Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tyler Kaufman/AP/Shutterstock (13612789p) Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La Alabama LSU Football, Baton Rouge, United States – 05 Nov 2022
John McClain Mock Draft 1.0: Texans select Bryce Young with first pick
John McClain does his first of seven mock drafts leading up to the first round on April 27:
- Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Frank Reich had big quarterbacks at Philly and Indy. He traded a lot of picks and his best receiver to move into the top spot to get Stroud.
- Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Nick Caserio stays put and gets his franchise quarterback. Young has everything the Texans want other than size.
- Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
The Rotary Lombardi Award winner is the best pure pass rusher in the draft and has no blemishes on his character.
- Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
New coach Shane Steichen has a five-year contract and did a tremendous job helping develop Jalen Hurts. He’ll give Richardson time to mature.
- Seahawks: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Pete Carroll has shown he’ll take players with character issues. Carter may be the most talented player in the draft, but he’s got baggage.
- Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The first of five cornerbacks drafted in the first round, Gonzalez should be an instant starter for Dan Campbell.
- Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
After getting rid of Derek Carr, Josh McDaniels selects a prospect with a cannon, but Levis needs a lot of time to develop.
- Falcons: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
Arthur Smith wants to bolster his pass rush, and once Wilson is 100 percent, he’ll step into the lineup and make the Falcons happy.
- Bears: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
After trading down with the Panthers for multiple picks, they get a tackle close to home who should anchor the position for years.
- Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Miles Sanders will be an unrestricted free agent. Robinson will step right in and become a terrific runner and receiver.
- Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Mike Vrabel is desperate to rebuild his offensive line, and he starts with a replacement for left tackle Taylor Lewan.
- Texans: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
Nick Caserio considers a wide receiver to pair with Bryce Young, but DeMeco Ryans wants a pass rusher who can pressure the quarterback.
- Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Aaron Rodgers is going to need protection, right? Jones is coming off a second consecutive national championship and should be a Day One starter.
- Patriots: Jaxson Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
If new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien wants to help Mac Jones rebound from his sophomore jinx, he’s going to need a go-to receiver.
- Packers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
This is a position the Packers need to upgrade for new quarterback Jordan Love, who’ll be under a lot of pressure as Aaron Rodgers’ replacement.
- Commanders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Ron Rivera needs a quarterback. He’s got a productive running game and a terrific defense, so he takes a highly rated cornerback.
- Steelers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
His stock rose significantly with his blazing 40 time at the combine. Mike Tomlin will play him at outside linebacker opposite T.J. Watt.
- Lions: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
After filling a need at cornerback with their first pick, the Lions move to bolster their offensive line with this underrated tackle.
- Buccaneers: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
The Bucs would love to get Bijan Robinson, but he’s long gone, so they go for a pass rusher who’ll be a valuable addition to the defense.
- Seahawks: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
This isn’t a need position, but Porter is too good to pass up. He’s got great size, good speed, and an impressive defensive pedigree.
- Chargers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Justin Herbert is going to be excited to play with a receiver with the best combination of size and speed. He should contribute right away.
- Ravens: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Addison lacks ideal size, but few receivers were more consistent in college. He’ll develop an excellent relationship with Lamar Jackson.
- Vikings: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Teams can never have enough cornerbacks. The Vikings will need for Forbes to be a big-time producer as a rookie.
- Jaguars: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
In his second season, Doug Pederson wants to get more physical up front, and he gets the highest-rated interior lineman in the draft.
- Giants: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Not only did Daniel Jones get a new contract, but the Giants got him a new receiver, too. Flowers is undersized but has outstanding speed.
- Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
This is a position of need for Mike McCarthy, who’s going to call plays for the first time since he coached the Packers. Mayer will make his job easier.
- Bills: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Sean McDermott has issues on the back end. Branch is the best safety prospect in the draft, and he should be an impressive producer as a rookie.
- Bengals: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Bengals thought they had their line problems solved, but injuries hurt them in the playoffs. Wright can play the right side or on the inside.
- Saints: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
They’d love to get a player to become a weapon for Derek Carr, but they need to load up in the secondary, and Banks is too good to pass up.
- Eagles: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Free agency could decimate their defensive line. After an injury-plagued season, Bresee impressed at the combine and seems like a safe pick.
- Chiefs: Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech
Andy Reid will be tempted to give Patrick Mahomes another weapon, but they’ll need an edge rusher to replace Frank Clark. White is a natural fit.
(John McClain writes four columns a week for GallerySports.com. He can be heard Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday on Sports Radio 610 and Thursday on Texans Radio. He does three weekly Houtopia podcasts for 610. He also can be read three times a week on SportsRadio610.com).
First edge rushers
Second wide receiver