We’re just over a week away from Round 1 (Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. ET, ESPN / ABC / ESPN App), and wanted to take it a step further than my Mock Draft 3.0. You’ll notice some changes in the top 32 picks based on what I heard recently, and then predicted picks 33-64, from Cincinnati to Seattle. I tried to meet the needs of post-free agencies and also follow my ranking to find value choices.
Discover the special SportsCenter around my Mock Draft 4.0 Tuesday at 3.30pm. AND on ESPN, followed by a replay at 6 AND on ESPN2.
Go to tour: 1 | 2
More coverage: Superteams
Kiper’s rankings | Mailbag
Complete order project | Podcast
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU | Strong points
The Bengals are in an excellent position to reset their franchise and take the winner of the Heisman Trophy, which is clearly the best quarterback in this category. Burrow is expected to boost a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1990. Now, can Cincinnati get anything in a swap for Andy Dalton, or will he cut it after the draft?
Chase Young, DE, State of Ohio | Strong points
Unless Washington comes back to try to add more choice – and it would take a huge hit, as I mentioned in my mail bag last week – I stick with Young, a sensational rusher and one of the most ready defenders for the NFL I’ve graduated in recent years. Ron Rivera’s defense is talented, and now all eyes are on quarterback Dwayne Haskins in second year.
Jeff Okudah, BC, State of Ohio | Strong points
After trading in Darius Slay, the Lions brought in Desmond Trufant, but he is no longer in corner 1. Okudah could be that guy, and he would instantly help the last pass defense in the league. Detroit could solicit trade offers to add valuable choices, but Matt Patricia is 9-22-1 in two seasons as a coach, so he must win now to keep his job. His best bet could be to take the best cornerback in the repechage.
Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson | Strong points
The Giants should take an attacking tackle with one of their top two picks, but I would not pass Simmons, who has rare athleticism and versatility. Glue it to the linebacker and let it chase the ball carriers, rush the passer and cover the tight ends. Simmons never has to leave the field. New coach Joe Judge will love it.