The VT & P/PTSD RD1 Mock: Four Trades, Five Passers, & Minnesota’s New Franchise QB

NFL: 2017 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Very soon, March will slip away and the calendar will officially welcome draft month (better known as April). Accordingly, Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD are responding with a full Round 1 mock draft.

Included below is the effort from four of our writers: Dustin Baker (DB), Janik Eckardt (JE), Josh Frey (JF), and myself (KJ). We worked through the league’s 32 selections to account for the entire opening round. Keep reading to see how things shake out.

A Full RD1 NFL Mock — VT & P/PTSD 1.0

1) Chicago Bears (JF): Caleb Williams, Quarterback, USC

Rationale & Reason: After the previous regime rushed into the selection of Justin Fields in 2021, Ryan Poles has been patiently waiting for the right time to draft Chicago’s franchise quarterback. Now that the Bears have wide receiver talent in place and a stronger defense, Caleb Williams is in a position to succeed.

2) Washington Commanders (JE): Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, LSU

Rationale & Reason: Washington still hasn’t replaced Kirk Cousins, but after six seasons, the franchise finally makes a splash and selects the athletic Heisman Trophy winner. 

3) New England Patriots (DB) Minnesota Vikings (DB): Drake Maye, Quarterback, UNC

TRADE: Minnesota trades No. 11, No. 23, and their 2025 1st for New England’s No. 3.

Rationale & Reason: The Vikings select their quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins chased a fat paycheck down south. Mentored by Kevin O’Connell and Josh McCown, Maye will be in a tremendous position to succeed, mainly because of all the offensive weapons. The price is exorbitant, but such is life. 

4) Arizona Cardinals (KJ): Marvin Harrison Jr., Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Rationale & Reason: Let’s keep things simple. Kyler Murray needs help, so landing this year’s WR1 makes a lot of sense. 

5) Los Angeles Chargers (JF) Denver Broncos (KJ): J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback, Michigan 

TRADE: Denver trades No. 12, No. 145, and their 2025 1st for LA’s No. 5. 

Rationale & Reason: Sean Payton goes to get a player whom he believes can develop into a long-term QB1. 

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) reacts during the second quarter against the Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

6) New York Giants (JE): Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, LSU

Rationale & Reason: The New York Giants desperately need a WR1, something they have lacked for years. Nabers is that explosive weapon on the outside. 

7) Tennessee Titans (DB): Joe Alt, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Rationale & Reason: The Titans ranked in the middle of the pack per nearly all offensive line metrics. Alt will fix that. He’s guaranteed to be good. 

8) Atlanta Falcons (KJ): Brock Bowers, Tight End, Georgia 

Rationale & Reason: Overkill with Kyle Pitts? Maybe. But, to be sure, that’s part of the point. Give Mr. Cousins another weapon and leave no excuse for having anything other than a top-tier offense. 

9) Chicago Bears (JF): Dallas Turner, Edge Rusher, Alabama

Rationale & Reason: The Bears got their QB of the future with the first overall pick, and now, they land a young pass rusher to pair with Montez Sweat to further solidify their defense.

10) New York Jets (JE): Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Offensive Tackle, Penn State

Rationale & Reason: Protecting Aaron Rodgers must be key in New York after years of having awful protection. While the Jets have acquired some serviceable players, Fashanu is an immediate starter. 

11) Minnesota Vikings (KJ) New England Patriots (DB): Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver, Washington

Rationale & Reason: With Bill Belichick gone, the Patriots get with the times and strike at WR, giving the Pats their most talented receiver since Randy Moss.  

12) Denver Broncos (KJ) Los Angeles Chargers (JF): Taliese Fuaga, Offensive Tackle, Oregon State

Rationale & Reason: The Chargers need to solidify the right side of their offensive line to better protect Justin Herbert if they want to compete in the AFC. They get a stout right tackle prospect in Fuaga.

13) Las Vegas Raiders (JF): Troy Fautanu, Offensive Tackle, Washington

Rationale & Reason: The Raiders lost right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor to the New York Giants and need to find an immediate starting option, particularly if they are going to give Aidan O’Connell another chance at being their starter this season. Versatility is a plus with Fautanu given his experience at both tackle and guard.

14) New Orleans Saints (JE): Jared Verse, Edge Rusher, Florida State 

Rationale & Reason: Head coach Dennis Allen is a defensive mind, and his unit’s pass rush is an apparent weakness. Counting on 34-year-old Cameron Jordan as the team’s primary defensive end is not sustainable, and his successor must be found sooner rather than later. Verse has the talent to be an immediate impact defender. 

15) Indianapolis Colts (DB): Terrion Arnold, Corner, Alabama

Rationale & Reason: Indianapolis ranked 18th per passing defense DVOA in 2023. And its current cornerbacks are Kenny Moore, JuJu Brents, and Dallis Flowers. Moore is quite productive, while Brents and Flowers are decent. Moore also plays the slot. Arnold will fill out this CB room.

Oct 7, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) defends against a pass intended for Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Ainias Smith (0) during the fourth quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

16) Seattle Seahawks (KJ): Laiatu Latu, Edge Rusher, UCLA

Rationale & Reason: There’s no such thing as too many pass rushers. New head coach Mike Macdonald and assistant head coach Leslie Frazier get to add a super talented player for the defense. 

