1. Texans- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
As the only team in the NFL with only 1 win, it seems very likely that the Texans will end up with the #1 pick. While they have a lot of needs that they could address, especially on defense which means you can't rule out Anderson or Carter, they can't afford to pass up on a franchise QB here. Mills has been solid for them, and hasn't had much talent to work with, but he seems better suited as a very reliable back-up, so it would make sense for them to use this pick on the best QB in the class to finally replace Watson. While there technically isn't a consensus QB1 yet, Stroud's likely Heisman-winning season this year should be enough to earn him this spot.
2. Raiders- Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama
You know, with a team that features Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, and a former top 5 pick in Clelin Ferrell, you would think that the Raiders are pretty set on the edge. Unfortunately for them, Ferrell has been nothing but a bust ever since he was drafted, and Jones hasn't lived up to his contract whatsoever, which is one of the main reasons why their defense has been so bad this year. With that being said, it would make sense for them to get the best edge-rusher in this class, and in some people's opinion, the best player in this class, by taking Anderson here. It also doesn't hurt that the Raiders' GM and HC came from the Patriots, who always had a tendency to favor Alabama players. While they could consider a QB here and try to cut or trade Carr, I just don't see it happening. Their GM and HC were the ones who approved Carr's contract extension, and he's the reason why Adams wanted to play in Las Vegas, so the only way I would see them moving on from Carr would be if they wanted to sign Brady in Free Agency.
3. Panthers- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Yes, I know, a lot of you are going to hate this pick, but we need a QB, and Young is by far the next best one available. I agree that he's undersized, which worries me as much as anyone else, but if Fitterer is still our GM on draft day, I could see him falling in love with Young's elite combination of accuracy, mobility, and pure playmaking ability. Keep in mind that Fitterer was the one who scouted Wilson and drafted Corral, both of whom had concerns about their size, so I don't think Young's small stature would deter him here.
4. Jaguars- Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
The Jaguars surprisingly don't have many needs, they just simply don't play up to their potential which is why they're likely to finish with another top 5 pick. While they have several 1st round picks on their D-line now, they lack any true threats in the middle, and getting a versatile talent like Carter would be a huge boost for their run defense.
5. Bears- Pete Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Bears need to do everything in their power to surround Fields with a good offense, since they can't expect him to win games all by himself. Due to their trade for Claypool, WR isn't as pressing of a need for them, so I could see them getting the best OT in this class to protect Fields.
6. (Trade from Eagles to Colts)- Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
This is the pick that the Saints sent to the Eagles as part of their trade-up next year.
It's kind of crazy that the Eagles are an undefeated team yet are also projected to get a top 10 pick as well thanks to the Saints. However, since they don't really need a top 10 player, and their GM is addicted to making draft day trades, I could see them trading down here with a QB-needy team.
Speaking of a team in need of a QB, the Colts would definitely fit that description. They've needed a franchise QB ever since Luck retired, and considering they'll be rolling with a new HC next year, pairing him with a 1st round QB makes sense. The Colts can use the picks that they got from the Wentz trade to help offset the cost of this trade-up, and they don't have many other pressing needs, so they can afford to finally get themselves a franchise QB here. With his arm strength and mobility, Levis would be a great fit for the Colts' offense, especially since he could sit and develop behind Ryan for a year.
7. Seahawks- Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
This is the pick that the Broncos sent to the Seahawks as part of the Wilson trade.
The Seahawks found some solid talent in the draft and Free Agency in terms of pass-rush over the offseason, but they still lack a true #1 pass-rusher. If they ever want to recreate their Legion of Boom, it would make sense to use this pick on the next best edge-rusher.
8. Steelers- Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State
The Steelers desperately need to get Pickett an O-line, so it would make sense for them to get the next best O-lineman here. Johnson should be a good fit for them since he's versatile enough to play at OG or OT.
9. Lions- Bryan Breese, DT, Clemson
The Lions will eventually have to get a QB to replace Goff, but as of now their offense is doing well enough with him, and there aren't any good options left anyway. Even if that wasn't the case, their defense has been one of the worst in the league this year, so getting the next best defensive player, regardless of position, makes sense for them. Breese's versatility and talent should allow him to be a playmaker in the middle of their D-line.
