With five days until the first round of the NFL Draft in Cleveland, we present the Sun-Times Mock Draft, Version 3.0. The usual caveat: while Thursday’s first round will feature trades — probably into the top 10 to take a quarterback — our exercise does not.
1 . Jaguars — Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. The previous regime Tanked for Trevor, giving new head coach Urban Meyer a cornerstone around whom to build.
2. Jets — BYU QB Zach Wilson. Common wisdom has locked the Jets into this pick for about a month; could they shock the world and take a different passer?
3. 49ers (from Dolphins) — Ohio State QB Justin Fields. The 49ers traded up for a reason — but is it really Mac Jones?
4. Falcons — Florida TE Kyle Pitts. Married to Matt Ryan for two more years because of his cap hit, the Falcons could trade down — or make Pitts the highest-drafted tight end since the merger.
5. Bengals — Oregon OT Penei Sewell. Bengals fans will spend all week debating drafting a lineman vs. a pass-catcher. Our verdict: the pass-catcher won’t get the ball if quarterback Joe Burrow’s on his back.
6. Dolphins (from Eagles) — Alabama WR DeVonta Smith. In Mock Draft 1.0, we had the Dolphins taking the Heisman Trophy winner third. After trading back last month, they still get their guy.
7. Lions — Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle. If the Lions don’t trade the pick to a quarterback-hungry team, they’ll pick someone to replace Kenny Golladay. The best wideout on the Detroit roster right now is Breshad Perriman.
8. Panthers — Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater. The Panthers decided they liked Sam Darnold more than whichever quarterback would be available here, so they make Slater the fourth-highest Wildcats draft pick ever.
9. Broncos — North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. Vic Fangio will be sweating through his light gray sweatsuit in hopes the talented-but-raw Lance falls to him.
10. Cowboys — Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II. Taking an SEC player whose dad was a Pro Bowl player just feels like a Cowboys move.
11. Giants — LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase. If the Giants pair Chase with Golladay, could their team actually be … fun to watch? They haven’t been since trading Odell Beckham Jr.
12. Eagles (from 49ers via Dolphins) — South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn. The Eagles will hope a top receiver falls to them, but will have to settle for their second first-round defender in the last six drafts.
13. Chargers — Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw. The Chargers need to do for Justin Herbert what they never could for Philip Rivers: protect their star passer.
14. Vikings — Miami EDGE Jaelan Phillips. The Vikings can always use offensive line help, but Mike Zimmer decides to take the first pass rusher off the board instead.
15. Patriots — Alabama QB Mac Jones. In all likelihood, someone — maybe the Pats — will trade up to take Jones sooner. But would you be stunned if Bill Belichick Jedi mind tricked the entire league into letting Jones fall?
16. Cardinals — Penn State LB Micah Parsons. Kyler Murray needs some help, but adding Parsons to Isaiah Simmons, last year’s first-rounder, would be deadly.
17. Raiders — USC OG/OT Alijah Vera-Tucker. Remember earlier this offseason when the Raiders dismantled one of the league’s better O-lines? Time to replenish it.
18. Dolphins — Alabama RB Najee Harris. Were the season to start today, their starting running back would be Myles Gaskin or Malcolm Brown. Woof.
19. Washington — Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Washington has a stellar front four but needs more talent in the linebacking corps; ex-Bear Jon Bostic is their current starting middle linebacker.
20. Bears — Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II. The Bears need a quarterback. They want to trade up for one, be it in Round 1 or 2. But the cost to go from No. 20 to the top 10 — to take the fourth- or fifth-best quarterback in the draft — could cripple them for three years. They know they need a receiver and offensive line help, too. But they’ll take the best player available in Newsome to replacing Kyle Fuller, a cap casualty last month.
21. Colts — Michigan EDGE Kwity Paye. The Colts are desperate for pass rushers and pass protectors, and they can find the latter in Round 2.
22. Titans — Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley. The team most thrilled with the Bears’ Newsome pick is the Titans, who pounce on the last standout cornerback of the round.
23. Jets (from Seahawks) — Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau. Agent Drew Rosenhaus swears teams have told him Rousseau won’t slide out of the first round. Former 49ers defensive guru Robert Saleh, the Jets’ new head coach, knows the value of a pass rush.
24. Steelers — Clemson RB Travis Etienne. No team rushed for fewer yards than the Steelers last year. They’re left with the eternal debate: to fix a run game, do you draft blockers or running backs?
25. Jaguars (from Rams) — TCU safety Trevon Moehrig. In a historically bad draft for defensive linemen, the Jags turn to their other major defensive need.
26. Browns — Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari. The Browns’ signing of Jadeveon Clowney means they can bring Ojulari along slowly. He’ll beat him out for the starting job by December.
27. Ravens — LSU WR Terrace Marshall Jr. Since 2015, the Ravens have taken two receivers in Round 1. Yet, somehow, they’re always desperate for receivers.
28. Saints — Kentucky LB Jamin Davis. Middle linebacker Demario Davis is 32 and the Saints can part with him after this season.
29. Packers — Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman. Yep, we’re doing this — giving Aaron Rodgers a first-round receiver for the first time ever. It’s been 19 years since the Pack took one.
30. Bills — Florida WR Kadarius Toney. The Bills have one of the league’s five most well-rounded roster, so they take the best available player.
32. Buccaneers — Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore. Will a team (the Bears?) trade back into the first round for Stanford quarterback Davis Mills? If not, the Bucs — who are set at receiver — make the ultimate luxury pick.