College football is entering the third week for some teams, and the NFL season is officially underway. There is no better way to bring the levels of competition together quite like a mock draft.
Today's thought exercise explores four teams making two picks inside the first round. There are only 31 selections in the first round due to Miami having its own forfeited as part of the Tom Brady saga.
The draft order below was determined using SportsLine's Super Bowl odds, but in reverse order. These are your team's betting odds of winning a Lombardi Trophy this season.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 214 lbs
Despite the presence of Davis Mills, Houston makes Stroud the No. 1 overall selection. He is still a work in progress, but there is a lot to like about the Buckeyes QB. The Texans cannot turn away the opportunity to take a quarterback when picking this high, and they have another selection in the first round to continue improving the roster.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Young is a surgeon on the football field. His understanding of what defenses are showing him and how to exploit it are advanced for his age. His lack of ideal size will be a talking point through the process, but that becomes less and less of an issue every year.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 244 lbs
Richardson showed off his arm strength and mobility in the opening win over Utah. There are areas of his game that need to improve, and his selection is contingent upon that progress taking place over the remainder of the season. No other quarterback offers similar raw traits with the exception of maybe Kentucky's Will Levis.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 253 lbs
Chicago has to figure out its offensive line, but selecting any of the available linemen over Anderson would be considered malpractice. Robert Quinn was effective last season, but that is a short-term plan. Anderson gives the Bears a core piece to the defense for many years.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 314 lbs
In consecutive years, New York signed edge rusher Carl Lawson and drafted edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II in the first round. The hope is that Quinnen Williams asserts himself as one of the top interior defenders in the league. By adding Carter to that unit, the Jets would have a claim as being one of the most talented defensive lines in the league -- should it all come together.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Bryan Bresee DL
Clemson • Soph • 6'6" / 298 lbs
Jacksonville beefs up the defensive front with the selection of Bresee -- the former No. 1 overall high school recruit. Josh Allen and Travon Walker would be free to do more on the boundary with a talented player like Bresee pushing the pocket.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • Sr • 6'4" / 229 lbs
Aside from the quirky culinary antics that he portrays on social media, Levis is a big, physical quarterback who is not afraid to put his body on the line. He has a cannon for an arm as well as the mobility to make defenses pay when working too deep in their rush.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 313 lbs
After selecting Ikem Ekwonu in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Carolina keeps pounding the offensive line by adding Skoronski who, despite playing left tackle for the Wildcats, has five-position flexibility. The only question is whether or not the Panthers are back in the mix for another quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 207 lbs
The Giants were in a financial position necessitating the release of veteran cornerback James Bradberry, but defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's scheme relies on players of that caliber on the boundary. Ringo checks the height, weight and speed boxes.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Myles Murphy EDGE
Clemson • Jr • 6'5" / 268 lbs
Murphy has the size to play on the edge or slide inside depending on the situation. Few teams do as well putting defensive linemen in a position to succeed as Pittsburgh. The Steelers will be able to maximize his skillset while upgrading the floor of the team's pass rush.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Clemson • Jr • 6'2" / 235 lbs
Washington would be taking two linebackers in the course of three seasons, but it could be time to go back to the well. Simpson is a very versatile player who could be used in a manner similar to Micah Parsons. He is not a primary pass rusher but has enough slipperiness to his game, allowing him to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 12
LSU • Jr • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Boutte's debut for LSU was let's say...interesting. He was hardly targeted during the game and then removed all mention of the Tigers on social media postgame. It is a situation worth monitoring as the season progresses, but for now, Boutte is one of the top draft-eligible prospects.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 13
Noah Sewell LB
Oregon • Soph • 6'2" / 246 lbs
Philadelphia held true to its identity of not picking a linebacker in the first round, yet found a first-round talent in the third round with Nakobe Dean. It is difficult trying to pinpoint a few areas of weakness for this team. Adding another linebacker may be luxurious, but general manager Howie Roseman has built the roster to a level where it can take some of those swings.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 196 lbs
New England traded for Devante Parker, but Bill Belichick has more plans to address that wide receiver room. Smith-Njigba stepped into the spotlight for the Buckeyes this year after Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave moved on to the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Felix Anudike-Uzomah EDGE
Kansas State • Jr • 6'3" / 255 lbs
Bud Dupree and Harold Landry have each had their injury issues over the past few years. The salary cap hit each player carries is eventually going to force the Titans into a cost-cutting move. Anudike-Uzomah gives them depth in the present and a starter down the line.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Cam Smith CB
South Carolina • Jr • 6'1" / 180 lbs
