No. 23: Seattle Seahawks — Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado
The Seahawks inked Geno Smith to a new contract last offseason, and I expect him to open the 2024 campaign as the team’s starter. But the presence of Smith will not stop general manager John Schneider from pouncing at the opportunity to select Shedeur Sanders.
It is uncertain if Sanders will even declare for the NFL, but in this mock draft, let’s assume he does. While still raw, the Colorado quarterback has shown enough flashes to roll the dice on in Round 1. His arm is strong enough, and what impresses me the most is his eye usage when scanning defenses. Seattle would be the ideal landing spot for Sanders to ease into QB1 duties.
No. 24: Los Angeles Rams — Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
The Rams have looked more like the Rams we are accustomed to seeing under Sean McVay. However, the defense is clearly lacking a premier player off the edge. Chop Robinson is a prospect with a red-hot motor that consistently sees him making plays as a pass rusher and run defender.
No. 25: Baltimore Ravens — Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa
The Ravens desperately need help (and health) in the secondary. Cooper DeJean is listed as 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, and has an extensive track and field background. He is still raw in some areas, mainly footwork and as a tackler, but his five interceptions in 2022 highlight superb ball skills as a boundary defender.
Another Mock Draft, Another Day 1 Ohio State WR
No. 26: Dallas Cowboys — Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
Emeka Egbuka has primarily played as a big slot at Ohio State but has the size and strength to stick out wide just as easily. Combining his route running with CeeDee Lamb’s big-play ability would give Dallas a balanced passing attack for the foreseeable future.
No. 27: Detroit Lions — Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
The Lions have built up the defense admirably since Brad Homes took over general manager duties. One area that still needs a true building block is cornerback. No one on the roster possesses the upside that Nate Wiggins brings to the table. With Clemson, Wiggins has shown lockdown abilities in man coverage and flexes improving technique as a zone defender.
No. 28: Buffalo Bills — Leonard Taylor III, DT, Miami
Leonard Taylor III would make an already dominant front seven even more dominant. The Miami product is shockingly twitched-up at his size, allowing for positional versatility along the defensive line. Consistency is the main red flag at this point for Taylor. NFL teams want to see him be disruptive for an entire season rather than just in spurts. He is off to a great start in 2023.