ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum has written a mock draft in which he takes on every team’s first-round pick with his personal approach. He chose Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as the first pick for the Carolina Panthers. Tannenbaum added that Young would be the long-term answer for the team, and he’s confident the quarterback would improve the team’s passing game, which has suffered the past few years due to inconsistency and stop-gap options. The analyst noted that it was a tight decision between Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
Tannenbaum selected C.J. Stroud for the Houston Texans after Young was picked by the Carolina Panthers. The analyst said that Stroud’s display against Georgia in the Peach Bowl, his throwing performance at the combine, and his overall college tape make him a tough contender, and other factors make him an outstanding prospect for the Texans.
The Arizona Cardinals ranked 19th in pressure rate and 23rd in sacks last season. Tannenbaum expected the team to choose Will Anderson Jr., an outside linebacker from Alabama, as the franchise’s first-round pick. Commenting on Anderson, he said the player is a quick pass-rusher, and he shows shades of Von Miller in his game. Tannenbaum added that Anderson, holding 34.5 sacks and 134 pressures, is the player with the most sacks and pressures in the FBS over the past three years.
Tannenbaum suggested the Detroit Lions select Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, an outside linebacker who showed excellent performance last season with 14 sacks over the past two seasons, as the best choice to improve the team’s pass rush. Additionally, the analyst recommended going with Christian Gonzalez, a cornerback from Oregon, for the Las Vegas Raiders, who ranked 30th in the last season’s defensive efficiency. Gonzalez is long and can play in man and zone coverages, and he could intercept passes when needed, according to Tannenbaum.