing over what Lawrence said to former Freep columnist Michael Rosenberg in his great Sports Illustrated profile last week.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first pick in the NFL draft later this month.

2. New York Jets

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Bold but correct move by Robert Saleh to hitch his wagon to a rookie quarterback, even if I’m not sure Wilson is the right one.

3. San Francisco 49ers

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

It didn’t matter what Justin Fields and Trey Lance did at their second pro days. Kyle Shanahan is smitten with Jones.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The hot rumor here is that Atlanta will take Kyle Pitts. But if owner Arthur Blank truly wants a quarterback, who’s going to tell him no?

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Joe Burrow and his favorite target from LSU’s 2019 national championship team will make sweet music again.

6. Miami Dolphins

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

It’s Pitts or Chase for the Dolphins, with one of the Alabama receivers waiting as a consolation price if only three quarterbacks go in the top six.

7. Detroit Lions

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

I had a scout speculate to me the other day that the Lions might go Rashawn Slater over Sewell if both are on the board. Slater is the safer pick, and can play any position. But Sewell is a stud with the potential to be one of the premier tackles in the game.

3. Giants - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

8. Carolina Panthers

Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern

The Panthers need receiver help, too, but Slater is a Day 1 starter with a high floor who will be just as valuable to new quarterback Sam Darnold.

9. Denver Broncos

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Not sure what Wednesday’s news that he’s managing epilepsy will do to his draft stock, but Fields is absolutely worthy of a top-10 pick based on talent and potential.

10. Dallas Cowboys

Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

Jerry Jones can’t swing the big trade up for Pitts, so the Cowboys get help for their defense instead.

11. New York Giants

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

This goes against everything Dave Gettleman stands for, but at some point, the Alabama receivers are too good to pass up.

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

A new partner in crime for Darius Slay in the Eagles’ secondary.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Smart move by the Chargers to protect their investment in Justin Herbert.

NFL draft preview: Starters available at OT into Round 2

NFL draft preview: Lions largely set at RB; Najee Harris stands apart as top prospect

14. Minnesota Vikings

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Mike Zimmer loves his linebackers and Parsons can help in a variety of ways.

15. New England Patriots

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Patriots went on a spending spree this offseason, but their receiving corps is still subpar.

16. Arizona Cardinals

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

He’s the most talented corner in the draft, but the injury concerns are significant.

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

The Raiders traded Gabe Jackson, Trent Brown and Rodney Hudson this offseason. Some help upfront is warranted.

18. Miami Dolphins

Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

If the Dolphins revisit a Xavien Howard trade, Newsome gives them a ready-made replacement.

19. Washington

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The Football Team needs more help on offense, but the value here is defense.

20. Chicago Bears

Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami

Phillips is one of the draft’s biggest boom-bust prospects given his injury history. With his job on the line, GM Ryan Pace can take a calculated roll of the dice.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford runs for a first down as MIchigan's Kwity Paye chases during the first half against Michigan at Beaver Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

21. Indianapolis Colts

Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

This is a good landing spot for the twitchy Paye, whose production never matched his tools at Michigan.

22. Tennessee Titans

Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame 

A year after taking massive bust Isaiah Wilson in Round 1, the Titans go the safer route on their offensive line.

23. New York Jets

Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

You didn’t think Jared Davis was the answer at linebacker, did you?

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Steelers have tricked themselves into believing they can contend in 2021.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

The Jaguars have two second-round picks to get Lawrence more help on offense.

26. Cleveland Browns

Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Cleveland might be tempted here to start the run on the second tier of receivers.

27. Baltimore Ravens

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

With Jenkins available at 27, the Ravens can trade disgruntled offensive tackle Orlando Brown.

28. New Orleans Saints

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Sean Payton will have to manufacture more offense this fall, and Toney is the type of player who can help him do it.

Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney (1) is pushed out of bounds by LSU safety Maurice Hampton Jr. (14) after Toney caught a pass for a 49-yard gain during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla.

29. Green Bay Packers

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Packers finally spend an early draft pick on a receiver only to see him play the bulk of his career with another quarterback?

30. Buffalo Bills

Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

Getting another pass rusher for that defense will solidify the Bills’ hold on the AFC East.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

I kept Oweh out of my first few mock drafts, but his freakish athletic ability is too hard to ignore.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia

Todd Bowles has to be salivating at the chance to add another pass rusher to the mix.

In: Eichenberg, Oweh

Out: Jalen Mayfield, Landon Dickerson

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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