In my first projection of how the first round will play out in Las Vegas on April 28, the Giants and Steelers trade up to address pressing needs, with Pittsburgh landing one of the standouts from Reese's Senior Bowl week.
Remember, this mock is a projection of where I believe players will go -- not necessarily a reflection of my opinion as to where the players should go.
Neal is big, athletic and comes with a winning pedigree. He's an immediate upgrade at either tackle spot.
The Jaguars could try to bait Detroit into moving up for the first overall pick, but if the Lions sit tight, they could still get a defender with elite football character and plus traits.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH TEXANS
The Giants move up in a deal with the Texans to ensure they land Ekwonu. He would give the team a tackle/guard option with a nasty playing demeanor and huge upside.
Fourth overall is an awfully high pick for a safety, but Hamilton has elite size, toughness and versatility. His style of play could have head coach Robert Saleh banging the table for him.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH GIANTS
Stingley has failed to match his 2019 tape over the last two seasons, but his rare combination of height, weight and speed could have GM Nick Caserio envisioning him as Stephon Gilmore 2.0 at a huge position of need.
The Panthers need a quarterback but they also need someone to protect the QB. Cross is game-ready and worthy of a top-10 pick.
New Giants GM Joe Schoen was previously with a Bills team that spent its first two 2021 draft picks at DE and its first pick of 2020 at DE. It's key to get the rush right, and Thibodeaux is a raw but explosive option.
The Falcons could go with Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo here, but Burks gives them a dynamic athlete who, along with Kyle Pitts, can create mismatches galore from a variety of alignments.
Unless the Broncos grade this year's QB class differently than I expect, Ojabo could very well be the pick. He's not ready as a run defender but his pass-rush talent is undeniable.
Gardner is a long, competitive ballhawk with press-man and Cover 3 talent to fit into a variety of coverage schemes as a rookie starter.
Pickett's 2021 emergence was eye-popping. A solid NFL Scouting Combine performance and a good interview with Washington might be enough for the Commanders to turn the keys over to him.
The Vikings have had their share of issues in the secondary, so McDuffie's route-hounding, technique-driven cornerback play should be a welcome addition.
A darling of Reese's Senior Bowl week, Johnson offers the Browns one of the ascending defenders in this year's draft class.
If there is one thing the Ravens love, it is rugged defenders in the front seven. Walker is long and powerful as a run-stopper. His pass rush is just OK, but there is room for growth in that area.
With the Eagles likely in need of a replacement for pending free agent Jason Kelce, Landon Dickerson could slide into the starting center role, leaving a spot open for Green. He will become a Day 1 starter as a drive-blocking guard with size, athleticism and toughness.
This might not be the pick I would make, but the Eagles need a possession receiver with size and contested-catch talent. London fits the bill.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH CHARGERS
Willis might not have played for a traditional college football power, but he is hard to bring down, can extend plays and has the arm to attack all areas of the field. The Steelers move up for their next starting QB.
The Saints land a buttery smooth athlete with home-run speed and the athletic ability to uncover on all three levels. They need a quarterback, but might view taking one here as a reach. Olave definitely fits another of the Saints' needs.
Brisker's play has steadily progressed over the last two seasons. He's instinctive, can run and is a terrific tackler on the back end.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH STEELERS
Left tackle Rashawn Slater gave the Chargers a technician who had immediate success as a rookie in 2021. Penning still needs some time to develop, but he's a plus run blocker with early starting potential at right tackle.
Lloyd's highly physical playing style checks the first box Bill Belichick looks for from his linebackers. He won't offer a ton of help in coverage but he will improve the Patriots' speed at the position.
High-character prospect who can stretch the field and make acrobatic catches. He has work to do with his route-running, but he's competitive and plays with good strength.
Gordon is one of the most explosive cornerbacks in the draft. If he plays to his potential, the Cardinals could have a steal.
The Cowboys might have a more pressing need at guard, but it is hard to find tackles with Raimann's potential, and Tyron Smith isn't as dominant as he used to be.
Adding the run-stuffing, space-eating Davis would shore up the run defense and could help unleash Ed Oliver's true potential at three-technique.
The Titans need talent along the interior and Johnson just might offer guard/center value after playing in the pivot at the Senior Bowl. He's a powerful run blocker who stood out in Mobile.
From a size and playing style perspective, Corral doesn't fit the profile of QBs Bruce Arians has grown accustomed to coaching. However, that shouldn't stop GM Jason Licht from making the pick if he believes the former Ole Miss star can be Tampa Bay's long-term answer in the wake of Tom Brady's retirement.
The selection of Dean could be a no-brainer if De'Vondre Campbell departs in free agency. Dean is undersized but has the speed to fly around the field and make a lot of plays.
Williams is recovering from a torn ACL, but when healthy, he has the speed to fit beautifully into a passing attack that will allow him to catch the ball on the move and stack yards after the catch.
The Chiefs will need to address their secondary this offseason, but it might be tough for them to pass on Karlaftis. He has the ability to collapse the pocket with his power-rushing acumen as either a hand-down or stand-up rusher.
Linderbaum is undersized for the position, but he has tremendous feet, plays with excellent leverage and is the best move blocker (blocking on the move in a zone scheme) in this year's draft.
Walker would give the Lions a heady, tough inside linebacker with early starting talent. Detroit could address its need in the secondary with the second pick in Round 2.