Welcome back! It’s part two of the Stephenson vs. Stephenson NFL mock draft. In part one, we saw a few surprises picked by not so surprising teams. We are getting to the middle part of the first round, and some elite potential prospects remain. A lot of the teams picking in this part of the draft are one pick away from becoming a part of the latter part of the first round of the draft in the future.
Meanwhile, with a bad pick, a lot of these teams could set their franchise back for years and wind up with earlier picks in the future. Without further ado, the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock!
11th pick: Cincinnati Bengals
Landon: T.J. Hockenson, TE Iowa
This may be a surprise to some people, but once you examine the Bengals, this makes sense. The Bengals are under new leadership with first-time head coach Zac Taylor. Taylor comes from the Sean McVay tree and has an offensive background. Tyler Eifert is a good tight end when healthy. However, the days he is healthy are few and far between. T.J. Hockenson is considered the best and most well rounded tight end available in this draft. He would be the perfect fit to patrol the middle of the field and provide a more open field to the outside for A.J. Green. As good as A.J. Green is if the Bengals draft Hockenson, we may see his best production ahead of him. Also, with a marginalized quarterback like Andy Dalton, it is put up or shut up time. If Dalton wants to remain a starter in the NFL, he must produce. The Bengals can take a big step in the right direction for Dalton if they draft T.J. Hockenson.
Bart: Jonah Williams, OL Alabama
The Bengals really need offensive line help. Jonah Williams can be that helping hand. He is incredibly versatile and can be a day one starter. Has a really high football IQ and is as tough as nails. He doesn’t have a history of injuries, and for Cincy, that in and of itself is a huge plus.
12th pick: Green Bay Packers
Landon: Andre Dillard, OT Washington State
Andre Dillard is a prospect that has soared up the boards during the pre-draft process. This is also an A+ fit for him and the Packers. The Packers love to throw the ball. When you have Aaron Rodgers under center that’s understandable. However, the Packers have struggled recently due to lack of weapons and protection for Rodgers. It’s time for the Packers to take care of the protection part for Rodgers. Dillard played in Mike Leach’s Air-Raid offense at Washington State. A system that throws the ball the major majority of the time, a lot like the Packers. Dillard is considered by many scouts to be the best tackle in this draft in pass protection. I believe he will become a dominant tackle at the next level.
Bart: Andre Dillard, OT Washington State
Dillard is a true tackle with his size and speed. The Packers need starting caliber offensive linemen like a fish needs water. As much as Green Bay likes to pass the ball with Aaron Rodgers, the Wazzu product would be a great addition
13th pick: Miami Dolphins
Landon: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State
The Miami Dolphins desperately need a face of the franchise on offense. While the Dolphins have brought in a new head coach, Brian Flores, the immediate need for their first pick is at quarterback. The Dolphins dealt the often injured Ryan Tannehill to the Titans and brought in journeyman quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Many see Haskins as a potential day one quarterback for an NFL team. However, I have a different viewpoint of Haskins. I do believe he will be a good quarterback in time, but much like Pat Mahomes who went in a similar part of the draft, I believe the best strategy for Haskins is to go to a team that can afford to sit him for a season. The Dolphins are a team that is closer to rebuilding than being one pick away from being elite. Having Fitzpatrick on the roster allows them the ability to have patience with Haskins and have the fruits of their patience pay off in the future.
Bart: Drew Lock, QB Missouri
14th pick: Atlanta Falcons
Landon: Ed Oliver, DT Houston
Ed Oliver is the best available prospect at 14. The Falcons have done a wonderful job in the past with first round picks. However, the Falcons are a franchise that has underperformed since their Super Bowl appearance a few years ago. The Falcons are stacked on offense, and with a defensive minded head coach in Dan Quinn, this is a perfect fit for Oliver and the Falcons. I believe Oliver’s stock dropping is a product of teams and scouts thinking too hard about him. While his measurables may have caused his stock to drop, the Falcons will reap the reward of catching this future pro-bowler in the middle of the first round.
Bart: Ed Oliver, DT Houston
15th pick: Washington Redskins
Landon: Daniel Jones, QB Duke
Let me make it clear; I am not this high on Daniel Jones. However, the Redskins are notorious for searching for a face of the franchise quarterbacks in the first round. More often than not, the Redskins choose wrong and repeat this process every few years. Unfortunately for Redskins fans, I believe the Redskins are making the same mistake with Jones. If there is any bright spot, Jones is a product of David Cutcliffe, a well respected offensive mind at the college level. However, I believe Jones is closer to being Tee Martin than he is any Manning as far as his pro career outlook goes.
