Mock Draft 1.0: Joe Burrow to Bengals, two other QBs land in top 6

The Bears don’t have to worry about the first round of the draft. But that hasn’t stopped the Sun-Times from compiling its first mock draft of the season, with more to follow:

SHARE Mock Draft 1.0: Joe Burrow to Bengals, two other QBs land in top 6
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday.


The Bears don’t have to worry about the first round of the draft. But that hasn’t stopped the Sun-Times from compiling its first mock draft of the season, with more to follow:

1. Bengals — LSU QB Joe Burrow. He grew up about two hours from Cincinnati, so he’s probably seen how the Bengals can ruin a player’s career. He said at the NFL Combine, though, that he’d go there if drafted. “I’m not going to not play,” he said.

2. Redskins — Ohio State Edge Rusher Chase Young. The best defensive player in the draft should fit in well alongside former Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins. “I’ve known Dwayne since high school,” Young said. “He definitely loves the organization and obviously wants me to come play with him.”

3. Lions – Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah. The Lions swear they’re not trading star quarterback Matthew Stafford. In a must-win year, they can’t afford to draft a backup quarterback, either. That leaves them primed to trade their pick to a quarterback-hungry team.

4. Giants — Louisville OT Mekhi Becton. General manager Dave Gettleman has made 45 career draft picks and yet has never traded down, but said he’s “open for business” this year. For mock draft purposes, we have the Giants passing on Alabama tackle Derrick Brown to take a left tackle who will protect quarterback Daniel Jones.

5. Dolphins — Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins Tanked for Tua, right? If they’re comfortable with his medical records, they have the draft capital — five picks in the first two rounds — to move up and draft him. If he falls, they’d be ecstatic.

6. Chargers — Oregon QB Justin Herbert. Unlike the Bengals or Dolphins, the Bolts could add a big-name starting quarterback in free agency. If they don’t, Herbert could be the heir apparent to Philip Rivers, who will not return to the only team he’s ever known.

7. Panthers — Auburn DT Derrick Brown. The Panthers would get ridiculous value if Brown fell this far; NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah thinks he’s the second-best player in the draft, behind Young.

8. Cardinals — Alabama OT Jedrick Wills. After finding their quarterback of the future in Kyler Murray, the Cardinals have to make sure he’s not ground into a paste. In a strong class for tackles, they take the second one off the board.

9. Jaguars — Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is the most versatile player in the draft, and can line up at linebacker or safety. That’s a good fit for today’s speed-in-space NFL, and a better for a team that is still trying to replace the retired Telvin Smith.

10. Browns — Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs. The Browns might be tempted by a receiver — they could take the first of a stellar wideout class of the board — but will decide to protect Baker Mayfield instead. A boring pick is a good thing for a team with so much drama.

11. Jets — Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy. He’d be their best receiver immediately.

12. Raiders — Oklahoma CB CeeDee Lamb. Jon Gruden can’t resist an offensive weapon, particularly after hitting gold last year with running back Josh Jacobs in the first round last year.

13. Colts — Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III. The run on receivers in on, and the Colts add some much-needed dynamism in a player who ran a 4.27 40-yard dash. Now who throws it to him?

14. Buccaneers — South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw. The Bucs could be a trade-up candidate if they fall in love with a quarterback. Here, they bulk up their depleted defensive line.

15. Broncos — Houston OT Josh Jones. If the Broncos think they’ve found the answer at quarterback in Drew Lock, they simply can’t let Garrett Bolles be the one to protect his blindside.

16. Falcons — Alabama CB Trevon Diggs. The Falcons need help rushing the passer and defending the pass. Their draft direction will depend on what they can accomplish in free agency first, but Stefon’s little brother has a bright future.

17. Cowboys — Florida CB C.J. Henderson. This offseason will about the Cowboys keeping their offensive players happy, but they can’t ignore the other side of the ball.

18. Dolphins (from Steelers) — Alabama S Xavier McKinney. The Dolphins created this hole in the first place when, while tanking, they dealt Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers. Pittsburgh hasn’t stopped laughing since.

19. Raiders (from Bears) — LSU ILB Patrick Queen. He’ll replace Vontaze Burfict — though presumably without the cheap shots, fines and suspensions.

20. Jaguars (from Rams) — Utah CB Jaylon Johnson. Like the Dolphins, the Jaguars are restocking a position they intentionally abandoned when they traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams.

21. Eagles — Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk. He doesn’t have the size of Clemson’s Tee Higgins, but, rather, the toughness that could make him a Philly favorite.

22. Bills — Clemson WR Tee Higgins. Desperate to add playmakers to team with quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills should be thrilled to land the smooth, tall Higgins.

23. Patriots — Utah State QB Jordan Love. If Tom Brady stays, the Pats certainly have to draft a weapon for him here. If not, Love would be an enticing quarterback to groom behind a free-agent vet.

24. Saints — LSU WR Justin Jefferson. It’s Louisiana law that the Saints have to take a Tigers player after an undefeated season. You can look it up.

25. Vikings — Minnesota S Antoine Winfield Jr. This is too easy — he played for the Golden Gophers AND is the son of a three-time Vikings Pro Bowler.

26. Dolphins (from Texans) — Iowa Edge Rusher AJ Epenesa. The Dolphins have so many needs that, with a quarterback draft pick finally on the roster, they can afford to take the best available player.

27. Seahawks — LSU Edge Rusher K’Lavon Chaisson. After playing as a stand-up outside linebacker, can he put his hand in the dirt to play end? If he can, this is a steal.

28. Ravens — Oklahoma ILB Kenneth Murray. He said at the NFL Scouting Combine that his favorite player was Ray Lewis. He’ll head to Lewis’ team with a chance to impact a dominant defense.

29. Titans — Clemson CB A.J. Terrell. He’s best known for scoring the first touchdown of the national title game a year ago with a pick-six.

30. Packers — Colorado WR Laviska Shenault. He’d be the first receiver drafted by the Packers in the first round since they took Javon Walker in 2002.

31. 49ers — LSU S Grant Delpit. He could replace NIU alum Jimmie Ward, but the 49ers might also trade the pick. They don’t have another pick until Round 5.

32. Chiefs — Georgia OT Andrew Thomas. The Chiefs need a guard, not a tackle, but they can afford to take the best player here.

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