17) Jacksonville Jaguars (JF): Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback, Toledo

Rationale & Reason: The Jaguars have a couple young cornerbacks in their secondary, but after cutting Darious Williams, they need another starter. Quinyon Mitchell has showcased throughout the draft process that he is one of the more talented players at the position.

18) Cincinnati Bengals (JE): Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

Rationale & Reason: Tee Higgins’ future with the franchise is uncertain, so it makes sense to select another weapon for Joe Burrow to continue featuring an explosive offense. The dynamic receiver would form a fun LSU tandem with Ja’Marr Chase. 

19) Los Angeles Rams (DB): Michael Penix Jr., Quarterback, Washington

Rationale & Reason: Matthew Stafford has one or a couple of years left, and when he rides off into the sunset, Penix Jr. is ready to thrive under Sean McVay’s tutelage. He’ll do the proverbial “Packers” or “Chiefs” thing and watch-and-learn for a bit. Not for nothing: it feels really, really weird to see the Rams with a 1st-Round draft pick.  😲

20) Pittsburgh Steelers (KJ): Jackson Powers-Johnson, Center, Oregon

Rationale & Reason: Time to protect Russell Wilson while determining if Justin Fields is the long-term answer at QB. 

21) Miami Dolphins (JF): Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle, Texas

Rationale & Reason: The Dolphins lost Christian Wilkins in free agency, but they find an immediate replacement in Murphy who can renew some pass rushing prowess on their defensive line.

22) Philadelphia Eagles (JE) Kansas City Chiefs (KJ): Cooper DeJean, Corner, Iowa 

TRADE: Kansas City Trades No. 32, No. 95, & No. 131 for Philadelphia’s No. 22

Rationale & Reason: Losing L’Jarius Sneed stings. Adding Cooper DeJean, though, is a nice way to rebound. 

23) Minnesota Vikings (DB) New England Patriots (DB): JC Latham, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Rationale & Reason: The Patriots need long-term help at offensive tackle, with Conor McDermott and Mike Onwenu as the two starters heading into 2024. McDermott isn’t overly productive and will be a free agent next offseason. 

24) Dallas Cowboys (KJ): Amarius Mims, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

Rationale & Reason: Truth be told, the Cowboys have a loaded roster. Recent years have featured some tremendous o-lines in Dallas, so choosing Mims is one way of helping that to continue. 

25) Green Bay Packers (JF): Nate Wiggins, Cornerback, Clemson

Rationale & Reason: The Packers need a boost in their secondary. Eric Stokes has not proven to be a reliable option alongside Jaire Alexander, so they take another shot on a first-round CB with Nate Wiggins.

Oct 21, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Colbie Young (4) celebrates scoring a touch down against Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (JE): Chop Robinson, Edge Rusher, Penn State

Rationale & Reason: The Buccaneers lack a great pass-rusher despite investing in the position. Chop Robinson is one of the freakiest athletes in the draft class and has enormous upside.  

27) Arizona Cardinals (DB): Philadelphia Eagles (JE): Kool-Aid McKinstry, Corner, Alabama 

TRADE: Philadelphia trades No. 32, No. 120, and No. 171 for Arizona’s No. 27.

Rationale & Reason: The Eagles don’t have many weaknesses on the stacked roster, but with starting cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry aging, a new shutdown corner is required. McKinstry is a proven player at the highest college level and can turn into the CB1 the Eagles need. 

28) Buffalo Bills (KJ): Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver, Oregon

Rationale & Reason: A quick look suggests that receiver is a popular pick, but Franklin doesn’t get a ton of love (with some exceptions). Just 21, has great length, and had mighty statistics last season.

29) Detroit Lions (JF): Darius Robinson, Defensive Line, Missouri

Rationale & Reason: Ferocity and versatility on the defensive line will make Darius Robinson an instant favorite for Dan Campbell on Detroit’s defense. Pairing him with Aidan Hutchinson off the edge will create a fearsome combination.

30) Baltimore Ravens (JE): Xavier Worthy, Wide Receiver, Texas 

Rationale & Reason: After selecting wideout Zay Flowers in the first round last season, the Ravens double down and lure the king of the 40-yard dash (4.21 seconds) to Baltimore, teaming him up with The King, Derrick Henry, and Lamar Jackson to form one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. 

31) San Francisco 49ers (DB): Jordan Morgan, Offensive Tackle, Arizona

Rationale & Reason: Colton McKivitz is a decent right tackle, but Morgan has more upside. San Francisco doesn’t have oodles of roster holes, so improving the trenches feels wise in this spot. 

32) Kansas City Chiefs (KJ) Philadelphia Eagles (JE) Arizona Cardinals (DB): Johnny Newton, Defensive Tackle, Illinois

Rationale & Reason: Unlike the 49ers above, the Cardinals do have many holes, and after adding Marvin Harrison near the top of the draft, Monti Ossenfort grabs a steal of a deal with the final pick of the 1st Round. 

Editor’s Note: Information from Tankathon and PFF helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.