Bart: DK Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
16th pick: Carolina Panthers
Landon: DK Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
DK Metcalf is by far the best available prospect available at 16. The Panthers have disappointed in recent years, but with Metcalf, they will energize their WR corp by adding the most freakish athlete in the draft. Metcalf does have concerns as a route runner, but much like Ed Oliver, I believe this is a result of overthinking. The only thing that is a risk with Metcalf is his ability to stay healthy. If Metcalf can stay healthy, he should be a perennial pro-bowler and give Cam Newton a legitimate number one receiver.
Bart: Johnathan Abram, S Mississippi State
At this point, he is the best available player and the top Safety in the draft. He will mesh well into Ron Rivera’s aggressive defensive scheme and provides instant relief at a position of need for the Panthers who have a weaker secondary.
17th pick: New York Giants
Landon: A.J. Brown, WR Ole Miss
I have Ole Miss’ “Nasty Wide Outs” going in back-to-back picks. After picking Rashan Gary at 6 and dealing OBJ in the offseason, the Giants are going to have to make a pick that keeps fans interested. This is where A.J. Brown comes in to play. Brown has a lot of the freakish athleticism of Metcalf but is considered a better route runner. Brown also provides a potential replacement for OBJ and for the near future provides an Ole Miss to Ole Miss connection with him and Eli Manning.
Bart: A.J. Brown, WR Ole Miss
Can definitely fill the shoes left by OBJ in that stupifying trade debacle. Will be a new Franchise Icon for the struggling Giants and gives “Ol’ Faithful Eli” a top tier target.
18th pick: Minnesota Vikings
Landon: Chris Lindstrom, OG Boston College
The Vikings are notorious for playing a physical brand of football. The Vikings also need help on the offensive line. This is the perfect situation for the Vikings and Chris Lindstrom. I believe Lindstrom is the best guard in this draft and fits what the Vikings like to do on offense. While this may not be the sexiest pick, I do believe it is an excellent one, and I believe Lindstrom will be a pro-bowl level guard.
Bart: Christian Wilkins, DT Clemson
Wilkins is a really solid pick for the Vikings who love creating pressure with the front 7. Has a great personality and leadership characteristics that endear him to teammates. His potential to play inside or outside will help alleviate the focus on Danielle Hunter and provide a dangerous 1-2 punch in the NFC North.
19th pick: Tennessee Titans
Landon: Devin Bush, LB Michigan
Devin Bush is the best prospect available at 19. He is also the perfect fit for Mike Vrabel’s defense. Bush is scheme versatile with the physical nature to play middle linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and the sideline to sideline ability to play in a 4-3 scheme. He is an absolute steal at 19. Going to the Titans will allow Bush the opportunity to grow and flourish being guided by one of the absolute best linebacker coaches in the NFL in Vrabel.
Bart: Devin Bush, LB Michigan
20th pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
Landon: Deandre Baker, CB Georgia
The Steelers need help in the back end of their defense, and Deandre Baker is the perfect fit. I have Baker as the best CB available in this draft. Drafting later in the first round value can dictate a lot, but the Steelers fill a need and get value here. Baker has the ability to become a shutdown corner at the next level. Baker should bloom into a pro-bowl level corner and provide stability in the Steelers secondary for years to come.
Bart: Byron Murphy, CB Washington
Pittsburgh’s defense seemed to collapse last season. They were burned on the outside and deep. They were run through in the middle. They may look to move up actually and take a linebacker, if not look for Murphy to fall in as the 3rd CB taken in the first round. He has the potential to play the Nickel to maximize his aggressive play against the run and his ability to cover downfield as well.
This concludes part two of the Stephenson vs. Stephenson NFL mock draft. A lot of value was gotten in part two. There were fewer reaches than in part one due to the franchises picking being better. However, a lot of good prospects remain, and the NFL’s best franchises will pick in part three. The Seattle Seahawks will be on the clock to begin part three, will they go the best player available or fill a need? Stay tuned to Ambush Sports to find out!
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Check out Part One HERE