10. Falcons- Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech
The Falcons have tried and failed to find a franchise edge-rusher for as long as I can remember, and considering their defense still sucks, getting the next best edge-rusher here makes sense for them.
11. (Trade from Colts to Eagles)- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Yes, this is very high for an RB, especially when the Eagles' run game has been doing so well, but there are several reasons why this makes sense. The first is that Robinson is seen as a Barkley-esque talent, so he could very well end up being the BPA available here, and the Eagles don't have many pressing needs so they could afford a luxury pick like this. The second is that the Eagles' haven't had a true RB1 in a long time, since they refuse to make Sanders their featured back, and they can't expect Hurts to be their sole source of rushing yards. The final reason is that Sanders will be a Free Agent after this year, so instead of paying him big money, they can just replace him with a cheaper, younger, better talent.
12. Lions- Joey Porter, CB, Penn State
This is the pick that the Rams sent to the Lions as part of their trade for Stafford.
Like I said before, the Lions' defense is terrible, so they need all the help they can get on that side of the ball. Even though Okudah is finally starting to make an impact, they lack any other quality options in the secondary, so getting the best CB in the class here makes sense for them.
13. Texans- Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU
This is the pick that the Browns sent to the Texans as part of their trade for Watson.
If the Texans want their next franchise QB to succeed, they have to get him some more weapons, so drafting the best WR in the class here makes sense for them.
14. (Trade from Cardinals to Buccaneers)- Michael Meyer, TE , Notre Dame
The Cardinals have a solid amount of needs to fill, and aren't one player away from being a true contender, so I could seem them trading down here for the right price.
Even though I'm projecting the Buccaneers to win the division and make the playoffs, that doesn't change the fact that they suck this year. When the Bucs first signed Brady, they made sure to protect him by trading up for Wirfs, and he repaid the favor by winning them a Super Bowl. Considering Brady will probably only re-sign for another year or two, their championship window is closing rapidly, so I could see them making another trade-up to help Brady. While they do have plenty of receiving weapons, this season shows how much Brady relied on Gronk in the redzone, so getting the best TE in the class here would be worth this trade-up.
15. Washington- Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Washington's defense rarely ever plays up to their potential, and a lot of that has to do with them failing to get a true CB1. With that being said, it would make sense for them to get the next best CB here, and if Hurney is still with the team come draft day, I don't see how he could resist pounding the table for a player from Carolina.
16. (Trade from Chargers to Saints)- Antonio Johnson, DB, Texas A&M
In this scenario I am predicting that the Chargers will trade their 1st round pick to the Saints for the rights to have Sean Payton as their coach.
The Saints' biggest need is arguably a new QB, but unfortunately for them the best ones have already been taken. With this pick it would make sense for them to get a talented, versatile DB like Johnson to replace the recently traded Gardner-Johnson.
17. Patriots- Andre Carter II, Edge, Army
The Patriots desperately need to surround Jones with some more receiving options if they ever want him to develop into a true franchise QB, but it seems like Belichick refuses to take skill position players in the 1st round, so I could see them going defense with this pick instead. Even though Judon has been a relevation for them this year, they don't have any other viable pass-rushers, so getting the next best one here makes sense for them.
18. Packers- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Due to the recent emergence of Watson and the prior promising development of Dobbs, the Packers aren't in dire need of a WR anymore, so I could see them addressing a different position of need. However, all of their other positions of need (edge, safety, O-line) have already had the best players taken, so they could be forced to finally get Rodgers a 1st round WR. Even though Smith-Njigba hasn't done much this year due to a hamstring injury, he still has an elite combination of hands, speed, and route-running ability to quickly develop into one of Rodgers' favorite weapons.
19. (Trade from Seahawks to Cowboys)- Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
The Seahawks have a long history of trading down in the 1st round, and since they stayed put with their top 10 pick, I could see them following that tradition here instead.
Jerry Jones thinks that his team is a Super Bowl contender in any given year, so he won't accept anything less than a ring when they inevitably go one-and-done in the playoffs again. With that in mind, I could see him trading up here as an aggressive move to finally turn his team into a true contender. While they don't have many pressing needs, all of the Cowboys' best LBs are either injury-prone or Free Agents, so getting the best LB in the class makes sense for them, especially since it would allow them to make Parsons a full-time pass-rusher.
