On Wednesday, former New York Jets NFL general manager (and Miami Dolphins front-office executive) Mike Tannenbaum published an ESPN mock draft, making a point to explain that he was taking a different approach than some other analysts might.
I’m leaving the actual Round 1 predictions to my colleagues. This isn’t what I’m expecting or what I’m hearing. Instead, what follows is how I’d make each first-round pick if I were representing each of the 24 teams with at least one Day 1 selection. It’s based off my own evaluations and preferences, along with what I believe makes the most sense for every team on the board.
Using this approach, many of the same faces appeared in Tannenbaum’s first-round selections — although some ended up in different positions than we usually see. For the Kansas City Chiefs, Tannenbaum chose a wide receiver and defensive end.
29. Kansas City Chiefs WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
The Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill. Now they have the chance to use one of the picks that came to Kansas City in return to draft his replacement. Williams tore his ACL and won’t be ready for Week 1, but his explosion and speed make him the ideal Chiefs draft pick. I was really impressed with Williams’ play in the SEC Championship, when he had seven catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
30. Kansas City Chiefs DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
Turning to defense, I want to get a productive edge rusher. Only three teams had fewer sacks than the Chiefs’ 31 in 2021, but Ebiketie posted 9.5 sacks for Penn State last season after transferring from Temple.
Just as in the Bucky Brooks mock we covered on Wednesday, we see an analyst move to replace wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the first round — but unlike Brooks, he uses Kansas City’s other pick to take a defensive end instead of a safety. Also, unlike Brooks, he goes with a wideout from a top-line school — albeit one with an injury that may keep him off the field for at least part of the upcoming season. Interestingly, edge rushers like Purdue’s George Karlaftis and Minnesota’s Boye Mafe were still available when Tannenbaum sent Ebiketie to Kansas City. He is not, however, alone in this judgment. The former Nittany Lion has been mocked to the Chiefs in two other recent first-round projections.
National Mock Draft Picks
|EDGE||Arnold Ebiketie||Penn State||5%|
|WR||Jahan Dotson||Penn State||4%|
|DE||Cameron Thomas||San Diego State||2%|
|EDGE||Jermaine Johnson II||Florida State||2%|
|DE||DeMarvin Leal||Texas A&M||2%|
|WR||Chris Olave||Ohio State||2%|
|WR||Christian Watson||N. Dakota State||2%|
|WR||Garrett Wilson||Ohio State||2%|
|WR||Skyy Moore||W. Michigan||2%|
|OL||Bernhard Raimann||Central Michigan||2%|
National Mock Draft Positions
Which of these wideouts would you prefer?
This poll is closed
Which of these edge rushers would you prefer?
This poll is closed