Nov 26, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) drops back to pass behind a block by Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen (54) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
John McClain: Mock draft 3.0: Five quarterbacks drafted in the first round
John McClain does his third of seven mock drafts leading up to the first round on April 27:
1. Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Stroud excelled during workouts at the combine and at his pro day. At 6-3, he’s still the shortest regular starter Frank Reich has employed.
2. Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Young will be a perfect fit for new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik’s system that showcases QBs who throw on the move.
3. Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
The Rotary Lombardi Award winner fills a desperate need after the Cardinals, who lost their starting defensive ends.
4. Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
GM Chris Ballard is desperate to select a franchise quarterback, and he goes with Levis over Anthony Richardson.
5. Seahawks: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Carter has off-the-field issues, but he may be the most talented prospect in the draft, and the Seahawks don’t hesitate to take him.
6. Lions: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
The Lions would rather have an interior pass rusher to collapse the pocket, but Wilson is too talented to pass up.
7. Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Josh McDaniels is tempted to take Anthony Richardson but passes him up and drafts the best prospect at his position.
8. Falcons: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The Falcons say they’re happy with Desmond Ridder, and they might be, but Arthur Smith is eager to work with a raw prospect like Richardson.
9. Bears: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
After trading down with the Panthers for multiple draft choices, the Bears fortify the offensive line with a terrific prospect.
10. Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The Eagles let their leading rusher, Miles Sanders, leave as a free agent and replace him with one of the best players in the draft.
11. Titans: Jaxson Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
It’s safe to predict an offensive lineman or wide receiver because Mike Vrabel needs both, so he goes for the skill position prospect.
12. Texans: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
Nick Caserio could trade down like he did with his second first-round pick last year. DeMeco Ryans wants to bolster the pass rush.
13. Jets: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
One of the draft’s best tackles should help provide immediate protection for the Jets’ new 39-year-old quarterback.
14. Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Bill Belichick targets a cornerback who many believe won’t be available at this spot, and it doesn’t take long to turn in the Patriots’ card.
15. Packers: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
His grandfather started at offensive tackle for Vince Lombardi and played on five championship teams, including two Super Bowl winners.
16. Commanders: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Ron Rivera has everything but a quarterback. Sam Howell started one game last season. Hooker will get time to recover from knee surgery.
17. Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
This Mike Tomlin pick keeps Porter in the family. His dad was an outstanding pass rusher for exceptional Bill Cowher defenses.
18. Lions: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
In a strong year for tight ends who can catch, Mayer is the highest rated at his position and gives them even more firepower on Dan Campbell’s offense.
19. Buccaneers: Nolan Smith, DE, Georgia
He’s undersized at 238, but he’s the quickest and fastest edge rusher in the draft, too talented for Todd Bowles to pass up.
20. Seahawks: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
After taking Jalen Carter with his first pick, Pete Carroll isn’t looking for another defensive lineman but takes Murphy, anyway.
21. Chargers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
The idea is to put talented players around Justin Herbert, and Kincaid can make catches all over the field.
22. Ravens: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
If he plays for the Ravens, Lamar Jackson should like this pick, a 6-3 receiver who gets a lot of yards after the catch.
23. Vikings: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
The Vikings can’t decide on which cornerback to take, so they go with Banks, who should contribute from day one.
24. Jaguars: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Wright fills a need position for Doug Pederson, who’s entering his second season as the defending AFC South champion.
25. Giants: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Another weapon for Daniel Jones and Brian Daboll will make sure Addison is used the right way in an offense that continues to grow.
26. Cowboys: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Ezekiel Elliott is gone. Tony Pollard is recovering from a knee injury. Jerry Jones takes Gibbs, who’s being compared to Alvin Kamara.
27. Bills: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
Sanders fills a need position and should help bolster Sean McDermott’s already good defense.
28. Bengals: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
Injuries in their offensive line may have kept the Bengals from reaching a second consecutive Super Bowl.
29. Saints: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
Dennis Allen can use a lot of help on both sides of the ball. Kancey is too good to pass up for the middle of his defensive line.
30. Eagles: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
The Eagles lost both coordinators and players on both sides of the ball. Branch will help the defense and should be an immediate starter.
31. Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Just what Patrick Mahomes needs – the fastest receiver in the draft. Andy Reid can’t wait to see them stretch opposing defenses.
(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).