Arizona recently traded for Trayvon Mullen, but that does not remove the position from consideration. There is no such thing as too much depth at cornerback in the NFL. As roster cuts were being made across the league, cornerback is one position in which the majority of teams were in need.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Ohio State • Jr • 6'6" / 313 lbs
If not for a new coaching staff, Las Vegas may be a bit gun shy to take an offensive lineman in the first round after the Alex Leatherwood experiment. The reality is that the Raiders need offensive linemen if they want to maximize Derek Carr's career success and longevity.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Syracuse • Soph • 5'10" / 192 lbs
James Bradberry is playing out a one-year deal. Darius Slay will turn 32 years old during the season. Philadelphia is a team that prepares for the future rather than being a victim of surprise. Williams has good size for the position and the athletic ability to elevate his game.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oregon • Soph • 6'1" / 197 lbs
Indianapolis traded Rock Ya-Sin to Las Vegas, which left the cupboard rather bare. Stephon Gilmore cannot be counted upon long-term, so the Colts would be wise to invest in the position. Gonzalez, a transfer from Colorado, will have a larger platform this season and is more than capable of making the most of it.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 20
Maryland • Jr • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Jarrett had six receptions for 110 yards in the opener, but many are just beginning to learn his name. Jarrett is a big-time talent taking on more responsibilities in that Terrapins' pass attack. Houston selected C.J. Stroud with the No. 1 overall selection, and now brings in a pass catcher.
Round 1 - Pick 21
TCU • Jr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
Johnston gives Baltimore's wide receiver room something it lacks a bit of right now: size. The TCU product offers a wide range to make catches, which would supplement Lamar Jackson in the passing game.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'5" / 249 lbs
Mayer grew up in northern Kentucky about 15 minutes away from what is now Paycor Stadium. Joe Burrow has a wealth of receiving targets already, but he has always had a desire to use his tight end. For various reasons, that has not been possible in Cincinnati just yet. Mayer would not only give Burrow another pass catcher but also an improved blocker in that scheme.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'2" / 198 lbs
Johnson remains in the state of Texas to play for the Cowboys. Dallas has been looking for consistency and longevity at the safety position. It finds it with the versatile Aggie defender.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 24
Josh Downs WR
North Carolina • Jr • 5'9" / 171 lbs
Seattle is not realistically going to move on from Tyler Lockett for at least a few more years, but the selection of Downs puts it on its radar. Unless Dee Eskridge develops into a more reliable target, the Seahawks may be in the market for a younger pass catcher to grow with Anthony Richardson, who was picked No. 3 overall.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 25
Florida • Soph • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Mike McDaniel came over from San Francisco, which has been well-known for building depth along its defensive line. The 49ers drafted defensive tackle Solomon Thomas No. 3 overall with Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner on the roster. Miami has a few solid interior defenders, but creating competitive depth at the position should not be overlooked.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Maryland • Sr • 6'6" / 306 lbs
Duncan in the first round is a bit of a projection, but that description fits most of these selections. He has the athletic traits to be an offensive tackle worthy of being taken in this range. Los Angeles invested a lot into offensive tackles Joe Noteboom and Rob Havenstein this offseason but the results of that investment remain to be seen.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 27
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 209 lbs
Battle has done everything asked of him in that Nick Saban defense. Head coach Dan Campbell will appreciate that flexibility and accountability as he continues to rebuild the defense. This comes after selecting Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at No. 7 overall.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Eli Ricks CB
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 188 lbs
Kansas City invested a first-round selection in Trent McDuffie a year ago. It was a good start to a position that had been largely ignored for years. The reason for this selection had more to do with Ricks being a reasonable choice in this spot rather than cornerback being the biggest need on the roster.
Round 1 - Pick 29
USC • Jr • 5'11" / 173 lbs
Green Bay does not take wide receivers in the first round. I get it. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs could be awesome, and Randall Cobb may play with Aaron Rodgers for another ten years, who knows. The reality is that it is September and Rodgers would take every receiving outlet the franchise could give him right now.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Texas • Jr • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Tampa Bay has a few young running backs who could ultimately lead this pick to be one of luxury. In the event Tom Brady comes back, give him a player capable of being on the field for all three downs. The idea of taking a running back in the first round is often met with a lot of criticism, but the teams willing to make a move are those that find themselves in a position where a game-breaking running back may be the last piece to the puzzle.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Brian Branch CB
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Branch is a well-balanced, smart player. His versatility makes a lot of sense for a Buffalo team that has asked its safeties to do so much. Those safeties -- Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde -- are in the latter stages of their career and could be a part of a cost-cutting measure.