20. Jets- Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
The Jets surprisingly don't have many glaring needs, but since they have one of the weakest LB groups in the league, getting the next best LB here makes sense for them.
21. Giants- Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The Giants are a surprise playoff contender this year, and the main reason for that is Daboll's incredible work with Daniel Jones, meaning that they don't really have to worry about getting a QB now. While they still will have to franchise-tag or re-sign Jones, doing so will allow them to finally lock down the most important position in football, and will open up opportunities for what positions they can address in the draft. With all that being said, this pick should definitely be a WR, since if they ever want Jones to develop into a true franchise QB, they absolutely must surround him with some more weapons.
22. Titans- Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
It seems safe to say that the Titans need all the help they can get on offense, since they dearly miss A.J. Brown, Tannehill isn't getting any younger, Willis is years away from being ready to start, their O-line can't stay healthy, and Henry can't do it all by himself. With that being said, they just used a 1st round pick on a WR last year, so this year seems like a good time to finally replace their former RT in Conklin by getting the next best OT here.
23. (Trade from Buccaneers to Cardinals)- Mike Morris, Edge, Michigan
Considering the Cardinals let their best pass-rusher in Chandler Jones leave in Free Agency and is currently relying on an aging J.J. Watt to carry their pass-rush, getting the next best edge-rusher here makes sense for them.
24. Ravens- Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Even though the Ravens are a run-first team, they still need more receiving weapons to make their offense more balanced, so getting the next best WR here makes sense for them.
25. Bengals- Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Bengals' CBs were roasted in the Super Bowl, and they've done little to help them since, so getting the next best one here should help their chances of getting back to the big game.
26. (Trade from Cowboys to Seahawks)- Keele Ringo, CB, Georgia
Even with their top 10 pick being used on one of the best edge-rushers in this class, the Seahawks' defense would still be a long way from returning to their Legion of Boom glory. The next step would be for them to draft the next best CB to finally fill the void left by Sherman.
27. Dolphins (Forfeited)
This is the pick that was taken away from the Dolphins due to their owner's tampering with Brady and Payton.
28. (Trade from Vikings to Washington)- Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
The Vikings traded out of the 1st round last year, and I could see them doing so again here since the best players for their positions of need (CB, D-line) have already been taken
Washington has failed to start a competent QB ever since Alex Smith retired, and Wentz seems to be yet another of their long line of dissapointments. If the team does end up being sold soon, I could see them trading up for a new franchise QB to give their new owner a reason for optimisim. Also, Rivera may have saved his job with that win over the Eagles last night, so if he stays their HC, I could see him valuing Hooker because of his comparisons to Cam. While Richardson would probably be a better fit for them since he is much more similar to Cam, and could use a year or two of development while they wait for Wentz' contract to expire, I do think he'll end up returning to school.
29. Broncos- Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
This is the pick that the 49ers sent to the Dolphins as part of their trade-up for Lance, which the Dolphins then sent to the Broncos for Bradley Chubb.
Even though the Broncos have some talented OTs, their O-line as a whole has struggled to protect Wilson, so perhaps getting the next best O-lineman here will help their mediocre offense.
30. Bills- O'Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
If the Bills once again fail to make it to the Super Bowl, it will likely be due to the fact that they overly on Allen to be their sole source of offense. For years, fans and analysts have wanted the Bills to get Allen a legitimate RB1 to help take the pressure off of him, but they have refused to do anything more than rely on a committee of mediocre RBs. I doubt they will stop that trend anytime soon, but there's more than one way to fix their lack of a run-game. The problem with their run-game is that they have a mediocre interior O-line that can't create yardage for their RBs, blocking for mediocre RBs that can't create their own yardage, so if they refuse to upgrade their RB room, perhaps they'll focus on their interior O-line. Torrence is widely considered to be the best OG in this class due to his elite run-blocking ability, so he would be a perfect fit for the Bills here.
31. Eagles- Brian Branch, S, Alabama
The Eagles' trade for Gardner-Johnson has really paid off for them, but the rest of their safety room leaves a lot to be desired, so I could see them using this pick on the next best safety.
32. Chiefs- Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
Even though the Chiefs drafted a solid pass-rusher in Karlaftis, Clark is expected to be cap-casuality while Dunlap is headed to Free Agency, so drafting the next best edge-rusher here makes sense for them.