Ford’s NFL Draft Predictions

Sports Writer Jason Ford Predicts First Round Picks


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Jason Ford, Staff Writer

With day one of the NFL Draft tomorrow, April 27th, speculation on who will go where with the first-round pick is buzzing. 

#1 Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Young is the most refined QB in this draft class. He would be ready as a day-one starter, but the concern is his size. At 5’10, he would be the same height as Kyler Murray, the shortest QB in the NFL. A major flaw in Murray’s style of play is his inability to throw over the middle of the field successfully. If Young can overcome the size issue, he can be one of the best QBs in the league for a long time.

#2 Houston Texans: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

Richardson is the most athletic QB we’ve seen in the history of the NFL Draft. He has a high ceiling but a low floor. He is a raw prospect, but if he pans out he could be the most talented QB of all time. There is a massive risk surrounding Richardson, but it is very worth it for what he could be. The Texans have been looking for a franchise QB ever since they traded Deshaun Watson.

#3 Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Will Anderson Jr, Alabama

Though it is very likely the Cardinals trade out of this pick, there is no doubt Anderson would help bolster their defensive unit. The Cardinals gave up the highest completion percentage, third most touchdowns, and the second most first downs in the NFL last year. Their defense could use the help of objectively the best edge rusher in all of college football.

#4 Indianapolis Colts: QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State

Stroud was considered a consensus number-one overall pick for most of the offseason, but recently he has fallen down draft boards. The reason: the S2 Cognition Test. It measures cognitive skills that have nothing to do with athletics or IQ. Most successful NFL QBs have had good scores on the test, meaning it can help predict the success of an NFL QB. Stroud scored 18% on the test. While it shouldn’t define a player, the test is not a good sign for Stroud’s draft stock going forward.

#5 Seattle Seahawks: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

Carter was considered by many as the best defensive player in the draft and maybe even the best overall player. Despite that, off-the-field issues dropped his draft stock. This is great value for the Seahawks as they gave up the third most rushing yards in the league last year. This should help bolster that defensive line.

#6 Detroit Lions: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

The Lions are looking to improve their secondary and Witherspoon could be the piece that solidifies it. They signed CJ Gardner Johnson in the offseason and with the trade of Jeff Okudah, their biggest need is defensive back and Witherspoon can fill that need. It is unknown if they plan on a future with Jared Goff, but with his performance last year, I don’t think QB is their biggest need right now.

#7 Las Vegas Raiders: QB Will Levis, Kentucky

Levis is one of the more athletic QB prospects this year, but there are concerns. He throws many check-downs and is not great at sensing pressure. Despite that, he has all of the tools a QB needs to be successful in the NFL. If coached right, he could be a star. He would sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a year, which could help a lot for his development.

#8 Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

The Falcons need a good edge threat as they only had 21 sacks last year, with only the Chicago Bears behind them with 20. Wilson could be a great fit for their defense as he can have an impact right away. He has great strength and an elite build for an edge rusher at 6’6 271 lbs.

#9 Chicago Bears: OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

The Bears can use some help just about everywhere on their team. A big need; protect Justin Fields. Skoronski is the consensus best offensive tackle in the draft, but he comes with some weaknesses. Despite his great footwork, his biggest concern is arm length. It is almost impossible to be a successful tackle in the NFL with his arm length. Many think he would be a much better guard because of the help that would be around him.

#10 Philadelphia Eagles: DB Brian Branch, Alabama

The Eagles lucked into this pick with a trade last year with the Saints. A big loss from last year was CJ Gardner Johnson. He broke out in a big way but signed with the Lions. Branch could be a great replacement for the Eagles as he has great football IQ and great instincts. He could play safety or cornerback for them. If he doesn’t go here to the Eagles, I think the Eagles will pick Bijan Robinson to support their high-powered offense. This could also be a great trade-down spot.

On draft day, it’s unpredictable how the draft will go. There are always many different trades that happen that shake things up, but if no trades were to happen this is what I think each team’s picks would look like with the current state of their teams and their biggest needs.

***Update April 28***

Of the picks above, Byrce Young was #1 to the Panthers and Will Anderson was picked #3 but went to the Texans.

The rest were wrong, the draft is truly unpredictable.