May 29, 2022

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Jets, Giants fill a variety of needs

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NFL mock draft


The aftershocks from the quarterback earthquakes are still being felt across the NFL, and of course wreaked havoc with mock drafts everywhere.

Tom Brady unretiring and Aaron Rodgers staying in Green Bay were the first quarterback dominos to fall, then all hell broke loose as Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan all found new homes.

Then we watched As the Wide Receiver World Turns: Davante Adams to the Raiders … Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.

So now? The Texans, Packers and Chiefs own a pair of first-round picks, joining the Giants and Jets and Lions, and the Eagles have three. Seven teams hold 15 of the 32 first-round selections. Seven teams won’t be picking in the first round.

Serby Mock 3.0 features picks 1-20:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Aidan Hutchinson, DE/OLB, Michigan

The tagging of LT Cam Robinson and free-agent signing of G Brandon Scherff means Trevor Lawrence has bodyguards who should make coach Doug Pederson turn to a high-character, double-digit sack threat and bookend for the Other Josh Allen.

2. Detroit Lions

Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

QB Malik Willis could be given consideration here, but coach Dan Campbell doesn’t need to reach when he can find his QB of the future in the 2023 draft class, and since Aaron Rodgers hasn’t left the division, this rising versatile 6-foot-5, 275-pound thoroughbred can help Charles Harris (7.5 sacks) and the Okwara Bros. harass Rodgers … and Justin Fields … and Kirk Cousins.

3. Houston Texas

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

Tytus Howard enters the last year of his rookie contract, and even if coach Lovie Smith keeps him at RT as Laremy Tunsil’s bookend, the Pancake King can start off mauling folks on the interior. “I just want coaches to understand I’m not just a run-blocking meathead,” Ekwonu said. Who’ll dare tell him otherwise?

4. New York Jets

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/OLB, Oregon

Coach Robert Saleh needs predator insurance for DE Carl Lawson (Achilles) and is a good bet to instill his “All gas, no brake” mantra — inflation or not — into this 6-foot-5, 258-pound stud’s inconsistent motor.

NFL mock draft
Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal
AP (2)

5. New York Giants

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

GM Joe Schoen will be open for business for any quarterback-desperate team (Arthur Blank calling? Pete Carroll calling?), but he can make Giants fans — not to mention Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley — thrilled by landing a smart, tough, dependable, 6-foot-7, 336-pound bookend for LT Andrew Thomas? A Dave From Cape Cod, new to Twitter, questions the decision not to trade down and adds: At least it’s a Hog Mollie.

6. Carolina Panthers

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Remember how badly Browns owner Anthony Molina wanted QB Bo Callahan in “Draft Day”? Panthers owner David Tepper doesn’t strike me as a patient man, so it’s no surprise that coach Matt Rhule, GM Scott Fitterer and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo attended Liberty’s Pro Day. Rhule is on the hot seat and needs to upgrade his offensive line, but maybe he can buy himself some time if McAdoo can coach the kid up quickly.

7. New York Giants

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Schoen will still be open for business. Edge-rusher Jermaine Johnson should be in the conversation, but a 6-foot-2, 190-pound Antonio Cromartie clone would give Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale life after James Bradberry.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Jermaine Johnson II, DE/OLB, Florida State

Has been a fast riser following a dominant Senior Bowl and will help Grady Jarrett rush the passer.

9. Seattle Seahawks

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Russell Wilson must have figured if he had stayed, he’d be 5-foot-2 by the end of the season given the state of Pete Carroll’s offensive line. Will OTs Duane Brown and Brandon Shell sign elsewhere? “That is a spot that’s really of concern and we’ve got to figure out how to get that done,” Carroll said this past week. Cross is a 6-foot-5, 307-pounder who can help keep Drew Lock upright.

10. New York Jets

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Douglas getting involved for Tyreek Hill is telling. Perhaps he has promised Zach Wilson’s mother that he will get her son another playmaker. Not Tyreek Hill fast, but an ultimate competitor with 4.38 speed would be a dangerous toy alongside Elijah Moore and Corey Davis (and let’s not sleep on Braxton Berrios).

NFL draft
Garrett Wilson
AP

11. Washington Commanders

Drake London, WR, USC

Nomad Carson Wentz will need all the help he can get, in this case a 6-foot-5, 210-pound target to play Robin to Terry McLaurin’s Batman. A former four-star basketball recruit who makes the contested catches and is progressing nicely from the ankle injury that cost him the last eight games of the season.

12. Minnesota Vikings

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Patrick Peterson, should he be re-signed, is no longer a shutdown corner. Injuries have limited him to 10 games the past two seasons, but the elite traits are impossible to miss. And friendly reminder: Aaron Rodgers hasn’t left the division.

13. Houston Texans

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound unicorn would fall only because of positional value. A foundation piece who would replace Justin Reid (Chiefs) and upgrade Lovie Smith’s woeful secondary.

14. Baltimore Ravens

George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

Best available Greek Freak, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound football gym rat who can team with bookend Odafe Oweh to hound the quarterback. Remember, John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta were left at the altar by Za’Darius Smith, and blitz-crazed Wink Martindale has moved to East Rutherford.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

A 6-foot-6, 348-pound mountain who runs 4.78? Fletcher Cox is 31, and GM Howie Roseman loves fortifying the trenches. Better monitor Davis’ cheesesteak intake.

16. Philadelphia Eagles

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Forget the short arms, quarterbacks were fearful of throwing in his direction with good reason. You can never have enough corners, and Darius Slay is 31.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Drove defenders into the ground at the Senior Bowl. A bookend for Rashawn Slater to protect crown-jewel quarterback Justin Herbert.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett readies to throw at the NFL Combine
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett readies to throw at the NFL Combine
Getty Images

18. New Orleans Saints

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

He can learn behind Jameis Winston, and his small hands will be safe from the elements inside the Superdome. His upside is Derek Carr, but it’s a shame he won’t have Sean Payton in his ear.

19. Philadelphia Eagles

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Still rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered in the national championship game, but a 6-foot-2, 190-pound deep threat like this would make DeVonta Smith all the more dangerous and help Jalen Hurts immeasurably more than LB Devin Lloyd (what, the Eagles draft a linebacker in the first round)?

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

The 6-foot-3, 304-pounder with 4.77 speed would add an infusion of youth, with Cam Heyward turning 33 and Stephon Tuitt a question mark … and Mike Tomlin cannot again field the league’s worst run defense with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in Cleveland, and Joe Mixon in Cincinnati.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/26/nfl-mock-draft-3-0-jets-giants-fill-a-variety-of-needs/